Topic: fasting

I Tried The Master Cleanse (And All I Got Was Stinky And Weird)

I Tried The Master Cleanse (And All I Got Was Stinky And Weird)

Despite the fact that it offers no nutritional benefit whatsoever and promotes known disordered eating patterns, the Master Cleanse is perhaps one of the most well known crash diets cleanses. It’s all over popular culture, and has been touted by many celebrities and even a few “health advocates.” But what none of them are telling you is what I learned: it makes you smell weird, it makes you act strangely, and it makes you go to the bathroom. A lot. More »

8 Religious Holidays to Use as Excuses to Fast, Diet, and Binge

8 Religious Holidays to Use as Excuses to Fast, Diet, and Binge

As you probably know, yesterday was the first day of Lent. It was also the first day I tried very hard to not eat a single piece of chocolate or have a sugary dessert until Easter Sunday, all in the name of God. No hot chocolate, not a single M&M, not one cookie, nothing. Good Lord, this is going to be hard, but I guess that’s the point, right? It seems wrong to use a high holy holiday as a reason to go on a diet, and yet many of us do. We’re not big fans of dieting at Blisstree, but who are we to argue with the eating traditions that are basically directives from The Man Upstairs? People tend to commit to diets twice a year – either as a New Year’s Resolution or for a religious purpose. I’ve never kept a resolution for longer than a week, but I’ve fulfilled a Lenten promise for the full 40-ish days (barely). According to researchers, the average woman gives up a “healthy” resolution six days into each New Year, but keeping a religious fast tends to be somewhat easier because you’re doing it for a higher purpose. It also helps that religious fasting usually comes with a specific time period and rules to follow, making that commitment easier to focus on, rather than the nebulous “I’m going to eat carbs in 2011.” (Good luck with that.) Many religions have different fasting holidays with specific dieting, fasting, and bingeing requirements, and here are eight to check out if you need a higher power to keep your eating habits in line for a time: More »

10 Unhealthy Foods and Other Vices to Give Up for Lent From Our Fearless Foodtrainer

10 Unhealthy Foods and Other Vices to Give Up for Lent From Our Fearless Foodtrainer

I love Lent. I’m a nutritionist, and for a chunk of time every year my (practicing Christian) clients don’t waver in their commitments. They give up something for the 40-day religious period: Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or, for the foul-mouthed, cursing. Most of my clients can forgo their vice without a pep talk or modifications. Religion aside, I love this idea of giving up one thing for a set period of time. It’s not like you’re giving up all your favorite things, living on juices, or canceling all social plans. Its just one thing, but it can make a difference to your overall health. So, because today is Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), I propose Lent For All: The criterion is that what you give up should be a challenge. For example, if you don’t ever eat cookies, then giving up cookies isn’t meaningful. And whatever you sacrifice, skip it for the duration of Lent until Easter Sunday (April 24). Here are ten things (mostly unhealthy foods and drinks) to consider scrapping. You only need to choose one, but choose wisely (and quickly). Let the sacrifice begin: More »

Fat Tuesday Really Will Make You Fat

Fat Tuesday Really Will Make You Fat

Mardi Gras may be fun, and giving up chocolate for Lent might be virtuous, but I say it’s all bad for you. I have nothing against New Orleans, nor am I calling out the weight or health of Louisianians, but Fat Tuesday is making us fat, and so are all the other holidays that celebrate a binge-and-purge mentality.

Most people who celebrate Fat Tuesday are probably in it for the beads, beer, and bingeing; not the 40 days of sacrifice that follow. But even if you could care less about tonight’s revelry or tomorrow’s start to fasting, you’ve probably participated in a similar tradition: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are like the trilogy behind America’s perverse relationship with indulgence and penance. We love to work hard then play hard, eat hard then diet hard, and then we like to justify our bipolar behavior by talking about how we’ve found “balance.” But toggling back and forth between extremes isn’t healthy, balanced, or sane. (And it’s more than likely going to make you look and feel like shit, too.) More »

Cleansing (for Your Mind, Not Your Body): Have You Ever Done a Spiritual Fast?

Cleansing (for Your Mind, Not Your Body): Have You Ever Done a Spiritual Fast?

We talk a lot about cleansing diets for liver, intestinal health, and often weight loss, but Yom Kippur got us thinking about fasting for other reasons over the weekend. There’s endless debate over the medical benefits of fasting and cleansing, but it’s hard to deny that there’s some kind of religious or spiritual benefit to fasting: Why else would people have been doing it for centuries? There are all kinds of prescribed religious rituals – Yom Kippur, Ramadan, and Lent to name a few – and there are plenty of people who do it on their own watch, according to their own rules, in hopes of spiritual and mental clarity.

Even if you didn’t fast for the Jewish New Year (and don’t plan to give up anything for Lent), we want to know: Have you ever done a spiritual fast? Take our poll. More »