This post is the fifth in a series… please read part 1, 2, 3 and 4 so this will make sense.
The Good Life…
Since January, things have changed a bit in our house. At least, the food has. We ate pretty healthy before, although my definition of “healthy” is drastically different than it was a couple of years ago. Back in the day, I espoused and lived the “low fat” mantra, counting calories and working out like a fiend. Then I started reading. A lot. Now, fat is my friend, I never count calories and work out maybe three times a week. I do try to stay active but I haven’t seen a gym in a couple of years. My blood work has improved, my weight has maintained a constant level and I feel great. But I never actually thought I could cure food allergies by only eating the right food.
However, the allergic symptoms I had before my cleanse have, all for intents and purposes, vanished.
Project Leaky Gut refined what I put in my body. During my 60 day “cleanse” — which is the easiest way to describe my intestinal tract rebuild without grossing people out — I avoided dairy, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, grains, sugar, soy, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), seeds, nuts and eggs (but I cheated on eggs since, well, they’re incredible). It was painful but not as painful as I thought it might be. And very, very enlightening.
60 days post cleanse, I’m eating my former food enemies like a fiend with no repercussions: avocados, shrimp, crab… and have kept off most of the weight I lost. Since I pretty much “reset” my system, I learned valuable lessons about my body including: 1) gluten and I aren’t friends but I still enjoy warm, buttered French baguette every now and then — accepting the bloat-y and headache-y consequences; 2) Same thing with refined sugar — dessert and definitely dark chocolate remain on the docket as long as I keep decadence in check; 3) beans blow up in my stomach and don’t make for a comfortable skinny jean day; and 4) when it comes to nutrition, make every meal count. A snack of roasted nuts or tortilla chips and salsa are part of this equation. The chips aren’t particularly nutrition-dense (read: not at all) but the salsa is… especially if it’s homemade or fresh. (I’m wary of bottled and cooked salsa, even though tomatoes develop increased lycopene once they’re cooked — that jarred salsa stays mold-free way too long to be good for you).
Wine also remains in the moderation column. Post cleanse, my cheap date-ness descended into the one-glass-and-I’m-easy range. That makes maximum daily exploration a difficult task but I’m managing. And sleep much better on the evenings I don’t enjoy the fruit of the vine.
If I had to do it all over again, I would. I learned a LOT about myself and what I should be eating. Basically, listen to your body and it will tell you things. If you’re willing to listen. Want to take the cleanse challenge? You can read the other posts and find recipes on my site to find the road map.