J U I C E
I'm not talking about that refined sugar, preservative packed, pasteurized, high fructose corn syrup crap, "vitamin infused" liquid you'll find in one of the aisles of your generic grocery store...
This is all about that real, fresh pressed, organic, and raw juice. Doesn't have to be green - but lets be honest, it probably will be.
If you've been following me on social media, you might have noticed that i've been on a juice cleanse/detox/fast ever since arriving back home to California after my 8 months of travel throughout Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and The Philippines.
I decided on a 10 day cleanse and I can confidently say it was the right decision for myself. After so many months of traveling and eating a predominately white rice diet at my last stop for a month in the Philippines, my body needed a reset.
Before I get into all the fun stuff (and the not so fun stuff), I would first like to state that i’m no dietician, certified nutritionist, or doctor of any kind. I have felt inspired to document my journey and help others who are interested. Please make sure you have the right intentions and are well aware of the effects it will have on the body. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to listen to your own body. Respect your temple. A lot of people come to juice cleanses with the intention to lose weight, but please remember this is not a long term plan. Doing a juice cleanse and then going back to unhealthy eating habits will not create any positive change in the long run. Instead, start a juice cleanse with the intention to lead into a more sustainable diet and mindful lifestyle.
Juice cleanse, Juice fast, Juice Detox...
call it what you want...
When it comes down to it,
it's a way to pack in micro nutrients and feel fucking fantastic
(that is, once your mind stops craving all that junk that doesn't belong in your body anyways)
First things first,
Juice cleansing is a “detox” diet that will last from a few days to several weeks. During this time a person consumes only raw vegetable and fruit juices. By abstaining from any and all solid foods, the digestion system is able to rest and recharge. Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself. An estimated 65% of the body’s energy is consumed by digestion after eating, more for those of us regularly eating processed foods. While juicing, all this energy that would have gone into digestion, will instead be used to heal your body and cells from inside out.
There are many reasons to consider a juice cleanse.
I add raw juice to my diet because it's a good way to consume more essential vitamins and let my body rest and recover.
Just a other few reasons that come to my mind for why I personally do a monthly juice cleanse:
• Healing - Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation.
• Alkalizing - Disease can only thrive in acidic body environments - Did you know that our body processes ALL dairy and meat as acidic? Being a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan the past 5, I am not as concerned about meat and dairy, but I am a coffee lover. Coffee, unfortunately, is acidic to the body.
• Give the digestion a rest - By drinking only whole-food juices, you’re reducing the amount of input and stress on your gut. This allows your body to heal and recharge, while also flooding it with vital phytonutrients. You’re giving your body time to play catch-up while pressing reset on your health.
• Energy levels - Within 48 hours you’ll really start to feel the difference – You’ll discover a new inner lightness, and within 72 hours you’ll feel energized, enlivened, and engaged.
• Detoxifying - You are packing in raw, fresh, and LIVING foods and all their nutrients.
• Hydration - More than 50% of people are dehydrated. Drinking adequate fluids makes the body function more efficiently, improves energy, and helps remove toxins more effectively.
• Weightloss - When you cut out harmful toxic foods, saturated fats and empty refined carbs, and replace these with organic whole-food juices you’ll naturally lose weight. Cravings for junk foods will also disappear and your tastebuds will regenerate leaving you with the ability to live a healthier lifestyle by making better food choices.
• Clears skin blemishes, breakouts, and acne - It all relates to your gut, hydration, and removing toxins from your body. Harsh chemicals and medication are not the answers.
• It's a great way to figure out how your body responds to certain foods when you reintroduce them - gluten, fermented foods, dairy, etc.
If you take a moment to think about it, from the time we are about 6 months old, we start digesting food. Every. Single. Day. And still for a lot of us, we haven't stopped doing so to this day.
In addition to our digestive system in constant "work mode", the liver, our main detoxifying organ is rarely given a break either. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle. Therefore, some molecules pass unchecked into the general circulation of our blood which causes serious damage on our cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
It's important to plan a cleanse during a time that allows you to rest and not put too much strain on your body, or mind.
You obviously don't want to be at birthday dinners, holiday gatherings, or fun celebrations while juice cleansing. Or maybe you do... that's your call. I know that's not my ideal timing for a fast.
With that being said, it doesn't have to be perfect. You don't need to take work off, or completely clear your schedule and drink yourself green with envy. Just be mindful, that's really all it is.
Take a moment to check your calendar and if it feels right, then trust that it is.
During this time you might feel more tired, weak, and dizzy the first few hours or even days (that is, before gaining a ton of energy, alertness, and spark. I PROMISE.)
I attended a festival while on my 6 - 7th days of fasting and just brought all the juice with me in hydroflasks. I danced all night, and walked miles around the festival grounds with no issues. What was not ideal, was having to hold myself back from all the high vibrational vegan food served at this particular festival, which is usually a highlight for me when I attend festivals like this one. But it was ok, I was able to just tune in with how good I felt and continue on my way past all the food booths. With that being said, I have done juice fasts before and it was my 6th day which energy levels have always been high for me on the fifth day and onward.
