The Master Cleanse – A Reflection

Last week, Lee and I got the bright idea that we were going to start the Master Cleanse diet. C’mon, I know you’ve all seen the commercials. You’ve heard them say that we all have pounds of waste clinging to our colon walls like spackle or paste. Well, Lee and I wanted to detoxify. And, let’s be honest, I wanted to lose the weight. Who cares about my colon? Mama’s going to Florida in a month – it’s time to get serious.

Have any of you ever tried the Master Cleanse diet? It’s crap! And yes, that pun was intended. Let me give you a little glimpse into the world of the colon cleanse.

It all started on Sunday, when we both ate very light, you know, to prep our stomachs for the days to come. That afternoon, I headed over to Wholefoods, the Mecca of all things healthy and good. I had my list of ingredients and I slowly made my way through the aisles picking up lemons, purified, but not flouridated, water, non-iodized salt, Grade B Organic Maple Syrup and pure Cayenne Pepper. Yeah, I know.

I should inform you that neither of us actually read any literature about this diet because we’re too cheap to buy a book. We simply consulted Dr. Google for the list of ingredients and some testimonials from those who have successfully completed this 10-day completely liquid diet.

“It’s amazing!” they all proclaimed. “I have more energy than ever before; I lost 20 pounds; my skin is glowing and looks fresh and young; I feel rejuvinated.”

My personal favorite was the man who was on day 17 of this diet and was planning on going another 3-5 days because he just. felt. so. great. Freak.

All of Google’s input said that the first 3 days were the hardest. After that, you hardly notice the hunger – “you will be energized as you release the toxins from your body.” Uh-huh.

(The drink that you consume during the 10 day diet provides you with roughly 1200 calories/day, so this is not a starvation diet, though it may sound like one…)

So I came home with two bags filled to the brim with all the things that were going to make Lee and I glow with the radiance of youth and health. At this point, neither of us had eaten much all day, and we intended to start night one with the salt water flush. It sounded easy enough. 35 ounces of water mixed with one teaspoon of salt. The idea is to drink the entire liquid, then sit back and wait for nature to take it’s course, thereby beginning the process of cleansing the colon.

The next time you’re at the beach, fill a cup with 35 ounces of ocean water and drink it. If you are able to do that, I will personally send you telepathic high fives and feelings of all over awesomeness. I, personally, couldn’t get past two swallows without gagging and nearly vomiting. (There’s one way to lose the weight.) And I tried. I tried to drink it warm, I tried it cold; I tried to pound it back quickly (that was not a good idea), and I tried a small sip. And Lee watched me the whole time. I finally made him try it and after one swallow, he headed back to the computer to consult Dr. Google on what to do if the salt water flush is too unbearable. “You are pansies,” came the reply. At least that’s how it felt. Are all those people online lying, or do they really think it’s “not that bad?” Geesh. Then, we saw it – Hark! There is a tea you can drink called Senna. Glory! Lee headed back to Wholefoods while I perused the recipe for the lemonade.

You mix water, lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I didn’t understand the cayenne pepper, but my trusty internet assured me it was a necessary ingredient and was not to be skipped. And so I intended to follow the directions. You know, because thus far that was really working out for us. So Lee returned, we drank our tea and we went to bed.

The next morning, I awoke to a rumbling tummy. It was a mixture of hunger and Senna. At this point I was beginning to doubt my willpower to withstand this diet. I made Lee and I a batch of lemonade and poured each of us a glass. The blasted cayenne kept drifting to the top so we had to continually stir the drink. It reminded me of Chandler and Ross on Friends, drink and stir, drink and stir. Five points to anyone who remembers that episode.

I think I know now why the cayenne is important. Apparently it burns off the lining of your throat making the consumption of food nearly impossible. At this point I was sincerely cursing my internet friends who had assured me that the lemonade was quite good and the cayenne gives it a “little kick.” Liars from the pits of hell!

Oh, and while I was fighting back my urge to begin breathing fire, I got my first “prompting” from the Senna tea. My first of many, I might add. Miserable, miserable tea.

