There are so many articles and pro's and con's to juicing out there, it can be very confusing when researching what is right for you. The key word there is YOU, everyone is different. All we can do is speak for the majority and from experience.
I, like many people, was skeptical before I started my first juice cleanse. As someone who has worked in the fitness industry since I was 18 I have always hated 'fad diets' and super strict calorie control as a quick fix for weight loss. But then I discovered juicing and looked at it for what it is, a cleanse, NOT a quick fix. There are so many positives to making a juice cleanse part of your routine, be it every month, every 6 months or every year, I was amazed at how I felt after my first try.
When I did my first cleanse I had be struggling to shake a virus, was suffering from a cough, cold, headaches and as a result had been eating a lot of comfort food. This had been gin g on for about 8 weeks. I was feeling rubbish! I was lethargic, my skin was breaking out and dull, my eyes were dull, my hair had no life, I had put on weight, the list went on! I felt I needed to do something to break the cycle and get myself on the road to recovery, I believe that whole foods are always best and that you should always try to avoid processed food. I decided to overhaul my diet and make myself better by improving what I was putting into my body. As this was a big change I decided I needed to do something a little more drastic to kick start things and supercharge my road to recovery. This is why I decided to try a juice cleanse, what could be better for you than 5 days of pure cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juice? All of those wonderful nutrients in one bottle. So I gave it a go, don't get me wrong, I missed eating. My diet had been poor before I started this so I was craving sugar and carbs from the get go, however, this passed and I began to feel good. By day 3 the cravings had died down and my energy levels were up, I was feeling better, my skin was clearing and had more of a glow and my hair looked healthier. By day 4, the cough and cold I had struggled with for 8 weeks had completely gone, I was amazed, this virus had totally thrown me off my normally routine and had wiped me out, to start feeling energetic and having a cough free sleep was incredible. At the end of day 5 I felt amazing and what's more, I wasn't craving a pizza to 'reward' myself for my hard work and I'd lost 10lbs too! My new found vitality made me want to continue this healthy lifestyle with a clean diet, months later, I had never felt better!
I now do a 3-5 day cleanse every 3 months or so. There are so many reasons why you may want to cleanse regularly. For me, it is to keep me on track and focused on eating the right food, it helps my skin and energy levels, I also use my cleanse time to rest my digestive system and flush out my body.
Here are some reasons why you may want to cleanse:
- Rest the stomach. Making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Also try gently chewing the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.
- Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods, taking medications, and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut flora and fauna balance. 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.
- Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. The problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle. A juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
- Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach, although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
- Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours. This eliminates the need to think constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel sated, but realise we are no longer slaves to our addictions with foods.
- Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). Being off this and then reintroducing them can help define what foods are causing our body problems.
- Flood your body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.
- Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energising and healing nutrients than it has seen before.
- Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol withdrawal symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity than they ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.
- Rehydrate the body. Drinking sufficient fluids (5-6 glasses/day) makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy, and helps ensure proper elimination of toxins.
- Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food, but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.
- Heal your cells. Switching to a plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.
If you think you may benefit from a juice cleanse but are not sure which one is best for you, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help to point you in the right direction. If you suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant then you should consult with your GP before beginning a juicing programme.