I Tried… The Taco Cleanse


Juliana Fonseca-Alesso

Something to taco ’bout: a week on the tortilla-based diet

Patrick Pauley, Contributing Writer

At first I was reluctant to agree to do this cleanse. However, the more I thought about it, I figured, ‘Why not?’ I like tacos, and I was willing to see just how far my appetite for them would go. A quick Google search revealed that the original cleanse, which is vegan, originates from a book called “The Taco Cleanse: The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life,” written by taco enthusiasts Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly Frisinger and Jessica Morris. I would not be following the book.


On Sunday night I went to the new Trader Joe’s at City Point in Brooklyn. Flying by the seat of my pants, I picked out whatever I thought would go well in tacos — or whatever I was craving at the time — and whatever was the cheapest. I picked up the taco staples, but I also added items I thought would be interesting. These included sweet potatoes, leafy greens besides lettuce and a ball of mozzarella. I finally checked out and my total was not more than $45.


I decided to wake up early and prepare food. It was a little bit of a struggle, but I managed to leave my apartment by 8:30 a.m. for class. For breakfast I ate a simple breakfast taco — only eggs and cheese I grated myself were inside, all on a whole wheat tortilla. I packed three corn tortilla tacos for lunch consisting of sliced mushrooms seared on a dry pan — a sans-grill grilled version of mushrooms — and a spicy sweet potato hash, all topped with homemade pico de gallo. When I finally got around to eating them in between classes I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were. I got home and quickly made some pan-seared, spiced chicken to put inside three flour tortillas with pico and freshly grated cheese.


Since I had no classes, I got up at around noon and coated the bottom of two whole wheat tortillas with salsa verde, added some black beans and some cheese and then topped it off with a fried egg. This was my huevos rancheros taco. For dinner I went to Tacombi in NoLiTa with some friends for Taco Tuesday and ate about seven different tacos.

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday and Thursday were similar, but I had some marinated flank steak tacos that were more like fajitas for dinner.


Friday morning, which was the last day of my taco cleanse, I had sliced mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper over a bed of arugula tacos. Lunch was the shredded chicken tacos again, and then dinner was three flour tortillas with pico, freshly grated cheese and pan-seared spiced chicken.

Overall, I really enjoyed this cleanse and feel I have proven my devotion to the traditional Mexican dish. Am I tired of tacos now? Not in the slightest. I think I varied the taste enough for a five day cleanse, so I never got tired of whatever I was eating. As an added benefit, I still have a lot of groceries left and feel like I saved a lot of money by actually utilizing my apartment’s kitchen. Additionally, my week was more productive than it has been in a long time. Waking up early and prepping meals motivated me to actually do what I needed to do. The verdict: try the taco cleanse.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 25 print edition. Email Patrick Pauley at [email protected].