I was reminded of this during the 3 days that I was choking down heaping piles of unseasoned lentils and steamed beets. It was less noticeable how disappointing mealtime had become during the weekdays when I was distracted by work, but I really noticed what a huge role food plays in my enjoyment of life when Friday night rolled around. No going out to dinner to celebrate the end of a long week, no meeting up with friends to unwind over a glass of wine, in other words: no fun. I spent my Friday night trying to muster up the energy (which was waning at this point) to make my “dinner” while I watched 16 and Pregnant with Laura, who was enjoying a glass of wine and a real dinner. F.
So, what was the point of this again, I wondered? What are the real benefits of a detox? The proponents of a detox diet claim that it’s benefits are to: reduce the amount of toxins and pollution that enter our body, improve immune function, cleanse our digestive tract, and purify the blood. However, none of this is scientifically proven and there’s little evidence that they actually do what they claim to. So is it a waste of time then?
While detoxing did lessen my enjoyment of food (read: life), it was an overall positive experience. Even though I did have a faint hunger pang that remained with me for the full 3 days, I generally felt good: energetic, light, and clear minded. Depriving myself of eating whatever I wanted all the time made it all the more enjoyable when I did start to eat normally again too. Really though, it was a good little kick to snap me out of the bad eating habits I had been falling into.
So, what now? This week has been all about practicing my dad’s “Everything in Moderation” philosophy and easing back into normal, healthy eating without giving in to my guilty pleasures. I’ve also been keeping a food journal and noting everything I eat and how it makes me feel to see if any patterns arise. A food journal is also a good way (for people like me especially) to prevent yourself from overindulging. If I’ve been eating good all day and want to splurge on some cookies that someone left in the office kitchen, I might think twice if I have to account for it.
A few healthy food switch suggestions from Whole Living:
Sweet potatoes to white potatoes
Croutons to walnuts
Mayonnaise to avocado
Milk chocolate to dark chocolate
Iceburg lettuce to romaine lettuce
Cream cheese to almond butter
White flour to whole wheat flour
Vegetable oil to canola oil
Sour cream to yogurt
But there’s a lot more to wellness than nutrition so my next posts will be more focused on other aspects of well being and Whole Living. More to come…