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DETOX: pick yer poison

photo courtesy of mastercleanse.org

Seems like the Master Cleanse — ie, “the lemonade diet” — is the poster child for all cleanses and detoxes.

THOUGH I am on detox this week, Master Cleansing I am NOT. Even though it’s reportedly been used by Miss Beyonce herself in preparation of her role in Dreamgirls:

WHOOO! Girl look goood. (photo courtesy of onlygoodmovies.com)

I don’t know about anywhere else outside the bubble of LA, but it seems like everybody and their mothers have all tried their hand at the Master Cleanse.  *I* even tried it.

After 2 years of craptastic food (starches, meats, fried bits on a dime budget) in NYC, my body was soooo ready to cleanse itself.

Look, I tend to be judgmental of such things, but as I got older, I just realized that my body wasn’t super happy with the way things were going in my gut and gastrointestinal tract.  Weight gain?  Sure.  But what bothered me more than going up a good 12 pounds in 2 years was the fact that my skin got super duper horrible.

Sure, I used to break out every now and then — and by “break out,” I mean 3-5 pimples at a time, once in a while.  But by the time I moved back to LA, I had rolling hills of bumps and pustules and really intense scarring.  I became one of those girls who couldn’t leave the house without a crapload of concealer and makeup on.

I used to feel SORRY for those girls.   And now I was ONE of them!!

Also, I was always such a morning person before leaving for the East Coast.  But now my body would just crash after every other meal and it was hard to focus, pay attention to any super long conversations or want to do anything but sit at home watching entire seasons of BSG.

I tried my hand at eating mostly vegetables and eating bread maybe once a week, if that, and limiting fatty desserts and stuff — but even after doing that for a few weeks, there really wasn’t much of an impact on my health.

It got so bad that the tried-and-true-so-incredibly-LA Master Cleanse started to look plenty good.  Supposedly, the problem was with my colon, so I needed to clean it out with lemons and cayenne to get out all those “toxins” so that I could have a clean slate, gut and intestinal goodness.

It didn’t work for me.

And I think this was the culprit.

Not to say it doesn’t work for anybody.  My sister swears by it and I think my mom’s done it as well as 50% of the women I run into in LA.  But it just wasn’t for me.

I think I lasted 3.5 days before I just sat up and said, “Okay, Alice, this is ridonkulous.”

As tasty as that maple-syrup-cayenne-infused lemonade was, I would get super hyper and wired and alert and then CRASH beyond the point of depression 3 hours later.  And this is coming from a sugar fiend — just hook me up to a steady drip of glucose, and I’m able to function for the day.

Slowly, but surely, my pimples retreated to something much for manageable over the course of 1.5 years, but that whole NYC incident did get me thinking seriously about the purpose of detox.

To be honest, I used to think that the word “detox” was the latte liberal’s way of renaming the word “diet” in an attempt to remove some of the stigma.

I’m not quite back to where I was 7 years ago in terms of energy level and metabolism, but I do feel much better than I did 2 years ago.  It appears as though my body’s been naturally detoxing over a slow and steady stream of time.

Currently, Natasha and I are doing a joint-project for this 10-day detox by this company called Metagenics.

They basically have you cut out all the meat (“flesh foods” as they call it), sugars (including honey) and artificial coloring from the get go and to take a scoop or two of the above $75 tub of UltraClear — and a crapload of specially-engineered multivitamins over the course of 10 days.  I think the vitamins cost another 50 bucks or something like that.

I’m not liking the price of what it would cost to participate, but I do like the idea of detoxing by cutting out meats and sugars and eventually all grains and nuts and beans until you’re down to eating only vegetables, apples, pears, vitamins and additional scoops of their vanilla-flavored rice bran protein powder.

Financially, it’s kind of a big deal to invest over $100 for 10 days of detox, not including the cost of food.

But I’m lucky in that I used to (I’ve curbed it a bit) be pretty fanatical about new health products on the market, coupled with buying things in bulk and on sale — and somewhere during one of those crazy online shopping spree days I bought a really great rice bran protein powder and whole food multivitamins.  (Synthetic vitamins are actually taxing on your body, especially your kidney and liver, and can actually induce harm to your health — ie, Centrum and those One-a-Days.)

So I didn’t have to spend anything.

