Are trendy juice cleanses just a fad?

I can’t believe January is already over – and you know what that means, the completion of the Vegan Experiment. While I don’t plan on sticking to a strictly vegan diet, I do plan on making some changes to my day-to-day eating habits. Check out my post [ coming soon ] for the full details.

Keeping with fad, clean eating movements, I wanted to see what all the hype was behind the juice cleanse trend. There are juice delivery services and juice bars popping up in every major city. Chances are if there isn’t one near you, you can still opt to grab a cold-pressed juice off the shelf in your local grocery store. However, most pressed juices found in grocery stores, like Suja, use HPP (or high-pressure pasteurization) that technically takes the “fresh” out of the juice (think less nutritional value). But, on the positive side, this technique has made juice more accessible. Win! There are several juice bars here in Baltimore including my favorite, Pure Raw Juice, but I decided to do some research and use my juicer to make my own.

Initially, I planned on completing a 3 day juice cleanse that would consist of 5 juices per day plus 1 mylk. After 2 days and 10 juices into the cleanse, I discovered a handful of new combinations that I absolutely loved, but also that I needed to stop. Yes – I didn’t complete my cleanse and I’m ultimately happy that I made the decision to do so..here’s why:

Juice is a great, highly concentrated way to get the vitamins, minerals and enzymes your body needs. Juice can also however, be packed with an insane amount of sugar from fruit. I thought that I would feel less inflamed and bloated, but in reality, I felt better during my vegan experiment simply cutting out dairy products, along with carbonated beverages and processed foods (as opposed to food all together).

I was forced to modify existing healthy habits to accommodate my juice cleanse, specifically morning workouts. For the most part I don’t drink coffee and a good morning sweat is enough to energize me throughout the whole day. Keep in mind I work in sales, so we’re talking long days here. But without food (aka fuel) workouts were out of the question. I feel like I release more toxins sweating my a** off in the sauna after a good treadmill workout with some strength conditioning, then I did drinking juice. To each their own.

I love juice, but restricting myself to just juice and trying to follow a schedule of drinking one every 2-2.5 hours made it more of a chore than something I could enjoy.

So here’s the deal – if you want to juice cleanse, do it. These are my opinions and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I’ve put together a Juice Guide below based on the research that I did to prepare for my cleanse.

Pre-cleanse : ease into your cleanse by starting to eliminate caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and animal products (dairy/eggs/meat) 1-2 days leading up to your cleanse. If you overly indulge in fast foods/sweets, you should allow your body a few extra days to reset. Animal products are more demanding on your digestive system than plant-based, so you should start to eliminate these foods pre-cleanse.

During the cleanse :

Hydrate! Dehyrdation is commonly mistaken for hunger. Start each day with a glass of warm water with lemon to kick off the cleansing process. Lemon packs powerful cleansing benefits – it stimulates digestion, increases circulation and promotes alkalinity.

Stay on track! Aim to drink a juice every 2-2.5 hours, finishing your last juice 2 hours before you fall asleep.

Don’t skip juices! Even if you’re not hungry, you will be later. This will also prevent your blood sugar levels from fluctuating as much.

The breakdown :

Greens : include 2 green juices in each day of your cleanse to guarantee you are getting all of the essential nutrients your body needs.

Citrus : include 1 citrus juice in each day of your cleanse to support your liver, flush excess fluids and improve alkalinity.

Blends : include 2 blended juices in each day of your cleanse

Nut Mylk : finish each day with a nut mylk (cashew or almond)

Day O N E !

Juice #1 – [ g r e e n s ]

  • cucumber
  • green apple
  • kale
  • celery
  • lemon
  • ginger

Juice #2 – [ g r e e n s ]

  • coconut water
  • cucumber
  • pineapple
  • kale

Juice #3 – [ c i t r u s ]

  • lemon
  • ginger
  • grapefruit
  • orange

Juice #4 – [ b l e n d ]

  • carrot
  • orange
  • green apple
  • lemon
  • ginger

Juice #5 – [ b l e n d ]

  • apple
  • beet
  • carrot
  • celery
  • lemon
  • ginger

Almond Mylk

Day T W O !

Juice #1 – [ g r e e n s ]

  • celery
  • cucumber
  • green apple
  • lemon
  • ginger

Juice #2 – [ g r e e n s ]

  • cucumber
  • celery
  • lime
  • pineapple

Juice #3 – [ c i t r u s ]

  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • pomegranate

Juice #4 – [ b l e n d ]

  • orange
  • strawberry
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • ginger

Juice #5 – [ b l e n d ]

  • orange
  • carrot
  • pineapple

Almond Mylk

The benefits : fresh pressed juice is loaded with health benefits. It’s basically a highly concentrated source of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that our bodies crave. 95% of vitamins and enzymes that our bodies need can actually be found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables.

As soon as juice meets the air it begins to oxidize (losing nutritional value), so it’s recommended to drink within 24 hours of juicing. Storing in the refrigerator in tightly sealed glass jars will slow this process.

Below are some of the added health benefits of the various fruits/vegetables that I used in my juices :

kale – increases energy, detoxifies the liver, stabilizes blood sugar

celery – natural diuretic that pushes out toxins while balancing electrolytes

cucumber – flushes excess water from cells while hydrating your skin

green apple – packs minerals and antioxidants

lemon – stimulates digestion

ginger – anti-inflammatory, supports digestion and boosts immune system

orange – good source of vitamin A and beta-carotene

pineapple – fights inflammation and aids in digestion

beets – aids in clearer skin and digestion, boosts energy, and packs antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties

My take away here is that I prefer to incorporate juice into my day-to-day, rather than consuming only juice. For example, drinking a green juice for breakfast or a citrus juice post-workout. And when I want to detox, I prefer whole-food cleanses like a month long vegan diet or cutting out processed foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, etc.

Have you tried a juice cleanse? What were your thoughts – I’m curious to get multiple opinions here!

Leave a Reply