You’ve decided to start a juice cleanse starting Monday and so, it's only normal to consume every naughty treat and meal, right? No! This is only going to make the detoxifying process so much harder. What you consume in the days prior, and the weeks following a juice cleanse, is just as important as the cleanse itself. If you want to achieve optimum results, we recommend you dedicate yourself pre and post-cleanse eating, too. Follow our recommendations below to make sure you don’t start and end your cleanse on the wrong foot.
Juice cleanses can be mentally challenging, especially if you’re new to it or aren’t used to applying such strict rules to your diet. We would advise you to get yourself into a positive mindset before you go ahead with the cleanse; remind yourself about why you’ve chosen to do it, what you’re wanting to achieve, and remember to cherish your body and be thankful for what it can do.
A few days before you start, try cutting back on caffeine, gluten, dairy, red meat, and all processed foods as this will assist your body in easing into it.
For optimal results, its best to juice cleanse during free time. This means cleansing during a time where emotional and physical stress isn’t present. Set yourself up for success; ask friends and family to support you or even partake with you.
After you have completed the cleanse, it is hugely important to ease your way back into solid. Stick to eating whole foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and maintaining the habit of consuming water. Keeping hydrated will assist the digestive system and ensure that the body is ‘running’ smoothly. Drink hot water and lemon in the mornings and herbal teas to aid your digestive system back into its normal routine.
Don’t forget the healthy fats! These will keep you full and satisfied – making you less likely to snack and reach for the nasties. Healthy fats include (to name a few) avocado, olives, nuts, and olive oil.
At this point, you’re probably craving a huge bowl of pasta or a double cheeseburger with extra fries. Patience is a virtue and you may want to stuff your face as soon as you wake up. Regardless of how long you’ve cleansed for, be it 3 or 5 days, you’ve almost given your body a bit of a spring clean – it would be a shame to spoil this with the intake of heavily processed, high sugar, and salty foods.
During your juice cleanse, your liver had been working hard to detoxify your body. Give your liver a bit of a rest and try to avoid consuming alcohol for a week or two. Remember that when you do start consuming alcohol again, don’t overdo it. Everything in moderation!
Here is an example of what to eat following a juice cleanse:
- Eat 3 small meals.
- Stick to easy-to-digest fruits like bananas, sweet potatoes, and melon.
- Ease back into full meals with something light and easy such as a vegetable soup.
- Drink 2L of water and/or lemon water and/or herbal teas throughout the day. Stay away from caffeinated teas and coffee to avoid the huge burst of caffeine.
- Introduce small portions of complex carbohydrates like whole grains, white potatoes, and peas.
- Keep eating more of the fruits and vegetables
- Add healthy fats- avocados, nuts, and seeds - to your meals as they will help keep you satiated.
- Drink 2L of water and/or herbal teas throughout the day.
- Introduce dairy like yogurt and milk slowly, if desired. If you are dairy-free, use your normal dairy alternatives.
- Continue eating fruits and vegetables
- Incorporate small amounts of easily-digestible animal protein like eggs. Avoid red meats for now and opt for lean chicken or tofu alternatives.
- Drink 2L of water and/or herbal teas throughout the day. Caffeine can continue to be consumed.
The days and weeks to follow
Continue your healthy eating habits and preferences. The first few days after a juice cleanse is all about maximizing its benefits. Introduce gluten, dairy, and red meats slowly just to be sure you don’t overwhelm your system and end up feeling sick.