I need to admit this candidly: Privately, I read Gwyneth Paltrow’s endearingly incoherent GOOP blog. It’s like spying in the windows of a big mansion where $35 lavender bar soap is a staple and casual friends receive Cartier watches as gifts because it’s “delightful.” Unless you starred in Shallow Hal and married a rock star, none of her advice applies.
Turns out Ms. Paltrow and I were both looking to start off the season with fresh intestines: a recent issue of GOOP featured a seven day juice detox cleanse.
The idea of consuming only water or juice to rid the body of so-called toxins is not new. Virtually every major religion has some fasting and cleansing ritual that supposedly allows the body to heal, regenerate and, in a sense, apologize for being such a jerk. The Hebrew word for fasting, for example, is “tsum” — which means, roughly, “to afflict the soul.”
Given that Yom Kippur just passed with an unsuccessful fast, I thought I could try again. This time for 3 days. 3 days of no food, only juice.
My juicy secret: I’m curious about a juice cleanse. But I’m scared! What if I get hungry? No caffeine? Can I play Jedi mind tricks on myself to feel as if I’ve eaten?
What am I supposed to do without my morning jolt? Suffer from the 10 a.m. dull headache that will no doubt snake up the back of my neck and seize my forehead and temples like a band of howling wild wolves choreographed to the sound of Middle Eastern drums?
As it turns out, a juice cleanse is not cleansing in the sense I feared it would be. You’re drinking about 20 pounds worth of produce a day, but not roughage. The cleansing component comes mostly from the other part of the program, the part that, in my enthusiasm, I didn’t really consider: At the beginning and the end of the three-day program, the juicing people highly recommend a colonic. A colonic is better known as many gallons of water shot into your rectum through a tube, only to pass out of you again, this time with the contents of your intestines.
To colonics I say: a big “No thank you.”
Colonic or not, juicers are supposed to prepare their bodies for fasting by spending a couple of days ahead of time eating lightly: fruits, raw foods, salads. No problem!
Of course, the pizza I had at my son’s birthday party surely didn’t count, because it was veggie pizza. Our dinner at the Melting Pot didn’t count because I dipped apples into cheese and strawberries into chocolate. You were also supposed to forsake tobacco, alcohol and caffeine. I don’t smoke, so I was already many virtue points ahead of the rest of the world. And a Malbec isn’t what anyone would really call liquor. It was practically another juice. Also — and this was key — you are allowed tea! I can do caffeinated tea! So already I decided that in choosing the religion of juice cleanses, I was going with Reformed.
Anyway, I really did try to stick with the precleanse program Juices are now here, ready for Day 1.