Here's Why You—and Jennifer Aniston—Should Try the New Taco Cleanse
Yes, a taco diet plan is a real thing, and it could be the best thing to ever happen to diets
Everyone's talking about it. It may even be garnering the same level of internet excitement that followed the release of the taco emoji. But it's better, because it's edible: It's a taco cleanse. If the idea alone isn't enough to intrigue you, you should know that even Jennifer Aniston wants to get in on it.
The cleanse comes from a new book, The Taco Cleanse, by "vegan taco scientists" (that's a job?!) from Austin, TX, who've created 30 days' worth of vegan taco recipes that cleanse your body of processed foods and fill it with Tex-Mex goodness. Their website touts the obvious advantage of choosing a taco cleanse above others: "Did you try the Master Cleanse and feel hungry all the time? Did South Beach leave you cold? Did you climb on board the Paleo train only to learn that cavemen didn't ride on trains?" This cleanse, they argue, won't leave you hungry. Other benefits apparently include aiding in conception ("100% of women trying to conceive successfully became pregnant within weeks of being on the Taco Cleanse.") and helping hairless men grow beards ("The Taco Cleanse has been shown to produce a glorious beard for the formerly hairless!"). (Think this sounds funny? Check out 9 International Diet Fads Too Wacky to Believe.)
OK, take all the above with a grain of salt. This "cleanse" is less about losing weight and more about promoting a vegan, plant-based diet (that means no meat or dairy!) and boosting energy and mood (because when you're eating tacos for every meal, how can you be sad?). Recipes range from the Accelerated Breakfast Taco to the Smoked Brisket and Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Taco to the Churro-Waffle Taco, and the book includes a very important section of 10 recipes for "Supplements" (AKA margaritas). Take note that this is more of a cookbook than a diet plan-but science does say A Plant-Based Diet Is Ideal for Weight Loss.
"If you're experimenting with some vegan meals, getting more plant-based foods into your diet is always a beneficial thing," says Keri Gans, R.D.N., a Shape advisory board member and the author of The Small Change Diet. While going on a serious taco cleanse might not be the best idea, Gans says as long as you're making sure to get enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you'd be alright. At the very least, you should give the vegan recipes a try. (Can we just appreciate the genius of these taco scientists? Capitalizing on the word cleanse is probably the best thing that has ever happened to a taco cookbook.)
In all seriousness, we find it hard to believe any of their cleanse claims are false. After all, the cleanse promises a more fun life ('ritas are a requirement) and that your "chakras will become realigned into an optimal taco pattern." We don't even know what that means, but how could it be a bad thing? Unless, of course, you don't like tacos. Then you probably shouldn't be allowed to have fun anyways.