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The Master CleanseSo I've received a few emails, twitters, and comments asking me if I was going to share about my cleanse that I've done over the last 2 weeks. I originally wasn't going to do so, because I felt self-conscious about it. Alot of people don't understand the whole cleansing thing and think it is unhealthy- but I have to say that I disagree, especially after completing the cleanse. I also don't want to promote it heavily because it might not be right for everyone- it's really hard to do and people see different results with it, so just keep that in mind.

The Master Cleanse is a detox/cleanse that was formulated by a dude named Stanley Burroughs in the 1940's (I think.) It's been used by many people to cleanse the contents of their digestive tract- eliminating backup and buildup from years of eating processed foods, meats, and dairy. I can't really speak to its ‘detoxing' effects- I don't know if it removed toxins from my body but it sure did remove a heck of a lot of waste. It's cleansing effects have also helped people fight and cure their addictions to caffeine, cigarettes, etc. It makes you want to be clean, inside and out!

Basically what you do on the MC is drink this lemonade cocktail made from fresh squeezed lemon juice, Grade B Maple Syrup, water, and cayenne pepper. Let me tell you, the first tastes are NOT pleasant. But over time you grow used to it. You're supposed to drink a certain amount of it each day, and not drink or eat anything else besides water. In addition to the lemonade, you're to drink an herbal laxative tea at night, and complete a ‘salt water flush' every morning. The laxative stirs everything up in your digestive tract and the salt water pushes that gunk out. I can tell you that even after 10 days since I had eaten solid food, I still had waste and buildup coming out! (TMI, I know- but just to give you an idea of how much yuckiness can build up in your system over 25 years!)

I will say that the first 3 days are the hardest- I suffered from caffeine withdrawals and terrible headaches. But I did enough research before I started to know that it was just part of the ‘process.' Not eating was hard, especially when my family was eating juicy hamburgers while I drank my crazy cocktail- but after day 5 I felt great! No real issues with being around people who were eating food and I definitely started enjoying the taste of the drink. Also, I had a TON of energy. So much so that I went running at night pretty much every day past day 5.

The results of my cleanse, I am pretty happy with. In the last 13 days I have lost 13 lbs, and I am fitting into jeans that I haven't worn in over a year and a half! I feel like most of the weight came from my mid section, belly, and hips. Like all that buildup had bloated my tummy out and getting rid of it has left me with a thinner figure. I can't be sure, but either way- I'm happy. I wish I had a before/after picture to show you!!! I so wish I had taken some.

I know that doing the cleanse was just a quick-fix way to lose some weight before my wedding, but I am still glad I did it- and PROUD that I did it. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And in the end- it seems to have made an impact on the relationship I have with food. I have no desire to go near a fast food restaurant or anything that is remotely bad for me. I'm craving fresh veggies, hummus, sushi, etc. So hopefully I will be able to stick to eating things that are good for me and learn to control the amount of bad stuff I eat.

I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, I just wanted to share my experience since so many people have been asking me about it. For more information you can check out this site– they have all the info you need to do the cleanse as well as message boards with very active commenters who help each other out. I read them often for inspiration and an extra push when I needed to stay motivated. So that's my crazy cleanse I did!

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • Ashley

    Jessica! I am so glad you decided to post this…I have heard about it in the past and always wondered if it did actually work:) I might do it before my wedding in November if I have the will power! Congrats!!

  • WAY TO GO! I’ve never gotten past day 3. but i knew it was working. The one time i did make it to day 3, then i started binging, i was sick and couldn’t digest normally for 1-2 weeks after the 3 day cleanse! It’s really really important to follow all the rules including the pre-cleanse and post-cleanse tips. Cleansing your body is not only a physical experience but i truly believe a mental and emotional one! Very proud of you!

  • Leonor

    That’s Great That You Made It Through…”The Cleanse”
    Congratulations =)
    So, Now Do You Have to Purchase all the Things To Do This From A site or is it a Home Remedy Kinda Thing?

  • Maggie

    I’m sorry, but most what you lost was water weight (not fat) and it will come right back on as quickly as you lost it. Cleanses, detoxing, fasts– none of that is proven to work over the long haul, and many can be quite dangerous. You likely also lost \of muscle, which is seriously counterproductive for long-term health.

    I can’t support you in this.

  • Budget Savvy Bride

    @Ashley & @AmyJean- thanks for the props!

    @Leonor- I believe you can order kits online but I bought my tea and maple syrup from Whole Foods, you can buy lemons and sea salt at any grocery store.

    @Maggie- I respect your opinion but I don’t need your support. I’m already through the cleanse and I am still losing weight by eating healthy- healthier than I was before- which is a result of the cleanse. Did you read my whole post? I doubt you did, because you would have seen that I worked out while I was on the cleanse- not only did I run, but I also lifted weights- so I doubt I ‘lost’ muscle while on the cleanse. There is nothing dangerous about the Master Cleanse- it has been around for over 60 years and is safe to do for up to 40 days at a time. I don’t mind you sharing your opinion, but I did plenty of research on the matter before I started the cleanse, and I don’t believe I did anything to harm my body.

  • (Diff Maggie than previous one!)

    I am way too scared to part with caffeine to make this work for me, and therefore even more impressed at your accomplishment ;-).

    Me: Coffee Addict. Hopeless. But you: WOW!

  • Good for you! I quit caffine a few weeks ago but fell off the wagon when we had a late night road trip. I lost weight for our wedding (about 25 lbs) with a combo of working out and diet supplements, and agree that about a week to two in I stopped craving fast food which was my total downfall before. I need to get started on it again as we’ve both gained the dreaded newlywed weight. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for sharing. I’m interested in doing it, but I’m not sure if I can handle it.

  • I’m always torn when reading about folks trying extreme weight loss programs or tactics to lose weight – especially before such a huge event as a wedding. I don’t disagree that cleansing can be beneficial. I’ve never done it, but know many with opinions and experiences on both sides of the fence, but I fully support that you did your research and made a decision you felt was right for you (and stuck with it). Congrats.

    And I think it’s wonderful that you have a new-found respect and attitude towards food in general. That’s vital in long-term health. And I psyched to hear that you were able to run and lift weights during this time. I might hazard to guess that the cardio and weights combined to help with the weight loss, and not necessarily the cleanse, although that’s just my opinion.

    I do, however, want to emphasize (mostly because I see others comments regarding their own efforts to do this or similar prior to their weddings), that cleansing isn’t really a great ‘weight loss’ tool. It seems much more conducive to what it advertises… cleansing your system and giving you a better platform to stay healthy. Using it for losing weight can be (not for everyone) dangerous, or at the least, disappointing.

    To those out there wishing to lose weight, why not just start now? Burn more calories than you take in. You don’t necessarily need a cleanse… just stop fast food, soda, eating late at night (i.e., small steps). Sign up for a race, join a gym… I’m sorry to hijack your post, but it always concerns me when I get the feeling people want a quick fix… or don’t think they look good enough for their wedding… I mean, you’re getting married, right? That means your fiance loves you AS YOU ARE.

    We need more compassion for ourselves in this world. If we lose weight, it should be for our health… for ourselves… not for the camera.

  • Maggie

    Sigh. I did read the entire post. You apparently didn’t research as well as you claim. It’s not opinion, it’s fact.

    Here is a quote from an MSNBC article about the Master Cleanse:

    That’s what has nutrition experts sounding the alarm over possible risks from lengthy or repeated fasts. Vitamin deficiencies, muscle breakdown and blood-sugar problems — not to mention frequent liquid bowel movements — are some of the seriously unpleasant drawbacks to these plans, which are skimpy on solid foods and often call for laxatives.

    “Long-term fasts lead to muscle breakdown and a shortage of many needed nutrients,” says Lona Sandon, a Dallas dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Depriving the body of the vitamins and minerals we get from food can “actually weaken the body’s ability to fight infections and inflammation,” she says.

    I just get tired of all of the dangerous misinformation and junk science that passes for “healthy eating” on the Internet. I’ll show myself out now.

  • Sarah

    Great job! That’s amazing! You made up your mind and stuck in the Master Cleanse and now look at your reward! That’s great… very happy for you! Thanks for Master Cleanse experience with us (I was one of those on twitter asking you to do so).
    God bless you!

  • Ellen

    I’ve done the MC before (several times)…it was tough. I found that a fresh fruit and veggie juice cleanse was just as effective and much easier on me and my body. That, combined with The Raw Food Detox Diet, helped me keep the weight off. FYI.

  • @ameliacarolyn- I totally agree. If I had started eating healthier and working out earlier, I might not have been as quick to try this cleanse. I didn’t do the cleanse just to lose weight, but also to help break my addiction to caffeine and bad foods- and I have achieved those results so I am happy. thank you for being respectful in your comment!

    @maggie- you quoted from the article ‘lengthy’ ‘repeated’ ‘long-term fasting.’ 10 days is not considered long term.

  • SH

    The article Maggie linked to is here: It specifically mentions the Master Cleanse as one type of liquid diet that can be dangerous according to dietitians. It’s not really a matter of opinion as you say– it is unhealthy. I’d be interested to hear weight loss and healthy eating efforts a few months down the road if you’re willing to share to see if it sticks as a result of the cleanse.

    Don’t get me wrong– I’m glad it worked for you. But I would encourage others who want to lose weight to consult their doctors before starting any sort of diet plan, especially one as drastic as a “cleanse.”

    Hopefully this is respectful– I’m not judging you or anything– after all, you’re free to do what you like, and this is your blog! (And I love your blog!) But like Maggie, I feel there is so much misinformation out there regarding healthy eating and it can be dangerous. In any case, congrats on the weight-loss!

  • Pam

    Congrats on the weight loss! 😉 You are going to be so confident and beautiful at your wedding! I can’t imagine the sense of accomplishment you must feel. Be proud of yourself!

  • i lost weight about a year ago via weight watchers. 25 pounds lost – and i haven’t gained any because it changed my way of thinking about food.

    that being said, i like the idea of cleansing to get rid of years of “yuck.” a best friend and bridesmaid is from germany – i met her when she was 17 and she had been doing this every year for years – and still is at 25. its a yearly thing for her just to clean out her body. nothing too frequent, but yearly. she does it for 2 weeks – her boyfriend does it for a full month. they are some of the healthiest people i know.

    so knowing that i already have gained a healthy perspective on food through weight watchers, and i’m not really interested in losing more weight – i just would like to clean out my body. my fiance and i are going to try this together at the end of may for just 7 days. i’ll let you know how to goes!

    its a different situation for everyone, and i applaud you for making it “stick” as far as eating healthier and sharing your experience!

  • I applaud you for being so honest and candid with your readers. Obviously people will have differing opinions, but it doesn’t take from the fact that you’re real enough to share yours. I think it’s awesome that you 1) stuck with it and 2) understand that its not really for weight loss, but more for getting a clean slate. Your post encourages me to try this, as I’ve been thinking about it for awhile.

    Although I do have a question: were you finished by your shower? I think it’d be really hard to abstain from all the goodies at something like that! 🙂

  • C

    Way to GO Jessica!

    Thank you for putting that information out there for those of us who have been asking you incessant questions about it! I especially appreciate that you have shared YOUR personal experiences planning your wedding… including dieting and exercise… since this is one of my favorite reasons to read your blog.

    And what’s wrong with opening the discussion for healthy living?

  • congrats on finishing the fast and on being brave enough to post about it and then deal with people’s criticisms. i have done it twice, once for 14 days and about 2 years later for 10 days. i didn’t lose a lot of weight (5 lbs maybe) but it definitely reset my eating habits. yes the weight loss was great but eating differently helped me keep the weight off. my skin cleared up and there were other benefits as well.

    p.s. how is a dieticians’ opinion fact? is this the same profession that built that food pyramid that i grew up with? i believe they recently revised it. and if i am not mistaken the experts say the cleanse CAN be harmful, not IS harmful. there is sensationalism on both sides of the fence.

    wow didn’t know i was so opinionated on this topic…

  • Robin

    Thank you for sharing your experience!

  • michelle

    I started the cleansing and it really dosen’t taste good. But I do have alot more energy now.

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