Diary of a detox – week 1!

vegetables and fruit for a detoxA week ago I was kept awake by severe abdominal pain. This is very unusual for me and I usually joke that I have tungsten steel innards. Whether I had an infection or something else I guess I’ll never know but I will remember that night for a long time.

When I reflected on my diet the following day, I saw how, over the past month, I’ve been eating less and less in terms of variety and I’d been terribly busy, so cooking decent meals for myself had gone onto the back hob burner; if you get my meaning.

I’d also gone for quick things that I could leave to take care of themselves; mainly lentils and rice. Preparing vegetables meant having to get timings right. Cooking rice and lentils mean you can simmer them for ages if you need to. Overcooked vegetables are inedible, whereas long cooked rice and pulses are fine. Yes me, who declares that food is medicine , and writes about it all the time, has turned into a larger-than-life hypocrite.

Ho hum; none of us are perfect.

On the Tuesday, after being grateful for waking up alive; oh, they really were those sorts of pains, I decided to go on a kind of detox. Nothing involving purges, colonic irrigation, drinking clay or administering enemas; just sensible and light eating.

This bought up a lot of fear for numerous reasons. One of the main ones is that my natural bodyweight is light and I lose weight very quickly. This has been an issue all my life and it’s rapidly followed by negative messages and thoughts. (Many of them by other people who don’t even know me who see fit to comment on my appearance!).

Anyway, I figured my body was trying to tell me something and I needed to honour that, so for the first day I ate apples. About 10 of them I think. I was fortunate that I had successfully stored some apples from our local orchard last year. So in the middle of March I was still able to enjoy locally produced, organic fruit!

I only drink water anyway, so drinks weren’t a problem. But man was I hungry. My stomach was so painful with the gnaw of hunger. I felt cold, shaky and weak but strangely positive.

On day two, I introduced more fruit. Raspberries from the same orchard, that were frozen last summer, and apricots. The sweetness and the explosion of taste was unbelievable and quite delightful. I started eating slower too; savouring every mouthful. I remember brushing my hair in the morning and it looked amazing. It shone and shone and the whites of my eyes were stunning. DH looked at me and remarked how fabulous I looked. I was still cold, hungry and weak, but feeling very positive inside and looking GREAT on the outside already.

On day three, I decided to introduce some cooked vegetables. I ate broccoli, cauliflower and carrot. I have never tasted anything so good! I could have cried when I ate the cauliflower as it was so delicious. I decided too to eat every couple of hours, like I would feed a baby I guess. So throughout the day I ate apples and kept cooking vegetables. Labour intensive perhaps, but I figured I was worth it. I had fed my family well for the past month or so but neglected myself. Spending more time in the kitchen was my way of putting myself first. I felt pretty ropey on this day and my skin, along with my emotions were breaking out too.

Day four I ate the same as yesterday but figured I needed a hot breakfast and I also felt the need for some soya. I feel that a cup of  soya milk a day helps balance my hormones. So I made ‘rice pudding’ which was simply basmatti rice boiled in soya milk. Sounds gross, but don’t knock it until you’ve been hungry a few days! I had some for breakfast with fruit and it was lovely. I loved the rich creaminess of it. Instead of eating loads of it and binging on the ‘comfort’ side of it, which I normally do, I ate a small amount, slowly, reverently and with gratitude. I was experiencing ‘simple pleasures’ regarding my food and for many reasons, this is a first.

For the rest of the week I ate much the same – rice pudding and a little natural organic yogurt for breakfast with fruit and a plate of steamed vegetables for my other meals. I’ve been snacking on apples throughout the day and have stewed some apples too, as this feels like another ‘comfort’ food right now. I noticed that by the sixth day, my blood sugar had evened out. I was no longer constantly hungry and could go three hours between eating. I felt much more satisfied after meals and no longer felt weak or dizzy. This was great and gave me a lot more motivation. I was able to tackle some more vigorous housework and do some light gardening.

My body has been through alot – a headache not to be underestimated, constipation, dry patches of skin, aches in places I didn’t know you could get aches and exhaustion like I have run a marathon. I’m sleeping like a baby, but could sleep much more!

Throughout all of this I have remained optimistic and upbeat about things. My energy is different; although I’m tired and could sleep all day I’m motivated and energised. That sounds like a complete contradiction, but there we are. One of the biggest changes has been in my thinking – I have more clarity and more joy in my thoughts. My body is lighter and so is my way of thinking. It’s very difficult to put into words, as are many experiences in life.

This week I’m going to introduce more vegetables – swede, sweet potato and I’ll sprout some alfalfa. I’m going to add some pulses like chickpeas and black eye beans. I’m trying to keep off grains as my diet is very carbohydrate heavy, normally, but I might try some millet as it’s a bit of a superfood and I’ve never been able to enjoy it unless it’s mixed with 80% feta cheese! Maybe it will start to taste good on its own, as all the other foods this week have done.

What about you – have you ever done a detox? How did you find it and what sort of physical and emotional effects did you experience?