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Cleanse FAQs

Does a cleanse need to be organic? 

Yes. Only 100% natural, whole, unprocessed foods should be used. Remember, we are trying to rid the body of toxins, not introduce them.

Can I smoke on the cleanse?
The goal of the cleanse is to eliminate the toxins that have built up in your system over the years. Smoking is toxic to your body. Obviously, you will experience better results if you do not smoke.

Will cleansing help me quit smoking?
Possibly. The American Academy  of Family Physicians report that it takes 21 days to break a habit. By the end of a 21 day cleanse (with supplemental foods) you would not want to repollute your body. In fact, an extended duration cleanse like this could help with many bad habits (nail biting, alcohol, etc.) Research has shown that oftentimes these habits are merely symptoms of an overly acidic pH balance.

Can I cleanse if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
No, you shouldn’t cleanse while pregnant or breastfeeding. A cleanse will release toxins into your system and this would not be healthy for your baby who is relying upon you for nourishment. While breastfeeding, your require significantly more calories than normal, so this is not a good time for a cleanse. You can, of course, add the healthy juices of a cleanse to your diet at any time for added nourishment, which would be great for your growing baby.

Can I cleanse while taking antibiotics?
Cleansing is an excellent supplement to antibiotics. While the antibiotics are busy killing off all the bacteria in your system, both good and bad, the cleanse will be providing your body with the nutrients necessary to replenish the good bacteria and defend against the regrowth of bad bacteria. Extended cleanses are great for strengthening your immune system to keep you healthy in the future.

Will a cleanse slow my metabolism?
That depends. For those of you who currently have a speedy metabolism, it is possible that the cleanse will slow it slightly due to decreased energy consumption. Of course, everyone’s body is different and it is impossible to predict how an individual will react. However, if your metabolism is currently trudging along due to toxin build-up, a cleanse will clear out those energy pathways and allow your body to function properly, speeding up your metabolism.

How many calories is it?
The simple answer is: no more than 1500 calories. But counting cleanse calories is very different from counting regular calories. Your body knows how to use each and every calorie and assimilate all the nutrients in the raw foods and juices you will be consuming. This is not the case with ordinary solid foods. Only about 1200 calories from a normal 2000 calorie/day diet are actually assimilated. The rest is wasted or stored as fat. Cleansing is about shifting your focus from ‘calorie counting’ to ‘nutrient counting.’  A cleanse floods your body with live enzymes and nutrition.

Can I do a cleanse if I am lactose intolerant?
Yes. There are no animal products in a cleanse.

I have a gluten allergy, can I still cleanse?
Yes. A cleanse is 100% gluten-free and vegan.

Will I be getting enough fiber, do I need a supplement?
Under normal circumstances, a fiber supplement is an excellent way to help your system along. However, your body must expend energy to separate juice from fiber and during a cleanse the goal is to reduce all the body’s other energy expenditures in order to focus this energy on cleansing. Remember, energy conserved in one area can be expended in another.

Where do I get protein?
The idea that protein only comes from meat is a common misconception. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and they are present in everything. Kale, for example, is an excellent source of protein. As are blue-green algaes like E3Live and Vitamineral green. Almonds are also another excellent source of protein.

Should I continue to take my daily multi-vitamin? What about B-12?
The reason we take multi-vitamins is to make up for deficiencies caused by an imcomplete or unbalanced diet. During a cleanse you will be consuming nearly 20 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit every day; the nutrients packed into a cleanse blow any multi-vitamin out of the water. The cleanse is you multi-vitamin. The only vitamin you may want to take is B-12. There is debate among the nutrition community concerning whether or not vegetarians receive enough B-12 from their diet. Blue-green algae can take the place of a B-12 supplement.

How much weight will I lose?
You will lose weight. How much depends on how long you cleanse and the current status of your body. Remember, a cleanse is not a quick weight loss fix, but a nutritional tool that allows your digestive system to rest and your body to rid itself of toxins. The weight loss is a side effect, not the intended result.

Will I gain the weight back?
A cleanse is a great ‘reset’ tool. If you are looking for a way to change your eating habits, a cleanse is a fantastic way to start. You become very aware of what you are putting into your body, and many cleansers report an increased ability to focus on what goes into their bodies. Awareness is the first step toward changing a habit.

What if I have Candida or don’t want so much sugar?
Since the cleanse is primarily greens, sugar is not a concern.

If my stool is bloody what should I do?
During a cleanse it is not uncommon to mistake the result of drinking beet juice for bloody stools. If your stool truly is bloody, consult a doctor.

