Many friends asked me to publish this cleanse details, so I'm finally doing it. Please read carefully, it's important!
I'm doing this cleanse for multiple reasons.
First, the shape of my gallbladder is a bit wacky: it's inborn and not dangerous, but makes me collect more junk than necessary in the little sack under the liver. Which can cause long-term health problems. So periodic liver/gallbladder cleanses are recommended (here is more info on gallbladder stones).
Second, I have been fighting with bad acne all Winter and Spring. The glorious Summer Sun cured it some, but I feel the problem is not topical.
Third, my body in general feels tired, sleepy, hazy and intoxicated. I have developed annoying allergies. I'm becoming lazy and unmotivated for no reason, and that's just not who I am...
I'm also planning to maximally switch to raw foods, stop craving glutinous foods and lose some unnecessary weight.
I've done the apple juice cleanse many times in the past with great results - once in a cleanse clinic under doctoral supervision, and lots of time on my own - adding some blood cleansing herbs / teas/ extracts this time. Last year I did a 21-day cleanse on apple juice only; this time I decided to limit it to 7 days, but today is Day 7 and I feel like extending it a couple more days so I can do a 10-day one for a deeper cleansing effect.
Here is a big BUT: if you have been diagnosed with gallbladder / liver stones, DO NOT DO this cleanse! Reduce the size of the stones using prescribed drugs or ultrasound, change your diet/lifestyle completely to avoid the further formation of stones, but don't make your stones move, or you may end up in hospital with severe pain or damage. Your doctor should be the person to talk about it to. Do the cleanse/fast only if you're in no physical danger.
This is what different types of cleanse do for you, so decide which effect you're looking for.
3 days helps the body rid itself of toxins and cleanses the blood.
5 days begins the process of healing and rebuilding the immune system.
10 days or more will help prevent illness and disease by giving the body time to reverse the damage caused by long-term exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins. It starts purifying your body on the molecular level which is extremely helpful for meditation.
Check if you need to detox/cleanse your body.
The most difficult thing about the cleanse is psychological: everybody is scared to stay without food for so long, and it's instinctual and deep! But I've done it many times, and it's only hard to start...
Day 1 is usually an adjustment.
After day 2 it becomes very natural, body starts breaking down its fat reserves, so appetite for the most part disappears, and last year on my 21-day cleanse I was even working during first and second weeks with no difficulty.
The fasting structure is pretty simple. Pre-cleanse, you have to stay vegan for at least a week - no alcohol, smoking, coffee, drugs either.
you only eat vegetables (no protein or fat; no pickles or spices), and start drinking a lot of water in between meals (not together with meals).
Days 1-7 (or 1-10 depending on the length of your fast)
Starting from first day it's only freshly squeezed apple juice and herbal teas. Granny Smith apples are recommended because of less sugar, but if they're too sour for you, choose another juicy kind. Cut out seeds and membranes before juicing apples - seeds can be toxic, and membranes can be bad if you're preserving pulp for baking/puréeing.
Every morning upon waking up drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of pure unwashed, un-iodized seasalt, and if you're doing enemas, perform a herbal enema. You have to do enemas twice a day - mornings and evenings. Enema is not a must, but without it the effects are not as profound. The best is burdock root enema (it's a great herb for all kinds of intestinal problems), but can also be chamomile or any soothing or antibacterial herb. 3 times a day a glass of water with blood cleansing herbal extracts (yarrow, astragalus, etc), also honey and lemon/lime is allowed in very small quantities if you are doing some high precision work or driving (e.g., a teaspoon with your herbal teas - honey gets absorbed by your body 100%, nothing gets down your digestive tract, so your brain painlessly gets some sugar during adjustment period), other than that - it should be only liquids (also, self-made fresh organic vegetable broth is allowed if hunger pangs happen, which happened to me on the first day so I gulped it down - but only during first days - same as honey)..
Sugar in apple juice should be enough. Drink as much of it and as often as you want. You can save the apple pulp (refrigerate it!) and bake cookies or bread with it, or make apple puree adding honey and cinnamon, so nothing gets wasted.
Apple juice usually does the trick - it has enzymes that block appetite, and also not too harmful to your tooth enamel (the most popular Master Cleanse recommends lemonade which in my case is too harsh). The point is not to get hungry at any time. Otherwise your body will never melt it's fat reserves!
