You’ve probably heard of the Master Cleanse. Maybe not by that name, maybe by one of its ‘other’ names like that crazy lemonade diet, or the maple syrup diet or the cayenne pepper cleanse. Here, they are one and the same. The Master Cleanse is a pretty old & very effective Cleansing method. Created by Stanley Burroughs in the 1940s, it has a love-hate type of following. (in other words, people either love it & see its potential for creating a foundation for better health, or hate it, don’t agree with its methods & think it is unsafe). I, obviously think this cleanse is a fantastic way to get a ‘jump start’ on clean healthy living. I’ve done it 2~4 times a year since our journey to optimal health began in the early 2000s. For more information about the actual Cleanse & its recipe, click here!
So, this is my Master Cleanse Diary. I wanted to journal it for you all & for me. So that everyone can read what goes on & how it can unfold & bring a fresh new start to your health.
It all starts NOW. I have all my ingredients & supplies ready, but why am I doing this…. a fresh start for the new year is nice, but what’s my deep down why…
Why? It’s all about the why? If you don’t know why you are doing something, the chances you will finish on time & successfully are slim. You need to sit down & write it all out. Write out why you’re starting & why you’ll be better off afterwards. Paragraph form or point form, I don’t care if it’s on sticky notes all over your living room! Most notably you want to write out all the negative feelings & emotions you have right now, (bloating, feeling heavy, being overweight, missing energy, acne, disease, etc) remembering those will help keep you from quitting (& there are always times when you feel like quitting & need this reminder). But don’t forget to write out how incredible your life will be when it’s over as these reminders also help you push thru the tougher days (clear skin, no more headaches or sluggishness, clear thinking, better eating choices, weight loss & more energy) . When you finish that list then we can move on!
So here it goes. My Why!
I feel heavy. Like I’m so stuffed full of food (delish holiday food nonetheless) that I could probably go a few weeks (or months!) without eating & be ok. I’m so full my insides are suffocating! It started with my birthday; the dinners out, birthday cupcakes & special treats. Then Halloween hit & I was lucky enough to share in the delicious haul of my sweet boys. Thanksgiving came & the sweet potatoes & squashes & brussels sprouts were healthy, but it was the tofurky & gravy, pie(s) & toppings that were plentiful! Boy, then Christmas. Ugg. I don’t even want to go there…. you know the drill.
I’m slow. I’m so full that I can feel the pathways of my insides being clogged. They are unable to move the food let alone absorb any nutrients (if holiday chocolates & almond nog had any nutrients)! Even if I did eat a pound of carrots, kale or hemp seeds, it wouldn’t do any good. My body would go into shock. It wouldn’t know what to do with it & of course, there would be no way to absorb any of that goodness…
I’m so tired. And slow. And groggy. I’m grumpy too. I sleep 8+ hours a night, but I’m never refreshed. I have pain too. Plantar Fasciitis & my hip & knee hurt. I feel like an old lady. Where did that come from? And my face is starting to break out. My skin is dry & I still have some huge issues with my left eye (see here). I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking 2 tall dark coffee’s at Starbucks 5 or 6 times a week. Not too bad I know, but that used to be my monthly intake. I can also polish off a family-size bag of chips myself. No problem. No kidding😦
I’m not ‘sick’ as in having a cold or flu. But I’m definitely sick. My body is crying out for a change. A break. A stop in time from all the insults I’ve been throwing at it lately (namely chocolate, white carbs, sugar, liquor, sugar & more chocolate). I need to take this break. I need to give my body time to rest & recover. I need to give my body the right environment to get clean. Squeaky clean. It needs to be ready & able to accept the high-grade nutrition I’m going to start eating (again). If I want to grow old & be healthy to boot, I need to do this difficult, but simple task. I need to embark on a 10-day detox.
Today wasn’t so bad. I think doing half a day yesterday helped (I drank lemonade all day then had a medium-sized not too healthy dinner😦 ). I started my day as always… 3 scoops of some greens powder, (this is a non~negotiable daily thing for me (& my family) with 38 super herbs & nutrients packed in, it’s a one-way ticket to being Alkaline & stay healthy).
