I've heard a lot about juice cleanses but have hesitated to try them because they are usually pretty expensive. I researched some juice cleanses and finally decided that I would make the juice on my own. I'll tell you how I prepared for the cleanse, how I felt during, and the changes I saw after.
Why a juice cleanse? The reason to do a juice cleanse is to reset your body's digestive system. While drinking only juice, your body taking in pre-digested nutrients and therefore does not have to work to digest anything. This break allows your colon to deal with toxins that have built up due to all of the processed foods you normally eat. I like to think of a cleanse as a factory reset on an ipod :) A cleanse is also a great way for you to kick start a plan to eat healthier.
What is a juice cleanse? You'll find all kinds of variations on cleanses on the internet but a juice cleanse typically means juicing fresh fruits and vegetables and eating them throughout the day. My cleanse lasts 3 days and contains 6 juices per day that you drink every 2 hours. You cannot eat/drink ANYTHING else. No coffee, no Coke Zero, not even an apple (in solid form). You CAN and should work out!
Getting started - need a juicer! The most obvious expense to juicing (besides buying out the entire fruit/veggie section) is buying a juicer. There are some really nice and expensive juicers out there that will work really well, especially with leafy greens. But, I don't have a lot of money and and I don't even know if I'm going to like this cleanse or juicing often. Therefore, I opted for a $50 (on sale from $70) juicer from Amazon that had pretty good reviews, the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor .
Easing in and out I didn't know this before researching juice cleanses but its really important to ease in and out of the cleanse, so it's really more of a whole week process. You can't just go out to a steakhouse and stuff yourself and then get really wasted on a Saturday and expect to be able to juice on Sunday to get rid of your hang over. Apparently, you will be miserable during the cleanse and your body will be to busy getting rid of the toxins from the day before rather than those that have really built up.
Easing in and out of the cleanse happens about 3 days before and 3 days after. T-3 days, don't eat any meat or dairy (fish and eggs are ok) and try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. T-2 days, don't eat any animal products or caffeine or alcohol and just stick to fruits, vegetables, and grains. Day before, try to eat only raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables (no grains, bread, rice, or sugar). The reverse is true for the days after the cleanse. Slowly introduce solid foods, grains, and animal products back into your diet. You may feel so good from the cleanse that you won't even want the animal products. Easing in and out is relatively easy for people (like me) that eat healthy and don't eat many animal products.
Stay tuned, my next post will be on the juice recipes!