21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox
By Roni DeLuz and James Hester HarperCollins Publishers 2007
Reviewer: Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, LD, LMT
The book claims a detox approach to dieting allows the body to release toxins and excess weight, as much as 21 pounds in 21 days. These toxic substances can be found in food, drinking water and personal care products. The book claims to provide maximum nutrition to help heal the visible and invisible damage to body organs and tissues. It also claims you will not get hungry because you are drinking juice or soup every two hours.
The detox diet includes drinking juices and consuming soups from whole foods and vegetables. There are no foods to chew because the goal is to rest the gastrointestinal tract. Supplements include an antioxidant berry mix, green drink, food enzymes and inner cleansing products for the colon and liver. The author also suggests drinking 64 ounces of distilled water daily.
The diet starts with a cleansing stage to stimulate the body to download toxins that have been stored in the fat and organs. The repair/rebuilding phase focuses on consuming fresh juices and vegetable soups, enzymes and supplements to rest the digestive tract while also consuming vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplements.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
There are a few good suggestions including how to reduce or eliminate high-fat, high-calorie processed foods and the benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. It also has some flexibility. There is a two-day weekend program and a seven-day tune-up program for those not ready to take on the entire 21-day event. All produce must be prepared in a juicer which, along with purchasing distilled water, may result in additional cost.
I am concerned by some of the book's recommendations, such as food combining, which have not been shown to have any scientific merit. The recommendation of colonic therapy (a procedure in which a long tube of water in flushed through the intestinal tract, a kidney flush and a coffee enema) also has not been scientifically proven to promote weight loss.
I would recommend parts of the book including the recommendation to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, but the rest of this diet is too cumbersome for most people to follow. It is not likely to be a long-term option for many people who would find it difficult to consume nothing but juices, soups and supplements.