No Acceptions: Anatomy of Falling Off the Wagon

I had a 6 day vacation in Miami and it was my goal to not have this trip cause a deviation from my healthy lifestyle. On the whole, I suppose I did fairly well. At least at first. Lots of fresh fish and seafood, chicken and salad. And lots and lots of saying no to things like bruschetta, Bailey’s, pizza, flour tortillas, cakes, and bread while others enjoyed them. However, there were some tiny oversights.

What were my indiscretions?

Coffee. Lots of it. A while back, I began to think that the coffee issue may come from adrenal fatigue -and I think that’s definitely part of it – but I’ve found that when I do have coffee, organic makes a huge difference; I can have a cup on the weekend and not feen for it once Monday starts. Non-organic is a totally different story. I had non-organic coffee daily and I am now struggling to get “off” it.

Mojitos. Lots of them. Largely with raw cane sugar or no added sugar when possible but as the days wore on, I eventually did succumb to the simple drink order without piling on a whole explanation of what I needed – partly out of laziness, partly out of drunkenness. 😉 Plus, rum is rum is rum. Not exactly clean eating. And throw in a few margaritas for good measure.

And on our last night, I found it difficult to say no to a home cooked meal a relative slaved over. It really was a pretty healthy meal but contained lentils, peppers, corn and rice – all of which I don’t currently eat.

Oh, and there was some chip eating here and there. Tortillas and potato. Organic. But still…

I don’t want this post to turn into a long drawn on negative post but I feel like it’s important to be honest here. I’m not perfect. I tried to stay on track 100% but fell short. I really do have this new “language” down and have loved that I truly don’t feel like I’m “dieting” but I guess I have yet to master what happens when I leave my routine, and my kitchen. On the other hand, what does living mean? Should it mean that when on vacation, I can splurge a little? I truly don’t quite have the answer to that yet. On the other hand, if a splurge makes me feel crappy, well then, I think that may be my answer.

So what exactly are the physical effects I experience from eating poorly? For one, increased hunger. As I’ve note in previous posts, I’m really just not all that hungry these days but as my sugar and grain intake increased this past week, I felt my hunger level rise. Second, energy. I felt the depletion. Every day I began to feel just a bit more tired and not quite myself. Don’t get me wrong, I was on vacation and it was great, and fun, and relaxing. But just quietly taking an internal note, I could feel the difference. And for me, always with decreased energy, comes increased moodiness. Again, minor – and probalby nothing that anyone else noticed, but I felt it. And then comes the slippery slope. Part physical cravings and part mental game, once I loosen the reigns a bit, I start to think, well, I already ate that, so what the hell…why not this.

And that’s what happened today. We got home from our trip last night and had a school function today that started in the morning and ran until afternoon. I was excited for a great day but definitley felt it when I woke up. Tired, groggy, slow to get moving. I needed coffee but I didn’t allow myself any. We actually had to run out the door and I didn’t get to eat anything either. Not a great way to start the day. At the picnic, I had veggies and a few chips, and then half a slice of pizza. That did it. That pizza pushed me right over the edge into total exhaustion. I generally don’t get stomach issues from food. Instead the issues come in the form of lethargy, brain fog, moodiness, and sometimes I will even get muscle and joint pains. So was the pizza worth it? Oh hell no. Plus there are the studies that even just a little gluten will stay in your body for a very long time, undoing all the good you’ve done. I also have to think of my thyroid and auto-immune condition which gluten definitely impacts. I’ve never outright mentioned this before, have I? Yes, I’ve been cryptic. I will discuss in another post, but basically, a few months ago I was diagnosed with two not-too-serious-yet autoimmune conditions and I am trying to cut them off at the pass – and that’s the reason for taking my diet beyond gluten, dairy, and soy-free into grain, legume, and nightshade-free as well.

So I sit here right now feeling very tired, weak, and fighting cravings. I feel achey in my muscles, joints, eustachian tubes and shoulders. The upside of this is that having eaten totally clean for so long, it is so crystal clear to me how bad some food makes me feel. And many of us go through our whole lives not making that connection.

But I still can’t help but wonder if there can be a middle ground? What do you do when you travel? Do you “cheat”? Do you stay 100% true to your eating plan? Or perhaps you’ve found that middle ground? I would love to hear about it!

So what’s next? How will I recover from this? Well for starters, after our event was over, I made a be-line for the grocery store to stock up for the week (and I must confess, I actually did give in to my coffee-urge to muster enough energy to get this task done!). Buying my weekly produce definitely helped get me back in the zone. I felt healthier just handling greens! 😉 And tomorrow, I will begin my detox clean up. This is not a full-blown detox yet, but think of it more like triage to purge myself of this junk and reboot. I will be posting more on that tomorrow. And in the meantime, tonight’s dinner – a soup with the market’s wild caught fish of the day, tons of greens and veggies. No grains, no gluten, no garbage. Hey, it’s a (re)start!.