So, wrapping up. The lemonade was so nasty that after drinking my half-day ration, I was gagging violently every time I took a drink. My house was completely destroyed because every time I ran to the bathroom, the children exploited my weakness and tore about like wild apes. My stomach was growling fiercely and I was growing irritable. I texted Lee and told him I didn’t have the balls to follow through with the intensity of this diet. He replied that he was glad because neither did he. And we quit. Right then and there. After only 24 hours, we quit.

All that to say, I don’t recommend the Master Cleanse diet.


  1. heresthediehl says

    both funny and educational! i’ve always been curious about those commercials, too, and i’m happy to hear from a REAL person what the diet was like 🙂

    you’ll look great in FL anyway.

  2. KC Silverman says

    Candler and Ross with their at-home instant cappacinos….NICE…They got bullied into their nasty drink. What’s your excuse?

  3. Five points to you, Kristina. I have no excuse. I was mislead by all the happy reports of perfection. I was a follower. What an analogy…

  4. paulshaver says

    I have a collector’s plate of Obama I’d like to sell you.

  5. I’m so glad you quit. David and Krista Tapp had major physical problems for several months after trying one of these diets. Unfortunately they lasted longer than you did. Dr. Rex Russell, author of a book called: What The Bible Says About Healthy Living, (I don’t know how to underline words on this computor, otherwise I would underline the title of the book), says to fast one day a week by just drinking water, and your body will detoxify itself. I did this for years, and stayed very healthy and thin. About once every 2-3 months I would go on a 3 day fast, and that really does energize you.

  6. Kelli-
    At least it made for a hilarious blog entry! My children keep asking me what I’m laughing about!
    Elizabeth Ward

  7. Hyser Family says

    Tony and I were cracking up. Written so perfectly that we could picture you and Lee trying to get the drinks down. 🙂

  8. blessedpath says

    Kelly, want to cleanse, do ya? I have 5 letters for you that will work!!!F-I-B-E-R. eat a few fiber one bars (which are delicious) and have 9grams each, and you WILL have a mighty cleanse….i speak from experience!!
    I have to say, I am feeling a little bad about myself right now.. you and Lee are ALREADY thin and in shape, yet you feel you need to get MORE in shape?? and here i sit with a belly full of Mcdonalds bacon egg and cheese bisquit. Not giving it a second thougt.

  9. Three Against One says

    Oh please you and Lee are two of the most fit people I know! I am going to Florida in 4 months and I am the one who needs to cleanse. Think I will try those fiber bars Carol is talking about.
    I looked at my calendar for next week and I was thinking Wednesday would work for our play date, but our Parents as Teacher is coming, SO I will get back to you soon!

  10. Y’all are brave. That description made me want to gag the whole time! Sounds like your mom has the right idea…even though there’s no food on that one day, at least there’s no cayenne pepper involved!

  11. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says

    ROFL!!!!!!!! Stir and drink… LOVE that episode. (Love EVERY episode – NEVER missed ONE! Saw every one IN ORDER!!!)

    And girl – have you never done prep for a procedure where you had to drink horrible stuff to cleanse your colon?? From doing those I KNOW that no one in the world is going to get me to do that Master Cleanse. NO THANK YOU!

    SO glad you survived AND cam e to your senses.

    My favorite weight loss tip – fiber and lots of it. Lots of water too. Keeps you full but not in the bathroom with explosive issues. And make sure not to drink calories like juice, soda, etc. Eat fruit instead.

  12. Diet Cleanse says

    Most people exerted a lot of effort when trying to lose weight quickly by starving themselves. Of course when you reduce your calories intake, the weight will drop. But at the same time, you will actually also deprive your body of the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy. When that happens, the important organs in your body like the liver and kidney will start to fail. This in turn will pose a serious health risk to you.

  13. Oh dear. I have done it twice. Once for 8 days and once for 7. It is brutal and I hate the taste of the drink. And oh the bathroom visits. Stomach cramps in the middle of the night from the tea. My brothers did it too and felt so good. But I kind of just felt the same and have no ailments to cure. So yeah, I think I am done with it.


  1. […] The Master Cleanse: A Reflection: Perhaps one of the funnier moments of our year. This was the description of mine and Lee’s abismal attempt at the Master Cleanse diet.  […]