Juice Cleanses: Do or Don’t?

by Lesley on June 5, 2013 · 9 comments

in food,make-you-think

Last summer Jonathan and I did a juice detox through a local company called Integrative Wellness, now known as Peel’d. We thought it might be a great way to clean out his body after chemotherapy. Plus, I needed a re-charge too. After 20 months carrying or nursing a baby, I figured my system could also use a big dose of vitamins.  Jonathan and I met with a holistic nutritionist and then embarked on a detox adventure.

One thing I loved about our juice cleanse is we were allowed and encouraged to eat real food along with the juices. Of course there were many restrictions to what we could eat (mostly organic veggies) but we certainly didn’t starve. At the end of three days we both had more energy and felt really awesome. I’d be open to doing another juice cleanse (with food!)  if I felt my body needed one.  All that being said, there’s a lot of debate about whether juice cleanses are more harmful than helpful.

In Marie Claire, April 2013:

“Statistics don’t exist on the precise link between eating disorders and juice fasts, but Debbie Westerling, director of nutrition services at the Renfrew Center, one of the nation’s best-known eating disorder treatment facilities, says that among the program’s 60 residents, discussion of juice fasts has “exploded.” During intake questioning, at least half of patients now report experimenting with juice fasts.”

In Allure, April 2013:

“Digging around, I found that the majority are really—like really—high in sugar. While you might lose weight if you have nothing but pineapple and lemon juice for three days, you’re also going to be taking in around 150 grams of sugar, which is like diabetes in a bottle.”

The Boston Globe, December 2012:

“The euphoria and mental clarity many juice fasters report on the third day of the fast isn’t about good health but a simple result of starvation. At some point your body shuts down that feeling of immediate hunger, you become lightheaded and dizzy, and that euphoric feeling starts to come on,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I work with a lot of anorexics, and they feel euphoria, too.”  She believes the primary motivation fueling the current frenzy isn’t health, but weight loss. She says the average person will lose about 5 pounds through the cleanse, but it will be mostly water loss, and easily regained.”

I’m curious if you’ve tried a juice cleanse, or if you’ve purposefully stayed away from this growing nutritional trend? And, if you have done a juice cleanse before would you be less open to doing one again based on some of these growing concerns?

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9 comments
kelseywilliams
kelseywilliams

we bought a juicer, but haven't done a fast. we make juice occasionally with breakfast or dinner. honestly, i get a headache after every single juice i drink...even when i pair it with fat like eggs or avocado. i think it's from all that sugar??

tim_fall
tim_fall

I once did a juice fast. Not that I fasted from juices, but that I fasted from everything but juices for three days. I drank about 8-12 ounces of juice for my three meals a day, but had nothing else except water other than that. Every time I felt hungry, I prayed, usually something short but the hunger pangs were a trigger to go to God in prayer. I think I felt OK throughout. Broke the fast with a really good sushi dinner. Do you guys eat sushi? We know an excellent place here in Davis.

ChristinaKiefer
ChristinaKiefer

Interesting topic! My husband and I have done a 6-day cleanse, it wasn't a juice cleanse, but it was similar (a smoothie cleanse) with snacks like low sodium chicken broth, tea and certain fruits. It was tough, but we did it for similar reasons --- wanted to detox the toxins from our bodies and jump start a healthier eating routine. It was challenging, at times I was hungry, but we felt SO great afterwards. We did a lot of research beforehand, and it seemed like a good one and we loved the results.

tabitha_carnes
tabitha_carnes

I've never done a juice cleanse, mainly because I like carbs too much. But also because I'm semi-allergic to a lot of raw fruits and veggies, so I almost always have to cook them. I can eat some organic stuff, but even that can be iffy sometimes (makes my throat feel like it's closing up). I definitely like the fact that they let you have solid food along with the cleanse. I have a friend who tried a cleanse with her boyfriend, and after just a day or two, they both had ZERO energy and felt really run down. No thanks!