You’re in contact with toxins on a daily basis, and some of these you inflict upon yourself. You’re an adult who can make that decision, but it’s going to make your fast much more difficult. If you choose to smoke, slug down copious amounts of caffeine, or pop in for happy hour on your way home from work, know that ingesting these substances is not conducive to a successful cleanse.
If you’re getting ready to juice fast, you don’t want to put your body through the traumatic experience of depriving it of those things all at once. Needless to say, your body won’t be happy, and you’ll suffer for it.
The withdrawal symptoms, including headache, nausea, and moodiness, are going to make you miserable if you quit cold turkey. Your body is going to be dealing with enough changes during your fast, so try to eliminate these particular habits from your life a couple of weeks before you start juicing. Here are the things that you should ditch:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Recreational drugs
If you really want to feel good and be healthy, don’t start them again once you’ve finished your fast, either!
Stop Eating Junk
Just like your body can become dependent on drugs, it can also get hooked on many of the unhealthy foods that you eat. It’s really easy to just grab something from the freezer section to pop in the microwave for lunch, and a bowl of ice cream while you’re watching TV at night is delicious, but neither of them is good for you. Not only are they bad for your body, but they can actually be addicting.
Your body gets used to having the extra sugar, sodium, et cetera, and when you stop eating those foods, you’ll go through withdrawal. Since you don’t want to stop all of your bad habits at once, wait until a week or so before your fast to start weaning yourself off the following juicing no-no’s:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Dairy products
- Fried foods
- Processed foods
- White flour
Again, if you want to be healthier after your fast, consider leaving the majority of these off your daily menu permanently.
Ditch the Gluten
This one’s not really so much an addiction that will make you sick as it is just a habit that you should kick to make your fast a little easier. Since you’re not going to be eating any bread for the duration of your fast, it’ll be easier for you to wean yourself off it than to just quit eating it all at once. Start eliminating these products three days or so before your fast:
- Other oat, barley, rye, or wheat products
If you’re eating healthy forms of these foods, you can add them back into your diet when your fast is over. Just for general health though, if you’re eating white pastas and breads made with refined flour, consider switching to whole grains. They taste better and are much better for you.
Add Raw Foods
If you’re a typical person, you’ll be eliminating most of your regular foods while you’re juice fasting. Even if you eat a relatively healthy diet, you’re still probably eating meats, dairy, and wheat products. That means that, when you fast, you’re basically hitting the brakes on just about everything your digestive tract is used to.
To prepare your body even more thoroughly for your fast, start adding in raw fruits and vegetables while you’re weaning yourself off the other stuff. That way you’re not starving while still eating solids, and your body is starting to get used to a modified version of what it’s going to be living on during the fast. Add more of the following items to your diet as you eliminate the others:
- Fresh juice
- Leafy green salads and sprouts
- Non-caffeinated herbal tea
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Vegetable soup
Prepare Your Mind
Not only do you need to prepare your body for the juice cleanse, you also need to prepare your mind. Any time you make serious changes to your routine, you’re adding stress to your life. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the change is positive or negative; the stress is still there, and your mind has to adjust to the new way of doing things.
Since you’re going to be depriving yourself of many things that you enjoy, as well as toxins that your body may be addicted to, it’s important to find a way to relieve the stress and anxiety that inherently accompanies that process. What follows are a few ways to prepare your mind while preparing your body.
You’re not going to be able to exercise vigorously because it’s likely that you’ll be a little weak and will have less endurance, but exercising is still a vital part of keeping your mind straight and your body healthy. Especially if you’re used to working out on a daily basis, continue exercising even if you have to modify your routine a little.
This is a great way to clear your head and relieve stress. There are as many ways to meditate as there are people in the world, but find what works for you and practice it. Even if it’s just a matter of sitting quietly and clearing your mind, or listening to your favorite music without focusing on anything in particular, give your mind a break for a few minutes each day.
Concentrate on the Positive
You’ve decided to start a juice fast for a reason. Whether it’s because you want to kickstart a diet, clean out your digestive tract, or clear your body of disease, there’s a positive motivation behind the decision. Write down all of your reasons and read them if you start feeling negative or unsure. Surround yourself with people who support you and keep your goals in mind at all times. If you really get the urge for a huge plate of spaghetti or a candy bar, just remind yourself why you decided to fast to begin with and what you have
to gain by completing it.