{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan} Week 5 or That Sinking Forever Feeling

by Valerie on August 9, 2009 · 6 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 health 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.

By the end of week 4, I was thrilled to be able to add back into my diet something new – honestly, by then, I did not particularly care what it was. I got to add back in lean organic grass-fed red meat {I can eat it once a week now}. I love fish and I love beans/legumes, but I was glad to get a new source of protein.

Week 5, though, was when it really hit me that this diet was kind of forever in some ways. Sure, eventually I will have a little more flexibility. Eventually I will get tested for food allergies {I chose to wait and focus on my other health issues first, rather than add back in some of the foods I am potentially allergic to, just to get tested}. But, the days of saying “I really want X, and who cares if if I don’t know what is in it” – well, those days are pretty much gone.

Despite what I will call the “sinking forever feeling” though, having energy continued to be this new thrilling feeling {trust me, that novelty eventually wore off, but that’s for Weeks 8-9-10}.

The other thing that really hit me during Week 5 was that when I did have food cravings, they were inherently emotional rather than physical. Like, I did not think at all about missing butter until coming across a risotto recipe I would have loved to make. Oddly, though, such cravings were not automatically triggered – I could read through an entire issue of Bon Appetit, with very well-styled food photography, and not trigger any, but then see a cupcake on a food blog and immediately get sad and wish I could have it. And sometimes, out of the blue, through no visible trigger, I would think of a food I loved that I couldn’t have because of the detox diet and immediately crave it, even though the craving didn’t feel physical as much as emotional. That was particularly fascinating, because I had always kind of assumed if you crave something, your body is trying to tell you something. And I still believe that – but those cravings didn’t feel physical. If anything, my body felt pretty unassociated with them.
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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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren August 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I've noticed my cravings become less physical and more emotional with my weight loss too. I think that might be even more difficult than the physical. For instance, wanting my mom's mac and cheese when I am home is a comfort and the craving is strong, even thoughI know that I'll feel gross after eating it. It has been really hard to control those type of cravings.


2 Carolyn August 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

This is tough for me, as I know I'm an emotional eater. But honestly, some of my cravings still feel physical… but not in the "oh i need sugar" sense, but more just that i miss the taste of something. I hope one day I can associate cravings w/ only my head because then it's a bit easier to avoid temptation!


3 Jen of A2eatwrite August 11, 2009 at 1:44 am

Many of my cravings are in my head, rather than my body. I know it's a body, thing, though, when all of a sudden blueberries are the only food in the universe, or I just HAVE to have spinach or fish.

Um… cupcakes? In. my. head.


4 Lynne August 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

Once something is forbidden we want it more. How much do I normally care about beer? Or soft cheese? But get me knocked up and now I'm drooling for some Camembert.


5 Karley August 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm

My cravings are completely emotional as well…I also find that watching the Food Network at night can be a problem–I can almost taste what they're making and want to go in the kitchen (or for takeout) right then and there.

Last week, Bobby Flay made chocolate chip cookies on his show, "Throwdown." The craving lasted until morning and I went to Wegmans to grab the ingredients. That's sad…but they were GREAT cookies!


6 Emily August 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

Hello :)
I'm enjoying reading your detox posts.
Last year I decided to improve my diet and it was interesting to read your notes on how your body felt unassociated with certain foods. I've also found that even if my mind was there, ready and waiting, my body just didn't feel like it. I still subscribe to some food magazines, but when a particular spread appeals to me, I just switch it up until it's something my body and mind want.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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