The Skinny on Juice Cleanses

By: Morgan Robbins, RD, LD at Lexington Medical Center

Cleansing is the red-hot health trend sweeping the world by storm. Checking Instagram, I see pictures posted by friends and celebrities with a rainbow of juices in their refrigerator and a caption talking about starting a cleanse. I often overhear conversations of people thinking about starting a cleanse because they feel sluggish or have been eating poorly. “Cleansing” the body of toxins, chemicals and impurities sounds appealing to most people, but are the claims accurate?

juice cleansesThe 411-
There are many different cleanses. The celeb-endorsed juice cleanses are most popular. Most juice cleanses consist of a series of juices to drink during the day for a set period of time, usually 3-14 days. Some cleanses allow foods while others do not. They range from $20-$70 per day. There are also cleansing options that come in pill form and are to be consumed with a healthy diet.

The Claims-
Rid your body of toxins, weight loss, improved energy levels, increase fruit and vegetable intake, reduce inflammation, reset the digestive system, strengthen your immune system and glowing hair and skin. Drinking juice for a few days to boost the immune system and improve energy levels? Sounds like a good bargain to me.

The Science-
The scientific evidence is lacking to prove that one will reap the sworn benefits that are promised while cleansing. The thing most juice bottles leave off the label is that the kidneys, liver and intestines do an excellent job of filtering out the garbage we put into our body. Will you lose weight? Probably yes. However, if you go back to eating the way you were before the cleanse, you’re more than likely going to gain the weight back and could possibly slow down your metabolism in the process. Supplementing a healthy diet with a juice drink will likely cause no harm, but there is needed research regarding juice cleanses.

Until there is solid scientific evidence about juice cleanses and their effect on the body, I would recommend thinking twice before taking another swig of your green juice as your sole dietary intake for the day. Skip the juice, skip the diet and just eat healthy. It’s really quite simple. There is truth behind the saying “you are what you eat.” If you eat well, you’ll feel well. Keep in mind, some cleanses contain a high amount of sugar and minimal fiber. Often people are looking for shortcuts and quick methods for weight loss, however healthy eating will always be the gold standard for living a healthy lifestyle.


A Nutritionist’s Grocery Cart

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

I’m still hoping to do a post detailing the best items for a healthy pantry, but for now I’m loving the WebMD blog post “What’s in a Nutritionist’s Grocery Cart.”

A quick check of my kitchen shows I have the following:

  • Carrots, lettuce, watermelon, tomatoes and nectarines (close enough to peaches!)
  • Other seasonal fruit and veggies including cabbage, cherries, grapes and the “not-so-seasonal in SC” pineapple
  • Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and other beans, too
  • Quinoa and popcorn (just air-popped some, in fact)

But WebMD’s post reminds me that:

  • I need to find a good organic rotisserie chicken. It’s a great time saver for weeknight cooking.
  • I can’t buy dark chocolate almonds. I can’t eat them in moderation!
  • I need to find a good hummus recipe.
  • We need some almond butter for a recipe Sister wants to try!

And while I’m on the subject of groceries, does anyone have a sure-fire method of keeping track of spices? Mine get stuck in the deepest recesses of the pantry where I forget about them. Only after I buy a new spice for a specific recipe do I find a duplicate already in the pantry. Not only are spices getting more expensive, but there’s only so much ground cayenne red pepper you can use!

What’s in your grocery cart and/or pantry this week? Trying anything new? How do you organize your pantry?