What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “detox?”
Is it purifying, cleansing or ridding the body of toxins?
Perhaps you are like many and associate the term “detox” with drug and alcohol dependency in which one would purify the body of these substances. Although detoxifying can mean all of this, it can also mean that one is cleansing the body of other unhealthy substances as well.
I heard of a detox diet and I became curious. I wondered if it was right for me, so I did the research and found out about the benefits of detoxifying as well as the dangers, myths and truths. I wanted the full story, so that I could be successful in performing my own cleanse and I wanted the full story so that I could share my findings with you.
So the question is “what is detox?” and the answer is simple. Detoxifying is a method in which one would remove toxins from the body. This can be done in several different ways. Because this article was written with the sole intent to give readers a better understanding regarding the Master Cleanse (MC), hence the title of this article, I will stick to the subject at hand and give information only regarding this particular method of detox.
So the next question would presumably be “what is the master cleanse?” and that answer is simple. The master cleanse also known as “the lemonade diet” also known as “the maple syrup diet” was originally created by Alternative medicine practitioner, Stanley Burroughs back in 1941. It was reintroduced in the 1990’s by Peter Glickman through his book “Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days.” However, the most popularity that this diet seemed to gain was through singer/actress, Beyonce Knowles when the media caught wind of her astounding weight loss within such a short period of time. It was said that she lost 20 pounds in only 2 weeks by way of this so-called diet to perform in her role for the movie “Dreamgirls.” Knowles has been reported as saying that she does not recommend the master cleanse as a way to lose weight; she only did it so that she could star in the movie; and did so under close medical supervision.
Beyonce is not the only one who does not recommend the cleanse to lose weight. Medical professionals have indicated that the MC should not be a way to shed pounds since your body does not get the necessary vitamins, nutrients and protein as you fast from foods and only consume “lemonade.” In fact, the MC should technically not even be referred to as a diet considering the facts. A diet can be described as a modifying the way in which one would consume foods so that he/she can improve his/her physical condition or to prevent and/or treat a disease. When one reviews the basic concepts of implementing the MC, he/she will see that the MC is more of a fast since food is not being used at all.
Contrary to what medical professionals and Beyonce said, I wanted to attempt my own MC. My reasons for doing so consisted of what else? But detox; and let me just keep it real by saying that I did seek to lose some weight also. In addition to others who say they have lost weight (and kept it off), I did hear of alternative benefits to performing the MC. In fact, many people who have performed it state that they have never felt better in their lives and that they have more energy mentally and physically then ever before. They attribute this to their body ridding itself of toxins and other impurities.
According to Mr. Burroughs “People build strong, healthy bodies from the correct foods or they build diseased bodies from incorrect foods. When disease does become necessary, the lemonade diet will prove its superior cleansing and building ability.”
I would say this is definitely food for thought.
As far as the MC and weight loss: It has long been disputed as to whether the MC is really a reducing diet. Many say that the weight loss is temporal and one would quickly lose weight while doing the MC because it is typically refraining from food. While all of this may be true, it is my opinion and common sense will reveal that if one was to lose weight by not eating, they would quickly gain it back once eating has been resumed. However, it is not so much the act of eating that we should be focusing on but how and what we eat instead.
It was my goal to do the MC, to exercise while doing it and then to change my poor eating habits and continue to exercise even after the MC was completed for me. Unfortunately, I did not succeed in my goal to follow through on the completion of the MC. I will go into more details as to why later on in this article.
Benefits of the cleanse as indicated by Mr. Burroughs:
- Flushing out impurities in the system helps to break alcohol, nicotine, sugar and caffeine cravings.
- Eliminates and cleanses toxins from the lungs, kidneys, liver and digestive system.
- Cures ulcers and other diseases.
- Experience temporary or permanent weight loss, dependant on how you conduct your eating habits after the cleanse is over.
- This diet can be done for 10 days or more; up to a maximum of 40 days but take extreme caution, as there are vital steps which should be incorporated into a fast for longer than 10 days to avoid severe problems. (Please see my blog for additional information on this).
- Dehydration can occur if not careful to drink the recommended amount of lemonade daily (6-12 8oz glasses of lemonade daily). You should also incorporate drinking plenty of water into your day while doing the MC.
Important things you should know while doing the cleanse:
- You can perform this cleanse 3-4 times a year.
- You should drink the laxative tea at night while doing the MC
- You can do a salt water cleanse while doing the MC, you do not want to do it more than once per week.
- You should drink water in addition to the “lemonade” while doing the MC.
How to make the MC Lemonade mixture:
- 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice from an organic lemon or lime
- 2 Tablespoons genuine maple syrup Grade B is fine (Not maple flavored sugar syrup)
- 1/10 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper) or to taste
- 8 oz water, room temperature
Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 oz glass jar w/lid and fill with the water. Shake it up and drink.
I consumed the mixture for one week straight. At night, I consumed my herbal laxative tea. The MC was a fail for me; because although I did moderate my eating habits while doing the cleanse, I did not completely refrain from food as I was supposed to.
The MC is made up of 10% physical 90% mental within each individual, as far as I am concerned. This means that one will spend very little time physically making the mixture; very little time physically drinking the mixture and if one decides to exercise, he/she will spend very little time physically doing that as well. The majority of one’s time however, will be spent fighting with his/her body and trying to explain to it that he/she does not need food and he/she will not die by not eating. The MC takes a tremendous amount of mental strength in order to complete successfully. Just because I have not successfully completed the cleanse, does not mean I will not try again. After all, it has been said that “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” – George E. Woodbury