The current project: 90-day remake challenge!

The current project: 90-day remake challenge!
Trying to inhabit the body that's been there all along

Saturday, June 20, 2009

After the Master Cleanse: Retrospections and instructions

So, my official post-cleanse weight is. . . 158.5. That means I dropped 12.5 lbs in 12 days, which is three pounds shy of the amount of weight I dropped in, roughly, 120 days on Nutrisystem. That is absolute craziness. Now, to see if I can keep it off.

I expect some initial gain, just because of introducing actual calories into my body. I will try not to freak out about this. According to proponents of the raw food diet, you will continue to lose weight until you reach your natural, intended weight.

So, obviously I am ecstatic with the weight loss results. As for health results, I feel great. My skin is smoother, my gall bladder feels great (though I haven’t given it anything to be upset about yet), I feel very balanced and in a great disposition, my stomach has flattened noticeably and my energy level is exceptional. I probably could have stood to continue on the cleanse a few more days, but I’m not too worried about that since I will continue to detox through eating raw foods.

All in all, if someone were to ask me if this is a cleanse I recommend, I would say yes, without reservation. However, it IS difficult, both mentally and physically, and you do need immense will power and strong resolve. I recommend prayer, but if you’re not into that, then something to distract you from food and thoughts of food is important. Try having a toddler. That also worked for me.

I definitely learned how to handle hunger in a whole new way and was surprised how well my body functioned on no food and minimal calories. I would also make it clear how awful the SWF component is, but I think it is absolutely essential. Without it, you are not really getting all that loosened stuff out of your system. So, it’s just one of those things that sucks, but you do it cause you know it’s good for you. Like eating your broccoli (though I personally LOVE broccoli).

So, here is the exact regimen I used, for anyone who might be interested in replicating my cleanse. I based my cleanse on a variety of sources, grounded in the original book by Stanley Burroughs, titled, “The Master Cleanser.”

I decided not to do an ease-in, but if you feel like you need it, then you should do the following:

Day 1 on ease-in—Raw fruits and vegetables
Day 2 on ease-in—Raw fruit and vegetable juices
Day 3 on ease-in—Fresh squeezed OJ, diluted with water and with Grade B maple syrup. Drink 2 liters. 16 ounces of OJ mixed with 16 ounces of purified water and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup comprises 1 liter. Drink two of these over the course of the day, and lots of water, of course.

On the evening of Day 3, you should drink a cup of laxative tea. I used Yogi’s “Get Regular” and liked the flavor and the result. It was mild, but did its work.

Day 1 of Master Cleanse (MC)—Start the day with a SWF (salt water flush). This consists of drinking 32 ounces of water mixed with 2 teaspoons of sea salt (I used Celtic Sea Salt). The water should be room temperature; cold water makes the experience that much more intolerable. Guzzle it down as fast as you can, and try not to think of how awful it is.

After you have gotten it down, work on preparing your lemonade. I tried to juice all my lemon juice for the day so I wouldn’t have to clean my juicer more than once. This is the recipe: 14 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice, 14 tablespoons of organic Grade B maple syrup (you really should try to get Grade B, as it has much more of the nutrients you need than Grade A) and ½ teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper. Divide this recipe between two 32 ounce water bottles and fill the rest with purified water (so, 7 of lemon, 7 of maple syrup and ¼ of pepper and rest water for each bottle). Personally, I only made up one lemonade at a time (though I saved the lemon juice for the next batch in the refrigerator) because the longer the cayenne pepper sits around, the spicier your lemonade will be. Drink your lemonade throughout the day as you have any urge for food whatsoever. Wash it down with several gulps of water.

Always end the night with a cup of laxative tea.

Day 2 – 10 of MC—Repeat steps of Day 1.

Day 1 - 3 of ease-out—Reverse the ease-in. So on the first day, you start with the OJ. Then, you move on to fruit/veggie juices. Then, you move on to raw fruits and veggies. You can continue to drink the laxative tea at night as it helps to move things along.

