04 April 2010

Spring Cleaning: The Master Cleanse

Today I started preparing for the Master Cleanse detoxifying lemonade diet. Which will consist of ten days during which I will consume only lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper (and the occasional peppermint tea).

I know that it can be done because I've done it once before -- for ten whole days -- back in November 2005. I kept a diary then, so I'm going to include my old entries along with my blog posts, to compare my experiences then and now.

Here's the recipe, excerpted from The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs:

2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
2 Tbsp genuine maple syrup
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
water, medium hot (spring or purified water)

Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 oz glass and fill with medium hot water. (Cold water may be used if preferred.)

About the ingredients
Use fresh lemons or limes only, never canned lemon or lime juice nor frozen lemonade or frozen juice. Use organic lemons when possible. The maple syrup is a balanced form of positive and negative sugar and must be used, not some substitute. There are four USDA approved grades of maple syrup ... The end of the season brings mostly Grade B, with more minerals and the strongest maple flavour.

How much does one drink?
Take from six to twelve glasses of the lemonade daily during the waking period. As you get hungry just have another glass of lemonade. No other food should be taken during the full period of the diet. As this is a complete balance of minerals and vitamins, one does not suffer the pangs of hunger. Do not use vitamin pills.

The Master Cleanse has its detractors, who claim that the lemonade diet deprives the body of essential nutrients. This is probably true, but I'll be on it for a short enough time that I think I will survive again. Besides, I also think that a pizza diet is deficient in many essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In any case, the book goes on to say:

The maple syrup has a large variety of minerals and vitamins. Naturally the mineral and vitamin content will vary according to the area where the trees grow and the mineral content of the soil. These are the minerals found in the average samples of pure maple syrup: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon. Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, and pantothenic acid (B5) are also present in the syrup.

Adding the cayenne pepper is necessary as it breaks up mucus and increases warmth by building the blood for an additional lift. It also adds many of the B and C vitamins.

You are supposed to spend the entire day prior to embarking on the cleanse eating only vegetables, to prepare your body for what's to come. But I really wanted to sit and drink a coffee at Delaney's this morning, and then there was the ice cream--

Upon deciding to start the cleanse earlier than I'd planned, I had a look through my fridge to see what foods I would have to foresake. I have some bell peppers and bread I will have to give away, and then there was the Smarties ice cream ... which I decided to eat a giant bowl of for breakfast, and then I threw the rest away. Ok I didn't, I left it in the freezer with plans to throw it away later.

I ate salad the rest of the day, and then switched to lemonade at night. Except during band practice, where I panicked and ate a chocolate Easter bunny from yesterday's hunt because I was hungry and hadn't brought any lemonade along.

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