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Friday, May 31, 2013

Juice Cleansing!

Summer is approaching and for many of us that means being more active, fresh produce, and bathing suit weather!

Doing a juice cleanse is a great way to gain more energy, start eating healthy and drop a few pounds. You may have seen the great film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” that features a man who used an extended juice cleanse to take himself from obese, ill and medicated to active, healthier, happier and younger looking. By doing a cleanse – even a short one, you can reset your system and develop positive habits for long term health success; making yourself a priority daily!

What is juicing? Squeezing, or shredding and spinning vegetables, fruits, herbs, or roots using a machine to separate the liquid from solids.

Benefits of juicing: enzymes, phytochemicals, vitamins, along with minerals can be trapped in the indigestible fiber and cannot be assimilated by the body. But once liberated from the cellulose in the pulp, nutrients can be taken into the cells of the body. This saves the energy required for digestion and allows the body to rest while detoxifying or cleansing, before or after physical activity or while recovering from an illness.

Juices you see in stores have a few flaws.
  • Usually contain added sugar and preservatives.
  • All juice “dies” (loses its nutrients) with in 15 minutes of being extracted; unless it is stored in an air tight glass container (it will last for up to 3 days).
  • Most companies don’t use fresh produce. More times than not they take the unsellable produce – damaged, moldy, old etc, and turn it into juice. Yuck.
  • They may not use a cold press, meaning the juicer heats up the product and kills your delicious vitamins and minerals.

Tips for cleansing:
  • Buy cold press juices or purchase a masticating juicer and make them at home.
  • Make juice daily instead of doing really large batches.
  • Glass bottle storage.
  • Get a variety of fruits and vegetables – think all the colors of the rainbow!
  • Use detoxifying plants: dandelion, lemon, burdock, cabbage, ginger, green apples etc.
  • Make sure to hydrate! Coconut water, cucumber, and filtered water are great ways to ensure you stay hydrated.
  • If you are planning to juice for an extended period of time consult a professional that is familiar with doing cleanses.
  • If you are purchasing a cleanse from a store or company – ask questions, find out when and where the juices are made.
  • If you have a pretty unhealthy diet, ease your body into it. A week or two before incorporate more juices, smoothies and raw food into your meals each day. Other wise you might have an uncomfortable experience.
  • No caffeine or alcohol! The point is to give your body, especially your gastrointestinal tract, a rest.
  • Be prepared to use the rest room. Since you’ll be taking in a lot of liquid a lot of liquid will be coming out! Also if you have some “build up” you might be – well let’s just say it – pooping a lot the first day. But you will feel so much better releasing the toxins, and clearing yourself out.
  • Start with a three day cleanse. The standard is 6 juices a day with a variety of colors and flavors.
  • Recruit a buddy to join you! It’s always nice to have a pal along for the ride. You can bounce ideas off each other, chat about your experiences and encourage each other.  

I tried to keep this short because there is so much information on juicing! Remember that you don't have to do a cleanse to benefit from all that juicing has to offer. Fit it in a few times a week or even daily if you can. Planning ahead really helps.  If you have specific questions feel free to leave a comment below, hit me up on twitter or Facebook!

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