The detox craze has been alive for quite some time. Everywhere I look, I see solicitation for some three-day, five-day, or seven-day detox or cleanse.
After relentlessly scrolling past them in my Pinterest feed for easily a year, I decided to give one the old college try. Why? There is no good answer for this, other than that I’m a schmuck for fad diets.
I got off work at 9 p.m. Tuesday night and rushed to the Walmart Marketplace, armed with my shopping list. It was conveniently provided in the most highly recommended three-day cleanse by my grandmother and Pinterest.
At first glance, this doesn’t look terrible; the shopping list was extremely helpful. I felt so healthy, as I spent 80% of my time in the store wandering up and down the produce aisles.
The feeling of approaching the checkout line with a cart stocked to the gills like this is unmatched. In my mind, I had already succeeded without even starting.
However, the pink cloud turned grey when I was given my total at the register. With this kind of price tag for three days worth of cleansing, failure is literally not an option. Note: I did not purchase the lavender drops or Epson salt. I don’t take baths and I knew for a fact that I would not follow through with that act.
I drove home and tried to get excited about prepping for this endeavor. I had an early morning the next day and knew I wouldn’t be in the veggie-chopping mood before the sun came up.
The breakfast smoothie was extremely easy to prep. I love you, little breakfast smoothie.
For the lunch smoothie, I had to break out the cutlery.
While I was prepping this one, it never dawned on me how an entire cucumber and four celery stalks might taste in drink form. It just didn’t taste like anything until it did and by then, it was too late. I decided to wait to prep the dinner smoothie until I had a break in the following day, as it was getting late.
The next morning, I was awake before my alarm. Does anyone else get this excited about a break in routine? I’m not sure if that’s normal.
I started my day off with the morning detox tea. I thought long and hard and I can say this with confidence: this was my first day without a morning cup of coffee in eight years.
However, I love green tea and I drink it often as a midday pick-me-up. I sipped with confidence.
I drank the breakfast smoothie in the Reflector office. I rarely eat breakfast and this curbed my appetite quite a bit. Usually, by 1 p.m. I’m starving and fantasizing about what I’ll eat when I get home. This day was different in that respect.
When I arrived home around 2 p.m., I opened the fridge to retrieve the lunchtime smoothie. Again, I’ll say I wasn’t hungry, but I had a plan to be follow. The first sip was nothing short of terrible. It wasn’t the taste, but the texture; grainy and thick, less like a smoothie and more like a sludge. I forced it down the hatch.
To be quite honest, this is the point I started to lose it. Knowing that I had to drink that again tomorrow and the day after that was a horrifying nightmare. The thought of not chewing anything for three days was beginning to sink in. I wondered if gum was against the rules.
I went about my day, attended a few meetings, and by 5 p.m. I was interviewing a source for a separate story. I began to feel the lunch smoothie coming back up. I felt exhausted, famished, and wholly green. I stared across the street at a Chick-fil-A, a heavenly beacon in the distance.
I left that meeting and nearly wrecked trying to retrieve this beautiful package of love and hope.
Just like that, it was over. Did I fail? I suppose in some ways I did, as I did not finish the said three-day detox cleanse. However, as sheer luck would have it, I wound up meeting Zach Akins, a senior at the Medical College of Georgia.
I spoke with Akins about my recent experience and he explained that most detoxes are in fact hoaxes. The body naturally detoxifies itself by way of the liver and kidneys. Additionally, a well-rounded diet including proteins, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates will aid in keeping your liver and kidneys healthy, Akins said.
Hearing this from a student of medicine was a relief. There is no need to put yourself through the torture of a cleanse when your body does this naturally. These cleanses claim to rid your body of toxins, but Akins pointed out that the more you hear someone talk about toxins, the less they know about medicine.
“Toxins” is not a buzzword, nor a hot topic. Toxins are more appropriately used in conversation about Ebola, for example. At the end of the day, I learned something and still have a refrigerator full of produce. I’ll call that a win.