Documentary filmmaker and health advocate Joe Cross discovered a whole new body by vowing to change his life and his health by only drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices for 60 days. When Cross started filming Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, he was 100 pounds overweight, on multiple prescription drugs and suffering from an autoimmune disease. He decided to drastically alter his lifestyle and tap into the body’s natural healing abilities by juicing. The results: Cross lost the weight, got off his meds and sought out to spread his message and the success of his personal journey with the masses.
Why might someone consider juicing? According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of The Super Immunity Diet, juicing helps unleash the natural healing power of the body. Juicing floods your system with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. It may also help retrain your taste buds to enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables, making it the first step toward a long-lasting lifestyle change, or jumpstarting a weight-loss regimen. Dr. Fuhrman also says juicing can be beneficial for people with elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, and those suffering from autoimmune diseases, like arthritis, digestive problems, and skin conditions.
LEARN MORE: The Healing Properties of Juicing
While 60 days of juicing is extreme, and should never be attempted without the supervision of a physician, juicing for shorter amounts of time can still be beneficial.
Note: Before starting any cleanse, make sure to consult your physician, especially if you have a medical condition like diabetes. Also, don’t participate if you’re pregnant or nursing. Detoxes are also not a substitute for medical diagnoses or treatment.
To help you reap the benefits of juicing, Cross has developed a 3-day weekend cleanse that you can do with simple ingredients right at home. But before you get started, there are a few rules you'll need to get familiar with.
The Ramp Up
Start flushing your body with fluids and clean up your diet for two days prior to your start date.
- Morning: Drink 16 ounces of hot water with lemon and ginger
- Eliminate: All caffeine, sugar, red meat, dairy and processed foods. Focus on fruit, vegetables and lean protein.
- Night: Drink 1 cup of hot herbal tea
During the cleanse, you are going to continue to start your day with the hot water, lemon, and ginger, and end your day with a cup of hot herbal tea.
LEARN MORE: The Health Benefits of Ginger
The 3-Day Cleanse: What to Drink and Eat
For 3 days, you will drink a total of 5 juices per day — and eat one meal that consists of only fruits and vegetables.
You will have:
- Breakfast Juice: Carrot Apple Ginger
- Mid-morning Juice: Mean Green
- Lunch Juice: Gazpacho Juice
- Afternoon Snack Juice: Citrus-Inspired Green Juice
- Pre-dinner Juice: Sunset Blend
- Dinner: Eating at the end of the day is essential during a short cleanse of this nature. This will help you feel full so you won’t fall prey to cravings or feelings of deprivation or starvation. Meals should consist of only fruits and vegetables. Get the suggested recipes.
The Ramp Down
After the cleanse, it’s important to eat foods that will not “shock” your body. Focus on healthy, whole foods and avoid the processed stuff at all costs!
You can return to eating 3 meals per day, but continue to have at least one juice a day. Try to make your snack a fresh juice.
Add in good sources of protein like nuts or lean chicken. (Find out seven surprising sources of protein.) And don’t forget about the hot water, lemon and ginger in the morning, and hot herbal tea at night.
LEARN MORE: The Ultimate Juice Cleanse Recipe Collection