I finished my 21 days this past weekend. I am very happy that I chose to do this detox program. I found it very rewarding and educational, not to mention the improvements I have seen in my health and well-being.
Here are the things I learned about my body on this program:
1. Refined carbohydrates are bad for me. I knew this before, in theory, but now I can FEEL that they are bad for me. When I eat them, I get bloated, tired and cranky the next day. I do not think I am specifically wheat or gluten intolerant, like many people, I just think my body doesn't do well with refined foods. As a doctor, I know this is true of all human beings. As a patient, I finally get it!
2. Water makes me feel good. Again, something I preech to patients all the time is the importance of adequate hydration. I have always been a person who was never thirsty, and that made it difficult for me to remember to drink water regularly. What I have found, however, is that by forcing myself to drink water regularly for so many weeks, I have actually DEVELOPED thirst! It's amazing! Now, I know when I haven't had enough water because I can feel the dryness in my mouth and in my lips. It's a great reminder from my body to supply what it needs.
3. Brown rice is not as gross as I thought it was. I know that as an adult my food choices should not be governed my childhood prejudices, but brown rice is one that slipped by me. I actually enjoy brown rice, now. I like the nutty flavor it brings, and I like that the grains are a little tougher, giving me something to chew on.
4. The key to weight loss is to eat a lot of really good things. This is particularly true for me, because I am someone who can skip meals when I am busy. This puts my body into a conservative mode because it is unsure when it will get food again. That makes weight loss impossible. Instead, it makes more sense to supply to body with lots of food, at regular intervals. You just have to make sure that food is healthy: mostly veggies, with some fruit, meat and fat in smaller portions. Remember that you don't have to eat a lot, because you'll just eat again soon. I find that I literally only need 2-3 bites of chicken with my salad, and then I just eat more later.
5. Health is more than just diet. Again, something I knew already but has become a personal truth. For the last 8 months, I have been working on weight loss. I have lost a total of 30 pounds, and feel much better about myself and my place in the world. Still, this detox proved to me that I NEED exercise to feel my best. During the last three weeks, my exercise was fairly minimal because I didn't want to send my body into that conservation mode I mentioned in #4. I have found that while I have lost weight, I have also lost muscle tone. I am wearing small pants, but my rear doesn't look as good in them! This proves to me that it is not just being thin, it is being toned that makes a person feel their best.
That's all for now. Dr. Dakoji is starting another round of the program for a new group of participants on Friday. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else finds the program.