Life Without Food- The Master Cleanse Health Secrets
I did it! I made it through the entire 10-day Master Cleanse without a drop of food. For a real genuine lover of all foods and self-proclaimed intense foodie, it was an accomplishment of severe proportions.
I was surprised to find that many of my friends had already tried it, but most of them failed to make it past day 3. I had numerous people contact me during the cleanse wanting to know how I was doing and curious to hear my commentary about it.
Let’s begin at the beginning. I made a decision to do this cleanse for a variety of reasons. The first and most important reason was because I had been having a variety of stomach problems for the greater part of the past year. You know, all of those unpleasant things the stomach does with the least being indigestion and bloating. I have been on a quest the past couple of years not only to find the root of my stomach problems, but also to find the key that could unlock my slow and lagging metabolism I had seen decrease as the years tick by.
I do realize that most of my complaints are common and largely age related, but as some of you know, I am a perfectionist and have taken the field of anti-aging medicine on as my most favorite hobby for the past 6 years. Like any good nerd, I spend most of my downtime reading about anti-aging medicine, hormone balancing, natural remedies and reviewing blood test results my friends have entrusted to me to evaluate and help them diagnose their own ailments.
While trying to find a cure to my ailments, I remembered a quote from a prominent gastrointestinal doctor who said, “If you want to heal the body, you must first heal the gut.” I knew I had to heal my gut if I wanted total health and wellness.
I began my quest by experimenting with taking enzymes a week before I began the cleanse. The outstanding result I experienced was the encouragement I needed to know I was on the right path. I immediately saw results from all of my stomach problems. Enzymes are necessary to digest food, but are only found in raw foods. When your body is trying to digest cooked and processed foods, it is required to take the metabolic enzymes from your blood and break them down into digestive enzymes to help digest the food. As we age, we produce less and less of these enzymes to do the work. The metabolic enzymes in the blood are the body’s repair mechanism. They travel through the bloodstream repairing organs and delivering toxins to the liver. The more enzymes that are needed for digestion, the less there are enzymes in the blood which results in less repair being done. In essence, if we give the digestive system a break and our body does not need to break down the metabolic enzymes into digestive enzymes, then all of that energy is used to repair and heal the rest of the body. All of a sudden, giving my digestive system a 10-day vacation made complete and total sense.
With this knowledge, I woke up one day and decided to begin the Master Cleanse. This was not a planned or premeditated cleanse for me. It was just like that- I woke up one day, went to the store, bought the ingredients and began. It wasn’t until after I began, that I did my research. Big mistake! I do not recommend jumping into it as I did. I recommend easing into it. My reasons will be described in the daily breakdown below.
To give you a brief dime-store education on what it is, I will explain in short: The Master Cleanse is a total body detox that is done by drinking a specific lemonade drink, using herbal laxatives and a salt water flush daily for 10- days. It was first made popular in the 50’s by Stanley Burroughs and has since been the golden seal for any at- home detox method with people seeing extreme results benefiting their health and achieving weight loss. This is not a weight loss diet, but a detox plan, although weight loss is an added benefit.
Life Without Food
Day 1- Full force- I drank the total allowance of 60 oz of lemonade. I am all in, but by 12 noon, I had a migraine that was more than a threat to the challenge. I told myself, ‘let’s just do this one day at a time’. I was not committed to the 10 days. I did the salt water flush in the evening (it took me a full hour to get the 30 oz down) and by bed time, the migraine had grown to unbearable proportions and was now accompanied by nausea. The migraine was so strong, I didn’t know how I was going to be able to fall asleep. On the cleanse, you are instructed not to take any medicines or vitamins, so I suffered through without any relief.
Day 2-I woke up with the same migraine and nausea. I assembled my lemonade and salt water flush, but failed at getting even a mouthful of the flush down. This was when I began to regret not easing into the cleanse. Once my mouth tasted the salt water, I began vomiting and didn’t stop for two hours. The migraine was so intense during this time, I thought I might die. After reading about these symptoms, I found it was likely due to a caffeine withdrawal and/ or a poor diet leading up to the cleanse. Next time, I will take myself off of caffeine and processed foods the week before to ease in. The rest of the day, my stomach was weak. This was the only day I did not accomplish the salt water flush. Day 2 was the worse day by far for me. Everyone kept encouraging me that it gets better after day 3. I was challenged and wanted to know what they meant. They promised it would be easy if I could get past day 3. Now, I was determined. I wanted to see what they were talking about.
