When we were in Seattle over the summer, my husband and I drank every night for a month straight. For someone who drinks a glass of wine 2 or 3 nights per week, this was a lot. So we both decided that when we got back into Phoenix and resumed our normal routine, we would stay away from alcohol for one month. By the end of the month, we both felt so good that I got to thinking: what else could we do to feel even better? It was around the same time that I caught wind of several people I follow on Twitter or FB or in the blogosphere doing the Clean Detox. Since these people were all runners as well, I was intrigued. I quickly picked up the book Clean by Alejandro Junger to see what this detox was all about.
For me, a detox is not about losing weight. The book says it best: It’s about rebooting your system. It’s cleaning out all the bad stuff in your body in order to feel better physically and mentally. I like this detox over many others because it involves real food. It’s not one of those cleanses where you only drink lemon-cayenne water or vegetable juice. It’s a liquid meal (smoothie, shake, or soup) for breakfast and dinner, and a “real” meal during lunch. This also makes it convenient for working folks – no need to bring special shakes and formulas to the office or worry about how to prepare certain foods in front of your cube-mates. The only rules for lunches (and snacks) are that they have to follow a basic elimination diet: no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no soy, no nightshade veggies, etc. And for the entire detox, there is no alcohol or caffeine.
It took me a while to accept the fact that I would have to forego my morning cup of joe for more than two weeks. This would be the hardest hurdle to overcome. The first day was really hard – I had a headache and was tired. But you know what? But by the second and third day, I felt totally fine. I realized that it’s not necessarily the coffee that I crave. It’s the ritual of having a cup of coffee that I crave. So instead, I drink some hot herbal tea while I’m working and I get the same feeling of ritual. Plus there is no crash later in the day and need to refuel on caffeine. It’s been exactly one week since I gave up coffee and so far I am really enjoying how I feel. Don’t get me wrong – I am very much looking forward to having my coffee back, but I am going to try not to have it every single day.
The rest of the detox is going really well, too. My husband and I were both really cranky and moody for the first few days, which was likely due to being hungry and craving the things we can’t eat. It’s hard when your kids are eating pancakes and sandwiches in front of you and you can’t finish their leftovers. But I think we are past that phase and feeling much better. I notice that I’m sleeping really well and have more energy. I woke up on my own at 4:45 this morning and had one of the best swim workouts I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t run since we started the detox because I’m using it as an excuse to rest my ailing hip and knee. I’m getting regular acupuncture treatments, resting, and rolling, and am hoping that in another few days to a week I’ll be back to running again. I’ll be curious to see how the running feels as a result of the detox.