I am a big advocate of thinking outside the box and of non-traditional problem solving, which is why I did not immediately brush off the idea of Stanley Burroughs’s Master Cleanse. First of all, I know many people will roll their eyes and consider this type of cleanse ridiculous. And that’s okay.

For those who do not know what the Master Cleanse is, it involves 10 days of only drinking a lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper mixture… no solid foods. It’s basically a juice fast, but more intense. Rapid weight loss occurs, but it is also about ridding the body of toxins and conditioning the mind to be less dependent on bad food. As a by-product of the cleanse, you can critically examine the amount of time you spend, each day, on either the production or consumption of meals.

The nice thing about the cleanse is that while you are on it, you are actually not hungry. The “lemonade” mixture quells all would-be hunger pangs. You honestly have to try it to believe it. Completing this cleanse is more of a psychological barrier than anything else… it seems insane to not eat anything for a day, let alone for 10 days. And no caffeine is allowed, but you honestly won’t miss it. Trust me. There is magic at play here. Yes, I just did 10 days. I know.

Although scant on protein, the lemonade drink has almost all of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires, and the simple sugars give you energy. The cayenne pepper provides some kick, helps the blood flow, and keeps you warm.

When I first heard of the Master Cleanse a decade ago, I attempted it and only achieved three days. It was the psychological barrier of not eating that did me in, and I let my temptation for food overpower me. Unfortunately, quitting it early made me feel like a bit of a failure. If anyone is currently doing the cleanse, I recommend chugging along until completion. It feels great to be done, and I am so full of energy now. I feel and look rejuvenated.

Having completed the cleanse, I would like to provide the following tips and tricks to those interested in embarking on their own cleansing journey.

  • Choose the right 10-day period. Ensure that you have no social or family functions that will get in the way (saying ‘no’ to a turkey dinner does not always go over well with family). Keep in mind that there is an easing-back-into-regular-eating period at the end of the cleanse, and so it is best to book off two weeks from social engagements.
  • On the first day of the fast, I recommend drinking other varieties of juice. While it is important to follow the lemonade recipe once you are into the swing of things, the first day is really a transition into a liquid diet. I went to Booster Juice and had a can of mushroom soup for dinner. Just don’t eat any solids.
  • Pick a wide selection of books and movies to enjoy over the cleanse. While you will have remarkably high energy, you do not want to overexert yourself. Plan on being sedentary. I suggest reading any of my three books 🙂
  • Take hot baths, go to a sauna, receive massages: do anything to relax that may also help you eliminate toxins.
  • Request support from those at home. They may think you are crazy, but request family members to keep their opinions to themselves while you are on the cleanse.
  • Get a good pair of full-body long-johns, wear them under your regular clothes, and keep them on in bed. Without solid food, I found myself cooling easier.
  • Find yourself a good herbal tea. I had a cup of Bengal Spice and a cup of mint tea every day. It is surprising how much of a treat it becomes.
  • Finally, you do not have to drink the laxative tea or do the saltwater flush if you do not want to (the cleanse calls for this). I did not, and it made the process much smoother for me. But if you choose to go the laxative route, I would recommend starting it on the fifth day. Doing it every day would be exhausting and disruptive, and would likely impact your chances of successful completion.

I lost fifteen pounds and I am now at a healthy weight. I’ll likely gain back a few of those pounds, but I anticipate that I will start leading a healthier lifestyle from now on. I believe this cleanse is the perfect kick-start for those who need a bit of motivation.

Good luck if you are embarking on this journey! Or are you just reading about it?…


Jon Dziadyk



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If you liked this post, please consider reading one of my novels. I write on a variety of topics. The broad themes of my fiction include individualism versus collective thought, and the importance of culture and identity in society. Sit back, click, and enjoy for more good writing!