Juice Cleanses are not the key to a healthy lifestyle
This probably won’t be a popular post among a few people who have adopted into the juicing philosophy. It’s all food hipsterism if you ask me.
Back in January I did a juice detox. You know, these three day “cleanses” people are raving about during which you consume nothing but veg and fruit juice.
I wrote an account of what it was like being on the juice cleanse and at the time I had mixed feelings. Even though this wasn’t that long ago, my attitude to food and health in general was warped by a flurry of things the media and things people around me were suggesting and a particularly unyielding down-cycle of cyclothymia which in turn generated grave tiredness, bad food habits and general sense of being fed up with myself. I needed a boost; I needed a cleanse but at the time I didn’t realise that this wasn’t the way to do it!
Since then I did a one day juice cleanse through another company after adopting a healthier lifestyle and vowed never to do one again. Ever. Here’s why:
€75 for 16 juices. What do you think of that price?
I thought it was ok at the time; sure it saves me the bother of making them myself and they are so nutritious.
Since I’ve been realising the value of making lunches, snacks and dinners myself instead of eating out and grabbing chocolate bars in the shop every day I see how wrong I was. If you’re into juicing you don’t need to splash out on these bottled, albeit fresh, juices. Make them yourself! You can buy a Cooksworks Juicer in Argos for about €25 which will serve you a lot longer than 3 days worth of juices. You can also pop into a farmers market or, indeed, Aldi or Lidl, and pick up some beautiful fruit and veg and juice to your heart’s desire. This is a much longer-term and therefore penny saving way of doing it than shelling out €75 a month, as is suggest by the juicing companies to really get the benefit of juice cleansing, for some reason… can’t think why.
It really isn’t pleasant. Your stomach is aching with hunger, your head hurts, you feel exhausted for the three days and pretty soon your bosses head looks alarmingly like a roast chicken. This is practically starvation! Why put yourself through that?
When I did the one day juice cleanse I found it harder than the 3 day one because I got so used to eating satisfying, nutritious food whereas before I was picking away at rice cakes and peanut butter for lunch (now my favourite snack) and a minuscule, plain bowl of porridge as well as filling up on junk food all weekend long. My body was different and it was better able to cope with not having food, which is not a good thing.
They also taste disgusting, for the most part. A couple of them are tasty but then there’s all the Kale. Some of them are so hard to drink that it is almost torturous. After learning the importance of enjoying your food I realise that it is just not worth it. I feel ill thinking about it. I was willing to eat anything by the third evening.
It’s simply not good nutrition
I’m studying nutrition and it has been a real eye opener when it comes to how you treat your body with food.
Your body needs solid food to maintain metabolic function; juicing for three days straight, by logic, slows your metabolism. Your body also needs more than just fruit and veg to function; that three days without any meat protein! The little bits of spirulina they sprinkle in is not enough protein for your body; you need protein for basic physical functions so going three days without it is not a good idea.
In my review of my 3 day juice cleanse I stated that I had so much energy after being completely run down and I felt less bloated; low and behold I went back to my bad eating habits immediately because I was deprived of food. The energy levels increased because pretty much everything I was eating before I did the cleanse was low in nutritional value; my body was temporarily energised because of the goodness in the veg and fruit. You know what’s better than a three day boost? An ongoing boost!
If you are serious about cleansing your body of a particularly bad weekend or a lifetime of unhealthy eating then EAT. Eat turkey, chicken, vegetables, fresh fruit, yogurt, brown rice, beef; a wide variety of healthy foods every day, or at least most days will satisfy you and provide longer lasting results that any fad diet, and yes, I would regard a juice cleanse as a fad diet.
While the faux health aficionados are telling you to “just juice it”, I say….
Just eat it!
Have you done a juice cleanse? What did you make of it?