Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 17 and I'm suddenly 4% closer

I'm going to come out and admit to something now so that I can't be accused of trying to hide it later: I'm ditching this cleanse 36 hours early.

It turns out my mother in law is coming into town the Wednesday immediately following the end of the cleanse. The hubs and I decided that before she gets here for her week long stay, we deserve a nice night out to strengthen the bonds of our marriage. Ten glorious days from now, we'll be hiring a sitter and hitting the town for whatever sort of food and beverage strikes our fancy.

And. The. Best. Part. Sunday morning we shall awaken and drink french press coffee. With cream and sugar. That's really all I care about. I could probably stick to the cleanse for dinner, so long as I have the promise of that tarted up coffee the next morning. But I doubt I will.

It's funny, you'd think that I would know exactly what sort of indulgence (beyond said coffee) I want to partake of once this is over. But it's really not like that at all. To me, going hog wild on some sort of anti-cleanse smorgasbord defeats the whole purpose. Why torture myself all this time if I'm just going to re-toxify myself as quickly as possible?

There's a lot of this lifestyle I plan to take forward.  I want to continue eating salads for lunch as often as I can stand it. I think that I will keep making smoothies for breakfast, unless I find that I cut out fruit and my skin turns to pure porcelain and my body fat dips to 3%. As far as dinners go, the vegan meals we've had are really delicious and will probably remain in the rotation. I don't plan on cutting meat or dairy completely out of my diet any time soon, but these last few weeks have really proven that we don't need them to make a meal delicious. And I love that we've felt that way while eating real food - as opposed to chick'n or cheez or what have you.

Look at me, talking a big game like it's over already! But I am over the hump, at least. Really, once that first week was over it all got a lot easier, and now it hardly feels like work at all.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cleanse day 16

It is now day 16 of the cleanse (I kind of want to slap myself every time I say or write "the cleanse," is the feeling mutual?) and things are much different than the last time I checked in. I now can eat eggs, non-gluten grains, legumes and seafood. Basically everything! But still nothing. No sugar, no coffee, no meat, no beloved cheeses. But it feels good. I have lost about five pounds and I think that by the time this is over I will have actually lost less weight, because I'm working pretty hard on building muscle. If I were the kind of person who planned well and demonstrated good foresight, I would have take measurements and pictures on day one. Oh well!
I'm thinking of doing something kind of revolutionary for week four. Maybe instead of adding back lean meats and gluten like I'm supposed to, I will instead eliminate all the fruit and carb-y vegetables I've been eating all this time and see what sort of difference that makes. Basically add on a week of hardcore zero-carb eating just for fun. Why would I do that to myself when I'm almost done, you ask? Because I don't feel appreciably different right now than I ever do. I am sleeping better for sure, without all the usual uppers and downers in my system. But other than that, not much different. My skin is no clearer than usual. My digestion seems to be functioning in about the same manner as usual (and it's usually pretty good). My mood is tethered to the degree of hunger I am feeling at any given moment, which is the way I've been all my life. To my highly scientific mind, this means one of two things. Either:

A) I am a very lucky person who can eat almost all of God's creation with minimal side effects; or
B) Sugar is my mortal enemy and the root of all problems in my life.

I think I owe it to myself to find out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cleanse: Days two through five

I will spare you the blow by blow recount and just tell you that by 4pm on day four of this cleanse, I felt much, way, totally, way better. To give you the broad strokes version: On day two I made a more concerted effort to eat more protein, and started adding vegan protein powder to my smoothies. Day three was a little bit better, although I was still weak in the knees and pretty dull in the head. Day four started a little rough in the morning, but I took a 20 minute power nap in the afternoon and woke up feeling like a new person. By the time I retired to my bed with a cup of tea to read at 9:30 (I know, right?), I was feeling downright fabulous.

Today is day five. It has felt almost normal. It's strange, I don't really crave the things I can't have. Sure, I saw Dr. Oz talking about some peanut butter banana quesadilla thing and thought about how I could pull his jugular out of his neck with my bare hand and take it from him, but it didn't make me mope for an hour about not getting to eat it.

Even when I have been starving, I haven't felt deprived. I know that probably makes no sense, but the food I'm eating is really delicious, if slightly spartan. Apple slices with almond butter is about the best snack going - the only way to suffer through almond butter, in my opinion. I made a whole sheet tray of vegetables last night for dinner. Cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and delicata squash tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted. It was like heaven. Artichokes have been another staple. I have discovered that olive oil with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper makes a serviceable substitute for melted butter for dipping.

