Juice Cleansing and Healing the Body
Updated: Apr 21
Working at the juice bar in Chicago throughout college was a turning point for me in learning the benefits of so many whole foods and superfoods we may overlook. While working there, I learned about superfoods like cacao, spirulina, hemp seeds, chia seeds, turmeric, the list goes on. Part of our job as baristas was to also be educators. It was important for us to know the benefits of all our juices and smoothies in order to guide customers to the best choice to fit their needs. For example, someone who may have had a full night of drinking and partying (me sometimes) and needed to work on detoxifying their liver, I would recommend a beet based juice. Beets are an amazing detoxifier for the liver and our skin. Maybe for someone who is really sick and needs a juice to help decrease inflammation and fight off infection, I would recommend a citrus based juice that contains lemon, turmeric, cayenne, orange, or even pineapple as it’s a great anti inflammatory and citrus contains tons of Vitamin C.
More obviously, while working at the juice bar we would promote and sell juice cleanses. Typically cleanses that lasted a day or even a week if someone wanted to embark on that journey. Now, I have come from a background where juice cleanses are not seen as “acceptable” or beneficial to the body, because they are perceived as “quick fixes” for weight loss or as a diet gimmick. And I completely agree. Working at a juice bar completely changed my perspective on juice cleanses. I would never recommend to someone how often or how much (or at all) they should cleanse, because everybody is different.
What I did learn is how beneficial a juice cleanse can really be. It’s important to look at cleanses not as a quick fix for dieting or a way to lose weight. That will only lead to short-term results and possibly having you feeling worse afterwards with that mindset. Instead, I learned juice cleanses to be for what they truly are and simply put- a detox and cleanse for your body. It’s purely to rid your body of toxins and flush it out in order to optimize your digestion, improve your clarity, clear your skin, reset, aid in better sleep, and just give your body a rest. If you’re someone like me who has terrible digestion, this was a big one for me.
Working at the juice bar, I began partaking in juice cleanses once in a while- maybe for only a day or two, because that’s what my body could handle and needed. Sometimes I would feel ashamed to partake as I was afraid that others would view it as a diet gimmick. When in reality, after learning the true benefits from it- I only did it in times where I knew my body and digestion truly needed a break. Times where I felt run down, overly stressed, fatigued from work and life, inflamed, or breaking out terribly. What it really came down to was just me listening to my body, as anyone should- life is all about balance and listening to our bodies, whether that’s a juice cleanse or grabbing an extra cookie because you’re still hungry and grandma only makes them once a year. Whatever it is for you!!
I’m still a big believer in detoxing your body with whole foods and cleaning up your diet. I am by no means saying that juice cleansing is for everyone or that you need to do it X amount of times. Even if I was on a cleanse, if I felt that I needed to eat something, I would truly listen to my body and eat some sweet potatoes or avocado and fruit. I wouldn’t deprive my body from what it was craving. Even if I planned a two-day juice cleanse and after the first day I felt that was all I needed, then great! I would save the rest of my juices and span them out over the next couple days.
I can totally understand where the eating disorder and body positive community are coming from when disagreeing with the use of juice cleanses. It can be so easy to abuse a juice cleanse and use it as an opportunity to deprive the body. That’s why understanding and asking yourself the true reason and purpose behind a cleanse (if you do one) is important. I don’t want to minimize the fact that for some people, it just wouldn’t be healthy and would skew someone’s mindset.
As you’ll learn throughout my blog, I have a history with eating disorders and a few years ago, I would have never thought of or even allowed (trusted) myself to do a juice cleanse because of the way it could have halted my recovery and have led down a path towards a negative mindset about myself and my body. Even when I first started at the juice bar and started my first juice cleanse, I had to make sure I trusted myself and recognize that I was in strong recovery to go through a juice cleanse with the right mindset. I had to ask myself if this was only a way to restrict my intake or if I had positive intentions for my body.
Overall, it’s so important to do what’s best for your body. I love juice cleanses and think they can be so beneficial in so many ways in order to heal the body. We all have different definitions on what healing, detoxing, and cleansing the body look like, and that’s okay. I would never tell someone they have to juice cleanse in order to reach optimal health. I would never tell anyone to eat a certain way, exercise a certain way, or live their life a certain way. Period. My way of living, healing and fueling my body is going to be completely different for me. I see both sides of juice cleansing, it’s benefits and downfalls- but everyone deserves to live a happy and healthy life however they see fit.
Disclaimer: the information I contain in my blog is my opinion, and my opinion only. If anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to reach out