Spring tends to bring the urge to turn our whole house upside down, get rid of what’s no longer needed, and deep clean everything (even that last dark corner that is usually neglected in the kitchen counter). It’s useful to know that this sudden desire to clean the house is really an outward expression of our body’s urge to cleanse inside, in preparation for the rest of the year. During spring, our detoxifying organs are more active, and they are eager to get rid of everything that doesn’t serve us anymore. They are already doing this naturally, but why not make the process smoother and more effective? This is where juice cleansing comes in handy.
I am a firm believer in juice cleanses (probably obvious from the fact that I’ve written a Detox Juicing book!), and no matter what juice haters say (that it’s just a fad, that the body doesn’t need any help detoxifying itself), the more I read on this topic, and the more I experience the health benefits of juicing in my own body and in those around me, the more convinced I become of the power of this practice.
Saying that juicing is a fad may be correct in the sense that everyone is doing it these days, and some who jump on board probably don’t fully understand what they are benefiting from. But many people who juice regularly are also improving their eating habits and lifestyle together with their juice consumption and sporadic cleanses. In fact, a common side effect of juicing is that it naturally helps you control your unhealthy food cravings and enjoy healthy foods more, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Fasting is what virtually every animal does in the wild when it wants to heal. Just take a look at your pets when they are sick and you will get a glimpse of how the body works. Even our cavewomen ancestors went through periods of eating, and then periods of fasting, because food wasn’t readily available at all times in the early stages of humanity. It was during these periods of fasting that the cells replenished and healed the body, making it stronger and healthier.
Juice cleanses are a milder form of fasting, as we don’t go for whole days without any nutrient or calorie intake. It’s easier, and totally doable. Want to try?
One Day Spring Cleanse
- Avoid: Everything that is not on the list below, including cigarettes, alcohol, sugary drinks, recreational drugs, medications that are not prescribed and absolutely needed on a regular basis.
- Drink a large glass of warm water with the juice of 1 lemon when you wake up.
- Replace your three meals of the day (and up to two snacks) with a glass of juice.
- For the juice, use ½ cucumber (peeled if it’s not organic), ½ lettuce head, 2-4 handfuls of dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, chard), juice of ½ lemon or lime, 2 celery sticks, ½-1 green apple or ripe pear, or 1/4 grapefruit (peeled).
- Drink the juice immediately after making it, or keep refrigerated in mason jars filled to the top and with the lid on, if you want to make them all at once.
- Drink water or herbal teas without caffeine throughout the day.
- Go to bed early to avoid nighttime cravings.
- Things you can do to make your cleanse even more powerful:
- Dry scrub your skin when you wake up, starting by your feet and working your way up your body, in upward motions.
- Get a tongue cleanser and cleanse your tongue when you wake up. (Both this and the dry brushing are great habits that you can use on a daily basis to improve your overall health).
- Don’t party hard or eat excess junk food for a few days before and after the cleanse.
Morena Escardo, Health and Wellness Contributor