Years ago, I was shopping for cat food. There was a rep from a high-end pet food business at the Petsmart and he spent some time trying to convince me that grain in cat food was a bad thing. “You know, corn in..” At this point, he made a gesture as if he was eating corn. “Corn out,” he said, moving one hand to the back of his pants as if he was catching the, um, corn. I remember this because -I think we can agree – it was a revolting demonstration from a stranger.
So why do folks feel it’s acceptable to tell you that they are on a “cleansing” or “detox” diet? God bless you and your colon, and I hope you have many long years together, but I really don’t want to know about it. Make no mistake. I’m all for crapping. I think everyone should. Judging from all the TV ads for remedies – including the entire Dannon Activia campaign – we’re a stopped-up country. Pretty soon everyone is going to look like Mitch McConnell.
It’s not just the cleansing diet people. Can a cheese tray be passed without the passer remarking to the passee that they’re lactose intolerant? Right before I take a wedge of smoked gouda, I’m thrilled to learn of an acquaintance’s problems with noisy, frequent gas. I’ve also had more than one person tell me that they have irritable bowel syndrome. It seems worthwhile to note here that I am not a gastro-enterologist nor any other kind of medical professional. This was in the “here’s something interesting about me” category. I may have just said that I enjoy the works of Steve Earle, and where can one possibly take the conversation from there?
Perhaps these folks are inspired by the common occurrence of young couples informing all and sundry that they’re “trying” to start a family. What is the correct response to that?:
a. “To your continued motility!”
b. “You want me to burn you a D’Angelo disc? That might help.”
c. “Me too! But mostly I’m just practicing these days. You know, by myself.”
I’m certain there’s some correlation between our increasing obesity and how fascinated we are with our own bodily functions. I bet those lean, agile, Kenyan runners don’t say to each other “Hey, Onyuna! Want to hear more about my BMs?” I bet they also never believed that some terrible tasting and ridiculously expensive juice could prevent heart disease or erectile dysfunction. I wonder if our credulous acceptance of health claims convinced them they could also sneak one of their Muslim citizens into the White House. Stupid lousy speedy scheming Kenyans.
I blame Oprah. You know why she ended her show? Because her work was done. She’d become the richest woman in America by hyping diet fads and giving a platform to Suzanne Somers to talk about her daily routine of 60 pills and a vaginal injection. Where do you go from there? Oh sure, Oprah had to resurface recently to clarify for her flock that shooting stuff into your body is *not* ok if you happen to be a champion cyclist, though it’s worth pointing out that the latter was overseen by an actual doctor.
Of course, like Suzanne Somers’ daily vaginal injections (there’s a phrase I hope to use again), the idea of a cleansing diet is complete bunk. Hokum. Flimflam. Just as the nutritional benefit of a food is inversely proportional to the number of nutritional claims made on the label, any diet with a proper name is probably terrible for you. No one can make any money telling you to eat a banana, drink some water, and run around the block.
So don’t talk to me about your cleansing diet. It just tells me you’re full of shit. And all the lemon juice, cayenne, and maple syrup in the world isn’t going to help.