What are the benefits of green juices vs. fruit juices?
Green plants, leaves, stems and grasses all contain chlorophyll and because the molecular structure of chlorophyll is nearly identical to the molecular structure of hemin, part of hemoglobin, a protein in blood that transports oxygen throughout the body, drinking green juices provides your body with everything it needs to produce healthy blood. If your body were an engine, blood would be its oil— the single most critical component to a well-functioning machine.

Additionally, the alkalizing effect of green juices is profound. Although the sugar found in fruit juices is “natural,” it is still sugar. Meaning it is acidic and potentially damaging to your system. An overly acidic environment contributes to depleted energy stores, increased risk of infection, headache, mouth ulcers and more. As your system becomes cleaner you will notice that you crave leafy greens and vegetables like cucumbers and avocados. Sweet fruits and their juices will become rare indulgences.

Can I exercise during a cleanse?
Yes, please. Exercise contributes to the detoxification process. The best exercises during a cleanse are low or no-impact activities. Yoga, walking, swimming, bouncing on a trampoline, stretching, and breathing exercises are all great ways to increase blood and lymphatic circulation while removing acids from the system. Listen to what your body needs. Vigorous exercise will push toxins from your body rapidly, while a relaxing stroll outdoors will gently stimulate lymphatic circulation. Focus on being aware of how your body responds and don’t push yourself too hard. For many, rest may be the best purifier or a hot, salt bath. Remember, part of cleansing is learning to listen to your body.

What are the benefits of an alkaline diet?
How we feel is directly proportional to what we put into our bodies. Your body will thrive once you free it from the fetters of acidity. People who switch to an alkaline diet report an overall transformation: clearer thinking, brighter eyes, glowing skin, feeling more centered, ideal weight, heightened consciousness, increased stamina, more positive thoughts. This translates to overall improvements—physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Is an alkaline cleanse the most effective kind?
Yes. Disease thrives in an acidic environment while health blossoms in an alkaline one. Helping the body to become alkaline requires eating a plant-based diet, managing stress levels and breathing good, clean air. The average American lifestyle and diet is not geared towards this end. Meats, dairy, caffeine, sugar, corn syrup, preservatives, pesticides, pollutants and stress all contribute to acidity in the body. Our bodies struggle to maintain balance amidst this barrage, but once the tipping point is reached, the excess acidity is released into the tissues to preserve the pH of our blood. This event is what many nutrition experts believe to be the origin of most disease. An alkaline cleanse will help to reset your pH level so that your body can thrive— right down to the cellular level.

Can you be too young to cleanse?
Children don’t need to cleanse like adults. It is, however, never to early to begin healthy eating habits! Teaching a child to nourish and nurture their bodies is one of the most important skills ou can teach them for a healthy, happy life. Involving children in food preparation is a wonderful way to engage them in learning how to eat healthily and well.

Can I chew gum during a cleanse?
Gum chewing can create problems by falsely stimulating digestive juices. For this reason, it is not recommended. However, it will not ruin your cleanse.

Can I cleanse if I have diabetes?
Yes, but please consult your doctor first. Many people have successfully helped or eliminated Type 2 diabetes by ‘going raw’.

Will cleansing interfere with my medication?
This is a question your doctor can answer. If you are on any medication, please consult your doctor prior to beginning a cleanse.

Can I cleanse if I have a cold?
Absolutely. I’ve found that the best way to beat a cold is to start juicing, go easy on the solid foods, cleanse the bowels via colonic or Deep Cleanse supplements, sweat it out in a sauna or a hot salt bath and get plenty of rest. However, if your symptoms last more than a couple days, consult your doctor.

I’ve lost weight on the cleanse, now how do I keep it off?
The key to keeping the weight off is awareness. If you fully commit to immersing yourself in the cleanse process you will come to understand a lot about the roots of your eating habits and choices. Learning to eat in a way that keeps your body functioning at an optimum level will empower you to make good food choices for the rest of your life. When you feel better, you eat better.

My lifestyle can’t support a long cleanse, can a one-day cleanse be beneficial?
Definitely. You can’t go wrong adding more raw, organic plant-based food and juices to your diet. Even if it is only for 24 hours, your body will thank you. Many people find that a one-day cleanse is all they needed to build the confidence to complete a longer cleanse. Other people find cleansing one day out of every week to work for them.

I’m nervous about cleansing. I’m afraid I will feel sick, deprived or strange. What should I do?
New experiences are always a little bit scary. Many people are afraid they will ‘fail’ at cleansing, but there is nothing to fear. This is something you are doing for yourself. There is no cleanse police. You are in charge here. If you feel ‘weird’ you can eat more food or stop cleansing. Cleansing with a friend or a group can be helpful so that you have a support system who can identify with what you are going through.

