Usually the first thing I hear from people with whom I am talking to about The Master Cleanse is: “That can’t be healthy. You have to eat! Where will you get your energy from?”
Every first-grader knows we eat to get energy. But what most non-cleansers don’t immediately understand is that you don’t need a cheeseburger and coke to keep you going. You can get it from any food source (some say you can even get it from the sun — google sungazing for a real mind trip).
And rich maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima variety) happens to be a fantastic source of energy filled with vitamins and minerals.
What is Rich Maple Syrup?
Most first-graders also know that Maple Syrup comes from trees. I like to call it “Tree Blood”. This term seems to somehow qualify the idea of the true nutritional value of the Pure Maple Syrup. I use the term Rich Maple Syrup so there is an immediate pause in people’s minds before an imaging of Aunt Jemima is conjured up –which is an assumption most of make when we are learning about the maple syrup element of The Master Cleanse. Aunt Jemima is highly refined table sugar. It is completely devitalized.
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Any other “imitation” syrup likely contains no Maple Syrup at all. Look at the label for clever allusions to Maple Syrup like: “Pancake Syrup”, “Waffle Syrup” or “Table Syrup”. These syrups usually contain no Maple Syrup at all, but are instead high fructose corn syrup or other highly refined white sugars which are, in my honest opinion, the leading cause of disease in modern society.
Labelling Laws prohibit these syrups from having the word “Maple” in their names, but they will still associate themselves with the source they imitate buy using related images like pancakes and waffles.
An interesting note I picked up from Wikipedia: “French Canadians sometimes refer to imitation maple syrup as sirop de poteau (“pole syrup”), a joke referring to the syrup as having been made by tapping telephone poles.
Why Rich Maple Syrup for The Master Cleanse?
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Maple Syrup was chosen by Stanley Burroughs for specific reasons (as was every other ingredient — Fresh Lemon Juice, Cayenne Pepper and Pure Water).
It was chosen because it is a very high quality, concentrated source of energy when consumed in its purest state (as close to right-from-the-tree as possible) and is packed full of nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
The amount and variety of nutrients in the Maple Syrup depends on where it is from and the soil conditions of that location. The tree takes up nutrients from the earth and they “become” the tree. This is just one of life’s little miracles that we take for granted, and food for thought when we are considering the choices available to us with the syrups we buy. Somehow we forget that there are “green” choices; natural choices straight from Mother Earth.
Nutritional value of Maple Syrup
There are almost too many nutrients, vitamins and minerals to list. Here is a list from Wikipedia:
Maple syrup consists primarily of sucrose and water, with small amounts of other sugars such as fructose and glucose. Organic acids, the most notable one being malic acid, make the syrup slightly acidic. Maple syrup has a relatively low mineral content which consists largely of potassium and calcium, but maple syrup also contains nutritionally significant amounts of zinc and manganese. Maple syrup contains trace amounts of amino acids, which may contribute to the “buddy” flavour of syrup produced late in the season, as the amino acid content of sap increases at this time. Additionally, maple syrup contains a wide variety of volatile organic compounds, including vanillin, hydroxybutanone, and propionaldehyde.
Pure maple syrup contains minerals, including manganese (bone health and brain function), calcium (bone health), potassium (healthy muscles), iron (blood) and zinc (skin and immune system). Plus, pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants, which aid in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.”
Maple syrup also has an unusual ability. “Antibiotics have a bad reputation for killing healthy cells along with infection-causing bacteria,” Friedman explains. “This can lead to the creation of ‘superbugs’ that no longer respond to known antibiotics. Research published by the American Cancer Society found, when people take maple syrup in conjunction with antibiotics, they observed the same antimicrobial effect with 90 percent less antibiotics. In other words, the maple syrup extract helped the antibiotics work better by increasing the permeability of the bacteria, bringing the antibiotics into the bacterial cells more efficiently.”
Maple Syrup for Energy
1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup provides about 55 calories. Since we aim to average 8 glasses of Lemonade each day, we will consume 880 calories each day alone from Maple Syrup (8 glasses x 2 Tablespoons x 55 calories). There are 4 calories in each Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice. That provides a daily calorie intake of 944 calories
Different Grades of Maple Syrup
Just to confuse everyone, there are 3 different grading systems for the 3 main regions of production: Canada, The U.S. and Vermont. The numbers range #1 – #3, and letter range from AA to D. Regardless of the label, they all refer to the darkness or the color of the Maple Syrup (and the strength of flavour). AA is lightest. D is darkest. #1 is lightest. #3 is darkest.
So Which Grade of Maple Syrup is right for The Master Cleanse?
The Darker the Maple Syrup the better. You CANNOT use imitation syrup. All natural forms of Maple Syrup are acceptable, but do your best to find the highest quality you can. Remember, the darker grades are D and #3.
These grades don’t directly refer to quality of the Maple Syrup, but the darker grades are collected later in the season (February – April) and so are said to have more nutrients on account of being a fresh product of the tree. The first harvest takes syrup out of the tree that was stored all winter. Later harvests are freshly produced from the nutrients in the soil. During the winter the stored syrup will lose minerals over time.
Alternatives to Maple Syrup
Inevitably someone always asks what an acceptable substitute might be. I will list the most common ones of note, but let me be clear: RICH MAPLE SYRUP IS BEST :)
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- Sorghum Syrup – Stanley Approved, but please use Rich Maple Syrup
- Sugar Cane – Stanley Approved, but please use Rich Maple Syrup
- Blackstrap Molasses – An alternative For Diabetics. See Stanley Burroughs’ book for more details
- The newest addition to this list : Coconut Nectar – 100 % raw, vegan, low glycemic, low fructose, very nutritious as well as has neutral PH.
Inappropriate alternatives for the Maple Syrup
- Maple Flavoured Table Syrup: Yes, “Aunt Jemima” I am talking about you. This is flavoured corn syrup and is NOT the same at all lacking all nutrients and worse.
- Artificial Sweeteners (Spenda, Equal, Aspartame) – Contains no calories, you will be starving yourself and adding artificial toxins, counter productive to a detox.
- Stevia – Contains no calories, so you will be starving yourself
- Agave nectar – very controversial these days and in some cases made of inulin and processed to fructose and half-sugar which is a devitalized. High glycemic sugar.
- Honey – A Pre-digested food that is disdained by Stanley Burroughs.
The Maple Syrup Diet or The Master Cleanse
People sometimes refer to the Master Cleanse or the Lemonade Diet as the Maple Syrup Diet (or the Cayenne Pepper Diet, the Beyonce Diet, etc…) They are the same thing.