THE MASTER CLEANSE

Señor Fingers

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#1
"You gotta be kidding me!" "Are you serious?" "You are crazy!"

These were the typical reactions I got from my friends and family when I declared that I was going to fast for 10 days. I was about 140 lbs at the time and at my average height of 5'8", this was already pretty thin. My mom was probably the most apprehensive of all..."You are so skinny already" "You will disappear!"

Haha...the truth is I thought a lot of these things myself and was pretty close to scrapping the whole idea, but fate had other plans...

MOTIVATION

It was the Spring of 2003. After suffering for over ten years from severe allergies to pollen and various foods, I was getting tired of modern medicine's idea of a solution, which is to take pills everyday and avoid certain foods for the rest of my life. If I ate anything that had even touched a strawberry, apple or avocado, my face would swell up and a couple of times I was rushed to the hospital. Pollen season was the worst...my nose would run like a leaky faucet for months without stopping and I also suffered from miserable sinus headaches. For a while I was on antihistamines and they helped some, but the allergies never went away and after one particularly bad spell, I decided to consult my trusty old friend Google to provide a real solution to my problem.

SPRING CLEANING

After much painstaking research (and more ads for Claritin than I care to recall) I finally discovered that allergies, like most immune dysfunctions are a product of an over-toxified liver. After years of eating processed junk food, preservatives, etc my liver and basically entire intestinal tract were too clogged with junk to do their jobs properly. Some more searches on liver cleansing and detox and I struck gold with the Master Cleanse. It's a fairly simple fast. Each night before bed you drink a diuretic tea of Senna leaves. In the morning you drink a quart of lightly salted water (the salt makes the water pass through your large intestine instead of your bladder) an hour or so later you pass all of the water along with the toxins and caked on garbage that is clogging your system.

During the day, whenever you get hungry, you drink a concoction of lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper which simultaneously breaks down the mucoid toxins stuck in your body, increases circulation and cures hunger pangs. Apparently this fast gives you enough energy to work normally and even get some light exercise in. I was pretty much sold on the concept after reading Stanley Burrough's book on this cleanse...it all made sense. The problem was that I just love food so much that I could not imagine 10 whole days without it! My date with the fast kept getting pushed back until allergy season was over and eventually I forgot about it.

A KICK IN THE ASS

That winter I started a job at a museum working for the head curator. His name was Jake and he was a heavy hitter in the art world who basically ran the museum as his own. This man is a true hustler and has several side businesses "just in case". To this day I have yet to meet anyone with so much drive and vision. He immediately commanded respect wherever he went and was a role model of sorts for me.

One day I was ordering lunch and asked Jake if he wanted some Thai food. He told me "No thanks, I'm fasting". I actually laughed out loud because this was too much of a coincidence. It turns out that he was indeed doing the master cleanse himself and was on the 23rd day of his fast! Over three weeks with no food, and the dude had enough energy to run his businesses! It was just the jumpstart I needed. He let me try some of his lemonade, and though I was expecting the unlikely combination of cayenne pepper and maple syrup to be nasty, it was actually quite tasty!

The next day I bought all the supplies:

- Big sack of organic lemons
- Jug of Grade "B" Maple Syrup (also organic)
- Organic Sea Salt (don't use fake-ass table salt)
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Pack of "Smooth Move" Senna leaf tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Gallons of spring water (dont use tap)

I was pumped and ready to challenge my mind/body in the test of will known as..
 
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Señor Fingers

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#2
THE MASTER CLEANSE

The night before starting the diet take the laxative tea. Follow the diet for a minimum of 10 days or more—up to 40 days and beyond may be safely followed for extremely serious cases. The diet has all the nutrition needed during this time. Three to four times a year will do wonders for keeping the body in a normal healthy conditions. The diet may be undertaken more frequently for serious conditions.

INGREDIENTS FOR LEMONADE
2 Tablespoons organic lemon or lime juice
2 Tablespoons genuine organic Grade B maple syrup (Not maple flavored sugar syrup)
1/10 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper) or to taste
8 oz water, room temperature
Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 oz glass jar w/lid and fill with the water. Shake it up and drink. (Cold water may be used if preferred.)

Adding the cayenne pepper is necessary as it breaks up mucus and increases warmth by building the blood for an additional lift. It also adds many of the B and C vitamins. Add a pinch and build up to as much as you can stand.

