Recently my friend introduced me to the “Master Cleanse” detox program designed by Stanley Burroughs. He created this detox that can last anywhere from three to 30 days, to rid your body of all toxins, and as a plus, help you lose weight. Sounds cool, right? That’s what I thought too. I was wrong.
I did my research and found out that to do this Master Cleanse, also known as a Vibrant Cleanse, you go to almost any natural health market (Whole Foods, for example) and buy a powder drink to mix with water. This powder consists of three ingredients: lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Delicious? I think not. Oh, and keep in mind, this is all you can consume (besides water) the entire time you are doing the Cleanse.
This formula, at first sip, tastes like your regular lemonade but without the sugar, then comes the thick coat of maple syrup down your throat, and as a spectacular finale, the cayenne pepper stings your tongue and throat as you attempt to keep the look on your face short of pained.
My friend from back home did this for 10 days. She said that you get used to the flavor, and she felt great the whole time and lost 15 pounds, so I, and my brilliant ideas, decided to follow suit. I bought this incredibly expensive powder (roughly $40 every 3 days), mixed it with water in a big canteen and started off my day.
I felt like a million bucks up until about 2:00 p.m. Then, I felt like I was going to die from the inside out. Now, maybe it’s just because I knew I couldn’t eat for the next nine days if I really wanted to be successful in the Cleanse, but I was the hungriest I have ever been in my entire life. Regardless, I just drank more of the concoction and kept on going.
Twenty-six hours after I began the Cleanse, I ended it just as promptly. Around midnight, I started to get the worst migraine I have ever had and I realized something really simple: The human body needs food. Now while we shouldn’t be filling our bodies with fast food like fried chicken all the time, we still need nutrients; and lemons, cayenne pepper and some maple syrup don’t cut it.
To complete something like the Cleanse, you not only have to have some serious food and beverage discipline; you also have to be absolutely nuts. There’s no practical reason to start this extreme diet. When you think about this sensibly, you are literally choosing not to eat anything for days, possibly weeks. The only person I’ve heard of that could attempt this is Jesus, and there is no proof he didn’t complain.
So for all of you who are thinking about developing an eating disorder, I highly recommend the “Master Cleanse,” and I wish you luck. However, if you don’t feel like passing out or going into a hunger coma, why don’t you try eating a salad and exercising instead?
Kait Staffieri is a sophomore psychology major from Dallas.