Bad Rap?


Thanks for all your input on my post yesterday, I always do feel much better about my plethora of issues once I get your feedback.  Apparently one of the other perks of blogging is maintaining one’s sanity.  Who knew?

But as I started to reply to a few comments, I decided instead that I wanted to get into one of the topics from yesterday just a little deeper.  Basically I wanted to ask the question: do cleanses get a bad rap?  I mean, I know they tend to be kind of a “fad” (see: SkinnyGirl) and a lot of times are the way people turn for a quick weight loss.  But for me, I look at cleanses like a facial for my insides.  I know that it’s just a little deep cleaning, but I don’t expect any major changes.  I did a cleanse a few years ago where I cut out basically everything I love (caffeine, booze, all meat/dairy products, gluten and sugar).  Not as a way to drop a few lbs, but I wanted a challenge and was actually really intrigued by the book that went along with it.  I read all about the benefits your body can get by giving it a rest from the aforementioned items, and I have to tell you, it was actually pretty accurate.  I felt amazing.  I lost zero weight, but I had more energy, my skin was better than it had been in years and I was really proud of the fact that I demonstrated such control over the things that often times get the best of me.  Ever since then, I have always been open to trying other cleanses and giving my body a little spa trip.

So I say this not at all from a place of being upset by any of the comments yesterday (hearing your feedback is my favorite part of blogging!) but to shed a little more light on the topic.  Again, I am not a believer in crash diets or crazy and restrictive eating just for the sake of dropping a few quick pounds.  I know firsthand what it takes to lose weight the “right” way (for me at least) and I know that short-term solutions just aren’t the right path.   Although I can’t deny my immediate temptation to try the old Slim Fast plan the first time I try on a bikini every year…  but I know it’s just a quick fix, and not at all realistic.  Also it makes me ravenous and on the verge of homicidal.

So I really want you guys to be honest: do you think all cleanses are bad?  I feel like maybe they get a negative connotation from being abused as a means to lose a lot of weight quickly.  Have you ever done one, and if so, did you have a good or bad experience?  Spill it!

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  1. I’ve never done one and have heard mixed reviews. I just know that my body and mind needs “real food” so I’d probably be very cranky and tired if I tried to exist on juice/drinks for 7-10 days.

  2. There are so many types of cleanses that the word itself has gotten a bad rep for sure. But the kind of cleanse you mention seems healthy. It still leaves items for you to eat and gain energy from. The kinds of cleanses that are bad are the ones where you only drink prune juice and water for a week! Something that I will never understand.

  3. I know we talked about it over the weekend, and I think the word “cleanse” is very vague. I think it gets a bad rap from people automatically assuming it’s a restrictive diet that only allows juice as meals or eating kale and celery until there’s nothing left in your insides.

    Maybe I do have my own “version” of one. After long weekends, I tend to cut out alcohol for a week and eat massive salads for lunch and dinner for a good majority of the days. It’s still not restricting calories or anything, but it cleans me out with all the roughage… ahem…

  4. I don’t think that ALL cleanses are bad, but I think people take them too far. The idea of a cleanse, for me, should be a focus on healthy, clean, natural foods, lots of water, and that might be it. I heard of my friends doing that Master Cleanse and wanted to ask them what on EARTH they were thinking! Syrup and Cayenne? Must we?

  5. It all depends on how you define the word cleanse. If you mean cleaning up your diet and eating whole foods, then I think it’s absolutely fine. But I think most people automatically think of restriction whenever the hear the word cleanse. As long as you’re listening to your body and its cues and doing what’s right and healthy for YOU, I think you’re fine.

  6. I agree that it depends on the definition of the word. To me, “cleanse” means liquids only. Everything else like cleaning up your diet and cutting out drinking or whatever is simply that–cleaning up your diet and eating cleaner.

    “Cleanse” does make me cringe though, simply because of the connotation that it conjures up for me of people incorrectly fasting and subsisting on lemon water and ginger or whatever. When done right and under supervision for a day or two to flush toxins or whatever, I suppose I understand. When done recklessly, it annoys the piss out of me (which I suppose is a “cleanse” in and of itself.) But I have a history with things, so I suppose I’m a bit bias.

  7. I think it’s a pretty big blanket statement to say that all cleanses are bad. That’s like saying (uhhh on a much bigger, more serious level…maybe a bad analogy) that you’re pro life or choice. There’s so much grey area.
    I think cleanses can be done smartly – as long as you don’t completely eliminate a macro nutrient (protein, carbs, fats) during any phases of the cleanse, or go super low calorie, it can be done smartly!

  8. I think they’re a gray area. For me personally, they’re a slippery slope into major food restriction, and I just don’t want to encourage that sort of mindset or behaviors. I also don’t know that they’re necessary – the body is designed to cleanse itself, and while I can get behind upping the amount of veggies, fruits and fluids in the diet, I can’t quite get on board with an all out cleanse.

  9. I’ve never had the self control to do a cleanse, but in college I would juice fast. I noticed an extreme increase in my energy when I did it. I’d just go 12 hours with only juice and then eat a reasonable meal for dinner a couple times a month just to flush things out, but I don’t think I did it right to really get all the benefits. It was just easy because I worked at a juice place and could add vitamins and all that jazz so I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out.
    I think my body could 100% benefit from cutting out sugar and booze for a week.

  10. When I think of the word cleanse, my mind automatically remembers this diet tea I bought once from Chinatown. Basically, it turned my insides into a slip and slide, and the aftermath was not a good time. I do not recommend it, to anyone, ever. But that’s my personal issue, and I think personal issues are why so many people have problems with the idea of a cleanse. It’s one of those things thats been associated with so many crappy products, and ideas, that it’s hard to see past them. I think an actual healthy cleanse, where you cut crap out of your diet in an attempt to do something good for your body is a great idea. Way back when I still had self control, and didn’t eat anywhere near as much crap as I do now, my skin was amazing, my hair was shiny, and I just felt good all the time. How is that ever a bad idea?

  11. Yeah, I think the word “cleanse” just has a bad connotation. I did a version of a cleanse a few years ago (it was an anti-fungal diet) and it did make me feel better but I was a total bitch. I’m sorry, I need cheese and carbs- if not for my body, for my brain. That said, my sister is actually STILL on that diet and it makes her feel much, much better. So, hey.

  12. I’ve never cleansed, but I did spend years on a severly restricted diet due to the colitis, and I could never restrict myself like that again. I feel like for me “cleansing” is just cutting back on crap like sweets, fast food, booze, etc. I do think they get a bad rap, now, though just because it just sounds so unhealthy.

  13. When I think of a cleanse, I think of juice cleanses which is what I thought you were talking about. Now I think you’re just going to eat clean? Everyone has a different definition I guess. Meh…do what you want, just don’t die on me.

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