If you get extremely hungry, feel like juice is not helping and you NEED TO EAT something, peel an apple and eat it very-very slowly, grinding every bite 33 times, as if making purée out of it with your teeth.
And lots of pure filtered water!!! If you drink a lot, hunger partially recedes.
Change your water filter right before the fast. Drink at least 10 full glasses of pure water a day, and at least 4 cups of herbal tea. Plus unlimited amounts of apple juice. Consider juice your food, because it is (your body understands any liquid that is not water as food anyway).
Also, keep taking your regular daily vitamins if you take them. Just remember to take a lot of water to flush them down - your stomach is extremely sensitive when no food is in.
At the end of the fast there is a not-so-pleasant liver cleansing which I will explain a bit later. But i repeat, it's not a very pleasant process, you have to eat olive oil with lemon juice, spoon by spoon for 2 hours, and after that I often feel like vomiting, but it works wonders and , if done properly, helps to get rid of allergies and lots, lots of weird things stored in your liver/gallbladder and ducts, you literally see what comes out of there...very unexpectedly! but it's pretty intense and not a must either. Only when you are ready for it!
The cleanse that I'm doing is based on the enema process - If you are cleansing without enema, you can do a "herbal enema" instead - just instead of flushing it up, flush it down with tea. There are lots of readymade herbal colon cleansing teas on sale, but you can also create your own with herbs mentioned here - it's not really very important to have the exact herbs; if you don't have them all, just make it with whatever herbs from the list you can find. Put the herbs together and boil them on very low heat for 20 mins; then let the pot steep under the lid, and drink as tea. You can find instructions on how to use colon cleansing herbs anywhere online. They say it's the same as enema, but I prefer to use less herbs because high concentrations can actually be toxic for you...
When you stop having any kind of poop, just liquid (sorry for graphic details but they're important...), you can switch from intestinal tonic to liver tonic. If you do liver cleanse with full colon, you can get intoxicated because liver/gall bladder start producing too much bile and it gets trapped in your intestines..
You can find some of the liver tonic herbs here or here - same, you can use all or some of the herbs, just follow directions on the herbal essences' bottles. I buy pure, one-plant essences online, and the non-alcohol ones that are used for kids; during fasting alcohol is not recommended; you will get totally drunk from even a few drops!))) I'm buying my essences online at vitamingrocer.com - they're very good, they sell organic ones like this one for example. And here is their list of herbs, including organic herbal teas. They don't have all the essences though, but I found yarrow, astragalus, yellowdock, red clover and stilingia. Burdock Root, Nettle Leaf, Oregon Grape rootbark, Gentian root, Wormwood leaves, Dandelion root, Milk Thistle,
Black Walnut hulls, Ginger rhizome, Garlic bulb, Sweet Fennel seed and other bitter herbs can also be used, but thing about bitter herbs: if you're using them beyond the intensive 1-week cleanse, don't overdo the dosage, they can become pretty toxic if not used properly. During the liver/blood cleanse you can do much higher dosage though, since we're creating stress for the body to start with (otherwise the body will never start throwing out toxins). It's not a natural thing for the body to do - we have to stimulate it a lot!
The liver tonic has to be taken 3 times a day, in a little water (half glass) . Make it with 3 droplets of each herb (4-5 different herbs combined).
Drink as much water as you can through the entire fast - this is the time when you have to force yourself to drink. Only filtered/spring water can be drunk. Do not boil it. May keep it in a silver vessel for a day - it improves water's crystal structure and taste. Do not drink water from plastic bottles, especially if it has been in the sun - during this time body is especially sensitive to toxins in plastic like BPA - keep water in glass. It also helps to freeze your water before drinking, there is a whole science about how to make water more "alive" - and the benefits of the alive water you can see in this wonderful movie.
Also, very important during the cleanse is to support it with all the excretion organs (skin being the largest), so if you do a herbal bath, that would help. Or sauna which is the most powerful. When I was doing a program in a detox clinic, they made you drink a glass of red wine inside sauna daily. Now at home I do a very hot herbal bath (with same herbs that I use for detox teas) to increase perspiration (since it's not recommended to exercise while you're fasting, this kind of sweating is supportive to your cleanse).
