I did a juice cleanse last week with Nekter, a local juice bar. I’ve been to this juice bar a few times – I’m actually a big fan of fresh veggie juice and they’ve got a great acai bowl as well. I tried one of their 5-day cleanses in January. I’d recently watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead in which a severely overweight man with a chronic disease goes on a juice fast and basically heals himself. (If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s eye-opening.) I had a great experience with it in January . . . I found that it really changed my palate and by the end of the 5 days, I was craving healthy foods and my sugar urges were totally gone. It kick-started me into better eating habits. But some heavy travel and stress this year meant I fell off the healthy eating bandwagon, so I decided to give another cleanse a go. This time, I went with their advanced cleanse, which includes a beet juice. I really liked it. I realize green juice is a required taste, but I really enjoy the taste of Nekter’s juices.
I know many people have different motivations for doing a cleanse, but the biggest for me is that it is like a “reset” button for my food cravings. After a 5-day cleanse I find that fruits and vegetables taste more like nature intended, without the dulling effect of processed foods. Every time I have done a cleanse it has set me up for a really good run of healthy eating.
I don’t really do a cleanse to lose weight. It’s not low calorie per se, and I don’t tend to do well with crash dieting. I do drop a few pounds when I do a cleanse but it’s pretty negligible. For me, it’s more about cleaning my body out and getting on a good track.
I know the big question about a juice fast is always, “How can you do that?” I have managed to have good experiences doing these cleanses, and here are some of my tips:
1. Work up to it. Don’t eat like garbage and then start a cleanse the next day . . . that’s a surefire way to make yourself feel bad. Taper off sugar two weeks before so you aren’t going through withdrawals. Cut down on processed foods the week before. Within a few days of the cleanse, you should be down to just fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
2. Have a plan if you feel you need to eat. Chewing food is not the worst thing that can happen during a cleanse, so if you must . . . have a plan for it. Some avocado wrapped in lettuce, some kale and lemon juice, and handful of almonds . . .have something available that is still in line with whole foods.
3. Try to avoid preparing food for other. This is a tough one if you have small children. See if your spouse can take over, or try to make meals in advance. I did well all day long until I had to make dinner for the family.
4. Minimize activities on your cleanse. It’s only a few days. Try to avoid any social gatherings that revolve around food. You don’t want to be going to a party or a lunch date where you have to watch others eat.
5. Distract yourself. Try to stay busy with non-food-related activities.
6. Make it easy on yourself. I’ve tried making my own juice at home but the quantity required for a multiple-day cleanse is more than I can do myself. I love that Nekter offers an easy way to get my juices, and that they are portable as well. Nekter has nationwide shipping so if a juice cleanse is of interest to you, you can check out the details on their website.