You Are What You Eat – Part 2

Have you made any changes in your eating habits because you are feeling your age?  My personal answer to this question is, “yes!”  And what happened as a result, ended up with major, unexpected, positive changes in my life.

I had been feeling chronically tired, bloated, and for as long as I can remember, have had an itchy back and scalp, not to mention an insatiable craving for sweets.  I attributed some of this to aging, but when I asked others my age if they were chronically tired, they said, “no.”

This led me to believe that my diet might have something to do with my ailments.

Coincidentally, around this time, I happened to go to a presentation about healthy eating.  As a result, the woman who presented the talk (Debbie), the owner of one of the yoga studios where I teach (Becky), and I embarked on a ten-day cleanse together in order to clean out toxins from our bodies.  Here’s what our diet looked like:

Foods Not Allowed:

  • meat
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • wheat
  • dairy
  • foods with preservatives

Allowed Foods:

We took detox baths and saunas.  And appropriate supplements.  We started our day with hot water and lemons.  We were allowed to eat as much as we wanted and never felt deprived or hungry.

To prepare, I weaned myself off of coffee gradually to avoid a caffeine headache.  Food shopping took more planning, and I started to become more creative with recipes and ingredients.  Smoothies became a healthy choice.  Cauliflower rice was a yummy option.  I learned about freezing ice cube-sized cooked spinach and lemon juice for future use.  I also made it a point to shop at a local farm.

During Day One of the cleanse, I felt nauseous and chilled.  I couldn’t stop burping.  I was full of gas.  Something unpleasantly emotional also happened on that day.

During Day Three, I cleaned out my system completely.  Wow.  I felt purged of so many toxins.  Phew!  Still sweaty and clammy, though.  At lunch, I met with my cleansing partners to check in with one another.  During our discussion, I totally lost it because I was so upset about what happened to me on Day One.  I blurted out all my personal baggage, despite the fact that I hardly knew Debbie.  I just didn’t care.

Becky and Debbie talked me through this emotional rant, so I was able to respond sensibly, without anger, long-term.  I certainly didn’t expect the cleanse would generate cleaning out emotional toxins along with dietary ones.

During Day Six my cravings for sweets changed to craving healthy foods.  These healthier options started to taste better.  I was refining my palate.  Day Seven brought the first day of not feeling tired.  After Day Ten all of my health issues mentioned above had dissipated.  It took several weeks to transition back to eating more freely again.

Granted, I’m back to experiencing some of the old ailments.  And I should have made the transition from the ten-day cleanse back to “normal” eating systematically, in order to find out what was bothering me specifically.  And the next time I do a cleanse, I will do so.

But for now, here are the benefits from my first cleanse:

  • I now love to cook, whereas before, I hated it.
  • I eat real food, organic when necessary, with no processed ingredients.
  • I read labels to see what the heck is in the food out there.
  • Food tastes better, and so eating is more enjoyable.
  • I’m supporting our local farm.
  • I made another friend.
  • It changed my life dramatically for the good.

Have you made any adjustments in your diet in your older years?  If so, what did you do?  Did they have positive results?

Yours in aging with class,

P.S.  Thank you, Lia and Debbie, for the inspiration behind this post.  🙂

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11 Responses to You Are What You Eat – Part 2

  1. Kathy says:

    I should try it. It would probably cure many of my ailments. Even though I eat lots of fruits and vegetables (mostly vegetables), I also eat meat and dairy and sometimes too many sweets. That’s a no, no. Anyway, I enjoyed your post, Janie. Perhaps you’ve inspired me to change my eating habits. Notice, I did say perhaps:-) Kahkee

    • Thanks, Kathy. Always a good idea to do a cleanse led by someone who knows what they’re doing. Jonathan Glass in West Concord would be a good start. Of course, everything in balance, including portion control and exercise. And you’re right. Bottom line is that such changes have to be made by the individual. Inspiration from someone else is not enough. Love, Janie

  2. Lia Chasen says:

    Thank you but you are much more adventuresome than me. I’m just going to be tired. I will not give up dulce the leche, not even for you. 🙂

  3. Har har har. Gotta love you!

  4. Debbie says:

    Great post, Jane. Thanks for the reminder that change is good, something I tend to forget, and that everything is easier, cleansing and life in general, when supported by others.

  5. I love this post! Amazing what a cleanse can do in clearing out physical and emotional toxins! I gave up sugar a few weeks ago after seeing an eye-opening documentary about just what too much sweet stuff can do to you. I definitely had withdrawals and it’s been an interesting journey so far. So glad I’m doing it though. I think it will make the aging process a lot better too 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmas Jane. I’m looking forward to more of your posts!

    • I’m impressed that you could give up sugar just before Christmas. Would love to know the name of the documentary you saw. I’d like to see it. I also look forward to your posts, and, again, I’m so glad I found your blog. Merry Christmas! Warmest wishes, Jane. 🙂

  6. Yay, Laurel!! After the holidays, I have to get back to better eating habits. 🙂

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