Your Body Cleanses Itself

Juice Cleanses Are Not Necessary! from 100 Days of #RealFoodI understand my stance on “juice cleanses” may not be the popular one (especially this time of year), but let’s face it – your body cleanses itself. I almost *cringe* every time I hear someone’s practically starving themselves by not actually eating any regular food and only drinking green juices and the like. Maybe they think they’ll feel great and it will help them lose weight (even if it’s just water weight) – but, in my opinion, not eating (i.e. chewing) any food for a few days sounds pretty extreme and like the opposite of “fun” to me.

Extreme Diet Trends

Leave it to us Americans though to once again take the enjoyment out of food. We are one of the few countries that obsesses over counting this or limiting that or not pairing two particular foods together at a certain time of day (this last one I never really understood?). What happened to just eating a variety of whole foods – and simply stopping when you feel full or, better yet, satisfied – and actually taking pleasure in the whole process?? I am pretty sure that’s the way things were meant to be, and also, by default, it would help us to avoid some of those unwanted chemicals and additives (i.e. toxins found in highly processed food) in the first place.

A Professional Opinion

If you look at the facts, all of this isn’t really just “in my opinion.” I spoke to a local Colorectal Surgeon, Dr. Robert Stevens, who specializes in colons (obviously) – one of the organs people are attempting to “flush the toxins out of” with juice cleansing. I know Dr. Stevens personally (and trust him), and he verifies that your colon, liver and kidneys make up your very own amazing detoxification system. Imagine that – we are already equipped with all the right parts to naturally rid ourselves of unwanted toxins and feel good! Not to mention that not eating for a few days can cause dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and even colon damage (yikes).

Dr. Stevens tells me, “The most beneficial natural colon ‘cleanse’ is dietary fiber. Consuming the whole fruit or vegetable (not just the juice) is the best way to ensure that the contents of the colon are adequately evacuated along with any toxins that might remain.” As I learned during my own recent experiment, juicing can be expensive, time-consuming, and also does not provide you with the whole vegetable because “juicers” actually remove that fiber he is talking about (which can leave you still feeling hungry afterward, as it did for me).

I want to make it clear that there’s certainly nothing wrong with drinking a green juice, but it should not be considered an adequate substitution for regular food – especially for days on end.

No Evidence Cleanses Work

Not only is the act of giving up real food during a juice fast/cleanse basically the opposite of human nature, but there is also little to no scientific evidence that it actually flushes out any toxins in the first place (as confirmed here and here). Have you ever seen a credible, peer-reviewed study that proves these cleanses really work? If so, please do share it with us in the comments.

So some probably won’t like that I am saying all of this – and others may actually thank me (you can finally chew your food again – yay!) – but either way this is where I stand. In general, be careful about extreme diet trends and remember to eat a variety of wholesome, healthy foods that you can actually take the time to enjoy. :)

In Summary

Why i don't like juice #cleanses from 100 Days of #RealFood

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155 thoughts on “Your Body Cleanses Itself”

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  1. They have you clear out your colon before a colonoscopy so that they can see the lining clearly while they do the test, not for any “cleansing” benefit.

    Thank you for talking about this, Lisa. These sorts of fads and pseudo-scientific practices *can* be harmful. A friend just spent months treating what she thought was irritable bowel with various juices and supplements, until one day she started vomiting and couldn’t stop. What she had was a cancerous tumor that had been growing and was now blocking her intestines, and the cancer had metastasized.

  2. I just went through a awful cleanse for a colonoscopy. The cleanse was not done for my health but for my colon to be clean for the scope to see what is going on. Never did the Doctor say the cleanse is healthy for me. Any one in their right mind can not think that having diarrhea for 24 hrs is good for you.

  3. Juices made of whole foods are chewed. They are not pure liquid.

    It is also not against human nature to not eat for a span of time. hunter gatherers did not eat 3-5 times a day and necessarily a variety of food. They ate when they had access to food. In bad weather in times of war they did not eat much.

  4. Sometimes I feel like bloggers become so opinionated after doing things for a little while. I feel like you did a wonderful job, Lisa, transitioning your family to whole foods and sharing the journey was wonderful. I loved the light hearted blog with great recipes. But overly opinionated posts like these make me move on to the next blogger…I feel like it just brings negativity into my computer and negativity towards an idea (better eating, doing what you can to move into a healthier lifestyle) that is so unnecessary. Especially when eating clean is what you have make your whole career on. If even just one person is feeling better from juicing and incorporating those extra greens into their life, then it is completely the right thing for them.

    1. Different people have different opinions. That is not ‘negativity’ – it is just a different opinion. As nice as it is to always have your personal opinions validated, if you only listen to the opinions of those who think exactly like you do, you will never learn anything or grow. Lisa is not forcing you to give up cleansing or juicing or saying you are a bad person if do juice or cleanse. She’s offering her opinion – and backing it up. You are still free to disagree. Don’t limit yourself!

  5. Interestingly though, you’re required to do a cleanse before a colonoscopy… I’m not signing up for a no-real-food-for-3-days “cleanse” any time soon, but sometimes people need a reset to start a healthy change for themselves even if it’s not really needed to detox their bodies.

    1. They require you to empty your colon to be able to get clear pictures…this statement has nothing to do with health/weighloss or cleanses.

    2. Having had the dubious “pleasure” of experiencing a colonoscopy, and with the intention of not being too graphic–the “cleanse” before a colonoscopy is intended to empty the digestive tract. It has nothing to do with “healthy change” or “detox”, it is so that the colon is completely empty to allow for passage of the flexible tubing and camera, as well as clear field of vision. I promise you, the clear liquid diet for 24 hours, followed by the huge doses of powerful laxatives, is not recommended for any other purpose whatsoever! Ask ANY health professional and I feel 100% certain they will agree with me on this point.

    3. I completely realize that! Sorry I should have made that more clear. It just seemed ironic and somewhat comical to me! I also will say (maybe TMI!) that I’ve had the unfortunate experience of doing a “cleanse” haha after getting food poisoning in Mexico. It definitely was not on purpose, but after my *ahem* really clean colon I no longer had the GI issues that had baffled my doctors for years!

  6. To those who are using Isagenix links and other PRODUCTS as “proof”…of course they want to sell you on the idea of a cleanse..they want you to buy their products. If you don’t have any medical issues that would require a liquid diet or limited foods, what is the purpose? The “toxins” in your body are cleaned out by your body itself everyday. As long as they are functioning properly and you are eating nutrients to supply your body with what it needs, your body with “cleanse” itself.

