So you’ve probably seen and heard of the terms juice fast, juice cleanse, and juice feast, but is there a difference between these terms? Essentially no. Each is referring to a short term liquid diet consisting of fruit and/or vegetable juices with the goal of ridding the body of toxins and maybe losing a pound or two (don’t buy into the hype of advertisements that say you’ll lose 10 pounds or more). So what then is the difference? Basically it comes down to your perception of the terms (I prefer juice cleanse).
Let’s consider the history of fasting. The practice has been around since ancient times and we know that Jesus promoted fasting for piety and spiritual enlightenment. Most all religions have at one time or other included fasting as a part of their rituals. Sometimes fasting was intended as penance for sin or a sacrifice to God (or gods) in asking to be treated favorably. So the term fasting can be perceived with negative connotations. Also fasting, historically, included only water which to most people today would seem like a great sacrifice. So now we have the juice fast which follows the same principles though not always for religious reasons.
On the flip side of juice fasting would be juice feasting. Wow, doesn’t that sound yummy! This is still the same concept but with positive slant that you’re gaining something rather than sacrificing. I would categorize most of the people who use this term as the die hards, those who drink only juices for extended periods of time.
I think of the last term, juice cleanse, more as a biological process. Juice cleansing might be a phrase most used with naturopaths and herbalists. It implies a cleaning out of your insides to achieve better health. It’s the term I prefer to use, but really no better or no worse.
Regardless of the phrase used, you will find slight differences between each expert’s cleansing program. If you haven’t cleansed before you should follow the advice of a knowledgeable, experienced person. I’m currently working on a juice cleanse program to share with you my experiences and preferences. In the meantime, if you’d like to check out a book to get you excited about recipes and juicing in general, check out The Juicing Bible.