Delicious cupcakes from Flying Monkey Patisserie
I've been meaning to follow up about the detox diet I posted about a few weeks ago. I feel like I've already had so many conversations with friends where I 'fessed up that I didn't make it the full 21 days. I did, however, make changes that I think are here to stay. Yes, those are cupcakes, and yes, I did eat 1/2 of one at a family party 2 weeks ago!
Regarding the official detox: no alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine (and I must be forgetting something), I definitely stuck to it for 2 weeks. The first week was way harder than I imagined. I am fortunate enough to have a nice kitchen with all of my favorite kitchen implements and a juicer to keep me going. I did have a pretty decent headache for a few days, which is an extremely rare occurrence for me. It was a strange reminder that the body has a way of communicating with you when things go awry. The headache did go away and by the end of the first week, I was really feeling the difference.
Since caving in, I've been a little less strict about the choices I make, but I'm really trying to adhere to as much as I can. I have a massive addiction to soy chai lattes, which I have essentially cut out. Yes, I've had a few here and there. Without going into details, Murphy's Law brought in this unbelievably stressful situation having to do with my house smack dab in the middle of the detox. Talk about finding inner strength. Thankfully, the worst has passed, but I'll admit, I treated myself to a soy chai latte or two during this time :)
I'm also an incredible fan of dairy. I adore eating plain yogurt with granola or fruit for breakfast (not anymore) and one of my most favorite things to create is a beautiful cheese platter. Don't even get me started on aged gouda. Yum. My family is big into the cheese & crackers, and I've seen them a few times over the past month or so. We show up with gluten free crackers and spicy hummus and all is well. And for breakfast? My new favorite is raw almond butter on a thin cake (made with quinoa, corn & sesame).
What I've thought a lot about since making these choices is how difficult it can be to eat out with these restrictions. And I might add, I don't think they are restrictions. Basically, eat more veggies! That's supposed to be simple! Not so much. It's hard to grab a snack somewhere without it being covered in cheese or wrapped in bread.
Essene Market & Cafe
Thankfully there is the amazing & almost entirely vegan (save for the occasional egg or honey) cafe at Essene Market & Cafe in Queen Village. I've definitely been visiting a lot more lately for a meal or a snack. I will always owe any interest I have in food & healing to them, as I learned so much during the years I worked there during college. Quite possibly, one of my favorite places in Philly!
So maybe I wasn't hardcore enough to be unwavering in my 21 day detox, but what I've decided to grab onto instead is an entirely new philosophy of eating. I've been vegetarian (and recently slightly pescatarian) for over 15 years at this point, but I was still eating more crap than I needed to. Paying attention to, reducing, or even better eliminating the amount of sugar & dairy that goes into your body is probably one of the most significant things you can do to see a real change in your body and mind. If you're up for it, remove gluten for a few weeks and see if that feels any different. Coffee nut? How about trying to commit to 2 weeks without. The first week will suck big time, but how about the dream of waking up and actually feeling awake?
Just as in life, most of us are in a constant state of improvement and growth. Embrace it and always be open to more. Live with a beginner's mind. Surprise yourself. Conquer one thing and move onto the next. Share your experiences, but more importantly, savor them. You are what you eat! Change the recipe.