Monday, July 16, 2012

7-day detox: FAIL!

On Saturday, Belle posted her 7-day detox, detailing a plan for getting her body back into a normal state. With this plan came the invitation to join her. Though I'm well aware of detox diets I've never done one, so this seemed like the perfect time to try one as Cristy's body and Cristy's mind are currently not liking one another.

Good intention; poor follow through.

I should have known I was doomed following the Saturday go-around Grey and I had. Still, I thought I could do it. Then came Sunday morning with Grey insisting on making breakfast: homemade buttermilk pancakes, fresh fruit and coffee from Lighthouse Roasters. This was followed up with cuddling in bed (yes, we literally climbed back in), more coffee and then dinner with pineapple chicken stir-fry (equally good with tofu, btw). The finale involved me making and canning raspberry mango jam.  Day 1 was a complete flop.

Still, I figured I would rebound with Day 2. Except Day 2 started earlier than usually (no morning meditation), involved yet another fight and then involved a crazy day at the office. Considering my interview is in a week, I can't find reagents, I'm trying (and failing) to mentor my students and attempting (and also failing miserably) at writing a first draft for a grant, I decided to cut my losses and try to make do. I ended Day 2 with two pints of Chocolate Stout and a burger. I'm certain Belle is shaking her head at me.

My problem is a simple one: there's too much shit going on at the moment. I'm trying to navigate adoption, while planning a potential move, while preparing for an interview, while teaching, while planning for the fall semester, while trying to regain my health. All while dealing with the fallout of stopping fertility treatments and realizing that biological children are not possible. Could I have set myself up for failure any better?

The snap back to reality came this afternoon from Mo. After venting to her via email, she pointed out that I'm being too hard on myself. 
"If there's one thing I learned from two years of this hell is that there is only so much that you can do at once. Trying to detox, get rid of the bloat, looking into adoption, moving, and all of this self-improvement stuff? I get why you're doing it but you're setting yourself up for failure by biting off more than you can chew. You don't need more reasons to feel guilty, or self-loathing right now."
And I realized, she's right. So I dropped everything and marched my butt to the pool for 45 minutes of lap swimming, which I haven't done in 11 yrs. And while moving through the water, I began to remember what it felt like to connect with myself, my body. To know that there were things that I could do.

Later in the evening, between the first and second stout and a game of chess, Grey and I talked more about all the fighting and where we were at. For him, he's tried and worried. Worried that we're beyond exhaustion from all the recent events. He's also nervous for this upcoming trip too. Though we'll get to see friends, we are not naive about the business aspect of this (my interview and the wedding). Even though I will be directly in the trenches business wise, he is fully intending on networking and assessing his options. Plus there will be the family aspect. G_d save us both.

So, after some discussion and a through ass-kicking at chess (mine, not his), I decided modifying the diet. I figure I'll detox after my interview in Boston (spiritually, mentally and physically), but for now there are things I can do that will help me prepare for the week ahead.

Clean Eating Diet: 
  • 80 – 100 oz of water daily
  • 1 – 3 cups green tea daily
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat lunch
  • Afternoon snack: tea with fruit
  • Dinner: 1 serving lean protein (chicken, fish, tofu, lean ground beef) + 2 cups steamed or sautéed veggies + quinoa + 1 healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, seeds)
  • Dessert: Some small sugary treat.


  • Too much coffee – 8 oz morning latte is okay. 
  • Excessive amounts of grains: Wheat, rice, amaranth, couscous, pasta, etc.
  • Excessive amounts of dairy: milk, yogurt, butter, cheese. 
  • Too much sugar. Limit to dessert if possible
  • Too much alcohol: no more than 3-4 drinks this week.


  • Meditation/yoga once a day. Needs to be for  at least 15 mins.  
  • Daily exercise: Jogging 2-3 miles/ lap swim for 30 mins/walk around campus everyday simply to get sunshine. 

Positive reflection:

This detox is about more than nutrition and activity. During these 7 days I want to spend time daily reflecting on things in my life that I should be thankful for. To do this I will:
  • Make time for pampering – Scheduled haircut and eye-brow shaping for Thursday. Mani-pedi scheduled for Friday. Acupuncture is on Saturday. 
  • Watch the sunset every night - did I mention that it's FINALLY sunny.
  • Blog daily about positive things in my life.
  • Unplug- Radio shows and music are okay.
  • Play with my cats – Jaxson and Daisy are going to LOVE this. 
  • Start "how was your day" conversation with Grey by talking about 3 positive things that happened that day. Encourage him to do the same.  

Okay, some positive things for today:
1) I finished the outline for my talk (part of the interview process). Thursday I give lab meeting to practice. If I can't convince 7 undergrads that my thesis work was awesome, then I have some serious work to do.

2) Grey and I came to an agreement about the TCM herbs. Basically, his concern is that I'll hurt myself. So I've agreed that if I feel "off" for any reason, I will stop them. The formula I'm on is the "Free and Easy Wanderer Plus" blend. The big concern is the Dong Quai, which isn't safe for pregnancy. So, in addition, if I'm "late," I will stop the herbs until told otherwise. That said, Grey acknowledges that there could be a benefit to all of this. So, if I'm feeling better, we will reassess than. I start the herbs tomorrow.

