Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diners, Drive-in and Dives

You know how a thought just comes to you? And you think, how obvious! And yet you hadn't ever really pondered it before? It happened to me last night.

I was watching some of the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives marathon on Food Network. It was the second to last day on my cleanse and I guess I wanted to watch someone else eat what I couldn't.

Suddenly, in the middle of one of the shows it hit me! I can't eat most of this stuff anyway - cleanse or no cleanse. First, I am a vegetarian (well, I do eat fish so I think that's officially a pescatarian). Anyone that has ever watched that show knows that most of the stuff highlighted is meat-based. But that wasn't what struck me. What struck me was how much of the food showcased had flour in it!

Now, as I have mentioned many times before, I am not a celiac and can enjoy wheat-based products once in a while with no adverse effects. It is only when I over-indulge that my symptoms return. Regardless, I do try to avoid wheat because I know my body doesn't like it.

No, what struck me was how difficult it must be for celiacs! Every dining out experience must feel like a grilling in a police confession to find out if there is wheat in the food. So many things are dredged in flour, or flour is used as a binding agent, is served on a bun, or was used to thicken a sauce. Plus, I am not even taking into account the issues of cross-contamination!

So, once again I am going to count my blessings! If a little wheat slips into my meal, it will be okay. For many people, it means hours or days of misery. In this case, misery does not love company.

I will watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives again, if only as a reminder of what I shouldn't be eating - meat, fat, wheat, etc. After all, it is fun to watch isn't it?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Detox Diet Challenge

I am on a nine day detox diet, trying to clear my liver of years and years of built up toxins. My phase II detoxification system doesn't work well and so I am trying to help my body along a little. This is the first time I have attempted this diet - I am not one to take kindly to being told what to do! The more you tell me I can't have something, the more I want it. But I was determined to give this a go.

Lucky for me, my hubby was willing to play along with me. He wants to lose a few pounds and has a sugar addiction so he thought this diet would support his goals. It is based off of the book, The 9-Day Liver Detox Diet by Patrick Holford. The premise is fairly simple: no sugar, dairy, wheat, or meat for nine days. Instead you rely on veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fish plus lots of supporting supplements including a nasty super greens drink.

Today is day 5. Last night was hard. I wanted potato chips. I wanted cheese. I wanted chocolate. I wanted anything but the super greens drink I needed to get down. I wanted ketchup on my veggie loaf. I wanted to STOP washing, chopping and cookies veggies! I wanted to never have to wash another dish (and I like washing dishes)! I wanted this to be worth it in the end!

So, the morning of day five my husband weighed himself. He lost six pounds!! Yeah!! And he hadn't exercised this week because of circumstances beyond his control (holiday health club schedule, sick cat, etc.) Encouraged by his success, I stepped on the scale too. Yeah! I had lost, wait, GAINED two pounds! Seriously? All that spinach, kale, and quinoa and I had gained weight?

You know what? It is actually kind of okay with me. It just proves to me that my body isn't operating on all cylinders. It isn't as simple as calories in and calories out - at least with my body. The whole reason I am doing this cleanse is the reason why I can't lose weight - my body has dysfunctions at the cellular level.

My great lesson here is that I need to give myself a break. I am doing the best I can with the body I have. So, nope, I can't digest soy protein very well. And yep, sometimes when I eat too much wheat, my tummy doesn't feel good. I don't detoxify well and this causes extra liver stress. The list goes on and on.

When this nine days is over I am going to add back into my diet cheese and yogurt and sugar and gluten free bread and peanut butter and potato chips and enjoy them like never before.

Then I am going to congratulate myself for sticking it out. Say "good job" for eating healthy enough all these years to keep myself at a manageable weight. And then I am going to try to stop beating myself up over things I can't control - like my genetics.

Perhaps the biggest detoxifying effect of this diet will be the loss of the negative self-talk over my weight and my body's "issues". That's worth giving up cheese for nine days, right?