Is anyone else in the world participating in the high-fiber, one-week "Healthy Detox Diet" published in February's Glamour magazine and online at www.glamour.com/bbg? Way back in May 2007, I followed Glamour's plan for a month-long "high energy" diet. It was wonderful. I'd been having digestive and mestrual issues that totally cleared up when I forced myself to follow a strictly healthy-food regimen. And the plan pushed me to eat MORE food than I had been used to eating, probably because I'd been so nauseous and crampy all the time.
But that was for "high energy," not "cleansing." I saw nothing wrong with a one-week, high-fiber diet at first. I'm not doing it to lose weight, because I don't need weight loss. But I figure anyone could stand to scrub out some accumulated toxins and kick the caffeine/sugar/alcohol/processed food habits we 'Mericans all indulge to some degree. Just for one little week.
Mr. G is such a sport that he decided to go on the plan with me, so we could both be in top shape for our Florida vacation in three weeks. There is NOTHING worse than feeling sick on an airplane or catching a bug at the start of vacation. So for the first two days, I prepared Glamour's recommended portions for myself (seeing as the plan was designed for women) and 50% more for him.
We went to the store and bought $200 worth of food, mostly fresh and frozen produce, and NO breads, pastas, butter, or cheeses. That's right--$200 to feed two people for one week. It's more expensive than our usual grocery bill, but a lot cheaper than, say, a get-fit camp or week-long cleansing spa. And $100 is what my last bill for medical tests cost, so if I can prevent one of those... well, that's my whole week of super-food paid for. Besides, we are unable to go out to eat or buy a drink at the bar during this week. We have friends who throw down $90 on shots on Saturday night like it's nothing... and then, perhaps, skimp on necessities. It's a matter of priorities. And can you really put a price on optimal health and wellness?
WELL, by the end of Day Two, our bellies were distended, and we were so sluggish with hunger that we couldn't even think! Who was this plan designed for, I wondered? I'm a size four. I don't eat as much as the average American. Is my metabolism that super-high? Am I way too active for this dietary model, even though I'd never call myself "athletic?" In any case, it was clearly not enough caloric value to even keep my word processor running. Glamour recommends exercising while on this diet, but I did 40 minutes of low-intensity belly dance and helped Mr. G shovel the driveway... and then I was about ready to eat my own feet. We couldn't drive, sleep, or form a coherent sentence. My left eyelid twitched constantly. Mr. G laid on the couch and stared at the Playstation, unable to figure out how to play it. There was no way we could survive on the tiny amounts of food recommended by the "nutritionists..." whom I am now convinced are anorexic, the size of Tila Tequila with the physical activity level of Mariah Carey, or utterly delusional.
So we put our muddled, aching heads together and decided that this could not possibly be healthy, and we needed to increase the portions. Let's stay on the meal plan, we decided, but give Mr. G 200% and me 150%. We started with dinner last night (chicken and veggies) and breakfast this morning (high-fiber cereal with skim milk and nuts). Now we get enough food to feel satisfied, but our bodies haven't adjusted to the intense amount of fiber from all the fruits and veggies. Our guts are as swollen as when we caught giardia on our Mexican honeymoon. (See Mr. G's frowny face and puffed belly, above.) But I know that bodies do adjust to high-fiber intake after a few days of switching from a diet filled with red meat and processed carbs, so we're sticking with it. As we speak, I'm munching apple wedges dipped in natural peanut butter.
And you know, I think I've already stopped craving chocolate and cheese.
Is this cleanse week worth it? There's only one way to find out.
To be continued!