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How often have you felt crummy? Exhausted? Bloated? Backed up? Like you can’t seem to lose weight even though you’ve been trying so hard? Ever start the day off and it goes horribly wrong and all you want to do is go back to bed and start over? (Insert hand-raising emoji here.)
Allow me to introduce to you the world of juicing.
*Let’s be honest, you’ve more than likely heard of a juice cleanse. But they work!
Three years ago I completed my first juice detox cleanse. I prepared by first watching the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix. Joe Cross does an excellent job of documenting his juicing journey.
There are many types of juice cleanses. You can do a small 3-day detox, or if you’re really brave, you could try an entire month. I’ve only ever done a 3-day and 7-day cleanse. If you have been considering doing a juice cleanse but are unsure how to start, I would recommend a 3-day detox. It’s not that long and it’s over before you know it. My first experience had me setting a goal of 3 days and loving it so much that I extended it to 7 days.
Juice/smoothie detox cleanses are a great way to give your body a restart. Our bodies are fascinating machines and work so hard to keep us alive. Unfortunately, the diet that most people have damages their body, sometimes beyond repair. Our bodies were not meant to digest and process all the crap that is called “food”. If you’re thinking of making a dietary change to improve your health, then why not give your body a restart first? Give your body a good deep clean of all the toxins and processed junk. You’ll have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience on your health and wellness journey if you do.
How to Plan a Juice Cleanse
Don’t just dive in without doing your research. You’ll likely give up and think it was all for nothing. Good things take time and planning. I’m currently going through my 3-day detox and wanted to provide you with some tips I’ve learned along the way!
- Make sure you have a decently powerful blender or juicer. For my smoothies I use my Nutribullet. It works wonders! It’s super quick! It can blend my smoothies in less than a minute. Great for when I’m on the go! You can get it on Amazon here — NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System, Gray
- Decide how you will store your juices and smoothies. I like putting mine in glass mason jars. They seal in the freshness longer and they look freaking sweet anyway. We use them as our regular glassware! You can get them here — 12 Ball Mason Jar with Lid – Regular Mouth – 16 oz by Jarden
- Browse the internet about juice cleanses. There are many blogs out there where the author discusses their experience on a juice cleanse. Read what they have to say. Testimonies are a beautiful thing.
- Remember, your health and wellness journey is unique to you. Just because someone had a phenomenal or horrible experience while going through their cleanse, doesn’t mean you will too. Take it for what it is and just do it. You won’t regret it.
- Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest. Start saving some juice and smoothie recipes that sound good to you. If a recipe has one ingredient in it that you absolutely cannot stand to eat or you are allergic, then just simply remove that ingredient and add a substitution. You’re an adult. Figure it out.
- Pick a week where it would be good for you to start your cleanse. If you choose to do a 3-day juice cleanse then shoot for a Friday-Sunday detox. If you are choosing to extend your cleanse to 7-days or more, then pick a week where you don’t have too much going on. It’s not fun to be on a juice cleanse knowing you still have to attend a dinner event for work or with friends. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will feel weak. You’ll most likely give in. *And if you’re a female, plan accordingly. You don’t need Aunt Flo showing up with all her glory when you are limiting yourself to only juices and smoothies. However, if you choose to do so, warn anyone living with you. It could get ugly.
- Experiment with recipes. Start by making juices and smoothies that have all the ingredients you love. Then start mixing things together for the hell of it. Chances are it will taste delicious. You may even find that your tastes buds will change while you’re juicing!
Tips for Having a Successful Cleanse
The following list is a bit long, but I’ve tried to provide you with as much information as possible to help you be successful.
- Drink something every hour. It helps with the hunger. During my juice cleanses I’ve typically done 3 juices and 3 smoothie blends each day. In-between my juice and smoothie I’ll drink some water and/or hot green tea.
- Prep as much as you can the night before. Juicing requires some prep-work upfront. You will need to cut, peel, or dice your produce. You can make your juices and smoothies the night before, but make sure you add lemon to the recipe, if it doesn’t already call for some. The acidity in the lemon helps keep the juice and smoothie fresh a bit longer. If you just plan to prep all the ingredients to blend or juice the next day, then I recommend placing all the ingredients for each recipe in Ziploc bags. Then when you’re ready, just grab the bag from the fridge and starting blending/juicing! Once the juices and smoothies are made, I put them in glass mason jars to keep them air tight. When you’re ready to drink one, just give it a good shake. The ingredients will settle and separate.
