As a traveler and being active in different disciplines I occasionally take up challenges. Like this lemon detox diet here. These help me break stereotypes (in my mind) and explore the knowledge we accumulate through the years or through media and how that knowledge has an effect on our everyday life (good or bad).
So in this case, it was time to take a different kind of physical challenge (yes I was thinking it was just a physical one). Not one of lifting weights or twisting the body, but to detox the body through a well known diet.
The Lemon Diet was introduced to me through a discussion in the Yoga school I attend in Athens. It started as an interesting discussion about 1 month ago and became a goal about 20 days ago. Three people decided to do it. Eleni, Aris and me. Aris had done it before. He seemed to be quite healthy so I said.. why not?
Of course I did that with having in mind that I am responsible for my decision and if I was about to feel weird or weak or anything not-normal, I would stop it. I did not stop it, by the way.
In this article I will describe the things I noticed.
Ingredients & usage of the Lemon Detox Diet
Here are the things you need for 10 days of detox:
- Lemons (lots and organic ones). Around 3 medium lemons give you serving for each 1.5 litre of total “juice”.
- Organic maple syrup, Grade B (according to the recipe)
- Unprocessed sea salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Bottled mineral water or filtered tap water
- Laxative tea
Notice: There are similarly named ones but that’s the one I did. Everything is in there plus how you prepare and exit this detox diet. It is in Kindle format (desktop/tablet app and/or kindle devices) and hard-copy. I have the analytical instructions too.
The protocol (in short) is this and is “simple” in its concept:
- The night before day 1, you drink a cup of the laxative tea. You do that every single night after that, up to the end.
- At morning of day 1 and every day until the tenth one, you do these:
- You take 1 spoon soup of salt and mix it in a large glass of water (for everything there are exact measurements). You drink it. Then you make another one and you drink that too.
- Then your (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) is this: A mixture of the maple syrup, fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper. You mix them in 1.5 liters of water (removing the equal amount of water from the bottle first) and this is 1 dose. You need to drink at least 2 of these “juices” per day. So, “juice” will be it’s name from now on.
No other food is allowed. Not coffee, etc.
Be prepared to use the toilet relatively fast. Especially after the salted water. You literally perform an internal flushing!
What this Lemon Detox diet is about:
As mentioned in the book…
- To dissolve and eliminate toxins and congestion that have formed in any part of the body.
- To cleanse the kidneys and the digestive system.
- To purify the glands and cells throughout the entire body.
- To eliminate all unusable waste and hardened material in the joints and muscles.
- To relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries, and blood vessels.
- To build a healthy blood stream.
- To keep youth and elasticity regardless of our years.
When to use it?
- When sickness has developed—for all acute and chronic conditions.
- When the digestive system needs a rest and a cleansing.
- When overweight has become a problem.
- When better assimilation and building of body tissue is needed.
The book provides specific instructions, instructions for diabetics too, explanations on the what/how/why, etc.
Why I did the Lemon Detox Diet?
Since for me a detox thing was something I have done some years ago and I already knew how great you feel after the first couple of days, I decided to do it based on that past experience. Of course I was eating too at the past while now I had just this “juice”. So, this was a challenge through a “fasting”/detox case.
But why to go through such a process? Well, for me, curiosity, detoxification and the challenge itself were good enough reasons, along with “why not losing a couple of kilograms” along the process? I believe that we need to listen to our bodies which from time to time ask for things like these.
So, the challenge was set. It has finished and here are some findings:
What I noticed through the Lemon Detox Diet
1. Your mind is your enemy and controls you, make it your friend and embrace the process
At Day 1, I had to drink the first 2 glasses of salt water. I was thinking… OK, I swim, I have accidentally swallowed sea water. I know how it feels. Yeah, right.
This was by far the worst thing I have put inside me, voluntarily. The trick to drink it is with big gulps. But this was not enough. I had to do it every day. Through day 1 I was thinking all the time: How am I going to do such for 10 days? It is not possible!
At day 1 I overdid it with the cayenne pepper and the first 1.5 liters of the juice was uncomfortably strong. Lesson learned, didn’t repeat it.
At Day 2, I had strong headaches. They started from late day 1. Possibly due to not drinking coffee (though I don’t drink more than 2 per day, many times just one). I couldn’t concentrate and I thought on if this will be like that for 10 days. I was assured that it won’t. At the end of day 2 I noticed having many thoughts about the same thing: The salted water of next day. This was subtle during day 1 but increased in day 2.
