health

I Did the Master Cleanse, so You Don’t Have To

When I got back from Pemberton Music Festival, I was not feeling good. My skin was breaking out, I was super tired and I was regretting everything I ate over the weekend. Ugh, just intense post-party depression! A friend of mine was hyping the Master Cleanse. I was very skeptical, because the thought of not eating seemed like it would be more damaging then beneficial, but after a quick google search and reading reviews I was on board. 

It makes sense to rid your body of toxins and start fresh. When I told people I was on a cleanse, I got grilled on how much weight I have lost/or am hoping to lose. From the reviews I read, the Master Cleanse’s main goal is to detox. It is not supposed to be used mainly as a weight loss tool. Although it is always nice to lose weight, a diet like this is not sustainable long term. In case you are curious, by the end of my cleanse I have lost 5 pounds (obviously because I am not eating anything). I did skip a few important steps. I neglected to ease into it and I cut a few corners when making my daily beverage. 

If you are not familiar with the Master Cleanse, it is 6 – 12 cups of a mixture of lemon, cayenne, maple syrup and filtered water. The mix is drank daily in addition to either a laxative tea at night or a salt water flush in the morning. It is recommend to be carried out for 7 – 40 days. 


The Recipe I Used *
4 Litres of Water
3/4 Of Lemon Juice
3/4 Organic Dark Maple Syrup
3 -4 340 MG Cayenne Pills
*Daily Dosage – used 2 -4 Tablespoons for each glass of water
Laxative Tea – Smooth Moves

Things I Liked About It

The Routine
I was pretty over planning my meals and it seemed like perfect timing when I got home after the long weekend and had no food in the house. Purchasing lemons, maple syrup and cayenne is an easy grocery list. I also like the tea before bed, because it gave me something to look forward to after the satisfactions of completing another day. 

How I Felt
I felt very light, and not bloated at all. I usually feel very uncomfortable by the end of the day and bulky, but I felt morning skinny all day long…probably because I wasn’t eating. 

Its Easy and Cheap
I have done juice cleanses before and they are very expensive. Although the ingredients should all be high quality and organic, it still works out to be cheaper than having prepared meals or purchase a fancy juice cleanse. I made the mixture of my lemon and maple syrup every morning, then added the water in throughout the day when I got to work. I took the cayenne in capsules instead of putting it in my water. 

I Felt Flushed
I had one big bowel movement the second day and I thought…hmmm…maybe I am done cleansing, might be time to start eating again, but they kept coming. There was not a single day that I didn’t go #2. I was definitely more regular doing this than with my juice cleanse. It was less and less each day, but I really felt like I was doing my body some good flushing everything out. 

Thinks I Hated About it

Lemon is Hard on My Teeth
Lemon destroys the enamel of your teeth, so I made sure to have a glass of water after each glass of lemonade. By the 4th – 5th day, I could really feel my teeth getting grimy. 

Not Exercising or Being Active
I struggle juggling food prep, working out and having a social life, so when you eliminate two of those things, there is not a lot left to occupy your time. On the weekend I went for a walk with a friend and I almost passed out walking up stairs, we had to stop a few times to take a break. Because your body has very little to run on, it is best to conserve your energy. I really missed working out, as soon as my ease off day hit, I started doing small at home workouts. 

Its a Lot of Sugar
I didn’t miss coffee the whole time I was on my cleanse, nor did I need it. The sugar kept me pretty hopped up. If I was going to cleanse again, I would prefer to do one that eliminates sugar. 

Unpredictable Bowel Movements
For the most part I would got to the bathroom every morning, but a few days I would have to go more than once, or worse in the middle of the day. We only have multi-stall bathrooms at work, so I had to be extra careful that the bathrooms were empty, before I spackled the bowl. Too much information? This is full disclosure of what to expect. There is going to be a few muddy poops. 

I Got a Canker Sore
The third day in, I decided to purchase cold pressed organic lemon juice so I wouldn’t have to juice the lemons myself. This was a big mistake. I later read articles about how the lemon should be fresh because otherwise if left to sit it will be too acidic. The cold pressed juice was so sour compared to the fresh stuff, and by the end of the day I had a wicked canker sore. This did not make me want to continue at all. 

White Tongue
Another thing I read, was about the white tongue and odor you may experience when your body is expelling toxins. I got both! It was extremely uncomfortable when I had my first aid course, I my partner was in my personal bubble giving me the heimlick maneuver. I felt really bad.  


The Cravings
Eating seemed to be the only thing occupying my mind. When the weekend came, I was just itching to go for brunch. It didn’t help when I was looking at Instagram posts at work. Every food post almost sent me over the edge. I was craving things I don’t even really like. Once I was finished though I was determined to eat healthy. I have definitely upped the amount of vegetables I eat and cut back on the starches. I don’t even want to have them because I remember how they make me feel. 

Ease Off Stage
I wish I had eased on, but I had already started after I learned about the proper practices. Easing off was very hard. I read that you cannot fast track it but I definitely did. Drinking orange juice for one whole day with my canker was not an option, so in the afternoon I switch to veggie juice and then the next day I switched to solids. I kept it simple though, I got Pho broth and veggies. Nothing too crazy. My digestion was fine. I just found the orange juice way too sweet and it was the first time during the cleanse that I really felt hungry. 

What I Would Have Done Differently

  • Ease on and Ease off are a must. I think I would have done really well if I had included these steps. It is especially good if you want to cut down on cravings.
  • I became obsessed with reading other peoples experiences and tricks to the trade. I would stay up late nerding out and reading everything. This diet is easy to figure out, I drove myself crazy trying to do it just right.
  • Wait until the winter, summer time is way to hard to exercise restraint. It is sunny out and everyone wants to do fun things. 

Cheats, If You Must

Some days you have to cheat, but not cheating like scarfing down a cheeseburger, cheating just to keep you going. I researched these on my last few days because they were the hardest for me. Although obviously you shouldn’t cheat these are the ones I found that are semi-acceptable:

If you need something savoury: organic vegetable broth
If you are light headed: a spoonful of organic peanut butter
If you have headaches: peppermint tea

If you are tired: have a little extra of your mix (more than the 6 – 12 cups)
If you need to chew on something: a few piece of celery

They aren’t every fun but this won’t ruin your cleanse. I read that as long as you don’t cheat until after day 4 you should be fine. Before that your body has not had a chance to detoxify. Also, make sure your cheats make up less than 30 percent of your cleanse. 

Great Resources

The Master Cleanse
CalorieBee – Master Cleanse Diet Review 
Chefo – The Master Cleanse: Food List

Conclusion
I would do it again, maybe right before the summer. I have heard good things about the cabbage soup cleanse, so I would love to try that one in the fall/winter months. It would be nice to get in the routine of doing a cleanse every 4 months. I was really hoping this would jump start me into feeling better and eating healthier and so far so good. I have been putting time into more meal prep and making sure I eat more veggies. 

Have you tried the Master Cleanse? How was your experience? What are your favourite cleanses?

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