The first time I did a juice feast, I’d just come out of a phase of drinking lots of coffee, having wine with dinner, and eating in restaurants most weekends. Even though I was eating mostly raw foods, the change in diet still hit me like a slap upside my head.
For the first three days, all I wanted to do was sleep. As the week went on, I came back to life—slowly.
The rest of my 65-day juice feast was pretty much awesome-sauce. I had more energy than I could remember from any other time in my life. I looked great and felt even better. (Hmmm . . . maybe I should be planning to do that again soon!)
But before I got to feel the benefits, I had to feel like complete crap for a few days.
If you’re planning to start the year with a cleanse or detox of some kind, good for you! What better way to recover from the overindulgence of the holidays and give your body a rest?
I’m a fan of juice, green smoothies, all vegan, or all raw cleanses. Whatever works for you and won’t aggravate any existing medical conditions sounds like a plan.
But there’s one thing I hope you’ll do before you dive into any detox or cleanse plan.
Eat just okay for a few days.
Take up to a week to transition to any detox or cleanse.
Why not just dive in to your detox?
We all want fast results, I know. But it’s just no fun to feel completely deprived, and feeling sick and tired makes it much harder to stick to your program.
Remember when the first wave of the low-carb craze happened a decade or so ago with Atkins? Remember how all those people were tired and cranky and ready to fight you for a biscuit? Maybe you were one of those people. Do you really want to relive that experience?
Transition, my friend, transition.
Wean yourself off these “foods” to make your cleanse less stressful.
Coffee. Cut back to one cup a day for a few days, and then drink half-decaf for a day or two before giving up coffee for your cleanse. Avoid the caffeine headache so many people get when they go cold turkey.
Alcohol. Cut the amount you drink in half every day until you get to a half serving, and then let it go. And if you’re alcohol dependent, see a professional for a plan to quit drinking.
Processed sugar. This can be a tough one to give up. Start by replacing any sugary drinks with water for a few days. Then cut any sugary products like cookies, cakes, or pastries back to dessert after dinner. Then cut them out.
Grain-based products. Since your body processes most grains as sugar, these can be hard to quit too. Add more healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocado to your diet. Cut grains back to two meals a day for few days. Then cut them back to dinner only before you kiss them goodbye.
Contrary to images in the movies and on TV, cleansing doesn’t have to be miserable—especially if you’re not under pressure to try to resolve some sort of major health issue. Don’t put yourself through any unnecessary suffering. If you do, the deprivation might just send you running for the nearest doughnut as soon as your cleanse is officially over.
None of should be taken as medical advice. Just sharing what I’ve learned through experience.
Live the difference!