Rounding out Day 11 of my cleanse. It has been an interesting 11 days to say the least. I will start out by saying I have stayed true to the cleanse. I noticed this week that the continuous brain fog has dissolved. My energy levels are up, with no craving or need for an afternoon caffeine perk. I have not lost a single pound, which admittedly was humbling, but also frustrating. I had to remind myself that the purpose of this cleanse is not to lose weight, but to retrain my mind and body to position food as a fuel we need to survive. The mental cravings are more intense than the hunger. I actually have yet to feel hungry, hence the stand still on the scale. Eating for myself has lost its sense of purpose and has become total indulgence, with the occasional need for fuel. My day to day life though was not met by hunger or lack of nourishment that our body then receives from the fuel of food. This is the relationship I am starting with clean food. This is the purpose of my cleanse, to reset the palette. It really has become an emotional experience. I am someone that enjoys trying new foods and having a brilliant culinary experience, but when I illuminate certain ingredients and my body quickly strengthens, I can not help but respect that.
For those of you whom are entertaining the idea of embarking on a cleanse I will share a few things that are making each day easier.
- Keeping a Journal of not only food, but exercise and emotions. I have been extremely literal with my journalling. I am a writer to begin with, so the honesty has not been an issue. Keeping the food log, including time of consumption has not shown any benefits yet, but I hear it is what you are supposed to do, there for I am doing it. *Insert eye roll* What has been good about the journal is tracking my cravings and exercise. The act of writing it down is acknowledgment. As much of this cleanse is about resetting my palette, but it is also about a personal reality check for where my health, emotions and exercise levels are each day and how they correspond with one another.
- Getting Socially Creative has been a blessing. Rather than dinner or cocktails with friends, this week I went for a walk by the Trinity River, did yoga on a rooftop, laid on picnic blankets in a friend’s back yard under the stars. I got creative in my plans which had a surprisingly positive reaction from my friends. It was clear to me that I needed to keep myself busy each night with plans, as when I find myself in those lurking late hours of the day my mind goes to the wine bottle tucked away in the bar or the desire to hit up Unrefined Bakery off Lower Greenville.
- Toasted Sesame Oil has become a total game changer for my cooking. I used it to replace butter with my lemon pepper broccoli, made a salad dressing I could drink (recipe below), I am simply loving the nutty flavor it adds to foods.
- Dandelion Root Tea … actually A L L of the tea. I already know I am moody. Generally when I am asked a “favorite’s question” my answers are always different depending on what mood I am in. While on a cleanse I have found myself with a moody palette with a limited supply of options to satisfy that palette. Hot caffeine free tea has been my saving grace. I do not have a specific brand that I preach, but I did go to Target and literally buy 15 different tea flavors. It gives me a little jolt of variety and a warm hug in a mug throughout the day.
I knew I was over the hump when I was at Eatzies yesterday and engaged with a women and her pitch on the sample she was passing out. As my brain wisked through the thoughts of “WOW”, “YUM”, “I WANT”, “NO CLEANSE”, “NO BAD FOR ASHLEY’S BODY” I took what I was seeing and listening to and translated it in my brain to how I could make a similar recipe that my body would approve of. That was a cool, pat on the back moment. Learning to eat again, how to recreate what I love or dishes I want to try with clean ingredients will be fun. I never learned to cook, so its not like I am having to relearn how to create past favorites with new ingredients. I am sitting on a whole new foundation baby, and I keep telling myself it feels gooooood and it truly does, and eventually the desire for FroYo will dissolve and it will feel naturally oh so good.
And of course, God is always present. One of my favorite things I am beginning to tune into is when he gives a specific word to multiple people. Does that ever happen to you? You talk about something and then immediately someone else brings it up, but in a completely different situation. People say coincidence, I do not believe in coincidences. This week I was given the word ‘fit’ from the Lord. He is changing so much in my life in the most decadent way. My business, my relationships, my health, and he needs me ‘fit’ for these changes. The new challenges and experiences he has prepared for me. And boy can I tell you how each day of this cleanse makes me that much stronger both mentally and emotionally for what is next!
Dank Dressing (makes 4ish servings)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
3 pinches of garlic
1 dash of basil