To Cleanse Or To Not To


Although January detoxing is as cliché as those lackluster promises of gym memberships after the gluttonous debauchery that accompanies the more festive times of the year, I feel my body craving healthier, lighter food. Well, okay, that’s not completely true. I suppose I should more aptly say that after a holiday season spent mostly eating and drinking, the only possible way I can surmise to stop this indulgent pattern is to jump on the sensationalized bandwagon and see if what all these celebrities blog about actually works.

So, out of pure curiosity and perhaps a desire to see if I can undo some of the celebration damages, I am going to (gulp) do a cleanse. I should preface this soapbox statement by pointing out a of couple things: first of all, there are an insane number of detox/cleansing options out there and every one of them claim to be the best. Secondly, the majority promise to benefit not just the body, but also the mind (which I am struggling to see as possible when each one of them strips away my right to enjoy my favorite food and drinks… not that I’m saying that I’m an emotional eater or anything). And lastly, I am not 100% sure I have the willpower to complete any of them.

All that being said, at the end of the day I don’t deny that there is perhaps room for improvement in my lifestyle and, well, you have to start somewhere. At this point, cleansing and juicing is practically mainstream, and has gone over and above being a trendy fad. In fact, with boutique juice shops popping up everywhere and supplies for cleanses readily available to order online, they’ve become so ubiquitous that, despite their mostly exorbitant price tag, consumption has extended beyond celebrities to us regular folk. I have more than a handful of friends that drank the Kool-Aid (juicing humor), and they all claim to have felt better, looked brighter and yes, dropped a couple pounds. If they can do it, I should be able to do it, too… right?

So, in acknowledgment of health marketers’ savvy promotion skills, in conjunction with my new compulsion to detoxify my body and boost my immune system, I suppose the most logical way to prepare for this “new year, new me” journey is by picking a cleanse and giving it the old college try. Literally, there are countless detox diets out there so the first challenge is narrowing down which is the right one for you.

The Cleanses…
A snapshot list of types and names

The Master Cleanse, The Clean Program, Juice Cleansing, BluePrint Cleanse, Love Deep, Urban Remedy, Juice Press, Life Juice, Juice Hugger, Organic Avenue, Cooler Cleanse, Liq- uiteria, The Squeeze, Suja, Juice to You, Can Can, Liv- ing Greens, iZO, Red Carpet Cleanse, The Four Elements Colon Cleanse, Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse, Skin Cleanse, Model Detox Diet, Candida Cleanse, pH Cleanse, Immune Booster Cleanse, Liver Cleanse, Brown Rice Cleanse, Heavy Metal Cleanse, Ayurvedic Cleanse, Arise & Shine Cleanse, Fat Flush, Kidney Cleanse, Parasite Cleanse

The Skinny…
A brief breakdown of a few of the more popular options

The Clean Program

This 21-day diet, created by Dr. Alejandro Junger, is based on his fundamental belief that our bodies need a way to purge the toxins that we’ve picked up from food and the environment. Somewhat reminiscent of the meal replacement shakes diet, you drink a chocolate or vanilla shake twice a day and take program-approved supplements. However, you are allowed a lunch made from a pre-approved list of foods (his
diet bans a laundry list of foods: dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, nightshade vegetables, soy and peanuts). The Clean Program also offers some serious support via community sites, free wellness coaching and daily emails.

Who’s done it? Gwyneth Paltrow (who created a spin-off program, the Goop cleanse), Donna Karan, Mariska Hargitay, Demi Moore

BluePrint Cleanse

BluePrint’s detoxifying approach also takes into account your lifestyle. Besides getting to choose how long to participate in this cleanse, you also get to select which level is right for you – reno- vation, foundation or excavation (a.k.a. beginner, middle of the road, paste eater) – and your juices vary from there. Depending on which you decide, drinks include everything from cashew nut milk to green juices and fruit. You get six juices a day, drink them in numerical order, and for some, there is even an option for the Juice ‘til Dinner program, which involves a combination of vegan and mostly raw meals and juice. Who’s done it? Olivia Wilde, Bethenny Frankel, Julia Stiles, Jessica Szohr

The Master Cleanse

Without question – one of the most well-known cleanses. This three to 10-day program seems
to be a celebrity favorite, not just because of the promise to detoxify your body, but also because it’s a great way to ditch a few extra pounds. It’s essentially a fasting plan and involves drinking six to 12 glasses daily of a maple syrup/lemon juice/water/cayenne pepper lemonade while ending each day with an herbal laxative tea.

Who’s done it? Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Beyoncé

David Kirsch’s 48-Hour Supercharged Cleanse

Built around the philosophy “If you’re chewing, you’re cheating!” this two-day intense detox comes with instructions to sip slowly. The plan of this cleanse involves subsisting on several glasses of a drink made up of ingredients such as acai berry, milk thistle, Vitamin B12s, cranberry extract and more. The promise is that it will kickstart your metabolism as well as cleanse your system

Who’s done it? Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum, Liv Tyler

The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox

This cleanse claims that you will lose 21 pounds in 21 days, if you spend 12 hours a day taking hourly doses of vegetable and fruit juices, digestive enzymes, herbal teas and soups. Creator Roni DeLuz, a registered nurse, says she came up the liquid diet while trying to heal herself. The program has either a two-day, seven-day or 21-day plan that all involve drinking a certain liquid every two hours. DeLuz recommends a 21-day detox annually, a seven-day cleanup each season and a weekend detox every week.

Who’s done it? Gisele Bundchen, Angelina Jolie

Juju Cleanse

A short-blast, cold-pressed, fresh, delivered- to-your-doorstep, ready-to-go, no-fuss cleanse. Cleansers can choose from a one-day or three- day cleanse and order according to whatever level of juices fits them best. The Juju cleanses promises a variety to tip back including Red Giant (beets, carrots, ginger and pineapple), Salaba’t Lemon (ginger, honey and lemon) and many yummy more.

The Candida Cleanse

Designed to treat an overgrowth of yeast and fungus in your system, there are two diets to choose from: a simpler, seven- to 14-day diet where you eat only steamed or raw veggies (no starchy veggies), plus down a daily detox and liver drink. The second option is the “colon cleanse” diet, a three- to seven-day plan where you take in only detox drinks, vegetable broths and, at your discretion, incorporate colonic irrigations.