My body benefits from periodic rest, (2-3 times per year), from foods that are hard to digest. After a sensible cleanse, I sleep better and have more energy, a bit of water weight is flushed away and crazy cravings are calmed. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Master Cleanse, (also called the Lemonade Cleanse and the Beyonce Cleanse.) It works well for many people and I wanted more info to address questions about it from my clients, so I did some research. Feeling a bit adventurous (and a bit fluffy in the lower abs) I decided to give an abbreviated Master Cleanse a try.
Basically you drink this lemonade made of distilled water, organic lemons, grade B organic maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for 10 days.  No food, just a lot of that lemonade and some versions give variety via an herbal laxative tea in the evening. Oh joy!  Re duration:  some versions run about 20 days – an ease in period with clean foods to prepare your body for the 10 days of drink period, followed by an ease out period back to solid food. 10-20 days of that did not seem sensible. For the trial, I selected a 3 day of the Lemonade portion without the laxative tea night cap.
Image master cleanse ingredients
My experience – this stuff is of the devil.  I lasted ~39 hours.  Not.for.me.at.all.
Brief recap of my brief experience:
Day one was a half day and it was easy breezy.  I had a very light breakfast that morning and went to a strength training session with my personal trainer, then picked up the organic lemons and maple syrup.  The plan was to start the next morning, but I mixed the drink up and jumped right in.  Living in Louisiana, I’m used to spicy so I enjoyed the taste of the drink.  It was like a sassy lemonade and the cayenne had this satisfying effect on my stomach. If I felt slight hunger, when the cayenne went down, it was instantly satisfied (maybe that was all my stomach could handle at the time).  I drank a bunch of the drink as directed, went to bed early and slept…wonderfully.
Day two started off well.  I expected to be hungry upon waking, felt a bit of twinge, had a drink and again – satisfied.  Energy was good and I went about my day working and drinking the drink.  By 8 pm, things changed.  On three occasions, I found myself standing in the pantry, staring at the food and looking like a puppy in those ASPCA commercials. The cayenne satisfaction thing was over.  Frustrated I went to sleep.  Slept like a rock.
Day three, I woke up, swung my feet over the side of the bed to stand up and got dizzy. OK. Maybe it was a glucose thing – I needed to get to the kitchen and get some drink in me.  Started walking that way, my head began to hurt and my hands started trembling. Ding!  Master Cleanse over!  When I got to the kitchen, I had a glass of skim milk (for protein/carb mixture).  The trembling stopped but I was still head achy.  A bit later I had some water and a banana.  About an hour after that, I tried a piece of dry toast with water.  Momma duties do not stop just because Momma tries a cleanse so I went about my day. It took a few hours for me to feel steady and energetic.  By 11 am I was feeling normal enough  to workout with my personal trainer at full strength – however my stomach/digestion was disturbed…for the next 2 days.
I’m unsure if the dizziness/trembling was a temporary effect or if more drinks were needed to up the caloric intake but  there was no logical reason for me to continue the cleanse to work thru it or figure it out.  
My takeaways from this experience:
  1. With the exceptions of a Holy Spirit directed/sustained fast, medical necessity or famine in the land – I will not forgo nutrition like that again.  I’ll continue to cleanse periodically but stay with the Ultimate Reset (a clean food based cleanse), or a quick Shakeology cleanse (liquid based but extremely balanced and full of nutrition from whole food sources) or something similar. I must be able to function normally during the cleanse process. Maple syrup and lemons didn’t cut it.
  2. Chewing is important to me.
  3. Cayenne sticks with you for a good while.
The lower ab bloat was gone along with 4 ½ pounds of water weight, but that thing is not for me.
Do you cleanse?  If so, what method do you use?

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