The Beginner's Guide to a Juice Cleanse

Fancy the skin, stamina and super-dazzling vigor of Miranda Kerr? Well it seems her secret is found in the bottom of a bottle – of cold-pressed juice, that is.

A fan of both the Orchard Street Cleanse and Lucky You Cleanse, there could be no better poster girl than Ms Kerr for the benefits of clean living and even cleaner drinking.

Even for the non-globe-trotting supermodel, the fast pace and growing priorities of daily life can push consciousness around what we eat and how we eat it into the background, highlights Kirsten Shanks, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist and founder of Orchard Street Cleanse.

“This can lead to choosing our meals based on whatever is readily available rather than what our body requires," she notes. "As a result we can find ourselves undernourished, burdened with chemicals and hosting a range of digestive upsets."

Lucky You Juice Cleanse founder Heidy Jameel says that juice cleansing offers our system the perfect, home-delivered nourishing respite in an accessible package. “Not only does it provide a broad range of organic nutrients, it offers an opportunity to pause, reflect and ‘clean the slate’ - to kick-start more mindful dietary practices.”

So attractive are the health benefits and ease of juice cleansing programs, Kirsten says that some of her customers cleanse every Monday, others do so monthly with a three-day cleanse and some greet the change of seasons with a five-day cleanse.

Thinking of embarking on a juice cleanse? Smart move. Here’s what you need to know before you book the delivery to your door:

What is a ‘Cold Pressed’ Juice?
“Cold-pressing is a process which gently extracts the liquid, leaving the fibre behind, and that means there is no digestion required for the nutrients in the juice to be absorbed,” explains Kirsten. “This is great if you have digestive concerns that may hinder absorption and need a rapid, easy dose of organic phytonutrients.”

What are the biggest benefits of cleansing?
There are a multitude including rebalancing the body, alkalizing the system, removing acidic build up, re-hydrating the system, increasing nutrient absorption and giving digestion a rest.

Are Juice Cleanses the right option for everyone?
“You should not undertake a juice cleanse if you are pregnant,” cautions Heidy, adding that “it is always best to check with your Doctor prior to doing a cleanse or detox of any sort.”

Why not just juice at home? 

“I know first hand by seeing what goes into our LYC GREEN A juice that I would be hard pressed to find the time and ability to eat all of that produce whole!” she laughs. “We are talking about 1.5 kilos of greens!” Additionally, Heidy adds that the body absorbs juice more quickly then smoothies, so the health benefits are higher with juices as opposed to over-the-counter smoothies.

Are there any side-effects of juice cleanses?
If you do indulge in the usual suspects like coffee, alcohol and sugar,  it’s important to wean yourself off for a few days before commencing a cleanse, suggests Kirsten. “Not creating the time to do this commonly results in headaches from caffeine withdrawals and irritability and cravings as your body adjusts to the absence of sugar and alcohol.”

“Occasionally people don’t consume all of the drinks, finding them too filling," she adds. "Whilst we do encourage ‘mindful sipping’, it’s also important to make sure you are getting all of the nourishment you need during the cleanse."

How can clients prolong the benefits of cleansing long after the juices are gone?
“If there was just one message I could impart to my clients and customers, it would be to practice mindful eating,” says Kirsten. “Slow down and cultivate a greater awareness at mealtimes, noticing the way foods affect your physical, emotional and mental state. This practice can be one of the biggest turning points in developing more positive, healthier food choices in the long term.”

Top Five Cleansing Tips:

1. Drink Green Juice. “First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes prior to having anything else,” suggests Heidy.

2. Exercise for 30 minutes a day - outside - if you can. “Run, swim, power walk, circuit training ... get that body moving," says Heidy. "No excuses rain or shine, make it happen. A solid run can be the best form of meditation - listen to the beat of your shoes hitting the pavement and let your mind go!”

3. Breathe deeply and slowly. “Disease can't thrive in an oxygenated body,” she adds.

4. Cleanse quarterly to give your digestive system a much-needed rest. “Keep things clean and green a couple days before and a couple after. Over time you will find it gets easier each go and the benefits are endless,” says Heidy.

5. Live life unencumbered. “There are a lot of rules surrounding what you should and should not do. Make your own rules. As soon as you commit to this, life gets a whole lot easier,” Heidy enthuses. “Stress creates an acidic internal environment, the absolute opposite of what we are trying to achieve. Finding the right acid/alkaline balance for YOU is finding the key to health and happiness!”

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