Here's What You Should Eat Right After A Juice Cleanse

The human body undoubtedly undergoes some changes during a cleanse, including the balancing of bacteria in our guts as well as the probable (and often desirable) side effect of weight-loss. We don't want to say that your body is in a fragile state during your cleanse, but your digestive system is undeniably delicate after embarking on a liquids-only diet, and this newfound state of balance is one that should be fostered not neglected. Thus, transitioning back into the world of solid foods is something that you shouldn't approach without an educated plan. By eating healthy, alkalizing foods and hydrating like you've never hydrated before, you'll help your body come back from a cleanse healthier than ever.

In order to truly reap the health benefits of a juice cleanse, look to the accompanying slideshow to help you on your quest to trade your straw in for a knife and fork. Without further ado, Here's What You Should Eat Right After a Juice Cleanse.

One Day Before the Cleanse is Over

By this point, you'll probably want to eat a bunch of cheeseburgers, a side of onion rings, and maybe three giant cannoli, each filled with 50 smaller ones. With only one day standing between you and solid food, you will be hungry – but don't cave! The end is in sight. You've spent time and money on this cleanse, so grit your teeth, gnaw your straw, and persevere.

The First Breakfast

Patience is a virtue and, while you may want to stuff your face as soon as you wake up after cleansing, it's much wiser to be patient and slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet. This meal will act as a way to maintain the balanced pH that your body has achieved during your juice cleanse. You have two options for your first meal back: You could make a light, nutritious bowl of fruit. You'll want to be sure to include mostly citric acid fruits. While they are acidic outside of the body, they become highly alkaline-forming once eaten. Alternatively, you could squeeze lemon juice over some dark, leafy greens and enjoy a light salad.

A Lighter Lunch

Your next meal can be a little bit more substantial than your breakfast. We suggest introducing antioxidant-rich, healthy fat-dense dark chocolate in smoothie form (try this delicious Chocolate Cherry Kale Smoothie recipe) along with dark leafy greens and some more fruit. Your body has already had one very light solid meal, and following that up with a semi-liquid smoothie packed with alkalizing foods will help your digestive system continue its transition into the world of solid food without being overwhelmed.

Introduce Some Probiotics

Cultured or fermented vegetables and Greek yogurt are not only easy to digest, but they're also packed with probiotic bacteria that will benefit your digestive system as you transition from cleanse to solid food. Feel free to have some yogurt or fermented vegetables (such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, or oshinko) on your first day post-cleanse.

More Healthy Fats

The days immediately following your cleanse provide you with a critical nutritional moment: Your body (and especially your brain) will be starving for healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, so give it what it needs to function at its optimal capacity. Smoothies like this Ultimate Green Smoothie allow you to sneak in alkalizing greens and lemon juice as well as avocado in an easily digestible liquid form.

A Carbohydrate-Rich Dinner That Will Boost Energy

By dinner time, you'll certainly start to feel the mental and physical benefits inspired by eating a more regular, more solid diet. At this point, your digestive system should be ready for some energy-boosting complex carbs like quinoa, black beans, or brown rice. Continue to consume healthy fats and dark, leafy greens at dinner as well. One of the easiest ways to do this is by making some sort of quinoa bowl with greens and olive oil. Guess what? We have such a recipe that you'll surely enjoy.

Click here for the Healthy Quinoa Bowl recipe.

Begin to Introduce Nuts (and Keep Hydrating!)

Toward the end of day two (and certainly by day three) post-cleanse, your digestive system will be ready for healthy nuts. You'll want to make sure that you've continued to hydrate throughout these initial days. We suggest adding lemon to your water to bolster your efforts to keep your body at a balanced pH. If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, congratulations: You've successfully transitioned from straw to spoon. If you have a penchant for more carnivorous fare, though, you've still got a day or two of waiting.

Got Beef?

After five days of surviving on naught but plant-based protein, healthy fats, and enough leafy greens and water to last a lifetime, you'll finally be able to introduce meat back into your diet. The lighter the meat the better, so we suggest trying one of our 11 Quick and Healthy Grilled Chicken Recipes or a lean cut of beef. After reintroducing meat, there's no reason not to continue eating nutritious solid foods until the next time that you wish to start cleansing. If you'd like to continue keeping your pH in its newly achieved level of balance, consider sticking to an alkaline diet.