Juicing and more specifically, juice cleanses, are everywhere at the moment! If you’ve switched on Netflix, you’ve probably seen Joe Cross and his infamous green juice travelling the USA on the journey to health. And online, juice cleanses are popping up everywhere too. So, why should you (or shouldn’t you) take up a juice cleanse?
The chief reason cited for going on a cleanse is to purge the body. By having a balanced intake of raw, cold-pressed fruits and veggies may rejuvenate the body, giving us a burst of energy, vitamins, and minerals. Of course, you will find places that dispute this – but it’s very much dependant on your diet prior to cleansing. If you’ve been living as a fruitarian, or a raw vegan, this perhaps will not benefit you much at all (in fact, it may simply be removing some fibre from your diet).
Why go on a three-day juice cleanse?
Despite being a passionately healthy eater, I too have my vices. Number one is sugary food; chocolate, ice cream, pancakes… I could go on. Simply walking past a fresh doughnut stand makes me drool, despite everything! Furthermore, I genuinely believe that these sugar spikes in my diet have led to negative health effects in various ways, such as skin blemishes, cystitis, and occasional cases of IBS.
On top of that, having now finished my final year university exams, I’d like to refresh my system and remove those last dregs left over from the stress-filled exam season. While I did maintain a base of healthy food, I returned to sugary cappuccinos and ice cream rewards… essentially, this is my reset button.
In advising others about juice cleansing, I would first like to state that no, I’m not a dietician, a nutritionist, or a doctor of any kind. And I’m not advocating juice cleansing, rather documenting my journey and helping others who wish to partake in it. Above all, it is a personal choice and commitment to the wellbeing of the body, and this has to be applied in as unique a way as each of our bodies operate. So, if you are considering it, please make sure you have the right intentions and are well aware of the effects it will have on the body. Like all detoxes, this is not a sure-fire way to lose weight, especially if you will return to eating a particularly unhealthy diet afterwards. Instead, view it as the kickstart to a more sustainable diet and mindful eating practice. By knowing exactly what you are putting in your body, juice cleansing is a chance to educate yourself and make better food choices in the future.
How should I prepare for a juice cleanse?
One thing I’ve learnt after extensive researching into juice cleanses, is that there is no set approach, but there are some logical ideas you may want to put into practice. One of which, is to switch to a raw vegan diet 24 hours prior to starting the juice cleanse, so as to only have raw, fresh produce in the gut when starting your juices. This means that nothing nasty will be left behind to rot in your intestines over the selected time period of the cleanse. I’ve actually practiced this for two days now, so as to be ready to start tomorrow, as well as upping my water intake. The above photo is one of the lunches I’ve been indulging in – lots of veggies, a few nuts and homemade raw hummus (with a little dried basil mixed in). Some commercial cleanses go further than this, providing home enema kits, but for now I’d rather not go down that route.
As a beginner, I will also only be cleansing for three days, so as not to shock my system (no matter the amount of fruit and veggies I regularly consume), alongside having a more palatable and varied set of juices. Typically, a more advanced course would consist of many green vegetable juices, alkali in nature and full of chlorophyll. However, I’d like to start gently, with a mixture of green juices among fruitier and sweeter varieties. I shall also be making my own cashew milk, a set piece in almost all cleanses.
One thing I do think is very important for anyone considering juice cleansing, whether doing it themselves or buying a cleansing package, is to note the amount of juices per day, as well as the size of them. As I have found, best practice is always 500ml per juice, with six juices per day (including nut milk).
Commercial or DIY cleanse?
This is usually the next step into choosing a cleanse. You should have some set parameters: the number of days, the variety of juices, and the price you wish to pay for your cleanse. Tomorrow, I will be posting a detailed comparison of 12 commercial cleanses available in the UK, as well as my DIY method, so hopefully that will help. You should also bear in mind your proximity to juice shops – can you get them to make it for you on the day? Will it need to be delivered, thus stored for some time? Perhaps freshness is a major consideration for you. Above all, you should ensure your juices are mainly (if not completely) organic, so you can further purify the body.
So, there you have my preparation guidelines for juice cleansing – the main questions will obviously have to be answered by you, making it unique to you, and hopefully suitable to your lifestyle. And if you decide against cleansing, perhaps consider why – ask your doctor for help, meditate on your reasoning and choose a mindful eating path.