Breakfast: Amaranth cereal with dried fruits and yogurt (pictured, left); hot tea
Lunch: Asian slaw with lime vinaigrette (pictured, right) with peanuts and jalapenos; more tea
Dinner: Leftover veggie soup; apple, tangerine, and persimmon; even MORE tea
Snack: Red pepper and walnut dip with jicama and cucumber slices; 3 club sodas with fresh-squeezed citrus juice
Exercise: Lifting my tea mug up and down, up and down, up and down…
I went to visit my family this evening. A late dinner was served and while everyone else scooped macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and grilled cheese sandwiches onto their plates, I rewarmed some soup from the night before and cut up some fruit for myself. I felt slightly rude bringing and eating my own dinner but they were all understanding that I was “suffering” with my yearly cleanse.
While we ate, a conversation started about what I was allowed to consume this week. One person commented that they had recently read a book about how 80 percent of the foods that you eat in a day should be fresh, healthy, and plant-based for optimal health. He then proceeded to take a big bite of bacon-laced macaroni and cheese. I was suddenly struck by the irony of the situation. My dinner was light, healthy, and delicious while theirs was rich, heavy, and indulgent. There was no fruit or anything that resembled a vegetable on their plates, not even simple salad greens. Yet, I was seen as the person who was being deprived of “the good stuff.”
They all suffered from food coma after dinner while I felt fine and—I’ll admit it—slightly smug about the choices I had made. As soon as I had moved on to other thoughts, a plate of dessert was passed around: cream puffs with hot fudge sauce.
Was it tempting? Yes, absolutely. But I picked this week to be kind to myself and put only good things in my body. If this was day one, it probably would have been harder, but almost a week in and at this point I’m feeling really good. So once again, I declined the offer and sipped on my herbal tea, and once again, the family looked at me with of expressions of, “Oh, you poor thing, you have no idea what you’re missing.”
The choices I’ve made for food this week may be on one end of the extreme spectrum, but so were theirs. Neither meal plan would be sustainable for the long term, but at least I’m aware of what I’m putting in my body. I’m not sure anyone at that table could say the same thing. I’ll be happy when the cleanse is over so I can have a giant cup of coffee, but I hope that I can keep up some of the other aspects well past this week.
Day 4: How I staved off cravings for, well, just about everything.