This is the regimen I followed exactly. Not once did I forgo the SWF or not get it all down (except for the last day when I accidentally upchucked the last swig of it). I believe if you follow this to the letter, you WILL have success.

I would highly recommend doing the cleanse with a buddy. I tried this, but my buddy didn’t even make it one day before cheating with some sugar cookies. The problem was that she looked at the cleanse as a “diet.” It isn’t a diet and if you treat it that way, you are flirting with disappointment. Yes, you will lose weight. But, being focused on the necessity of cleaning out your body is what keeps you from indulging on whatever temptation might be lurking. At least, that’s what worked for me. Remember, your will-power is only as strong as the meaning behind what you’re doing. If you’re doing the cleanse merely for weight loss, then you are more likely to give it up to find an easier diet, which you will convince yourself you will try instead, even though you probably won't. If you are doing the cleanse to rid your body of toxins and waste, then you are more likely to stick with it cause you know that to cheat will ruin any progress you’ve made and put you back to square one on the cleansing board. It would be like trying to spring clean your house while there is a frat kegger going on in it . . . very counter-productive.

But buddy or buddy-less, you can do it! Your brain is an amazing organ of power and control. Use it and be marveled at how much you rock!

Day 12: June 19, 2009

Current weight: 159.5 (That’s 11.5 lbs. lost in 11 days!)

So, I’m thrilled that my little splurges yesterday did not translate to weight gain, though I guess I sound like I have the neurotic obsession of a supermodel even worrying about such a thing (two dates, some cacao nips, and a raw chocolate/goji truffle hardly add up to weight gain). But, some of the criticisms of this cleanse are that it screws with your metabolism and you eventually gain all the weight back. I aim to debunk that criticism since a) my metabolism could really not get any worse than it already is, and b) I am going to institute healthy eating habits for the foreseeable future to combat any post-cleanse gaining.

I decided that I was going to vamp up my ease-out and drink fresh juices today, other than just OJ. So, I started the morning with the following concoction, and it was one of the best juices I’ve ever made.

2 Red Delicious Apples
3 handfuls of baby carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 lemon, peeled

I think it was the lemon that really made it exceptional. For lunch, I had a veggie juice: carrot, spinach, lemon, and celery. I’ve had this juice before without the lemon, and I would probably leave it out next time. It made it taste almost salty to me, and I am SO anti-salt right now.

I was definitely uncomfortably weak and hungry today. The main problem is that I just drank these two 16 ounces of juice (32 ounces total) and nothing else. I really should have juiced every couple of hours to keep my blood sugar up. But, it is quite a hassle to clean out the juicer several times a day. Plus, during the afternoon, I had to go the grocery store to get fruit for a tropical fruit salad I was making for book club later that evening and then, of course, I had to come home and chop everything up. So, I had no calories for several hours, and that was really hard on me. I’m really glad I did the MC and not a water fast. I can’t imagine getting no calories at all. I would have been writhing on the floor in agony.

I’ve never shopped healthier than my shopping trip today. My entire cart was packed with fresh produce. I also got a few freeze-dried herbs (for those I couldn’t find fresh), which I will use until my herb garden comes in. I guess freeze-dried herbs are as close to fresh as you can get. I sure paid for the close to freshness; they were a bit pricey. The unhealthiest thing I bought was a half gallon of skim milk—at Jere’s request. I wonder if he’ll ever get into my homemade nut milk. If so, I might die of shock.

So, my fruit salad seemed to be a hit. Not everyone tried it, but for those who did, I got nice compliments. I decided it was high time to get something in my stomach, so I officially ended my fast around 8:00 PM and indulged in three plates of fruit salad.

