A Cleanse I Highly Recommend

I’m sorry (not sorry) for the clickbait, but I need to get this one off my chest and out into the world. Cleansing, detoxing, juicing…will it ever go away? Many of my nutrition related blog posts are born out of frustration and usually inspired by some ridiculous article a friend has sent me. I’ve written about how I despise Shakeology and why juice cleanses are BS and today I’m back to talk about cleansing. 

Last week, Well + Good published this piece about a guy who has given himself over a thousand colonics and claims it has saved his life. I’ll let that sink in…over a thousand colonics!

Now, he is a “colonics expert” with a private practice in NYC, where he provides colonic hydrotherapy and (surprise, suprise!) dietary recommendations.  Here are some direct quotes from the W+G piece:

Jacobs is the first to admit his oftentimes extreme wellness views aren’t based on scientific facts, but rather his own gut instincts—which is why you won’t find studies supporting the majority of his claims.

So he knows that his views and recommendations are not based on any science, but preaches it anyway. Interesting and definitely irresponsible, but that’s not even my biggest issue with this guy. He continues on:

Meat, bread, milk, chicken, fish, alcohol, drugs, sadness, anger, bad energy from too many computers and cell phones and fluorescent lights, pollution—that’s all positive ionic. What happens when a beautiful, baby-like body takes in positive ionic food and experiences emotional trauma? It goes into the body and opposites attract—it sticks like glue on you….Bad food sticks in the body

I’m sorry…WHAT?  He also doesn’t eat or drink anything at all until 4 or 5 p.m. each day. Hello, restrictive and disordered eating!

This stuff gets me fired up, so I wanted to share and counter this nonsense with the cleanse I recommend: cleansing yourself of BS “experts” and websites like these that seek to create fear surrounding food. I’m no expert on colonics, but I do know that much like how the liver detoxes for us, our colon already does the good work of elimination.  No special treatment or cleansing needed. Some argue that colonic treatments can help with symptoms like bloating or constipation, but even so, it’s temporary and certainly doesn’t address the cause of the symptoms in the first place.

 

Demonizing certain foods and instilling fear surrounding food choices doesn’t benefit anyone. When you’re wrapped up in self-improvement and aiming to live a healthier life, it can be really hard to know who to trust and what might something you should try. I challenge you to stay vigilant, ask lots of questions and start cleansing your newsfeeds and blog rolls of people who claim certain foods are “toxic”, “bad”, “dangerous” or should otherwise be avoided/restricted. 

Need help sifting through the muck? I’m here. So are lots of really intelligent and compassionate dietitians who embrace all food and focus on supporting true health. I’d be happy to work with you or recommend an RD in your area!

California Adventures with ClifBar Pt. 1

All of my travel and accommodations for this trip were covered by ClifBar.  I was not compensated for writing this post or asked to share any of my experience.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Two weeks ago, I had an awesome opportunity to head out to California with other sports-focused dietitians for a nutrition retreat with the Clif Bar team.  Some of the other attendees are BIG in the sports nutrition field so while I felt a tad out of my league, I was excited to be a part of the whole experience.

After landing in San Francisco, we immediately headed to the Clif Family Winery in Napa Valley, Velo Vino, for lunch. 

Velo Vino

The tasting room is decked out in cycling decor and offers up specialty foods like preserves, nuts and vinegars in addition to Clif bar products.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch from the Bruschetteria food truck on site and of course, a small wine tasting.  The Bici (cute name, right?) was definitely a fave of mine!

Lunch

After lunch, we made a quick stop to check-in at the Napa Valley Lodge where we’d be staying for the night.  I didn’t snap any pictures of the resort, but my room was gorgeous with a little patio that overlooked a vineyard.  We were able to freshen up a bit for heading out to the Clif Family Farm for a tour.

Cliff Farm

I’ll be sharing a little backstory of Clif Company, as well as more of their culture in Part 2, but the fully organic farm should start to clue you into how they roll.  Our tour was led by Farmers Brad and Drew and they shared all sorts of insight into how they handle growing all of the food for the food truck and more.  The Clif Family Farm is certified with CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and Food Alliance.  The Clif Bar Family Foundation also created Seed Matters, an initiative to preserve genetic diversity among crops and support seed research. 

Seed Matters

There has been some controversy surrounding the recent Mr. Seed video that was released by Seed Matters, accusing the Clif Foundation and the producers of being fear-mongers and spreading misinformation regarding organic and non-organic farming practices.  I did take the chance to ask the Clif team about the video and the response was that Clif stands behind the messaging.  While I personally do not agree that the best way to go about encouraging organic farming practices is with aggression and vulgarity, I can appreciate that organic has always been important to Clif and that they continue to fight for their messaging.  

As for the farm tour, we got to see everything they’re growing including lettuces, onions, blueberries, peaches, their signature red flint corn.  They also have several bee hives on the property, as well as chickens and roosters.

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After the tour, we gathered for an educational edible experience with Kate Geagan.  Kate walked us through some fun taste tests and opened our eyes to the variety of descriptors there are for foods.  She focused on the energizing foods Clif used in their bars and products: dates, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, etc. We also covered the importance of gut health in supporting our energy metabolism from the foods we eat.  It was a great refresher from a lot of the discussions at the Food As Medicine conference I went to in the fall, which was so interesting!

edible experience

The taste testing was fun and delicious, but after we finished it was definitely time for a good meal.  Everyone boarded our bus and headed over to the Clif Family Vineyard for dinner.  Executive Chef John explained the menu and actually prepared it right on site in the wood fired outdoor oven!  

 

We enjoyed Clif signature Red Flint Corn Polenta with Chanterelle Mushrooms (ahhhmazing!), Grilled Kale with Lemon Ricotta Salata and Radicchio Salad with Garlic Anchovy Vinaigrette and Pecorino.  There was also wood-fired chicken for the non-veg folks.  Oh, and plenty of delicious vino, as introduced by the winemaker Laura Barrett, who we got to chat with during dinner.

Vineyard meal

Most importantly, the meal ended with delicious mini sweets:  Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Plum Compote and Savory Herbs (weird/incredible combo) and Chocolate Budino with Whipped Cream and Sea Salt.  Of course, I had to try both and whoa!  I actually liked the Panna Cotta best, but you can’t go wrong with chocolate and sea salt!  Yum!

Dessert Clif

Dessert was the perfect end to our first day and we headed back to the Napa Valley Lodge for bed.  More on Clif culture and our tour of Clif Bar HQ to come in Part 2.  Stay tuned!

Your turn–Have you been to Napa Valley? Did you know Clif Bar Company also owns a vineyard and a farm?! When it comes to dessert: chocolate or vanilla?

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