{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan} Days 1-3 aka Getting the Schedule Down

by Valerie on July 19, 2009 · 0 comments

  Update June 2010 on How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan – I had originally named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I really do not like the concept of  a detox diet.   It is ironic in that the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well as a strong dairy intolerance.  I continue to avoid all dairy and gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical.  I firmly believe that the vast improvements in my heath are based on the long-term changes I made, and want my posts on the experience to convey this.    
Background: The Detox Diet Diaries recounts my story of doing a detox diet for health reasons and to isolate food allergies which may have been a contributing factor to some of my health problems. This diet involves real food. I am not on the Master Cleanse, or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cleanse, or Oprah’s cleanse, nor are my posts on my diet a way to support their actions. As I explained in my background post, I am doing this under the care of a naturopathic doctor}.

As I posted yesterday, I kept food pretty simple the first few days. Honestly, for me the most stressful part those first few days was getting eating on a schedule down. The naturopath had really emphasized the importance of eating closer to when I awake in the morning (ideally within an hour of getting up), of snacking two hours later, and eating lunch another two hours after that.

That was more stressful for me than knowing that I could only eat certain foods. Pre-detox diet, I never skipped breakfast, but I often had it at 9.30am or 10am (so 2-3 hours after waking up), often because I was starting to get headachy by then. I routinely ate lunch at 2 or 3pm because things would get busy at my job. You get the idea. I had always been big on eating only when I was hungry, but apparently by the time I realize I am hungry, my blood sugar is plummeting. I discussed all of that with the naturopath and was grateful to have a schedule, not to mention an approach to keeping my blood sugar steady.

So I spend Days 1-3 basically with a checklist in hand and setting the alarm feature on my cell phone to remember to eat at the correct time. Honestly, that felt much more punishing than what I was eating. I love fish and vegetables, and I was eating plenty of that, so did not feel deprived.

Considering I had a schedule to follow in terms of eating, I did not expect to be hungry. And sure enough, I was not hungry, ever, in those first three days {I am now at the beginning of Week 8, and I can still say that as long as I follow the schedule, I don’t get hungry}

What surprised me most was that my cravings for foods I couldn’t eat were really not that bad. They weren’t even really cravings. In fact, the cravings were much more intellectual and/or habitual thoughts than cravings. On Day 2, while I was eating my late afternoon snack of baby carrots and raw almonds, I idly thought how that was usually the time I would often have a piece of dark chocolate and some sparkling water. I felt a bit sad, missing the dark chocolate, but it was not an awful feeling. I was more aware that I missed the experience than the chocolate or sparkling water.

One thing I noticed on Day 3 was that I was not having any sort of afternoon slump. The afternoon slumping had already been less noticeable the few weeks before starting the detox diet, but had remained to some degree {leading me to think not eating much dairy was definitely helping with my energy levels, but was not necessarily the whole answer}. I realized that I had gone from some afternoon fatigue to none – it was almost eerie.

By the end of Day 3, I was less worried about the schedule as it was starting to become a new habit. And the lack of afternoon fatigue was a powerful motivator to stay engaged with the detox diet.

Disclaimer: I am just a regular person posting about my experience doing a detox diet for health reasons and, ultimately, to isolate food allergies that may be the underlying cause of said health problems. I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Please do not use information from these posts to do your own detox diet. Rather, seek advice from a doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what the correct course of action for your health is.

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