Tropical fruit salad recipe (all fruits should be fresh):


Coconut milk, one can (I used canned, without any additives, since I couldn’t find any young coconuts)
Basil, to taste
Agave nectar, about 1 teaspoon or to taste
Vanilla beans, from one pod
Fresh squeezed lime juice, from one lime

Mix all together. It’s a pretty nice, refreshing and different fruit salad. And it’s entirely raw vegan!

Tomorrow, I will be posting my final post-cleanse weight, in addition to cleanse instructions for anyone who might want to try it for themselves. I will also write some of my conclusions about my overall experience. I can give you a foretaste, though, and tell you that they will be pretty positive. I think the Master Cleansers all the world over have a new disciple! Even my husband, who is rather skeptical of anything too far out in left field, said that I looked amazing. He said that it wasn’t just the weight loss, which was obvious, but that I had a glowing about me. I took this as the highest praise possible for the cleanse. First of all, Jere never even told me I was “glowing” my whole 42 weeks of pregnancy. And second, Jere generally doesn’t comment on my physical or spiritual appearance unless prodded. He even said, “Maybe I should try that cleanse.” Will miracles never cease?

The Master Cleanse accomplished. Check it off the list. Next up: the 30 day raw food challenge.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 11: June 18, 2009

Drum roll please. . . . padapadapadpapadapadapadapadaPAD. . . (that was the drum roll, if you hadn’t figured it out.)

And my official post-lemon juice weight is: 161.5.

Darn it. Just missed losing ten pounds by half a stupid pound.

Okay, so it’s not as dramatic as some. Some people report they have lost 20 lbs or more, but I’m happy with 9.5 and am pretty confident that I’ll continue to lose over the next two days before I start introducing solid foods. To think that I only lost 15.5 lbs. over roughly four months on Nutrisystem (with a cheat here and there due to trips or a holiday) contrasted with losing 9.5 lbs. in 10 days. That’s pretty significant, I’d say.

I’m sure I will gain back some water weight, but my hope is that going straight to a raw food diet for (at least) 30 days will help me continue to lose and feel energized, while keeping the inevitable post-cleanse pounds from creeping back on. A major goal of the cleanse is to get your body to a point where it naturally craves healthier foods—a goal which I am close to hitting. It is such a waste for people to do this cleanse to lose a couple of quick, easy pounds and then go right back to the way they were eating (and drinking) before.

This morning was a blessing if only because I didn’t have to worry about ingesting any salt whatsoever. As I was juicing my oranges, I saw my Celtic Gray sea salt in its Ball Jar sitting there menacingly on the counter, and I felt like taunting it. Bad salt! I know it’s not the salt’s fault, but I still have a gag reflex going on when I think about those stupid SWFs. After reading several blogs about MC experiences, it seems the norm rather than the exception that people really CAN’T gear up for the SWFs every day. So, I feel happy that I was the exception and followed the cleanse as it was intended to the letter. It definitely proved itself successful when followed as it was engineered.

So, after giving myself props for following the cleanse, I should turn around and shame myself for not following the ease-out as it was written. I kinda inserted my common sense into the ease-out, instead of just doing what Burroughs suggested, which DIDN’T make a lot of sense to me. The traditional ease-out regimen instructs two days of orange juice followed by a combo of juice and raw fruits and veggies on the third day. Well, I theorized that just drinking straight orange juice all day would be incredibly bad for my blood sugar and also not good for my hunger, since it would probably have less calories than the “lemonade,” which had 14 tablespoons of maple syrup a day. So, after perusing some blogs about ease-out to get some ideas, I decided to halve my orange juice with water (to dilute some of the natural sugars) and add two tablespoons of maple syrup (to provide extra calories and vitamins/minerals). So, my recipe was 16 ounces of fresh-squeezed Valencia orange juice (about 5 oranges) and 16 ounces of purified water with 2 ounces of maple syrup, and I planned to drink two liters of these, plus unlimited water, throughout the day. That seemed to work pretty well; however, because of some unscheduled activities we did with Kaya and her cousins this afternoon, I wasn’t able to drink my second liter of orange juice until around 6:30 P.M. By that time, I was very depleted of energy and pretty shaky. I definitely waited too long.

