Y’all know I get TONS of questions on a daily basis about juicing and juice fasting! Here are some of the top questions and answers in one place.
What are some of the results I can expect from a cleanse?
Some of the typical results from a juice fast can include:
- Releasing excess weight
- Looking younger
- Increased energy
- Skin becoming radiantly healthy
- Illnesses lessening or healing completely
- Improved sleep
- Eyes brighten
- Scar tissue rejuvenates
- Old waste is released
- Whole body is detoxed at a deep level as the cells dump out the toxic carbonic acid that has built up from years of less-than-optimal living.
- Dependencies to substances (alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, junk food, etc.) are released
- Deeper clarity of thought
- Improved memory and concentration; an overall sense of “mind-fog” clearing
- An overall sense of feeling lighter, stronger and happier
Please note that actual results do vary. Make sure to keep track of your progress and results as you fast!
What else can I drink while juicing?
- Water: I’ll say it again… WATER! Water, water, water…and did I mention water? Pure water is an important carrier – it helps to move toxins out of the body and should be a daily part of your routine. At first it may feel like you’re drinking so much juice that you don’t know how to fit water into the day too, but be sure to do it anyway–it will really help to cleanse and hydrate your whole body. (And trust me…your body will adapt to all the liquid.)
- Wheatgrass: Did you know that drinking two ounces of wheatgrass is equivalent to eating FOUR POUNDS of leafy green veggies? Yowza! Talk about a power-packed shot! This intensely healing green juice can be a great source of vitamins, nutrients and chlorophyll on a cleanse.
- Coconut Water: Drink it as it is, combine with fresh green juice or stir in green powders for a quick, on-the-go juice alternative!
- Herbal Teas: Who said hot liquid on a fast was a bad thing? There are masses of herbal teas that you may find beneficial or enjoyable during a juice fast. Some suggestions include chamomile (calming), dandelion (diuretic/liver support), peppermint (ease digestion), senna or cascara sagrada (laxative), cinnamon (blood balancer, spicy) or ginseng (raise metabolism). You may want to avoid any stimulating green, white or black teas while cleansing.
- Kombucha: If you are used to drinking carbonated sodas and find yourself missing the bubbles during a juice fast, grab a bottle of kombucha! This fermented (cold) tea is RAW, ladies and gents, and is often paired with fruits and spices to make a yummy, bubbly drink that serves as a nice treat during a cleanse.
Can I drink those bottled juices from the grocery store?
Pasteurized bottled juices (such as Naked, Odwalla, Bolthouse Farms, etc.) may be good in a pinch, but I do not recommend using them for a long term cleanse. They may have additives (and definitely have extra sugar), and the objective of your cleanse is to rid your body of such things, right? Instead of store-bought juice, I’d recommend carrying a little green powder with you and tossing it in some bottled coconut water. If you find yourself out and about without juice, find the cleanest, freshest alternative possible.
Can I make my juices ahead of time? How long do pre-made juices last?
Yes, you can pre-make your juices! Folks often worry about the nutrient value being completely depleted if you don’t drink them right away; however, it may not be convenient for you to make fresh juice all the time. Does that mean you should go without? No way! The nutrient value MAY be less than oh-so-fresh juice, but it won’t go bad! Juice stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours if sealed in an air-tight container (such as a mason jar or canteen). When frozen, juices can stay fresh for up to 10 days.
What other supplements can I add to my juice for extra nutrients?
Here are some suggested supplements that you can add during your cleanse (NOTE: the following list is totally optional. Nothing wrong with just rockin’ straight juice!)
- Hemp Oil: slightly nutty in flavor, mild, fresh and PACKED with nutrients. Hemp oil contains a huge amount of Vitamin E and THE most essential fatty acids (EFAs) of any nut or seed oil. Feel free to add 1 tablespoon to a juice.
- Flax Oil: the richest source known of Omega 3 essential fatty acid. Can be used during a cleanse by adding a tablespoon to a juice, though hemp oil is preferable, as it has a more balanced ratio of Omega-3s to 6s.
- Coconut Oil: raw, untreated virgin coconut oil can also be used while juice fasting, either by eating it straight out the jar or using it for oil pulling. Try to take a tablespoon every few days or so, not more. Besides tasting delicious, coconut oil is an amazing antiviral/antibacterial substance.
- MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane): a sulphur compound that occurs naturally in every cell of our bodies and is necessary to produce collagen/connective tissue. MSM gives flexibility, tone and strength to the skin, hair and nails. Taken as a powder/capsules, MSM is excellent for restoring elasticity and flexibility to skin and joints and for healing scar tissue. Try taking 2 teaspoons a day of the powder (or the equivalent/suggested amount in capsules) and increase if you feel it is beneficial to you.
- Bee Pollen: Bee pollen is said to be a “complete food” and contains an extraordinary amount of minerals, easily assimilated protein and enzymes, making it a great digestive aid. Take 1-2 tablespoons per day.
- Digestive Enzymes: enzymes are needed for every single chemical reaction in the body. These help with digestion and the metabolizing of foods. Taken on an empty stomach, they actually work like a mini-cleanse. Take about 1/2 teaspoon three times a day before juices or 1 teaspoon on an empty stomach for a cleansing effect.
- Kelp Granules/Capsules: Kelp is a very rich source of iodine, potassium, iron and organic sodium. It’s a great supplement for anyone with thyroid issues!
- Green Powders: there are many different raw green powders available. Some are algaes such as spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae. Others are grass powders like wheatgrass or barley grass. Many are blends of lots of different ingredients like vegetables, sprouts, grasses, algaes and more. All green powders are nutrient dense and help to alkalize and balance the body. Choose one that tastes good to you and use 1-2 tablespoons per day, stirred into juice, coconut water or water.
- Cascara Sagrada: an herbal supplement with a laxative effect that is used to stimulate peristalsis, which are contractions within the intestinal tract and colon. These contractions help move the “spackle” through and out of the system. It is likely that in the first few days of juicing, your bowel movements may be quite loose, but after that, it is recommended to start taking 1-3 Cascara Sagrada capsules a day to keep the peristalsis going and things moving out. Be careful with this herb and follow the directions – it is a powerful laxative! If you find that you are having too many bowel movements for comfort, ease off it for a while.
- Probiotics: towards the end of a juice fast, once a lot of work has been done to clear out old waste, mucus, bacteria and parasites, it is advisable to start taking probiotics to replenish and help re-build the ‘good’ flora in your intestines. Before that, things are moving so fast out of the intestines that it isn’t really an optimal time to be trying to establish a good culture in there. There is nothing inherently problematic about taking probiotics before the closing stages of the cleanse however and if you feel they are useful for you, by all means take them. Choose a reputable brand of the highest quality and try taking two capsules a day.
Can I exercise during a juice fast?
Yes, you can…however, I would recommend light exercise (walking, swimming, rebounding, yoga, jogging) during the cleanse time for a couple of reasons. First, your body may not be taking in enough calories to recover after a heavy workout. Second, your body is already doing a great deal of internal work, and (in my opinion) all your energy should be focused there, especially during the first few weeks of your fast when your body is doing its most intense cleaning. Trust me, that’s enough.
What’s the difference between juices and smoothies?
When you embark on a juice cleanse, you are physically extracting the pulp (fiber) from the fruits and veggies in order to just drink the juice. By doing this, you are getting the straight, unadulterated, easily assimilated nutrients into your system. The purpose of juicing (in addition to upping your fruit and veggie intake) is to give your digestive system a rest…that is why removing the fiber is important. Now, no one is saying that the fiber isn’t a vital part of the produce: you’re just taking a short-term break in order to recharge and rebuild the system.
I happen to love BOTH juices and smoothies. If you want all the benefits of juicing PLUS the fiber, smoothies are for you. This is where equipment like the Ninja, the NutriBullet, the Vitamix etc. all come in. They pulverize the veggies and fruit completely so that you’re getting the fiber AND the juice combined, and the fiber will help your digestive system keep moving.
As for which to do (juicing vs. blending), that’s up to you. It really depends on your goals, your time, and the equipment you are willing to invest in.
How much juice does each recipe yield?
Each recipe is designed to make between 24-36 ounces. I’m big on yield! It’s rare that one of my recipes only makes 16 ounces, and as always, it depends on the size of your produce. If you find that a recipe doesn’t produce enough juice, add a cucumber or zucchini to the mix. They are a great “background veggie” – water-based vegetables that produce a lot of juice without much taste.
What kind of juicer should I buy?
For beginner juicers, I always recommend the Breville Juice Fountain (Amazon link). Why? Because it produces juice quickly, easy to take apart and put back together and is so darned easy to clean! As you get deeper into the art of juice, you may want to upgrade to something fancier; say, a masticating juicer. However, making juice quickly in the beginning will save you a lot of headache and make you more excited about the art of juicing. I’m still rocking my Breville after years of juicing!