Dr. Etti Ben-Zion Talks Sexi and Juicy
Green never looked so good.
Let's define a "chef" as someone who makes food for the public and sells it for profit. And for the sake of Short Order's readers who are sick of hearing about beef and high-priced meals, let's pretend that juice qualifies as food because, frankly, it can... if it's made with the proper ingredients.
So now that we understand one another, let's meet Dr. Etti Ben-Zion, an Israeli who is considered otherworldly by many regular folks. She feeds minds with enlightenment and bodies with juice...and smoothies..and other fun eats.
Dr. Etti is trained as a psychotherapist but labels herself "South Florida's leading detox doctor." Most of our major local media have written about her, trying to tap into just a fraction of her myriad skills. Men and women who come to her seeking weight loss only will be in for a big surprise--she digs deep to discover if you have misperceptions about your body image, why eating better or less freaks you out, and what you really substitute food for. (Yeah, you know you tend to scarf down an entire pizza and pint of Haagen-Dazs when you know you won't be getting any tail. Or is that just us?)
This interview will be a little different than the others, for many reasons, not the least of which is that we are going to drink the Dr. Etti Kool-Aid--literally--as we go. She's put us on a juice program (a.k.a. Sexi Juicing) for three days, followed by one day of smoothies, though her typical program is seven days long. If we come out of this looking and behaving anything like her, alert the casting directors! Dr. Etti is not only slender and full of energy, but her skin literally glows.
After we interview her and share her recipe for apple and carrot pulp muffins, we'll compare her detox program to the Blueprint Cleanse we endeavored in April.
New Times: So what's in this green drink I'm having?
Dr. Etti: Celery, cucumber, chard, lemon, and some sort of fruit.
How did you decide on what goes in there?
It's mostly based on Gabriel Cousens. He wrote Spiritual Nutrition and Conscious Eating. He's from the Tree of Life foundation in Arizona. It's based on his recommendations.
And what drinks will I be having for the rest of the day?
The same juice throughout the day. It's one recipe for the whole day. The next day you get a different recipe.
You told me it's four bottles each day, right?
16 ounces every three hours.
Is this really enough food?
The juices are a great vehicle because they go into the physical body, allowing you to get the nutrition so you are not hungry because the digestive system shuts down and you are nourished. You can think, you can function, but there's an awareness of, 'I'm going to take the time within to figure out my life. It's time for me to get clean and pure.'
So what's about to go down with this cleanse?
The core essence, if you talk about the physical, is that the body has innate wisdom. An innate fountain of youth. As we get older we shut the fountain off because are bogged down by the belief that more is better. We accumulate more than we can eliminate. The body's own detoxification mechanism is being slowed down. And when we slow down, we age. As soon as we stop, and start giving the body a rest, and connect to our breath, and drink highly dense nutritional liquid, we stop the digestive process and start the physiological body process called autolysis. That process goes down to every cell. Then you have a renewed essence. [Editor's note: Wikipedia defines the word as, "...more commonly known as self-digestion, refers to the destruction of a cell through the action of its own enzymes. It may also refer to the digestion of an enzyme by another molecule of the same enzyme."]
What's the major reason most people come to you?
A lot of the peoples' first impression is, I want to lose weight. Maybe they have an accumulation of cellulite. But don't forget that when we are bogged down by toxins we are also bogged down by some misconceptions about ourselves. We attribute a lot of our problems to our weight. But when we start peeling back layers... all of a sudden you start realizing, I have been substituting food for something I really want to focus on, which is the relationship with myself.
What's the major Miami ailment?
On top it's 'just supersize me.' They're not realizing more is less and less is more. Underneath is a deep yearning to find a purpose. Even men. They come here and you can see them yearning for something that will fulfill them. Some come with depression, midlife crisis, some try to overcompensate with diamonds and big cars and bigger houses, some go to sex, alcohol, but all of those things are temporary crutches. Most people come here with all sorts of issues. When they are in a place of anxiety and fear and no crutches to turn to, I am there to guide them.
And they do this four-day program?
What you're doing is a semi-private because I want you to experience the total spectrum of what we do here. The concept in this program is total transformation. It's not a diet. It's about understanding a core truth. When you understand that you're empowered, and when you're empowered you no longer need to go on a diet. We do that by educating, by supporting, by doing breath and energy work, with machines that stimulate the lymphatic system... There's lots of modalities we combine together to create the organic shift.
So is it wrong that I just want a flat stomach?
Turning on that mechanism is enabling the body to discard the weight of waste. Diets are different than detoxification. Diet starts with the word 'die' and it goes to deprivation. Detoxification goes to feeling alive.
If we actually endure this cleanse without chowing down an entire bag of Ruffles and a bin of Godiva over the weekend, next week we'll report what her program costs, what benefits we can expect, and what's so bad about eating red meat after a 25th birthday.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.