I recently did a 3-day juice cleanse, and it received a lot of attention. I noticed that a lot of people were very interested in cleansing and detoxifying. Our innate sense as humans is to be emotionally and physically strong and healthy. These built-in feelings came from our distant ancestors who survived severe famine. Only the strongest survived! The truth of the matter is, that most of us just aren’t feeling as great as we think we should be feeling. Whether it is our physical appearance, aches and pains or compromised mental clarity, we often feel room for improvement.
We live in a toxic world, and although our bodies do a wonderful job of detoxifying the gunk on a daily basis, I do also believe that we need a helping hand once in awhile. A buildup of everyday toxins, processed foods and sugars can have a very negative impact on our health. Sometimes, buildup shows its way to us in physical forms, such as severe fatigue, acne, brain fog, skin conditions, bloating, irregularity and suppressed immune function.
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History of Fasting/Cleansing
Cleansing or fasting is nothing new. Fasting has played a key role in all the world’s major religions, being associated with penitence and other forms of self control. Judaism has several annual fast days including Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonements; in Islam, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan, while Roman Catholics and Eastern orthodoxy observe a 40 day fast during Lent, the period when Christ fasted 40 days in the desert.
Fasting in one form or another is a distinguished tradition and throughout the centuries, devotees have claimed it brings physical and spiritual renewal. I will be focusing on this sense of renewal, because a juice cleanse offers so much more than losing some weight quickly. It can very well give you the mental and spiritual clarity you have been praying for.
For the purpose of this post, I will reveal the company I used for the juice cleanse. I used Juice From the Raw . No, they are not paying me to post this. I chose them for a few reasons. First and foremost, juice cleanses are expensive! Juice From the Raw came in very moderately priced at $89 for a 3-day setup with an additional $29 for overnight shipping to keep the juices cold. Juice From the Raw is NOT USDA certified organic, but they do explain that they do mainly use organic produce and local produce. I am not sure why they are not USDA Organic Certified. It could just be a red tape issue or something else, but at this time I didn’t find any issues trusting their word and could appreciate the discounted price they were offering in comparison to most other cleanses at $150.00 and up for the same amount of juice.
The Benefits Of a 3-Day Juice Cleanse
Encourages a Healthy Gut Flora – In a recent UCLA study, a 3-day juice cleanse proved to significantly increase beneficial bacteria in the gut while decreasing the bacteria that has negative effects on our body. (Pressed Juicery)
Better Well-Being – Mind over matter. When your body is clear, so is your mind. You will feel emotionally more free, lighter and less foggy when your body is being well loved on only fresh juices.
Less Stress On Your Heart – A 3-day juice cleanse has been shown to lower nitric oxide in the blood, relaxing the inner lining of the blood vessels and putting less stress on the heart.
Helps Digestion –While those beneficial bacteria are having a chance to flood your system, your digestion will improve and the bad bacteria causing irregularity will be shown the door.
Weight Loss – Studies show that a 3-day juice fast significantly decrease body weight and BMI for at least 2 weeks.
High Input Of Vitamins/Nutrients – Imagine your body giving a sigh of relief. It doesn’t have to work hard to digest tough foods and it can relax as all of the contents going in are high in nutrients and vitamins that your body loves.
Antioxidants – During a juice cleanse, you’re getting all the good and none of the bad. Your body is being lovingly flooded with a rush of antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables that fight free radical damage and nourish your body.
Helps Reduce Cell Damage – Free radicals. We have all heard of them. They are unstable cells that have the desire to make other cells in your body unstable as well. (Misery loves company I guess?) They can steal lipids and electrons from our cell lining which can speed aging among other undesirable effects. This is called, “Lipid Peroxidation”. During a 3-day juice cleanse, this lipid peroxidation showed a significant decrease in studies!
Target Food Sensitivities – For the duration of your cleanse you will be dairy, gluten, caffeine and processed sugar free. If you have any sensitivities to these areas, this will be the time to figure it out. When your cleanse is going on, you may feel reprieve from some symptoms you have been feeling. When your cleanse is over, be sure to re-introduce target foods slowly, one by one, so you can see if you are having a reaction to a certain one.
My Juice Cleanse Experience
A liquid diet isn’t exactly the easiest thing to just “jump right into”, but the first morning went well. I am used to either eating light or having fresh juice in the mornings anyway, so it wasn’t a big adjustment for me. As lunch time came, I was ready to eat by nature, but I had to bypass the fridge. It is more of a mental habit than a physical need. My brain was ready for food, but my stomach was satisfied. The hardest part is overcoming that mental obstacle. Most juice cleanses are designed with 6 juices a day, averaging one every 2-3 hours. My Juice From the Raw lineup was as follows:
Detox Greens – Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Dandelion, Watercress, Wild Arugula, Lemon Ginger.
