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. I’m ready to give juice cleansing a try, but how exactly do you prepare juice cleanse?
The main reason most people go on a juice cleanse is to improve their digestion and nutrition in a short period of time. But before juicing, it’s also important to prepare mentally and physically. Juice cleanses are about creating a better relationship with your body, and that includes before and after the days of juicing. In this post I’ll take you through how I’m preparing for my upcoming three-day cleanse, as well as additional tips I’ve learned along the way…
Why Do A Juice Cleanse?
Despite being a passionately healthy eater, I 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 knowing better! Also, 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.
A juice cleanse is an activity that channels the mind and body into rediscovering the benefits of raw, cold-pressed fruits and veggies. Food is more than fuel – it’s the key to life! It rejuvenates the body, gives us natural energy, and supports us with vital vitamins and minerals.
For my upcoming juice cleanse, I’m timing it on the back of just finishing my final year university exams. My aim is 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 couldn’t stop rewarding myself with sugary cappuccinos and ice cream… essentially, this juicing session is my reset button.
A Note On Juice Cleansing For Weight Loss
On my corner of the internet, you’ll notice that I promote mindful eating and sustainable living. This is the same approach I’m taking with juice cleansing, as opposed to a one-off-fix for weight loss and dieting. I think the practice of a juice cleanse is much more than simply trying to lose weight – and in fact, I think everyone deserves to feel good in their body no matter their weight. I actively avoid weight-loss campaigns and I block dieting banner ads too.
By sharing note on my juice cleanse, I’m hoping you’ll see the holistic benefits that go further than weight loss. You may find places shouting down the practice, and I’ve had my fair share of angry commenters too, but truly, I’m not trying to promote diet culture here.
How To Prepare For A Juice Cleanse
1. Choose Your 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. If you’re planning on taking up a juice cleanse, the first place to start is to work out what you’re willing to commit to. Are you thinking about doing a 3-day cleanse, where you make all the juices yourself? Or would you prefer a longer, 7-day cleanse, with juices delivered to your door?
As a beginner, I will 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.
There are plenty of options to try, so I suggest reading my 3-Day DIY Juice Cleanse Guide, my Guide to Commercial Juice Cleanses, and my Soup Cleanse review to work out what’s best for you. If you’re already a juice cleanse fan, I also recommend my 7-Day Juice Cleanse review!
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).
2. Speak To Your Doctor
Now I’m fortunate enough to not be taking regular medication of any sort at the moment, but if you are, it’s worth speaking to your GP or a medical professional before changing your diet. The same goes for anyone on a diet plan, anyone pregnant, etc. etc. Speak to someone who knows your body’s requirements and can advise you whether a juice cleanse is safe for you to take. I’m not a dietician, a nutritionist, or a doctor of any kind – just a fellow juicer.
It’s also worth noting here that if you’re taking any supplements, to continue taking these across your cleanse. I take iron supplements and maintain these throughout.
3. Set A Date
Once you’ve got the all-clear to go ahead with a juice cleanse, plan a time that works for you. I’m doing my cleanse over a long-weekend, where I can take life easy and make my juices fresh each day. Cleanses can reduce your calorie intake from 2,000 to 800 (depending on the cleanse you choose) so you’ll have less energy, and want to reduce your activities and exercise for the duration. You’ll also want to sleep more, which is always a good thing!
4. Eat Well Beforehand
My next tip is vital: eat a diet of raw, plant-based foods between 24 to 48 hours before starting your cleanse. This means no meat, no fish, no dairy, and no eggs. By eating foods that will be similar to those in your juices, your body will start to adjust and you’ll find the first day of the cleanse easier to get through. You’ll also benefit from additional nutrients and better digestion from the get-go! (The above photo is one of the lunches I’ve been indulging in – lots of veggies, a few nuts and homemade raw hummus.)
For a really easy option, I recommend trying the veggie and low-calorie recipe boxes on Hello Fresh*. This takes the hassle out of thinking up new meals and eliminates food waste, as their recipes comes with the exact amount of ingredients needed. You can also follow these after your cleanse too, and continue to eat more healthily while trying new recipes. Use the code HELLOAFF50 for 50% off your first box!
Finally, make sure to drink a lot of water. I’ve practiced this for two days now, so as to be ready to start tomorrow!
5. Prepare For A Juice Cleanse With A New Routine
Just before you start your cleanse, it’s worth considering changing your routine to best support a healthier diet. Try aiming for at least eight hours of sleep each night, if not a little more. Consider drinking your juices at around about the same time each day.
And as I mentioned in point three, you’ll want to time your cleanse for a period of down-time to accommodate having less energy. Plan for gentler days. I’ve got mindful activities like reading books, watching films, and even some creative writing planned!
6. Eat Well Afterwards
Finally, as important as it is to prepare for a juice cleanse, it’s also key to plan for after your cleanse too. Like all detoxes, a juice cleanse 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.
Are You Ready?
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, that’s ok too – ask your doctor for help, meditate on your reasoning and choose a mindful eating path that works for you.
Can I juice ahead of time and put it in jars so I don’t have to do it when I need to drink it?
Hi Samantha, you can do that but the nutritional value will decrease over time (and they may not taste quite as nice!) I always recommend juicing fresh, but if you can’t, at least try to fill up the jars all the way to the top, to reduce the amount of air and oxidisation.
Could I drink herbal teas between the juices?
Hi F, of course! Herbal teas are a great way to add to the cleanse and stay hydrated too.