In my last post of the juice series, we focus on the most important component to cleansing: the mind. Take a little time now to explore all that we’ve covered!
- Part 1: The Truth About Juice
- Part 2: Juicing for Your Body Type
- Part 3: Preparing Mind, Body & Life for a Cleanse
- (Pit Stop): Before You Cleanse, Check-IN
- Part 4: This is Your Body on a Juice Cleanse
Last week, a commentator remarked that juice cleanse symptoms are potentially a result of “hypoglycemia because people aren’t eating.” Clearly, the commenter does not quite understand what it means to be hypoglycemic, nor had she read my prior blog posts on juice cleansing.
To be absolutely clear, we are—in no way—intending to deprive or starve ourselves. It’s unfortunate that cleansing is often construed as something hurtful or bogus. In each post, I’ve reiterated the following: this is a process of self nourishment and healing. Moreover, it is because so many people have negative experiences cleansing that I’ve created theses blog posts and the Guided Cleanse program! So, let’s move on, shall we?
The mind-body connection is complex.
Intuitively, your body’s response to a cleanse works hand-in-hand with your emotional and mental response. The body-mind connection is quite astonishing: the status of the microbes in your digestive system influences your overall mood and perspective, and how you hold your body posture changes your willingness to engage with others.
So, how are thoughts and emotions altered when you’re on a juice cleanse?
Food addiction is *real* and it will be exposed.
Well, what happens when you no longer have a syrup-filled latte, processed energy bar, fast-food sandwich, or bowl of ice cream after dinner every day?
Initially, you go through very real withdrawal symptoms—discomfort, distress and severe cravings. This is no different than removing other depleting substances—such as alcohol, coffee or cigarettes—from your body.
When you remove refined grains, sweeteners, artificial foods, and transfats, your brain temporarily becomes deprived of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. Also seratonin, a happiness neurotransmitter produced primarily in the digestive system, goes on the decline when you shift from processed to whole foods.
Let’s be blunt: you may not be a very pleasant person while cleansing, but...
There IS a rainbow after the storm!
Here’s the good news: after you’ve removed toxic, nutrient depleting stuff for a few days, eating only dense micronutrients from whole foods and fresh juice, your pallate literally recalibrates. Research demonstrates that when shifting to whole foods, people experience a transition period of not enjoying food very much before they can, once again, taste the sweetness of an apple or yam.
After cleansing, you feel and taste the difference. Your taste buds may find refined sugar and grains too sweet, and you may even feel physically ill after eating these things. Your body may reject most depleting heavy foods and crave lighter nourishing whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
This is precisely why I lead whole-food and juice cleansing; I believe our bodies intuitively know how to maintain health and vibrancy, yet we are so often fragmented from real, whole foods and fighting very real food addictions.
It is difficult to re-set, and it must be done with mindfulness and care, which is why I’m here. There are still a few days to sign up for the Guided Cleanse with myself and Juicebox beginning September 3!
We’re exposed to toxins every day. Simply by typing on this computer, sitting near a busy street full of cars and eating sushi, I am exposed to bacteria, heavy metals, pollutants, chemicals and food preservatives my body must process and excrete to maintain my health, wit, and vibrancy.
I don’t want to freak out about toxins because exposure to them is constant and inevitable, so I don’t!
Our bodies have very effective cleansing systems that eliminate toxins daily: the liver, skin, kidneys, digestive and respiratory system. However, these systems need micronutrient and antioxidant support to do their jobs, and unfortunately, most of us are deficient in a handful of basic vitamins and minerals, as well as the phytonutrients abundant in fresh produce.
This is where seasonal juice and whole-food cleansing can come in handy. Just because we have good detoxification systems in place doesn’t mean they are operating effectively. In fact, if you suffer from joint pain, constipation, acne, digestive issues, fatigue or frequent sickness, your cleansing systems are likely overburdened and need some TLC.
Detoxification is *real* and quite uncomfortable.