Note: For those of you who think cayenne pepper is just a spicier version of black pepper, you will be surprised at what modern medicine is doing with this herb! http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/cayenne.htm

Mint tea may be used occasionally during this diet as a pleasant change and to assist further in the cleansing. Its chlorophyll helps as a purifier, neutralizing many mouth and body odors that are released during the cleansing period.

HOW MUCH DOES ONE DRINK?
Take from six to twelve glasses of the lemonade daily during the waking period. As you get hungry just have another glass of lemonade. For those underweight, more maple syrup may be taken. Try not to vary the amount of lemon juice per glass. About six glasses of lemonade a day is enough for those wishing to reduce. Extra water may be taken as desired.

HELPING THE CLEANSING ALONG
As this is a cleansing diet, the more you can assist Nature to eliminate poisons, the better. IF YOUR SYSTEM FEELS UPSET, IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT HAVING SUFFICIENT ELIMINATION. Avoid this possibility by following the directions completely. Above all, be sure you have two, three, or more movements a day. The better the elimination, the more rapid will be the results.
A LAXATIVE HERB TEA is found to be the best helper for most persons. It is a good practice to take a good laxative herb tea right from the beginning—the last thing at night and first thing in the morning. There are several good laxative teas, but senna leaf works best. Be sure to steep each cup thoroughly for at least 5 minutes with a lid on your cup to lock in the essence. Feel free to sweeten with maple syrup.

ANOTHER CLEANSING AID: INTERNAL SALT WATER BATHING
DIRECTIONS: Prepare a full quart of luke-warm water and add two TEASPOONS of sea salt (organic). Drink the entire quart of salt and water first thing in the morning. This must be taken on an empty stomach. The salt and water will wash the entire tract in about one hour. Several eliminations will likely occur. If the salt water does not work the first time, try adding a little more or a little less salt until the proper balance is found; or possible take extra water with or without salt. It is quite advisable to take the herb laxative tea at night to loosen, then the salt water each morning to wash it out. If for some reason the salt water cannot be taken in the morning, then the herb laxative tea must be taken night and morning.

HOW TO BREAK THE LEMONADE DIET
Coming off the lemonade diet properly is highly important—please follow the directions very carefully. After living in a semi-tropical and tropical climate for many years, I find that people have increasingly turned to a raw fruit, nut, and vegetable diet. Following is the schedule for people who normally follow such a natural vegetarian diet:

FIRST DAY:
Several 8 oz. Glasses of fresh orange juice as desired during the day.
Drink it slowly.

SECOND DAY:
Drink several 8 oz. Glasses of orange juice during the day—with extra water, if needed. Some time during the afternoon, prepare a vegetable soup (no canned soup) as follows:

RECIPE FOR VEGETABLE SOUP
Use several kinds of vegetables, perhaps one or two kinds of legumes, potatoes, celery, carrots, green vegetable tops, onion, etc. Dehydrated vegetables or vegetable soup powders may be added for extra flavor. Okra or okra powder, chili, curry, cayenne (red pepper), tomatoes, green peppers, and zucchini squash may be included to good advantage. Brown rice may be used, but no meat or meat stock. Other spices may be added (delicately) for flavor. Use salt delicately as a limited amount of salt is necessary. Learn to enjoy the natural flavor of the vegetables. The less cooking the better. Have this soup for the evening meal using the broth mostly, although some of the vegetables may be eaten. Rye wafers may be eaten sparingly with the soup, but no bread or crackers.

THIRD DAY:
Drink orange juice in the morning. At noon have some more soup: enough may be made the night before and put in the refrigerator. For the evening meal eat whatever is desired in the from of vegetables, salads, or fruit. No meat, fish, or eggs; no bread, pastries, tea coffee, or milk. Milk is highly mucus-forming and tends to develop toxins throughout the body.
(Milk, being a predigested food, has been known to cause various complications in the stomach and colon, such as cramps and convulsions. The calcium in milk is difficult to assimilate and may cause toxins in the form of rheumatic fever, arthritis, neuritis, and bursitis. The resulting lack of proper digestion and assimilation of the calcium allows it to go into the blood stream in a free form and it is deposited in the tissues, cells, and joints where it can cause intense pain and suffering.)

FOURTH DAY:
Normal eating may be resumed, but best health will be retained if the morning meal consists of our type of lemonade or fruit juice.. If, after eating is resumed, distress or gas occurs, it is suggested that the lemonade diet be continued for several more days until the system is ready for food.