Deep belly massage is also very nice, you can self-massage your entire intestinal tract with essential oils (from top to bottom, and only in this direction); or, if you have a hoola hoop, do it for 10-15 mins a day. You could feel a little dizzy during the times of doing it because the internal organs start reacting; - it's normal. If mild pain occurs, don't freak out, it's also normal. If pain doesn't stop after several minutes, or intensifies, then something is wrong with your internals and you have to lie down. Either the process is too fast, or it's too much for your body - then don't do it. For me, it has been very helpful, and I bought a very heavy hoop, this one.
No exercise other than that and yoga/stretching/walking around the block. Minimal activity is necessary for the blood to circulate, but because you can faint you should limit it to MINIMAL. Rest and meditate - it's the best time for meditation; the body is healing itself and your meditation will become very, very deep. If you do strenuous physical exercise routine, your muscles will have no protein/food to restore themselves, and you will feel sore for a longer time than usual.
On the last day of the fast, by 7pm, you have to perform an enema and prepare 150mg of high quality, virgin cold-pressed olive oil, same amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a hot water bottle (or electric heating pad), a blanket, a tablespoon and a timer. Put a hot water bottle on your liver (right side under the ribs) and remain in bed for the rest of the evening. Every 15 minutes you have to swish your mouth with lemon juice and drink a full spoon of olive oil (15mg), followed by a spoon of lemon juice. You might feel like vomiting, so close your nose when you drink the oil. I close both my eyes and my nose :) because this much oil tastes disgusting... You have to keep going until you run out of oil. Then fall asleep (you can heat your liver side for the entire night).
In the morning, fresh and clean, make an enema (if you feel poopy, poop first). If you do a no-enema process, take 2 pills of No-Spa (or some similar-effect medicine to relax your intestinal muscles) and a glass of freshly squeezed carrot juice (add a spoon of oil for a stronger effect). You will be surprised what you see in your toilet bowl afterwards...
I have heard that coconut oil can work instead of olive oil, but haven't tried it. Coconut oil has a better taste and you can drink more of it, but it has to be warm (it hardens at room temperature under 23 degrees Celsius (76 F). Next time I will probably try it.
Also, some hardcore people like my brother (army-trained)) have the gut to drink the oil in its entirety at once, thus saving themselves a "slow pain". You can try it, too! (I tried, but can't:)
I kept a facebook diary during my fast, and you can see the process day by day.
By the end of the fast, I usually am so NOT hungry that I reluctantly start eating and despise the whole humongous food industry!))))) This time it was harder because I had to cook food for my husband every day (he works crazy hours). Try not to do that if possible.
You have to get back to eating very slowly and carefully: first vegetable soup, then raw pureed vegetables, for a couple days no bread, pasta, rice or anything glutinous (otherwise you can develop a bad constipation). Apples, other fruits, then add raw seeds&nuts, and little by little get back to your normal diet. .but a little healthier than before :) If you're not sure how to get your diet to become healthier, read here and follow at least some of the advice.
Also I have found a very interesting product called Zeolite that is proven to help rid the body off of heavy metals (the most difficult thing to get rid of!) - here is the research, and here is the product. I would probably try it next and see if it makes a difference. Have you tried it before? How was it?
What did the cleanse do for me?
The most amazing and unexpected benefit of the cleanse that I'm witnessing right now is a painless period. I'd had very bad PMSs for a week before my period, feeling lost, crying for no reason... and painful cramps for years... Don't remember when I was doing a hike on my "first" day....mmm....never?
After the cleanse, I didn't have ANY PMS symptoms or mood swings; the first day of my period (usually I spend it in bed or at least resting) I went on a 2-hour hike because I didn't have any cramps!!!! (if you are a woman, plan the cleanse in such a way that it falls in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Fasting during your period is NOT HEALTHY!)
My skin has cleared (HUGE achievement for me - it was one of the goals of the cleanse); the body odor has become very subtle;
My energy increased, I don't feel sleepy during the day anymore;
The clarity of thinking strengthened;
My mood has become more joyous;
I have lost 2 inches around my waist and hips, and 3 "difficult", "last" pounds of weight;
I have "lost" (or rather shoved out) around 70 mini cholesterol gallbladder stones and a lot of bile&mucus. I took a rather graphic picture of it - cannot publish it in an open source but if you REALLY want to see it - write to me.
Yay body cleanse! I really love you and appreciate what you do for me. If you need more information about juice cleanse, this web site is a good one. And here is more info on other juices for juice cleansing.
Have you ever fasted before? Please share your reasons and experiences!
Or ask questions if I haven't covered something above.