When you juice cleanse for a day or so, your body is equipped with potent warriors that seek out poisonous and toxic substances and fight inflammation. The flush of rich micronutrients nourishes and heals stressed cleansing organs while giving our only means of nutrient absorption (the digestive system) a much needed break to restore and repair.
But warning: you may feel worse before you feel better!
As your body is pumped full of fresh juice, it begins to break down many stored toxins in fat tissue and organs all at once. This process initially unleashes free radicals into your organs and blood stream. Your body goes into overdrive to neutralize the released toxins and escort them out of your body. An abundance of antioxidants are needed, and this is why many people suffer from harsh and stressful symptoms: rashes, nausea, or headache.
Consider your current lifestyle before cleansing.
Why is it that some people have severe reactions to a juice cleanse while others breeze through it like it’s no big deal?
Your every day life influences how your body handles a whole-food or juice cleanse. Do you drink a lot? Eat fast food, processed foods, or packaged food often? Do you smoke or live with smokers? If you are exposed to external toxins and depleting foods each day, your body works exceptionally hard while you’re on a cleanse, and your body can become overstressed.
To avoid icky symptoms that can emerge, check in with a nutrition consultant on the best way to cleanse for you, given your current lifestyle. Generally, here’s good advice for those brand new to cleansing:
- Eat whole foods alongside your juice—Consuming food will slow the rate of detoxification and allow your cleansing organs to process and eliminate toxins at a nourishing pace.
- Drink a bunch of water—Drink one glass of water after each juice (4-6 glasses a day) to facilitate the release of toxins through the kidneys, digestive and respiratory systems.
- Spend time doing nothing—Rest is key for your body to eliminate and restore after the stress of processing toxins. Enjoy restorative yoga, naps in the sun and bubble baths.
There’s so much more!
Even on my fifth blog post on this topic, there is still so much to say about how a juice cleanse affects your physical body. Every person is unique and needs something different from their cleanse. As mentioned before, it’s important to consider your activity level, set up your week for a success, and get real with your perceptions of self.
Because there are so many intricacies, I’m leading a guided juice cleanse with JuiceBox on September 3. In this program, I analyze your lifestyle and provide tangible feedback on how to improve your daily diet for vibrant health. I will also help you adjust your cleanse for your body! You'll receive daily engagement to inspire and educate you, and we will enjoy an exclusive restorative yoga class together at the Seattle Bouldering Project.
What you put in your body influences your emotions, how you act, your body composition, what food you crave, your sex drive, your genetics, how your brain functions and how your body responds to stress.
Here’s the bottom line: food is a big deal.
We should not minimize the power of healthy eating and detoxifying strategies, such as juice cleanses, to restore mental and physical health!
However, before you cleanse, it’s important to check in on your perception of self. A juice cleanse can be a restorative, nourishing and loving treat for your (often mistreated) body, but take some time to think: do you need a cleanse for your physical body, or should you step back and focus on cultivating self-love instead?
It took me many years of yoga, nutrition education and therapy to create a fundamentally healthy approach to diet change.
Only when I achieved deep, unwavering love for myself could I begin to do something as intense and detoxifying as a juice cleanse. I am certain that, when I cleanse, it is coming from a gentle place more interested in restoration than restriction.
Cleansing can be a dramatic, raw, and emotionally charged experience. If you suffer from an eating disorder or body dysmorphia, throw all my writing out the window and work on feeling good about the beautiful person in your skin! There are wonderful professional therapists and clinically trained dietitians who can help you with this—seek them out and begin to heal.
When you’re ready to cleanse from a place of love, please join us!
Finding love and compassion for yourself while cleansing is not easy. Over the next two weeks, I will describe exactly why it is so physically and emotionally difficult to do a juice cleanse, and I’ll provide insights that can help.
The guidance of experienced, nutritionally trained professionals to facilitate your cleanse is crucial. For this reason, the chefs at JuiceBox and I have developed a guided cleanse to answer your questions and help you juice in a safe, supported and nourishing environment.
