I decided on a whim (which is pretty much how I decide everything...big/small; major or minor decisions etc) after receiving the new Whole Living Magazine a few weeks ago to undertake their new 2012 commitment for Healthy/Clean eating and detoxing. I was also so moved by my gal Leslie's blog www.momontherocks.com and her commitment to an ENTIRE year of clean eating, that I thought...."Well, hell, I could stand to lose a few pounds. And I could stand to as they put it, "give my liver a VACAY". " Sure, why not. My liver could use a vacay. And while I'm on it the rest of me could too. But, well, if my liver is the only part of me that gets a vacation, then so be it.
Basically, this Whole Living Challenge (which you can find on their website www.wholeliving.com) takes you through 21 days of: NO Caffeine, NO dairy, NO meat, NO gluten, NO alcohol, NO added sugars, NO processed anything. I looked at the menus and thought, "Ohhhhhkay. I can totally do this. We eat relatively clean anyways. Every once in a while we have a snack that isn't the greatest. My guilty pleasure is a bleu cheese burger with fried onions on top and a nice cold beer. Yes on the fries ( I HATE people who eat burgers and then try and get all healthy and want "fruit on the side". What? You think you're going to be all healthy after that quarter pound monster that's sitting in the pit of your belly trying to digest for the next 4 days? Puhleeez. Keep it real people.
However....however. I did NOT anticipate how labor intensive this cleanse is. Made even more difficult by the fact that John has decided to be "supportive" and has decided to do this with me. By supportive I mean he is eating lunches and dinners that I have spent an exorbitant amount of time searching out ingredients for, chopping, and preparing, and cleaning up after. I am surprised that he has almost fully engaged though, because at the beginning he was all like, "Well, I can do everything except no caffeine. I can't work without it". But, he has quit the caffeine, and he's doing fine. Now he's trying to bastardize his dinners. He wants to do the cleanse for 2/3's of the day and I told him he was a quitter. Of course, he would never have brought it up if I wasn't damn near tears last night cursing my cauliflower and olive meal and saying how much I want to quit and how much I hate this.
I also did not anticipate the fact that apparently Day 3 of the cleanse is close to the worst day of your life. That's when the headache kicks in. That's when you're standing in front of the pantry taking in obligatory free smells from the box of spaghetti and lamenting your loss of morning coffee time. I swear to God and all that is Holy that last night I had dreams about fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate. I woke up really hungry and "eagerly" made my beet, mint, and apple smoothie for my cleansing breakfast. On day 3, I remember thinking as I was driving to work that if I died in a horrible car crash, right now, today at this very second, I would not have died happy. All I wanted was a candy bar. Or a cookie.
Yet, I have stuck with it, and am now nearing the end of day 5. No headache. No real hunger pains. I believe my chocolate dreams and feeling of deprivation stem from the fact that I may be harboring some serious food addictions. I'm even anticipating week 2 of the cleanse, when I get to add lean meats (fish) and beans into my diet, along with some tofu and edamame (soy proteins). John was gearing up for a different non-cleanse dinner ("happily" eating his roasted beet and garlic soup) when I told him I have lost FOUR POUNDS since Monday, and so I am sticking to it. He admitted he has lost FIVE POUNDS, but doesn't think it's legitimate. He thinks he weighed heavy with clothes on Monday, so maybe he has lost 3 pounds. We've also decided there's no way it's water weight. You have to drink a shit-ton of water on this cleanse, and to be honest, you're really not hungry, so you're not starving the pounds away.
Whatever he has lost, or whatever I have lost, it doesn't matter, I guess. Aside from giving our livers a "much needed vacay" we have learned a few things. Number one for him is that he always thought he needed meat to be filled up and give him a boost. This vegan veggie and fruit first week has proven otherwise, and he has been surprised that he hasn't been hungry.
I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary keeping track of my feelings about food, but I don't need to do that to learn that food is such a focal point in our daily living activities, whether it be for health or social reasons. Food is not a big priority in my daily life, but when I am deprived of my "favorites", it's easy to see how I start focusing on what I'm lacking.
So I guess we're bettering ourselves and our outlook, and of course our livers. I will caveat this by saying we are planning on this cleanse lasting only 19 days, as we're planning on taking a weekend ski trip for our Christmas present to each other. This cleanse won't cut it on the slopes. Until then though, I am going to try really hard to stick to it. It's no coincidence that in my 2 Yoga classes this week the focus was doing a lot of "cleansing' twists to help the digestive system. I feel like that is a higher power and serendipity telling me to keep going.
Not to mention that come January 19th I'm already looking forward to that celebratory glass of wine.....