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Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

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Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Mean Scenester » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:43 pm

There's another thread on these boards relating to juice fasts. I decided, in an uncharacteristic moment of restraint, not to shit all over that one but to start a new thread instead.

Somebody tell me: What's the point of a juice fast? Cleansing? I mean, I get it if you're cutting crap out of your diet, but does anybody really believe there's an advantage to such severe measures over adopting a more balanced overall approach to diet? Or is the point that you're unable to adopt a balanced approach 365 so you periodically deny yourself solid food (or whatever) in an attempt to compensate?

Here's the thing about juice, for example: It's not great for you in large quantities. When you extract the juice from a fruit or vegetable, you jettison much of what's most beneficial (fiber, vitamins and minerals contained in skins and pulps) for a concentrated dose of empty calories in the form of fructose. My favorite are the people who add a spoonful or two of fiber from a can to the glass they just extracted from that wad of fiber they just shit-canned. This is culinary madness.

Enlighten me (fair warning: I really don't expect to be enlightened, nor are you likely to sway my opinion--just really curious to know if I've overlooked some motive here).
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby snoqueen » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:02 pm

I agree with what you wrote. I posted on the juicing thread because now and then I enjoy food prepared in this way. You're right that it's not a sustainable way to eat in the long run, and I hope I didn't leave any impression I thought it was.

I'm right up in front for promoting a balanced, mostly-vegetables, whole foods diet. If people think they're too fat, the first thing to do is cut out sugary stuff and the next is to switch to a diet more like the one I just described.

I think the idea of fasting to make yourself feel high is scary. Feeling high is not a health goal. And I have no idea what people mean by "cleansing." If it's an attempt to purge the body so a person can pass an employment-related drug test, OK, have at it. But in general, why are people putting unclean things through their digestive tract at all?
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Madsci » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:13 pm

Maybe cleansing is needed after all the meat in a tube dinners.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Remember_Me » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:30 pm

Mean Scenester wrote:There's another thread on these boards relating to juice fasts. I decided, in an uncharacteristic moment of restraint, not to shit all over that one but to start a new thread instead.


How considerate of you to not shit on that one but to instead create a whole new one to shit in.

Mean Scenester wrote:Somebody tell me: What's the point of a juice fast? Cleansing? I mean, I get it if you're cutting crap out of your diet, but does anybody really believe there's an advantage to such severe measures over adopting a more balanced overall approach to diet? Or is the point that you're unable to adopt a balanced approach 365 so you periodically deny yourself solid food (or whatever) in an attempt to compensate?


Don't get too worked up. It's a reboot. Sure it's a hot fad right now, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work. Especially if you want to kick the winter blahs and reboot for spring/summer. The overwhelming positive testimonies of people doing it are hard to ignore. Especially since this was released.

Mean Scenester wrote:Here's the thing about juice, for example: It's not great for you in large quantities.


Nothing usually is. And also, define "large quantities"? Should someone do this as their regular diet? No. Which is why it's just a temporary fast. Cramming yourself with loads of readily absorbed micronutrients is a wonderful thing. It would be almost impossible to consume the sheer amount of produce necessary to get all the micronutrients that can be extracted and consumed by juicing properly.

I waste produce all the time because I can't always get to it all in time. And I hate that... hate, hate, hate it. Now I can take all the stuff that's on its last legs and whip it up into a super healthy glass or two of power and health. What's not to love?

Mean Scenester wrote:When you extract the juice from a fruit or vegetable, you jettison much of what's most beneficial (fiber, vitamins and minerals contained in skins and pulps) for a concentrated dose of empty calories in the form of fructose.


Yep. Well, it really depends on the juicer actually. But I am keeping the pulp/fiber and using it in other recipes, as do many people. It's never wasted. I am adding psyllium seed husk to my juice for the fiber now though. Also, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Be it from fructose or animal flesh. The juices are usually a vegetable majority as opposed to fruit. Typically 60/40 or 70/30 on average. So your fructose freakout isn't really warranted.