In this guided cleanse, I analyze your diet and provide tangible feedback on how to improve your health through food. You receive daily engagement and online support to inspire and educate you while you cleanse. I will lead you through a yummy, exclusive restorative yoga class, and an empowering, detoxifying Flybarre class, as well.
The next guided cleanse begins September 3rd, and spots are very limited; reserve your spot here!
JuiceBox is officially offering the season’s most tasty juices in Seattle. When you decide to do a juice cleanse, you get to sample five different juices, all with their unique micronutrient and phytonutrient profile. So, you may be wondering—should I drink the juices in any certain sequence?
The answer is: maybe!
Will anything go “wrong” if you drink the juices in a random, aimless order? Absolutely not! However, to optimize your cleanse, there are a few tricks from the world of holistic nutrition that can keep you satisfied and energized optimally while you cleanse.
First off, if you haven’t yet read these blog posts prior to juice cleansing, do it!:
Secondly, because the juices offered this season are on the sweeter side (thank you, nature!), there’s a strategy to juicing that can help you sustain stable blood sugar, as well as optimize your brain function while cleansing.
Also, Seattle summers are finicky until mid-July. So, you may be cleansing when it’s rainy and gross outside. Juice will make you feel light and cool, which isn’t that much fun when it’s cold outside! I highly recommend purchasing a variety of yummy teas before you cleanse. Tea with every juice you have will keep you satisfied and warm on a rainy day!
Below you find a special sequence of the multi-flavored juice cleanse. Of course, listen to how your body responds to the juices and feel free to play with this order!
Upon waking: Hot Water & Lemon
The best thing you can do for your body every morning is enjoy hot water and lemon. The warmth relaxes your digestive system and releases hormones that make it easier to stimulate gastric acid (your stomach acid!). The lemon provides cleansing support to your liver, as well as morning antioxidants.
Breakfast: Fennel, apple, cucumber, mint
Apples have a caffeine-like effect and will give you a buzz of energy. Because this juice is balanced with earthy greens and hydrating cucumber, your blood sugar won’t spike first thing in the morning. The mint is a natural energizer, and after years of using mint toothpaste, your body associates mint with waking up.
Snack #1: Carrot, orange, turmeric
In the morning, our brains are especially active and crave glucose (sugar) to operate at full speed until lunch. This is why so many people crave donuts or coffee first thing in the morning! This juice will give you dense, natural sweetness from the carrot and orange, but will also give you a flush of anti-inflammatory turmeric, helping you to feel light and on your A-game for brain tasks.
Lunch: Juicebox nut milk
Our “hungriest” time of day is usually mid-day, or lunch. You’re probably craving something harty, so nut milk is best here to satisfy that hunger. With as much protein as one egg, some healthy lipids (fat!) and delicious raw honey, this is well balanced and will keep you satisfied long after lunch through your afternoon slump.
Snack #2: Aloe water
You might notice that you usually crave something around 4pm, but you don’t whie juice cleansing. No surprise here; your body is happy and full with a burst of dense micronurients, enzymes and phytonutrients! If you ARE hungry, you’re probably just thirsty or emotionally attached to crunching (that’s normal, so no worries!). Aloe Water is best here. The aloe soothes your digestive system and hydrates on a deep level. Your intestines, which are getting a break, are going to love, love this. You may feel a little smile in your belly button region.
Dinner: Kale, romaine, celery, spinach, apple, lemon, aloe vera
It’s already dinner time, and you have a happy, yummy salad waiting for you in this bottle. At around mid-night, our bodies flush blood and lymph back to the liver for re-cleansing and restoration. Supplying your body with the most diverse, dense micronutrients at night will help your body restore and detoxify, and you will feel awesome the next day.