  7. Fasting has been used for centuries to overcome many health problems….It shuts down the digestion system and allows the body to heal whatever is wrong over time. When your body is constantly digesting food, it has no energy to put forth healing. People can and have lived off juices for months without hurting themselves and overcome so many illnesses. First thing an animal does when it’s sick is stop eating. When we get sick our hunger goes away. People should really be more educated on this subject before giving an ignorant opinion.

    1. I think you must’ve missed some of the article… she DID research and became more educated from a DOCTOR who SPECIALIZES in colon health. “When we get sick our hunger goes away”… to me, this is completely irrelevant to the topic of choosing a cleanse when your body is not shutting down hunger due to sickness, therefor putting your body into a mode of starvation. Which in turn can completely destroy any hope of getting a great start on weightloss. There is plenty of educated people who will vouch for the fact that depriving yourself of whole food altogether not only has damaging results to your body and weight loss, but also has negative impact on you mentally as well. It also produces unhealthy mindsets regarding food which can lead to eating disorders or similar mentality.

  8. Agree with this post. I’ve always assumed that juice cleanses, and other forms of extreme dieting, are about people need ing to feel control over their bodies. There’s so much evidence out there against extreme diets that the only reason I can think why people do them is to fill some sort of psychological need.

  9. The juicing trend, as a way to supplement/aid (not replace) our regular diet is FANTASTIC! …BUT… When you start talking about multiple-day cleanses, a “Juicing Diet,” or anything else that removes solid, whole food from our diet for more than a meal, it can’t be good for you. The only true way to “diet” is to decide to eat healthier foods, drink non-chemically altered liquids, and exercise. If your body’s consumption of calories is greater than your daily intake, you will lose weight. If you decide to train your body to consume healthy food appropriately, it will happen all the easier.

    By training your body to consume healthily, eat appropriate serving sizes (roughly the size of a double fist – fingers interlocked) as a complete, balanced meal. If this needs to happen more than 3 times daily – so be it, but you will gradually decrease your caloric intake naturally by following this method.

    Juicing can help supplement the between meal times with healthy fibers, nutrients, and vitamins that we commonly miss otherwise. This will also keep your stomach feeling full when you crave that mid-afternoon snack.

    Lastly, if we actually consumed the amount of water that we are naturally meant to (instead of replacing it with other high-sodium and refined-sugar substitutes like sodas), the food you eat will naturally absorb the water like a sponge, making you feel full and hydrating you at the same time. Diet drinks are completely off the map. False sugars fool your body into believing that you are consuming real, natural sugars and automatically begins the process for storage. This CAUSES weight gain and water retention.

    Moral of the story… stick with Water and natural juices (Juicing as a dietary supplement or aid), eat smaller portions that are fresh and balanced, exercise daily. You’ll feel better, lose weight, and your body’s cleansing systems will get back to working how they were designed in the first place.

  10. I also use juice plus and totally agree with you Susie ,low cost and no mess I was recommended it due to my diabetes and it really is a wonder food , we also take the capsules as well as the shakes , as they taste great especially when blended with a choice of extra fruit and vegetables .

  11. I only drink juice plus ,which is classed and scientifically proven many times over from university’s all over the world,it has over 20 nutrients all organic derived from not just the fruit,berries and vegetable it’s self but contains the stems ,seeds and stalks ,it is dried out at such a low heat process that all the micro nutrients are still alive and bio available to your body , it is recommended by health professionals and my children love it too , I have never felt so good , it has nothing added at all and taste great , without the mess and costs of buying lots of fruit and vegetables , it cleanses your body ,lowers insulin levels, and reduces oxadive stress , and promotes quicker healing to your body , and is affordable ,of course we still eat many a variety of fruit and vegetables in my household , but this really does bridge the gap and is again proven and classed to be a whole food ,

  12. It depends on who is doing it and for what reason. There is a lot of research to validate the benefits of fasting in certain situations. Just look on PubMed. Also, fasting has been a part of many cultures and religions and it no doubt served a very real biological purpose. There is also research to support this. Fasting is only against human nature in the Western world of today.

    Assuming you are juicing low sugar (specifically low fructose) vegetables and fruit, you are certainly taking in an abundance of nutrients that would be difficult to get from eating whole foods only, which should still comprise the majority of your diet (particularly vegetables). Someone with a compromised digestive function, which is unfortunately, many people these days, may very well not extract optimal nutrients from whole foods. You need adequate stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile to properly assimilate nutrients. High fiber foods can be particularly difficult for many people to digest, despite their benefits.

    Getting all your nutrition from whole foods is certainly optimal, but many of our conventional foods are depleted of nutrients because of current farming and food handling practices. Also, anyone with any sort of chronic health condition has a much higher need for nutrients than the average person. Juicing can be a better alternative than synthetic vitamins (natural sources tends to have vitamins and minerals in quantities that optimize synergy, thereby absorption, also, potentially many nutrients that have yet to be studied) and pharmaceutical drugs.

    As with anything else that is trendy, unfortunately, it is the implementation that is problematic. But, that does not mean that there is no benefit or that it is a dangerous practice in itself if done for a very short period of time and within the right context (the body will slow down during this period, increased rest and reduced stress is essential). Also, any long term diet should be both nutrient dense and composed mainly of whole foods, as well as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, with plenty of sleep, reduced stress and moderate exercise.

  13. You really stirred the pot here! I agree with so much of what you said. If we as a society did not eat so many processed foods, did not overindulge in things we know are bad for us and did not look for a “magic bullet” be it a fad diet, extreme diet, juice cleanse, etc. we would be better off. We take no responsibility for our actions for anything (watch CSPAN to get the trickle down of that trait) and eating is one of the biggies. I am compulsive about sweets, so I don’t keep them in the house.I have been on so many Diets to figure out that eating mindfully and as close to nature as possible is the best for me and my family. Yes, I don’t eat grains as much during the week, mostly because they jack my sugar. I don’t keep crap in my house, because the chemicals in it shut down the “I’m full” part of our brains. Everyone should eat like you recommend, no exceptions. Taking responsibility for your actions is the first thing you learn in Kindergarten. Eating is part of that.

  14. I use a Nutrubullet; blends the whole fruit, veggie, etc so you are benefitting and getting all the nutrients. Always can feel the “boost” of all that healthy in my system. : )

  15. Sonnes is a GREAT way to DETOX your body and not starve yourself. It atracks all the bad stuff in your body and you expel it when you go to the bathroom. It is safe to take every day too!

