I get asked this question all the time. My answer has always been “BUY IT” for five reasons.
- Amassing all of the organic ingredients can be tedious and expensive.
- You can’t get the same consistency in the juice unless you have a quality juicer.
- Buying a cleanse guarantees you will get all all of the nutrients you need to sustain the duration.
- The availability and schedule with the juices delivered daily makes the process so much easier.
- Almond milk is not fun or easy to make.
On Tuesday I completed my second homemade cleanse. And my answer is emphatically the same.
This post is going to be long, but it will be the most informative article I’ve written on cleansing to date.
MY EXPERIENCE CLEANSING AT HOME
Three years ago, I attempted my first cleanse by myself on mostly fruit juice. Big mistake. I obviously had no idea what I was doing. This time around, after completing many “professional” cleanses (see my reviews below), I took the middle road and bought juice but not a whole cleanse for 3 days.
- My Set Up
Per my request, Susan, a friend of mine who juices regularly and teaches about juicing, supplied me with the two key juices in a regular cleanse (pictured above): the green juice packed with vitamins and nutrients and cayenne lemonade that energizes you. Her blend of green juice has both ginger and garlic which most don’t usually include, but have great benefits. (See “Why you should juice” below for a list of ingredients and benefits).
- My Diet
On day one I decided because I’m active I would have to eat as well as juice. I allotted:
- 1/4 cup of raw almonds 3 times a day
- 1 apple around 1pm
- 1 small bowl of spinach when I felt hungry
Herbal teas are also nice to incorporate during the day to break up the monotony of flavor.
- My Experience
There are definite pros to making your own juice for a cleanse, but in my opinion, there are more cons unless you are a seasoned juicer.
The good part is that I got to tweak the juice recipes. For example, I couldn’t stand the garlic for more than one day so I had Susan omit that and add more kale. On day 3 I asked to incorporate a beet juice because the green alone wasn’t proving to be enough. I have to say, her green juice was one of the best I’ve ever had in terms of taste and hunger satisfaction. Surprisingly enough I wasn’t starving until the end of day 3.
On all of my purchased cleanses I felt devastatingly hungry at one point or another. However, while I wasn’t hungry drinking these juices, I still experienced significant loss in muscle mass and energy unlike I ever have before. That’s a big deal for me. I wasn’t ingesting enough calories or protein. I feel like in a self-cleanse, it’s hard to gauge what you are feeling versus what you should be feeling. The process isn’t supposed to be easy or enjoyable; it’s supposed to detox your organs and give your digestive system a rest.
At the end of day 3, I decided my body needed fuel asap. I ate a meal of steamed broccoli, raw almond butter, and dried pineapple to bring myself back to life. On day 4, I integrated back into a full diet with quinoa and pineapple.
As always after a cleanse, I got a colonic to fully detox and pull out materials that weren’t able to move during the cleanse. See more on this at the end of the post.
- Final Thought
My conclusion on amateurs (myself included) constructing your own cleanse: don’t do it. Unless you fully educate yourself or are under the guidance of a nutritionist, I would advise to not attempt a cleanse on your own. Absolutely incorporate fresh juice into your diet (you’ll read why below), but don’t attempt to cut out food altogether without guidance. You’ll end up starving, constipated, and frustrated. Not fun.
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “JUICING” AND “CLEANSING”
Juicing means extracting the juice from a fruit or vegetable. When you hear people say,” I juice,” it means they incorporating fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juice into a normal diet. Cleansing means actively changing your diet to detoxify your body using an alternative system that may involve fresh juice.
JUICING IS BENEFICIAL AS PART OF A NORMAL DIET
Even if you don’t want to cleanse, I highly recommend incorporating fresh raw juice into your diet. This means drinking juice that has not been pasteurized or altered in any way. Naked juices or others you find bottled that say “flash pasteurized” are not fresh.
When you juice fruits and vegetables, the vitamins and minerals are released from the indigestible fiber so your body can absorb them instantly. Your body absorbs the nutrients almost instantly when unencumbered by dressings and other fruits. According to Susan, “fresh live juice promotes the alkalinity of body fluids which may in turn enhance metabolic function and strengthen your immune system.”
