Fuck a Juice Cleanse.
If you have a history of body dysmorphia, chronic dieting, restriction, or other types of freaky food behavior, juice cleanses aren’t going to do shit for your precious body or your awesome mind.
Even if you ate a lot of holiday cookies, even if you feel anxious and tired, even if you want your body to quickly change, even if your digestion is sucking right now, even if lots of amazing people you know or look up to are going to do them.
My personal opinion is that there are no reputable studies or science behind the very idea of detoxing via juice cleansing, but because I certainly haven’t read all there is to read on the subject, I will say the jury is out on if juice cleanses even do what they say they are going to do in the first place.
What I do know, is that MANY people are coming to me completely stressed out by their holiday indulgences and wondering if the answer might be a liquid cleanse. In every instance I have emphatically said “No, please please please do not stop eating food”.
There is simply no magic bullet to “fix” past action.
Sure, if you want to stop eating rich holiday foods, now is a great time to simplify your diet. Get stoked on whole foods, get your vegetables in, maybe even steer clear of refined oils or animal products if you feel so inclined. Be chiller with your body, chances are that might come completely naturally if you’re tuned in to how you’re feeling anyway. Be super mindful, but still eat.
I am a huge fan of the work of Sid Garza-Hillman, and this one thing he said in regards to cleansing has really stuck with me. It is as follows:
What you do before a juice cleanse and what you do after is what actually matters.
Simple, right? Obvious, even.
I am going to come out and say something that has been swimming around my brain for awhile now: Juice cleansing is downright dangerous for those who have struggled with eating disorders. Some folks may do juice cleanses and be fine, some folks may even have struggled with food and cleanse with no mental affect. My opinion, though, is that those instances are probably rare. Generally, the simple act of NOT EATING is just not a safe or wise thing for a person in recovery to do.
I know lots of people think juice cleanses are wonderful and healthy. Indeed, the micronutrient consumption is off the hook. But as both a health and wellness coach and a person who has struggled with all of the eating disorder ever, I just can’t condone them.
Not eating for an extended period of time would trigger the fuck out of me, even years into my recovery, and I imagine it would be the same for others. It’s okay to be really careful with yourself around decisions like this. Admitting vulnerability actually makes you stronger, not weak.
If you think you need a nutritional reset, but I’ve crushed your hopes of juice cleansing, please don’t worry. Steam up some green veggies. Make a miso tahini sauce. Bake a sweet potato. Saute up some tempeh. Eat slowly, and don’t be a jerk to yourself. You’re getting healthier by making a meal that will nourish you at any time.
You’re going to be okay without the juice cleanse.