Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Saying No to Juice

Someone should design a comedy routine in which nutritionists are lined up and asked to complete the sentence: Juice cleanses are ... The responses I got included “nonsense,” “unsustainable,” “bone-headed,” and “not the answer”—and I think my interlocutors were trying to be polite. We need protein and fat in our diets. We also need to consume enough calories to reassure our bodies we aren’t starving, or we risk all kinds of metabolic and electrical freak-outs. Plus, liquefying fruits and vegetables means getting rid of fiber, which aids digestion by sustaining the microflora in our gut.

“We have cave-people bodies that are built for survival,” says Dr. Elizabeth Applegate, a senior lecturer in the nutrition department at the University of California–Davis. “We do a good job recouping our losses, but that doesn’t make juice cleanses at all healthy.” Nor are they effective at keeping off pounds. “On a cleanse diet, you shed water weight as your body breaks down its glycemic stores, but it comes back once you start eating adequately again.”

At Slate, Katy Waldman takes a hard look at the kool-aid (see also Vanessa Grigoriadis at The Cut, if you haven't already). If I were to finish that sentence it'd go something like, "Juice cleanses are NO, BECAUSE CAFFEINE." Still, I've heard the raves. Dr. Elizabeth Applegate tells Waldman that that euphoria is essentially a "placebo effect": "Or ketosis. It’s a survival mechanism. You’re all amped up and alert because you need something to eat." Do share your #juice tales here, over sandwiches. [Slate]

Photo via kurmanphotos/flickr.

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I do love watermelon juice, though, ya know in addition to my three square meals, plus snacks, a day.


@adorable-eggplant Watermelon juice is super good, all the tasty and none of the mess.

I do sometimes, purchase a lot of juice from a local place even though their ads talking about juice cleanses make me roll my eyes. But it does assuage my guilt when too busy and eating all the junk food to get some fresh juice?


Whenever I show up at work with a juice or a smoothie, everyone asks (like it's a good thing) "Oh! Are you juicing?"

No, it's just a fucking smoothie. Because I like them. I will have real food at some point today (though at least a smoothie often contains actual fruit pulp and thus could sort of be considered pre-chewed actual food).

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@squishycat I am notoriously horrible at ingesting healthy amounts of fruits or vegetables in my daily diet (I'm busy! While also lazy and do not seek them out!) so I've taken to grabbing juices and smoothies as a way to bolster my diet, not BE my diet.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Co-signed on the, using the juicing trend to bolster my terrible/lazy diet.


@squishycat Smoothies are my breakfast because it is a fruit and yogurt delivery mechanism I can take with me in my car, which saves me half an hour of waiting to be awake enough to want breakfast.


@stonefruit Oh man this is so good.

Tuna Surprise

I've done juice cleanses twice. I agree that they aren't some magic remedy for your body, but for me it was nice to take a break from the unhealthy eating cycles I get into sometimes (dominated by my power foods - beer; carbs; melted cheese). It also helps reset your 'full' sensor. Afterwards I am eating better sized portions and feel better in general.

I'm also one of those people who gets motivated when money is involved and delivery is daily. So if I've already paid for it and it's on the doorstep, I'll drink it.

Unfortunately, I've never gotten a 'high' from cleansing. In fact, my coworkers still tremble in fear of the memory of the last cleanse. Apparently I was a raging lunatic! Although things got done because people were scared of setting me off...so there's that.


@Tuna Surprise I also agree that a short juice "cleanse" (not a fan of that concept) can kind of rewire your taste buds and appetite. If I drink veggie juice for a couple of days, I crave more salads and fewer burgers when I'm done. So, that seems to be OK.


@Tuna Surprise I agree. I did a 3 day cleanse after I finished breatsfeeding my second child, just to reset what a normal portion size feels like. I eat ravenously while nursing, and when my first born weaned, I put on 5 pounds in one month, something I was determined not to repeat the second time. It's been a month and I've managed to lose four pounds and feel satisfied, which I credit to the habit breaking three days of no solid food. So while I wouldn't say juicing per say helps, it's an easy way to break a bad dietary habit.


The only appealing thing about a juice cleanse is the ability to not have to think about or prep what you're eating. It is hard to make dinner every day!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@OhMarie This is the same reason I sort of wish there were mandatory adult uniforms for work (mornings would be so much easier), but I get that across-the-board sartorial restrictions are what probably leads us to our tyrannical dystopian future.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I refrain from wearing a jumpsuit everyday only because I am not quite ready to be known as 'that crazy person' yet. But on the day that I let that standard go, ghostbusters outfit here I come! Or scrubs. Why can't we all wear scrubs?


But what about the TOXINS!? Everybody knows that your body is filled with TOXINS and that juice just... cleasnes you! Of toxins!

god do I hate the word "toxins."


@beetnemesis This is like everyone being "sensitive" to certain foods. THANK YOU GWYNETH.


@beetnemesis When people go on juice cleanses, their livers must be like, "What am I, chopped liver?"


Is this kind of going to be like yoga, where I like doing it and it makes me feel better, but I spend the entire class hating on everyone else there, and roll my eyes at anyone I see wearing yoga pants and carrying a mat in public?
God I am the worst. Maybe I'll hide my juice in a SuperGulp cup.


@commanderbanana ...can I join your corner in being the worst? Because that's kind of me and yoga in a nutshell. Which is probably why I'll go like, every fourth day for a month, and then ditch it for several months, and go dancing instead.


Oh, lawdy. My roommate is a smoothie/juice fiend. She also drinks that ridiculous cayenne/lemon cleanse water...because she likes the taste. She wants to be a nutritionist when she grows up, and I think it's going to be a shock when she learns that drinking water and eating solid food are important to health. Save us from unhealthy health nuts.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@empathicalist My gf's roommate in college went on the cayenne/lemon water thing, and was just a raging asshole for that week. We were empathetic to her plight, and took our cases of beer and sizzling steaks from the grill to the backyard so as to not make her crazy.