I did cheat on the ease-out four times today, and I don’t feel bad about it cause it didn’t do me any harm digestively (which is the main concern with ease-out. . . to prepare your stomach again for food). I got one of my raw food packages in the mail and there were a couple of things I HAD to try. The first were raw cacao nibs. I sampled just a few—maybe seven in all—and was delighted by their bitter, nutty, and deep chocolatey flavor. Then, I opened my Raw Goji Love Truffles. I decided that I really should try one out; after all, I deserved it and they ARE healthy for you. So, I partook. It was definitely not a Godiva truffle, but it was still gratifying and tasted real and not manufactured. Later in the afternoon, we took a family outing (after Kaya spent some quality time in the Barbie “motorized” Mobile with her cousins) to the local health food store and I loaded up on Medjool dates. I read a very enticing NPR article about this type of date that urged me to try one as soon as I was in its presence, which I did. It was just as amazing as the writer described. ( It feels like you’re eating a caramel chew, only, again, natural and not manufactured. I fantasized about eating another one for the next couple of hours and finally succumbed to the inner urge. I think I found a new addiction.

I'm interested in what my weight will be tomorrow morning. I wonder if I’ll continue to lose. Of course, because I “cheated” on the ease-out, my guilty diet-breaking conscience assumes that I’ve probably gained back all the weight I lost. I told this thought to Jere and he said, “You’ve got problems.” I know he’s right.

Well, one more day of ease-out and I get to start the next adventure: the raw food 30 day challenge. Should be fun. I got my seed sprouter and a few varieties of seeds to sprout today. How did I get so weird? It seemed to have happened overnight, but I know I’ve been on the journey to weirdness for some time. I guess I’ve finally arrived.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 10: June 17, 2009

(In the style of Chris Berman) And she could. . . go. . . all. . .the. . . way!

I have been doing the lindy hop all day in celebration of my last SWF, which, by the way, did not go all the way down. I’ve been close to upchucking it several times the last 9 days, but finally on day 10, I failed at controlling the gag reflex, despite my best efforts. So, that last little bit of salt water never made it to its destination, but rather ended up in the sink. No matter. I still drank enough salt water to do its intended job, if you get my drift.

So, my tongue is still coated with a white-greyish layer, and I am still expelling solid stuff, so more than likely, I am not totally “clean” yet. That apparently indicates I should go a couple more days. However, I am definitely not going to do that. I am done and waving the white flag. I know that most of my hunger is probably psychological at this point, but there is nothing mental about your tummy rumbling. At least I don’t think so. . . well, come to think of it. What DOES it mean when your stomach growls? I’m gonna look it up right now. Pause. Type, type, type. Browse. Hmmm, interesting. According to the Mayo Clinic, my hypothalamus has sent hunger signals to my stomach, which in turn has triggered muscle contractions and “the release of acids and other digestive fluids.” That crazy hypothalamus. I guess “mind over matter” doesn’t always work. Some stuff is just physiological.

As I write this, I am finishing up my last liter of “lemonade.” I’ll go out on a limb and predict that I won’t miss it. I also will not miss the tongue burning and fuzzy teeth side effects of the lemonade. It has already been established, numerous times already, that I will NOT miss the SWF. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to USE table salt after that overexposure.

I just saw on ad for an egg and cheese melt, or something equally diabolical, for 99 cents at Dunkin’ Donuts. I would love that in my belly right about now. But, truthfully, when I think about what my body needs, it is healthy foods that I crave. Last night, I made black beans with soy crumbles and brown rice. I could have eaten the heck out of that. Tonight, I made gardenburgers and (baked) sweet potato fries. Oh yeah. Equally devour-worthy.

