The holidays have come and gone (just like all the desserts we’ve made), and it’s time to start fresh for 2016. I’ve read countless times that a juice cleanse is the best way to get a jumpstart on a healthier lifestyle with a rebooted mind and body. With seemingly endless benefits such as:
• Increased energy
• Improved mental clarity
• Reduced bloating
• Boosted immune system
• Heightened senses
• Rejuvenated skin
• Normalized digestion
• Reduced inflammation and swelling
• Improved overall health
However, detoxing and cleansing through a juice cleanse sounded like a challenge to me. I have tried and failed previous extreme juice cleanses (I just couldn’t live on lemon juice and cayenne pepper). But after hearing some testimonials about the o2living juice cleanse, I realized it was something I could accomplish. This time I decided I was going to cleanse the right way, so in the past week I have spent time prepping for my juice cleanse and want to share some pointers and things I’ve noticed.
In the past, I’ve dabbled with different diets or “healthy eating styles,” labeling myself everything from vegetarian to vegan to pescatarian. All of these diets were in an attempt to find out what made my body the happiest and gave me the most energy. It turns out that, for me, when I am not consuming any meat or dairy product I have the most energy. This isn’t true for everyone, but because of this I decided that two months out from my cleanse I would stop eating meat. This decision allowed my body rest from digesting meat and forced me to eat more fruits and vegetables. All helping begin the cleansing process.
One week prior to starting my cleanse I decided to eliminate all animal products, dairy, and eggs. I also tried to eliminate flour, sugar and other high-processed foods, but this isn’t always the easiest with a busy lifestyle and leftovers from the holidays. Eliminating or even reducing foods that are challenging for the body to process allows your body to start detoxing and self-healing before you really get into the cleanse. Digestion and stomach aches were less frequent in the week leading up to the cleanse, and I was reminded how some foods really are harsh on the body. Luckily, o2living’s vegan recipes (found here) made this week easy and fun – with some really tasty vegan meals!
About 4 days out from the start of my cleanse, I stopped drinking coffee and all caffeine. As we all know, caffeine is a drug. This particular drugis detoxified in the body by the liver, just as all other drugs and chemicals are. In order to experience a full body cleanse, liver and all, I cut out caffeine and coffee. Yes, I did have a bad headache my first day without coffee, but it went away. That headache also made me realize that I am addicted to caffeine and should probably cut back, so why not do it now.
Alcohol, like caffeine, is a drug. I wanted to eliminate alcohol from my diet to fully allow my liver to cleanse. Also like caffeine, alcohol is acidic. Throughout a cleanse, you want to reduce the acidity in the body and move towards an alkaline state. Why exactly? Acid in the body can cause inflammation and can be damaging to bones. In a cleanse, we want to return to a neutral pH in the body which for most of us means reducing the acidity. Eliminating alcohol is a great way to do this. Also, the thought of starting a 5-day juice cleanse hungover and dehydrated was not appealing to me.
My favorite part of the week leading up to my cleanse was resting! I knew that for the next 5 days my caloric intake would be lower than usual (not to mention I may be mentally exhausted from not chewing) and rested accordingly. At the end of the week, I feel prepared to detox and am ready for the influx of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes!
Are you ready to start cleansing? Cleanse with me! And check back next week to see how the cleanse goes!