The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Clean Program Recap…. April 17, 2010

Filed under: experiment,Food,Products — Alden @ 8:11 pm
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So I promised I would keep you filled in on how The Clean Program went. You know, that very expensive cleanse for which I shelled out $350? I’ve been procrastinating on posting this, because I’m a little embarrassed on how it turned out.

I wanted to try the cleanse not really for weight loss, though that would be awesome. It was just to rid my system of toxins that I have built up. That anyone, really, has built up. I wanted to flush out the preservatives and smog and sugar, the nasty stuff they put in hamburgers and  the pesticides left fruit. My aunt had told me about her liver cleanse, and how she felt so much better after, especially since she lost five pounds during and ten pounds after. Nice, right?

Well I wish I could tell you that my cleanse was super effective. In fact, I bet it is super effective. I just wouldn’t know from personal experience. When I followed requirements – a shake in the morning, a meal free from sugar, soy, bread, beef, milk, and any processed foods for lunch, and a shake for dinner, plus supplements), my weight would drop precipitously. I dropped two pounds just on the first day. But I hardly ever did follow the instructions. I drank beer. I ate sugary stuff. I ate out instead of having the shakes.

After the three weeks, I was no lighter. In fact, weighing myself four weeks after I started, after three weeks of half heartedly following the cleanse and a week of eating Easter Chocolate, I was up one pound, net. Yikes!

My face is much clearer these days, though I can’t say for sure it’s correlated to the Clean Program. I also can’t claim that I dropped real weight while I was following the restrictions. At one point I was down 4.5 pounds. But the speed at which it came back leads me to believe it might have been water weight. Who knows?

Now I have a weeks worth of pills and powder left, if I could just bring myself to to go gung ho for one week, just to see what would happen….

Here’s the moral of the story: It’s great if you have admirable will power, don’t mind turning down invitations for dinner and drinks for three weeks, are very organized and prepared, and enjoy cooking. Otherwise, don’t bother.


The a-little-bit-hypocritical Bronx Zoo November 19, 2009

Filed under: Food,green angst — Alden @ 8:34 pm
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This post has been a long time coming. But here it is.

About a month ago Scott (the bf) and I took a day trip to the Bronx Zoo. We loved it. The cute little kids running around in Halloween outfits, the adorable cuddly-looking monkeys, and the informative bird exhibits were all great. I even enjoyed seeing the ornate architecture that spoke of a different era in the late 1800’s, when the zoo was built.

But something bothered me. I wasn’t surprised to see little placards at almost every exhibit which would describe the various ways humans degrade the habitats of animals and put them in danger. What did surprise me, after all this posturing about the dangers of pesticides, is what the zoo serves as food. When we went to grab a bite from the cafe, nothing there was organic. It was all standard, terrible fair: chicken tenders, french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, and Big Gulp-size plastic ups of electric blue frozen drinks. What?

If people judge you by your actions, not by your words, well, I feel safe calling this a Bronx Zoo Fail. They can put up signs all day saying how bad pesticides are, but what kind of message does it send when they serve industrialized fried chicken composed of ill-treated animals and monoculture crops? Crops that discourage biodiversity and use those very pesticides the Bronx Zoo vilifies? It doesn’t say much.

In fact, even though I’m not a vegetarian, it smacks of bad taste to offer kids chicken sandwiches right after they were shuttled through a cute exhibit that does its best to educate kids about how cool live animals are. I wonder if parents, after they’re done pointing out the chickens in the farm exhibit to their toddlers, feel weird about plunking down a plate of tenders in front of them, covered in ketchup?

Of course, Scott and I only went to one little side cafe. Perhaps there are more options elsewhere. And I give the Bronx Zoo props for their eco-friendly composting restrooms at the entrance. But the next step should be to put their words into action, and educate children about the connection between what they eat, and the livelihoods of the animals the zoo works so hard to promote.

So go ahead, pay a visit to the zoo. Learn about the animals with which we share this earth. But bring your own food.