In the past year, I've been trying to detox my body in an attempt to become healthier. In January of this year, I cut alcohol out of my diet completely. I wanted to give my liver and kidneys a rest, and jumpstart the latest diet.
Five months later, it turns out that giving up alcohol wasn't that difficult. True, I had a couple of glasses of wine at the Superbowl Party and then a beer at the Nets Game on my husband's birthday (February) but since then, I've been able to abstain completely. It wasn't easy in the beginning. Turns out that alcohol plays a big part in a lot of social settings. But once I started skipping it completely, I realized I didn't miss it. I found out that I
With that toxic substance eliminated from my diet, I decided to go farther and eliminate Diet Coke from my life. That turned out to be a helluva lot more difficult than going cold turkey on alcohol. First of all, I am truly, deeply, ridiculously addicted to diet soda. And I had no idea how bad my addiction was until I tried to go cold turkey. I COULDN'T.
I got a little discourged by this, and my inability to stick to a low-carb diet. I was still craving sweets, and the weight I took off on The South Beach, kept coming back after the initial dieting phase. And cutting carbs clearly was making me crav
can enjoy dinner and parties and nights out or in without having a slight buzz.
e sweets even more.
That's when Sandy told me about a book called The Diet Cure, which became the breakthrough I needed in my battle with dieting and weight loss. According to The Diet Cure there are 8 reasons why diets fail:
(1) Depleted Brain Chemistry (Emotional Eating), (2) Malnutrition due to Excessive Dieting (3) Unstable Blood Sugar (4)Unrecognized Low Thyroid (5) Food Addictions and Allergic Reactions (6) Hormonal Havoc (7) Yeast Overgrowth (candida) (8)Fatty Acid Deficiency.
I already knew from my doctor that I suffered from depleted brain chemistry, low thyroid, hormonal havoc, yeast overgrowth. By reading this book, I also realized that my excessive low-fat diets in the past had probably destroyed my metabolism and that I reached for sweet snacks to maintain my unstable blood sugar, and I was probably also allergic to wheat and sugar which caused my cravings for carbs.
The Diet Cure gives you real tools to battle your addictions/allergies through amino acid therapy. I went to my health food store, stockpiled amino acids and began the program. Turns out that my sugar/chocolate addiction was ridiculously easy to say goodbye too. The right amino acids (coupled with healthy eating) helped naturally raise my serontonin/endorphin levels. So within a day or two, my blood sugar stabilized, I was no longer gobbling down kisses/tootsie rolls/cookies. My sweet tooth disappeared overnight. I no longer NEEDED a sweet, chocolately (although lowfat) after-dinner dessert.
My Diet Coke addiction didn't quite disappear that easily. It was still a struggle even with the amino acids, but they helped greatly. I am now into my second week without Diet Coke and hoping that I will remain free from it. It is by far, the hardest addiction I've ever had to break (even harder than going off Zoloft) because I've had my Diet Coke habit for 20 years (since college and thanks to the soda machine in the dorm lounge). It's been an ever-present habit, and eliminating it means that I've had to rethink eating and drinking. And I've had to look at the emotions I've come to associate with drinking a diet soda. At certain parts of the day (mid-morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon) my body still physically craves Diet Coke. Six months ago, I gave up caffeine, drinking only caffeine-free soda, so I know that it is the ASPARTAME that my body craves. And I now see that aspartame has probably been responsible (along with caffeine and sugar) for many of my migraines.
Sadly, we live in a culture where corporations are making billions
because we've become physically addicted to caffeine, sugar, trans
fatty junk, and aspartame. There's a reason people are willing to pay
$7 for a coffee at Starbucks -- the stuff is addictive and we're all
addicts. I guarantee you that in 20 years, as the collective American
health continues to plummet, caffeine and sugar (and sugar substitutes)
will be implicated in many illnesses and will be seen as the dangerous
substances they are -- much like we now see tobacco. In 20 years, we
will wonder how such products are still legal or how anyone is stupid
enough to ingest them.
Today, as an experiment, I poured myself some diet soda for lunch. After almost two weeks free of its chemicals, I didn't even recognize the taste. It was rather unpleasant. After a couple of sips I poured the rest of the can down the sink. It made me realize how much our bodies trick us into thinking we like something just because it does. Two weeks ago, I would have told you that I LOVE the way diet soda tastes. Today, my taste buds tell me quite frankly that the stuff is poison. It literally tastes like poison, and if my every cell didn't crave it, I would never have poured myself a glass for refreshment.
In the past 20 years, the only other time I've been able to give up diet soda is when I was pregnant. At the time, I wanted to avoid caffeine and aspartame for my growing fetuses, even though I wouldn't do the same for myself. It helped me greatly at the time, that diet soda tasted like poison when I was pregnant -- much like it tasted today. Once again proving how smart the pregnant body is.
And by the way, I'm now following The Diet Cure, and I'm no longer DIETING (meaning I'm no longer depriving myself of food in order to lose weight). I'm trying to eat a healthy balance of protein, healthy fat, and healthy carbs (vegetables) and that seems to be working. I'm rarely hungry between meals and my carb cravings are under control for the first time ever. But again, it hasn't been easy. The first week I eliminated diet soda I was moody, tired, and having lots of headaches. Can you say "withdrawal'? I encourage anyone who wants to eliminate sugar, caffeine, or soda from their diets to do so with the help of amino acids.