Tag Archives: Master Cleanser

Falling off the wagon. A dismal failure speaks out.

Yesterday was my eighth day on the 100% raw food diet, and all was going well. I was extremely proud of myself, things were moving along briskly. Suddenly, one hundred days didn’t seem like all that big of a mountain to climb, to be honest. I mean, it’s three months without eating anything cooked – big deal. Psychologically, I was more than up to it.

But then yesterday it all went south. I lapsed. I knowingly and willingly ate a bowl of potato and leek soup. And now I’m riddled with shame (as should the chef be who made it; it was horrible).

As a result, today feels like day one again and I’m a bit upset.

When I subjected myself to the two-week Master Cleanser in January (see movie: Fast and Very Loose), the side-effects were almost instantaneous – lethargy, weakness, zits, wooziness, vomiting, and so on. But the raw food conversion isn’t like that. It doesn’t act as quickly. Rather, it creeps up on you, leaving you not exactly sure whether the bad things you’re feeling are just your body rejoicing at being fed food it can actually digest and thrive on for once – vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds, sprouts – or whether you’re seriously sickening for something.

The aches and pains, for instance, are pretty constant, they just keep moving around, the way they do when you have flu coming on. And napping is a problem, in the sense that you’ll sit down in a comfy chair and immediately fall unconscious for an hour – something I never do. It’s like suffering from mild narcolepsy and could be dangerous. To combat it, I’ve taken to standing around vacantly a lot.

Then there’s the phlegm. Oh, and of course you’re running to the bathroom three or four times a day, generating more flying debris than Mount St. Helens.

But I’ve elected to see all this as a positive. A sign that things are about to get better (“better” in this context would be that I poop something the size of a hillside only twice a day, for instance). So while friends have been sitting around me digging into steaks and salmon and ice cream and stuffed zucchini (sometimes on the same plate – pigs!), I’ve remained stoic and strong, jauntily picking at my salad and making “Mmmmm, I don’t think I could ever get enough of this stuff, quite honestly” noises, trying to sound like I mean it.

For eight days.

Then yesterday it all went wrong.

Every month I have a consultation with a life coach. You don’t need to be told any more than this. Other than perhaps to know that my life and career stalled roughly three years ago, and paying to see a life coach has done very little to change that. But you know how it is; you become attached to people, and as we’ve slowly become friends over time so the appointment has become a fixture that I find hard to miss. Therefore I have life coaching even when I don’t need it, which is to say every four weeks. That’s when the two of us meet for lunch at her hotel in Beverly Hills and discuss what I laughingly call “my future”.

Well, yesterday, I arrived forty minutes early, and the waiter brought a menu.

Naturally, I began frisking it for something that a strict raw food vegan could eat, and was shocked to find that there was nothing. Nothing at all. Even the vegetarian dishes were cooked. Which was a double disappointment because I was so hungry. Another side-effect of being on this diet.

So that was it. Faced with eating nothing or lapsing, I lapsed. I ordered a hot soup, with the rationale in my head that it was no worse than having a hot beverage – cuz that’s all soup is, a beverage that won’t fit in a cup, right?

But I knew, my stomach knew, and my conscience knew, that this was no beverage. It was scrumptiously tasty, and packed with cream and chicken stock and god knows what else – stuff I shouldn’t be eating. Plus it was cooked. So any enzymes that might have survived when it was pasteurized at the factory and shipped out, were surely dead by now, meaning there was no nutritional value in it at all.

Yet I ate it. Actually, I didn’t just “eat” it, I shoveled it in. Gorged on it. Almost vacuumed it out of the bowl and into my mouth like a starving orphan. And when it was gone and I felt sick with remorse – natch – I sat staring in despair at the bowl as if I’d just taken a draft of poison to kill myself then had second thoughts.

Worse, I now had to cover my tracks, the way bent accountants do. I had the waiter whisk it away before my life coach arrived, so that I could brag loftily about my 100 days of eating nothing but 100% raw food without embroidering the story with unnecessary details, such as the fact that the whole thing was a sham and I’d folded at the first sign of temptation.

So what can I tell you? I fell off the wagon for a day.

After the life-coaching session (my future is just as bleak as always, it turns out), I came home, ate a salad – “Yum, what’s better than this? Nothing.” – didn’t tell my partner what had happened, and continued as if all was well. But it wasn’t well. It’s like stealing a cookie when you’re a kid: nobody knows it, but that doesn’t matter – you know it, and that’s enough to stir the gods of karma into action.

This morning, I was feeling gloomy enough to consider turning myself into the raw police, only I have a day packed with broadcasting things to muscle through, and that might be counterproductive.

The reason for not lapsing is in all the books, and it’s no different to why an alcoholic shouldn’t lapse. One drink and you start the cycle all over again, that’s all. Well, the same goes for food. Have one hot meal and, by golly, you want another one right away. Which is precisely how I feel as I sit here.

Indeed, if it weren’t for this massive – huge, enormous – barrier of shame  standing between me and a bacon sandwich right now, I’d quit this thing, be a guy who very proudly goes around telling  people that he survived the eight-day 100% Raw Food Challenge, and leave it at that.


Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @cashpeters.

Buy Cash’s new book, Naked in Dangerous Places HERE.

Watch the promo HERE.

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Starving radio guy makes movie

No blog today.

What d’you mean, why not? I’m busy.

