After embracing green smoothies with gusto, I decided to up the ante and do a three day juice cleanse. Although the timing stunk (sipping on a juice isn’t quite the same as chocolate and rosé for Valentine’s Day!) it was a pretty unique experience – in more ways than one.
What is a juice cleanse?
This relatively new type of cleanse, involves replacing solid food with a series of fruit and vegetable juices that total about 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day. A nut-milk component is normally also included so that you still get a small amount of fat and protein.
What are the benefits of a juice cleanse?
By giving your digestive system a rest from the animal proteins, caffeine, alcohol, and highly processed foods that we normally consume, you allow it to detox and run better. The enzymes in the juices also work to clean your body from the inside out, reduce intestinal bloat and restore natural alkaline levels.
How do you do it?
Unless you’re a nutritionist, leave it to the pros to make your juices for you. Aside from giving you a break from the kitchen, they will ensure you’re getting the essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, good fats and proteins that you need.
Three companies that home deliver juice cleanses locally are:
Do Juice Cleanses Work?
Yes! It worked for me. I did a three-day Urban Remedy juice cleanse and it was just the ‘reboot’ I needed. It broke bad habits that had had crept in (too much chocolate) and established new ones (consuming small meals frequently). Surprisingly, I never felt hungry on it and my energy levels were much more constant.
It was also the big lifestyle jolt that I have been chasing. It made me realise how much of my day is spent mindlessly snacking and obsessing about what my next meal will be. Sure, I’m a big believer in the joy of cooking and sharing a meal, but the amount of time I honestly spent thinking about food was way out of proportion.
Will I lose weight on a juice cleanse?
Let’s get one thing straight. A juice cleanse is no quick fix to weight loss. Sure, you’ll probably lose a few kilos, but that’s mostly just fluid so it’s likely to come back on.
How long should you do a juice cleanse for?
While the benefits of a juice cleanse are pretty impressive, they can have some deficiencies and muck about your metabolism when practiced for a long time. I’d suggest only ever doing a 2-3 day cleanse and use it as a way to kick-start lifestyle changes for optimal health, rather than be a long term change in itself.
And lastly, a word of caution: I wouldn’t recommend embarking on a cleanse program (of any type) if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, frail, dealing with a major health imbalance or illness, if you have one kidney, or if you are on heavy medications.