*For the safest and most effective fast, please read all of our guidelines.
Are you ready to feel better, have more energy, sleep more deeply, breathe more freely, think more clearly, and feel more vibrant?
Giving the body a rest from solid food and nurturing it briefly with easily digested, nutrient-dense juices can improve health by healing the body and renewing the body, mind, and spirit.
For us, no wellness tool stands out more for its ability to repair and renew the body in a short timeframe than clean eating and juice fasting. Karen has been facilitating cleanses and juice fasts for over 20 years, working with thousands of clients. Tess, who’s been juice fasting one day each week for 10-plus years, and doing a more sustained juice fast at the beginning of each season, can attest to the power and benefits of this practice.
Our Free 3-Day Juice Fast includes:
- 9 juice recipes - 3 per day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- 1 optional juice popsicle recipe (for a fun treat).
- 1 vegetable broth recipe (to alkalize and mineralize).
- 1 printable shopping list including all ingredients.
- Instructions: pre-fast and post-fast guidelines.
- Bodywork suggestions to enhance your experience.
- Access to a private Facebook group for support.
Season by season, you have the option to participate in the 3-Day Juice Fast at your leisure, or during a specific time period with our Facebook group. Fasting with others, in a community, makes the practice more enjoyable and offers the opportunity to support each other and share resources.
Join our guided experience through our Facebook group. We lead the group through the fast four times a year - once every season.
Sign up for our newsletter to get advanced notice about upcoming fasts.
For a deeper cleanse, check out The Detox Dynamo Cleanse, our 14-Day Cleanse for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. This 14-Day program includes recipes for a 3-day juice fast, and recipes for an additional 11 days of clean eating to help you transition in and out of a juice fast. We also provide comprehensive information about cleansing, with additional guidance for wellness practices that will enhance your cleanse.
Our 14-day program puts every resource you need at your fingertips, and makes transitioning into and out of a juice fast safe and easy, and helps you get the full, amazing benefits from this practice. Our step-by-step guide includes a complete 14-day menu—for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks—a full 7 days of delicious, clean eating that eases the body’ from cleansing to fasting and back to clean eating. All of the recipes are gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), grain-free (paleo-friendly), and low in natural sugar. The plan continues with 3 days of juice fasting, and then 4 days’ post-fast guidance and recipes to transition your body back to solid food. We’ve created accessible, effective, and enjoyable detox experiences. Living and eating should be delicious and fun, even when you’re cleansing.
This may be your first time cleansing, or you may have fasted with us before, or tried juice fasting or cleansing elsewhere. Whether you’re here to initiate or expand on your cleansing practice, we welcome your participation in our 3-day program.
Let’s get healthy!
The Difference Between Juices and Smoothies
We often get asked to weigh in on “juicing versus blending,” like it’s a contest or a prize fight. We both drink juices and smoothies, with different benefits in mind, and recommend both. Green smoothies and whole blended juices retain the nutrients in skins, piths, and seeds, along with fiber, which slows down the assimilation of sugars and pushes food through the digestive system, binding and bulking toxins to assist the body in expelling them. Fresh juices, either with their pulp or strained, provide a more concentrated, nutrient dense food, and facilitate a less vigorous digestive process, reserving energy for detoxification and regeneration. That’s especially helpful in periods of illness or during a cleanse. Specifically for fasting, we recommend drinking fresh juices strained to remove as much of the pulp as possible.
One week prior to fasting
Prepare your body for cleansing, by reducing your intake of:
- processed foods
- meat, chicken, fish
*Do not go cold-turkey or you could experience mild to severe detox symptoms.
If you consume any of the above items in large quantities, ease off of these substances slowly over the course of a week so that you have completely eliminated consumption at least 48 hours prior to beginning the juice fast.
24 to 48 hours prior to the juice fast
Consume raw foods only.
