Over the past three years, I’ve completed a proper cleanse once year – twice with the aid of a Naturopath, and the final time with a store bought product and armed with the knowledge from my past experiences. I generally do the fairly hard core Cleanses (at least they are hardcore in my opinion!) that involve no booze, caffeine, wheat, soy, dairy, red meat, sugar, tomatoes, corn etc. etc. etc. for 12-15 days. The first time I tried this I found the process pretty rough, and couldn’t figure out what to eat. I definitely have it down to a science now and can recommend some pretty good meal plans for anyone that wants to try it. Hint: Quinoa is your friend.
The one thing that I miss and crave consistently throughout the process is Coffee. This is a bit funny because I’m not a huge coffee drinker – One cup a day during the week, and often no coffee on the weekends. That very first day of cleansing though, an urge for coffee runs through my system and never seems to leave. I also generally get headaches for the first few days of the cleanse. I originally thought that the headaches were from caffeine withdrawal, which seemed impossible because of my low intake of caffeine. However, after trying a low carb diet this year, I’ve determined that the nasty headaches are due to my body’s addiction to refined sugars. Joy.
I generally feel amazing (once the headaches pass) during a cleanse. I practically leap out of bed in the morning, have an unusual amount of energy and just feel overwhelmingly healthy. Losing a few pounds is the process, while not the goal, is a pleasant bonus.
The one interesting side effect that seems to have stuck with me, is my response to drinking tea. It actually effects my mood enough to make me tangibly angry. Yes, tea makes me angry. I can only figure that it’s a response to the fact that the only time I’ve really drank tea in the last 5 years is when I HAD too because I was on a cleanse. I don’t respond to ultimatums very well, and while this is a self imposed ultimatum, it happens to be the only reasonable solution I can come up with to explain my response to tea. If reasonable even applies here, that is.
In an effort to help change my anger-by-beverage response, my sister Sandy has sent me a package of tea that smells like Popcorn. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m going to wait until I’m already in a good mood and am craving popcorn. Maybe I can reverse the effects by fooling my olfactory system?
In a related story, my new boss is trying to set some ground rules to our professional relationship in an alarmingly micro-managing sense. After years on an incredibly long leash, I’ll hazard at guess that this technique isn’t going to do very much to my productivity. I’ll keep you posted.