Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Call it a Juice Cleanse.


Though I'm intrigued by many areas of holistic and "alternative medicine" (etc.), I'm pretty suspicious of fasting, cleansing, and [non-drug-related] detoxing.  Most of the time, these three things seem to be crash diets in disguise, and I'm not fond of dieting, either.  It may not be accurate or fair, but I will admit to jumping to the conclusion that many people doing cleanses secretly just want to lose 5-10 lbs.  I do think fasting is interesting as a spiritual discipline and/or form of protest (and sometimes necessary before medical tests*), but I hope I never convince myself to fast, cleanse, or detox to lose weight. 
Call it laziness if you want -- I certainly don't find myself to be disciplined enough to stick to a strict plan when it comes to food -- but I'm also not interested in regimented eating.  I eat basically what I want to eat (and can afford to eat) and I rarely feel guilty.  It's not because I'm not vain or insecure, either, and it's certainly not because I eat only healthy foods (as you can see on this site). If you want to, you can say I'm "just jealous" of the people who drop 6 pounds on "the Lemonade Diet" and feel super-energetic on day 4 (or whatever).

As far as "detoxing" goes, I trust my body to process what I eat and I know it will do a better job if I eat more things that are unprocessed and natural. Doctors seem to agree.  I have no doubt that it is good to eat in a mindful way, but I find it easier to swallow (so to speak) the idea that the best sort of "cleanse" one could do would involve eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.  I haven't read anything that convinces me that it is necessary to fast or cleanse on a regular basis.

All this said (and said and said), I was given (not by the company, but by an unafilliated friend) a BluePrintJuice cleanse drink and BluePrintBar.  And since I am happy to snack on food created for "cleansing" if it means I get a blog post out of it, I tried them both.

The drink? "Yellow Lemon Water Cayenne Agave."  You know, something about the inclusion of the word "yellow" on the packaging throws me off a little.  "Yellow" is not a food.  It makes me think of artificial coloring.  Not sure why they'd include "yellow" in the name. Are there other colors of lemons? Anyway, it didn't taste bad.  I liked the small amount of spice.  The lemon is pretty palatable, like lemonade, and I prefer its slight tartness to overly sweet commercial lemonades.  BluePrint's cleanse program has been described on a lot of other blogs, and most reviewers have described this as one of the better flavors of juice in the program.

The bar? "Cherry Orange Almond Date."  I was prepared to dislike this, as I do not trust "health food bars." I typically assume something "raw, vegan, wheat free, gluten free, soy free, and kosher" will be tasteless and/or terrible, but it was quite good!  The cherry flavor was the strongest, and it was bright and fresh.  Almond and orange both came through well, and balanced the cherry.  I didn't taste the dates as much, but they lent a pleasantly thick sort of texture to the bar.  I like that it doesn't contain any sweeteners, sulphur, or preservatives.

Raw bar

My verdict?  I won't be "cleansing" my system via an expensive program of pre-bottled (but otherwise unprocessed) cold-press juices any time soon, and I don't think I'm much healthier for having eaten the bar (though the packaging tells me that cherry "contains melatonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns, prevents memory loss, and delays the aging process"), but I'd snack on either item again.  Score one for fad diets!

*I always eat a doughnut after my annual physical, to apologize to my stomach for the pre-checkup emptiness.


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