To kick start my new healthy lifestyle, I did a 10-day juice cleanse. I somehow coaxed my dad into doing it with me, which actually really helped to stop me from giving up. Although there were frequent debates about which flavour juice to have – my dad didn’t quite get that you can only juice fruit and vegetables and kept sneakily trying to put chocolate buttons in the juicer.
We were sticking to this plan recommended by my guru ‘Joe‘.. check out the link for more information on juicing
It is fair to say that the first few days were a little challenging – I had to stop myself opening the fridge/cupboard and grabbing the first thing I saw about 10 times a day. But after a while your body gets used to it and, provided you drink enough juice, you really don’t feel that hungry.
As I previously stated, juicing seems to be a controversial matter; many have strong views on whether it is really has healthy, positive effects.
Having scoured the internet I have found evidence for many physical health benefits, such as;
- Eliminate toxins
- Rest and repair the intestines and stomach,
- Flush out the liver
- Increases intake of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients nutrients (which give digestive and anti-inflammatory enzymes).
- Rehydrates the body
- Weight loss
- Heals cells
There are also many psychological benefits of cleansing, which are often overlooked.
Eliminate toxic foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). This can reduce our dependence on these foods and help to find what foods may be cause our body problems when they are reintroduced.
Improve energy. After a few days adjustment period (mostly due to caffeine/sugar withdrawal symptoms), the concentrated beneficial energizing nutrients give most people much more energy and clarity.
Reduce appetite. Juicing stops the habit of overeating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to changing bad habits such as comfort eating or picking.
Starts a routine. Having a set juicing routine can break bad eating habits and put good habits in place for post-juice healthy eating.
Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours — and reduces the enslavement of thinking constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel full, but realize we are no longer slaves to our addictions with (often very harmful) foods.
Of course I can’t tell you the physical internal processes that occurred I can say that juicing felt both physically and psychologically beneficial to both me and my dad. We have tons of energy, our skin is glowing and our bodies feel like they have had a fresh new start.
My personal reasons for juicing were to break my dependence on unhealthy foods and replace bad eating habits with new, healthier ones. I think these 10 days have done both of those things! I really have no interesting in eating unhealthy foods, and haven’t craved caffeine or sugar since finishing. If anything, I am craving more juice and vegetables, as I know how much energy they can give me and how great they can make me feel.
On the habit side of things, I have stopped going to the fridge every 5 minutes to munch and my dad has kicked his chocolate button habit. He enjoyed juicing so much that he has bought his own juicer and is carrying on for an extra 10 days! This is a man who is notorious for his chocolate addiction and has an aversion to all things green … so if he can do, it anyone can!
I know juicing can seem quite extreme, but you don’t have to completely cut out foods to start juicing. People advice drinking juice on top of your normal meals as it provides so many nutrients. Since finishing juicing, my dad and I are continuing to drink juices every morning, purely because can feel the good they are for us!
For our favourite juice recipes, see previous posts or the drinks tab.