You may have noticed a bit of a theme on the Yogalife blog this season—this spring is all about cleansing, detoxifying, and removing what no longer serves you to make way for what does. Spring cleaning might take place in your home, your heart, or, as we’re focusing on today—your body.
Juice cleanses are an especially great way to scrub your insides clean, scouring out all the heaviness from winter and making room for the lightness of the coming summer.
That said, they’re not always a piece of cake (wait, cake? Where’s the cake?!)—so here are our tips and tricks to peacefully get you through your juice fast, from the brain of one of our elixir-sipping yogis.
- Avoid a feast before the fast
Many of us may feel the need to have a grandiose “last supper” before starting a cleanse—reveling in a plate of nachos, wine, or chocolate at 11:59 p.m. the day prior. Although it may be tempting, a night of negligent noshing sets us up for a rough day ahead—there’s more to cleanse! Think of quitting smoking—a gradual wean off is far more attainable than going cold turkey—it’s much easier on the body to make a slight transition and avoid throwing your body into shock. If you can make time, try to focus on smoothies and salads—especially those including lots of raw fruits and veggies—the day or two prior, likewise for the day or two after. The cleaner your diet is already, the easier the transition will generally be.
- Plan, plan, plan
Avoid scheduling your juice cleanse on a night where you’ll be out socializing at an event with food—or worse—when you have dinner plans. You’ll spend all of your time gazily hangrily at your friends’ or colleagues’ plates rather than their faces. See if you can instead set aside some time to relax and read a book, go for a gentle walk, or spend a few hours curled up with Netflix. Better yet, find a buddy to juice with—you can support each other and maybe even go out for the wholesome kind of liquid lunch. At all costs, avoid hanging out in the kitchen (unless you have a padlock handy for your fridge).
- Arm yourself
Spend time in the morning prepping all of your precious nectars, and have them on hand throughout the day if you can. Keep a cooler in your car or carry a few juices in your purse with an ice pack—plans can change, meetings can be delayed, traffic might have you sitting with nothing to think about but your rumbly tummy. When hunger strikes (and it will—oh, it will), it’s best to find yourself prepared with a healthy beverage in hand—not running to the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet.
4. Sip mindfully
Though midway through the day you may be tempted to start chugging back your liquid goods like it’s college all over again, remember that our bodies digest and absorb best when we take things slow. So prepare your body for the meal it’s about to take in—sit down, take a few deep breaths, and sip. You can even “chew” your juice to get your salivary amylase (that’s your mouth’s own digestive juice) going. Just like you might bless a meal, appreciate and be grateful for the liquid provisions you’ve had rather than cursing yourself—and your body—for signing up for this in the first place.
5. Know when to stop
You there. Yes, you—the one with the eyes and the nose and stuff. Is this your first juice cleanse? Well first off, hat’s off to ya—we love that you’re working on you! But a thought, if we may. If this is your first liquid rodeo, you don’t have to do a 3, 5, 7-day or longer juice cleanse. Try a day. See how you feel. Maybe try incorporating some raw foods (they’ll taste like heaven) or a simple smoothie—after all, we’re here to make positive changes in our lifestyles, not restrict to the extent that all we want to do is lay in bed hugging a tray of lasagna for dear life. A few days of clean eating in addition to juices is going to help you feel great, too.
Your body is a powerful teacher—so listen up!
We hope our humble advice can help have you feeling light all the way through your juice cleansing-experience. So what about you—have you done a juice fast? What was your experience? Do you have any tips or suggestions for newbies?