Tragically Ludicrous

@empathicalist My housemate did one of those once! I refrained from making fun of her because she also cleaned the kitchen for no reason.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose - Oh, this isn't a isolated incident - this is her lifestyle. I did see her eat an avocado yesterday, so there's that. And she goes to Chipotle on Sundays.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

This makes me so sad: "I did see her eat an avocado yesterday"


@empathicalist "drinking water and eating solid food are important to health". hahahaha


@empathicalist My best friend's first psychotic break (she's got bipolar) began at the tail end of that cleanse. I have no idea what the relationship is, of course (the mysteries of mental illness!) but she's pretty into eating as part of her health maintenance now.


juices should be banned from the workplace because (in my experience) people on them act like assholes/airheads and that's just extremely unfair to the rest of the employees who are just trying to get work done. you want to cleanse? do it over a weekend or take some time off. I don't want to deal with your crabby, starving ass.


@mynamebackwards We (secretly) call choices made under the influence of a fast "juicisions." I hate juicisions.

The Lady of Shalott

@mynamebackwards My horrible manager at my former retail job used to go on the awful cayenne pepper-maple syrup cleanse or whatever, during work hours, and she was a raging bitch to us and to customers as well. She would stand at the back of the store and bitch about every customer who left. Then at the end of her shift she would wander over to the food court, buy herself a fried chicken breast from KFC, and eat it in view of us at the store, then come back and tell us how the cleanse was making her feel SO AMAZING.

She was such a weirdo I can't even. I really feel like if you work in customer service you owe it to other human beings not to forcibly starve yourself.


Since we are currently living in the future -- as re-watching Back to the Future II confirmed for me last night -- I like to pretend whenever someone says "juice" they're referring to some cool cyberpunk designer drug and not, you know, actual fucking boring-ass juice.


"Smoothie? Is that a new kind of brain implant?

Oh I see, you put some plants in your blender and then drank them. Cool dude, yeah that's real cool."


Not related to juice, or at least I assume so at any rate, is anyone else having comment/login problems?


@stonefruit Yes. Logged in in one tab and not in another? Really annoying.


@stonefruit Me. I keep getting logged out every few minutes.


@stonefruit But there is a touch less spam, so maybe it is all worth it?


I once tried to do a one day juice cleanse (my office offered it). Lunch that day was tons of thin crust pizzas, salads, pastas... I totally broke 3 hours in and my boss caught me red handed (aka stuffing pizza in my face with a guilty face). JUICE FAIL


Did the "Master Cleanse" in my twenties. Threw off my digestive tract for 9 months and got thrush for life. In the words of my mother, ta dah!


@redridinghoodrat Meanwhile, growing up LDS means I've fasted for a day once a month almost my entire life, and that's always been nothing but beneficial. Except for an occasional case of whines.


@redridinghoodrat My 98 year old grandma used to fast one day a week all the time - seemed to work for her. I mean, she was obsessed with being thin, but she is 98. She also doesn't eat meat.

She now basically lives on Baileys and ice cream, and I say good on her.


Okay, I have juiced for 3 days (never again) & for one day (I may do that again) because, I dunno, I like it? I do Blueprint (I don't work for them, I promiseeee), & the juices taste REALLY good. But aside from that, I also make green juice to drink in the mornings. Again, because I like it? And I like throwing all my green vegetables into a blender & pretending they're going straight into my bloodstream & giving me SUPER ENERGY AND VITAMINS? to start my day with? & it's not really practical to eat a kale salad at 7 in the morning. I get fiber during my other meals.

I'm under no illusions about "toxins" or whatever, but I like the concept of juicing. End confession, I guess??


@fabel There is nothing wrong with doin' juice as long as you are eating actual solid whole foods that day, too.


I accidentally juiced (that is a terrible verb) a few weeks ago when I got a cold or a sinus infection or some such nonsense that made me miserable and not hungry and convinced I could flush the illness out of me.


I don't understand why someone would choose juicing over using a blender because when you blend, you get to keep the fiber.



Let's all stop joking about "drinking the Kool-Aid," shall we? Jonestown was a really awful thing (you really only have to read the descriptions of parents killing their own infants and toddlers with cyanide once to be haunted by it forever.) Also, my congresswoman Jackie Speier was shot five times on the runway; her boss, Rep. Leo Ryan, was killed. Plus the 900 of people who died of poison.

So, like, hilarious, right?

Let's quit it.


PS: Sorry to be a bummer. I also think juicing is stupid.


@crankypants you might want to post this comment on the message board of like, the whole world? I think you've missed the boat on this one.


@crankypants A really good point.


Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online… www.Best96.com


Oh my god you guys I forgot! Probably no one will see this but I want to tell the story anyway. The other day my boyfriend and I were eating brunch that involved cheese and meat and mimosas and stuff and there was this group of girls next to us (Vancouver people, we were in Kits, for context). They were blonde and lulu'ed out, which is fine! But you get the picture. And the uptalked and did that drawly thing I can't remember its name.

Anyway this one girl was talking about how she's started juicing and she's OBSESSED with juicing and she LOVES juicing and she would be so happy if she never had to eat solid food again. And I felt so damn smug, and went off and had unshowered mimosa-fueled sex like god intended.


@RNL every time I go to Kits, or Yaletown... or Gastown... um... anyway, I end up in situations like these and struggle not to fall into a vortex of hatred/insecurity/smugness. That sounds like an awesome breakfast and awesome day, though.

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