It takes a little wind out of my sails to know that I will not be having solids for two more days. I’ve got two more days of juice, albeit fresh juice sans cayenne pepper, which should make it a bit more palatable. But, I will be thrilled to bite into anything come Saturday, even if it is lettuce, carrots and celery all the day long (which I don’t predict will be my first meal in 12 days. . . I’ll keep you posted!).

For those who are eager to know what my final post-cleanse weight loss is, I will be posting it tomorrow, since that will technically be the end of the cleanse. . . I’m curious to see how the “ease-out” will affect the weight loss, so I’ll probably post about that, too. The reason I didn’t post my weight again after Day 3 is because every other weigh-in was pretty anti-climactic—a pound here, a half a pound there. Apparently, that first batch of water weight being lost is the most dramatic, in addition to whatever else got flushed along with it.

Well, I’ve got some more lindy hopping to do, so I’ll call it a night. Day 10 done. Master cleanse, part 1, officially over. Wowsers. Someone oughta send me to Disney World.

Day 9: June 16, 2009

Nothing too substantial to report today. I woke up early from a very aggressive smell. Sorry to call out my husband, but it was him. He smelled like sickness: mucous and sore throat. It was burning my nose so bad—and my sinuses, eyes, and forehead—that I couldn’t get back to sleep. I kept telling him to turn on his side away from me so that the smell wouldn’t be as pervasive. That only worked until he fell asleep and then rolled on his back or on his side facing me. I turned on the overhead fan. I opened two windows. My eyes were still watering. I kid you not; it was that menacing.

Finally, I heard Kaya waking up, so I called it a night and got out of bed. In retrospect, I should have just moved to the couch, but our bed is so comfy. When I went back in the bedroom an hour later, it smelled like a hospital, without the Clorox and medicine (only the germy sickness) so I opened up two more windows. I think I also must have let out an annoyed sigh because Jere finally woke up. He asked me what was wrong and I asked, “Are you sick or something? Cause you really smell like it.” He said, “Well, I have a sore throat and my nose is stuffed up.” I should have just left it at that, but I guess I was a little cranky from being woken up abruptly by my olfactory. I said, “Yeah, I could tell. You smell awful.” Jere said, “I’m sorry.” And then I felt bad. I explained to him that it wasn’t his fault but that this cleanse seems to really make your sense of smell more acute. I felt mean, so I quit the room and left the poor, sick, smelly man alone.

We got the payment for my new toys worked out, so my blender and dehydrator are currently en route. YAY!!! It’s so cool that you can do online tracking now, so that you know roughly where your items are at any given moment. It’s kind of neat to think of my little dehydrator on some truck coming up the New Jersey turnpike and my super-powered blender coming on its long trek east from Los Angeles. Oh, technology.

I had a good day today. It was beautiful outside, so Kaya and I spent some nice time out there. I love the sun and fresh air so, but I really have a problem with insects, especially those that buzz close to your head and then crawl around on various appendages. For the rest of the day, I had the creepy crawlies and kept on feeling invisible bugs crawling all over me, especially my scalp. Yes, I should probably be committed. It doesn’t help that we have an ant infestation (tiny food ants) in our living room. I set out 8 traps, but they are wily little guys and good climbers. They keep on crawling up the ottoman to try and get a sip of my lemonade. Maybe I should let them try it. A tiny sip might be the best pesticide there is. I even found one when I opened my laptop this morning. Now, how in the heck did he get in there? And what was he doing? Was he emailing all his friends to start a revolution, originating in my living room? I can imagine one tiny little ant dressed like Che Guevara. Hahahaha.

Well, I’m excited to have only one day left, and more specifically, one SWF left. I will probably do the cleanse again sometime—maybe once or twice a year, depending how icky I feel on the inside. But, the SWF will definitely be the biggest deterrent. They might want to try that at Guantanamo, instead of the water boarding.

