Internal Spring Cleaning –
Everybody has heard of Spring cleaning — cleaning out the debris and dust that accumulates indoors all winter long. And more people than ever are aware that Spring cleaning in our bodies is just as important, if not more so! Just as junk and garbage builds up in our homes, it does in our bodies as well — particularly if we are eating the Standard American Diet with its high-sugar, low-fiber foods. Even when we are eating a healthier diet, periodic cleansing can do wonders for our health. If we want a clean house, we have to clean it out on a regular basis. Same thing goes for our bodies.
My Favorite Cleanse
**WARNING — If you are squeamish and don’t like to hear about peoples’ bowels, DON”T KEEP READING**
My personal favorite cleanse is the Master Cleanse, aka Lemonade Cleanse. I first did this cleanse over 7 1/2 years ago when I was searching for a way to heal from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/fibromyalgia. It involves going off all food and drinking a homemade lemonade and herbal laxative tea for a period of time. The first time I did the Master Cleanse I followed the protocol for 5 days rather than the recommended 10, as I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the idea of going without food for that long!
This cleanse is not for everyone. It does require some psychological toughness (though personally for me, I was much hungrier and weaker physically when doing a 3-day juice fast once than I’ve ever gotten even when doing the Master Cleanse for 10 days). It requires an ability to follow directions. It requires discipline, though you do get vitamins, minerals, and calories from the lemonade. And for your sacrifices, it can reward you greatly with some or all of the following benefits:
- Weight loss — many people will lose up to 10 lbs during the 10 day cleanse, and then gain about half of it back when going back on food. Long-term weight loss can occur when healthier eating habits are established in the aftermath of the cleanse.
- Cleaning out the bowels — I pass a good amount of mucus and random unidentified debris (impacted fecal matter?) when doing this cleanse. The first few times I passed mucoid ropes — hardened mucus that had apparently been lining my bowels and doing who-knows-what to my health.
- Cleaning out other organs such as kidneys and liver — Every time I do the Master Cleanse I urinate profusely. I am quite certain my kidneys are being flushed out and cleansed. I also pass a lot of bright yellow stuff through my bowels that is probably bile.
- Detoxification at the cellular level — Many experts say that the lemonade cleanse detoxes the cells, causing fat cells to release their toxic contents and shrink as a result, and all other cells to be cleaned out as well.
- Clearer skin, brighter eyes — My eyes seem to get really, really blue when I do this cleanse. My skin is also clearer and more glowy. =)
The first few times I did the cleanse was in 2004-2005 when I was switching to a no-sugar no flour vegan/50% raw foods diet in an attempt to heal from my autoimmune problems. After the very first cleanse my sugar addiction was broken. Any time I tried to eat sugar my body reacted poorly. I guess after feeling how good it was to be clean, it didn’t want me poisoning it with garbage!
In the Fall of 2005 I did succeed in getting my health back from my 6-year bout with severe debilitating fatigue and the multitude of other symptoms that can accompany Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I feel that the Master Cleanse, along with my subsequent dietary changes, helped set the stage for healing. I know of at least one person who had been paralyzed from the waist down after an accident, who was able to regain his ability to walk after doing the Master Cleanse for 30 days. That man was Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils.
In previous years, I did a 10-day Master Cleanse 2-3x/year to maintain my health. I have slacked on that somewhat over the past 3 years training hard in my martial art Merpati Putih and have cleansed only once per year. But I have decided that I will go back to doing the cleanse at least 2x/year — in the Spring and in the Fall.
How to do The Master Cleanse/Lemonade Cleanse
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (organic preferred)
2 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup (organic preferred — MUST be Grade B and not Grade A)
~ 8 oz. spring water
dash of cayenne pepper
Drink 4-12 glasses of lemonade daily. Drink any time you feel hungry.
Drink a laxative tea with senna in it both morning and night to keep the bowels moving. This is an ESSENTIAL part of the cleanse. You don’t want the body’s sewer system to be stopped up at just the time you are purging toxins. I like Chocolate Smooth Move tea from Traditional Medicinals.
Water & Herbal Tea
You can drink an unlimited amount of water and herbal tea. Peppermint tea seems to hit the spot during the cleanse.
My Recent Cleansing Experience
I just did a 9 1/2-day Master Cleanse earlier this month. From Monday, April 30 through Wednesday, May 9 I was on the cleanse. This go-around I was surprised at how little lemonade my body wanted. I had a few tricks up my sleeves to help me get the most out of my cleansing time. Here’s what I did –
- I drank plenty of spring water from a local natural spring.
