Fad diets are like those amazing products you see on television when you’re completely hammered and waiting for the pizza guy to show up and deliver: you know they’re not as good as they seem, but the results sound so good you have a hard time passing them up. I myself haven’t had experience with the fad diet, but my Mom has. I watched her drink nothing but chocolate goo for a year, watched her go to meetings and be humiliated by standing on a scale in front of a room of women thinner than her, watched her forgo carbs, which I suspect she may love more than my brother and me. While she’d lose weight, it would always come back.
If you thought you had to go all the way to LA or South Beach for a fad diet, fear not. Third-tier celebrity/Kennedy hangout Martha’s Vineyard now has its own fad diet, known as the “Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet.” This diet claims that by consuming vitamin-rich juices, thick vegetable purees, and herbal teas, you can lose twenty-one pounds in twenty-one days. Now soccer Moms all over Massachusetts are operating on dangerously low blood sugar behind the wheels of their SUVs. Wonderful.
But I’m being unfair. Some men have benefited from this diet too.
It was quite a bonus to James Hester, a former music publisher who came to the Vineyard in 2003 irritable and overweight.
"I had three chins and weighed about 213 pounds where I am normally 175 or 180," Hester said. "I was angry and had been using food as a way to manage my emotions."
After losing 21 pounds on DeLuz's program, Hester had something of a spiritual awakening. "I realized I was not only cleansing my body but my emotions as well," he says.
Couldn’t it be feasible that all Hester needed was a vacation, a chill pill, and a salad? I understand that it’s hard to get into a new eating pattern, but twenty-one days without chewing isn’t right (unless, of course, your jaw is wired shut). Using food as comfort is an easy trap. I get that. But these “drink diluted grapefruit juice and water for a week to ‘detox’” plans just seem like snake-oil to me. Start small. Stop drinking regular soda. Then kick the diet soda. Eat a salad with your regular dinner. Try fruit instead of cookies for a snack. These little steps help. Trust me.
I think DeLuz’s program is the most practical when she says this:
One of the tenets of the Martha's Vineyard diet is its flexibility, DeLuz says.
"You can follow it to a T, but even mini-cleanses here and there help. Put away the potato chips and Diet Coke for a weekend. Have some berries. Drink some green juice. Even if you eat just one meal a day of cleansing foods you're going to notice a healthy change."
There you go. No need to stop masticating, folks. Just pick up a fork and eat something that came from the ground once in a while.