This summer, I've been slowly cleaning up my diet.
It started a few months ago when my friend, Sara, and I started eating at Pure Food and Wine about once a week (we plan on eating there once a week, but it probably averages out to every other week). For those of you who don't know, Pure makes solely raw, vegan food. No meat, no dairy, no wheat, no soy, no rice, no cooking anything above a particular temperature. I always love it when I tell people about it and they respond with "What's left?". Uh...fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.
And it's delicious. And not "health food" delicious, but really delicious.
The first few times we went there, I would look forward to it every time I went. Then after a couple of months, it started happening that the morning of our Pure date I would think "Boy, I could really go for hamburger today. I wish we had planned lunch at Pure for tomorrow." I didn't give it much credence, I just went away. It turns out, that's the part that really needed to happen. I think that was when my brain started re-patterning, because the craving for junk food got replaced "I had healthier food and I feel a lot better."
Shortly after that, David and I went to our favorite sandwich shop for lunch. I realized that the things I loved about their sandwiches were the vegetables, cheese (I still love cheese), and their herbal mayo. So I got a veggie sandwich. David asked me if I was detoxing. I said that I honestly crave the veggie sandwich and didn't want the meat. And it was great. I haven't ordered a sandwich there with meat for a while now.
I started making more raw food at home. I started making my own almond milk. The odd thing is, at no point did I miss the old alternatives. Every now and then, I would try the old version of something (like milk in a protein shake) and it would taste "off". It would make me feel heavy and dull-headed.
I should say that I'm still eating meat. I'm still having dairy and I'm still having coffee. I'm still eating sugar and lots of other processed foods. If I get a craving for something, I make no bones about having it. I have no rules about what I will and won't eat. I'm just becoming more and more aware of how I feel afterwards - and unhealthy foods have started dropping by the wayside.
The other night, I was home by myself for dinner. That was usually the night I would order barbecue - so I did. I felt LOUSY. I couldn't even finish it. I got cranky. I had a hard time sleeping. And the next morning, my body was doing it's best to evacuate everything in my system.
Geez. Was my system really used to this kind of food at one point? It's a little frightening.
Yesterday, I had lunch at Pure and stopped at the farmer's market on the way home. I made a great salad and we grilled corn and salmon for dinner. Last night I slept great and woke up earlier than usual, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
A little side note: I had taken a friend to Pure yesterday for his inaugural visit. I ordered a Strawberry Blond smoothie: it had strawberries, bananas, pineapple and some other delicious things. My friend ordered a ginger shot. He saw the look on my face and said "what? is that bad?" I said absolutely not, it's just kind of advanced for someone that's new to raw food. It cracks me up how people will go to a place like Pure and then order something that is - frankly - difficult to enjoy when the menu is full of genuinely delicious foods that are also healthy. I had a sip of his ginger shot. I had expected it to be pretty strong and intense. It was LIP-SEARINGLY STRONG! My sinuses burned from the tiny sip I had. Then he had a sip of my smoothie and the look on his face said it all. He thought he was drinking the most amazing milkshake of his life. I said "It's okay to eat healthy and enjoy yourself at the same time."
FYI - This post was inspired by reading Renee's beautiful blog: http://reneesrandomthoughts.blogspot.com