Master cleanse, Day III: olfactory hallucinations

The talk of the people I was staying with out in California, the Master Cleanse is a 10-day torture in which you drink nothing but lemonade. Water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper, and voila—that’s your menu for the next week-and-a-half. For fun, you can also drink decaf herbal and/or laxative tea.

Day III is supposed to be the hardest, according to Charla, a veteran of this particular procedure. On Thursday, my last day in LA, she came out to lunch at the famous Nate & Al’s Deli, and just drank tea, which seemed particularly tortuous to me, to be in a place like that and denying yourself matzoh ball soup (a favourite since I was a kid) and a big fat corned-beef sandwich. I guess it was a form of food tourism, watching others eat, but I don’t see subjecting myself to watching others eat at fine restaurants over the next week.

Charla, a former Vancouverite now living L.A. with her husband Ed, is already pretty thin. So I don’t know what she’s trying to do—losing weight is probably the last things she needs to be doing, but then, what do I know? Women are funny about their bodies. I know why I’m doing it which is, yes, to lose some extra pounds brought on by too much Belgian beer and that one potato chip I had out in Palm Springs. Well, maybe two.

One thing I’ve noticed on my cleanse, is the smell of food. Maybe it was an olfactory hallucination, but I thought I smelled bacon when I was walking down the hall of my apartment building. Last night, I went to see a play that was, unfortunately, being put on in the back of a restaurant. To get to the theatre, I had to pass by diners consuming some awfully tasty smelling menu items. And then, one of the running themes of the play—it’s called Stop Kiss, and it’s set in New York—is food, since one of the protagonists, Callie (Missy Cross) knows all the good restaurants, and her friend Sara (Joey Bothwell) is new in town. Ouch!

One ironic thing about this whole cleanse is that, with the renos finally complete and the kitchen finally finished, my only “cooking” type activity is squeezing lemons, measuring out maple syrup and adding cayenne.

Fortunately I don’t have too much food around my condo unit to tempt me. This a.m. I found a chocolate bar I’d bought for the Twister, which she’d left. I bought some raisins in Palm Springs, and I have some dried cranberries and granola, but otherwise my figurative pantry isn’t overflowing with temptation. However, the Texas Twister, who is in Portland on her way to continental Europe to start her new job, did leave me with a parting gift:


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