Alex Jamieson may be best known as the anxious and concerned girlfriend of Morgan Spurlock, the guy who ate McDonalds for thirty days and documented it on film in the award-winning Super Size Me. Jamieson stood by and watched as her beloved, a relatively healthy young guy, ruined his body and mood with junk food galore, and it was her detox diet that brought him back to health and vitality. The Great American Detox Diet is the result of her many years of research and hands on experience as an Holistic Health Counselor and Gourmet Natural Foods chef, and it promises to get you healthy in just eight weeks.
Focusing less on weight loss and more on well-being and total body health, the book’s “diet” is really a lot like most others out there on the market, with warnings to avoid the usual suspects of sugar, refined carbs, caffeine, alcohol and sitting around on the couch all day. But what makes The Great American Detox Diet stand out is the author’s emphasis on whole and natural foods, and the fact that she really backs up what she says with powerful examples of research from the medical and health communities. In fact, this book really reads less like a typical diet book and more like an examination of the food and products we consume and how they negatively effect us.
The book does include specific food and exercise suggestions and almost 100 recipes that use the foods the author encourages us to consume, as well as resources and an index of nutritional terms. But the research behind her claims is what intrigued me, showing that by “detoxing” from the junk and processed chemicals we eat, drink and are exposed to, we really can improve our health and rid ourselves of many of the diseases that are killing modern Americans. Also fascinating is the author’s account of what Spurlock went through to make his documentary, and how fast food is killing Americans, even when eaten in moderation.
The message is quite simple – we are what we consume, and by becoming more aware of what we expose our bodies to and what we ingest, we can clear up symptoms ranging from depression to blurry vision, as well as clobber the rising obesity and heart disease rates. It doesn’t require we measure this or combine that, although certainly portion control is a necessary evil. Instead, this “diet,” if you can call it that, asks us to really take a look at how we are abusing our own bodies.
More importantly, it demands we ask ourselves “why?”