These Greens are an addition I personally use (& recommend) with the MC (master cleanse) for a few reasons. #1, they help reduce the severity of detox side symptoms (like headache, muscle ache, tension, restlessness, grumpiness, etc). #2, they alkaline my body which helps with the detoxing process. #3, the bit of protein in the greens can help stave hunger pains. #4, It’s just a nice treat to be able to ‘taste’ something different! #5, the boost of major intense nutrients gives us a fighting chance of finishing off this detox (especially the longer runs of 10+days)
Anyways, I was out & about most of the day, but always kept some lemonade with me. It’s been cool out here, so I’m drinking it warm. A nice treat. I find when you don’t eat too much, you tend to feel colder. It’s totally normal, but the warm drink helps. My fibre pills haven’t come in the mail yet, so I drank some water with Chia seeds. I also finished off the night with some charcoal pills. They help with absorbing the toxins that my body is letting go of. I will be taking at least 2~3 of these a day during the detox. This is another addition that I try to consistently use. Those toxins can stir up some nasty sh*t & I for one will do almost anything natural to help get them out before they’re given the chance to re-circulate!
Nearer to the end of the day I got a really nasty head & neck ache. I knew it would come, but not so soon. I took a nice warm bath with some pink sea salt, baking powder & lavender oil. After another cup of warm lemonade, I hit the zzz’s. Extra rest is always a good idea on any cleanse.
Today was pretty easy. My neck & headache were gone when I woke up & I was excited to keep on with the Lemonade. I did my regular 300 jumping jacks & got a coffee enema ready. If I had to do the salt flush I wouldn’t do the cleanse. I just can’t. I can’t. I really really can’t. This is the next best thing for me. I know many people can’t do an enema & that’s fine. But I can. So I do🙂
Being the weekend, my family & I spent most of the day out. It was a great way to keep my mind off food. We hit the road & got out to some remote beaches for fresh air & quiet space (2 great things for any cleanse; fresh air & quiet). It was just what I needed. I’m not craving food yet, I’m not sure if that’s because it’s too early in the cleanse or if my body just knows what’s going on (I’ve done the MC a good 10+ times now). Either way, I’m glad. Tonight I hope to cuddle up & watch forks over knives. Tomorrow will be another food movie. These should help to motivate me to eat better once I’m finished the cleanse, & watching them with my family helps them to realize why I cook what I do for them (it’s so much easier when everyone is on the same page)🙂
Today wasn’t bad either. Short & Sweet! No more detox symptoms since that neck & headache on day one. I’m feeling good, not hungry & on a mission. I did another coffee enema today. Crazy enough, after not eating for 3 days straight, I still had a bowel movement. Afterwards, I had my greens & started on the warm lemonade. I’m off again all day, so I will be relaxing & stretching & taking it easy. Nothing new to report. Happy days. Loving the Lemonade!
Today went well again. I started the day with 300 jumping jacks to get my body moving & tried some push-ups. I hate to do nothing at all, but that was enough for now. I also did another coffee enema. These may continue for all 10 days, I haven’t decided. Took my greens & got my supplies ready for work. I was at work all day & it was fine. I forgot to add the cayenne pepper to my 1 litre which took me by surprise, it’s not the same without it. I love that ‘kick’. But I’m drinking & still taking the charcoal during the day. 2 pills a day seems to be fine for now. I’m also taking some fibre, 2 pills at night. To help flush out any additional waste (Cascara Sagrada, Aloe, Psyllium, Ginger, Fennel, Dandelion & Milk Thistle are a great combination to help flush out leftover waste). By the time I came home, I knew I wasn’t going to be good for anyone or anything. I had an edge to me. I was grumpy. I had an angry feeling toward food. Things were getting stirred up. I didn’t want to cook. I didn’t want to be in the Kitchen. I wanted to go to my room & have pity on myself. Things turned worse when I noticed that I was out of Maple Syrup😦 I quickly told my hubby & he totally understood (he’s done many cleanses too). He took over (thanks babe!) and made my night much better. I hopped in the bath & didn’t ‘think’ about anything anymore. Nighty Night❤
I woke up fine today. Not grumpy, but after my first cup of lemonade & driving the kids to school I felt really nauseous. I don’t know where it came from, but I was glad for another day off. I don’t think I’d like to be at work feeling like this (how do people do this on a daily basis….) I totally forgot about my greens powder 😦 But I did add some extra charcoal pills to absorb all that yuckiness. I thought doing a coffee enema would help, & it did for a while, but every time I drank the lemonade I feel queasy again. Maybe it’s too sweet. I’m trying to be grateful & relax today. Wish me luck. (* turns out my lemonade was a bit too sweet, adding less maple syrup did wonders) I also ended the day with the 2 Regular pills at night, they help flush out any additional waste.
