Monday, September 23, 2013

Doing a Cleanse: Day 1: A Tortuous Adventure

Day 1

My pal and I decided to do Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet 21 Day Adventure Cleanse a week or so ago.  She did it over the summer and reported that she got compliments on the evident change in her appearance literally every day.  While I wouldn't mind sporting a new glow, I was thinking of it more like a vegan kick start.  Here's the gist of the cleanse:


  • all animal products: meat and dairy
  • gluten
  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • starting the day with lemon water (cayenne optional)
    • water with lemon, cayenne and maple syrup is part of the master cleanse, so not sure if that just got left out...?
  • liquids only until noon
  • food combining - basically just eating fruits away from other foods
  • dry skin brushing
  • exercise 35 minutes daily
  • daily morning meditation
  • prayers
All of this is a big change for me - I usually eat gluten and dairy daily, I enjoy a hearty breakfast, I'm very inactive and I don't meditate or pray.  But maybe I should...and maybe I will. 

Today is only Day 1 and here's what I've learned so far:

1) The cayenne to water ratio needs to be specified.  

And the size of glass of water with lemon and cayenne to drink.  I poured myself a full mason jar (that's 32 ounces) of water, squeezed in 1/4 lemon worth of juice and added a "smidgen" of cayenne and about 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup.  My first sips tasted pretty good and as the morning wore on, this started feeling more and more like some kind of torture.  I rarely get heartburn, but this drink was enough to trigger some serious heat.  I'm thinking tomorrow, 1 granule of cayenne in 8 ounces is probably sufficient.  I also think sipping lemon water throughout the day is probably not good for my teeth.  The acid in the lemon has to have some effect on my enamel, right?  Yes, drinking lemon water is probably not as bad as soaking my teeth in soda, but still. 

2) Trying to start the day on liquids requires more planning...and serious sipping.  

After preparing my water and packing my lunch, I made my usual morning protein smoothie, this time with vegan protein powder instead of whey.  I got to work with a little extra time, so I called my mom and before I knew it, time to get busy...with little time to finish that lemon water (I still have 1/2 left), no time to drink my herbal tea and forget about getting my smoothie out of the fridge.  I usually drink my smoothie on my commute, because either my husband drives me to work or I take the bus/train - plenty of time to drink and fiddle with my phone.  Not so when I drove myself in today.  And seriously, that's a lot of liquid to carry on a commute.  I've been trying to whittle my 20 lb pack down and adding in a mason jar of lemon water, 2 blender bottles of smoothie and a thermos of herbal tea - so not happening.  I'm going to have to slam that water at home, plan on making tea at work and bring my smoothie with plans to drink it on the way in.

3) Temptation is impossible to avoid and hard to resist.  

So today was also unusual in that midday between patients I had to take my mother-in-law who's been visiting for 3 weeks to the airport.  I had seen a few patients this morning on only my cayenne water and 1/2 smoothie, so by the time I was driving back to the office, I was starved.  Because my MIL is a vegetarian, we eat exclusively vegetarian when she is visiting.  She doesn't even know that my husband and I eat meat.  I find it ironic that we're so careful about her not knowing we eat meat when I find myself really wanting to lay into her about her milk consumption.  I find milk (the literal liquid milk, not all dairy products) disgusting and I think my MIL would feel a lot better if she gave it up, but she doesn't ask, so I don't try to change her.  She's almost 70 and feels pretty strongly about her diet and lifestyle, so I don't suppose I'm going to make much change unless it starts with her own curiosity.  I did enjoy taking her to a presentation entitled "Becoming Vegan" in which the speaker focused on milk and it's many ill health effects.  Brilliant.  

But I digress.  The stress of dealing with my in-laws often drives me to meat.  Something I don't typically crave that often, but always want after being with them for any prolonged period of time.  I often meat-load in advance of their visits, sneak out during and then binge on meat after they leave.  I don't really want to do it, but it's just part of my emotional eating routine.  Today, in a rush to get back to the office after dropping her at the airport, I considered a quick run through McD's for a burger...deciding on some restraint, since I'm cleansing and all, I ran through Taco Bell for some bean burritos instead.  I haven't gotten my diet soda, yet, but I'm mentally making plans to go out for one soon.  It's gluten and sugar free, but I don't think it's really in alignment with the goals of the cleanse.  And that brings me to #4.

4) Cleansing brings up your shit.  

I'm dealing with a lot of emotional baggage following this most recent visit of my MIL, including things that have nothing to do with her and it's hard to deal with or let go, so it's just hanging out in the soup.  Though this blog is completely anonymous (except for the possible couple of friends who subscribed a long time ago and may still be subscribed not knowing it - what's up Brian and Christa?), it's probably not a good idea to blast out the whole of who did and said what and the seven years of my relationship with them and the many years before that of my husband's relationship with his parents and the entire cross cultural history of how they and he have developed into who and how they are today, so I'll just summarize. 

Husband and I did something moderately bad.  His mother got mad and screamed at us for two days.  She then gave us the silent treatment for two days.  Then we all just pretended nothing happened.  

I think this is probably a typical peace-keeping strategy employed by families in all cultures and it works in a limited way.  But I didn't forget what was screamed at me, nor do I think it advisable to forget.  Due to the screaming, it has become clear to my husband, even without my prompting, that there are certain changes that need to take place in our dealings with his parents.  His parents, who he deeply loves and respects and treats with as much difference as I've ever seen.  His parents, who expect him to pay, plan and execute many aspects of their lives and then treat him like a child.  His mother, who basically called me a gold digger, told me that the entire family doesn't like me and pretty clearly indicated that marrying me was the biggest mistake her son ever made and attributes all of the ways "he's changed" (obviously with negative connotation) to being in a relationship with me...or maybe with white girls in general.  

So, on Day 1 of the cleanse, when it should be easy cause I'm just getting started, it feels like torture.  My head is pounding, my blood pressure is elevated and all I can think about is laying in bed for the next week in blissed out abandon that our home is just ours again, we don't need to fear another wrathful outburst and that we don't have to put on our pants or robes to go down to the kitchen for another cup of coffee or bowl of sugar-free dairy-free ice cream.  

But sure, it's an adventure cleanse after all, right?  

No comments: