Blending In A Healthy Lifestyle

Students can jumpstart healthy habits with smoothie cleanses, but they’re not a permanent fix.
Protein, immune system, fiber and digestive support smoothie additions.

Protein, immune system, fiber and digestive support smoothie additions.Ohio University students have been “going green” by participating in a rising fad diet: green smoothie cleanses. Popular green smoothie cleanses include “The 10-DayGreenSmoothieCleanse,” “Dr.Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse” and “Thee 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.”

“Thee 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” was created by New York Times best-selling author and nutritionist JJ Smith. The diet guarantees a weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds in 10 days by substituting breakfast, lunch and dinner for green smoothies. However, snacks are allowed in the form of crunchy vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, unsalted nuts and unsweetened peanut butter.

Dr. Oz created a similar cleanse in which meals are replaced with specific smoothies. “Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse” also requires drinking a morning detox tea and taking multivitamins and omega-3 and probiotic supplements. Snacking is limited to drinking smoothies of the person’s preference.

Faith Benner, an OU sophomore, underwent “Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse” during spring 2017 in an attempt to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle and boost her metabolism. She prepared her smoothies by following Dr. Oz’s recipes, which called for ingredients such as berries, spinach, kale, peanut butter and coconut water.

“The lunch [smoothie] had coconut oil in it, because it was supposed to give you your natural fat for the day and that made the texture like super funky,” Benner says. “So I always dreaded eating that one. The breakfast smoothie had a lot of peanut butter in it so that was my favorite. That’s the one I would snack on, too.”

After completing the detox cleanse, Benner felt less bloated and more energized. For her, the detox served as a fresh start to healthier eating choices.

Similar to the detox cleanse, “The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge” is designed to help people transition to a healthier lifestyle. The challenge, created by businesswoman and blogger Jen Hansard, is a digital program containing recipes for green smoothies. The program, which costs $19, promises positive results in the form of clearer skin, higher energy levels and weight loss.

Sophomore Azure Stephens says she can attest to the results. “The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge” motivated her to regularly incorporate green smoothies into her diet three years ago. The drinks were an easy addition to her diet after growing up in a vegan household, where her mother frequently made green smoothies. Stephens strives to incorporate green smoothies into her diet up to four times a week to ensure she receives necessary nutrients.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines from, the daily recommendation of fruit is two cups for men and women ages 19-30. The daily recommendation of vegetables is two and a half cups for women and three cups for men ages 19-30. Stephens adds hemp seeds and maca, a Peruvian plant known for boosting energy, stamina and fertility into her smoothies for extra nutrition, among other protein and boosters. Her favorite green to include is spinach because it gives the drink a smooth consistency. She al

so typically uses bananas and berries to overpower the taste of the greens.

“One of my favorite ones to make … is strawberry, banana, spinach and then some, like, cacao raw chocolate powder. It’s really good,” Stephens says.

Green smoothies can be a beneficial vehicle for consuming the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables, but how safe are green smoothie cleanses? Health professionals, including lecturer Juli Miller from the Department of Social and Public Health at OU, agree on the importance of eating more raw, organic foods but do not recommend fad dieting to do so.

There are unforeseen dangers in doing such cleanses. A major concern specific to “Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse” is that it eliminates the act of chewing during meals. Benner found the lack of chewing to be the most difficult part of the detox cleanse.

“I think the last day I had a couple pretzels or something because I just couldn’t do it anymo

re,” Benner says. “But for the most part if I just needed the sensation of chewing, I tried really hard to just eat what was in it.”

Chewing food is essential for oral health. The digestive system also needs to break down substances to function properly. The strength of digestive muscles will deteriorate if they are not used, as has been seen with patients who are fed intravenously, Miller says.

Another concern of fad diets in general is that the initial weight loss is water weight. When water weight is lost, the body becomes dehydrated and will not be able to function for an extensive period of time. If a person continues to consume less nutrients than necessary, the body enters starvation mode. In starvation mode, the body restricts the ability to burn fat because it must receive nutrients from storage fat. Fad diets are usually unsuccessful be

cause they are not maintainable over a lifetime.

“You want to eat in a way that you can live your whole life eating that way,” Miller says. “That’s how you’re going to maintain. The true success of a diet is maintenance. The true success of a diet is not weight loss.”

People typically gain back the water weight and possibly a few more pounds after returning to their previous eating habits. There are healthier and more effective ways to reduce water weight and decrease bloating than fad diets or cleanses. Miller recommends eating a low-sodium diet, moderating the consumption of unhealthy foods and having an active lifestyle. Although physical activity is grueling work compared to drinking green smoothies, exercise is the key to eliminating fat tissue.

“The only way to get rid of fat is to burn it off,” Miller says. “The only way to burn it off is to deplete all your calories so you get into storage fat and start burning it off. So, what are we talking about? Aerobic activity. Walking, running, swimming.”

Fad diets may not be practical for long-term maintenance and burning fat, but Miller believes they will never vanish, especially in a society with unattainable beauty standards. Every day, women see thousands of mess

ages in magazines, on television and on social media that reinforce unrealistic beauty ideals. As a result, people buy into the diet industry and believe the countless weight-loss testimonials they see.

“Women that try to set themselves up to look like all these images they are bombarded with are never going to look that way,” Miller says. “So, 94 percent of the population will never look like that no matter how much they diet or exercis


Miller encourages college students to analyze how the media influences their desire to lose weight. People buy into the diet industry, but dissatisfaction with one’s appearance is more often a psychological issue than a weight-loss concern. Fad diets pose a threat to both physical and mental health.

“It comes from inside of you as much as it does from the outward appearance,” she says.

Rather than focusing on weight loss, she suggests people strive to live healthier lifestyles. Cardio workouts, strength training and a balanced diet are ways to achieve that.

“Become more active, eat healthier choices,” Miller says. “You will start to see the comfort of being a healthier person.”


2017-2018IssuesSex & Health
No Comment


  • Dancing The Jitters Away

    “I wanna learn shim sham. Why you wanna? So I can shim sham with you.” The opening lyrics to “ The Shim Sham Song” by The Bill Elliot Swing...
  • Just Bead It

    My mission at Beads & Things was clear: make a simple, yet distinctive bracelet. The goal seemed easy enough; I just needed an idea of what beads I wanted...
  • Fit for all ages

     Jolene Quirke’s CrossFit gym will be filled with a diverse group of people ready for a workout in two hours, but right now, the only people on the rubber...
  • Rolling With The Times

    It’s Friday night on Palmer Street. Strokes of blue light with accents of pink are painted across the canvas of the lanes. The patterns created by the light dance...