Well, for sure MY experience with the MC won't be the same as YOUR experience, but I'll answer your Qs and give you what insight I can!
I stayed on it for 10 days. My intention was for the minimum, so to me, it's no surprise that that's exactly how long it lasted. I ended it because I was doing sort of a bastardized version of it, and also because I began to feel that I needed separate specific attention on the colon and parasites. I'll be revisiting the MC sometime again before the end of the year.
I did a bastardized version because I was hypoglycemic when I began it - so it was VERY tough the first 1/2 day, until Wrenn saved my life by pointing out the instructions for diabetics. Thereafter, I used molasses, gradually phasing it into full maple syrup, and also threw about 1T of whey protein (not mucus producing) for every 6 glasses (1 batch - I made 2 batches/day)
I did not go through a lot of discomfort, but many others have. You very well could experience more detoxing than you expect to, especially if you are a smoker, a drinker, heavily into sugar or carbs or caffeine.
I didn't find it challenging, but I DID find it TREMENDOUSLY worthwhile! And I'm looking forward to doing it again, for a longer period perhaps next time.
As for recipes - I'm still trying a lot out. I found a bunch on the net, plus I've had Marilyn Diamond's vegetarian cookbook for years, but only NOW have started to use it regularly. When you get through the cleanse, come find me and I'll be able to give you some more definitively, as I continue to explore and learn more about what is easy and yummy etc.
I am posting one for my salad dressing that is KICK BUTT, and I'll be doing that under a separate thread probably titled something cryptic like SALAD DRESSING!