Wellness Myths

Netflix’s CHEER and the Watermelon Cleanse

March 03, 2022 Season 2 Episode 39
Wellness Myths
Netflix’s CHEER and the Watermelon Cleanse
Show Notes Transcript
Did you know that the food you eat rots in your gut??

JUST KIDDING! It doesn’t, and your favorite dietitians take some time to explain why that doesn’t actually happen this week. Listen now to hear all about the Netflix show, “Cheer”, the watermelon cleanse, and body image. You’re not going to want to miss this one!

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Heinous. Hey ma'am. So this is kind of a wild week for us. It's a short week for us because we're heading to Miami on Thursday. Yes. Which is very exciting, but Emily and I are both just like trying to get so many things done since it is a short week, you know, it's just kind of a blessing and a curse when you have a short. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's like, oh, complete and utter whirlwind for me. Yeah. So I'm very much looking forward to Thursday because it will all be behind us. But recording this right now is checking another thing off the to-do list. And it's one of the fun things we get to do. Yes, definitely. I am really excited to, I mean, obviously talk about the science and the nutrition, but I'm really excited to talk about cheer because I love the show. And also, I mean, like every, every other person loves the show like this isn't special about me, but what is special about me is that I took a cheer theme cycling class. I don't know if you remember this, Vanessa. A cheer theme to cycling class. Yeah, it was so fun. Shout out to Rose Marshall in Portland. She currently teaches at burdens cycle. I think the studio that was at sense close, but people were like in full-on outfits, like. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, it was serious. Like I just showed up in like regular clothes and I was like, oh, wow. I didn't know that we were supposed to wear like bows and stuff, but it was so much fun. And I really enjoyed it. It was right before the pandemic too. So it was like the next week after I was like, wow, last week I was at a cheer theme cycling class, and now I'm like locked down. Yeah. Wow. How fun? Okay, so everyone will understand that in a few moments, why we're talking about cheer. I swear it relates to this episode. This is, we're going to talk about something that we don't like about cheer. One of the few things And you know, I hate to say this when I'm just gonna get it out there into the open season to last me. did really, Yeah. Yeah. I'm just, I'm not that into it. I didn't even finish. the other school. Did you, did you not like the other. I mean the other school's fine. I just, I don't know, the, not the novelty has worn off for me and I'm just kind of over it. I also heard, and I don't know if this is a rumor or not, so maybe I'm perpetuating a rumor, but I heard that this national championship, they go to, it's only two teams there. Like it's only Navarro and Trinity. What's what's the other school, Yeah, Trinity. Christian. Yeah. think, I don't know. Wow. Okay. I'm gonna have to look into that. Yeah. tell us if you've known, I want to hear it. You can DM us on Instagram and tell us how wrong we are Tell us the truth. Yeah. Well, we're about to Tell you the truth. about some of the eating habits on sheer. Yes. All right. Let's get into. Welcome to wellness Smith today, we are talking about, well, we'll be talking a lot about the show cheer, but as it relates to the watermelon cleanse and we want to talk about how your GI system. Actually works because of some comments that we heard in season two of shear. So if you're not familiar with the show it's on Netflix I think season two came out like a month ago or two months ago. Is that right? Emily? It was definitely recent because I remember literally everybody was texting me after, like, did you hear about the diet comments that they made the season? I was like, oh, unfortunately, yes. So it's about a junior college cheer team and you watch these athletes as they prepare for national championships. And it's a really kind of deep look into the sport of sheer and how intense it is. I mean, I certainly was not that aware of what cheerleading was like at the collegiate level. I mean, these girls are getting catapulted into the air like flipping around, getting dropped on their heads and then people are. Take that girl away. We need a new one. It's literally wild, wild, Yes, totally. It's shocking to me. I was reading this other articles is like off topic. It's a quick sidebar. I promise. But I was reading this other article, talking about how they really like, just allow these people to have And I mean, you see it on the show for sure. But it's like, there really needs to be an overhaul of this sport because of what they kind of allow people to sustain injury wise. Oh, yeah. They basically like get mad at them. If they have a concussion. Like, I feel like I recall an episode of Monica was the coach's name and there was one of the cheerleaders had been like, I think it was one of the guys and like a girl had fell on him or something. He had some kind of concussion. He was having like blurred vision and stuff. And she was like, oh yeah, he's just like, not ready to get back out there again. And she was mad. Like just, just truly wild. But anyway, so the new season, one of the cheerleaders brings up that she is doing a watermelon cleanse and that she will only be eating watermelon for the next three days. And she states that she's doing this because when you eat food, it just sits in rots in your gut. And so for that reason, you need to do a cleanse. there's a lot to say about. The girl that said this, her parents are, I mean, they're like comfortable in my opinion, they're like psychotic. And even the mom was like, this doesn't seem right, I was literally right. when you brought this up, I, was going to say that, like, I was never team Gabby's parents until they told her that she at least couldn't do the watermelon diet when they were doing like full outs of their routine. right. at least she had like a slight voice of reason telling them she was, I think she mentioned like you guys are doing way too much physical work for you to be sustained on watermelon. I, and I lit when she said that I was like, this is the first same thing I've ever heard this woman say, Oh, yeah. Total stage birds. Oh, so, so much, so much. So obviously a lot to unpack with the watermelon diet and you know, the idea of things rotting in your gut. And I think that idea's been for a little bit and I've seen it a little bit more recently, so I think we need to talk about it. So let's start with what the watermelon cleanse. So Emily and I were talking about this and we were like, why pick watermelon? Of course, you know, part of it is obviously it's, low-calorie, there's a lot of water in it. But why watermelon instead of like cucumber or something like that. And basically what I found is just because people like watermelon, I was thinking that we were talking about like, it's it's so palatable. Like I think that that's just like, one of the reasons, plus I guess like there's different ways you could eat it. I wonder if they like juice it over, it seems to be like just straight up watermelon. Yeah. I think it's Okay. up watermelon. I mean, so watermelon, it's only about 45 calories per cup, so it's a super low calorie food. know, it has vitamin a vitamin B vitamin C. So it's not as if it's a food that's bad for you, but. It doesn't have a lot to it. So no protein, no fat, that you would need. Just to be a human much less to be an athlete. Yeah, I think it's also really important too. And I think we've touched on this in the past, but it's like, You still need a good amount of calories just for your basal metabolic rate, like your, just for your body to like exist and for you to like walk around from like your couch to your fridge, like you're requiring a lot just to complete respirations and your normal waste cycle. And it's like having people think that just because you're laying on the couch all day, you need way less food or something. And that's really not that true. Yeah. And you know, this is just kind of a fun side note. Have you ever eaten roasted watermelon seeds? No, I don't think So So I don't think I have either, but when I was reading all about watermelon for this episode there was something about like watermelon seeds being a great snack, cause you can roast them and they're full of iron and magnesium. And I thought that was kind of interesting, cause I've never thought of roasting watermelon seeds, but another way you can use your watermelon. But please do. Have it be the only thing you please, you know, their stuff. Um, so, you know, kind of like I mentioned, she says she's doing this because she doesn't want food to be rotting in her gut. So. First off. I just want to start everyone off with a quick anatomy lesson and keep everyone real humble. And remember your GI tract is one series of hollow tubes. It starts at your mouth. It ends at your anus, which means that you could poop out of your mouth. Hypothetically, Oh, God. that felt really important for me to include not sure why. Now that I gave you that fun fact, I'm going to give you one more and so another fun fact if you are an RD to be, and you're studying right now and you're looking to remember the parts of your small intestine, you can use the mnemonic DJ, Ellie, Ellie duodenum. Did you numb an ilium? I'll never forget that. So just, you can jot that down on your notes. Did you ever use that one? little tip for, you know, I never used that one? You did it. but that's It's It's not good. One. I literally will never forget. is. Okay. So back to the GI tract and out of my fun fact tangents. So basically the goal of your GI tract is to break down foods so that your body is able to use it. So you'd be begin digesting things in your mouth, both by chewing and in your slide, others, an enzyme called amylase. So that comes into play to start digesting your food after you swallow. There's this thing that starts that's called Paracelsus. basically it's the muscles the walls of the GI tract contracting and relaxing to push the food forward through the GI tract. that's why you can still digest things. If you're laying down, it's not just gravity. It's actually pushing it through. keeping that in mind. We already have enzymes into play and we have Paracelsus into play. So we're keeping the food moving and we're keeping it breaking down. So once it gets to the stomach, It's going to get hit with hydrochloric acid or stomach acid, and it's going to turn the food, mix it with that hydrochloric acid. And after it's finished turning that up, it's going to dump into the small intestine where more digestive juices are gonna come into play. Utilize, utilize the rest of the good parts of the food before dumping the waste products into your large intestine. And then obviously sending it out of your body. So although some foods might. A longer amount of time to get through this process. Nothing's going to sit there and rot, it's going to be forced through eventually. Right And it's like, there's certain foods. Like that's why fiber might keep you fuller longer. Cause