What about only juicing until dinner? I have business dinners I must attend, and don’t want to appear anti-social.
A lot of people who juice regularly opt for the Raw Until Sundown approach. The key is to make sure you drink enough juice so that when you do sit down to dinner, you aren’t feeling ravenous and overeat. Also remember that just because you are out to dinner doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind and order the meatiest, cheesiest pasta dish available. Most restaurants will accommodate special dietary concerns. You can order a good salad and add avocado or other veggies you might see listed as sides. Being polite to your server will get you far.

When should I NOT cleanse?
You are the best judge of your body’s needs. If you feel bloated, tired, run-down, achy, have a lot of blemishes and any other symptoms of overall unwellness, you may want to increase your water intake and take it easy for a couple of days before starting a cleanse. If you feel like your ‘normal’ self, go ahead and cleanse. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it. Cleansing should never add stress to your life, it should help to remove it!

How should I store my juice?
Keep your juice in the refrigerator until your ready to drink it. You may want to take it out a few minutes early to allow it to reach room temperature.

How long does juice last?
Freshest is always best. However, juices should remain nutritionally intact for about three days.

How will I feel during the cleanse?
I’m not going to lie, you may not feel great at the beginning (although some lucky folks do feel great from the start). Detoxing has some unpleasant side-effects, but rest assured you will feel fantastic by the end. Detox symptoms vary depending on how many toxins your tissues are holding. They may include things like: headache, nausea, sweats, PMS-like symptoms, and more. Just remember, it is temporary. Fresh air, alkaline water, moving your body and taking a hot bath are all things that will help. If you just can’t take it, you can eat a little bit of your ‘normal foods’ to slow the process down. Always call your doctor if you are concerned.

Will I be hungry?
Most people do not feel hungry. It really depends on what cleanse you choose and how much you normally eat. Some people feel hungry in the beginning, but this is alleviated by drinking lots of water with lemon between juices.

What do I do if I feel hungry?
Drink water with lemon. If that doesn’t help and you feel you must ‘cheat,’ choose a salad, avocado, raw carrots or celery.

Will I get light-headed without solid food?
Most people don’t, but it depends on your personal blood sugar, body type and metabolism.

Does it really matter what order I drink the juices in?
It does matter. Cleanse programs are designed for optimum digestion and food combining. If you feel something isn’t working for you, go ahead and switch up the order, if you notice indigestion or gas, just revert to the recommended routine.

I am not always going to be able to drink the juices because of work or other obligations. Will eating a salad or vegetables defeat the purpose of the cleanse?
It will not defeat the purpose. Salads and vegetables are alright.

I can’t get the green juice down; I’ve tried everything. Can I just skip them?
The unique taste of green juice can be a struggle for some people at first, but trust me, it is worth it to get it down! Once your body absorbs all those nutrients and you see how amazing you feel, you will likely develop a taste for them. Try some varied options. You may find that it is just one ingredient in the juice that you don’t care like.

What can I do to make the green juice taste better to me?
See above. Adding an apple, some lemon or a carrot often makes the green juice easier to swallow.

I haven’t gone to the bathroom at all since I started the cleanse program, what should I do?
While this is an uncomfortable experience, it is not an uncommon one. A juice cleanse can have a slowing effect on the bowels. To keep things moving you can try: 1) aloe juice (2-4 ounces a day should help and will ease nausea); 2) get a colonic with one of my recommended colon hydrotherapists or; 3) use a home enema with water.

Why is elimination so important during a cleanse?
Elimination is important all the time! Two to three movements a day are optimal. Did you know that most people are carrying around the waste from 18 meals in their guts? How uncomfortable! Many experts believe that bowel issues are the cause of most health problems; that messing with this fundamental bodily system as we do with our America diets, hinders our ability to produce good blood, absorb water and nutrients and eliminate waste.

How often should I be using the bathroom?
See above. This varies from person to person, but as a general rule you should have to go about 20 minutes following every meal.

Do you recommend a colonic?
Yes. Please see my post on colonics and cleansing.

Can I do a cleanse and eat cooked food?
There is no one way to cleanse. One perfectly reasonably way to cleanse would be to eat a consciously prepared whole food, plant-based diet in conjunction with raw foods and juices. Of course, an entirely raw program will provide maximum benefits.

What do I eat when I’m done with the cleanse? What’s the best way to come off a cleanse?
Please see my post on the post-cleanse. There are a number of post-cleanse recipes as well.