Post-Cleanse Lessons

Well, I finished my 12-day cleanse just over a week ago, and guess what…. It only takes a week to reverse the positive effects. Actually, it only takes a few days.

During the cleanse, I felt more energized and more rested. My bloating even subsided after the first few days and didn’t return for the rest of the time. I was feeling good.

Then I went to two weddings in a row and the downward fall started. To be fair, I did eat fairly well at the weddings themselves as dairy-free catered meals tend to be healthier options. I did have some snacks here and there, but really it was the greasy breakfasts and “I’m too tired to cook for myself” meals that caused the problems. Two late nights and many glasses of wine sure do steal away your self-control.

Then I started to feel sick. And all week following the weddings, I felt like I was on the verge of a cold. Not enough for a sick day. Just enough to be annoying and requiring cold medication. Needless to say, I wasn’t inspired to do much cooking or being careful about my food choices.

Despite feeling like garbage all week, there is a silver lining. The contrast of how I felt before and after shows just how strong the effects of food are on my system. Feeling terrible is highly motivating to get back on the horse.

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So far, so good

I’m on Day 5 of the spring cleanse, and I must say it’s going well so far. I didn’t feel wonderful during the first couple of days, but when I woke on Wednesday morning (before my alarm), I felt really rested, which put me in a good mood. I had so much energy I was able to get in a lunch walk, and when I got home, I was really productive and even did some mid-week vacuuming (not usually a thing for me). After dinner I added a long walk, and before I knew it, my fitbit registered over 13,000 steps!

Somewhat surprisingly, I haven’t been thinking much about sugar (or donuts). Usually when I eliminate sugar, it’s not so smooth. I was even given a thank you package of chocolates, and even though they are within eyesight on my desk, I don’t feel the urge to break into them. Now that I’ve typed it, I realize I would be best not to keep them at my desk.

Okay, all hidden.

Where were we?

Aside from my healthy energy levels and the absence of sugar cravings, I must admit I feel… drum-roll please… bloated. Yes, once again, my stomach is distended and my waistbands are tight. I don’t feel much discomfort (thankfully) but it’s annoying.

I plan on being patient and trying variations on meals to see if there are some triggers (namely, vegetables and legumes). I also don’t want to stress about it since that will only make things worse. It’s early yet.

Spring Clean-Up

Since my last post in December, I travelled across the globe for a month and then spent 3 months eating with reckless abandon.

Can you say bad idea?

I don’t regret how I ate in Australia and New Zealand. For the most part, I still managed to keep some good habits, and we even made many of our own meals (somewhat a must due to the cost of dining out in those countries). I found some great smoothie shops and managed to get a good does of greens in each one. I did, however, make-up for 100 days free of donuts.

I sought out specialty donut shops and bakeries known for their donuts. Ironically, the ones I enjoyed the most were the cheap jam-filled donuts in Melbourne’s CBD. When we mentioned this to a local, they laughed since those are known as “post-bar food” – in other words, the opposite of a specialty donut shop.  After a week of many donuts, I did stop for the rest of the trip and tried to mix it up a bit more when it came to desserts. (We also went through a Tim-Tam phase).

Upon our return to a Canadian winter, I struggled to get back to pre-trip habits, like planning and making meals. It sounds like an excuse, but the short days when you leave work in the dark just drained my energy and any semblance of motivation.

Then, my back happened. Over the course of weeks, I managed to develop a bulging disc. I just didn’t know it until it landed me on the floor in tears. Let’s just say the focus was on anything but meal planning.

I’ve now been in physio for about eight weeks, and I’m slowly getting better. I still have a ways to go, but I feel well enough to start focusing on other things in my life. Namely, my eating.

The days are longer, the weather is nicer (finally), and I’m feeling motivated to start cleaning up my eating. It’s starting with a 12-day cleanse, which is somewhat similar to my old elimination diet. It’s a food-based cleanse focused on whole foods and lots of hydration. The main draw for me is the elimination of sugar, which is a welcome change. I managed to convince a few co-workers to join in, so I now have others with which to commiserate.

Since the blog kept me on-point during the fall, I thought it would be worth re-starting the blog for my spring clean-up.