10-Day “It’s Not a Detox”


Not long into the New Year, I started a 10-day….

Well, something.

I don’t like the words detox or cleanse. Generally, they are mean to sound like something healthy, put more often, they are not. What I did was create my own sort of challenge for ten days.

I guess you could say that I wanted to “re-set” myself. After the holidays and all of that eating-of-the-sugar and drinking-of-the-anything-but-water, we all begin to feel a little sluggish and long for a routine again.

Let me preface this with the fact that I don’t believe in eradicating any food group from one’s diet. I wholly believe in “everything in moderation.”

That is, if we are actually practicing The Moderation.

And I can openly admit that over the holidays (and possibly a lot longer) that I did not.

I wanted to eat healthier, but also wanted to reduce the on-going cravings for the not-so-good-stuff. There was no medical basis for my challenge, just plain common sense. This is something I wanted to do not only to wake up my physical state, but also to become more aware of my automatic habits.

Here were the foods I cut out for 10-days during my re-set plan:

  • All sugars other than natural sugars found in fruits and veggies (but including artificial/no-calorie ones)
  • All cheese
  • All white/processed carbs (only whole grains)
  • All alcohol

I came up with this plan for myself by blending a couple of others:

  • Biz’s 10-Day Cleanse she created for herself a little over a year ago. (Because I realized I was eating a lot of those things!)
  • This 3-Day Post-Vacation Detox – a little more restrictive, but a lot shorter.
  • Identifying my personal trigger foods that I am guilty of overindulging in if I’m not paying attention.

Let’s point out here that I’m not labeling anything as a “bad” food. That is not the mentality to focus on here. Instead, it was more of a matter of me becoming aware on how much I was eating certain foods and how they had become habitual, even automatic, in my lifestyle.

What I did eat:

  • Protein – including eggs, beans, chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork
  • Fruits and Veggies
  • Whole Grains
  • Healthy Fats – olive oil, avocado, nuts, natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts and salt)
  • Water, Tea and Club Soda


The Results:

The challenge was both easy and difficult at the same time, if that makes any sense at all.

It was easy because I didn’t feel deprived. I was eating really delicious food that was good for me, too.

It was difficult because I felt more tired than I expected to feel. Aren’t we supposed to feel more energentic when we eat healthier? I’m going to blame this one on the dark, gloomy Minnesota winter.

However, I became acutely aware of some automatic habits I was making and I had to discover alternatives.

My Discoveries:


  • I had been eating a small piece every day. To reach for that with my coffee and it not be there was strange.
  • Alternative: It wasn’t so dramatic that I felt like I needed it. If just made sure if I wanted something sweet during the day to pack a piece of fruit with my lunch.


  • This wasn’t as hard as I thought (although I liked to joke that it was.) I found a new fondness for club soda when I’m dining out. The kibosh on alcohol was only a big deal if we had plans to visit a brewery or a restaurant known for a fantastic wine list, great beer selection or killer cocktails, especially if it was going to be a new place we were trying. Rob moved a couple of those plans for me. Other times, I didn’t really feel like I was missing out.
  • Alternative: Club soda! For some reason, I am more apt to drink it than regular water. I didn’t partake in imbibing the day after the ten days were up. But when I did, I made it count, by making it my favorite beer. If I am going to go for the empty calories and practice moderation, I’ve got to make it worth it!


  • I hadn’t realized how much sugar I was eating. I did a lot more label-reading. Some whole-wheat bread and diced tomatoes have sugar in them! Also, sometimes I would reach for some sugar-free gum (remember, for my purposes I cut artificial sugars, too) when I was thirsty in the car.
  • Alternative: I got much better about  bringing my water bottle with me every time I left the house, not just to work. Dinner out with the girls meant no dessert for me – not even a bite during those ten days. But I had black coffee instead so I could hold on to something and chat while they ate and I did just fine.

Refined Carbs

  • This wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I was already cutting out sugar. But I do eat white rice from time to time and I don’t often eat white bread unless I’m in a restaurant. I do like pasta. But I go through phases with that, too, so no big deal.
  • Alternatives: Stay away from the bread in restaurants. Duh! Switch to brown rice.


  • This Wisconsin girl really does enjoy her cheese! It’s a source of calcium and protein, but not always the best one. I wanted to examine how much I really had been eating. I found that I always mixed cheese in with my scrambled eggs, always topped my salads with it and almost always used it to (generously) garnish my Power Bowls.
  • Alternative: I found I didn’t miss the cheese when I scrambled my eggs with onion and spices and topped with a little avocado. I made taco salads for a week and found that not topping with cheese really wasn’t a big deal. I made sure to focus on the sauces I put in my Power Bowls instead of cheese. When I made my fave Roasted Tomato Dressing, I omitted the sugar in the recipe and it still tasted wonderful.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good challenge for me, perhaps maybe more so mentally. Did I use it to try to lose weight? Sure. But it wasn’t main my purpose. And if you really want to know, I weighed in Day 1 and didn’t weigh-in again until Day 11. Day 11 was the second day of my TOM and I still lost 4.2 pounds in those ten days. {I did work out some, but not hard core.}

I may use this challenge to re-set my internal clocks (both physical and mental) after vacations. I think it’s better than any “detox.” Your mental decisions are what lead to your physical ones.

Have you done anything like this before?

What did you learn?




5 responses »

  1. I do something similar usually in January or before the summer / after a vacation. This year I had to much on my plate to really commit but I did focus on getting back to my normal routine. I too find that sometimes it means less energy, but for a couple of days only before I feel great again. It’s funny because I don’t use a lot fo cheese in my cooking. But I do love a bit of cheese by itself or with a bit of bread as a snack. Feaks out the Scotsman everytime haha

  2. I had completely forgotten about my 10 day cleanse! I don’t know if I could go 10 days without eating cheese, but when I get back from Key West at the end of February, I am definitely going to do a “reset.”

  3. I love cheese and sugar so detoxes are hard for me but I know how beneficial they can be!! It’s actually pretty normal to feel sluggish during a detox. You have less refined sugars in your body and your body is detoxifying and resetting your system. Kudos to you for doing one! It’s hard to start one up but they go by fast and (usually) aren’t too bad. 🙂

    PS Loved reading all about Australia! I have always wanted to go… but am not sure I could ever handle the plane ride.

  4. Pingback: Wally’s Roast Beef | Season It Already!

  5. Pingback: The Most Highly Anticipated Restaurant in Minneapolis | Season It Already!

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