You have two options -
Buy the Juices from a business: more expensive, possibly more convenient, no clean up, easy, fast, planned out for you, not as fresh as if you make them at home.
Make the Juices yourself at home: you need a juicer but if you own one it's overall, much cheaper, you can make your juices exactly how you like them, you can make your juices any time of the day, fresher, more cleanup, takes time to buy produce, plan, and make the juices.
Prior to this cleanse, all my previous cleanses were from Juice Bars. I was living in Bali and had multiple lovely juice companies around to chose from. Juice cleansing in Bali is about as common as eating fried food in the South. My personal favorite juicery was Wayans Coconut Juice Bar in Ubud (did three 5 day cleanses with them!), and I also did a short trial cleanse with In The Raw in Canggu.
After doing my first ever juice cleanse at home, I don't think i'll be paying a company to make me juices anytime soon. I am a gal on a budget, and I always try to make my money go as far as possible - and juice detox programs through juice bars just aren't the answer. Especially when you are paying western prices compared to Balinese prices (Wayans juice bar had very reasonable prices, but my home juices are still less expensive on my end here in California).
I also really enjoyed making the juices exactly how I wanted. I would ask myself what I was in the mood for, or what my body needed and I would make that. A big thing for me was being able to make my juices fresh. Vital nutrients, minerals, and live enzymes in the juice start decaying after the juicing process. This is expedited while the juice is exposed to oxygen. I can taste and feel the difference between juices that had been made and then bottled and given to me from businesses and the juices I made fresh.
If you do go with a Juice Bar program, I wouldn't recommend picking up all the juices at once for the entire cleanse. If possible, pick up in the morning for the day and confirm that the juices were made fresh that morning.
Yah YOU! So, You've made it this far:
You must be seriously considering a juice detox,
You're nearly sipping on a green juice at this point.
Any minute now....
Now we get to talk about all the fun stuff!
First off, it will be very helpful to prep yourself for your soon to be detox.
A few days before you plan to begin your cleanse, you should be gradually cutting all meat, dairy, refined carbs, sweets, alcohol, oils, coffee and processed food out of your diet.
Yes, enjoy that last mug of coffee. I know. I know. You won't need it a few days into the cleanse anyways, you'll actually feel energized and more alert than how coffee ever made you feel.
The day before your cleanse don't indulge because you know you are about to have a few days of no solid food. This will make your first day absolute hell on the cleanse. Avoid eating a large meal for dinner as your last meal - your body will still be digesting all that food and you will feel hungrier. It's best to slowly cut down portions and stick to raw or steamed vegetables as your last meal.
Always begin your cleanse in the morning on an empty stomach.
The first day of your cleanse might be challenging. You might experience intense cravings, hunger pains, fatigue, and headaches. This is ok, you will survive. You will make it to the second day. You will not die even though your mind might be trying to trick you into thinking otherwise.
Getting the mind prepared for a cleanse is just as important as getting the body ready. The mind is extremely powerful (and can be deceiving). It's the reason a lot of people don't even give Juice Cleanses a shot. Meditation, yoga, reading books, or journaling help to set you up for success. Write down your intentions for this cleanse on a piece of paper - be clear and confident. Be descriptive on why you are doing this, what is making you want to do this, and how you will feel after when you have finished the cleanse. Write positively, but truthfully. The law of attraction is a very real thing. Where our attention goes, energy flows.
Back to the cleanse! Day 1 - 3 will be the most challenging.
If you are planning on doing a 3 day cleanse, which if you have never done any fasting before - this is a good place to start. You will be experiencing the "hardest" days of the fast, which will set you up for success when and if you give another juice cleanse a go in say, a month.
Days 1 - 3 for me usually include naps, naps, and more naps. Usually on the third day I get slight headaches, and I try to avoid LED lights from my phone or computer and just rest with a cold cloth on my head. As always, I avoid using any medication including aspirin or tylenol to "fix" headaches, not just during juice cleanses, but always.
Day 4 my hunger cravings are gone and I wake up feeling energized. I still take it easy on my body - yoga is always nice.
Day 5 and onwards, I, along with others, start to notice physical differences in my appearance. My eyes become very vibrant and the white is very bright. My skin clears up drastically. It becomes nearly spotless with little to no bumps, whiteheads, or acne flare ups. I have a "glow" about me, that during every cleanse people have taken the time to compliment me on. It's really special and I truly believe it connected to the high vibration and pure living food I am putting into my body. As this is not a regular compliment I receive when I am off the juice cleanse, but happens multiple times during each and every single cleanse i've done.
I want to emphasize again how important it is to listen to your body.
Your body knows.
This is YOUR cleanse. Do what feels right.
It's not a competition, or an exercise in starvation, you are not Jesus in the desert.
Some important things to remember:
Buy organic produce: you are trying to detox! Pesticides and chemicals will not aide in this, they actually will do the opposite, especially in the large amounts that you will be consuming from your diet being 100% raw produce. If you can buy local organic produce, even better!
