I'm not the kind of person who does a lot of research before I jump into something. Typically I just jump in and often learn the hard way. You'd think by now that I'd know that I should dig a little and learn from the mistakes of others, but I guess I'm a little stubborn, and I was born in Missouri (the "show me" state), so I continue to learn the hard way.
The good news is you don't have to learn the hard way, because as much as I like learning things on my own I also like sharing what I learn and helping others (who choose to do the research) avoid the mistakes that I didn't.
When I began juicing four years ago I just jumped right in. I'd watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and I downloaded their plan for a juice fast (so I could have some recipes to start with). But I didn't really know what I was getting into, which may have turned out to be a good thing. I learned a lot in those first few days and weeks of juicing, and I've learned even more in the years since. Here are just a few of the mistakes that I made that you might want to avoid.
Not planning appropriately
I started my first juice fast on January 2. The problem was that there weren't many grocery stores open on New Year's Day. As a result, I ended up overpaying for the produce I needed for those first few days. Had I been prepared, I would have shopped on New Year's Eve (or earlier) to make sure I had enough produce to get through the holiday.
There are a number of areas where research would have helped me during that first juice cleanse, not the least of which would have been knowing where to buy my produce to get the best deals. I probably spent close to $100 for the produce I needed for the first three-day juice cleanse. These days, because I know where to shop, I can buy enough produce for a 7-day juice cleanse for about half that much.
Not understanding the difference between fruits and vegetables
We all know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, yet when it comes to juice cleanses it seems to be the number one thing that people forget. Somehow a juice cleanse becomes all about fruit juice, and we end up taking in huge amounts of sugar and calories. The reality is that a juice cleanse should be mostly about vegetable juices with a little fruit added for flavor (not the other way around).
Not getting to know your juicer first
When I did my first juice cleanse I used a juicer I borrowed from my mom. I picked it up the day before I started the cleanse and used it once before I officially started the cleanse. I should have borrowed it a full week earlier and familiarized myself with it. Had I done so, I would have known that that model didn't juice green leafy things well, and I would have found a replacement sooner.
Not easing into it
This is actually one mistake I didn't make as completely as I could have. I did start removing meat and sugar from my diet and replaced it with produce a week or so before I began the cleanse. Unfortunately, many people don't do this, which is probably one of the biggest reasons for negative side effects and juice cleanse failure. If you go straight from eating a standard American diet to trying to do a juice cleanse, you will be in pain, you'll suffer withdrawal, and you will have headaches, digestive issues, and a host of other possible side effects. The cleaner your diet is before you make the transition, the fewer side effects you'll have to face.
There are likely a host of other mistakes that you should avoid and probably just as many others that I made. I doubt I have to tell you not to stick your finger in the juicer while it's running. I made that mistake, but I'm sure you are smarter than I am.
Even if you do go into your first juice cleanse as unprepared as I was, you'll still come out ahead of where you started. You'll learn a lot (perhaps the hard way) but you'll be better for it, and your next juice cleanse will be that much easier.
Of course, if you can make your first juice cleanse easier, why wouldn't you?