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Friday, March 16, 2007

I started a cleanse today. I have never done an "all-the-way" cleanse before, meaning I would do some of the things they said, but fudge it here and there. I decided that it was high time to do a bit of detoxing in this body of mine, though. I have many indicators that my body needs it: the most persistent is my continuing psoriasis, most evident on my legs and upper arms, and my occasional struggles with constipation. (Did you know you're supposed to go 2-3 times per day? I had never heard of such a thing! Up till now, I was happy to go once a day, but apparently this is still the symptom of a sluggish liver.) Other indicators are the perpetually runny nose I have, and a recent lack of energy and drive that's been rearing it's lackadaisical head.

I had originally intended to do a raw-fruits-and-vegetables fast from bedtime last night until supper tonight, only. Then, this morning, I looked at the "cleansing kit" box that has been sitting on my counter for over a year, heaved a sigh, and decided it was finally time to take the plunge.

Why such reticence? Well, whilst I have given up many of my former sugar-junkie ways, I still have a certain dependence, shall we say, upon grains in my diet, which the cleanse is requiring me to give up for two weeks--to "reset" the hypothyroid gland and regulate insulin levels in my system. Although I am allowed to eat as much as I want of a wide variety of foods which are already incorporated into my diet, the idea of giving up carbs completely made me want to run screaming in the other direction so fast that I left my panties behind nervous. The only grain or legume on the "okay" list for the next two weeks is lentils. This is a legume I rarely consume, as it causes some rather obnoxious side effects in my system, making those around me demand that I supply gas masks if that's how I'm going to be, dangit. Oh, and I also have to give up bananas, tropical fruit, and all fruits, in fact, except berries, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. (Glad I have a half-dozen grapefruit and a dozen lemons in the cooler right now. What the heck am I going to do with a dozen lemons?!)

Despite all this, the thing that worries me the most, and was the biggest cause of procrastination on my part, was that I have to give up tea. Not herbal tea. (You know, that stuff that tastes-just-like-hot-water-with-some-colour-thrown-in-to-make-it-seem-like-tea.) Just black teas. But, for some strange reason, I am allowed to drink a moderate amount of coffee, which I usually avoid because it does not agree with me very well.

I can do this, I told myself this morning as I made myself a kefir shake for breakfast (bananaless, of course).

I can do this, I told myself as I was preparing lunch for the passel of kids in the house today--sloppy joes on home-made multi-grain bread. I was proud that I had not even had a craving for tea that morning, but this isn't all that uncommon, and really, I'd only been "cleansing" for a few hours by then.

I intended to skip the bread for my lunch, giving it all to the kids, but in the fluster of dishing up six children's plates, I accidentally gave myself a half-piece of bread, too--I was half-done eating it before I even realized what I'd done. Dangit. My first set-back. Still getting in the habit of being grain-free.

I can do this, I told myself again after lunch, but for some reason I seemed to be on a short leash to the hot water kettle. I kept fluttering about the kitchen, not really having anything to do, not being able to settle on anything, but not being able to leave, either. When I figured out that my movements all seemed to settle on the kettle, I decided to go downstairs and move some laundry along.

While down there, I remembered--I can have herbal tea! Maybe that will satisfy the force of habit well enough to leave it alone.

I will drink herbal tea in dire situations; for instance, if my throat is sore, I usually make a concoction of peppermint and licorice to soothe it, and it works wonders. Occasionally, if I really have consumed enough caffeine in a day, but want something toasty between my fingers and in my belly, I'm particular to a naturally-sweet flavour called "Bengal Spice," or Good Earth's "Sweet & Spicy." But it's pretty rare. Most days, I'm drinking tea because I need a little energy-booster at around 2 p.m., and having a cat-nap is not an option.

Nonetheless, I made it most of the way through my Bengal Spice by the time Jason came home--two hours later. It satisfied the habitual hand-to-mouth sipping in my muscle memory, but not the lingering drag I felt. Oh, well.

With the kids sent home, I got supper on the table. I can do this, I said again, as I skipped the baked potatoes and had liberal amounts of steamed broccoli and cheese with my boiled eggs. Wait! No I can't! I CAN'T do this! I'm fading...melting! Melting!

