I Tried It: A 7-Day Parasite Detox & Sh*t Got Real

Woman on the toilet

First, let me start by saying that I don't have any weird thing for poop, but I also can't remember the last time (if ever) I've been obsessed with my bowel movements. That is, until I began a seven-day parasite cleanse known as The Cleaner. Before you freak the f*ck out, let's take a few step backs so that I can assure you I'm not someone who is constantly babbling on about parasites and bowel movements. 


But here's the thing: It's scary easy to catch one through contaminated fruit, meat, or water, and I was determined to get rid of any -- ahem -- unwanted guests I might have picked up through the years. The cleanse basically started out as a means to my flat tummy right before a vacation, but almost immediately became more like a weird science experiment.

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As far as a cleanse goes, it's an easy list -- all you need is a "clean" diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and at least four to eight glasses of water daily. However, when you dig a little on their site, you see that they recommend a vegetarian diet in order to eliminate any food that will easily allow parasites to, well, worm their way back into your body.

I kept it simple, avoiding the food groups that promote parasite growth -- including red meat, pork, and booze -- and instead sipped my coconut water, which supposedly helps maintain a hostile environment for the parasites. Here's how everything went down.

Day 1

I boldly began this cleanse on a Monday, knowing that come lunchtime, I'd be taunted by the savory smell of free office pizza.  I equipped myself with a packed lunch to ensure that I wouldn't fall prey to the aroma of cheese oozing all over a greasy cardboard takeout box. 

After eating my lunch of baby spinach with a medley of berries and vegetables like mushrooms and corn, I was stressed and fatigued, full of dread over the intense gym class I was headed to that night. I decided for the good of all involved to eat a slice of pizza. You know, just so I didn't pass out mid jump-squat. But, one slice magically turned into three, and I was decidedly guilty as I trotted off to my class. That night for dinner, I tried to keep my portions small to make up for the damage done with my little snack and ultimately decided that tomorrow would be a fresh start.

Day 2

While the cleanse is said to be "gentle," I found out on the second day that there was absolutely nothing gentle about it. I was running to the bathroom a sh*t ton, between drinking water and my intestines being cleansed of the unlimited mimosas and weekend brunches I've had the past few weeks. With every movement I checked to see if I could see any parasites crawling in the porcelain throne, but thankfully, I was spared that sight. 

What I did find was another food-filled day in our office, with the kitchen stockpiled with leftover pizza and wine, but I also found that despite drooling over each company-wide email advertising free food, I maintained my composure and moved on.  

When I scoped out the Cleaner's official site, I bumped into a link for how to correctly (and thoroughly) have a bowel movement. Curious as ever, I dared to click the link and discovered a few very helpful tips. One being that you, as a human, should position yourself as relatively close to the way a dog does when pooping. Apparently, this is the proper way for all animals, ourselves included, to release our bowels. Obvi, it's a bit more complicated to execute without standing on your toilet seat and looking all types of crazy, but the site recommends that you "imitate the same relative positioning and muscle tension as squatting." 

So, every time I sat on the toilet I would lean forward -- kind of, as if I were going to put my head between my knees and release. 

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Day 3

Come day three I was a new girl -- I had a new walk, a new talk, and a new system from dropping the deuce after spending the previous night mastering the art of taking a bowel movement properly. Getting through my workday was very simple at this point. I finally had all the right food and the perfect amount of willpower. 

However, this particular day meant a new challenge, as I had just finished off my gallon of water for the day, and found out my train was massively delayed.

All I imagined happening on the subway was the scene from Bridesmaids where Maya Rudolph's character just dropped down in a wedding gown and let it go because she couldn't help it. And with that image in my mind, I wasn't sure if it would be helpful to speed walk or take slow, steady steps. But, I made it home in time.

And, day three also marks the first time I looked down deep into the pits of the toilet bowl and saw a dead parasite lingering -- it was reminiscent of a lifeless bean sprout without the bean (eh, so just a stem?). Gross, I know!

However, every other day was seemingly calm and I played it safe for the weekend by staying in the house and ensuring that I wouldn't have a repeat of my Friday commuting.  

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And in the end, while I did shed a few pounds, it was the feeling of overall health that made it worth it. I'm not having any toxic cravings, I only have a desire to eat as clean as possible, and I listen to my body in ways that I never had before. So, would I do it again? Absolutely. But I may change what I'm calling the diet, because a "parasite cleanse" just doesn't sound that appealing. 


Image via iStock.com/gpointstudio

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