Monday, April 9, 2012

It's that time of year again...To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

If you've been following this blog regularly, you've witnessed the Mistress failing attempting several different diets. There was the 30 Day Method diet plan to go along with bootcamp, which I managed to stick to about 60% of the time. There were some majah mess-ups in the form of Nutella and wine binges, but I still lost about 15 pounds by the end of it all.

Then, there was the Chrono-nutrition plan, which promptly turned out to be an easy way for me to GAIN 7 pounds! (Truth be told, I think I took the cheese and chocolate concessions a bit too far.)

Basically, since the end of bootcamp, I've been gaining and losing and gaining (again!) the same 5-7 pounds, putting my weight in the 165-170 range, give or take....It's not pushing 180, the way I was before bootcamp, but it is still heavier than I'm comfortable with. I feel like I'm wearing this shell of extra skin and fat--- that if I could just shed-- would reveal the REAL me-- the, um, teeny tiny version that I much prefer...

I've pretty much realized that the Teeny Tiny Version of me ain't gonna happen when the Mistress likes to guzzle red wine every night of the week. It's also not gonna happen with the trucker sized portions of dinner that result from that relaxed, wine-induced, "Oh, it's just another 3 or 4 ounces of chicken" mentality. (More like an extra serving or two of dinner!!)

All of the hours I'm putting in each week on my workouts are in essence getting x'd out by my bad eating habits.

I've had it.

Something has to change.

I admit it. I'm an all-or-nothing kinda girl. Moderation is my biggest challenge. That said, Mistress of Mayhem here, has in the past, successfully done a juice cleanse for 2 weeks. Mistress of Mucho Bacon gave up meat for a year in college. And, believe it or not, Mistress of My Shin Splints Are Killing Me actually trained and ran, yes, a marathon. Did you get that? A Marathon. A 26.2 mile marathon, to be specific.

Here's the thing: I know how to be just usually takes something really intense and challenging to motivate me stick to the plan.

So, what exactly is intense and challenging enough to encourage discipline from the Mistress?

A trip to California. Oh yes.

JP and I are planning a week long jaunt in early-mid May, visiting LA, our old stomping ground. More than a decade before we met, JP and I both moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and lived out there for 4 years! We laugh about how close our paths must have crossed....I told him I probably waited on him at Gladstones, the restaurant where I worked in Malibu-- and most likely wrapped up his leftover fried fish platter in a gorgeous foil whale...

Oh yeah-- one of my favorite parlor tricks is to make foil whales, foil swans, rabbits, crabs and I can even wrap a freakin' foil mermaid. It's true. I'll have to pull out the Reynold's wrap and take a pic to prove it! Below is a pic of our beloved bus boy, Miguel, who was a true foil artist!
Foil Art at Gladstones 4 Fish

Now that JP and I are finally making some money and I have some vacation time built up, it's time to get out to Cali. We're going to spend part of our time in Los Angeles and the other part in San Diego.

I want to feel my most fabulous-- and my most fit-- and what better motivation than the Land of All Things Lovely?

So, here's where I pose the question: To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

I have had incredible success three times over the years with The Master Cleanse. I lost about 15 pounds, my skin cleared up, I lost all cravings for crappy food, and I kept the weight off until I got lazy and stopped working out.

My best experience was in 2010-- I did the cleanse, had a near spiritual experience with more energy than I can explain--- felt and looked amazing....and THEN, committed to a 90 minute TAM workout daily. My body was freaking insane-- I looked the best I have every looked in my entire life.

But, I also have had some unsuccess with the Master Cleanse the last 2 times I attempted it. The MC is so intense, you truly have to be in a good emotional place to get through it. The last two times I failed miserably, amid havoc and stress---my head was not in a good place and my body did not respond favorably. It's kind of like that marathon I ran a million years ago -- you need 80% mental strength with 20% training to finish it.

The Master Cleanse was created back in 1940 by a dude named Stanley Burroughs. He says:
"The following program has been tested and approved since 1940 in all sections of the world as the most successful of any diet of its type. As an originator of this superior diet, I humbly and yet proudly offer it to you, confidant that you will receive vigorous good health from its use.

