I've been feeling decidedly sluggish the past few weeks plus I had gone through a 1-2 week bout of horrible GI issues that left me feeling... well... pretty awful...
When I discussed this with Tara from HEAL Nutrition, as always, she had plenty of helpful suggestions and time to listen to me obsess about the fact that 'my weight is up' and 'I know it's just a number but..'. blah blah blah... how she manages to do this without a trace of exasperation is something to be admired :)
I queried whether a cleanse might be a good idea at this point and we discussed this for a while and came up with an action plan that I can follow and not impede my triathlon training.
I usually do a cleanse about 2-3 times per year. In the past, this has involved the purchasing of a herbal cleanse kit from my health food store and swallowing umpteen herbal capsules per day for several weeks and hoping to have enough energy to continue with my regular activities while I 'detox' and get massive headaches, skin breakouts... etc... on a couple of occasions, I wasn't even able to keep up with my regular yoga practice because I felt so yukky.
This time, however, I'm following a dietary cleanse approach. It's a hypoallergenic diet: no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine... and I'm expecting to follow this for at least 3 weeks.
Note: I am allowed GU Chomps and E-Load for my long training sessions in the heat... but other than that, I'm sugar-free, baby!
I asked if Eric (still training hard for IMLP) was planning to join me on this food adventure... his response (after reading about all of the dietary exclusions): 'What? Are you trying to kill me??'. Hmm... guess not...it's to be a solo journey.
I made lunch plans with a friend earlier this week and told him about the dietary exclusions; he asked if perhaps he should just eat ahead of time and meet me for a glass of water...?
Have we really become so enamored with gluten/dairy/sugar-containing foods that we are 'lost' without them..?
Actually, I'm feeling wonderful! I started on Sunday and have not felt sick at all. No headaches, either! That was my biggest concern (I suffer from migraines). I feel good, completely satiated by my allowable food choices and have had plenty of energy to spare for my training sessions. In fact, this week's training sessions have been of really good quality and I'm happy to be going into the weekend endurance bike sessions from this place :)
My sleep is better and I awaken actually feeling rested for a change. It's been quite a while since I could say that... plus I have no GI disturbances, which, as all athletes and non-athletes alike will attest... it can sideline us really quickly...
It's been a great first week (I'm in Day 6 of my cleanse) and I'm looking forward to the upcoming weeks. BONUS: weight loss of 3.5 lbs :)
I made a promise to myself that I would make a note to remember that when I cut gluten out of my diet I feel better in general. Not knowing enough about it (yet- although having OCD, I'm sure I will research it to death until I learn all kinds of things... ) I am not sure whether the general feeling of better health comes from the exclusion of gluten or sugar themselves, or the other additives and ingredients that go into gluten or sugar-rich foods and products...
Hmmm... food for thought... ;)