Important Tips for Cleansing
A juice cleanse can be a very powerful tool in improving your health and you do not need to go on a full-blown cleanse to enjoy the health benefits of juicing. You can take a more modest approach to juicing, by incorporating small changes into your daily routine, and get its daily boost of nutritious, easy to digest, premium energy. However, sometimes a more aggressive, fast-track cleanse is desired and even needed.
The aim of most cleanses is to flush the body of toxins, give your digestive system a break, and offer an opportunity for renewed health through saturated micronutrient nutrition. Typically, a juice cleanse gives you a break from your normal eating habits and has you consume mainly, if not only, juice for a short period of time. Juice cleanses are a good tool in rejuvenating your health, but they are not advised for a long period of time. Your body needs macronutrients from sources other than the juice you intake and consuming nothing more than the nutrient-dense liquid carbohydrates in juices alone for extended periods of time can create biological stress, a condition that ultimately undermines your juicing intentions. Also, any long-term juicing cleanses become hard to maintain and often result in a yo-yo cleanse effect, another counterintuitive intention of juicing.
Before cleansing it is important to remember that the nutrients you currently intake are not themselves the problem. Fat, protein and fiber are all vital to your health. What is important is to be careful of the not-so-vital forms of food you intake. Snacks, sweets and other processed foods that enter your body that are nutrient-void become the problem. A cleanse, especially juicing, can give you that dietary reboot you are searching for.
The last thing you need to think about before cleansing is what you are looking to get out of it. Cleansing is so popular right now that people often take on any, typically the most popular one in the media, cleanse hoping that it will help them. Instead it might be better to use a cleanse that is designed for the specific thing you would like to correct like skin issues, anti-aging, weight loss/fat flush, immunity boosting, toxin cleanse and many more.
Can I eat while on a Juice Cleanse?
Some people will tell you no and others will tell you yes. Adding a small amount of solid foods throughout the day may be the best and easiest for you. It is hard to completely abstain from solid foods all together, especially in our fast past society. Light eating while cleansing can help you curb hunger and help you maintain energy while you are cleansing. However, it is important to carefully select what you are going to eat while cleansing. While eating on a cleanse it is important to remember two things: 1. less in more, and 2. simple, natural foods are best.
Salads. Salads provide you a way to basically juice, but with solid foods. It is best to try and keep your salad simple. Stick to leafy greens and sprouts and if you decide to use dressing keep it simple and light. If you want a little more out of your salad it is ok to add fermented foods (kimchi is a popular choice), avocados (they contain healthy fats for you) and hemp or chia seeds to give your salad an extra crunch (while also aiding in protein for your body).
Vegetable Soups. Soups are popular during a juice cleanse because they help you feel fuller and more satisfied compared to the juice you drink.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Typically, a juice cleanse has you juice your produce selection for consumption. However, if you need, or want, to occasionally eat small amounts of produce that is ok too. This allows you to feel like you are eating something, while still adhering to the core principles of juicing. Also, the extra amount of fiber you may intake from these fruits and vegetables will not substantially effect your juicing efforts.
Seaweeds. Seaweeds, especially kelp, dulse and nori, are mineralizing and can aid in detoxing your body too. These seaweeds can be added to your salads, vegetable soups or just consumed raw as a quick snack.
Nuts and Seeds. We already mentioned hemp and chia seeds for additions to your salads, but small amounts of walnuts, almonds and flax seeds can be eaten too. It is important to not overdo it on nuts because you are generally trying to limit fat and protein intake during a juice cleanse, but small amounts will not harm your efforts. Plus, these nuts provide you with small amounts of macronutrients your body is not getting from the juices.
Fermented Drinks. Fermented drinks, like kombucha, keifer and kvass, are ok to drink while juicing. These drinks also have the added benefit of helping aid digestion while you are juicing.
Raw Chocolate! Pure cacao chocolate can go a long way on a cleanse. Not only does the cacao offer you added antioxidants and minerals, but it gives you a delicious reward at the end of the day. Limit yourself to a bite size amount of chocolate while cleansing.
Foods to Avoid
Finding out what you can eat can be a challenge of its own when starting a cleanse, but it is also important to remember the foods you want to avoid while cleansing. The purpose of your cleanse is to rid your body of toxins. The below list of foods are ones that disrupt your detoxification process.
- Refined sugar
- Additives (like food coloring, gums and unnatural preservatives)
- Meats, including fish and seafood
- All dairy
- Grains, especially gluten (quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat are ok to consume)
- Oil (in heavy amounts)
- Processed foods
Once your cleanse is complete it is equally important what you do afterwards. You do not want to rush into your normal eating habits again. Instead, you want to take a slow, methodical approach in introducing food back into your daily routine. If you jump back into your regular routine too early you may feel foggy and dizzy immediately after eating and then start to experience stomach pains. Your body has just detoxified itself of these toxins and foods and it is important to slowly reintroduce them back into your body. It is best to stick with clean food—light, mostly raw, plant-based meals that are low in fat—for a few days after finishing your cleanse.
Each juice cleanse has multiple different recipes that you can try and use throughout your cleanse below are two recipes, one you can use while on a Detox & Flush Cleanse and the other during a Weight Loss Cleanse.
Cucumber Mint (Detox & Flush Cleanse)
What you need
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 large bunch of fresh mint
- 1 large sweet apple, cored
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder sweetener, to taste (optional)
How to make it
Juice the cucumbers, mint and apple. Transfer to a shaker cup and add the lemon juice and wheatgrass powder and shake to combine. Taste, and if you need it to be sweeter you can add stevia as needed.
Spectrum Juice (Weight Loss Cleanse)
What you need
- 5 carrots
- 1 medium beet, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 large sweet apple, cored
- 5 large kale leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon spirulina powder
How to make it
Juice the carrots, beet, apple and kale. Transfer the juice into a shaker cup or blender, and add the lime juice and spirulina, then shake until the ingredients are fully mixed.