Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Day One

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know that it is the third day of the New Year. But it is the first day of my month long attempt at detox.

I am sorry to report that I have already failed. It's possible that Day Two will be my actual Day One.

Of what? I am not sure what to call it. I am alternately calling it a Detox and fake Lent. I hesitate to call it anything like Lent. The observance of Lent is a serious part of the religious practice of Christian people. Perhaps in my case it is more correctly referred to as a period of Lifestyle Austerity or Winter Nesting (POLAOWN).

It started with a book. "Beans: A History" by Ken Albala. I keep grumbling as I read it that beans are not all that exciting. Yet somehow they are just compelling enough that I keep reading.

In the section on Fava Beans, Ken Albala writes:
"...by the time of the Council of Nicea in 325, a period of forty days or Quadragesima, preceding Easter, was set aside for prayer and self-denial."

This idea resonated with me as something that I needed. Not being a religious woman, what am I looking for? What is this need that some buffet style secular version of Quaragesima (POLAOWN) would satisfy?

I am in a phase of my life where I feel like there has just been too much of everything. Which for Mae West was wonderful. But for me has just been too much. Too much booze, too much food, too much work, too much stress, too much running about, not enough sleep, not enough downtime, not enough understanding.  There has been a definite diminishing return on the too much side and and the sense that the too much end is not compensating for the deficiencies.  It is possible that a POLAOWN is not the answer.  The answer could be meditation or going to more ska shows or giving and receiving more hugs or burning incense and ringing bells while chanting.  Those may be challenges for upcoming months.

Added to this is the inspiration of JK's resolution to give up white foods and alcohol. By white foods she means give up refined sugar, white rice, white flour, perhaps dairy for a month.

So I have been formulating this plan in my head to:

1. Give up alcohol
2. Give up meat (if I can't take it, red meat)
3. Eat whole grain products
4. Eat more fruits and veggies
5. Eat brown rice
6. Give up fried foods

I get hungry just thinking about this. I had pondered giving up dairy and eggs and trying to go vegan. But it's hard to imagine life without cheese and all the glorious things that the marvelous egg can offer.

I worry that this pledge will mean that I will have no social life at all. Or at least, even less of one than I currently have. I worry that this pledge will lead to misery as I have gotten to the point where I associate happiness with unhealthy eating. JK and I have based our relationship on a shared passion for eating deep fried things. But I feel that it is not sustainable. I cannot fit into a substantial part of my wardrobe and I am experiencing food related bodily discomforts.

As for the prayer - well I'll have to work that out during the course of this.

My arbitrarily selected dates are January 3rd through February 8th.

There will be an exception for CK's birthday and then it's back on the wagon until February 9th.  From there, I don't know.  This is all I can see.

My parents upon hearing of this plan applauded it, asked why I was not doing it for an entire year, and then felt entirely justified in overfeeding me during my entire visit home. It would be fine because when I got back to Brooklyn, I would be eating right.

This is the plan. How have I already derailed myself? I have my excuses.  My excuses have that "For want of a nail ..." feel to them. Essentially, I stand in my own way.  I should have donated or tossed out all offending foods from my fridge. Or put them all in the Freezer to be opened in February.

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