This past weekend I did my first Juice Cleanse.
I have always been skeptical of “cleanses” but I figured I can’t judge something I’ve never tried.
I decided to do Doctor Oz’s Juice Cleanse, but first I did some research to figure out why Juicing is becoming such a trend. My research not only taught me how to do a juice cleanse, but also how many health benefits there actually are to juicing!
Why Do a Juice Cleanse?
Juice Cleanses are a way of detoxing the body to improve your overall health one of the benefits being weight loss.
Other benefits include:
- Increased Energy
- Mental Clarity
- Enhanced Immunity
- A Healthy Glow
- Elevated Mood
- Restorative Sleep
- Fewer Unhealthy Cravings
- Healthy Hair and Nails
- A Feeling of Lightness
All of these side effects come from a decrease in toxins in the blood stream.
Scientists studying weight loss are finding people with high levels of toxins in their blood samples have a much harder time losing weight then those who have detoxed.
Most toxins in the body come from Pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and are stored in our fat cells because they are fat soluble. Scientists are finding that when our fat cells store these toxins they begin to multiply; storing more fat, as well as becoming resistant to letting fat go, making weight loss difficult.
Having more fat cells isn’t just a cosmetic problem. As the number of fat cells increases, our bodies release more lepton into the bloodstream. Lepton is the hormone that aids in the body’s ability to burn stored fat. You would think increased lepton is a good thing, however, your body can become lepton-resistant, (just as Type II Diabetics who become insulin-resistant) making nearly impossible to burn fat.
It is also important to note every time you make new fat cells, you have those fat cells for life. You can only shrink fat cells, which is why weight yo-yo’ing or cycling can be very common. Juicing is one way to detox allowing your body to not only be in prime condition to lose weight, but also just be overall healthier.
Juicing detoxes the body through 2 phases. The first phase involves enzymes that actually makes a toxin more toxic, however, the second phase changes the chemistry of the toxin from being fat soluble to water soluble so that you can excrete toxins through your urine eliminating them from the body.
That was a lot of science, however, it is becoming increasingly more obvious that weight loss isn’t quite as simple as calories in/calories out. I’ve addressed this issue before when I’ve talk about our eating ratios, but from my research I’ve discovered every now and then it’s important to give your system a reset.
How To Do a Juice Cleanse
It is important to make sure you are getting appropriate nutrients, so I recommend either buying juice from a reputable company in your area or online, (One good company is JuiceRX.) or following recipes such as the Doctor Oz’s Juice Cleanse.
I really liked the ease of Doctor Oz’s Juice Cleanse. It even provides a print out with recipes and shopping lists, which is awesome because you do buy a lot of produce and the math can be a little mind boggling if you are a juicing novice!
If you are going to be making your own juices, I highly recommend using the Omega Vert 350. It may not look like much, but it is easy to clean, hard to clog, and allows you to save the pulp which can be used to make veggie burgers for your one meal!
Ideally you would want to make your juices on the spot, but I borrowed a friend’s juicer so I had to make all 15 juices at once. The process while very easy, was time consuming. It took 3 1/2 hours to make 30 juices. (I was juicing for 2) I also produced a trash can full of pulp!
Once you have your juices ready, there isn’t really much to the cleanse.
Doctor Oz recommends doing a ramp a couple days leading up to your cleanse help ease the system.
The ramp up includes eliminating caffeine, sugar, red meat, dairy and processed foods from your diet and primarily eating fruit, vegetables and lean protein. You should also make sure to drink 16oz of hot water with lemon and ginger in the morning and 1 cup of hot herbal tea at night.
(I didn’t do the ramp up and was fine.)
What You Can Expect While on the Cleanse
The first day I felt great in the morning, but started to get a headache by mid afternoon. That evening, I felt a little light headed with a slight “out of body.” feeling. I had the sensation that I was standing outside of my body observing what was happening rather than being an active participant. Others have also described this feeling as having heightened senses and some report this being much more intense than I experienced.
Needless to say, I scarfed my one meal of veggies down the first evening. I made a broccoli slaw, onion, and edamame stir fry with sweet potato fries. Interestingly enough I found that my body craved the veggie stir fry more than the sweet potato fries, yet my fiancee craved the sweet potato fries more. I can only assume our bodies needed different nutrients.
The next 2 nights, I made the same meals rather than mixing it up because all 3 days our cravings stayed the same. I highly recommend going to the store to pick out your veggies early afternoon each day. When you cleanse your system, cravings become less and less about what tastes good and more about what your body actually needs. It’s crazy how in-tune your body can with it’s needs when you take care of it!
The next two days, I actually felt more energetic than normal, but I was ALWAYS ready for my one meal!
Words of Caution
- Juice cleanses are not low calorie. They may flush your system with a high concentration of vitamins and minerals, but those nutrients do have calories behind them. Each day on the cleanse, I consumed about 1,600-1,800 calories. This is the perfect amount of calories to sustain energy while on your cleanse, but I would caution people when it comes to juicing on a normal diet. Depending on what you juice, one recipe could contain 200-500 calories.
- Always keep the option to go off the cleanse open. It is normal to get headaches or feel nausea, your body is breaking up toxins and part of this process is having an elevated toxin level at first. If this becomes unbearable though don’t be stubborn, you can always try another shorter cleanse in a couple days.
Can I workout on the a Juice cleanse?
Yes you can workout while doing a juice cleanse! It is important, however, to add two extra drinks that are specially designed to fill pre- and post-workout needs.
For your pre-workout drink you want to use veggies that aid workouts. Examples are beets that increase oxygen uptake and celery that is rich in sodium to maintain your electrolyte balance.
Your post-workout drink should assist the body in recovery. Good ingredients include: Agave with natural glycogen restoring carbohydrates, almonds which contain muscle building proteins and fats, and cinnamon containing nature’s most powerful blood sugar stabilizer
Overall, I was actually pleasantly surprised. I loved the energy the juices gave me and would be willing to do it again! I don’t necessarily think you need to cleanse the full 3 days. A 3 day cleanse is a great way to restart the system, but I would recommend doing a 1 day cleanse once a week or every other week. Especially if you like to maintain your normal workout schedule, the body needs more protein than a juice cleanse provides.