Loading...
A Considerable Town

Master Cleanse, aka 'Lemonade Diet': I Tried it During Christmas. Here's How That Went

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM
click to enlarge Is that lemonade in your cup? Beyonce did the master cleanse for her role in Dreamgirls
  • Is that lemonade in your cup? Beyonce did the master cleanse for her role in Dreamgirls

In our new column, First Person, L.A. writers tackle the good, the bad and the funny about life as they know it.

Deciding to go on the master cleanse in December was either inspired or idiotic. Since I got the idea while in the far-too-familiar haze of a wine buzz, I blame it on the alcohol.

You're probably aware of the idea, if not the details. The cleanse, also known as the lemonade diet, went mainstream when Beyoncé used it in 2006 to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls. These days, buying 15 lemons, a jug of maple syrup and a canister of cayenne pepper in L.A. telegraphs exactly what you're up to -- and no one lifts an eyebrow.

But the fast, which requires eating no solids and drinking a juice made from the above ingredients for no less than 10 days, wasn't created to shrink starlets. A health guru concocted the plan in the 1940s as a detox. As the Weekly's assistant music editor, I was going out too much and drinking too much of whichever poison was placed on the bar in front of me. I needed a detox, desperately.
But in December? The season of open bars and heavily laden buffet tables? I faltered until a friend gave me the side eye. "The most hard-core chicks I knew in college never lasted more than three days." That sounded like a challenge.

Day 1: Catered party at a speakeasy in Hollywood. I happen to sit right in front of a gourmet pizza. My sense of smell becomes doglike.
The lady next to me raves over a drink. Next thing I know, she's ordered me one. Feeling incredibly rude, I let it melt as I chew gum -- three pieces in a row.

Day 2: I could probably gnaw on the leg of my coffee table right now. Only frantic activity distracts me from the clawing in my stomach.

At a party later, I sidestep the open bar by ordering bottled water, but the powdery gems on the buffet are winking at me. It's nice, though, to be sober and actually remember the conversations I'm having.

click to enlarge WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons

Day 3: I wake up berating myself for eating an entire tub of cashews -- only to realize it was a dream. I notice my jeans slide on easier, and I'm happy until I get stuck in rush-hour traffic. I string together curse words that would shock a rapper. Someone's cranky.

Day 4: At the grocery with a friend, I wander off to fetishize food. Would it really be so bad if I scarfed a pound of wasabi almonds in the middle of the store? Trader Joe's is Satan, and I'm Christ during his 40-day fast.

Day 5: Preparing the juice has become a ritual, perhaps because squeezing lemons is the only exercise I'm getting. (You try to work out while drinking nothing but sugar water.) It takes forever, and I'm mesmerized. I might be a little delirious.

After two hours standing at the Jay-Z concert, I feel so weak I buy a VitaminWater. I stumble as I pull my wallet out of my purse and realize the cashier thinks I'm drunk.

Day 6: I think I've forgotten how to chew. I freeze some juice and eat it like a slushy.

Day 7: Today is the first day I don't think about food. Shit, I'm on day seven! I'm not breaking now.

Day 8: The choreography for Fela! is so intensely aerobic, I wonder how the dancers manage it. Oh, right, they eat.

Day 9: At a listening party, I'm driven to distraction by the open bar. Stone-cold sobriety isn't so novel anymore. I'm bored.

Day 10: When a friend and I meet for tea, I can't concentrate: I realize I must get home immediately to eat cashews. Once there, though, I convince myself to make it through three hours more on sheer willpower. I'm the little engine that could. Three hours later, I'm officially cleansed.

Four days later, I realize, my post-cleanse diet has consisted primarily of cashews. But I've only had one glass of wine ... and it took me two hours to finish it. Mission impossible, accomplished. Now, who's holding Christmas cookies?

Follow @rhaithcoat and @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Cowabunga! 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    The COWABUNGA! - 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute show opened Friday night at Iam8bit. Guests donned their beloved turtle graphic tees, onesies and a couple April O'Neils were there to report on all the mean, green, fighting machine action. Artist included Jude Buffum, Tony Mora, Nan Lawson, leesasaur, Jim Rucc, Mitch Ansara, Guin Thompson, Stratman, Gabe Swarr, Joseph Harmon, Alex Solis, Allison Hoffman, Jose Emroca Flores, Jack Teagle and more. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • Moonlight Rollerway Jubilee and Skate Party!
    Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix and Dominic's Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale hosted a jubilee featuring skating stars and world champions performing in a variety of costumed musical acts. The best part? An post-show all-skate party! All photos by Star Foreman.