The book Clean, by Alejandro Junger, has been sitting on my nightstand since December of last year. Over the last months, I have read parts of it and “toyed” with some of the recommended practices (eliminating aluminum pans from the kitchen, drinking clean water, etc.), but it has taken some time for me to actually embrace the full-on detox program. I started last Wednesday. And when I say “started,” I mean hardcore: no coffee, no dairy, no wheat, no red meat, no sugar, no alcohol, and as much organic as possible.
I will be 50 years old in about six weeks and while I am not scared of reaching that milestone, I want to reach it in the best physical shape possible. Everyone I know who is 50 and beyond guarantees me that this will be the best decade of my life, so I want to be able to enjoy it in the best possible way. Meaning I want to be the best (healthiest) Natalie I can be.
Truth be told, I have been feeling my age recently. I have been suffering from frequent migraines, which sometimes cause me to lose a day or more of this very beautiful life.
I feel aches and pains in my knees, my eyesight seems to be getting worse, and I recently bought my first pair of reading glasses. Sigh. That’s the truth.
So, I made a resolve. Two months ago, I decided that my birthday present to myself would be to start acupuncture for migraines; a few weeks later I purchased a set of Pilates Reformer training sessions at the YMCA and last Wednesday I started Clean.
The real crux of the matter is that I have been making excuses now for 5 years (or more):
I had a child at 45 years old – and am still carrying “baby weight.”
I don’t have time for exercise since I am more-or-less a single mom, my days are filled with making lunches, housework, office work, yard work, stuffed animal tea parties and reading Dr. Seuss.
I can’t do yoga at home anymore because my daughter uses me as her own personal jungle gym the moment I settle into any yoga pose.
I travel a lot and it is difficult to eat well when traveling.
You get the drift. Excuses.
Don’t get me wrong. I do have a healthy diet. I buy organic and locally. I cook at home much of the time. I spend most Sundays cooking and preparing food for the rest of the week. We don’t often drink sodas or eat too many sweets. And still, those extra pounds, the migraines… Something needs to change.
Day 1 – I start the Elimination Diet. Easy. (Except for tomatoes – which aren’t on the plan, but I eat them anyway as we have too many growing in the backyard!)
Day 2 – Feeling good. La. La. La. I have lost 2 pounds.
Day 3 – I hit the wall. I have all of the symptoms: a headache, fatigue, nausea, shakes, and insomnia. Yesterday I was sure that I was going to be one of the few people who didn’t get headaches from caffeine, carbohydrate AND sugar withdrawal. Wrong.
(My advice: plan this as a day to do nothing. Stay in your pajamas, read a book, and sew. Rest, drink lots of water, stretch and meditate.)
Day 4 – I am feeling slightly improved. If possible, stay in pajamas, read a book, and sew. Rest, drink lots of water, stretch and meditate. Sound familiar? Later in the day, I go to the farmers market and grocery shopping for delicious additions to my new and improved kitchen.
Day 5 – Feeling somewhat better and I am still going. I am committed to 50 in fine form.
If you are doing a detox program now or have done one in the past, I would love to hear from you in the comments section – tell me about your experience, share your stories, recipes, and techniques to help the rest of us make it through.
I will be posting an update once-a-week.
P.S. Healthy living rubs off on those around you. My Pilates trainer sent me a text after our training session on Friday; she went home inspired to make a beautiful salad with flax oil dressing for lunch.
(Photo above from Day 1 – will keep you posted.)