Mean Scenester wrote:My favorite are the people who add a spoonful or two of fiber from a can to the glass they just extracted from that wad of fiber they just shit-canned. This is culinary madness.


Yup. Shit-canning the fiber would be madness... culinary or otherwise. At the very least it can be composted.

Mean Scenester wrote:Enlighten me (fair warning: I really don't expect to be enlightened, nor are you likely to sway my opinion--just really curious to know if I've overlooked some motive here).


I hope I have enlightened you.

If not, I have a terrific juice recipe that should do the trick.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:32 pm

Remember_Me wrote:It's a reboot.
That's a great sounding slogan, but it's biologically meaningless.
Remember_Me wrote:The overwhelming positive testimonies of people doing it are hard to ignore.
You can find overwhelming positive testimonies from people about magnet therapy too, but that hardly means it's true. (It's not. It's total bunk.) How about some testimonies from real health experts?
Remember_Me wrote:Cramming yourself with loads of readily absorbed micronutrients is a wonderful thing.
Maybe -- kinda depends on your regular diet and which micronutrients you're talking about. You don't want to cram yourself full of readily absorbed selenium, for example, as that can cause selenosis. And you can cram as much chromium down your gullet as you want without any noticeable health benefits because it serves no biological role (despite it being sold as a supplement and any number of positive testimonies from happy, but deluded, customers.)
Remember_Me wrote:Also, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.
This is one of those cliches that lots of folks just seem to accept at face value, but your body most definitely processes calories from different sources in different ways. I don't think you need to worry too much about the calorie intake you're describing from your juicing method (although 100 calories of liquid will leave you far less satisfied than 100 calories of solid food, which just means you'll be hungry again sooner) but it's my understanding (and I await someone more knowledgeable to explain if I've misunderstood) that it requires more energy to process protein than carbs, and more energy to process carbs than fat. The upshot is that when your body is done processing them, calories from fiber result in fewer calories being added to your body than the same amount of calories from carbs or (especially) fat, as more of it is used up before it can be stored.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Remember_Me » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:51 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:That's a great sounding slogan, but it's biologically meaningless.


Who cares what the actual terminology for the process of taking in beneficial micronutrients is? Call it a reboot, starting fresh, getting well, pounds punisher, micronutrient makeover, whatever. To say that the process itself, regardless of name, is biologically meaningless, is well, logically meaningless. To say there's no benefit to juicing correctly just isn't true... if that is what you're saying... correct me if I'm wrong.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:You can find overwhelming positive testimonies from people about magnet therapy too, but that hardly means it's true. (It's not. It's total bunk.) How about some testimonies from real health experts?


Well, then I guess no testimonies can be trusted then by anyone without a degree in said field. So much for buying that showerhead on Amazon I want. Too bad, it was so well reviewed by the people who actually purchased one. If only they were experts in showerhead engineering and water flow mechanics.

Also, who's to say there aren't testimonies from "real" health experts on there? Did you read them all? These days it seems everyone's a health expert. I can't see real evidence from people claiming magnet therapy has changed their lives. But I can see real photos of real (non-paid) people who post before and after pictures of themselves. I can see their weight loss. Their clearer faces. Their healthier skin. The scans of their blood lab work that shows better health across the board. Does any of that count?

I just gather as much information as I can and then make the best informed decision I can. Magnet therapy doesn't make sense to me. Adding more amounts of correct micronutrients does.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Maybe -- kinda depends on your regular diet and which micronutrients you're talking about. You don't want to cram yourself full of readily absorbed selenium, for example, as that can cause selenosis. And you can cram as much chromium down your gullet as you want without any noticeable health benefits because it serves no biological role (despite it being sold as a supplement and any number of positive testimonies from happy, but deluded, customers.)


