Disclosure: This blog post is intended only to inform. The information here is not medical advice. Always consult a licensed doctor when it comes to your personal health, any changes to health, and before you begin any treatment.
Since it is the beginning of the new year, you probably see words like “detox” and “cleanse” popping up all over the internet. You probably see people in support of detoxes and cleanses and then you probably see those that are against them. Here is my take: I LOVE a quick detox (1-5 days). I never recommend dieting. A detox and a diet are two different things. A detox (in my opinion) is a few days of removing items from your diet (added sugar, grains, gluten, dairy, caffeine, eggs, etc.). Basically anything that can cause food sensitivities will be removed. A diet, on the other hand, is removing items from your diet (mostly “junk food”) in order to lose weight in a certain period of time. What happens when you diet is that after those few months of dieting is over, the old diet creeps back in and you end up losing everything you worked for. Dieting also creates a negative energy around food and health culture. I believe in eating a well rounded diet focused around eating whole and real foods (minimal processed foods, minimal dairy, and minimal added sugar, etc.).
A detox is great because it can give you a fresh start. A fast-mimicking detox or cleanse can help jumpstart your healthy diet. I love doing a cleanse for 3-5 days and then continuing with a healthy and well rounded diet. Detoxing is a great way to de-bloat and hit the reset button.
If you’ve seen the Netflix series Goop Lab, you may have seen the episode on aging well through diet. (The episode is worth the watch!) They say that detoxing 1-2 times per year helps to slow down the aging process.
“In Dr. Longo’s early research, mice that were put on recurrent fasting diets reduced their weight, lived longer, and developed few tumors and less gray fur than normal. Since then, clinical trials on humans have shown his fast-mimicking program reduces risk factors for multiple age-related diseases”- the Goop Lab series on Netflix
So why detox through a juice cleanse?
You have probably heard a lot about juice cleanses. Juice cleanses seem to have gained a bad reputation over the past few years. Juice cleanses went from one of the most beloved way to detoxes to one of the most advised against detoxes. A few reasons why people advise against juice cleanses are:
- They introduce sugar into the diet which can lead to blood sugar spikes
- They are low in calories
- They lack fiber
- They lack protein which is essential and vital to the body
A few reasons to love a juice cleanse:
- They can reset your routine. According to Pressed Juicery, replenishing your body with just juices can help you to take note of your patterns and help you hit the reset button
- They can help you eliminate toxins from the body (because of the high levels of leafy greens like kale and plants like ginger, lemon and parsley)
- Juices can nourish your body with essential vitamins and nutrients that you don’t get everyday
- Juices are rich in anti-oxidants
- Juicing can help you debloat
I personally do a juice cleanse 1-2 times a year for 3 days at a time. I have been doing this every year for the past 6 years.
Why do I love juice cleanses?
I love a juice cleanse because it helps to reset my routine. I typically do a juice cleanse at the very beginning of the year and then I might do one in the middle of the year. Detoxing helps reteach me food discipline. I do a juice cleanse typically when I fall off track with my healthy diet (eating too many processed foods which typically happens around the holidays). Juice cleansing helps me to take back control over my diet. When I get back on track by starting off with a 3 day detox I feel better, refreshed, rejuvenated, energized, de-bloated and inspired to get back to my healthy ways.
Why are we so afraid of the juice cleanse?
Juice cleansing requires A LOT of discipline. The idea of not chewing and eating food for a few days can be scary. There is also this idea that a juice cleanse is a diet or quick fix. However, that is not exactly the case. While you may lose a pound or 2 during a 1-5 day juice cleanse, it won’t be a significant amount. A juice cleanse is not a diet. It is only meant to reset the body and help jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. We also fear the sugar intake (which is justified given that a green juice can hold 30 grams of sugar)
How to do a juice cleanse correctly
The juice cleanse is meant to be temporary. People choose to do a juice cleanse between 1-30 days. My recommendation is to cleanse between 1-5 days. I would never recommend exceeding 5 days on a juice cleanse. Another reason why juice cleanses aren’t used correctly is because people don’t listen to their bodies. Juice cleansing does require a significant amount of discipline, but it also requires listening to your body. If you are hungry and the juices are not cutting it, you need to eat. Which means that you can eat almonds, cucumbers, or a side of greens and lemon. If you need to eat a meal, eat! I also recommend doing a juice cleanse that includes a source of protein. I choose to do cleanses that start and end the day with an almond milk as opposed to a juice cleanse where you are strictly drinking fruit and green juices. This way you are receiving a large amount of nutrients without harm. I also recommend doing light movement (yoga and walking) as opposed to regular workouts. I also recommend (for women) to only do this cleanse if you are at the end of your follicular phase, during your ovulation phase or at the beginning of your luteal phase. The ovulation phase is prime time for a detox. I also recommend that you don’t exceed 2 times a year. 1-2 times should be enough. If a full day juice cleanse is too much, you can do half day cleanses! This way you can still eat a snack and dinner which help to avoid hunger and blood sugar spikes.
How to properly cleanse:
Before the fast, cut down on caffeine, processed foods, added sugars, alcohol and dairy. During the juice cleanse, stay hydrated and listen to what your body needs. Then after the cleanse, follow it by re-introducing foods into your diet (lots of greens, fiber and healthy fats).
There is a lot of controversy over detoxing and cleansing (especially when it comes to the juice cleanse). I believe in listening to your body and doing what is right for you and your body!