My Three Day Juice Cleanse
Detoxification (detox) is described as eliminating toxins from the body or neutralizing them. Your body does this itself every day by breathing, sweating, urinating and defecating. The liver plays a huge role in eliminating toxins, but sometimes it needs a little help.
Toxins are substances that irritate your body and can create harmful effects. Toxins can be found in the environment, such as in the air you breathe. Toxins can also be in the food, drinks and medications you consume. Acidic foods such as meats, poultry, refined sugar, caffeine and dairy can be toxic to your body. For a more detailed list, click here for my acid/alkaline article. Other toxins include alcohol, nicotine, recreational drugs and prescription medications.
Your gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, respiratory system, lymphatic system and integumentary (skin) system all play a role in making sure your body eliminates toxins. However, too much can lead to a build up and congestion in your organs and tissues. This can affect the function of your organs and cause some unwanted symptoms.
Symptoms of toxicity include: headaches, joint aches, sinus infections, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, constipation and so much more.
There are many ways to detoxify your body. You could begin with a fruit and vegetable detox where this is all you consume. You could consume just raw fruit and vegetable juices. You could detox by just drinking water or not eating anything at all. Personally, I don’t recommend the water or eating nothing detoxes. If you’re new to this, you may want to start off by eliminating toxic foods from your diet for a few days, and then work your way up to a juice detox.
Detoxing can help you begin to lose weight, clear your skin, improve fatigue, reduce joint aches, rest your digestive organs, reduce allergies, enhance restful sleep, improve your mental and emotional health and can reduce current symptoms of toxicity.
Let’s talk about juice fasting. Fasting is the avoidance of solid foods and/or consuming only liquids. Juice fasting would be my preferred method of detoxing because the fruit and vegetable juices provide the necessary nutrients needed for organ function.
You should consult with a medical professional before fasting to make sure there are no underlying issues that could worsen your health. Some people that should not juice fast include malnourished individuals, pregnant or lactating women, individuals with weak hearts and individuals who are undergoing a surgical procedure or have just gone through a surgical procedure.
The most benefits come from juice fasting for about three days, twice a year. If you eat a higher acidic and congested diet, you may benefit from juice fasts more often. Once you fast for the length of time your body needs, you can incorporate protein, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains slowly back into your diet. Remember, try to consume less of the toxic foods.
Along with juice fasting, you can detoxify your body by breathing fresh air, exercising lightly, drinking water, spending time in saunas, and meditating.
Now for my experience with a juice fast. I did my first three day juice fast and my husband did his first two day juice fast a few weeks ago.
First, it was more difficult than I thought it would be. Especially the first evening. My husband can attest to this. I developed a mild headache, while his was more intense. We both felt hungry and fatigue during the juice fast, but felt normal after we had solid food in our stomachs again.
I noticed some physical changes. This juice fast led me to be more strict on my diet. What I mean by this, is that I consumed strictly plant-based foods for two weeks after the cleanse and did not feel bloated, or fatigue. I recently ate a cookie, but was able to jump right back into eating plant-based foods! This juice fast made me realize that by drinking these juices and eating plant-based foods, my overall health improved.
I lost a couple of pounds, but that wasn’t my primary goal. I began working out two days after the juice fast, and felt a little tired. After about four days, I was back to normal. After the juice fast, I was able to run and not feel so out of breath, like I usually do.
Juice fasting isn’t for everyone. I know that it helped me, and I know it can help many of you.
For more information on detoxing and detoxing recipes, I recommend The Detox Diet by Elson Haas. Also, if you’re in the Lancaster, PA area, Rijuice offers juice cleanses! Check out my interview with the founder of Rijuice here to learn more.
I also recommend the documentaries Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives.
Haas, E. M. (2012). The detox diet: The definitive guide for lifelong vitality with recipes, menus, and detox plans. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.