This diet will prove that no one needs to live with his diseases. Lifetime freedom from disease can become a reality.”

We all need a good cleansing from time to time-- my girl Gwyneth talks about it in numerous editions of her newsletter GOOP. You all may remember that The Master Cleanse got a lot of press when Beyonce famously lost 20 pounds before shooting Dream Girls.

Beyonce Before & After The Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse is no joke. You've got the lemonade concoction, which is a combo of purified water, fresh lemon juice, grade B maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima kind) and cayenne pepper. You get used to it and start to crave it, actually. It's kind of like a spicy lemonade. What's hard to swallow, literally, though, is the Salt Water Flush. By adding un-iodized salt to water (2 tsp to 1 quart of water), it immediately flushes out your system. Here's a quote from the website:

Of course, along with the sea salt, you will be expelling waste. During the first 2 days you will be moving out remaining solid matter in the digestive tract from the days prior to this.If you began your diet immediately, this will be more true than if you Eased-in, and therefore have only juice in your system. Nevertheless, for each day you will expel solid matter. Gross, to be certain, but also empowering. You really begin to understand the value of this process when you recognize the elimination of waste that has been stored in your body for months, even decades.

You also get a good dose of all natural senna-laced tea which is another poop story altogether. Note to self: Don't over-steep the tea!!!

What's really crazy, is that even after 9 days without food, you are still expelling waste!! It's wild. And, it's part of what makes the cleanse so powerful and effective--- you are literally clearing out years of crap from your system.

I'm not sure if I'm going to attempt it again...I feel like I've been jumping from one "quick fix" diet to another--- this cleanse is certainly not an easy fix, but it is a relatively short-term solution to dropping some extra pounds and feeling fabulous. I am also leaning toward it since I'm still technically detoxing from my years of being on medication. I've been off the meds for 4 months and feel like a true cleanse would be good for both my mind and body.

Have any of you done the Master Cleanse? If so, what has your experience been?



  1. oh my gosh I have been debating doing the master cleanse for about 3 weeks! So I enjoyed reading your post. I want to do it, but I am a little bit afraid, if that makes any sense at all. I did do a juice fast about 4 years ago. The first two days were so hard, all I wanted was food, solid food. But on day three I had no appetite all all. On day 4 mid morning, I had a major panic attack...from what I have no idea, but I thought maybe I had low blood sugar or something and I had a banana and broke the fast. I really wanted to do the full 7 days, but didn't make it. I was told that the master cleanse is completely differant and is so worth trying. Reading your post was like reading my own you said you need something to get you started. That is how I feel exactly, like once I start seeing the scale go down with the master cleanse that will give me motivation to keep going and to get my body back. But being healthy is so important and if the master cleanse gets rid of all the nasties and toxins, I think it's worth a shot anyway.
    And wow you did a marathon?!! you are fabulous! seriously! Anyone that completes a marathon is a rock star to me!

    1. Rachael-- sorry for the delay responding! Currently on Day 3 of the Master Cleanse and feeling horrible-- but I know from past experience that this is the toughest time and starting tomorrow, I should be feeling better! I think we all need a jump start sometimes, ya know? Thanks so much for reading!

  2. I've tried the Master Cleanse 3x and was successful before my wedding. Not successful the 2 other times, cheating thruout it with little bits of crackers. I missed the part about senna tea and the salt water flush. I didn't even do it right, but I got the clear skin & thin body you describe. My head started to feel like it was wobbling, though. Like a teeny tiny lollipop. Lol. I'm with Rachael on wanting to see a jump start. Some quick results to get me on the path to the long haul. I think the Cleanse would be good for you at this point to clear your body of the medication. I think one time you went beyond the recommendation. Don't go that long. Just as least do the minimum and that will strike a happy balance. Lemme know if you do it!

    1. You introduced me to the MC! I remember being in the back of a NYC cab when you told me you had been drinking lemonade with cayenne pepper for 10 days!! It definitely works, but gurrl....the first 3 days have been rough! The good news is, mentally I'm in a very good place, so I know I can get through it. Plus, I'm coming to California next month!!!! Let's discuss!