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:
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.
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. 😀
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,