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I am getting detoxed!!!

on February 26, 2012

Coffee and dessert were daily staples of my diet before this detox program.

I’m doing it!! A two-week detox diet. I started it this past Monday, so this is day 7. Halfway through, baby!

No, not the unhealthy cleanses that celebrities allegedly go on to lose weight before a major event, like drinking only cayenne pepper with lemon juice for a week or something of the kind. The program I am following is not low on calories and is nutritionally sound, so I’m not starving myself. But it does require a lot of planning and creativity to get good meals in while eliminating so many food groups for a while!

So why detox? First, we eat too many processed foods with too many additives such as preservatives. We eat meat infused with antibiotics and produce coated with pesticides. A brief detox diet gives our liver a rest so we can flush all that stuff. Second (and this is the main reason I wanted to do this), it’s a great way of finding out whether you have any food sensitivities. So many people report they feel better if they are off gluten, or dairy, or sugar, and I wanted to know if I would be one of them. It’s hard to know just how one kind of food affects me when I have it everyday along with other kinds of foods I also have on a daily basis. I was never really able to figure out if my diet contributes to my occasional migraines for this very reason. Finally (and this goes with the second reason), going cold turkey on those beloved foods for a while can be a great way to get rid of food addictions (such as caffeine and sugar, my own deadly sins).

I have wanted to do something like this for quite some time but it just never seemed like the right time. I think I first was interested in this when I was pregnant, so I couldn’t do it then, and then I was nursing, and then I was busy. Right now seemed like as good time as any. I found a good program at womentowomen.com, which breaks it down into 3 levels (from least restrictive to most restrictive). I decided to go the most restrictive rout and work my way backwards, slowly adding foods back in.

Here’s how it’s been so far, to the best of my memory:
Day 1
My rice “milk”-fruit smoothie (in lieu of my morning cup of coffee) was surprisingly tasty! That was also the only good thing of the day. I tried to eat the same kinds of food I usually eat, only adapted to the plan. That didn’t work. For instance, I usually pack a chicken sandwich for work so this day I packed tapioca bread with chicken and a little green olive tapenade (no gluten, no condiments). It was disgusting. Also, my caffeine withdrawal headache was a killer. I remembered walking through Kroger midway through the day and thinking, “I can’t wait until I can eat all these foods again!” and realizing how funny that was since I was only half-day through this diet. I was also very tired at the end of the day and my head still hurt so I didn’t eat much for dinner. Promised to do better the following days.
Day 2
Decided to let go of trying to make my usual foods “fit” the plan and just go for different kinds of meals. That worked much better. Head still hurt, and still felt pretty tired in the afternoon.
Day 3
Noticed my skin looked clearer. Another day of caffeeine headaches. Still feeling tired.
Day 4
Headache is finally going away, yay! Felt a little less tired. Satisfied sweet cravings with caramelized onions (yummy). Realized I am eating a lot more fruits and veggies on this plan. Love the clean feeling I get after drinking my fruit-and-spinach smoothie. Also noticed that I’ve been sleeping much better (I haven’t had to employ any of the techniques I mentioned in this previous post.)
Day 5
Felt fantastic! No headaches, and plenty of energy. Had the best day at work (very productive and felt like I was doing meaningful work). I am astounded at the fact that I can have this much energy without having any caffeine or sugar pick-me-ups!
Day 6
Still plenty of energy – enough to start the day with a run with friends. This is Saturday so I did take a nap in the afternoon. Started adding foods in, such as high-glycemic fruits.
Day 7
I still feel pretty well and I’m proud of myself for not having sugar for one entire week! I started thinking that I could actually be happy without sugar if it weren’t for all the temptation everywhere. I am also kind of shocked that I’ve not missed my coffee as much as I thought I would. I do plan to go back to coffee after the program is over, but now I’m thinking I may not want to have it every day. I have to say, I think I miss wheat most of all… but even that hasn’t been a big craving. I plan to add dairy and nuts back in the next few days, and will probably add wheat and sugar last. Then I should have a good idea of which foods actually make me tired… I am afraid it might be wheat AND sugar together. Sigh…

So now that I am halfway through this, I can say with some confidence that I recommend it. I have more energy (and natural energy, not the caffeine-sugar-laden energy) and am thinking more clearly. I also suspect that, when I eat sugar again, it will taste so much sweeter to me that I won’t be having as much of it as I used to. Tonight I added tomatoes and had spaghetti for dinner (with ground turkey and rice pasta) — and it did taste sweeter than it did a week ago!

I also wonder if my feeling better has not so much to do with eliminating foods as it does with eating more fruits and vegetables. So I plan to stay invested in eating my share of these once the detox is up. It will be hard to eat as much of them when I am back to eating chips/cookies/cheese, etc, so I will have to be deliberate about this…

Does anyone want to join me in this crazy detox? I tell you, it’s worth it…

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8 responses to “I am getting detoxed!!!

  1. jfabulous43 says:

    This is great! Keep it up!

  2. Great post! I also cut back on caffeine and feel much better.

  3. Amanda says:

    Thanks for sharing! I recently replaced my morning coffee with hot tea–it’s a nice change. I guess it still has caffeine so it wouldn’t work for detox …

    • Hey Amanda – I’ve never been one for hot tea but it seems like it would be a soothing ritual! I like iced tea so maybe I can make the switch sometime. I bet the hot tea is much better for you than coffee…

  4. NickAndrea19 says:

    Lemon water every morning has amazing detox properties, not to mention, alkalinizing your body. Try making that a habit. I did, and now I crave it. In eastern medicine, it is said that you crave what you don’t need when you’re out of balance, and what you do when you’re in balance.

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