The first thing I want you to ask yourself before you read this is, “Why do I want to do a juice cleanse?” If your answer has anything to do with losing weight, stop reading (and hopefully re-evaluate). This post is not going to tell you how to lose 5 pounds in 5 days on a juice cleanse because that is unhealthy for our bodies and an unhealthy thought process. Juice cleanses have become extremely popular, and many people use these juice cleanses to abuse their bodies. Juice cleanses can be very beneficial, but only if they are done in the right way. Juicing should never feel like starving, it should make you feel more energized and a healthier individual! If you are looking for an article about how to shed pounds quickly on a juice cleanse, you are looking in the absolute wrong place. I do not support juicing for weight loss. Personally, I don’t even recommend juicing for more than one or two days without food. However, if you’re looking to kick start a healthier and happier lifestyle, or looking to reduce bloating and give your digestive system a “reset” and an overall break, give a cleanse a try and keep reading! Juicing works for me and I truly enjoy it, but it definitely doesn’t work for anyone and that’s totally okay! Even if you don’t like doing full juice cleanses, juice in general is so delicious and there are so many possibilities.
DO’S AND DONT’S
Do your research.
There are a lot of brands of juice out there, some are great, and some pack the juices with preservatives and added sugars, which defeats the whole purpose of juicing. Look at the INGREDIENTS in the juice. The only ingredients should be fruits and veggies, no sugar no “cane juice” no “dextrose,” I don’t like “agave” in my juices either. “Pureed” fruits and veggies are fine, but the regular straight up fruits and veggies is where it’s at. Sometimes, fancy juices will have some cacao, almond butter, coconut milk, pepper, essential oil, etc. All of that is good too! The main thing to watch out for is things you can’t pronounce, and sugar. Also, make sure the brand of juice that you are purchasing a cleanse from has juices that you like the taste of. There’s nothing worse than forcing down a juice that makes you want to spit it right back out. Taste test different brands and different juices to see which one’s make your taste buds happy.
If your body isn’t used to eating raw, 100% clean foods for every single meal (which most of our bodies are not) it is extremely important to start cleaning out that digestive system and stomach before you begin the juice cleanse. About a week before starting the cleanse, you should start cutting out dairy, gluten, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, and meat. It may seem overwhelming to change your diet completely, so start out slow. Maybe one day you don’t have any gluten, and then in the next couple days you try no dairy. Then maybe you start to wean yourself off of that morning cup of coffee, and then eventually try not to eat meat for a couple days. By the end of the week you should really only be eating fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Organic, Raw foods are best to consume before and after a juice cleanse. This pre-cleansing is a great way to clean our our bodies and prepare them for what is about to come (only consuming fruits and veggies.) If you go from eating greasy hamburgers and french fries one day, to only drinking juice the next day, your body will be prone to symptoms such as bloating, digestive problems, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. It is also a good idea to start a morning routine before the juice cleanse. Try to wake up earlier, and start your day with a glass of lukewarm water, lemon, and optional apple cider vinegar. This will be the routine that you will strive to follow during your cleanse.
Do listen to your body.
Some people during their cleanse will complain of intense hunger, headaches, or feeling light-headed. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is important to give your body what it needs. Mild hunger and mild discomfort is normal to experience on your first day of cleansing, because your body is adjusting to the new diet. My recommendation is to try to get through that first day of cleansing, and if you still feel those symptoms the next couple of days, start to incorporate raw dinners into your cleanse. Some foods that are okay to consume if your body is begging for food are: almonds (peeled are easier to digest), baked sweet potato, avocado, raw vegetables, raw fruits, herbal tea (ginger aids in digestion), fresh lemon water. Your body will be best cleansed if you avoid eating during your juice cleanse, but if you are doing a longer cleanse, I recommend incorporating raw dinners or raw snacks into your diet.
Don’t lose motivation.
After the juice cleanse is over you will (hopefully) feel great. Remember this feeling. Although nobody is going to hand you a blue ribbon or a gold star after you have completed the cleanse, you should feel proud of yourself for taking care of your body. You are probably going to be excited and eager to consume real food after your cleanse. Don’t run to the store and grab the first microwaveable meal you can find. Make the day that you stop cleansing, the day that you start living a healthy lifestyle. Your body is finally clean from processed foods and genetically modified organisms; keep it that way! As important as it is to pre-cleanse, it is also just as important to post-cleanse. For the first day or so after your cleanse is done, consume raw foods only. Also keep in mind that your stomach is used to consuming very small amounts of food, so pay extra attention to how much food you’re consuming and be careful not to overeat. After that, you can start to think about incorporating dairy, meat, grains, caffeine, and alcohol back into your diet. However, I encourage you to try and stay away from these foods for a little while and see how your body feels. If your body is craving meat or dairy, go ahead and consume it, just make sure the food you’re eating is clean and healthy (most of the time.) It is also important to eat organic and non-GMO (all of the time) but especially right after a juice cleanse. If you keep feeding your body healthy food, it is going to be very happy with you and you will feel much better.
