5@5 - The truth about cleansing
June 15th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

For reasons unbeknownst to us (bathing suit season? too many summer tequila cocktails?), there's been a bit of a juice-cleansing craze lately.

We've said it once and we'll say it again: we're a food blog, not a diet blog - but when some of our most devoted food friends and colleagues have been talking and Tweeting up a storm about kale juice with the same gusto they would about a meal at Le Bernardin, it's hard not to take notice.

Since neither of our editors have ever actually suffered through done a cleanse  - we're not ready to give up bacon just yet - we've enlisted co-founders Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss of BluePrint Cleanse to speak to the merits of the green movement.

Guess we can't knock it until we've juiced it.

The Truth About Five Cleansing Myths: Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss

1. A juice cleanse is really a fast!
"A fast is a fast – no food, drink (other than usually water) or many other nutrients. A juice cleanse like ours is loaded with fruits and veggies, vitamins, minerals and live enzymes — in fact a day’s serving of BPC includes 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables a day.

The goal of each is to give the digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate by suspending it from work, but a cleanse is much easier on the system and provides a full day’s worth of nutrients. This is not about deprivation, it’s about nourishment!"

2. A cleanse is only for people who don’t care about food or what it tastes like.
"Wrong – We love food! Our motto is 'Work Hard, Play Hard, Cleanse, Repeat.' Indulging (in moderation) is good for the soul – but you do need to give your body a rest from time to time.

Coming from the restaurant and bar biz, we set out to make sure that our juices are perfectly balanced and taste delicious. We’ve got tons of loyal chef clients to prove it!

An added perk - a few days of juice allows you to 'reset' your palate, and most people find that everything tastes better following a cleanse, but perhaps now they’re having a salad alongside their pork belly."

3. I’ll be hungry and cranky if I do a cleanse, and I can’t justify that.
"This is probably myth #1. Here’s the deal: if you live like a rock star and don’t bother to prepare yourself to transition into a cleanse, you will feel like crap on the first day.

But if you actually follow prep guidelines and EASE into your cleanse, your body will already be familiar with fresh clean foods that absorb rapidly and the chances of you feeling hungry or sluggish are much lower.

Remember – 20 pounds of fruits and veggies a day – you are not starving! The idea here is that drinking juice throughout the day keeps your metabolic rate steady, instead of the peaks and valleys that come with digesting a heavy breakfast and lunch."

4.The body is designed to self-cleanse so this is not something that I need to do.
"Yes, it’s true that the human body is an amazing machine, but there is such thing as taking this too literally. Our bodies are designed to 'clean house' on a regular basis, but that’s when we’re talking about food that comes from nature in the first place.

The digestive system did not develop to digest anything called 'processed cheese food,' low-carb tortillas, soy milks, fake meat, or even that simple and delicious dirty martini."

5. A cleanse is really just an extreme version of a quick-fix weight loss gimmick.
"Nope. While it’s true that you will probably drop a few pounds from going off solid foods and cleaning up your diet, the benefits from a few days of fresh juice go way beyond the flat belly. Many people feel more rested, increased levels of energy, increased sex drive, brighter eyes and a 'glowy' complexion.

And again, this is not about extremes or deprivation.

In addition to the hefty dose of produce in a day of juice, we’ve even added some extra fat and protein with our cashew milk, so it’s a far more nutritionally sound regimen than a fast."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Diets • Food as Medicine • Health News • Think

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. theyrock

    I did their 3 day cleanse in early May, and despite whatever you all say, it was amazing. Not only did I feel great, I haven't had any desire to eat sugar, red meat and basically anything greasy since. For that, my friends, it was worth every penny.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  2. dehcated

    As interesting a concept as it sounds, I could not fathom consuming twenty pounds worth of any food, in any form, in a day.

    June 18, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  3. Mona

    This sounds more like an ad than an article. I know of no scientific evidence to back these claims that wasn't produced by makers of the program. Never heard a medical person recommend a "cleanse" beyond a balanced diet.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:15 am |
  4. Cindy Hammack

    here's a real clense for you: first, get admitted to the hospital via the emergency room because you can't quit throwing up and the pain in your gut feels worse than childbirth (added bonus of a couple of doses of dilauded). Second, have a CT scan and have the doctor tell you you've got a small bowel obstruction. Third, get put on a nothing-by-mouth diet. Fourth, get a lovely colonoscopy and have the doc tell you you've got Crohn's disease. Fifth, continue nothing-by-mouth for another 3 days advancing to clear liquid diet for another. Sixth, repeat steps 1, 2, 3, and 5 every 4 to 6 months until you have bowel resection surgery – usually about 3 years after the diagnosis. I've lost about 60 lbs on the Chron's disease diet! Try it for yourself!

