How to Safely Transition Onto A Juice Cleanse
-by Tera Warner and Kelly Clease
One of the big mistakes people make when doing a juice cleanse, or any kind of diet or cleanse, is to ride the extremes too quickly. The classic binge on donuts and ice cream the night before you’re going on a detox or diet is a disaster waiting to happen! The best way to get lasting results and experience a truly successful juice cleanse is to transition gradually from your standard diet to the juice cleanse itself. This article gives you a few valuable tips and tricks to make that happen.
Why is it important to have a transition week before and after a juice cleanse?
Changes made on a gradual basis will be far more likely to end successfully and have a much better chance of being implemented in the long term as part of a healthy lifestyle. Often dramatic starts end in dramatic finishes!
Decide that you’re going to do your juice cleanse, and pick a time when you have the best chance of being successful. Make sure you’re able to commit a week of preparation–you’re going to want a week when you know you can focus on eating simply and with a lot of fresh food.
Then you’re going to need to make sure that when your juice cleanse actually starts, you’ve set aside some focused time as much as possible. The more you make this a special and focused experience for yourself, the better it will be–the more you’ll discover and understand about your relationship with food and yourself!
Can you imagine what would have happened if we were handed car keys before driver-training classes? None of us would ever drive again! Any dietary changes that will provide lasting benefits must be incorporated into your life on a slow and steady basis for you to have lasting progress.
How to give yourself the best chance at lasting improvements after a juice cleanse.
By starting off with a raw-food diet for 7 days, you will allow your body time to adjust to a diet without processed foods, excessive animal foods and other sources of inflammation, such as added sugars.
Regardless of your prior eating habits, proceeding in a cleanse at a pace that is uncomfortable for you will cause un-needed stress to your body and your emotions. By allowing this added stress, you are actually creating more toxins for yourself! Cortisol is produced in high-stress situations, and cortisol is associated with weight gain! Therefore, if you are not used to juicing, juice-cleansing or even raw food, it is recommended that you prepare your body prior to doing a juice cleanse by making small dietary changes that help to kick-start the detoxification process.
By eliminating certain foods (especially excessive amounts of acid-forming processed foods) and by increasing the amount of raw foods in your diet prior to the cleanse, you will provide your body with the best possible start for your juice cleanse and maximize your chance of success!
Creating a program where we have a gentle introduction and transition to juice and a gentle reintroduction and transition back to whole foods is very important.
Throughout the cleanse, fantasizing about food is one thing (and a wonderful way to examine your personal relationship to food); but bingeing after the completion of the cleanse is quite another! It is important to be gentle with yourself.
Binging on high-fat, low-fibre foods will lead to painful digestion, gas and uncomfortable bowel movements. When you are taking part in a Gentle Juice Cleanse, we want to help you to maximize your potential for success by easing you in and easing you back out. We believe that by closely following these guidelines, you will feel so good that you may never return to unhealthy eating habits again!
What can I eat when I’m transitioning onto my juice cleanse?
Change is best made gradually, so please understand that this does not need to be 100% vegan or 100% raw. We encourage you to remain honest with yourself and your lifestyle choices.
We all make literally thousands of choices each and every day. Not all of these choices will be the right choices, so be gentle with yourself and trust what feels right for your body. This is a short term cleanse to help you improve and re-establish your relationship with food. It’s not necessarily how you’re going to eat for the rest of your life!
If you do find yourself in a moment of weakness, put it in your journal! Consider writing down what’s happening before you decide to give up completely. You have the most to learn by observing your reactions!
This will help you to better identify food triggers. Don’t allow one poor decision to affect the rest of your day.
Please forgive yourself. You are human. Just move on. Thank yourself for loving your body enough to participate in this cleanse and for all of the hard work that you have done so far.
Popular science often encourages the intake of mild to moderate levels of alcohol, however, we do recommend the following to help you on your road to success:
- Refrain from alcohol and sweetened beverages, as these are extremely acidic in nature.
- Minimize or even eliminate animal foods, including meat, dairy and eggs.
- Use whole grains versus processed grains. For example, quinoa and brown rice are better choices than white, instant rice and Wonder bread!
- Avoid difficult-to-digest beans and legumes, such as soy.
- Limit your use of seasonings and stimulating spices, as these encourage over-eating. Try enhancing the flavors of your foods with raw herbs, as they have healing properties in addition to nutritional benefits.
- As much as possible, stick to raw foods.
