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The Least-Worst Juice Cleanse: A Three-Day Liquid Diet That Won't Make You Want to Die A DIY Juice Cleanse That

I pledged to spend three days subsisting on only lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. Thirty-six hours later, I remembered that pizza exists.


In college, I pledged to spend three days Master Cleansing, subsisting on only lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. Thirty-six hours later, I remembered that pizza exists. I’ve since resisted the celebrity campaigns by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek to counteract my alcohol and 3 a.m. Taco Cabana consumption with a juice cleanse—a fad diet targeted at women who are afraid of their bathing suits.

Still, the juice cleanse lobby asserts enough pseudoscience to inspire some serious hippie appeal. I headed to Jenny Leman, a dietician at Austin health club BodyBusiness, to serve me some scientific real talk. “Your colon has been evolving for thousands of years,” she told me. “It’s completely capable of detoxing itself.” Side effects of extreme regimens like the Master Cleanse—headaches, sweats, and vomiting—are easily mistaken for a productive expulsion of noxious contaminants, but are more likely signs that your body is in distress.

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Eating While Black: How I Navigate Watermelon, Fried Chicken, and Frozen Yogurt

I can’t help but have my race in the back of my mind when I’m ordering.

I always hope no one catches me.

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