Real Talk: I Did the Master Cleanse
Growing up, I was fed a steady Midwestern diet of meat and potatoes, and everything was fried (thanks to southern roots on both sides of the fam).
OK, OK. That’s an exaggeration. Not everything was fried.
And we ate plenty of fruits and veggies. And dessert was rare. And pop was considered a treat. But still.
My mom tops her homemade macaroni and cheese with strips of bacon. Her ranch dip will change your life. The main ingredients? Mayonnaise and sour cream.
And have I mentioned I have almost no self control where food is concerned? Well, it’s true. So you can imagine the damage I did during the holidays.
Between my mom practically shoveling food down my throat (“You don’t eat enough!”), no exercise (I don’t run outside in cold weather, I hate gyms), and a waning metabolism (Thanks, 31st birthday), I tipped the scales at… Well, let’s just say I gained about six pounds in a week.
Something had to give. Not only did I feel pudgy, I felt…full. Clogged.
So I decided to embark on the Master Cleanse.
You know, the 10-day fast Beyoncé popularized a few years ago.
You drink a quart of salt water in the morning, an herbal laxative tea at night, and lemonade (made with maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper) in between. That’s it.
No food, no caffeine, no alcohol.
My friends thought I’d lost my mind. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
I lasted five days.
- I was überhydrated. Which meant my urine was nearly clear (just keepin’ it real) and the lines on my forehead were much less noticeable. I was already good about drinking fluids, but now I drink even more of them. I’m sure my body is thanking me.
- I developed an aversion to artificial flavors. Well, one artificial flavor. I used to drink that bright pink Vitamin Water all the time, but now the taste grosses me out. Too sweet and too fake! In fact, I drink the Master Cleanse lemonade just for fun now.
- I was regular− for the first time in my life. Which was good and weird all at the same time. (I have an incredibly slow digestive system thanks to genetics.)
- I was cold. All. The. Time. I wore my winter coat at the office. At home, I turned the thermostat up to 80. (I started to wonder if the flu was trying to sneak up on me. Still haven’t come to a definitive conclusion on that. ‘Tis the season.)
- I was tired. On day four, I got home from work, immediately climbed into bed, and slept for three hours. The kicker: On day six, the day I transitioned from the cleanse −by eating chicken noodle soup, which, by the way, tastes wonderful after five days of
starvationfasting− I got home from work, immediately climbed into bed, and slept for 12 hours. STRAIGHT.
- I got hangry (hungry + angry= hangry) toward the end of day four. “Why is everyone I work with so loud?” I thought to myself. “Why do people post pictures of food to Tumblr? Is that necessary?” The next day, I walked by one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants and literally got tears in my eyes as the smell of steak wafted out the door. Then I stomped home.
Would I do the Master Cleanse again? Maybe. Maybe not. When it was all said and done, I did feel cleaned out. And I lost the weight I’d gained.
Pro Tip: Keep lotion handy.
You will pee. A lot. (I was going to keep track of my bathroom trips, but I lost count.) Therefore, you will wash your hands a lot. Therefore, lotion will become your best friend.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.