Don’t cleanse for a long period of time.
If you are trying to find an easy and fast way to drop five or ten pounds, juicing is not the answer. In fact, when I juice I don’t even set foot on a scale. After a juice cleanse you will probably lose a couple pounds of water weight, or look slimmer and less bloated, considering you are lowering your caloric intake and consuming “food” that is extremely easy to digest. However, the weight you lost on a juice cleanse will most likely be gained back very quickly once you start consuming food again because the point of a juice cleanse is not weight loss. It is a great way to kick start healthy living or just to give your body and digestive system a break. I highly recommend that nobody ever juice cleanses for more than 3-5 days without at least incorporating raw foods or raw lunches and dinners into your diet. Juicing everyday or occasionally breakfast is a great idea, but juicing continuously for a long period of time is extremely counterproductive and has dangerous health risks. Some of the detriments of long term juicing include cutting out critical nutrients that your body needs to function (protein, fat), electrolyte imbalances, and permanently lowering your metabolism. Juicing for one day only has amazing benefits, a three day cleanse can also beneficial. For more than three days, I highly suggest incorporating raw foods and snacks. Disclaimer: this completely depends on your body. Personally, I no longer cleanse for more than one day without incorporating some raw foods. I have done a three day juice cleanse in the past and I didn’t really feel all that great by the third day, however, I have found that juicing for one day makes me feel awesome! Do what works for you, and nothing else!
Which Juice Cleanse Should I Do?
The Perfect 3-Day Cleanses: Suja Juice Fresh Starts
The Suja juice cleanse was the first cleanse I had ever done. Well… actually, I am embarrassed to say that in my freshman year of college my roommate Marley and I tried to do a 10 day smoothie cleanse. Yes, you read that right– 10 DAYS. We were going to drink 3 smoothies a day for 10 days straight… but don’t worry, we were going to “let” ourselves have 2 hard boiled eggs and 10 almonds a day. WHAT!? That is a perfect example of what you should NOT do and how to juice or “cleanse” in the completely wrong way. Anyways, after I realized how messed up that was, I decided to give juicing another go. I did some research, and Suja Juice was doing a special for New Year’s– a three day cleanse for $100. (If you know your juice, that’s very reasonable). I believe they do that special every year so keep an eye out. It’s also the perfect time to cleanse! New year, new you… right!? I did the whole 3 day Core Fresh Start without incorporating any foods. It was my first time juicing and I didn’t feel great by the third day, but I was glad I did it. I also did the Original Fresh Start this past year and didn’t notice much of a difference between the two. They were both great and I liked all the juices, for the most part. I have to be honest and say that I hate the taste of the Twelve Essentials juice… and there are two of that juice in the Core Fresh start. On the other hand, I absolutely love the Blue Dream juice. It has almond milk, cinnamon, blueberry, chia seeds, and lots of other goods. It’s definitely a great dessert. But once again, I recommend tasting the juices before you commit to an entire juice cleanse.
As far as I know, the actual cleanses can only be ordered online through their website, but they do sell the separate juices at several places (Whole Foods, Target, Mariano’s, etc.) so you can probably build your own cleanse that way.
Prices: 1 day: $48, 3 day: $144 ($100 in January), 5 day: $240
Cleanse for One Day: BluePrint
I did this juice cleanse actually this past New Year’s. The pictures of the juices were actually the first photos I ever posted on my shapedupsam Instagram! Overall, the juices all tasted pretty sweet. Even the green juices contained more fruit than I would have liked, but it was still a good cleanse. Technically, I didn’t follow a specific cleanse, I just bought 5 juices and called it a cleanse, but they do sell cleanse packs at Whole Foods. The only problem I had with these juices was that they weren’t very filling, which is why I would recommend either only doing this cleanse for one day. Personally, I incorporated some raw almonds as a snack, and a small raw salad for dinner on this cleanse.
You can order these online or find them in stores. I have seen them at Whole Foods and Mariano’s. They also have a link on their website to find the closest place to you that carries their juices.