it takes longer to digest it. So that's really the reason why things are moving slower, which is funny because I feel like people would think like, maybe what they deem as an unhealthy food would take a long time. it just depends on your body and like your, their sensitivities or maybe intolerance you have. But yeah, there's just no way otherwise everything would like come up the other end as Vanessa. Right again, it's a one long hollow tube. That's all right. Yeah. So if you're worried about your gut I mean, you definitely want to eat lots of fiber prebiotics, probiotics. You want lots of good varieties of bacteria, but you definitely don't have to worry about doing a cleanse or, you know, worry about food rotting. You know, Especially your stomach is a really acidic environment. So it's not, it's the kind of environment that stuff can't easily just sit in like create bacteria and rot. definitely not. That would cause major problems. I think also it goes back to. The idea of giving your digestive system a break, which I know that we've talked about before, I think in our cleanse episode. And it's just not really like those muscles don't get tired, like a muscle in your arm does you they're continuously working even without any sort of break Yeah, absolutely. And so doing a cleanse like this, like Emily mentioned nobody needs to do it, but for, you know, in this situation, these cheerleaders that are doing this really intense work all the time I mean, it would definitely be dangerous for them to be doing stuff like this. I mean, even just being extra fatigued would be really dangerous for them. Cause they're literally getting thrown in the air. And a lot of their movements have to be very, very precise to make sure that they're safe. And I think it's a good time to kind of talk about the fact that. You know, when I watched this moment on the show, I was like, oh, like, I'm kind of mad that they cut that in there. Right. Because I don't want people to be like Googling the smell. That's kind of like what has happened a little bit. But. It's also really shedding light on this issue of the pressure with looks within this particular sport and with other sports too. But I think cheerleading, there's definitely an extra component. And there's actually some research behind this. And behind basically like the pressures that they feel, because at the end of the day, like, yeah, you know, Reach your leaders are some things P R people that younger people look up to and they might see like, oh, she's doing this watermelon diet. I want to do it too. And it can be problematic, but the real core of the issue is fatphobia and this pressure to be thin. And that's not something that, you know, this true leader is exactly directly responsible for. Right. She's just kind of working within her industry. And unfortunately, in this industry, the smaller you are. The more kind of reward you're going to feel. And so this study was done all the way back in 2012 before cheer came out on Netflix, but I'm sure Navarro was winning a bunch of metals even back then. Enough rings to prove. Yeah. she totally, how many times are they gonna show that God, they have a picture of her with those rings, like she's just, yeah. Wait also I did, I did Google. If they were competing only against two teams and yeah, it is only against each other in the end. So that is never remember. Y'all a little cheated Yeah. a little bit? Yeah. Okay. Back to our backyard study, I just had to let everybody know that I couldn't think that we're spreading this information. Okay. So this study was done and used. Hold on, let me re-say that The study sought to identify the risk of eating disorders for cheerleaders and also how their body image perception played a part in that. So this study says that the eating disorder risk for cheerleaders was estimated at 33.1%. Flyers had greater odds of being at risk compared with basis. Those are the people like in the air. Which that seems pretty obvious why they would feel like that. And then no difference was noted between the base and the back spot position. So basically the people at the front or the people in the back and then a main effect of body image perception was seen significant. Interaction by clothing type. So cheerleaders desire to be smaller than their perceived body image for each clothing type. And the biggest difference was in the midriff uniform followed by their full uniform, followed, followed by their daily clothing. So basically it's saying that like, they're most uncomfortable in the midriff uniform, then they're cheering a farm, then just clothes that they wear every day, which that makes sense. Everyone's more uncomfortable in a uniform than they are like in their regular, everyday clothing. But I just thought that was interesting because. You know, that's kind of a whole other layer of psychological issue to deal with on top of already doing this really intense sport. So I think that's important to say too, and really to look at the root cause of these diets, because it's not really just as simple and straightforward as oh, she cares about how she looks and this is it. It's like, no, this is really like the crux of their industry. Well, and you can tell too. And the show, like even the coach, she prefers girls that are pretty and skinny and she like definitely shows favoritism towards those girls. Definitely. And you know, the study basically concluded that universities, colleges, all the bodies of cheerleading really need to focus on preventing eating disorder and body image satisfaction and how they can promote self-esteem, which Yeah, You know, these