The taco cleanse is simple, really: Eat tacos for breakfast lunch and dinner. It's a "cleanse for the soul," co-creator and Taco Cleanse author Molly Frisinger says. The best part: It's also doctor-approved.
Frisinger and her three friends imagined this crazy cleanse while knocking back a round of margaritas and talking about how often they ate tacos. In addition to tacos for every meal, dieters can supplement their meals with any and all kinds of snacks, and margaritas are recommended. Tacos, margaritas, and a doctor's approval? Now, this sounds too good to be true.
Well, not surprisingly, there's a catch: All tacos must be vegan. Wave goodbye to those carnitas and carne asada tacos, and say hello to sweet potatoes, squashes, fruits, and nuts.
“I think the idea of it is pretty great,” Eugenia Gianos, MD, says. “The fact that it’s promoting a vegan diet is a benefit.” So while upping your daily veggie intake won't harm you, it also doesn't necessarily mean that you're eating healthy. “Simply eating vegan is not going to automatically help you have a healthier diet,” Liz Sanders, RD, of the International Food Information Council Foundation says. “A plant-based diet could actually be unhealthy if it is lacking key nutrients.”
Dr. Gianos, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Health, says that research shows vegan and Mediterranean diets are the best at reducing a person's risk of heart disease and cancer — but only if you follow them properly. For those willing to make the leap, Gianos has three tips.
1. Ditch the highly processed shells.: Unconventional carbs like pitas can be great "taco shells." Even flour tortillas can help break up the monotony of corn tortillas three meals per day.
2. Go crazy when it comes to fillings.: No one eats tacos because they love corn tortillas; people eat tacos because they love what's inside. So don't hold back when it comes to stuffing yours. A nice variety of fruits and veggies — like kale, butternut squash, and plantains — plus good fats like avocado and nuts will leave you happy, healthy, and full.
3. Restrain yourself when it comes to the margaritas.: Applebee's may have $1 margaritas for the entire month of October but that doesn't mean you should get hammered every night. If you're thinking of trying the taco cleanse for its health benefits, you should limit your margarita intake.
Frisinger and her friends designed the taco cleanse to be customizable. Try it for three days, one week, six months, or even a year. It's all up to you!