But I should just mention that my controversial little movie short Inside Out, about the two weeks I spent in January not eating food, is now showing in two film festivals: the Urban Suburban Film Festival in Philadelphia in mid June, and this weekend – May 17th – in the Jacksonville Film Festival. So if you’re in the vicinity, go see it.

Or, if you can’t be bothered, the whole thing is on my Facebook page. (If you need to be my friend to join and see it, then mention the film thing in your friend request, otherwise it won’t get accepted.)

While I was filming a scene for the movie at the studio, I received my first-ever reprimand from the BBC. For broadcasting during my weekly radio segment health information that a bunch of doctors and concerned weirdos thought was dangerous. It wasn’t dangerous, of course – people have been fasting for thousands of years – but we continually bow to anyone in a white coat with qualifications, so I had to guarantee I’d never mention the health stuff again, or I wouldn’t be able to continue my broadcast in future. Yike.

Ironically, Inside Out is showing in these festivals alongside another movie: Everything Bad is Good, made by a friend of mine, Len Richmond, a movie, oddly enough, that I happen to appear in as an interviewee. 

The subject is: how doctors kill you.




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Dead dogs and Englishmen

Well, that didn’t go well, did it? Last night’s BBC thing, I mean.

If you were listening, you’ll know that a relatively light-hearted chit-chat about the quirkery of American television devolved within no time at all into a quagmire of dead dogs, multiple rapists, broken legs on Dancing with the Stars, and Rachel Bilson’s marriage (which, by the way, I put on the same level, interest-wise, as the previous three.)

As a result, I fear my stint on Up All Night may be over. Or, if not over, then drawing to a premature end. One of those premature ends that, quite honestly, is probably long overdue.

After all, it’s been eleven years. In fact, the eleventh anniversary was this very week, though I forgot to mention that in my haste to talk about not one, but seventeen dogs being burned alive in a propane explosion.

Doing TV reviews was not a job I applied for, by the way. I got it by nepotism. A friend of mine used to host the show in the mid-90s and he called me up one day with sad news: the previous guy had died. Or absconded. Or simply not shown up for work and proved himself unreliable. “Will you fill in this week for three minutes? You can do it on the phone.” He made it sound easy, which to me is important, so I said yes, despite the fact that I didn’t watch any television and had to get all my information from magazines in our local supermarket. And when the guy failed to show up the following Monday (the Slot used to be on Mondays) I filled in then, too. And it just grew from there, as these things tend to if you let them. Eleven years later, it’s now half an hour long and broadcast from a real studio in downtown Los Angeles with music and sound-bites and everything. Only one thing hasn’t changed: I still don’t watch television. Well, who has the time?

However, last night’s outing may be, if not the last, then the red flag that signals the beginning of the end. There’s nothing funny about rape or dogs being burned alive. Nothing at all. It just came out that way.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems either. Back in January, when I embarked on the Master Cleanser and fasted on maple syrup and fresh lemons for two weeks (the movie of this debacle is on my Facebook page, if you’re interested!), I dared go on the BBC and gush about the benefits of fasting, and the following day almost drowned beneath a tsunami of complaints, one or two of them from doctors who claimed it was irresponsible of me to talk about such ridiculous and dangerous things on air, and thoroughly irresponsible of the BBC to broadcast that kind of holistic drivel. The same doctors who will be dying of blocked arteries, distended colons, and damaged livers years from now, I predict. Though of course you can’t tell them that. Bloody know-it-alls.

Quite frankly, I thought my number was up then. But we soldiered on. Last night, though, was another low, and honestly I’m worried.

My Slot could so easily go the way of the rest of the economy. Cutbacks, downsizing. “Sorry, but we’re taking the show in a new direction, one that involves accuracy and sticking to the topic and not distressing listeners.” At which point that will be it. I’ll be no different to a laid-off mill worker in Ohio or a kennel owner in Pennsylvania whose business  just burned down in a propane explosion.

Not that I need to worry. I’m plenty busy. New book coming out in April, another book just completed, a TV travel show to shoot in May, plus all the American radio stuff I do. Still, after eleven whole years of showing up for something week after week –  I mean, man, that’s like an addiction. It locks you into a groove you can’t easily snap out of, even though I know the day must come at some point.  

One of the reviewers of my new book Naked in Dangerous Places wrote, “Cash Peters is our generation’s Alistair Cook…”  Seriously? Didn’t he report from America for the BBC for 48 years or something preposterous like that and die at the microphone during a propane delivery?  I’m hazy on the exact details.

Last night, I came home after the show with a heavy heart. You can tell how affected I was: I remained completely unconcerned for the safety of the blind contestant on American Idol. Walk too far in the wrong direction, drop into the orchestra pit – I didn’t care.  (He’s going to be voted off soon anyway; he’s outclassed by almost every one of  his sighted rivals) And I wasn’t even as downright appalled as I should have been by a trailer for the upcoming Osbournes Reloaded, a variety show that promises to be a trashy, calamitous disaster, hosted by Ozzy and Sharon, and which seems to involve Sharon being strident and irritating for an hour and Ozzy shaking and being incoherent. What’s reloaded about that? That’s exactly how I remember them from last time.

No, last night, not even the sparkly baubles on American TV could make me feel superior and better about myself. I turned it off, dimmer and even more depressed.

Now at last I know how the Up All Night audience feels after my Slot.  

NOTE: Inside Out, the short movie I made about the Master Cleanser is available to watch on my Facebook page, and only on my Facebook page.

The BBC Slot is available to hear again on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00j2dr7/Up_All_Night_11_03_2009/. Have painkillers ready.


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