{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan } Week 10 or The Official Starbucks Goodbye

by Valerie on August 30, 2009 · 3 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.

I have written before how Starbucks used to very much be a source of calm and routine for me. As much as I prefer little independent cafes, I used to love seeing what the new seasonal drinks and treats were. Starbucks was very much my happy place in a lot of ways. I almost always ordered chais (iced or hot) or decaf lattes or green tea or herbal teas, so I never really thought about caffeine addiction.

But, I noticed about a year ago {so long before the detox diet was even on the horizon} that I would have cravings for an iced skim chai that were bad, like climb-the-wall bad. Eventually, with time, I ended up cutting out the chais completely – as much as I loved them, I hated that they could result in such unpleasant cravings, which I also found puzzling, as I had been drinking them for years. Looking back, it was probably the sugar in them, but also the fact that I had started associating them with a feeling of “I deserve a treat” which can be a power feeling when you are unhappy at your job, and a trip to Starbucks is pretty much the one way you can get away easily.

Switching jobs obviously helped but, even though I cut out the chais, I kept Starbucks as my happy-take-a-break place. I was also really into the Limited Edition pastries – I found the whole concept very fun even though I had no idea why. My rule used to be that I could try any of them just once. Otherwise I usually got the Reduced Fat Coffee Cakes.

I still occasionally go to Starbucks {I drink herbal teas} but since I cannot eat any of the cakes there, I don’t even really look in the case. Sometimes during Week 10 of the diet, though, I noticed that there were now a Reduced Fat Very Berry Coffee Cake, instead of the Reduced Fat Blueberry Coffee Cake, which I ate easily once or twice a week before this diet. That’s when it hit me that Starbucks’ place in my life had really changed – it no longer has all those extra associations that it used to have for me, whether it was “I deserve a treat” or “happy place” or “fun new items regularly” or “comforting place that is always the same whereever I go and includes some sugary treat.”
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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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melita August 31, 2009 at 1:54 am

although i don't go to starbucks often, i would miss it.


2 Emily August 31, 2009 at 10:14 am

I use Starbucks as a break in my day (I used to say I'm off to rent a table). When I cut milk out of my diet I steered clear for a while as I didn't think I could not have a cinnamon dulce latte and I really missed going. Now I go a couple times a week to just write or read and really enjoying being there. Like you it doesn't really occur to me now to look at the food offered. I aim not to eat between meals too so my body doesn't ask either.
I am enjoying reading your thoughts on this whole process ~ it's nice reading it from someone who seems to enjoy similar things as myself!


3 Jen of A2eatwrite August 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Where is your happy place now? Yoga? Do you have a take a break routine?


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