In case you’ve wondered how come I haven’t Twittered or Tweeted about or posted a photo of my latest, greatest dish while on L.A.’s dining scene, it’s because I haven’t eaten since Tuesday. Well, that’s not entirely true.
I started Stanley Burroughs’ Master Cleaner, a.k.a the Lemonade Diet, last Wednesday so I could get rid of my nagging belly — again. I did it two years ago and loved the results. And I was soooo good two years ago. I never cheated. This time? Well, not so much.
Day 1: I grew a little hungry at night and since I hate to throw food away with so many formerly middle-class people starving these days, I decided to have the last tomato and avocado in the house. I drizzled a little olive oil over it and that was it.
Day 2: I grew a little hungry at night while reading. I had to interview Isadore Sharp, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the next morning at 8 o’clock and figured it would be wise for me to read his book, which was quite fascinating, in its entirety. Ever trying reading a 278-page book in one sitting without eating? It’s hard. A third of the way through I went to the kitchen and microwaved a small bag of popcorn. Two-thirds of the way through, I went back in the kitchen and found a small box of raisins. As I neared the end of the book, I wanted to jump in my car and go through the drive-thru at the 24-hour McDonald’s near my house even though it was 1 a.m. But I reached deep down and found my discipline. I could deal with cheating with a 100-calorie package of popcorn and 130-calorie box of raisins. I would have beaten myself up if I ate Mickey D French fries and a cheeseburger while trying to cleanse.
Day 3: I grew a little hungry at night. By now I figured if I just stuck to the box of raisins and maybe added a handful of raw almonds that my stomach would still be flat in a few more days. So I indulged.
Day 4: Now I was hungry during the day. No surprise considering I went to the gym in the morning and did 20 minutes of ab work then a 60-minute turbo kickboxing class. Maybe it was imagination but while watching myself in the mirror at the gym, I think I saw the abs I’ve known all along were hiding under my belly fat. Hoorah! I was on my way. When I got home, I knew I’d be on my feet for a concert all night and figured, well, maybe I should have my box of raisins and TWO handfuls of almonds while I worked on my book in the afternoon instead of waiting until nighttime. So I did. After all, I didn’t want to pass out at Common’s concert and have to have that hunk of a man give me mouth-to-mouth.
Day 5: By now I’m convinced I have completely fooled the Master Cleanser. I ate two boxes of raisins and two handfuls of almonds while writing.
Day 6: Today is the day I should have a flat belly, based on how long it took me to achieve my desired results the last time I did this crazy thing. I got up this morning, looked in the mirror and gasped. I look like I’m five months pregnant again! Where did this belly come from? I’ve eaten nothing except an avocado, a tomato, a small package of popcorn, a few boxes of raisins and maybe a cup or two of almonds since Wednesday. I haven’t consumed any alcohol since the pomegranate margaritas at Rosa Mexicano’s a week ago. Only water, my lemonade concoction and my morning salted water for cleansing purposes.
Now I’m back to where I started and I’ve learned my lesson. This morning I vowed to be good. When darkness falls tonight, I am not giving in to cravings. I put the remaining raw almonds and raisins in the cabinet so I can’t see them. I was looking forward to getting off the Master Cleanser on Wednesday but judging by the way I look, I think I better stay on until Thursday or Friday.
Of course Saturday I’ll be at Wolfgang Puck’s annual American Wine & Food Festival at the back lot at Universal. I doubt any of the booths will have raw almonds and raisins but I’ll eat wisely. Or at least I’ll try. For now, it’s time for another glass of lemonade.