No alcohol. No dairy. No caffeine. No meat. No sugar. No processed carbs.
Lots of water. Lots of vegetables. Lots of aerobic exercise. Essential Oils.
For some this is probably a normal day in the life. For me, this constitutes detox purgatory as I walk through the shadow of the valley of
death temptations. Technically, what I’m doing is badged under the name ‘The 10 Day Challenge’, but I know a detox when I see one even if it does have a clever marketing name to hide behind. Yet here I am, putting myself to the test to see if its possible to have a semi-decent social life while simultaneously walking the path of the righteous man. That, plus my usual motivation of vanity – this should be interesting.
Looking at the list of banned substances, I figure that no dairy and no caffeine are pretty much done since I don’t drink coffee and already avoid most dairy products. I also don’t drink soft drinks and am fairly confident on the no meat front since I prefer seafood anyway. Lastly, I figure that most of my drinking is done when I go out. In fact, I’m starting to think this challenge might even be easy! That brief moment of spectacular delusion and self deception lasts for less than a minute. Other than that, I’m not sure what to expect.
Day 1 Highlights
I’m totally fired up and ready to go! I half suspect that part of my extra enthusiasm may be an attempt to distract from the disbelief that my inner monologue is expressing. Anyway, adding to my usual morning routine of a 45 minute spin bike session, I start the day with a glass of water with lemon and have a green smoothie for breakfast… so far so good. I’ve also taken 2 fish oil capsules and 3 teaspoons of coconut oil which is supposed to suppress sugar and chocolate cravings – I’m fighting the instinct to gag as I do this and promise myself that if this doesn’t work, there’ll be no second chance for this little sucker of a trick. I progress the day with a wheatgrass shot (thank god for the citrus chaser) and am feeling downright proud of myself. Until lunchtime… suddenly the graveness of my rather limited food options hits me. No rice. No bread. I end up opting for carb free teriyaki tofu with salad at the nearby Japanese takeaway joint. Am blissfully ignoring the highly probable sugar content in the teriyaki sauce. I also realise as I finish work that I haven’t had any chocolate and am simultaneously pleased and crushed about the coconut oil trick. Coming home, I’m still inspired and make a sweet potato, kale and coconut soup which tastes half decent and doesn’t take very long to make. Day 1 complete and a success (ignore the teriyaki sauce, ignore!).
Day 2 Highlights
Another morning of lemon water, fish oil, coconut oil *shudder* and later a wheatgrass shot to wash down a breakfast of leftover soup. I decide to also take some of the leftover sweet potato, kale and coconut soup to work for lunch and congratulate myself on how angelically good I am. Post lunch, my after glow of self congratulations comes to a shuddering halt as it is confronted by one of the cursed afternoon teas that my workplace frequenty holds. The granddaddy of all chocolate cakes sits defiantly in front of me. I wish I could say that I handled this temptation with ease and dignity instead of martyred suffering. Not sure how, but somehow I claw past the afternoon tea with nothing but some fruit. My sense of holier than though cred is going through the roof.
Day 3 Highlights
TGIF! Time to celebrate the end of the work week and the beginning of another wonderful weekend with some drinks….oh wait, no alcohol. The prospect of drinking only water instead of a delicious cocktail does nothing particularly inspirational for me but I’m determined not to surrender by being a hermit or not having fun. I prove to be popular with the bartender by setting a mocktail challenge to deliver something better than a cocktail minus the alcohol. I suspect again that there’s probably quite a bit of sugar though. This is also the first time that I’ve gone out for dinner. Facing off against the menu, I can confirm that most restaurants are not friends with detoxing freaks. The tasting plate entree is a culinary minefield of cold cuts, cheeses and breads and I’m cornered into a newfound appreciation of tapenade – eaten neat. I navigate past the creamy or cheesy pasta/risottos, lamb, chicken and beef options and finally settle on the fish for mains. It’s either that or order the roasted vegetables of the season that come as a side. Life dining out is not kind to the way of the detox.
Day 4 & 5 Highlights
Super enthusiasm has definitely worn off as I face a weekend of going out for breakfasts, drinks and dinners that are all inherently booby trapped somehow. It occurs to me just how much thought and energy is deliberately required to walk the walk of the super-healthy. I make it through a breakfast catch up, a night out with yet more creative mocktail repeats and a fishy dinner… before tripping over a cheeky late night dessert that clearly breaks the no sugar and no processed carb commandments. Feel a bit disappointed with myself, but decide that the detox is progressive in nature and the best thing is to get back up and continue on rather than use it as an excuse to stop. Clearly, I’m not one for wallowing in unnecessary feelings of shame and remorse. On a positive note though, my weight has dropped a bit which is encouraging. The next day with renewed gusto, I make an uber vegetable soup…
And that’s it for Week 1… to be continued, so stay tuned for Week 2.
Main Image from Google