“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most diets.” – Dolly Parton
Eleven days into the CLEAN elimination diet is about the time that I start having flash backs to the elementary school cafeteria and the serious business of lunch bartering. My mother did her best to keep us healthy, filling our lunch bags with really “exciting” items like applesauce or pretzel sticks. What I really wanted was the chewy gooey-ness of a fruit roll up, or the spongey sweetness of a Twinkie or, heck, I’d even take a Snack Pack lite if it meant I could have something she didn’t want me eating! Oh for that brief, shining moment of kid lunchtime sugar luxury! And I was pretty much willing to trade my entire lunch for it.
Obviously, as an adult, I can’t approach my co-workers offering to trade my blueberry smoothie for their Snack Pack. And I’m now responsible for making my own lunches, so the guilt of breaking the cleanse diet would fall solely on me. If I cheat, it’s a conscious action with no one else to blame. And yes, I’ve cheated. I ate oysters. There. I said it. And there were witnesses to my anti-clean behavior. And damn, were they good 🙂 The great part about Dr. Junger’s CLEAN, however, is the only condemnation is what you put on yourself. Dr. Junger’s attitude towards this elimination diet is about ownership – you own your program. If you cheat, then you accept it and get back on the wagon. He suggests you add an extra CLEAN meal on the end of the 21 days to make up for your indiscretion. In other words, shit happens. We’re human and it’s hard as heck to be around the Snack Pack eating public on the weekends when your meal is comprised of something from a blender and some tea or water. Forgive
yourself and move on.
This week’s inspiration is about resiliency. Though a detox/elimination diet is not what you would normally think of as an act of overcoming in the face of opposition, I’m still pretty amazed at our collective wills to continue despite the stress placed on the mind and body. In the face of all this uncomfortable, socially awkward, and routine-breaking behavior it would be an easy thing to just pitch in the towel. Most people don’t care enough about your eating habits to judge you and the there aren’t really immediate and in-your-face consequences. Yet, we continue… This takes discipline and will power. In a highly industrialized country, surrounded by comfort and instantly plentiful amounts of food, discipline and will power are not skills we are really ever asked to hone when it comes to our diet. There isn’t a need for control. And so we don’t. Compound this with the expense of organic foods and the fast-paced lifestyles we tend to lead and you’ve got a deck stacked against our ability to persevere in long-term healthy eating.
The consequences of our bad eating must become so strong in our consciousness, that we become unable to shirk the hesitation we feel about buying potato chips instead of some roasted almonds. This is the power of Dr. Junger’s 21 day cleanse combined with Savannah Power Yoga’s CLEAN group. Thanks to weekly meetings, lunch dates at Rocks on the River and Brighter Day, and Facebook discussion on smoothie recipes and tasty juices…well you can’t really keep healthy thinking out. And I need that. I need all that discussion marinating in my mind, pervading my conversations, and invading my Facebook notifications so when I get to that moment where I think – I swear to god, if I have to eat another dang blueberry smoothie! so help me! – I will still continue the next day (begrudgingly as it may feel at the time).
And I get curious. Each time I do this cleanse, I learn a little bit more about food and ways to keep myself healthier for my future. I’ve already shown signs of insulin-resistance in the past and there’s a definite family history of Type II diabetes. The empowerment of food knowledge has alleviated the stress of what seemed like a death sentence. I used to look at Diabetes as not an if but a when. I had resigned myself to the fate of my grandmother and mother. “It’s genetics. Can’t fight genetics.” I told myself. That was until my acupuncturist said, quite matter-of-factually, that Type II diabetes is entirely preventable. The fate of my Type II was in my hands?? You mean…I had to take ownership of my health? This was not something that was just going to happen TO me?? Well, shoot…
My latest curiosity has been over one of my CLEAN supplements – “Balance”. Balance is a “Selective Kinase Response Modulator.” What the heck is that?? You might be wondering. My thoughts exactly! So I turned to my trusty friend, Google, to find the answer. I still don’t totally understand, but what I have been able to figure out is that these babies are amino acids that come from plants and they do some cool stuff to help prevent dis-regulation and inflammation. They stop faulty cell signaling. This is AWESOME news to a person like me who was told some years back by an endocrinologist that my body was attacking its own insulin. Obviously, my antibodies were a little bit confused. Wrong signals. Insert need for selective kinase response modulators here.
In my searching, I came across an interesting article for those interested in micronutrient therapy (to you, that means supplements) for diabetes and insulin-resistance:
“…in simple terms, micronutrition can help prevent or reverse the damaging effects of insulin resistance because it works system-wide at a cellular level, generally upstream of the pathways targeted by harsher pharmaceutical solutions.”
For the rest of the article, click HERE.
There’s that word system again…
Diabetes is certainly a strong motivator for resiliency. When I think about quitting or how much I’d rather eat burning charcoal then kale…I remind myself of how much worse it would be to lose my eyesight, lose kidney function, or get a toe amputated…and then it doesn’t seem nearly as bad. What further contributes to my motivation is the knowledge that I have a significant amount of control over whether this will happen to me or not. With the help of this detox, I’ve Google searched my way into a lot more food knowledge. My decisions are far more educated and, subsequently, it’s way harder to shirk off the voice in my head that warns me about consuming copious amounts of food with high glycemic indexes.
So cheers to resiliency! We’ve made it through 11 days of our 21 day detox. Next round of juice is on me 😉