Juicing an excellent way to push the ‘reset’ button on your diet, so you feel lighter, energized, and newly motivated to maintain healthier habits. How does it work? Consuming healthy juices instead of food for a few days gives your body a break from the hard work of digestion. Now your body can focus on flushing out toxins that have accumulated in your system—like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. But we’re not talking any old juice. It’s important to do your research to make sure you juice healthily. Read on for tips about how to start juicing, healthy recipes we love, and pitfalls to avoid.
1. Start with a pre-cleanse. 48 hours before starting a juice cleanse, begin eliminating toxins by flushing the body with fluids and eating more healthfully. Drink 64 oz. of water a day, and cut out alcohol, caffeine, dairy, processed foods, red meat, and refined sugar. You may find it helps to replace your customary coffee with an herbal tea so you can still maintain your ritual of a warm beverage in the morning.
2. Choose a quality juicer. Using a juicer instead of a blender ensures pure juice with little to no fiber. Pure juices offer up to 99 percent absorption, delivering immediate nourishment with very little effort by your body. This leaves more energy for your body to flush toxins. For more advice on choosing the right juicer, read our guide.
3. Use a wide variety of fruits & veggies. Choose organic fruits and vegetables in many colors, from deep green and yellow to bright red and purple. As a rule: mix two to four fruits and vegetables together, and include extras like ginger, fresh basil, or cilantro for added flavor—see our recipes for more specific ideas. For each day in your cleanse, plan to drink an all-green blend, a few fruit + veggie blends, and one fruits-only blend. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea in the evening to enhance digestion and promote a good night’s sleep.
4. Pamper yourself. During a juice cleanse, you should limit stress and exercise and give yourself extra downtime. Cleanse over a weekend when you can indulge in mellow activities like reading, napping, watching movies, taking baths, and listening to music. Because a cleanse demands a lot of energy from your body, it’s important to stick to light activities like yoga and walking. You’ll also need more sleep than usual.
5. Drink lots of water. Although it may seem like juice provides plenty of fluids, you still need water to help flush out the toxins. It will also help your body metabolize the carbs in your juice, keeping your blood sugar more stable throughout the day.
6. Listen to your body. Juice cleansing means consuming a large amount of fluid, so you can expect to pee more often. Your body will also be working harder to purge toxins, which will increase your perspiration. These effects are normal and desirable for successful cleansing, so be ready for your body to “speak up” in these ways.
For more info, like what to do in the days following a juice cleanse, read our guide. Then delve deeper into the details with 5 healthy (and yummy) recipes we recommend, plus our cheat sheet on juicing dos and don’ts. Finally, see our top tips on choosing the right juicer.