I also weighed myself today. After 5 days I’m down 1.7kg or nearly 4 pounds (from 58.5kg to 56.8). My goal was closer to 4kg, but it’s still early.
My measurements went down as well:
Hips: 35 to 34, my ideal is 31
Waist: 33 1/2 to 31 1/2, my ideal is 29
Chest: 34 to 34, my ideal is 31
Today was another…. day. I started the day with my 300 jumping jacks & added about 30 push-ups. Nothing big, but hey🙂 Before getting my greens in I tried to do a SWF (salt water flush)…. I read a great article about why it is such an incredible detox addition, so I thought, yup~ I’ll give it another try.
I could only get half of it down & was pretty disgusted. So I also did a coffee enema. I had another day off, but I got a TON of work done so it was great. I got a bit grumpy later at night… what the hell? It seems like clockwork, early evening rolls around & I turn into a grumpy monster… I should be over this already😦 For now I’m assuming it’s because of the cleanse & toxin release, but I’m not totally sure…. wish me luck.
Today started pretty awesomely. 300 Jumping Jacks & a bunch of weighted lunges, I got in a coffee enema & had my greens! I was back at work today & feeling really excited about that. I had enough Lemonade to last the day & I was even looking forward to getting groceries for the fam. Crazy right? All in all the day went fine, I had great energy & was positive throughout. It just seems to be at night when I get ‘hungry’ & cranky. It’s a time that I’ve had trouble with before, sitting, idle, bored. I’m trying to keep busy. We’ve cancelled most of the tv channels & started reading more. But still, it’s a ‘comfort’ time that I don’t have a handle on yet.
At first, I thought this cleanse would be a success at 10 days, but now I feel like going longer for 2 reasons. One reason is that during the days I’m feeling great, so I feel as though I can go longer. And the second reason is that I still don’t have this handle on the crazy nighttime stuff. The cravings, the grumpiness, the being ok with just being. I guess we’ll see….
No wait, let’s finish Day 7.
Yes, finish it.
Day 7 ended in what I can only describe as total and utter mania. It was an emotional rollercoaster of crying & anger. Not even at a particular thing mind you. At one point I started crying because I had been crying for no reason! (It’s as good a reason as any I suppose)…. Of course, it started in the evening, during the times that I’ve been having some issues. The hunger. Grumpiness. It’s still there, like an old vice. This detox must go on if only to break that!
After my last crying spell, I lay in bed listening to my stomach gurgle as I had just eaten bad Chinese food. What the hell was going on? I was sure this emotional eruption was connected to my angry stomach. I got up and took a few drops of Gentian, White Chestnut & a few other Bach treatments. Anything to help me thru this intense ‘healing crisis’. Back in bed, I lay listening to my husband read.
On to Day 8….
I made it! I made it! Halleluya The monster (if only for now) is gone🙂 . I woke up relieved to be alive and in a somewhat stable state. I crushed some push-ups, squats and jumping jacks. Then, completely unexpectedly I had an independent bowel movement. I haven’t eaten for 7 straight days, so this surprised me. (Just another connection to all the emotional upheaval of the night before). I did another coffee enema. Had my some greens powder. Got my supplies ready for work & headed out feeling humble.
The rest of the day went well. I was quietly optimistic that I would make it thru. I didn’t want to sing to the world that I was still around because I didn’t want to falter at night & feel betrayed by the positivity. But I was still around & this was kinda big for me! Instead, I continued on my day. One step at a time. One breath at a time. One sip at a time. Slowly being mindful of where I was & where I needed to be. I started to have some more stomach issues around 4 pm so I did another coffee enema & then headed out for the night. The rest of the night was fine. Kind of a late night out & about, but I slept well, & didn’t have any major issues. Maybe being out was better for me than staying in?
It’s been rainy & extremely windy here lately, but I went to bed with the hope that it would stop long enough for me to get a run in. It’s been over a week since I’ve run at all. I don’t like it. But when I woke up it had stopped raining! As though the universe knew I needed this run, to be able to ‘run off’ the nasty feelings & old energy… I took this as a sign to get the hell out & run like a nutball. It was great. I didn’t run fast & I didn’t run far, but it was awesome to get out & clear my head & lungs a bit. Once home & got my greens & coffee enema out of the way. I upped the coffee enema liquid to nearly double. I figured it was a good idea seeing as I’m still having some issues.
