Some people claim I used to have an eating disorder. I claim that I just ate very oddly and obsessively healthily for a normal 14-year-old, and that, true, at times I certainly didn't eat enough. Regardless, all eating disorders and their offshoots come down to the same thing: control.
So here's the thing: I don't have an eating disorder - or anything like it - anymore. But, I do still have that strange control thing with food. When things don't go well, when I feel like I don't know what's going on, I usually don't eat very much. Most people I know eat more when they're stressed, when life is spinning out of control. They cuddle up with a bag of Dorito's or a tub of ice cream and watch "Real World" marathons. But I do the opposite, because that's always one thing I can control. I overbook myself, work psychotically on small projects, and regulate or restrict my food intake. It's just the way I am.
So right now, when something totally shitty is going on and I have absolutely no control over the situation, I've decided to turn my otherwise unhealthy behavior into something good for me: I'm doing a detox.
It's a test of control at a time when all I want is something I can control. Seems the perfect solution.
I don't know how fashionable these things are in the US, but I know a fair amount of people who have done them. Detox formulas exist in all kinds of shapes and colors, but the basic idea is the same: change your eating habits for a short while so as to rid your body of accumulated toxins. Packaged foods, smoking, city air, alcohol, preservatives, pesticides... these are all toxins stored in our bodies that we can purge ourselves of (at least a small percentage, at any rate) by eating certain foods and incorporating certain hygenic practices.
So I start my morning, every morning, at 7 am. On days where I work at 8.30, naturally it starts an hour or so earlier. I wake up and drink a lemon infusion: lemon, hot water, honey. Then I scrub my body with the scrub brush and follow that with a cold shower. Next it's breakfast: fruit, sheep's milk yoghurt, and more honey. Sometimes I add nuts or seeds or grains to change the texture and to make the whole event more jazzy.
Since I'm not going to get the type of food I need in the high school cafeteria, I bring along some brown rice, tofu, veggies, fruit, feta, whatever I may need for my lunch. I also bring along a snack for the 10.30 break. Usually the snack is dried fruit. This means preparing a brown-bag lunch � l'am�ricaine, something which the Frenchies just find strange. Of course, they don't have brown bags, though.
Dinner is either a big salad (with tuna) or cooked fish of some sort. Usually I incorporate potatoes somehow, because they're something on the approved-foods list, and I love them. Last night I got lazy and had a veggie soy burger, which has some salt for preservation. Preservatives and salt are to be avoided, but what can you do? I can only get so inventive with the permitted ingredients.
The crazy thing is that they said that after 24 hours of the detox, I would have a stuffed nose. They claimed this was because the body is trying to rid itself of toxins. I thought they meant I might be a little sniffly, but Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! I couldn't breathe for two whole days. I was shocked. I guess I hadn't really believed the whole idea of "detox," but now I actually think this program might be doing me some good.
Mainly, though, I'm just happy to be eating healthily. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies. Absolutely no bread whatsoever, which pretty much just cut out 50% of what I eat. No products made from cow's milk - only sheep or goat can produce my yoghurt and milk. Or soybeans. Soybeans can make my milk, too.
I'm actually noticing a difference. I have more energy, I wake up extremely easily, and my body feels light and more muscular. It's very strange. I've only been doing this for five days, but I do believe I can feel it. I'm excited to see how I feel at the end of this week.
The hardest things to resist? Oddly, there aren't many. The first day was very difficult. I found myself panting in front of patisserie windows - something I don't do when I'm eating regularly. I'm not much one for pastries, but it must have been because I had restricted my eating so severely that everything suddenly came across as temptation. But the patisseries weren't hard to refuse, mainly because they make good eye candy but I don't ever consider actually buying them.
No, the hard things to resist are coffee and tea. Caffeine is a great thing, and I guess I hadn't realized how much of it I drank. The frightening thing is that I have really cut down from earlier years. Still, the first few days I always had a mild headache, and I think that was just caffeine withdrawal. Now I'm doing fine, and my energy is starting to level out. Yesterday, I had a pretty bad dip in energy around 17.00, but I just rode through it, instead of upping it with a coffee as I would normally do.
I'm sure refusing alcohol later will be difficult as well. But I'm not too worried. Mainly, I'm just not planning on going out to dinner for the next few weeks so that I'm not confronted with the double-whammy of both finding something that fits into my temporary dietary restrictions and keeping away from the wine. Plus, this is a way for me to avoid spending money.
I don't know why exactly I decided to do the detox. I actually just sort of slipped into it. I had read a book about it and thought, Huh. I should try eating like that for a day or two. So I did, and now it's stretched out into several days, and I figure, Why the hell not just do the damn detox program?
So I apologize for the absence in posts for awhile there. I was fixing up the other site and I had a slight problem here, so the combo led me to just ignore odessastreet. Poor baby. But I'm back now, and I'll slowly be rebuilding this site into something semi-good over the next week or so.
Meanwhile, I'll be eating lots of red beans and brown rice. And fennel. Maybe I'll learn to actually like fennel.