Pre and Post-Cleanse
You’ll see tremendous benefits from doing our juice cleanse, but for maximum benefit, you’ll want to be sure you’re eating a pure, clean, simple diet for at least 2 days before and 2 days after the cleanse. If this is not possible (or not desirable), try to follow at least some of the below tips one day prior to your cleanse and one day following completion.
We recommend greatly reducing or eliminating the following:
All processed foods
Foods in this category include anything that is pre-packaged, brought home from a fast food restaurant, or made from ingredients you cannot identify. This includes everything from chips, breads and sodas to lunch meat and even roasted nuts. As a general rule of thumb, the less processed, the better for you.
- Animal foods
Meat, including red meat, pork, poultry or fish requires the most energy to digest, acidifies the body and dramatically slows cleansing. While some non-vegetarians find that eating meat provides them with some sort of benefit, many experts believe that it is impossible for the body to cleanse while consuming it. However, after your cleanse, if you happen to enjoy animal products, it is highly recommended that you consume only the highest quality, pasture-raised meat and eggs. Animals that are pasture-raised are fed a highly nutritious natural diet (from which they evolved) which translates to a tastier and more healthy end product. Moreover, pasture-raised animals are typically raised with much more care, aren’t fed toxic chemicals such as growth hormones (ie. rBGH), and aren’t subjected to massive doses of antibiotics. Not only will you be consuming a substantially more healthy–and tasty–meat or egg product, it’s much more gentle on the environment (and it usually supports small local farmers). Beware of highly processed meats such as hot dogs or deli meat, which are some of the worst health culprits as they contain nitrates and other dangerous chemicals.
- If you enjoy dairy, it is also highly recommended that you consume only high quality raw (unpasteurized) dairy products from pasture-raised animals. Pasteurization (not to be confused with pasture-raised) is the process of heating a food or drink to the point where most (if not all) of the live micro-organisms are destroyed. While pasteurization is effective in killing harmful bacteria, pasteurization of any kind, whether used to treat dairy or store-bought fruit and vegetable juices, is highly dangerous to the foods we consume as it effectively kills most (again, if not all) living enzymes and nutrients. When live food is rendered in this way, it becomes unrecognizable to the body, and thus a source of toxicity. The best way to describe the concept behind pasteurization is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The truth is that organic, sustainable farming does not promote the factors that potentially lead to cross-contamination of harmful bacteria. Thus, if you source your food only from high-quality sources, pasteurization is highly unnecessary.
- We recommend you contact your local farming co-op for more information on how to obtain pasture-raised meat and egg products as well as fresh, unpasteurized dairy products. If you live in the Chicagoland area (or near Wheaton), we recommend MooGrass Farms. They offer a variety of raw, organic, grass-fed dairy, cheese, yogurt, as well as meat products (eggs too).
- Iodized salt
Common table salt is toxic as it constricts membranes and holds toxins in your body. If you use salt, it is recommended you can use light amounts of unrefined, unheated earth or sea salt. Or even better, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.
- Fried foods
Foods that are pan-fried or deep-fried in oil clot and congest the digestive tracts.
- Coffee, cigarettes, soda and alcohol
These beverages stress the body’s adrenal gland, liver and endocrine systems. They also overstimulate the nervous system and further toxify the body. If you’d like, you may substitute coffee with green tea or yerba mate tea. After your cleanse, ideally you should continue to entirely abstain from cigarettes and soda (diet and regular). There are currently no recognized benefits from using or consuming either of them. However, despite coffee and alcohol being somewhat acidifying to the body, they certainly offer some benefits when consumed in moderation (particularly red wine).
After reading that list, you may be wondering, “What CAN I eat?” The answer is simple: Think pure, natural and simple and you can’t go wrong.
Here is an ideal diet to follow if you choose to prepare your body before your cleanse and/or to gently re-introduce solid foods after your cleanse:
- Raw Fruits and Vegetables
The less energy that your body has to spend digesting, the more energy it can save for detoxing and the deeper your cleanse will be. So it’s important to make fruits and vegetables (preferably raw) the bulk of your diet during your pre and post cleanse days. Not only are they filled with enzymes, nutrients and vitamins, they are also packed with fiber which will act as an “intestinal broom” and help scrub the toxins off the walls of your colon on its way out of your body. It’s also essential to try and buy as much locally grown and organic produce as possible. Organic produce has been shown to have much significantly higher levels of vitamins and minerals than its conventional counterparts (some estimates suggest 30-50x greater nutrient levels can be found in organic). Organic produce is also free from harmful pesticides, herbicides and fungicides more commonly used in conventional farming.
- Whole, unprocessed grains
Unprocessed whole grains have only ONE ingredient on their label and that’s the actual grain. Brown rice, quinoa, millet, spelt, barley, buckwheat and amaranth are all good examples of whole, unprocessed grains.
- Raw nuts and seeds.
If you choose to eat nuts and seeds, they should be raw, not roasted. Roasted nuts and seeds typically contain cooked oils and tons of salt, which both dramatically slow cleansing.
- Note about raw almonds: Be careful of almonds labeled “raw” on store shelves. Because of 2 isolated incidents where foreign bacteria contaminated some almonds, the FDA has now mandated that all raw almonds sold through third parties (ie. stores) be pasteurized. While many purists would deem a pasteurized almond no longer raw, the FDA has allowed almond sellers to continue selling pasteurized almonds (organic and non-organic) under the guise of “raw.” We believe this is more than just a gross misrepresentation. At a level not visible to the naked eye, the almond’s fragile nutrition and “life-force” is substantially diminished because of pasteurization. Therefore, if you enjoy raw almonds, it is prudent to purchase only the truly raw (unpasteurized) variety, which can be obtained directly from almond growers. For information on where to find them, search the internet for raw almond providers.
- Homemade, broth-based vegetable soups
Homemade vegetable broths (with the actual vegetable chunks strained out) are a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and most importantly electrolytes which are often times flushed out and depleted in the cleansing process. If you’re experiencing any side-effects of cleansing, such as low energy, headaches, or sluggishness, you’ll see an amazing difference just drinking vegetable broth.
A homemade smoothie is preferable to a store-bought smoothie, which is probably full of added sugars, processed ingredients and pasteurized dairy. You can make amazing smoothie creations at home using fruit, greens (think spinach and lettuce) and seeds. Because the ingredients found in smoothies are already blended, they are much easier to digest.
- Fresh juices
- Fresh juices are a concentrated source of antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins. And best of all, they are in liquid form, so your body can digest them effortlessly, saving its precious energy for cleansing and internal healing. For your pre- or post-cleanse, grab some of our premium juices with our custom U-Pickpac™. They’re great for pre or post-workout fuel, an afternoon snack and everything in between. Or, use it to supplement your everyday diet and feel your health soar to greater heights. And as with any of our drinks you choose, you’ll really be doing your body (and taste buds) a solid.
Chew your Food
Regardless of what you choose to eat, it is critical that you always chew your food thoroughly. Not only does the act of chewing help to break down food, digestive enzymes in saliva assist in breaking down sugars as well. Proper chewing greatly assists with the remainder of the digestive process and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, some people find that digestive disorders such as heartburn, bloat and excess gas are significantly reduced or eliminated by practicing proper chewing. If you’re unsure of how many chews are appropriate, a good rule of thumb to remember is roughly 40-60 chews before swallowing. This is a great habit to get into since you’ll be “chewing” your juices when cleansing.