Card that informs you of calories, fat/sat fat (grams), cholesterol (milligrams), sodium (milligrams), carbs (grams), fiber (grams) of foods on the menus at Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, Taco Bell, Domino’s Pizza, Wendy’s. Also has information on portion sizes, healthful hints.
What would happen if you ate nothing but fast food for an entire month? That’s what filmmaker Morgan Spurlock attempted to find out by making his scathing tongue-in-cheek documentary Super Size Me. A 33-year-old New Yorker in excellent health, he would eat nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days, to gauge the effects on his body. The results were shocking: He gained almost 30 pounds, saw his cholesterol skyrocket, and developed chest pains and dangerously high blood pressure.
The Great American Detox is an everyman’s version of Spurlock’s detox diet. Designed by vegan chef and holistic nutritionist (and Spurlock’s significant other) Alex Jamieson, it is the program that gave Spurlock his health back. While doctors feared the damage might be permanent, Jamieson knew otherwise. She regularly sees her detox diet help clients achieve radical improvements in their emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Now she has written it up for popular use. Filled with mouthwatering recipes, it is a flexible 8-week program for weight loss, increased energy, allergy elimination, and other long-term health benefits.
When Morgan Spurlock, the star of Super-Size Me, gained nearly 30 pounds after a month of eating at McDonald’s for every meal, nobody was more horrified than his fiancée Alex Jamieson, a vegan chef and holistic health counselor. When his liver showed signs of damage just 20 days into his fast-food diet experiment, she knew he’d need serious help to recover at the end of his “gastrointestinal form of hari-kari.”[p.viii] The Great American Detox Diet is her prescription for helping him shed the chub as well as rid his body of the chemical additives (such as propylene glycol alginate—yuck) so prevalent in fast food. She notes that since a British medical journal recently reported that eating fast food just twice a week increases one’s risk of developing insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition, you don’t need to have gorged yourself on McDonald’s to benefit from her quick-results plan.
Jamieson does a noble job of spelling out the detrimental effects on the body of sugar, caffeine, and an overload of fat, carbs, and protein, all of which are present in your typical fast-food meal, let alone a “super-sized” one. (Spurlock’s diet included a repulsive 30 pounds of added sugar and added sweeteners over the course of the month.)[p22] Those horrified by Fast-Food Nation will find familiar territory here, but will also receive constructive advice on how to alter one’s diet for the better. Jamieson also spurns wheat, corn, and dairy products, citing them as potential allergens (interestingly, she points out they’re all heavily subsidized by the government), and she recommends viable sugar and caffeine substitutes. Nearly 90 recipes round out her treatise on healthy eating, and although some are not unusual (revamped versions of Guacamole, for example, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies), a few others like Miso Tofu Cheese Spread will be a bit of an acquired taste for those so accustomed to burgers and fries. —Erica Jorgensen
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