    June 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  5. Moli

    I don't understand, why would you only drink the fruit? Aren't all(most) the vitamins in the skin of the fruit. I thought you receive fiber from EATING fruit. The myths mentioned aren't even main stream myths regarding liquid diets. I honestly thought I'd learn something from this article, sadly I did not

    June 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  6. SaS

    And the difference between eating only fruits and vegetables is...?

    June 16, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • DooRag

      Fruity smelling Doo Doo?

      June 16, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • Dongus a Mungus

      The difference is not eating my meat.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:14 am |
  7. J Frazer

    I like to do a Taco Bell cleanse. I eat Taco Bell and a few hours later EVERYTHING is out.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:08 am |
  8. LobaAuuu!

    I once went on a fast...I lost all kindsa weight. I woke up bright eyed. I could just go go go! For days and days! It was the diet koke diet! that's when u snort (diet) koke and run on a tread mill and if you ever get tired you just inhale some more! It's 100% natural, grown in the mntns of Chile, Colombia, Mexico...You name it! Its so much healthier than Mary Juana (the fat lazy counterpart) because it returns that get up and go that may have got up and went years ago! Just try it, you will like! You too will have that energy to go go go !(but not necessarily to the BR, as with those pesky fiber laden juiciholic fads). You too can lose those extra lbs once trying the (diet) koke regimen. you won't even miss eating!

    June 16, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • BA


      June 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Too bad their credibility as nutritionists goes down the drain when they tout products to change the body's ph. The ph level requirements of the body are very exacting and the body maintains them precisely as a requirement for survival. You can't change the ph level, the body overrides the attempt to keep you alive. Quacks.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  10. Fiona

    Your body DOES cleanse itself without an expensive "cleanse.". If you are not taking in enough fiber and tend to be constipated, this diet-that-isn't-a-diet (yeah, right) will scour you out. But that's all it will do. You will feel better because you're consuming good nutrients. You can do that on your own...without paying these ladies.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  11. Valerie

    My longest juice fast using juice I had juiced myself was 20 days. Weight lose was NOT the goal as I would be considered "slender" (tall, small boned weight proporation) while I DID lose weight, most of which gradually came back on, it was the other effects of the fast that truly excited me- to name a few, waking up bright and early every morning feeling as if I had the energy of a 10 year old, improved eyesight- I could see with an improved "clarity" (real strange, I normally wear glasses for driving, the movie theatre, etc) a calmness of self, and "inner peace" I felt as if my nerves were "relaxed" much more than usual in almost all situations, including stressful ones, much more energy throughout the day with a "go, go, go" to my being- got a LOT DONE for most of the fast.....goodness, I could go on...I guess what I am trying to relay to people, don't knock it, I promise you, comment only after you have educated yourself on proper fasting, and completed a fast- YOU CAN DO IT! also wish to add one more thing- after the first 2-3 days, hunger pangs are completely GONE!

    June 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  12. sportreform

    I prefer Colon Blow.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  13. right.

    What a crock. This is just an ad pitch from 2 dumb girls selling over-priced fruit juice.
    Don't fall for it, people.
    And shame on you, CNN.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Valerie

      Shame on you for calling them "dumb girls"...firstly, they are not girls, they are women. Secondly, there is nothing "dumb" about sharing a practice that helps and heals human beings.

      The shame is all yours.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
      • EatYourVegetables

        Change the title from "The Truth About Five Cleansing Myths" to "More Myths to Replace Five Cleansing Myths" and I think you've got a winner here. By the way, juice or no juice, eating nothing but fruits and vegetables for several days is going to make you feel great no matter how you do it. Might as well throw in some exercise while you're at it too.

        June 16, 2011 at 12:15 am |
      • no Valerie

        no they are snake salesmen

        place fruit juice where the traveling 'cure all' from the old west would try to sell their 'tonic'

        they are dumb, and you are too

        June 16, 2011 at 12:31 am |
      • I want da gold!

        Two women I would most definitely rail!

        June 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • I got all dat gold!

        I got all dat goooold and all dat trim!

        June 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  14. Deepti

    Interesting Article. I think we should give some rest to our body system and let it cleanse.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  15. Deepti

    @ Bill.. I think the article is based on science and human biology. They cant just publish a article because it involves weight loss and no good value to our body.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  16. Bill

    People who believe in 'cleanse' know nothing about human biology, their beliefs are based of nonsense science. They think of cleansing in the way one washes dirt off of ones skins. Anything that enters one's intestine goes through various bio-chemical processes which carries some of what you each to every cell, while waste is produced. Starving oneself, ingesting only liquids, or eating certain foods does not clean out ones intestine, liver or kidney. If you want to be healthy you need eat/drink healthy foods very day, year after year.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  17. Cole

    This ranks high on the unintentional comedy scale. My favorite is the last line – "...it's a far more nutritionally sound regimen than a fast." So, eating anything is more nutritionally sound than eating nothing?

    June 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Truth@TWO

    Well done and I could not agree more!

    June 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  19. The Witty One


    June 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
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