Awareness Of Our Health And Diet
Juice cleanses have become popular and trendy as many people become more aware of their health and wellness. In modern times, diets including the Standard American Diet do not focus on nutrients and fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, many foods are processed or stored in tin or aluminum cans or plastic. Storing foods in aluminum can cause aluminum to leech into foods and can lead to illness over time.
Foods stored in cans or glass have a longer shelf life which is good for preservation purposes, but it not ideal for health. Fast food in America has become commonplace and is an affordable option for people who are looking for low-cost quick meals.
Because society is moving at such a fast pace, it is tempting to grab fast food or other easy convenience foods when you are on the go. Eating unhealthy foods or fast foods can cause detrimental effects on health when it is consumed long term.
When we bring awareness to our health and diet, we realize that a major overhaul of our diet is needed. We need to start eating foods that are healthier and fresh.
Whole food. Eating clean.
Increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to start incorporating healthy foods into the diet.
Incorporating Fruits And Vegetables Into Every Meal
Begin by incorporating steamed or cooked vegetables into every meal and make them fill at least 1/3 of your plate. Try to choose vegetables of all different colors. Experts suggest to “eat the rainbow” to ensure that all needed nutrients are received and assimilated by the body. Including fruits in the diet is another great way to gain nutrients.
Fruits can be eaten for breakfast as well as incorporated in smoothies or juices. Fruits and nuts also make a great healthy snack throughout the day. These can be substituted for fast food choices when you are on the go.
An easy and trendy way to start to incorporate fruits and vegetables into the diet is by drinking juice or smoothies. Juices and smoothies should be made with various fruits and more vegetables so many nutrients and vitamins can be consumed at one time. Drinking raw juice made from fruits and vegetables is a healthy way upgrade to your diet and can be added to any meal or drank as a meal replacement.
Some people choose to jump start their health with a juice cleanse.
- Juice cleansing can be done monthly or a few times a year to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Juice cleansing can also be done one day per week to keep up with the cleansing process as a form of intermittent fasting. This will give the body one day per week of rest and will extend the cleanse to create long term benefit.
11 Benefits Of A Juice Cleanse
- People who are suffering from serious and chronic diseases or even aches and pains, headaches, allergies, IBS, and other issues are often left baffled by the course of action to take to improve their health. Doing a cleanse is about much more than weight loss. Instead, a healthy cleanse can impact the overall health and can help to jump start the system to improve metabolism and refresh the organs.
- Increasing the intake of fresh food is a key part of a sustainable and healthy diet and lifestyle.
- Juice cleansing can assist the body in its natural detoxification.
- Juice cleanses are a great kickstart to a weight loss diet.
- The practice of juicing is nourishing for the body because of the high nutrient content in vegetables and fruits. Juice contains phytochemicals and antioxidants which are easily absorbable in liquid form for optimum absorption of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and contain minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that will improve energy and health and can boost immunity.
- Doing a juice cleanse can restore energy levels in the body and allow the body a break from poor diet choices including processed and junk food and addictive substances such as sugar. Sugar is an addictive substance that the body becomes dependent upon. A juice cleanse is a good way to break the addictive cycle and reset the system.
- Another reason to perform a juice cleanse is to determine any food sensitivities and eliminate them from the diet. Certain foods that you are sensitive to may cause a more subtle reaction in the body that a full-blown allergy and can cause a lot of conditions that are hard to diagnose or interpret without a vast overhaul in the diet.
- Common allergens in society include dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, and nuts among other items. A juice cleanse is a form of an elimination diet, where many of common allergens are eliminated for a period of time leading to more knowledge of what may be causing inflammation and irritation in the body.
- Raw juices contain enzymes that can help to improve the digestion by introducing new probiotics into the microbiome.
- Juice cleanses may reduce inflammation in the body caused by junk and processed food.
- A juice cleanse may reduce constipation and promote more regular scheduled elimination. Many people have a sluggish digestive system that is not functioning properly because it is overburdened by unhealthy food so commonly consumed in society today, including junk, boxed and processed food. These foods contain chemicals and ingredients that are foreign to the body and cannot be properly processed. When we consume too many of these foods, we begin to experience a buildup and backup of toxins in the body.