Prices: 1 day: $65, 3 day: $130, 5 day: $195
My Favorite Cleanse: CityPress Juice “Juice Cleanse”
I will forever recommend this juice bar and this juice cleanse. They only have locations in Chicago, but it’s definitely worth the trip, plus, their glass bottles are the best to reuse; I always take my on-the-go smoothies in the leftover bottles. I did their original “Juice Cleanse” and I would say it was my all time favorite cleanse. The juices are really big and extremely filling. I wasn’t hungry during the whole thing. They all taste amazing and I would say it’s the freshest juice I’ve had. One of my favorite juices in the cleanse is the Beet juice; it literally stained my entire mouth red because it was so fresh. I also LOVE one of the seasonal juices they sell there that’s made with sweet potato and they also have fresh wheatgrass shots and other elixirs available.
I actually discovered this wonderful place from my friend and old roommate who worked at CityPress, Tia Tomashek, who runs her own fashion and lifestyle blog Rosegold. She gave me the inside scoop about this juice joint! She told me that all of the ingredients that CityPress uses are 100% organic. Sometimes they are out of something because they cannot source in organically, so they won’t have that ingredient until they can get it organically and locally. She said that from her experience with working there, the employees are extensively trained to know about all the ingredients, juices, and juice blends and they make customer satisfaction a number one priority. Tia explained that the thing that sets these juices apart from other bottled juices is that the juices they sell have all active enzymes and nutrients whereas most store bought juices do not contain those live beneficial enzymes. If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this place for a juice cleanse, or just to buy juices in general.
They only have locations in Chicago and they cannot be ordered online because of their freshness and short shelf life. However, you can reserve a cleanse online (or over the phone).
Prices: 1 day: $65/day (except for the Reboot Cleanse is $55/day)
The “Greenest” Cleanse: Juice Served Here “Hard Cleanse”
I just did this cleanse this past week after winning a one day cleanse from Juice Served Here. I was so excited when I won because I’ve been dying to try their juices. I did “The Hard Cleanse” which meant that it consisted of four green juices and 2 other juices. They also have other cleanse options available. All of the green juices tasted absolutely amazing and I also really enjoyed the Green Party juice which only consists of coconut water, coconut milk, and spirulina. The last drink was a charcoal lemonade, and although is tasted good I really did not like that fact that it had cane juice (sugar) in it. Overall I really enjoyed the cleanse and the juices were very satisfying. I also tried the new Tonic: “Mucho Fuego”, from there on the morning of my juice cleanse (it’s extremely spicy) and the turmeric shots (love them, but also very spicy). The awesome thing about the tonic is that the turmeric in the drink is activated by black pepper essential oil. The black pepper increases the bioavailablity of the turmeric for your body. I learned this both from the side of the Tonic bottle and my good friend Tia, mentioned above! I was so excited about the fact that they have B-12 shots available to order, but they were out of stock when I ordered, so hopefully I will try them in the future. When ordering a cleanse from here, there was also an option to “Make it Cushy” for an additional $15. That means that they include a raw granola bar, LAX tea, and a Choco-Party juice which I thought was pretty cool if you are nervous about being hungry.
They only have locations in Southern California, but everything can be ordered online.
Prices: 1 day: $45, 3 day: $135, 5 day: $225
**These are cleanses that I have had personal experiences with; none of them are sponsored however I did receive the Juice Served Here cleanse for free through a giveaway. There are a lot more juice cleanses out there that are great as well! Something to make sure of when doing a juice cleanse is that you are drinking at least five juices per day (preferred six), and that the juices have no added sugars and preservatives. Do your research because there are a lot of unhealthy juices out there!**
Q & A
How far should I space out drinking my juices?
I am a little bit unconventional when it comes to spacing out my juices. I pretty much just drink them when I get hungry. It ends up being close to two hours apart, but I drink them pretty slowly so I’m kind of just constantly working on a juice. However, I will say that I try to postpone drinking my first juice until mid-morning because I tend to get hungrier at night. I wake up, have a couple large glasses of water with lemon, sometimes apple cider vinegar, and then I normally try to have some sort of “shot,” normally purchased from the same brand as the juice cleanse. Normally the shot is something spicy with cayenne, lemon, maybe turmeric in it. Some places say to have a cup of tea in the morning as well, but drinking tea on an empty stomach doesn’t work for me. Normally, the water and the “shot” will postpone my hunger until about 10:30 am, depending on when I wake up. Although, I don’t recommend sleeping in to postpone your hunger . Rising early on the morning of your cleanse will give you more energy! I also meditated for ten minutes and did a five minute yoga flow on the morning of my most recent cleanse and it made me feel awesome.