  16. What a great story, I’m really happy it has worked for you :)

    I am doing a mix of juicing and whole/clean food. I am 44 and have to say I feel better than I did ten years ago, well if I’m honest EVER! I am now eating and juicing such a huge variety of foods, many of which I hadn’t eaten before. I love this page and I think what Lisa has done has helped inspire many people. I wish she could revisit this topic maybe after doing some research she will understand better :)

  17. From the time I was in high school I got debilitating stomach cramps, intense diarrhea, and pain so intense I couldn’t go to school, walk and even breathe. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife on fire. I worked out, ate healthy, and stayed away from fast food. It continued when I was in college. I didn’t drink or use drugs. And still after college, about every other meal I ate gave me the worst pain of my life. I had no insurance and no one would see me. I cried every night and was almost to the point of suicide because I was in so much pain. I hated living. I hated eating. I saw doctors at my college who only prescribed me pain meds but didn’t know what was wrong. After I graduated I got a good job with benefits. And I’m actually in the medical field (in medical school also). I had multiple stomach surgeries, biopsies, etc. everything came back “normal” I was at my wits end.

    Then I had a friend suggest a whole juice cleanse a few days a month. That maybe something had happened in utero that caused my intestines to not absorb whole foods. Or perhaps my body was attacking itself and just needed a day off. A break. I was hesitant because nothing else had helped. I tried making a smoothie but didn’t like the texture and it made me gag so u got a juicer and just juiced. Added veggies and fruits. I did this for one weekend… after the weekend I went back (hesitantly) to eating regular foods. I was totally surprised that the whole first week I only had only about 5 episode of stomach pain, compared to the 10-12 that I would normally have. So I did it again the next weekend. Only juice, each week, the pain got less and less. Now I have less than one episode a month.

    I know there may not be a lot of medical information on juicing, but there isn’t a lot of information on many medicinal topics, because people don’t fund the research. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help people. Please be open minded because coming from someone who was almost about to kill herself from the pain, to pain free and about to become an MD, I can attest to the benefits of juicing, at least for me. I truly believe juicing saved my life.

  18. The thing that bothered me about the post was actually nothing to due with juicing and/or fasting. What bothered me was the comment that people in America need to stop counting calories and restricting foods and simply enjoy eating whole foods and stop when they are satisfied. I think that is an extremely simplified and black and white look at an every growing problem with America and obesity. It is also irritating to hear that from a woman who is thin and has stated that she has never struggled with her weight. I know that from my own experience, I am an over-eater and compulsive about food. Even on a whole foods diet, I was overeating. I require more structure to my eating habits in order to eat the right portions. I still eat whole foods and limit processed foods as much as possible. But I also track what I eat. Its not enough to simple eat whole foods and enjoy myself. I will ENJOY myself too much!

    1. I understand your comment because I’ve struggled with compulsive eating. The idea of ‘eating what you want and stopping when you’ve had enough’ is almost foreign when we’ve learned not to trust ourselves because we’re afraid we won’t stop.

      I’ve been listening to and reading books by Geneen Roth – and she talks a lot about getting to a point where you can understand when your body has had enough. It’s been a life-changer for me.

  19. Great post! I also feel Americans subscribe to WAY too many diet trends and ridiculous rules. I have a friend who doesn’t eat any carbs after 12pm (why??) and so many other restrictive rules. Simplifying our diet by eliminating processed foods and eating whole foods is the solution to many health problems. Juicing is not a necessary part of a healthy diet – especially if one is eating healthy already.

  20. Non Alchoholic fatty liver disease is caused by our livers not being able to cleanse itself because of body pollution caused by processed foods and food additives. The liver can only process so much! This disease is reversible, through eliminating processed and some other foods so the liver can begin to heal. Juicing is also a powerful way to heal the liver in addition to the diet changes. An ultrasound has shown that I have this disease and I have been using juicing as a supplement to my diet to inprove my liver. Juicing is not an all or nothing thing, and there are cases where it is very beneficial.

  21. While the body does cleanse itself, I personally believe that in today’s overly polluted world (pesticides, water, microwaves, etc) that sometimes the body may need a little extra help. Particularly if people are not always able to eat organic. The information from the gastroenterologist may carry a lot of weight with some, but after being in the healthcare field myself as a RN for over 10 years I am sad to say that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in what traditional western medicine has to say anymore. They focus on symptoms, not root causes and profit, not cure(just look at the number of people who are frequently hospitalized only to be put on more and more medication with each admittance). The saying that applies for computers holds true to the human body…”garbage in, garbage out” and sometimes there is so much garbage from our environment and daily habits that we need to do something more unconventional and dare I say extreme to change our course. Not looking for an argument, that’s just my two cents :)

      1. Very nicely put! I don’t have a peer-reviewed study, but I did only juice for six days and then almost only juice for 15 more, and my personal experience is that juicing is amazing! It’s too bad Lisa doesn’t like it. It’s certainly an excellent way to kickstart a real food diet/lifestyle.

    1. Totally agree!! Though I would take exception to the word extreme and say what is extreme is not so much juicing but the SAD diet. When you think about it, never in our history have we, out of our own volition, consumed such a nutrient-poor, toxin-loaded diet as we do today.

  22. Wow, people need to lay off! This is her blog, if you want to offer your opinions and have such a problem with what is being said, start your own blog.
    Personally, I am a huge fan of green smoothies if you feel you must do a few days to cleanse your body. It keeps the integrity of the fruits and vegetables in a drinkable form. And, contrary to what most people will tell you, there is no need for a vitamix or other super expensive blender to go do greens and fruit. I’ve been using a $30 black and decker for over a year, 5 times or more a week with no problem. I know it will need to be replaced down the road, but I just hate that people think they have to go out and buy ac $300+ blender if they want to try green smoothies.

  23. I agree with a few key points you have made here: 1. Juicing as a way to loose weight or “detox” after unblanced living/eating is ineffective. 2. Americans do have a way of taking food (what should be a pleasurable form of nourishment and connection) and making it into an arduous ordeal, one more thing on the to-do list or even self-punishment. This is because we don’t have a food culture of our own. 3. Yes! The body does have amazing organs and systems for detoxifying iteself, but here’s the thing – how many people actually give these organs/systems what they need to accomplish this?? Americans are chronically over-fed and undernourished, getting far less whole, high quality food with the fiber and nutrients they need. They are dehydrated and most don’t get enough movement – both of which are critical for moving the colon and flushing the kidneys.

    While I truly applaud your effort here, I think periodic juicing and adding whole food blending to the daily routine are fantastic and certainly NOT fads. Man has been fasting for literally thousands of years for both spiritual and physical reasons. These are old traditions – perhaps bolstered by the benefit of modern technolgy these days – but old nonetheless. I think you know this. Perhaps your post was meant to start debate and draw traffic/comment. Well done!

