The New Year is the time to reflect and let go of the past and celebrate a new beginning. It is the time to set goals, and start fresh. During the holidays many have let loose indulging in more food, lots of it not necessarily on the healthy side, and enjoying some wine or champagne more than usual. But come January 1st we start feeling guilty, and maybe noticing the results of our excessive indulgence. If one of your New Year resolutions is to become healthier and leaner then keep reading.
A lot of people are contemplating the idea of starting a juice detox, in order to reset their bodies, give their digestive system a break and release some accumulated toxins. And indeed a juice detox might be just the right solution for you. But you have to make sure you prepare for it correctly to make the best out it, and obtain longer lasting results. So here I am sharing with you some advice about how to properly do a juice detox.
What is detoxification?
The body has an amazing ability to purify and cleanse itself. Many organs like the liver, kidneys and skin are working hard every day to get rid of unwanted toxins. Those toxins build up from environmental pollutants, cleaning products and prescription drugs, and can be found in the additives and preservatives in the foods we eat. Our bodies are truly amazing in all the functions they perform, and we have to make sure they are working properly to see the best results. By giving your body the support of detoxing you will help it to be more efficient in eliminating them.
So how do we detox? One of the best ways our body implies to detoxify is through elimination. Don’t get uncomfortable when you read the word elimination, it is a very important factor to our health and wellbeing. If you are not going to the bathroom regularly you are not able to release toxins from your body properly!
Just losing water weight for a few days is not the same as expelling more waste on a regular long-term basis, which is very important. Our diet and lifestyle play a big role to whether we go to the bathroom often enough. And if we can’t properly eliminate the toxins and sludge, they end up staying in our bodies and can contribute to premature aging, weight gain and bloating.
We can help our body optimize its detoxification and achieve its highest potential, so we can look and feel our best. One of the first things to do is to look at the food we eat.
Going on a juice detox program is a great way to examine our eating habits better and to give our digestive system a break. A study shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage, but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
Many people get overly excited about a juice detox program, as they want results and they want them fast. As with anything if you are looking for a quick fix it won’t stay for long.
If you really want to make the best out of your juice detox, you should prepare your body a few days before you start.
Here are a few guidelines that will help you prepare yourself for juice detox, reap more benefits from your cleanse, and better enjoy the cleansing process.
Before your juice detox program
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when starting to prepare for your detox:
- Use organic and fresh products when possible
- Drink plenty of water and herbal teas
- Try to eat in a relaxed space
- Chew well and longer, to start the digesting process.
Preparation – Days 1-7
On day one make sure you stock up on foods you are going to use – grains (amaranth, millet, quinoa, buckwheat); veggies (kale, broccoli, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, beets, peppers, cabbages); fruits (pears, apples, banana, oranges, lemons, berries, grapefruit, kiwi); seeds and nuts: chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts.
Cut out certain foods
You should start cutting out the foods you will be avoiding during your detox. Those foods are meat, dairy, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, fried and processed foods. Try cutting them out slowly throughout day 1-2 of your detox preparation.
After completely cutting out the foods above, start your day 3 with warm water with lemon. This will kick start your bowel movement and prepare your body for elimination. Eat some fresh fruit for breakfast and have some cooled grains for lunch. Make yourself a large salad with lots of raw veggies that you like, and a nice dressing, and add some nuts and seeds to it. For dinner enjoy steamed veggies, veggie dips or vegetable soups. Drink plenty of herbal teas and water throughout the day. Some light exercise like Pilates or Yoga can be beneficial. Follow the same guidelines for day 4 – 7 just before starting your juice detox program.
What is a juice detox program?
I feel very strongly about doing a juice detox the right way and it has contributed to my passion to create Go Gusto, Luxembourg’s 1st organic cold-pressed juice company. I have created the detox programs, and juice recipes, guided by what I have learned during my course as nutritionist, putting a lot of thought into the order that each juice should be consumed during the detox, as well as the proper combining of the ingredients in each juice. Our 1, 3 and 5 day detox programs are designed as helpful tools to help you get back to the long-term progress and better eating habits that is necessary for long-term success.
To make the best out of your juice detox, make sure you do prepare your body for it, as described above. This is important. You don’t want put your body under shock with the sudden change of diet. During the juice detox your body will start releasing toxins at a faster speed, and as they come to the surface you might experience some symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and skin breakouts. Keep calm and make sure you increase your intake on water during this time. Feeling good and clear usually happens around the third or fourth day.
During a juice detox some emotions can also start bubbling up as well. Acknowledge them, as they might well be a sign of emotions that you are storing in your body tissues. It is fascinating how detoxing your body can help clear out your mind and emotions as well.
To further help the detoxing process you could enjoy getting a massage, dry skin brushing or a sauna. Yoga can be very beneficial for you during a juice detox, as it is a gentle exercise that targets your mussels, and calms your mind.
How to eat after the juice detox
Some people are desperate to eat anything after a juice detox, while other could very well continue doing it for a few days more. It is important to listen to your body, as it will signal you when it is truly ready to eat. You want to slowly ease in into solid foods again, and gently introduce different foods back into your diet. You don’t want to have a pizza or fries directly after your juice detox! The key is light foods, no meat, refined sugar, alcohol or dairy – you don’t want to stress your organs and tax your digestion by eating heavy foods right away. Keep drinking plenty of water and if possible take a pro-biotic to balance the flora in your intestines.
On day 1 after the juice detox you should try to eat only fruits and vegetables. Start by eating a bowl of fresh fruits. Continue with a light salad for lunch. You can make a nice dressing and add lemon juice to it. And for dinner have some steamed vegetables or a warm soup.
During day 2-3 you can add some nuts, hemp seeds or chia seeds to your salad. You can have some porridge with almond milk for breakfast. Enjoy an avocado, or coconut oil to get some healthy fats, and have a meal based on millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
On day 4-5 you can start introducing some lean protein, such a white fish or eggs. If you are vegetarian have some lentils or beans. Consume fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and tempeh, as they are rich in good bacteria, which are very important for the health of your large intestines.
After day 5 you may introduce red meat and dairy if you desire to consume them.
If you do your juice detox this way and prepare your body for it, and ease it slowly back into solid foods, you might notice, that after this time your cravings for coffee, sweets, and processed foods might have disappeared or have noticeably reduced. This is a great time to say goodbye to these unhealthy foods, as your body will not experience the heavy withdrawing symptoms it might otherwise do. So along with a better digestion detoxified body, a juice detox done right, can as well help you embark on a healthier diet. And if you do, than you have achieved the ultimate goal of your juice detox – you will be steadily progressing to a healthier you!
Wishing you a healthy and happy year ahead!
Credits: Lettering & Illustrations by Linda Dieschbourg.