Thanks to Christine, of the fabulous blog almostfearless.com, for reminding me via a comment to my last post* that I need to provide an update on our crazy detox diet. I gotta say, it was tremendously unfun, and I sure did miss chewing. But between the two of us, Mark and I lost 50lbs. So it was definitely worth it! As a quick recap, the detox entailed 21 days of drinking fruit and vegetable juices and pureed soups. We did buy a few vitamin-enriched powders, but we mostly juiced stuff at home in our Juice Weasel... everything from the standard carrot-apple-ginger to some sketchier concoctions involving kale, radishes, beets, even sweet potato. I don't mind the taste of raw veggies so I actually had some fun making up new juice blends. And if you add enough fresh ginger, you can make almost anything taste good. The soups were a different matter, and there were definitely some debacles along the way. (Note to anyone who's following the book: that woman should be arrested for those recipes she included in the appendix! Gag me with a stalk of pureed broccoli!) However, I did have some successful experimentations with lemongrass, chilis, and garlic, where I could almost fool myself into thinking I'd made a Thai soup. And I have to give mad props to my co-worker Keith, who sent along some links for new recipes. This was just what I needed about mid-way through the diet, to inject a bit of creativity into the process.
Here are a few FAQs and answers:
> Weren't you hungry the whole time?
Not physically. The program instructs you to eat (drink) something every two hours, so you never really have a chance to get hungry. That's not to say I wasn't craving "real" food almost constantly. The hardest thing for me was ending a day at the office and not being able to look forward to a nice meal with a glass of wine. But it was definitely more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
> How in the world did you give up coffee for 21 days?!?
I guess I'm not as addicted to caffeine as I thought. I didn't have any headaches or other physical symptoms from giving up my daily cuppa joe (or three). Again, it was more about missing the ritual, particularly first thing in the morning. We were allowed to have some green tea, so I got an occasional blast of caffeinated goodness that way.
> Did you have enough energy without consuming protein or carbs?
I found it much easier to get up in the mornings -- and this is a huge thing for a non-morning-person like me. I wasn't bursting with energy all day long (good thing, 'cuz how annoying would *that* be??) but I did have enough to get through the day, as long as I didn't exert myself. Which brings me to the next question...
> Did you exercise?
I tried, really I did. Couldn't do anything the first week, and I got lightheaded just from walking up a few flights of stairs. I went back to Bikram Yoga the second week and almost died. By week three I was taking hourlong walks each day, and still feeling like I could barely make it up the hills, but at least I was getting out and doing something. Mark was able to continue his vigorous daily gym routine, which is probably why he lost 30lbs and I only lost 20.
> How did you stick with it for so long?
Strangely, there's some comfort and simplicity in a diet so restrictive. It takes all the guesswork out. There's no cheating... it's not like you can talk yourself into having just a bite of chocolate cake or one sip of wine. Nope, you're either in or you're out. Having someone else around for moral support was key, as well.
You're supposed to take 11 days to gradually get back to eating regular food, which didn't really work because we finished on Monday and took off for San Diego on Thursday. [Wedding details and pics will be posted this weekend.] Detox, shmetox. Now that we're back into a regular routine, the trick will be finding some sort of balance that allows us to cook and eat (and drink) delicious stuff, but keep it in check with moderation. We've also been experimenting with some new vegetarian recipes, and hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of the "organic" and "locally-grown" produce from the plants on our deck. Thankfully they didn't completely perish in the wilting heat that greeted us upon returning from the Left Coast. Ah, summers in DC!
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