7 Tips for Surviving a Juice Cleanse
So you’re ready to give your digestive system a break by trying a juice cleanse, but you’re intimidated by the whole, you know, no food thing. Don’t panic, friend. Here are eight tried and tested tips for surviving a juice cleanse.
- Pick a cleanse that works for you.
Do your research and choose a cleanse that seems reasonable for your life. If you’re new to detoxing and aren’t sure how long you will be able to go without food, then a weekend juicing program sounds about right. But who knows, maybe you’re up for challenge and are ready to tackle a full week of juicing. Whatever you choose, just remember this is supposed to be beneficial for you, so pick a time frame that is realistic for your lifestyle. Then get excited – the detox is about to begin!
- Clear your schedule.
Weekend of your best friend’s wedding? The week of Thanksgiving? These are not the times to plan your juice cleanse. Set yourself up for success by choosing a time when you don’t have too much going on at work, and you don’t have any food-centered social events. Mark it in your calendar and call it a day.
- Prep your body.
If you’ve been going heavy on the party scene lately, then it’s time to prep the body because juicing doesn’t work the same for everyone. Some people experience ﬂu-like symptoms from bacterial die-off, and others don’t have any side effects. Some find themselves running to the bathroom multiple times a day, while others don’t notice a difference. To ease unpleasant side effects, prep your body before the cleanse by cleaning up your diet. Swap the sugary cereal for yogurt, and replace processed junk with light, easy-to-digest foods like well-cooked veggies. Spend a few days or a few weeks cleaning up your diet prior to your detox. The juicing will be less of a shock to your body if you clean up your diet beforehand.
- Know what to expect.
Let’s be real, juicing is obviously less labor intensive than throwing a dinner party, but it still requires a bit of effort on your part. Thoroughly washing the fruits and veggies, cleaning the juicer, and making your juices ahead of time due to scheduling conflicts can seem like a big pain, but acknowledging the work ahead of time and understanding the benefits you’ll reap will set the foundation for a successful cleanse. Scared you’ll feel irritable while cleansing? Relax, it’s normal. Eating can be really emotional for some people, so not eating may trigger emotional changes at various times throughout your cleanse. Create a game plan for what you’ll do if this happens. Keeping a journal is a great idea.
Worried about the physical side of it? Rest assured, cleanses affect people differently. That nightmare experience your friend told you about might not be in store for you. Yeah, your body may feel weak, but you never know, you may feel full of energy. Understanding that whatever you experience is simply part of your detox will make the physical changes you notice less of a surprise during your cleanse.
- Pamper yourself.
Sitting around the house doing nothing while you’re juicing is a recipe for a pity party for one. Please, get off your couch and set out on a self-care mission. You may not have the energy to hit up a heated power yoga class, but get outside for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. Do things you don’t normally take the time to do- take a bath with essential oils, start that book you’ve wanted to read, head out to a meditation class. These activities will not only serve as a distraction from your cravings, but they’re also beneficial to your physical and mental health.
- Don’t get hungry.
Juicing isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Some people need more juice than others. The best tip for surviving a juice cleanse is this: If you’re hungry, drink more juice. You’ll probably never feel full while juicing, but that isn’t the point. Aim to feel nourished.
- Celebrate. (But go easy).
Woo! You’ve completed your juice cleanse! Friends want to celebrate at happy hour! Probably a bad idea. Remember, your digestive system has had a break for the last few days so let it ease back to work by feeding yourself light, easy-to-digest food and drink.
Relocate the celebration to a teahouse and give yourself a pat on the back for committing yourself to cleansing in the name of health.
Period Cravings Happen: PMS Friendly Foods to Eat and Why
We live in a world where the barometer for women’s health and what we consider “normal” is frequently based on how we compare to other people. This is especially true when it comes to menstrual symptoms such as period cravings. While these can comprise a broad range of symptoms, one of the more common concerns has to do with food.
Craving certain foods during one’s menstrual period is usually the body trying to tell you that you need something — usually nutrients to fuel your cells. Researcher Sara Twogood explained that PMS is linked to fluctuating estrogen levels, hormonal changes and how they affect “neurotransmitters,” or chemical messengers in the brain. These symptoms are related to the second half of the menstrual cycle, called the luteal phase, which starts with the egg at ovulation and ends when the menstrual period begins. PMS symptoms commonly resolve themselves around the third or fourth day of menstruation.
“Researchers have documented more than 150 different PMS symptoms in studies, ranging from physical to emotional to behavioral to cognitive. Food cravings are up there with the most commonly reported behavioral PMS symptoms, along with mood swings, irritability, anxiety and tension, and sad or depressed mood.”
One study involving more than a thousand college students showed that 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men reported commonly having food cravings. Not surprisingly, chocolate is the most frequently reported food craved, especially among women. Females tend to think that their food cravings constitute a negative behavior, and surprisingly, only 32 percent of women in the study perceived that their cravings were linked to menstrual cycles