- Buy frozen fruit. It’s way cheaper than fresh fruit. It comes cut, peeled, and diced for you. It can serve as the ice component in a smoothie blend. And frozen fruit lasts longer than fresh fruit. I always buy the frozen mixed berries instead of buying them all separate. Usually you can get a great deal for a large bag. *If you want to use the frozen fruit for the juicing recipes, just take some out and put it in a Ziploc bag to thaw in the fridge overnight. When it’s time to juice the fruit, it’s already good to go!
- Leafy greens don’t juice well. As nutrient as they are for you, leafy greens like, spinach and kale, do not juice well. It takes a whole lot of spinach and kale to juice a decent amount. So unless you want to buy numerous bags of spinach and kale to use for one recipe, then I would suggest an alternative option.
- But, leafy greens go great in smoothies! Because you are just blending the spinach and kale with the other ingredients, they actually blend very well! You can fill up the blender with as much green leafy goodness as you want.
- Don’t be afraid to add fresh herbs. Cilantro, parsley, and mint are great additions to any smoothie blend. Again, they are not great to juice, mainly because these herbs are so small. Cilantro helps to rid the body of heavy metal toxins, improves sleep, lowers anxiety, and provides the body with important nutrients. (Health Benefits of Cilantro – Dr. Axe) Parsley is another natural healer. It helps prevent inflammation, gas/bloating, kidney stones, among several other illness and diseases, and also provides a ridiculous amount of nutrients our bodies need. (Health Benefits of Parsley – Dr. Axe) Mint is used to treat many ailments as well. For example, it’s commonly used to treat digestive problems, headaches, nausea, common cold, and many more! Plus, it smells delicious! (Health Benefits of Mint – Organic Facts)
- If you tell yourself you can’t, then you are setting yourself up for failure. While you are on your detox cleanse you have decided to only drink your nutrients. The point of the cleanse is to clean your body of all the shit that’s in there. Once you start your cleanse your mind will start backstabbing you. Suddenly you want anything that you can chew. You may even tell yourself you want something you’ve never had or never really liked. If you tell yourself you can’t have something to eat, you are more than likely going to bomb your cleanse. Instead, change your mindset and your words. Tell yourself “I don’t want to eat food right now.” or “I choose not to eat right now.”
- Your taste buds will change. Be prepared! It doesn’t take long to train your body to crave new things. So why not train it to crave the good stuff? After my first 3-day cleanse I craved cucumbers, oranges, and salads. I decided to extend my cleanse to a 7-day detox. Once that was finished I started drinking at least 1 juice and/or smoothie every day.
- Trying new things doesn’t have to suck. Try adding ingredients you haven’t liked before or have never tried. You never know what you’ll love!
- Mantras are powerful. I am a firm believer in the power of mantras. When I was mentally preparing to have my second child naturally I wrote in my pregnancy journal numerous mantras that I wanted to say aloud to myself during labor. It worked wonders. Mantras help us to remain calm and reset our minds. Create a mantra or a few to remind yourself of your intention for starting a cleanse. Some of mine are: I can do anything for 3 days. I’m choosing to heal my body. My body is my home; Protect it.
Favorite Ingredients for Juices & Smoothies
- Leafy Greens:
- Fruit: (Frozen fruit works great!)
- avocados (for smoothie blends)
- bananas (for smoothie blends)
- sweet potato (Great to buy frozen. Just cook to package instructions; let cool; then add to smoothie or juice)
- Liquids: (for smoothies)
- Non-dairy yogurt – I love So Delicious and Silk brands
- Almond milk – any non-dairy milk will do
- coconut water
- filtered water
- Nuts/Seeds: (for smoothies)
- whole or ground chia seeds
- whole or ground flax seeds
- whole or ground hemp seeds
- soaked cashews blend well for smoothies
Best of luck to you on your detox journey! If you have anything to add about your experience, I’d love to hear from you. Happy Juicing! 🙂