Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Detox Follow-up

We made it through the detox. It ended rather anti-climacticaly. I don't know how, but I completely misread the rules of the experiment.

I thought that after a minimum of ten days, you reintroduced a single prohibited ingredient (sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine) and then a week later introduced another one and so on. Similarly to the way you introduce new foods to a baby. Maybe I had babies on the brain because on day 10, while I was retreading the detox chapter of The Daniel Plan to see whether it specified the order you reintroduce foods, I realized that it said nothing of the sort!

The closest it comes is telling you that if you are feeling better after the detox, you might want to wait a couple days in between sugar, dairy, and gluten so that if your symptoms come back, you'll know which food was causing the problem. 

I admitted my mistake to Peter and we both looked at each other and sort of shrugged and said, "Huh. I guess we're done now."

So what, if anything, did I get from the detox? Well, a whole renewed appreciation for sugar. My sugar habit is unbroken, but it is more realistic. When I didn't have any sugars other than fruits, I began to realize how sweet food can taste when it's not overwhelmed by added sweeteners. I always thought that blueberries were bitter, but that's only in comparison to ice cream and soda. I'm not totally reformed, but I am changing. I still add flavored creamers to my coffee, but I don't add any extra sugar.

I'm also realizing that I use too much cheese and wheat in my cooking. There are a lot of foods that I add cheese to out of habit. Once I take the cheese out, I can't even taste the difference. Cheese is awesome but there's no reason to waste it. 

Finally, I realized that I can give these foods up. I can live without sugar, wheat, milk, or caffeine. And it's in that knowledge that I feel comfortable saying, I choose not to. This detox wasn't fun. We ate. We ate sad, boring meals that nourished our bodies but no one got especially excited about, but that's not the way I want to live. I could live that way, just like I could unplug my TV or give up high heels. I see the advantages of those lifestyles, I don't judge anyone else for adopting such restrictions, but I myself choose the freedom to wear fun clothes, watch silly programs, and eat yummy food.

This was a rewarding experiment and I am happy to say that it is done.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This…

Photo by J-rod J
Yesterday was the fourth day of our Daniel Plan Detox. It was also the first day I didn't have a constant headache. I didn't even nap. I think the worst of my withdrawal symptoms are over. 

In fact, I feel like I'm beginning to adjust to my new diet. Or rather, I should say, I think my body is adjusting to the new diet. After a few ounces of fruit juice (the only sugar left in my diet), I was absolutely hyper! I acted like my 3-year-old did on the few times I shared a soda with her. I caught myself literally jumping around the kitchen while doing the dishes. 

I don't want to give the impression that I have completely adapted to this diet. In fact, I'm a little frustrated because I feel like I'm really missing the spirit of the detox. I may have cut drinks with added sweetners, but I'm still drinking 100% juice at nearly every meal. It's as though I've replaced one unhealthy addiction with a slightly healthier addiction. Grape juice is the methadone to my Coke Zero heroine. 

And dairy! I miss you, dairy! Baby, please come home! Yesterday I caught myself walking past the cheese display at HEB and wondering if any studies had found a correlation between lactose-free diets and suicidal tendencies. 

I'm eating practically nonstop. Since it isn't getting what it really wants, my brain never seems to be satisfied and keeps telling me that I'm starving. But so far, I haven't gained any weight. If I ever got used to this lifestyle, I might actually lose weight. But I don't see that happening any time soon. 

With the Daniel Plan detox, you give everything up for at least 10 days (but ideally many more days) and then add prohibited ingredients back once a week after that. I'm counting down the bare minimum number of days until I get to add back my first ingredient. (Five, by the way. Five more days.) After doing this for five days so far, I realize that I could live this way if I had to, but I can't imagine ever enjoying it, so I don't believe I'll continue this diet after the detox is complete.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cheers to the New Year!

This week Peter and I started a detox—no sugar, no caffeine, no dairy, no gluten…no reason to live. Yesterday was our second day and I genuinely felt like I've had the flu for the last 48 hours. Last night was New Year's Eve and around 9:30 I rolled my sad body into the kitchen to pour us some celebratory glasses of 100% grape juice and then impatiently waited until 10 so that we could ring in fake midnight and fall asleep. 

We're doing this because we've started reading Pastor Rick Warren's new book, "The Daniel Plan" and this detox is part of the program. I'll admit that I'm skeptical of a diet book written by a pastor, but on the other hand, I've never read anything of Pastor Warren's that I didn't like. So I'm giving it a chance.

Even before the book was released, I began to realize that I ought to do something like this. While a friend of mine was telling me of her plans to go off sugar after the holidays, I found myself thinking that her plan sounded like madness and that I couldn't imagine going even a week without sugar. A few days later (I'm really pretty slow at processing these things), it occurred to me that the very fact that I couldn't imagine giving up sugar was itself evidence that I needed to.

I don't like this detox. I miss sugar and I really miss caffeine. I napped for 90 minutes yesterday and still couldn't get of the couch after 7 pm. (I also miss dairy, but I apparently don't have a chemical dependency to it. Gluten, it seems is not that hard to give up. Sorry, gluten. Nobody cares.) I don't like this detox, but I'm going through with it anyway. And Peter's going through with it, too, so at least we'e miserable together.