Well thank you for that Captain Obvious. I'll concede that if you take in TOO much of the WRONG micronutrients (or macronutrients for that matter) it can be detrimental to your well-being. Point you.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:This is one of those cliches that lots of folks just seem to accept at face value, but your body most definitely processes calories from different sources in different ways. I don't think you need to worry too much about the calorie intake you're describing from your juicing method (although 100 calories of liquid will leave you far less satisfied than 100 calories of solid food, which just means you'll be hungry again sooner) but it's my understanding (and I await someone more knowledgeable to explain if I've misunderstood) that it requires more energy to process protein than carbs, and more energy to process carbs than fat. The upshot is that when your body is done processing them, calories from fiber result in fewer calories being added to your body than the same amount of calories from carbs or (especially) fat, as more of it is used up before it can be stored.


It's accepted at face value because at the end of the day it's just true. I don't really care how my calories are expended by my body. So long as I don't have an abundance of them. I also don't care because 90% of the calories going into my body I know are from good sources. That's my point when it comes to a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

Bottom line, expend more calories than you consume, lose weight. It's just that simple.

Oh yeah, don't confuse a glass of homemade juice with your regular old glass of apple or orange juice. By the time you've run the following list through your juicer, added crushed ice, and then mixed in psyllium seed husk powder, it makes for quite a filling meal. Very filling in fact.

List:

1 Bulk of kale
4 Stalks of celery
1 Cucumber
2 granny smith apples
½ lemon
Ginger root (thumb sized)

Don't believe me. Try it and get back to me.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:49 pm

Remember_Me wrote:To say that the process itself, regardless of name, is biologically meaningless, is well, logically meaningless.
I don't know if it's true or not, which is why I was questioning you about some of it and trying to clarify other parts. I bristled at the use of the word "reboot" because to my ears, it sounds like some other health claims -- like detoxification and cleansing -- which are just so much bs.
Remember_Me wrote:Did you read them all?
Navigating that page is a nightmare (some of it was dead links, some of it requires registration, some of it is just hawking wares) so I was unable to read any testimonials, from experts or real (non-paid) people. I do wonder though (and again, I can't see for myself), how exactly do you know they are real (non-paid) people? I'm not specifically disparaging this site, the people on it, or the diet, but yeesh, you are aware that there's a long tradition of faking before and after photos for health claims, aren't you? And surely you know that people often leave out relevant details when describing changes in their health, right? And I assume I don't have to tell you that folks can convince themselves of just about anything, do I?

Honestly, I have no specific info regarding rebooting (nor did I ever claim to -- never even heard of it until today.) But lots of health fads have made claims that turned out to be false, especially ones that involve quick and drastic dietary changes and fasts, so my skepticism about any particular one is hardly unwarranted.
Remember_Me wrote:These days it seems everyone's a health expert.
Exactly the reason I'm so skeptical.
Remember_Me wrote:Well thank you for that Captain Obvious. I'll concede that if you take in TOO much of the WRONG micronutrients (or macronutrients for that matter) it can be detrimental to your well-being. Point you.
Thanks, Captain Snotty. Point accepted. I mean, selenium is a "readily absorbed micronutrient" but it's hardly something you want to be "cramming yourself full of". Not my fault your claim was so unspecific. Your statement reminded me of people who speak of "cleansing toxins" but can't tell me what those toxins are or where they reside. Vagueness raises my skeptical hackles.
Remember_Me wrote:It's accepted at face value because at the end of the day it's just true.
I just explained why I don't believe that's entirely true. Maybe you'll believe someone else, since you've obviously decided I'm full of shit.
Remember_Me wrote: I also don't care because 90% of the calories going into my body I know are from good sources.
I coulda swore I said, "I don't think you need to worry too much about the calorie intake you're describing." But I couldn't have, because I'm full of shit, right?

BTW -- I can't stand kale, but I assume you can't really taste it blended with all that other stuff, right? Sounds delicious otherwise.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby acereraser » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:10 am

One easy way to retain all the fiber is to blend into a smoothie, not juice. Just sayin'. I don't know anything about non-religious fasting and cleanses, and if anyone I know does things like that, they aren't sharing that knowledge with me. I seem to remember Dr. Drew saying on the Carolla podcast that there isn't really the plaque on our guts the people who sell juice diets want us to think there is, but I easily could be mistaken.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:31 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I don't know if it's true or not, which is why I was questioning you about some of it and trying to clarify other parts. I bristled at the use of the word "reboot" because to my ears, it sounds like some other health claims -- like detoxification and cleansing -- which are just so much bs.


