What you should know about juice fasting

Posted at 01/07/2014 5:03 PM | Updated as of 01/08/2014 12:42 PM
Alkazest from Juju Cleanse is a mix of grapefruit, pineapple and coconut juices. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA – If starting a healthy lifestyle is one of your goals for the new year, a good way to get you on the right track is with a juice cleanse.

Katharina Rempe Azanza of the popular Juju Cleanse said going on a detox via a juice cleanse is an effective way to jump-start a diet.

“It's good way to kick start that healthy lifestyle because you feel all the benefits the next day,” Azanza, who started Juju Cleanse with her husband David, told ABS-CBNnews.com.

“Many people feel that they are actually energized and I believe it's because even in a one-day cleanse, you are being provided a total of 15 or 16 pounds of vegetables and fruits that go into the juice,” she explained, noting that the nutrients in the juice is more than what people get from “regular food.”

“In terms of the nutritional value, there's so much more that you will get on a cellular level. Because when you are drinking the juice, it goes straight to your blood stream, it doesn't have to be digested anymore. So you immediately absorb and it goes immediately to where it has to go because your cells are desperate for all these nutrients,” she said.

Azanza is not a newcomer in the wellness industry. Her parents founded the acclaimed health resort The Farm at San Benito, which is known for its full-fledged detox packages. Before opening Juju Cleanse – as well as the restaurant Juju Eats -- she also ran her own Pilates studio when she and her husband were based in Shanghai, China.

What is a juice fast?

A juice fast involves drinking six 500 milliliters of cold-pressed fresh juice a day, which are delivered to the customers from the commissary. “You need three liters a day of the pure juice plus the water you drink on top of that to do a juice fast. It's a hefty amount of liquid,” she said.

Juju Cleanse offers three levels, which refers to the amount of green leafy vegetables use din the detox. Level 1 has two bottles of green juice out of the six; Level 2 has three bottles of green juice; while Level 3 has five bottles of green juice.

“The reason we offer the three levels is because, while Level 3 is definitely the best, not everybody is ready to go on an all-gulay juice cleanse. If I only have that as my program, it's a little bit off-putting, especially if it's their first time,” Azanza explained, noting that the detox programs at The Farm doesn’t offer such choices.

But even the entry level juice fast is effective, she stressed.

Apart from the liter of green juice, Level 1 includes half a liter of red beet juice, half a liter of ginger juice (which is anti-inflammatory) and half a liter of grapefruit juice, which has electrolytes which the body needs.

“It has loads of benefits and each juice is designed for a specific purpose,” she said.

Azanza also clarified that a juice fast isn’t designed to induce LBM. “You're gonna pee a lot but in terms of No. 2, not really,” she said. “For some people who don't eat vegetables at all, siyempre there's a laxative effect because vegetables really have that effect on most people. But you're not gonna be sitting in the can all day long.”

Three days vs one day

For Azanza, a three-day juice fast is highly recommended for those looking to thoroughly cleanse their body, especially coming from the holidays.

“It's like it takes you apart and puts you together again. It goes through the process of detoxification and re-building. You feel really good after a three-day cleanse,” she said.

But even a one-day cleanse has immediate benefits, she said, citing improved complexion and deep sleep. She calls the one-day fast more of a “reboot” or a “refresher” for those who have already undergone the three-day cleanse.

“If you're only motivated to do a one-day cleanse I find that the benefits of that are …first thing you realize with a one-day cleanse is that you don't have to eat so much. After one day, you'll feel so busog with just the juices and you'll realize that you're overeating. You don't really need to be eating that mountain of rice or that mountain of meat. Actually your body can survive with so much less and it brings your appetite back into check,” she said.

DIY juicing

Asked about customers who juice on their own, she said that while she encourages people to make juicing part of their daily life, she noted that she doesn’t agree with customized juices.

“I will never say no to juicing. I will encourage everyone to buy a juicer, and make it part of their lifestyle, absolutely 100%. But if you are going to go on a juice cleanse and you are going to go and do that for yourself, I would say you should read up and follow it,” she said.

“Because what happens is that when they want to customize their own juice, they'll choose all the sweet ones kasi mas masarap eh. They'll make the green juice component very little and they'll choose all their favorite juices which are most likely the sweeter juices because it's more pleasant and more palatable. You have to be careful of the sugar content you are putting in your juice. It's a medical therapy. It's not something to be taken lightly,” she stressed, noting that the only time she customizes the juice cleanses is when customers have allergies to certain ingredients.

Azanza recommends customers to do a juice cleanse at least every other month or “whatever fits your lifestyle.”

“But I find that once you do it, you feel like you need it. Once you feel the benefits, you feel like you look for it,” she said.