Having been through two organic juice cleanses usually lasting 10 days and going for my third green detox, I am curious about other's experiences! I usually do my cleanses in Ubud, Bali as they are more affordable and easier without the social and work obligations I have in Singapore. Let's check out what my friends have to say!
My friend Gaiana Lim, 22, purchased her first 2-day detox from an online deal after my encouragement to try it out for its benefits. Having neglected her diet with a poor intake of fruit and vegetables, the entrepreneur was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was at first.
However, her food cravings became nearly unbearable. “My body was coping well on the first day. I pulled through to the second day and broke my fast with a light snack, and by then was feeling weak and feverish.” She believes that during the fast, her body was being purged. She reports that her parents kept asking if she was hungry and were concerned whether it was healthy for her.
For Gaiana who has completed two rounds of cleanses, she plans to maintain her routine with a 2 day fast once every month, costing 40 to 60 SGD per day depending on which company she purchases from as well as the volume of juices, which ranges between 2 and 3 litres per day.
“It works for me and I would recommend all my friends to try it out too! I think fruit based ones which are sweeter are a lot easier to go through.” She reports that her skin is now “radiant and clearer than before” as well as being more aware of her diet by reducing her cravings for sweet or salty junk food.
She still considers herself a ‘newbie cleanser’ and would love to try vegetable-based cleanses when she is more experienced. Her preferred juicing method? “Cold pressed of course.”
My friend Dean Powell who practices Quantum Shift and Beta Release also started cleansing as a way to clean up his diet. “My last fast was a watermelon juice fast. I drank 3-5 litres of watermelon juice per day for about 12 days. Prior to that I did coconut water for 23 days and had so much energy! I ran 10 kilometres on my 20th day!”
The relationship coach and counsellor with over fifteen years’ experience in drug and alcohol addiction pairs his juicing with enemas, colonics and occasionally a liver cleanse to eliminate more toxins.
Juice fasting allows the body to take a break from digesting –the system that requires the most energy to operate in the human body. This means maintenance, repair and rest can be diverted elsewhere. Kirsty Healey whom I met during a 12 day Pancha Karma Ayurvedic detox retreat started to reset her body from a long period of stress and poor health. It enabled her to shed excess weight in 7 days of fasting and kick started a healthy eating regime.
Ms Healey does not juice when she is not fasting as she prefers to eat whole fruit and vegetables. “I think smoothies are probably more popular to save on food waste as a current trend.” She aids her detox with tongue scraping, oil pulling, taking supplements like probiotics and bentonite as well as spices like cayenne, ginger, turmeric and soaked linseed.
She also recommends doing saunas, hot baths and running –activities where one is sweating to open up all eliminatory channels. “Skin brushing and massage is good too. If detox symptoms present usually a colonic resolves them or you can slow down the detox process by eating some fruit.”
The trend these days is going all green. Fruit sugars prevent ketosis from happening. When we go into fat-burning mode from glucose depletion, the toxins stored in our fat cells are released, which is why most people experience headaches and lethargy during a fast.
More people are buying machines to create their own juice to control the quality and composition of their mixes, unlike purchasing from a store. Detox retreats are gaining popularity to immerse oneself into a disciplined and scheduled cleanse. It also helps having a supportive environment as food is something social and emotional.
According to Dr. Andréa Paige, the Director of Detox Department at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, green juicing is the fastest way to get nutrients into our bloodstream. Bypassing the need for digestion in the stomach, the fast uptake of chlorophyll into the bloodstream is simultaneously rebuilding and cleansing.
Dr Paige who has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine also says that juice must be drunk on an empty stomach and swished around and in the mouth after each sip to reap the benefits. “Juicing allows for most success when it is paired with overall lifestyle shifts like change in diet, movement, habituated relaxation, and colon cleansing. I only recommend gravity colonics.”
Having been through bulimia myself, I would warn that those with eating disorders or a history of it should be careful about going overboard or using juice cleansing as an excuse to cope with the emotional pain and a way of control, which is at the root of eating disorders.
Esther Wong Qian Ling, 32, who works in sales thinks people are crazy about juice fasting. “I still think fibre is important so I will probably blend and drink it whole instead of juicing,” although she feels that juicing can help one absorb the nutrients better as it is in liquid form.
Devy Cendana, a student and accountant whom I had to pleasure to meet in junior college, has not done a full juice cleanse before. “I used to do heavy weightlifting so I don't think I'll survive a day without solid food. I'm not so sure if doing the 'cleanses' in the long term would have the same impact to our body since we need protein and carbohydrates!”
However, she thinks she will need it for a “fresh start” for her body and acknowledges that juicing provides an additional source of vitamins on top of the veggies and fruits we eat or as a supplement.
She admits she used to do fruit detoxes, restricting her diet to fruits for 3 days. “Certainly my digestive system was a lot better and I didn't feel lethargic.” She reports that after the fruit detox she is better at planning her meals by really thinking about what she eats with the awareness that “our body doesn't need all that junk!”
“Fruits are very good; I think fruit detoxes are easier to do than juice cleanses because it is still solid. Like yoga, each body is different, needing different treatments!”
However, Lux Lawrence Cochrane, a Teacher and Trainer in Breathwork and Bodywork for Physical-Emotional Release begs to differ: “After many years of drinking fruit based smoothies, the second most valuable thing I have learnt is green based smoothies are without a doubt superior to fruit based smoothies. People need to understand sugar is sugar. Whether it is organic or not, it is still sugar and is the major source of almost all health problems.”
He started juicing vegetables when he worked in one of the best Integrated Medicine Cancer Clinics in Mexico in the early '80s. After seeing first-hand the results of what juicing and detoxing practises did to bring people who were on the brink of death back to living, he was a convert. “The live enzymes and easily available vitamins and minerals are the best life supporting building blocks for health and disease prevention,” he says.