To prepare your digestive system to move away from solid fibrous foods to strained juices, we recommend consuming raw fruits and vegetables only for 24 to 48 hours before beginning our 3-day juice fast. If you are fasting in cold weather and feel the need for cooked food, choose vegetable broth lightly steamed non-starchy vegetables (like leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower). Drink filtered water, lemon water, raw coconut water, fresh juices, and herbal teas.
During these two days, avoid the consumption of all processed foods, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, gluten, grains, sugar, caffeine, and nicotine.
This practice can hugely benefit your health, and is a part of our own self-care. Still, who wants to talk about colonics, fecal matter, or voluntarily having tubes stuck up the backside? We get it. Any ill-at-ease feeling that comes in reading this next section may be far outweighed by the discomfort you’ll feel if you skip this part of the program.
Colonics before the juice fast will make you more comfortable and help you get more out of the cleanse. Before beginning a juice fast, it is essential to clean out the colon as fully as possible. Once the colon is cleared of solid foods its processes of digestion slow down significantly, but if the colon is not cleared, toxins will remain trapped in the body and can cause discomfort.
The ideal time for a colonic is the evening before the first full day of the juice fast, or the morning you begin. After a colonic, enemas during the fast are optional. Having extensive experience with both open- and closed-system colonics, we recommend the closed system, which enables the therapist to perform body work—lymphatic-drainage massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, etc.—during your session.
By clearing the colon before the juice fast, you encourage the body to establish healthy bowel habits and retrain the colon as one of the main detoxification passages. A colonic in particular minimizes the symptoms of detoxification, and reduces hunger during the fast.
On the morning of Day 1 of the juice fast or the evening before Day 1, get a colonic from a qualified colon hydrotherapist, or self-administer a ‘double’ enema (see instructions below). If you didn’t choose to have a colonic on Day 1 of the juice fast, we recommend administering a regular enema on Day 2 and Day 3 of the fast for the most comfortable detox experience.
Without colon therapy of some kind (even an at-home delivered enema) you can experience some adverse reactions due to toxic overload. Some side effects that can be experienced when not cleansed prior to a full-fast are:
- flu-like symptoms particularly-body/head/joint aches
- abdominal discomfort
- fever, bloating
- sinus congestion
- skin rash/welts
- bad breath
- increased body odor from sweating the toxins out the pores of your skin.
If you experience a lot of detox symptoms, we recommend an additional colonic right after the 3-day juice fast, or a sequence of daily enemas. If you choose to extend a juice fast beyond 3 days, a colonic is ideal on Day 4 or 5 of the fast, and possibly once more. Follow the recommendations of a colon hydrotherapist.
To find a good colon hydrotherapist, ask a trusted doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, reflexologist, or acupuncturist. If you live in the United States, consult The International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy. Make sure the therapist uses a closed system, and remains in the room doing bodywork throughout the session.
If you choose not to have professional colonics, you’ll want to self-administer enemas to clear toxins from your bowels. You should begin daily enemas at least 3 to 4 days in advance of the juice fast.
To administer a double enema, fill the colon with the contents of one enema bag filled with warm water only, and expel immediately, then do a second enema, with the bag 2/3 full, this time adding 3 or 4 drops of fresh lemon juice and 1 cup of chamomile tea, holding for 5 to 15 minutes before expelling. You can purchase enema kits at most pharmacies or online. Look first in the feminine hygiene section, not the enema section, as there you’ll generally find only prepared enema solutions, not just the bag and tube, and we recommend against those chemicals. In the feminine hygiene section, you’ll usually find a “douche/enema/hot water bottle” combo. This contains everything you need. Administering your first enema will likely be awkward. Relax, breathe, and you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Enemas soon become an easy 20-minute routine. Allow time for this for this practice, as you don’t want to be rushed. If you don’t have time to do an enema in the morning, work it into your evening routine. The easiest position to administer an enema is on your hands and knees in the bathtub.
After inserting catheter or pipe (a natural balm or coconut oil makes it easier), take several deep breaths to relax the stomach muscles, so the water can reach the transverse colon. After filling the bag, bleed the air from the line by hanging the bag higher than your body for gravity flow.
