This amazing guest post was written by Dr. Simone Burke, a Naturopathic Doctor. You can check out her website here!
Over the last few hundred years our diet and our environment have changed significantly. Our diet has gone from fresh, wholesome, unrefined, unsprayed food to the opposite.
Our foods are now frozen, canned, or refined, and treated with toxic pesticides, preservatives, colorings, and other chemicals.
There are numerous chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink and all of these chemicals need to be processed by our bodies.
The way our food is processed has changed to support our growing population. Although mass food production techniques have given us more food, our food is less nutritious as the soil is very often depleted of certain essential nutrients.
For example, a large source of vitamins and minerals are contained in the germ coat of cereal grains. The process of refining strips the fiber and germ coat which contain the bulk of protein, vitamins, minerals and leaves an imbalanced food primarily containing starch.
On top of that our bodies also have to process GMOs, fertilizers and pesticides putting a burden on our bodies especially our livers, kidneys and lungs.
Aesculapius, the ancient Roman god of medicine and healing advised “Instead of using medicine, fast.” Hippocrates routinely recommended fasting as it was said the body could then focus on healing.
Increasing your energy
During fasting there is an increase in the amount of energy available for the eliminative process. Processing food that requires digestion and assimilation takes a lot of energy. When fasting, the body is able to focus on eliminating toxic waste.
Juice fasting is one way to reducing your intake of solid food while at the same time infusing your body with vitamins and minerals from fresh juices. When juicing, you can consume more vegetables than you could eat and without the pulp (fiber) the vitamins and minerals are carried to your bloodstream and cells faster.
Juicing is easy of the digestive system and the vegetable / fruit juices provide antioxidants to support your cells. It is also a great way to wake up your taste buds to the wonderful flavors of fruits, vegetables and herbs. As you get rid of toxins you may feel more energetic, sleep better and have less joint pain and headaches.
While juicing, you are giving your body an opportunity to stir up stored toxins and release them back into the blood stream so they can be processed and removed properly. As your body detoxifies, you may experience a variety of symptoms: headaches, irritability, brain fog, fatigue, expelling more mucus than usual, bloating, nausea and other flu like symptoms.
It is important to go slowly and to prepare for your juice fast to minimise the detoxification symptoms.
There are other therapies that can help support you while you do your juice cleanse.
Massage – book a massage to stimulate your lymphatic system to support detoxification. Massage also improves your sleep and circulation.
Meditation – during a juice cleanse you may notice emotions come up. Remember to breathe through this. Find some quite time and deep breathe.
Colonics. Much of our toxic waste is stored in the colon. Colonics can ease detoxification symptoms as you get rid of the waste buildup in the colon.
Epsom salt baths. Use 2 cups of Epson salts to your bath and soak for 15 minutes. Epsom salts are high in magnesium which help your muscles relax.
Dry skin brushing. This stimulates the lymphatic system. Use a natural loofah and use light and gentle strokes starting at the feet. Brush in the direction of the heart. Use light strokes and brush gently moving up from the feet. Do the same on the abdomen and arms.
Rest. During this time, you must give your body extra time to rest. Rest is essential for your body to heal and deal with all the toxins. If you can, reduce the responsibilities you have such as work, errands etc.
Exercise. Do not engage in high intensity exercise. Light walks, yoga, stretching are great ways to keep moving and to support your detox.
Sleep. Sleep is restorative and you may find that you are more tired than usual. Give yourself the chance to sleep and take naps when possible.
Start preparing for your juice fast the week before
Doing some preparation is very beneficial. You can start preparing the week before by incorporating raw nuts and seeds, veggies, smoothies, raw fruits, and lots of water.
Every-one has a unique experience of a juicing fast. For some people their energy immediately improves and for others they feel sick and lethargic.
Start by doing juices in place of breakfast and when you don’t have any detoxification symptoms (feelings of being unwell) go up to doing ½ day. Gradually work your way up to 2 or more days (whatever feels comfortable for you). It is important to monitor how you are feeling and to do this slowly – gradually working your way up.
If you don’t feel well you may want to add in a protein powder and some turmeric to support your liver. When juicing, there is no limit as to the number of juices to have but consume as least 5 glasses of juices per day. You should also be drinking 1-2 litres of water per day during this time. Add a pinch of Himalayan salt to the water for extra minerals and electrolytes.
Vegetable juicing vs. Fruit juicing
When choosing your vegetables to juice, keep it simple. Focus mainly on vegetable juices as fruit juices tend to be higher in sugar. Some great combinations include: carrot, beet, celery; spinach, dandelion greens, parsley; cabbage, cucumber, parsley, asparagus, celery and lemon; carrot and string beans, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, lime, and purple onion; carrot, spinach, cauliflower and garlic; beets, carrots, fennel, parsnips. Other fruits / vegetables to include are: kale, watermelon, kiwi, blueberries, and apples. You can also add spirulina, bee pollen and chia seeds after juicing too.
However long you decide to do your juice cleanse, it is important to ease into the fast and out of it slowly. If you are doing a 1 day juice fast then the following day start your day with ½ lemon in a full glass of water, then 30 minutes later have 1 glass of juice followed by a smoothie. For lunch steamed vegetables or vegetable broth are ideal. For dinner, you can eat normally but keep foods light and of course avoid processed foods.
For juice fasts that last 2 – 3 days, on the day after the fast you want to break your fast with a glass of lemon water. Have a green juice 30 minutes after and for the rest of the day alternate between juices and smoothies. On the second day, have lemon water followed by a juice and have smoothies all day.
For dinner have a whole fruit meal or a light salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing. On the 3rd day have lemon water and have fruit meals and light salads all day.
On day 4 resume normal eating but keep foods light such as lentils, broiled chicken, and steamed vegetables. On day 5, resume normal eating, adding in meats and dairy if you like but keep away from packaged foods.
You have taken an amazing step on your juicing journey. Juicing has such amazing benefits. Whether you decide to incorporate juicing as part of your daily routine or do a full juice fast, you have embarked on a journey of discovery.
You will learn the powers of juicing, the flavors of natural fruits and vegetables and you will begin to feel the difference in your body.
Better Health Through Natural Healing by Ross Trattler (1985)