Saturday, May 5, 2012

Juicing, a skeptic's guide

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about my life, with an emphasis on exercise, eating well, and healthy lifestyles.  Those three things are a HUGE part of who I am.  I have basically dedicated over 10 years, my entire life, to learning and experiencing new ways (and old ways) to be healthier, more active, and to live a fuller life.

My first home floor cooked meal

Learning at an early age that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle

As a grown up, I love to cook

I also try to get exercise every day.

Lately, my blog has turned into a travel guide, a fun-filled adventure, which is also a part of my life.  I love the new places, things, and activities my husband and I get to experience together, but I also want to get back to my real passion- with a few travels mixed in.



A year or so ago, I tried to the Master Cleanse.  For those of you who don't know what this involves, follow this link or go to

This cleanse involves drinking a freshly squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.  Sounds delicious right?  Well, if that wasn't tasty enough for you, every morning you also begin with a salt water flush.  Ever read the book, Marley and Me?  Remember when Marley goes to the beach and drinks a bunch of salt water.  Recall what happens next?  Yes, it's like that when you drink a liter of salt water as well!  I guess what I'm hinting at is, don't try this right before you begin you hour long commute to work.  You will be taking a personal day...

I lasted about 5 days on this cleanse.  It wasn't that I was too hungry because I wasn't.  I just felt like I wasn't eating, and I could do that without drinking a disgusting tasting concoction.  I didn't weigh myself before or after the cleanse because I didn't want it to be about that.  I tried to make this cleanse a challenge to myself to be healthier and to think about food differently.  What I realized is that I do eat healthy, with a few cheat days mixed in.  My kidneys and my liver do a great job of processing the food that I put into it.  The junk food, the soda, the processed flour, the processed corn, the hydrogenated fats that I eat are minimal.  I studied enough anatomy and physiology, nutrient metabolism, and human biology to understand when our kidneys and liver are functioning well, our body naturally metabolizes food and cleanses our bodies.

With that said, I do believe juice diets, fasts, and cleanses have a place in some diets.  People who eat so much processed non-foods may need a jump-start to assist their bodies.  Some juice diets could help digest the processed food products faster and allow your body and your mind to begin a healthy lifestyle.  The main thing I learned for the Master Cleanse is that it provided me with the time to think about food in a different way, a healthier way.  Instead of craving a Krispy Kreme donut for a snack, maybe you will begin to crave a ripe, red apple with creamy Greek yogurt.

Juice diets, fasts, and cleanses have NO MEDICAL EVIDENCE they are any better at detoxifying your body than your kidneys and liver when they are functioning properly.  Also, any weight that is lost, is usually water weight and is gained right back after your first cheeseburger.  If you goal is to lose weight, a juice diet is not the ideal way to meet your goals.  When you severely cut calories, as when you begin a juice fast, your body burns glycogen.  Both water and glycogen are quickly replenished as soon as you start eating again.

Here is what the doctors say,

"There have been no clinical studies that validate their cleansing properties," Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist at Rutgers University, told me. "Drinking only juice for three days or more doesn't do much but put the individual in an uncomfortable position." Uncomfortable tends to mean irritability, headaches and frequent trips to the bathroom. Dr. Bennett Roth, chief of gastroenterology at UCLA Medical Center, is crystal clear on one thing about juice cleansing: "The concept has no basis in scientific support."

Do your research and remember, it's just juice!

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