Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fast Food VI ...

Tomorrow is Day 10.

I remember when I was in college my friend Adam telling me that if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. Or, more specifically, if you don't do something for 21 days, the behavior of not doing that something takes over. He was talking about quitting smoking, but it could apply to anything.

The last time I had a bite of food (not counting Saturday's unintentional grape) was Monday, March 27.

Tomorrow is the last day of the cleanse. It doesn't have to be. The cleanse can be followed for much longer, but I think 10 days is enough for this first go-'round. I'm ready for food, and yet, the concept of eating feels foreign to me.

I guess the longer you don't do something, the easier it really does become not to do it.

I've said that I wanted to do this cleanse as a way of making the transition to a better lifestyle, to springboard to eating healthier food. I nearly sent L.A. Dave into a panic when I told him I was leaning toward veganism.

"But I'll never be able to go out to eat with you again!", he said.

Well, of course he will. It's not like we convene on a savannah and tear apart a zebra.

But I'm not going to try to do anything radical. It's unlikely that I'll be able to give up all meat and dairy. Because giving up meat and dairy would mean giving up my mother's lasagne, and there are some things in life I am simply not willing to do. Giving up my mother's lasagne is very high on that list. And life without the mushroom-Swiss burger at Mity Nice Grill? Not worth living. So, as I told L.A. Dave, I will be an 85-percent vegan. (Yes, I know, being vegan is an all-or-nothing proposition, but you get the idea.) I'm going to try to eat very well most of the time. lots of grains and vegetables and fruits and such (I have a couple vegan cookbooks and they intrigue me greatly).

But I won't be a militant vegan, the type who refuses Jell-O because it's made with gelatin which is derived from horse hooves. No, in my life, there will always be room for Jell-O.

My friend Brian wrote tonight to say he's interested in the cleanse. He had many questions. And that's the great thing about having gone through it: I can be a resource for people who might want to try it, the same way that Kelley has been a resource for me. It's been very good to have a friend to reassure me that what I'm going through from day to day is "normal." Her experiences doing this cleanse have closely mirrored mine. So now I can be there for Brian if he'd like to try this, grow the web a little wider.

I've grown accustomed to the taste of Fireball Punch. I don't love it. Doubt I ever will. But I don't detest it the way I did at the beginning of the cleanse. Maybe my body has come to accept it - welcome it, even - recognizing it for the nutrition it provides.

I've learned a lot over the past 10 days. And I don't think I can put most of it into words. But I'll give it a go over the next few days when I start to introduce food again.

But first, one more day of punch.

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