There are many cleansing guidelines available out there. The below tips and recommendations are provided based on our first hand experience with cleansing as juicers. We are users just like you and have personally experienced how it feels to do a juice cleanse from the very first day of a pre-cleansing stage to the very last day of a post-cleansing period. And one thing is for sure - the feeling of well-being, self discovery and satisfaction is amazing.
It does not really matter why you decide to do a juice cleanse, in the end it is an experience full of awareness (of your own body and of your surroundings) and nourishment.
Yes, you need to prepare yourself for a cleanse. Undergoing a juice cleanse is definitely a challenge (both physically and mentally) for everybody and that is why you need to get your body ready as much as possible. Your body would be very confused and the entire cleanse would be counterproductive if one day was finished with a plate of cheese nachos and the next day was filled only with vegetable and fruit juices. It is important to gradually reduce the listed foods from your diet so that throughout the last 24-48 hours prior to a cleanse you only consume fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (preferably in a raw form). We would like to put an emphasis on the 'gradual elimination' – if you've been consuming one or more of the listed items regularly for a long time (e.g. caffeine), ease off of these slowly over the week prior to a juice cleanse. In case of caffeine, a good step forward is to substitute coffee for a green tea.
As you are eliminating certain foods from your diet, you also need to increase consumption of water/non-caffeine herbal teas now and during the cleanse to help your body. We recommend at least 2 litres of water a day.
The mental preparation is as important as the physical one. You will experience feelings of a true hunger (especially during the first day, day and half) and also feelings of mind food cravings (even after the hunger has subsided). The mind food cravings can be caused just by talking about food or by being around someone who is eating. That is why it is important to realize why you are undertaking a juice cleanse and set yourself up for a success. It is important to stay focused and to enjoy every moment (hopefully many of them in the sun and fresh air) of this journey. There will be many days filled with solid food after the cleanse is over and by realizing this, the mind food cravings will be overwhelmed by the whole cleansing experience and feelings of accomplishment.
We also find that support from friends and family is a very beneficial factor as it creates a truly positive environment for a cleanse. Even though we try to keep any social gatherings to minimum during a cleanse period, our close ones are well aware of what we are undertaking and are supportive of it.
During a cleanse:
Each day, you will consume 80oz (or about 2.4 litres) of cold-pressed or blended fruits and vegetables. This will provide your body with an abundance of vitamins and nutrients, while allowing your digestive tract to slow down significantly and letting your body to focus on its cleansing and repairs. All this activity will result in already stored toxins being released by your body’s cells. However, this effort would be wasted if our bodies could not get rid of these toxins as well. That is why drinking plenty of water (preferably filtered) and/or unsweetened herbal teas is a very important habit to get used to during the entire cleanse. Adding few drops of a dense concentration of Himalayan salt crystals and water to your drinking water in the morning will help your body to pull out internal toxins and allow them to be eliminated naturally. Another way to help your body with toxin elimination is to undergo a hydro-colon therapy session during the first couple of days of the cleanse.
As the toxins are being eliminated, your body might experience some of the normal detox symptoms.
Any one of these is a part of a normal cleansing journey and is only a temporary proof that toxins are stored in your body. To make it easier on ourselves, we let our bodies to enjoy lot of rest and relaxation during a cleanse. We go to bed much earlier than usually but always at least couple of hours after the last juice. We also do not undertake any physically-demanding exercises but do make sure that either a walk or a yoga class is on our daily schedule. This is a great time to read a good book, go for a massage or have a sauna session. We also recommend to reduce digital distractions (e.g. TV, internet browsing) to a minimum and rather try to reconnect with your body and breath.
A green juice or green smoothie is a gentle way to start a metabolism in the morning in all of our juice cleanses. But even before the first juice, we highly recommend to drink warm water with lemon. Lemon is your juice cleansing friend as it is a liver stimulant and begins the cleansing process even before your first sip of juice. It takes about 30 minutes for your body to absorb the nutrients from a juice but we suggest to wait at least hour and half in-between the juices. However, the best suggestion we can give you is to always listen to your body, the best guide on this journey.
All is well that ends well. To end a juice cleanse properly is one of the most important stages of the entire adventure. During this stage, solid foods are being reintroduced into your body and if this is not done properly, the digestion system, which is very delicate after a cleanse, may suffer and cause more harm than all the good done by the juice cleanse itself.
On the other hand, if the foods are being reintroduced properly, this will further enhance the effectiveness of the juice cleanse. This is also a unique opportunity to identify any potential food sensitivities. If you suspect that you might have any food sensitivity (e.g. soy, dairy, nuts, etc), these can be systematically added to your diet (once the post-cleanse phase is over) one at a time to see if any sensitivity reaction is triggered.
The basic idea of getting off a juice cleanse is to take at least the number of days of the cleanse itself to get back to a normal diet, which will hopefully be full of wholesome, nourishing foods. This is an example of a basic plan of how to reintroduce solid foods after a 5-day juice cleanse. We always choose 100% organic foods during the entire post-cleanse period to spare our body of additional chemical poisons.
Remember that your body has only consumed liquids for number of days now and therefore it is greatly important to always eat your solid food consciously and chew each bite until liquid, especially during the first few days of the post-cleanse period. Also, continue to drink plenty of water throughout.
Most importantly, congratulate yourself for such an amazing achievement. You truly have all the reasons to feel nothing but great about yourself.