Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D.
Clean by Alejandro Junger, is a book about a detox program that Junger created called Clean. Junger’s specialty is in cardiology, but he ventured into the detox arena based on some of his personal experiences early in his career and in his life. Clean is a compilation of Eastern and Western medicine this is supposed to help rejuvenate the body, cleanse the body of toxins and restore healthy and vibrancy to the body.
The short version: Eat healthier, exercise and be aware of your environment, mental state and what you are putting into your body and how the domino effect of your actions.
First off, I did not actually complete the detox because of financial reasons (I have no need for a blender or juicer and with a diabetic boyfriend, neither appliance would get much use after the program and both are required for the program as 2 of 3 meals of the day are liquid meals).
Junger thrives on scare tactics in the first section of the book. He really drives home the point that the world is not clean, that our lives are not clean and that we have no control over these unclean elements that are effecting our bodies. Not long into the book, we are bombarded with worries about the toxins in us, and around us. Toxins that we control and toxins that we don’t have any control over. The trick worked. The more I read the book, the more I felt like I needed to detox and rid myself of all the evil molecules roaming around me. The scare tactics I did not appreciate. At some points, I just felt manipulated by his statements.
The parts of the book that I enjoyed the most where his discussions on the human body, how it works and how different food effects the body. It felt like a mini science class. Although I really got into those sections of the book, Junger would throw in little commercial breaks; brief sentences of how the Clean program would support whatever point he had been making up to that point. I didn’t really care for the reminders that Clean is an amazing, life-changing detox, particularly since this was only a statement, with no detail about the actual program.
The first 6 chapters are devoted to information about toxins, the body and food. Chapter 7 is a hefty chapter that actually goes into the details of Clean. the rest of the book is about life after Clean and Clean recipes to use during the three weeks of the program. You basically replace 2 meals with liquids from a chart of Yes foods and No foods. Some of the food that popped up on the no list was surprising (oranges and strawberries). What I appreciated was that Junger went into detail about why certain foods were ruled out of the diet. He encouraged an elimination diet before starting the cleanse so that the 3 week detox would not be a complete shock to the body. He also made sure to mention plenty of times the safety concerns of this program. Some people think of detox as a way to just lose weight. From Junger’s point of view, a detox is a fresh take on life. Its is cleaning your slate and allowing your body and your mind to go into a newer and healthy direction.
As a book that is heavily steeped into scientific information and terminology about the body, I would have liked to see a bibliography of his resources, to validate the facts he throws in about the Clean program. His anecdotes of patients who did the Clean program felt scripted and fake and just thrown in to prove a point rather than be a honest testimonial about the program. While reading this book, I felt as if I was watching an infomercial late at night, it has that same feel and tone to it.
I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say if anyone needs to do a detox. For the most part, I already eat most of what on Junger’s Yes list and don’t eat a good chunk of the foods that are on his No list. If anything, I just need to drink more water and cut back on the caffeine, carbs and dairy. Although I don’t plan on going through the detox, I have taken note of Junger’s diet recommendations and will try to alter my diet to include healthier foods and encourage a healthier lifestyle.Clean by Alejandro Junger M.D. HarperOne. 2009 ISBN9780061735325 278 pages