Be careful to read the entire instructions so that the diet will be of the best benefit to you. First prepare yourself mentally to follow in detail the entire directions and continue as long as is needed to make the necessary changes. This fast should be executed for a minimum of 10 days and can safely be continued for 40. One of the best signals of the completed diet is when the formerly coated and fuzzy tongue is clear pink and clean looking. During the diet it becomes very badly coated.
 

Señor Fingers

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#3
MY EXPERIENCE

This was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. When you don't eat for more than 24 hours, your sense of smell is greatly heightened and you can smell food cooking a mile away. The first few days were the toughest, especially when people ate around me. But after a few days my appetite for food diminished and I had plenty of energy to work.

On Days 3 & 4 I got really weak and flu-ish as my body passed the worst of the toxins. I also experienced a lot of emotional upheaval through this phase. A lot of repressed memories came to light and I would cry for hours on end. It seems I was purging much more than physical junk and this fast was cleansing my emotional garbage as well.

From Day 5 onwards I felt AWESOME. I didn't get hungry at all and could be around people eating with no desire to partake. I also felt very light, free and clear-headed. My memory was sharp as a tack and I found myself reminding other people not to forget things...pretty funny since my friends know me as the forgetful one.

After Day 7, my olfactory senses were so intensified, that I could diagnose people's illnesses just by smelling them. It's hard to describe, and I was just as surprised as everyone, but this is what happened. I also began to experience the most real and lucid dreams of my life...one of which was an out of body experience where I watched myself sleep and walked around my neighborhood. I have never believed in any of this stuff, but after experiencing it, I have no choice!

On Day 8 I was starting to get tired of lemons and the desire for real food began to haunt my sleep, which was extra tough considering how real my dreams had become. A couple of nights I found myself pigging out in REM state...I would wake up feeling disappointed in myself till I realized it was just a dream, then I'd happily make myself some lemonade to stop the growling belly and crash again. Another thing I noticed around this time was that some scary-looking stuff was coming out of me...ropey looking things that made me shudder to know they were in my system for so long. Ugh...good riddance!

On Day 10, we had a big expo at the gallery. Jake and all his bigwig friends were there..I also invited my friends and fams cause the exhibit was pretty damn cool. I thought people would notice the ten pounds I had lost and was a little self-conscious at the start. But person after person would tell me the same thing. "Dude...I don't know if it's my imagination, but you are GLOWING. You have that pregnant lady glow!" My mom showed up a little late and she was also surprised at how "bright" I was. The whole time I felt energized and worked the room like a politician.

It was quite ironic because all the skeptics who had ridiculed my fast became immediately curious. Shortly following this event, 7 different people would do the fast themselves and eliminate such problems as ulcers, chronic bronchitis, and one pothead friend of mine did it for 2 weeks and passed a drug test. Apparently this cleanse is not just for allergies, and it can be quite contagious!

PROGNOSIS

It has been 3 years since I undertook this fast. I have done it every Spring and have not suffered from any allergies whatsoever! I can eat what I want and pollen season no longer fazes me. For these reasons alone the cleanse was worthwhile, but I also got a lot more out of it than I had hoped. It was a great exercise of personal willpower and I also got rid of a lot of emotional baggage that was holding me back in many ways. During the fast I Iost 10 pounds which I quickly gained back with muscle. The weight loss depends on how fat you are to start... my pal Joe lost 25 pounds in 12 days!

HELPFUL TIPS

- Stay calm. Remember that you are getting sufficient nutrients from your drinks and they will sustain you for this fast. Your "hunger" is really all in your mind. This is probably one of the best times in your life to practice proper breathing, stretching and meditation.

- Plan days 3 & 4 for the weekend. You won't have much energy to work when you are in this extreme detox phase and may even feel a little sick! My day 4 was so bad I voluntarily did the salt-water flush 3 times, which helped a lot.

- Get a good massage to help push the bad stuff out of your system. Accupressure, Shiatsu, and Thai worked best for me. If you can, plan the massage on Day 2 so you can spend days 3 & 4 resting (a massage will stir up lots more toxins and you may need to recover)

- Stay warm! Your body eliminates 55% of its waste through your lungs, but at 25%, the pores of your skin run a close second, so you will make more detox progress by sweating. A hot shower will do the trick..just make sure its as hot as you can stand and you get that itchy sensation in your skin which shows you are actually sweating. Saunas are also excellent for this purpose. Whatever you do, DO NOT fast in the winter. It is much more difficult and you run more risk of getting sick.

