So, I recently completed my first juice cleanse. It was something I actually thought I would never do, but wanted to get off to a good healthy start in 2012, plus as indicated in my previous post I had sort of gotten off track with my diet. I feel the juice cleanse really helped me get back on track. My cravings for junk food have already decreased, and my desire to eat wholesome raw foods has increased. On top of that, I’m feeling GREAT!
So, before recapping the rest of the cleanse I thought I would break down a few benefits of juice cleansing, this is by far not an extensive list. In fact, it’s very small. But you get an idea of what juice cleansing can do for ones health.
Five Benefits of Juice Fasting/Cleansing
- reduced cravings for junk food
- improvements of chronic conditions
- clearer mental focus and increased energy
- aids in weight loss
First of all your cravings for junk food will decrease! Because juice fasting cleanses the colon we are better able to absorb nutrients into our system. As a result we will begin to desire healthier foods that promote health and well-being. Your body will begin to crave foods high in nutrients, rather than processed junk, void of nutritional value.
Over long term, especially if you continue on a high-raw food diet, you will begin seeing improvements, or complete removal of chronic conditions. There are countless stories of individuals that have cured cancer by an all raw food diet. I have seen benefits myself from a high-raw food diet. I used to require medication to control involuntary muscle spasms. I am now off that medication and feeling better because of it. Your body will likely begin to see reductions in chronic conditions because you are freeing your body of toxins built up over time. Visible and noticeable results could take much longer, though. For me, it took a couple years before I was actually able to transition off my medication.
You will have clearer mental focus and increased energy. Though my mornings started off groggy headed and fatigued, by lunch time I was buzzing with energy! The reason for increased energy and mental clarity is because you are giving your body a rest from the energy required for digestion. Note, when I say increased energy it’s not a good idea to do highly physically demanding tasks such as running or working out. That would not be wise because of the reduction of calories.
Your body will also begin to “detox”. Juice cleansing or fasting, gives your body the opportunity to rest from digesting foods. During this time, your body will begin to flush toxins built up over a long period of time. While this is happening, you will experience a variety of detox symptoms, some of which are not pleasant. The severity of the detox symptoms will vary depending on how healthy or unhealthy you have eaten over the years.
Finally, juice cleansing aids in weight loss. At first you will lose mostly water weight. But after this occurs your bodies metabolism will become more slower. Now, you might ask how a slower metabolism could be beneficial? Well, it’s not only slower, but more efficient at digestion. You will want to make sure you continue to fuel your body with whole nutritious foods, though. By doing this you are helping your body to maintain a natural, healthy weight.
Juice Cleanse Recap…
I ended up ending the cleanse on day six of my planned seven day cleanse because I had friends coming in from out of town that wanted to go rock climbing, and I knew I would need extra nutrients in my body for the physically demanding activity.
The third, fourth, and fifth days of the cleanse were 100% juice. Day six included one smoothie in the evening to come off the cleanse (transitioning off a cleanse should be down slowly with whole, raw foods), so I could adequately begin to fuel my body for a day of climbing. Day seven, while out climbing I ate nothing but raw foods. Throughout the day, I consumed raw fruits, Bearded Brothers bars, kale chips, and lots of water. I ended the day at Beets, raw food cafe in downtown Austin with some other raw foodie friends. It was a magnificent way to end the cleanse. I was surprised at how much energy I had throughout the day as well. Especially not having climbed in several weeks.
The other days I had all juice were not as difficult as I anticipated. Because I don’t have a desk job, I wasn’t able to think about the hunger much, plus the hunger pangs waxed and waned. Every morning I would wake up groggy headed and feeling dehydrated (but perhaps it was because of not drinking enough water before bed), but the feeling would fade away after drinking about 24 oz of water and my first juice of the day. By lunch time each day I was buzzing with energy!
As a result of the cleanse I have a heightened desire to eat healthy, and continue on that path. It’s fairly easy for me to get off track if I don’t set strict standards for myself. I would encourage anybody to do the same that struggles with eating healthy. I have discovered you are best developing what I like to call a, “food philosophy” rather than following a certain diet program. For me, that is to eat mostly whole, raw, organic foods, and to eat only vegetarian (and on rare occasion fish).
Even if you don’t eat a completely plant based diet to benefit from raw foods. Simply eating a 50% raw food diet will yield loads of benefits. If you have never tried the raw food diet before a juice cleanse is a great way to get started.
See the below website for more information about juice cleansing: