Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I'm not big into diets, especially fad diets.  I scoff at Paleo every single day, as I eat bread sticks in front of my friends and their paltry slab of meat and boring broccoli.  When coworkers dramatically exclaim "Oh, I CAN'T eat that!" whenever there is a delicious treat in the staff room, I happily eat two servings... just for fun.

But the thing is, my belly aches, and I'm addicted to something.  I'm guessing it's sugar, because that's what it breaks down to, but I don't eat a lot of sugary things.  I love bread.  I love it so much that I think about it all the time.  I love it warm, toasted, and slathered in garlic-y, buttered goodness.  So buttery that you fingers shine after you finish eating, and you still need a napkin after licking them.  And when I finish that delicious piece of bread, I want another.  Even before I've finished that piece, I'm already thinking about the next one.... and the next... and then the loaf is gone. 

On Monday, when I was fortunate to have another snow day, and the children's school was open, my husband and I sat down together to a delicious lunch, free of distractions.  He's been practicing the SCD lifestyle since last spring, to cope with an autoimmune disorder, so the lunch he made was amazing: salmon with fresh squeezed meyer lemons from my grandmother's back yard, with a side of cucumber.  It was delicious and filling.  I was completely satisfied.  I was not hungry anymore.

Yet, I wanted something more.  I needed something more.  I desired it so much, that when my husband left for a couple hours, before he was even down the driveway - Hell, before he was in his car - I was pulling down the bag of tortilla chips to shove some in my mouth.  As I type this and think about tortilla chips, I want some.  I just might get up and get a handful right now.

Well, it's not that bad, at least not today, because I have a plan.  I've wanted to do a cleanse for a while.  The last time I did one was over six years ago, before I got pregnant with E.  It's nice to rid your body of toxins and eat cleaner every now and then.  I would do a cleanse about every 6 months or so, and it would take a little while before I was back to eating like crap and needing to re-start my eating.  But it's been over 6 years.  I need to do more than a quick 7 day cleanse.  That's not going to clear out 6 years of gunk in the system.  I need something more.

I considered SCD, since that's what hubby is doing, but just picking up the plan and eating the accepted foods for an indeterminate amount of time isn't going to work for me.  How long would I do it?  Would I cook all my veggies first, or just avoid all the "no" food on the list?  And what if I don't like it?  It would be easy to say "I've done this for 10 days, I can quit now..." because I wouldn't have a plan.

And then I researched the Whole30, which is an extremely clean eating plan that lasts for 30 days.  I'd heard about it, but figured it was another one of those fad paleo diets that I wasn't about to fall for.  There are a lot of no's (no sugar, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no processed foods), but it's more about what you eat than what you don't.  I's about eating whole foods with nutritional value, and making the conscious decision to leave the fake, processed foods with all nutritional value erased back on the laboratory floor where they deserve to be.  I took the bait and paid $9.99 for the ebook.  After chapter 2, I'm hooked.  This is totally me.  I am addicted to sugar (or carbs, or processed nastiness, whatever you want to call it), and I'm going to take this step.  I'm making a commitment to myself and my family that I'm going to eat cleaner and break this addiction.  I might have to pull out my dad's 12 Step book when I start to feel weak. 

I start this new venture tomorrow.  Today, I ate like crap, like it was a final farewell to junk and nastiness - a last day of binging before checking in at the Betty Ford clinic for food.  I pigged out on crackers, and sugary sweets (OK, they were SCD legal lemon bars, but they had honey, and honey is persona non grata in the Whole30 arena).  My tummy aches, and all I want to do is eat those last two slices of bread from the Tula Bakery, smothered in garlic butter.  But I won't.  At least, not right now.

To prepare for tomorrow, I baked myself some chicken wings, and picked out my veggies and fats for lunch and snacks.  I'm on the fence about allowing myself fruit the first week, because I am afraid it may start me on the slippery slope of sweetness -- like an alcoholic drinking Fre wine.  But I'm afraid I won't have enough food, that I'll still be hungry and have nothing left to eat, and those stale Triscuits in the staff room will be just too tempting.

And then I stepped back and looked at the food I had prepared.  It was a lot.  Normally, I eat about 4 chicken wings in a meal.  I'll have about 1/4 cup of veggies, and then fill the rest of my belly with bread.  Without the bread, I found myself filling containers with food, in a desperate attempt to make sure I will not starve to death.  I cooked myself 12 chicken wings.  I'm pretty sure I'll return home with six.

That's a lot of food!