I am constantly reading articles and other blogs to keep up with what's going on in the juicing world. There is a lot of advice going around, and there is a TON of bad advice out there. Let's take a look at some common misconceptions surrounding juice cleansing.
BAD ADVICE #1: There is a lack of protein and fiber in a juice cleanse
One of the most common questions we receive is, "Where do I get my protein?". Our culture has pushed and touted protein so much in recent years that our view as to how much is enough is completely skewed. It is nearly impossible to suffer from a protein deficiency in a developed country, unless you are choosing to live solely on rice and corn and nothing else.
The best source of protein available for human ingestion comes in the form of dark, leafy greens. Ounce per ounce there is more bio-available protein (and iron & calcium) in a piece of kale than there is in a comparable piece of steak. How can this be? Bio-available is the key word. It means protein in a form that is readily absorbable and usable in your body. Greens have this in abundance. And the easiest way to load up on plant-based protein is to drink or super dark green juices.
How do you get fiber during a cleanse?
Simple, eat fruit! Fruit breaks down in a way that doesn't break the cleanse. So you'll get fiber, you'll get to chew something, and you'll stay fuller longer.
BAD ADVICE #2: Hunger pangs are a bad sign
"Hunger pangs should go away by the second day, but if it doesn’t, break the fast and go back to eating normally.”
Hunger is not necessarily a bad thing.
First, hunger may be a sign that you are dehydrated, despite the fact that you are drinking your meals. During a cleanse, your body is spending all of its excess energy (which it usually spends on digestion) cleaning up the junk and getting it out of your body. This uses up a lot of water! So, while you are drinking your juice, add in just as much, if not more, water... preferably room temperature with lemon.
Second, and most important for weight loss, when you feel hungry your body looks to other sources for energy... primarily stored fat. It is ideal to not feel full before you go to bed at night. If you go to sleep with a lightness in your stomach, your body will burn fat overnight and you will wake up well-rested and feeling slimmer.
BAD ADVICE #3: Stop drinking coffee leading up to and during a juice cleanse
"To prepare for the cleanse, cut out coffee two to three days before."
While it is a good thing to cut out alcohol, meat, dairy, and as much processed foods (that are high in sugar and salt) as possible before starting a cleanse, cutting out coffee is a completely different matter.
Caffeine is a Drug.
Coffee contains caffeine which, for lack of a better word, is a drug. And a powerful one at that! It is no secret that Americans are addicted to coffee. If you take notice, you will find that whether you are in a big city or a suburb, there are coffee shops on every other corner, in strip malls that line the highways, and even on fast food menus. Coffee is everywhere.
Caffeine withdrawal is a serious thing. I've never suffered from migraines, but I have suffered through caffeine withdrawal, and let me tell you it is the worst headache you could possibly imagine.
If you are planning your cleanse for a few days from now, keep drinking coffee, however... drink it black without any milk, cream, flavored creamers, sugar or sugar substitutes.
If you have enough time before you want to start your cleanse (4 weeks or so) you can slowly ween yourself off of full strength to decaf by increasing the amount of decaf you drink each week by 25%. (Week One- 25% decaf, Week Two- 50% decaf, Week Three- 75% decaf, Week Four- 100% decaf).
*This might be a good thing to consider regardless of your plans to do a juice cleanse.
BAD ADVICE #4: GET A SECOND OPINION
Unless you have a medical issue and are consulting your physician, I would advise against getting a second opinion. Most of the time the people around you are not going to understand why you want to do a juice cleanse and will either try to talk you out of it, put it down, or straight out make you feel bad for wanting to do one. These people and their bad opinions should be avoided like the plague.
BAD ADVICE #5: DON'T DO ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES DURING A JUICE CLEANSE
While running a marathon during a juice cleanse is not advised... some activities are perfectly suited. Our motto is keep it low key. We suggest light intensity workouts like yoga, walking, and swimming. Getting your body moving is super beneficial, even if you aren't breaking a sweat, and many people seem to fare well by taking a yoga class or going for a brisk walk while sipping their 6 juices a day.
If you prefer not to take time off from your regular fitness routine but still would like to cleanse your body, we've designed the Protein Cleanse for you! With this cleanse, you get the fuel you need to keep exercising throughout.
Written by Jessica Rosen, Raw Generation's Co-Founder & Certified Holistic Health Coach