For those of us that have put on pounds over the winter and are looking to refresh and rejuvenate our appearance from within, a juice cleanse may be just the thing. A short-term juice cleanse gives your digestive system a break and will give you that boost you need to get back into shape. The best part of completing a juice cleanse is that your skin will glow, which is your body’s way of saying thank you.
The metabolic process of digesting solid food requires a ton of your body’s energy (up to 70%). Not everyone digests their food properly due to differences in lifestyle, stress levels and physiology, which means an accumulation of undigested food is often stuck in the intestinal tract. This back-up can cause fatigue, acne, irritability, and bloating. A juice cleanse will help move out some of the old waste and refill you with nutrients your body needs. The end result is that you will feel awesome.
A juice cleanse involves drinking fresh juices made from fruits and vegetables for a short term. The shortest recommended juice cleanse is usually 3 days, but some people go on juice cleanses for up to one month. The combinations of fruits and vegetables are endless, but specific combinations are suggested for different goals such as detoxification, bowel health, skin improvement, and treatment of specific ailments. While on a juice cleanse no solid foods, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can be ingested. The only thing that is recommended is to drink lots and lots of water, and if you need a little extra lift, coconut water is preferred.
What to do to prepare:
In order to make the transition into a juice cleanse easier it is important to begin detoxing at least one week before beginning. Detoxing before your cleanse means eliminating certain ‘toxic’ or difficult to digest foods from your diet. The less toxins you have built up in your body, the easier and more effective the juice cleanse will be. Eat a light diet of nutritious whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and fish and avoid processed foods like pasta, dairy and bread. Any food with added sugar is a definite no. Most importantly, stay away from the notorious toxins like alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. These toxins can make the emotional and physical experience of cleansing unbearable.
What to expect:
During the detoxification process, the liver purges toxins back into the bloodstream so that they can be eliminated correctly. This process may cause feelings of getting worse before getting better, which is why it is recommended to detox a week before the cleanse in order to lessen these side effects. Some people experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, or nausea, but by the third day most people feel completely better and experience a sense of clarity, wellness and vitality. The most common challenge people experience on juice cleanses is the loss of routine in terms of eating. People are so used to cooking and shopping and chewing their food; it can be hard for them to adjust.
If you are considering a juice cleanse, there are several companies that sell juice cleanse programs, but they are usually quite expensive. It actually may be cheaper – albeit messier – to buy yourself a juicer and make your daily juices fresh each morning. The following are 3 recipes for juices that will help detox your liver, clear your skin, and promote weight loss. To follow this juice cleanse you must drink a litre of each juice in the order that is written below. Drink plenty of water or coconut water along with the juices and try to stay on the cleanse for a minimum of three days.
Morning Detox Juice
Ingredients: Apple, Lemon, Kale, Spirulina and Milk Thistle
Benefits: Apples are abundant in water soluble fiber, so it helps with elimination in the absence of solid foods. Lemon purifies the blood and supplies vitamin C to keep the immune system strong. Lemon also helps the body extract iron from the kale and spirulina. Kale is known as a superfood because it has numerous nutrients and is especially high in calcium and iron. Spirulina is 90% protein, and is high in all vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Milk thistle helps the liver get rid of stored toxins and helps it rebuild and protect itself from future damage.
Green Day Juice
Ingredients: Cucumber, Parsley, Kale, Green Pepper, Celery, Lemon
Benefits: This alkaline juice helps the body restore its PH balance. It is very high on the nutritional scale with high levels of chlorophyll, vitamin A and purified water.
Veggie Dinner Juice
Ingredients: Tomato, Celery, Kale, Beet, Carrot, and Lemon
Benefits: The beets and carrots provide beta carotene, while the celery and carrots provide natural sodium and lysine. This nutrient dense juice also has abundant potassium which is necessary for your organs to function normally. The low sugar content provides energy without overdoing it.