Master Cleanse Journal – Day 10, The End!

May 21st, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

I’ve spent the past few days sort of passively reflecting on this experience, gathering the insights I’ve gained and preparing to set my intentions as I re-enter the world of variable consumption. I remember coming off of my last cleanse and feeling like I had really been through an Odyssey. Like Homer’s hero, I had battled my modern mind’s equivalent of the Cyclops and the Sirens. I swear to you, my ten days felt just like the ten years Odysseus traveled.

But this time . . . not so much. So now, the question becomes not ‘What will I do with all this newfound knowledge?’, but instead ‘Why didn’t I have an earth-shaking voyage?’ Here are my three theories:

Animal Poison – I wasn’t a veg*n the last time I did this, and I was carrying a load (a lifetime!) of contamination. Really, I could spend the rest of the night writing about the toxins hidden in meat and dairy, both the ‘man-made’ (antibiotics, etc) and the ‘natural’ (cholesterol, etc), and the myriad health risks that come with consuming them. I suppose that now is not the place. Suffice to say: 1) read The China Study, and 2) I suspect I simply had less to let go of.

Chemical Poison – For a long time I ate organic ‘when I could afford it’ . . . which wasn’t very often. After my last cleanse I tried to eat as organic as possible, without worry towards the cost. Over the course of the year I’ve evolved my habits and loosened my [perceived] purse strings (it’s really, really not much more expensive), and incorporated more organic standards. Then during my raw month, and ever since, I’ve eaten almost exclusively organic. And now a year later, I think I just have less chemicals to expel. Organic matters!

Emotional Poison – Cleansing is more than just a physical healing; it’s also a deeply personal experience. Your body is discharging its built-up waste, while simultaneously, your mind is surrendering its pent-up negativity. Cleansing repairs the whole package. And last time I cleansed, I was immersed in one of my toughest times.  A quarter-life crisis, if you will.  Since then I’ve put in a lot of work, a lot of intentional growth. And though I’m nowhere near the end, my direction is much more clear. Perhaps regaining my strength and stability made for a more mellow journey.


Do I sound like I’m saying this was easy breezy?  Because I certainly don’t mean to imply that it was. I’ve had my rough spots for sure, my splitting headaches and fuzzy teeth and tearful outbursts. But compared to the last go-around? Well there’s just no comparison, really. Still, it’s a valuable experience. There’s always something to learn.

Last time my body had been through hell and was screaming out for change. So I set six ambitious intentions for myself: 1) Drastically cut down salt.  2) Eat organic as often as possible.  3) Eat less meat (ha!)  4) Eat less dairy (!)  5) Sugar for special occasions only.  6) Reduce coffee and alcohol intake.

And this time around, instead of screaming, I feel like my body is singing. Singing ‘thank you’ for those life choices I made. The past year has brought so much positive change, and what I have learned from this cleanse is that I’m on the right path.

So my new intention is simply this:

Keep on being good to myself.  It’s working.

Lot’s of love to everyone out there, especially my fellow cleansers.  We did it!


  • Carole

    Congratulations! I did a ‘Master Search’ for blogs on Google and found your site. I’m on Day 1 of my cleanse, and I figure I’m much closer to the state you were in during your first cleanse… But guess what’s on my nightstand: The China Study! Maybe this cleanse will help me make the break from having an average American diet to doing what I intellectually know is the best thing for my body. Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

  • Sayward

    @ Carole – Why thank you! And congratulations to *you*, for taking on such a challenge! That’s so funny that you’re also reading The China Study . . . I love serendipity. =)

    My fingers are all crossed for you. I’d love to hear how you’re doing along the way, if you feel like checking in. And if you have any questions or anything, don’t be shy! Cleansing can get tough and it definitely helps to have community/support.


  • Samantha

    This totally inspires me to do a cleanse this summer. I think I told you that we’re quitting the smoking sticks right after I COME VISIT YOU NEXT WEEK, and I want to do a fixer upper on my diet habits as well. I think a cleanse after the quit (and after the withdrawal) would be great for the old body machine.

  • Meghan


    I’m finally starting the cleanse tomorrow! Whee!

  • jennifer

    hi sayward,

    i realize you did your second cleanse almost a year ago, but i was hoping you would have some insight for me. i am on day 9 of my first ever cleanse, and for the first 6 days it was, other than being annoyed that i couldn’t eat food, really easy, and surprisingly so. day 7 and 8 i got really tired and achy, and now day 9 i feel “normal” again. i am following directions to a t, and although i have been mostly organic for about 2 years now, and went through a seim-raw phase for about a month prior to the cleanse, i was expecting this to be a much harder journey. i was especially looking forward to the emotional cleansing aspect of it, which so far, doesn’t really seem to be there (and boy do i need an emotional cleanse…). any ideas on why i may be having such an easy go of this?

  • Sayward

    @ jennifer – Hey lady, I know your cleanse is over by now and I apologize for the tardy response. I’m not sure what could be the reason you had such an easy go of it, other than the obvious (you being healthy already, yay!). But I know you said you were hoping to have some emotional stuff come up, and I can see how it would be disappointing if it didn’t.

    It did occur to me that most of my ‘stuff’ that came up was when I was interacting with others. When I had my solo days I was usually incredibly happy. But it was when I was dealing with people, that my emotional baggage reared it’s head. So I wonder, did you maybe keep to yourself too much during this cleanse? I think we sometimes need to expose ourselves to triggers, so maybe you didn’t do that?

    Just a thought. I hope the cleanse was rewarding, though!