  24. While I also respectfully disagree with this, the comments here are over the top. Sounds like a lot of arrogant know it alls, those of which have no clue about diseases. If your colon, liver or any other organ is in distress and not functioning properly, what’s wrong with juicing as a supplement to healthy diet? No one said they live on juice only.I’m sure the majority are attempting to stop taking or lowering medication

  25. Hi there,

    I feel that you are being attacked, and as this is your site you are entitled to YOUR opinion. I have no stance on juicing , however I am in agreeance that the trend is spreading. It is a trend simply because it is something that has gained extreme popularity relatively quickly. If you find it beneficial then, no one is going to stop you from juicing, however, on this site, the author feels it is unnecessary. The purpose of this site is to speak about the importance of REAL food, Food, not juice. I do not feel like this was an attack on people who use juicers, and I’m sorry so many feel the need to correct you about your post and your opinion.

  26. Thank you for this! I know people who cleanse all the time and they are the most unhealthy people I know and seem to get more unhealthy with each cleanse. I have tried to talk to them about it but their mind is made up and they continue to cleanse. It truly is a shame that the myth continues. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  27. I have to respectfully disagree with most everyone here! I think Fasting with plain old H2O, as opposed to a juice fast, is the way to go. Fasting, intentional and/or unintentional (lean times), has been going on since prehistoric times. It’s simply giving your digestive system a time to rest so that your immune system can better take care of business elsewhere your body.

    There are numerous scientific studies showing the benefits of doing a water fast. And there are numerous ways to conduct a water fast, such as doing a 1 day/week/ or 1 day/month fast, or skipping breakfast every morning, or doing an intermittent weekly fast, or even just doing a straight everyday fast for an extended period of time.

    I’ve being doing a 30-day water fast once every 2 yrs., and also intermittent fasts during every week of the year. It’s not easy, especially during the first few days of starting a fast, but I believe it’s absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done healthwise for myself.

    I think the author of this article needs to do much more research into the history and the benefits of doing a fast. You’ll be surprised to learn how much healthier those people who fast really are, and also that there’s strong evidence that it will also keep cancer at bay, and actually cure most cancers. The latest research has shown that since most cancers require glucose in order to survive….denying it food for a awhile could give the immune system a chance to kill it!

  28. Yea for the truth! Cleanses are ridiculous and potentially dangerous. Your liver, kidneys, lymph system etc. are what cleanses your body, not some ridiculous combination of cayenne and lemon juice! If you eat a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods and exercise regularly you’ll do your body far more good than downing juice multiple times a day. Eat the dang apple and get some real nutrition!

  29. I LOVE this. I really hate the juicing/cleansing movement because it just seems unnatural, but haven’t been able to articulate exactly why I felt that way until I read your post. I’ve had several friends who went through a few days of only drinking juice, but then they went right back to eating the way that they used to, so it wasn’t a long-term healthy change. I think it’s best to eat whole, natural, unprocessed foods. It may be more difficult and less extreme to just have things in moderation, but it works.

  30. THANK YOU for this post!!! As a registered dietitian and nutritionist who believes in whole foods and mindful eating I cannot thank you enough for sharing this thoughtful and intelligent post with the world!

  31. Bravo for posting truth, even when you know you’re going to make some people angry. Trying to give your body a rest from that pesky digestion? Should we also give our hearts a rest from that pesky beating? :)

  32. I couldn’t agree more! I feel like you don’t see this stressed enough because everyone’s always about these “cleanses” in the New Year. Reducing sugar, caffeine, and other junk can definitely be “cleansing” to the body, but there are no need for extremes!

  33. Also read a small pamphlet book called “Cleansing or surgery” by Embassy of Heaven. I did the kidney cleanse and had stones falling in the toilet. I added one more day and it was a gallbladder cleanse. The next morning I had gallstones in the toilet!! Amazing!!

  34. It’s unfortunate that you are spreading your misconceptions on a site that is read by so many. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the responsible thing to do would be to post both sides of the debate along with your opinion. Obviously I believe in the benefits of juicing and cleansing. I completely disagree that it’s a “trend”, but enough people have posted about its benefits, so I won’t be redundant. It’s excellent that you got a professional opinion, but as with all things pertaining to my health, I would never wholeheartedly accept the opinion of a single doctor. If I did I’d be pumping my body full of unnecessary pills and chemicals on a daily basis, and isn’t the whole purpose of this blog to stop doing that? I hope the people who read this blog have the common sense to do their own (complete) research and form their own opinions. We all have to listen to our bodies and do what’s best for us.

  35. I agree – your body cleanses itself just fine….IF everything is working properly and you generally avoid processed and inflammatory foods. A lot of people use cleanses because they feel off, instead of making long lasting dietary changes, or investigating possible larger health issues. If your body isn’t detoxifying well naturally, a typical out of the box cleanse isn’t the answer… green juice is supportive, but you’ve got to really address the underlying issue and give more support than that (like Gerson does, or many practitioners can help with).

    From a seasonal eating standpoint juice cleansing in winter unless you live somewhere really warm can be incredibly depleting to your system.

  36. I would add reason to #6 to your list- these juice fasts often serve as a socially acceptable way to go on a 1980s style crash diet. Unfortunately, just like the crash diets of olden days, you risk losing muscle and gaining back more fat as soon as you return to eating normal portions.

  37. Great Post. Cleanses are completely unnecessary. The best “cleanse” is veggies. And by “cleanse” I mean just incorporate them into your meals every day. There is so much bad advice out there, it is refreshing to see someone with your reach speak about this.

    I have no problem with someone making a green juice for an alternative way to get nutrients, but people that do these “cleanses” following over-eating days (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) drive me nuts. Pointless.

    Keep it up!

  38. Most likely, we all have some sort of digestion/absorption issues. Juicing is a great way of getting nutrients to the cells without having to go through the process of the entire digesitive process.
    Juice cleanses/fasts can help reboot your system, so that it can take a “digestive rest” from all the processed, chemically laden, genetically modified food thats out there that we all ,most likely, indulge in at least occasionally. Why not give the body a rest with organic vegetable juice?
    Even if you are the most purist of eaters, it sure wouldnt hurt to add some vegetable juices to your diet. You can get 7 servings of vegetables in one 16oz glass. For alot of us, that’s pretty hard to eat that many vegetables in a day. And if you havent tried one, dont knock it til you do. You would most likely see how great it makes you feel and even look, not to forget the benefits that happened on the inside.

