Saturday, January 24, 2009

Masterfully cleansed

Like any sane person, I take all my fashion, musical and dietary advice from Beyonce. So I'm proud to announce that I finished the 10-day Master Cleanse diet/fast on Thursday and am gearing up to eat solid foods again today. Also known as the Lemonade Diet, you subsist entirely on a drink made up of lemon juice, organic Grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. It's actually pretty tasty, though it gets a little old after 10 days. I did the MC last year around this time and this time it was a little easier, mainly because I knew what to expect.

So, what's it like? Overall, it's a pretty good experience. I had really good energy, I wasn't cripplingly sleepy all day and I felt clear-headed and possibly something similar to what John Denver referred to as a "Rocky Mountain High'". Surprisingly, I never was really hungry. I had cravings from time to time, and other people's food smelled wonderful, but if I drank a lemonade I immediately felt better. I usually drank around 6 - 8 glasses a day. I missed the act of eating and the flavors, but never felt that hunger was an issue.

My cravings were always for healthy items. I thought about brown rice a lot and good wheat bread, tomatoes and apples. As much as I love junk food, I never once had cravings for sweets or chips or anything like that. So, I've decided to go back to the vegetarian diet I abandoned a few years ago. I love the taste of meat, but I do think it's unhealthy. And I deplore the killing of animals for food, and always felt bad about eating meat. But, on the other hand - bacon is GOOD. Always, always my downfall.

On the downside, the first few days of the diet can be really rough if you ingest a lot of toxins on a daily basis. In my case, that would be coffee and booze. I had the worst headache for 2 and a half days as I went through caffeine withdrawal. I always felt I drank too much coffee, but I just love it so much and I need the energy boosts to get me through the day. I'm planning to switch to decaf and hoping that I if I buy really good coffee it will satisfy me. Yeah, good luck with that.

Although I love to drink alcohol (mainly wine, these days), I've done enough time "on the wagon" in the last few years that I didn't miss it at all. Plus, I've just naturally been slowing down on the drink lately - partly because drinking makes me too tired to deal with the baby and also because my doctor recommended it.

Besides losing weight and getting rid of the crap in your body, the diet is relatively inexpensive compared to eating real food for 10 days. So, it can be a good thing to do when cash is tight. But be warned that the organic Grade B maple syrup is bizarrely expensive. A little 12 oz bottle is 13 bucks. And you'll probably need 4 or 5 of them.

But by far, the worst is the salt water flush. This part is a little graphic, so you may want to skip the next 2 paragraphs. Ok, now obviously since you're not bringing in solid food there's going to be a problem pushing everything through the body. It's recommended to drink a laxative tea at night, which I rarely did. But what you must do every morning is drink a quart of salt water. It's only 2 teaspoons of salt, but I still found it unbearable. It's hard not to gag on it. Plus, a quart is a lot of liquid to drink in one sitting, no matter what the beverage is. Last year, I tried using a straw to make it easier, but this year I just powered it down. 

Then the fun begins. In about half an hour you're filled with an extremely urgent need to use the bathroom, at which point everything in your bowels is vigorously expelled. It ain't pretty. This happens a few more times in the next half hour. So, whatever you do - do not stray far from a toilet for at least an hour. And prepare yourself for the possibility of a shart attack.

After you complete the 10 day fast, you need to be very careful getting back to a regular diet. For the first day you can only drink orange juice. The second day you can have some homemade vegetable soup. And the next day you can pretty much go back to normal. So, today I am really, really looking forward to some soup. Subsisting on oj for 2 days is not fun.

That about wraps it up. I found this book really helpful. I lost around 13 lbs, which puts me within 4 lbs of my wedding weight from 2 and a half years ago. I know I will gain some of the weight back immediately, but I'm hoping that sticking to a healthy vegetarian diet will help me continue to lose weight and feel healthy. Then again, we'll be hosting a Super Bowl party next weekend. That will be the true test. Wings....  Chips...  Beer...  Pork rinds.... Oh, god......


Mark Ward said...

First of all, I didn't know you guys had this blog, so I am happy to know that (and to read some more). Thanks for this, Pete. I have considered doing this cleanse in the past, but have never known anyone that has done it. Congrats!

Pete Best said...

We have really skacked on the blog in the last few months. Hopefully, we will get it going again.

Joe Janes said...

You guys and your weird diets. You are a stronger man than I am, Pete Ficht. I've tried that fast twice and wasn't able to complete it. I think I lasted three days each time. And, man, that salt water flush. A little warning would have been nice the first time.

Pete Best said...

Wait - a vegan is telling me I have a weird diet? That's like a Scientologist saying a Mormon has a weird religion.