Thursday, March 22, 2012

Juice Cleanses: Miracle Diets or BS?

After my half marathon on Sunday I took three days off from any and all workouts. On the first day, I reveled in laziness and felt great. The second day I was itching to work out. By yesterday it became clear that exercise is a necessary part of my life. I'm so glad I took a few days off as a chance to mentally and physically rest, but today I was so ready for a run. I hopped on the treadmill and felt like I could run forever. Maybe I need to create a new training plan where you run for ten miles, take three days off and repeat.

Anyway, I ran ten miles. When I was done...I wanted food. Not juice. Not anything green and liquid. Food with protein, carbohydrates, fat and solidity. I read an article about juicing a day or two ago in Time and the whole idea has been in my head ever since. (P.S. Do you think I'm smarter now because I read Time? Don't. I flip through any one of a giant stack of magazines when I'm in the bathroom.)

The premise of the article is that although juice cleanses make you FEEL healthier, it doesn't actually, you know...make you healthier. So then what's the point? I guess I really don't get it. I'm not sure if juicing is actually supposed to taste good, help you lose weight or just be penance. Here are some quotes I found especially interesting to read:

Source
"Drinking only juice for three days or more doesn't do much but put the individual in an uncomfortable position." -Dr. Leonard Bielory, Rutgers University

On juice cleansing: "The concept has no basis in scientific support." -Dr. Benneth Roth, chief gastroenterologist at UCLA Medical Center

Even BluePrint Cleanse, a company that sells juices for cleansing, says of its products: "We don't make any claims. It's just juice."

I have no problems with juice. None at all. In fact, one of my favorite drinks is orange juice with a little champagne mixed in there. Sadly, there was nothing in the article that detailed the benefits of a mimosa cleanse. Bummer - I could get on board with that.



Personally, I have no issues with having a juicer, drinking vegetable juices or pretending that kale is liquid. Do what you like. But I'm not sure if I buy into the idea that people are SUPPOSED to be consuming only liquids. Or only fruits and vegetables.

So-what's your take? Should juices EVER be your entire diet? Should they be a supplement to a healthy diet?
I don't know of any reason (outside of medical reasons like an upcoming surgery or colonoscopy) why a person would need to avoid solid food. I think juices can be a GREAT way to add vitamins and nutrients to a diet, although personally I would prefer to just eat the items whole. 

What are the reasons you think people TRULY go on juice cleanses? More energy, to lose weight, nutrition, etc...
Maybe I'm just awfully judgmental, but I think a lot of people choose juice cleanses as a way to lose weight. Which is fine (as long as you're getting enough calories) but I don't know how sustainable it is. If you are going that route - own up to it. Don't tell me it's because you want a heightened sense of smell.


If you want to read the article yourself, you can find it HERE. If you only drink green juice and think I've got it all wrong, feel free to post any links leaning the other direction in favor of juice cleanses. I'm not an authority on the figure by any means!

26 comments:

  1. I know a lot of people who juice but I've always equated it with people who are looking for a shortcut to lose some weight fast. I do know my parents are looking into it to get more vegetables in their diet but I honestly prefer mine not in juice form.

    I'd love to see the benefits though. I wouldn't mind a juice here and there for an energy boost :)

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  2. I think a lot of people do it to lose weight. I juice as a regular part of my daily diet, but that usually just means I'll make some for my afternoon snack or something. Occasionally, I'll juice for a day if I feel like I've been eating too much crap, but that's my max. I do like that it makes it easier to get all my fruits/veggies in each day!

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  3. My dad used to juice to loose tons of weight fast to pass his physicals when he was a Coast Guard officer (he grew a tad...rotund...as the years passed!). It worked - because it's basically a starvation and laxative diet, with just enough calories to keep you conscious. I see no way it could be a long term solution to anything. When I worked in a health food store I knew many people who juiced to get concentrated vitamins, but I'm a big fan of eating the whole food myself.

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  4. I am extremely wary of anything considered a "cleanse" or "detox" or what have you...including a juice cleanse. I don't know about you but I would be extremely miserable if all I consumed was juice. I can barely stay full on real food. Plus my body came equipped with things to digest and break down the things I consume. It "cleanses" itself. Biology is a wonderful thing. Our ancestors didn't own juicer machines or "detox" diets and yet, here we are, alive and well.

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  5. I've never done a juice clense and dont think I ever would. I can't go without food! We have a juiced and when we first got it we went through 20 lbs bags of organic carrots every week! Amongst other things, but we drank it in addition to our normal food intake. I couldn't and wouldn't wanna live off the stuff! Great run btw!

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  6. I like to chew and don't feel satisfied when I drink all my calories (which I had to do a few times due to medical issues). Seeing a salad or fruit piled up on a plate LOOKS a lot more filling than a glass and that, I think, is part of what tricks me into feeling full at the end.

