In the world of elimination diets, I learned very quickly that you can’t focus on the “can’t” and you have to make it fun. What follows are the snacks, meals and practices that created joy out of elimination: “yes” out of the “no” and more fun in the journey.
Twenty Pearls for Detox Success:
I. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal, Hemp, Walnuts and a wee bit of local honey. Sweet and simple. Beautiful and Filling.
II. The Fake Margarita: After a challenging work trip to Mexico, this little gem stayed with me through the end of the detox: 3 parts mineral / sparkling water, one part fresh lime juice. The tartness helps you forget you’re missing tequila, and the refreshing texture of a little bubbly only makes the distraction more fun.
III. A Really Beautiful Vinagrette: Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper: just as the French do it—nothing simpler, nothing better. (Dijon mustard is a nice addition, too)
IV. Almond Butter on Udi’s Gluten Free Bread
V. The Art of Tea: In the work of distraction, tea and tea service have a lot to offer. Tea, with all of its elegance makes drinking a mindful ritual: it offers tea cup, saucer, tea pot, tea, hot water and strainer. It offers time to wait and be grateful for this moment. Every part of this experience of tea brought me joy: a welcome distraction as other dinner guests mulled over the cocktail list.
VI. Small bits of organic dark chocolate. Yes, it’s allowed. Just make sure there’s no sugar added.
VII. Podcasts: Tara Brach’s series on Relaxing the Over-Controller was a welcome companion in this work of mindful practice. I also always enjoy Krista Tippett's On Being and Deepak Chopra’s Secret of Healing.
VIII. Writing. Creative writing was a harbor for me in this work. It was and is a place to set intentions, joys, frustrations and challenges. Even as I write my learnings, the writing place is compassionate and ever-present. I found time to write as often as I could and this gave me grounding, perspective and awareness of my progress.
IX. Community: you. I set the plan, the intentions and the failures and the learnings all in a space of love and support via my blog, Facebook and Instagram. I put it out there and I never looked back.
X. Always have a drink in the hand. At a cocktail party? Perrier first, network second. Waiters are trained to put a glass of wine in your hand. Be warned! If you don’t see water: ask. Always have a drink in the hand, and never hesitate to ask a friend to help you with this. Which leads me to the next pearl:
XI. Ask for what you need: challenging menu? Ask. I was amazed at how accommodating restaurants are! Secret tip: chefs love to be asked to cook for vegetarians. It breaks up the kitchen menu-monotony I guess, but I have this intel from a very reliable source. One outcome of the he Mindful Eating Practice I never anticipated? Assertiveness. Ask for what you need.
XII. Ice is not nice. Ayurveda is a wonderland of practices for anyone wanting to design a new eating lifestyle. I learned so much from my explorations of ancient vedic wisdom. Ice is not nice and a glass of hot water upon rising are just two—but I recommend exploring Naivedhya as a start.
XIII. 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water. Enough said.
XIV. Flower Child Foods and True Foods Kitchen made the Mindful Eating Practice FUN.
XV. Crunch Master Chips and Carrots with Hummus
XVI. Meso Maya’s Pozole Verde
XVII. The Blender Girl
XVIII. Kris Carr
XIX. Cookie and Kate's Almond Quiche
XX. Tei An’s White Mushroom Salad. Pretty much anything at Tei An. Ask for Tamari Sauce (See #XI) as a substitute for Soy sauce.