Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 8 of 21

Today was fairly easy, but I can't really say why. It's not that I won't say, but I really don't know what was different about today. I didn't think about food so much, and I wasn't too tempted to cheat when I was warming up that home-made mac & cheese for Craig to have with our salads. I won't say that the salad actually filled me up, but the popcorn I ate after dinner while watching Reba did.

I had a terrible meal yesterday with rice almond bread, fake cheese, tomatoes, olives, and basil. The tomatoes and basil were from my garden and were delicious, along with the olives, but they couldn't make up for the dense, heavy bread and not-cheese. Maybe there are some other gluten-free breads out there, or maybe I'll just forsake sandwiches til after the cleanse.

Anyway, the home-made lentil soup made up for the disastrous sandwich, no matter what my son says about it. And lentil soup just gets better each day that it lasts in the fridge. Bon appetit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Week Down, Two To Go

I'm one third of the way through the cleanse. I don't feel any different, except that I'm hungry a lot of the time! I'm thinking of other ways to nurture myself than with food, and other things to occupy my time than thinking about food or eating it. Reading a lot! Cleaning. Going through piles. Bugging John about his social life. Fixing big pots of soup - oops, that's about food.

I'm beginning to think in terms of how to modify the radical cleanse instead of going back to the old way of eating when the three weeks is up. Kathy Freston's (whose book I'm using as a model) spiritual integrity requires her to 'do no harm', so she is a vegan. The only 'meat' I was eating before the cleanse was seafood, and I may let go of that. Dairy is another story. I love my cheese! And the fake cheeses I've tried just don't cut it - no pun intended. There is a frozen egg substitute, but so far I haven't found it. Egg Beaters contain egg whites, not egg substitute. Gluten, of course, is everywhere, but since I don't seem to have an allergy to it, I don't think I'll worry about it so much. 

The big dilemma will be my sweet tea. I'm not interested in altering the taste of the tea I love so much, by using Stevia or agave nectar. It's real sugar or no tea, and I'll have to see what happens over the next couple of weeks. If I have McAlister's sweet tea then I'll be having caffeine. Can I employ moderation? Often the answer is no, but in this case, it may be possible. Of course in a few weeks, Carnation will begin offering their Peppermint coffee creamer for the holidays, and then I'm doomed! But you'll notice that I timed this cleanse to be finished before the holidays begin. My mama didn't raise no fool!  Happy eating!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 6 of 21

The insights just keep coming. Today's aren't really new, but they're being brought home with more force. Here goes - 1) apparently I spend a lot of time thinking about food and the next meal. This isn't nearly as much fun when the next meal contains no sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, or dairy. I don't mind not having animal products, as I wasn't eating any meat except for seafood when I started the cleanse. But it's hard to get excited about fruit and vegetables over and over again; 2) I tend to reward myself with food or beverages. When I finally make it out of Target, I believe I deserve some McAlister's sweet tea, leaving Kroger's warrants a Starbuck's caramel macchiato. Any 'hardship' should be followed by a reward, and it is almost always food.

So what to do with this information? My intention is to create a new relationship with food, one where food is enjoyable and healthy, but not a reward and not the highlight of my days. This may take some work, so how shall I reinforce myself? Massage? Hot bath with home-made cranberry bath salts? Cold glass of Chardonnay - oops, guess not. Twenty minutes of meditation?

I can do this, and I can learn about myself, and I can make changes in how I deal with food. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 145, I mean 5, of 21

This is how mean my daughter is - she came home from college for dinner tonight, and requested macaroni and cheese. I reminded her that I can't eat that right now, and she said, "I know".  Sheesh! But I fixed her a big pot of home-made mac & cheese, and other dishes that I could eat - pinto beans, long grain brown rice, and steamed vegetables. She tried to take all the leftover mac & cheese back to the dorm, to spare me the temptation, I'm sure (ha), but her Dad grabbed some to stick in our fridge for him and her brother. And you know what would be even more mean? If she didn't ever come home from college for dinner!  Thanks, Katelyn.

Let me tell you it's not fun fixing delicious food that you can't eat. I just kept reminding myself that it's only for three weeks. I can do anything for three weeks. Right? And now it's only 16 days, but who's counting?

A truly wonderful insight I had today had nothing to do with food, at least not food for the physical body. I was on my way to a meeting, sending up a prayer for guidance, love, and wisdom, b/c I hadn't really done much in the way of preparation. It suddenly dawned on me that I didn't need to pray for guidance, love, and wisdom b/c they are always available to me. I only needed to pray to be open to their flow. How cool is that? Spiritual nurturance (food) that is always there, flowing freely, waiting for us to remember to ask for it. Grace for the asking. Talk about abundance!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 4 of 21

Today I had fun surfing on the computer with my friend, Marion, for gluten-free recipes. Even better than  recipes, I found out there is a gluten-free beer! Not that I can have alcohol during this cleanse, but I sure can have some in two and a half weeks.

