I’m A Cleanse Quitter

Photo by hellojenuine

So hey, I quit the cleanse. I’m officially a quitter. And I’m OK with that.

When I quit smoking in 2005, it actually wasn’t that difficult. I was sick as hell for two weeks at the end of the semester, and I figured that if I’d gone that long without smoking (or doing much of anything aside from lying on the couch and watching TV from Netflix), I could stick it out through the holidays. And once I’d made it that long, I was done. I’ll have a cigarette now and then, but I’ve stayed quit.

I reached a similar turning point in this whole cleanse business yesterday. In week two, I added back beans, soy, and seafood. I made several delicious meals. And I felt terrible. Like, really terrible. Canceling plans, not going to yoga, lying on the floor with a heating pad terrible.

Part of this was to be expected. After all, part of cleansing is ridding your body of the bad stuff that has accumulated. But after a week, give or take, of that, I’m ready to throw in the towel. I’m OK with making inconvenient changes. I’m not up for electing to do things that make me very uncomfortable. I mean, other than distance running, but at least in that case, I feel great before feeling really uncomfortable.

So today I’m calling it quits and starting to reintroduce dairy, eggs, meat, and whole grains. I’m going to keep eating hella veg. I’m going to do my best to continue avoiding sugar and processed foods since hello, that’s a good idea anyway. I’m glad I tried it, and am equally glad to be done.

Some thoughts in parting:

  • I’m surprised that the WLAP didn’t include any guidelines on caloric intake. I would wager that most people need more than 200 calories of juice to get started in the morning, especially if you’re used to eating a full breakfast. I struggled the first few days because the recommended meals were so light – if the menu was followed explicitly and with no snacks, you’d be taking in less than 1000 calories.
  • I’m also surprised that the WLAP didn’t emphasize – or even mention – fermented foods, which are very good for you for a variety of reasons. I strongly suspect that one of the reasons I had digestive problems was that I generally have (plain, unsweetened Greek) yogurt every day, and eliminating it from my diet meant eliminating my primary source of beneficial bacteria for 2+ weeks.
  • I am newly infatuated with tahini, miso paste, and Marcona almonds.
  • I have a newfound respect for vegans and other friends with dietary restrictions. It’s really, really hard, and you guys are awesome for making it work by choice or by necessity.
  • Here is some green juice:
    Day 7: Green juice

On Cleansing

May is all about getting my shit in order after six months of chaos. Between job hunting, moving, moving, teaching, job hunting, leaving my job, moving, moving, starting a new job, and other things that I will talk about eventually, my day-to-day life has lost all sense of order. An important part of fixing this is getting my diet in order – and getting my ass back in the kitchen after months and months and months of not cooking.

The Whole Living Action Plan seemed like a good way to kill a few birds with one stone: get my food stuff under control, eliminate foods that might be causing me trouble anyway, and help my body bounce back from a few months of abuse. I started on Monday, and will continue with it for two more weeks.

Biscuits & Gravy
Everything in this photo is forbidden. Including the silverware.

Week One (right now): no dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, animal fats, beans, soy, grains, gluten, processed food or beverages, or added sugar. I’m also not supposed to be having caffeine or alcohol, oops, so I’m enjoying the latter in moderation, and the former at the normal rate of consumption.
Week Two: add back seafood, beans, lentils and soy.
Week Three: eggs and gluten-free grains, yum.

Some observations thus far:

  • Juicing is fun! And noisy! And messy! This week’s breakfasts are all about juice, and I’m very thankful for Steph‘s loan of her beast of a juicer. I’ve had carrot-grapefruit, beet-carrot-apple, and carrot-grapefruit-ginger. Tomorrow’s juice might involve mangoes.
  • Monday night I was so grumpy and hungry that I nearly started crying at Home Depot while trying to find the right bolts to mount my new Illinois license plates.
  • Man, I really don’t like drinking water. And I really need to drink a lot of water or else I get headachey and dizzy and my contacts start behaving weirdly.
  • The monstrous headaches from Tuesday and Wednesday have finally subsided – only to be replaced by terrible abdominal cramping, which may be due to the cleanse, or may be due to the questionable avocado I ate Wednesday night after walking my bike 3 miles home after getting a flat on my first ride out of my neighborhood.
  • When I weighed myself yesterday morning, the scale claimed that I’d lost 7 pounds since Sunday. That isn’t actually physically possible, and is a good lesson in why you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. Today showed a much more reasonable 4 pounds, most of which is probably water weight from pre and post-race carbs.
  • If you eat a lot of beets, your pee might turn pink. Apparently this is less common than I realized.
  • I appreciate that the meals were built around produce that is readily available in the winter – citrus, root veg, and dark greens – though I think the menu would be more fun in the summer.
  • I feel like a giant pain whenever I try to order something at a restaurant. Next week should be easier.
  • Running has been OK but not great. I had to walk a little on Wednesday, but was fine this morning. I couldn’t do this while training, which is another reason it’s perfect for May.

