I'm on day two (or something) of my detox, and I've been eagerly awaiting that moment when, feeling light and invigorated, I get up and shout "I'm a new woman! Each and every one of you must, I mean must do this detox thing. Seriously, you'll love it!" No, that hasn't happened. I'm still affable and somewhat energetic, not technically "blue," but I find myself staring longingly at that lonely bag of trail mix on my desk. It needs me. So does that bottle of kefir in our food editor's office. It's not like I'm trying to sneak a cheeseburger and fries for crying out loud! Just give me a handful or organic granola when no one is looking. Oh, detox. Immediate gratification? Not exactly (though I can honestly say we have great-tasting detox recipes on our site). Your body needs time to adjust to this new diet, while expelling toxins. Yes, you may have food cravings. And yes, you may wake up to the sound of your stomach growling in the middle of the night.
My current detox is about finding a functional balance. With very busy days at work (I just returned from a week in New York, which also happened to be the catalyst for my impromptu cleanse), I am focusing on the same nutrient-packed detoxifying fruits and vegetables that I try to incorporate into my diet daily, which I know can provide long-lasting energy. And if, before a day in the office, I know that I need something a bit more substantial, I won't deprive myself. However, I am dedicated to light detox dishes at lunch and dinner. And the ones that I prepared last night tasted great! I started with lemony kale (a variation of our Garlicky Greens with Lemons), which I steamed in vegetable broth, and made a light and refreshing consomme by boiling six cups water and half a red onion, chopped; then adding half a red cabbage, shredded, and about a half cup daikon, finely chopped (this is a loose variation of our Daikon and Shiitake Consomme). I am sipping this now for lunch. At the end of the day, I will leave behind an unopened bag of trail mix to either skip or mope home to a whole big heaping pot of leftover consomme.
Want to know if you are entering the "toxic zone"? Take this quiz from Detox for the Rest of Us (F+W Media, 2010). If you answer yes for 1 to 3: you need some fine tuning; 4-9: You're in the toxic zone; 10: Well, you get the point.
1. I put salt on everything before tasting it
2. I can get only one leg into last year's bikini
3. I fall asleep to freeway traffic, electric static from overhead power cables, and/or the drone of circling planes
4. I am exposed to smoke
5. I use caffeine and other stimulants regularly
6. I am either constipated or going all the time
7. I abuse alcohol and drugs on a regular basis
8. Anything with dairy or gluten in it upsets my stomach
9. I am feeling bloated
10. I am always on my phone or computer, or watching TV.