- I did dry skin brushing before shower and bath at least once per day. Get a dry skin brush from the health food store. Before you get in the shower, brush your bare skin toward the heart (up the legs and arms, torso, and back). I also brushed clockwise on my abdomen before going up toward the heart. This helps the body to slough dead skin, improves lymphatic flow, and can also improve circulation.
- I did oil pulling with helichrysum essential oil to aid the detoxification process. First thing in the morning after brushing my teeth, I put a drop of helichrysum oil on my tongue and took in about 1 Tbsp. of cold-pressed sunflower oil. I worked it through my mouth, almost chewing it, for 10-20 minutes. This pulls toxins out of the bloodstream via the capillaries in the mouth. The helichrysum is a potent liver detoxifier and really makes this much more effective. When you’re done, you spit the nasty dirty oil into a jar for disposal later. Rinse your mouth out and brush your teeth. I use the Thieves toothpaste that kills bacteria and other nasties. After oil pulling, especially with helichrysum oil, I feel like my mouth and body are sparkling clean! I have more energy. My sinuses clear out. And I feel I need less lemonade.
- I rubbed grapefruit oil (diluted in coconut oil) on my abdomen to help my body release belly fat.
- I rubbed peppermint oil on my belly at night to help soothe the gut and aid in cleansing.
- I had my feet worked on and got a Raindrop Treatment. Reflexology, massage, and any other body work are AWESOME to have done while cleansing!
- I spent time meditating almost daily to help in spiritual/emotional detox.
- I made peppermint limeade a couple of times to break up the lemonade monotony. I just added a drop of peppermint oil to limeade made with fresh-squeezed limes and the maple syrup. I left out the cayenne on such occasions.
Breaking the Cleanse
When going off the cleanse, it is very important to go slowly and strategically. I have to admit that this is the hardest part for me.
Day 1 in going off the cleanse, start with a few glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Work up to other liquids such as homemade broths, fresh-squeezed vegetable juice, or Kombucha (which is high in beneficial bacteria to help the newly-cleansed gut get off on the right start). We had some homemade chicken broth in the refrigerator, and to it I added chopped onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, kale, and canned pinto beans. You are really only supposed to have the broth portion of the soup on Day 1. I did cheat a little . . .
Day 2 — More fluids, eating some of the vegetables that cooked in your broth, working up to raw fruits and veggies. I made a delicious salad with cucumber, tomato, and avocado seasoned with lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. =)
By Day 3 you can start adding in starches such as a baked potato along with lots of fruits and veggies. By Day 4 your body should be ready to tolerate foods higher in protein.
It’s important to go slowly so as to allow your digestive system to come back online gently. Overeating the wrong foods too quickly can be detrimental. Use wisdom!
I admit that I didn’t weigh myself during this most recent cleanse. Weight loss is only one of the benefits, and I’ve found that too much focus on the weight loss aspect can be counterproductive. That being said, I probably dropped 8-10 lbs while on the cleanse. Now that I’ve been off the cleanse for a few days I’ve probably already gained back half the weight. But I am still feeling cleaner and lighter, and most importantly — I feel prepared to embark on healthier lifestyle choices that will reap long-term dividends! This includes daily intake of fermented foods such as sourkrout, kimchi, and homemade kefir as well as frequent homemade meat broths. I’m not going to cut myself off of sugar completely, but will limit consumption of sweets and breads.
Unlike some claims I’ve heard about the Master Cleanse — that muscles can waste away when going a few days without protein — I had no problem maintaining my muscles during the cleanse. I was able to exercise lightly while on the cleanse with no problem at all — I just didn’t push my muscles to full exertion and kept lemonade and water close by.
Whether you are ready to embark on the adventure of the Master Cleanse or not, I hope that you will consider some sort of cleanse this Spring. One other idea for cleansing is Young Living’s fabulous but less-intensive 5-Day Nutritive Cleanse. If you do decide to do the Master Cleanse, my hats off to you! And I hope that you were able to learn something from my experience! Please feel free to share your experience in the comment section below!
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Julie Behling-Hovdal is a reflexologist/holistic healer and founder of Essential Survival where she teaches people how to prepare for the #1 cause of death in the event of an economic collapse — lack of access to medicines. In 2005 Julie was able to get off 4 prescription drugs and heal from a 6-year stint of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia with products from Young Living Essential Oils. Get a free copy of her report “Fast Track Survival Medicines” at http://essentialsurvival.org/fast-track-survival-medicines/.
Statements made about the essential oils that come in the Essential Oil Survival Kit and other products offered by Essential Survival have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.
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