15 REAL Dos and Don’ts of Juice Cleansing

I’ve started a juice cleanse to jump start myself back into better eating habits following this past season of life which I shall call the Unlimited Chocolate and Cheese season. And also the Don’t Hold Back the Butter season. And the Of Course I’ll Have Fries With That season. A good season, to be honest. A great season. And one I fully intend to revisit. But one from which my clothes and I need a brief break if we’re going to have any hope of making our relationship long-term. 

I’m also — obviously doing the juice cleanse because I’m an Oregonian so this kind of thing is periodically required. Frankly, a juice cleanse is an easier way to keep my Oregonian card than buying therapy llamas, although not nearly as awesome.

Of course, before I started, I researched juice cleansing and juice fasting online. Ostensibly so I could do it right, but really to plan exactly which rules to break. Like the No Solids Rule. Yeah – totally breaking that one with small amounts of lean protein because I’ve met me without protein and I’m not very nice. 

Now that I’m a day and a half into my juice cleanse, though, and, therefore, an expert, I’ve realized my research didn’t fully prepare me. 

Just in case you, like me, are curious about juicing, I thought I might put together a list of what to expect at the beginning. What to know ahead of time. And what behaviours to avoid. Not, you know, the kinds of Dos and Don’ts that come from a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in nutrition science and public health. No. This list is more of a nuts and bolts list; a practical list; or, as I like to call it,

15 REAL Dos and Don’ts of Juice Cleansing

juiceReady? Here we go.

1. DO understand you will be drinking things that look like Jabba the Hutt… like if you took Jabba the Hutt, crammed him into a blender, flipped liquify, and poured him into a cup. This is, I am now convinced, why people say blended fruit and vegetable juice tastes surprisingly good. Because you look at it, expecting a sort of chunky, foamy Jabba the Hutt flavor, and are so pleasantly surprised to be choking back something that tastes more like apple and spinach that you can hardly believe your good luck.

2. DO understand what a juice cleanse means: no refined sugar, no salt, no fat, no solids, no alcohol, and no caffeine.

3. DO understand a mother of five will insist coffee is a plant derivative and, as such, can be reasonably included in a diet of fruits and vegetables.

4. DO understand she will also make an exception for half-and-half which is really just juice of cow.

5. DO NOT try to tell the mother of five she’s breaking the rules, doing it all wrong, and shouldn’t even bother if she’s not going to do it right. She’s been breaking the rules and doing it all wrong for years; if she previously abandoned all rules of socially appropriate behavior by, oh, say, wearing her pajamas to the store in the middle of the day, sans makeup, bra, panties, socks and dignity to procure medicine, a nasal aspirator and off-brand Popsicles with extra dye and sugar for a sick child, then juice cleanse rules really don’t stand a chance. Nice try, though.

6. DO understand when you get caught eating Pop Chips in the bathtub that it will be hard to convince your 7-year-old that you are eating juice of potato. This is not meant to discourage you from making the argument; it’s simply fair warning to be prepared to really sell it.

7. DO realize that if you have ever said to your child, “If you were really hungry enough, you would eat it,” the Jabba juice is karmic justice, and it’s time to put up or shut up. It’s time to decide… are you really hungry enough? If not, it’ll be waiting for you at breakfast. Maybe by then you will be.

8. DO understand, after you have put up, that Jabba the Hutt will wreak havoc on your digestive system. 

9. DO understand this is what cleansing means.

10. DO understand you must remain within darting distance of a toilet for at least 24 hours.

11. DO NOT think you can run out for a quick errand.

12. DO NOT think it will only be a few minutes and you really, really need just one thing from the store.

13. DO NOT, I repeat do NOT, get stuck waiting for a train.

14. DO thank your lucky stars for indoor plumbing.

15. And DO thank God you made it in time.

……….

There you have it. 15 REAL Dos and Don’ts for Juice Cleansing. 

