Monday, March 03, 2008

Master Cleanse... Fasting without hunger

I'm FASTING! That's right, just call me Gandhi from now on. I'm on Day 8, and I feel great. Some of my friends have asked, out of sincere worry, "WTF?!!!" Well, I'll explain it.

{ Word of warning: this will be gross! }

You see, for a LONG time I have been feeling listless. I mean, YEARS. Now, I know some of that is from "hard living," and, believe me, I've sown many wild oats over the years, all across the freakin' United States (and one province of Canada). But even after "calming down" in recent times, it has seemed impossible to lose weight and feel better, without some sort of god-like exercise regimen. And, even then, I was wondering if I needed more than just exercise. ( And, besides, I've tried to exercise, and it HURTS. It didn't hurt when I was younger. WTF, indeed.) ... I mean, what really IS the best set of FOODS to eat? Low carb? Vegan? Simple "balance"? What?
Well, a couple of weeks ago I came across an idea on the WWW: Over the years, our bodies deal with toxins in foods and beverages by producing fats and placing the toxins in the fats, as a way for the body to protect itself. Also, a LOT of undigested "material"/toxins are left in the digestive tract. ...And apparently this leads to a host of other problems, as well as premature aging. You feel a lack of energy, and even emotionally dispirited.
Now, I'm a skeptic, first and foremost. So when I heard about Master Cleanse, and the whole idea of "cleansing" your body, from the inside-out, I thought it sounded a lot like voodoo/new age stuff. But when I read how people said they "felt great" after AND DURING the fast, I researched further.
I've always had the impression that fasting itself, in general, is a very healthy thing. But, when I read that most people don't really experience hunger during their Master Cleanse fast, I REALLY became fascinated. I bought a book on the subject, and looked some more on the Web, and then, last Monday, I started.
As warned, on Days 2 and 3, I had some problems, but not with hunger. No, it was HEADACHES. Freakin' mind-warping headaches. I also had a day in which I just wanted to sleep all day. The thing is, these are DETOX symptoms. I was getting off a life-long caffeine habit. A couple of times I broke down and had a diet soda and aspirin, just to SURVIVE. ...
But then, everything was fine. Days 4 through 8 have been fantastic. I dare say I feel better than I have in all my adult years. But, to be honest, I did have a break-down of sorts, besides the caffeine: on Saturday night I had two glasses of wine with my friends at Kitty O'Shea's. Now, when I had started the fast, I was aware I was "going out" Saturday night, and I had decided I'd go ahead and do the fast and yet have a couple of glasses of wine in the middle of it. As it turns out, I don't think it affected the detox process much. My morning "eliminations" continued unabated. I'll explain:
You see, a key part of Master Cleanse is the "saltwater flush." (If you're squeamish, don't read further!) And what is the saltwater flush? Hmm, well, let me put it this way. What's happening is, the "lemonade" concoction that I make every morning provides about 1000 calories a day, AND it "loosens" the undigested material in your digestive tract. This "material" is apparently full of toxins. So, you gotta get rid of that SHIT, literally! That's where the saltwater flush comes in. The first thing, every morning, you MUST (quickly) drink 32 ounces (a quart!) of purified water mixed with 2 level teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt. And here's the freaky part. Your body won't absorb that stuff. It "flushes" right through you in 30 minutes, or less, and boy o boy you better be near the bathroom!
The whole deal is bizarre. After the first 24 hours of starting the fast, all the food you have eaten the day before has been digested and eliminated, right? So, theoretically, there's nothing left in your digestive tract, right? And, sure enough, on the second and third days, the saltwater flush was just a clean "flush" of sorts, more or less. But then the bizarre/gross part happened. On every day since then, more and more of this "blackish brown material" has been coming out. Bizarre! Gross! Yet fascinating! Or so it seems to me. Where is all this CRAP coming from? Well, my friends, all this crap is apparently just sitting there in our bodies, rotting. Everyone's bodies. Wow! By, getting rid of it, you are getting rid of a lot of weight, for one thing, and volume in your gut, for another. But also you're getting rid of toxins.
With the toxins removed from your digestive track, your body no longer is required to "go through shit" to get to the food you eat, and your body is no longer picking-up toxins from this shit as it tries to get to the nutrients in your diet. That's the idea. Lose the crap, feel better. Or something like that.
The best judge is through personal experience, sometimes. And my experience is, I feel great. That's a practical, solid observation. Man, I am pleased.
And here's another thing. My shoulder isn't hurting as much. In fact, I had forgot about it until last night at work. I was setting-up the easel, and I remembered, "Oh, yeah, I have a bad shoulder. Hey wait a sec...." Then today I read that people had reported the reduction or even elimination of joint pain. What the heck?
Man, it's like a miracle. I mean, I don't want to try and convince anyone of anything, and I don't know what the future holds, but, damn, I think I've discovered something "real" in the midst of all those weight-loss programs and fad diets and exercise machines. Fasting and cleansing. I'm very impressed.
Now, I'm not a nutritionist. (Although, come to think of it, one of my nieces IS a nutritionist, and is working on her PhD at John Hopkins in Baltimore.) But I do know how I feel. The feeling is this: my legs are light, my arms are strong, a gallon jug of water feels like a feather, and *get this* my MOOD is improved. I'm sleeping like a baby, and I'm dreaming great dreams. Wow, I really need to continue this.
But to continue, how? This is what I'm hearing: a diet of fresh veges and fruit and nuts and seeds. That's your basic diet. It will continue to detox your entire body, and keep you feeling great. In fact, to be clear about this, one week before I started Master Cleanse, I started eating only (almost) fresh/raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and granola and whatnot. I immediately felt better. But my digestion went crazy, and I was feeling groggy and "foggy" on some days. Apparently, these were early detox symptoms. So, I guess, I had given myself a little head start on detoxification and improvement.
And so, what now? I'll finish this in a couple of days, and ease my stomach back into solid foods with orange juice and a little vegetable soup. And then I'll try and maintain the right foods, and probably a little wine each week, which supposedly has enormous medicinal benefits too. I'm not completely off caffeine, so I'll keep reducing its intake while avoiding migraines. (Quick cut to All-Star Music Hotel last Wednesday: "Kid, I'm not weeping because you're ugly, I'm weeping because of a freaking headache! Now hold still so I can draw your ugly mug!") (Just kidding... kinda.)
Also I should note that this cleanse is something which can be done several times a year, and it can be done for a longer period, say, 20 or 30 days. That's why I'm not too worried about cheating a little with a couple of diet sodas and wine. Not perfect, but close. Man, I feel great.
A number of celebrities apparently swear by Master Cleanse, or so I hear. Beyonce was the latest one to sing its praises, I think. And, of course, celebrities know best, right? That's why they're on TV!
Here's the references I used:
Master Cleanse, by Stanley Burroughs
Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days, by Peter Glickman

