Attempting any type of detox program, whether you are juicing or using green smoothies, is not easy. In fact, it is very difficult. When I started on my green smoothie lifestyle a little over a year ago and began to get serious about changing the way and what I ate, I figured the best way to jumpstart things was to flush out as much of the old crud that I allowed to build up in my body by going on a 7-day juice & green smoothie detox. Let me share 6 things that I learned from my experience.
Detox Tip 1
Mentally prepare yourself a week or two in advance for the struggles and pressures you will encounter. This is one area that I think most people fail to prepare for enough and is the biggest reason for them dropping out of the detox within the first day or two.
It WILL be a mental battle during your detox. You are depriving your body of (processed) sugars, possibly caffeine, and other foods (fats) that it has become accustomed to (as in addicted) to over the years. The first few days of your detox you will more than likely feel worse – headaches, low energy, agitation, and even flulike symptoms are all possible. This will all be difficult to mentally cope with and overcome, especially when you’re physically craving (speaking for myself here) a McDonald’s cheeseburger, Hershey candy bar, and a cup of dark roast coffee all at the same time.
You must set your mind ahead of time that you will complete the detox no matter what it takes. I suggest you write down the reasons why you know you need to go through a detox ahead of time. In the sidebar of this page is a good book that deals with the mental aspect of detoxing, (along with other great suggestions and recipes) that I suggest you invest in and read prior to following through with your detox plans. There is a saying that is apropos – “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Detox Tip 2
The main reason to detox of course is to remove toxins from your body. Once your body does not have to concern itself with trying to digest all the garbage that it has normally been fed throughout the day, it can begin to concentrate on flushing the accumulated toxins out. That process involves moving toxins all throughout your body and the end result is you can feel pretty bad while this is occurring. These built up toxins will be moving through your bloodstream, sinuses, lungs, skin, and digestive track. You will also experience withdrawal symptoms from sugar and caffeine. All that’s to say don’t be surprised if you actually feel worse the first few days of your detox.
The first three days of mine I felt bad – headaches, irritability, and no energy. But I knew this was all part of the process of me getting healthier so I simply resigned myself to feeling bad and allowed myself to do so. I took frequent naps and decreased my usual level of activity. For that reason I started my detox on a Friday so I could have the weekend to allow my body to adjust. By the fourth day I did begin to feel better and noticed my irritability and lack of energy was getting better.
Detox Tip 3
I would suggest you start with a 3 or 4 day detox to see how you feel the third or fourth day before continuing on to a longer timeframe. Three or four days is easier to mentally comprehend than seven days is. Once you move past that initial 3-day hump you may find yourself able to overcome some of the daily (hourly??) cravings for the food addictions you previously had. These cravings will not disappear overnight mind you, BUT you may find you are better able to cope with them as compared to the beginning of the detox.
Obtaining short-term goals makes it easier to reach for longer-term ones I believe. During my detox I had daily goals or sometimes I merely committed to making it through the next four hours. I built on those small achievements which kept me focused on the present rather than three or four days out.
You very well might find yourself continuing the detox for 7 to 10 days, which is fine, but start out slow even if that means doing a 2-day or even a 24 hour detox. Again, small accomplishments.
Detox Tip 4
Many people will suggest you detox by drinking only liquids while avoiding any solid foods during the process. The thinking is you want to maximize the amount of energy your body spends flushing poisons rather than having to digest any solid food whatsoever. I understand this thinking, but don’t agree with it.
I allowed myself to eat fresh fruits a few times a day. Fruits are easy to digest, give increased energy, and satisfy our desire to chew. I ate a small portion of mixed fruits mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and ate a banana before going to bed at night. I also kept a bottle of water and a banana in my bedroom to have in the middle of the night if I felt I couldn’t go on without something to eat.
This is not harmful and helps the body by not starving it. However – small portions – is the key phrase here; NOT a meal, just a snack – something easy to digest to help feed those deep hunger pains.
Detox Tip 5
I recommend you make enough smoothies at one time to last you the day or at least a good portion of it if you are able to. You can store a few quarts in the refrigerator in mason jars or some other airtight container and they will last throughout the day. This way, you have a green smoothie ready to go when you get to the point that you HAVE to have some nutrition and you need it NOW!
If you get to that point and you have to make your smoothie you might be more inclined to grab an unhealthy snack to hold you over. During my detox I would hit “the wall” energy wise and bonk. I was glad I had a smoothie ready to go that I could drink right away to get re-energized. You may find that you have to make a batch of smoothies in the morning and then another batch late afternoon to get you through the evening.
Detox Tip 6
Drink plenty of water. The best way to assist your body in flushing the toxins is to keep it hydrated continuously. Water will also help to alleviate the hunger pains by putting something in your stomach.
Your body will have a tendency to dehydrate during the detox which will magnify other adverse symptoms you might be experiencing. A good rule of thumb is you should pee every 2 to 3 hours if you are keeping yourself hydrated. When you feel hungry take a drink of water instead. I kept a bottle of water on my bedside table every night so I could also drink in the middle of the night if I woke up.
A green smoothie detox is an excellent way to rid the body of excess mucus and disease causing poisons that accumulate within our organs. It won’t be easy, but the benefits will outweigh any discomforts experienced. Following these tips will not eliminate the discomforts, but they will ensure you aren’t needlessly adding to them.
Once you complete your first detox you may find yourself doing three or four of them throughout the year just to assist your body in keeping itself in peak condition. And once you nurture and take care of your body it will respond back in ways that will amaze you – younger looking skin, better sleep, more energy, less stress, and an overall increase in vitality!