But if any of y’all are interested in NOT spending $75 dollars on a tub of rice protein powder with a complete amino acid profile, I most definitely recommend Sun Warrior, which comes with more and costs a lot less, clocking in at $50 with additional minimal discounts if you buy in bulk.  😀

photo courtesy of http://christiefischer.blogspot.com/

Honestly, I’ve done so much research on this product that I trust its efficacy over the more expensive UltraClear.  Of course, the vanilla-flavored UltraClear tastes a smidge better (Natasha let me sample hers) than the natural or chocolate flavored SunWarrior, but SunWarrior really ain’t that bad at all.

Add some coconut milk and strawberries (before you have to take out strawberries) and it’s really nutty-flavored and tasty.

I also like how the natural SunWarrior doesn’t have any additives, really.  It’s just straight-up sprouted, organic, bio-fermented brown rice protein.

As for my vitamins, I like to get them from Mercola.com.  You may initially blanch at the prices, but get on their mailing list to get alerted to sales and become a premier member and buy in bulk.  It’ll actually become quite reasonable.

So I’m on Day 6 on the detox and so far, I’m doing a-okay.  It was a little tough today, since my cousin decided to have her bridal shower at The London hotel with that Gordon Ramsay’s high tea.  Lots and lots of QUALITY scones, sandwiches and pastries.

I could tell.

Most “afternoon teas” at tea parlors tend to have aiiiight scones and the pastries are just a big mess once you get up close and personal, but you don’t care cuz it’s all cute and tasty enough.

The little chocolate cups filled with bittersweet ganache and caramel sauce were crisp, uniform and smelled of really, really great chocolate.

But I’ve got to say that this is the first detox that I’ve tried where I don’t feel bloated or like I’m having constant energy crashes.  I do get these really intense cravings for sugar that make me kinda jittery and kinda snippish, like a crack addict in the first stages of rehab, but my mood’s definitely leveled out by today.

Looking back, (all 6 days ago), I’m a bit amazed by how much sugar I consumed on a regular basis.  On average, I’d be eating at least a pound a week, even after I decided to cut out all sodas and things sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

People have mentioned that my skin looks better, which is also a plus.  And my thinking and judgment does seem a bit clearer, too. Also, when I manage to make something tasty (a bit of a feat, until you discover the wonders of coconut milk, spices, herbs and garlic) I don’t wolf it down as fast.  I just kinda taste and appreciate it a bit better.

Even if I stopped today, I’d be pretty happy — and think twice about the things I put into my body.

ALSO — just noticed something.  If you’re at a restaurant with friends (IT’S MY JOB, I SWEAR I DON’T WANT TO BE THAT ASSHOLE ON A DETOX WHO WALKS INTO A RESTAURANT DEMANDING FOR IMPOSSIBLE THINGS ON THE MENU) and mention “cleanse” or “detox” in LA (as opposed to NYC), there isn’t as much stigma.

Before it seemed like something to get defensive over, like veganism (which can be obnoxious, btw, when they get all evangelical or demanding on you), but nowadays, people are usually like, “Huh… okay!” or “Cool.” or “which one are you doing?”  AT LEAST IN LOS ANGELES.

I do recognize that we are of a certain breed, here, in terms of culture.

Is it becoming normalized?  And if so, is it because people are realizing that there’s something up with the way their bodies are now responding to the “average” diet?  And if it’s becoming normalized, what does that say about our food supply, that it’s normal to cleanse or detox once to three times a year?

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.  There’s a reason why it’s 10 days and not a week-long, so I’ll keep y’all posted.

Wish me luck!

Love and tacos,
Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice

0 Responses to DETOX: pick yer poison

  1. SNOWY says:

    I can empathize. My doc put me on a $80 multi nutrient CLEANSE cuz my Cholesterol and LDL’s are both too high for his satisfaction. He asked me med’s or nutrients . . . Day 5 and feeling a major Star Wars battle going on in my bloodstream . . . Serious. But then I do feel more alert and sustained energy cuz I’m eating more produce and biking. I’m supposed to do it for 2 months. Then what? Oh yeah, I think I got that message !

  2. papi says:

    “Is it becoming normalized? And if so, is it because people are realizing that there’s something up with the way their bodies are now responding to the “average” diet? And if it’s becoming normalized, what does that say about our food supply, that it’s normal to cleanse or detox once to three times a year?”