A few things to consider:
As you can imagine, it’s impossible to account for the seasonal availability, personal preferences, allergies, food intolerances and budget restrictions of everyone in an article like this. So you need to assess the resources and conditions in your environment.
A “transition week,” is not intended to be a dramatic, difficult or physically uncomfortable experience.
This should be fun, tasty and a good learning experience! This is a wonderful time to experiment with new foods and understand more about your relationship to food in general!
Be moderate. Be gentle with yourself.
Each day is a new opportunity to make healthy choices. Don’t let one day interfere with an entire cleanse: Forgive yourself and move on, when necessary.
Trust in the process! Thousands of participants all over the world have stood in your shoes, and each one has had a different journey!
How am I supposed to handle all the emotions I feel during a juice cleanse?
If this is your first juice cleanse, you may be surprised by the rise and fall of emotions you will encounter on your journey. This is perfectly normal and is actually part of the process.
Participants notice a physical detox, but many experience an emotional detox, as well. Our intestines are often referred to as our “second brain,” due to the production of serotonin in the gut. By giving our intestines a break from digestion of fibre, many individuals note an emotional “awakening”–heightened perceptions, more awareness and a stronger sense of “intuition.” Stress is significantly less and participants report feelings of calm and ease.
Giving up before you’ve made it to the finish line because you feel you’re “not emotionally into it,” risks shortchanging you of a very empowering and educational experience. Journal your emotions as you watch them rise and fall.
A little bit of a struggle is part of the experience and is something to stick with and endeavour to overcome! Like any tough climb, the view is amazing at the top. If you continue and persist, you will be rewarded with new levels of confidence and awareness on the other side!
However, if you should feel persistent anger or strong, negative emotions for several days and those feelings interfere with your daily life, it is probably best to gently discontinue the cleanse at this time. Persistent negative emotions are not conducive to healing. Break the cleanse by slowly incorporating more whole foods and be happy with all that you have accomplished, in whatever time you were working at it.
Committing to your health is a process. Consider starting with a one to three-day juice cleanse. In the future you can try a longer one! Just because you were unsuccessful in completing the cleanse the first time around does not mean that you have to discard the recipes and information for good. Reflect on what was positive (or negative) about the cleanse experience. Take the learning and the growth and know that you will continue to expand your awareness and understanding even more next time.
Revisit the program at a later date when you feel more of the necessary pieces are in place.
How do I successfully transition off a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a different experience for everyone. The end of your juice cleanse is a wonderful time to sit back and think about what you want your diet going forward to look like.
Since this transition will be different for everyone, it is impossible to determine a set meal plan.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- No matter how deprived you may have felt, fight the urge to binge on anything at this point. Transitions need to be gentle. If you are determined to eat processed and animal foods or drink caffeine or alcoholic beverages, please be gentle with yourself and your body.
- Consider juicing for at least one meal per day. This can be incorporated very easily into breakfast or lunch, and allows your body to gently reacquaint itself with the hard work of digestion again!
- If you feel that at this time, you just cannot tolerate another juice, try a smoothie. A change in texture may be just what you need.
- Revisit the transition meals from the beginning of the program and try them again. There were some great meals in there!
- Stay hydrated. Part of the energy you experienced on this cleanse can be attributed to an increase in fluids.
- Be prepared for potential digestive issues. Going from a liquid diet to solids or smoothies can change the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements. Stay curious and patient as your body adjusts.
- Your journal is a great tool to revisit. What worked? What didn’t? The more you write your reflections and realizations, the more you’re likely to get out of it. Sometimes looking back at your journal from a juice cleanse can reveal fascinating insights about your relationship with food and yourself in general.
- Stay curious and committed to engaging in life. This break from food was a fantastic opportunity to put your time and attention into other activities and experiences. For those of us who have had a lot of attention on food, it can be a very liberating and empowering thing to feel we start to hunger more for life, than for donuts!
Let your desire to take on more challenges, overcome obstacles and continue to improve your health and confidence keep you invested in the game of living your best life! Anyone who decides to do a juice cleanse is offering a bright and brave example of how we can rise above the noise, get a new perspective and hunger for LIFE in exciting ways!
If you want to try a successful, short term juice cleanse, then I strongly recommend you sign up for the “Gentle Juice Cleanse” here. This program provides loads of articles, support, interviews and all the inspiration you need to successfully complete one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself--get your attention off of what you eat, so you can put it on to living your best life!