This page provides you with everything you need to know about cleansing your body through a juice detox. If you have already decided to do a cleanse, you can jump straight to the recipes. Otherwise, happy reading!
What are the benefits of a cleanse?
Is a cleanse right for me?
Can I prepare my own DIY detox juices?
What type of cleanse should I try?
Which vegetables and fruits should I choose?
Benefits of a Cleanse
Juice cleanses have become very trendy, thanks to celebrities and scams to 'get rich quick' by losing several pounds in a few days. That should NOT be the intent of a cleanse. The true benefit is to detoxify your body, improving your health and putting you on the road toward your happiest, healthiest self. Stop and think about the endless list of everything you encounter on a daily basis. Junk food, pollution, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, lack of sleep, stress, technology, pharmaceuticals, our beloved beauty products. Purifying your body from the inside out will help you look and feel better over time. Weight loss is a natural product of a cleanse and healthy habits.
Deciding to Start a Cleanse
Ask yourself some questions to decide if you could benefit from a cleanse. Are you constantly tired and feeling fatigued? Do you get sick often? Do you want to start eliminating certain foods and cravings from your diet? Do you consume more alcohol than you would like to admit? Are you stressed in your work and personal life? Do you have digestion issues? Are you lacking energy? Do you have skin issues?
In the immortal words of Coach Taylor from the best drama ever on television, Friday Night Lights, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" Let's do this thing!
Preparing Your Own DIY Cleanse
Whether on a cleanse or replacing a meal with a juice, it is extremely expensive to buy cold pressed or freshly made juices. I spend anywhere from $7 to $11 in NYC for one juice. One juice!! I have come to the realization that I can make my own, at a cheaper cost and I don't need a juicer. You heard me right, you can just use a blender and do it yourself. My apartment is too small for a massive juicer that also comes with a hefty price tag. If you decide to start a cleanse, check out the links to the recipes below or jump to this DIY Detox Cleanse page.
Choosing the Right Cleanse for You
When I first started juicing, I had no idea what I was doing. I enjoyed fruit smoothies with no clue that I was consuming anywhere from 30 to 60 grams of sugar in one cup! Then I moved onto vegetable juices but still had no strategy, aside from choosing the ones that tasted best. I decided if I was going to continue replacing meals with a drink, I should figure out which ones were right for me, based on what my body needed. My recipes enable you to choose the right cleanse for you: Healthy Body and Immunity, Citrus Detox, Liver Cleanse, Stress Buster, Improved Digestion, Energy Booster, Healthy Skin, Bacteria Cleanse. Check out each recipe below or create your own based on the benefits of each fruit and veggie. Try them all, mix and match or stick with your favorite juice!
Healthy Body and Immunity Detox Juice (Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Ginger, Green Apple, Celery)
Citrus Detox Juice (Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon)
Liver Cleanse Detox Juice (Beets, Lemon, Ginger, Radishes, Carrots)
Hydration Green Juice (Watermelon, Kale, Mint, Cucumber, Coconut Water)
Stress Buster Detox Juice (Orange, Carrots, Celery, Parsley, Kiwi)
Digestion Aid Detox Juice (Cucumber, Lemon, Mint, Parsley, Green Apple, Ginger, Aloe Vera Juice)
Energy Booster (Kale, Beets, Spinach, Carrots, Cucumber, Cayenne Pepper)
Berry Good Skin Detox Juice (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Almond or Coconut Milk)
Bacteria Fighting Detox Juice (Cranberries, Cinnamon, Coconut Water
Vegetable and Fruit Benefits
Juicing is a great way to introduce yourself to vegetables and fruits you have never tried or don't eat often. Experiment with the different tastes and health benefits to see how you can incorporate them into your life. I think we have forgotten that food should be colorful, beautiful and pack a punch of taste. Remember, a cleanse is not meant to be a quick fix. Be sure to maintain your new habits after your detox and keep these healthier choices a part of your daily routine!
Aloe Vera Juice improves digestion. You can choose from yellow or pink juice, as they have a different taste. I prefer the pink but everyone is different. Be sure you only buy pure, fresh aloe vera gel and not the drinks loaded with sugar. Add this to juices, smoothies or even drink an ounce on its own to keep your tummy happy. Aloe vera makes a debut in the Digestion Aid Detox but add it to any and all of them, if you would like!
