Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Juice Cleansing: The Pre-Cleanse

Just joining the conversation? Read part 1 of the #juicecleanse series, here.

It's no secret that juice cleanses are a hot topic lately, with new juice bars opening up seemingly every day, on every corner, it's not hard to find your daily dose of green. But is a juice cleanse right for you? I asked Nutritionista Jess of Urban Alchemy whether juice cleanses are suitable for anyone and everyone, and she was quick to express the sentiment that the intention for juice cleansing is just as important as the cleansing process, itself.

"While cold-pressed juice is extremely healthy—juice is essentially an instant infusion of energy, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients delivered straight to your bloodstream, minimal digestion required—a juice cleanse is not for everyone," explains Jess, who feels that juice cleanses are so often seen as a quick fix for weight loss. "Weight loss should never be the sole focus of any short-term dietary regime."

But, when done for the right reasons, and with the right intentions (for health and wellness) a juice cleanse is an incredibly powerful and magical tool. 

Some of the benefits I've personally experienced, include:

No More Tough Decisions — The biggest pain point in my boyfriend and I's relationship is the dreaded question of, "what do you want to eat." Maybe it's just because I'm a girl, and there's something in our DNA that makes us unable to decide what we feel like eating, or maybe I'm just naturally indecisive. Either way, having all my meals (in the form of juice) pre-planned, scheduled and waiting in the fridge, completely frees me of the usual constant dialogue in my head that is always planning and debating and considering my next meal. 

Kick-Start New Healthy Habits — One of the greatest benefits I've found from juice cleansing is that by the end of the 3-day cleanse, my body feels fantastic. My skin is glowing, my eyes are bright, my hair has grown 4 inches (okay, I'm exaggerating) and I am in no rush to reverse any of the progress I've just made in owning my health. Suddenly, almost magically, it feels easier to say NO to junk foods, and YES to the gym. 

System Reset — Whenever I am on a juice cleanse, I feel like I'm very in-tune with my body. I'm listening when it tells me to slow down, or drink up (H2O, folks!), and I'm reminded of what hunger feels like and how easily it can be satiated with proper nutrients. So often, I feed my body out of boredom when I'm not even hungry, or I over-feed it with second helpings just because the food is there. Cleansing is a good way to give your body a system reset, and learn to listen to what it needs (not what it wants....mmmm doughnuts!) after the cleanse ends. 

So now that you are well versed in the myriad benefits of juice cleansing, you are ready to press the reset button on your body, get a kickstart on new healthy habits, and jump on the juice cleanse train, there are certain steps you can take to max out your juice cleanse potential, and make it easy and (almost) enjoyable!

Image Source:  We Heart It

Image Source: We Heart It

The Pre-Cleanse

Lots of juice companies recommend easing into your juice cleanse with a 3-day buffer period where you eat a mostly vegan diet.

(I say mostly because my dietary preference adopts a label most commonly used to describe animals and ferocious beasts: carnivore, and it is hard for me trade in my T-bone for some Kale.)

“In the days leading up to your cleanse, take the time to do some detox prep,” instructs Jess. “Begin to wean yourself off coffee at least 3 days prior to the start of your cleanse to avoid those caffeine withdrawal headaches and begin to crowd-out unhealthy options by adding in tons of raw or lightly steamed veggies and fruits.”

Ultimately, Jess suggests eliminating dairy, meat, fish, processed foods and refined sugars and starches altogether. Implementing these changes will help kick-start your body’s detoxification process.

“Also, arrange a supportive environment for your cleanse—this is HUGE!” says Jess. “Surround yourself with love and good vibes. Cleanse with friends, family, your girl gang, whoever! Cleansing with a group helps keep you excited and inspired.”

So go forth, cleansers! Assemble your girl gang, start your pre-cleanse process and stay tuned: Coming up next...(tomorrow!), Jess and I spill our pro-tips on how to survive your juice cleanse!

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