My Master Cleanse


This is my Master Cleanse Journal. Master Cleanse is a 10 day fast in which you cut out all food but drink 60 oz of lemonade each day. The lemonade is ¾ cup of fresh organic lemon juice, ¾ of a cup of grade b organic syrup, a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 60 oz of water. You are supposed to drink a laxative tea at night and drink 4 cups of salt water in the morning. The idea is that after a couple of days of the fast your body starts to rid itself of stored up fats and toxins. I’m not doing it to lose weight, but my friend suggested I join her, and I am interested in seeing what happens in terms of stored up toxins. I don’t think I’ll do the whole thing but I’m interested in trying it out.

Day 1

I’m not off to a good start. I didn’t read the directions carefully, so I didn’t know I was supposed to drink a laxative tea. After dropping off my daughter for camp I ran to Trader Joes and got syrup, then to whole foods for organic lemons and cayenne pepper. Had to run to the mall to get a lemon press and then rushed home to start. I had also missed the early morning salt water cleanse. So I gulped the salt water and set about cutting lemons. The salt water was hard to deal with and I didn’t drink a full liter. The lemonade is spicy! It’s about 1 o’clock and I already feel a little light-headed because I didn’t really have dinner yesterday as I was traveling till late. I think you are supposed to taper down to a vegetarian diet for a week before the cleanse and cut out caffeine. I had two coffees, and instead of dinner, I ate a couple of ribs that were in the fridge at 11 pm.

My wife seems freaked out about me doing this; worried that I’m too weak. I think it’s kind of funny. I’m doing the cleanse with my friend, and her husband told her that he was worried that I was too skinny to do the cleanse. She screamed, “Are you calling me fat?!”

Later in the evening; It was kind of a rough day. I felt dopey and kind of sad. Went to a performance at my daughter’s summer camp and then to a celebratory dinner with friends. Being around all the good smelling food was the hardest part of the day. I just wanted to go home. I took a short nap and then went to play music with friends over at my co-cleanser, Caroline’s house. , She made me a cup of the “smooth move” tea. I went home and made juice for tomorrow.

Day 2
Woke up and drank a couple of cups of warm salt water. It is really unpleasant and challenges my gag reflex. The salt water is definitely the most unpleasant part of the master cleanse so far. I slept ok, but not great. In the middle of the night I had a low-grade headache, which I think might have to do with the caffeine cessation. It wasn’t that bad though, just annoying enough to wake me, which made me aware of the poison ivy I have. That made it hard to get back to sleep so I got up and stretched and mediated.

I was really starting to get out of it last night but feeling a little better today. I’m already a little wistful about missing out on food. Tonight we go to Caroline’s for dinner and I know that will be hard.

I got the salt water down and I got out a bowel movement. The day before I wasn’t exactly backed up, but I think the smooth move might have helped. The headache is still there a little but I feel a bit more together and focused than yesterday. I also realize that when I travel and make 1000 images in a day (as I did the day before the fast), it’s exhausting. I was in New York to go on John Stossel’s TV show to talk about Dr. Sarno, and I shot hundreds of images as I walked around. Though I didn’t feel nervous about going on the Stossel show it was still stressful.

End of day 2- I took a long nap this afternoon. I don’t feel desperately hungry but I am tired and I want food. It’s been hard because food looks and smells so good. The meal at Caroline’s looked and smelled a little too good. It was both good and bad to be around people. I have read that the first two days are extra hard, so I am hoping it gets easier.

I am kind of setting my sights on 3 days. Not 10
I feel like 3 days will be a good kickstart and I’m not sure that 10 makes sense for me.

Day 3- (gross out alert- some discussion of bowel movements in this paragraph)

I woke up feeling much better, drank the shitty salt water, then about 2 hours later I had a bowel movement that was mostly water. My friends have mentioned moving solids for the whole ten days. That doesn’t appear to be the case for me.
Then I had a second one that was like a lump of sand- the first was from the salt water I think and the second was from the tea – or vice versa.

Then I swam which felt good. I’m certainly less cloudy in my head and I have more energy. Went to brunch at a friend’s, which was hard. Being around food is hard because I have such a strong desire for good food. I love food. And I have been around a lot of good food. The host of the brunch was very familiar with master cleanse as he’s done it a lot. He even did a 30 day cleanse. Talking with an experienced person, who wasn’t annoyed that I wouldn’t eat his amazing meal, made me feel a little less crazy. Also the night before a friend pointed out that there is a lot of data about how short term fasting has clear health benefits. I’m not so sure that I need to do 10 days but I’m glad I’m doing it.

At dinnertime, Suki got a chicken and made mashed potatoes for the girls. It smelled amazing so I went in the other room.