Anyway, that's it. If you read all of this, then you must really be interested, lol. So, if you have any questions just let me know. I, actually, haven't read all the information in those books, but I got the gist. Fast, cleanse, feel great. Simple.
By the way, WILL POWER is indeed a part of this. Most people do not get hungry, and I haven't either, but, man, I miss the PLEASURE of food. ...Just a couple more days, Tim! .
..And some people experience CRAVINGS, as opposed to hunger.
...In the end, you must WANT to do it. Good luck!


Meighen said...

Great job!!! Today is my first day on the cleanse, I'm not really hungry, but thinking about not eating for the next month or so has gotten to me, so I chewed up some food and spit it into the garbage. T'was very satisfying. Any tipe or tricks up your sleeve? I'm a little too cheap to buy the books, but maybe when i get the extra cash I will "master cleanse secrets" is supposed to be a good one (There's even certain food you CAN eat while on the cleanse) anyway. I'ts nice to read posts like yours it really helps me get through this thing with my sanity. I'm sure by day 3 it will be a breeze. OH! is it okay to have aspirin and such things while cleansing. I have a bit of a head ache and want to take something for it...

Thanks again!

Sammi said...

Thank you for this info!! See, I've been on the Master Cleanse since Tuesday (it's now Thursday= almost 3 DAYS!! 8->) and have done everything according to directions...except for the Salt Water Flush as it kind of scared the shit out of me...but I guess that's what it's supposed to do, LOL!!!

At first, I didn't know that the SWF was an instruction/ key component in this diet plan until I, thoroughly, read the back of the lemonade/syrup/cayenne powder mixture I got. After I noticed that part, I researched it and, of course, focused on the negative comments…and a few said that they had vomited because their bodies could not "hold" the solution.

After that, I was a bit afraid because I had taken the Smooth Move laxative which worked like a charm though (sorry, but...) around the second day and the third trip to the toilet I was bleeding a little so I was thinking "even if it DID work the right way, I don't want my ass to be on fire…”.

Now that I'm on my third day (and proud of myself, since before I started this, I would get "hunger pangs" and "hunger headaches" after not eating for 4 HOURS, WTF?, I'm onto 78hrs and trying to go for 10 days+!!!), I want to give it a go because I want to get all of that YUCK out of my system and reap the FULL benefits of this treatment...and now you've convicted me to do so, after your "gross" description!!!

Thanks a ton!!!