Your body will be moving toxins into the colon more than usual every 24 hours during a prolonged fast. Once peristalsis and defecation reflex slow down and cease (as happens when fasting) these toxins don’t effectively exit the colon unless you do enemas.
We recommend 1 to 3 enemas each day of juice fasting.
Daily Fasting Routine
Scrape Your Tongue (see instructions in bodywork section)
Dry Skin Brush (see bodywork section below)
1 (8-oz) glass warm alkalizing vegetable broth
1 glass fresh juice
*Dilute all fruit juices 50-50 with filtered water.
1 cup herbal tea (organic rosehip, peppermint, chamomile)
*When heating water for tea, we don’t bring the water to a complete boil, as boiling destroys enzymes 100%, kills some nutrients.
1 glass fresh juice
*Gentle Exercise. (See bodywork section)
1 cup herbal tea (see additional drinks section)
1 glass fresh vegetable juice
1 glass fresh vegetable juice (optional)
*Double the evening green juice, if desired.
1 glass warm vegetable broth
Dry Skin Brushing (see bodywork section)
Detox Bath (see bodywork section)
Rebounding and Other Exercise
Gentle movement is vital during cleansing, to assist the lymphatic system as it works hard to expel toxins. Unlike the circulatory system (which the heart serves as a pump) the lymphatic system relies on our movement to conduct its fluids through our systems. During the juice fast, we recommend 30 minutes of gentle, low-impact movement such as walking, stretching, and yoga. Avoid intense workouts, such as running and lifting weights.
During a juice fast, our go-to exercise is rebounding. Jumping on a mini trampoline actively moves the entire body and stimulates the lymphatic system. Specific benefits of rebounding include improved lymphatic drainage and immune function, increased bone mass, low-impact movement with reduced stress on the ankles and knees, increased endurance at the cellular level by stimulation of mitochondrial production (mitochondria being responsible for cell energy), improved balance, and increased energy and oxygenation. If you have access to a mini-trampoline, bounce for 5 to 15 minutes everyday. As detoxing can affect your balance, take special care to steady yourself to prevent injuries.
Dry Skin Brushing
Brushing your body encourages detoxification by boosting circulation, stimulating the lymphatic system, exfoliating the skin, relieving stress and energizing the body. For best results (especially during a fast) brush once or twice daily. One of the best times to brush is in the morning, right before a shower. Always use a brush with natural bristles, like cactus fiber. Dry brushes are available at most health food stores and online.
To brush your whole body (except your face—there are special brushes for that), use a firm but not painful pressure (avoid “scrubbing”). Karen prefers circular strokes; Tess favors long strokes. Either way, start at your feet and work up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins). Your skin should be slightly pink after a brushing (not red or irritated). Whichever kind of stroke you go with, always make the overall movement of brushing toward your heart; that’s best for circulation and your lymphatic system. For optimal results, brush from 5 to 20 minutes.
A soak for 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime opens the pores, draws out toxins, lowers the stress-related hormones, balances your pH levels, and aids restful sleep. For a simple detox bath: add to a full tub 1 cup of Epsom salts, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil.
The practice of rinsing the nasal cavity with a specific saline solution is a tradition that’s seeing a much deserved renaissance. For those with sinus conditions, nasal rinsing is a great, simple way to ease congestion, promote drainage and alleviate sinus headaches that may occur during cleansing. The traditional method uses a Neti pot, available at most health food stores, and modern methods use a plastic container with pre-measured buffered salt packets, available at most pharmacies.
Karen likes the NeilMed system as it’s easy to use, is made of lightweight plastic, and travels well. Using this system regularly, many of Karen’s clients have freed themselves of chronic sinus infections and other sinus conditions. Tess prefers a ceramic Neti pot.
