Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lessons Learned from...Detox (Part 1: What I eat)

This past Monday my husband and I began a detox cleanse. We are supposed to avoid meat, wheat, sugar, salt, alcohol, bovine dairy, caffeine and all processed foods until the end of February. We have distinct motivation: he to gain energy and me to reboot my digestive track. It’s actually gone well this week, apart from a few minor lapses (he absentmindedly had a Werther’s Original and I indulged in tea with milk).

It’s amazing the substitutions you come up with. Honey tastes even better than white sugar and lentils are remarkable versatile. Sure, it’s a lot more work to make your own hummus and tomato sauce, but the results are incredibly yummy. I had no idea how much salt was added to everyday foods until I took time to read the label, but I’m glad I know now.

However … after gobbling down 4 wheat free biscuits loaded with natural peanut butter and a bowl full of rolled oats mixed with coconut and maple syrup, I realized that detox has to be about more than what I eat. If I want to cultivate a truly healthy attitude towards food, I need to consider not only what I eat, but also when, where, who with, why, how and how much.

So each week in turn I will cumulatively add a new aspect of eating to my consideration:

- What I eat (week of January 17)
- How much I eat (week of January 24)
- Who I eat with (week of January 31)
- How I eat (week of February 7)
- When I eat (week of February 14)
- Where I eat (week of February 21)
- Why I eat (week of February 28)

I often scarf down food at my desk, with minimal appreciation of the nutriments I should be enjoying. Sometimes I’m half done my dinner before my husband even sits at the table. I eat for pleasure, for pain, and I’m pretty sure I even eat when I’m not hungry. I don’t chew my food and I still think that BLTs (Bites, Licks & Tastes) have no calories.

Something tells me that treating yourself to a laugh and a piece of decadent cheesecake with a friend can be much healthier than inhaling a bag of natural almonds by yourself on the couch. I can’t wait to this hypothesis!