One week ago today, I started a "cleanse" for my body. Yeah, yeah, it sounds new-age-y, and it kind of is, but I thought it would be good for me. I heard about it here, and since I love Dooce and think she's the coolest, I thought - why not? I went to Borders with Whitters to get the book Quantum Wellness, and started reading to get to the cleanse instructions. It also had recipes* with obscure ingredients that met the restraints. Here's what The Cleanse entailed - for 21 days I could not consume the following:
Animal products (no milk, eggs or CHEESE)
If you read that, and think "what the hell is left?" well, then, you're right. I could eat:
Try it for ONE day. It sucks. SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. But I stuck to it. It is impossible to find foods that are easy to make that do not have either eggs or gluten (found in wheat) in them. I'm lucky I'm not a lactose intolerant with Celiac's disease, but man, at least then I could eat sugar. And drink coffee. And drink wine until I forgot about everything I couldn't have.
Regardless, I stayed on my journey. My lack-of-caffeine headache went away, but I felt hungry at all times. I also started to not feel so great, and got front headaches, but I thought it was my body "detoxing." WRONG. On my day four, I read this. Oh, cool, I just shocked my system so my immune system is shutting down. To retaliate, Grant and I went out to eat and I had CHICKEN. Tasty, tasty meat. With mashed potatoes that had better had some animal product mixed in them.
I'm still trying to keep part of it up. I haven't had coffee or alcohol in 8 days. I try to follow the cleanse guidelines for breakfast and lunch, and then I have a regular meal with Grant, but we're cutting down on meat (for health and cost reasons). I made some great discoveries of foods I would have NEVER tried otherwise. For breakfast, I found this hot cereal, Rice & Shine, made from brown rice, and it is so so good with some soy milk, agave nectar and blackberries or blueberries from the farmer's market. I also had some really great toaster waffles that were both gluten and dairy-free, that I covered with agave nectar and fresh fruit. Instead of coffee, I drank orange juice and water. For lunch, I had steamed veggies and cold peanut sesame noodles. For dinner, I made a great black bean, tomato, rice and avocado meal with cilantro that I will eat again and again. Grant grilled me veggies and mushrooms. It was possible, just not enjoyable.
Trust me on this - never try gluten-free and dairy-free bread made from brown rice. The entire loaf went directly in the trash can once I tried one bite (and made Grant try it to validate me). Bread should always be made from wheat and eggs. ALWAYS.
I have eaten almost everything we bought at the farmer's market. In 13 days, I fully plan on having a glass of red wine with a fabulous dinner. I drank a whole lot more water because I was not drinking coffee, and because food was so restricted. I still am, and I can see a difference in my complexion and skin. So that's cool. And, you know, probably a good thing since we're about to lose some Starbucks. Now I just have to figure out where I can still get my Sunday NY Times...
*It was only after I quit the cleanse (or at least Kathy's version) that I realized she had included IN HER BOOK recipes and meal plans that included ingredients with sugar and gluten. I spent two hours at Whole Foods trying to find items that I could eat - like veggie burgers (have diary) and soy sausage (has gluten). Do some research. Gah.