Green Apples are a better option than red apples if you are concerned about sugar. They are much lower on the glycemic index and stabilize sugar levels. They are high in fiber, improve digestion and boost energy. Green apples are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, keeping the body and skin healthy which helps to prevent disease. Green apples are in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Digestion Aid Detox.
Apple Cider Vinegar is the equivalent to Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. A healthier comparison would be the use of tea tree oil for every issue. It seems to be the cure all for everything and should find its way into your daily routine. It helps digestion and tummy troubles, as well as symptoms of the common cold. It helps boost energy, and even improves skin and teeth. It does have a notable taste so if you choose not to add it to all of your juices, be sure to drink 1 tbsp in a glass of water everyday! ACV is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox, the Energy Boosting Detox and the Liver Cleanse Detox.
Beets are fabulous. They are not only a beautiful, deep purple but they also add a natural sweetness to anything you add them to. They are packed with antioxidants which help prevent disease and keep skin young and healthy. They also provide iron, calcium and beta carotene to keep your blood, bones and eyes healthy. These babies help your overall health, immunity and energy so start incorporating them into your life. Beets are a staple ingredient in the Liver Cleanse Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox.
Berries are not only incredibly healthy, but insanely delicious! They are low on the glycemic index, but taste sweet, so they are a fabulous fruit to snack on when you are watching your sugar intake. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are full of antioxidants which will help keep your body in tip top shape over time. Antioxidants are also great to keep your skin looking young and clear. All three berries are the staple ingredients in the Berry Good Skin Detox and also make a great snack while cleansing.
Carrots were a big hit with Bugs Bunny for a good reason! They are high in beta carotene and vitamin A which help improve the overall health of your body and vision. Carrots add a nice flavor and texture to juices so add them anytime you want to sweeten them. Carrots are in the Liver Cleanse Detox, the Stress Buster Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox.
Cayenne Pepper is another Mr. Fix It solution for almost everything. From helping fight disease to relieving pain and inflammation, it is a good spice to add to your regimen. It boosts energy and immunity and also boosts your tastebuds with its hot and spicy kick. That will wake you up in the morning! Cayenne pepper is in the Energy Boosting Detox.
Celery has potassium which helps your muscles stay hydrated. Since it is such a watery vegetable, celery is a great addition to juices because it helps make the juice thinner and lighter. Celery also tends to be a really cheap vegetable which can help keep the cost of juicing down. Celery is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Stress Buster Detox but can be added to any juice to add water with little change to the flavor.
Cinnamon is believed to be a very powerful spice. Think of how tasty it is and imagine how strong it can be at keeping you healthy. It can reduce inflammation and stabilize blood sugar while also adding a ton of flavor. It is not proven but believed to help fight disease and benefit your overall health and immunity. Cinnamon makes an appearance in the Bacteria Fighting Detox but can be added to any juice.
Coconut Milk or Almond Milk are great alternatives to cow's milk. Both are chock full of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. They are a great addition to fruit smoothies to help make them creamy without too many extra calories or grams of fat. Be sure to use light, unsweetened milk and not the full fat milk for juices and smoothies. Coconut or Almond milk are in the Berry Good Skin Detox and the Bacteria Fighting Detox.
Cranberries are filled with antioxidants and vitamins to keep you healthy. They are a low sugar fruit which should be no surprise, due to its tangy, tart flavor. They are also great at helping to fight infection, such as a urinary tract infection. Cranberries are in the Bacteria Fighting Detox and also make a great snack while cleansing.
Cucumbers help with digestion and weight loss so they are a great addition to any juice. They are also very watery which helps break down the juice and thins it out. Cucumbers have a light, refreshing taste without added sugars, fat or many calories. Cucumbers are in the Digestion Aid Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox but can be added to any juice to add more water with little change to the flavor. It is also delicious when added to water!
