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By Olivia Janisch

Wanting a cleanse? Trying to lose weight? Needing better sleep? The key might be in trading out a meal.

Doing a juice cleanse can be miserable, to say the least. Drinking your veggies with no hope of solid food for days on end may just make you want to throw your cat out the window. While it has a plethora of benefits, there are other, more gentle ways to brighten your system and feel good while you’re at it.

The suggestion is this: For one week, swap your dinner for a juice. Hear me out.

Digestion is the most energy intensive process of the body. When we eat, our systems immediately begin working hard to break down our food, take out nutrients, and get rid of the waste. Food affects our blood, our hormones, or brains, our energy levels, and our organs, creating a huge amount of activity in the body.

Digestive fire, or agni in ayurvedic medicine, is strongest during the middle of the day, and quietest at night. At nighttime our bodies are winding down, relaxing, and doing repair from the day. The practice of eating a large meal for dinner interferes with this natural process that sets us up for sleep. Sleep is the most important time for our bodies to neutralize stress and for the production of growth hormone, which regulates and supports all functions of the body.

Drinking a juice for dinner spares your digestive system of a ton of work that it would otherwise do breaking down your taco Tuesday feast. It gives you a hefty dose of nutrients, and lets your wind down to neutral at the end of the day. It will help you drift off and stay asleep better, and will reduce your likelihood of eating things that don’t get digested properly and wind up on your hips. It helps your cells flourish and is anti-aging, and will make your system thrive.

Try this practice for a week, or every so often for a mini-cleanse. It’s light and easy, takes little commitment, and will do wonders for your bod.

Photo By Glen Carrie

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