Monday, July 15, 2013

The Cleansing, part two: Kale Chips

Day 1 – Tuesday. Starting weight: 176.
Okay, I am ready to do this. Where’s my coffee… oh yeah, no coffee. Water. In great quantities. I make my first fruit smoothie with protein powder and flaxseed oil and set off to face the day.
I’ve given myself some projects to keep my mind off whatever cravings and difficulties I might have. The kids are spending the week with their Dad, so I can be a total bitch if necessary and only Dan will have to deal with me. First thing to do, though, is shop for food. I need fruit that will blend, and veggies… yikes, I’ve never been good at veggies. I’m the mom who steams broccoli past the point of recognition. Maybe a broccoli smoothie?
I’ve been on a sea-salt-and-vinegar chip binge for a couple of weeks, so I decide to make a coleslaw dressing with apple cider vinegar and olive oil. It doesn’t take long for me to appreciate the bite. I try a brown rice and lentil mix, too, but… lentils. Yuck. However, a little olive oil and sea salt perks up pretty much anything. We got some rosemary salt in San Francisco. Super yummy. But I better put Mrs. Dash on the grocery list or I’m gonna swell up like a puffer fish.
Charlie needs new bookshelves so I head off to Ikea. Putting cheap Swedish furniture together helps a lot in keeping my mind off the loss of my beloved coffee.
Around 3:00 I feel tired and a little airheaded (more than usual, ha ha) so I take a short nap, then get back to work on Charlie’s room. And so I make it through Day One - but my email from “Purification Support” warns me of the coming discomfort.

Day 2 - Wednesday
Morning starts out fine – smoothie, water, supplements - and I delve back into my cleaning frenzy. As garbage bags fill with junk he will never miss, and boxes fill with outgrown clothes I am taking down to Once Upon A Child to make a buck or two, the headache starts.
Where is my COFFEE??? The blood vessels in my brain scream at me. We can’t CONSTRICT up here!
Okay, I was expecting this. Ride it out. I call Dan and whine, and he listens patiently. He’s always said I drink too much coffee. Of course, he is one of those vexing people who has never had a food issue: doesn’t crave sweets, never binges, drinks one glass of wine and then stops, insists the Diet Coke he splurged on at lunch is keeping him awake 10 hours later. These people really exist. I married one.
Another 3:00 nap, after which I finally give in and take some ibuprofen. The emails promise the headache will subside, and I am 100% dedicated to this cleanse, so I roast some Brussels sprouts and hang in there. Brussels sprouts! They’re actually tasty! (Again with the olive oil and sea salt thing, though.) The smoothies really help with the cravings. Watching TV, however, does not: that Golden Corral commercial with the Buffalo Wings is killing me.

Day 3 – Thursday
The email from Purification Support says this:
“Don't be surprised if old symptoms you haven't experienced in years begin to return during the program.  They should be of short duration and are considered a beneficial sign that your body is purging toxins and repairing underlying issues with your health.  Old injuries or conditions may resurface for anywhere from an hour to a day or more.  This theory is known as Homotoxicology and was developed by a German medical doctor named Dr. Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg. 
In fact, one patient had an old wrist injury swell up during day two.  The interesting point is that she broke it almost 30 years ago.  There had been no swelling or problem of any kind noted in the 30 years since the original injury, however her body felt it necessary to bring heat, macrophages and other white blood cells in to perform long overdue repairs.  The swelling went back down to normal after a couple days.
If you do experience any reoccurrence of past injuries or symptoms we'd love to hear about it!”
I don’t think too much about this. Maybe the creaky knees are a result of this. The withdrawal headache is pretty much gone, to my surprise. But today’s highlight is that I discover kale chips. Incredibly labor intensive, but so rewarding. I bake a cookie-sheet-ful and eat them standing at the stove. And then another. Yum.

Day 4: Friday
Today I begin to notice an ache in my pelvic floor that radiates down the back of my legs and up into my lower back. It’s vaguely familiar, but I ignore it while organizing my daughter’s hair accessories and jewelry. By bedtime, though, it’s clear this is going to be a problem.
My lower abdomen is tender and bloaty, but I chalk that up to all the cruciferous veggies. I mean, really. Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts! It’s a wonder I’m not farting myself across the room. I will spare you the details of the bowel movements.
Otherwise, though, I feel good: no cravings, and my energy level is way up. I mean, not like bouncing-off-the-walls, but like hey-I’m-not-tired. Dan is so great. He makes me a salad every night, chock full of veggies of every color. And I make more kale chips.
I’ve been taking a medication called Trazodone for about ten years, at bedtime to help me sleep. I take too many damn meds. So in a fit of over-confidence in the program, I decide to stop. Tonight.
Lying down, the ache in my lower body is just awful. I pop half a Vicodin from my emergency stash and try to sleep.

Day 5: Saturday
Oh, my God. I did not sleep last night. I tossed so much that, at about 4 a.m. after maybe 3 hours of sleep, I crawled into Claire’s bed, where I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to bring on dreams from sheer will. No luck. At 6 I finally gave up, but the thing is: I’m wide awake. I don’t feel tired at all. I’m up with my early-bird husband and I tell him about my night and the pelvic pain.  He says for the twenty-seventh time “I can’t believe you gave up coffee.” That’s when I realize I don’t really miss it that much.
The pelvic pain, however, is getting worse. As the day goes on I find it hard to bend at the hips. I try lying down on a heating pad but that makes it worse. What could this be? “Old injuries or conditions may resurface…” Pelvic pain… pregnancy? A-ha! That’s exactly what it feels like: those endless last few weeks of pregnancy, when the baby is crushing your pelvis and you feel like there’s a bowling ball inside you. Am I healing those places? Charlie was a huge baby who tried so hard to come out the front door that my right hip joint suffered an injury, one I’ve been dealing with since he was born. (SI Joint Dysfunction is the formal diagnosis. That’s why I have Vicodin. And he came out through the window, as my OB put it.)
The kids are coming back today at 10. At 9, I lie down for a bit and nab maybe 45 minutes of sleep. But when I’m up, I’m all the way up. Not groggy. It feels so different.
Once the kids are home it’s back to the mom business. We talk about all the work I’ve done in their rooms and how we are going to keep it nice from now on. I know, I’m a dreamer. Charlie likes his new bookshelves. The girls and I go grocery shopping together. The pain in my lower body makes me wince. 

(Now that the kids are home, my ability to write is dramatically affected…)
Day 6: Sunday
Another sleepless night. I was determined to get off the Trazodone so I didn’t take it again last night. But I wake up cheerful – why is it I can sleep from 6 to 9 a.m? There’s my early bird hubby again! Lovely to see him in the morning! He once again expresses his support. As for the pain, I can bend at the hips today, but there is still a dull ache down there.
We are having a heat wave and the house’s temperature seems to fluctuate between too hot and too cold; can’t get the AC just right. I notice again how easily I sweat. This is supposed to be a good thing: sweating out those toxins! Half a yam for breakfast. Actually yummy.

Day 7: Monday
Sleepless, and yet I wake up energetic and bright. So strange! Pain is going away. Very busy day with kids; Charlie started as CIT at day camp, took Emma to orthodontist, then shopping to get ready for Camp Fox.

Day 8: Tuesday
I saw my shrink today. He says take the freakin’ Trazodone and get some sleep.

Day 9: Wednesday
Remembered to weigh in this morning. Down 2 pounds to 174.
Last night I took extra meds – 150 mg. vs. my usual 100 – and woke up horribly groggy, craving coffee. Also not a very restful night. Sleep is a real issue; the eating part is not. I feel really good. Two more batches of kale chips. All mine.

Day 10: Thursday, July 4th
Tried 50 mg. last night. Still didn’t sleep. Felt logy upon waking. Everything else is going well, though. Overall I feel an enormous improvement in fatigue, focus, and mood. I feel better than I have in a long time.
It’s the Fourth of July, so Dan and I go to the hometown fireworks event. I’ve never wanted to go before because I kind of hate crowds, but there were food trucks and I knew Dan would like that. I ate before we went.
I should elaborate on that statement, I think. I am not depriving myself on this cleanse. In fact, I feel like I’m eating all the time. There are no limits as to when or how much. It’s what I’m eating that is making the difference.
A couple of years ago I became obsessed with finding real honest-to-god soft-serve ice cream in this town. Not frozen yogurt. That’s how I found out about the King Kone truck and for a while I stalked them on Twitter, trying to figure out how I could get to where they were. They were always on the West Side or in Santa Monica, way too far away. So imagine the emotions I felt when I saw the King Kone truck at the fireworks – in the middle of my no-sugar, no-dairy cleanse.
(heart sinking)
I asked Dan to get a swirl cone and cheated a little to have a taste. Couldn’t resist. If I ever find their truck again, I’m definitely gonna get me some.

Next up: MEAT!

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