Monday, February 11, 2013

As the Stomach Turns...

My first post-cleanse Starbucks experience did not end well.  My running buds and I were on the highway heading back to Houston after a quick girls' road trip to run the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15K.  Since my cleanse was over and I was free and clear to eat or drink whatever I wanted, naturally my taste buds led me to my java brewing sanctuary.  We stopped at a Starbucks somewhere in B.F.E. Texas and I ordered one of my signature drinks, a short soy mocha.  After going nearly a month without caffeine or chocolate, the taste seemed really strong to me.  I thought I drank it slowly in an attempt to savor my first decadent item, but in hindsight I might have been struggling just to get it down.  Since my diet has changed so drastically, I have become highly sensitive to flavors and smells.  I have also become incredibly dependent on water.  My water intake was pretty good to begin with before these changes, but now I feel wiped out if I don't keep chugging water constantly throughout the day.

If that wasn't bad enough, I was wired for the rest of that day.  This tiny eight ounce drink was consumed sometime around 1pm.  By 11:30pm, I was still wide awake.  I tossed and turned all night, sleeping in one hour increments at best.  Around 5:00am, on a lazy rainy weekend morning, I finally gave up and got out of the bed in search of some house cleaning to do.  My brain was on high alert and would not allow me to calm down and relax.  It was a crazy jacked up feeling and I could not believe my system was still reacting to something I drank the previous afternoon.  It took a full 24 hours and loads of water for my system to feel normal again.  What the @#$%?  Is this how it is going to be from now on?  After a short hiatus away from caffeine, does this mean I "broke" my body from ever being able to enjoy another specialty coffee drink?  Say it ain't so!  If I can't drink my Starbucks, what ever shall I do?

It does not end there.  I also tried to eat some sugar-free Blue Bell ice cream.  Of course I thought I was being smart by only getting a partial scoop, less than a half of a cup.  The plan was to take it slow and easy since I had not digested any dairy in so long.  I opted for the sugar-free version because I did not want to bounce off the walls.  Sugar was off the menu as well during this cleanse.  Two tiny bites into my micro serving of ice cream and my stomach started doing flip flops.  It was an immediate reaction to the dairy and it lasted the rest of the night.  I wanted to bang my head up against the wall for thinking my insides could survive a dairy invasion.  Oh well, scratch that off the list of acceptable things to eat for now.  My love for cheesy enchiladas, queso dip and buttery popcorn was fading fast.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent person.  It only takes one clue or two for me to get the big picture.  If these first two experiences were any indicator of what was to come if I continued to to try to eat my old favorites, then I would have to hang back for a while.

Under normal circumstances, I am margarita and wine lover.  Do you think I am crazy enough to attempt an alcoholic beverage after the way a tiny amount of caffeine affected me?  Not by a long shot.  Just the mere thought of biting into a piece of meat right now makes my digestive system want to lock up and throw away the key.  Although I did plan to continue with my vegan diet for a little longer after the conclusion of the cleanse, I fully expected to be able to indulge every once in a while if I cared to do so.  However after these little excursions, it felt more like I was punishing myself instead indulging.  Sticking with the vegan thing feels a little safer at the moment.  When I went to the grocery store to stock up on lunch items for this upcoming work week, none of my old stuff appealed to me.  I loaded up my shopping cart with fresh produce, beans and grains without really thinking about it.

My hubby commented that my face and shape were slowly changing.  Of everyone in my yoga cleanse group, it appears that I may have actually lost the least amount of weight, which is 6 pounds.  After chatting with others in the group, I discovered that many of them lost about 8 or 9 pounds on average.  This did not bother me, because I knew my body would continue to adjust now that I would keep up these dietary changes for a while.  If I end up losing another 6 or 7 pounds, I will be happy.  I also plan to get back into my weight training now that most of my racing calendar is complete for the season.  It is normal for me to go through this cycle of wanting to hit the weights and tone up in time for the spring weather.  The difference now is that I will have to make a concentrated effort to take in enough protein and B-12 supplements.  It is going to take a little practice but I think things might turn out for the best.  I suppose it can't be a bad thing that my body is rejecting the junk and the toxins.  Whenever my brain catches up and gets with the program, I just might be on to something good.