9 easy steps to a DIY juice cleanse

When it comes to juice cleansing, one thing is for sure; it’s never been so popular. The delivered-to-your-door cleanses are so ubiquitous now that our social media feeds are littered with healthy, glowy types toting emerald jars of goodness. Gone are the espressos, green juices are clearly the new black. It got us wondering about the best ways to DIY juice cleanse at home. So, we called Kirsten Shank, naturopath, nutritionist and founder of Sydney’s stylish Orchard Street: An Organic Cleanse to get the glow down on how to do it – minus the hefty credit card outlay.  Here, her nine juicy insider tips on how to DIY a juice cleanse like a pro.  

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Give your system a rest in the lead up to your cleanse. 

Give your system a rest in the lead up to your cleanse. 

1.  Step away from the skinny latte

“In order to yield the best results both during and following the programme, you should aim to wean yourself of some of your usual indulgences at least a few days before beginning. The way you respond physically, emotionally and mentally during your cleanse will depend greatly on your regular lifestyle habits and the way you are used to eating.

If your diet usually consists of a reasonable amount of processed foods, alcohol, cigarettes etc., then you may want to take 5-7 days before you begin your cleanse to prepare your body. On the other hand, if your diet is largely plant based with a glass of wine every now and then, just a day or two might suffice.”

For maximum antioxidants go green.

For maximum antioxidants go green.

2. And… nix these baddies from your diet in the lead up

Give your system a break from these guys in the lead up to your cleanse:

- Alcohol
- Nicotine
- Coffee
- Refined sugar - including cakes, biscuits, ice-cream etc.
- Refined starches- white rice, white bread, pasta etc.
- Roasted nuts and peanut butter.
- Processed meats- salami, bacon, sausages etc
- Fried foods
- Gluten containing grains- wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats

Store your juice in glass jars over plastic. 

Store your juice in glass jars over plastic. 

3. Carry a bottle of water with you EVERYWHERE

“In the lead up to and during your cleanse make sure you’re hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered (ideally alkaline) water a day, preferably evenly spaced and at least 20 minutes away from mealtimes so as not to dilute your digestive juices. Increase the amount if you are exercising, sweating or enjoying the sunshine.”

Wash greens well to remove pesticides and bugs.

Wash greens well to remove pesticides and bugs.

4.   Green is for GO!

“When it comes to juicing, always start with greens. Dark, leafy green vegies (such as spinach, kale and silver beet) are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. In a single juice or smoothie you have the opportunity to pack in as many greens as you would find in an incredibly large salad!

For a juice base you need something with high water content. I tend to recommend celery or cucumber for most green juices and just sweeten with fruit if need be. Unless you are really after the sweetness, ½ - 1 piece of fruit such as an apple or pear is generally enough. Carrot is also perfect base for a vegetable based juice with some natural sweetness and a whole host of immune boosting properties.”

In need of a little recipe inspiration? Look no further than the ‘Green Garden’ Juice from Orchard Street, which contains celery, cucumber, apple, kale, broccoli, spinach, cos lettuce, and coriander. “It is alkalising, nutrient dense and detoxifying, whilst still having a touch of sweetness from the apple”, says Kirsten.

Carrots add sweetness without too much sugar.

Carrots add sweetness without too much sugar.

5. Empty out your crisper drawer… and the lower shelves. 

“Juicing ingredients are best stored in the fridge as minimizes oxidation and extends the shelf life of your fruit and vegetables significantly.” 

6. Opt for organic 

“Buying organic produce is the only way to ensure you are avoiding the plethora of chemicals found on many common fruits and vegies. Unfortunately many popular juicing ingredients such as celery, apples and leafy greens also carry the highest amount of pesticide residues.  Aside from the benefit to your own health, choosing organic produce is making a contribution to protect the environment. Also check when your local farmers market is on, it’s a great destination for sourcing organic produce.”

Make greens the basis of your juice.

Make greens the basis of your juice.

7. But if you can’t buy organic…

“Do your best to eliminate as many pesticide residues as possible from your vegetables as this is the next best thing. Any conventional vegetables should be gently scrubbed with a natural bristle brush under clean water. Any loosely bound, surface pesticides can be removed in this way. I would then soak the vegetables in a sink with either an organic vegetable wash or apple cider vinegar- is also excellent for cleaning and medicinal uses because it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial."

Kirsten Shanks

Kirsten Shanks

8. Plan ahead

Decide how long you want to do your cleanse for before you begin, whether it be 1 or 3 days (best for first time juice cleansers) or 5 days (for the more advanced).  Kirsten suggests finding out when you local farmers market is on so you can stock up on organic produce.  Also research some inspirational recipes for your pre-cleanse meals and choose juice recipes in advance.

9. Don’t be too hard on yourself

“The most common mistake people make with a juice cleanse is being too hard on themselves.  In my opinion, a juice cleanse is not about deprivation or starvation but an opportunity to heal and nourish.  Whilst weight loss may be a goal for many, and is a side effect for most, focusing on this will take the cleanse journey away from being a positive, mindful experience.

Happy juicing x

Story by Madeleine Boyd.