Want to do a healthy juice cleanse? Good on you. Juice cleanses are an excellent way to jumpstart your system and live a healthier lifestyle. They allow you to flood your system with a concentrated amount of every vitamin and mineral available. Plus, you know directly what you are putting in your body, and you can achieve your daily fruit and vegetable intake in one sitting.
However, sometimes juice cleanses get a bad rap: from the lack of insoluble fiber that gets extracted by juicing, muscle loss due to low protein, or fatigue, there are common issues with juice cleanses that a lot of people experience.
Luckily, there are limitless resources available in order for you to insure that you’re doing everything you can for maximum benefits and minimal side effects.
It’s also important to note the limitations of juice cleanses. Though fresh pressed juice has an amazing amount of nutrients, it’s not a miracle solution for everything. Often times people use this as a long term weight loss solution, but may find themselves gaining back the weight they lost pretty quickly.
Nonetheless, juice cleanses are truly a fantastic way of hydrating your body and jumpstart your immune system. Here are 12 tips and tricks for making the most of your healthy juice cleanse experience!
How to Do a Healthy Juice Cleanse
Make sure you have everything in advance
Jumping into a juice cleanse isn’t as easy as it looks! Make sure you have the appropriate equipment like a juicer and possibly a blender, the correct produce for maximum impact and so on. Often times people are surprised by how many fruits and veggies are consumed in an entire day and run out quickly. And a simple trip to the grocery store is full of temptations…
Be prepared ahead of time
Not only do you need the right supplies, you need your body to be prepared too. And that includes staying off caffeine, alcohol and processed foods for at least 3 to 4 days before starting your cleanse for maximum benefits (and less side effects of the detoxing period!)
You may want to start small
A 30 day juice cleanse sounds great in theory, but for many people who haven’t done it before, it’s actually quite daunting and difficult on your body. It’s important to start small and try a 1-3 day detox first to see how your body adjusts and responds to an all liquid diet. A weekend juice cleanse is a great way to dip your toes in the water.
Be aware of your body
Every body reacts differently to a juice cleanse. Some people may feel light headed the first couple of days, while others feel completely normal. The most common side effects of juice fasting are: fatigue, mood swings, anger, weakness, frequent bathroom trips, light headedness, insomnia, and skin breakouts or irritation due to the juice cleanse flushing out toxins from your body.
So starting a juice cleanse on the weekend or some time you can be away from the stress and demands of work is ideal, just in case you run low on energy or have to make adjustments.
Drink more water
Doing a juice cleanse at first is going to make you feel extra hungry. It’s important to keep hydrated during this time, so drinking more water will eliminate those hunger pangs that are usually associated with dehydration!
Be aware of what you’re buying
It may be tempting to buy the cheaper, non-organic produce at the store. But beware! Due to the high volume of condensed liquid you are ingesting, drinking that many chemicals and pesticides could be detrimental to your health. It’s best to go organic, or go to a farmers market for high-quality produce for your juice cleanse.
During a juice cleanse, consistency is key and that means drinking juice every 2 to 3 hours. This will help avoid hunger pains, sugar crashes, and help regulate your body with consistent nourishment. This can be challenging since you have stuff to do so prepare to take your juice on the go with you.
Oh, and drinking your last juice approximately 2 hours before bed is ideal so you’re not waking up all night to go to the bathroom.
Change your exercise routine
Because you are taking in less calories than normal, your exercise routine should be lighter as well. Many people do only walks or light stretching, while some enjoy the sauna to get the heart rate up at a steady pace.
I, myself, really enjoyed hatha yoga during the juice cleanse. Although to be honest, the first week of juice cleansing can be brutal and you may want to lay off anything but the lightest exercise during that time. After that first 5 days, though, it gets a lot easier and you may discover that you have loads of energy to burn.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep
Juice cleanses are not for the faint of heart! Sleeping is incredibly important anyway, but when you’re doing a juice cleanse it helps with the processing of the high-impact fruits and vegetables that you have introduced to your system.
Variety is key
One of the most important things to do if you’re doing a juice cleanse is to mix it up. There are some go-to recipes that provide delicious results, but don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous when juicing. One fruit or vegetable does not have all the nutrients, so variety is important. Your tastebuds and your body will thank you.
Your juice can have supplements
The biggest complaint about juicing is that you do not get things like protein in your diet. Though some veggies provide adequate amounts of protein (for example: Peas, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Sprouts, Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts, Artichokes, to name a few), but many critics believe with good reason that juicing does little to help build lean muscle, and vegetables alone may not cut it.
Adding supplements such as chia seed, a wide variety of nut based milks, wheatgerm and so many more for a more well rounded diet is a really smart way to get your fill of important macronutrients during a juice cleanse.
The post-cleanse meal
After a successful cleanse, you may want to celebrate and indulge in a treat. Beware! Eating certain food after a juice fast can wreak havoc on your system.
So what should you eat for a post-cleanse celebratory meal? Go with fruit. Fruit in whole form is a very different texture and the body responds differently. You may be sick of fruit by then, but this will help you ease back into eating something your body finds familiar versus only consuming liquids.
Your first days post-cleanse should include lots of veggies and fruits. However, if you’re hankering for something more exciting, please make sure to absolutely avoid these foods the first few days after your cleanse: red meat, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods.
Remember, health is key. You don’t want to undo all of that hard work you put in!
Doing a juice fast may be a challenge, but if you follow these steps and make sure to listen to your body signs, you’ll have a successful cleanse with minimal discomfort. Health and happiness are of the utmost importance, and once you take the time necessary for yourself, you’ll achieve amazing results physically (and emotionally too!).