Should You Try a Post-Feast Juice Fast?
After a rich meal—or, let’s be honest, a rich meal plus a few meals of those leftovers—many of us crave a reset. Hence the appeal of juice fasts, a way to cram our systems with vitamins, minerals, and water and to eschew the ultra-fatty and sugary foods characteristic of holiday meals. A typical juice fast involves subsisting on juice alone, often several 16-ounce glasses a day for one to three days.
That said, most doctors and nutritionists find such a plan too drastic. For example, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises against these regimens, considering them “fad diets that don’t work in the long term and might even be dangerous for some.” Definitely avoid a juice fast if you have medical conditions, like diabetes, hyperglycemia, or hypertension, or are pregnant, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It, and always check with your doctor before beginning a juice fast.   
For those who want to try out the trend in some fashion, she suggests a more moderate approach. Try replacing just one meal with a juice, like a blend of almond milk, vegetables, and nut butter or protein powder, she adds.
In general, when preparing juices, “aim for more vegetables than fruits,” recommends Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., RD, LD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Saint Louis University. “Since juicing removes the fiber content from fruits and vegetables, a vegetable-forward juice will naturally be lower in total sugars.”
Also, be sure to choose highly nutrient-dense vegetables, such as kale, spinach, carrots, or beets, she adds. If you can, include a “variety of differently-colored vegetables, since the phytochemicals that give them their unique colors provide distinct nutritional benefits.” For flavor and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, throw in a small amount of fresh turmeric or ginger root. “Turmeric and ginger pack a big flavor punch, so start small,” she suggests.
Apple-ginger-lemon juice with turmeric
Makes 2 cups
2 medium sweet apples, such as Gala, cored and chopped (skins left on) (2 heaping cups)
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sliced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground turmeric
- To a high-speed blender, add all of the ingredients, plus 1 cup cold water. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.