There are many fun and simple ways to start including juicing, or drinking freshly squeezed juice and smoothies, in your everyday life.
It is important to know that including these freshly squeezed juices and smoothies in your everyday life does not mean that you have to consume only juices; you can use them to supplement your existing diet. There are a host of different programs that can cleanse the body through juicing in which only liquid foods are allowed for a certain period of time, but again, they are not essential. You might choose to do one of those programs once a year to get health benefits such as recharging yourself with energy, discharging harmful toxins, giving your stomach some rest, and allowing your body to cleanse itself.
For the majority of the time, however, drinking juices and smoothies to supplement your daily caloric intake (according to your taste and activities) is more than enough to leave you feeling great. Every organism is unique. Therefore, each and every one of us needs a different program that is tailored to our daily activities, metabolism, etc. This will ensure that we each get the amount of nutrition, be it through juicing or otherwise, that is suited to our needs.
Three great ways to include juicing in everyday life:
- Juicing with Regular Eating
In this case, juices and smoothies can be used as a substitute for breakfast or lunch or used as energy boosts between meals. Another great way to use juicing is before or after training. I recommend drinking as many vegetable smoothies/juices as possible. Juices that are primarily from fruit are more appropriate for consumption in the morning, or before or after workout since they are heavier in calories and provide you with more energy. If you are a beginner in juicing, start with fruit juices and gradually shift towards more vegetable ones; you will get used to the taste more easily this way.
I like to have a vegetable smoothie with 2 apples for breakfast and sometimes I drink a juice in the afternoon or before a workout.
- Juicing with Raw Foods
Juicing with raw foods is also known as detoxification (or detox). This kind of a program is not as limited as the detox programs that only allow you to drink juice, because under this plan you are allowed to eat salads, fruits and vegetables, as well as steamed vegetables. The idea behind this plan is to consume around 2 litres of smoothies and juices (mainly vegetables ones) and some fruits or a salad if you are still hungry. For example, a juice or smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a smoothie or juice again for supper. Vegetables juices may be consumed in the afternoon or before other meals that include solid food. It is of utmost importance to drink a lot of water throughout the day as well.
The idea is to not be hungry and to generally drink juices rather than consume solid food. The length of the detox program depends on how you and your body feels; remember, the goal of the program is for you to feel great, so always put this objective first.
During this program, all bad foods should be removed from our diets: white sugar and white flour, processed and fried foods, milk and meat, fizzy drinks, alcohol, caffeine, tea, etc.
- Juice fasting aka Juice Cleansing
This type of detoxification solely consists of the consumption of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies from both fruit and vegetables. These drinks will substitute all the meals and can be consumed 3 to 5 times a day. From personal experience, it is best to drink juices/smoothies every 2-3 hours in order to avoid becoming hungry. Again, drinking a lot of water is of utmost importance for the success of the program, and herbal tea another great drink with which to get your water.
This type of detox is not really fasting, but rather discharging the toxins from your body, giving your stomach some rest, and allowing your body heal and rejuvenate. Before embarking upon this regime, you can first start with lighter food consumption to better prepare yourself for the juicing.
So how exactly does this juice fasting work? When we consume liquid food, our body saves energy which it would otherwise use to process the solid food. With this energy, our body starts healing and cleansing itself. During detoxification, our body turns to the liver as an alternative source of energy, and as a result, the sugar supply develops into glucose. Usually by the third day all the sugar supplies are used. After that, the real benefits of the juice fast start to kick in. The body begins discharging the toxins from the fatty tissues and the blood system delivers more oxygen to the body and releases more energy, which we then use to restore and repair everything that is damaged.
Generally, the body is constantly cleansing and rejuvenating itself. But when you overwhelm it with a lot of bad food, and/or a polluted environment causes the body to be under stress, it simply cannot deal with everything at the same time. That is why from time to time it is good to help by giving it a host of valuable nutrients and promoting healing.
This type of detox can vary in duration – be it 3 days or as many days as you like. If you are a beginner, it is better to start with one day and see how you feel. Then, you can try three days, and later – a whole week. If this is the first time you have done a detox you may experience headaches during the first few days, but they will go away after the body has freed itself from harmful sugars, coffee, and other potentially unhealthy foods.
It is a good idea to follow these detox programs at least twice a year, up to however often the individual is comfortable with.
Advice and Reminders:
- Before starting any detox program, be aware of your physical condition at the given moment, whether it be: pregnancy, diabetes, eating disorders, special medicine, anaemia or any other health concerns you might have. It is highly recommended to consult a doctor or a dietician if you are unsure if this kind of program will be safe for you and your body.
- If possible, always choose bio/organic products – at the very least not those with lots of additives, chemicals, hormones, etc.
- Consume probiotics as a supplement.
- Make sure you include a colourful variety of fruits in your juices and smoothies. Ensuring you have variety will allow you to get the sugar you need from a red apple, for example, but also the fibre and nutrients you might need from kale.
- Drink as much water as possible.
- Think positively.
- Drink freshly squeezed juices.
- Don’t worry if you have a headache or you lack energy in the first couple of days – this is normal when the body is first cleansing itself from the toxins.
- Consume fibre to help clean out your system.
- Be as active as possible (at least 20 minutes a day) in order to sweat.
- Don’t consume fried food, milk, meat and other foods that contain white sugar or white flour.