Why would I want to do that to my body? That is what I thought when Jadah told me she was doing the Master Cleanse. But being the journalist I am, I investigated deeper: I bought the actual book (it is bound by two staples), read tons of blogs and reviews and asked friends about it. The whole experience opened my eyes to a world of alternative healthy eating that I didn’t know existed!
The Master Cleanse is not a diet or a quick fix— it is a cleanse to rid your body of toxins that have built up due to poor eating habits. According to Stanley Burroughs, the founder of the Master Cleanser, these toxins are caused by consuming meat, dairy, drugs, antibiotics, fungus-causing foods, pesticides and all the other gunk that we put into our bodies.
My husband and I decided that this was something that we wanted to be a part of. We moved across country seven months ago and our whole world was rocked. The stress, transitions with the kids and new restaurants have taken a toll on our eating habits. We drink waaaaaay too much coffee, eat waaaaaay too much processed foods and feel like crap every single day. It’s been a bad cycle and the Master Cleanse is our way of breaking it.
Jadah shared some great information about starting the actual cleanse this past week. I want to share with you questions and obstacles I have encountered along this new journey and how the actual book helped answer my questions and alleviate any problems I had.
How many days should you do it for?: 10 days is the suggested duration for the cleanse. Yet Burroughs says it is perfectly safe to go on it for up to 40 days. The hardest is the first four days, if you can get past that you are good to go!
This is a cleanse, not a diet: The goal of the Master Cleanse isn’t to lose weight— it is to cleanse your body of toxins. These toxins have accumulated in our body from the foods that we ingest (meat, pesticides, dairy, fast food). Yes, you will lose a couple pounds during the 10-day cleanse, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to rid your body of these toxins that are weighing you down and start fresh. It should make you want to change your eating habits, crave vegetables, drink tons of water, stay away from fast food. It should take us to a happier place.
Aren’t you hungry?: There is no reason to be hungry while on this cleanse. It isn’t a diet, it is a cleanse. You consume between 700-1200 calories a day while on the cleanse, which is enough to fuel your body for the day. If you are seriously hungry, you need to add more maple syrup to your drink. This happened to me: On day 4 I was so hungry. I kept trying to tell myself it was psychological, but I was seriously hungry. Turns out my husband did less maple syrup in our drinks and I wasn’t getting enough calories. So for my next drink I added more maple syrup and I felt so much better. The goal isn’t to starve yourself thin, the goal is to flush out your body of toxins and get healthy.
Maple syrup debate: Online everyone says use Grade B maple syrup, but Burroughs actually says “all grades of maple syrup can be used in the diet but the darker grades are the most desirable.” The lighter the grade, the less mineral content and the milder taste. So if you can only afford or find Grade A maple syrup, it will work. Your drinks just won’t taste as sweet and your mineral intake will be slightly less.
Set a goal: For the first four days, I did struggle. I craved food— especially when I was cooking it for my kids. It was hard not to just have a bite of their leftovers. I dreamed of food I wanted to eat, like an avocado salad or Chic-fil-a chicken (and I am a vegetarian, mind you). What kept me from caving in? A goal. My husband and I decided from the beginning if we made it to Day 10, we would treat ourselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant (we rarely eat out) and catch a new movie. If one person gave up on the cleanse, the other person would get $100 to do whatever they wanted with. These goals kept me from nibbling on food when it got hard.
The importance of waste: The second day of the cleanse I felt the worst. I didn’t take the herbal laxative tea in the morning and half of the day I just felt weak and sick. According to Burroughs, “if your system feels upset, it is because you are not having sufficient elimination.” Which really means: drink that laxative tea day and night! An alternative to the laxative tea in the morning is a salt water flush— which is what I do now. It is much more effective in flushing out your body of the toxins loosened by the lemon juice cleanse. Yet you have to be able to tolerate chugging 32 ounces of warm salt water (I add lemon to mine), which is a little rough some mornings. Within an hour of the salt water flush, you are completely cleaned out and ready for the lemonade drink.
Change it up! I use warm water and serve it in a mug for breakfast. For lunch, I add ice and have it cold. And for dinner I do luke warm. I know it sounds pathetic, but this subtle variety is what keeps me looking forward to the next drink.
Day 11: I have been dreaming about Day 11 and all the yummy food I would eat. Turns out you aren’t eating anything on Day 11— just drinking orange juice. Drink several glasses throughout the day and make sure to drink plenty of water. Day 12 is the exact same, sadly. Day 13 is a little better: orange juice, raw fruit and vegetables. Day 14 is when you can eat all the healthy wholesome meals you have been dreaming about for the last two weeks.
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