Bottoms Up – A 5 Day Juice Detox

Jan 22 2012 by
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Do you ever have those moments when you feel like you need to get away from it all?  No cellphones ringing, no TV blaring, no emails or social networking.  Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the busy 24/7 society we live in and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that nature has to offer.  We call this a vacation but actually it’s a detox.  The word detox often gets a bad wrap but really it’s just a special treatment that helps a person to stop using a product or substance.

I recently asked on Facebook if anyone had been on a juice detox and whether they liked it and what the results were.  I got a lot of different comments.  There were those that had done a juice detox and were happy with the results and those that hadn’t and thought it wasn’t a beneficial way to diet or eat.  Do I think that juicing is a good way to lose weight?  Not really.  I think eating a diet full of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with nuts, grains and legumes is a better and healthier way to achieve weight lost.  Do I think a juice detox has benefits?  Yes, I do!

Why am I doing a juice detox?

Most people juice in an effort to lose weight, improve their diet and eliminate the unhealthy foods they currently consume.  This is not the case for me.  I am at a healthy weight and I already eat a 100% organic plant based diet full of a variety of fresh, seasonal foods.  So why do I want  to do a juice detox?  Bottom line – I’ve stopped listening to my body to give me cues.  I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and mindlessly eat what is on my plate.  Often times throughout the week I find myself feeling like I ate too much food.  My life is busy and hectic and I’m putting most of my effort into outside influences and I’ve lost focus on my body.  I want to give my body a break from the hurried eating routine that I’ve gotten myself into.

The benefits of juice detox?

While my main reason for doing a juice detox is to give me a chance to focus on my body there are other benefits that I’m looking forward to.  Often times during a juice detox you will find that after the first day or so that you have an increase in energy, a clearer mental focus and a reduction in junk food cravings.  While I eat a very healthy diet I still crave (and often times overeat) my fair share of desserts.  A cookie is still a cookie even if it’s made with whole wheat flour and coconut crystals!  Clearer skin and relief from chronic health issues are also well known benefits of juice detox.

The side effects?

If juice detoxing is so great wouldn’t everyone be doing it?  I certainly don’t want anyone to assume that juice detoxing is some easy thing that you can wake up one morning and decide to do!  While there are definite benefits to doing a juice detox, there are side effects as well.  As with any type of detox the first few days usually present the same common symptoms – headaches (you’re more likely to experience headaches if your diet contains a lot of caffeine, sugar or salt), nausea, dizziness and sometimes bad breath.  You’re also likely to have frequent urination (I drink a lot a water so this is something I have everyday), diarrhea and fatigue (this is a side effect you experience in the beginning, by the end you should have a vast increase in energy).

What do I need to have in order to start a juice detox?

First and foremost – you need a juicer!  There are a variety of juicers on the market and picking the right one can seem daunting.  Here is an article about the different types of juicers that are available that should help point you in the right direction.  I have an Omega 8005 Juicer that I will be using for my juice detox.  I currently use my juicer everyday and am very pleased with it.  Aside from having a juicer you’ll want to load up with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Some of my favorites are spinach, apples, kale, collard greens, blueberries, strawberries and carrots.  Skip the bananas as they are not able to be juiced and if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to limit the amount of citrus fruits you use.

Juicing vs blending?

You might be wondering if you can still do a juice detox if you own a blender and not a juicer.  Technically yes, there will just be a bit more work involved.  When you juice your food you are eliminating the fiber from the foods and you decrease your digestion to almost zero.  By placing your foods in a blender you are not eliminating any of the fiber and your body will need to digest the ‘juice’ the same way as if you were to eat it raw.  To work around this issue you will need to strain the blended juice before drinking any of it.  Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove all of the pulp from the juice.

Do I need to peel my fruit and vegetables before juicing?

Generally, if you buy organic produce you can leave the peel intact.  Non-organic foods should be peeled or at least washed thoroughly.  Citrus fruits should be peeled because the rind tastes bitter and may contain pesticides, but you can leave the white pith.  Hard “pit” seeds such as peach, plum, and cherry must be removed first.  Apple seeds do contain a small amount of a cyanide compound so I recommend coring your apples before juicing.

Can I make all my juice at one time and store it for later on?

The vitamins and nutrients in juice can oxidize or decrease over time so it is ideal to drink the juice right away.  The presence of light and oxygen speed up this process, but you can slow it down by keeping the juice in the refrigerator and storing it in a dark or opaque colored container.  Try to use a container that is the same size as the amount of juice you will consume.  You only want to open the container once and that is when you drink the juice.  It is best to drink the juice within a 24 hour period but it can safely be stored for up to 3 days.  You can freeze any leftover juice but make sure to allow for adequate thawing time.  Juice should be thawed in the refrigerator and can take up to 24 hours to completely thaw.