Buy a quality juicer or Vitamix blender and reap the rewards. You’ll feel energized in a totally new way! Plus then you can get on to eating the things you actually enjoy instead of forcing down a salad.
Eating vegan is advised before and after a cleanse and also as part of a healthy diet. Click here to read Nutritionista’s reasoning why you should consider going vegan, even if only for a week. I love this book of raw recipes if you’re game.
WHY SHOULD YOU CLEANSE
Let’s be honest, for the most part, we aren’t kind to our bodies drinking and eating almost everything we want and crave. So for three to five days at least once a year, you should consider taking the time to detox. As you learned above, your body absorbs the nutrients from juice quickly so your organs don’t have to work to digest the fiber. “Because the fiber is removed, raw juice has a natural laxative effect potentially enhancing the cleansing process,” says Susan.
With all of the ingredients that goes into juices – kale, spinach, parsley, celery, apple, carrots, beets, ginger, garlic, etc – your body is being strengthened on so many levels. Besides extracting the toxins, the juice provides vitamins and nutrients to strengthen your immune system, prevent diseases, ease anxiety, engage your heart, etc. I could go on for days.
After a cleanse, you’ll see benefits in your normal diet and lifestyle. You can experience:
- Decrease in craving for sugar and starch
- Appreciation for the natural sweetness in foods
- Satisfaction for normal portions of foods
I’ve answered of your questions quickly! Should you decide to move forward, click here for a list on how to prepare for a cleanse.
Click here to see what the experts have to say about fasting and cleansing.
MY FAVORITE CLEANSES TO BUY
In total I will have spent $70 on juices for three days from Susan. That price is LESS than what you’ll spend on juices for one day in cleanse you’ll purchase. But I do believe buying a complete cleanse with the nutrition value you know ahead of time and a schedule is the way to go for first time cleansers or people who aren’t at home all day. Here is a list of the ones I’ve tried and why I like them:
BluePrint Cleanse – 3-5 days. The universal cleanse that tastes good and ships nationwide. (Reader review)
Cooler Cleanse – A less expensive version of BluePrint. I’ve never tried this one.
Organic Avenue – 5 days. Only in NYC. Very hearty. Provides more fat and calories than I eat normally. (Video review)
Red Carpet Cleanses – 3-5 days. My absolute favorite because the juices are SO delicious. Pictured above w/amazing lemondade. (My review)
IzoCleanze – For the pro cleanser who is looking to truly detox their organs individually. (My review)
Click here to read a comparison of BPC, RCC, and OA.
THE FINAL CHAPTER: COLONICS
Colonics are controversial, but so is everything these days. I always do one after day 3 and day 5 of a cleanse to get the full benefit of the detox.
You can also do the procedure during a normal diet, but it is always recommended to clean up your diet before and after.
Click here for my experience and videos from past procedures (don’t worry, they’re not graphic).
Here is a list of the clinics I have been to and can attest the technicians are experienced and educated. They use different methods, but all have proven to be gentle and non-addictive for me.
- New York – Release (Gravity Method. See Sandi)
- Los Angeles – Healing Waters (Libbe Machine. See owner Colleen or Annie)
- Las Vegas – Healing Waters (Libbe Machine. Colleen’s headquarter clinic.)
- Houston – American Wellness Foundation (Gravity Method. Patty) – so excited to discover this place!
WHAT’S MISSING HERE
In my experience with cleansing, I haven’t used many herbal teas and oils (ex: flax seed) to help with bowel movements. But they are recommended if you get constipated. Other herbal teas can aid in the cleanse in other ways. I just haven’t been exposed to that yet.
Many people ask me about the Master Cleanse. I’ve never tried it and don’t plan to. Juice cleansing is challenging and beneficial enough for me. I can’t imagine going days without nourishment.
If you still have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’ll be more than happy to answer them. And if I can’t, I’ll pass your questions on to Susan or a nutritionist.
(Full disclosure: I received media discounts or comped cleanses for all cleanses mentioned in the “buying” section as well as the colonics, with the exception of American Wellness.)