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Hitting the Restart Button


Juice cleanses satisfy and detoxify in the New Year. 

EatSmartJAN2016As the New Year dawns, many of us make a resolution to eat healthier and exercise more in an attempt to detox from the holiday party season — at least until the king cakes are on the shelves! Juice cleanses deliver a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables in an easily digestible way that also helps rid the body of toxins, like saturated fats and refined carbohydrates from processed foods, and excess caffeine and alcohol consumption. Since the purpose of a cleanse is to rid the body of harmful toxins, it’s important to always consume organic fruits and vegetables in order to avoid pesticides, insecticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms.

Here in New Orleans, we have many reasons to give our bodies a break from these types of toxins, and, fortunately, we also have many opportunities for doing our own juice cleanse!

Stephanie Kern, owner of The Green Fork in Uptown and Old Metairie (greenforknola.com), prefers to think of juicing as a way to reboot rather than simply cleanse. “It’s like hitting a huge restart button,” she says. “You’re basically getting an IV of nutrients in your body, and you don’t get that dragging feeling that you do from strict dieting or starving yourself.”

The Green Fork offers three-day juice cleanses designed to “promote a healthy balance from the inside out,” including the Restore Cleanse (six 16-ounce organic juices per day, $150) and the Nourish Cleanse (five 16-ounce organic juices, plus one entree per day, $150). Although Kern does not recommend raw juices for people on a lot of medication, she says that basically anyone can benefit from a juice cleanse. “We customize each cleanse based on what a customer is trying to accomplish in his or her health, like detoxify, reduce cravings or lessen caffeine intake.”

Before starting a cleanse, Sheena Mannina, co-founder of Raw Republic cold-pressed juice bar and detox boutique on Magazine Street, says people need to commit to pre-cleansing. “Eliminate difficult-to-digest foods like dairy, meat, gluten, processed foods and caffeine from your diet prior to beginning your cleanse,” she says. “For example, if you are cleansing for three days, eliminate these foods three days prior.”

Raw Republic offers three levels of cleanses in one, three or five-day increments, starting at $50 per day for six bottles of organic juice, smoothies or nut milks. Following a cleanse, Mannina recommends continuing to drink blended foods like smoothies and soups, and eating fibrous foods like salads and steamed vegetables, to continue that light, refreshed feeling that one gains from a cleanse.

To successfully complete a juice cleanse, Mannina notes that it is best to concentrate on what good foods you are adding into your diet instead of what you are leaving out or missing. “The more organic fruits and vegetables, juices, smoothies and healthy salads you add in, the less room there is for harmful foods. The same is true for your thoughts!”