I have had mixed success with my first ten days. Most things were easy for me to give up, Coffee was not one of them.
I tried cold turkey, and spent days hiding from people and feeling like I was living in a dream scape. Headaches were not even an issue until the second day and boy was it an issue. I was pounding black tea and it seemed to have little effect. I guess I did not realize how much coffee I was drinking, but it turns out I only own very Large Mugs. Now I am down to One Large Mug in the morning, No Sugar, and only Almond or Coconut Milk. If I need a pick me up later I have black tea. Tomorrow I will do a smaller mug, and then after that a tea cup. Then I will drink it black and basically make it not taste so good, if it is gross I will only drink what I need and chug because it is so yummy. At that point I will switch to black tea in the morning, and green tea in the afternoons. Another thing I noticed is that as the coffee intake decreases, chocolate cravings show up. So I went and found some 80% Dark Cocoa bars to keep in the fridge and nibble on with peanut butter.
Hydrogenated Oils, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono-and-Diglycerides, were easy to give up. Go through your cabinets and refrigerator, get out your garbage can out and be diligent and relentless. Go do it right now. Don’t think about the money, just start reading ingredient labels. Anything unopened can be donated, everything else gets tossed. Then make it a point to never buy anything again with out reading the label. I did this two years ago during a move. My grocery trips got really long. But then I learned brand names that I could trust throughout their line, and even my boyfriend has gotten into it. After a while your taste buds can tell the difference. Anything with the above offensive ingredients have a little something you can’t quite put your finger on. These are the “gateway chemicals”, because once you get into the habit it’s easier and easier to take on more chemicals. To eliminate from your groceries that is.
Bread is the hardest to find with out tons of chemicals. I cannot wait to get a bread maker. If you shop at Whole Foods you are in the clear as they have banned a very comprehensive list of chemicals not suited for long term human consumption. They will not sell products that have ingredients on that list. Go Whole Foods. But if you are like me, hours from the nearest Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s … we must read. Oddly enough I used to live near a Wegman’s and they had the worst bread selection in existence. In most grocery stores large and small you can find at least one option. These are some good one’s that I see around often, Vermont Bread Company, Alvarado Street, Ezekiel Bread (GMO-free), and Ultimate Grains.
In the first 10 days you are also supposed to give up Red Meat, and Pork which were very easy for me. But in years past I do know that some hard core cravings are on their way soon. If I crave a juicy cheese burger it is because my saturated fat intake is too low, and I need to add some avocado or nuts. Most cravings are your body screaming for a nutrient or psychological need to be fulfilled. Such as comfort food when being stressed, sad, or lonely. Chewing on Ice is a call for more Iron. You body is using its memory of the last time it had that nutrient fulfilled in abundance to motivate you to go hunt and forage for that thing to provide the nutrients that you a lacking. I usually suggest that if you craving something a lot give in if it is not causing you problems or find out what that thing is your body wants, and start eating something that contains that with breakfast. Red Meat is usually out of your stomach in a few hours, in your poop in 24-32, and out of your system in 3-4 days for a healthy adult metabolism. So crave meat? Eat more fat and protein!
During this first cleansing section you are also supposed to give up a common food allergy that you may already be struggling with. Like Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish, and Eggs. I am in the dairy camp, don’t worry we give up the rest in the second phase. Dairy is a tricky one. It was the food ban fad long before the gluten craze, so there are a lot of substitutes out there. A lot of companies moved on to chase the next allergy fad, and a lot of companies have added No-No ingredients while we were not looking. With time we have also learned that Soy is not good for us to consume as it works as a xenoestrogen. Abroad moderate consumption might not affect you too much, but here in the US we are bombarded with xenoextrogens and phytoestrogens and most of us are already over loaded. I loved Rice products at first, but they do lack in creamyness. The rice cheese works the best in a melting type situation like grilled cheese and pizza. Almond milk is the creamiest as it contains the most fat needed to mimic that of milk. Coconut Olive oil blend butters are very good and I now prefer them to butter, just be careful of the hydrogentated oils. Coconut is also my preferred substitute in sweets and desserts. Don’t fear the goat cheese! There are mild non-gamey goat cheeses out there. Purple Haze by Cypress Grove is phenomenal. Just find what you like. Monte Chèvre has a mixed herb that is very yummy.
The next 10 days are a little more difficult but keep with it. I have ordered all of my smoothie supplies and fiber mixes. I will have to write about smoothies soon. You can read the full cleanse guide in my later post “The Spring Cleanse” a note about Lent.