This can cause various health concerns in different people including skin issues, digestive issues, constipation, diarrhea, eczema, headaches, or a variety of issues. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint health issues because we do not see them as being directly from our diet. But good health begins with the food we eat.
Food can be medicine for the body or it can be harmful. Choosing healthy foods and participating in cleanses is a great way to bring balance back to the system.
Cleansing In Traditional Medicine
We are living in a modern age when the majority of people are experiencing illness or have experienced some sort of health trauma in their lifetime. The Western medical system is a modernized and technology-based system that is great for emergency medical care and treating serious conditions.
Western medicine has saved many lives and is credited with incredible and miraculous recoveries. But the Western medical paradigm is only one form of medical care and treatment. In terms of medical prevention and healthcare, there are many roles we can take on individually in order to participate in preventative medicine.
Preventative medicine is not something that has been emphasized in most of modern society, as we tend to rely on doctors and hospitals only when we are sick, but rarely do people keep up on their yearly checkups and other consistent care. This is one of the ways that Western society has shortchanged us when it comes to health.
By focusing only on emergency medicine, the idea of heath and prevention through nutrition, diet, supplements, and other modalities has been reduced to a suggestion rather than shown to be a demonstrated necessity.
Traditional medicine practices also referred to as alternative medicine and those that have been practiced for thousands of years are often touted as being amateur or novice medicines even though they have been practiced for thousands of years compared to the couple hundred years of Westernized medicine. Additionally, traditional medicines tend to focus equally on prevention and treatment.
Fasting and cleansing are essential elements in traditional medicine including Ancient Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and other traditions.
In modern times, cleansing and fasting has become a popularized approach to health and detoxification. One of the most popular forms of cleansing is juice cleansing, or juice fasting. This practice has gained popularity and can be done through a variety of methods including making fresh juice at home or purchasing an entire cleanse that is ready to go.
About Juice Cleanses
Participating in a juice cleanse takes dedication and commitment to health. Juice cleanses will often last between 1-3 days and also include a pre and a post cleanse phase. A juice cleanse is a great way to give the digestive organs a break and allow the liver to process less toxins.
It also allows the digestive system to rest because foods are already broken down and are separated from the fiber of fruits and vegetables.
Drinking juice is believed to flood the body with healthy nourishment. Juicing also facilitates the flushing of toxins and chemicals from the body.
- There are many different ways to do a juice cleanse. Some juice cleanses involve making homemade juice with raw fruits and vegetables using a juicing machine or blender.
- Other juice cleanses involve buying pre-made juices from stores.
- Juice cleanses can include a smoothie or other liquid including water and clear broths during the diet to stay hydrated and satisfied for the duration of the cleanse.
Typically, allergenic, and inflammatory foods are cut out from the diet to create a healthier system.
Foods to be eliminated during the juice cleanse include sugar, caffeine, refined foods, eggs, dairy or other inflammatory foods. These foods give a false sense of energy and often bring about a crash in blood sugar levels and energy. Foods that do not contain proper nutrients and vitamins are not going to give sustained energy to the body.
How To Do A Juice Cleanse
When deciding to participate in a juice cleanse, the experience can be both exciting and overwhelming. Luckily, juice cleansing is one of the most straightforward ways to cleanse the body. You want to determine how long you would like to do the cleanse for. This can always be adjusted as you participate in the experience and determine what works best for you, but to begin it is good to have a goal in mind of how many days you would like to cleanse.
Set a plan and prepare everything you will need, at least for the first few days, so you can relax and enjoy the process.
The first decision to make about juice cleansing is whether you would like to make the juice or purchase juice or a set cleanse program. Making juice will be a significantly greater time investment but will likely be cheaper than purchasing a set of juices. You also get to drink freshly made juice, which is the best way to enjoy it.