Pineapple Mint – Pineapple, Apple, Mint.
Sweet Greens – Kale, Spinach, Swisschard, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Apple.
Spicy Lemonade – Lemons, Agave Nectar, Cayenne Pepper.
Sweet Greens (x2)- Kale, Spinach, Swisschard, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Apple.
Coconut Fusion – Thai Coconut Flesh.
After lunch time, things started to decline. I felt like I was getting a cold. I was freezing, had a headache, runny nose and just could not get the chill out of my bones. I chalked this up to mild detox symptoms or a caffeine withdrawal and ran a warm bath with some epsom salt and essential oils. The bath helped with the headache and chill. I was still feeling like I had been hit by a mid-sized sedan at best, so I called it a night early, leaving my last juice to the wayside.
Breakfast was easy. Drinking greens first thing worked out well for me because it is the most invigorating juice that my body needs after a long rest. After that I had the second juice, pineapple mint, and it was refreshing. Once I got over the mental hurdle of not being able to eat regular food, my mind became clear and I felt focused. It was actually quite a freeing feeling. I am always worrying about what I am putting into my body and for once, although only a brief time, I felt 100% in line. I knew my body was only receiving the right things to help and heal, and that was an ecstatic feeling.
The feeling of clarity was wonderful and I attribute it mostly to not being bogged down with refined sugars, carbohydrates and inflammatory foods. The old saying goes, “You are what you eat”, and that can’t be more true. We get out what we put in. If we want to feel lean and alert, we must take in foods that are lean and fuel us.
The whole juice routine is more expected by this point, so things are easier. I woke up, grabbed my juices for the day and headed to work. All was pretty well by this day, except when my co-workers would heat up some food in the conference room and it would smell up my office. The problem with just drinking juice is that it is not very satiable to us as humans. We have associated liquids with thirst, not hunger. So it’s not an easy adjustment. But I just kept remembering that it was not for long term. A measly three days out of my life? Anyone can do it.
Just knowing that I have been dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and caffeine free for 3 DAYS was an accomplishment. I had more energy, mental clarity and actually was contemplating ordering a few more days of that crazy cleanse. When distractions of bad foods are released, it gives room to more mental clarity and a closer relationship to the Higher Power of your understanding. My Higher Power is God. Whenever I am treating my body properly, I feel a closer connection spiritually. It might sound very hippie, but don’t knock it until you try it. Clearer body, clearer mind, clearer connection with your personal guides.
Juice Cleanse Helpful Tips
Do It With a Friend – I have done juice cleanses solo before, and it is MUCH harder when others are eating food in front of you, especially in your house. My husband hopped on board with me this time around and we felt like we were in it together. We supported each other when we wanted to quit and it helped tremendously.
Choose Cold-Pressed – Cold-pressed juice is hands down the highest quality juice achievable by any kind of juicer known to man. The method involves a low RPM grinder that grinds the fruits and vegetables into a pulp in order to break up the fibers so the juice can be easily released. The pulp, still full of juice, falls inside of a finely woven filtering bag, and is put between a powerful press and squeezed out. What’s important is the juice never undergoes any extreme conditions where it could be damaged. The juice doesn’t get heated up, it doesn’t get put through a high-speed blade, and there isn’t air being blasted through it. (The Raw Juicery)
Keep Busy – Don’t wallow around the kitchen all day hoping that you will miraculously be able to eat that ham and cheese sandwich again. Keep busy and find things to do to keep your mind off the lack of chewable desirableness in your midst. Go for a light walk, meet a friend at the park or take your dog for a walk.
Go Light On Cardio – You won’t be well fueled for very aggressive cardio workouts during your cleanse, so it gives you permission to just take it easy! Although the juices are amazingly nutrient dense, you still need more calories for a high intensity workout. Feel free to still do stretches, yoga or light weights as this will all help you sweat out some more toxins without feeling “HANGRY” afterward. 🙂
Drink Water – This one was tough for me since I was already drinking ALL DAY LONG. But our bodies are retaining all of those nutrients and in the same breath, they are releasing toxins. Be sure to drink a lot of water to pass all of the yuckiness that was being held captive up until your cleanse.
Think About How Great You Will Feel! – It won’t always be easy during your cleanse, but it will be worth it. Do not think of this juice cleanse as a quick fix. Think of it as a jump start to a healthier lifestyle. At the end of your cleanse, you may very well be the healthiest you have ever been! Don’t ruin that. Keep up the great work and use your experience as a guide to make healthier choices, eat clean and improve your mood and sense of vitality.
Love & Light,