A Post-Holiday Cleanse for the Persephone Reader

Hello Dear Reader,

If you, like me, enjoy taking in the occasional television programme, reading the internet, or venturing outside the comforts of your toasty home to a fluorescent-lit location where candy-colored magazines are displayed by cash registers, you’ve probably recently come in contact with the strange bird that is the post-holiday cleanse. It is otherwise known as a detox, a volatile alchemical combination of digestive crackers, wheatgrass, vaguely citrus-ey smells, and a deep longing to rid oneself of “holiday bloat.”

Let’s briefly examine a few specimens of the post-holiday cleanse, before we create a plan that’s uniquely suited to every woman who reads Persephone, ever, at any time:

1. Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2009 GOOP Detox

Think of Ms. Paltrow as the High Queen of Healthy, Probiotic, Organic, Digestible Living, a role model for us weaker, constipated, Vitamin B-deficient, gluten-imbibing Neanderthals. Truly, it’s a wonder that the rest of us manage to lift our cankled legs out of bed in the morning. The Queen herself decreed,

As I do not wish to subsist on lemon water in the middle of winter, I asked [Dr. Alejandro Junger, not to be confused with Carl Jung or Erica Jong], a detox diet specialist, for the guidelines he uses to achieve a good detox that is not as hallucinogenic (in a bad way) as the Master Cleanse.

If you’re wondering whether something can ever be hallucinogenic in a good way, then you need to go drink some carrot juice and meditate on why you’re such a snarky bitch all the time.

Paltrow’s detox consists of a diet plan with overwhelmingly liquid entrees (i.e., coconut water, broccoli and arugula soup) which leads to some confusion as to why Dr. Jung needs to impart this particular “basic principle of detoxification”:

If your bowel movements get sluggish, you can accelerate things by drinking half a cup of castor oil or using a mild herbal laxative. Bowel elimination is paramount for correct detoxification.

If I were his editor, I would strike that last sentence and change it to”Bowel elimination is paramount for staying alive“ in order to maximize the one-two punch of fatherly advice coupled with a mild sense of urgency (no pun intended).

2. The Food Lover’s Cleanse ““ Sarah Dickerman for Bon Appetit

If you prefer your detoxifying vittles with a little more heft, you’ll be pleased to learn that the arbiter of all things foodie and snooty, Bon Appetit, has stooped to the pedestrian task of telling us peasants how to recover from eating an entire stocking full of Mini Snickers bars and washing it down with a quart of spiked eggnog, the deadliest kind of alcohol-camouflaging drink.

Listen, there’s no point in regret. If your holiday diet wasn’t 90 percent cookie, you were doing it wrong. Don’t worry about it!

Readers, the above quote was typed in the same disingenuous tone your mother employs when she says, “Ohhhhh, sure! That dress looks loooovely on you. You always make such interesting choices, sweetie.”

What she’s really thinking is, “How did I spawn such a sartorially challenged, apparently color-blind, misfit?,” just as Emily Fleschaker at BA is really thinking, “I can’t believe they have me on plebe duty, on this blog of all places. These people have probably never even heard of quinoa, let alone a Meyer lemon!”

The elusive burdock root.

If you don’t live in a heavily populated urban area with access to a variety of uncommon, culturally specific foods, BA recommends you vacation in Seattle or Prague for this one. That way you’ll have no problem locating kefir milk for your high-fangled smoothies, nor burdock root, “scraped and cut sasagaki style” for Koya-Dofu and Vegetables.

Most importantly, bear this in mind when calculating the serving size of chocolate:

Touch your middle finger to your thumb. That’s about the size of an ounce of chocolate.

So stop using the “however many Mini Snickers I can palm in one swipe” method of chocolate measurement.*

3. The Persephone Post-Holiday Cleanse for Women Who Love to Eat, Drink and Be Merry

And now, finally, we arrive at the cleanse for the woman who doesn’t regret having thirds on Roast Beast, who was disappointed that no one made pecan pie this year, and who prefers her smoothies have ice cream in them, or at the very least, frozen yogurt!

You may choose any of the below items (or any other item), any day of the week, for any meal, in whatever quantity satiates you:

Perfectly Presented Pancakes

Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict

Adorable Bento Box with Fried Egg Sun

Pork Banh Mi
Veggie Pizza
Steak, Peppers, and What Appears to be Blue Cheese

Strawberry Tart - So Beautiful

Indulgence over the holidays doesn’t mean you should place yourself on a strict or potentially harmful regimen now. That’s why the Persephone Cleanse has only two guidelines: eat delicious food and enjoy yourself whilst doing so!

If you’re starting to suspect this whole post was a weak excuse to look at food porn: it was! So please do add or link to your favorite foods in the comments.

* Ok, I have to admit that I don’t think Bon Appetit’s cleanse is terrible–there are some interesting, hearty-looking recipes in it, and calorie counts are nowhere to be seen, plus I actually appreciate their emphasis on cooking from a variety of international cuisines. I just couldn’t resist poking a little fun at people who take access to farmers’ markets for granted.

** All photos are from Flickr and available under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

5 replies on “A Post-Holiday Cleanse for the Persephone Reader”

– Sorry, can’t seem to reply in-thread –
Geez, let me indulge in my fantasy tangent! Seriously though, I’m sorry. I really enjoyed this article. I didn’t get the joke cause I’m not very familiar with Gwyneth Paltrow’s public persona. I will now perform a level 3 detox cleanse as penance.

I asked [Dr. Alejandro Junger, not to be confused with Carl Jung or Erica Jong]…
This makes me laugh. I feel like this was written by a generally nice person who doesn’t read all that much, who would like to be fun and witty but doesn’t quite have a sense of humor; the kind whom you’re talking to in a group in the kitchen at a house party when she makes a joke, and there’s only silence over the sound of the dishwasher… Meanwhile, the copyeditor in me is wondering what is up with those brackets.

hahaha. Ok, I admit responsibility for that quote and those brackets (the original sentence just said “him”)–I was trying to channel the way Gwynnie always name-drops famous people in GOOP, with the joke being that she could not possibly know Carl Jung, but would name-drop him anyway. It was a stretch.

“If I were his editor, I would strike that last sentence and change it to“Bowel elimination is paramount for staying alive” in order to maximize the one-two punch of fatherly advice coupled with a mild sense of urgency (no pun intended).”
I REALLY wanted the pun to be intended!

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