What do Gwyneth Paltrow, my mother, and their doctors have in common?
Cleanses. According to these people, cleansing is all but essential to rid the body of unwanted toxins and fat, which is achieved by ridding the diet of food. My siblings and I received an email from our mother detailing her current cleanse and she encouraged us to pursue our own nutrition with similar vigor. She included a link to the website of one Dr. Alejandro Junger, a cleanse guru according to Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop.com.
Dr. Junger advocates ‘clean eating,’ which I can get on board with. His cleanse entails 2 smoothies a day (breakfast & dinner) and a clean lunch, which means mainly fruits and vegetables. My dinner tonight basically aligned with his idea of an acceptable clean meal— kale and chard salad—apart from the aged parmesan, because cheese isn’t technically clean. Junger suggests warm water with lemon, which I substituted with a warm Corona with lime. I was shocked to find that snacks were even mentioned, but they were, and include yummy things like: handful of almonds, a large gulp of air, and organic, gluten-free, soy/dairy-free, non-GMO crackers…actually just a cardboard box full of dust. Obviously no caffeine, sugar, alcohol, artificial sweetener, or fun.
I decided to re-imagine Junger’s cleanse into something that suits the needs of the Nass readership. It is important to remember that this isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle change. While it may not be for everyone, it can work for anyone. Vague and confusing language like that is central to cleanse rhetoric, and I think I’m really getting the hang of it.
Toxins are literally all around us, inside of us, coming out of our pores. Most health enthusiasts focus on eliminating toxins. My approach instead builds up the body’s tolerance to toxins by full immersion in them. Carcinogens are perhaps the most aggressive, and most fun, toxins to immerse your body in, which is why this cleanse encourages liberal exposure to cigarettes, aspartame, UV radiation and UVB rays, and if you can find it, asbestos. “Leather dust” is listed as a carcinogen on cancer.org, so wear a leather jacket every day, intermittently stealing licks when others are not watching. Cigarettes are key to this cleanse, because they not only help to fumigate your lungs (a real thing) and keep the flow of toxins flowing into your body, but are also a known appetite suppressant and cool accessory.
Vitamins are absolutely central to the cleanses I have researched, and Dr. Frank Lipman, another Paltrow-endorsed figure, recommends as many as 15 different kinds of vitamins and supplements. Instead, my cleanse takes a more fluid approach to supplementing the diet. Every morning or evening, simply take at least two handfuls of any sort of pill you can locate in your room. A wide variety is optimal, and might include supplements such as: a One-A-Day for Him, something from the bottom of your backpack, Aleve, Ritalin, Midol, Flintstone’s Gummies, a puff of an expired asthma inhaler, your roommate’s birth control, Ginseng, ALA, Dexatrim, Probiotics, et al. Remember, 2 handfuls every day if you want to look and feel your best.
Water is essential to all human life, but because taking on the challenge of an extended cleanse attracts the kind of people who see themselves as potentially superior to the average water-needing human, I say let’s challenge ourselves. Water hydrates your body, which causes unattractive bloating. Particularly in the first stage of the cleanse, I recommend sticking with diuretics like coffee, and choosing more BAC-efficient beverages like beer for hydration.
Fitness is the counterpart of nutrition in your journey to attain physical perfection. For this cleanse, you cannot focus only on the diet component and ignore burning calories. You will probably be too tired for cardio, so just wander around on the Tow Path, or a park, wherever there are plenty of benches to lie down on when you inevitably pass out. Smoke the whole time to keep your lungs engaged and abs working!
Breakfast: Black coffee (12-24 oz.) + 1 cigarette
Mid-morning snack: Vitamins & supplements regimen + 5 sprigs of any herb of choice
Lunch: Soup (hot water & lemon) + 1 vodka martini, as many olives as you care to eat
Snack: 1⁄2 head of broccoli + shot of truffle oil + inhale fresh paint deeply
Dinner: Lick tears off cheeks + chain-smoke until you fall asleep
Breakfast: Green juice (if you don’t have a juicer or blender, simply eat 2 cups of kale, 1 tbsp. of spirulina, 1 menthol American Spirit, 2 crushed up caffeine pills, and an apple)
Mid-morning: Nothing, fatass. Just kidding, you’re perfect. Vitamins & supplements + dates wrapped in thin slice of prosciutto with honey drizzle with choice of fine cheese
Lunch: I had a reeeally big breakfast, nothing for me, thanks! Snack: Xants On A Log (celery with 1 tbsp. nut butter + supplement topping of choice)
Dinner: 6 pack of beer with prettiest label (for hydration)
Breakfast: Contents of ashtray + green juice
Mid-morning: Vitamins & supplements + vanilla bean candle (scent only)
Snack: Nicorette + stare at yourself in the mirror if you feel hungry
Dinner: Any small live fish or shrimp. If vegetarian, just suck on the squirming fish.
If by the end of this cleanse you aren’t feeling totally wide-eyed (possibly strung out) and revitalized, I recommend restarting at Day 1. Feel free to substitute meals, as these are primarily suggestions for what your day-to-day diet should look like. If I recommend green juice, for example, feel free to throw in a few beets and make it red juice! Go crazy, buy cider instead of beer, smoke cigars instead of cigarettes. Eat a family-sized bag of Cheetos instead of multivitamins. Do whatever the fuck you want, this is your cleanse too.