I'm doing a juice cleanse this weekend (Friday-Sunday). I'm sure you've all heard of the many benefits of juicing: increases energy, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, improves digestion, helps control cravings for junk food, gives you clearer mental focus, overall sense of well-being, shiny hair, glowing skin, a higher pay, a hotter boyfriend and ultimate level of togetherness of shit. I have to admit though, I'm doing it for pretty vain reasons. I'm shooting a yoga video this coming Sunday and I just want to look my best on camera. I'm pretty fit but I'd like to avoid being asked if I'm planning a pregnancy yoga workshop (=no bloat allowed) and have absolutely dewy clear skin (so you guys really get motivated to eat like I do...muhahaha...just kidding, I'll give you the brand of foundation I use). Anyway, since it's not my first juice fast, I thought I'd disclose some of my best tips to do it right and make it a little easier.
Clean up your diet first. It's useless to do any kind of fast if you are high on junk food and sugar. Going from one extreme to the other will be too much of a shock for your body and is going to make it harder. So for a few days before (at least), avoid: alcohol, caffeine, fried food, sugar, meat and processed food in general. Increase: fesh vegetables & fruits, vegetarian proteins, healthy fats and water intake.
Plan it. Fill your fridge with the vegetables and fruits you want to use, have some juice recipes ready and lock up all kinds of cookies, chocolate & chips (give the key to someone who truely loves you and wants you to succeed).
Don't do it for longer than 3 days, maybe even start with 1 day if it's your first time (there is no point in doing any cleanse if you feel totally miserable and starved).
Choose organic whenever possible. If not, clean/scrub your fruits & vegs well in order to minimize pesticides.
Don't go overboard with fruits, go crazy with veggies. Fruits are high in sugar...and yes, it's natural sugar blablabla...still, juice doesn't contain fiber, which helps control that insulin peak/blood sugar levels. So if you don't want to be crashing after your first glass, stick to 1 apple/pear OR a slice of pineapple OR a few berries (low in sugar) and let the rest be vegetables (carrots & beetroots blended with greens should help).
Add a piece of ginger and lemon juice for better taste (and other amazing properties which I'm too lazy to list right now).
Add fresh curcuma to make any juice super anti-inflammatory and give your juicer (kitchen) a nice yellow stain.
Have a glass of unsweetened almond or cashew milk as a morning snack and in the evening before bed to avoid feeling too hungry and get a tiny bit of protein. Try to find an organic brand with no added gum or preservatives or even better, make it yourself (I don't because I have a life on top of being a health freak, but if you do: respect.)
Drink herbal infusions throughout the day to increase the detox process: mint, verbena, sage, nettle, liquorice, chamomile...just channel your inner grandma!
Add a tsp of flax seed, pumpkin or olive oil to your juice. It will help with the absorption of some nutrients (especially beta-carotene) and delay the hunger feeling.
Take it easy. Meaning, don't go for a run or to some sweaty cross fit studio. You shall move, of course, but swap intense workouts for slow yoga, an easy walk or a gentle swim, some streches, etc. you get the idea. You might also want to use this cleanse as an opportunity to spend some time alone, read, meditate, get a massage...take care of yourself!
That's it! I just want to finish by saying that you do not need to do this, I mean...the whole cleanse/fasting/juicing thing, really. The most important thing is to have a healthy and balanced diet first, because this will make the biggest difference in your well-being. But if you already are a health warrior and want to go on a juice journey, let me know how it goes and if you have any other extra tip to share!