Day 3- All is good again. I woke up and all traces of the migraine and nausea were gone. I actually felt really good and was ready to take on the salt water flush. This time it took about 30 minutes for me to get it down (gagging included) and it showed promising results. I drank the lemonade the rest of the day and the herbal laxative tea at night. I noticed a thick white coating had developed on my tongue. A sign the toxins are being expelled. I had enough energy to do a one-hour cardio class. Looks like they were all right. Day 3 not so bad.
Day 4- Salt water flush is getting easier each day, but still the worst part of this process. I had a clear head and was full of energy all day. Took on another hour of cardio like a champ. Some hunger pangs, but the lemonade seems to quench that.
Day 5- Now, I’m beginning to see results. The toxins everyone talks about that are eliminated through this cleanse are on their way out. I’ll leave the graphics to the other bloggers and forums on how they come out. I’ll just stick to the basics here. The evening hunger pangs are challenging, but I am amazed at how much energy I have throughout the day. I have decided that I am all in. I will go the distance!
Day 6- I’m able to get the salt water flush down in under 20 minutes. My energy levels are soaring. I had a great workout in the gym doing an hour of total body conditioning. Today was the worst day for hunger pangs and missing food. I was really hungry today. I walked past a popcorn kiosk and fantasized about burying my head into the freshly popped bin of popcorn.
Day 7 – My morning routine is becoming normal now. The salt water flush is going down in 12 minutes flat. My tongue seems to be clearing a little bit. I had a small patch of psoriasis on my ear lobes that has completely cleared up leaving just a faint red mark in its place. Looks like my body is doing the repairs it needed. I am fantasizing about sea salt caramels, cheese crackers and the half eaten can of Pringle’s in the cabinet. I’m really bummed I’m going to miss the fish fry for lent this Friday. I can’t wait to eat again!
Day 8- I slept 10 hours just like a baby. I’m counting the days until I can eat again. I really miss food. My nails are very brittle, but my skin is looking bright. Still managed an hour of boot camp today. I’m amazed at how much energy I have after not eating solid food for a week!
Day 9- 2 more days to go. My figure is coming back, but I’m ready for the cleanse to be over. Next time, I won’t do it for the full 10 days. I now daydream about what the first food will be that I eat. Peanut butter and jelly, pizza, patty melt, a salty anything on a cheesy something.
Day 10- Knowing this is the last day of the cleanse made the day bearable. I’m still a couple of days away from eating the foods I’m craving since the ease out phase suggests only juices and soups for 2-3 days after. I’m feeling very accomplished today that I can say I made it through without cheating one bit! I plan to do the cleanse again in the future, but next time, 7 days is my maximum. 10 days was a really long time for me to be without the one thing I love the most- food! I still have one more weigh- in tomorrow morning, but as of today, I only lost 5.5 lbs.. Not that exciting for weight loss, but again, that wasn’t my first reason for doing it. Just an added bonus.
Easing out of the Cleanse
It is recommended to take 2-4 days after the cleanse only drinking freshly squeezed orange juice, soups and smoothies to reacquaint your digestive system with food before moving onto solids.
My psoriasis cleared up, my skin is bright and I lost 5.5 lbs, not to mention the satisfaction I have in witnessing all of the toxins leaving my body. I will try it again in about 6 weeks. Next time should be much easier!
Recipe and Ingredients:
This recipe yields 20 oz of lemonade
20 oz of good quality filtered water (I use the filtered water from my refrigerator)
4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemons (do not refrigerate to save the enzymes)
4 tablespoons of organic grade b maple syrup (important: grade B has the most minerals and you will need all the minerals you can get)
1/10 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (insert it fresh when ready to drink to avoid fermentation and it becoming too spicy)
Salt water flush:
2 teaspoons of non- iodized sea salt
30 oz of filtered water (I use 2o oz of water to mix with salt and have a glass of cold water set aside as a chaser)
Herbal Laxative Tea-
I used chocolate flavored ‘Smooth Move’. Let it steep for 10 minutes or more to get the maximum benefits.
Organic Grade B Mape Syrup- $20- $30 for 32 oz.
Organic cayenne pepper- $2-$5
Filtered water- free (I used the filtered water from my refrigerator)
Organic lemons- $3-$6 a bag
Un-iodized Sea Salt- $4-$8
Herbal Laxative tea- ‘Smooth Move’- $3-$5
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