I have some deep thoughts on hunger and food tumbling around in my head, but I don't think I have quite enough protein in my system to articulate them properly. That may have to wait until next week and beans. Can you even fathom what a luxury beans sound like to me right now? It's insane. I never thought I'd be happy to be a gluten-free vegan, but I can barely wait the three wake-ups until I am one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cleanse: day 1

I guess I was a little cocky 24 hours ago. The rest of day one kind of went down hill fast. Look at my food intake and see if you can guess why:

  9AM: hot water with lemon
10AM: berry smoothie
12PM: detox tea
  1PM: green salad with carrots, cukes, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, and avocado dressing
  3PM: rest of the berry smoothie
  5PM: dried figs and plums
  6PM: detox tea
  8PM: curried butternut squash soup
  9PM: more prunes and figs, some cashews

I'm trying to trust the process and follow the plan, but it's hard to believe I am supposed to be able to function on SO little protein. I guess I probably should have had some nuts earlier in the day, but I was feeling so good it didn't cross my mind. I knew that I was in trouble, however, when I went to the grocery store with a list that should have taken me 20 minutes and was in there for an hour. I tracked back to the produce department three times for forgotten items. By the time we got Marlo bathed and in bed and our soup eaten, I was so tired that I practically fell in bed, and I was asleep in all of 10 minutes.

I have spin class tonight and I'm more than a little concerned that I'm going to fall off the bike. My legs feel weak going up and down the stairs. I'm making more of an effort to get protein however I can, and I've made the executive decision that if I'm going to do such vigorous exercise, I am entitled an extra smoothie with protein powder. I don't want to be one of these A-holes who declares themselves on a cleanse and then proceeds to eat whatever they can rationalize into the plan, but I think in this case some vegan protein powder is in order.

I have never spent so much money on food and been so hungry.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cleanse commenced

28 days with no sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten or caffeine. Why don't I just shoot myself in the face and be done with it.

Today is day one, and so far it is not horrible. I threw a bratty temper tantrum to myself about not getting my coffee this morning, but I got over it. I think tomorrow might actually be more difficult, since I will know what I have in store for me. Today I can kind of pretend that later on I'm going to eat a giant plate of nachos to get myself by.

We (yes, we, I talked the hubs into doing it with me) are doing the Whole Living cleanse, which means that for the first seven days it's nothing but smoothies and vegetables and detox tea. Next week, we're supposed to add back in beans and seafood and organic soy. I feel like that is a pretty arbitrary cut off for "high quality protein," so I may go ahead and add back beef and chicken. The important part to me is keeping the booze, sugar, and dairy out. I don't think I have an issue with caffeine addiction or gluten intolerance, which is not a rationalization for cheating and bringing those things back in, because who wants black coffee and dry toast anyway? Not this kid.

Once it's on the world wide web, it's official! Either I will be extra accountable or my creative writing skills will be vastly improved.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The reproductivity report

So. I'm officially at that point in the baby-wanting continuum where the, er, beginning of a new cycle is slightly depressing. Well, at least it is once it happens. Mine came five days later than expected this time around, and I would say the prevailing thought in my head over those days was  


Still, wistful or not, I don't see the "oh crap" reaction changing any time soon. I don't think I'm going to get to the point where I feel confident the time is right to commit to changing my family's structure FOREVER. I will probably have to get drunkenly knocked up if Marlo's not going to be an only child. Ah, I can't wait for my children to grow up and read that.

Isn't it weird how when you're trying with all your might to get pregnant, it seems like the most fragile thing ever? When I was first pregnant with Marlo I remember feeling some sort of cramping and instantly laying down with my legs elevated. I remember going on a boat ride and being terrified because the lake was super choppy. I went to a corporate dinner event and was served a salad with green papaya, only to read the next day that the last thing a pregnant lady should be eating is green papaya! You might spontaneously abort!

The opposite of this, of course, is when you are scared you might be pregnant and don't want to be. Then it seems like your cervix is a vault door from Fort Knox and whatever zygote you might be carrying is impervious to all manner of hostile environmental factors. You have Donna's boyfriend Ray from 90210 come over and throw you down the stairs, and still, your period won't start.*

But this month it did, so there will be no vanity baby for me this October. I would have been due three days after my birthday! That would have been sort of cool.

*was that totally wrong and offensive of me to say? I'm sorry. I couldn't resist.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are you as surprised as I am they're still a band?

"If you want to succeed and not hit a glitch, what you must do is --"

Is it wrong that my automatic completion of that couplet is "smack a bitch?" Does it change your answer if I tell you that it comes from Abby's Flying Fairy School on Sesame Street? Maybe The Prodigy warped my brain. I think the real completion is "change your pitch." It was a lesson about music. Really I like to think it was meant to be subversive and drag that song up from mommy's subconscious and everybody had the same thought as me. Just let me believe it.