Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Another crazy “healthy” celeb diet

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Not long after reading about the ridiculous diet of that Moon Juice woman, I came across an article detailing some celeb cookbook sisters weekend diet. I’d never heard of them before but they’re allegedly healthy cookbook authors who shock people by eating meat and butter. I say allegedly healthy because if this weekend of eating is indicative of their regular diet then I’m not so sure that they should be held up as paragons of health.

I like the fact that their diets include plenty of veg, nuts, and seeds. I just feel like there’s this weird health rebellion going on right now where people are going to two extremes simultaneously. They’re drinking mushroom tea and hot chicory root water because they want to avoid the unfairly maligned coffee. By the way, there are many health benefits associated with drinking coffee, it’s the added crap that people put in coffee that makes not the greatest choice (plus, too much of anything can be bad for you but starting your day with coffee is a-okay). Okay, so they won’t drink coffee or eat flour. Yet alcohol, a known carcinogen, featured prominently over these days. Certainly not following the low-risk drinking guidelines. Now, I’m certainly not a teetotaller. I enjoy a beer or glass of wine now and then but I’m also not drinking several drinks a day, nor am I going on about coffee being the “kind of stimulant I don’t need in my life”. Hypocritical much?

While red meat can certainly be a part of a healthy diet, it’s more of a sometimes food in my books. If you want to be a wellness guru fine, cut out refined grains, but know that there is a clearer link between red meat consumption and cancer than there is between bread and any ailment.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s a dietitian problem, but this sort of thing rubs me the wrong way. Eat what you want, but don’t claim that your diet of extremes is a healthy way for everyone to eat. Drinking mushroom tea in the morning doesn’t somehow cancel out steak and cocktails in the evening. That’s not really how nutrition works. It’s like saying that eating an apple for dessert makes your lunch of a double cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke a zero sum game. Sorry, nope. Eat healthfully most of the time (that means whole foods, plenty of veg, fruit, grains, protein, and water) and enjoy some treats. You don’t need to drink mushroom tea.


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Hollywood juice bar owner’s diet analyzed

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Photo of Green Juice by Marten Persson on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons Licence.

In case you missed it last week, the Internets got their collective panties in a twist about this article sharing a typical day of food for the founder of Moon Juice.

Moon Juice, for those such as myself who are not in the know, is ostensibly the most popular juice bar in LA.

Pardon me for not being surprised that her diet includes ridiculous things that I’ve never heard of before and am not entirely convinced are actually food. Things like Brain Dust and quinton shots. Ugh.

People immediately began decrying her diet. Just for fun, I decided to do a completely unscientific analysis of the nutrient content of her food to see just how her food stacks up when compared to a diet of recognizable food items. I used the nutritional info listed for the products on the Moon Juice website where I could. For everything else I just googled for nutrition information. I only looked at macronutrients, so it remains to be told how nutritious her diet is in terms of micronutrients.

Breakfast: 307 kcal, 13g CHO, 17.5g fat, 27g protein, 7g fibre, 3g sugar

Snack: 284 kcal, 31.1g CHO, 12g fat, 2.5g fibre, 8g sugar, 9g protein

Lunch: 265 kcal, 20g fat, 10.7g CHO, 4g fibre, 5.9g sugar, 6.3g protein

Snack: 353 kcal, 36.9g CHO, 8.5g fibre, 21.7g sugar, 22.5g fat, 7g protein

Snack: 280 kcal, 30g CHO, 6g fibre, 6g sugar, 4g fat, 26g protein

Supper: 50 kcal, 9g CHO, 0.5g fibre, 0.7g sugar, 0.6g fat, 5g protein – Potentially an entire day’s worth of sodium in this meal alone!

Snack: (Nutrition info for Heart Tonic is unknown, estimating the nutrient values for the chocolate based on single servings of all the ingredients mentioned) 174 kcal, 5g CHO, 3g fibre, 4.5g fat, 21g protein – I find it hard to believe that this chocolate is remotely palatable without any added sugar but maybe that’s just me.

Totals for the day: 1713 kcal, 135.7g CHO, 81.1g fat, 101.3g protein, 31.5g fibre, 45.3g sugar

I must confess, I’m a little disappointed that her diet didn’t show any glaring imbalances. Overall, it’s maybe a little low in carbs, and a little high in protein and fat and sugar. But essentially, it’s actually fairly well balanced.

I would be a little concerned about calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 consumption for someone following this diet. Also, the sodium is quite high. Not knowing her energy requirements it’s hard to say whether or not 1700 kcal is adequate. That would depend on her height, weight, level of activity, and resting metabolic rate.

Even though this diet is not horribly balanced I still wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Why? Well, variety is very important in a balanced diet. Based on the fact that she seems to eat essentially the same things every day she’s quite likely not getting all of the micronutrients that she needs. She may also be getting excessive amounts of others through her supplements.

Speaking of the supplements, there’s quite a few ingredients in there that are questionable at best. I don’t think that anyone can say with any degree of certainty that they’re safe to consume on a regular basis. Although one can say with a fair degree of certainty that they won’t live up to the claims. They’re definitely not worth the hefty price tags. Although if you’re willing to spend $55 for a 25 serving jar of Brain Dust then you probably need all the help you can get maintaining “healthy systems for superior states of cognitive flow”.