Detoxing, Part 2…

Ok…where was I?  Oh, right…I had cleaned out my pantry, gotten rid of everything with unnecessary added sugar, started using oil and vinegar on my salad and making my own pasta sauce…which is far better than anything that comes in a jar.  I also found this really delicious ketchup that is made locally, has very little sugar and is amazingly good.  Sorry Heinz.

Also…I gave up Diet Coke.

From June through August, I managed to keep up my new habits…even through a trip to Kentucky that included a wedding (with the most excellent bourbon bread pudding) and a birthday party (with cake, of course) and lots of yummy southern favorites.  I definitely indulged a bit, but I ended up sticking with my changes and I came home two pounds lighter.  Yup, I went on vacation and lost weight…how crazy is that?

But I felt like I needed to do more.  I was feeling better in general, but my stomach was still a total freaking disaster.  Dr. Hyman and his claims of curing all my ailments kept sticking in the back of my head.  So the first week in September, I did it…the 10 day detox diet.

The plan…

Basically, you give up all sugar, white flour, dairy, gluten, grains, beans and legumes, fruit and starchy vegetables for ten days.  You know…everything that tastes good.  Dr. Hyman’s theory is that these things cause inflammation in your body which leads to things like heart disease and high blood pressure and stomach issues and insulin resistance, among other things.  By giving your body a break from these things, you allow the inflammation to go down and your body to heal itself.  Once you are healed, you can process food better and just be healthier.  Or something like that.

What I didn’t like about it...

Not to start off being all negative, but there were a few things I didn’t like about the plan.  First, the book was kind of annoying.  Dr. Hyman repeats himself…A LOT.  The book could have gone from being 300 pages to being 100 and still have included all the necessary information to do the diet.  While repetition helps people learn, it can also be really boring.  I have to admit…I skimmed some parts.  It still worked out fine.

Second, I felt like I was getting the hard sell.  There are about five mentions of supplements in the book and each time, the good doctor reminds you that the supplements can be purchased directly from his website.  Also available on his website…the Detox Diet Challenge plan…where you can pay a few hundred dollars to listen to a taped motivational call each morning and have a couple of phone meetings with a nutritionist.  For those who are really committed…there is also information on the site about Dr. Hyman’s wellness center in Massachusetts…where, for the bargain basement price of about $15,000 you can have a complete workup with Dr. Hyman, during which I’m sure you will be subjected to many gross tests and diagnosed with many, many conditions.  (I saw the words “stool sample” and I stopped reading about it.)  I have a doctor and the book really does provide all the information you need to follow the plan…and the supplements are cheaper if you order them from Amazon.  So thanks for the sales pitch, Doc, but next time maybe a little less.

Lastly, the plan is pretty expensive and very time-consuming.  There are a lot of ingredients that most people don’t normally have in their pantry…like chia seeds and ground flax meal and coconut butter…which means a trip to the grocery store to stock up.  And organic hemp seeds and raw, organic Brazil nuts are pricey.  The recipes are also pretty involved.  There was no slapping some chicken on the grill and steaming a bag of veggies in the microwave.  This was serious cooking and it took time.  I honestly don’t know if I could have done it if I was still working in the city and commuting every day.

What I did like about it…

The food was incredibly good.  The recipes were all fantastic and I didn’t have one meal I didn’t like.  I also ate a lot…three full meals a day plus snacks if I wanted them.  I didn’t feel deprived at all because everything tasted so good.

There are some choices, but the plan is pretty specific, so I didn’t have to put that much thought into it.    Considering that I am not a great cook, that was really helpful.  I didn’t have to consider how flavors would go together or what spices to use to jazz up my dishes.  It was laid out for me and all I had to do was follow the instructions.

There is more to it than just the meal plan.  There are guidelines for exercise and journaling and relaxation.  It really is a well-rounded plan that tackles your whole lifestyle and way of thinking instead of just your eating.

How I felt on the plan…

After a very expensive trip to Whole Foods and another expensive delivery of supplements from Amazon, I was ready to start.  Day one sucked.  I woke up and had to make my breakfast smoothie.  Now, I love a good milkshake, but smoothies…not so much.  And this smoothie was a total disaster.  I didn’t realize that it would work better if I blended just the nuts and seeds first so they were a paste before adding in the rest of the ingredients.  I also didn’t know that I could add more water if it turned out too thick.  To top it off, I added way too much lemon…and what I was left with was a chunky, super lemony concoction that I had to eat with a spoon.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much of it down.

I spent the day craving pretzels…and I don’t mean craving as in “Hmmm, a pretzel might be nice.”  I mean craving as in “I’m going to die if I don’t get a pretzel RIGHT NOW.”  I seriously thought about pretzels all freaking day.  The funny thing…I don’t even like pretzels that much.  Go figure.

By lunch I had a headache and by eight o’clock I was so tired that I had to go to bed.

I thought it couldn’t get much worse than day one…until day two.  Day two sucked…hard.  I woke up with a headache and I was cranky and irritable.  I wanted an English muffin for breakfast and I got a nasty smoothie instead.  I felt like crap and I was starving.  By lunch, it was so bad that I took a nap.  I’m still not sure how I made it through day two.

Day three was a little better.  I had more energy.  Like, turn-on-the-TV-and-watch-GMA-in-bed kind of energy.  But still…better than day two.

Day four was freaking fantastic.  I woke up, hopped out of bed, got dressed, strapped leashes on the dogs and we went for a thirty minute walk.  I walked uphill…on purpose.  I still hated the smoothie, but not as much as before.  I didn’t even think about pretzels once all day.

And that is how it continued for the rest of the ten days.

How I did…

I lost a total of seven pounds and two inches from my waist and hips.  My skin, which tends to be dry, looked fabulous.  I really did stop craving sugar and I wasn’t tempted to drink Diet Coke at all.  Most importantly, my stomach issues…totally gone!

Though I doubted it would, my palate totally changed.  Things had more flavor.  One night I made a stir fry with a tiny bit of soy sauce in it and I felt like it was one of the greatest meals I’d ever had.  Baked chicken took on a whole new flavor.  Macadamia nuts satisfied my sweet tooth.  It made me wonder if the Diet Coke and all the crap in the processed foods I was eating were killing my taste buds.

Overall, I’m so glad I did it.

Want to know what happened after the ten days?  Come back tomorrow.