28 days

Today is Day 28 of the detox & clean eating challenge I started on April 7.

It’s been 28 days of no gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, MSG or vinegar. I’ve done the best I can on the organic front. Everything I’ve cooked and prepared at home has been organic. I’ve gone out to eat about four times and done the best I can there.

People have noted how much better my skin looks, my uplifted mood and how my clothes fit me differently – in a good way.

I can’t believe it’s already over. I’m feeling healthier, more energized about … well, everything in my life … and more accomplished. And bloat? What bloat? No more of that uncomfortable, heavy feeling after eating. I’m also feeling a little sad to see it come to a close. Although, I plan to keep eating and cooking the way I’ve learned over the past month. Why would I choose to go back to feeling icky?

I’ve talked to several detox veterans about life after the 28 days, and I’m feeling better about my “re-entry.” They slowly introduced items on the avoid list, such as dairy, gluten and sugar to see how it made them feel.

I had been used to the GF life because some family members have celiac’s disease. I tried going gluten free a few years back, but because of various roller-coaster events in my life (and fear of outside judgment that I was just following the latest fad), I quit giving much thought to my diet. I tried to make healthy choices and continued exercising. I continued living with abnormal digestive issues, convincing myself that was my norm.

I had never considered going dairy free until taking on this challenge. I haven’t missed it at all. After reading research findings on dairy’s health effects, I’m confident some of the health benefits I’m now experiencing are a result from eliminating dairy products, such as milk and cheese.

I really don’t feel like I need or deserve an adult beverage (or two or three) to unwind anymore. Or celebrate happy events, or even make myself feel better when I’ve had a rough time. Sure, there have been moments when a glass of wine would have been nice. But I just know for me, over-indulging becomes easier after that first glass.

One day at a time. That’s one thing I’ve fully accepted during this challenge. The freedom I’ve gained from taking control of what I feed my body has been a natural and oh-so-welcomed change. Being authentic and true to yourself is so important. I can be quick to give in to what my peers or family are doing around me for fear of how they will judge me. Showing compassion for yourself and loving yourself how YOU see fit is what matters the most. I’ve especially embraced that revelation over the past 28 days.

The end of this initial journey is really the beginning. Four women in my life have decided to take the plunge, and their clean eating journeys begin tomorrow. It feels good to inspire others just by being authentic and sharing my experiences.

My inspiration for the week – wild flowers and sweet card from friend Kari who's beginning the journey tomorrow. Go girl!

My inspiration this week – wild flowers and sweet card from friend Kari who’s beginning the journey tomorrow. Go girl!





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