I’ve always wanted to try juice fasting, but living a very active lifestyle, and with a fair bit of travel for work recently, I struggled to find a window of opportunity (excuses, excuses, I know!). I’ve worked at detox retreats where the clients fasted for seven days, I’ve seen the results, and had always planned to try it – perhaps even make it a yearly event. I’ve done liver detoxes, raw food detox diets, but never a liquid juice detox diet.
So when I was lucky enough to win a 3 day juice fast package from the awesome peeps at Sol Cleanse, I took it as a sign that the universe wanted me to give it a go.
Note – This is NOT a sponsored post – I won the cleanse (yay!) in an Instagram giveaway. Check them out here.
Why choose a juice cleanse over another kind of detox?
Juice fasting, when done correctly, cleanses the bowel and the kidneys, gives the digestion a break, and kickstarts the liver faster than other types of detoxes. It also delivers an abundant supply of vitamins and minerals to the body for rapid absorption.
Juice fasting – what’s involved?
There are many different types of liquid cleanses out there – some recommend a clear broth at the end of the day, some allow you to include smoothies and nut milks, some are super hardcore and even encourage you to strain your juice of all pulp.
The one I selected from the Sol Cleanse menu (there were three to choose from) was a “Level 2” – it included 4 juices per day, 1 nut milk and 1 green smoothie per day. There was also herbal tea supplied, along with a little packet of probiotic powder to keep the gut happy, and some psyllium husks to speed up elimination from the bowel.
I decided to take notes during my cleanse to share with you afterwards. The following is my Juice Cleanse Diary.
I’m feeling excited and a bit nervous leading into this. I LOVE food – will I be able to go without eating? What if I get ravenously hungry? Will I fail dismally? I set my intentions to be gentle with myself and remind myself of all the awesome health benefits I stand to experience. Plus it’s great research for my clients, I tell myself.
The day is surprisingly full, and there’s really no time to eat anyway. Psyllium husks in water, probiotic powder, juice, tea… and then just when I think I’m about to become hungry… Boom! Juice time again. This is easier than I thought. Well, so far, anyway.
The juice combinations are freakin’ yum! My favourite is called “Joy” and is a combo of kale, cucumber, cos lettuce, apple and mint. The variety of colours and flavours stops me from feeling bored. I keep the nut milk for my evening drink, and sure enough, it fills my tummy and makes me feel cosy and nourished. I go to bed feeling satisfied and content.
I wake up, expecting to be starving or light headed, but to my surprise I don’t feel any different. I begin my daily ritual of powders, juice and tea. It’s kinda fun, especially since it’s all been prepared for me. I’m saving soooo much time right now on meal prep. I could get used to this!
My blood glucose levels haven’t really fluctuated either (I was worried they would be all over the place). I have a little bit of a headache (that’s probable just some toxins leaving the body, or perhaps a mild caffeine withdrawal), so I do some stretching, relax in my hammock and try to chill out.
To watch (and smell!) my husband cooking and eating dinner for himself is a challenge, but I grab another juice and sit next to him, sipping away, while he eats his meal.
I already feel lighter, my stomach is flatter, my mind is clearer, and I feel like I’m doing a good thing for my body. I do miss food though (did I mention I REALLT love food??).
My headache is subsiding and I feel much better.
This juice cleanse has forced me to look at my eating habits. I’ve realised now how much I eat out of boredom rather than hunger. Working from home, I have spent what must be countless hours staring into my fridge and fixing myself snacks. Could food be a form of procrastination for me? Am I actually hungry or eating for just “something to do?” I resolve to change my food habits (mmmm…food…). However, with the end in sight, all I can think about is what I’m going to eat tomorrow. My mouth waters from anticipation. I have another juice, which hits the spot, for now.
I go for a walk and feel surprisingly energetic. This is the part of the cleanse I’ve heard about from clients, where you feel like you could just keep going for days without missing solid food. However, on this occasion I will still be “breaking my fast” tomorrow, but I resolve to make the food I eat as clean and nutrient dense as possible, to continue the detox process.
The Day After:
I weigh myself and to my surprise I’ve lost 3 kilos. I know that one of these kilos is probably the contents of my bowel, since I haven’t eaten solid food in 3 days. I kinda wish I could keep the juice fast going for a few more days, but with a big raw food event this week (where I have to taste the food as I prepare it, to make sure it’s ok!), this time it’s not meant to be.
I make the decision to do a juice cleanse every year. It’s a great way to reset my body and mind.
The best way to do a juice cleanse
If a juice detox is on your list of things to do this new year, here are my top tips for maximum health benefits.
Firstly, what you do in the days BEFORE and AFTER your cleanse are super important.
Beforehand, scale down your caffeine. You won’t be having any during the cleanse itself, so wean yourself off slowly in the days prior to avoid nasty withdrawal symptoms. Next, do some gut healing work to protect your body in the weeks prior to any detox. This means laying off the gluten, dairy and sugar, and including some good bacteria in the form of probiotics or fermented foods. A leaky gut will reabsorb toxins which are destined for excretion, meaning your liver and bowel will have to deal with them over and over, rather than having them flushed out through the bowel in a straightforward manner. So if you’re at all concerned, speak to your naturopath and consider taking a course of gut healing supplements prior to your detox.
After your juice fast, instead of going straight back onto your old ways of eating, you may elect to keep detoxing. A raw food plan, gluten/dairy/cane sugar free regime or paleo diet are all great options here. Eliminate red meat while you’re still detoxing, and go for organic chicken and fish instead. It’s easier for the liver and gut to deal with.
Clear your diary of as many social engagements as you can (except for catching up for juice with friends!). Find a buddy who is keen to do the cleanse with you (I had one – we kept messaging each other via Facebook the whole way through!), and surround yourself with understanding, like-minded people where possible so that you find it easier to stay on the wagon.
What are your thoughts?
Have you tried a juice cleanse in the past? How was it? Or are you more of a food-based detox kinda girl? Leave a comment below and share your experiences!
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