- Buy a tongue scraper cuz your tongue will get nasty as you detox. Your tongue is a major conduit of bodily energy and you will feel sluggish if you dont keep it clean.

- Give yourself an extra 90 minutes of prep time before you leave your home. It takes about 50 minutes for the salt-water to work its way through your system and you probably wont get it all out in one sitting (see next tip). The worst thing in the world is to end up with doodoo cramps on your morning commute!

- Drink fast. To get out as much waste as possible in the least amount of time, drink that salt-water as quickly as your stomach will allow. To make it more drinkable, you might want to heat it up some. Personally, I could not stand the stuff cold...tasted like seawater. But I discovered that if I heated it up in a saucepan, it tasted more like soup and my body was able to absorb it much easier. On some mornings, I just was not in the mood for the taste of salt...the solution is to place your tongue OUTSIDE the glass and chug away (most of your salt receptors are close to the tip of your tongue)

- Find the right tea dosage. If you don't steep it enough, it wont do a damn thing. If you steep it too much, prepare to be begging God for a painless death as you writhe in agony on the toilet! My dosage was perfect at 5 minutes steep time...plus I would put a small plate on top of my cup, so the vapors wouldn't escape. Kept the tea potent, but mellow

- If you don't have any, get some plants. I spent one night of the fast at a friend's house and he has TONS of plants. The effect on my mood and physical being was incredible...like the plants were massaging my soul. It sounds hokey but it's true.

- Use natural soaps and deoderant. Avoid ingredients such as Sodium Laurel Sulphate, Alumunim of any kind and artificial colors. I am a big fan of Dr. Bronners brand of hemp soaps...lavender is my favorite.

- And last but most important...Fart with caution! That harmless little "poof" can easily become a messy splatter as I discovered (much to my embarassment.)

That's about all I can think of for now. If any of you brave souls want to try this, I will gladly answer your questions here.

EDIT: Forgot to add this...

Disclaimer: Any fast should be taken at optimum state of health. If you have diabetes or any other chronic illness, please consult your doctor before trying this.
 
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MrS

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#4
Off subject, excellent to see you still around.

On subject, here people fast normally, as in no dairy products, meat, whats with this whole don't eat anyhting for 10 days thing?
 

wheelin&dealin

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#7
Fingers, you still hanging out here? I remember back in 03 when you laid down some well written posts.


As for fasting, I did a 5 day fast once and the feeling you get is really indescribable. You have no motivation to eat and you feel like you're "floating" without a care in the world. Interesting..
 

Shiftkey

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#8
I've gotta say, this is one of the stupidist ideas I've ever heard. You've put a lot of thought into this and I can respect that, but recommending that people starve themselves for 10 days is very irresponcible and dangerous.

If you want to cleanse your system, eat only organic food, don't starve yourself. Or at the very least, consult a doctor first. It might work for you Señor Fingers (though how much of it is placebo I don't know...), but many people might have other health complications that this WILL worsten.
 

Mr. Unique

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#9
If you dont know anything about fasting then dont post here and say it is one of the the stupidest ideas, you'd be surprised on how many people do this, ive heard you can go as long as 3 months.
 

Señor Fingers

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#10
The difference between this fast and all others is that it is a CLEANSING fast. The point of not eating is to completely clear out your digestive system so that you can loosen the layers of crap that have been caked on over the years. If you think your guts are still as pink and fresh as the day you were born, you are mistaken. The large intestine has been linked to countless diseases, especially in industrialized countries where processed food is plentiful.

Ultimately you should think of this more as an internal bath than a fast. The diet of lemon and cayenne breaks down the mucus which is home to much bacteria and latent disease. The Senna tea loosens up the intestines and allows your body to get rid of mucoid toxins which are rinsed away with salt-water. It sounds gross, and it really is when you think about it. One of the benefits of fasting is the comfort in knowing you no longer have those things in your body!

Now I can understand how the idea of this all may be a bit extreme to some of you. I once thought more than 3 days would kill me, but I did 10 and my friend did 30. Stanley Burroughs, the doctor who wrote the Master Cleanse recommends up to 40 days. You would be surprised what our bodies are capable of. In the end it's all mind over matter and you realize that a lot of what you took for granted as common sense was a total illusion motivated by fear.

