I did a 30 day juice cleanse right out of college. I did it for several reasons, but I was amazed by the energy and health I found through doing that cleanse! I felt INCREDIBLE at the end of that month. As I’ve learned more about detox over the last 10 years, I am aware of the importance of supporting our detox pathways as we are exposed to massive amounts of toxins from every arena in life these days. The numbers of autoimmune disease, obesity, learning disorders, cancer, and many other conditions are rising at staggering rates. I’m not interested in my family being part of those statistics! I’m excited to share with you one of the ways that we’ve found to be very effective in our home at supporting our health and encouraging detox. When we’re done with our cleanse, I’m going to post the recipes that we used and report how everything went! I know that the first couple of days (or more depending on your toxic load) can be a very intense time. Fatigue, headaches, and nausea are a few of the symptoms one may experience as your body gets rid of built up toxins. It’s good to know going in that you’ll need some extra time for rest, you may want to schedule some help with your children, or even take a day or two off of work. And of course, you’ll want to chat with your doctor about if there is any reason why this wouldn’t be a good method of cleansing for you.
So WHY in the world do we do this? Let’s talk about that!
1. Provides an active route for detoxification of chemicals, pesticides, and free radicals.
I pretty much sound like a broken record when it comes to toxins in our world. There are just so, so many. Our food, water, dishes, clothes, furniture, air, and even the lawn at the park are toxic. Does that mean we should be afraid to go outside or live a normal life? No way! But it does mean that we need to be very proactive about helping our bodies detox on a regular basis. We do Lemon Vitality Essential Oil in our water each morning, take a antioxidant drink called Ningxia Red daily, take epsom salt baths a couple of times a week, and use food based supplements rich in antioxidants to help our bodies detox gently throughout each day. But I also believe that larger and more proactive detox efforts are important. That is why we do juice fasting or even a regular fast every so often as adults in our home.
2. Gives your digestive tract a break from breaking down food.
Our bodies are constantly in a “fed” state and often times an overfed state. Our body is always using energy to digest and breakdown food. When your body gets a break from focusing all its attention on digestion, then it allows its energy to be working on repairing oxidative damage, repairing on the cellular level, and encourages the body to recycle damaged proteins. One study showed that people who fasted one day a week have up to a 40% less chance of cardiovascular complications.
3. It’s a reminder to make good choices for food.
This is purely an emotional one for my husband and I. We are often busy and trying to make life move forward with ourselves and our three munchkins. More processed food gets thrown in there at times, and we need to be reminded to make good food choices for our family. We feel better, our kids’ attitudes improve, our immunity is improved, and we are reminded of the importance of making good food choices for our family. As parents, we are responsible for teaching our kids how to be healthy, and they are always watching. If they are going to mirror our food choices, then we better do a good job!
4. Helps reduce inflammation.
Multiple studies conducted in Scandinavia in the 1990s proved irrefutably that juice cleanses followed by a vegan diet could powerfully reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is your body’s response to the many environmental toxins we absorb through the air we breathe, food we eat, water we drink and products we use. Each time I’ve done a fast, I’ve loved how my joints have felt less sore and how “unbloated” I feel. It’s amazing how much discomfort we live with daily that we don’t even know is there!
5. Resets the taste buds to appreciate REAL food!
You’ll be amazed at how great an avocado with a tad bit of sea salt or a poached egg tastes after a few days of juice fasting. Our taste buds are in a constant state of being deceived by artificial flavors, processed food, and sweetened foods. Why in the WORLD do my frozen strawberries need sugar in them? Like seriously. We were made to be wowed by the sweetness of a good strawberry, the tang of a good pickle, or even the little sweet and crunchy that comes from a good cucumber. I can always tell with my kids when we’ve swayed into too much processed or sweetened food, because their veggies start getting pushed aside. When that happens, we clean up the diet and make sure to help those taste buds appreciate REAL food! We’ve never done a juice cleanse with our kids, but they do love helping us juice, and we try to get a few cups of fresh veggie juice in them each week if at all possible. You’ll no longer be craving sugary salad dressings or that late afternoon treat if you can reset those taste buds. Because let’s be honest, sugar is addictive and it takes some real intention to get away from it!
**As a side note, I have never done a full juice cleanse while pregnant or nursing. I have included chicken broth and lean protein and have not limited myself with calories, as I know the importance of protein and calories for my body to continue to produce breastmilk.
Have you ever done a juice fast? Share your experience with us!