Foods I have been craving like nobody’s business:

  • Ice cream, but that’s pretty normal.
  • Cheeseburgers.
  • Pizza, especially after reading this post.

Five days (almost) down, sixteen to go. And then maybe I need to see a man about one of those burgers at Kuma’s Corner.

14 November 2008

So yesterday I talked about the morning routine.  Today I’ll hit the opposing part of the day.  I’ve read that the close of your day should be peaceful and devoid of electronics so that you can relax into sleep.  I’ve also heard that you shouldn’t eat after 7, or that perhaps you should eat a small snack of something that has slow-digesting protein to keep your body from going into starvation mode (??) overnight.  I’ve heard a lot of things, but that’s never helped me get into a nighttime routine.  A few snapshots of evening routines:

2003: In an attempt to write more, I keep a journal and write in it before bed after brushing my teeth and taking out my contacts.  I don’t remember when bedtime usually rolled around, but Nate had to get up really early, so it seems like it would’ve been around 10.  Two pillows, as little light as possible.

2003-4: Somehow working at the bank + dating a grad student wipes me out.  Hang out with Shawn until I’m about to pass out, then brush teeth, take out contacts, and frequently crawl into bed in my work clothes.  If I’m sleeping alone, curtains are open so that I can wake up with daylight.  If I’m not, curtains tightly closed, and I fall asleep while Shawn reads.

Fall 2004: Work until 11:30 many nights, then go out with coworkers.  Close out the bars, then come home and have toast with Boursin or hummus to prevent a hangover (and also, I would learn, induce WEIRD dreams), brush teeth, take out contacts, and crashhhhhhh.

2005:  Reading for school.  All the time.  And then I fall asleep.  Or I sit up late chatting online, and THEN fall asleep.  Oh, and also I brush my teeth and take out my contacts.  Most of the time.

Early 2006: Stay up late with SB and occasionally with Basil being a romance liability.  Also teeth brushing and contact removal occurs.

2006-8: Stay up until I want to fall over.  Brush, floss and put on moisturizer when I’m good, take out contacts, take vitamin, put in night guard (that I HATE OMG).  SB tucks me in, and he often stays up reading or playing video games.  I apparently twitch or wiggle while falling asleep.


the ides of march. beware the ides of march

today is friday. blessed friday. time to go home, to go enjoy the freedom of two days, freedom of the weekend. why is it that at 22 this is my only freedom? why is it that my life is chained to my desk, that my week revolves around answering the phone? why am i not out having adventures and meeting exciting people and doing amazing things?

i don’t know how i feel about being in the work force. i’m so not ready to be a grown up. i want to have the freedom to pierce my nose and dye my hair blue and dress however i want (not wear socks, mainly) and just be a kid, i guess. the stability and routine of a full time job are appealing – but in the end, not very satisfying. i hate that i have to plan weeks in advance to go see friends or have a manicure because i have to schedule a day off. i hate that i only get 6 free sick days during the year – and if i have to take a day off beyond my 6 sick/personal days, it counts against me. i hate it! i need a job i can be passionate about – and unfortunately, there are all too few of those. i don’t want to spend my life in dead-end jobs, doing things that i hate to get by. my friend said “it’s not my career so i don’t give a shit” – that’s my current job in a nutshell. i do what needs to be done so i can go home at the end of the day and not get in trouble.

this malaise is coming at the same time that i got email from a friend that just met the boys – she went to some radio interview and got to hang out with them for a little while – so she’s all agog about them – and i’m super jealous! also i’ve been listening to NIN almost non-stop – trent is my new pin-up – to feel that strongly – even if it’s a negative emotion – that is what it means to be alive. i just feel like i have no passion – no drive – and the things that i do and feel are just pale imitations of greater things that i could be doing. i am so frustrated by my own inactivity – and by the petty things that drive the people around me.

i’ve gotta get out of this funk. thank god for the weekend.

e, over and out