It's been a while since you've heard from me, I know. It seems the more time goes on, the less time I have to blog. I have difficulty as of late prioritizing. That's not like me; I usually know what I want and in what order to do it in. The thing is, I have several issues that have (or are close to) similar priority, that that's when I have trouble deciding/choosing. So each day, if I don't pick what I want to focus on in the morning, I get overwhelmed about mid-day and don't become productive at all. Is my brain getting less functional as I get older??
I wanted to talk about the recent sugar detox we've been on, that you may or may not know about (via Facebook). Three weeks ago we cut out all sugars from our diet (otherwise known as a 'candida cleanse'). No refined sugar, no natural sugars (honey, agave, maple syrup, etc), no fruit, no breads, no alcohol of any form, no coffee, no processed (even sliced meat) or canned food with any form of sugar in it, no pastries or sweets (of course), no foods that have or are potential to molds (peanuts, black tea and mushrooms). I had an idea how much sugar was in everything because of my background, but it was an eye opener for W. He had no idea and I think went into a bit of shock. Gluten-free grains were permissible (buckwheat) and baking got a lot more creative (I now have a love for dates that provide sweetness).
The first week I detoxed pretty bad (him not as much). The second week came along better, especially near the end of the second week when we introduced agave, green apples (low pectin) and yogurt (allowed; probiotics). (Third week included spelt.) You'd be surprised how much that opens up your menu options. The first couple weeks were hell. I hate meal planning on the best of days, but this was torture. Into week three we've brought in all fruit but limit consumption to max one serving a day. For now.
Coming onto the end of week three we're doing *really* well. No sweet cravings, still holding fast to no sugar or sugar in processed products. I've gone from severe detox symptoms (horrible digestion, headaches, skin itchiness, etc) to none of those anymore (except digestion is still not perfect), PLUS I feel lighter, can sit/stand up straight with my shoulders back easier and have slightly more energy. My anxiety? I'd say 60-70% reduced. I can't tell you how much a relief that is and how much "weight" that takes off my being. Oh weight; I've lost 2 kilos (approx 4.5 lbs) to date and holding steady. W. didn't have many health issues aside from eczema on his head and even that is starting to clear up. I think our bodies are still detoxing. We've had *such* a build-up of by-products of sugar in our bodies, they're still trying to harmonize themselves with the new way. And even if you don't believe that, I believe 100% that our bodies are learning to function differently without the dependence of sugar and what it does to our individual organs (thus creating a domino effect with others). W. said he's actually 'tasting' food for the first time as it is. His entire life has consisted of processed foods and frequent desserts after dinner that he didn't know what real food tasted like. And now he's starting to see. How fantastic is that?! He's *really* learning a new relationship with food and I think that's so wonderful.
A detox, by definition, is impermanent. We're in the midst of deciding our long-term goals. The more we stay away from societal (incl. BigAg, BigSug, BigPharm, etc) dietary pressures, the more I feel back to nature, more harmonized, Reading 'Nourishing Traditions' is also helping a lot (thanks to a borrowed copy from a friend). It's causing me to look more at the source of my food (buy local!), develop deeper relationships with my green grocer and butcher and spend a LOT more time in the kitchen since we're on a whole-food diet. A win-win all around, I think. Long term I would like us to stay away from refined sugar and try to stay closer to natural sugars. Baking will become a challenge for me if not downright impossible. I know there will be social situations when eating processed products, breads or sweets is inevitable, but I'm okay with that. Then we can go back to the way we want to eat. I don't think those days are bad, but I'd like to keep them more in check than before. I don't know; this is something we'll have to discuss further.
Oh, something else detoxing has taught me: my relationship to food based on mood. I'll go straight for the chocolate if I'm sad, depressed or otherwise down. Like a moth to a flame. I noticed that a lot since of course, I couldn't go for the chocolate at certain times. I miss coffee. A lot. Still. I'm not ready to try it again yet since I fear I would develop another dependence to it (which would also do no favour to my digestive system). We have cheat days, but the 'cheating' is minor; a square of good quality dark chocolate for me, black tea for him.
So, on that note I shall get on with my day. I have a sink of dishes waiting for me and have to choose my "priorities" for the day. I hope you have a FABULOUS weekend. We're hoping to do something a little more cultural this weekend; it feels like it's been a while. And God-willing if the sun is out and the rain has stopped, stay outside a bit more.