The Juice Is Loose

I don’t know anyone personally who’s gone on a cleansing diet. You know, the kind that involves strictly liquids for a week or longer in order to, um, cleanse your system? But apparently they are rather popular.

As noted in the Wall Street Journal:

The promises of liquid cleanses and other techniques have attracted legions of followers, celebrity endorsers and millions in venture capital funds. The trend has helped supercharge the U.S. diet industry, which passed $60 billion in sales last year. It has also made carrying gunky green juice a status symbol in fitness circles.

Some, like the “master cleanse,” sound downright awful: “[D]evised to treat ulcers in the 1940s, [the master cleanse] consists of six to 12 glasses of water mixed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, with a laxative at bedtime but no other food for up to 10 days.” How lovely.

Skeptical doctors ask specifically which toxins are being targeted—do they even exist? And they like to remind us that our liver and kidneys do a pretty good job of ridding our bodies of harmful substances and wastes. Also, there isn’t that much that needs to be flushed from your, well, you get the idea.

I’m reminded of that scene from L.A. Story when Sandy (Sarah Jessica Parker) convinces Harris (Steve Martin) to have a colonic:

Harris: Thanks a lot, it was great!

Sandy: What do you think?

Harris: I think it was a total washout. It really clears your head.

Sandy: Head? You should go back in there and tell them they’re doing it wrong.

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