So, I decided right there to forget about it because: The process of making and drinking the salted water was no more then 1.5-2 minutes of the day (remember the big gulps). A day consists of 1440 minutes, so what the hell was I doing? Thinking and troubling for something I didn’t like that would last for a couple of minutes, for just 10 days?
The moment I realized that, I noticed that my headache was radically decreased. I mean a lot. After less than an hour it became a slight annoyance.
At the morning of day 3 I jumped out of the bed full of energy, no headache at all and with a very clear mind!
WooooooW…! That was something! I made the two glasses of salted water looked at them, smiled and had a drink. Then I drank a nice one from the “juice” and the salty taste disappeared!
What a mind boggling thing, right?
So, every morning after that, I made the salted water, I knew I didn’t like it but that was OK! I just did it and forget it. Still tasted bad but that was OK. It just did.
2. The pangs and fangs of hunger and the mind
The “problem” was not with the first 2 days as I felt relatively dizzy, with the headache (though symptoms vary, depending on the person) and didn’t realize it much.
The “problem” started when I was not having a headache anymore.
Each day I drank 2 bottles (total 3 liters) from the “juice”. I didn’t need more, though the protocol says “as much as you can up to…”, etc, etc.
The “juice” had this amazing effect. The moment I swallowed a glass of it, hunger was there no more. The cravings for some specific foods was there but as a craving only. I noticed that I was thinking on if I really want to eat that now and I was thinking like: I would eat it, yes, but I do not “really need” it. So, it passed. Again… the mind.
So, after day 3, I went into a kind of a routine. The whole process didn’t felt strange or weird. It didn’t produce any kind of discomfort and despite the fact that with the “juice” I was taking around 1500-1700 calories per day, I was losing weight. At the end I lost around 4 kilograms of fat and my muscle percentage increased by 1% (I have a scale, measuring like that). Others lost from 4 and above. Perhaps due to their different physiology or/and due to extended daily activity.
As that week I had some family issues I attended less yoga classes as usual but I did practiced. At the same time almost all of the days I sat for Zazen (at home).
During the evenings of days 9 and 10, I had food dreams! Yes…, I was seeing dreams that I was eating food! That was very strange since I don’t remember having such before and I remembered them the day after while noticing what triggers them during the day (except not eating solid food of course).
My taste was weird. I decided to reduce the maple syrup dose (also mentioned in instructions if you want to further reduce fat) and see what happens. It worked but I was having more hunger signals since maple syrup provides most of the calories. To cope with that I just had more “juice”. Yet, now I consumed less then 3 liters per day and I had to drink it on purpose and without really needing it, as I was not feeling hungry with less “juice”. I kept it like that until the end.
Interesting things happened when I had to serve kids with dinner and Maria cooks so well. I noticed that I was looking at the food and thinking: Wow! How great is smells!
Yet, the next thing was to implant a thought saying: It looks and smells great but that’s that. You will eat when you finish the detox. And of course getting out of the kitchen helped too.
During these 10 days my mind was pointing to foods in the house which I used to eat. I was thinking how “conditioned” I am and how a “habit” works. There I was, not really hungry (drinking the “juice” all the time) and yet my mind was telling to open the fridge and make a toast with turkey and cheese. It was not just a thought but some kind of an impulse to simply open the fridge and make one. Like someone was thinking instead of me.
To extend that, my mind gave a priority to toasts and cereal bars and not to i.e. a banana or an apple. Yet, I like toasts and I like fruits too.
I caught myself laughing on this weirdness. It troubled me also.
3. Pondering on hunger
Food is… food. We eat food to have the energy to act. When we get hungry our body says: I have no fuel, urgently bring fuel. We provide the fuel. That is all. Bad fuel causes problems. Good fuel give you energy.
Yet, what are cravings? Mind conditioning? Actual and desperate crying of our bodies for energy? That seems interesting to observe too. Why we crave for specific foods?
I was also thinking about the blessing I have to do this detox on purpose while other people fast during to lack of food. This also made me thinking.
4. Physical endurance
Though (as mentioned) I attended less yoga sessions during the detox week, I felt my body leaner, with more energy (while not eating solid food) and more flexible. I was sweating less and had a better feeling of my muscles while walking, working and exercising.
I think these are enough to write about.
It was an interesting challenge. Aris and Eleni also completed the lemon detox diet with even more success and one other person started it.
I am not a doctor and this article is not of course a diet from a professional but something provided in a book. I couldn’t find bad comments or reviews while searching online for this lemon detox diet and that was something that helped in the decision to do it.
If someone has an overactive daily life perhaps it is not best to do it.
What I enjoyed most? Well, the whole process but mostly the mind related things I noticed. Oh, and writing this article for you to read it too.