Fasting in general is an incredibly beneficial natural prescription. The fasting process allows our body chemistry to digest material in the body that it does not want to hold on to, and then release it.
It’s easy to understand that body chemistry benefits occur when we stop making various dietary mistakes. Let me give the simple example of a person who overeats every single day and then always has cannoli after dinner. If they fast from cannoli for a given period of time, they will experience improvement in their overall chemistry.
If we eliminate our dietary mistakes, then we’ll experience improvement in our chemistry in a number of ways. The improvement for each of us will be different based on our unique sets of circumstances.
Juice fasting is considerably easier than water fasting for a prolonged period of time. Juice is very flavorful and nutrient rich, provided that it is organic (I cannot stress organic enough), fresh, and not high-pressure pasteurized.
Juice has plenty of nutrients to keep your body going during your fasting time. It also contains carbohydrates, trace amounts of protein, and a little bit of fat. The carbohydrates will give you enough energy to carry out your daily functions. But your caloric intake will be less, so you might be a little weaker if you try to engage in the same amount of activity that you usually do on a normal day.
But during a juice fast you should rest: The purpose of the fast is to rest your body. You should do a lot of sleeping, or at least lie on your back with your eyes closed when you have some free time.
“Cleansing” might not be the best word for what occurs during a juice fast. A more appropriate term might be “healing.” Anytime you rest your body, including when you take a break from dietary mistakes, you’re giving your body a boost in its regular healing processes.
The more mistakes I leave out of my diet for longer and longer durations of time, the more I will have improvements in my body chemistry. There’s nothing debatable about that.
I’ve heard some people say that your body cannot do a thorough detox unless you are eating lots of protein. This is absurd. First of all, even if you’re fasting, your body has a store of amino acids known as the “amino acid pool.” It would take a good bit of time for you to move through that material. Additionally, one of the benefits of the cleanse is that you’re leaving out protein, which we actually consume too much of in the West. You don’t need much protein, especially when you’re older and not trying to pack on lots of muscle.
Juice cleanses would not be necessary if people disciplined themselves to water fast on a regular basis. But water fasting can be difficult. The popularity of juice fasting is understandable. It’s safe and easy, and millions of people across the world do them for different durations of time.
When doing such a cleanse, you need to be sure that you don’t go into too low of a calorie deficit. Also, make sure that you are getting a fair amount of carbohydrates from fruit. Carbohydrates from the juice of any fruit or vegetable are extremely healthy for your body and very valuable for the cleansing process, as are the minerals in juice.
Two to three days of only juice is very easy for a beginner to tackle. If you decide to try a juice cleanse, make up your mind that you will accomplish this. I recommend that a person juice fast as often as once a month for two to three days as a discipline. Over time, durations can be longer.
Juice cleanses are simply short-term liquid diets that are 100% plant-based.
Medical professionals might express concerns about juice fasting is whether or not a person is getting enough calories and enough fiber, and whether or not that person is consuming too much sugar during the length of the fast.
Regarding the insufficient calorie concern, one could drink more juice and perhaps add a smoothie once a day if the calories from five or six juices were not enough. Regarding fiber, the amount of fiber a person needs on any given day is based upon the other food that they eat. Most people have a high intake of animal protein. This causes them to prefer a lot of fiber. But a person who consumes a lot of salads and fresh raw juices needs less fiber than someone eating the typical western diet filled with lots of animal protein and processed foods.
Next is the sugar issue. This is something that people who have some medical background but not much of a background in molecular nutrition are extremely confused about. Concerns are warranted regarding people who have special medical issues. For example, a person with blood sugar issues shouldn’t do something like a week-long cleanse on orange juice alone.
A juice cleanse can consist of half fruit juices and half vegetables juices for nearly any person. But again, people with particular medical problems need to exercise caution. For example, a person with diabetes would be advised to pay very close attention to their blood sugar levels but not be fearful. The problem with diabetes is not intake of fruit and starchy vegetables. It’s far more likely to be their intake of too much processed food and animal protein.
A person with diabetes can abstain from those things and rely solely on produce, even in a juice form. The compounds from the produce or juices may absorb quickly into the bloodstream. They will then more than likely have a radical positive chemistry improvement within two days. Some people in such a situation may feel a little woozy and sleepy, but that does not mean that something negative is happening.
In the 11 years during which I observed thousands of individuals doing juice cleanses I never witnessed anyone having physical problems. When people did longer duration cleanses, such as 10 days or more, I did see people have emotional struggles. This was understandable. The struggles were already there inside their heads. And because they abstained from addictive eating patterns and distractions, their feelings came to the surface. Letting go of addictive foods and addictive eating patterns will often bring up a lot of emotions. So it’s recommended that anyone on a fast be prepared for that and engage in journaling and other processes to help them deal with their feelings.
I find it interesting and disconcerting that some medical practitioners and scientists who have neither done juice cleanses nor thoroughly researched them can be negatively opinionated and outspoken about them. I suspect that some have agendas that drive their negativity. Perhaps some feel threatened. It so happens that I have an agenda behind my positivity regarding juice cleanses. I want to help people and I want to sell a lot of juice.
It’s interesting to me how people talk negatively about juice but they won’t talk negatively about the standard Western diet. They’re not outspoken about how terrible it is that people eat late at night, that so many refined and processed foods are so accessible, or that our foods are laden with pesticides. As far as I’m concerned, people who talk badly about juice cleanses are entitled to their opinions. But they do a disservice to individuals exploring options for improving their health when they voice those opinions.
Unfortunately, there’s a philosophy in the scientific community that if something isn’t scientifically proven then it’s heresy. This philosophy persists even though science is constantly changing and many things that we prove today will be disproved tomorrow. It appears that anything outside of the scientific community that doesn’t have a double blind study or a peer-reviewed paper behind it poses a threat to some scientists’ positions of power.
Having said that, it’s true that people come up with conspiracies and anecdotal pseudo-scientific pronouncements all the time. People within the health industry who market products often promote rumors and nonsense. Their agenda might be to sell their goods, or they might even mistakenly believe what they’re saying about some of their ineffective and even toxic products.
Make no mistake: When you drink juice, you are consuming nutritious food. There’s nothing mysterious about the ingredients—it comes from produce just moments before you drink it. It is loaded with macro- and micro-nutrients and compounds, more so than 90% of the foods that we eat from packages.
When we do juice cleanses, we are cleansing ourselves from processed, packaged, poisonous foods and excess protein. Doing so will enable the body to cleanse itself, heal itself, and function better in a wide variety of ways.