One thing I have learned is that I have the ability to overeat even on a cleanse! Which means there are some more 'issues' getting ready to come up, probably even as I write. And I'm actually looking forward to resolving them. (I'm looking even more forward to being through with this cleanse!)

Chew on, friends!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 3 of 21

Today I've been HUNGRY. Since I don't have the luxury of a personal chef, like Oprah had when she did her cleanse (heavy sigh), I'm sort of stuck with the fruits and veggies theme for every meal. I did make the most wonderful vegetable soup I have ever tasted last night (sorry to brag, but it's true) and had it again for lunch today, and will continue to have it as long as it lasts. I don't think I'll get tired of it, but it doesn't exactly fill me up. Neither does a salad, a bowl of fruit, a blueberry tofu smoothie, or a handful of nuts. Maybe if I ate all of that at the same time!

When I let go of the continuous thoughts of food, I can focus on how I'm feeling otherwise, which, weird as it sounds, is 'lighter'. I don't necessarily mean poundage, but I just feel lighter inside my body. This is even weirder - what is inside holding me to the ground? Maybe I'm meant to fly away, not literally, of course, but it could be my time to fly or bloom or take off.

The first dream I had about Dana after she died consisted of her poking me in the hand with a fork, and saying, "it's your turn now." What am I supposed to do with my turn? To where do I take off? I believe that if I can stay tuned to what the cleanse is telling me, I'll find out. How exciting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 2 of 21

So the first 'issue' has come up for me during my cleanse - a little  earlier than I supposed it would, but that's cool. Here it is: if I lose weight while eating such a restricted diet, will I gain it back when I begin to eat 'normally' again? Even if it's not all about the weight, and it isn't, it is some about the weight, so what does that mean? My hope is that I will lose more weight than I need to, so gaining some back won't matter. But is that an enlightened way to look at this journey? I know that yo-yo weight loss and gain isn't good for my body, and it isn't something I want to do.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to do with this issue, but maybe the trick is to focus on the other reasons for doing the cleanse - the opportunity for my body to rest from it's job of getting rid of toxins, the discipline I can invite into my life, the suffering I can inflict on my husband and son as they go through this with me.  No, no, that's not right! Although I think they are suffering, I'm getting no pleasure from that fact. Honest.

Onward we go on the cleansing journey!  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 1 of 21!

The first day is over! How to describe the experience? No major insights, but I expect they will come a little later.

I did learn that it's not easy to eat at restaurants. I spend $6 on broccoli and rice pilaf.  It was very good, but $6?? My friend Jane (who, I have to report, refused to do the cleanse with me) suggested that I order a regular meal, eat my two sides, then take the meat portion home to my menfolk, who are still eating all that stuff. Good idea, Jane!

I feel proud of myself, though it seems kinda silly to say so. I haven't done anything that anyone who is motivated couldn't do...and I've only done it for one day! But it feels good to be exercising the discipline to eliminate so many foods that I enjoy but aren't necessarily good for me.

I even made a vegan blueberry smoothie that was only slightly less delicious than my regular version. So breakfast is saved! Bon Appetite

Sunday, October 19, 2008

21 Day Cleanse - I'll Start Tomorrow!

After hearing Oprah interview Kathy Freston about her new book, Quantum Wellness, and then reading the book, I decided to do her 21 day cleanse. It consists of eliminating sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten. and all animal products from your diet for up to 21 days. You may wonder, as I did, what is left to eat?! At a very basic level, what is left is fruits and vegetables. But if you look further (at vegan blogs and Oprah's blog) there is a world of foods and menus just waiting for your dining pleasure.

My family and friends are asking a different question. To them it's not 'what?', but 'why?'. Why in the world would I cut out all those delicious foods and deprive myself that way? The answer is multi-leveled. First, I like Freston's theory that eliminating those foods will give my body a break from having to work so hard to digest and get rid of toxins and allergens. Second, I have had food and body-image issues for as long as I can remember, and I feel like this will bring them right up in my face, so to speak, so that I can resolve them and create a healthy relationship with my body. Third there is that small matter of discipline - I don't always exercise it to my advantage, and this cleanse will certainly provide an opportunity to do so.

Since I don't eat any meat, except seafood, the only hard part of eliminating animal products will be the cheese, yogurt, and eggs. I'm willing to try the soy-substitutes, but also willing to do without, if the substitutes don't taste good. I can do anything for three week...right?

Fortunately, my next door neighbor, Andrea, is accompanying me on this 21 day journey. I told her that the book suggested that you get your neighbor to the left, facing your house, to do the cleanse with you, and she agreed. (If you happen to see her, don't let on that the book didn't really mention anything about neighbors!)

I really will start tomorrow! Tune it to see how I progress. Blessings, Annie