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How to Do an Accidental Cleanse

I went to LA and immediately found myself on a cleanse by accident. Here's how I did it, and how you can too!

This article was originally published on Broadly.

The first step of the cleanse starts before you even know you're on it. A few days before things begin in earnest, blindly purchase a $9 [€8] bottle of coconut kefir water from one of those LA grocery stores that has an entire aisle of kombucha, green juice, and cold brew beverages lined up and illuminated like holy water, beckoning you to buy the life you've been imagining since you decided to be the kind of person who spends some time in California every now and then. Think to yourself, "Wouldn't it be nice to start the day with 10 billion probiotic cultures in my body, doing whatever beneficial thing those cultures do?" Crack open the drink and consume almost half the bottle, congratulating yourself on sticking it out with this health kick, even though so many of the things you're meant to eat during it taste like rotten vinegar. Slowly realize the drink is not supposed to taste this way, but rather has been off for five full days.


Congratulations! Now all you have to do is wait. Here's what you can expect from a day on the Accidental Cleanse™:

6:00 a.m. — One of the best parts of the Accidental Cleanse™ is that it gets you up incredibly early. Awakening wracked by horrible, twisted pangs in your gut is the first sign that things have really started. Exciting! Burn 20-30 calories writhing sweatily in your bed for a few hours, hoping it will pass.

8:00 a.m. — Time to work out! A great way to start the day is to put on all the workout clothes you brought with you to California for your new hike-based lifestyle, do two to three minutes of Sean T's Beach Body Insanity with your roommate, then run to the bathroom to vomit loudly and aggressively for a long time. Wander back out to do a few reps of struggling to reach your water bottle, and your cardio is done for the day. Hit the mat*, superstar! (*Your bed)

8:30 a.m. — The Accidental Cleanse™ is really and truly underway now, it's time to accept it and call in sick to work. Then just find your ex on LinkedIn, queue up that Korean student covering "Hello," and set up camp near the toilet.

8:45 - 9:45 a.m. — Shit your guts out.

10: 00 a.m. — Try to replenish your… electrolytes? with a different kind of juice purchased during the same shopping trip as the original offending coconut creation. Check sell-by date very carefully, then drink half a bottle of beets, apples, ginger and turmeric. Shit this out immediately.


10:30 - 11: 30 a.m. — Indulge in the sweet release of sleep, dreaming of a time where you weren't messing around with fermented milk drinks and had never known that coconuts could be water. Drift peacefully in and out of consciousness to the sound of the oil diffuser that came with your Air Bnb slowly running dry. Let its hisses mimic those of your orifices, as the room and your butt join as one voice to whisper, "Ooops."

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12: 00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. — At this point in the cleansing process it's really going to start to feel like you just have food poisoning. Hey, you'll think to yourself. This is terrible! I hate everything about this and I forgot that you can see when someone looks at your profile on LinkedIn! Fight these feelings. It is just your brain rejecting the purification process. Consume some ginger tea in an effort to calm your intestinal system, then cleansingly eject that tea into the toilet through whichever bodily opening is closest to the bowl.

1:00 p.m. — Bring your laptop into the bathroom and start watching fun new Netflix series "Master of None" while wrapped in a towel, shivering on the ground. Who needs probiotics to get some culture in your life??

1: 01 p.m. — Laugh hysterically. That is a great joke.

1: 15 p.m. — Sip some warm water and wonder if Aziz Ansari would date you. Remember how much he likes solid food. Remember how much you like solid food. Google "Coconut extinction" and "Aziz Ansari single." Discover a lot of information that you didn't ask for about an endangered species called the Coconut Crab, and that Aziz Ansari is dating a celebrity chef, obviously and of course. Whimper while eating a dry rice cake.


2:15 p.m. — Scour memorial hashtags on Twitter to get rid of excess water weight. Consider endorsing a different ex on LinkedIn as an expert in "male sorrow." Curl comfortably into the fetal position—contracting your core!—and close your eyes for a deep meditation on your life choices.

3: 15 p.m. — Fill your mouth with unseasoned kelp noodles while shouting "Fuck LA" at the ceiling fan.

3:30 p.m. — Revisit your kelp noodles in toilet form, but apologize to Los Angeles. It has been nothing but kind and sunny to you, and Jillian MIchaels' cleanse costs almost twenty American dollars at most drugstores. You're saving money and getting fit! In a way, that expired coconut water is the best thing you've ever done for your health! You're invincible!!

4:00 p.m. — Try to pull yourself up off the ground. Fail to do so.

After ten or so hours of lucid cleansing, we generally recommend an invigorating yet calming dose of Tylenol PM or whatever sleep herbs you have on hand. This cleanse tends to run its course in about twenty-four hours, so you should awake feeling lightheaded, empty, and craving plain bread. Good luck and goddess bless!