Tracey and I are in the last week of a 3-week “nutritional detox” program. The motivation here was to participate in something that would force us to think a little more about what (and when) we eat. I’ll be the first to admit that all two often, we fall back on whatever is easiest to prepare (or, let’s face it, order in) rather than giving careful consideration about what constitutes a nutritious, balanced meal.
The basic premise is that you apply some dietary restrictions for the three-week duration, and for the second and third weeks, you replace two of three meals with shakes supplemented with nutritional additives, i.e. whey protein, fiber, and vitamins. So far, so good, right? Well, let’s enumerate the stuff that we can’t eat:
- Wheat. More precisely, anything containing gluten
- Red Meat, except lamb–apparently lamb is a “niche” meat and isn’t usually subjected to factory farming
- Conventionally farmed produce
Whew! That constitutes the entire content of our diet, right? What’s left, if anything?
It turns out that eliminating the above wasn’t all that difficult. Fortunately, I was in an “off” phase of my on-again, off-again love affair with caffeine, so that didn’t hurt too badly(1). The only thing I really miss is my glass (or two) of wine with dinner. But the anticipated health benefits easily overwhelmed my sense of loss when walking past, for example, a cheeseburger sizzling on a grill.
Even when we started drinking shakes for breakfast and lunch, the psychological benefits of my new, virtuous lifestyle outweighed the inability to decide what to eat in less than half an hour. ”This isn’t so bad”, I thought to myself. ”I could probably do this indefinitely”. Sure, it took a lot of experimentation to get the shakes to taste palatable, but now that I’d done so, it was smooth sailing. Plus, I had a “normal” (read: non-liquid) dinner to look forward to, right?
Unfortunately, yesterday I figured out how to break the magic spell: try having the “normal” meal for lunch instead of dinner. We had been out of the house at midday with no access to a blender, and so had to bring our pre-chopped organic produce (thanks to Eatwell Farm!) with us. That was all well and good, but later on, after putting the girls to bed, Tracey and I found ourselves with nothing to look forward to but 24 ounces of a vaguely chalky blend of almond milk, bananas, raspberries, and cocoa powder. Mmmm… tasty! Exactly the kind of thing you want to enjoy with good company around the dinner table, right?
(1)Tracey, on the other hand, had it a little bit rougher… to her credit, she had cut down to 1 shot of caffeinated espresso daily, but she was still hurting around days 2 and 3.