Thursday, February 26, 2009

Willpower Breakdowns and Start of the Kidney Cleanse

I had about a week between the end of the critter cleanse and the beginning of the kidney cleanse. As I mentioned in previous posts, the critter cleanse was pretty rough on the the last few days, so I decided to give my body a few days to regain equilibrium before putting it through any further detox.

During my week "off" I kept up with a few supplements - a probiotic and buffered vitamin C - as they should help with absorption and digestion.


I had a potluck in the midst of this week, where I let myself have a glass of wine and a few bites of food that I wasn't supposed to have. Ian was great enough to make a vegan lasagna, but of course the refined noodles aren't on the good list. Neither were Ben's fabulous snickerdoodle cupcakes. Or Dwight's banana muffins. Or Scot's mini brownies.

Unfortunately, as will often happen with sugar and carbs due to their addictive nature, a few bites turned into a whole cupcake. And a muffin. And 4-5 mini brownies. And a second serving of the lasagna. Did I mention someone brought home made bread?

Yeah, I felt gross the rest of the night and the next day. Mostly, I was just bloated, and a little lethargic. But it was amazing to notice how some not-so-good for you food (I mean, it's not like I downed a bag of chips or a pint of Ben and Jerry's) can make you feel. Part of the point of the whole cleansing diet is to get back to the basics, so that as you introduce new foods, you can recognize what they do to your body. I took note.

I was good about everything until Friday, when Ian's work had a party with free drinks. I wasn't going to, but my will power gave out when they handed me the drink ticket. So I got a glass of wine. What was good was that it took me nearly 2 hours to drink it. I have NEVER nursed a drink that long in my life. And I didn't indulge in the bad food; I only grabbed a few veggies, no dip. I drank 2 glasses of water to my one glass of wine. So I thought I was all good.

I hadn't felt the other two glasses of wine I'd consumed during this process. I don't know what was different this time around, but Saturday morning at work, I could tell I'd had some alcohol. I wasn't hungover by any means, but my head was a little foggy. And I just... felt it. It felt like the very tail end of a hangover, I guess. It was subtle, but I noticed.

It was a little horrifying, knowing that for most of the last few years, I've had a couple of drinks a couple of nights a week. And I rarely noticed the effect. I guess when you get used to it, you start thinking feeling that way is normal. So long as you're not full out hungover, it's okay. It made me really rethink how frequently I'm going to drink when I'm done with all of this.

Sunday was yet another pitfall, this time it was a key lime tart. I wasn't going to have any, but someone cut me a piece. Then I was just going to have one bite, but the Oscars are long. As the tart sat there, I slowly chipped away at it. After three hours, it was gone.

I felt gross on Monday. You know, the way you do if you drink way too much soda. It was a sugar hangover. Eew. At least it went away pretty quickly.

I'm not proud that I went off the good diet so many times. It sounds like a lot more when I write it down - I guess that's why food journals/blogs are good for dieters. It's easy to justify a small "cheat" when you've "been so good for so long." But it's harder when you look at your journal and realized you just "cheated" two days ago.

Kidney Cleanse

Tuesday I started the kidney cleanse. It's short, but intense. It involves staying on the clean diet, though skipping out on salt (even sea salt) for a few days. We made a tea with some herbs and parsley broth and black cherry extract, that we are supposed to sip over the course of two days. It's rather potent, so you really are only supposed to have a sip or two an hour. It doesn't taste very good, but I've gotten used to it. And there are a few herbal supplements as well.

I've definitely been rather tired and had a lot of detox soreness the last two days, but it could be worse. I even decided to do the third optional day of the tea today, for good measure. Tomorrow, day 4, we just take the herbs. And then on to the liver!

The kidney and liver cleanses were really the reason I took the course. I drank a lot last fall (Ultimate Frisbee league sponsored by the Great Dane - brilliant and dangerous at the same time.) and was genuinely getting worried about what I was doing to my system. I wanted to do what I could to heal and support it.

There's really no way to measure the effects of this cleanse. With the first one, I could see weight loss and my skin clearing up. I've noticed since I've been on the better diet I don't get the mid-day energy slump, I don't crave sweets or cheese anymore, I sleep better. But I don't know what to say about my kidneys. I hope they're happier!


Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

I went through a similar cleanse a few years ago and I applaud your efforts because dude, THAT IS HARD.

When I went through my cleanse, something else came up for me, too. I started slipping into what I would now consider pretty severely disordered eating-- I started viewing almost all food as the "enemy", feeling trapped and surrounded in the grocery store and at social events, and feeling (what I now believe were often psychosomatic) effects after nearly every bite of food.

I'm not saying that sugar and alcohol and caffeine and dairy don't ever have a negative effect on your body-- they do, and it's good to limit (or even eliminate, if that resonates with you) those things from our diet, but I would consider if some of the effects you're feeling could be in part psychosomatic because you're feeling guilty for indulging and you're expecting to have a negative reaction.

Anyway, just a thought! Good luck to you!

Nicole said...

I have had a raised awareness of my reactions to food. Though I haven't felt the "enemy" feeling you referred to - I've actually really enjoyed exploring what creative things I can eat/make within my diet, I have started having portion-control issues. Part of eating healthfully is to eat until you're only 80% full, but since my food choices are limited, I keep finding myself wanting to eat as much of what I can at a sitting, instead of paying attention to what my body actually needs.

This was an eating issue I used to have and had resolved; it seems to be coming up again. At least this time I am more aware of it, and hopefully it's coming up as part of the detox process which means it's rising to the surface as it's leaving.