All I can say is that I tried it myself and the fast cured problems that the doctors could not. Was it difficult? Damn right it was. But I felt it played an integral role in my shift to manhood as I learned how powerful my WILL really could be. And this is one of the key things separates us from women. They possess the compassion to nurture our future and we have the will to build it. Feminine embraces and masculine expands. Where there is no will, there is no way.
 

Señor Fingers

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#11
Originally posted by Mr. Unique
You'd be surprised on how many people do this, ive heard you can go as long as 3 months.
There is a man alive today who has gone a lot longer than that, living off nothing more than solar energy and water.
http://www.solarhealing.com/about.htm
Since June 18th, 1995, HRM has and continues to live only on sun energy and water. Occasionally, for hospitality and social purposes, he drinks tea, coffee and buttermilk. Until now, he had three strict fastings, during which he had just sun energy and only water and was under the control and observation of various science and medical teams.

The first of these fasting lasted for 211 days during 1995-96 in Calicut, India directed by Dr. C.K. Ramachandran, a medical expert on allopathy and ayurvedic medicine.

This was followed by a 411 day fast from 2000-2001 in Ahmedabad, India directed by an International team of 21 medical doctors and scientists led by Dr. Sudhir Shah (Dr. Shah's synopsis report) and Dr. K. K. Shah, the acting President of Indian Medical Association at that time. Dr. Maurie D. Pressman, MD also describes his experience with HRM in an article he wrote and later joined the team for the next observation on HRM.
This feat that is being documented by doctors around the world. But this guy is a little too out there for me.... I love food!
 

Señor Fingers

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#12
Originally posted by wheelin&dealin
Fingers, you still hanging out here? I remember back in 03 when you laid down some well written posts.

As for fasting, I did a 5 day fast once and the feeling you get is really indescribable. You have no motivation to eat and you feel like you're "floating" without a care in the world. Interesting..
Just droppin through on Christmas break. Hope yall are enjoying to the fullest.

I know all about that floating feeling...it's the same sensation as an out-of-body experience. Your reality becomes very lucid and you start to see the world differently. Ancient shamanic cultures often used fasting and sleep deprivation in order to train initiates in their mastery of the unkown. In the end, it really is a trip.
 

TheRelic

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#13
The fact that people can live a very long, fruitful,and healthy life, all whilst either smoking or, in this case not fasting, says to me that it isn't significant enough a variable to necessitate regular periodical elimination.

That said, I really hope it works for you (and by the sounds of it, it will), but it's something I couldn't do :p .

However, I have a question - Christmas being over, i'm going back to my normal diet of unprocessed foods, little to no sugar, etc. Basically, meats, wholegrain breads, fruit and vegetables.

On a lesser scale, can this cleansing program be used to any significant advantage, whilst on a good diet? Specifically, is it worthwhile perhaps having similar drinks throughout the day, and can some sort of cleansing become attainable, even if it takes a couple of years?
 

Señor Fingers

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#14
Hey Relic,

You are right...a lot of people live a long time with bad habits. My grandma lived till 96 and was a chain smoker and heavy coffee drinker. However, she had the advantage of eating homegrown food most of her life (before my family came to America) so she never suffered the problems I did.

Looking back on my diet growing up, it was pretty bad. Chef Boyardee and Snickers bars washed down with Coca Cola may taste good when you are young, but they take their toll later on. I been eating this junk all my life and it began to really show in my late teens when I developed all sorts of health problems (which the doctors made worse with their pills.)

To go through with this fast, you need real motivation. I did it to get rid of allergies. My best friend finally found freedom from his stomach ulcers (which he has had for years) I only know a handful of people who have done it to lose weight or test their personal willpower, but everyone who has done it has thanked me for putting them on because it changed their life!

As far as duration goes, a lot of Master Cleanse purists will tell you that you absolutely MUST do the ten days. I did 5 days the last time around and felt great. Though it sounds unbelievable, your body never gets hungry on this fast..your stomach does not growl and there are no hunger pangs. You begin to see that the hunger and craving for food is all in your mind.

Overall, I sense a lot of fear in the responses here, but I am used to that. Look at how I started my post and you will see that your reactions are pretty standard. People fear what they don't understand and ridicule anything that threatens their system of beliefs. You have been raised to believe that you must eat every day or you will die and this is simply not true.

