Week 3 has definitely featured better food that was actually not too far off from what I normally eat. There have been a couple of fails (avocado smoothie anyone?), but I’ve enjoyed the food a lot more. My energy seems to have picked up a bit too. However, I would’ve robbed anyone with a peanut butter sandwich on my 30-minute run on Sunday.
Kevin and I had a long talk about what I had hoped the cleanse would do—make me feel better—and what the cleanse has actually done—not so much. I nearly quit the cleanse on Sunday but decided to tough it out to see if this week held any improvements. What I’ve realized is that I don’t necessarily eat food that’s all that bad for me. No, I’m not gluten free or vegan, but I do select healthy foods and I’m not opposed to eating vegan or gluten free occasionally. Strangely I haven’t missed a lot of the dairy, and it’s because I don’t eat much dairy. The problem was that I had slipped into a pattern of overindulging in sweets and alcohol, and that just doesn’t make me feel very good. That first week of quitting those two things cold turkey provided the greatest benefit in terms of how I feel.
If I’ve learned anything from this cleanse it’s this: moderation. I need to watch my portion size. I also need to add more fish to my diet and not eat as many whole grains, although those are really important too, especially when I’m running. I need to look at dessert as a special treat instead of a valuable part of every meal. And when I do drink wine, I should limit myself to two glasses max.
The cleanse wasn’t a total fail because of that wisdom, which admittedly I should’ve known. Sometimes you get caught in a rut though, and you have to step out of that rut to see the big picture. Hey, I also got a few great recipes out of this cleanse: that stuffed avocado (amazing!) and this week’s chickpea and brown rice patties (a veggie burger that stays together is a small miracle in itself).
Will I do next week’s bonus week? Decidedly not, although I might borrow a couple of recipes and keep eating that gluten-free oatmeal (this is better if you actually cook the oats) for breakfast. The menu opens up a lot for week 4, and I think I can manage to eat sensibly without a preplanned menu. And hell, I deserve a glass of wine after all of this. But just one.
(If you’re curious about the menu for the bonus week, check it out here.)