Detox week experiment, the evaluation

I’ve been absent here, due to a variety of reasons. One was simply an unusual busy week. My youngest brother had a performance, I had a theosophical study group to lead, there was a meeting with my grandmother’s care givers to go to and an outing with her and the whole section of Alzheimer patients…

Another reason was that I simply did not know how to report on this week long experiment of mine. I guess some of you were taken aback by the experiment. Loyal reader Frank Dyer thought it was just too much. Even Annie Besant (an English woman) drank tea after all! Sure she did.

But not everything I do should be seen in a classical theosophical context. True: by theosophical standards this week long detox was off. Instead I should have become a vegan for a week, and kept with the tea. In fact, why not light a cigarette? Blavatsky smoked after all, and de Purucker thought that chased away bad spirits just like incense did.

I think however, that trying out a different lifestyle for a week is very healthy. It fits in the exercises on mindfulness I put up last year rather well. Food is one of the hardest and easiest habits to break. It’s hardest, because eating is hardwired into us the way no addiction is. It’s no wonder that sugar is considered by some a hard drug. Ever seen an overweight person put sugar in their tea: that’s why. Compassion is in order.

However, it’s way easier than to try and put on a different shoe first. Why? Because I don’t know about you, but I really have no idea which shoe I put on my feet first. And once you start paying attention, how can you tell whether you’re still in your conditioning? The very observing of it changes the whole process of putting on shoes.

Food is, for those of us who buy our food ourselves (aka single people, and half the married ones), something we have to do consciously. So when you decide to eat more fruit, not to eat a frozen pizza, etc. It’s simply a matter of buying those foods in the shop that fit the routine. Anyhow – for evaluation sake – let’s put up the list of what I promised myself I’d do:

  1. No English tea for a week (probably longer). I’ll be going back to my old preference: herbal teas. I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t have to cut back on that.
  2. No chocolate for a week. I’m a bit of a chocoholic in recovery: but recently I’d been slipping into eating two candy bars a week. Well, not this week. Same thing here: I might manage to stick to this one longer, though honestly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with one bar of chocolate a week. However, no excuses: not this week.
  3. A focus on fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit juices (from the supermarket) in my fridge, fruit salads, other salads – all ready made from the supermarket. It’s a lot of work to make fruit juices yourself, and on a single person’s budget – the salads I can buy are just way better than what I could gather together.
  4. Nuts and dried fruit in the salads. This is not really a change: I’ve been adding nuts to my salads for years. I’ve also been eating nuts as an after dinner snack. You know: the unsalted kind. Nice and healthy: the right kinds of oils, a variety of protein and of course fiber.
  5. My breakfasts and lunches are going to be what they were: whole-wheat bread with toppings. The only change: fruit on the side.
  6. Every detox program includes another don’t: no alcohol or mind altering drugs. However, I haven’t done the second ever, and it’s been decades since I last had any alcoholic beverage.
  7. Vegetarian food. I’m already a vegetarian. If I wanted to go all out, I’d become a vegan for a week. However, I’m not convinced that will do me any good, so I’m sticking to my cheese and occasional egg.

1) No English tea, only herbal tea. This was a success. I probably had a detox-headache for a few hours, but after that it was great. In fact, I’m going to avoid English tea as much as possible again. English tea has, on me, the effect of making it easier to ignore the signals my body gives on where I’m at. And as a person living of her creativity, I just can’t have that.

2) No chocolate for a week. I lasted in fact for 10 days. It was easier than I would have thought. Once I’d made up my mind not to eat chocolate, not buying it was a walk in the park. However, this one is now on the backburner. I’m back on one bar of chocolate a week and think that’s just fine. I don’t have to be ascetic about it.

3) Fruits and vegetables all round. I’ve always had trouble reminding myself to eat fruit twice a day. Somehow my body doesn’t seem to crave it, or call for it. In fact, forcing it on my body had me feeling great, but also often hungry in the morning. As though my body had an easier time digesting the foods I put in it. On the other hand, I think it probably missed some of the oils and fats I normally eat. I’m not going to continue this as vigorously as I have that week. However, grapefruits are now a staple in my home.

4-7) Those are merely mentions of what I already did, that I’m obviously going to continue.

The other points on my regimen were: more spirituality, and a daily walk.

Well, I simply did not succeed on the more spirituality part. It turns out that I’m in a mental groove of sorts about the topics I put online – and therefore in my head- and I was not able to pull the switch on half of those. However that may be, it was a good attempt and I have put prioritizing what I put online on my long term list. Since I’m now able to keep afloat on my online income (yeah!), there’s no reason to ADD topics/niches to what I already put up online. Keeping up with the ones I have is enough work.

I did do the daily walk. I found that there is usually a lull in my creativity around 11, which is a good moment to take the air. You guessed it: I’m going to try to keep that one in. Sitting in front of a monitor all day just is not healthy, and when I go to India, I ought to have some physical stamina.

As for the main question, ‘Did it work?’ – well, it certainly helped me re-prioritize. There’s something about change of this sort that helps clear the fog in the brain. However, the main reason I’m less stressed than two weeks ago is that the web design gig I’ve been working on for months now is finally coming to a close. Also, not having to worry about money as much, because my online income is doing so well, is also a help in de-stressing.