Ask the Health Coach: Are Juice Cleanses Safe?

Maura gets the skinny on the benefits of juice cleanses and how often to do them. Bonus: Find out where a new Jar Bar location recently sprouted up!

Dear Maura,

What’s your take on juice cleanses? Is it ok to drink just juice for a period of time? If so, how long would you recommend is safe? And how often should a person do a juice detox?

Thanks for your help,
Chrissie

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Hi Chrissie,

Thanks for writing in with this question. While I love juicing and green smoothies—heck, I did one earlier this year and blogged about it here on Be Well—I reached out to a local expert for this one. Joel Odhner, co-owner of Jar Bar (113 South 12th Street) and creator of Catalyst Cleanse juices, is a health-food guru and has worked with such celebrities as Dr. Oz. Here’s what he has to say about juice cleanses.

Many people I know are doing juice cleanses these days, and they do it for many reasons. Juicing is an awesome way to get all your nutrients, vitamins and minerals without all the chewing. When you drink fresh juice it goes into the body and can assimilate much quicker, which in turn gives you more energy and feeds your cells exactly what they need in order to function optimally. At the same time, the juice helps the body eliminate toxins in a very efficient manner. When you flush with juice, you give your digestive system a break—kind of a mini-vacation. I recommend doing three to five days of juicing at a time; it’s a great way to “reset” your whole body, gain mental clarity, increase your energy and maybe (just maybe) lose a little weight.

A great practice is to juice at the change of each season, so four times a year. That said, many people do it monthly. A lot of athletes juice as part of training as it gives them more energy since the body uses 20 to 30 percent of its energy just to digest food. Doing 10, 20 and 30 day cleanses can be an excellent way really reset you whole mind, body, and spirit.

Want to start small? A great daily practice is to have a green juice or blended drink each morning. By doing so you get loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients while continuing to give your digestive system a break until your next meal time.

Chrissie (this is Maura now), if you plan to do an extended juice fast, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. This goes for all readers, especially anyone that is dealing with current medical conditions. Better safe than than sorry, right? Otherwise, drink up!

Cheers,

MM & JO

P.S. Not in Philly? You’re in luck! A new Jar Bar location on the Main Line is now open. It’s inside the Philadelphia Sports Clubs gym in Radnor at 555 East Lancaster Avenue. Yippee!

>> If you have a question for Maura,  email it or tweet it at us; your question could be answered in a future column. Find more of Maura’s advice here.

Related: Fresh Press: The Best Juicers to Buy Right Now

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Maura Manzo is a yoga teacher and health coach specializing in integrating diet, health and wellness. She supports others in becoming their best possible selves. Maura is available for private instruction and coaching, as well as on-site corporate classes and speaking engagements. She is co-creator of the Beyond Asana 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Art of Letting Go: Maya Tulum Mexican Yoga Vacation. Learn more about her teaching schedule, coaching practice and yoga trainings at MauraManzo.com.

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