Green juice is extremely powerful and healing. I take a break from solid food a few times a year to juice “feast” as many of us juicers like to call it. Sometimes I just take a day, and sometimes I take as long as a week. I know people who have juiced for as long as 60 days. People have cured all sorts of illnesses from vegetable juicing, from cancer to diabetes.
The idea is to only drink freshly squeezed vegetable juice, supplemented with just a little bit of fruit, and to let you body take a break from the effort of digesting fibre and solid foods that can often build up and be hard on our system.
Giving your body a break can feel great. During the period of juicing, you’re also blasting your body with an extremely condensed amount of vitamins, nutrients, and phytonutrients. It feels amazing! To be clear, I’m not talking about regular store bought juice. Unless the juice is specifically from a juice bar and is freshly made, homemade fresh juice is nothing like what you can purchase. Avoid drinking regular juice, especially fruit juice. It will spike your blood sugar.
When you juice, it’s important to make it fresh and to use mainly vegetables. Fruit will spike your blood sugar which is particularly problematic when you aren’t eating any solid foods that include fibre or fats that would normally help to balance your glycemic load. I like to juice for a few days when I return from a vacation where I’ve been eating foods that aren’t part of my usual routine, or any time that my digestive system is feeling sluggish.
Key Juice Feasting Advice
I don’t recommend juicing specifically to lose weight. You’ll slim down during the juicing, but it will come back when you start eating again. It is a good idea to use a period of juicing as a kind of reset button on your eating habits and to use it as a kickstart to a new, healthier eating routine.
If you’re new to juicing, start with a small goal in mind. 1 to 4 days is a good start, maybe up to 7 if you have some experience with cleanses. Yes, juice fasts can go as long as 60 days and I have a friend who went even longer, but if you’re new, 1-3 days is a great place to get your feet wet.
When I’m juicing, I like to keep my schedule very clear. While some people talk about having lots of energy and exercising and going about their daily lives as usual, I don’t like to overdo it. I generally try to stay close to home and to pace myself more cautiously.
Juicing takes time! You’re going to need to spend a fair bit of time in your kitchen, washing, prepping, and juicing all that veg. Set aside enough time to do it right.
If you’re new to juicing and cleansing, it can be a bit tough during those first few days. Particularly if you’re used to caffeine, sugar, gluten, and other addictive types of foods that can cause withdrawal. The answer: drink more juice! Don’t let yourself get hungry. Drink lots of it, more than you want to drink – drink more anyways. Aim for 9-12 cups of juice a day.
In addition to drinking the juice, drink some water. It can seem hard with so much liquid in you, but do it anyways. Drink lots of water. Go easy on your physical activity.
When it comes time to ease off the juice and transition back to whole foods, start with blended smoothies and raw vegetable soups. These will give your body a chance to adapt back to digesting fibre in an easy way since the blended smoothies and soup have already been broken down for you. After a day or two of smoothies and soups move to whole fruits and vegetables, followed by nuts and seeds.
The length of time that you spend transitioning to whole, chewed foods, will depend on how long you were juicing. If you were only juicing for up to 4 days, one day of smoothies and soups is enough of a transition period. For 5 to 8 days of juicing, I would take 2 days of liquids, and for 9 or 10 days of juicing I would make it at least 3 days of blended smoothies and soups.
Whatever you do, don’t jump into those addictive foods again like sugar and gluten. You’ll undo what you’ve just achieved. Ease in to solid food slowly. It’s helpful to do some meal planning in advance for the first few days after your juicing. A little discipline will go along way.