Photo: David Stingle

Photo: David Stingle

Hi and welcome.

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AaHa Restart Cleanse, Titos Shots, and Coffee

AaHa Restart Cleanse, Titos Shots, and Coffee

Chugging water and eating right makes our visage shine, clears the complexion, and turns us bright with a lit-from-within smile; we all know this. But eating clean is tough mud. You have to roll up your sleeves and put some elbow grease into it.

I wasn't sure I could do it. 

And here I sit, absorbing my self-produced glory. I made it through Week 1 of the AaHa Restart Cleanse for January 2017. This means I eliminated dairy, gluten, alcohol (mostly) and caffeine for one week. I ate exclusively vegetables, superfoods, vegetable fats and lean proteins from Monday through Friday. This will repeat 3 times, for a total of 3 weeks. I am doing this for myself and my children. I want them to have the healthiest mommy possible. (And I don't mind any improvements to my skin or waistline, either.)

It was strange and awesome. I learned two big lessons.

My mornings were warm lemon water and chia pudding with nuts, my afternoons were veggie soup with a side of salmon, or kale salad with legumes and avocado, and my evenings were lean proteins with loads of veg. Omitted from all of the former are a few of my previous daily delicacies, and therein lies lesson number 1.

Giving up alcohol and dairy was extraordinarily useful. I just completed a genetic swab test by 23 And Me and the first result from their reporting glared at me: I am most likely genetically lactose intolerant. "Bah, humbug," I said, probably while eating a block of cheese. But, no, giving up dairy felt superb. I've done it before and I forgot how good a vegetable-based meal can feel for the body. Giving up dairy makes room for that. 


I wanted to axe murder everybody's face off because I couldn't have coffee. Then I got addicted to hot lemon water.


Limiting alcohol has obvious benefits on well-being. But it's hard. I remembered that a Russian model friend said she allowed herself vodka when on a dietary cleanse because vodka is freer of toxins than other liquors, or some other believable rubbish thereto, so when I was jonesing at the tail end of the abstinence week, yet just inside the finish line, I blew it and made myself a little Friday night cocktail of fresh lemon juice and two shots of Tito's Handmade Vodka. So sue me, you lush fools.

Giving up caffeine (or cutting back, as cacao nibs and certain teas have natural caffeine) was not useful, or so I thought. Why give up the coffee when I'm obviously going back on it when the cleanse is over, and it brings so much joy to my existence? Moreover, coffee is hardly a culprit to health.

On Monday through Thursday, I had a headache and wanted to axe murder everybody's face off each morning because I couldn't have my coffee.

I didn't think there was a chance in Dante's Inferno that I could keep this up. To my complete surprise, it turns out that later in the week, the replacement (warm lemon water) was almost just as addictive. I loved it and craved it on the weekend, when I was technically "on a break" from the cleanse. (AaHa gives you Saturdays and Sundays off of the 3-week program.)


Turns out that lean baked chicken, quinoa, and lemon-tempered kale don't appear out of thin air.


On Saturday, my first "break day," I had my warm lemon water and didn't miss my coffee. I thought it was most assuredly a fluke.

Then on Sunday, I was at a family breakfast gathering, and everyone had a mug of coffee. "I'm on a cleanse so I totally miss my coffee!" I announced. "I'm making myself a giant, giant, giant coffee!" I yelled. "It's gonna taste so GOOOOOD going down the hatch!" I hollered.

I never made that coffee. I got distracted and never missed it.

I don't get it, and it's strange, and I can't explain it, and I almost kind of want it *not* to have happened, but it happened. I am on day 8 (and counting) of no coffee. Total twilight zone.

The second interesting thing for me was learning that I need to take time and spend energy to take care of feeding myself.

Most of the time I'm eating leftovers from the kids' plates so I don't have to make myself a meal, or telling myself I can eat after school pickup, or saving all the berries for the children. I learned that the stuff cleanses are made of, like lean baked chicken, red quinoa, and lemon-tempered kale, don't appear out of thin air. If you're committed to feeding yourself well, you have to organize in advance. You have to shop. You have to chop. You have to take the time to plan, to get the Swiss chard at the store, to put the overnight oats in the slow cooker the night before, and it's all part of taking care of yourself. Thus, in turn, it is taking care of your children as well.

And you have to take the time of day to eat in peace. It's the type of self-nurture thing that moms find so difficult to achieve. But the best thing for our kids is a whole, happy, healthy mom, and so I'm trying...

A report on week 2 to follow...

PS I lost 4 lbs and my right hand ring is loose. Boom.



Xx, Mom in Mascara



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