Are Master Cleanses Part of God’s Master Plan?

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Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And, depending upon your view of Creation, he also created refined carbohydrates, empty calories, and truffle fries to tempt and test us. Should you subscribe to TV evangelist Pat Robertson's creation myth, white flour is part of God's plan.

But followers of Evangelical mega pastor Rick Warren and his new "Daniel Plan" believe otherwise.

The Daniel Plan is a new book detailing the lifestyle that helped Warren lose 65 pounds in 2011. He was motivated to create the plan after his own weight gain — and after realizing that his arm was really tired after a jam-packed November 2010 day of 800 baptisms. Was it the repetitive dunking motion that fatigued him? No, it was because his congregants were fat:

After lowering more than 145,000 pounds of weight into the water, Warren says he thought, "Wow! Everybody's fat!"

To remedy that, he created a wellness plan loosely modeled after the diet of Daniel, the first chapter of the Bible. It includes five tenets: food, fitness, focus, faith, and friends. Warren told USA Today:

The last two components — faith and friends — are what I call the special sauce that makes the Daniel Plan unique.

But it is a special non-cream-based sauce that doesn't include sugar, snacking, or seconds. It advocates a plant-based philosophy:

The line we use is: "If it grows on a plant, it's healthy. If it's made in a plant, don't eat it."

We're all for being healthy, but isn't dieting hard enough without adding religion to the mix? Can someone tell us where juice cleanses fall on the godliness scale?