No, I get what you're saying. My skepticism radar is always on full alert 24/7. I think reboot in this instance is sort of self-explanatory. I think it's just meaning you're stopping what you're currently doing and "rebooting" your body with a juice fast and using that as a catalyst to discover or rediscover healthier eating and living... particularly with a more produce-based diet. I don't really think "reboot" is anything like "cleansing" or "detoxification". Those words are meant to have literal meanings that apply to the programs. Our bodies aren't computers.

Well, not yet anyway.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Navigating that page is a nightmare (some of it was dead links, some of it requires registration, some of it is just hawking wares) so I was unable to read any testimonials, from experts or real (non-paid) people. I do wonder though (and again, I can't see for myself), how exactly do you know they are real (non-paid) people? I'm not specifically disparaging this site, the people on it, or the diet, but yeesh, you are aware that there's a long tradition of faking before and after photos for health claims, aren't you? And surely you know that people often leave out relevant details when describing changes in their health, right? And I assume I don't have to tell you that folks can convince themselves of just about anything, do I?


It is a mess, it's easier if you're registered. In researching juicers and reading reviews on everywhere from Amazon to Wal-Mart, there's literally thousands upon thousands of reviews from people who are leaving reviews based on the FSND documentary. Some are definitely paid to be there, specifically by juicer companies other than Breville.

But the doc is hugely popular. Especially since Netflix offers it in HD on their streaming service. Even the reviews on Netflix talk about all this. Many of the Amazon reviews are from verified buyers. You just can't fake this much. Especially over something as silly as a juicer made by Aussies.

I appreciate your efforts to warn me of the bad people on the interwebs posting fake reviews... but I promise you, I'm good.

(And yes, I've already heard about the Nigeria thing too... thanks dad.)

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Honestly, I have no specific info regarding rebooting (nor did I ever claim to -- never even heard of it until today.) But lots of health fads have made claims that turned out to be false, especially ones that involve quick and drastic dietary changes and fasts, so my skepticism about any particular one is hardly unwarranted.


Dude, this ain't TrimSpa or some gizmo you strap to your abs for a 6-pack in 6 days. It's people saying that fruits and veggies are making their lives better. What part of that seems contrived to you?

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Thanks, Captain Snotty.


I'm fucking hungry man... leave me alone! :P

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I just explained why I don't believe that's entirely true. Maybe you'll believe someone else, since you've obviously decided I'm full of shit.


Well here, if we're going to get into swapping links over calories and making full of shit claims, click here and here then.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:But I couldn't have, because I'm full of shit, right?


Not entirely, no.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:BTW -- I can't stand kale, but I assume you can't really taste it blended with all that other stuff, right? Sounds delicious otherwise.


Oh trust me, you can taste it. It's really not that bad. I sprinkle in a little bit of stevia now to the less-than-desirable cocktails. There's a million different recipes and really something for everybody. And I've only tried 6 different ones so far. Sno's right, it's not the greatest time to be starting this with the sparse availability of good produce. But I said I was going to do it excuses be damned... something's always in season and I'm not going to not have juicing available to me because something's not in season. I'll just keep doing it and look forward to my favorite things in season... just like I'm already doing!

If you have Netflix you should put the doc in your queue. It's not gonna change your life... but it's more information to have and consider, entertaining, and inspirational. You won't regret watching it. My juicer even came with a free copy of the DVD. So if you don't have Netflix feel free to pop on over to the house to borrow the DVD.

I'll have a nice tall glass of Mean Green ready and waiting for ya!

