I have read through quite some number of both the current posts here and the archived ones, and I would like to thank all of you who have posted your questions, and those who have given their support and advice.
Halfway through Day 2 I had "lunch" with a good friend. That was tough. Unlike many of the generally health conscious people here, the foot-long hotdog with mustard, chili and onions appealed to my palate a whole lot more than my lemonade;-) I made it through it, but I thought that I might share some of my thoughts. This is intended to give people who might otherwise think that they could never ďdoĒ this diet some inspiration.
I am a 40 year-old man who generally eats a great deal of meat, drinks too much, smokes, rarely exercises and has a long family history of heart disease. (Yea, I know, when you put it all in one sentence it sounds pretty bad.) I found out about this diet from a friend, and I was really just finding her some information about it on the Internet, but it sounded crazy, so I kept searching for medical reports on it, figuring it was some kooky fad. Of course it is kind of kooky, and it does have some of the trappings of a fad, but it is more like the automobile than the hool-a-hoop in that it has been around for quite sometime. I decided to try it. I have NEVER been on a diet, and I figured if I was going to try one it might as well be a hum-dinger.
I did not start with a great deal of conviction, and was fairly convinced that the very horrible sounding concoction would repulse me and I would go straight on to breakfast as usual. I followed the mixing directions fairly loosely on my first glass, and goofed badly on the cayenne pepper. I had to mix that glass into three glasses before I could tolerate the pepper (I eat a great deal of cayenne, jalapenos and other peppers in general, I just way over did it, lol). With three glasses in my system I went on to work. My employees listened and then put a ďpoolĒ together like one might a football pool with grids for the hour that I would break from my fast. (There was a great deal of contention over the 17:00 to 21:00 slots of the first day!)
The first night was hard as my wife and son ate leftover Mexican food, both cajoling me about the absurdity of my diet. The temptation for a beer was very strong. As more than a few people have pointed out, the desire to eat is very strong, but it is the action of eating rather than hunger that is the motivation. The ďhorrible concoctionĒ is really quite good, though I would strongly recommend using liquid or raw cayenne rather than the powdered, as the powdered has a tendency to settle in the bottom of the glass and can provide quite a ďfinishĒ to your meal.
Now for some observations that may not be well received by all, but none-the-less I think might comfort those wavering on their embarkation of this diet. First, in the real world it is quite difficult to carry lemons around and find time to squeeze them while at work. I squeezed about ten lemons (yes regular old grocery store lemons) and poured the juice into an empty water bottle. The syrup that I could find locally was grade A, but it is 100% pure maple syrup. I have used both distilled water and filtered well water. I have used powdered cayenne and whole fresh peppers (certainly my choice, though some might prefer to run them through a juicer). I have found that I like a bit more lemon than the recipe calls for and a bit less maple syrup. I do not strain out the lemon pulp, but rather find it psychologically very comforting. I certainly add ice (made from filtered well water or distilled water depending on where I am.) In many of the posts I have read there seems to be some alchemist who is convinced that minor variations are some sin that will taint the entire process, but these same would be chemists then say it is alright to drink six to twelve glasses a day, and always add to drink plenty of water. Hmm. I will not go so far as to advocate variations in the basic recipe, but for myself, adjusting the recipe slightly to make it more palatable is a risk that is quite acceptable, for goodness sake, I am subsisting quite happily on lemons and maple syrup. As far as laxative teas and salt-water, I have yet to have a problem with elimination, so I really have no opinion there yet.
For those who may be uncertain about venturing down this path, carry with you the certain knowledge that something has brought you to this point. Do not expect your experience to be exactly like others peopleís experience as you arrived from different places and though your path may parallel theirs for a brief period, your path will certainly take you in a different direction. Believe in your own instincts and trust your own intuitions. Let others lend assistance as you need it, but rely on yourself. If you have doubts then take the first step and see what your instincts tell you. There is certainly no shame in drinking lemonade for a day and then deciding that you are unhappy and moving on!