Flaxseed Oil is such a great addition to all juices and smoothies. It seems counter intuitive since you likely want to lose weight when you cleanse, but it adds healthy fats to ensure you are not left starving. It also helps with digestion, inflammation and overall health. Flaxseed oil is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox but can be added to all of the juices for some healthy fat. Swap for extra virgin olive oil if you prefer.
Ginger Root is such a healthy, flavorful addition to any juice. It helps with digestion and tummy troubles and a very little bit goes a long way. It has a powerful, punchy taste which helps counteract some of the more bitter fruits or veggies. Throw it on a salad or in a soup for extra flavor. Ginger is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox, the Liver Cleanse Detox, the Digestion Aid Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox.
Kale is all the rage for good reason. It has a ton of iron which helps your hair, skin, nails - you name it. The folic acid, a B vitamin, helps boost energy and cleans the liver and kidneys. When eaten with vitamin B 12, it works at full capacity. B 12 is typically found in meats, fish and proteins but you can snack on seaweed as a snack to factor in B 12 while you cleanse. The taste is a little bitter so I tend to mix kale with spinach to balance the leafy greens. Kale is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox.
Kiwi is a tasty little fruit with a lot of vitamin C and potassium. This fruit helps with digestion and adds fiber to your diet. It also helps with sleep and stress by reducing blood pressure. The vitamin E in kiwi is great for skin. Though this fruit is sweet, it is low on the glycemic index, a good fit for a low sugar diet. Kiwi is in the Stress Buster Detox.
Lemons are just the best. I think we all know how much I love lemons! They are the highest alkalizing fruit, which means they help balance your body's pH and remove acidity. It is believed that acidity leads to disease and sickness so there are many advocates of adding lemon to your diet. Lemons taste incredible and really add a fresh taste to practically any juice. Just be sure to use fresh lemon juice and not the fake juice in the little squeeze bottles! Lemons are in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox, the Liver Cleanse Detox and the Digestion Aid Detox.
Fresh Mint is just delightful. It helps with digestion and improves breath so gobble it up. Mint adds a wonderful flavor to juices but pairs best with lemon, cucumber and parsley. Mint is in the Digestion Aid Detox but is also a great addition to water or tea.
Oranges are well-known for their high levels of vitamin C which boosts immunity, improves skin and keeps your body healthy and happy. Bottled orange has tons of sugar so be sure to juice fresh oranges and don't use more than one for each juice. They pack a lot of flavor so you can keep the sugar count low in this cleanse. Orange is in the Stress Buster Detox.
Parsley is a fabulously cheap addition to any juice. It helps with digestion and improves overall health. The vitamin C and antioxidants have been proven to repair cell damage to keep your body healthy and happy. The fresh breath is and added benefit! Parsley is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Digestion Aid Detox.
Radishes are often a forgotten healthy vegetable. Their ability to eliminate toxins form the body make them a great addition to juices and detox salads and soups. They also help digestion and keep you hydrated, which aids in the juicing process. Radishes are in the Liver Cleanse Detox.
Red Cabbage is absolutely gorgeous! Just look at that deep purple color! I prefer the look and taste of red cabbage but you can really use any color. Cabbage is a watery veggie perfect for juices and detox soups. The antioxidants help prevent disease and inflammation to eat it up!
Peppers are filled with phytonutrients and are used to help reduce pain and disease. Red peppers are actually fully ripened peppers so I opt for red over green, which are less ripe. The strong taste adds a ton of flavor and color to juices, salads and detox soups.
Spinach may not give you muscles like Popeye overnight, but it is a very healthy vegetable. Spinach has a ton of iron which helps your hair, skin, nails - you name it. The folic acid, a B vitamin, helps boost energy and cleans the liver and kidneys. When eaten with vitamin B 12, it works at full capacity. B 12 is typically found in meats, fish and proteins but you can snack on seaweed as a snack to factor in B 12 while you cleanse. Spinach is in the Healthy Body & Immunity Detox and the Energy Boosting Detox.
Tomatoes are a well-known and common superfood powerhouse. Most people already incorporate tomatoes into their diet daily so why not add them to your juices, salads and detox soups? They fight disease, stroke, heart attack and cancer so be sure to eat these babies all the time!