Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clean as a Whistle

Judith Newman has a funny piece in today's New York Times about her half-assed attempt to go on a juice cleanse to eliminate the so-called "toxins" from her body. As you probably already know, this fine bit of quackery typically involves imbibing various vegetable or fruit juices for days on end and occasionally shooting water into your butthole.

You should read the whole thing, but here are my favorite lines from Newman's article:
  • "A month ago I went on a juice cleanse. You know what it cleans out of you best? The will to live."
  • "Celebrities as varied as BeyoncĂ©, Jared Leto and the Moore/Kutchers (Demi and Ashton were tweeting about it this week) swear by [the Master Cleanse's] energizing and weight loss effects, weight loss being not all that surprising, when you consider that you are essentially sucking lemons and a few teaspoons of sugar for 10 days."
  • "At the beginning and the end of the three-day program, the BPC [BluePrintCleanse] people highly recommend a colonic. A colonic is better known as many gallons of water shot into your rectum through a tube, only to pass out of you again, this time with the contents of your intestines."
  • "Here’s the thing. That green juice? It was like drinking everything bad that ever happened to me in high school."
  • "[W]hile I was walking down Bleecker Street trying to choke down my second bottle of malignancy, the reek so sickened me I had to stop and steady myself on a parked car."
  • "The next three days could be summed up thus: 1. I need food. 2. Hey, this isn’t bad! 3. Kill me now."
Heh. Here's the rub:
[Author and internist] Dr. [David] Colbert said: “You have to ask yourself this question: With a juice cleanse, what are you really cleaning? Really, nothing. The bowel self-cleans. It’s evolved over millions of years to do this.”
If you’re going to have liquids, said Dr. Colbert, a staunch believer in unprocessed foods, there is certainly good to be had from eating fresh vegetables and fruits and nuts pulverized into liquid. “But most people aren’t Einsteins,” he added. “Often their idea of a juice fast is having nothing but orange juice or apple juice for a week. In which case, you might as well call it the Toblerone diet, because that’s how much sugar you’re pouring into your system.”
This is pretty much what I did. And it’s dumb. “Many people are undiagnosed diabetics, and these cleanses can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels that could be quite dangerous,” said Nancy Kalish, a certified health coach in Brooklyn who advises clients against juice cleanses.
Hear, hear.

Still, I have to wonder if non-Paleo eaters consider my nutritional approach to be just as (if not more) bizarre as "cleansing" with juices and colonics.