After over-indulging over the Chinese New Year (2 reunion dinners, 2 seafood dinners at Jumbo, 1 BBQ, 1 Chinese restaurant lunch and tons of cookies), I felt quite sorry for my poor aging (and bloated) body.
When I saw how radiant my friends looked after going on a 10-day Master Cleanse diet, I knew I had to get started right away. This detox diet consists of drinking nothing but lemonade (fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper) all day.
It didn't sound too difficult as I usually drink coffee for breakfast and oatmeal for lunch anyway. This is not a starvation diet as the maple syrup provides the body with energy while the lemon juice supplies the necessary vitamins and potassium.
I'm already on my 7th day and the benefits are already showing. Here's my diary of the detoxification process:
Day 1 - I made a litre of lemonade (8 table spoons freshly squeezed juice, 8 table sppon Grade B maple syrup and cayenne pepper) to last me throughout the day. It is recommended that you mix the lemonade just before drinking but I couldn't do it in the office. I was overly generous with the cayenne pepper (the potent Japanese type that best friend bought from Japan) and the drink became too spicy.
As the mixture wasn't too appetising, I had lots of leftover when I got home. It did feel strange to miss my morning coffee and afternoon tea. There were moments when I felt hungry, but that was quickly resolved with a few sips of lemonade.
YK texted to dissuade me from starting the diet. "It's dangerous!" he said. He threatened to tell my mum.
The day went by quickly. I didn't feel weak or listless and even managed to whip up a good dinner for the family.
Day 2 - The lemonade tasted better today with less cayenne pepper. But it was propably the most difficult day as I had a headache all day. Apparently this is a natural side effect, likely withdrawal symptoms from lack of coffee. The day before I started the diet, I had two cups of strong Italian coffee at Prego, so I was feeling the effects now.
I was hungry and feverish and almost wanted to give up. I went back early to rest and felt better in the evening. Maybe I wasn't in the mood, I made pasta for the kids which YK said tasted terrible. I went to bed early that night.
Day 3 - I went to work bright and early. The headache had completely disappeared and I had no more hunger pangs. My colleague asked about the flask of lemonade on my desk and we discussed about this topic for a while. As part of her yoga practice, she goes on a water cleanse diet (drink 2 litres of water in the morning and then throw it all up) which I felt was something I couldn't bring myself to do. "You can't imagine the gunk that comes out from the stomach each morning!", she exclaimed.
As part of the Master Cleanse diet, we're supposed to drink a saline solution first thing in the morning to cleanse the stomach. You would be running to the loo several times within the hour. I skipped this entire process altogether. It's too drastic.
By now, I wasn't feeling hungry anymore. Plus I was getting better at managing the diet. I drank several cups of water a day. I have never drank that much water in my life!
I could see my belly shrinking though the kids said I still looked the same. My movements have gone slower due to the lack of food. The lemonade diet provides about 650 calories a day.
Day 4 - This was supposed to be our Friday night out but I had to turn down an invitation to dinner. CH suggested going to the movies instead after his dinner.
On the way home from work, my car engine developed trouble. I was afraid it might break down on the highway, so I swung by the workshop and had to leave the car behind for a couple of days. It was pouring when I left. I couldn't get a taxi, so I took a bus home and had to take a 15-minute slow uphill walk to my house.
After all the running around, I was already feeling quite weak but we had a movie to go to. It was another agonising 15-minute walk to the train station. Let's just say I wasn't in the best mood. The good news was, I was already feeling slimmer and was wearing a recently discovered tight fit t-shirt which had been languishing in the wardrobe for years.
CH said he didn't notice any change in my figure which didn't do anything to help my already foul mood. Then he casually asked if I were going to participate in any marathons this year (because I told him I had pasted the entire list on my workdesk to keep me motivated).
"Are you being sarcastic?" I shot back.
Well, we went home immediately after the movie. By the time I conquered the hill, I was too weak to walk Rusty. CH kindly offered to walk him instead while I went to bed.
Day 5 - I called mum to tell her not to expect us for dinner. I can imagine being lectured if I were to turn up and not eat anything at the dinner table. My parents do not approve dieting of any kind. I have been on various kinds of diet since i was a teenager.
I didn't feel hungry all day. Saturday is reserved for doing housework, so despite feeling weak, I did my chores and rewarded myself with a cup of ice cold lemonade. I was envious that CH managed to go jogging in the morning.
I made a nice pasta dinner for the family and for once, began to feel resentful that I was cooking something that I couldn't eat.
Day 6 - I had lost quite alot of weight and my tummy was flat enough for the kids to take notice. Sunday, being marketing day, was quite a challenge. Lugging bags of fresh vegetables, seafood and meat up the hill proved to be more difficult in my weakened state. I walked really slowly like an old lady.
I usually bring Rusty out for a run on Sundays but this time, we could only manage a slow walk around the estate. I was dozing off while reading in bed when CH text to say he had just completed a 10km run. Envious as hell, I said "Good for you. I am sleeping." Than I made a face.
We went to visit my parents in the afternoon. YK told my mum I had not eaten in 6 days. Mum asked, "Are you on the Cambridge diet? No wonder you look haggard. You're hunching!"
After I had explained it was a detox diet, she said, "Maybe our maid should go on the diet too." You see, our maid is overweight, yet very vain.
After days of feeding the family crappy food, I made them a sumptuous dinner last night. The thought of eating proper food again made me happy.
Day 7 - Today is the 7th day and I feel good. I've done very well so far and am getting so used to this diet that I think I can go on for many more days. I have no yearning for coffee or food. I feel fine and energetic. My face is slimmer and I am wearing my 'skinny' dress with a belt.
I haven't had a chance to weigh myself so far but I reckon I must have lost about 3kg. I might stop at the 8th day as I have a dinner appointment on Friday. The body needs a few days to adjust before it can take solids again.