A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I learned from 28 days of abstinence

No.  Not from THAT!  Let's not get carried away.

After battling some medical issues for some time and exploring traditional methods as well as considering possible surgery, I decided to try the alternative route.  I'm much more included toward holistic brouhaha anyway.

So at the suggestion of a new doctor, I decided to attempt a 28 day detox (note that this was done under the care and recommendation of a physician and included a medical food supplement to ensure it was done safely).  That's my disclaimer for don't try this at home kids.  

  It was definitely an eye opening experience. I had to meet several times with a group, each participating for similar reasons.  The facilitator in fact had reversed ALL symptoms of his Crohn's disease through diet alone.  I was eager to see what I'd learn.

Here's how it went down:
  • No caffeine - I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I do start each day with a small (not supersized) cuppa Joe.  This was surprisingly easy.  Replaced it with a cup of herbal caffeine free tea and once the headache went away after a few days, I didn't miss my coffee.
  • No alcohol - Ok this one was a bit harder. And not because I'm a huge drinker.   Believe it or not I made it through college with only a few wine coolers here and there (pathetic showing at college, I know!).  Although there was that one night in NYC after the Big East Tournament....but wait I digress.  Anyway, I realized it was not so much the alcohol, as the rituals around it.  My husband and I would have our little "happy hours" over the weekend on our patio.  We'd read, chat and drink wine.  Drinking water during these little dates was just boring.
  • No sugar - That was a tough one because sugar is in EVERYTHING.  While I do consider myself to be a chocoholic,  the reality is that I don't eat chocolate every day.  But nevertheless, reading the labels looking for this was an eye opener.
  • No gluten - Another challenge, but I learned a lot about the pricey gluten free products available today.  Needless to say, I ate a lot of rice that month.  Which incidentally is gluten free.
  • No dairy (or soy) - Now I've never met a cheese I didn't like, but I've weaned myself off of a lot of dairy with soy products.  Since soy was also off the list, I began experimenting even more with things like almond milk and rice milk. 
  • No processed foods - That one was a no brainer and one I've been trying to eliminate from my life anyway.
  • No red meat  (and no chicken or fish for 7 of the days) - Here I'll confess that I cheated big time in this category, because I did not refrain from chicken or fish for the required 7 days.  My job is too physical  to limit protein to that degree, even with the medical food supplement.   The facilitator of my group agreed. 
 Here's what I learned:
  1. I already have pretty healthy eating habits.
  2. I have the power within me me to do ANYTHING I choose.  
  3. We don't need as much food as we think
  4. Making better food choices can COMPLETELY change how you feel every day.
  5. Changing our health is absolutely in our hands.
  6. Our food determines our energy and defines our mood
  7. Many chronic conditions which we become accustomed to living with can be reversed naturally
  8. Having such a powerful awareness of the impact of my food choices empowers me to choose more carefully.  
  9. Hippocrates had it right "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food"
I'm happy to say that after completing this process, I no longer had an immediate need for surgery, and my symptoms were under control. I also learned a lot about the chemicals that we're exposed to, how it affects us and that we can all benefit from a minor detox (5-7 days) a few times a year.   

I'm planning to do another short one (this time using the NutriClean 7 Day Detox product.  It's simple and is designed for anyone who just wants to 'clean out the junk,' basically like an oil change for your body.  If you want to join me, send me a message and I'll let you know how to get yours.


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