Benefits of Juice Fasts, Detoxes and Liver/Gallbladder/Kidney Cleanses

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Hey friends!

You’ve probably heard lots and lots about detox this, cleanse that, juice fast, Master Cleanse, liver detox and on and on and on. Maybe you’ve done one or fourteen of these, maybe you haven’t. I’m gonna tell you all about what I’m doing and why, other programs,  and give you the benefits of doing one yourself.

What I’m doing:

A longer, less intense 14-day program that consists of:

Green Juice

  • Green juice for breakfast and lunch with some combination of:
  • base: cucumber, celery +
  • greens: romaine lettuce, swiss chard, spinach (I’m opting-out of kale as my thyroid has been under-active in the past. Here’s the list of veggies to avoid juicing if you have an underactive (hypo) thyroid) +
  • herbs: cilantro, mint or parsley
  • sweet: apple, pear, pineapple, carrot or beet. Limit this to 10-20% of your entire juice +
  • super-dooper add-ins: turmeric, ginger (very spicy), fennel, dandelion greens (very bitter), lemon and lime.

There are lots and lots of great juice combinations. This website has more juice recipes than you’ll need for the rest of your life. I love experimenting with the balance of flavors in my juice just like meals. Once you have your base and greens, you can choose something a little spicy like arugula or ginger, then something from the sweet list, and some lemon or lime. Don’t be afraid to taste your juice mid process and add more of the flavor component thats going to balance it all out. Here are some of my favorite combos:

  • Cucumber, Celery, Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Pineapple, and Ginger.
  • Cucumber, Celery, Spinach, Mint, Pear, Fennel and Lemon.
  • Cucumber, Celery, Romaine, Parsely, Beet, Turmeric Root and Lemon.

I also water my juice down with 30-50% water. Today I got a little crazy and mixed my juice 50-50 with homemade kombucha, which was delicious! If you have blood sugar issues, be REALLY careful with the amount of the sweet stuff you add to your juice, and consider adding chia seeds, flax oil, or olive oil to slow down the absorption process.

I’m drinking about 48-64 ounces of juice each day of this detox. I would say 32 ounces each day at the very minimum and up to….whatever feels good for you 🙂



I’m not typically that into smoothies as I don’t love the texture, but am loving an afternoon smoothie if I’m feeling really hungry. Smoothies are an awesome meal replacement on or off a cleanse for a couple reasons:

  • They are super-fast to make.
  • You can throw all kinds of things in there like healthy fats, superfood powders, frozen berries and kale. With the right recipe, it will taste amazing, be amazing for you, and leave you full for hours.
  • Not as easy to digest as juice, but much easier to digest than solid meals as the blender is essentially starting the chewing process.
  • Portable for life on the run!

A couple words of caution: you need to be really careful about selecting the kinds of protein powders you use, should you choose to use those. I generally prefer soaked nuts and raw organic eggs for the protein source, but there are a couple good protein powders out there. I know Sun Warrior, Amazing Grass and Vega are all pretty good and you can get them at Whole Foods. I personally avoid whey, soy, and rice proteins as much as possible. I am not an expert in this area, but I am generally skeptical of nutrients isolated and processed the way protein powders are. Most are loaded with sugar, strange science ingredients, fillers and additives. Also, just because you call it a smoothie doesn’t make it healthy. If your smoothie is loaded with peanut butter, frozen yogurt, too many bananas or other sweet things, may as well just call a spade a spade: dessert.

Light Meals

I’m doing dinner of mostly raw veggies, some fermented food (sauerkraut, kimchi), and some healthy fat from olive oil, coconut oil and avocados. Here’s a couple super-simple combos (add any seasonal veggies you have on-hand):

  • Chopped fresh tomatoes and zucchini (its summertime after all), sauerkraut, garlic sauce, salt and pepper (MY FAVORITE)!!!
  • Raw kale, avocado, sauerkraut, celery salad with lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper (plus more garlic sauce)
  • Arugula, olives, dried cranberries, avocado, simple lemon vinaigrette.
  • Veggie soup: Homemade bone broth cooked with onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, kale (or whatever other things are in season/on-hand)


Detox Supplements

I’m using Thorne Mediclear which I’ve been using a couple times a year for several years and love.  It seems to be a great baseline product for most people, but I’d recommend consulting with a holistic healthcare practitioner to see what combo of nutrients you need based on the body systems most in need of support if you want to go the extra mile. I definitely recommend adding something like this in to really boost your bodies natural detox mechanisms.

Gallbladder Cleanse

About 1 week into this cleanse, I am now doing a gallbladder cleanse. I think its best to do these when you’re already relatively clean on the inside as it gives better results. Ive done several of these in the past with much success. I think I may actually do a couple rounds of this during this extended detoxing period. I was about to summarize the whole protocol when I remembered that the lovely people at already did that, so hop on over there for the exact instructions and benefits of doing a gallbladder cleanse.

One addition to their post: on the morning you’re going to start the cleanse, its really important to not eat anything that has fat or protein in it (you wont be eating at all after 2pm). Your liver/gallbladder releases bile to digest fat and protein, and you want to have that build-up as much as possible, so that when you drink the oil, the pressure of the bile pushes out as many impurities as possible.

Disclaimer: As with any protocol, please speak with your doctor before trying this at home.