Sunday, February 24, 2013

Detox diet

I might as well share more about how I'm doing on my "What is happening to my body since I turned 40 and why am I always bloated and frighteningly depressed" detox diet. 

I have a colossal number of food sensitivities - for most of my life after eating an offending food I've gotten an itchy mouth, hay fever symptoms if I touch my eyes and some GI upset. My hypothesis is that as I age, my system reacts with more intensity to what it doesn't like, and I'll improve my well being if I listen and obey. Overall, I want to feel good, minimize emotional roller coasters and maybe reset my system. I'm lucky that it's a choice to eat this way: I don't have to. So if I bust into my kids' Valentines chocolate one night, oh well. Tomorrow is a new day (and I was pretty bloated that night, but that was the extent of the fallout).

Before going all Dr Oz on this detox I read a lot. My research included countless Internet hours, "The Plan", "UltraMetabolism" and thumbing though many more detox books/ideas. Based on my reading and my needs, my guidelines are:
At least 64 ounces of water a day. No gluten, dairy or sugar. None of the foods I'm sensitive to (I don't call it "allergic" because it's not anaphylactic but it's very similar to hay fever or other environmental allergies). Minimal caffeine (I cut it out entirely for a few days, now am back to 1 cup of coffee a day - as always, it must be a great cup). Minimal alcohol. I've had 4 glasses of wine in a 10 days (although one of them, while in itself innocent, was the gateway to a wild night with the leftover Valentines chocolate - not my finest hour, but not the end of the world either).

Highlighting the negatives is so limiting, so here's what I do eat: lots of vegetables, whole grains, our usual meat (local farm raised) and seafood and making sure I drink water. I've also added in some supplements, most notably Fish Oil, and am adding seaweed seasoning as dietary thyroid support. Additionally, my Lenten "Fast" this year is to mediate every day. This is such a positive thing. (And I keep slogging on with the exercise - trying to get something in most days of the week. It's a struggle but pays off when I can get it together.)

Turns out these guidelines mean eating how I normally do, only more so, and cutting out the "extras." I try to always focus on cooking, eating and feeding my family whole, minimally processed foods, emphasizing vegetables and whole grains. I find I'm eating even more veg and am satisfied enough not to miss the rest. The rest of the family isn't on the detox plan and one of the downsides is that occasionally I end up making 2 meals to satisfy all the members of our family. But even that is not such a trial and tribulation and as I get better at making my meals, it won't happen as often.

We've even discovered a new favorite way to eat carrots: Long carrots, peeled and halved - or even quartered if they're fat - rolled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Roast them at 400 for 20 minutes, turning them once. They come out soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and the kids love the long shape. I roast a lot at once and have them for the next day.

My staple breakfast has become brown rice with an egg and some kimchi. It's like my own mini Bibim Bop - What's not to love? (Although when Mur is making the kids sourdough waffles, there is a whiff of envy.)

I might blog more about how it goes. So far (10 days in) I feel much better, my depressed mood has lifted - although that may be because I have a project to focus on - and I think I've slimmed down a bit (although the scale hasn't budged. But that's not saying much. My weight didn't change when I ran a marathon, why should it change now?). And I really am eating quite well.

Here's what Murray thinks of all of it.

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