Snack #3: Apple, lemon, extra ginger
Okay, okay, so your after dinner sweet tooth is still very loud and proud. This is a great time for the Apple, lemon & ginger juice, which is the sweetest of the juices offered. The lemon will quench your thirst, the apple with quench your sweet tooth, and the spicy ginger will warm your belly into bed. Your blood sugar is likely to have a little spike after this juice, leading to a bit of fatigue if you’re sensitive to blood sugar spikes. But, guess what’s after this juice? Bed time!
Other Juicing tips:
- Keep healthy, whole-food snacks on hand for your juice cleanse (almonds, carrots and hummus, lentil soup, etc). This way, if you absolutely must eat, you will have cleanse-supporting foods ready to go. Ps: it’s not cheating or bad if you eat. You should listen to your body, but eat foods that help your body detoxify.
- Chew your juice. Carbohydrates are digested primarily in the mouth by salivary amylase. This means if you guzzle your juice, you’re losing some of the benefit and energy this juice can provide. Swish the juice around your mouth. Take small sips and drink water in between sips.
- Drink lots of water and tea! Your body simply cannot process the awesome nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants in juice without water, and if you drink only juice, you may become dehydrated! So keep lots of the clear stuff close.
So, you feel sluggish lately.
You’re addicted to coffee (and sugar and wine), and you can’t seem to kick those dark circles under your eyes. You’re looking to jumpstart a return to clean eating, restored energy and better digestion, and nothing sounds better than a light, restorative juice cleanse.Read More
Juice is all the rage in spring.
People looking to shed some winter weight or sluggishness crave the sweet, cooling lightness of fresh pressed juice. This is only natural; it is a season of new beginnings, rebirth and rejuvenation!
Yet, we recently noticed that there is an essential component missing from the Seattle juice community: a nutritionist.
So, The JuiceBox has partnered with Urban Leaf, and we’re providing educational support to our juice cleansers. We want to maximize that feeling of aaah! post-cleanse, and we know it takes a smart approach.
So how do you know if a juice cleanse is for you? What happens when you’re cleansing, and how do you navigate the challenges?
These are legit and important questions!
Thus, we’ve created a five-part blog series that will tell you everything you need to know. You will learn how to prepare for a cleanse, how to make the most out of a cleanse for your body type and activity level, and how to disengage from a cleanse safely so you reap all of the benefits.
Juice can be amazing.
Juice can be a potent nourisher, but some juices may actually deplete your body of nutrients—eek! It all depends on the type of juice you drink, how it was processed and when you drink it.
Fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juice contains loads of good stuff: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and electrolytes. When you drink fresh juice, you’re consuming the micronutrients of multiple fruits and vegetables at one time, and your body is flushed with vital, essential nutrients that it readily uses to build, repair and refresh your body.
Moreover, nutrients work synergistically, and thus more effectively, when you consume whole foods or drink fresh juice; your body was literally designed to optimize nutrients that occur naturally in food. Supplements or fortified processed foods simply aren’t as effective (and most times, they’re useless). Drinking juice is one of the best ways to get the essential, diversified micronutrients your body needs.
What's the catch?
There is a catch, I’m afraid. To reap the fantastic benefits of juice, it must be fresh squeezed, preferably hydraulically pressed (like at JuiceBox), and consumed ASAP! All that live, stunning goodness—the vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals and enzymes—are very fragile and sensitive to light, heat and processing.
Thus, if a juice is pasteurized or high pressure processed, exposed to room temperature for longer than an hour, or sitting on the grocery store shelf for weeks, the juice loses its vitality. The micronutrients are oxidized and enzymes are killed, completely wiping the juice of its health benefits!
So, say so long to the OJ from your local grocer and the waffle house, and be sure to only settle for the freshest juice available. And, do I even need to remind you to only choose organic, as-local-as-possible, produce?
Juice can’t replace well balanced meals.
Next week we’ll discuss the best time to drink juice and how to prepare for a juice cleanse. But with that said, I want to be clear: juice cannot (and should never) replace food! A juice cleanse is not a diet, a magic pill, or even a good idea for some body types. Juice is a health enriching supplement and a juice cleanse is simply a tool for restoration. More about all this soon!