5 lbs. organic lemons
1 Jug Grade B Maple Syrup
The best water you can find
I picked up my ingredients at the Whole Foods in Union Square. As the cashier was scanning them, she said, “Oh, you’re doing that…thing…yeah, my friend did it and her face totally broke out. Good luck!” That “thing” was the Master Cleanse. I thought it fitting for my first entry on The Buttery Blog, to write about not eating food.
I first heard about the Master Cleanse many years ago. To me, it sounded like torture. Nothing but water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper? Not really my cup of tea.
To give you a little background: when I first moved to NYC, I started having horrible digestive issues. Mostly intense bloating, that I would (not-so-fondly) describe as my “alien baby.” I went to many doctors. One said, try not eating broccoli. One told me to cut out dairy. Another told me to try Beano. But no one had a definite answer. No one knew for sure what was causing my problem. I felt completely out of control and pretty miserable. Deep down I felt that at least part of it was stress—the stress of graduating, moving to one of the biggest cities in the country and officially starting my adult life.
After a few years, the intensity of the symptoms lessened, but they were always there. They just became my “normal,” something I lived with. Within the last few months, I kept thinking to myself that I wanted to do a cleanse. I didn’t really know what a cleanse was, but I intuitively felt it was what my body needed. As a friend described it to me, our digestive system takes up so much energy that the body rarely has any leftover energy to heal, or even just maintain things.
Within days, I ravenously read The Complete Master Cleanse by Tom Woloshyn and was on my way to cleansing.
Day 1 (Saturday)
I squeezed lots of lemons by hand and had my first taste of the “lemonade.” Not the best lemonade in the world, and with the cayenne pepper burning my lips, I was worried what I had gotten myself into. I made a list of all the things I could do that didn’t require eating, like reading a book, getting a pedicure, going to a museum. Mostly, though, I just slept. My mind was conjuring up cookies, bowls of pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, and sleep was my tactic of choice to avoid it.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Determined not to sleep away my whole weekend, I got my toes painted a fancy shade of “Watermelon.” I even ventured to the Lower East Side and met a friend at the Tenement Museum—something I had always wanted to do, but just “never had the time.” It was miserably hot that day and afterwards I craved an iced chai, an ice cream cone, a margarita and guacamole–anything I could get my hands on. For about 30 seconds I tried to convince myself and my friend that maybe this wasn’t the best time to do a cleanse. I hadn’t really prepared myself for it. I hadn’t written down all the things I wanted to “heal.” I hadn’t given myself affirmations for situations like this when I wanted to give up. Luckily my friend snapped me out of this foolish talk. So I promptly got on the subway to go home, and climbed into bed, where it was safe again.
Day 3 (Monday)
The cleanse at work, without the comfort of my bed. And, no matter what, when you’re at work, you can always count on food to comfort if you need it. I was stripped down emotionally, a little jittery. By the afternoon, though, I felt pretty darn amazing. Even though I had low energy, it was very focused. Focused on the present—each moment unfolding perfectly into the next. I had surprised myself.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Today was when the cleansing process really started to happen. I felt kind of sick and nauseous, but, ironically, was so overjoyed. I really felt like something significant was happening. I was “letting go”—in more ways than one!
Day 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday)
After my breakthrough on Tuesday, I felt an indescribable flow of energy in my body. I was a lot happier, becoming aware of how much I use food as comfort and even procrastination. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided to bake cookies as my way of procrastinating!
Day 7 (Friday)
Even though the recommended minimum is 10 days on the Master Cleanse, I woke up this morning and felt like today should be my last day. I had dropped 9 pounds. I felt lighter and more energetic. The heaviness in my belly that was a normal feeling had gone away.
Fast Forward 3 Weeks
It has been 3 weeks since finishing the cleanse. My palate has become more adventurous. I am tasting and enjoying food and new flavors. I am able to appreciate the social (and comfort) aspect of food, but am also increasingly aware of what I put into my body, how it makes me feel, and then how I let it go. Without going into great detail (you’ll thank me for this!), my digestive system is a lot happier and there have been significant changes. Not surprisingly, the belly area and digestive system is linked energetically to our feelings of security, creativity, and self-confidence. I mean, seriously, who’s gonna feel confident and ready to take on the world when they have a perpetual tummy ache, right? With such change in a week, I plan to make the Master Cleanse a regular “spring cleaning.”
♦ Buttery B