By Anna Norris
A trend towards organic eating in Atlanta has fostered an upsurge in juice fasting, a process of drinking nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juice for extended amounts of time.
Juice fasting, also known as juice cleansing, detoxifies and can often lead to weight loss.
Arden’s Garden, an Atlanta-based fresh juice manufacturer established in 1996 by Arden Zinn and now owned by her daughter, Leslie Zinn, offers a “Two-Day Detox” juice blend as well as a “21 Day Turn-Around” cleansing program.
Heather Michelle, manager at Arden’s Garden in Little Five Points, one of six locations in the Atlanta area, said that they offer the “21 Day Turn-Around” program about once every couple of months. She has noticed a considerable increase in interest in the program and in the “Two-Day Detox” since she began working for Arden’s Garden a year and a half ago.
Michelle explained that the “Two-Day Detox” works best when a raw foods diet is adopted two days before and two days after the cleanse. “You really want to prepare your body,” said Michelle.
Michelle said that the benefits of drinking fruit and vegetable juice include phytochemicals and micronutrients that come from plants. The body does not expend as much energy digesting the juices and essentially “gets to play catch-up.”
Other employees at Arden’s Garden agree that word-of-mouth is definitely a major reason why people have become interested in juice cleansing recently. People also have been watching the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” a true story about a man who juice fasted as a remedy to his illness. “When you see a story like that,” said Michelle, “it makes it more personal.”
Michelle herself has used juice cleansing as a way to better her health. She has lost 70 pounds in the past three years and has yet to catch a cold since she started working at Arden’s Garden.
Codie Young, 25, attributed her decision to start juice fasting to “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” “The documentary really put a lot of things into perspective,” said Young, “It was really interesting and outlined the entire juicing process, while also showing the health benefits of taking on an all juice diet.”
Young said she has noticed a trend in juice cleansing. “I think people in general are fixated with the idea of ‘organic’ anything and juicing goes along with living a healthier lifestyle.”
Elizabeth Finlon, a 21-year-old vegan student at Georgia State University, has “juiced” for up to five days straight in the past. “You get all of the nutrients and still reap all of the benefits from doing a fast,” said Finlon.
“Losing fat means that you lose the harmful chemicals stored in fat cells,” according to Finlon. “It gives you a surprising amount of energy.” Finlon recommends vegetable juice over fruit juice because it is nutrient-dense and contains less sugar.
Michelle described her cleansing experience as “euphoric.” “I honestly feel like it can change your life,” Michelle said. “It helps you put everything into perspective.”