The 5 - Day Green Juice Challenge

It’s all the rage right now, and we tried it to see if there’s good reason why so many people are opting for just juice to optimise health, detoxify and make fundamental changes to their bodies.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

If you’re keen to do a juicing detox, it’s vital to prepare your body first. Also be sure to check with your health practitioner if you have any conditions that could be problematic (pregnancy, heart issues, diabetes and so on). Consider what it is you consume on a daily basis and even if you live a fully organic and fresh lifestyle, there may still be some foods or drinks that can give you withdrawals. Caffeine is a huge culprit – people who drink a lot of coffee will experience major headaches, sluggishness and irritability as a result of withdrawal. So, before embarking on a juice detox, reduce (or cut out) caffeine at least a week before. Sugar can also cause withdrawals.

Interestingly, if you generally follow a low-carb diet, your body could also react negatively to the flood of simple sugars into your system, which requires you to produce more insulin more quickly. This could result in a drop in blood sugar, making you feel light-headed.

TIP: Drink plenty of water as well – without fibre and protein to slow digestion, water is drawn into the digestive tract and this can cause softer, more frequent bowel movements.

STEP BY STEP

DAYONE: The morning is great, especially if you aren’t much of a breakfast fan. Your body is still full of yesterday’s food and you’re positive it’s all going to be ok. If you normally drink a cup of coffee to wake up, you might feel like you’re missing out, but it’s not that hard.

By midday, you feel a bit like the morning has crawled because you’re thinking about all the food you’re missing out on and begin wondering if you can survive not chewing anything for the next five days.

By bed-time (likely earlier than usual), you’ll be feeling pretty tired and possibly a bit down. But, to keep you going, it’s about this time that your vital organs are beginning to sit up and take notice that something really good is happening.

DAY TWO: This is a good day. Suddenly you have more energy and wake up feeling lighter. That’s because your body didn’t have to use up precious energy to break down food and there is energy to spare.

TIP: While you can exercise on the juicing detox, it’s best to tone down your regimen if you are very active. Your body is going through a change and even a bit of a shock, so be gentle with yourself. Ensure that you hydrate well and get plenty of rest. You’ll also probably feel more connected and clear-headed, unless you’re going through caffeine withdrawals. You’ll be surprised, too, that you aren’t hungry and your food fantasies have died down.

DAY THREE: Everyone is different and this could be a crash or a high day. The energy from day two may have all but disappeared and you could be feeling pretty grumpy. If so, you’re probably going to consider breaking the rules to nibble on something (anything) that isn’t liquid and green. If you are experiencing a day three high, you’ll feel a bit invincible and may even consider sticking to juice only for the rest of your life – but don’t do it. Most experts agree that five days is the limit.

DAY FOUR: Much like day three, but you’re likely to feel lighter and more energized. You’re on the home stretch and this is a good day to begin planning what you’ll eat to break the fast. Instead of loading up on all the food you’ve missed out on, it’s wiser to ease your body and digestive system back into gear. Plan for raw, organic fruit and veg and slowly get back into your normal diet.

DAY FIVE: Your whole body and soul feels lighter and cleaner. Your skin will probably be softer and you’ll definitely have a glow about you. Now is the time to consider the recipes you’ve used over the five days and plan how you can continue to include at least one juice daily into your diet. You’ve given your body a shot of pure nutrients and the cleansing break it needed, so keep the benefits going by incorporating your favourites into your daily routine.

GET JUICING

Before you begin, it’s important to understand that juicing is different from blending. Juicing doesn’t include the fibrous skins, pips and pulp that blending does. This is to ensure your digestive tract is given the freedom to be well cleansed.

What’s also vital to consider is that you need vegetables as well as fruit – too much fruit will mean too much sugar. Remember to stock up before you begin and work the time it will take to prepare your juices into account (peeling, cutting, slicing and cleaning your juicer). The basics will include green apples, celery, kale, mint, cucumber and lemons. Ensure you buy only organic ingredients so your body is getting only the very best nature has to offer.

THE BASIC

*2 Green apples, sliced

*3 Celery stalks (no leaves)

*1 Cucumber

*8 Kale leaves

*½ Lemon, peeled

*1 Piece fresh ginger

*Optional, sprig of fresh mint

SOFTLY FRUITY

*6 Pears, sliced and de-seeded

*2 Celery stalks

*3 Cups kale

*2 Tablespoons fresh mint

FRESH

*2 Cucumbers (peeled)

*6 Sprigs fresh basil

*2 Mint leaves

*1/4 Green melon (peeled)

*2 Lemons, squeezed

SAVOURY

*1 Eggplant (peeled)

*3 Pears (de-seeded)

*1/8 Fennel bulb

*4 Broccoli florets

*5 Spinach leaves

There are myriad recipes online for green detox juices. Do your research and find recipes that will not only offer you a good variety of nutrients, but a mix of tastes as well. Some of these recipes will claim to assist in weight-loss. While you are likely to lose some weight during a juice detox, this isn’t a sustainable loss and comprises mostly of fluids. The weight will quickly return if you continue with the same diet as before.

Remember that feeling headachy, drowsy or fatigued and irritable are common effects of a detox diet. However, if you at any time feel like your body’s response is more than you can handle, seek advice from a health practitioner as soon as possible.

“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”