trees are finally beginning to bud and if you squint hard enough while looking at the grass, you might even begin to see green. Yes, warmer days are on their way.
Does it feel like your body is waking up at all? Do you feel the need to be outside or get moving in some way? Are you feeling sluggish from months and months of less movement, less greens and fresh food and less time in the sun? These are all things that we feel when we need to shake things up and renew ourselves. Last month I focused on ways to wake up your body and detox with eating nutrient dense, antioxidant rich foods. This time around I'm looking at juice cleanses. I've been asked quite a few questions on the subject recently so I thought I'd share the info and the love.
First of all: What is juicing and how is it different to blending or making smoothies?
Juicing is simply what you do when you extract the juice from a fruit or vegetable. It is different to a smoothie because the juice does not contain the fibre and pulp like a smoothie does. When preparing a juice the produce has to go through a juicer which will separate the juice from the pulp whereas a blender would blend the whole fruit leaving a thick, smooth drink including the pulp and fibre. Either are great ways to get extra fruit and veg into your diet.
What is a juice cleanse?
It's taking a few days to drink juice and smoothies and not eat anything. Horrific as it sounds to some, it's a great way to detoxify your body and give your digestive system a break. That extra energy your body would normally use on breaking down food can go towards healing and flushing the toxins out. I've done a one day cleanse before, using smoothies mainly because I get grumpy when hungry but it really does help your body out. Call it a vacation for your digestive system. I've seeing people do 1 days cleanses, 3 or 5 days cleanses are popular and I've also seen people do weeks at a time!
What are the benefits of juicing or doing a juice cleanse?
- Quite frankly, there is no better way to drink your vitamins. Call it liquid fuel. Quite often with one litre of juice you can get most of if not all of the requirements of your 5 a day depending on what fruits and veggies you juice.
- Energy. Because you're drinking some of the best parts of fruits and vegetables, it's super energizing.
- Detoxing. As mentioned, when using produce that's high in antioxidants it naturally helps you to rid your body of toxins.
Things to watch out for
- If juicing to detox, drink lots of water along with your juices. Yes the juice will help to rid your body of the toxins but the water will flush those toxins out of your body. This is something important to remember.
- Going organic. It's also important to know that juicing your fruit and veg is turning the produce into a concentrated form. If you are juicing something that has been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals you will also be concentrating that too. Granted soaking and vigorously washing everything before you juice definitely helps as does using produce with thicker skins (eg pineapple, grapefruit, mangoes etc), but it is wise to just go organic.
If your body is used to full meals throughout the day, chances are you will be hungry at some point. A good way to combat this is to drink smoothies since it also works as meal replacement and since it is blended it is far easier on your digestive system than food.
Time and money. Juicing for yourself is time consuming, washing and prepping all that fruit and veg takes time and buying juice cleanses can work out to be expensive too, however either way you do it, the results will make it worth it.
So what happens? (Advantages)
- People often find that they've lost a few pounds (usually happens with 3 or more days of cleansing).
- Feeling lighter in your tummy is an awesome feeling and regularly happens during and after a cleanse. Your digestive system has a change to catch up with itself which makes you feel lighter and usually look a little more toned/ slimmed down too.
- Juicing absolutely adds more nutrients into your diet. Making a point to include foods which will flush you of toxins and doing a juice cleanse will magnify that. Make sure to drink your water!
- More often than not, people finish a cleanse being more in tune with their bodies, having a deeper sense of how food can effect them, they have more of a connection to their bodies and what happens with the food they eat. Most of the time we eat and forget about it but everything we eat has a profound effect on the inside.
Basically, it's like this. You know how you feel when you've had a few days off from the hustle and bustle of your regular life to recuperate and restore? Well this is exactly that for your insides.
As a fan of juicing for a couple of years now I have yet to commit to more than a day of a juice cleanse. Next week I will be embarking on my first ever 3 day juice cleanse! Watch, or even join me on this journey! There will be recipes, videos, photos and blogs about the whole experience!
However you choose to bring in the spring, be kind to your body and remember that loving your insides radiates love from the inside out!
Sending love and light to you all!