The dreaded post-supper drag had hit. I decided to pull out the big guns. It was time for:


Guess we'll see if it was worth it when I'm falling asleep--at 3 a.m!

Anyway, Jason went to play squash after the kids went to bed, and I did some practicing on ye olde plastic ivories. I got to fooling around, and discovered that "The Blue Danube Waltz" sounds pretty cool if you play it entirely on the pizzicato strings instrument. So, I thought I'd share!

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Thanks for the lovely music Talena. And yes, you can do it! My limited experiences with cleansing have been pretty tough as well. Though I did find if I needed a little kick while cleansing, not wanting the coffee high, a little Peppermint essential oil in my drinking water seemed to help. Ya gotta drink lots while your cleansing anyway, why not the added benefits of the oil. Praying for ya!

  2. Hey, Dawn, thanks so much for the tip. I'll try that tomorrow, if I feel the need. Thanks for the prayers, too! I think I'm gonna need 'em! (Hee.)

  3. Wow! That sounds difficult. All the best!

  4. I'm really proud of you, T. I haven't thought of a cleanse but I know I need to do something. I too have a huge dependence on grains and have experienced chronic fatigue in my teens. Apparently grains are a big contributor to that. Anyhoo. The incredible dryness of the winter this year has wreaked havoc in me (a first) and it's time for me to do a little rethinking of things. Anyhoo. HANG IN THERE. I know you CAN do this.

    Love, love.

  5. I'm prayin' for ya too!! As for what to do with the lemons....squeeze one into a glass of water each morning and start your day with it....freshly squeezed lemons are ESPECIALLY helpful with cleansing your body. And Colleen is oh-so-right about the prodigious amounts of water essential for the success of this project!! I have an article about all the helpful benefits of doing the freshly squeezed lemon every morning...which I myself have been doing for awhile. As soon as I lay my paws on the article again, I'll zap it off to you.
    Love & Prayers!
    PS. AIM has a new product called Peak Endurance. It has ATP in it, which is cell food. Mike and I have both been using it for about a month now, and are VERY pleased with the added energy it has provided. You might want to check it out.

  6. Oops...it was Dawn who mentioned the need for lots of water, not Colleen. Sorry girls!!

  7. Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone! So far, so good--day 3 and no fudging. (I was sorely tempted at church today, though--it was "Nametag Sunday," which is another way of saying they put lots of tempting baked goods and tropical fruit in front of your nose to torment you after church is over. I resisted, though--I had a couple of pieces of cheese, and that's it.)

    Colleen - Anyhoo. I getcha.

    Mom - Good idea with the lemons. I'm already drinking a good 2-3 cups of water before breakfast is over, just with taking all the herbal supplements that go along with this fast. I'll see if I can squeeze another one down.

    I'm finding the worst part of this cleanse is that I feel hungry all the time. Yes, worse than normal. Meat, seeds, and vegetables can only do so much to fill you up, it seems. I mean, I'll be "full," kind of, but still feel hungry. We'll see if that passes.

  8. Wow! I don't think I could do it, in fact I KNOW I couldn't!

    There was a really interesting series on the BBC here not so long ago, all about food and how it affects us in many different ways etc. The conclusions were really very interesting. 2 groups of women were observed, one group did a detox, the other ate "normally" and when various tests were done on them after the week was up, the experts said that detoxing doesn't work and is a waste of time! Also, that you don't have to drink lots of water and that tea and coffee are perfectly acceptable. I was astounded!

    Are you running for the kettle/breadbin now?! (Sorry, I don't suppose this comment has done much for your willpower....)

  9. Clare - Tee hee! Well, I would actually take anything produced on television with a grain of salt. Most television executives have a good chunk of money invested in pharmaceutical company stocks. Many "tests" such as this are funded (either directly or indirectly) by the pharmaceutical or food industries. If they can fool the masses into thinking that what they eat doesn't matter, they will insure that people will: a) continue to eat all the processed crap that these industries make a huge profit on, and b) continue to buy the drugs to treat the symptoms of the diseases caused by the food and drugs that people continue to put in their bodies, which these industries make a huge profit on!

