Spring is here and with that comes spring cleaning. And in my case, that cleaning is in the form of a 20 day body detox. In order to prepare for this detox and give my body a small taste of what was in store for it over a longer period of time, I have been doing juice cleanses over a small number days. Since I felt incredible after each brief period on the cleanse, I decided a detox would be just what my body desired.
Chances are that when you hear the word “cleanse” and “detox”, you think of the same thing. That is because people tend to use them interchangeably and do them for the same reasons – weight loss, more energy, recharging their bodies. However, the two are actually quite different.
A detox is to ease the release of toxins from our fat storage cells in order to enhance our body’s detoxification pathways, and to ensure all toxins (heavy metals, chemicals, environmental residuals, etc.) are eliminated from our body.
This is a process through which the main organs of the body are supported and encouraged to release both exogenous (initially found outside the body such as alcohol, tobacco, and chemicals found in our foods) and endogenous (produced in the body, such as excess hormones and cholesterol) toxins. Detoxing is done over a longer period of time (usually a minimum of three weeks) in order to bring restoration of the body’s function and bringing about enhanced vitality. It is a change in lifestyle, not just diet. Think herbal supplements, therapeutic sweating, etc. While you will eat on a detox, think raw and fresh.
A cleanse is generally a lightening of the body’s load for a few days or for a week, most often through limiting or eliminating food and focusing on juicing or consuming only limited raw foods. While you generally won’t be eliminating all toxins throughout your body, you will be able to eliminate the most basic of toxins found in your digestive tract (fecal matter, parasites, fungi, etc.).
That is why starting with a cleanse is a great way to lead into a detox, especially for those of us that have trouble avoiding all those not so good for you foods. And no, pineapple on your pizza doesn’t mean you eat healthy. With that being said, here are a few of my favorite juices for those of you that want to lead up to a detox or just want to clean up your system for a few days. Do it for a long as you like and feel free to change things up a bit. All bodies are different, and what juice you drink can be, too.
You will need access to a juicer for all three receipts. Wash all fruit and vegetables before using. Drink juices immediately, as they lose their nutrients relatively quick.
I start every morning of any cleanse or detox with hot water and lemon, but I also have a “hot shot”. This is a perfect pick me up to get you going first thing in the morning, or for whenever you have food cravings. The amounts below are for a "shot", but if you want more then you just use more lemons and add as much ginger according to your liking.
(1) Lemon – I slice for ease using the juicer, removing the seeds, but keeping the rind intact. Lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself.
Ginger – I add a decent amount, because I like it “hot”, but I recommend starting small. Especially if you aren't accustomed to using ginger. Think of it like salt and pepper - you season to taste.
Pour juice into glass and top with a small amount of cayenne.
BLOOD CARROT GLOW
The name of this juice sounds like Peter Rabbit find a deadly fate in Mr. McGregor’s garden, but the “blood” is from the orange. The glow is because carrot is such a great source of nutrients that act in an antifungal & antibacterial manner. This is perfect for acne sufferers.
(2) Blood Oranges – If they are not in season, as this is a late winter treat, go for the regular variety.
(4) Medium Raw Carrots – Go for a bunch with the greens still attached. You will discard the tops, but I’ve found these to be fresher than anything purchased already in plastic.
Ginger – I like the smallest little bit of ginger added to this juice. It adds a more complex taste. You are more than welcome to leave this out, though.
Green juice has always kind of grossed me out, because it reminds me of baby food. Think green beans and English peas in puree form. Gross. Gross. Gross. However, you find the right green juice that actually tastes good, and I’m all for it. This green juice recipe is my favorite.
(5) Large Kale Leaves (one small handful)
(1) Large Cucumber
(1) Lemon – Again, I remove the seeds and leave the peel.
(1) Apple – My favorite is Honeycrisp, but you can use whatever you want. I would avoid Granny Smith, because you already are getting enough tartness with the lemon.
(1) Large Rib of Celery