    But if you want more vitamins in your diet, juiced veggies and fruits can be a great way to supplement!

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  7. I've never met a sane person who does juice cleanses. They might think they are sane, but no right minded person gives up food for days to drink kale juice.

    I've also never met anyone who actually drinks veggie juice just because they like it; they always are doing it with a righteous feeling about the health factor.

    Although, I'm anti-diet in general, so maybe I just have a closed mind. :)

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  8. blech, no thank you. I could never and would never do that. I've heard that everyone who loses weight, gains it all back pretty much immediately when they go back to real people food.

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  9. No way, dude. Give me my fruits and veggies WHOLE. I think there are times when digesting liquid can be beneficial (like after a really killer workout--your body uses less energy and diverts less blood to the digestive tract when digesting liquids than solids--energy and blood that can be better spent repairing muscle tissue), but even then I think a whole fruit smoothie is the perfect go-to.

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  10. My friend swears by cleanses. She does one every couple months so I will for sure have to show her this article!! I honestly have no desire (nor can I at the moment) to give up food and have just a juice cleanse for three days. No way.

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  11. I think juices are part of our day's diet... not the whole thing. I recently had to do it for medical tests and it is hard!

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  12. Plain and simple, I would be sad if I couldn't eat food for days. I have a juicer. I like juicing, but it would be for a snack, and not as a meal replacement. I think it's a quick and easy way to get some veggies in that I normally don't just chow down on.

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  13. I juice because I love to drink a mixture of fruits/veg in one glass. It is tasty. :) I dont drink to lose weight or anything like that though. Solely for taste.

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  14. I think most "diets" are kind of idiotic, but that might just be me.

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  15. I think it sounds pretty dangerous actually. Our diets should be well rounded.

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  16. I'm totally with you. Juice cleanses are just a way to lose weight without saying the unpopular "I'm on a diet" words. Obviously no eating = less calories. I really don't get why people are so afraid of just saying "I'm trying to lose weight".

    Also, the idea of veggie juice is so nasty. I don't really nice any juice, period. I used to have to serve tomato juice when I was a waitress and it made me gag.

    Nice work on the ten miles!

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  17. One of my ways of maintaining the weight I want is by not consuming many "drink" calories. I do have a small glass of orange juice in the mornings; but other than that, I stay away from smoothies, shakes, etc.

    It's probably in my head, but I could never equate drinking a smoothie (even veggie heavy) with eating a meal. I would still want something to eat.

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  18. Mimosa cleanse now that sounds awesome! I juice from time to time but not alone as a supplement mainly when I have fruits and veggies in the fridge that I know won't last much longer. But I put too much green in one once or some combo didn't sit well with me and blah it came back up and I'm so squeamish that I haven't been able to juice since...

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  19. Interesting, I just got a juicer! I want to use it to supplement my diet and get in more veggies, especially kale which I always have an abundance of because I grow it. I don't think I would ever only drink just juice! I wonder how much of the nutrients are being stripped as you juice the veggies, and how much is left in the actual juice. I was hoping to see some info about that from the comments so maybe I will check back! If anyone knows let me know! thanks!

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  20. It's all about balance. I have a juicer and I love it. A glass of carrot, beet, apple, celery and lots of ginger is amazing after a long hot run!

    Barb
    My Running Shortz

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  21. I'm pretty sure I'd rather run a 100 mile race than go on a juice clense. Just not for this carb/protein loving girl. :)

    I could totally get on board with the mimosa cleanse though. ha ha

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  22. I'm with you on the mimosa cleanse. Why doesn't any celebrity endorse that? You know that's what they all do anyway.

    A juice fast sounds awful. In fact, I tried the Master cleanse about 3 years ago and lasted approximately 16 hours before I shoved a sandwich down my throat. It was terrible.

    I know people say they do juice fasts to "clear out the toxins", but IMO, they do it to lose a quick 5 pounds. However, people who juice once a while are ok in my book.

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  23. OMG I looooooooooove juice fasts LOL they make my tummy SO THIN LOL

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  24. I'm a fan of moderation in all things... To me restrictive diets of any sort seem like a gimmick. I know people who have tried "cleanses" and have experienced headaches, stomach problems, lethargy, etc... That doesn't sound "healthy" to me. I'll stick with lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein for my meals thankyouverymuch.


    Then again, bloody marys count as tomato juice, right? Maybe I could try that for a day or two. ;)

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  25. I have heard about the juicing craze, but I don't think that i would fill me up to just drink juice all the time. I need REAL FOOD! lol But more power to you if you want to drink juice all the time.

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  26. I like juice, but the idea of eating only juice is not something I can get on board with. I like vegetables. Whole. I like chewing. I like putting FOOD into my mouth.

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