Inspiration from Meghan

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Lemon Juice Makes Me Wince


Welcome to the second day of the Green Smoothie Cleanse. The coolest part about this cleanse  being just three days is that come lunch time, you are more than half way through. Piece of… um… blended kale right? If you are participating in the cleanse, you have likely introduced a morning bevvie of lemon juice and cayenne.

One of the cleanse participants wrote in to me to tell me that she is loving it all- but this hot and sour start to the day. Whether I am cleansing or not, this is part of my morning routine and I highly recommend it. Why? Because it is sooooo good for your body- specifically the digestive system and circulatory system.

And even though I know how good it is for me… I still struggle every single morning. It usually looks something like this:


And no, I didn’t go and cut all my hair off. This is what I went through twice a day when I was going through my intensive acupuncture treatmens to cure my Crohn’s Disease. Part of the healing program was drinking Chinese herb tea twice daily. It may have been the most vile thing I have ever had to drink- but knowing it was helping me to get better- made it tolerable… barely.

And now I go through this with the lemon/cayenne water for that reason- because I know it is so good for me. You want specific reasons? Here they are:


  • Helps to alkaline the body and disease is less able to develop in an alkaline environment
  • On an empty stomach it helps flush the liver and gallbladder (releasing bile- the body’s natural laxative)
  • Stimulates the body to produce digestive juices that gets the system ready for food digestion
  • Can assist with weight reduction by cleansing the liver as a toxic liver can not efficiently metabolize fat.
  • Excellent source of Vitamin C to keep the immune system strong, the adrenal glands functioning, and increases the absorption of iron into the body
  • High in potassium and vitamin B1 too.
  • The calcium in lemon supplies bones, teeth and the nervous system

    with basic nourishment.

  • Lemon also phosphorus and helps to digest proteins.


  • Cayenne can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and increase the peristaltic action in the intestines- this means it helps you go.
  • Aids in assimilation, meaning it helps us to absorb the nutrients from our food (or in this case the goodness from lemons)
  • Helps the body to create hydrochloric acid, which is so necessary for good digestion and assimilation, especially of proteins.
  • Said to be unequal for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action
  • Can increase peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, helping to increase the rate of delivery and action of nutrients in the body.
  • Can enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure
  • Cayenne is a counter-irritant; it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away.

Convinced yet? See… totally worth the wincing.

Lemon/Cayenne Wake-Up Call
1 quart/litre of warm water (I use regular water with just enough boiling water to make it warm)
1/2 lemon juiced
1/8 up to as much cayenne as you can handle
pinch of stevia (optional- will help cut the spicyness without affecting blood sugar level)

Mix and chug that goodness back!
Note: It often helps to have someone else take photos of the ridiculous faces you will surely make.

19 responses to “Lemon Juice Makes Me Wince”

  1. Gena (Choosing Raw) says:

    Love lemon and cayenne. On friday I had about 32 oz of “the killer” at Liquiteria: apple, lemon, cayenne, triple ginger, and some immunity boosters (I wish I could have left out the supplements, but they’re included)

  2. Lauren says:

    I drink lemon and cayenne water every morning! Then I jump on my rebounder! Talk about circulation!!

  3. gettinggreen says:

    Yeah, this is the whole lemonade cleanse without the not-eating-anything-else part… I often make this drink, too, but add a tiny bit of Grade B maple syrup to sweeten the edge a little.

  4. Cindy says:

    Yeah, I am struggling with it too but will keep at it
    Thanks for the great information on it!

  5. Amandamoo says:

    Hi Meghan,
    My acupuncturist has me drinking water with 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in the mornings on an empty stomach. I often add half of a lemon and some stevia to this to make it go down easier and get the added benefits of the lemon. Can I add cayenne also? Is this too much going on at once?


  6. Jennifer R. says:

    Is this something I can make up the night before and put it by my bedside? That would surely help me to remember, as I have kiddos to get ready for school and feed breakfast, so I get a little sidetracked :)

    thanks Meghan, I’m loving this cleanse! I’m writing about it on my fb page and lots of people are asking about it!

  7. cherrybombpie says:

    It looks like torture first thing in the morning!

    I used to down 2 lemon juices every morning (sipped through straws because I was paranoid of acid eating my teeth).

    Just recently I have stopped torturing myself and added navel oranges into the concoction. It made it a lot easier, even pleasant in fact.

    Good luck with the detox!
    oh yes, thanks for the info on lemon and cayenne, really helpful.