Image
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:03 am

Remember_Me wrote:It's people saying that fruits and veggies are making their lives better. What part of that seems contrived to you?
My concern is two-fold: 1) "Fasting", which is usually a word associated with unhealthy eating choices, and 2) the notion that you're cleaning yourself out and starting anew, an idea usually associated with unfounded health claims. Scenester expressed that concern quite well in the OP when he asked, "does anybody really believe there's an advantage to such severe measures over adopting a more balanced overall approach to diet?" It's a fair question.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby meowzamusic » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:02 am

I don't really get into fasting. Though I do like "quickening"
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:04 am

Remember_Me wrote:How considerate of you to not shit on that one but to instead create a whole new one to shit in.

Am I not allowed to start a "What's the deal with ..." thread? If you're confident in your methods, why take offense, especially when I took the trouble not to hijack your original question? Sheesh ...

Don't get too worked up.

Oh, believe me, I'm not losing sleep over this. I'm right at the weight I need to be thanks to regular exercise and a sensible diet. You do what you want, I'm just curious is all.

I waste produce all the time because I can't always get to it all in time. And I hate that... hate, hate, hate it. Now I can take all the stuff that's on its last legs and whip it up into a super healthy glass or two of power and health. What's not to love?

That's a fine reason to juice it up, though it hardly explains the mentality behind the fasting craze, which is really the crux of my original question.

Also, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Be it from fructose or animal flesh.

Let's assume the claims in the links you've provided are all factual. They're still only addressing weight loss, which you don't seem to be claiming as your primary motivation here. In terms of overall health, it makes a huge difference if you're getting the majority of your calories through foods high in saturated fats as opposed to, say, vegetable protein. Huge (which is also the form you will take on if you get most of your calories from saturated fats). It seems to me that someone concerned with "rebooting the system" would want to make that distinction.

So your fructose freakout isn't really warranted.

Again, I'm not "freaking out" about anything. It's worth noting (especially for anyone about to embark on a high fructose fast, I would think) that the notion that fructose is significantly better for you than, say, glucose is starting to be undermined by new research. Fact is, it appears a diet high in fructose (and I'm talking the natural stuff here, not that awful high-fructose corn syrup) can lead to problems with the heart and liver, and that the way it is metabolized by the brain may actually contribute to increased calorie intake (presumably by individuals not keeping close count), weight gain and Type 2 diabetes:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 221742.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 091811.htm

Just food for thought, so to speak. Personally, I'd be wary of any physician who simply says "go for it" to an extended juice-only diet without at least offering some caveats.

I hope I have enlightened you.

If not, I have a terrific juice recipe that should do the trick.

Not really, but recipes are always welcome. It's not like I'm avoiding the stuff, just not about to live off a diet of juice alone, is all.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Good grief.

So if I said I was becoming a vegetarian and only eating produce for 15 days would anyone here care?

Cause that's the crux of it really.
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:06 pm

1) I don't know if I'd exactly care, but if you try becoming a vegetarian and eating produce for a couple weeks you might be pleased.

2) If anybody wants to see what kale tastes like juiced, try the Green Zinger fresh juice at the Willy St Coop. It's got ginger and apple juice and maybe some other stuff in with it and I think it's delicious. Be sure you get a fresh one not one they juiced yesterday.

Subpoint: if you use wilted or stale produce for your juices they aren't going to be very good.

3) What on earth is meant by a "reboot" in this discussion? I don't get it.

4) Apparently what composes the calories people eat is turning in to a bigger issue than previously thought. When non-insulin-dependent diabetics (NIDDM) stop eating sucrose, their blood lipid profiles improve -- or conversely,

These results document that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets, containing moderate amounts of sucrose, similar in composition to the recommendations of the ADA, have deleterious metabolic effects when consumed by patients with NIDDM for 15 days.


Abstract at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3544839
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Re: Fasting, cleansing, and related food fads

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:21 pm

snoqueen wrote:1) I don't know if I'd exactly care, but if you try becoming a vegetarian and eating produce for a couple weeks you might be pleased.


AKA, a juice fast.

Simply drinking as opposed to chewing.

Which is why I think the resulting hubbub surrounding my choice is so funny.

All I've said is that I'm basically going vegetarian for 2 weeks.

And look at the fallout.
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