Sunday, January 25, 2009

Juice Fasting Vs. Master Cleanse

The debate over whether the Master Cleanse is safe and effective has come up a lot recently in my workshops and consultations, so I thought I would make my thoughts available for all.

The Master Cleanse has gotten so much hype and press in the past couple of years, thanks to celebrity endorsements, it is not surprising that people would think that this is the safest and best cleanse out there. And why not? It is easy in terms of preparation, cheap in terms of supplies and ingredients, makes a refreshing drink that most people find palatable, and you are guaranteed to lose weight and feel relatively good in just a few days. (Note that this is not every ones experience-- the feeling good part)

The Master Cleanse is also a pretty marketable and easy sell for busy people who want to do a cleanse but don't necessarily have the time or desire to put a lot of time into it. But quick, easy, tasty and cheap does not always mean it is good or right for you.

Juice cleanses are in my opinion the better choice, but are a harder sell because they require more time, money and understanding. After using myself as a human experiment, my better inner judgement told me very clearly that flooding my body with 4 quarts of freshly pressed veggie and fruit juices was by far a more effective, cleansing and nurturing cleanse. And here's why.

Freshly made juices, particularly those with at least 50 percent greens in them (kale, spinach, chard, parsley, collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, celery, cucumber, etc) are teeming with a diverse (our bodies just like nature thrives and grows on diversity) amount of nutrients that is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and delivered to the cells. Once in the cells, accumulated toxic matter and gasses begin to awaken and loosen up and are then released into the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is like our waste disposal system responsible for carrying cellular garbage to one of the many elimination organs, such as our skin, lungs and colon (large intestine).

In addition to the cleansing effects of the cells, these juices also loosen any compacted fecal matter that has been accumulating in our colons. Our colons are like the garbage can of the body and therefore need to be cleaned out every so often otherwise it overflows and reek havoc on our immune systems and our abilities to digest and eliminate.

While on a cleanse, cellular toxins get awakened and dumped into the colon at such a fast rate it is highly recommended that one gets regular gravitational style colonic irrigations to make sure that the toxins get flushed out in a timely manner. In many ways the colonics are the true cleanse, because unless these toxins get flushed out of your body they will just continue to recirculate and become more activated and more damaging the the long run.

So while all this loosening, awakening and elimination of toxins are accruing, the cells and tissues are being rebuilt with organic vitamins, minerals, proteins, and digestive enzymes, making you feel and look younger, more energetic, slimmer and A LIVE! :)

Your body is also getting super hydrated and alkaline from all the naturally distilled water from the vegetables and fruits.

You can also consider juice cleansing as more of a feast than a fast, because the goal is to flood your body with nutrients, while decompressing the cells of toxic material. Why would you want to deprive yourself of that?

The Master Cleanse, on the other hand, is less than ideal for the body because it is not as diverse in terms of ingredients and therefore very nutrient poor. It also has high amounts of sugar from the maple syrup, which is not good for stabilizing blood glucose or for diabetics. While it does do some cleansing of the cells, this cleanse mainly targets dissolving fatty deposits in the tissues and liver. This is good, but the juices do the same and much more! Also, because the Master Cleanse so low in calories and protein it can really slow down a persons metabolism making it harder to keep the weight off once you are back on solid foods.

But do you have choose on or the other?

The answer is yes and no. What I have done in the past is incorporated one or two quarts of spicy lemonade into my mostly juice cleanses, but replaced the maple syrup with stevia, a natural leaf sweetener that does not effect blood sugar but rather helps the body increase its glucose tolerance over time. This way you are getting all the nutrients you need from the juices and getting the best cleansing effects of the master cleanse without any compromises to your health.

Without a doubt, both cleanses give the body a much needed break from digestion so that it can repair any damages that have been done, dissolve nagging aches and pains, dissolve fatty tissues, cleanse the liver and give you more energy. But incorporating the best qualities of each and taking the time to take care of yourself in a way that honors your body, mind and spirit is the true essence of any cleanse.

For more information on both cleanses check out: and


Sandy said...

Hi Kyle!!
Glad to see you back, missed your posts! (juice)fasting is awesome althouth I will not fast for sometime, gotta learn how to eat first :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyle,

I was considering doing a Master Cleanse but the more I thought about it, the more it became obvious to me that this is a very nutrient-poor way to cleanse. A juice fast seems much healthier and effective in the long term to me. I am cleansing to lose some weight (not a huge amount as I'm already somewhat average, but some chub) and also to wean myself off my bad habits (smoking, drinking, gum-chewing, caffeine...phew!).

I was wondering if you could let me in on what you did during your juice/Master fast/Cleanse (hah)? I already have a pretty clear idea of what it should entail for me but it would be cool to get another experience.

Thanks so much!

Kyle Ellen Nuse said...


Thanks for your insights and thoughts! Yes, you are right juicing is really the way to go in terms of nutrients and vibrancy! If you look back at my March 2008 post, you will get a very good idea of what I did for my 33 day cleanse. However, if this is your first time, I would suggest working one on one with a detox specialist just to make sure that you are doing everything correctly and that you transition in and out of the cleans correctly. The transition is the toughest part! There is a good saying, "It takes a fool to fast it takes a master to break the fast." If you are interesting in working with me I do long distance phone consultations all the time. Or if you live in NYC we could get together in person.
Keep up the good awareness and change!

Kyle Ellen Nuse said...

Sandy! So great to hear from you too! Glad to hear that you are stepping back and changing your eating belief systems! So important to start with a solid foundation, and then from the place of stability you will grow and flourish with ease of being.
Good Luck Buttercup!

Elena said...

Thank you so much for this article!
I am starting a 7 day cleanse tomorrow, but couldn't decide which was better, the Master Cleanse or a juice fast. Thank you for pointing out the greater benefits in varying nutrients contained in juice fasting. Should I still do the salt water flush or laxatives during my juice fast?

Kyle Ellen Nuse said...

Thanks for your question! I'm sorry if my response is too late-- I was away for the holidays.
I won't recommend either, actually. Both are really harsh on your colon and actually irritates it more than anything. I would recommend, however, that you do two or more gravity (NOT MACHINE) style colonics. I also happen to be a colonic hydrotherapist and can vouch for how safe and effective they are-- especially when cleansing cause all the junk that has built up gets loosened and needs to come out, ASAP!
If you can't get a colonic then an at home enema would be my second choice. Get a enema kit (with the bag and the tubing), not the little fleet things from the drug store. I would take 800 to 1000mgs of magnesium the night before (loosens things up) and then do an enema the next morning. You should get good releases. Not as good or as deep as a colonic, but good enough. You should do the enemas every morning.
Good luck!


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brandwood said...

Thanks for the side by side. I've done the master cleanse a couple of times but I haven't made it more than 6 days. I've also done a couple of days at a time on just juices. My body loved the cleanse for the first 5 days but by day six it was screaming at me that I needed nutrients. I'm thinking about doing the master cleanse for most of the day and then finishing the day off with a green juice.

I know the Master cleanse is a lot of sugar but it works a lot better at suppressing my hunger than juices. Juices tend to activate my appetite.

I started to day. Wish me luck