Before and after your juice diet, eat and drink an abundance of raw and preferably organic vegetables, along with healthy fats, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes. Reduce or avoid alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, and foods that are difficult to digest.

During the cleanse, drink as much water and herbal tea as you like. If you crave caffeine, choose a quality organic black tea with nut milk (avoid dairy). Start your day with alkaline water and lemon juice, with an optional dash of cayenne pepper.

If you feel hungry during your cleanse, let yourself eat solids, but try to restrict yourself to raw veggies and fruits. Most people find raw juices very satisfying, and are surprised to find that they do not feel hungry or “hangry”.  Consider trying the following doctor-recommended trick to satisfy salt cravings, add highly beneficial nutrients to your body, and satisfy an urge to chew on solid food: 6 times per day, chew raw dark, leafy greens with a bit of quality Balsamic vinegar. The enzymes in your spit and the acetic acid of the vinegar boost the beneficial effects of the greens significantly.

Try to make some space for rest and reflection during your cleanse. Get in touch with your body through gentle exercise, and spend time outdoors, facilitating and experiencing a deepening of your connection with nature, both externally and internally.

If you have any troubling symptoms, such as “detox headaches”, try to treat them without conventional chemical interventions. Before you take that pill, try alternate methods that might include increasing hydration, stretching, using breathing exercises, practicing meditation, practicing yoga, drinking therapeutic herbal teas, and/or allowing yourself to rest.

You might experience significant digestive changes such as an increase in bowel movements, and this is generally a normal/beneficial response. This is especially common in people whose diets pre-cleanse were heavy in meats, dairy products, and carbohydrates.

One of the wonderful benefits of drinking densely nutritious raw juice is that unhealthy cravings are greatly reduced and the appetite becomes smaller; raw juice helps stabilize your blood sugar, and your brain gets messaging from the body that its nutritional needs are being met.

Juice cleansing/fasting can also significantly help reduce inflammation and bloating, which has all kinds of positive effects on our overall health and wellness and brain function.

To maintain the benefits, your focus should be just as much trained on what you will do AFTER the cleanse as what you should be doing DURING the cleanse.

Post-cleanse, prioritize eating raw veggies and fruits. Focus on maintaining a plant-based diet and lifestyle, and avoid (or at least greatly minimize) consumption of dairy, meat, gluten, added sugars, and processed foods. Minimize your exposure to toxins and unhealthy chemicals in other aspects of your environment, too. With all of these practices, you are helping your body protect itself against disease.

Incorporate plant superfoods that alkalize and detoxify while providing a bounty of minerals and vitamins. Superfood smoothies are easy to make at home and a great way to quickly increase your intake of nutrient-dense raw plant foods.

Whenever you are feeling low, maximize the “bioavailability” principle: part of the reason that raw juices and superfood smoothies make us feel so good and are so helpful when we are ill is that they enter the body in a form that could be described as “pre-digested”. When fibre content is removed or broken down, the bounty of nutritional goodness enters the bloodstream more efficiently and we feel the positive effects sooner. Our bodies need fibre, but a densely nutritious food in a bioavailable form can really work wonders for people who are feeling poorly, and short-term diet that is very low on fibre is safe for most people. That being said, if you have any health concerns, you should consult with a doctor before starting a new diet plan.

Some people transition from a juice cleanse to a plan like EJF’s “Salad Days” (3 juices and 2 salad bowls daily). Others will simply incorporate raw juices in to their daily routine, either juicing at home or buying from a raw juice manufacturer like Electric Juice Factory. 16 oz per day (1 large bottle) of truly raw juice that is heavy on the vegetable content is a good starting point, but as our resident juice alchemist likes to say, “just drink as much raw juice as you can afford”. AVOID ALL JUICE THAT IS PASTEURIZED and HPP (“high pressure processed”, or “cold pasteurized” juice, like the brand Pulp & Press that is widely available in grocery stores, and claims to be raw and unpasteurized, but is not): If the shelf life on a bottle of juice is longer than 5 days, that juice is not worth the money you spend on it, because the processing methods that make juice shelf stable for long periods also massively reduce its nutritional value.

Try to avoid choosing fleeting pleasures and convenience foods that will eventually make you sick and represent the continuance of our society’s diseased habits. (Did you know that diseases caused by poor diet are the number one cause of early death in prosperous North America?) Instead, seek to experience the joy and balance and deep resilience that come from nourishing yourself well and in harmony with nature. Make choices with care for yourself uppermost in mind, but also consider how your personal choices influence other people, other creatures, and our environment. That is perhaps the strongest argument for pursuing a plant-based diet and lifestyle — plant-based and organic eating is a win-win-win proposition!

Lastly, if your healthy habits falter, forgive yourself and never give up. No one is perfectly healthy in all their habits all the time, and you are certainly worth the continued effort. Strive to protect yourself from the bad habits and self-defeating ideas of others. Cultivate friendships and relationships that support your quest for wellness and healthy, abundant living. Life is beautiful and delicious, and we have the choice to  empower ourselves and others to make health and abundance our common heritage.

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