Are Taco Cleanses The Next Big Thing?

Taco lovers, your time has come: First, 2015 brought us the taco emoji, and now, 2016 has gifted us with taco cleanses. Is this the best start to the year ever or what? The glorious guide to achieving all your wildest dreams (i.e., living on tacos) is laid out in the eponymous cookbook The Taco Cleanse , written by "food scientists" Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly R. Frisinger, and Jessica Morris.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the plan is based on a 2013 experiment in which the foursome ate tacos for three meals a day in honor of the Vegan Month of Food. Oh, right — that's the catch that supposedly turns the taco-only diet from "ticket to heart disease" territory into a supposed cleanse: Every recipe is vegan. The Taco Cleanse begins with a quiz to determine what kind of taco-eater you are, with options ranging from "taco sentimentalist," presumably because you burst into happy tears at the sight of a taco, to "taco contortionist," a term which I can't even begin to fathom. Once you've discovered your taco personality, you design a meal plan based on the recipes available in the book. Again, this is a meal plan consisting of nothing but tacos. O happy day!

If this sounds too good to be true, that's because it kind of is: The "cleanse" aspect is largely satirical, hence the ridiculous Cosmo-style quizzes. However, the taco recipes are deliciously, amazingly real.

Recipes include tempeh picadillo and "ion-charged refried beans," whatever that means. The book even includes a variety of alcoholic drink recipes like agave margaritas, because eating vegan doesn't mean you have to be healthy in every aspect of your life.

Of course, it should be noted that fad diets — and especially cleanses — are often just that: Fads. They may make you lose weight while you're following their diet plans, but it's almost always through unhealthy, unbalanced means.

However, research shows again and again that the best way to improve your health is by eating healthily and exercising regularly. In contrast, most cleanse diets have very little science going for them. As food scientist and dietitian Dr. Joy Dubost told TIME, "I’ve... never seen an explanation for what ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ diets are cleansing or detoxifying your body of. I think the vagueness there may be part of the appeal."

That being said, an all-taco diet sounds pretty appealing — just remember that it might be a good idea to include some non-taco items every once in a while, difficult as that may be.

For more food inspiration, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Images: Fotolia; Giphy (3)