  8. Meghan Telpner says:

    Amandamoo- You’ll never know until you try! Let me know. The lemon and vinegar do a similar thing. I choose lemon over vinegar simply for the added vitamins/minerals and for some on anti-candida diets they are advised to avoid vinegar.

    Jennifer R.- So great to hear!

    cherrybombpie- Drinking it warm is helpful but drinking it at room temperature is better than not drinking it at all :) So go ahead… whatever works for you.

  9. Meg says:

    Ahhh I can’t even imagine the bitterness! But it’s totally worth it – thanks for all the info! I actually used to suck on lemon slices when I was younger (haha) but now I can’t – but this has made me rethink cayenne and lemon…maybe I’ll give it a try.

    Happy detoxing!


  10. mariposagirl says:

    can I have Kombucha tea on the cleanse?
    it sounds refreshing right now…..


  11. Meghan Telpner says:

    mariposagirl- go for it!

  12. cherrybombpie says:

    hi Meg!
    Just to let you know I linked to your post because it inspired me! I shall try drinking it slightly warmed too just for kicks.

  13. renee says:

    Thanks for the idea to add cayenne to the lemon juice + water morning drink. I’ve known for years that it’s a cleansing drink but could never finish a whole glass. I put cayenne in it this morning and I loved it! Yum and thanks!

  14. stacy says:

    three days in a row and counting!

    i actually like the taste of it.

    every now and then i forward some of your posts to my parents, i should just tell them to read you blog everyday but i don’t want to overwhelm them with too much info – parents… delicate creatures! anyhoo – this one caught their attention and apparently seemed like an easy enough effort to make, soooo they too have been enjoying the hot and sour bevie all week.

  15. Marianna says:

    Hi Meghan, I recently found your website and I really like it! Thank you for all the good information.
    I have a few questions about the Lemon Cayenne Water:
    – Can I substitute lemon with lime? What would be the difference nutrition-wise?
    – Is it normal to experience a slight burn feeling at the beginning of my stomach? (I guess is the cayenne)
    – Can I have breakfast after I drink my cleanse cocktail or should I wait?
    – Is it ok to drink it every morning?

    I hope to join the green smoothie cleanse group next time!

    Thank you again.
    Ciao, Marianna

  16. Meghan Telpner says:

    Marianna- I will do my best to answer your questions. I would stick with the lemon. It has a positive effect on the bodie’s pH level and is rich in vitamin C. Unless you have some sort of allergy- lemon is the way to go. A slight burn is okay, however, if it is severe or very painful, it could be an indication of an inflammation or ulcer in the stomach and you should have that checked out (and take a break from the lemon). I would wait about 1/2 hr before having your breakfast. And yes- ok to drink every morning but taking one-two mornings off a week is good, or even doing three weeks on, one week off. Always good to give our body a break from something (and that goes for all food). Happy lemon juicing!

  17. Jen F says:

    I just found your site and have been going through your archives. I read this and decided to give it a try. I actually found I liked it, though it does burn going down. I probably wont drink it every morning, but maybe a couple times a week. Thanks! Loving your blog.

  18. Susheela says:

    Meghan: You rock! I love your website! You have got the greatest tips (though I’ve used and have known many for years, actually ’82ish – God – dating myself with you young things here ;-P

    I’m trying to get through the blogs today, been at it for 2 hours, LOVE the Kale Chip variations! I avoid ALL nightshades and being a potato chip/fry lover, it really satisfies my cravings for those salty things! I know that isn’t the blog for that…just wanted to mention.

    My grandmother who died at 97 in ’79, swore about lemon/water first thing in the morning. I sometimes, in winter, add hot water and stevia for a warm start to the day (live in Alaska).

    Another reason to drink 8 oz of H2O first thing in the AM, which I learned in massage school, you’ve gone 8 hrs without drinking anything, hydration, hydration, hydration as you said!

    I wish I could attend your cleanse this month, just for a break from packing and moving to East Coast (after 33 yr absence) this coming fall. Perhaps next year! Blessings!

  19. Kelly ~ It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds says:

    *SUPER IMPORTANT* Don’t brush your teeth after drinking lemon juice :) Either brush your teeth before or wait for an hour after (to give your mouth a chance to restore its optimal pH level). Lemon juice is acidic and together with toothpaste it’s abrasive on your tooth enamel, which creates permanent damage. Also, after you drink lemon juice rinse your mouth with water a few times to flush away any excess acid.

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