Do you ever have those moments when you feel like you need to get away from it all? No cellphones ringing, no TV blaring, no emails or social networking. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the busy 24/7 society we live in and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that nature has to offer. We call this a vacation but actually it’s a detox. The word detox often gets a bad wrap but really it’s just a special treatment that helps a person to stop using a product or substance.
I recently asked on Facebook if anyone had been on a juice detox and whether they liked it and what the results were. I got a lot of different comments. There were those that had done a juice detox and were happy with the results and those that hadn’t and thought it wasn’t a beneficial way to diet or eat. Do I think that juicing is a good way to lose weight? Not really. I think eating a diet full of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with nuts, grains and legumes is a better and healthier way to achieve weight lost. Do I think a juice detox has benefits? Yes, I do!
Why am I doing a juice detox?
Most people juice in an effort to lose weight, improve their diet and eliminate the unhealthy foods they currently consume. This is not the case for me. I am at a healthy weight and I already eat a 100% organic plant based diet full of a variety of fresh, seasonal foods. So why do I want to do a juice detox? Bottom line – I’ve stopped listening to my body to give me cues. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and mindlessly eat what is on my plate. Often times throughout the week I find myself feeling like I ate too much food. My life is busy and hectic and I’m putting most of my effort into outside influences and I’ve lost focus on my body. I want to give my body a break from the hurried eating routine that I’ve gotten myself into.
The benefits of juice detox?
While my main reason for doing a juice detox is to give me a chance to focus on my body there are other benefits that I’m looking forward to. Often times during a juice detox you will find that after the first day or so that you have an increase in energy, a clearer mental focus and a reduction in junk food cravings. While I eat a very healthy diet I still crave (and often times overeat) my fair share of desserts. A cookie is still a cookie even if it’s made with whole wheat flour and coconut crystals! Clearer skin and relief from chronic health issues are also well known benefits of juice detox.
The side effects?
If juice detoxing is so great wouldn’t everyone be doing it? I certainly don’t want anyone to assume that juice detoxing is some easy thing that you can wake up one morning and decide to do! While there are definite benefits to doing a juice detox, there are side effects as well. As with any type of detox the first few days usually present the same common symptoms – headaches (you’re more likely to experience headaches if your diet contains a lot of caffeine, sugar or salt), nausea, dizziness and sometimes bad breath. You’re also likely to have frequent urination (I drink a lot a water so this is something I have everyday), diarrhea and fatigue (this is a side effect you experience in the beginning, by the end you should have a vast increase in energy).
What do I need to have in order to start a juice detox?
First and foremost – you need a juicer! There are a variety of juicers on the market and picking the right one can seem daunting. Here is an article about the different types of juicers that are available that should help point you in the right direction. I have an Omega 8005 Juicer that I will be using for my juice detox. I currently use my juicer everyday and am very pleased with it. Aside from having a juicer you’ll want to load up with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of my favorites are spinach, apples, kale, collard greens, blueberries, strawberries and carrots. Skip the bananas as they are not able to be juiced and if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to limit the amount of citrus fruits you use.
Juicing vs blending?
You might be wondering if you can still do a juice detox if you own a blender and not a juicer. Technically yes, there will just be a bit more work involved. When you juice your food you are eliminating the fiber from the foods and you decrease your digestion to almost zero. By placing your foods in a blender you are not eliminating any of the fiber and your body will need to digest the ‘juice’ the same way as if you were to eat it raw. To work around this issue you will need to strain the blended juice before drinking any of it. Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove all of the pulp from the juice.
Do I need to peel my fruit and vegetables before juicing?
Generally, if you buy organic produce you can leave the peel intact. Non-organic foods should be peeled or at least washed thoroughly. Citrus fruits should be peeled because the rind tastes bitter and may contain pesticides, but you can leave the white pith. Hard “pit” seeds such as peach, plum, and cherry must be removed first. Apple seeds do contain a small amount of a cyanide compound so I recommend coring your apples before juicing.
Can I make all my juice at one time and store it for later on?
The vitamins and nutrients in juice can oxidize or decrease over time so it is ideal to drink the juice right away. The presence of light and oxygen speed up this process, but you can slow it down by keeping the juice in the refrigerator and storing it in a dark or opaque colored container. Try to use a container that is the same size as the amount of juice you will consume. You only want to open the container once and that is when you drink the juice. It is best to drink the juice within a 24 hour period but it can safely be stored for up to 3 days. You can freeze any leftover juice but make sure to allow for adequate thawing time. Juice should be thawed in the refrigerator and can take up to 24 hours to completely thaw.
Can I use mostly fruits for my juice detox?
Fruits can be great in limited quantities, but they speed up the detoxifying process and can make your detox symptoms (shakes, headaches) feel worse. Just like with any healthy diet you should be consuming a variety of fruits and veggies. I recommend a 70/30 vegetable to fruit ratio. 70% of your juice should be from a vegetable source and the other 30% from fruit.
How many days should I do a juice detox for?
If you’ve never done a juice detox before I recommend starting with a simple 1 day detox. Most detox plans are for 3, 5 and 7 days. These short detoxes can be done various times throughout the year. If you are planning on doing a detox for longer than 7 days you need to enlist the help of a health professional.
A juice detox is not for everyone. If you are under the age of 18, pregnant or under the supervision of a health professional you should not do a juice detox. If you have any concerns always check with your healthcare professional first before making any dietary changes. I am not a medical professional and the information above should not be taken as medical advise.
Here we go!
Starting tomorrow my husband and I will begin a 5 day juice detox. I will be filling you in each day via a video message as to how we are doing. I’ll share the good, the bad and the ugly. If you have any specific questions please feel free to post them to our Facebook page and I will do my best to answer them during my video messages. I’ll also be posting the juicing recipes that we make and drink throughout the week. In the meantime, check out this great documentary about juicing – Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Wish us luck!