    If you think you are going to see honest reporting on television, I'm sad to say that you are wrong. It's all about the money, and it would be stupid for the executives and directors of these stations to cost themselves money or a potential fortune by reporting information that would do just that!

    How ludicrous, to say that what we eat doesn't matter! (Which is what it sounds like they were hinting at.)

    Of course, "detoxing" might be a waste of time if people go back to the same unhealthy lifestyle afterwards.

  10. I certainly agree with you that it seems totally ridiculous! And I am always sceptical....I suppose though that the Beeb isn't sponsored by any company (there is no advertising)that here in the UK people DO believe what's on air.


    This is a link....to be honest, the conclusion was that you should eat a healthy, balanced diet, which isn't exactly what I said *blush*!!! Ah well, I am off to eat my VERY healthy dinner of chicken and veggies :)

    PS I am SO with you on the tea...I couldn't bear to give it up, though I drink mine with milk of course (but no sugar as I am sweet enough LOL!)

  11. Clare - No company sponsorship and no advertising. Is it paid for by taxpayer's dollars? We have the CBC, but it's honestly been so long since I watched television that I don't remember if they accept advertising or not. I am fairly certain they do, as it was one of three channels we had growing up, and it seemed all three channels hit commercial break at the same time.

    Glad to hear they said the bit about a healthy, balanced diet! I have come across articles voting either direction on coffee and tea, but the most objective one I have found is here.

    As for the drinking lots of water thing, I have also heard from the side of the coin that says drinking too much water puts a strain on your kidneys, and it is better to drink more of other types of drinks (meaning naturally lacto-fermented beverages, a technique that is experiencing a renaissance. These would include old-fashioned ginger ale, kvass, small beer, old-fashioned root-beer, etc., not the modern, commercialized versions of these drinks, or modern "sport drinks.") These types of drinks not only hydrate you, but provide needed electrolytes to your system, as well as other nutrients, instead of just loading the kidneys with water. So, who's to say what's right? No wonder it's so hard to stay healthy!

    I will go check out the link ASAP.

  12. Okay, Clare, I just read the articles, and have a couple of comments:

    1) The detox and fluid tests were conducted over too short a period of time. 5 days of unhealthy habits is not enough time to judge the difference in an organ that has a 28-day cycle. (Your skin.) Plus, it is more likely the sugar in the coffee, tea, and pop that would cause the skin problems than the caffeine, so if the coffee and tea were unsweetened, there would likely not be much difference in 5 days. Also, one week is not enough time to truly detox your system of anything.

    2) Also, they did not say what was included in the detox program, only what the other girls got to eat.

    3) There are tons of different kinds of detoxes--colon cleanse, liver cleanse, heavy metal cleanse, etc. They did not specify which they were doing, or whether their tests were for the right kind.

    4) Yes, living a healthy, balance lifestyle all the time is the right answer, but even people who do that accumulate toxins in their body from the environment. A study on breast-feeding mothers found that every one of the test group had jet fuel in her milk! This is just from the passing of jets over our heads. In an environment and society such as ours, taking in toxins is unavoidable, so an occasional purge definitely doesn't hurt. Without toxins in our body, we would hardly ever get sick, and with the skyrocketing rates of ill health in the world, there must be a fair amount of toxins in the majority of people's bodies.

    5) I would put more credit in the results of a detox that they experimented with people already living a healthy lifestyle, and that lasted for 10-14 days.

    Perhaps they had more information on the actual T.V. shows, but I was just going by the printed info on the website. Looks like an interesting series, though.

    The cleanse I am doing is the first 14 days of the 40-Day "Maker's Diet" health plan. We normally follow the "Maker's Diet", but I had never done the cleanse before. Plus I am using some herbal supplements to help with the cleanse. The full 40-day plan re-introduces whole grains and fruits gradually, as well as tea, but also includes more than just diet--it addresses physical activity, spiritual activity, among other things.

    It's like "spring cleaning"--we know our house is going to get dirty again, no matter how meticulous of a housekeeper we are. But once a year, it's nice to start from scratch, and clean out those corners that you don't normally look at. The whole house just "feels" better--and so does your body.

    Sorry for the rant. I really appreciate the discussion. Thanks for bringing it up.


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