Detox, retox

by Tabitha Kidwell

I made it through the cleanse! As promised, I do feel cleansed. I feel healthy and energetic, and I lost the 15 pounds of bloat/disgustingness that I gained since coming to this land of fried food and sugar. I never saw any of the signs of extreme detox that Dr. Junger promised, like thick, tar-like bowel movements or bouts of energy in the middle of the night, but that is probably for the best. My chronic ankle injuries, though, feel the best they have in a couple of years. Could my body finally have had the energy to heal those? Could be. All in all, I didn’t even think it was that tough to make it 21 days. I think I will even do the cleanse again next year. I was never hungry, and got to really like some of the shake recipes. I did cheat a couple of times – I threw out all rules on Thanksgiving day, and also ate a couple of candy corn one day. Oh, and a package came from America and I told myself I would only eat what was inside if it was Jelly Belly jelly beans. I’ll give you one guess what was in there. But otherwise I pretty much followed the rules.

Nevertheless, I was pretty excited to eat all the food I had been avoiding. You’re supposed to introduce new foods one per day, so you can see if any of them are your “Toxic triggers” that cause you allergic reactions or intestinal discomfort. Day 1 was dairy, day 2 was gluten, then eggs, then soy, then nightshade vegetables. No problem with any of them, I am happy to report. I was very concerned about the possibility of a life without milk, cheese, bread, pasta, etc…

What I did have a problem with was sugar. Off the cleanse, I felt justified in having dessert with every meal, and sneaking in cookies between. I mean, I deprived myself for almost a month! But after a couple of days of cookie-induced re-tox, I feel pretty awful again. I have all this ice cream and candy and cookies at my house, and I just want to be done eating them so I can eat vegetables again. It’s incredible how awful all that sugar makes me feel – like my body is gummed up and polluted. But it is also incredible how much joy I get from eating it, which is why I don’t just throw it all away. But once it is gone, I will hopefully bounce back somewhere in the middle, not eating too much junk, but enough to make me happy. Like my mom always says, “Everything in moderation.” Why can’t we all just learn to listen to our mothers? It would have saved me a lot of trouble this past month!

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