5.04.2006

tapering

It's all over now. Sort of. After 11 days on the Master Cleanser, it really is about time to stop. But stopping must be done slowly - like downshifting a Mack Truck on an icy freeway. (Ok, the metaphor is a little backwards, but you get the picture. Rapid change here can be ... disastrous ... as Peter and I learned from frequenting the MC Forum for the last two weeks.) My last swill of lemonade (ha!) is in a mason jar next to the computer, I did my final intestinal flush (which I have grown to anticipate with a disturbing relish) this morning, there are no more lemons in the fruit basket, and I am honestly dreading tomorrow. Why? Because Phase II of the Cleanser involves two straight days of nothing but pulpy Orange Juice to start the digestive track up again. And what fruit drink to I hate more than any other fruit drink in the world? Ridiculous, I know. But I haven't been able to stand the stuff since early high school. I don't remember why. I'm sure it was very traumatic. Anyway ...

Stanley Burroughs, the Master Cleanser Architect and general health-nut rant-man (see the Whole MC Text for proof positive) recommends a Raw Food diet. Actually, "recommends" is rather mild. In reality, he violently lambastes anything less (or rather, more) than absolute uncooked fruity-nutty-veggie-ness. He provides two formulae for re-entering the masticating herd. One is for those planning on joining the Raw Foodist ranks. The other is nearly identical, except for the concession of (GASP!) cooked veggie soup. That's it. End of Chapter. No help reintroducing, say, pasta or (heaven forbid!) dairy into one's digestive cogs. That leaves those coming off the cleanse who like their occasional indulgences with a delicate balance to strike.

The key here is being especially attuned to your body, as it lets you know what it can and can't handle. (A good probiotic supplement isn't going to hurt, either.) The consequences of a minor mistake will be decidedly uncomfortable. Tearing through a 12-oz Rib-Eye on Sunday would probably send us both to the emergency room. The point is that this exercise in self-control is not over with on the last official day. My tendency to pig-out on food will, for the first time in my life, have immediate physical consequences if indulged. No more endorphin spike with that Quarter Pounder - I'm talking about Acute Abdominal Distress, Rapid Onset, Cue the Doctor. Common wisdom says it takes 14 days to make a habit, 3 to break it. The whole liquid-diet thing isn't much of a habit to live by. But it will certainly take more than two weeks of careful self control to get my gut flora up and running well enough to handle some culinary indiscretion, and hopefully by then I'll have built a healthier foundation to chew by.

3 comments:

beholdhowfree said...

yes i guess that it the big question - you can go to all the trouble of cleansing your body, but then you have to decide whether you want to "uncleanse" it later. it's like losing weight, too. i remember going through all the work of losing weight, then realizing after it all - damn! now i have to keep doing this or i'll gain it all back!

maria said...

soooooo true! we'll see how long the motivation to stay detoxed lasts after my organs readjust.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Mary--

Good for you that you got through the whole thing! Even if you do fall off the wagon, so to speak, you've gained some real awareness of your body's natural balance and of your own tendencies that take it in the wrong direction. You've tipped the scale in the right direction, and maybe a couple days a week of the raw veggie approach can "balance out" an indiscretion here or there. That's kind of what I do, anyway--totally informally. Congratulations, and here's to moderation in all things!