  39. Thank you. I don’t understand the whole “cleanse” thing either. What toxins are you “cleansing” anyway? Do you sprinkle poison over your cereal flakes? Do you lick the asbestos in the basement? I don’t get it. Just eat good, whole food and enjoy it!

  40. We juice daily, actually twice daily. But as a supplement to the whole, clean food we eat. I also suffer from an auto-immune disease. And the more educated I become the more I believe in the “food as medicine” philosophy. I am on a lot of drugs to prevent long term damage, and lots of medicine to manage the current state of my condition. But have found that the best way for me to manage my pain is to eat whole healthy food. Moving to your eating plan turned the volume down on my pain from a 10 to a 6 or 7 most days. However, juicing as a supplement (rather than a fast) has helped further with managing pain (I refuse to take narcotics) and has also REALLY helped with managing the side effects of the medication I have to take (which STINK!!). I have also found that too much wheat can trigger a flare – So I make all of the bread for my family at home and only eat it myself very rarely. (It is hard to pass up a cream cheese sandwich with your raisin bread!)So I really believe that juicing can have a place in a balanced eating plan. But balance is the key – as in any other eating plan. I can’t speak to juicing for anyone in a “normal” state of health but it does have value for those of us with something to heal.

    1. Cry, I too have an auto immune disorder that was not diagnosed for years. Like you, I have pain but refuse to take narcotics that are given out like candy. Would you be able to share any of your ideas that have worked with you? I have found a personal trainer who is actually a physical therapist that uses stretching along with body movement that has helped ease pain but I want more relief!!! I have been eating whole real food for about 5 years, not completely, but trying. Thanks for any suggestions if you see this.

      1. DeeDee – wonder if the host of the website would be willing to pass our emails to each other privately? Don’t want to bore everyone here with our plight. :) However, this is an ongoing search for me to find the “thing” that works for me. The more I work at it, the more I realize that what works for some people doesn’t work for me. I am not yet regulated on my medication, so the docs are tweaking away. I am just trying to impact the parts of this I have control of (which isn’t much but diet and exercise). So physical therapy is a big help, but it is really tough because as we work on one set of joints and they get better, another set of joints fail. I think I could spend 4 hours a day in PT and that is just not reasonable. A good massage therapist helps with pain. Eliminating processed food has had the largest impact (thank you Lisa!!) — there is literally no cans or boxes in our house except the occasional organic, BPA free tomatoes and beans. It is a lot of work in the kitchen but has dramatically reduced my daily pain. I have also found that eliminating most grains from my diet has helped. I am not advocating that for everyone but for me, it has helped. Any wheat, corn, etc. in my house is used to make from scratch bread, waffles, etc. for my family — and is all organic so I know they are GMO and pesticide free. I hope that gives you a few ideas. They may not work for you but sometimes all you can do is try things and see what helps!

  41. Your post is inaccurate.
    A juice cleanse is not a trend, for some it’s life saving. Please read the book “The Gerson Therapy”. Many people have cured cancer and other illnesses by doing juice cleanses. Please do some thorough research…ask an alternative medicine practioner. Speak with someone at the Gerson Institute.

    1. Hi Nikki,

      A fad is something where the number of people doing it increases rapidly. So, yes fasting or juicing is a trend or fad because the number of people doing it has spiked very fast. Some people are just doing this because everyone else is, and some are doing it for health reasons. That in no way implies anything good or bad about it.

      I think that Lisa was pointing out that only consuming juice for an extended amount of time is unnecessary and potentially harmful. I am sure that there are many people who for health conditions do need to add juice to their daily diet- as some people mentioned below. Lisa has voiced her preference against this, however did not say that add juice to a diet was harmful or that no one else should to it.

      I am also skeptical about “The Gerson Therapy”. I am not saying that it doesn’t work, as I am sure there are cases where it does. I would just prefer to see a long term peer reviewed study done by them.

  42. A Vitamix blender keeps the fiber and makes it into juice. I have blended veggies and trust me the fiber is in there. Pure juice without fiber causes a sugar spike.

  43. My husband and I have been juicing daily for about 3 months. We don’t do it to cleanse, or detox, or even to lose weight, but simply because it tastes great and is healthy. Just to clarify about the fiber being taken out when you juice. There is still plenty of fiber left in the juice; the pulp has the insoluble fiber that you wouldn’t absorb anyway. And if you are worried about losing that you can add it to some muffins and have all the fiber you desire. For those of us who don’t have the luxury of cooking all day long because we have jobs it is a great way to get a good infusion of delicious nourishment.

  44. I completely disagree. The Bible calls us to fast. It does not say “if you fast”. It says “when you fast”. One if the huge benefits of the green drink fast I do is that my mind becomes so extremely clear. My face and countenance become so bright that many people ask me why I look so alive. My energy is off the charts. The first 3 days is hard but after that its amazing. Green drinks are very high in anti-oxidants and appear to be the key to weight loss. The more anti-oxidants you can eat the more the weight falls off. When your body has plenty of nutrition it will let the weight go. I also eat a pureed black bean and vegetable soup in the evening on the fast.

  45. I’ve been reading The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas and I was wondering if you have ever heard about it or read it. I’d love to hear/read your opinion. Thank you for all your info on real-food. I do as much real food as I can (for now) and I realized that I no longer crave “crap food” as I always called it. Your blog and FB page have been such a help to me. Blessings!

  46. I don’t juice, and I agree with most of what you say. I can see how there might be some benefit to having a healthy juice once in awhile for re-balancing. But so can starting the day with warm lemon water, limiting a couple of your meals to mostly whole fruits and vegetables (with some – in my opinion very important – healthy fats and protein and possibly grains thrown in for balance). My issue with “juicing” is that I see a lot of people go from very unhealthy diets straight to juicing (and I can definitely see how that could lead to some of the health problems mentioned, not to mention I don’t prefer to spend most of my day near a toilet!) The body needs time to adjust slowly so for that reason I believe introducing small, sustainable changes over time is a MUCH better option for long-term, healthy weight loss. I’m a firm believer in real, whole foods just like 100 Days!

    1. And I just wanted to add that I do think we should pay attention to our bodies if they’ve simply had enough food. We tend to believe we always need three meals a day. One thing I think juicers get right is that we don’t *always* need that. That’s why after the holidays I opted for lemon water, Greek yogurt and berries — no grains — for breakfast, lunches with lots of veggies, and balanced dinners. Helped me get back on track.

