As you may know by now, I like trying wellness trends for myself, to see if they really are ‘all that’. This time I tried a 3 day ‘Juice Cleanse’.
Before I share my top 10 tips I’d like to answer two questions:
- Why should I do a cleanse? You may want to do a cleanse for different reasons but the primary objective is to remove toxins from the body. As ‘waste’ builds up in the digestive system it contributes to the creation of an acid ‘environment’, where disease is more likely to arise. The cleanse may also result in an increase in energy, clearer skin, weight loss, an improvement in your relationship with food and more.
- What do I need to do a cleanse? If you were to do a juice cleanse only I would recommend a cold press juicer, however after loads of research and experimenting on myself I don’t believe juice only cleanses are beneficial overall. (You will find out why in my 10 tips below). To do the cleanse I do recommend, all you really need is a blender, A Lot of fruit and veggies, time and containers to hold the drinks.
Here are my Top 10 tips in case you decide to do a cleanse for yourself:
1.Start eating clean a few days before you start the cleanse.
During the cleanse you should ideally consume fruit and veg only, enabling your digestive system to rest, facilitating the detoxification of the bowel. Digestion can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, during which time the food you’ve eaten travels down your oesophagus, to your stomach, then to your small intestine, your large intestine, and out through the anus. Eliminating gluten, sugar, caffeine and dairy from your diet prior to the cleanse (3-5 days before) will make the detoxification process easier and more effective.
2. Making tasty juices that are not packed with sugar is a challenge.
My tip is to use more veggies than fruit, to make V8 type of juices, but many veggies are also pretty sweet so I also recommend using leafy greens and even making oil free veggie soups, steaming and blending broccoli, courgette and celery for example.
I also find this list which provides fruit and vegetables sugar content very helpful for deciding which ones to use.
3. Fructose is a threat to your health if over-consumed.
While every cell in the body can use glucose, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts. A diet that is high in calories and fructose, causes the liver to get overloaded, turning the fructose into fat.
4. Juicing removes all the fibre from the fruit and veg and we need fibre to keep our gut healthy.
Varying between herbal teas, broths, soups, smoothies and juices is a healthier option. Just keep the broths and soups oil free, veggies only!
5. Stay hydrated.
When you are consuming liquid meals it is easy to forget to drink enough water so it may be helpful to keep track of your water intake. Approximately 2L depending on each individual.
6. Garlic should be left out of the cleanse.
According to Ayurveda, garlic should be used as medicine, but is not recommended for daily consumption. Since it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, garlic (especially raw) kills not only the bad germs but also the most needed friendly bacteria. Check out this page to find out more.
7. Put your feet up.
Not everyone can take time off work to rest for 3 days, but I’d recommend keeping your activity levels low to moderate during the cleanse.
I personally skipped any high intensity workouts and did light yoga instead.
8. Using fresh produce has a great impact on the cleanse.
Sourcing local product is the best advice I could give, so if you have access to a farmer’s market, make the most of it, but frozen fruit and veg can also be a good alternative.
I find this article great to understand how fresh produce properties evolve after being picked.
9. Ease yourself back into a normal diet.
After a cleanse, your gut may feel a little ‘fragile’ so it’s important to select your first few meals post cleanse mindfully.
10. Last but not least, acknowledge that such cleanses are also mental and spiritual practices.
Changing your diet drastically can be a real shock to your body (although positive) but also to your mind. Whenever you feel hangry (hungry and angry) or bored of yet another liquid meal, drink a glass of water and remember it’s only 3 days and you are not actually going to starve to death. If you are unable to power through, I’d recommend eating a handful of nuts and continuing with the cleanse if possible.
I will be sharing juice, smoothie and soup recipes on my instagram page: @yogibee.me