The Juice Cleanse
Juice fasting is a popular kick-start to good health. What's the safest way to go about it?
Man seeks to change the foods available
in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essences of life contained in them.
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10 Simple Steps to Juice Fasting
Juice cleansing is an alternative way to gain health and nutrition benefits from fruits and vegetables. A juice fast is not practiced by simply adding juice to your diet. A fast means eat no solid foods. During a juice fast, you don’t eat, but you are allowed to drink as much fruit and vegetable juices as you want. People who have done a juice cleanse claim many health benefits, such as feeling better, stronger, losing weight, and eliminating toxins from the body. Read more about Recipes for a Juice Cleanse.
A juice cleansing most often is done over a three-day period. Note that to complete a three-day juice fast, you should follow a five-day plan. Start one day in advance to prepare your body for the fast and add one final day to ease your body out of the fast.
Before the Fast
1. Shop for Fruits and Vegetables
To make the juices at home you will need to buy large quantities of fruits and vegetables. There is a wide variety of produce available and juices are a good way to include those fruits or vegetables you wouldn’t ordinarily enjoy eating. Buy organic produce if possible, as one goal of a juice fast is to detox; you don’t want to add pesticides. Make sure you wash all produce thoroughly.
2. Plan for Juicing
Get the equipment you need, or scout out sources for buying juices. Ideally, you would make juice at home, fresh each time. A good quality juicer machine can help the fast go easier. It will get the most juice out of the fruits and veggies and save time and effort on the preparation and clean up processes. Making juice with a blender is not a good substitute since a blender-made juice, like a smoothie, still contains much pulp and fibers. These fibers make your digestive system work harder than it would with juice only. Alternatively, you could buy juices at a juice bar. Supermarkets sometimes have fresh-squeezed juice sections as well.
3. Prepare Your Body
The morning before, begin drinking plenty of fluids to start flushing your body. You might try drinking hot water with lemon and ginger. Stop taking in caffeine, sugar, dairy, red meat, and, especially, processed foods. Eat only raw fruit, vegetables, and perhaps a little lean protein, such as nuts or plain chicken. Drinking hot herbal teas can help ease the way.
During the 3-Day Fast
4. Prepare in the Morning
If you are using a juicer, you will need to wash, peel, and cut up large quantities of the fruits and vegetables. If you have morning time, you might make up most of your juices at one time. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to drink it. You can also prepare the fruits and veggies once a day, in the morning, and store the cut-up pieces in ziplock bags until you juice them fresh. Ideally you will mix both fruits and vegetables into any one drink. Keep a higher percentage of vegetables to fruit as sugars in the fruits are harder to process.
5. Drink All Day Long
During the juice fast, drink as much as you like, and drink regularly throughout the day. There’s no limit to the amount of juice you can drink, so don’t feel like you need to deprive yourself or follow regular meal times. Your body needs the vitamins and nutrients in the juices. The juices provide the energy to keep you going and do the work of cleansing your body. Whenever you feel hungry, thirsty, or just the desire go ahead and drink a juice. Try drinking more vegetable-based juices at mealtimes and fruit-based juices between meals to give you some variety during the day.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is important. Even thought the juices are fluids, water helps to flush your system. You will be eliminating both solid wastes and fluids during your fast and drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated. You may also dilute the juices with water and/or drink water to help keep the hunger feelings at bay. Drinking herbal teas is also an alternative. Just be sure to stick with herbal or green decaffeinated.
7. Physical Activity
Be kind to yourself physically and don’t plan any rigorous physical activities. You might enjoy doing a little light exercise, such as a short walk outdoors, some yoga movements, Tai Chi, or walking meditation. ---Read more about Walking Meditation--- Try relaxing kinds of activities like stretching, craft projects, or reading to take your mind off the fasting process.
After the Fast
8. Ease Out of the Fast
The first day out of the fast you will return to solid food. It’s best to start with fruits and vegetables so that you don’t overwhelm your digestive system or irritate your stomach. Eat small portions of healthy, whole foods and chew them carefully into small pieces. Avoid the prepared, processed foods. Continue to drink a lot of water and you can continue with juices along with the solids.
9. Return to Regular Food Gradually
After the fifth-day easing out, reurn to your regular diet gradually. Begin with a few sources of quality proteins such as nuts or lean chicken. Then slowly introduce whole grain rice and cereals, eggs, dairy products, and lean meats. Continue to avoid eating processed foods or heavy, greasy foods like pizza. Have at least one juice a day, possibly as a snack between meals. As always, drink plenty of water.
10. Continue a Weekly Fast
It is easy to maintain a level of detoxification by doing a 24 hour juice cleanse once a week. Break the 24 hours over a two-day period. Have an early dinner on the first day, eat nothing else for the rest of the night, sleep, then have juices for breakfast, lunch, and throughout the day. Have a regular solid meal for dinner that night.
Health Note: There may be temporary side effects during your juice fast. Common symptoms include tiredness, constipation, headaches, acne, hypoglycemia, increased body odor, and bad breath. Talk to your doctor before fasting if you have specific health concerns. Sometimes people go on fasts for weeks or even months. This approach should only be done with a health professional’s help.
Check out this SimpleTens article for some yummy Juice Cleanse Recipes.
Fruits and vegetables contain the valuable compounds of flavonoids and anthocyanins. Read about these compounds in Fruits and Vegetables that Help Fight Cancer.
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