If Making Juice
Best vegetables for juicing include:
Best fruits for juicing include:
Green apples Limes Lemons Oranges You will need a juicing machine or a blender (will make thicker more smoothie like drink). Choose organic fruits and vegetables if available or use a fruit and vegetable wash to remove oil-based pesticides that stick to foods. Make sure to thoroughly wash all produce before juicing.
Purchasing a special juice cleanse is also an option, but you will want to be sure you are including a variety of juices and drinking various nutrients to keep the body properly fueled.
Joining a juice cleanse program is most convenient because it contains pre-made juices that can be picked up or even delivered to your door. These will usually include instructional materials and may include other elements of cleansing like suggestions for activities or practices related to cleansing.
You may also be able to join a collective or group that is all cleansing at the same time in a supportive setting. If it is your first cleanse this may be an easy way to participate in a juice cleanse with guidance and without overwhelm. It is always recommended to work with a healthcare professional or expert in cleansing and detox.
Prepare For Other Dietary Intake
- When completing a juice cleanse, you may also want to substitute a smoothie for some meals as needed.
- The cleanse can be 100% juice or may include some healthy snacks including raw veggies, broth and water or lemon water.
Basic Green Juice Ingredients
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 large apples cored and sliced
- 4 to 5 whole celery stalks
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 inch ginger (skin peeled)
- Parsley bunch
- 1 lemon (skin peeled)
Other possible additions and variations
- Lime juice
Tip: Avoid adding too many high sugar fruits, like pineapples. Sugar in fruit is still sugar and so you want to keep that intake of sugar low during the entire cleanse.
Healthy Juice Add Ins Add Ins
- Improve digestion
- Support immune system health
• Highly nutritious
- Highly nutritious
- Rich in antioxidants
- Antibacterial properties
- Highly nutritious
- Binds to heavy metals to aid in detox
- Antioxidant properties
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
Aloe vera juice
- Liver function
- Relieves constipation
- Skin health
- Highly nutritious
- Boost digestion
3-5 Days Before The Cleanse
- Eliminate refined sugars, processed food, and junk food.
- Ditch the tobacco and alcohol and limit or eliminate coffee as well.
- Eat a lot of fresh whole plant food, including whole vegetables and fruit.
- 1 to 2 days before your cleanse begins, try to stick to an all-plant food diet. Eliminate meat, chicken, fish, heavy meals, dairy and eggs. Keep eating fresh and raw vegetables and fruit.
During The Cleanse
- During the juice cleanse you will want to consume a minimum of 32 ounces of juice or smoothies. Most of your juice intake should be “green juice.’ Green juices are juices that are green in color and typically contain a majority of green vegetables and leafy greens, such as kale and apples.
- Juice should be consumed as close to the juicing time as possible, but if you want to store juice you can do so in a glass container or other BPA free bottle.
- It is also appropriate to drink warm water throughout the cleanse, either plain, with lemon or with herbal tea infusion. Choose a caffeine-free herbal tea as this will be more cleansing and allow the kidneys and adrenal glands to rest.
- You can also drink a warm vegetable broth or enjoy a whole vegetable snack like celery or carrots. Trust your intuition when eating and choose healthy options that will leave you satiated without breaking your cleanse.
- Solid food is limited to fresh vegetables or fruits.
If you become feel ill, uncomfortable, or dizzy during the cleanse, notify a healthcare rofessional.
Juice Cleanse Schedule
- Upon waking: Drink a glass of warm water with lemon. Lemon water stimulates the liver and promotes healthy digestion. Drink lemon water regularly throughout the day.
- Aim to drink a juice every 2 to 2 and ½ hours. Space your juicing out over 12 hours and drink your last juice about 2 hours before going to bed. Drink even if you do not feel hungry, your body needs the nutrients and you want to avoid blood sugar crashes.
Recommended Activities During the Cleanse
1. Partake in gentle physical activity. It is ideal to relax and engage in activities like walking, yoga, stretching or other mellow activities. Staying active will help to improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation.
2. Enjoy a massage. Getting a massage also helps to drain the lymphatic system. Skin brushing is another great way to move the lymph as well as hot/cold contrasting showers which boost immunity.
