Twenty Eight days ago, I decided to embark on a somewhat terrifying journey. I committed myself to a month-long detox which included eliminating caffeine, refined sugar, gluten, alcohol, dairy, soy and corn. Essentially, I very abruptly cut out foods from my life that reliably brought me comfort and pleasure. No Starbucks. No cheesecake. No nothing (insert frown face).
I swear, I am not a masochist.
The point of this detox was to start to rid my body of toxins and to see how I would feel once I stopped ingesting these addictive, inflammatory foods. Although I was doing this for all the right reasons (my health, my wellbeing, yada yada yada…) I couldn’t help but feel that I would somehow be depriving myself….
The first week was definitely a challenge. I immersed myself in menu planning and snack preparation, hoping desperately that focusing on the detox would act as a distraction from everything I was missing out on. I had to change many aspects of my daily routine. Gone were the days of morning coffee with my colleague. My 9pm ritual of sitting on the couch eating ice cream directly from the container was a fond but distant memory.
For the first few days, I had a horrible headache, felt quite lethargic and was pretty irritable. I chalk these symptoms up to caffeine withdrawal. Giving up coffee was tough; the smell of it, the taste of it, the social aspect of it.
But I have to say, since I broke-up with coffee four weeks ago, I have never felt better.
No more headaches, no more feeling dehydrated. And while on this journey, I met a new lover who goes by the name of David’s Tea. Who knew tea could make a person so happy! My Nespresso machine has been gathering dust over the past month, but I have put plenty of mileage on my new tea steeper.
By the end of the first week, I felt amazing. I began to focus less on what I couldn’t eat and focused more on how wonderful I felt. No more bloating, no more cramps, no more headaches. My body felt invigorated. I never felt physically hungry, but I won’t lie, there were days I was mentally hungry. My mind wanted the cheesecake. But I simply reached for a cup of tea instead. And although tea is no substitute for cheesecake, simply being aware of my emotional craving, acknowledging it and then moving on from it seemed to work for me.
Although there were tons of benefits to this detox, inevitably, there were drawbacks as well. I never realized how much my social life revolved around food and restaurants. The detox caused me to become somewhat of a hermit this month.
I may have saved some money by eating-in but desperately missed the enthralling conversation that accompanies a great glass of wine and a delicious meal.
Also, my meals over the past 28 days have been pretty limiting. As a result, my inner cook is feeling a bit stunted.
As this detox journey comes to a close, I have learned that I am stronger willed than I have ever given myself credit for. I have gained a new awareness and appreciation for what I choose to put in my body. Listen, I’m not gonna lie and tell you I’ll never indulge again, cause that would be ridiculous. After all, a detox can’t last forever! But I will be more cognizant of what I am eating and why I am eating it.
A special shout-out goes out to my wonderful husband who supported me and cheered me on, never once complaining about the ridiculously healthy dinners I made each night. Now I’m off to enjoy me some tea!