It’s just about time for my annual post-holiday, pre-birthday detox, where I survive on nothing much else than lemon juice, water, pure maple syrup, and willpower. This is what others call the Master Cleanse (or, simply, the Lemon Juice Cleanse), and I documented last year’s journey in this Rappler piece. Here’s an excerpt:
Mind and body bootcamp
Going on the Master Cleanse is like going undergoing an intense, 10-day bootcamp that tests your body, mind, and soul on so many levels. Let me get one thing out of the way: it can be extremely difficult if you’re not prepared for it. In order to succeed and finish the cleanse for 10 (or more) days, you need to prepare your body, condition your mind, and create a support system at home and at work.
- Take the Ease-In and Ease-Out period seriously. Just as you would need to warm up and cool down before and after any rigorous exercise, the Master Cleanse program requires that you “ease in” for three days, then “ease out” for three more days after your 10th (or last) day. This is important because it prepares your body to be consuming only juice for 10 days, and it also prepares you mentally to be without your favorite food and drinks.
- Enlist as much support as you can. Crucial to my success on all three years of cleansing was getting the support of my [former] husband, who also agreed to eat light and consume mostly soups, veggies, and light protein during my fast. I also asked my teammates at work to avoid offering or serving me food no matter what. Getting your family and friends on board is important because just the slightest bit of negativity or guilt can throw you off-track.
- Think “mind over matter.” I’ve found that while the body can adjust rather quickly to consuming just lemon juice for 10 days, it’s the mind that’s more difficult to still. For this, I summoned everything that I had learned from years of meditation practice, to condition myself that all my cravings were just all in my mind; that having a cleaner, lighter body was worth the sacrifice. I found that being able to say “no” to excellent food toughened my will, built discipline, and – I realized – helped build character.
What you’ll need are the following:
- Fresh lemons or fresh pressed lemon juice* (NOT lemon concentrate or lemonade)
- Pure maple syrup, grade B* (NOT maple-flavored syrup or pancake syrup)
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt (optional)
- Senna-based laxative tea
- A LOT of water**
*Available in the Philippines in specialty stores such as Healthy Options and S&R
I encourage you to read the full article on Rappler.com to find out how it works, but I also need to say this: this detox is not for everyone. I liken it to a 10-day Vipassana (silent) retreat (which I haven’t taken yet, by the way, because too much silence scares me), or something just as hardcore, because it will be intense–physically, mentally, and perhaps even emotionally.
I am also not a medical practitioner and have not, in any way, been trained to give medical advice. So, in this case, please do not take my word for it, and please consult a doctor before beginning this, or any other detox, program.
What I will continue to do, though, is to document this leg of this journey and share whatever new insights may (and will) emerge from this experience. I’ll also research and post on other detox programs that you may want to take in lieu of the Master Cleanse. There are a number out there, and you’ll need to find the program that best suits your current physical condition and needs.
In the meantime, I’m psyching myself up for another mind and body cleansing experience. Do wish me luck, and I hope you’ll continue to accompany me on yet another adventure!
*Love and light*