  47. I don’t totally agree with the article. I juiced for a month for cleansing purposes and weight loss. 5 days out of the week I juiced (M-F) and ate healthier meal options on the weekends (sat,sun). Not only did I drop 12lbs, but I felt a boost of energy during the week, more focused, and a sense of clarity. My taste buds changed and I appreciated the taste of food more. I also shrunk my stomach and ate less as the month went on. Got rid of my digestion issues (bloating/gas/heartburn). I’m currently on a seven day cleanse with only juices. If I get hungry I drink a juice and the pains go away. I don’t feel like I’m starving or dehydrated since I drink lots of water in the process. Now, as far as those who do it for a longer period of time without food, I’m not sure about going that long without food.

  48. I think humans are predisposed to limiting their caloric intake periodically. Hunter and gatherers, various religious backgrounds all had some sort of fast. We do not fast anymore so now we diet. :) Either way a day or two won’t hurt and could probably help.

  49. I agree with your post. I do like to juice occasionally though because my picky three year old will help me make it as I tell her about romaine lettuce, spinach and carrots we are putting in — things she will otherwise will not eat. She will drink all of the juice and ask for more. If nothing else, I figure she is “getting to know” these veggies in a way that is acceptable for her right now. She even took a bite of raw romaine and raw carrot the other day while juicing, unprompted — she didn’t like it, but she drank the juice! Baby steps, I guess.

  50. I don’t normally weigh in on things like this but the comment about Fat Sick and Nearly Dead got me. I too had chronic hives like Jor had but could not afford and was not willing to drink only juice. Instead I bought a dietary fiber cleanse and ate clean for two weeks. I cut out all processed food and ate only natural organic food. I had hives for 6 months and was about to be put on drugs for lupus because the multiple medications (10 pills a day) were not stopping them. They were barely controlling them. The cleanse tho is what finally got rid of them! It’s been over a year and I have not gotten them back– also unusual for chronic hive sufferers. So I agree with this post. Eat clean eat fiber and let your body do what it’s designed to do!!!

  51. Lisa-

    My husband & I started eating real food on January 1 and your blog has been my main resource. I won’t call it a “real food challenge” because we intend to eat this way from now on. I cannot tell you how much better I feel. I am not sleepy in the afternoons since I don’t have sugar. I am full after I eat but not overly stuffed. I don’t count anything. I just eat good, clean food when I’m hungry. I am overweight and I can already tell that I have lost a few pounds. I haven’t weighed, though, because I don’t want to be tied to a number on a scale. I cannot thank you enough for this blog. It truly is life changing. I just feel so ignorant that I have ignored what really is a crisis, as far as my eating habits go, for so long.

    I drank diet cokes daily, and haven’t had one since New Year’s Eve. I realize 9 days isn’t a long time, but I don’t even crave it. No splenda in my coffee? That’s okay, too. We are loving oatmeal with 100% maple syrup, tons of fruits, veggies, quinoa, etc.

    Thank you again!
    Tammy

  52. I think juice cleanses can help certain people, but are not necessary for most. But juicing in addition to a normally healthy diet is an awesome way to add extra nutrients!! I cringe every time your article about why you don’t juice resurfaces, discouraging others from trying it. Best change health change I’ve made in the last two years was to start juicing!! We juice first thing in the morning, once or twice a week. More often if we feel like we could be getting a cold. I honestly believe it has saved us SO many sick days, as we rarely get more than the initial sniffle anymore.

  53. A juice cleanse can be very benifical if you are wanting to break a food addiction. It will change you taste buds. This was the only way I was able to give up Coke.

  54. Well, Lisa. You are really thin, and I believe that you wouldn’t do well on a cleansing regimen. Look at what Joe Cross has done for people (Movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead). He has a huge support network on the web, and has helped so many people break out of their bad habits through juice cleanses. He has so many amazing stories posted on his web page. The fact that you personally don’t need to do a juice fast doesn’t mean that others don’t!

  55. What I do is juice everything so then I have the juice and I take the pulp that’s left over and use it also I’ll make a smoothy from it with some of the green juice and chia seeds , I just find that this process makes a smoother texture but the longest I did it was 3 days and I had hit a platue in my weight loss ( I was exercising pretty intensely also) I lost 5 lbs and it helped me to continue to loose 2 lbs a week and for what I was consuming much more came out (gross I know sorry) I think if you can sub in a juice/ smoothie that is well balenced one meal a day that would be enough to give you adaquite nutrion on top of eating real food the rest of the time.. People do take it to far, it’s very pricey, and you can’t just expect to drop weight with out working for it, not eating will be worse in the long run

  56. Thanks for this article! I always trust your opinion because I know you really look into these matters for us. You are awesome!

  57. I make green smoothies daily . I drink abreast one a day . I add a ton if spinach , romaine , low fat yogurt ,baby carrots ,apple,orange banana . I’m glad i drink them due to the faft I usually was one to eat once a day. I have lost weight due to the fact my body used to be just storing fat. Not knowing when it would get it’s next meal.could anyone let me know if I’m doing harm or good to my body????

    1. Green smoothies are not the same as juicing because you eat the whole fruit/vegetable so you get the fiber with the juice. Keep up with the smoothies cause they are really good for you!

  58. I have to say I disagree with this post…not because I love to do juice cleanses (I’ve actually never done one) but more because I can see some potential benefits. Not everyone has a perfect healthy digestive system and some people could possible benefit from having such easily absorbable nutrition in the form of juices. I certainly don’t agree with it as a fad diet or even a way to lose weight but I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that there could be possible benefits. Also I don’t think going without food for short periods of time is against human nature. If you are an evolution sort then it’s certainly likely that back in the hunter gatherer days humans may have gone without food for a day or two. If you are a creation sort like myself, then the Bible repeatedly mentions fasting. Either way I don’t think it’s against human nature to go without food for short periods and it may even be beneficial :).

  59. I refuse to do a full on juice cleanse. I do drink green smoothies, but just at breakfast. I had awful Christmas holiday full of processed food but since January has come I haven’t had a single thing processed. My body already feels better so I can see what you mean about cleansing yourself…

  60. I also saw the movie “Fast, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I think, in that situation, compared to what he was eating,juicing wasn’t such a bad thing. I mean comparatively. I agree with Lisa and juicing should be a supplement, not the whole diet, besides, for most of us that kind of deprivation is unsustainable.

    My daughter-in-law recommended your page and I look forward to your posts. Trying to leave a real food life!

  61. Lisa,

    THANK YOU!!! I read your posts religiously and am in the middle of my first 30 day real food “challenge” with a group of friends on Facebook – your blog is our inspiration and our group is how we stay accountable and on track.

    We were literally just discussing this at work moments before this posted as there is a woman in my office who is (seemingly) unhealthily thin and is on a juice cleanse because she is “so fat” (her words). It is sad that our culture has such an unhealthy obsession with diet, exercise, etc. and that there are people with the resources and ability to eat a real food diet and yet they still choose to turn to these extreme methods of “eating” to uphold an unrealistic idea of what they should look like.

