This is the second part of the blog I wrote when trying out the lemonade detox diet.  Note to my mother:  I use profanity.  I use it well, but I use it nonetheless.

My detox plan was met with mixed reactions.  Issac, of course, is all for it, and says he will detox with me, which later falls through.  My good friends are concerned.  “There are a lot better ways to clean out your system,” says my health concious Feldenkrais practitioner Carmen.  “Please don’t,” says Sweet Carrie. “My friend tried that and ended up in the hospital..”  “I lost 20 pounds,” says Kathy at work.  “Of course you won’t lose so much because you’re already thin.”  I opt not to tell her about my 155 pounds.

But I waltz into the health food store anyway (such an engimatic place.  I find it strange that they sell 12 different types of oat bran, no coke or pepsi, but mountains and mountains of red bull. “It’s an energy drink,” says Sweet Carrie.  That’s just advertising, Sweet Carrie.  It isn’t good for you.)  I buy my Grade B Maple Syrup, ridiculously overpriced organic lemons, cayenne pepper, and a laxative tea hilariously branded ‘Smooth Move.’  I also pick up Stanley Burroughs “The Master Cleanser.”

Now, I don’t know what I was expecting from Burroughs.  Possibly a well-written treatise on how the cleanse works, what its benefits are, and what are the side effects.  Something inspiring, maybe, comparable to works I’ve read by the Dalai Lama.  I expected the erudite musings of a proven guru.

I was lucky to get a well-written sentence. Burroughs is as hippy dippy as they come.  The book opens with a blessing: “Blame not God for the many illnesses and diseases you have created.  They are not ‘Acts of God!'” The man clearly believes not only that eating next to nothing will keep you alive forever, but that you are already on board with him and his philosophy.  I also love the attempt at poetry by which he lamely places ‘not’ after ‘blame’ as if he were writing the Ten damn Commandments.

Now I have a serious problem with this ilk of person: almost as much of a problem as I have with anti-abortionists who kill doctors or people who voted for Bush.  Because to suggest that one can avoid disease by fasting, or not eating, which is an essential part of human life, is to suggest that those who do have diseases somehow earned them.  And how did they earn them?  By eating.  By eating all sorts of food that may not have been healthy for them, but for whatever reason, be it culture or preference or just plain laziness, they have brought disease: cancer, AIDS, what have you, upon themselves.

News flash for those health gurus currently fasting or consuming leaves or something:  people get sick no matter what you do.  Stop telling people the “right” way to do things because it doesn’t matter how “right,” you may think you’re living: you can’t control mortality.  Burroughs senses this and it scares the shit out of him.  I don’t sense it, I know it, and therefore I see through him and I don’t buy into his bullshit that by living off of lemonade, one can cure all the world’s “man-made”evils.  In fact I think that Burrough’s arrogance is the worst kind of pride– dare I say sin– that exists because it blames the sick.  It blames them for doing something human.  So I say on behalf of all the people who are currently sick or who have died from being sick: Fuck you, Mr. Burroughs.  You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Ooh, tangent.  So anyway.  The book scans over the rest of the diet and in a typical male fashion, scans over women’s particular need for things like iron at certain times of the month.  “Don’t worry,” he assures.  “Normal conditions will ensue during the menstrual periods.”  Seriously.  That’s it.  Since normal conditions for me usually involve about 6 Advil and an irrepressible craving for chocolate, this is too vague to be comforting for me.  I assume I am fucked.

The bulk of Burrough’s book is made up of testimonials by people you’ve never heard of with no medical or homeopathic credentials.  They are all named things like Bob and Sheila.  Their stories are meant to add credibility to his book and the diet, but they come off as almost desperate.  Instead of explaining how and why the lemonade diet works, he anxiously shakes his examples in your face.  You can almost hear him plead, “See?  It worked for Sheila!  And Bob got rid of his ulcer!”

But for some reason unbeknownst to me to this date (maybe the fact that I’d spent over $30 at the health food store), I began the diet on a Monday.  Whoa.  Since I’ve been addicted to coffee since I was 12, it’s possible that my reaction was a little extreme.  I was vomiting by 2, constipated by 8.  Having never been constipated before in my life, I was not happy.  I crawled into bed miserable.

The next morning I was fine, but by noon, I was cursing Smooth Move.  (It’s a rip off and it tastes like ass.)  I was also cursing Mr. Burroughs, my boyfriend and anyone who came into contact with me.  My sister wasn’t about to put up with it.  “You stupid bitch,” she said in so many words.  “Eat some naan.”

Never before had naan tasted so good.  Refreshed by the 30 or so calories it provided, I was able to get off the couch, crawl to the computer, and do some online research.  I was only marginally surprised to find out that according to bbc.com, there is absolutely no validity to the lemonade diet.  Not that tests haven’t been done, they have.  And they produce no statistics that the diet improves your health.  Anyone will lose weight who cuts their diet down to that much of an extreme.  And anything that requires a laxative in the form of a tea or otherwise is hardly natural.  I mean not to be coarse, but shitting is the one thing our bodies should be able to do just fine without our help, thank you very much.

So I lasted 2 days.  Not even, if you count the naan.  By Wednesday I had modified the diet to slightly more sensible detox plan: lemonade all day until about four, then veggies, wheat and other (ahem, fibrous) substances to help my system. Coffee in the morning, of course.  Fuck that.  Coffee isn’t that bad for you, really.  The caffeine jump starts your metabolism and it is a natural diarrhetic.  Throughout the remaining ten days, I actually felt great.  A glass of red wine here, a small salad there– didn’t kill me.

When I got on my boyfriend’s scale (like I own one.  Please.), it read 140.  I beamed at him.  He was helpful as ever.  “Are you sure that’s right?” he asked.  “Did the scale start at zero?”

Why can’t he ever just let me live the fantasy?

But he was right.  I hadn’t lost 15 pounds, I had lost ten.  Ten wonderful pounds.  I feel great, I felt great.

And Stanley Burroughs can kiss my ass.

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