Guidance with a juice diet

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I am trying a juice diet and would like some guidance. I'm tired of eating meat and just want more greens and healthy liquids rather than consuming meat and rice. I'm looking for something that will firstly cleanse me, then make me feel less bloated and keep me on a healthy and rewarding diet.

A juice diet is one where people consume mainly fruits and vegetable juices while abstaining from food consumption. A juice diet may take a few days to several weeks. In recent times juice diets have become more popular and are usually done for a number of reasons: spiritual, detoxing, weight loss, and generally to improve health and wellness.

In general, before going on a juice diet it is very important to have an idea of the state of your health. It is also wise to start off with possibly two non-consecutive days of juices and then increase the number of days as you go along.

There are also some factors that should be considered when doing a juice diet. On this diet the juices are usually strained, so you may not get enough fibre. Also, you may not get enough protein from your juices. These two factors can lead to you not feeling full, and more cravings can develop.

In addition, large amounts of juices containing kale and spinach which are rich in vitamin K can interfere with some blood thinners, for example, Warfarin. Also, because it is easier to drink than to eat, it is very important that you watch your calories from juicing. Fruit juices can be high in calories, so as a rule of thumb you could have 80 per cent vegetable juices and 20 per cent fruit juices.

You need to know that because of the low sodium content in fruits and vegetables, a salt deficiency may develop in the body which can lead to headaches, weakness, light-headedness and nausea.

That aside, a juice diet is an excellent way to maintain mental and physical health. You can start off by having mainly green juice for one day. This green juice can be mixed with aloe vera and Psyllium husk that will help the body to remove waste from the colon and intestine. If you are feeling a little gassy, some sugarless tea may also be taken.

A three-day juice diet is a good start for people who are just beginning such a diet. The three days can be done consecutively or not. On day two, some amount of fruit juice and coloured juice such as beetroot or carrot can be taken with your green juice. If you feel you need to, these juices can be made more balanced in terms of protein, minerals and vitamins by adding almonds, milk, Greek yoghurt or flax seed. In addition, if you feel you need more fibre, you could add some of the pulp to the juices.

I must add that for those who feel extremely weak and light-headed on a juice diet, a light soup could be consumed at lunchtime while taking the juices. When on a juice diet, make sure that you are getting enough minerals and vitamins. Also, make sure that your sugar levels do not go too low.

Good luck!

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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