To Juice or Not to Juice

The term “juicing” is often associated with fasting. Indeed, juice fasts have become synonymous with cleansing and detoxification, thanks in large part to television infomercials and medical programs.  This article is meant to be information based, as I continually have people asking me if they should start a juice fast and if it is a safe idea for them.

A juice fast is a commitment for a certain length of time to only consume raw vegetable or fruit juice, water, and herbal non-caffeinated teas. A popular reason to begin a juice fast, or “cleanse,” is to shed excess weight or to get a running start on a weight-loss program. An often-surprising consequence of a successful cleanse is an improvement in mental clarity, energy levels, skin tone, and sleep quality. Many people report that hey simply feel “lighter” after a juice fast.

The simple explanation of a juice fast resulting in detoxification is this: a body receives all of its nourishment from freshly juiced organic vegetables only.  Because the digestive system is barely involved in the processing of the juices, it is allowed to rest. When the digestive system is not defending itself against new toxins, it is able to release stored toxins which are surrounded by fat.  As toxin-containing fat cells are released, the body becomes lighter and more energetic.

There are many kinds of targeted cleanses, such as intestinal cleanses, gall bladder/liver flushes, spleen and blood cleanses, and the list goes on. Modern life with air and water pollution, sedentary lifestyles, and poor, fried-food and sugar-laden diets has created such an imbalance for our body systems that help, in the form of some type of cleansing is completely necessary. Some people also opt to prepare for a juicing DAY a few days each month.  This may be a safer option for most people. Try this one (one of my favorite standby’s and designed to convert skeptics):

* 1 cucumber

*1/2 bunch of cilantro

* 2 celery stalks

* 2 pears

* 1/3 cantaloupe or 1/2 granny smith apple

* 6-8 kale leaves

* 1/2 lemon

* 1 inch of ginger

If a juice fast is your choice for a cleanse, whether for weight loss or just general good health, it is imperative that you enter into it with serious thought, commitment, planning, and professional help. I must say that the information age has done us a disservice in some ways, regarding the fact that many people embark on a juice fast or another chosen cleanse (based on an internet blog) without appropriate consult with their doctor or health care practitioner.  This can actually be a dangerous situation for your body.  My recommendation?  Do your due diligence regarding the juice fast that is right for your body, and then GO FOR IT!

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