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. But should you do it?
If you’re thoughtful about the juice you choose, and you’re aware of what your body-type needs, then your answer is a resounding yes. You will emerge from a juice cleanse feeling restored, your palate will mostly re-set, and many cravings and addictions will fall to the side.
Yet, to enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of a juice cleanse, the single most important thing you must do is prepare your mind, body and life.
Check in: why exactly are you doing this juice cleanse? While the juice will definitely flush your body with vitality-promoting micronutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants, it will not change your relationship with your body or weight, and it won’t change your beliefs about food.
It is heartbreaking when people use juice cleansing as a binge/fast mechanism or as a vehicle to perpetuate self loathing. A juice cleanse is not punishment for poor eating, nor is it a magic pill for health. If you have a testy relationship with food or your body, dig deeper and seek professional guidance.
Many toxins—heavy metals, pesticides, alcohol, pollution—are fat soluble and stored in your body’s fat reserves. During a cleanse, your body uses adipose tissue (i.e. fat) to fuel itself. Thus, these toxins are dislodged from storage and enter your bloodstream as free radicals. Yes, you become MORE toxic initially in order to detox!
We’ll explore the mechanics of cleansing in the next post, but for now it’s important to note that without dietary preparation, you may experience some unpleasant symptoms from the newly free toxins in your body: headaches, fatigue, nausea, heat waves, and/or diarrhea.
These symptoms are no bueno, as they interfere with your day-to-day living, and they place extreme stress on your body. Luckily, simple changes to your diet pre-cleanse will ease the stress and prevent symptoms when it’s time to juice. Three days prior to your juice cleanse, be sure to do the following:
- Remove coffee, soda, dairy and alcohol
- Remove excess sugar, such as candy and baked goods
- Emphasize cleansing foods: asparagus, broccoli, garlic, arugula and kale
I hate to break this to you, but most friends and family will not support you while you cleanse. Your peers don’t want to worry about food, they question the benefits of a juice cleanse, and they really want you to join them for that margarita after work!
Moreover, a juice cleanse is kind of a big deal to your body. Recall that your body is already under lots of stress cleansing toxins! So, while cleansing it’s best to limit high-intensity workouts and super-active days. Your body needs space to restore and eliminate.
Strategize your life and prioritize your cleanse for success. Look at your calendar and clear any social obligations that involve eating out or drinking. Plan for a day off of work or a mini-getaway to a relaxing place, and plan for lighter exercise—such as walking, hatha yoga or a light jog.
A juice cleanse is an opportunity for self love and nourishment. It is recognizing that you have aches, pains and addictions, and it is taking proactive steps to heal. Detoxifying isn’t that pleasant, and it can be quite challenging. But, with proper preparation, your results can be life changing.
JuiceBox and I are coordinating a Community Cleanse in Seattle this July. This exclusive program will have limited space, and it will involve one-on-one nutrition guidance and daily engagement. We will help you prepare, adjust for your body-type and lifestyle, and help you to disengage safely.
To get first dibs on the Community Cleanse pricing and registration, add your name to the pre-enrollment list here.