During a cleanse, you may notice that your tongue and teeth become coated with a white, sticky, film, particularly evident after sleep. This is an indication that your body is purging toxins up from or through the esophagus into the mouth. It’s perfectly normal. We recommend tongue scraping with a copper tongue scraper. You can also use the inverted bowl of a spoon. Scrape from the back of the tongue to the front, in one continuous movement. Rinse the tongue scraper, and brush your tongue and teeth afterward.
Research shows that infrared saunas can be beneficial for detoxification, relaxation, regulating blood pressure, anti-aging & skin purification, cell health, weight loss, pain relief, and improved circulation. Infrared saunas use infrared elements (not the stove coils traditional dry saunas employ), and their infrared rays penetrate through the skin and into the body’s tissues, provoking a more detoxifying sweat (extracting less water) at lower temperatures. (They also use less energy.) Sitting in an infrared sauna feels balancing and relaxing, too, like sunshine on the skin---the absorption of the infrared rays is in fact like lying in the sun. We both use infrared saunas made by Sunlighten. This company makes the best infrared saunas, accessible to all budgets. You can access infrared saunas at many wellness centers and day spas.
All of these cleansing recipes are designed for one serving.
Juicing for Cleansing vs Juicing for Fasting
While cleansing (consuming juices with other clean solid foods), drink juices on an empty stomach to maximize absorption and benefits. We recommend choosing fruit-based juices during the day to help break down toxins in the body. Vegetable-based mineral-rich juices are more alkalizing, and ideal for afternoons and evenings to help rebuild the body and prepare it for rest.
While juice fasting (consuming juices, water, broth, and no full-fiber smoothies or solid foods), it is necessary to strain all juices to ensure that solid pieces and large amounts of fiber are not consumed. Solid food and fiber will encourage the digestive process to begin again, and will make you hungry. Straining is not necessary if you’re cleansing without fasting.
Dilute all juices with filtered water by using a 1:1 ratio of juice to water.
Most of our juice recipes contain about 100-150 calories, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. If you feel hungry and would like more juice (more calories) or are experiencing low blood sugar, you can repeat any of our juice recipes during the same time period on any given day. For example, if it is morning, repeat that day’s morning juice.
*If you intend to double the juice recipes, you will need to double the shopping list.
We understand that some ingredients may be unavailable or expensive, or that allergies may be an issue. For such cases, we’ve suggested substitutions. These swaps shouldn’t significantly alter the taste or nutritional content of the recipes.
When substituting ingredients, you’ll need to change your shopping list accordingly.
Apples - Granny Smiths have the lowest sugar content, so they’re our go-to apple for juice fasts. If green apples are unavailable, the best reds to substitute are Fuji and Gala.
Spinach and kale are interchangeable in recipes, and it’s good to use both as much as possible.
Zucchini can be substituted for cucumber with minimal taste difference in the juices. This substitution will likely yield less juice.
Swiss chard can be replaced with romaine lettuce.
Pumpkin can be substituted with any winter squash.
Cilantro and parsley can be used interchangeably in the recipes, as can mint and sweet basil. Which leafy herb you want depends the flavor profile you’re after. Basil is more warming than mint, and optimal for a cold-weather cleanse.
These juices, designed with balance in mind, are naturally low in sugar (the natural sugar fructose). If you want to go even lower, eliminate all the fruits other than lemons and limes, and substitute the equivalent weight in cucumbers. The flavor will change, but these highly alkalizing juices will heighten the effects of the cleanse.
Day 1: Morning > Midday > Evening
Day 2: Morning > Midday > Evening
Day 3: Morning > Midday > Evening
Berry Apple Juice Popsicles
These are a tasty treat while fasting.
- 1 red apple
- 1/2 lemon (yellow peel removed)
- 5 strawberries
This broth will alkalize and mineralize your body during the fast.
