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.

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