No More Chicken of the Sea: Jessica Simpson Goes Vegan

Will veggies and weight-loss tea really bring her peace?

Everyone’s favorite body image punching bagJessica Simpson, tweeted Sunday night that she "Shocked my system with a vegan diet, special Pu-erh tea from China, and cupping since friday! Who am I right now? This might be too clean!" She continued, "Has anyone ever tried cupping? When u know you are doing something good for ur body the meditation creates intense visions. Love it!" and added that she is working with a healer named Master Wang, but, "Just so everyone is clear.. this has NOTHING to do with weight! It is about understanding my body through hydration and alkalinty..."

Let’s deconstruct this digestive system tweet, shall we?

“Shocked my system with a vegan diet”…
To be sure, a vegan diet can be shocking for someone used to eating lots of meat, dairy, fried and processed food.  But a vegan diet can actually be very healthy – it’s loaded with fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains. So you’re eating lots of mangos, berries, salads, edamamae, yams and whole wheat pasta, while shunning meat, fish, dairy, eggs and, most likely, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined flour, caffeine, and anything that contains chemicals that you can't pronounce. 

In terms of weight loss, it seems logical that sticking to whole, natural foods with fewer than five ingredients would pave the way towards a skinnier bod. The authors of Skinny Bitch, a wildly successful anti-meat book masquerading as a weight-loss plan, would have you think so – they advocate a vegan diet to avoid becoming what they call a “bloated fat pig.” They also say going vegan will also keep you from becoming (in their words):

Gross

A fat pig (if you drink alcohol)

A lumpy ass (if you consume soda)

A pussy (if you drink coffee)

A drama queen (if you take cold medicine)

A lazy shit (if you don’t exercise) with cankles

(True story: A bum once asked me for change while I was living in Boystown, Chicago’s gay district. I said, "No, thanks," because I was trying to be polite. And as I passed, he mumbled, "Skinny bitch." I remember being both taken aback but also a bit confused. Was this an insult or a compliment?)

My friend, ADA spokesperson Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RD, told WebMD that following a strict vegan diet would likely result in weight loss simply because it is very low in calories, and that most Americans would benefit from consuming a more plant-based diet. That said, vegetarian diets can be lacking in protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids, and iodine.

"Special Pu-erh tea from China…"
Um, if it’s pronounced "Pooh-er" tea, how can it not help you lose weight? I’ve never quaffed the stuff but it’s been around for eons in China and is believed to help the body "digest fats and saturated oils and may improve your metabolism," according to Teavana. Which, of course, means nothing. But there is solid research backing the link between green tea and weight loss: A study in the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition found that daily green tea consumption – in conjunction with moderate-intensity exercise – promoted weight loss, particularly in belly fat which is the kind of fat that contributes to heart disease.

"Has anyone ever tried cupping? When u know you are doing something good for ur body the meditation creates intense visions. Love it!"
Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice in which suction cups are placed on the skin. Remember this picture of Gwyneth Paltrow’s back? That was from cupping. I’ve never heard of cupping leading to weight loss, but I can see how meditating (which, ostensibly, one does while being cupped) could lead to relaxation and happiness. As for "intense visions," I seriously hope that’s not from Simpson’s newfound vegan diet-induced B vitamin deficiency. And please, Jessica, don’t get all "Goop-y" like Gwyneth and start your own Martha-esque lifestyle website, complete with soft gray font encouraging us to "Pause before reacting" or to "Go to a city you've never been to."

She has a healer named Master Wang
Sweetie, Master Wang is not a healer and that thing he’s waving at you is not a magic wand. Stay far, far away.

"Just so everyone is clear.. this has NOTHING to do with weight! It is about understanding my body through hydration and alkalinty (sic)..."
Whatever you say. It’s hard to believe ANY woman these days can adopt a single healthy lifestyle change for non weight-related reasons. Anytime a friend of mine suddenly goes gluten-free or vegetarian or gives us alcohol for a few months, I automatically assume she’s doing it to trim down. Which is fine…if you want to lose weight, do it and own it. No need to hide behind fancy labels like “alkalinity.” (I’m not familiar with the Alkalinity Diet, but here’s some info.)

Have you ever gone vegan to lose weight? Chime in below.

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