Cleansing and Mark Twain

cheese steak sub, cleansing, dietYes, I’m going on a cleansing diet, she says.


I ask, what’s a cleansing diet, which is a stupid question and a horrible way to get stuck in a conversation about eating hardly a thing worthwhile and torturing your body into feeling that it’s pure and clean and never again accepting a cheese steak sub or a chocolate martini.


Does that sound healthy to you?martini, chocolate martini, cleansing diet


Mark Twain once said, “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” I doubt that they used to “cleanse” back in his day. But I may be wrong.


Did they worry about the “toxins” in their body in Twain time?


I feel the urge to ask my cleansing friend that question, but then I remember another Mark Twain quote:

Mark Twain

“Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”


So I don’t ask which toxins she needs to remove from her body– the bottle of wine she drank last night, the 8 oz rib eye she ordered at the pricey restaurant, or the ‘garlic-infused’ mashed potatoes.


Because I realize that my friend is cleansing more than her body. Her boss gave her a demotion, her boyfriend didn’t give her a ring, and her sister asked for a large loan.


Sometimes, I think, we wish we could cleanse ourselves from the problems brought on by too much “life.”


Which reminds me of another quote, this one from novelist John le Carre: “There are moments that are made up of too much stuff for them to be lived at the time they occur.”


If only we could fast from the frantic-ness of everyday life.


Now that’s one diet I might try.

40 thoughts on “Cleansing and Mark Twain

  1. I love the Mark Twain quote about keeping my mouth shut , so true. Here is an idea to fast from the frantic-ness of life, let’s take time for a moment of beauty and peace and cleanse our mind. Thank you for a great post.

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  2. Oh my gosh, Pam, this post is priceless! So much wisdom packed into a few paragraphs, and you’ve added just the right touch of humor (Mark Twain would be proud!). We just mustn’t take ourselves too seriously.

    So you don’t want to be my accountability partner on the next new diet I’d like to try? 🙂

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      • I’m still working on it…sometimes I have to “clean out the closet again” but for the most part I am able to avoid negative people. It can be so hard to stay away from some because they tend gravitate toward me and I don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings. I remember someone saying once…”If you do all the things you should be doing, you don’t have time to do the don’ts!” LOL! Good advice 🙂

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  3. A well-written post, Pam. As someone else mentioned the perfect “recipe” of thought-provoking words with humor. I love the quotes; Twain is always wonderful, but I really liked the Le Carre quote because I had never seen it before.
    When people feel their lives are out of control they turn to food choice and controlling their bodies — been there, done that, no fun.

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    • I found the Le Carre quote several years ago and use it as an instrument to create different short stories (without actually putting the quote in the story). But I think we all feel that way – too much stuff all around us at times – and I think you’re right, one way to control the stuff around us is by choosing the ‘stuff’ we put inside us.

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  4. Well done Pam, you’ve made me feel more tolerant and understanding towards anyone who is doing such a diet. My gut (sorry, couldn’t resist!) response – though unspoken – used to be ‘That’s what your liver/kidneys are for.’

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  5. Funny! You always have me chuckling with a grin bigger than the computer screen. The last time I did a “cleanse” was about a year and a third ago and I had a blast. The old body felt sparkly, brand-new and had so much energy. Learned a whole bunch of new ideas for recipes and felt hot & hoppin’. (And not drinking wine or coffee for a whole three weeks was interesting, too.)

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    • Oh my gosh, my blogging friend, I remember now when you blogged about your cleanse. And you actually enjoyed it! I remember being in awe that you could do that. If I could feel ‘hot and hoppin’ after a cleanse, you might change my mind about that chocolate martini. 🙂

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  6. I have a quote that helps cleanse my life when I can remember it and remember to use it; “I may not be much, but I’m all I think about”. Trying to think about “others” and how I might help “others” is very cleansing to me. When I’m in the “otherness mode my life is rather simple and lacks the guilt that I assign to my actions when my actions are not aligned with what I think others would want me to do or be and/or become. Alas, this “otherness” doesn’t “stick”, and I revert to integrating what I think others think about me and how that drives my life into “actions” that are aligned with these false directives. Another quote I remember is; “what other people think of me is none of my concern”. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!!

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    • What wonderful quotes! Hope you don’t mind if I borrow them sometime. That first one is hysterical, “I may not be much, but I’m all I think about.” What a great segue into reminding us all that thinking about others is a great cleanse. LOVELY. Your second quote makes me smile. Ah, you are great, and I hope you had a fabulous Father’s Day. xo

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  7. Love Twain and appreciated John le Carre’s “…moments…too much stuff…” I’d rather have those moments, though, and live fully, I’d rather not cleanse, I’ve never cheated myself of butter and eggs, I admit I enjoy some bad habits, and I don’t understand political correctness being used as a societal cleanse. More & more, I’m shying away from frantic-ness! Does shying away count as cleansing?

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    • Yes, shying away counts as cleansing if it means using common sense and chocolate to get through all the ‘too much stuff’!
      And good point – let’s appreciate that we had, and survived, those too full moments at times.

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  8. Your blog sent me to this post after reading you most recent one (concerning the OEG diet). It seems very timely even though written six years ago. Many in the USA are now beginning a kind of national cleanse — or perhaps a national re-balancing? We shall see… I love the comments that a great blog post inspires. So many useful, funny, reassuring, inspiring perspectives. I especially like the idea that ““what other people think of me is none of my concern.” Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Please keep writing, and writing and writing!!!

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    • Thanks for finding this over-five-year-old post! I had forgotten about my words on “cleansing,” and you’re right, this would be perfect for now – a national cleansing indeed, with much hope and finger crossing to go along with it. My wonderful friend Chuck shared that quote “what other people think of me is none of my concern” in his comment here. He died suddenly two years ago, still young at 60, struggled mightily with addiction in his 40s, and found such inner strength to overcome his demons. He’s one of the strongest spirits I still feel around me.


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