I’ve just come off a DIY home 3 day juice fast/cleanse and am feeling remarkably sharp, clear, high energy and clean.
When I lived in New York 2001-2006 it coincided right into the beginning of the raw food movement and David Wolfe’s raw food cafe was a hole in the wall around the corner from my apartment in the East Village. When I went to various lectures in my neighborhood on raw food, juice and fasting the people attending were deep into the movement with greasy, stringy hair, sallow looking skin and were very, very stinky. Not the greatest advertisement. Being my judgmental mid twenties self, I kept it all at arms length and dipped in and out of it, going balls deep on my own. I did pick up a lot of intel after researching everything ad nauseam at the time, and as I brushed up on a few principles to start this fast, it all came flooding back.
The body has it’s own amazing detox practices, and it feels like this just supports it in doing this work while taking a break from food – especially meat & dairy, and even supplements. I don’t really use a juice fast specifically for weight loss, although you do see the scales move, it’s hard to tell if there’s much difference once you start eating again.
Whether you believe in the idea of cleansing, fasting and detox or not, eating clean and taking some time out from a normal diet makes me feel good in many different ways. You can’t deny that assaulting the body with a seriously clean intake and lots of water has an effect.
Whether it’s getting headachy or having old memories crop up in your awareness, an energy boost or needing more sleep than usual, I always feel it doing something to my system. I started to have a couple of old cringe-worthy memories crop up in this most recent juice fast, and as I tuned in to see whether there was some work to do for me internally – i realised I didn’t. It was the last release from my cellular memory that was triggered by the cleanse. Amazing! So it’s good to listen and observe yourself and what is going on within you while undertaking this kind of process.
Keep reading below for tips, what to expect and other helpful juice cleanse insights!
Here are a few tips if you want to try your own 3 day juice cleanse:
There are various types of juicers on the market, at a range of prices. The best is a masticating or cold slow pressed juicer rather than a centrifugal juicer. The masticating doesn’t kill off any goodness with heat and you get max juice out of your pulp – so less wastage and more bang for buck. In saying that though they are significantly more expensive and any juicing is better than none!
Any decent juicer requires a bit of cleaning, and my Champion Juicer (literally still going from the 90’s!) isn’t all that easy to be honest – especially if you use celery as the fibrous string tangles around the rotator inside (even after cutting it up small). However it is worth it to me as it’s far less expensive and better quality, balanced juices than anything from a juice bar or store bought.
It’s not best practice to go from eating a burger the night as a last dinner, straight into a juice fast the next day. You can do it, you just probably wont feel that good and it’s hard on the system! I usually phase out as much seafood, meat and dairy as I can a few days before a cleanse. I eat lots of salads or vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Fish is a better option if you have to have a protein.
Tips & tricks
- You want to have a green juice every second juice. Green juices are the best overall for you so the more the better.
- Overall you want to steer away from sugar as much as you can. Even natural fruit sugar. So a hint of fruit is fine if you need to make it palatable, but the less sugar the better! Carrots and Beets are also much higher sugar content, so use other veg such as cucumber or celery to dilute them and bulk it out.
- With a green juice – you can add a ½ – 1 green apple or pear. Or some berries. Something not too sweet. It’s also nice to have a more savoury juice sometimes of pure vegetable, herbs with a tomato and a pinch of Himalayan salt. Kind of like a sober Bloody Mary!
- Always add lemon. Great in all kinds of juices and is alkaline in the system.
- Don’t forget to utilize fresh turmeric, ginger and fresh herbs (parsley, mint, dill, coriander etc). I often put both turmeric and ginger in both green and root juices – and the herbs as you prefer. Parsley is punchy, so don’t go overboard – but soooo good for you! Sometimes I just do a pressed ginger and turmeric shot to switch it up.
- If using Turmeric – always add a pinch of black pepper to allow the turmeric to activate in your system
- I recently heard about the amazing health benefits of blueberry juice, so I included a shot or two, if I felt a lull during the day and needed a pick me up.
- I find that green juices keep you fuller for longer. Especially pure vegetable juices with mostly greens. Don’t be afraid to put some broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni or even radish in too!
- Experiment with interesting greens other than the usual spinach and kale – like amaranth, dandelion, sorrel, watercress, rocket, romaine lettuce, silverbeet, bok choy. They all have different properties and health benefits and it’s fascinating to look it up and find out about them.
- It’s good to make about 400-500 mls of each juice to keep you satiated. I prefer to make them fresh as I go, as they do oxidise and lose their enzyme activity the longer you leave them. In saying that if you can’t do that then use glass bottles or jars and fill them to the top so there is less air! And any juicing is better than none in my mind so just do your best with what you can.
- Chewing the juice when you first drink it signals to your stomach and is key for activating your digestive enzymes.
- I soak cashews (you could use another nut I guess but cashews are the softest and easiest) overnight before I blend them with water the next day and a pinch of Himalayan salt and some organic vanilla essence. Make enough for 3 days worth at the beginning and keep it in the fridge. Some people add a little agave or a date or two to their bulk of cashew milk – entirely up to you! I like to warm the raw cashew milk ever so slightly so as not to destroy the raw enzymes and add cinnamon.
- If you feel you need it and/or it’s winter you can have a cup of vegetable broth. Either homemade or there are some great brands now on the market that do nourishing broths with seaweed and herbs
A daily plan for the 3 Day Cleanse looks like this:
Warm Lemon water
Root juice (carrot, beetroot, ginger etc)
Raw homemade cashew milk at the end of the day as dinner
· I mix in shots of pure turmeric/ginger/black pepper & blueberry juice occasionally if I don’t add this to the juice
· At least 1.5 Liters of water throughout the day, and as much herbal tea as you like
What to expect
- Expect to feel a little hungry! Your system takes a little while to adjust, but if starving have more green juice.
- If you are a coffee drinker you’ll likely have a headache so cut down those coffees before heading into a fast
- You may feel a little more tired than usual, creative, cranky, headachy or high as a kite! It all depends, and is often related to how clean your diet is usually. Just don’t judge and if you need to throw in a broth or cashew milk during the day do it. It won’t be the end of the world!
- Sometimes sleep can be better or worse. I find as I move through and get more energized. I need less sleep!
- Take time to observe yourself and how you feel and what is coming up for you. It’s great to meditate every morning, connect with your heart, journal and connect to nature at some point if you can.
I never undertake anything strenuous when doing a juice fast. I work normally and then take a walk in nature or do some yoga every day. I find doing this at the end of the day helps stave off hunger in the evening! But however you do it, keep it light and easy, and guided by how you feel.
Coming off the fast is as important as the fast itself. The same principles apply as pre-fast in general for a day or two after. It’s about slowly reintroducing different kinds of foods back into your diet. If you go straight out for a celebratory rich meal and wine after, your probably not going to feel great and your body will have a hard time processing the onslaught after a fast.
I always break the fast with fresh fruit. One kind first like watermelon for the electrolytes, then something else like an apple, pear or berries a little later. Keep it simple. Then move into a raw soup (I love cucumber, avocado, zucchini & dill!) or salad later in the day. Just slowly add things – and not everything at once! Starting with raw food first always. Then starting adding a little dairy if you have it (I add goat cheese first as it’s more alkaline and easy to digest), and then seafood later and meat last over 2-3 days.
Full disclosure – I am not a doctor, I have just been interested in holistic health and wellbeing my whole life, and studied in various holistic therapies and training but please consult a medical professional and do your own research before embarking on anything like this if you are unsure!