The words “juice cleanse” conjure up a lot of negative connotations for many people. Urban Remedy founder Neka Pasquale is attempting to change naysayers’ minds by teaching them how to do a juice cleanse healthfully. It’s not about starving yourself. The philosophy behind a cleanse is pairing vitamin-packed juices with raw, organic foods. A licensed herbalist, acupuncturist and Chinese nutritionist, Pasquale first hosted short retreats for people she knew to try her cleanse, then extended it to the masses to keep up with the demand. Now, she’s releasing a book, with a foreword by Cindy Crawford. And here, she tells us what we need to know before embarking on any cleanse.

Why She’s Pro-Cleanse

If you’re hesitant to do a cleanse, Paquale offers these words of advice: “Choose a cleanse wisely for your constitution. For example, if you have blood sugar issues, I wouldn’t recommend doing a cleanse full of fruit juices. Instead, I would recommend a low glycemic green juice cleanse that will keep your blood sugar balanced as well as give your body a break from everyday inflammatory foods.” The key is first figuring out your body’s needs — what vitamins you’re missing and the types of foods you could do without. Then, she says, you can do a cleanse one day a week or once every few months, depending on what you think your body needs.


What to Expect

Pasquale is quick to point out that your cleansing experience will vary based on the type of cleanse you choose, but overall, you are giving your body a break from things that have a negative impact on your body, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods. “You’re replacing these with foods that help prevent diseases, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, sprouts and healthy fats.”


Common Mistakes People Make

Part of the reason juice cleanses get a bad rep is because people don’t do them correctly or don’t do the right one. “Most people want results fast and will do some sort of radical cleanse,” Pasquale explains. “I recommend doing a pre-cleanse before starting a deeper cleanse.” Do to this, she recommends sticking with raw foods for three or four days before going into full juice cleanse mode, for example.


“Food Is Medicine”

The idea that “food is medicine” is Urban Remedy’s big theme, which Pasquale says stems from her background in traditional Chinese medicine. “If, for example you have a migraine, in Western medicine, you will take a pill. In traditional Chinese medicine, we use diet as one part to balance out the body and reduce the frequency of migraines,” she explains.


How to Carry Out the Urban Remedy Mindset Every Day

Being mindful of what goes into your body can really change the way you think about food, according to Pasquale. “It’s possible to eat as clean as you can while enjoying life,” she promises. “I love food and I think enjoying food that is good for you is a really important part of life. We all have occasions where we want to have the wine and cheese and that’s okay, but you want to always go back to your base diet that keeps you healthy.” Luckily for us, her book comes with delicious recipes, two of which are below:

Orange Carrot Almond Dreamsicle

Pour 1/2 cup carrot juice and 1/2 cup fresh orange juice into a tall glass. Slowly pour 1/2 cup almond milk into the glass.

Beet and Zuccgini Carpaccio With Pine Nuts

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice one large beet and one zucchini as thinly as possible. Transfer the beat and zucchini slices into a plate, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with one teaspoon coarse sea salt and three tablespoons of raw pine nuts.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Share your experience in the comments.