Days 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16: The Days of Blog Neglect


As you may have noticed, I've fallen off the "blog every day of the detox" wagon.  Oops, my bad.  In the beginning it was fun because each day came with different realizations, feelings and observations.  But as the days wore on, I really didn't have much to share other than more cooking woes and more exclamations of how good I'm feeling.  That, and I got totally hooked on a super-cheesy television drama (marathon style) that has been keeping me up way too late these past few nights and therefore making me feel not so good in the mornings.  Lesson learned, or, learning...  

I was never one of those people who needed 8 hours of sleep each night, until, that is, I started getting 9 hours per night.  Oh my goodness, it's like a whole new world.  Life just feels easier on 9 hours of sleep.  Now that I'm staying up until midnight (again) watching episode after episode of what is pretty much a prime-time soap opera, I am really feelin' the weight of low sleep on my body and mind.  Up until day 12, I was getting between 8-9 of sleep per night, and now I'm getting 6-7.  So that's a goal of mine by Monday, which will be day 19: get back to healthy sleep patterns, and detox from late-night television marathons.  

Other than the sleep issue, things in detox land are great.  Still kinda over the copious amounts of cooking and prep that are necessary for success, but in the end it's a small gripe considering the rewards of feeling good and eating foods that I know are better for my body.  The end of the detox is within sight, and I'm both excited and nervous for life on the other side.  Do I want a piece of pizza?  Yes.  Am I going to have a piece of pizza sometime in the near future?  Probably.  But as far as wheat goes, that's really all I want.  Everything else can fall by the wayside and I'll be fine.  And for sugar, I'm kinda craving an ice cream cone, but other than that, I'm good with dark chocolate, berries, and fresh whipped cream. Oh! and wine!

So that's what's doin' on day 16.  It's Friday- the day that I'm usually kinda antsy and wanting to go out- but tonight I'm looking forward to leftover spaghetti squash and more episodes of my show, which I've affectionately named "the show so bad that it's good".  Hope you have an equally exciting Friday night!  I'm officially back on the wagon, so stay tuned and walk with me as I cross the detox finish line next Wednesday.  !!!

Days Ten & Eleven: Over the Hump


Well, it's official -- I am more than halfway through the detox.  While I'm definitely looking forward to certain things, like berries, wine, and maybe a tortilla chip or two, I'm not dying to be done with this process.  It's funny because what I'm finding to be the most difficult part of this process is actually what I'm loving most about it: mindfulness.  This detox has been an exercise in self-awareness and being mindful of what I'm eating, why I'm eating it, and how it makes me feel.  It's kind of a pain is the arse to think so much about everything I eat (including shopping for it, prepping it, and cooking it), but it makes me realize how mindless my eating used to be. No bueno. 

I spent a lot of time this weekend reading The Paleo Solution, and thinking about my priorities for life after February 15 (the final day of the detox).  Based on everything I've read recently, and based on how I'm feeling, I have at least two priorities for post-detox life: cutting gluten out of my life, and getting plenty of sleep every night, not just on weekends.  Wanna know what "plenty of sleep" looks like?  It looks like me rising naturally at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, rested and ready to go.  I used to view sleep as something that interfered with life (like a kid almost, "oh man, I have to go to bed??") , and now I'm realizing that plentiful sleep enhances life, and health (Ah man, I get to go to bed!").  Sleep is my new tortilla chip.

Well, speaking of sleep, it's about that time.  I had planned on re-capping the events and meals of weekend, but frankly, I'm being seduced by the thought of sleep.  So, here's the weekend in a nutshell: read, showed apartment to potential tenant, watched 90210, went grocery shopping, read, made dinner (big salad), watched "The Help", slept, read, showed apartment to potential tenant, prepped and cooked food for the week, cleaned the house, did laundry, read, made dinner (tacos in lettuce shells), watched a few commercials during the Super Bowl, blogged, went to bed.

 All in all, a great "hump" weekend.  It's all downhill from here.  Happy hump, y'all.

Day 9: I Need a Break


It's actually Day 10 as I write this, but as the title implies, I needed a break last night.  As it turns out, Friday nights on this detox are the toughest for me.  Friday nights are all about cutting loose and celebrating the end of another work week and the beginning of the weekend.  We often go out on Friday nights, eat whatever the hell we want, and toast the end of the week with drinks.  But now, while in detox-land, Friday night is just like any other night: come home, cook, wash dishes, go to bed.  

I just couldn't do it last night.  I had to find a way to mix up the monotony and "celebrate" Friday as I usually do.  So, rather than cook like I had planned, we scrounged up enough leftovers in the fridge for two plates of dinner and then had date night on the couch watching a movie.  I can't tell you how much I needed that night off from cooking!  That was my way of cutting loose and celebrating the end of the week.  Totally wild, I know.

