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Keep it Clean – Eating After a Juice Cleanse
Sarah Reid, RHNC
Sarah Reid, RHNC
Cleanses are a great way to get your system back on track after any amount of exposure to modern stressors and toxins. While on a highly restrictive protocol like a juice-only detox, the withdrawals from such common elements as coffee, milk, and sweets can be maddening and at first the end of the diet cannot come soon enough, even with adequate preparation. When followed through to completion, the temptation to fill your hunger with a hearty meal is one more hurdle that you must deal with – just like entering a cleansing program, a proper exit technique both prevents intestinal shock and prepares the body to begin handling higher levels of the troublesome compounds present in everyday food and living. This “adjustment” period can take between 7-14 days, depending on the length of the detox and the individual nature of the person. Too quick of a transition from “clean drinking” to a normal diet (even a nutritious one) will actually concentrate the toxic load in the body as the poisons released by the cleansing body that have not been completely eliminated re-form and saturate tissues (especially the blood vessels and small intestine).
The best “food” to break a juice cleanse is the same one that is best to enter it: a broth-based soup and a very fluid, fresh juice-based smoothie. Rice-based miso (also called kome miso) diluted in hot water is ideal, as it not only contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals and amino acids such as tryptophan, but also has probiotics that promote the gut’s detoxification abilities. The probiotics in miso also form important B-vitamins for energy and growth. It is important that the soups eaten for the first few meals not contain grains or grain products (except rice miso), starchy vegetables, overly spicy ingredients or (most importantly) meat or dairy, including the broth itself. Raw or lightly steamed vegetables, naturally fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and high-water fruits can be introduced after this initial meal, gradually progressing to steamed or boiled brown rice (or gluten-free whole grains), nuts and seeds, starchy and nightshade vegetables and natural sweeteners. Legumes, tofu, lean fish and eggs should be introduced afterwards, in reduced quantities at first and eventually increasing to “normal” portions. Dairy, poultry and fatty fish can be added next, then lean red meat and finally (if at all) caffeine, alcohol, pork and processed proteins such as bacon, lunch meats and pre-seasoned items.