As ridding the body of toxins is essential for optimal health, I recently ran a two-day group juice cleanse with Juice Press. Since I had never done a cleanse myself, I decided to join in the fun as well. Don’t get me wrong, I drink green juice religiously. But, as a Health Coach, I felt I needed to experience “going on the juice”.
The purpose of doing a juice cleanse is to give your overworked digestive system a break. Your body parts can focus on their intended jobs instead of breaking down those greasy french fries you just inhaled. Also, the nutrients from the juice skip the digestive tract and go straight into your blood. So, just like when something is injected into you, you’re very efficiently reaping all the benefits.
Leading up to the cleanse, eliminating animal protein and processed food is a must. This includes all gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, etc. Taking a break from these foods allows the body to begin the detox process before the actual cleanse. By eating primarily fruits and vegetables before the cleanse, you prevent detox symptoms from causing you to cave mid-cleanse and grab for that leftover chicken fried rice.
I didn’t have too much of an issue with the pre-cleanse part as I normally eat pretty clean. For three days, I stayed focused on eating my veggies and drinking my water. I did think about coffee and dark chocolate once or twice, but no biggie.
Once day #1 of juicing hit, I started the morning with a glass of warm water with lemon to jumpstart the detoxing process. Then I proceeded to drink six different juices every two hours or so. For the most part, the juices were tasty. But, I was super pumped when it was time for the Tomato Gazpacho! This guy had more of a chunky soup consistency, so it helped to curb my hunger around 4pm. In between juices, I made sure to drink tons of water to help flush those toxins out. Pretty sure I set a personal record for number of trips to the bathroom.
Since I’m a dark leafy green (and avocado!) addict, I thought I would feel super energized and peppy the second I went on the juice. But, after two juices, I started feeling pretty lethargic, which lasted the remainder of the day. A slight headache decided to accompany the lethargy as well. I obviously had some toxic build up that wanted out. So, I listened to my body by chilling out and going to bed early.
Day #2 was a different story. I woke up with tons of energy and excited for my array of juices, especially that Tomato Gazpacho. I followed the same schedule as day #1 and kept flooding myself with water. My hunger was under control and I wasn’t too tired. A faint headache came for another visit during the early evening, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I finished my last juice around 8pm, watched some TV and went to bed.
For the next few days, I followed the same protocol as the pre-cleanse. I ate tons of fruits and veggies and slowly added back in my usuals. As I was reunited with quinoa, nuts, lean protein, etc., and then some not as ideal choices, I made an effort to eat more mindfully. In other words, I ate slower in order to focus on the sensations caused by the different food. I basically reconfirmed that eating whole foods made me feel like a total rockstar.
Overall, a two to three day cleanse is the right length for a cleansing newbie. A shorter cleanse will help prepare you and your body for a longer cleanse next time. And, while I don’t believe in juice cleansing as a way to reverse crappy eating, I do think it’s a good complement to a healthy diet. I’m thinking that cleaning the pipes every few months works for me.
So, I definitely recommend going on the juice…the green kind, of course.