Last month, I did a two-week detox to remove sugar and candida from my body. After a hectic summer full of "busy" and on-the-go eating (read: bad choices) and some laziness in my diet discipline, I felt like I could use a good reset. You might remember I did a detox earlier this year for the Resolution Challenge. I thought I'd be a pro after that and that this time would be a breeze. Turns out I couldn't have been further from the truth!
Quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever done.
This detox was so much stricter than the first; because we were weaning off of sugar, I couldn't even have apples or berries, which are among the fruits with the lowest amounts of fructose! I had a lot of tomatoes, avocados, bell peppers, and greens of every kind.
The first few days were really difficult. They say the body craves what it's just had, so coming off of a summer of indulgences meant my body was only thinking of all the things I couldn't have. After the initial hump, I thought I'd be fine. Meal-wise, I was. It wasn't that I didn't like what I was eating. In fact, I discovered Alvarez Organic Farms' booth at the Ballard Farmers Market because of it. Thanks to the Alvarez family I will never look at cherry tomatoes the same again. Seriously, their tomatoes taste like candy. They were my 'candy' / treat during my detox!
The true battle for the rest of the detox was the one I fought with myself, in my mind at every moment. It was so revealing to realize how much food played (plays) a part in so much of my typical days, and in my interactions with people. Family parties. Coffee coworking dates. Client meetings. Catching up with friends. I've never had major allergies or diet restrictions that kept me from ordering whatever my heart or eyes desired. Until the detox, I'd never had to think so carefully about what I consumed. What a wake-up call for me. Thoughts about food utterly consumed me during the rest of the detox, even if I didn't want it! I knew I didn't need most of it, but the act - the experience around consuming food - was what was getting to me.
I reached the end of those two weeks like crawling on all fours to the finish line - I felt like I didn't even know my real life anymore, but I was there and I did it. I lost about 6 pounds but looked like I'd lost even more than that. Weight loss wasn't what it was about for me, so even though I felt better and lighter, I knew I needed to put a little bit of that back on to feel 100% again. I like my curves! More than that, I learned loads about myself, about discipline and commitment. What are some of my favorite lessons learned, you ask? Well...
Make sure you have supervision!
I know detoxes (especially this one) might sound like your idea of personal hell. I don't blame you, it kinda is! As nutty as it might sound, I absolutely recommend doing a detox once or twice a year to help get you back on that healthy eating track. I know there's a whole industry around juice, powder and pill cleanses out there, but I steer clear of any of that. All of it seems like a 'quick fix' before you're right back to eating like caca again. This has always been a conscious lifestyle choice for me, and because of that, superfood cleanses and detoxes are the only ones I'll take part in. I wouldn't recommend doing something like this alone, off of a program you found off the internet. We're talking specifically about nutrients that go into your body. I felt feverish the first time around, and was noticeably weaker during both detoxes. You gotta pay attention to your body, and have someone you trust you can talk to and know that what you're experiencing is normal.
Don't listen to the haters.
This is pretty much advice for life, but it especially rings true during a detox. Even the most understanding, supportive and sympathetic of friends will try to get you to "not be so hard on yourself" or tell you that you "deserve" that happy hour cocktail. Nah girl. I deserve the healthiest body and mind I can possibly make for myself. It's going to be so hard, but no matter what, you can't listen to anyone or anything that tries to deter you from your detox. Your mind is already full of excuses trying to tempt you to quit - you don't need their excuses weighing in on you too.
You have to want it more than anything else.
Commitment is the true name of the game with detoxing. Temptation will be awaiting you around every single corner, and you'll have to flex your mind muscles harder than ever to remind yourself that you don't need that. That you came this far and have just a little longer to go. That one donut isn't worth ruining days worth of hard work. Just because it's there, doesn't mean you have to consume it. You are stronger than that. You can do it!