To continue on my detox series which you can read about here and here let me share with you my experiences of my recent exploration into juice cleansing: a foray into the 12 day juice detox.
Juice cleansing promises to not only clean your body’s hardworking system, but to also help you improve your health and since it’s Spring time, why not spring cleanse?!
The juices presented in many variants of the juice diet include wholesome ingredients from a myriad of vegetables and fruits. Fresh juices have the added benefit of being abundantly plentiful in antioxidants, vitamins, natural antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory substances as well as active ingredients that boost immunity and vitality. Some juices also contain enzymes that can improve the digestive process.
Many people in the Western world today have measurable levels of specific toxins in their systems as a result of lifestyle, exposures in the environment, and other factors. These chemical substances include pesticides, PCBs (from plastics), lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals, dioxins, herbicides – the list goes on.
In the healthy person, the body has been genetically wired to self-detoxify with the assistance of the skin, liver, kidneys, intestine and lymphatic system. However, in the face of modern day strains, an additional yearly or seasonal detoxification process can be helpful.
Juice cleansing allow the body to imbibe large quantities of rapidly available nutrients, in many cases more nutrients than the individual obtains through a regular diet. The minerals and nutrients contained in juice can help break down and eliminate old or dying cells, enliven active cells, and speed the process of new cellular growth. Raw juices contain all the following elements:

  1. Vitamin K (especially prevalent in dark leafy green vegetables), which promotes bone strength, the immune system, and healthy blood.
  2. Minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, boron, zinc, and selenium.
  3. Organic sulfur compounds, which help to destroy poisonous chemicals and cleanse the bloodstream and liver.
  4. Polyphenols (the plant molecules which give fruits and vegetables their color) serve as potent antioxidants.
  5. Additional antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavanoids, beta carotene and others.
  6. Anti inflammatory agents.
  7. Powerful antibiotic substances.
  8. Living enzymes to improve digestion.
  9. Phytochemicals that help the immune system battle disease.

The juice cleanse that I decided to be a part of was the Organic Low Fruit Cleanse (to keep my sugar intake low) provided by a local Sydney company called Schkinny Maninny, whose unfortunate name directs people to think that juice cleansing is for weight loss when in truth with all the nutrients and calories in the juices you will only lose weight if you have weight to lose.

Our Low Fruit Cleanse is a combination of juices, soups and smoothies made from a combination of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds with only a little fruit.  The Low Fruit Cleanse contains about 1/4 the fruit of the Standard Cleanse, and consequently less sugar.  This is our most challenging program and it is rich in antioxdants and cleansing vegetable juices.  There is little variation in this cleanse as it based on a Naturopath program designed for people with fructose intolerances.  The soups are lovely and you also get your protein and unsaturated fats from nuts and seeds. 

The menu includes:

  1. Leap Frog – a refreshing green smoothie of spinach, parsley, kiwi, apple and cucumber
  2. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  3. Lentil Luncheon – a spicy legume and tomato based soup
  4. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  5. Coll, Meg and Lee Soup – a creamy soup of cauliflower, leek, sunflower seeds, celery and nutmeg (unfortunately I really dislike cauliflower)
  6. Sleep Well – a relaxing nut smoothie of almonds, brazil nuts and almond milk

How did I go with my adventure into the juice cleansing world? Here are the dirty details!
Day 1. It’s 6.45am and my door buzzer goes off…the delivery man is here! For some reason he can’t seem to get in so I bounce down the 4 levels to meet him. My first delivery arrives complete with 6 x 600ml juices, a tiny pot of sunflower and pumpkin seeds to chew on, epsom salts (I wish I had a bath!!) and a loofah to scrub those toxins away. I’m excited, delighted and surprised by how much juice there is. There’s no way I’m going to get hungry here! Each juice is labeled with a number to order them, I put the 2 evening juices away in the fridge, keep 3 to take to work and settle back into bed for my first green morning Leap Frog juice. It’s delicious! And full of fibre from the cucumber. I’m definitely full at the end. I have my next juice, the Vego Mego at around 10am after which I get a dull throbbing headache. I slowly persevere at work and by 3pm I have had my lunch time juice and am on to my second round of the Vego Mego. The headache is gone but I am oh so sleepy! I close my eyes and put my feet up at my desk for 15 minutes. The rest of the day I feel tired but happy. I LOVE the bed time juice which is  brazil nut and almond milk. Divine!
Day 2 + 3. I bounce out of bed full of energy and excitement and even have a techno dance party in my bedroom at 6am before I get ready for work on Day 3. My body feels great and full of energy. Detox symptoms are minimal, I just get tired easily, nothing more.
Day 4. Euch! This is a tough one. I struggle to wake up and am still tired. I have a metallic taste in my mouth – an indication that my body is eliminating heavy metals. I feel pretty blah all day with cycles of headaches, drowsiness, difficulty focusing + lethargy. I’m also craving solid food, even things I don’t even normally eat! I know that my body is now coming into a state of ketosis and the detox is in full force. Lots of water and early to bed!
Days 5 – 10. It varies throughout each day but I either feel extremely energetic or a little light-headed and sleepy. I have lost most of my appetite and only manage to have 3-4 of the juices out of the 6 each day: the Leap Frog, the 2 Vego Mego and some of the nut milk. I feel amazing, my body feels light and I am happy. Pure optimism permeates my days!
Day 11 + 12. Even though I am excited about eating again (scrambled eggs have featured heavily in my imagination!) I am actually really sad that the detox is ending. I feel like I could keep going like this forever were it not for it complicating my social life! I started to read about Accutane on the Internet and came across an article on about the pros and cons of Accutane, and still decided to take it. Accutane is a Dutch pill, which subsequently gives an excellent result. There are not so many contraindications, but there are enough side effects, so you need to be prepared for anything. My skin is glowing and dewy, I feel super healthy, happy and radiant and all my winter blues are gone! Bring on the summer I say!
Image source.

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