The main premise of the diet is to drink nothing but water with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in it for ten to fourteen days. Sounds simple enough, right? Oh, did I mention that you're also supposed to drink a liter of warm salt water daily too? (Well, that's not going to happen...)
I have fasted before and found it hugely beneficial to me, but the most I have done was four days. And, within those four days I drank a protein shake and juice along with my water. So this one would prove to be a challenge.
I needed a good challenge though. It had been a hard winter both emotionally and physically. I did a lot of binge eating and also just ate whatever was in front of me, which was usually snacks or cheap take-out. My body was definitely feeling the effects. I gained a shocking fifteen pounds, my clothes didn't fit right, my sleep patterns were all jacked up, making my emotions the proverbial rollercoaster! I couldn't focus, writing became strained and I'd fall easily into depression. (Mostly for allowing myself to get into this funk in the first place.) So, a good cleanse/fast is exactly what I needed... or so I thought!
I signed on. I bought all the goodies. I read the websites and listened to the feedback and warnings from all who wanted to contribute. Here I go. I made a few minor changes to the original diet. Instead of drinking the salt water to literally "flush" the system, I opted for a more natural less abusive choice of taking psyllium seed capsules.
I squeezed my lemons, and added my maple syrup to a 32 oz shakable container and headed off to work. The directions say to add your cayenne pepper and water just before you drink it. No problem. I'll just add it when I get to work and sip on it all day long... Not how that works.
First of all, I added WAY too much cayenne pepper!! It burned my throat, it burned my lips and it burned all the way down!! I chased it with a 16 oz bottle of water. That's good, right?
There's a reason you don't add your pepper until you're getting ready to drink it. The longer it sets in the mixture... it steeps. It gets stronger and hotter. So every time I tried to go back and get a drink, it was just getting worse! And no matter how much water I added, it didn't help!
So, when I got home, I made a fresh batch and although the gag reflex was fighting me, I made it. I survived the first day.
Day Two: Some minor adjustments...
I was SO hungry!! These lemon water drinks just weren't going to be enough! I thought with all that extra water I drank yesterday, that I would be fine. Not the case. I was going to have to find something else to drink besides my mix and water. A girl needs a little variety, after all!
I tweaked the formula just a bit (I greatly reduced the amount of pepper and also lightened up on the maple syrup) and found some herbal tea that I liked and was ready to start my second day. The gag reflex was gone which made me very happy. I was still fighting hunger pangs and my stomach was not quiet about it! I tried to keep busy and not think about it but it rumbled on. So I made a pot of tea and got into my writing.
I was SO productive!! My words just came flowing out of me! My thoughts and ideas were coming to mind faster than I could write them down. I had to stop and just have a "brain dump". (A sheet of paper that I just write down everything that's on my mind to get it out of my brain so its not bouncing off everything else and on to paper so I can concentrate on one item at a time) I was up about an hour an a half past my regular bedtime and didn't even realize it. I finally made myself go to bed and fell right to sleep. (The brain AND the stomach were now both empty, after all!)
I am no longer hungry. I have fallen into a routine and my stomach is compliant. I think it realizes that this is for the good of all! I mix my lemon juice and maple syrup in 16 0z water bottles (which counts as two servings) for the entire day and put them back in the fridge. (It tastes better cold) When I start to get hungry or when the clock tells me I should be hungry, I grab one of my bottles, add my pepper and water, shake and chug! I no longer have to have a chaser, in fact I like the taste. Weird, I know. And just to let you know, I am also taking multi-vitamins to make sure I balance things out.
But I have to tell you about the side effects!! I am so excited! My brain is so happy to be out from underneath all the sludge! I had, at the beginning of the year, decided to focus at least four hours a day building my business. (Creating workshops, writing the next book, creating new ways to engage with you.) I can't stop! I work beyond my four hours. Before, I would "make" myself work, but it was at times, unproductive. Busy-work. But now, I have clarity and direction!! It's amazing!!
And when I sleep, I SLEEP! I sleep for about two hours and then wake up for maybe forty-five minutes to an hour, but then I fall back to sleep again. When my alarm goes off, I'm still not ready to wake up (Hey, it's not miracle juice!! lol) but I slowly give in to the idea... which brings me to:
Day Four: Today.
I thought I would be completely tired today not getting a solid nights sleep, but just the opposite is true. It did take as long to get OUT of bed, but my brain was awake early on and eager to start the day.
Since I am not getting enough nutrients to burn off, it is recommended not to do any kind of exercise or strenuous labor. Let me tell you how my body was not ready for that! I am feeling so energetic that I am wanting to do my Zumba! But just don't do it. Let your body rest. For example, I was chasing after my dog up and down the stairs for just a few rounds and was completely exhausted. So- no exercise. Got it.
I told myself that I wasn't going to get on the scale until it had been a full week, but I lied. I jumped on there today and was surprised to see that I had already lost three pounds! I'm not going to get excited about that because for me, it's not how much I weigh, it's how I look. I don't feel that I "look" any different as yet. And on a personal note, this isn't necessarily about the weight loss, I would be happy to slough off those extra pounds before swim season, but if I don't lose any, that's okay too.
So- That's all I've got so far! I'll keep you updated and if you're interested in finding out more for yourself, check out this website: themastercleanse.com
Have a happy day, everyone! Please feel free to leave your comments below!
(There is no affiliation. I get no kind of kick-back if you decide to visit other websites. But if you're interested in trying the Master Cleanse, please review all the material and talk to your doctor if you have further concerns. I don't know if my results are typical or not!)