As I rolled over in bed this morning, slowly waking up to the harsh reality of the day streaming into my room along with the sunshine, my stomach began to ache with guilt and gluten. Today is day 7 of my Nourishing Cleanse and I feel hung over. But this hangover is not from the remnants of a glass of wine or a stiff drink, its from the bag of dark chocolate covered almonds,coconut ice cream and gluten free pretzels.
Yesterday was day 6 and I knew it was going to be my most challenging. Why you may ask? Well because it fell upon a Saturday, a day when I usually allow myself to enjoy the simple pleasures and flavors of life and avoid any sort of adult responsibilities,such as GRE homework or emails. It is the day when I can completely run away from my problems.
Day 6 started out strong. I woke up, did some body tapping and walked into the kitchen to prepare my bone broth and veggies. As I heated my soup, arms crossed in frustration, all I could imagine was sugar. Sugar, my one weakness, sugar my one true hate and love. Sugar, the sweet rug woven of chocolatey threads and peanut butter patterns where I sweep all of my troubles and torments underneath. I tried to remind myself that sugar and snacking was where I hid from my problems and pressures like a kid underneath a blanket, and that is what I was trying to break free from. However with this ten day cleanse I have been left like an exposed nerve, raw and naked to my demons with nowhere to hide. And like any terrified cornered animal, I lashed out in fear.
Yesterday was a day that beckoned for a couch, Netflix, snacks and my best friend who shares my affinity and appetite for sugar. No, I thought to myself, I must push these delicious and comforting images out of my mind and persevere. It was a cold and dreary day outside and winter had officially announced itself. The Austin sky was blanketed in a parade of gray clouds that resembled shades of silver cotton candy (mmm sugar) and upon this scrumptious canvas, I saw the sprinkling of temptation on the horizon.
As the day passed, my strength and will-power waned as it washed away by the cold rain. To escape the chilling weather, my friend and I went into a little cafe on South Congress and ordered a hot chocolate and a decaf Americano. Yes, decaf, I had been barred from caffeine as part of my healing and while I wasn’t sure if decaf coffee was even permitted on this cleanse, I did not even care at this point. Sitting with our hot drinks on the porch swing of the little charming cafe, steam swirling in the grey light of day, I had had enough! I wanted sugar goddammit! I was like one of those ants infected by parasitic fungus that takes complete control over its host and completely manipulates its behavior. I gladly succumbed to my sweet parasitic manipulator, and dove headfirst into a bag or dark chocolate covered almond and from there forgot about the cleanse, my health and my sugar-free sanity.
It is day 7 and I am preparing a savory redeeming bowl of chicken broth. In it I have put grass-fed bison, roasted acorn squash, zucchini noodles, fresh cilantro and avocado. While I may not have thrown in the towel yesterday, I did gently set it down to be ‘forgotten’ briefly and then conveniently picked it right back after dancing madly in an altered sugary state of madness. They say that to err is human. If I can benefit in any way from this blunder it is to forgive myself and continue these next few days with gentle compassion. So I raise this nourishing bowl of soup to my lips with love and sip graciously for the start of a new sugar free day. Salut!