Tag Archives: eliminate cravings

10-Day “It’s Not a Detox”

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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:

Chocolate

  • 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.

Alcohol

  • 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!

Sugar

  • 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.

Cheese

  • 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?

Cheers~
Carrie