Can I use mostly fruits for my juice detox?

Fruits can be great in limited quantities, but they speed up the detoxifying process and can make your detox symptoms (shakes, headaches) feel worse.  Just like with any healthy diet you should be consuming a variety of fruits and veggies.  I recommend a 70/30 vegetable to fruit ratio.  70% of your juice should be from a vegetable source and the other 30% from fruit.

How many days should I do a juice detox for?

If you’ve never done a juice detox before I recommend starting with a simple 1 day detox.  Most detox plans are for 3, 5 and 7 days.  These short detoxes can be done various times throughout the year.  If you are planning on doing a detox for longer than 7 days you need to enlist the help of a health professional.

A juice detox is not for everyone.  If you are under the age of 18, pregnant or under the supervision of a health professional you should not do a juice detox.  If you have any concerns always check with your healthcare professional first before making any dietary changes.  I am not a medical professional and the information above should not be taken as medical advise.

Here we go!

Starting tomorrow my husband and I will begin a 5 day juice detox.  I will be filling you in each day via a video message as to how we are doing.  I’ll share the good, the bad and the ugly.  If you have any specific questions please feel free to post them to our Facebook page and I will do my best to answer them during my video messages.  I’ll also be posting the juicing recipes that we make and drink throughout the week.  In the meantime, check out this great documentary about juicing – Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Wish us luck!


Wanna know how our juice detox is going?  Check out our updates here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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  1. Wajeeha says:

    I love the site, I follow you on Facebook. I have been vegan raw 95%, since Oct. 2011. Sugar, wheat and flour free since 2003. I hope others try your fast, even for 1 day!

    I will be checking in on you daily. I have a green drink recipe I will post tomorrow.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Wajeeha,

      Wow! Raw!!! Being a clean eating vegan is serious hard work but a raw diet is even harder! Way to go! I’m sure there is lots you could teach me! If you have any drink recipes please pass them along.


  2. Zoe says:

    Hey! I was wondering if there was a website or document that laid out the 5 day detox plan! I’m really interested in doing this! Also what advice could you give to someone who would love to lead the healthy lifestyle? My uncle, whom I live with, buys nothing but junk food! No matter how hard I try he refuses to get the good stuff.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zoe,

      I don’t know off hand of any websites or documents that laid out a specific juice plan. The great thing about a juice plan is that it’s so simple. Literally, there is no wrong way to do it. Either find a specific juice combination that you like to drink or create new ones everyday and just drink juice for every meal.

      As far as trying to help someone adapt to a healthy lifestyle I would steer them in the way of some fantastic documentaries on the subject. Forks Over Knives is one of my most favorite. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Inc and Food Matters are also great videos to take a look at. Good Luck!


    • Emily says:

      Zoe, I found this website that had specific directions on a juice detox.

  3. Rich says:

    Great information. Thank you!

  4. Marge says:

    My husband and I have been considering this but weren’t sure how to detox the body…thanks for sharing!

  5. April says:

    I love the idea of a juice detox, but I am a migraine sufferer. I found a detox diet that called for water only on day 1 and then gradually adding juice, vegetables, fruits, etc. I had a migraine by the end of day 1. Any additional suggestions? Thanks!

  6. Jason says:

    Hi April,
    If you’re only drinking water for a day, you’re fasting and that can lead to severe headaches, especially for people who already have low blood sugar.

    I’d say to try a more balanced approach… mixing in some juicng with some green smoothies or some light snacks. It’s also good to know what’s in your juice! I’ve been working on a program to pull all of the nutritional data down from the FDA… and then working on recipes. We’ll be publishing the nutritional data soon (it’s about 1300 lines of html code per recipe… so getting that organized!)

    And we’ll be publishing more recipes… working on a “Detox Diet” now which is how I came across your post.

    I’ll post it when it’s complete. Interested to see if you’ve found any detox diets that work for you?

  7. Jonathan Best says:

    I agree, juicing is fun and a healthy habit as well…I would recommend having different juicing recipes each day so you don’t get bored with the same taste…for more juicing information visit my site…Thanks!

  8. Heather says:

    I really enjoyed reading/watching your videos. I plan to start a 3 day detox tomorrow. I was wondering though, can you tell me some of the recipes you used for juicing? I am new to this and really dont know what combinations to use. Thanks

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Heather,

      I find that people have such definite likes and dislikes when it comes to vegetables that it’s really hard to say “this is juice you will like”. I personally can not stand the taste of celery, which is a VERY popular vegetable that is used in most juicing recipes. My husband hates cucumber, which I love in juice. What I often tell people who are just starting out is take some of your favorite vegetables (kale, spinach, cucumbers, beets, carrots, etc) and do a 50/50 mix with your favorite fruits (apples, lemon, oranges, berries, etc.). Once you find a combination of vegetables that you enjoy you can start to play around with other vegetables and flavors and you’ll quickly figure out what juices you can make that are perfect for you. ALso, remember, there is no wrong juice. Add whatever ingredients you like and enjoy!


