If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love raw juicing. That feeling of nirvana when you are only consuming optimal nutrition, the unbelievable energy of a teenager, and the mental clarity of a ninja warrior… But what happens when when you fall off the wagon?

You don’t realize it, but food and drinking are a BIG part of your social life, and for many people, food is how you express love, so when suddenly you aren’t eating like everybody else, things can become challenging. I don’t know about you, but when my girlfriends get together, we want to drink wine and chat, not prepare juices!

Well, today’s blog post is about how to create an at-home juice retreat without breaking the bank. Raw juice retreats aren’t cheap, they can run from $900-$10k per visit, but lucky for you, I’ve been to a few, so I can teach what to do for a fraction of the cost (the savings of which you can use to buy your favorite case of wine after you’re done! KIDDING!!) For the record, the only raw juice retreat I would recommend is the Reboot with Joe Retreat. http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/

1. Clear Your Schedule for Three Days: “Timing is everything” they say, and juice fasting is no different. The hardest part of the juice fast is a. starting and b. the first three days. You will experience all of the emotions as a bad breakup; excitement, regret, anger, elation.. well, you get the point. I’ve been through a half dozen juice fasts and day 4 is the MAGIC day, where you start to feel like superwoman. You just have to get through THE. FIRST. THREE. DAYS.

2. It Takes a Village: Most everything in life is easier with a friend by your side, and ESPECIALLY juicing, because if you are on the same page, you can keep each other motivated when one of you starts to doubt yourself (or complain, or cry, or try to rationalize having just one glass of wine is fine, because it’s been like forever since you’ve seen each other!).

3. Rent Some Inspiring Movies: Have an arsenal of inspiring videos; Fat Sick and Nearly Dead (Part 1 and 2), Food Inc., Food Matters, Forks Over Knives. You can also watch a lot of inspiring videos on YouTube, just do a search for “raw food journey”. These will reinforce why you are doing this in the first place.

4. Schedule Healthy Activities: You won’t be getting a lot of calories, so steer clear of heavy activities. Yoga, meditating, walking are all great exercises. Book a massage or other body work. Also, try something unique like making a vision board (I Love this one!). The point is, fill your time with things to do so you won’t be focusing on food. I always catch up on reading when I’m juicing.

5. Order In: Depending on your expertise level and finances, you can choose to make your own juice, which in all honesty is very labor intensive, or you can order fresh juices to be delivered to you (which gives you more time for activities). I love Raleigh Raw (In Raleigh, NC) and Squeeze Juice Works in St. Petersburg, FL. myself. So many places are popping up – just do a Google search for “raw juices (and your city)”.

One more thing, if you *do* plan a DIY raw juice retreat, be sure to send me an invitation!