Let’s get one thing out of the way right now. 10 days without coffee is pure hell.
So is 10 days without carbs, sugar, alcohol and dairy. But I did it, and I lived to tell about it.
So why put yourself through that kind of torture, you might be asking?
Because as 2015 wound down and 2016 approached, I took some time to write down some personal and professional goals and knew to be successful I needed to get my head on straight.
And my head wasn’t exactly on straight at the end of 2015.
My physical health was anything but ideal. I began having headaches and my blood pressure, which has always been on the low-end of normal, had elevated to an alarming (for me) number–140/90.
I felt tired, stressed, sluggish and unorganized. Work was as intense as it’s ever been, (but nothing compared to what 2016 has in store.) and to make matters worse, a family issue over Christmas break, left me heartbroken, upset and hurt.
Oh, and to top it all off, I had managed to gain 20 pounds since August.
Who does that? Who puts on 20 pounds in a matter of a few months?
Yours truly, that’s who.
Between Christmas and New Years, I flew to Miami for the Orange bowl and met my dad and nephew for a few days of fun in the sun and headed home to Oklahoma with a fresh perspective and motivated to make the necessary changes to get myself back in check.
I researched a few detox plans from doctors and nutritionists I respected and ultimately landed on the Blood Sugar Solution 10 day Detox by Dr. Mark Hyman. Back in the early part of my weight loss journey in my early 30s, Jillian Michaels recommended a book to me written by him called, “Ultra-Metabolism” and I found it to be incredibly insightful and have tried to live by most of the principles of the book ever since.
So knowing I would turn 39, in earlyFebruary, I decided the best time to start the detox would be in late January, which is exactly what I did. To prepare for the detox, I purchased the book, the supplements, the groceries and the medical equipment (I had to monitor my blood pressure daily, and as an option, three times daily blood glucose levels. After day one and three sticks to my finger later, I opted for a simple pre-and post detox blood glucose test.) as recommended in the book.
So let’s get the health stats out of the way first.
I lost 6.6 pounds. (the book said average loss more than that, but whatevs.)
I lost 4.5 inches off my waist and 5 inches off my hips and 1 inch off my thighs. (Apparently, I’m destined to forever knock AC/DC out with my “American Thighs”…sigh.)
My fasting blood glucose levels went down by nine points from 80 to 71 and my two hours after eating levels went down by 27 points from 100 to 73. (This detox alone made me scared as hell of becoming s type two diabetic because I HATE needles. Needles three times a day is just insane.)
Interesting note about my resting heart rate and blood pressure: On the mornings after days I worked out (7 out of the 10 days) my average BP (Blood Pressure) was 108/66 and my RHR (resting heart rate) was 63. But on the mornings after days I didn’t work out both my BP and RHR were slightly elevated to an average BP of 111/72 and RHR of 65.
And what about everything else about the detox?
I was tired a lot (due to so few carbs), I was slightly on edge at times (Sorry to my staff!), and I had some pretty brutal headaches the first few days because of the lack of caffeine.
Did I mention that the no coffee thing was pure hell?
Because it was.
As part of the detox I tried to limit my daily dose of other things when not used in moderation can be as toxic as fried food and refined sugar–social media, television and negativity. My job in politics comes with an unhealthy dose of all of that, so it was hard to avoid–but I was successful at managing it a little better.
So, was it worth it in the end. YES! Totally!
Because it forced me to be intentional. My weight loss journey to shed 100 pounds in my early thirties taught me the importance of intention, but with everything in life, the less you do it, the harder it is to practice on the daily.
My problem, and probably for many of you, isn’t knowing what to eat, what to avoid and what to do to be healthy, it’s failing to make it a priority and failing to be intentional about it.
It was refreshing to know that I can still get in my kitchen and cook a meal that tastes good and is good for me. It was refreshing to know I can go to a social event and order a club soda and lime just as easy as I can a beer or glass of wine. And it was refreshing to be reminded that intention is everything.
Would I recommend the detox? YES!
For a myriad of reasons I would recommend it for anyone no matter where you are in your own journey to personal health.
But you better warn the people around you to be patient with you because ten days without coffee is….
pure. effing. hell.