    I love that you take the focus away from what is unhealthy in our society about body image, dieting, etc. and focus simply on real food, family time, and the enjoyment of preparing meals and eating. All it takes is one person to start a “revolution” and I hope that 20 years from now, your blog is obsolete–only in the sense that we have transformed as a culture and that, like in other countries, real food is the only way we eat.

    Thank you for being a champion for that and for inspiring the rest of us out here making small changes one at a time! :-)

  62. Certain food will cleanse your body. Periodic use of such food will keep your systems working in fine condition. Some of those foods are in jucie form too. In many cultures weekly, monthly and yearly cleansing is embedded. But it is a lifestyle, not some fad. For example, many Asian cultures eat locally available greens and high fiber diet during the monsoon season. It cleanses their system effectively. It is also the perfect way of ‘natural’ living. The greens and fibrous food is readily available in their region (no overnight shipping from Chile) – mostly in their backyards – and are seasonal. (Yeh! No green-house produces!) During the monsoon season, when outdoor activities are lesser, they stay away from animal proteins and high fat content food. The weather outside also affects the body’s ability to digest certain things. (Yes! Our body is supposed to be in sync with our environment!) This cyclic eating habit gives body time to cleanse and rejuvenate. Some religions practice weekly fast and restricted diets. (Young children, elderly, pregnant and nursing women and sick are excluded from such fasts.) The beauty of all these is that it is a norm in those societies. Not some new fad – something that some stupid celebrity did and now the rest of US wants to do it kind of thing.

  63. Speaking of scientific evidence…when will you retract previous statements that GMOs are unhealthy? They may be bad for the environment and the economy but there is absolutely no proof that GMOs are unhealthy and unfit for human consumption. It seems like you do your research which is why I am so surprised that you jumped on the “GMOs are evil” bandwagon. I can certainly understand preferring organic produce for other reasons and not for simply being “non-GMO.”

    1. I completely agree. Trying to use peer reviewed research to prove this point, but ignoring it on the points of GMOs and artificial sweeteners is so disappointing to me.

  64. I love juice fasts! I am not doing it as a cleanse, but
    To loose weight, I do 5 to 10 days in a row and
    Loose weight, and KEEP it off. My pants are very
    Loose, so how can that be water weight?
    As I don’t think it’s for everyone, and not for
    Long periods of time, I do see the benefit for
    Myself!

  65. Just curious as to the thoughts on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? He seems to have changed his whole health and body by juicing. I love my juices and juicing and feel that the nutrition I get from them is a wonderful addition to my diet. I don’t like eating pounds of greens so one juice can take care of that for me. But we are all different. I have seen “medical” evidence going all sorts of ways. I think everything in life is balance.

    1. Yes, but did he go from eating junk, processed foods right to juicing? Instead of starting to eat clean? I havent seen the movie, just heard alot about it, so I am asking. I feel that with juicing, you miss alot of fiber and nutrition that is in the pulp.

      I prefer to eat my food. I feel more satisfied when I eat, rather than sip something in under 10mins. I will have a green monster smoothie with greens, fruit and chia seeds, but mostly after a workout for replenishments.
      I know I could never do a juicing, I need to eat to feel satisfied.

  66. I agree that juicing for dieting is not a good idea. However, I also agree with Emily N: juicing provides an incredible amount and array of vitamins that would be impossible to consume by eating the fruits/vegetables whole. I love making a delicious ginger-citrus juice when I am feeling a little tired. Also, juicing is part of some successful homeopathic treatments for disease, like the Gerson Therapy.
    I don’t doubt that your whole food diet is giving you and your family the nutrition you need. However, I think that adding a fresh juice occasionally is a great way to change it up. Juicing, like everything else in this country, is just a good thing that people take to the extreme thinking that it can only be better the more they do it.

  67. I agree! I LOVE using my Nutribullet to make healthy “juices” that contain all parts of the veggies/fruits for breakfast. But I have to make sure to balance it out with other wholesome carbs, proteins, and fats as well. In fact, I was running out the door with my beloved spinach “juice” this morning but hadn’t gotten something to eat. As soon as I got to work my energy levels had crashed fast and I was feeling irritable. Eating a granola bar and my taco salad quickly reversed my mood and energy! So from my experience, I love being able to get more veggies and fruit in my diet through my Nutribullet, but you have to balance it out with other wholesome foods as well!

  68. Whole heartedly agree! Between the price of all the produce, the loss of fiber, the insane cleaning process (ain’t nobody got time for that!), and all that sugar hitting your system so quickly due to not digesting anything…I just can’t justify juices over smoothies. We are a smoothie lovin family over here…when kids are knowingly eating handfuls of spinach daily, you know it’s a winner!

  69. Holly could you pass on the cleanse you did that helped with your insomnia . I too have suffered with insomnia for years since menopause.

    1. I honestly don’t know if it is a coincidence, but it’s worth a shot. Insomnia is so difficult to remedy! I drank 6 smoothies a day, and allowed myself to eat avocado chunks and raw cashews if I felt hungry. I started the day with hot water and lemon. Then I had 2 green smoothies (kale, chia seeds, cucumber, spinach, apple, parsley, celery, lemon), followed by a green smoothie with ginger in it, then a “juice” of lemons, agave (not a whole food), cayenne, and water, then another green smoothie, then ended the day with a smoothie made of raw cashews, vanilla, cinnamon, agave, and water. I did it for two days. Hope you find rest soon! I tried the cleanse after trying every “sleep hygiene” thing I could and I never tried prescription meds because I have small children that sometimes need care in the middle of the night.

  70. *Add on to my above comment: The only exception that I think juicing is appropriate is for people with compromised gastrointestinal systems. For those with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, who cannot handle high fiber diets but still would like the antioxidant and vitamin benefits of juicing.

  71. Lisa,
    I too am a registered dietitian and I just started reading your blog about a month ago. I am in 100% agreement with your post today and will be sharing it via my Facebook page. You have also made me look at my own practice of dietetics and how my family and I eat. We aren’t 100% real food but your philosophy and lifestyle definitely align with my beliefs. Thank you!!

  72. I have been juicing every morning for over 2 years. I juice mostly veggies to keep the sugar down and use lots of ginger. It gives me an incredible amount of energy that seems to last all day long. I was suffering from an autoimmune disease and have not had any flare-ups since I started juicing. You still get an incredible amount of vitamins with juice and as for the fiber bit, I have never been more regular in my life. You have to make the juice everyday and drink it right away to get the full benefit of it. I have also found that I no longer waste any fresh produce because I just add it to my juice before it goes bad which means I am eating a much wider range of veggies. It might not be for everyone but it has worked wonders for me. Once you get it down it is not that expensive either, especially if you are juicing mostly veggies.