Well, I’ll be off cause I’ve got books to read. . . I currently have four books that I am actively reading and several others that I am in the middle of, which are currently out of the rotation. One of the current four, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society,” (which I highly recommend—a wonderful book) needs to be completed by Friday, as I have a book club meeting that night. I kinda like having deadlines and this blog to complete everyday. It almost feels like I’m back in school again (without the grades, which were my favorite part, actually. I’m such an affirmation whore).

Anyway, a good night to whoever is out there reading this, if anyone. Day 9, and feeling fine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 8: June 15, 2009

A dreary, rainy day. . . but it has only affected my mood minimally. Largely, I am just so amazed that I have made it this far. The end is in sight. I’m going to make it.

I hit a snag ordering my raw food materials. The credit card we were trying to use had a hold on it, so I will probably not be able to get my stuff until the end of next week. Because I’ve made it through eight days of not eating, I shouldn’t be worried about a week of having to eat minimalist raw food creations. But, I am, somehow. My ongoing problem is that when I get bored with healthy eating and have exhausted all the healthy recipes I know, I start making concessions here and there, and that’s always a slippery slope. Pretty soon, I’m eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

So, my goal over the next few days is to find raw food recipes that don’t require a dehydrator or a super-powered blender. I have another major challenge coming up that I didn’t realize until tonight: I have an out-of-town training next weekend. I will most likely be doing the trip solo, and I don’t want to have to live on salads the whole weekend. Of course, I can always bring fruits, which are an easy raw snack. If my dehydrator comes before I leave, then I can stock up on homemade goodies that don’t have to be refrigerated. I will have to plan excessively and most assuredly bring a cooler, and perhaps even ask for a fridge for the hotel room.

My energy level, while a bit decimated by the weather, was still high enough to get me to the gym. I had a pretty good work out, including warm-up and weights, and was able to get more rigorous on the treadmill. I did a random 40 minute cardio, with a constant 3.5 mph and a varied incline ranging from 2.9 – 5.9. I definitely worked up a good sweat and felt great during and after. Unfortunately, as of 4:00 PM, I had only made it through one liter of lemonade and didn’t bring my second liter with me to the gym. I definitely pushed myself beyond uncomfortable when I went to the grocery store after the gym, still sans lemonade. By the time I got home at 6:20, I was very weak, so weak, in fact, that I couldn’t really string two thoughts together, never mind sentences. I was most definitely working on negative calories; I probably burned close to 400 at the gym, plus whatever calorie burnage happens during normal daily activity, and only took in about 250 with the one jug of lemonade. Probably not the smartest idea.

I had another experience of freaky heightened olfactory sensation. There was a guy that got on a few treadmills down from me who was emitting a very strong offensive smell. No, he had not passed gas, which would be the most logical conclusion on your part. Rather, he smelled mucousy sick, like a sinus infection or an upper respiratory infection. Sure enough, about two minutes into his work-out, he started hacking up a lung and he continued this for the rest of the time that I was next to him. Besides the SWF, I would say my new bionic smelling is my least favorite side effect of this cleanse. (If you’re confused by this, just think how intense poopy diapers and a flatulent husband would be in my current state.)

I had the tiniest of cheats today, so miniscule that it hardly counts, but I’ll include it anyway. I made spaghetti with a roasted garlic, herb, and olive oil sauce. I lightly dipped the tip of my finger in the olive oil blend and rubbed it on my tongue to see what I was missing. Oh boy, it tasted good. But, seeing all that delicious spaghetti soaking in olive oil and garlic was almost enough to drive me crazy. Of course, Kaya only had two bites and was done with it. And Jere got working on projects and didn’t get to eat till very late, which means I had to sit here for hours knowing all that tasty spaghetti was just sitting there. It was the most tempted I have been so far. I was obsessed with thinking about how gratifying it would be to chomp away on the somewhat chewy texture of the al dente pasta, mixed with the savory garlic sauce speckled with those earthy herbs. I prayed for strength, drank my tea and then sulked in bed as I tried to distract myself with a book. It only partially worked since I could smell that garlic sauce all night long. As excited as I am to try courgette (zucchini) strands with sun-dried tomato sauce (raw foodist’s version of spaghetti), I don’t think it’ll ever come close to a big ol’ bowl of spaghetti (the unhealthy white kind) slathered in olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. If there’s anything better, I want to know about it.

