Juice Cleansing: Why you might want to and how to do it SAFELY!

Posted on February 10, 2014
Juicing is hugely popular at the moment and the promises of health, immunity and weight loss are hard to ignore! But, on the other hand, the thought of not eating any food for days (or in some cases even weeks!) really turns me off! So why might we want to do a juice cleanse and how do we do it safely? 
The key danger of juice fasting is the ongoing restriction of key food groups, namely protein and fat. I would never recommend juice fasting for more than 3 days. 
Other issues with juice cleanses are blood sugar highs and lows, dizziness and light headedness, hunger and not feeling satisfied. 
What are the benefits?
Juicing your fruit and veg is like fitting an IV drip of plant based nutrients straight into your blood supply. Without the fibre and other food in your stomach the nutrients in the juice are easily assimilated by the body. 
When else would you consume such a vast quantity of veg on one sitting?
Juice cleanses will help you lose weight - Avoid the yoyo effect and putting all the weight back on transitioning into a whole foods eating programme after your juice cleanse. 
Juice cleanses will help you detox your body as part of a sensible detox programme. The benefits of detoxing include more energy, improved digestion, younger, brighter and healthier looking skin and better sleep patterns. Our bodies are designed to rid our body of unwanted toxins and this process supports the natural process of detox. 
Juice cleanses also help break unhealthy eating habits and kick cravings. 
How to do a juice cleanse safely:
First and foremost - I do not recommend juice cleansing to any of the following groups: pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics, chemotherapy patients, people with kidney failure (this list is not exhaustive, please consult your doctor if you are unsure if you should do a juice cleanse). 
  • To avoid extreme blood sugar highs and lows be sure to juice mainly vegetables. Try to limit yourself to one piece of fruit per juice max. 
  • If you are feeling dizzy or light headed and to stabilise your blood sugar have a spoonful of coconut oil after your juice. This will help supply your body with essential fats. 
  • Do not juice cleanse for more than 3 days. Do not continue with a cleanse just because you've started one! If it is not suiting you please stop! Just adding juices to a good whole foods diet will have many benefits, you don't HAVE to drink just juice. 
I recommend following this process seasonally, just 4 times per year maximum. On going juice cleansing can put the body into 'starvation' mode and actually slow your metabolism and make you less effective at processing food when you do eat. This is one of the key reasons that calorie restricted and deprivation diets are not a sustainable, long term weight loss method. Once the body has been in starvation mode it actually encourages the movement of fat into fat cells making weight gain inevitable. 
Support the cleanse process with lots of self care and rest. 
To avoid digestive problems at the end of the juice cleanse, just introduce one type of simple food at a time. Do not go straight back to wine and chocolate cake. You will get a tummy ache - or worse! 
An elimination diet will support you to understand if the weight loss on the juice cleanse was triggered by cutting out food you are intolerant to. 
Many of us have hidden food intolerances that add inflammation. Did you know that the body carries around 5-10 pounds of toxicity (aka inflammation) that can lead to headaches, weight gain, and bloating? Often, we are eating foods that we think are “healthy”, but that are actually contributing to the toxic load. 
If you need support with an elimination diet click here to find out more about my Whole Foods Winter Detox Programme. 
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