    1. Hi Emily – do you mind if I ask what autoimmune disease you have? I am looking for alternative Lupus treatment options and am curious about what has worked for others.

      1. Hi Beth,

        I have many of the symptoms of Lupus but my Rheumatologist has currently diagnosed me with indeterminate autoimmune disease. This basically means that there is something wrong with my immune system but they don’t know what exactly. I was very anemic, had joint problems and had server reoccurring Iritis (uncommon in younger people), and a positive ANA test. I no longer need to take an Iron supplement for the Anemia due to the juicing and my energy levels are way back up. Not saying that it will work for everyone but it has worked for me and I can tell a huge difference when I stop juicing.

      2. Thanks for the response Emily – so glad juicing is helping you. I too have noticed a difference but I think I need to be more consistent and add some more anti inflammatory foods to ease my joint pain as well.

    2. It sounds like you are talking about juciing in the morning only (maybe in lieu of breakfast) which is fine. What Lisa is referring too is a juice only cleanse where you eat/drink nothing except juices for a few days.

  73. Agree 100% – I got a juicer for Christmas and read up on the juicer diets and I wanted to believe. But, it became clear that any “fast” was a terrible idea when it comes to losing weight or moving to a healthy diet. Taking out all that fiber for days or weeks is a terrible idea and so is drinking all that sugar without fiber.

    Still, love the juice and smoothies *in addition* to a diet full of veggies and whole grains.

  74. I agree. I have had to loose weight to stay in remission for an auto immune disease. I have lost 30 pounds and I started in May of 2012. I want this to be a lifestyle change not a fad. Lifestyle changes produce a life long pursuit of healthy living. I still have weight to loose, but slow and steady is my motto. I have learned more about food as I go on the slow but rewarding journey.

  75. As usual Lisa you are right!! I couldn’t agree more and I am so glad that you provided the medical support in this article to hopefully educate people. And like Tragic Sandwich we make Green Drinks here. That’s what we call them anyway, the base is Kale but I add whole fruits and vegetables and blend in my Vitamix for my husband and I to drink everyday. So we get everything in the food except the apple core! Even a whole kimi, peel and all. Its amazing fiber. Thanks for sharing this, I plan to repost this, really important info!!

  76. Timely opinion! I just finished watching ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’ which advocates the juice fast cleansing routine. By the end of the documentary, I felt like I’d wasted my time watching a very long infomercial. I agree with your stance, not only because of the body’s natural cleansing action, but because someone is profiting from the extreme diet methods that are advertised at the expense of good health. Maybe the people who say they ‘feel great’ during a juice cleanse are actually experiencing proper hydration after being so accustomed to drinking caffeinated sodas and processed foods, when water throughout the day would do the same exact thing.

    1. In documentaries like that (including Forks over Knives) are the subjects giving up a bunch of processed food at the same time they take on the cleanse/plant-based diet? If so, how can you separate the two?

  77. What a pleasant surprise to see Dr Stevens name. I saw him for a colorectal issue that I was having. I know, probably TMI. But, he was excellent. I would highly recommend him. Any way, I agree about the cleansing. Just do it naturally and eat healthy.

  78. If I had read this post prior to the cleanse that I did over the summer, I would have agreed and figured that it made a lot of sense. That said, however, I had been suffering from insomnia for several months and decided to try a cleanse for only 2 days because I had heard that it could help. I don’t own a juicer, so I actually blended my own smoothies after researching several different “cleansing” food. I, also, have never understood why people remove the pulp and fiber from their juices. Smoothies are way better! I also allowed myself to snack on avocado and raw cashews. I never felt hungry- but I did feel rather strange during that weekend. In the end, I slept! I don’t know if it is a coincidence, but if I ever suffer from horrible insomnia again, I would definitely repeat the “cleanse”.

    1. Holly – I am glad your experiment worked and since you did smoothies you were consuming whole foods (which is not the case with juice cleanses).

  79. Totally agree- I am having some health issues that are causing anemia, I need some ideas on iron rich meals for the next month or two. Would anyone out there please help…..

    1. Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, are great for helping with iron deficiency. If you visit your local co-op or healthy food store, the produce workers usually can give you a tour of the fruits and vegetables that have a TON of iron in them. Your doctor is also a fantastic resource – they know a lot about things other than bloodwork and exams. Even if they don’t know, they probably can connect you with a nutritionist who has handouts or eating guides for certain deficiencies.

      I have a problem absorbing iron from the things I eat, so I also take an iron sulfate supplement every couple of days, which can help get the problem corrected quickly (though it’s “cheating”: but it’s a quick fix while you figure out diet changes).

    2. Hi Angela,

      I had the same issue and I referred to a book called 101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without (published by Rodale). Recipes are broken down in nutrient-focused grouping and there was a great selection of iron-rich recipes there! I really learned a lot.

    3. Diet and Nutrition experts usually say that the darker the green, the higher the iron content. Also red meat is rich in iron.

  80. I’m a Registered Dietitian, and my patients ask me all the time about juicing. I tell them everything you just mentioned. Juicing to lose weight is a silly diet fad that needs to stop! Let’s promote healthy, balanced whole food diets with plenty of fiber and we can cleanse and maintain healthy weights.

      1. Complete agree. I am beginning to incorporate green smoothie into my morning or afternoon using our Nutribullet. I love that I can get in the good fiber and nutrients packed into a beverage once a day. I think its the best way to combat the cold and flu season…good nutrition! Thanks for all the great info Lisa on your Blog. I’ve recommended you to so many people!

  81. Completely agree! Also, it’s a temporary fix. Why not change the lifestyle so that you don’t feel the need for a cleanse in the first place? Might as well eat the whole fruit!

  82. I will say just from my anecdotal experiences that there seems to be specific situations in which juicing can be beneficial. Fiber is not the only important component of fruits and vegetables, and for people aiming to cure or heal very specific problems, it slows down their progress. Juicing definitely isn’t for me, but we all know that a lack of scientific studies doesn’t mean something is bogus. I can’t throw out the cumulative successes in healing disease that so many other people have experienced.

  83. Thank you for posting this! I too am seeing a ton of stuff lately in blogs or social media about juicing. Better to just eat better foods!

    Love your blog. Have a great day!

  84. Thank you for those words of sanity! I completely agree, and I just have learned to skip over a lot of blog posts in the month of January :)