    This was a very important question you asked Alice.
    Our eating culture here in America is such a young one compared to others that have been cultivating rice for 6000 years.
    What does that say when everything we do has been fashioned within the last 60 years?
    To me it means that the way we eat has no root because it is processed.
    So it’s always the idea of new things being introduced to clean out or repair the damage of what you have done.
    That’s a horrible way to look at food in my book.
    Why not eat like the people in India, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Italy, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Korea, on and on….?
    Why not start with fermentation, pickling, slow cooking, harvesting from the season, eating roots and herbs, fish guts and offals, knuckles and brains, dandelion greens, ginseng, cactus, nettles, garlic, ginger, seaweed…..?
    Everything you eat becomes a nutrient and a connection to the spirit.
    So, I eat ox knuckle soup and wild mountain herbs with fresh mandarins and pomegranates as a regular meal in the late fall early winter to keep my body greased.
    Detox seems like a band aid or a blindfold to a way of eating and cooking and farming that is so much more holistically fun: tap into the way we do it as non-Americans or the way Native Americans eat.
    Ain’t much detox going on here, just great meals 🙂

    Papi

  3. Lupe Ramos says:

    Detox the mind and you will never fall for these false fads. I detoxed my mind, and I eat Kogi to keep me even more mentally alert.

  4. Best of Luck Alice. Have you ever looked in to the ancient methods of “detox”? Ayurveda has a complete system of cleansing and balancing called Panchakarma, or 5 actions. Warning, not all 5 actions are legal here in the states, i.e. bloodletting, however, the prnciples are pretty intuitive. The emphasis of any good detox should be to re-balance once the toxins have leaft. One neglected fact is that as your body releases toxins, you must “build health and immunity” in order to deal with the sudden rush of formerly incarcerated toxins in your system. I’m glad your current program cuts out sugar as it wreaks havoc on immunity. Anyways, happy cleansing. I hope to hear good things after these 10 days.

    Bobby

  5. Pingback: ASK PAPI — and other updates

  6. Sarah S says:

    first time here and just wanted to stop by to say Hi!!

  7. Jana says:

    Sounds like the cleanse helped. We have been eating paleo for the past 4 months and my husband has dropped 25 pounds and we eat Kogi about once a week.

    It’s basically about eating meat and vegis. No colorie restriction either. We don’t eat wheat anymore but we do occasionally have rice and I bake with almond four and you really can’t see much of a difference. Check out Marks Daily Apple Blog …it’s so inspiring.
    Best of Luck to you!

  8. Stef says:

    I’ve also been eating Paleo for a while as well. I like it a lot more because of the lack of calorie restriction. I’ve lost 2 pant sizes because of it and feel a lot healther than when trying other diets!
    Good luck with the detox!
    Kogi is the best haha

  9. ZenDental says:

    This is great info on cleansing and detox. I’ve tried the lemonade diet and made it to about day 4 as well. It’s not fun but I did feel better afterwards. There is a guy in MDR called Dr. Schulze that you may want to check out as well. Thanks for the post! Dentist Los Angeles

  10. Noah says:

    So I just finished a 30 day cleanse and detox. After years and years of trying different methods I found this one to be the absolute most thorough and efficient. Its important to do a full body cleanse of all organs and then a parasite cleanse of any foreign organisms that are using you asna host. Otherwise you’ll just be putting bandanas on the same symptoms every year. I completely detoxed over the 30 days, even while traveling doing events for my business. Lost 30 pounds and losing more as I’ve continued the new way of eating and choices. I will share this info with everyone I meet as I know it can change your life as it did mine. No more guessing and failing.

    The site is amazingly educating and the support unreal. I will never, and I mean never go back to the lifestyle I had before. Kogi is still a part of my “free day” every week among others. It’s nice to live now knowing exactly what to eat, when and how.

    I have removed the preoccupation of “what should I eat” for all of my meals. My days are too busy to have to stop to eat and then unhealthy.

    This is the most badass education I have ever done for my well-being and also being here for my wife and children. And I still get to love food. The right food.

    Here is the link. Look for the 30 day challenge or just read the info to educate yourself under the kitchen remedies. Basically, all the info will give you a ton of “ah ha!” moments.

    Good luck!

    http://www.35forlife.com/AP.aspx?ID=248&EID=10390062

  11. Dee says:

    Props for doing the cleanse. I do a cleanse every so often, maybe for 2 weeks every 3-4 months, depending on how my body feels. I struggle with the eating part of it because I know what I’m consuming is not entirely healthy. But I have lost some weight, and always looking to lose more. But like my friend says, take “babysteps” and eventually I will be able to do it. Although, of course Kogi is the meal on free days. =)

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