Juice Cleansing: Is it Worth It?
Juice Cleansing has been around for a long time, varying in appeal and popularity along the way. It’s where you drink only freshly juiced fruit and vegetables for 1 or more days to help detoxify your body and eliminate toxins. There are at least two camps when it comes to Juice Cleansing. Some believe it can help to detoxify your body, boost your immune system and give your body a rest from digestion in order to focus on other functions, packing a good dose of phytonutrients too. Others feel there is no need for a Juice Cleanse as our bodies are equipped to detoxify themselves if and when we need it. There is also some concern over the amount of sugar consumed throughout the cleanse, sending blood-sugar levels all over the shop. I tried my first cleanse a couple of years ago, mostly for a reset to healthy eating. I had fallen into not-so-good habits and was feeling the effects of it in mind and body. I’ve since done a handful of them, all different types, and will share them here if you’re interested to give it a go. It’s not easy by any means, but it’s doable and I have always felt better afterward. Make sure you consult your doctor beforehand if you have any concerns.
Before the cleanse
It’s important that you don’t jump into the cleanse after eating and drinking everything under the sun in the days prior. It’s best to wean yourself off overly processed and sugary foods, caffeine and alcohol in the days leading up to it, and be sure to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Try our 5-day Clean Eating Reset to get you on your way.
Typically, you drink 6 juices throughout the day, spread a couple of hours apart. It’s also important to drink lots of water to aid in flushing out the toxins. Herbal tea is allowed too and is often good to break up the juices. It’s advisable to tone down your exercise routine while you’re doing the cleanse, but gentle exercise is good for you.
Needless to say, it’s not ideal if you jump right back on not-so-healthy foods and go out drinking all night. Your body will be in shock! From my experience, I felt like I had a clean slate to start from and actually craved healthy food.
Own Centrifugal Juicer
(I have since learned this type of juicer isn’t ideal as it heats and oxidizes the produce and the juice must be consumed within an hour or so. Cold-pressed juicing is the way to go as it is a gentler extraction and the juice lasts for up to 4 days).
Length: 3 Days (Winter)
Cost: $30 ($10 per day)
Pros: my first cleanse so I think the novelty helped me along a bit. Had a clear head at the end of the first day and woke up really fresh the next.
Cons: having to juice every couple of hours was time-consuming. I had a bit of a headache throughout the day, likely from coffee withdrawals! By the end of the second day, I was feeling like throwing in the towel but got through it with a cup of herbal tea.
Pressed Earth Classic Cleanse (cold-pressed) – Australia
Length: 3 Days (Winter)
Cost: $156 ($52 per day)
Pros: 6 cold-pressed juices that were a good size (475ml), including one with cacao and nuts that when warmed up was like a hot chocolate. This definitely helped with my hunger pangs and likely balanced my blood-sugar levels.
Cons: Missed my coffee. Expensive (but this was an extra incentive to stick to it!).
Freshii Cleanse (cold-pressed) – Australia
Length: 2 Day (Spring)
Cost: Normally $85 for 3 days which includes 4 juices and a salad. I got a Scoopon at the time for $39 but it didn’t include the salad. Four juices per day wasn’t enough for me so I had 6 per day for 2 days instead.
Pros: Nice tasting cold-pressed juices and it was relatively cheap (and I didn’t have to do the juicing and cleaning up!).
Cons: Juices were quite small (350ml). I had coffee with almond milk. Felt hungry so ate nuts by the end of Day 2.
Own Cold-Pressed Juicer
Length: 1 Day (Summer)
Pros: I did bulk juicing the night before the cleanse, knowing it will keep for the day. Shorter cleanse, so it felt more achievable.
Cons: I had a headache throughout the day (again, from coffee withdrawals!). My tolerance levels were a bit low.
Nektar (cold-pressed) – US
Length: 3-day new classic or new advanced (lower sugar) cleanse
Cost: $135, on sale for the new year for $99
Pros: 6 large juices/day (500ml/16.9 fl.oz). Interesting flavors in some of the lemonades and they now include some adaptogens in the juices.
Cons: The new classic had a high sugar content.
Pressed Juicery (cold-pressed) – US
Length: 3 Days
Pros: 3 levels of cleansing to choose from. 6 large juices/day (480 ml/16 fl. oz). They recommend adding chlorophyll and aloe vera waters to aid digestion and raise alkaline levels.
Cons: Felt really hungry the first day, but that eased on day 2 and 3.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s a challenge, especially while making food for the kids and the smell and feel of food are all around. It really is mind over matter. But I like a challenge and I get a kick out of sticking to something and reaping the rewards afterward. During each of the cleanses, I definitely went through the mind-games saying to myself…this is hard! Why am I doing this? You can do this! This sux! It’s only 1 day/3 days of your life…toughen up! After getting through it though, I was extremely happy the next day. I really enjoyed my food and actually felt like eating healthy. My head was markedly clearer (giving me insight into the term brain-fog) and my skin much clearer. I’m definitely a fan of doing the odd cleanse throughout the year, not for weight-loss (as anything you lose during the cleanse usually comes right back afterward), but to break the cycle and get back to healthy eating. But also not too often, as I love my food too much!