We get asked all the time how to get the most out of a juice cleanse and the answer is simple: Be prepared! A juice cleanse, especially your first one, can be a difficult task- your body is working hard to absorb all the nutrition your giving it and renewing itself again! But taking a few simple steps in the 2-3 days leading up to your cleanse can make the whole experience more pleasant and more beneficial.
Here’s some of our pro tips:
1. Reduce processed foods
One of the best things you can do for your body all the time, but especially leading up to a cleanse, is cutting out processed foods as much as possible. Technically any kind of preparation of food is processing, even something as simple as slicing it! But a good rule to follow is that the fewer steps it takes to get from the tree or the vine to your body, the better. Eating a fresh salad is better than a packaged tv dinner meal, just like eating fresh cold-pressed juice is better than pasteurized juices made with preservatives and added sugars.
2. Cut out refined sugars
For many people one of the hardest things to cut out is refined sugar. For some that may be because of a sweet tooth or a love of chocolate, but many may not even realize the dependence they have on sugar. Refined sugars sneak up on you where you least expect it- especially in sauces, prepackaged foods and even some meats! So while you may not think you eat a lot of sugar, you probably eat more than you realize and it can truly feel like withdrawal from a drug when you break that addiction. Instead of going cold turkey, it might be best to slowly taper off the amount of sugar you eat so you can avoid the withdrawal cravings and symptoms on your cleanse. And after a few days without sugar, you’ll likely feel a lot better and even find that your food tastes better when you’re no longer accustomed to so much sweetness!
3. Don’t drink
For some this may be even harder than cutting out sugar, but it is a must. On a juice cleanse you want your body to be working efficiently to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals you’re giving it and to eliminate all the stuff you don’t want- including alcohol and its byproducts. If your body is dehydrated and recovering from alcohol, you’ll certainly feel it during your cleanse. So instead, give your body time to recover from the strain of detoxifying from alcohol several days before your cleanse so you can be getting the most from your juices.
4. Mentally prepare!
5. Get excited! .... The biggest obstacle is often our own minds, so make sure to get in the right mindset to cleanse. Be sure to pick a good time to cleanse- probably not the weekend of your 5k or your company dinner party. Recognize those foods you might miss but don’t need and make a commitment to resist them no matter how harmless one little bite of ice cream might seem when you’re on the cleanse. Psych yourself up! But don’t psych yourself out, it may seem like a big feat to get through the first time but think of how great you will feel when you complete it, and how much good you’re doing for your body and you’ll make it.
Cleansing isn’t just about the couple days you only drink juice- it’s about taking care of your body and living a healthy lifestyle. Make it a time of change, adjusting old habits and listening to what your body needs! If you prepare for the cleanse, give it your all, and then sustain that same, your body will thank you for it