I’m still moving forward though. Feeling ok- just hungry now and desiring food,

Day 4-
Didn’t sleep that well so I woke up early and did the salt water. I tried to sleep more but had no luck so I got up and swam with my daughter. It felt pretty good. I had to rush out of the pool because I had a flash bowel movement. Not much solid, just a little bit of filmy stuff. Not sure how much longer I want to do this. It might be a four-day fast for me with a slow taper back to eating. Drinking my lemonade right now. Feel clean but a little weary.

The poison ivy I have complicates things because it has also affected my sleep. Really noticing smells more. The smells of food create longing.

Day 5

I had planned to taper off today because I felt like I got the benefits and I have guests coming tomorrow, but this morning I had a bowel movement and passed quite a bit of the sandy substance and the fatty stuff. I guess the process is really kicking in, so it seems a little silly to shut it down. Though I might finish it off this evening. I lost my little pooch gut, my eyes are less baggy and I feel lighter and looser. I feel a little bit more flexible as well.

Food lust is less pronounced. Suki took the kids to Korean last night so that probably helped some. Our lives revolve around food though so when we’re not eating, our whole life is thrown off its balance. It’s clear that days 1-4 are the hardest. Each day it gets a little easier as the body shifts. I think I’ll do the laxative tea this morning as well and see if I can’t kickstart that. Then I’ll start with the orange juice this evening. I think the shorter you go, the less the recovery period is as well. I might do it again in the fall, on the short run like this.

Later: I waffled all afternoon. The tea kicked in and I passed a good deal of waste. I realized that the cleanse was really kicking in, and I thought about keeping it going. However, prudence won out because we have so many coming to stay with us, and I really need to be present. I can always do another cleanse in a few months if I feel like it.

It’s clear though that it was very beneficial to me health-wise. I lost my little gut, which makes me feel much younger. I’m also generally more limber. I’m curious to see how I feel in a few days. Tonight I made another batch of the lemonade but I added in oranges and fresh squeezed carrot juice. It feels good to ingest something other than the plain lemonade. Hoping I can eat a salad tomorrow night.

Day 6

I woke up early and did the salt water. I tried to go back to sleep but I was already awake. Just before my kids woke up I had a powerful bowel movement. I wonder if the carrot juice started my digestion back up. I took my daughter for a quick swim and then had a series of little mostly water movements, which I assume were triggered by the salt water. I felt more clearheaded than I have in a while as I drove my daughter to camp. I was still undecided about whether or not to end the fast.

I picked up my brother and his girlfriend at the airport and made another batch of juice when I got home. I felt good and used to not having food but I made myself some vegetable broth with quinoa and began to end the fast. I want food and I can always start again in the fall.

The first few days were hard, but the benefits seem clear. The bags under my eyes receded and I just feel better.

Day 7 (the day after)
In the afternoon yesterday, I decided to try a little salmon because a friend told me that he did the master cleanse while also eating a little salmon and quinoa. I had a large bowel movement early in the afternoon, which I assumed was related to the broth and quinoa. I had a little cramping, but nothing that was surprising since I was reintroducing food after more than 5 days of not eating. At night we went to a family dinner at a restaurant. I had a veggie burger (sans bun) and sweet potato fries. I definitely ate more slowly and mindfully, but my capacity to eat was not severely diminished. I ate a good amount of my food and some of my wife’s salmon and despite reading somewhere that you should introduce meat so quickly I ate a shrimp and thoroughly enjoyed it. By the time we made it home, I had another very powerful bowel movement. I felt fine though and went to a movie with my brother.

I slept better than I have in a while last night, 7 plus straight hours with one 3 am pee break. I have some pernicious poison ivy that bothered me a lot, but I was still able to get back to sleep.

This morning I woke up feeling good. I got up and took a walk in the meadow and ate blackberries. I came home and had a banana and a few sips of coffee and then had a small bowel movement which was similar to the ones I had on the cleanse. I apologize to those who are grossed out by the discussion of the bowel movements, but I was interested in how people were affected while I was on the cleanse and I looked for people’s descriptions and couldn’t find any. In any case, in general during the cleanse I had a couple of bowel movements a day. The first seemed to be induced by the laxative tea. It was typically sandy in nature. The second was more of a flush from the salt water and was largely liquid with a few flaky bits.

After the walk I jumped on the trampoline for exercise and then swam for half an hour. Then I went inside and ate leftovers. I was nervous, but I had a few bites of the ribs my brother was eating, a crab cake, and a fruit shake. Two hours later I’m feeling well. I feel clear headed and awake. I have no stomach distress. I think I’m already back to normal. However, I am much more conscious and sensitive to what I am putting in my body.

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