At the beginning of the year, the air is filled with fresh starts, new ideas, and clean slates. Engulfed in the fitness and health world, I kept hearing and seeing people talk about going on a juice cleanse. With spring approaching, it’s another time to think about starting fresh. Personally struggling with digestive issues, I thought doing a three day juice cleanse sounded like a great way for my guts to heel from my holiday indulgences and winter eating. Another lemon bar? Yes please. The scones just looked too good and who can say no to chocolate chip banana pancakes with whip cream and real Michigan maple syrup?
So I last month, I decided to give a juice cleanse a try. Plus, I didn’t mind having another excuse to play with my new Juicer I got for Christmas! Here are five things I learned from my juice cleanse. Maybe it will help you decided if doing a juice cleanse is right for you…
1. Don’t go on a juice cleanse in the winter months.
I live in Chicago, IL where we look at the “feels like” degrees and not the actual high. In the cold weather, consuming fats, protein, and root vegetables help you stay warm. This is the opposite of what you find in fresh juice. When I did my juice cleanse I was perpetually cold. Now that I am eating meat and healthy fats, I’m not cold all the time, yet the temperature outside is about the same. Not to mention, most fruits and vegetables used for juicing are not in season. I will not attempt another juice cleanse in the winter.
2. My body does better on rice milk than almond milk.
One of the “juices” on many cleanses contain either almond or cashew milk. Having a nut milk as a part of your cleanse helps give you just a little bit of fat and protein. Normally my body is pretty sensitive to things, but while on the juice cleanse, its sensitivity went into over drive. I’ve always been lactose intolerant and am also sensitive to soy. Thus, I’ve mainly used almond milk as my “milk” substitute. However, when my suspicion of having a small issue with almond milk was confirmed, I tried rice milk. I had a much better evening without all the gas and bloating.
3. Juices are great “snacks.”
Try drinking a freshly squeezed juice next time you’re hungry and need a snack. Many times when you feel like you want to eat something, it’s your body actually needing to stay hydrated. When you put produce through a blender, it extracts all of the water and vitamins leaving behind the fiber. Thus this snack would be very light, hydrating, and nutritious, perfect in the middle of your active day (even in the winter).
4. Always savor every bite or gulp.
The idea of having a juice for a meal didn’t sound very filling at first and I knew I could gulp it down in no time. Thus, I chose to be very conscious when I drank. I swished the liquid around in my mouth before swallowing and enjoyed the taste of each uniquely blended juice. Being fully present when eating/ drinking helps aid in your digestion, and reduces your want for more because you took more time to enjoy it the first time around.
5. My body is smart, learn to listen closely.
By the end of the third day on my Juice Cleanse, I had a headache, my nails were breaking, I couldn’t get warm, and my hands were starting to shake. I hadn’t had any protein for five days and my body needed some healthy fats. I listened to my body and after eating warm soup with hearty root vegetables, I felt much better. Your body is very smart and for the most part knows what it needs; the problem is our head gets in the way. Your body has a story to tell, are you listening?