"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
It’s inevitable for me. Best laid plans seem to need a reboot every few months/years. This healthy eating thing I try to do? It’s gone downhill a bit. Sure, I’m still on the gluten-free bandwagon. But that’s not to say that I still don’t find other sources of junk food to indulge in.
I was telling J about a 10-day cleanse that I did to kick off going gluten-free two years ago and he was all for doing the cleanse with me, this time to kick start our summer of healthy eating. The cleanse regimen called for a very limited diet of meat proteins, nuts, and nutrient-rich vegetables. That’s it. No sugars, no fruits (because of the sugars), no starchy veggies, no dairy, no grains, no simple carbs.
It wasn’t so bad until the second or third day when our energy plummeted. Our bodies were used to getting fast energy from simple carbs and now were having to work hard to turn those complex veggie carbs into energy. We crashed hard. It’s humbling to realize you have a sugar addiction even when you don’t really have a sweet tooth. We were plagued with headaches, tiredness, and a bit of grumpiness for a few days before our bodies adjusted to the new diet. And just like that we adapted, a testament to the amazing human body. Our energy level spiked, we felt healthy and strong. We weren’t even working out much during the cleanse. Between planning a wedding, buying a home, volunteering, and teaching yoga classes, I felt like there was enough going on to keep us active while our bodies adjusted.
Our cleanse ended yesterday – but I’m not so sure I’m done yet. I’ll slowly reintroduce some foods back into my diet now. Goodness knows I’m ready to indulge in some of the great summer fruits that will be harvested here in Washington soon (think raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries). And I’ve missed my quinoa, brown rice, black beans and the like. I’m looking forward to indulging in a glass of red wine tonight when I get home. But really, it’s about the processed foods. Cutting so much junk food out has made me so much more aware of how much junk I really was eating before. Now I feel empowered and have a bit more clarity on the value of nutrient-rich foods.
I’ve also come to grips with my lactose intolerance. Cheese is my kryptonite. I love it and it makes me sick to my stomach so it has to go. I’m realizing its so much better to feel good all the time than to enjoy a food item for just a moment and live with the consequences hours later. So if it’s not the occasional indulgence in a bite of goat’s milk cheese (lactose free!), then it’s just not for me.
Oh, and the physical results of this whole cleanse? J dropped 17 pounds in 10 days! These darn guys with their testosterone, I tell ya! Me? I haven’t lost an ounce of my winter weight. BUT my flabby tummy is slowly giving way to svelte abs and my muscle mass has increased like crazy. I don’t really care that the BMI says I’m over-weight if that weight is muscle. It’s about being fit, not skinny.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been trying to get back to healthy and fit after the doldrums of winter. So may this be an encouragement to stay the course. Feeling good, having energy, and loving the skin you’re in regardless of the number on the scale is so much better than the crash diets, the processed foods, and the self-inflicted judgement we place on ourselves. Stuff happens, best laid plans tend to slip, but there’s always a chance for a new beginning.
Summer, bring it on!