are, these are good. Band-aids in the moment to be like, okay, we're gonna, you know, not do these cleanses and whatever, but the pressures are still existing outside of all of this. And that's why we're in this current story. Battle with fatphobia. And another study that wasn't really estimating the risk for chillers that just kind of took a group of chillers. And that said that 26% of this group of cheerleaders had an active eating disorder. So yeah, it's, it's a huge risk for them, especially with what physical activity they're doing. And even if you aren't doing any physical activity and eating disorders is still really serious. You know, when it comes to bone structure, especially you know, that can be a really big issue with people who aren't consuming enough calories. And at, you know, these ages of being teenagers, when we're supposed to be building up our bones, it's kind of going the opposite way. Yeah. I literally think about all of the scenes where they're literally just getting dropped on these maps. Like their body's just getting dropped. And that alone is a good enough reason to want to have really, really strong bones. And I mean, if you're not eating like calcium, your body will pull the calcium from your bones into your blood in order to survive. So it's going to make your bones weaker as a survival mechanism. Right. And that, and that's something that's, you know, it's helpful for you in the moment, but it's not going to be super great longterm. I also found just kind of this like fun side article that talks about nutrition for cheerleaders. And this is just kind of like a great example of like they tried, but they're still missing the mark slash entrenched in diet culture. And it says, you know, Cheerleader should properly feel their bodies. This is really important. Competitive cheerleading is very demanding. They should eat healthy, but they shouldn't worry about being overly skinny. It's important to be at a healthy weight, but you need muscles to support the skills you're attempting to do. Like what the hell? Like that's so confusing. Like you should eat healthy, be you shouldn't be overly skinny, but you should be at a healthy way, but you also need muscle. Like what? Well, and I think just a healthy weight is very vague and most people don't really Yeah. means. I mean, we already know that BMI. Isn't a good indicator, but then it's like, are thinking, okay, then what do I eat? does that mean? For sure. And. it's usually like, you know, people set point or where their body's naturally landing or where your body might not naturally be landing after. You've gained weight or lost weight, whatever. It's sometimes not where you want to be. So looking at that perception, like, okay, likely for cheerleaders, they want to be in a solid body. And that's what this research says. You know, that regardless, even if they're at a quote unquote healthy weight it, they're still not happy with it. And that's where the risk lies. And that's why it doesn't really matter what your weight is. It really. A big focus on the perception because that's, what's going to really stress the body out. And that's what causes all that harm and not great feelings. this article basically recommends that it's very important not to go into practice hungry. Okay, great. They're saying dairy products make you feel nauseated when working out, so avoid those prior to your workout. I'm not sure like I'm vegan. I haven't really ever heard any information about that. Maybe they're just thinking like heavier foods. I'm not sure. Well, dairy can cause like mucus and things like that. So I definitely wouldn't recommend dairy before doing a hard workout. Cause you'll probably feel like you're going to throw up or throw up from Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. That makes sense. And so, you know, they're like before practice food suggestions and they talk about raw nuts, light popcorn, I'm assuming that's because you know, the fat takes longer to digest. Do some discomfort to the body. But even just the small things, they like small bowl of pre-cut fruit with granola, like small bowl of brown rice or black beans. It's just like kind of this undercurrent throughout the article of like, you know, make sure it's a small portion. And even after practice, they talk about, fill up on fruits and veggies. Those are always a healthy choice. I mean, you really need protein after that. They do talk about like, you could combine some proteins with carbohydrates, but it's like they had to get in the end. They're like, make sure you fill up on veggies and fruits when veggies and fruits really should be aside. Like it shouldn't be like, you know, your main source of calories is vegetables. They're low in calories. So filling up on those also could up on those can make a difficult to eat enough protein alongside of that. So I think that's important to point out too. But yeah, clearly they're, they're trying a little bit, I think, with their messaging, but . It's still missing the. Yeah. So I think in summary, we're going to go ahead and recommend that you watch season one of cheer. If you have not already season two, I'm not gonna fully recommend personally because hasn't recommending it hit for me. it's hit for Emily and that's her business. That is my business. I fully advocate for the second season. I thought it was great. There was a couple of slow episodes in there, but you definitely, it's definitely worth a watch. And do not do the watermelon cleanse. And also don't worry about food rotting in your guts. It's it's not, we'll take that off of your list of. Yeah. I'll see you in Miami M.