  9. Sharon says:

    Thank you for all your juicing tips! I really found it helpful. I tried my first cleanse with Juice Crafters in LA and had such an amazing experience. I felt so healthy and refreshed. I really recommend you trying their program- their fruits and vegetables are all locally grown, pesticide free and their greens are organic. Their juices are made fresh daily to pick up. I found that preparing the juices myself at home became very time consuming and messy so it was great to have Juice Crafters prepare them for me.

  10. Angelina reddy says:

    I am very careful to keep to a well balanced diet and at 81 am happy to say I need no medication of any kind except an occasional panadol for headache. However I have become interested in juicing and have purchased a juicer.

    Here is the problem. I, like many people in the world, live in a country where it is impossible to get organic fruits and vegies and I feel uncomfortable juicing greens. Also it is not possible to purchase supplements. Is there a solution to this?

    Would appreciate hearing from you

    • Rich Donahue says:

      Hi Angelina,

      Great question and you’re not alone.

      I don’t have very good access to organic fruits and vegetables so, I get the freshest I can buy here. In the summer we have a small farmers market which is good and some of the local grocery stores carry locally grown food. That’s good too.

      I wash my fruits and vegetables and juice almost every day. I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years now and it has made a difference in my life. I feel better, have more energy and think clearer. My skin is better and my digestion is better too. I don’t get heartburn or indigestion hardly anymore and that great for me. My body is in balance.

      I’m not sure why you say you’re afraid to juice greens, but I do and they are very good. I still take a few supplements, but not as much as I use too. I take fish oil and still take a multi vitamin. I don’t think it hurts, but supplements aren’t as good as the real deal.

      I hope this helps and best wishes! I hope when I’m your age I can say, I don’t take any prescription medications. Thanks for sharing that.

  11. briana says:

    I just started mine today. I must say I’ve never done a juice detox but this certainly seems to be an easy detox. I remember trying one with pills (not healthy), so I’m glad there is one that’s healthy and tastes great! I’m no quite sure how many days I will do it for, but I’m glad my boyfriend wants to do it too which makes it a lot easier! Wish us luck! I’m trying for 5 days! :)

  12. Annie says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Can I use coconut milk in my juices or should I just use water? Also do I only have juices for the 5 days?


    • Sarah says:

      Hi Annie,

      If you are doing a juice fast for health/weight loss reasons it is best not to use coconut milk (although coconut water should be ok). You can create any type of juice program that you’d like – you do not have to do it for any certain period of time. Some people do a detox for 1 day, sometimes 3 and some will juice for breakfast and lunch and then have a healthy dinner. It’s totally up to you what you want to do.

      Good Luck!


  13. Karina says:

    Where can I find the update on the juice detox you did? I’m planning to start one next week!



    • Sarah says:

      Hi Karina,

      If you scroll to the very bottom of this post you will find the links to all the updates on I did while on the juice detox as well as the how we broke the fast.

      Good luck on your detox!


  14. Sarah says:

    Let’s be honest: 99% of people benefit from juicing because the Standard American diet is unhealthy. Considering the fact that juicing provides the body with the best minerals, vitamins, cleansing elements and enzymes from vegetables and fruits, you will feel energy boosted almost immediately after trying some of the energy juice recipes. With drinking energy juices every day, your body will be provided with a high level of natural nutrients from vegetables and fruits that improve your health and also provide an anti-aging protection for both your body and skin. Juicing is addictive, but people really need some healthy addictions in life. Moreover, if “juice everyday” was your New Year’s resolution, then you have made the best decision. Just try some of the juicing recipes for energy for one week – and you will be hooked for life.

  15. Melissa says:

    What is the value of taking the fiber out of the ingredients? I am just starting and don’t necessarily want to invest in a juicer or have to labor over straining… isn’t fiber good for you?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Melissa,

      The purpose of a juice detox is to eliminate fiber and solid substance from your diet to give you digestion system a break from working so hard. Juicing itself provides all the nutrients you need and they are delivered straight to your system through the liquid juice. For more information I suggest you google juicing vs smoothies to find out a bit more about the topic.


  16. Neil says:

    if one started juicing, can he go back to his old diet? like you said, detox is just a break from all the ‘toxic’ food and to cleanse vital organs such as the liver.

    how often should one juice fast? once a month, quarterly?

    are the fiber nutrients completely gone with juicing?

    are there any useful ways for the extracted pulps?

  17. Shannon says:

    I’m embarking on my first detox and I found this post very helpful. Thanks!!

  18. ali says:

    did you ever post your recipes from your juicing week??

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