Other than needing a break, day nine was pretty uneventful.  The box of donuts was still on the kitchen table at work in the morning, with a measly 1/2 donut still in the box (who the hell leaves 1/2 donut in the box??).  Thankfully my fellow detoxer L went right ahead and threw that box in the trash.  Later in the day, L announced that she was down a belt notch!  This was the first real physical change that any of us had noticed, and was a nice nudge of encouragement to keep eating bacon, butter and coconut oil.  

After work, while the rest of the east coast was heading to happy hour, I headed to Barnes and Noble to buy myself a Friday treat.  As I mentioned in my first detox post, this 21 day cleanse I'm on is based on the paleo way of eating.  I'm not interested in doing the work of eliminating sugar and grains for 21 days and then eating cake, pizza and pasta on day 22.  I'm interested in learning more about the paleo lifestyle and incorporating some of these detox habits into my everyday life.  I'm not one to give up anything 100% of the time (no dairy? no thank you!), but I can certainly make a conscious effort to decrease my intake of certain foods in the name of good health.  So, after doing some preliminary research, I decided to buy a book called The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.  I'm about 35 pages in and am already totally smitten with his science-y yet funny style of conveying information.  Can't wait to devour this book and implement some long-term changes.

The only other noteworthy part of yesterday was a dinnertime observation: my appetite has decreased.  I used to have snack-attacks like nobody's business.  Goldfish crackers in the morning, something sweet in the afternoon, tortilla chips before dinner, and so on.  And then on top of it, my meal portions were fairly sizable and I would always clear my plate.  Now, I have one snack, usually nuts or nut-flour crackers, and my three meals.  I'm finding that I can no longer clear my dinner plate if it's the same sized portion as I usually have.  Last night, I could only get through half a plate of leftover spaghetti squash before I had to call it quits.  I'm just not as hungry as I used be.  I think it has a lot to do with replacing all of those empty calories and grains with plenty of good fat, protein and veggies.  I'm satisfied, plain and simple, and it feels great.

Rather than sign off and head to bed, I'm gonna sign off and start day 10 with a round of  egg muffins.  I'll check back in at the end of day 10 and will report from the official halfway point.  No turning back now! 

Day Eight: The Donut Test


Every first Thursday of the month, at about 12:00 noon, a half-eaten box of Entemann's chocolate frosted donuts appears on the kitchen table at work.  Whenever food is left on the kitchen table, it means "help yourself", and "please eat these or they're going in the trash".  Not wanting to see food go to waste (yeah, that's it), I always grab one and quickly eat it before I change my mind.  It's never as good as I imagine it's going to be, but still, there's something to be said for the allure of, and the high of eating a chocolate donut on a random Thursday afternoon.  Right?

Well, today was my first ultimate test: me vs. the donut.  I walked by the kitchen this afternoon and saw the familiar white box with blue lettering, and instantly felt drawn to it.  I peeked into the box, found the donut with my name on it, and said, "hello, old friend", and walked away.  Even though I was salivating and shaking my head as I walked away, I also felt empowered by my choice.  I have to keep remembering that this is all by choice, and that if I truly wanted a chocolate donut, I would have a chocolate donut.    

Other than the donut episode, it was a standard issue day.  Egg muffins for breakfast, tomato, basil and mozzarella with grilled chicken for lunch, and stir-fry leftovers for dinner.  I felt tired after work and would have liked to watch a movie or send some time reading, but I had to do the "C" word - cook.  I roasted a chicken and some asparagus, and made a batch of cauli-mash, which will be my lunch for the next few days.  Pretty bangin' lunch if you ask me.

I'm definitely feeling grumpy and tired tonight, and in need of a good night's sleep.  I think the donut test wore me out, even though I won.  I also think I'm just over the work week, and ready to have some "me time".  You know what else I'm over?  Cooking.  Oh how I wish I could just order takeout and have a detox-friendly meal delivered to my doorstep.  Or a pizza.  Mmmm, pizza.  Ok, now I'm tired, grumpy, and craving pizza.  It is officially bed time.  

Nighty-night friends.  See you on day wine, I mean nine ;)

Day Seven: One Week!


I'm gonna make this quick, because I've got a celebratory bath waiting for me.  One week - woo!  It's been an interesting, challenging and insightful first week on the 21 Day Sugar Detox, and I'm better for it.  From where I stand now, it seems the hardest part is behind me (initial cravings) and now it's all about maintenance and finding creative ways to make it work.  Knock on wood, right?

I splurged again tonight after work with grain-free crackers and guacamole (so super YUM), and then we made a stir-fry with chicken and tons of veggies.  And now for dessert, a lavender vanilla bath followed by a deep sleep.

I think the biggest impact of this detox so far is my increased energy level.  I used to come home from work and crash for a few hours before I could think about cooking dinner.  I had just enough energy to get through my work day but not much else.  Now, I'm noticing that things are different; I wake up feeling rested, I'm not rushing nearly as much in the morning, my energy feels stable and consistent throughout the day, and I no longer crash after work.  It's a beautiful thing.

Ok, enough chat - time to get my soak on!