Do you juice? If so, what would you add? AND what’s your favorite recipe? I’m looking for more ideas. FYI, I do not recommend the spinach, celery, carrot, cucumber, lemon combo… blerg.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
13 comments
  1. Libby’s idea of the veggie juice sounds yum…but I like to take it one step further.
    I get so sick of the sweet, fruity, grassy-tasting green smoothies, so I make a green Bloody Mary:
    V-8 juice
    greens (I like it best with kale)
    1 garlic clove
    small dollop of horseradish
    handful of walnuts
    smashed all down in the blender with a celery stalk
    (and if you wanna splash in a little vodka, well, that’s juice too, right???)

    It is seriously delish. If you’re in the mood for a Bloody Mary. Or an excuse to partake of a little vodka…

  2. Apple, beet, and ginger – my favorite. Some of us aren’t really meant to drink green juice 🙂

  3. I could no way EVER do a juice cleanse but I do make a fruit-veg combo shake most mornings and after screwing it up royally many times, I came across this recipe which is no fail:
    2 parts green leaves – whatever you have
    2 parts liquid – water/ coconut milk/ almond milk/ rice milk/ etc.
    3 parts fruit+veg – whatever you like
    Good luck!
    BTW, No caffeine? You are superwoman!!!!!

  4. I DO have a recipe! 1 sweet potato, 3-5 carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 1 red beet (not like one of those softball-sized ones), a little bit of ginger, and a big orange or an apple.

  5. My husband and I bought a Breville juicer after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on netflix. I recommend watching it if you can. But while watching it I snickered at the people who couldn’t get out of bed thinking they were being drama queens about it. That is until two days in I felt like I was literally going to die. It gave me a whole new level of empathy for drug addicts. Detox can be scary. Needless to say I got some nuggets from Popeye’s and instantly felt normal. The lesson here? Fast food is a drug!

  6. No caffeine? Nope. I’m out. You lost me right there!

    You’re a superhero!

  7. How you make all these life event so flippin’ funny is beyond me. But, I get to much pleasure in the fact that you do.

    My mom in law makes a super yummy juice with coconut milk (which is only shredded coconut mixed with water and then strained…so really juice), lime, apple and spinach. It is such a refreshing alternative to the typical juices. Are you drinking whole juices or running everything through a juicer–just curious

  8. What’s funny is that as I read #2 I too automatically assumed #3 and #4. I’m happy to give up caffeine – as long as you don’t mean coffee, with half and half, because they are both natural anyway. Ha!

    Good luck friend!

  9. #3 & #4 are why I won’t be doing this EVER. But #10 is also compelling. God bless you, woman!

  10. I recommend any juice with pineapple – so yummy! You can add pretty much anything to pineapple and it will still taste good. Also ginger is a great addition that prevents illness and helps with tummy upset from too much juicing!!! My other favorite is to make my own version of V-8, or as I like to call it, “Salad In A Glass.” Lots of tomato and carrot, plus any greens you like, good sea salt (like Himalayan), and the real key is to add a teeny bit of onion and garlic. I know, sounds crazy, but take a look at the V-8 label. Yep, onion and garlic. Trust me, it’s delicious! Just a teeny bit each of salt, onion and garlic makes all the difference with veggie juice.

  11. I tried the Paleo Diet for a month and was miserable. I cannot mess with my food!

  12. Addressing #2, (and the #3 which is also addressing #2) Wine IS juice. I just cannot emphasize that enough, and thought that statement deserved hundreds of exclamation points, but only used a period. I am showing great restraint here.

  13. This is AMAZING, you always crack me up! And I do, am doing my Oregonian obligatory hop-on-the-smoothie-juice train this month, but not so intensely… mine’s a juice and coffee (which is really a homemade mocha, light on the mocha, cuz that makes it okay… juice of cacao and all…) all morning with whatever the heck I get around to having for dinner after the preschoolers are off home and husband and daughter and dogs are fed. I do like a combo of spinach (or kale), cilantro, parsley, orange juice, apple, blueberry, and strawberry, and I mix in some chia seeds just before drinking. Cheers to you, and to having a bathroom close by at all times! =)

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