I also weighed & measured myself. These are my results. After 9 days I’m down 3.9kg or nearly 8.5 pounds (from 58.5kg to 56.8 to 54.6). My goal was 4kg so that’s great!
My measurements went down as well:
Hips: 35 to 34 to 33, my ideal is 31
Waist: 33 1/2 to 31 1/2 to 31 1/2, my ideal is 29
Chest: 34 to 34 to 33, my ideal is 31
The rest of the day was really lax. Sitting around reading, drinking my warm lemonade. Just chilling & relaxing😉
My day started as it has since the beginning. 300 Jumping Jacks a bunch of weighted lunges & some push-ups, I got in a coffee enema & had my greens! It was another chill day with the family, but a bit tiring for me too. I’m noticing a lot of noise lately. Not just in the outside world, but also in my mind. I feel like my thought are too loud. There are too many. There aren’t taking turns. My voice is loud too. I feel as though instead of talking I’m yelling. Like an email in all caps. I’m embarrassed. I want to quiet it down. I want to make it all stop, turn the volume down & just make a pact that there will only be noise if it is absolutely necessary. This is an interesting part of the cleanse. Awareness of myself. Awareness of my impact.
I’m starting to feel ‘done’ as well. Not because I’m hungry… I’m not sure I can explain why. I feel as though I could go on, but I also feel as though I’ve completed what I set out to do. Maybe because mentally I know it’s 10 days & 10 days is what I set out to do. Maybe it’s because just like my body knew it needed the cleanse, it now knows it’s good to go on. I’m waiting to see…
(*I made some potato & carrot & garlic soup today. The flavours invaded my mouth like a celebration of the gods. A small tiny bowl filled me up like a Christmas feast! It was the right thing to do. I feel good)
Soup & more soup. Lemonade & then again more. I took it slow & eased back into eating. I feel happy to be eating, but also not so clear as to why I’ve ended it. I’m torn whether this was the right time to end. Am I rushing it? Is it time?
Ending of the Master Cleanse
It’s been a wonderful but challenging week since I’ve fully ended the MC. I feel as though it went well (even though I didn’t get a full handle on my night-time issues)….
I have noticed a few negative things since ending the MC that I have put on the list to research more about. I hope to find a ‘cure’ for some of these issues, a reason & an easy & enjoyable way to release them from my life forever..
- #1. My plantar fasciitis disappeared while on the MC. Funny enough I hadn’t noticed until it came back just today. Ouch, I do NOT miss it…. Now to find out what is causing this, if in fact, that’s what it is…
- #2. I have found that my temper is shorter…. or maybe it’s my patience. All I know is, off the MC I get snappy when hungry or thirsty. While on the cleanse I am only snappy at night. Is there a connection?
- #3. I have sadly gone back to eating too much too often. My irregular schedule has not allowed me to eat my ideal small meals every 2~3 hours & so I find myself eating more than I’d like & waiting too long in between. I’m not drinking as much water as I want & my snacks are not thought out very well. Grrr…
- #4. I miss the ‘tranquillity’ of the MC. I didn’t feel rushed through my day. I felt as though things were moving more in slow motion. Now I feel as though I need to hurry up & speak up so that I’m heard. The speed & noise of life is dragging me down😦
- $5. When I stopped the MC, I also stopped the coffee enema. Not the best way to do that for sure, I should have eased out of that as well. Strangely enough, the day after I started eating ‘real’ food, I didn’t have a bowel movement for the entire day! This may not be so strange to everyone, but a healthy bowel moves at least once a day (ideally 2~3 times a day). This is where the coffee enemas could have come in handy… I’m going back to doing these once or twice a month.
Finally, my conclusion to this particular MC is this:
I should have gone longer. I just should have. Deep down I didn’t feel completely finished & I was still having some issues with my stomach & night-time moodiness. In a moment of weakness & slight confusion, I decided that it was ok to stop. I feel sad that I didn’t go for another 3 or 4 days, mainly because I know that I could have done that. No problem.
On the positive side, I did finish the entire 10 days I initially set out to do. I am so super proud of myself for doing that! I pushed through some tough times, got through some tricky situations & learned a lot about myself & saw some deep-down emotions that I didn’t know existed.