- I remembered that I really do like most healthy foods.
- I experimented with cooking new foods and gained some culinary skillz, searing tuna for the first time, making my own marinades, chopping ginger, and integrating coconut and coconut oil for some yummy results. (Thanks to my friend, Mala, for the green beans recipe. Yummy!)
- I discovered Kombucha, specifically this stuff, which is like health-food crack. (And about as expensive at $3 a bottle.)
- I've enjoyed sitting at the new dining table a few nights with Daisy, eating a proper meal.
- I found ways to "come down" from my day without wine. I enjoy a cup of ginger tea before bedtime. It makes me feel all warm and happy inside.
- My mind seemed to de-fog a little.
- My energy returned. I've been getting up at 5am to go to the gym for the first time in almost 5 years... and not feeling like I'm about to die in the process.
- I lost 8lbs.
- I have NEVER, repeat NEVER, created nor done so many dishes. Kudos and thanks to my husband who helped out with that.
- I am seriously tired of chopping, grinding, grating, mixing, and cooking every blessed meal from scratch. I actually don't mind cooking and I enjoy fresh food but cooking like this all the time, every meal, just for me, is just exhausting, especially given my lifestyle and schedule. To eat like this full time I'd need a personal chef.
- Turkey burgers for breakfast for 21 days is not to be recommended.
- My sweet tooth (such that it is) could only be satiated by bulk, dried apricots from Whole Foods, costing me $20-$30 a week.
- There hasn't been a morning where I haven't wished I could sit on the couch, watch GMA, and hold a cup of fresh-brewed coffee in my hands. It's the one thing I've missed like CRAZY. I haven't really felt like my day has started for 3 weeks.
- Not being able to eat out ANYWHERE absolutely 999% SUCKED. Back to my point about dishes and prep time but, mostly, it's about the social element. For instance, every Friday, my husband, daughter, my parents and I would normally all go out for a family dinner together and on Saturdays I would take my daughter our for second-breakfast. Going to social functions - a fashion show at a friend's house, the movies with my daughter, and a 3 year-old's birthday party - was just torture. I couldn't eat or drink anything available except for water.
- That supplement drink I had to taste 2x a day did not taste any better on day 21 than it did on day 1. It's nasty and I'm happy to being saying goodbye to it.
My 21 days ended today. I did not cheat ONCE. I am proud of myself but I am ready for the limitations to be over. For sure, the one thing that kept me going was knowing that it would be over.
Unfortunately, my chiropractor (who is also somewhat of a nutritional coach) expects me to integrate food groups one at a time to track my reaction to them, and to eliminate at least gluten and soy from my diet altogether. So, it's a bit of a false light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel.
Given that I will be in Disneyland most of next week, I think it highly unlikely I will be successful at cutting both from my diet entirely. Plus, I'm still really not sure nor convinced that completely eliminating either is the right thing to do. Certainly, the cleanse had no affect on my pain levels. This final week much of my shoulder and neck pain has returned with a vengeance.
Once life settles back down again I plan to find a nutritionist. My pilates instructor works with some folks who are heavily into Chinese medicine and who believe in a more balanced approach to nutrition and so I'm interested to get some second or third opinions, or at least some other strategies to try. Cold-turkey elimination seems so...wrong and drastic to me. I'm interested to see if there is another way to address this food "issue".
What I can say for sure is this:
- I will be drinking a cup of strong, sweet coffee in the morning.
- There will be wine with a friend on Thursday evening.
- I will not just start eating like crap. I didn't before and I won't start now. I plan to keep much of the fresh-and-healthy eating alive for home-cooked meals and try harder to choose the best options in restaurants.
When I started the cleanse I thought it would be just 21 days of change. What I'm starting to realize is that it's only the beginning of a whole new and different journey to learn more about my body.