Pack in the dark, leafy greens! Fruit juices are lovely, and taste wonderful - but the real detox benefits come from those greens. I would make 1 fruit juice a day (usually pineapple + ginger), and the rest would be green with minimal fruit.
Make at least 500ml for each juice. Normally, I drink 4-6 juices a day while on the cleanse.
Fresh juices are always better. Try to drink your juice in the first fifteen minutes of making it, as this is when all the enzymes and nutrients are available for our body to assimilate.
Don't use a blender, use a juicer. A slow pressed juicer is best and will give you the highest nutritional value in your juices.
Don't buy store bought, bottled "juices". These are most likely pasteurized, have added sugars, or have been juiced long ago and have been sitting on shelves with little to no alive nutrients or minerals.
You should be drinking water as well! I advise drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water, during, as well as off the cleanse.
You should still be having bowel movements, if you are not using the bathroom drink more water. Also use more include more raw ginger if possible.
Herbal teas are totally ok on juice cleanses. They are actually recommended. My favorite is ginger, turmeric, and orange. Avoid teas with caffeine such as green and black teas.
You can (and should!) add garlic, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, and my favorite, Spirulina to any of your juices.
I noticed that adding Spirulina powder to my juices really help sustain me. It curbed hunger, cured headaches, and gave me even more energy. If you know me, you know my love for Spirulina. Of course i'll be adding it to my juices.
I bought all my organic produce from the local Trader Joes.
Over the course of my 10 day cleanse I went to restock my fridge about 4 times and each time I spent about $20. This would make me multiple juices for multiple days. One vegan meal eating out in LA comes to about $20, just showing that juicing is not more expensive.
My ingredients were simple: lemons, limes, celery, romaine, cucumber, parsley, basil, mixed greens (or just spinach), fresh ginger, carrots, apples, pineapple, and oranges.
My juicer is Jack Lalanne's JLSS Power Juicer Deluxe Stainless-Steel Electric Juicer, which you can find here. I have only great things to say about this juicer. I'm very happy with it and the clean up is very easy, which is important to me.
So you've juice cleansed, now what?
Breaking the fast is just as important as the fast itself.
Instantly going back into old unhealthy eating habits will not only reverse any detoxification, but it could also cause stomach pains, loose stools, or other health issues.
You just went many hours, and days without putting any solids into your body so you don't want to shock your body when you do decide it's time to reintroduce solid food back into your diet.
Just like you slowly went into the fast, you want to slowly start adding different foods meal by meal. A good way to break the fast is with raw fruit or vegetables. After a few days of nothing but raw fruit and vegetable juice, you might be excited for other things but you will feel best if you just take a day or two to readjust.
A general rule of thumb is for every 5 days that you fast, you need a day to regroup. For my 10 day fast, I will be taking 2 full days to break the fast.
Start with a glass of fresh nutmylk or a monomeal of raw fruit or vegetable for your first meal. Then next time you are hungry you may want to include steamed vegetables and possible an oat or grain. Don't eat just because of a time on the clock, listen to you body and eat when you are hungry.
Don't go right back into high fat, oily foods.
You just spent a few days eliminating the habit of comfort eating, and you should feel satisfied with less food than usual. You have experienced a psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). Reintroducing these foods one by one can help define what foods are causing body problems if you have any you'd like to understand.
I just shared with you most everything i've experienced and have learned along the way.
The way I feel on juice cleanses is unlike any thing I have felt prior. It is truly invigorating and awakening. I didn't understand what the hype was about juice cleansing... until I tried.
Regardless of your reasons for being interested in detoxing, I promise, you will not regret giving it a try.
Is it for everyone? I sure as hell hope so! But I understand that it will be challenging more so for some than others. Please feel free to find me on instagram, and ask me any questions or concerns that you have. Or if you just need some support, i'll be glad to root you on (no pun intended).
Please remember, there is a difference between a "diet" change, and a "lifestyle" change.
I promote lifestyle changes, not quick crash diets.
The beautiful thing about juice cleansing is that you will lose cravings and your palate can actually change. Like I said at the beginning, juice detoxing should serve as a kickstart to getting your eating choices on track, and helping you to make more mindful lifestyle decisions relating to your health.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get your mind ready for the cleanse, as it is to prep your body.
It's a commitment.
Make sure it's a good week.
Make it a good week.
Take it easy and don't over work your body.
Respect. Your. Body.
If this is your first time don't start with 10 days.
Think about starting with 3 days.
Then consider working to 5 days next time.
And then maybe 10 days.
It took time and preparation to get my body ready for this, in addition I already eat a plant based vegan diet. Majority of my meals are dominantly raw vegetables. I believe this made the transition to juice fasting for extended days at a time much easier.
It gets easier, I promise.
I am currently working on a post with my favorite juice recipes, which I intend to post this week.
Have you tried Juice cleansing?
Are you considering doing one?
Tell me Below! I love hearing from you all.
With so much love,