Hello my name is Melanie…and I’m a coffee addict. Today is my first day of sobriety. Well, to be fair I do make myself give up coffee at least once per year for a few days. Why? Mostly because I can’t control myself. I love coffee, the smell, the taste, the ritual. If I could just have one cup in the morning and leave it alone then I probably wouldn’t feel the need to “detox” myself of it but I’m not that kind of coffee drinker. Last Friday I drank so many cups that I felt nauseous. I considered giving it up then but I thought I could control myself. That lasted a whooping three days. Yesterday after my morning cup of joe, I stopped at a coffee shop just a few hours later to have a mocha. The result? nauseous again (and no, I’m not pregnant). Last week I drank a ton of coffee because I had major PMS and was so tired all day that I could hardly stand it. While it does give me a nice kick in the butt, it also takes me on a rollercoaster. I’ve been tired but having difficulty sleeping, my hormones have been out of control making me less than pleasant to be around. Enough is enough. So yesterday, I literally removed the coffee maker from the kitchen. It is currently taking residence in the closet. My plan is to give it up for 3 weeks (which is the amount of time it takes to form a new habit). I’m sure I’ll drink it after that (I always do) but my hope is that I can limit myself to a reasonable amount that doesn’t make me feel sick or crazy.

Truth is, I’ve been feeling the need to detox so this is just step one. Ever check out your tongue? Remember your doctor looking at it at your last appointment? Acupuncturists do the same thing. That’s because your tongue can give a lot of information about how healthy your body is. My tongue has a bit too much white coating on it which tells me my body is a bit too toxic. This may seem over board to you. You’re probably thinking that I eat really healthy. Well, generally I do eat healthy, but I’ve fallen off the wagon lately. Sure, I eat a lot of vegetables but recently I’ve been eating cheese with every meal, meat on more days than not, large amounts of ice-cream at night, and too much white flour in bread and other treats. Bottom line is that I’ve been feeling like hell so it’s time for me to clean up my act.

The other day I was making dinner and I noticed the “Bragg Healthy Lifestyle” on my Bragg’s olive oil. I went to their website and was delighted to find a heap of information. Patricia Bragg goes into extensive detail about what we should not eat. This list is a bit scary, but here it is:

  • Refined sugar and all refined sugar products such as jams, jellies, preserves, ice cream, sherbets, Jell-O, cake, candy, cookies, chewing gum, soft drinks, pies, pastries, tapioca puddings, sugared fruit juices, fruits canned in sugar syrup.
  • Catsup and mustard made with salt or sugar, Worcestershire sauce, pickles, green salted olives. White distilled & filtered vinegars.
  • Salted foods such as corn & potato chips, salted nuts, pretzels, salted crackers.
  • White rice and pearled barley.
  • All refined, sugared, dry cereals such as corn flakes and others.
  • Deep fried and greasy foods.
  • Saturated fats and hydrogenated oils are enemies and premature killers of your heart.
  • Food which contains cottonseed oil. When a product is labeled vegetable oil, find out what kind before you use it.
  • Oleo and margarines, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils.
  • Peanut butter that contains salt and all hydrogenated oils used for hardening.
  • Coffee, decaffeinated coffee and black and China teas. (100% herbal teas are O.K.)
  • Fresh pork and pork products.
  • Smoked fish of any kind.
  • Smoked meats, ham, bacon, sausage.
  • Luncheon meats such as hot dogs and salami, bologna, corned beef, pastrami and meats containing the dangerous preservatives sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite.
  • Dried fruits processed with dangerous sulphur dioxide (a preservative).
  • Chicken & turkey injected with stilbestrol or fed chicken feed that contains drugs.
  • Canned soups (read labels to look for sugar, fillers, starch, white flour and preservatives).
  • Food that contains benzoate of soda, or cream of tartar (a preservative).
  • Bleached and unbleached white flour products such as white bread, wheat and rye bread that uses a mixed wheat-white flour, dumplings, biscuits, buns, gravy, noodles, spaghetti, pizza pie, ravioli, sago, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, prepared and commercial puddings, and ready-mix, refined bakery goods. If you use wheat, it should read whole wheat; then you know it contains no white flour. Substitute whole grain flours in all bakery goods.
  • Leftover cooked veggies & premixed old wilted salads.
  • No self-drugging: no aspirin, buffered aspirin, antihistamines, laxatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, pain killers, strong cathartics or antacids. Correct your problems by living a healthy lifestyle so you won’t need any of the above. The above listed all have side effects. It’s best to live a healthy lifestyle.

Chances are if you thought you were eating pretty well and then you read this list, you are rethinking that. Now, I’m not trying to be perfect here. The goal for me isn’t to live to be 100 and never enjoy ice-cream, wine, or other favorites. The thing that I took from this list though is that I can do a lot better on a day-to-day basis. I first considered doing a full on three-week cleanse. I’ve done one before in which you essentially give up everything (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, animal by-products, seafood) but when I look at my calendar I realize that I’m going to have a really tough time with that. Instead, I’ve come up with a more manageable approach. Here goes:

– This week I give up coffee

– Next week I do the 3 day detox that I did back in June (which I’ll probably do for 4-5 days). Basically for this “week” I won’t eat: animal by-products, gluten, added sugar, alcohol, and of course the coffee

– After the 3 day food detox, I’m considering doing a 3 day juice cleanse. I have attempted these in the past though and I’ve never made it past a day and a half so we’ll see. (I’ll keep you posted)

– Moving forward, I will limit my meat consumption to 2 x’s/week. Chris is already a weekday vegetarian meaning he only eats meat on the weekends so I could just join him.

– I will limit my dairy intake (with the exception of yogurt) to one meal/day

Okay so that’s the plan. I will update my Facebook page to let you know how I’m feeling. Wish me luck.

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