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Book Club: The Taco Cleanse

Story and Photos Michele Truty

Images courtesy of the publisher

Web Feature sponsor Vegan Street Fair

For publication in Driftwood Issue Two

The Taco Cleanse

by Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly Frisinger, and Jessica Morris

You had me at “Cleanses are the fucking worst,” the opening line in Laura Beck’s foreword for The Taco Cleanse. Truth be told, if it had started any other way, I would have stopped right there. So thanks be to the Taco Gods I was met with such a welcome, because it opened my mind, my heart, and at least, like, four other chakras to this life-changing book.

What started as a zine, which started as a VegaMoFo theme (look it up!), The Taco Cleanse is here in full color to introduce a diet regimen—nay, a lifestyle—for the rest of us. Finally! The idea of round-the-clock tacos has struck such a chord with the world that by way of, well, I think Jennifer Aniston's to blame, but the book has made its way through mainstream media and even had its Conan moment. (This also means it's got a few 1-star Amazon reviews from unwitting veganphobes, but whatever.)

So...why is Driftwood covering a cookbook? True, we have taken a solemn oath to never print a recipe—and we won’t—but we’ve embraced The Taco Cleanse for a couple of reasons. First, it takes the vegan assumption. It doesn’t trip over itself trying to define vegan ingredients to the uninitiated or convince you to go vegan. A newb or even an omni should be able to pick this up and rock the cleanse, but there’s no hand-holding here. Second, it’s pretty damn funny.

The book is written with a wink, poking fun at every sort of spirituality and pseudoscience we often see linked with cleanse-type diets. With multiple references to chakras, “glow,” and boosting your (undefined) levels, it’s a good laugh. But don’t dismiss this as mere satire. The Taco Scientists are truly dedicated to sharing the healing power of tacos with the world. They know not all of us can live in the taco haven that is Austin, Texas, and they’re doing what they can to save us from wasting our time with non-taco-based diets. The last thing they want to see is any of us falling under the negative influence of the burrito.

What about the supplements you’ll need throughout your cleanse (read: margaritas) and helpful tips on transition foods (like taco salads and foods you can eat while tilting your head)? Covered. What do you do if you have to attend a taco-free wedding? Covered. How do you share the taco lifestyle with children or finicky teenagers? Covered. Yes, complete with yoga positions and mudras for some next-level taco-ing (from Amey Mathews, Issue One illustrator and blogger at Vegan Eats & Treats), the Taco Scientists have thought of it all.

All kidding aside, it’s a great collection of recipes with easily sourced ingredients and helpful resources, should you have trouble finding those listed. They’ve also included some real-talk resources for guidance on nutrition, because as funny as the idea of a taco cleanse is, our authors are a bunch of compassionate folk who don’t want to see anyone putting themselves at risk.

Whether you want to dip your toes in with a one-day mild cleanse or are ready for the month-long fuego route, it all starts with a single taco.

This piece is from the forthcoming Driftwood Issue Two, which will hits the proverbial streets in March. You can pre-order your copy in our shop! And if you're in L.A., come see us at Vegan Street Fair, March 20, 2016, and be one of the first to grab your copy!

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