After some deliberation and much dread, Peter and I have decided to try the 10-day Master Cleanse (now more often referred to as the Lemonade Diet.) This new name is unfortunate for several reasons. First of all, it is not a diet inasmuch as it is not a weight loss fad. Second, the "Lemonade" one drinks in place of food does not taste like lemonade at all. What children's roadside stand sells the stuff with smoky maple syrup as sweetener and cayenne pepper for kick, much less warm? Hardly the refreshing summer drink that the unfortunate moniker brings to mind. In all, the system is designed to give one's digestive system a rest and a good scrub-down, while giving the body some time to clean itself some of the toxins built up from a lifetime of over-processed, hormone-injected, preservative-coated food.

My sister warned me that the hardest part of the cleanse is the daily morning salt drink, designed to quickly and effectively wash out one's innards. Without it, the lemon-drink alone would cause system clogging, and make one quite ill. This morning, I had my first go at guzzling a quart of the stuff. It took me twenty minutes to get it all down, and I was certain I was going to throw up after every swig. Half an hour after the last sip, I had a regularish bowel movement and was (I am a bit embarrassed to admit) slightly disappointed. Ten minutes later ... and about every fifteen minutes after that for over an hour ... I got my just desserts as the quart came shooting through the other end of my digestive track with surprising force, carrying quite a nasty cargo with it. And, weirdly, I feel really good now that I’m not parked on the toilet with an old Edward Abbey tome to keep me company. The closest I can come to describing it is like the day you wake up after having been sick for a week. You feel a little tired, but you are clear-headed and a little giddy. You feel so *well*.

Of course, I am only a few hours into this whole process. It is going to be an educational tten days. According to all the literature (and gossip) I read, if I can get through the first three or four days – and get used to that damn sea-water – I will be home free. At least the "lemonade" is cravable, cayenne pepper notwithstanding. I'm just glad I found an unused electric lemon juicer at Meg's house the day before this started. We are going to go through a lot of citrus.

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