The Juice Cleanse

Before you begin, it’s helpful to identify an intention for wanting to start a juice cleanse. Your goal may be to begin a healthier long-term lifestyle and diet, to shed excess weight, to stop overeating, to break food addictions to caffeine or sugar or for spiritual or religious reasons.

Juice cleansing is a practice of abstaining from solid foods and consuming only purified water and fresh juice from fruits and vegetables for a set period of time. A juice cleanse may last as little as one day or up to a few weeks. We recommend a 3-7 day cleanse for beginners.

Why do a Juice Cleanse?

Most diets contain artificial colors, chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, insecticides and rancid oils. This puts an overload on our kidneys, bowels, skin, lungs, liver, skin and hair.

As these toxins continue to build in the body from years of environmental exposure and bad diet, studies have shown these toxins start to interfere with the functioning of our bodies. Juice cleansing is a matter of internal house cleaning. Studies have shown that juice cleansing can increase energy and extend life by releasing toxins and breaking out of food addiction and other bad habits.

After the elimination of harmful waste and toxins, you may experience a boost in the immune system and energy levels, clearer skin, increased metabolism and improved organ functioning and digestive health.

Why Cold Pressed Juice?

The juice consumed during the Luna’s Juice Cleanse is not the pasteurized type bought in grocery stores that is often from concentrate and packed with preservatives, but rather the raw, organic, cold-pressed juice from fresh fruits and vegetables.

The difference is important. Juices made with a cold press juicer are juiced slowly through pressure instead of being chopped and heated as they are with an at-home centrifugal juicer or in a factory for store bought juice. The chopping and heating process burns off nutrients and denatures enzymes, which are the molecules responsible for all of the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Cold pressed juice retains the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes natural in whole fruits and vegetables and extracts the juice. The result is all of the living potential of a plant minus the fiber. The gastrointestinal system doesn’t have to work to break down fiber and instead the nutrients are absorbed within minutes into the body as energy and nourishment.

Before you begin

During the cleanse, it is optimal to maintain intake of vitamins and, if on prescriptions drugs, to keep taking them unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Any medical conditions such as diabetes may be aggravated by excessive intake of certain juices. Juice mixes containing grapefruit juice may also adversely interact with certain prescription drugs.

Timing is Key

A quiet weekend or a relatively stress and appointment-free week is a particularly good time to start. The first day or two of a cleanse is typically when side effects such as hunger or headaches can occur, so it’s best if you take the time to relax and be aware of your body. Listen to your body. If you feel sick, rest or take naps.If you feel strong, you may exercise or do yoga.

Pre-Cleanse

The pre-cleanse is designed to prepare the body and mind for a successful juice cleanse. At least 1-3 days before starting juice cleanse, it is best to exclude any meat/fish, eggs, grains, breads, nuts, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. Begin to eat more and more fresh fruits and vegetables and raw or sautéed salads dressed with olive oil and vinegar. This will ease your body into the transition of the juice cleanse and ensure a more rewarding experience

Length of Cleanse

It depends on your health, physical strength, previous diets, level of toxicity, weather, mental attitude and schedule. How much time can you set aside for a relatively stable, stress-free cleanse period? We recommend a minimum of 3 days, but 5-7 days is ideal for fully eliminating toxins from the body. A longer period ensures the likelihood of breaking bad eating habits and addictions.

What to Expect During a Juice Cleanse

Juicing is a way to give the body a chance to cleanse and heal. The body not only heals itself, but also improves itself at an astounding rate when it is given all of the nutrients it needs without the setbacks of everyday toxins.

The body will likely capitalize on this nutrient-rich vacation from hard-to-digest, processed foods and begin to heal and detoxify at a rapid rate. If you experience feeling tired, anxious, or even sick, this is part of the detoxifying process. This is a way the body is metabolizing poisons! Some symptoms are the evidence that your body is not only purifying, but also getter stronger, so stay committed!

During the Cleanse, you may experience headaches, light hunger, body odor, coated tongue, or even flu-like symptoms such as sweating or cold chills. You will likely urinate a lot and may have bowel movements or none at all. The body eliminates and discharges toxins however it can. These symptoms are common ways for your body to create a relief valve to relieve the lungs, blood, liver and lymphatic system. If you experience more extreme symptoms, contact a doctor.

Tips for Success

  • Drink plenty of purified water between juices. This is very important! Drink at least half your body weight(in ounces) in purified water a day. (If your weight is 120 lbs, drink 60 oz of purified water or more daily.) You may not feel thirsty, but this step is crucial in flushing toxins and preventing headaches.
  • If you have trouble with bowel movements, you can steep and drink Organic Senna Stimulant laxative Tea before bedtime. Smooth Move Tea (Traditional Medicinals) contains Senna and can usually be found at health food stores and Harris Teeter.
  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can sometimes make the body and mind agitated and adds stress. It may be soothing to drink caffeine-free teas (mint, peppermint, chamomile, darjeeling, ginseng, echinacea etc…)
  • Remove tempting food from your home and try to excuse yourself from meal times, dinner parties or being around food. This will reduce temptation and help you stay calm and dedicated.
  • Keep your mind calm with activities like meditation, journaling, walks or yoga. These activities can help you to focus on your intention for the cleanse and to reconnect with your body or nature. Cleaning out clutter in your home can be a good metaphor for releasing things being held onto internally.
  • Sunshine builds serotonin levels in our bodies and can be helpful in calming the mind.
  • Rest when your body needs it! This may involve naps, taking warm baths or going to bed earlier than usual. As your body heals, it needs extra rest.

Recommended books

Juice Fasting & Detoxification – Steve Meyerowitz
The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health – Cherie Calbom, M.S.
Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices – Dr. Norman Walker

Recommended Documentaries (available on Netflix):

Hungry for Change
Vegucated
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Food Matters

Coming Off the Cleanse

Coming off a cleanse is very important. Your internal environment is new and delicate, and can be shocked or even damaged by heavy or processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine or alcohol.

When coming off the Cleanse, it is best to eat lightly for the next 3 days. Your body is in great shape and deserves the best treatment.

Popular foods are orange and grapefruit juice and soft fruits. Slowly introduce pureed soups, but avoid dairy, which can upset the stomach. Nut milks (Almond, Coconut, Hemp), steamed or cooked vegetables and salads are good choices.

Be careful not to overeat. A good rule of thumb is to eat only half as much as you want at one sitting and chew your food well.