I Tried To Make My Own Tea Cleanse And My Body Told Me To Go F*ck Myself

by Gigi Engle

I'm sure all of you can relate to that holiday bloat. After over a week of eating whatever the f*ck I wanted, I decided I should go on a cleanse.

I'd never cleansed before. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm the hangry friend. Not eating for a significant length of time had never been an option; when I don't eat, I feel horrendous and make everyone around me miserable.

But I figured, I'm home for Christmas break. I have literally no responsibilities this week. What's the worst amount of damage I could do to the world with a two-day cleanse?

I also decided I wasn't going to do a ~traditional~ cleanse -- you know, like a proven one that came from somewhere other than inside my own weird head. I wasn't going to consult experts or do any research. No way. I am too original for that.

I was going to make up my own cleanse. A tea cleanse! I wondered if maybe I'd be the next fitness expert in the field. I was going to be a millionaire for sure. FOR SURE.

Why tea? I heard somewhere that drinking three pots of tea a day makes you super healthy and thin. I don't remember where I heard this, but I figured that if it were true, I would become super healthy after spending 48 hours straight-up drinking tea.

F*ck Teatox and all that bullsh*t. Real-ass tea bags would be more cleansing, right?

Thus began my ~journey~. Come with me, children, down a strange, dark and bizarre path into cleansing oblivion.

I had an idea in my head to get this tea that my coworker Zara is always drinking: Yogi Detox. It has a lot of tasty looking stuff in it, like ginger. Mama likes her some ginger.

So I went to CVS, dragging my sister's apprehensive girlfriend for moral support, but the Yogi Tea was nowhere to be found. I blame the Midwest and its delay on shipments for anything trendy.

Instead, the only tea this rustic establishment had to offer was the vile Lipton (CVS: destroying dreams since 1963). And so, in at least my second terrible decision of the day, I found myself in the laxatives aisle.

I decided on two teas: one called "Smooth Move," intended to relieve "occasional constipation" (yeah, this article gets real about poop, so prepare yourself) and a dandelion tea for detoxifying the liver.

I figured that these teas -- combined with regular chamomile and black tea -- would make for a rejuvenating cleanse.

I woke up on Day One around 9 am and started the day off with a great release of the bowels -- before I'd even ingested any tea. 'Twas magical. Anyone who says starting the day off with a monstrous BM isn't the best thing ever is lying.


Then I had an EmergenC because my throat was slightly scratchy in the days leading up to Christmas. (My immune system tends to shut down the moment my mother begins voicing her disapproval of my life choices.) EmergenC somehow contains eight grams of carbs. But I needed the vitamin C, so I bit the bullet.

I took my daily vitamins with my EmergenC. I took a vitamin for my hair, skin and nails, then added folic acid, biotin and a calcium/vitamin D supplement. Gotta keep those bones strong when you're drinking nothing but tea all day.

At 9:31, I was starving.

I decided to make my "sh*t tea," as I'm calling it, despite having already had my morning "evacuation." It's full of licorice and other stuff that's supposed to really clean you out. I don't know a lot about tea cleanses, but from what I've heard from the three people I know who love cleansing, you're supposed to sh*t your brains out.

La la la la la.

I waited a century for the tea bag to steep to maximize its vitamin goodness, just reminding myself over and over that I'd gained seven pounds in the last five days. That was enough encouragement to suffer for beauty.

After I drank the tea, I was slightly less starving.

At 10 am, it was time to get in a workout. I did 20 minutes of abs and 40 minutes on the treadmill at an incline (this while pumping five-pound weights). It sounds far more intense than it actually was.

During my workout, I drank a ton of seltzer and 16 ounces of dandelion tea. I wasn't hungry, but I'm rarely hungry after working out, so we'll see what happens.

Sure enough, I soon became preoccupied with hunger. I felt empty on several levels. I started watching "Outlander," and I found my stomach twisting into knots, sending me running to the bathroom between episodes. I don't know how I possibly had so much poo inside my body, but there it was, spewing out of me like paste from a tube.

Needless to say, I wasn't feeling that great after essentially peeing out of my ass all day.

At 2 pm, I took an hour-long nap because I was exhausted from not eating. As you've probably guessed, I'm also hella dramatic.

Around 6 pm, I was forcibly dragged to my sisters' girlfriends house for "dinner" with my family. I was not in high spirits because I was starving. I was also feeling mad-sick at this point. While everyone ate Chinese takeout and Rice Krispie Treats, I was in hell. I put a bunch of ice chips into a martini glass and ate them like sorbet so I could feel fancy.

I added a cinnamon stick to my tea at one point, too.

I wasn't sure that I could make it another 24 hours on just tea. I felt so nauseous that I had to take aspirin to try to combat the throbbing headache brought on by low blood sugar. I had my last cup of licorice sh*t tea before bed and fall asleep immediately, desperate to make my misery end. I'm not even being dramatic. I felt f*cking terrible.

Then, in the dark of the night, everything got much, much worse. I ended up spending half the night in the bathroom with explosive, lava-like bodily fluids erupting from both ends.

When I finally climbed back into bed, throbbing all over and extremely dehydrated. I knew I couldn't go through with it. I had to eat and give up this ridiculous pursuit.

I had a horrible migraine the next day due to dehydration. It was not fun.

When all was said and done, I dropped three pounds in the 24 hours of what was possibly the worst experience of my life. In case you haven't already figured it out, this half-brained tea cleanse was a seriously poor decision on my part.

If you want to make a day last about 73 years, I suggest a homemade tea cleanse. If you want not to feel like death, I suggest forgoing a homemade tea cleanse.