3. Meditate or Practice Mindfulness. When we are caught up in our thoughts it can be hard to focus and we may become stressed or ill. Instead of allowing our mind to run our experience we can practice mindful breathing, relaxation techniques or other practices. Be sure to get plenty of rest and take naps whenever possible to allow the body time to relax and regenerate.
4. Be Emotionally Aware. Prepare to be comfortable with arising emotions including anger, fear, sadness, or other frustrations of issues. In traditional medicine, anytime we cleanse the body emotions can arise that may be upsetting. Be sure to have a plan in place to process emotions.
5. Listen to music, stretch, go for a walk, or talk with a friend or a professional therapist.
6. Take an infrared sauna session. Infrared saunas are a unique type of sauna that uses infrared healing to stimulate the cells and eliminate toxins. The skin is the largest organ of the body and it can participate in the detoxification process. Infrared saunas heat the body from the inside out using infrared wave technology. Be sure to stay hydrated when using the sauna as you will be releasing a lot of sweat.
Breaking The Juice Fast
- Do not eat heavy foods immediately following a cleanse or you will likely become nauseous
- When the cleanse period is finished, you will begin to eat lightly for a few days until you have fully eased back into your diet.
- When breaking the fast you will eat mostly vegetables raw or lightly steamed. You can also eat fruits or nuts. Eat small portions and gradually introduce whole food. Raw whole fruits and vegetables, fresh nut milk and vegetable broth are all good choices to ease back into normal eating.
- After a day of light eating, you can incorporate slightly more fulfilling foods like soups, brown rice, beans, quinoa, or other gentle grains.
- Drinking a warm vegetable broth is also a great way to break the fast as a gentle medicine for the digestive system and stomach.
- Within 5 days of completing the fast you can resume eating regular meals.
- Be aware of foods as you reintroduce them. Some people like to use the days after a fast or cleanse to try to determine any food allergens and to keep track of foods that are inflammatory or cause reactions in the body. Try to space foods 3-4 days apart as you are reintroducing them to gain a better perspective of your body’s reactions to each specific item.
- When reintroducing dairy, try having a small glass of milk or a few pieces of cheese to determine any sensitivities.
Health Considerations And Precautions
Juice cleanses are supportive diets that can improve health, increase energy levels, and eliminate toxins. Cleansing can also lead to improved digestion. Drinking juice for the cleanse period is a good way to hit the reset button on health and wellness but there are important precautions to consider.
- You should speak with your doctor before starting a juice cleanse or any cleanse.
- Participating in a juice cleanse is a short-term solution that can lead to a healthier diet overall. Juice cleansing is recommended only for a few days if sticking to a juice only cleanse.
- If you are incorporating healthy foods balanced with juice, you may be able to extend the juice cleanse by a few days.
- Juice cleansing is not recommended as a long-term solution for weight loss.
- Restricting foods should always be done with caution as disordered eating can result from labeling foods as unhealthy or healthy and putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve a desired result.
- Patience and acceptance is the key to cleansing. Remember you do not need to achieve the ultimate result in one cleansing session. Instead aim to live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular cleansing every few months and maintain a healthy diet in between cleanses. If you can cut out some or all of the foods from the inflammatory food category, you will begin to notice dramatic changes in your health. Always consult a healthcare practitioner before partaking in a cleanse.
- People with kidney stones should be careful of consuming foods that are high in oxalate which can lead to blockage and kidney stones.
- People with low blood sugar should also take care of cleansing which can lead to low blood sugar. Juice cleanses may be dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Any symptoms of dizziness, fainting, weakness, headaches, or hunger should be consulted with a health care professional.
- Drinking unpasteurized or raw juices can contain bacteria that can cause a problem for people who have chronic illness, elders, young children, or others who are weak.
- Wash all produce properly and store the produce in a clean space.
- Store all fresh made juice in a glass bottle and consume within 24 hours.
- Juice cleanses should not be done by children, pregnant women, nursing women, people with chronic illness including liver, kidney, or gallbladder issues.