So the New Year brings resolutions; be it more exercise or a diet, many people make some sort of plan to be more healthy - and it is becoming more common of late to begin everything with a detox.  

I first heard of this water, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper fast more than ten years ago when I caught a friend of mine consuming huge amounts of the mixture.  

Stanley Burroughs is attributed to inventing the fast in as early as the 1950's, commonly called "The Lemonade Diet," which he published in his book The Master Cleanser.

Recently, a friend of mine, Flora Lels, completed what I can only imagine were five grueling days of a fast on the lemonade diet.  Way to go Flora, five days!  Lord only knows that I would have only lasted until dinner time.

Here is a short interview:

"It's cayenne, maple syrup, lemon juice, and water, right?

Yes, that is the recipe, although its very important that you buy grade B maple syrup, which has less sugar and more nutrients than your average pancake syrup. Also fresh squeezed lemon juice is key too. The mixture is mostly water, for a 1 liter batch, you put in 6 tablespoons of syrup, 6 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper, the rest is water. The syrup I used I got at 

Where did you hear about this?

I'd been thinking about doing this a few years ago and then read about it again in a magazine and thought, no better time to kick off a cleanse than the beginning of the new year.

Any brands you recommend?


How much of it do you end up drinking during a typical day?
I made a big 1 liter batch in the morning and usually drank that by the afternoon. I just sipped it over the course of the day. No schedule. Then I would make another batch and drank about 1/2 liter the rest of the afternoon and evening. So in total I drank about 50 ounces a day,+/-.

Do you mix it up the same way each time? Or, do you say, "I'm going to make this one spicy this time." Or, "I'm going to make this one really sour..."
Towards the end I found I liked it with more lemon juice, so I would add an extra lemon to the mix. Other than that I kept the recipe fairly consistent.

What's the hardest part? The hunger? The monotony?

The hunger the first two days was hard. By the fourth day I was not hungry at all and felt a huge spike in my energy level. I could have gone on the cleanse longer, but I was too bored! I didn't have the energy to work out. I couldn't meet friends or family for dinner or drinks, so the monotony of your schedule and only being able to drink the mixture gets really boring! 

Are you losing weight? Or, only the will to live?

I lost weight, but not sure how much as I didn't weigh myself before and after. I did this more for the cleansing/detox benefits , not necessarily to lose weight. But I wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds, which I did! 

Is your hair starting to fall out?

Hair didn't fall out, actually looks shinier and healthier than before I kicked off the cleanse. 

Any weird side effects? Hallucinations?

No weird side affects except the first 3 days I had a dull headache which drove me crazy. Especially since the cleanse prohibits any use of ibuprofen or anything. I'm not sure if this was a hunger headache or due to caffeine withdrawals but that went away by day 3 thank goodness! 

People said I would hallucinate and get dizzy, never really happened to me. One thing that is odd is a white/yellowish coating will appear on your tongue by about the 2nd day. Apparently that is a sign you're detoxing. Needless to say I did a lot of brushing my teeth and brushing my tongue!

(Bear with me, but I have to know) Do you stop having, you know, movements, after a while?

Yes, bowel movements slow down by day 2. Then its more diarrhea if you know what I mean. I forgot, the cleanse also prescribes a salt flush each morning, which is drinking a liter of warm water mixed with two teaspoons of sea salt. You drink it as soon as you wake up - the whole liter, and basically within 20 minutes, you're going number 2.

This is when they say the toxins are really coming out of you. I did the salt flush every morning and I (you asked!!!!) had diarrhea or loose stools each time like clock work. Oh the Neera Super Cleanse also comes with a laxative tea that you drink at night to also help clean out your system that I drank each evening.

Anything else?

I have to say, I definitely feel better, healthier and more energetic since I finished, so I recommend this to anyone who thinks they need to jump start a healthier pattern in their diet/lifestyle. My skin is clearer and my hair looks shinier too.  

I'm much more conscious about what I'm putting into my body, eating a lot more fruits and vegetables than before I started, which is a great benefit. I plan on doing a 5 day cleanse at least once a year."


Authordavid koch