Cleanses are bullshit. There I said it. I’m not the only nutritionist who thinks this either. Now, pump your fucking brakes. What I didn’t not just say is, “You can drink all the soda and eat all fast food you want.” You still need eat real God damn food.
411 On Cleanses
When someone uses the word 'cleanse' they are typically trying to sell you something. Fo reals y'all, that the whole purpose of the cleanse; to sell you some shit you don't need (a product). Whether it be a (insert valley girl accent) 3-week program with email coaching and cleansing recipes, herbs and vitamins, or actual prepackaged juice. What if I was to tell you that your body is working right now to 'cleanse' itself? Dude, you have this amazing organ called a liver, oh and your skin…it helps cleanse too. Think sweat. Cleanses require you to take herbs and then juice for days starving your body. No. Just stop. Your body needs fuel; most importantly protein and fat. YES, YOUR BODY NEEDS FAT! Should you probably lay off sugar, processed foods, dairy and wheat? Sure.
Riddle Me This...
Why do people do cleanses? Because people think that they need help cleaning out 'toxins' in their body so they can reach their optimal health. What are the exact toxins we removing from our bodies? Heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides. Okay. Wouldn’t it be a better long-term goal just to remove the source of toxins in our body? Why is it okay to rationalize starving yourself for a couple of days? You can obtain 'optimal' (that word is teetering on douchie and it’s close to being toss out on its ass) health by just eating real food and working up a sweat. Maybe instead of cleansing you should question the quality of the food you are putting into your body. Seriously people, what the fuck are you cleansing from? Ask yourself that and then fucking remove it from your diet. Boom. Your body can heal itself, trust me. If you feed your body nutrient dense foods you don’t need God damn cleanses.
I’ve been there. I bought the $2000 juicer and only drank juice for days. Which was dumb a move. My blood sugar would come crashing around mid-day and I was a raging bitch. Feel free to ask Jon and Macole. That’s the problem with juicing. You are removing all the fiber that helps to slowly release sugars in your bloodstream. It also deserves to be repeated again, your body needs protein and fat. Guess what you’re not getting when you cleanse? You better have said protein and fat.
The health industry has turned into a multi-billion dollar enterprise and its buyer beware. I’ve become more cynical of my industry as I’ve aged. Obviously, if you read this rant. I see all these diets out there and think to myself; that is an unsustainable way of eating. There is a lot of stuff out there that is backed by some science*. We all have a choice. We can buy into the latest and greatest health craze or we can call horseshit. I’m calling horseshit. We only have a short time on this earth and I plan on taking full advantage of that time. For me, it’s about moderation. I'm going to eat my cake and fucking love it!
And don’t fucking starve yourself.
*Check to see who funded the study and then make an educated decision to believe or not believe the findings.
2016 certainly has been quite the year for celebrity deaths, at least that is what Facebook has led me to believe and if it’s on Facebook it has to be true. Over the Christmas holiday George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds all passed away days from each other. All three of them died from complications of heart disease.
I get that people are upset about celebrities dying, seriously. I want to address the elephant in the room. Heart Disease. I studied the shit out of heart disease in grad school. It’s a big fucking deal. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention the number one killer of men and women in America is heart disease.
I don’t really feel like spewing out numbers and data are helpful in putting this in perspective. Instead here is a list of the popular the celebrities that died of heart failure in 2016:
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Did you or someone in your family have a brush with heart disease this year? In previous years? I know I did. My paternal grandfather died of a heart attack. My Uncle on my mother’s side luckily survived a heart attack. My husband’s step-father had open heart surgery in November. He is recovering fine. I can go on and on with examples from work and friends but I won’t. Needless to say, heart disease is in our culture. American culture. If you haven’t been touched by heart disease, consider yourself fucking lucky.
Okay, so now what? Prevention. This is where people usually get all butt-hurt and defensive. You have to eat actual food. Not the processed shit food companies call food, but actual vegetables, fruit, grains, grass-fed meats (if you insist on eating flesh) and nuts. I am an advocate of an organic plant-based diet. People will fight me on this. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on the plant-based diet. Organic is a non-negotiable. Yes, organic is not what many think organic is. Organic is still sprayed, but it is not sprayed with petro-chemicals. Think pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals are designed to attack the “pests” endocrine system eventually leading to death of the said “pest.” The government has declared a “safe” level for human consumption. I am rolling my eyes here.
Here’s the problem. The levels determined by the government doesn’t take into consideration that many people are eating multiple foods that have been sprayed. So the “safe” level set for specific foods is moot because you are consuming multiple foods that have been sprayed. You cannot tell me that this does not have compounding effect in the body. It is possible that if you only eat apples that have been sprayed and everything else that you consume is clean and had not been contaminated with endocrine disruptors, that maybe you won’t have any adverse health effects. (I am not a scientist and there haven’t been long term studies published on organic vs. conventional – BUT I would argue with the rise in heart disease and other degenerative diseases there might be a correlation). Let’s be really fucking honest here. You are not just consuming one food that has been sprayed, you are consuming a crapton of food that has been sprayed. Moral of the story, eat clean fucking food. I eat about 95% organic – I have an Indian and pho problem. I usually suffer for a day with food baby, gas and smelly poops when I eat those foods too. I am working on perfecting my pho broth. I’m just fucked with Indian.
There’s more? Yes, there’s more. You have to get off your ass and get your heart pumping. I’m not saying you have to run marathons, you just need to get your blood flowing.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week for cardiovascular health. I had a client many years ago who was showing signs of heart disease. She didn’t understand why. She said she walked her dog twice a day for about 45 minutes at a time. Come to find out she wasn’t getting her heart-rate up during the walks. You have to get your heart-rate up! That’s my biggest beef with those stupid fucking step counters. I don’t give two shits if you do 10,000 steps in a day. I care more about your heart-rate. Did you get it up during that time? No? Well then you ain’t doing shit for your cardiovascular health. Try again. Oh and this recommendation is for cardiovascular health only. If you are looking to lose weight and look good naked you got to do more than cardio. Especially if you are a woman over 30 – but that is a blog in and of itself.
2016 is about to end. I know this is the time of year where people try and commit to eating healthier or exercising or to quit drinking. It takes 30 days for something new to become a habit. It also takes a lot longer than a week to see results. Stick with it. Find a friend to can hold you accountable. If you are like me, get a journal and go type A compulsive on this shit. Ultimately you decide your grave.