3) Did I mention I got to go swimming for the first time in 11 yrs?!? I taught swimming lessons for 6 yrs and practically grew up in the water. But when I moved out to the Pacific NW, I couldn't find a pool that didn't have some crazy restriction to it: the pool at my grad institution had this weird circle swim set up paired with hyper-competitive men who would swim over the top of people.  After witnessing one guy remove the Speedos of another, I knew it was better to put away my swim cap. Today I got the whole fricking pool at my new institution and I rediscovered why I love being in water. 

5) Grey and I played chess. We haven't done this since we started to try to expand our family. He beat me swiftly, but I still managed to capture some of his pieces. On Wednesday, he wants me to teach him how to play Mills

6) Raspberry-mango jam. 

7) Jaxson got a new squirrel. Which meant my evening is being spent watching him run happily around the house and nuzzling his new toy. Almost like watching a child play. Almost. 


  1. Congrats on the swimming! That's a massive step - reconnecting with something you love that is 100% yours. Not to mention the guts it takes to pack your swim bag, get yourself a locker and literally dive in. Well done! I want to go swimming too! :)

  2. Mo is exactly right - we can't do everything at once. I decided the same thing yesterday morning when I stared at my French press and could literally TASTE the coffee. Small steps. I'll cut back on coffee, but I'm not ready to give it up. You and Grey have sooooo much going on right now. Just making more conscious food choices and finding time to meditate and do some pushups is a huge step. I might not have been completely clear in my original post- but detoxing is anything that makes a positive shift in your body or environment. No matter how small a change, positive change is good.

    And way to go on the swimming! I would LOVE to be able to swim unfortunately I am a champion sinker. :)

  3. I'm really glad you vented to Mo, because I was just about to give you an econ 101 lesson about opportunity costs. You seem to be prioritizing everything right now, and then when making everything immediately successful is impossible, you deem yourself a failure. I say, NOT FAIR.

    What can you let slide for the next two weeks? What is most important to prioritize? You can prepare for your interview and the grant if the deadline is soon, but anything beyond the syllabus and text for your class in the fall can wait. So can mentoring your students. I'm sure they're used to their mentors prioritizing their own lives above their student research experience - they're probably already amazed at how much time and energy you give them. It's okay to back off for a few weeks. It won't harm them in the long run.

    As for the move - don't plan it until you know it's going to happen. I do this...I plan things that may be...but it's not always a good thing. I don't know about the adoption applications though. Is there a deadline in the next two weeks you need to make?

    On a happier note - your jam looks delicious! And it sounds like you and Grey are really making time for each other, which is so important. You'll get through these next few weeks, then months, Cristy. I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything goes well!

    1. This comment made me motivated to prioritize stuff in my own life! Motivational!

  4. I don't think anyone is shaking their head at you. You have so much going on right now, you don't need to be stressing yourself out about food. Doing what you need to do to get you through the next couple of weeks is the clear priority.

    Also, your jam looks beautiful! (I say beautiful and not delicious because I'm a freak of nature who doesn't like jam but loves making jam. I know, it makes no sense.)

  5. Yay for swimming and jam! Two very positive things indeed. Seriously, don't beat yourself up about the detox. You have SOOO much on your plate and are really in a lot of ways still in survival mode. I also think you should give the TCM herbs a try if you want. Like you said, you've already tried the Western route and look where that got you. I'm sorry you had such a tough weekend though. Baby steps. Let us know how your PCP appt goes.

  6. I think the clean eating plan is a perfect compromise. You have so much going on right now and what Mo said is 100% true. Stick to what is reasonable for you. It's fantastic that you went swimming! Things like this will help you so much and I can see how proud of yourself you are. Keep it up!

  7. I think it's a wonderful plan and you feeling that connection with your body is music to my ears. So many good things to look forward to!

  8. I think you are on a good track. Tackle one thing at a time so you can focus on that completely. If that's not possible, don't overload yourself.
    I like your positive energy in this post and all your goals. It seems like a very healthy place to be. I'm proud of you.

  9. I'm so glad you're taking Mo's advice to go easy on yourself. Your modified detox sounds like the perfect way to do that and still take some control over your life/body. Best of luck with your upcoming interview!

  10. Be gentle on yourself.... you've been through so much and have so much on your plate. Love the idea of positivity and relaxation... and unplugging... but if you feel like a treat, treat yourself - you deserve it hun :) Love always xoxo

  11. Please go easy on yourself. Detoxing your body isn't all that easy, I keep failing miserably. However, if you do cheat on the detox diet its pretty easy with the exercise to just jump back into the plan.

  12. One step at a time. I'm impressed by everyone who is even trying to do it. Glad you and your Hubby talked and decided on a plan that you both liked. YAY for swimming! Getting back to something that makes you happy is a huge deal. So glad you are doing it and I hope it continues to make you happy.


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