This is Your Brain on a Juice Cleanse (Part 5)

By: Adrienne Kimberley

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!

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!