Alive in L.A., detox capital of the U.S. I’m talking about detoxing not from drugs and alcohol but from food. Cleansing here is a rite of passage, fueled by the fact that stars do it to drop weight fast. Yes, Philly has cheesesteaks, Chicago has deep-dish, and we have the Master Cleanse, an ostensibly purifying mix of water, lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. But when I hear A-listers are now forgoing food for drinks delivered daily as part of the iZO Cleanse (izocleanze.com), I’m intrigued. I have habits no nutritionist would approve of: wake up, down a pot of coffee, skip breakfast, add mayo to everything, hit 7-Eleven often. I’ve got insomnia and five new pounds to show for it, so when my editor asked me to do diet rehab with iZO, I said yes, yes, yes.
The author with her daily regimen
THE DAY BEFORE I meet Tim Martin, iZO’s founder, at his cheeky offices, a hot-pink former Hare Krishna temple. “IZO is a luxe, designer detox. We do everything for you and can adjust the program to your needs,” Martin says. Fittingly, it’s also as pricey as a new pair of Choos.
I decide on a five-day, preweekend improvement plan (starting at $150 per day). But I warn him that I’ve never mastered the Master Cleanse. “That’s because it’s depleting to the body. The sugar gives you just enough energy to get by on, but you can’t thrive on it. It can lead to binges,” he explains. He assures me iZO’s organic produce will flood me with antioxidants and minerals as I detox.
That night, I get rid of my coffee and the food in my fridge so I’m not tempted.
DAY ONE 9:00 a.m.:
Wake in a sugar coma from last night’s “last supper”: Doritos, M&M’S, movie pop-corn, and cheesecake. Intense headache brews instead of coffee. I peruse the iZO cooler that was dropped outside my door at 6:00 A.M. It contains 11 mayonnaise-like jars of liquid. My goods: four green jars (a veggie blend of broccoli, algae, and more), four teas (Purify and Elevate), two white protein shakes, and one murky brown concoction. As instructed, I down the vial of mineral-rich marine plasma, which tastes suspiciously like seawater, and then use the first of my green drinks to wash down enzymes, parasite killers, and Liver Rescue. This will be the daily routine. Noon: Dying for my Starbucks Sumatra, I swig more fennely-tasting green juice straight from the jar. It’s filling and hard to finish. 3:00 p.m.: Everything’s too loud. I dream up ways to off the leaf blower outside. 4:00 p.m.: Drink herby-tasting tea, marveling that I’m not hungry. 6:00 p.m.: Savor the protein drink pureed almond milk, black beans, and black rice the best so far. 9:00 P.M.: My neighbor Mark calls for a chocolate-and-doughnuts run. “Didn’t I tell you I’m cleansing?” I snap. I haven’t left the house all day, and it’s my first human contact. I choke down the salty brown stuff. 9:55 p.m.: Feel like a victim. Slap on toxin-removing foot pads. 10:00 p.m.: Deep sleep the best in ages. DAY TWO 10:00 A.M.: Help. I’m seriously bloated. 1:00 P.M.: Martin recommends a colonic. I shudder at the thought, partly because it requires getting off the couch. I nap instead. 6:00 p.m.: I call Daisy Fuentes for support. She lost five pounds in three days on iZO. “Three days was so easy. It helped me get healthy,” she says. I wonder if it would be unprofessional to hang up on her. 7:00 p.m.: Drink Elevate tea and feel no such thing. 8:00 p.m.: I miss chewing. Chew (forbidden) gum for two hours.
JAESUNG LEE. MICHAEL KORS TOP, SCHMID’S OWN. FASHION EDITOR: JENNY RICKER; HAIR: RICHARD COLLINS; MAKEUP: KAYLEEN McADAMS. SPECIAL THANKS TO THE MONDRIAN HOTEL, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA
There’s a new detox in Tinselt own, and you don’t have to cheek into rehab to do it. Wendy Schmid TAKES A BREAK FROM FOOD and gets enlightened.
DAY THREE 11:00 a.m.: I’m cranky and tired, and I feel heavy. I book a colonic appointment. 4:00 P.M.: Colon hydrotherapist Leah Joiner j. gives me a flush. 7:00 P.M.: Feeling lighter, I go to the movies, but I fear my jar of white liquid makes me appear to be nursing a child I’ve misplaced.
DAY FOUR 11:00 A.M.: I commiserate with actress Patricia Heaton about iZO detoxo, the brown seaweed-and-mush-| room drink. “Pond water!” she cries. But it’s her only complaint; she lost six pounds in 10 days. She also did fitness boot camp. I don’t have energy for the gym, but I meet a friend for brunch. I stare at her coffee.
DAY FIVE Finally, I see the light. I’m centered. I have rosier skin. My insomnia is gone, my stomach is flat, and I’m relaxed. I drink my last jars of juice, thinking of the grilled-chicken salad I’ll have tomorrow. I feel too healthy to consider junk food. Martin’s farewell advice: “Continue eating as raw as possible salads, steamed vegetables and ease back into protein and grains. Try to avoid dairy and processed foods, and chew everything well.” Oh, the irony.
THE DAY AFTER I’ve lost eight pounds and 3 percent body fat. I won’t say I’ll never have M&M’S again, and coffee is like a lover I can’t quite forget but now I think one cup is enough.