Juice cleansing 101
Boost your energy and productivity by making your home a retreat. By naturopath Chloe Silverman
Often, during times when we need the most energy and focus, we have the least. It’s quite normal to fuel up on sugary snacks or drinks between meetings or on the school run. Busy or stressful times see health routines go out of the window, replaced by convenience.
Let’s be real here: preparing healthy meals can be time consuming. If you are not that into food prep it can even be tedious. Switching a snack for a cold-pressed juice when on the go is a great way to pack nutrients into your day, alongside a healthy balanced diet. Taking this a step further you can reverse the side effects of unhealthy ‘convenience’ snacking, boost energy and focus with regular juice cleanses. An average juice cleanse is between one day and five days.
My own juicing adventures began at age 19. During a juice cleanse, I sat on a beach in Thailand with the horrific realisation that all I had learnt in nursing school was how to patch people up rather than address the root cause of illness. The mental clarity and inspiration this first cleanse provided instigated a switch from conventional healthcare to natural medicine. Since then, I’ve participated in yearly 10-day juice cleanses around the world. I learnt from detox specialists in fancy medical spas, as well as very unassuming cleanse protocols in yoga ashrams.
That adds up to over seven years of practice as a clinical naturopath and 12 years of personal experience. I learnt that juice cleansing is not just the quickest way to health – but also to happiness.
Around 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. But what most people don’t know is that most of our ‘happy hormone’ serotonin is produced in the gastro-intestinal tract. When juicing, the digestive tract repairs and restores itself and so the immune system and mental health improves too. Juicing also allows a huge hit of antioxidant nutrients to breakdown toxins.
One cold-pressed juice can provide all the nutrients of a meal but in an easily absorbable form for the digestive tract to absorb. Often, the problem is not what we eat but what we can absorb. Juicing for a five-day period is a reset for the whole digestive process; it can repair the gut microbiome and increase digestive enzymes. These are needed to break down carbohydrates and reduce bloating.
Benefits of a home juice cleanse
Science is only just beginning to catch up with the natural health benefits of juice cleansing, something known to traditional medicine practitioners for hundreds of years.
I have been running community juice cleanses in London and Ibiza for the last four years. Some of the common benefits I see with clients include: clearer mind, brighter skin, happier mood, weight loss, flatter stomachs and more creativity. Often clients have reduced symptoms and even report the complete disappearance of prior health conditions.
What makes a great juice cleanse?
Stick to at least three days of juicing. Three days gives the body a chance to start eliminating toxins.
Drink a variety of organic fruit and vegetables. For a first cleanse, buy or make cold-pressed vegetables with small amounts of fruit (around 1.5 to 2 litres over the course of a day). As your system becomes cleaner, you can add more fruits and less vegetables. Try not to have more than one cruciferous vegetable (see chart above) per juice as these can slow down the thyroid and make you sleepy.
FRUIT ONLY: For accustomed cleansers, a fruit-only cleanse is okay. Detox specialist and naturopathic doctor Robert Morse believes that we are fruitarians, and this is the perfect diet. I don’t recommend juice-only diets without naturopathic support, such as the guidance available for free on RealNaturo.com. However, it is my understanding that fruit holds the highest electrical vibration of all plants. Therefore, consuming fruit can actually increase the electro-magnetic field of the heart and protect against electro magnetic radiation like Wifi.
ENEMA/COLONICS: Do daily enemas or book in for a colonic hydration mid-juice cleanse. I recommend coffee or yoghurt enemas over colonics as they are not as invasive to the gut bacteria. An enema is between 1-3 litres of water and a colonic is 30 litres. Big difference! Coffee enemas can increase super antioxidant glutathione. I suggest a herbal formula parasite cleanse to make it even more effective.
YOGA: Make time for a daily presence practice like yoga, breath-work or tai chi. These increase communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain to increase relaxation. Yoga is my favourite tool whilst cleansing. It helps to unlock and move through stuck emotions that may be released throughout the various biological stages of cleansing.
MASSAGE: Try to book a massage around day three when the liver is converting from phase 1 to phase 2 detoxification. This is a process whereby toxins are released from the liver into the blood to be redistributed into the colon and other organs of elimination for excretion.
Cleanse v detox
In the naturopathic world, detoxing is at an orthomolecular level and more intricate than cleansing. In clinical practice, I wouldn’t consider somebody ‘detoxed’ unless they received intravenous nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid per se. I’d also need to analyse their blood-work to measure liver enzymes and other markers of detoxification for heavy metals. However, whilst cleansing, you can assist detoxification pathways by stimulating the lymphatic system. You can measure success by looking at the colour of the tongue, the vibrancy of the skin, hair and nails.
Skin brushing and monitoring pee
The body’s waste removal system is the lymphatic system. Tiny lymph vessels take away waste from the blood. Cleanse practices like skin brushing assist with lymphatic flow, as well as brightening the skin by increasing cell proliferation. A great way to measure if your lymph’s circulating well is by checking your urine. If it is cloudy or there is sediment this means that your kidneys are filtering out lymphatic waste. If it is clear, like water, the kidneys aren’t filtering as well as they could. This is quite normal for most people today. A water-fasting day is beneficial to kickstart the kidneys.
According to pranic living coach Ray Maor, one day of a water fast has the health equivalents of three days of juicing. For those who are time-poor, I advocate three days of juicing and one day of a water fast. Hydration is key when cleansing but remember the kidneys can only filter one litre of water per hour. So sip your water and, if juicing, only have water between juices to prevent diluting the nutrient density.
Weight loss and anti-ageing
It is difficult to lose weight without eliminating heavy metals from the body. Today, we are exposed to over 4,000 more heavy metals per day, compared to a study from 2010, specifically, mercury, aluminium and endocrine disruptor chemicals. Most of these chemicals are fat soluble which means they live in the fat cells of the body. Heavy metals cause premature ageing by making the body work harder. Glyphosate found in non-organic grains is water soluble and can cross the blood brain barrier. This makes it even more toxic than fat soluble chemicals and the number one reason to avoid all GMO foods.
Overall, juice cleansing is a safe way to remove toxins slowly from the diet and from the body. The results are glowing, plump skin, abundant energy, weight loss and of course anti-ageing.
By Chloe Silverman B.H.Sc (Naturopathy), naturopath, yoga therapist and founder of RealNaturo
CHOOSE ONE OR TWO OF THESE (ANY COMBINATION):
A HANDFUL OF A COMBINATION OF THESE:
CHOOSE ONLY ONE OF THESE CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES:
FLAVOUR WITH ANY COMBINATION OF THESE: