Monday Monthly Mission #2

May 4th, 2009 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift, a habit, a source of inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Friday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come. 


Are you ready for your second mission?  This month, it’s a little bit different.

Last May I embarked on my first fast, the ‘Master Cleanse‘. I had such a positive experience , which you can read about here, and a year later I’m eager to do it again!  A lot of you expressed interest, so I thought we could coordinate a cooperative, collective cleanse!  Anyone can join in, and together we’ll support each other through this difficult endeavor.

My fast begins Monday, May 11, and I’ll be blogging each day.  I hope that you’ll share your experience as well! I’m aiming for 10 days again, but you don’t need to match that goal.  You can do 5 days, or 3, or even just 1.  If a full-on fast seems too extreme, why not go vegan for 10 days?  Modify the mission for your life!  The point is to make a mindful, ambitious decision – and then take action towards it.  With arduous intentions, accomplishment is empowering!

Have you ever fasted or cleansed?  If so, tell us about your experiences and the method you use!  If not, I encourage you to please look into the process before you commit to a decision.

So, do you choose to accept this Mission?



  • Jenny

    I would love to participate in this! I’ve been reading a bit about the master cleanse for awhile. Are you doing anything this week to prepare yourself?

  • Amy

    a few observations after reading your journal from last year’s cleanse:

    1) the white stuff on your tongue? it is not ‘toxins’ being excreted by your body, but something called thrush, or, basically, candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast that our body normally keeps under control, but that under fasting conditions (yes, cleanses are fasts) the immune system becomes suppressed and candida can grow where it normally wouldn’t. it’s basically a yeast infection on your tongue.

    2) the mysterious poo when you haven’t been eating: our normal poo is not just made of food, but is also in large part dead cells–from the digestive system, from elsewhere in the body–being shed from the body. these dead cells are just a normal part of how our body works.

    3) mucous: you said you didn’t have much until the end, but lots of people talk about mucous production as proof of ‘toxins’ being worked out of their systems. but mucous isn’t just stored up in our body. it’s made in response to stimuli (such as a suppressed immune system that allows sinus/nasal infections to take hold) and that’s then when you get a runny nose.

    not trying to be snarky, but as a biologist, i just get the urge to explain every time people talk about cleanses. now, if it makes you feel better, then great, more power to you. but most of the effects of a cleanse that proponents say are merely ‘the toxins coming out’ are in fact much more basic physiological responses to, well, depriving the body. our liver, lungs and kidneys are the product of millions of years of evolution to protect our bodies from harmful substances, keeping our bodies in balance. going on a 2 week fast just isn’t going to do much to that balance.

    but like i said, if it makes you feel better, then great. but in my (semi-, being a molecular biologist and not a physician, but still knowing a heck of a lot about our biology) informed opinion, a true detox would be a prolonged lifestyle change to the consumption of only lean protein, good fats, and copious amounts of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, with daily rigorous exercise.

    not being a hater, just cringing at the ‘cleanse’, but wishing you the best :)

  • Sayward

    @ Jenny – I don’t do any sort of pre-cleanse eating, because I consider myself so relatively healthy going in. A lot of people will stick to mainly RAW fruits and veggies for the few days before the fast, and I can imagine that this is easier on the body. However, I have house guests here right up until the day before I begin, so I’m just going to have to jump in!

    Mostly, I just recommend reading reading reading. Read Burroughs’ book if you can, read my cleanse journal and every other one you can find (they’re all over the internets!), google around for information about fasting, and cleansing (there is a difference), and the many differing opinions about what it’s doing to your body. This is a touchy subject and not everybody agrees on its efficacy or its benefits. I am a firm believer in understanding both sides and them making an informed intellectual/intuitive decision – so that’s what I encourage anyone else to do.

    I’ll also be posting a write-up, like I did for the RAW diet, so definitely look out for that!

    @ Amy – Hello fellow biologist, w00t! Yup, I’m a biologist as well (trained in parasitology, and if I may geek out for a second, my research was *just* published and I got the PDF of the journal article a few days ago! so exciting!!!)

    Obviously I’m familiar with your perspective, but I’m sure other readers will benefit from your opinion, so I really do appreciate your comment.

    Personally, I always keep in mind that for all that western medicine ‘knows’ about the human body, there’s infinite amounts more that we simply don’t understand – about holistic healing, about neurobiology, about the mind/body connection, and about pretty much every other system within us. In light of what science *can’t* explain, I’m quite comfortable practicing mindful, traditional medicine techniques.

    Of course, my childhood was influenced equally by my father, an Eastern medicine practitioner/acupuncturist/herbalist, and my godfather, an MD. Perhaps I’m more open to the idea of multiple methods of medicine. (I find neither to be wholly effective, and both to be incredibly important).

    Everybody is different, and varying approaches will work for each unique, beautiful person. I’m also comfortable trusting other people to follow their own intuitive path.

    I hope you’ll check back in with us as we move through this process. Maybe you’ll even join in for a bit! =D

  • Amy

    congrats on the publication!!!!
    i’m currently drafting my first, first-author paper. grad school sure does suck a lot of the time, but it’s gotta be exciting when stuff like publishing finally gets accomplished :)

  • Sayward

    @ Amy – Thanks! And good luck with your first first-author. That’s so awesome!

  • Jenny B.

    I’m really interested. I’ve been raw for 24 days now, got strep throat on day 8, and another cold on day 15, lots of crying, and now I am feeling back to great:):)

  • Sayward

    @ Jenny B. – WOW! That’s great that you’ve been raw for 24 days, and even through illness. That is some dedication! How long are you planning to continue, or is it indefinite?

    I think it would be an awesome progression, directly from a raw trial into a cleanse. Probably very natural and easy on the body, too. I’d love it if you joined in!

  • Jenny B.

    I’m thinking indefinite…xx:)

  • Sayward

    @ Jenny B. – AWESOME! =D