Thursday, May 29, 2014


i will preface this post by saying that prior to actually doing this cleanse, i LOATHED hearing people talk about their cleanse. we've all been there- you make plans to have some friends over for dinner and when it comes time to eat one of them casually drops 'oh, yeah, im on a cleanse, so im just going to have water.' SO ANNOYING, RIGHT? oh please dear friend, can you sit there sipping your room temperature water and silently judge me for eating ALL the cheese and bread? boo! SO- if you are like old me, PLEASE- navigate away from this page and do not read this post. it will absolutely be enough to make you spiral into a tizzy of eye rolls, big sighs and head shakes. and could potential make you want to go eat an entire pizza just to spite me.

i know i'm super annoying now.

the past little while, i had been feeling really tired- worn down, grumpy, foggy headed, and not in the most positive state of mind. i had been making excuses, but deep down i knew that my eating habits had hit rock bottom, and that sensitivities i had chosen to ignore for far too long were catching up with me. i NEEDED to stop. to reset. fix my taste buds, kick my 3 cups of coffee a day crutch, quit the 10pm sugar cravings and just nourish myself with whole foods.

i happened upon gwyneth paltrow's newest cookbook it's all good while at a friends house, and was quite taken with it. in her intro, she describes having a panic attack one afternoon while having friend for lunch and that being her trigger to do something drastic with the food she had been eating. i myself suffered a fairly sever anxiety attack last summer- unfortunately for me, it didn't trigger the same food revolution in my house, but something about reading gwyneths experience with the elimination diet resonated with me, and so the next day, i started the 21 day cleanse*.

i will be honest, this diet takes away a lot of food. the usual casualties- gluten, dairy, sugar and soy, but also a a variety of fruit (no strawberries, oranges, grapes or bananas), nightshades (no tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, or eggplant), no corn, no honey, no maple syrup, no eggs, no red meat, and no pork, no packaged or pre-made foods of any kind... i think that mostly covers it.

it was a huge adjustment at first. i had horrible headaches from the caffeine and sugar with drawl, i struggled to stay full, i felt like i was constantly planning, cooking, eating or shopping for food, and i spent all of day 5 in bed, feeling just generally awful. it was a totally rough start, but something happened around day 7- i turned a corner and everything just felt good. i had energy like i haven't had in YEARS, i feel alert, focused, clear, calmer and generally more happy. my skin has never been so soft (i have struggled with exzema for years- something multiple naturopaths suggested was a sensitivity to gluten or dairy which i scoffed at while continuing my carbo-tarian diet), the whites of my eyes are brighter, the extra bloat around my belly is almost entirely gone, my endless extreme sweet and salty cravimgs have drastically subsided (i still long for chocolate periodically, but i would say that's normal), and meals at our house have been completely transformed- not once have i been stumped for what to make or wanted to cave and get takeout, i don't currently miss any of the things i cant have, and taking that little bit of time for myself each day - to plan and prepare meals, plate it beautifully and sit at the table to enjoy the fruits of my labour has really been a posttive thing in helping to mend relationship with food.

tomorrow marks the end of my 21 days, but i desperately want to continue on. i realize eating like this ALL the time is perhaps not totally realistic for me, but i hope to focus on eating really well most of the time, and allow myself a little room for indulgence over the weekends. time will tell, but there is no more denying the power of food. and i apologize to the cleansing friends that i rolled my eyes at in the past. i get it. you were right. (sorry steph)

* note: the actual elimination cleanse calls for a pricy order of herbs and cleansing supplements from gwyneths trusted doctor friend. i did not do this part, but merely followed the elimination diet using recipes and guidelines from gyeneths cookbook. and the internet.