To those of you doubters out there...make no mistake. I LOVE food. In fact I have a reputation for my voracious appetite and none of my friends believed I was fasting till they actually saw me turn down food with their own eyes. When I am not fasting, I am cooking up a storm and eating like a gluttonous pig. If I can get through this, anyone can.
 

Jariel

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#15
Just a couple of warnings...

I fasted for 2 weeks and 3 months later my hair started falling out in patches (telogen effluvium) as a result. Any longer and I may have lost my teeth too.

When the body isn't getting adequate nutrition it will go into emergency mode and start digesting muscle tissue and storing fat. By the end of the fast you may end up thinner and yet flabby, or with loose skin folds. I believe fasting can also cause long term thyroid problems.

When you fast for long periods, it affects your mind a lot like being drunk, so for some the great and healthy feeling they get is merely a delusion.


Rather than fasting I'd suggest taking up a nutritious diet and drinking lots of water on a daily basis. There's really nothing to be gained from depriving your body of essential vitamins and protein.
 

Ricky

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#16
Well after suffering recent health issues like constipation for a few weeks followed by a major issue with acid reflux, I'm pretty sure ideas like this could help.

First off since being diagnosed with acid reflux, I've ran into tons of people who regularly take antacids for the same reason.

This tells me peoples diets are off.

In my case I drank way too much coffee, and have a love for spicy foods as well as the occasional beer.

The constipation was coming from not drinking enough water. I worked out but didn't replace the fluids. Certainly coffee isn't a good rehydrator.

So ideas like a fast aren't bad. Just be very careful.
 

al77

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#19
Originally posted by Jariel

I fasted for 2 weeks and 3 months later my hair started falling out in patches (telogen effluvium) as a result. Any longer and I may have lost my teeth too.

When you fast for long periods, it affects your mind a lot like being drunk, so for some the great and healthy feeling they get is merely a delusion.
First of all, you are right: having a good diet is very beneficial, but how many of us can say "Yes, I have a great diet all the time?"
Moreover, even a very good diet cannot help you to get rid of allergies and other problems. Somehting should be used as a start, which is fasting and a dieat after that.

Also you are right on "it affects your mind". Even after 10 days I felt my mind is more.. sort of restless. But this is not a bad thing by itself.

You did fasting for 3 months??? You sure you were not eating anything, drinking juice, chewing a gum? Then, dude, dependeing on your state (amount of fat, muscles, etc) you almost reached the time an average person can fast safely.
I have read about the follwing: for a very lean individual with low weight 70 days of fasting is a relatively safe period. For an average build person it is about 90-100 days.

The most recommended term for fasting is 25-40 days, if you aim to cure some body problems. If you aim at cleansing anything from 3 days and up is good.
The most important thing is fasting means not eating anything: no food, no juice, no chewing gum, nothing. Only water.

Another interesting moment is one should feel safe and not very stressed at the time of fasting.
For example some people who got to an deserted island after their ship sunk, survived only for like 30 days withotu food.
Why? they were VERY stressed "Ohh.. I am going to die here.. ohh.. there is no food.. ohhh..." and their mind literally killed them.
But anyone here can do 30 days fasting without any problems because he knows he can start eating on any day he wants, and that eliminate a lot of stress.

By the way, may I ask why did you fast for 3 months? Were you able to go to work?
 

al77

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#20
Originally posted by Señor Fingers


As far as duration goes, a lot of Master Cleanse purists will tell you that you absolutely MUST do the ten days. I did 5 days the last time around and felt great.
First of all I like your posts a lot :up:

I guess quite a lot of people are so brainwashed with "food is good for you, eat this burger and drink Coke" not many are going to try even 3 days.

From what I experienced neither 5 nor 10 days of afsting cured my simple hay fever allergy. But good news even 2 days of fasting stooped it for the whole year (til next spring). Which I find awesome: everyone can do 2 days of fasting!
But this is a very personal thing: somebody else might need 3 or 4 days not 2.

Moreover, from what I read I figured it requires more then 20-30 days of fasting to cure something. Usualy they recommend to repeat it 2 times. This is a huge challenge, because to be able to fast for 20 days one should start from 3 days, then 5, then 10 etc... in steps. This is an easy way to do 20 days fasting.
 
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