I love salty, crunchy chips loaded with that horrid dried sour cream powder and little bitty green things that must be chives because the Lays package clearly states: “Sour Cream & Onion.” I love cookie dough ice cream and am totally unashamed to dig around in the quart for the biggest chunks of raw dough like a dog in a kitty litter box. I love toffee truffles, chocolate frosting, pumpkin bread, steaks, gorgonzola, all pizzas, whole milk and just about every other rich, wonderful food in the universe. And now, I am about to abstain from it all — voluntarily, I might add — for 10 whole days.
To answer the inevitable questions: no, I am not feeling unwell or any less healthy than usual; I haven’t been on a drinking or cocaine binge and my digestive tract seems to run smoother than creamy peanut butter. But nonetheless, I made a pact with myself to try new things, and for the next 10 days, I’m trying a cleanse.
Let’s face it: I adore food. But once in awhile, I find myself slipping into bad habits like gorging on expired Starbucks pastries or eating way too much at dinner. I’m petite, so an additional five pounds — luckily — looks more like 10 or 15 on me. As fate would have it, I have married a metabolic enhancer named Tyler, and the level of activity that we typically maintain helps keep the pounds off. But every so often, I still think it’s necessary to hit the proverbial reset button. We live in a country full of processed food and unhealthy eating habits. Unlike other places in the world, a la Europe, we don’t have a strong food culture that we all subscribe to almost unconsciously. Eating fresh, local and seasonal is a fad, not a way of life. Un-fork-a-nut-ly. Pardonez-moi but if you know me, you know I love stupid puns.
Anyhoo. I and one of my delightful friends at the Cafe where I work decided that the time is ripe to detoxify our bodies. Today was day one — phasing out processed foods. Tomorrow, we phase out dairy. From then until next Wednesday, we will only ingest organic meat and raw foods like fruit, vegetables, raw juices and nuts. One of my goals is to record daily the temptation, torment and triumph of the next week plus while I flush all the American food out of my system.
I’ll leave you with a few facts to chew on:
1. On a typical day in the world, your little liver produces around a quart of bile. The bile is a transport system from the liver to your intestines (and beyond) for all the crap you eat that your body can’t use.
2. An average adult stomach can hold about 1.5 liters of McDonalds cheeseburgers or whatever.
3. In your humble lifetime, your 25-ish foot intestine will process up to 50 tons of McDonalds cheeseburgers or whatever. Gross!
3. Americans eat about 700 million pounds of peanut butter a year! I just thought that was cool.