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The first time I suggested a juice cleanse to my senior-aged parents, they were less than enthusiastic. They have always been supportive of and open to my lifestyle, but the thought of limiting themselves to only raw juices for seven days seemed unrealistic. They’re both afflicted with arthritis though, and it was their frustration with the side effects of their medications that finally made them give in.

Still, there had to be a compromise.

Juice fasts have become incredibly popular and are extraordinarily beneficial to overall health. But for most people, including my parents, limiting your diet to only fluids for several days can seem very intimidating and extreme. Our society is obsessed with constant activity and doing a liquid-only juice fast, while maintaining an active lifestyle, can be challenging. 

A raw-vegan cleanse, though, includes three to five fresh, organic juices per day with supplemental raw-vegan snacks. For those unsure of limiting themselves to fluids alone, consuming unprocessed, unheated, plant-based foods and organic raw juices is a great place to start. Eating only raw, plant-based foods and juices reduces inflammation, stimulates toxin removal and can aid in the treatment of many ailments.

My parents’ first raw food cleanse was almost a decade ago and the results were so beneficial that they have participated in two to three each year since. These cleanses have not only rejuvenated their health, but have encouraged the incorporation of more raw foods into their diets. Their arthritis is better, they have more energy and now they actually look forward to their biannual raw weeks.

Certainly, it is easier to cleanse with raw-vegan food when you have a bossy, raw foodist daughter with a juice fetish, but there are several juice cleanse programs that can be ordered online and shipped nationwide too. Just supplement them with raw-vegan transitional foods found at health food stores and organic fruits and vegetables.

Some cleanse options are: Organic Avenue in New York and Cooler CleanseBlue Print Cleanse  across the USA.

photo credits: nicole frozen, tamara lichtenstein

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