How can you take off some of those stubborn pounds you’ve put on during COVID-19 quarantine? Perhaps a 3-day detox juice cleanse is just what you need to reset your body.
Does a Juice Detox Work?
The answer to this really depends on who you ask. Many medical professionals aren’t in favor of juice cleanses. They say our organs are designed to rid the body of toxins when necessary, so why would you need to detox?
Others swear by the benefits of fasting and detoxing for a limited amount of time. There are also studies indicating that certain foods and supplements promote liver health, which can in turn, flush toxins out of your body.
Bottom line: if you expect that a few days of detox juice recipes will help you magically experience massive weight loss so you can rock the bikini body you’ve always dreamed of, you might want to rethink that goal. If, on the other hand, you just want a day or so to curb food addictions and help you start a healthy lifestyle, a juice cleanse might be exactly what you need! It all comes down to setting the right expectations!
These juice recipes might kick off some weight loss, but if you want to see longer-term changes, you’ll need a little more than 3 days to get there!
What Do You Need to Make Homemade Juice for the Cleanse?
Not surprisingly, one of the keys to a great juice cleanse is your juicer. While you can get benefits from most juicers, you’ll get the greatest cleanse benefits from cold-pressed juices. A centrifugal juicer will juice your veggies and fruits more quickly, but the cold-pressed juicer will extract more nutrients. From a nutrient-rich standpoint, opt for the cold-pressed juicer. Of course, either type of juicer will get the job done!
While you could use a blender to break down your vegetables, you’ll be making smoothies, rather than juices. We’re big fans of delicious, nutritious smoothies, and you could do a variation of your cleanse with them. But they’re a little different than juice drinks, which are often easier to digest.
Are Juice Cleanses Healthy?
Any eating (or drinking) plan designed to increase your intake of leafy greens and phytonutrients can help boost your immune system. But the health benefits of the cleanse really depend on the types of juices you use. If you stick to the greens and veggies like celery with a low-glycemic index, you’ll feel a lot better than if you’re downing the higher-sugar fruit juices.
If you have any questions, check with your medical professional or nutritionist if you have any doubt as to whether or not this is the right choice for you.
Juice Cleanse Basics
The following 6 juices are more guidelines than strict juice recipes, and repeat the order each of the 3 days. So much of this process is subjective. Often, the easiest thing is to combine the veggies you have on hand in a random blend. Your hearty green juice might have broccoli, kale, and arugula one week, but chard, brussels sprouts, and romaine lettuce the next. That’s okay!
As a general guideline, keep each juice about 12 ounces. Supplement with water throughout the day for extra hydration. Many cleanses recommend strict limits on alcohol and caffeine. Of course, if the caffeine withdrawal would be too painful, keep your cup of coffee. Aim for more vegetable-rich juices to boost your nutrients. But tweak the juices with low-glycemic fruit like Granny Smith apples if you need to sweeten them a bit. You’ll still be getting great nutrients, and you’ll be more likely to stick with something that tastes good.
- Kick-off your day with a light green juice. Start the morning off on a delicious note with a juice full of red or green apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, lemon, and ginger. Feel free to swap out the apple for pineapple for a more citrusy blend.
- Ramp up your anti-oxidants with beet juice. Beets are chock-full of antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure, making them a great addition to your morning. Combine beets with lemon, cucumber, carrots, a green apple, and ginger for a refreshing morning drink.
- Boost your greens with a hearty green juice. This detox juice is an ideal way to ramp up your intake of green veggies and herbs! For this juice, combine a healthy blend of green juices, and use kale, spinach, cilantro, arugula, parsley, and even add cucumber and celery for extra cleansing properties. Add a dash of lemon or apple cider vinegar for a citrus boost. There isn’t a perfect formula here, but this green juice recipe might be a great option if you’re looking for some extra alkalizing properties!
- Take an afternoon perk up with cold-pressed watermelon lemonade. The hydrating properties of watermelon combined with anti-inflammatory lemon juice give your body a great afternoon boost. If you want to lighten it up a little, add some cucumber into the mix.
- Nourish your body with either of the green juices you had for breakfast or lunch.
- Relax and Refresh with Homemade Nut Milk. Get a great dose of minerals with homemade nut milk of your choice, like almond milk. Here’s my favorite easy recipe:
Creamy Decadent Cashew Milk
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 dates
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Let your cashews and dates soak about 6 hours up to overnight. If you're really in a rush and have a powerful blender, you can skip this step.
- Drain your cashews and dates until the water is clear.
- Combine all ingredients, including 4 cups of water into your blender and mix.
- You can drink as-is for thicker milk, but if you have a juicer, take your blended cashew milk and pour it in. Enjoy the refined cashew milk! Either toss the cashew pulp or set aside for another recipe.
- You can use any type of nut, like almonds, instead of cashew flour. You have to soak almonds overnight, though, since they're not quite as soft as the cashews.
- Feel free to adjust the spices and seasonings to your particular palate. You can use maple syrup or another sweetener instead of dates.
- For chocolate cashew milk, add cacao nibs.
Extra Juice Cleanse Tips:
While we love DIY juices, you can still do a juice cleanse without a fancy juicer. There are lots of great cold-pressed juice options in most grocery stores or juice bars you could choose from.
- Especially if you’re new to juicing, feel free to supplement your juice cleanse with a smoothie, handful of nuts, or another form of protein. You’re better off drinking something like that than overdoing it with high-sugar juices.
- Even if you’re making DIY juices, you might want to supplement with pre-made cold-pressed juices. Your juicer can get a pretty intense workout if you’re making 18 juices and nut milks to drink over 3 days! You might want to purchase some drinks instead. I usually buy pre-made beet juice, since it’s not too expensive, and the beets can get pretty messy. The Suja green juices aren’t very expensive and have a good juice base you can combine them with freshly-juiced vegetables. Just watch out for the ones with Stevia if you’re avoiding sugar substitutes. You can also enjoy them as-is.
- Don’t be afraid to try new combinations! Cantaloupe, carrot, ginger is surprisingly creamy and delicious. Or add extra herbs and spices to your juice for extra flavor and antioxidant properties.
Remember- this list is just a guideline on your juicing adventures! You don’t even need to commit to a massive cleanse to enjoy them. Just make one as a treat and enjoy some fresh juice!
What are your favorite juices to detox? Do you have any juicing tips? Be sure to share with friends and family on your favorite family app!