New Year, New Vibe
I know...bear with me. It's February and I'm talking about the New Year. But guess what? I feel like a new me after going through the first month of 2019, so I still feel like shouting "Happy New Year!". At the end of the holidays, a friend of mine reached out to me and asked if I'd like to join her in doing a 30-day cleanse. Now, if you know me, coffee and wine are everything and although I believed that my style of eating was relatively clean, I didn't know how I would live without my carbs. Perhaps it was too many holiday cookies or one too many Cranberry Martinis, but I thought I'd give it a try.
Y'all, this was the hardest but best thing I have done for myself in a long time. I went 30-days feeding my body, mind and spirit. Crazy, right?! Now, I'm not going to try to sell you anything. If you want the specific details, reach out to me and I'll give you all the info. But basically, I cut out caffeine, alcohol (I KNOW!!!), gluten, dairy and simple carbs. Ok, if you haven't totally tuned me out yet, you have to believe me that it's the best I have ever felt.
The first few days were rough since basically my body was going into shock over not having sugar, caffeine or alcohol to temporarily push my body into energy or relax mode. I had two days of horrible headaches and I felt hungry all the time. However, I continued on. I drank more water, made healthier choices for snacking, and filled my plate with delicious vegetables, protein and complex carbs. It was easy to do. I just had to think through my meal options and fight the urge to just grab the closest food to consume that immediate urge to eat.
By day three, my body felt a little lighter and my brain felt clearer. I was sleeping soundly at night, didn't have the 3 pm sluggish feeling that I am so used to struggling with at work, and overall, I felt great.
What are my key takeaways from this experience?
1. I ate when I wasn't hungry. Does anyone else catch themselves eating that one last bite on their child's plate as you're cleaning up the dishes? Or blankly staring into the pantry and unconsciously grabbing something to eat, while deciding what to make for the next meal? Yes, that was me. I didn't realize until I really paid attention to what and when I was eating.
2. I drank too much wine. Yep, I know. Didn't know that was possible
either - LOL! But my glass of wine at dinner each night is so unnecessary, if I'm not really savoring it. I might as well drink water if I'm not enjoying the precious grape nectar of the vines. I mean, I LOVE my wine. So, why drink it, if I'm not going to really enjoy it? And let me tell you, people, that glass of wine tastes even more amazing when your taste buds know to appreciate it!
3. I ate too many carbs. So, while I was on this detox, the rest of my family was not. You know what I realized? We eat a heck of a lot of carbs. While I couldn't get them to completely change their meals, we did enjoy more whole grains and more vegetables. I won't be on this detox forever, but we will be incorporating smarter choices into our meals moving forward.
4. When you treat your body with kindness, it's kind to you in return. I've always worked out, especially in the last two years because I did learn that exercising makes me feel better. It releases stress, clears my head and makes me feel strong, even if I'm not the most fit person in the room. It gives me motivation. While I was on this cleanse, I wondered if it would be harder to work out. You know what? It was amazing to work out on this cleanse. Yes, my muscles were tired when I was done with my workout but I still had energy. I didn't feel sluggish or ready to give up halfway through my workout. Lesson learned - your body is a machine that runs better when your feed it better.
So, I'm not saying that what I did works for everyone, but my suggestion is: if you are looking for a way to feel better (and who doesn't want to feel better), try looking at your eating habits and lifestyle. You will learn SO much about yourself. You will realize your strengths, weaknesses, and how food really effects every aspect of your life.
This was a healthy bridge to cross and I'm so thankful for the friend who encouraged me and cared enough to show me how to truly take care of me.