Caveman Me, The 90 Day Paleo Diet Challenge: Week 8, "The Master Cleanse"

First created in the 1940's by nutrition guru Stanley Burroughs, the Master Cleanse (also known as the lemonade diet) is once again enjoying a resurgence in popularity.  In the seventies, the publication of "The Master Cleanser" by Burroughs appealed to health fanatics looking to detox.  These days, however, endorsements by celebrities like Beyonce (who claimed on Oprah that the Master Cleanse helped her lose 20lbs for her role in "Dreamgirls") and the Youtube-blog-twitter triumverate has spurned another wave of Master Cleanse popularity.

"What the heck does this have to do with living Paleo?" you might be asking.  Well, in the interest of scientific curiosity and experiential knowledge, I decided to give it a shot.  I also figured that after almost two months of a meat, nut, and seed heavy diet, my pipes could use a little rest.

The cleanse itself involves the following: drink a laxative tea at night (natural senna leaf), chug a quart of salt water in the morning, and drink nothing but a mixture of fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup, cayanne pepper, and distilled water during the day.

The result of the laxative tea and the salt-water chug was hellish.  What started out as "Rumble in the Bronx" soon progressed to "Rush Hour", and not long enough later, "Rush Hour 2". 

Then came the "lemonade".  Calling this sickly sweet, spicy, citric acidy brew "lemonade" is akin to calling Starbucks "coffee".

Proponents of the cleanse advocate that one stick to this routine for 10 or more days.  F-that.

After one day I was officially over it and happily returned to my Paleo routine with a newfound appreciation for eating fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and meat.  Two months of going Paleo was a zesty walk in the park on a 72 -degree-but-sunny-day compared to this Chinese fire-water torture. 

I did drop another 1.5lbs and a little bodyfat though. 

Week 8 Statistics

Weight - 179.5 (-12.5 lbs from start)

Bodyfat % - 10.8 % (-2.5% from start)

Previously on "Caveman Me"...

Week 1: "Hunting and Gathering at the Grocery Store"

Week 2: "Energy Off, Energy On"

Week 3: "Eyes Wide Open"

Week 4: "Cruise Control"

Week 5: "Let Them Eat Cake"

Week 6: "For Weddings and a Golden Corral"

Week 7: "Blood Work"
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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. Diet challenges like these are very helpful. I really the idea of these kind of challenges. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Challenges are great! I find that they help focus my attention on a short-term achievable goal and keep me accountable.