Have you noticed an uptick of irritable friends and colleagues who happen to be sipping on mysterious green beverages? I’m betting they’re on a juice cleanse. Cleansers apologize when hangry, gloat about the euphoric rush they get after slurping down nutrient-rich juice and brag about their now-radiant skin and disappearing muffin-top.
As I write this, I am sipping the final juice of my first 15 day cleanse. So, while I bask in the feeling of success and looser jeans, I thought I’d impart a bit of knowledge I’ve gained from my experience.
What is a cleanse?
There’s no one standard definition of a cleanse or detox. For some, it means pressed juice only, and for others it can simply mean cutting items out of their diet like alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, or refined sugar. The goal is to give your body a rest from constant digesting and allow it to do some deep cleaning.
Aside from being super cranky on day 2 and fantasizing about your favorite foods, I can’t think of a reason why notto cleanse.
Here are a few reasons why giving a 3, 5, or 10 day cleanse a try:
Jumpstart weight loss. I’m not going to lie, I was pleased to see that on the final day of my cleanse, I had dropped 8 lbs. About half of the weight you’ll lose in a short-term fast is water weight that will return shortly after completing your cleanse, but you will likely lose fat as well.
Boost your immune system. By feeding your body a diet jam packed with vitamins and giving it a break from processing refined sugar, alcohol, preservatives chemicals, your immune system will be ready for battle.
Achieve clearer, healthier skin. By eliminating processed food, saturated fats, and refined sugars, while increasing hydration through juicing and increased water intake, you will find yourself with glowing, radiant skin.
Reset your lifestyle to crave healthier, whole foods. Many find that by feeding their bodies real, nutrient dense, whole foods while cleansing they crave fewer sweets, fatty and processed foods afterward, thus paving the way for lifelong healthy habits.
How to Not Hate Life While Cleansing
Buy a decent juicer. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you will get what you pay for. Generally $125-$200 will do the trick. I went with the Breville Juice Fountain Plus and have been pleased.
In the days before your cleanse, toss all processed foods, junk foods and sweets. Hide the booze from sight. Minimize your exposure to people eating solid foods.
Choose a cleanse that offers some protein and mainly consists of low-glycemic vegetable juices, like raw almond or cashew milks.
Prep your fruits and veggies on the day before you start your cleanse. Wash everything well and portion out what you’ll need for each juice into separate bowls in your fridge.
Skip intense exercise. If you’re going to work out, I highly recommend opting for walking or casual biking. Intense exercise while on a limited calorie cleanse can lead to headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Additionally, it can break down muscle mass, increase your risk of injury, and lower your metabolic rate.
Now that you know the basic what, why’s and how’s of cleanses, it’s time to get started! Intermittent hanger and euphoria await you — along witha clean slate that will set you on course for a healthier lifestyle.
Jen Barker received a bachelors of arts in religious Studies from Millsaps College. She is a holistic health and run coach, now residing in San Antonio, TX. For more information, visit www.gingerfitandhealthy.com.