If you recall ever being forced to take ‘deworming’ medicine at the end of every summer, you’d recall it wasn’t a pleasant experience. But by giving it to us, our parents were giving our little stomachs a fresh start. Now as adults, the body [itself] at some point will indicate it’s need for a fresh start, a cleanse, a detox, something to make it feel renewed and like its old self. It’s human biology. In our instance, the constant bloating, eczema flare ups, dry skin, fatigue, irritability seemed like classic signals being sent by our bodies for help. Rather than turn to deworming medicine however, we decided that a juice cleanse using natural fruits and vegetables seemed to be a tastier way to go.
Now before one jumps into a juice cleanse, here are four very important things to consider:
- Why are you doing a cleanse?
- How long of a cleanse are you willing to do?
- Are you going to buy the juices or make them yourself?
- Is there a plan to reintroduce foods once the cleanse is over?
We don’t suggest doing a cleanse just for weight loss. While it may be side effect, its neither guaranteed nor sustainable. We did it simply because our bodies were begging for it and felt complete reboot was necessary.
If you’ve never done a cleanse or just feel you can’t handle a long one, we suggest a 1 or 3 day cleanse as a good starting point. One day is short enough to be a good test of whether you can even do it, while three days gives you enough time to get some of the benefits. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew by jumping straight to a 7 or 21 day cleanse without giving it serious thought or doing your research. It will backfire!
Once the cleanse duration is decided, knowing how many juices you’ll need per day should be the next step. For first timers, we suggest you buy your juices from either juice bar or a company with a ‘juice cleanse program’. Though its expensive, it’s worth the time and effort that makes juice cleanses challenging in the first place. If on the other hand, cost is important to you, then by all means break out that juicer and give it a shot. Who knows what masterpieces you can come up with.
Now that you’re on your way, we believe having a post cleanse plan of attack is extremely important. That means, knowing what foods and when to gradually reintroduce them to your diet. This ensures you maintain whatever balance your body restored and sets you up for continued success in healthier eating.
With that said, here’s how we experienced our most recent juice cleanse.
I decided to do a 3 day cleanse, bought 18 juices from a local juice bar and started it on a Saturday.
- Juices were tasty, even with them containing more vegetables than fruits.
- Having a juice every 2 hours (6 each day) kept hunger at bay.
- Bloating disappeared and digestive system felt like it was working better.
- Had to increase water intake.
- Energy levels remained high which allowed me to keep my workouts in as they were.
- It was easier to re-introduce healthier foods and keep up the habit of eating vegetables and fruit.
- I experienced what you’d call a complete wash out, minus the pain a laxative would give you.
- After juice #4 my throat felt sore and I had hit a limit, so had to force the remaining juices.
- I did not feel like drinking water but that is a must or that sore throat doesn’t subside.
- A 3-day cleanse was not long enough.
I chose a 5 day cleanse prior to starting our experiment and it was the best decision I ever made. I got my juices delivered on a Friday – thank you Groupon – with instructions to ween off processed foods and increase my water intake a few days prior. I spent the weekend doing so and preparing myself for a Monday start.
- Juices were filling which were perfect for my busy schedule.
- It took 2 days to acquire the taste of the juices but in that time I did not feel hungry, my energy levels went up,
- Increased my water intake with more regular bowel movements.
- Bloating disappeared.
- My skin regained its glow and even my teeth looked brighter.
- It was just the right kind of reset my body needed to restart proper eating.
- Re-introducing foods gradually gave me insight into what foods my body liked and what it didn’t.
- Expensive if not making juices for yourself.
- Day 1 and 2 were the hardest for me with caffeine and sugar withdrawal as well as the headaches.
- Had to keep exercise extremely light.
- Had to avoid social gatherings because of the limit on food intake.
- It was hard going back to solid food which makes having a plan essential.
A juice cleanse is all about personal preference. It isn’t for all and that’s fine. But we will advise that if you decide to do a juice cleanse, go into it with zero expectations other than a system overhaul. To do otherwise is naive at best, and foolhardy at worse. Enjoy!