This may not be the cleanest subject I could blog about but I wanted to share with you all what Karl and I have been doing for the last 10 days. Get your minds out of the bedroom now - we’ve been doing the Master Cleanse.
I have been struggling for over a year with really low iron and none of the oral supplements I have tried seem to be absorbing into my system. I heard about the Master Cleanse protocol and thought that cleaning out my gut might just solve this absorption problem. I told Karl about it and he decided to support me the best way possible by joining me in doing it.
It began with eliminating all foods that don’t grow in the ground which for us took two days. We then had one day of just fruits & veggies and then one day of fruits and veggies blended. Then one day of just fresh squeezed orange juice (with a little maple syrup for energy). Then we began 10 days of fresh squeezed lemonade mixed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper and of course water. We allowed ourselves herbal tea (decaf) and also drank a senna tea each morning and night. Some mornings we replaced the senna tea with a litre of warm salt water.
The senna tea and salt water help with bowel movements since we’re not getting much fibre. But they definitely caused discomfort some days. I think the hardest part was feeling uncomfortable (disrupting our sleep), not knowing when we’d need to go and having that restrict our lives a little. Covid of course, meant we weren’t going out much, so it wasn’t that terrible.
When we read what others had to say about the cleanse, many participants felt that they didn’t miss food that much and gained good amounts of energy toward the end. This wasn’t the case for us, partly because we had kids cooking in the house, so the smell of cooking made the evenings a bit of a challenge. Karl thought he had a bit better energy; I didn’t notice much difference at all.
Today is day 10. We nearly gave up on day 8. We were missing the joy of sharing a variety of foods with each other and our family and were concerned about the ramp up back to eating normally. The orange juice day in the lead up was pretty hard for Karl. He didn’t accomplish much at work that day, so we thought it might be better for orange juice day on the way out (the process is reversed at the end) to be on Sunday. However, we woke up Sunday morning and changed our minds.
The whole process up to that point had been very much a physical exercise for us. But we realized that morning that we hadn’t been thinking about our cravings for food in a spiritual way at all. In the book, Take This Bread, by Sara Miles, the author quotes a theologian, Ed de la Torre who says “To starve after justice is to ache for it, like food”. It made us think that perhaps our North American society is so satiated by food and ‘stuff’ that we can’t at all relate to those who don’t have everything they want at their fingertips. Recognizing our hunger and not satisfying it immediately is a worthy exercise to consider the needs of others. Not just those who are hungry, but also those who are oppressed or have to fight for any kind of justice.
So I hope this cleanse will have long term effects on me. Not just physically, but also in how I think about the world and what it needs. And how just because I can’t do much today to bring justice to others doesn’t mean I can’t work toward helping others in some way.
Do I recommend the Master Cleanse? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone, so I do recommend getting at least one family member on board.