- 1 cup sliced or shredded red beets (scrubbed but not peeled)
- 1 cup sliced or shredded carrots (scrubbed but not peeled)
- 1 cup chopped celery, (stalks and leaves)
- 2 cups of mixed vegetables (such as beet greens, turnips, spinach, cabbage, flat-leaf parsley, broccoli, cauliflower)
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- Celtic sea salt
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste
- Wash the produce in a solution of 8 cups warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar.
- Fill a 5 to 6-quart stock pot with 1 ½ quarts filtered water, and add the vegetables.
- Cover, and cook slowly for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and allow the veggies to steep in their broth for another hour, or more.
- Strain the vegetables, and save the liquid broth. You should have approximately 4 cups of broth.
- Add lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes (or cayenne) to taste.
*consume anytime during the fast
- additional fresh juice (double recipes)
- organic herbal teas (no caffeine)
- wheatgrass shots
- warm ginger tea (filtered water with sliced ginger, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper)
- raw coconut water (crack open a fresh young thai coconut)
- vegetable broth (see recipe in post)
- 9 green apples (Granny Smith if available, if not, Jonathon or Fuji)
- 6 lemons
- 1 red or white grapefruit
- 1 pack strawberries
- 5 carrots
- 2 bunches baby spinach
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 bunch dandelion greens
- 1 romaine lettuce heart
- 4 English cucumbers
- 2 stalks asparagus
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 orange-flesh sweet potato
- 1 red beet
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 pack of pea greens, pea shoots, or pea sprouts
- 2” piece fresh ginger root
- Ground cinnamon
This shopping list is based on servings for 1 person for 3 days of juice fasting.
If more than one person is participating in the fast, or you intend to double the juice recipes for more calories, you will need to adjust quantities accordingly.
We recommend using organic produce for the best results.
Stage 1 – half as long as your fast - 1 1/2 days for a 3-day fast
Fruits and non-starchy vegetables only. No animal products, heavy proteins, fats.
Your body is not ready to digest these concentrated foods, and after fasting, these foods will most likely make you feel sick. We also recommend steering clear of leafy greens.
The best way to ease your body into eating solid foods again is with a breakfast of high-water content fruits: such as melon, grapefruit, berries, grapes, apple, or mango.
Consume small quantities, you’ll get full very easily. Go slowly, and see how your body reacts.
You can also have fresh juice. There is no need to strain now.
Rest of the stage: Once you have broken the fast with juice or fruit, other ideal foods include:
- fruits: watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, orange, apple, peach, pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, melons, grapes, berries
- sprouts: alfalfa, clover, sunflower
- smoothies: made with fruit
- soups: homemade vegetable broth or miso soup
- homemade strained almond milk
*To help stimulate digestion, drink 1 (16oz) glass filtered water with 2 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon raw local honey.
Stage 2 – half as long as the fast - 1 1/2 days for a 3-day fast
Same as Stage 1, but add any of the following:
- leafy greens: spinach, kale, chard, collards, arugula, beet greens, dandelion greens
- vege-fruits : avocado, cucumber, tomato
- raw alkaline nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds
Stage 3 – slow transition back to regular eating
Same as phase 2 but slowly start adding in other foods such as:
- steamed vegetables
- baked sweet potato
Eat small portions. You’ll find that much smaller quantities will fill you up.
Avoid any heavy or fried foods, dairy, gluten, meat, and grains for at least a week after the fast. These foods cause congestion, and can be difficult to digest.
If you suspect food food sensitivities and allergies, this is an ideal time to add in the suspect foods one at a time each day in its whole form to see how your body reacts.
For example, to test dairy products, add in whole milk (not skim). To test wheat, try cream of wheat, not bread.
Some of the most common sensitivities/allergens include: dairy, gluten/wheat, soy, corn, citrus, nightshades (tomato/bell pepper/potato/eggplant), and melons.
Do not eat these foods until Stage 3 if you want to test them.
Keep a food diary, and a pattern will develop. Then, consult an allergist or health-care practitioner to get tested for an accurate diagnosis.
The information shared here does not replace the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in a juice fast, particularly if there are existing medical conditions or concerns.
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