Well, just two more days of SWFs and lemonade left. I bought my oranges today in preparation for the next phase of the cleanse. It’ll be a welcome change. I’ll sign off for now, with day 8 conquered.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 7: June 14, 2009

This will not be a long post today, as I’m busy with raw food recipe exploration and distracted by my immersion in “My Sister’s Keeper.” Jere has given me the go-ahead to make a sizable investment in some raw food tools, such as a dehydrator and blender, in addition to some uncook books. I’m also going to order some ingredients that are hard to find in our little podunk town, such as raw cacao powder, cacao nibs and Goji berries. Hubby rocks for his continued support of my continued weirdness.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to experiment with the raw food world and make some yummy living foods. Back when Jere bought me the juicer (during one of the many times my gallbladder quit working), I had to learn how to cook all over again, since I gave up all wheat, gluten and dairy. The evolution to raw will be even more extreme. But, my experience being a gluten-free flexible vegan (I used eggs in some baked goods) was fun; I discovered a lot of tasty recipes. Perusing the net today, I found a great-looking recipe for raw lasagna (using sweated and marinated zucchini as the noodles with a walnut cheese and sun-dried tomato sauce) and a chocolate-raspberry torte that looks to die for.

The raw food movement is getting pretty trendy, which means that there are bound to be more available resources in the upcoming months and years. I read in a raw food newsletter that there is a new raw restaurant opening in Salt Lake City, which we will have to check out when we go to visit my cousin out there. I looked at the menu, and the food sounds amazing. If only there was hope of someday having a raw food restaurant in Vermont or even New Hampshire. I wouldn’t mind traveling a few hours to eat the food. Perhaps there’s a slight chance that Burlington will eventually have one. . . after all, it’s a pretty progressive town. Maybe I’ll have to open it myself! : )

I’ve had great energy today, again, and just hungry a few times. . . usually when I was preparing food, like the English muffin pizzas for Kaya’s lunch (mmmm, comfort food). I’ve noticed a couple of new things that I had read about but didn’t believe would actually happen to me: 1) people smell weird. . . like mucous and sickness and lard; and 2) there is a fairly revolting thick, white layer on my tongue, which is apparently common amongst detoxers. (I thought that I could scrub off the layer with my toothbrush, but to no avail. The word is that when you’re finally “clean,” your tongue will return to its normal pink color.)

As eager as I am to taste food again and be done with this lemonade which I’ve grown weary of, I would actually contemplate doing the cleanse longer if I felt I wasn’t clean by the end of 10 days. Unfortunately, I think I might run into a snag because I only have limited amounts of Grade B Maple Syrup and no idea where I might get more. The stuff I currently have I had to order online. Oh darn. I guess I’m gonna have to start eating again. What a bummer.

But, all in all, I am amazed how easy it has been NOT to eat. The second day was hard, but other than that, it has been easier than I ever would have imagined. Admittedly, a lot of my will-power and resolve has been strengthened through prayer. And seeing as I didn’t have a whole lot of will-power to start with, I know that God gave it a heavy dose of fortification at my request. For me, the hardest part still lies ahead—making the dietary changes necessary to lead a healthy life every single day. This cleanse has helped me realize how my diet and health are inextricably weaved with my spirituality. I hope this is knowledge I can impart to other people; so few people see eating as a spiritual matter.

I guess that’ll wrap up day 7. I’m on the homeward stretch now. One more note: I was able to drink the entire SWF in one series of swigs, without ever putting it down. That translated to only one gag reflex instead of three or four. Yipee! (I don’t think I’ll ever think of salt or the ocean or pretzels in quite the same way.) Sayonara.