The final week of my dietary adventures flew by, which is quite a feat considering how much I struggled through the first few days.
Life, as it does, got in the way from me posting as much as I'd like. But, I can say that I stayed the course and finished strong.
The day after I completed my cleanse, I was fortunate enough to be at one of Mama Gena's events. Ladies, if you haven't been, I highly recommend going to experience a reminder to access your pleasure and to support each other. I went with a great group of powerful, passionate women, most of whom are young entrepreneurs. We danced, we cheered, we hugged and we ate lunch at a vegetarian restaurant.
It was my first meal where I was off the diet. I actually found it hard to decide on what I wanted, mostly because I felt pretty satisfied. I wasn't having cravings and I didn't feel a need to pig out or splurge. I ordered an eggplant dish that was good, but in a much richer and sweeter sauce than I had expected.
I actually felt a sugar rush!
And what was most amazing was... I didn't enjoy it. I felt the meal was overwhelming and over stimulating. So much so that I wished I could immediately go for a run! I was super charged but in a wired way and I just wanted to burn the sensation off.
It reminded me how powerful sugar could be.... and how much it could mess with my system.
Even though I was technically done with the diet, the next meal was something much more plain and simple. I realized that most days I can eat without sugar or dairy or gluten and find my food satisfying for my palate but also for my body.
Since this cleanse ended, I've stuck to about the 80/20 rule, eating clean about 80% of the time and then having "treats" the other 20% of the time. I've experimented with foods I eliminated and realized some things didn't seem to bother me very much (greek yogurt for instance seems to like me just fine) and other things are still problematic (ugh, chocolate... I love/hate you).
The greatest gift from this experiment was the level of self awareness I gained. I had to put a lot of attention on what was going into my mouth, I got to ask myself why I was eating the way that I was, and I had a keen eye on how I was feeling. I realized when I went to food for comfort or satisfaction, when I was using it to stuff down my emotions, or when I had a plain and simple chemical addiction or reaction to certain foods (ehem, chocolate again).
Of everything I learned about food, I mostly learned about who I am. As my teacher Thea Elijah says, "You can be you, or you can be sick." May your own adventures and challenges (in diet or otherwise) bring you greater awareness of who you are so you can be healthy and happy and better bring your gifts to shine in the world.
With gratitude and love,