A juice cleanse is a temporary liquid diet designed to eliminate toxins from the body. Skinny women love to talk about them.When I was younger, I tried a few cleanses to see what it was all about it. I viewed the cleanse as more of a contest (can I make it through without snacking?) than a nutritional reset.
The side effects of juice cleanses are very real. Here are a few: diarrhea, lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue, trouble sleeping, low energy, low blood sugar, headaches, and cravings.
Instead of feeling healthy and refreshed, the cleanse made me miserable and hungry. I didn’t have enough energy to work or exercise. I constantly felt like passing out.
I made it through without cheating but I didn’t lose a single pound!! Later in life, I found out that most doctors oppose juice cleanses because they are ineffective and can be dangerous for people with certain health conditions.
That’s about the time I decided to try clean eating.
The term “clean eating” refers to a diet comprised of whole, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
This means you will be eating fruits, veggies, high-quality carbs, quality sources of protein, and healthy fats. You do not have to be a vegan or a vegetarian to practice clean eating.
Here are a few guidelines to help you start:
- Cook more often. Cooking makes it easier to eat clean because you are in control of the ingredients.
- Learn how to read the labels on foods. This will give you a better sense of what is going in your body.
- Try to stick to foods that contain five or fewer ingredients.
- Avoid foods that contain lots of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Avoid highly-processed foods, refined carbs, vegetable oils, and margarines.
- Do consume slightly-processed foods like quinoa, oatmeal, and frozen vegetables.
- Avoid foods with added sugar and limit alcohol consumption.
- Avoid packaged snack foods and ready-to-eat cereals.
- Avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners, which are not real foods.
- Make water your primary beverage.
- Use lots of herbs and spices to flavor your food.
- Consume foods that you enjoy.
Here’s a great way to think about clean eating: you want your body to process the food you eat, not a factory. The more a food is processed before it goes into your body, the less nutritional it will be.
Processed foods are so full of sugar, salt, and fat that they actually block your tastebuds from enjoying the flavors of real, whole foods and trick your brain into wanting more junk food.
The transition to clean eating may be difficult, but you will thank yourself when you start to notice effects such as improved mood, healthier skin, weight loss, and more energy.
Please share in the comments section below your tips and experiences with clean eating!