Article at a Glance
- Solid foods should be re introduced slowly after a juice cleanse
- 5 days is an optimal amount of time to re introduce solid foods
- Days 1 and 2 should offer light meals of fruit and leafy greens
- Day 3 should incorporate nuts and gluten free grains
- Day 4 can introduce organic, grass fed animal protein
- Day 5 is a good time to re introduce dairy and probiotics
- Staying hydrated after a juice cleanse is incredibly important
From Instagram famous fitness gurus to trendy juice shops sprouting up on every corner, it’s safe to say juicing has gained significant popularity worldwide.
You may be considering a juice cleanse but aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Afterall, sticking to a liquid diet as an instant detox is a great intention, but it takes some preparation and thought.
Juice cleanses are great for the body and work well when done bi-annually. However there are some things you should consider like preparing for your cleanse and the type of juices you want to eat.
Moreover, it is important to consider what to eat after a juice cleanse. Remembering that going from liquids to solids without reintroducing solid foods gradually can be a schoolboy error.
Let’s take a closer look at juice cleansing and how to do it the right way.
What Is a Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a detox program where you are essentially fasting.
It can last from a few days to a period of several weeks, during which time you will only consume the juices of fruits and vegetables and abstain from all other foods.
Remember people, this is not a long term option. Many people swear by juice cleansing and report positive benefits in health, fitness and appearance by following a short detoxifying juice only diet. However, trying to follow a liquid only diet for long periods of time is not sustainable or healthy.
Who Should Do a Juice Cleanse?
Anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy and wants to try a juice cleanse, should have no reason not to do so. Obviously if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or you’re pregnant you should skip juice cleansing for now.
It’s recommended that you follow an ‘official’ juice cleanse. By this we mean one which is designed for a specific purpose that has documented juicing recipes to follow. Just throwing any old juice together won’t necessarily produce the desired results.
It is also a good idea to speak with a doctor or nutritionist about your intended juice cleanse, just to ensure you aren’t putting yourself at any kind of potential risk.
Pros and Cons of a Juice Cleanse
There are a number of reasons someone may want to try a juice cleanse, however there are also some downsides you should weigh up.
Juice Cleanse Pros
- Easy to get a daily dose of fruit and veggies
- Your body will absorb nutrients efficiently
- You get a nutrient boost
- You will drop water weight
- It heals your cells
- You will lose weight in the short term
- It helps identify intolerances to substances like gluten or dairy
Juice Cleanse Cons
- Your metabolism will slow down which may lead to long term weight gain
- You may feel depressed, light headed and lack focus
- You will miss out on important nutrients like protein and fiber
- Fruit juices cause blood sugar spikes and lead to mood swings
- You will be hangry!
What to Eat After a Juice Cleanse
If you decide to go ahead with a juice cleanse, it is not enough to simply weigh the pros and cons and prepare all the ingredients you need for you daily juices.
Fasting and consuming a liquid only diet will play havoc on your digestive system if you try to immediately jump back into your normal meal plan.
Getting off your juice fast and heading straight for the closest fast food drive through won’t do you any favors, no matter how much you’re craving nuggets with a BBQ dip!
You need to reintroduce solid foods slowly to give your body the time it needs to get back to normal.
It should take about 5 days after your juice cleanse to reintroduce solid foods – remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Days 1 and 2 After a Juice Cleanse
During the first two days after your juice cleanse, you should start reintroducing light meals including fruits and greens.
You can start with a fruit bowl first thing in the morning, a light green salad for lunch and some sauteed leafy greens tossed in lemon juice for your evening meal.
It is important to stay hydrated. Drinking 8 glasses of water across the day is optimal.
Stick with light, organic foods that won’t put stress on your digestive system straight away.
Day 3 After a Juice Cleanse
It is good to continue with light meals at this point although you can feel free to start introducing nuts and gluten free grains like quinoa, amaranth or millet.
Day 4 After a Juice Cleanse
Keep going as you have been however if you are typically a meat eater, you may wish to start introducing some organic meats into your meals like beef, lamb, fish or chicken.
As we are still avoiding gluten at this point, go for grass fed animals.
Still keep your meals as light as possible. Over these initial days after a juice cleanse it is better to graze on light meals throughout the day rather than overload your stomach too early on. Also remember to keep up with that H2O.
Day 5 After a Juice Cleanse
You may wish to start re introducing dairy at this point. However, try to go for unpasteurized dairy like raw milk. Moreover, this is a great opportunity to boost your immune system with some probiotic dairy like kefir.
It is important to stay away from refined foods and sugar in these first few days after a juice cleanse. However, now that you have done a juice cleanse and learned to live without them, it is a great opportunity to dump the refined grains and sugar altogether and use your cleanse as a way to break bad habits and not return to you old ways of eating.