Ingredients for THE MASTER CLEANSER
So, I'm going to do this fast. I did it about 6-8 years ago and it was quite an experience. This fast has a name. It's called The Master Cleanser. I have a photocopied version of the "book" (actually more like a pamphlet) and I have managed to keep track of it through two moves. I will go into more detail later about the book, its author and the more wacky new agey aspects of the whole thing. For the moment, let me just describe the simple facts of the regimen. You make this lemonade from lemons, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. The lemonade is all you consume during the fasting period; you can have some mint tea if you want and there's the whole internal salt bath thing but it's questionable whether the salt thing counts as "consuming". More details about that later. The book says that the minimum recommended period is 10 days, but claims that you can safely stick to it for several times the 40 days of Lent. I'm going to shoot for 10 days. From this Friday through the following Sunday.
What I want to talk about tonight is provisioning for this fast. I work in the "Natural Foods Industry" so, for better or worse, I am interested in what is available in which stores and what the differences are in quality, price, branding etc. I don't eat organic produce religiously, but for the fast I wouldn't consider anything but organically grown lemons -- detoxification is a big part of this and I plan on juicing the entire fruit so I don't want anything that may have had synthetic organic chemicals applied to it. Plus, I believe that buying organic is the right thing to do. The reliable outlet for organic lemons is obviously Whole Foods Market. They also have organic cayenne pepper in bulk so it's a no-brainer to pick that up there as well.
The maple syrup is another story. You need b-grade dark amber stuff for the fast -- more minerals (not to mention more flavorful). You're going to use about 12 ounces of it per day, so over the course of 10 days you basically need a gallon. The last time i undertook a "Master Cleansing", I lived in Arcata, California, making things much simpler. I would just take a 1 liter amber bottle to the Arcata Co-Op and fill it up with B-Grade maple syrup (organic? I don't recall) out of the bulk dispenser. Alas, the Whole Foods Market in Petaluma does not have any aqueous substances available in bulk beyond soaps and lotions -- not even honey. I had some hopes for Oliver's Market (a local two store crossover/gourmet enterprise), because I remembered that they have a liquid bulk dispenser. Basalmic vinegar? Yes. Tamari? Yes. EVOO? Of course. Honey? Three kinds. Maple syrup? No dice. At Trader Joe's I found quart jugs of B-Grade maple syrup (non-organic) for $9.49. I was impressed with the price but a bit suspicious about the provenance and the quality. Who the heck knows where TJ's gets this stuff; it could be right off the Canadian black market. Digging a bit deeper at Whole Foods, I discovered that they carry a quart sized jug of ORGANIC maple syrup under their 365 label for $9.99 a pop. 50¢ more for the peace of mind of the organic and WF labels? I think it's worth it.
So, the provisioning has become very simple. All ingredients come from Whole Foods. My friend Dan (a "team member") will be so pleased. Not to mention the fact that I own 1.5807 shares of stock in Whole Foods Market International.
Bathroom scale: Purchased today at K-Mart. I don't plan on stepping on before 0-Day, could be too depressing.
In future installments:
Why do this?
Non-Doctor Stanley Burroughs, creator of the Master Cleanser
Critique of his book/pamphlet
Further preparations and embarking on the fasting journey