I’ve been a bi#%h before but not for thirty-six hours straight. I was smack dab in the middle of a three day juice cleanse and was not eating food. My nourishment came from drinking six, sixteen ounce juices throughout the day. I went on the cleanse expecting that I’d be hungry and irritable. And for the first thirty-six hours, I was.
But by the end of the three days, I was enlightened. My juice cleanse was a game changer.
I felt lighter and brighter. I nourished my body with intention, not out of habit. And the answer to the question that everyone asks me is yes, I lost weight – five pounds, to be exact.
But what was even better than the weight loss? My mental clarity. I felt clear and sharp. My eyes were bright and my complexion, less dull. And a funny thing happened the weekend after my cleanse – I didn’t want to eat or drink that much. I was on a juice cleanse high.
WHAT A JUICE CLEANSE DOES
Here’s why we get these awesome benefits from a juice cleanse:
- It reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an internal irritation caused by acidic substances such as alcohol, meat, dairy, and sugar. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- It eliminates toxins from your body that you’ve accumulated from food, alcohol, medications, pesticides, and pollutants.
- It gives your digestive system a break.
- It improves memory and other brain functions.
- It rids your body of fat. Fat is the storage house for toxins in the body. When you limit your caloric intake through juicing, your body uses stored fat for energy, which in turn releases toxins.
PREPARING FOR A CLEANSE
You should eat clean for three to five days before you cleanse. And by clean, I mean a lot of fruit and vegetables. Less meat. No alcohol. No sugar. This will detox your body a bit beforehand, hopefully lessening the possible side effects of juicing like headaches and lethargy.
You can also read The 3-Day Cleanse. It’s a primer on juicing and clean eating and is a fun, easy read. If you need inspiration, check out the site for the documentary, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Before starting a juice cleanse, it is also advisable that you consult with a doctor.
WHERE TO GET THE JUICE
You must drink six sixteen ounce juices each day of your cleanse. The ingredients of the juices must be varied in order to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Your daily intake will be about 1,200 calories.
- If you live in Tampa, I recommend that you get your juice at Intelligent Gourmet. This is what I did. The juices are prepared fresh each morning and are chock full of nutritious, organic ingredients. They also taste great. If you live within a certain distance, Intelligent Gourmet will deliver. Linda Baldwin, owner, holistic health coach, and juicer extraordinaire, will provide you with detailed instructions to guide you through the process.
- Whole Foods sells the Blue Print Cleanse, which are pre-prepared and sold refrigerated.
- Kimberly Synder, author of Beauty Detox Foods, has opened her own juice cleanse company called My Glow Bio, which ships nationwide.
- If you’re a Tracy Anderson fan, rumor has it, she’s launched a juice delivery service this week.
- Visit your local juice bar and see what they offer.
- Make your own. This is a good option only if you’ve juiced before and know what you’re doing. Getting all the right vitamins is essential during a cleanse.
ELIMINATING TOXINS DURING THE CLEANSE
While you are living on juice, your body burns fat for for fuel and releases toxins into your body. Toxins floating around in your body can give you a headache and make you feel tired, irritable, and downright bi%@#y. The goal is to get rid of the toxins. Here’s how:
- Urination. Make sure you drink a lot of water while you are cleansing. Your body needs the juice for sustenance. The water you drink will push out the toxins.
- Move things out the back end. If you are drinking well-made juices with a good amount of fiber, this shouldn’t be an issue. Again, water is important to keep things moving.
- Your skin is often called the third kidney because it also eliminates toxins. Use a steam room or sauna to sweat during a cleanse. You can work up a sweat exercising too, just don’t over do it. It will make you feel more tired. You can also dry brush before showering to slough off toxins.
- Your lungs will also assist you in the elimination process. Again, exercising to get your heart rate up will help with this. But don’t over do it. Practicing deep breathing or doing to yoga are also beneficial.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHILE ON THE CLEANSE
- Day 1 ~ I was tired and irritable. For about two hours in the morning I had a migrating headache. I took three 15 minute naps throughout the day. I wanted to eat constantly. It wasn’t so much out of hunger as it was out of habit and simply wanting to chew. I went to the bathroom – a lot. To distract myself from feeling hungry, I focused on work and did enjoyable things like walking my dog and taking a bubble bath. I went to bed hungry.
- Day 2 ~ I woke up feeling well-rested and hungry. No headache. Less bloated. I was fine all day until dinner. I wanted to eat. Instead, I drank my juice and read a good book. By early evening, I started to feel happier and lighter. I went to bed feeling appropriately tired and proud that I made it this far.
- Day 3 ~ I woke up before my alarm, wide awake and ready to take on the world. I was happy and not hungry. I didn’t even think about coffee or food. I wanted my juice. I got some great news later that day and wasn’t even tempted to celebrate with a glass of wine. I was on a mission and more than happy with my juice.
YOU’RE CLEANSED. NOW WHAT?
Bask in your mental clarity and smaller waistline. Spread the word about how juicing changed your life. Plan to do it again. You can cleanse whenever you feel like you need it and for as long as is advisable. Some people do a juice cleanse one day a week. Some people do a three day cleanse once a month and some do it twice a year. It’s up to you and how clean you want to feel.
The juice cleanse was a game changer for me because of how I felt after the cleanse. I had the proverbial “aha moment” when it all clicked. I gained a real understanding of the power of food. The power it has over your brain and how to control it. The power that food has in changing not just your body but your health.
Another important thing I learned from my juice cleanse? To apologize to my husband in advance for anything that I might say while I’m juicing. Those toxins can turn even Mary Poppins into a bi#@h.