What is “juicing” and “juice cleansing/fasting?” Blog by Oliver Wolf

What is “juicing” and “juice cleansing/fasting?”

Juice cleanses are the newest craze. Companies everywhere are now cold pressing pounds of fruits and vegetables into compact bottles of juice. Sales in home juicers have been going up now that juicing is undoubtedly taking over.

In the next 4 blogs, I will be using three terms that I would like to define. The first word that I will be using is “juicing” which simply means the process of extracting juice from a fruit or vegetable. Therefore, when someone says, “I like to juice” or “I juice” this has a wide spectrum of meaning. This person could be an avid juicer – making a juice at home including 10 different fruits and vegetables daily. Alternatively it can mean, in the last year this person has purchased a beverage that included a fruit or vegetable.

The other terms are “juice cleanse” and “juice fast.”. These words are synonymous so I will be using them interchangeably. A “juice cleanse/fast” means going on an all juice diet for a certain period of time with hopes of achieving a higher level of nutrition. Many juice cleanses can be made for you and sent to your door on a date of your choice. You can select a level of intensity and how many days you want to go on the cleanse. The average cleanse consists of about six juices a day with ingredients like kale, lemon, beets, pineapple, mint, cayenne pepper, and cashews. A BluePrint “green drink” has about six pounds of produce!

Part of the allure of juice cleanses is their convenience. These juicing companies have manufactured products that have flawlessly adapted to fit the modern day desire to be healthy while still maintaining a jam packed schedule. These juices make it easier to get vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants anywhere you are. The appeal of unscrewing a cap and chugging a juice instead of eating fruits and vegetables is overwhelming. On the darker side of juice cleansing, most juice cleanses average only 1,000 calories a day. That’s 50% of the average recommend daily calorie intake. Because juice cleanses are so low in calories, weight loss is inevitable. These juices are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but are lacking in other areas. Juice cleanses are deficient in major macro nutrients – protein, fat, calcium and iron. For example, a BluePrint ‘Renovation’ cleanse only provides 16 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber each day. These levels are extremely unsafe.

I went on a three day BluePrint cleanse before writing this, so I can speak from example. My personal experience with juice cleansing was pretty mixed. My first day on the cleanse was absolute misery. Most of the juices tasted disgusting and I almost quit the cleanse the evening of that first day. The second and third days were great! I felt energized, the juices tasted great, and I had a healthy glow. It wasn’t until after I completed the cleanse that I realized that the reason the juices tasted so good the second and third days was because my body was in starvation mode. Drastically reducing my calories and depriving my body of protein and fat put my body in “starvation mode.” I was so desperate for nourishment that even the most disgusting of concoctions would have tasted delicious. My body was letting out a cry for help. It was this understanding that lead to my ambivalence about juice fasting and into eventually writing these articles.

In my next blog, I hope to provide a better understanding of what juice fasting is, why it’s popular, the pros and cons, and the key take away of this new and mesmerizing trend.

By Oliver Wolf

Oliver Wolf is a junior at Friends Central School and has a keen interest in nutrition and healthy lifestyle. With Emily Murray’s MS, RD, LDN support he will be writing nutrition blogs about current topics. Hope you enjoy.