Well, it wasn’t a complete disaster. Maybe. But it definitely wasn’t great. Let’s begin with what I should have done.
I should have packed a cooler with some veggies – a few bags of carrots and other easily transportable items. I should have realized that our hotel room had a refrigerator, and that I could have stored some items there. I should have realized that it was not going to be “easy” to order lean protein and veggies/a salad while eating on the fly with my family.
My first screw up was Friday while we were traveling. I failed to recall that eggs were not among the allowable lean proteins and had them for breakfast. I didn’t recognize that error until we were back home, two days later, and I consulted the purification guide/log, which I’d left on my counter. Even so, that was probably not the end of the world. However, the rest of the weekend included some additional hiccoughs. For example, when we ate later that day – at a fast food establishment – I got grilled chicken and a salad But I didn’t really allow myself enough time to finish the salad because my family was able to consume their meals faster, and everyone was itching to be done with the car ride – and to get to the hotel swimming pool. The bottom line for that first day away from home was that I just got way fewer vegetables for the day, while at the same time abruptly upping my consumption of protein from “new” sources. I did not feel great at the end of the day.
On Saturday at the football game, I ate something I knew was completely out of line with the program. By the time I went to the concession stand (that is, after I’d made trips to get my kids food and drinks), they were out of grilled chicken sandwiches. Given that I was trapped at the stadium for the duration of the game, and that I was very much hungry, I made the best choice I could. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, thinking it was a better option than a hotdog. The sandwiches were made by some local vendor the stadium partnered with. So on a “normal” day, they might have been a decent choice, in spite of not knowing exactly what kind of ingredients were in the barbecue sauce, etc. I’d attempted to eat just the meat from the sandwich, but that proved to be difficult (and I think I looked like a crazy person). So I just ate the sandwich. Yes. Refined white bun and all.
That evening, I had a delicious meal of grilled salmon and veggies, which included yummy zucchini and squash. That was a treat because my family members aren’t fans of those veggies, so I seldom have them at home. But – and maybe I didn’t read the menu carefully enough, or maybe it didn’t include it in the description – the salmon was drizzled with some kind of creamy sauce. I scraped off what I could, but I still got a good deal of it.
After eating a super-healthy, almost strictly plant-based diet for a week and half, and then dramatically changing to fewer vegetables, more protein/proteins, and “illegal” items, I felt like garbage on Sunday night and Monday morning. TMI ALERT: In addition to feeling generally sluggish, I was tremendously gassy. Just very much full of air. Not comfortable.
On one hand, the weekend was a good learning opportunity for me. I learned first hand how the food we consume affects our bodies – and I wasn’t even eating food that you’d normally call “bad.” Just that shift from very good to not so good made noticeable changes to my physical feelings and energy levels.
On the other hand, I’m very upset about how I was unable to adhere to all the program rules. When you go on an ordinary diet of one kind or another, you can forgive yourself for minor slips. So you ate a cookie? Just pick yourself up and get back on the program! Do better tomorrow and all is well! Right?
Well, I want to look at this in the same way, to recognize that nobody is perfect, and that it’s okay to just keep going. But I feel like on this program, any screw up feels like it makes the whole thing a failure. If the point is to eliminate certain foods and chemicals from your body for 21 days, then any consumption of those items puts you back at square one. Yes? No? I’m not sure.
Of course, I can’t undo my weekend. I can’t go back in time and plan better. All I can do is keep moving forward. So I’ve decided that I am going back to the “rules” of the first week of the program. I intend to stick to the part of the program before lean proteins are introduced for the remainder of the program. (I checked that this was okay and healthy. I learned that the original purification program was just the shakes/smoothies for 21 days! I don’t think I could have handled that one at all!) And I am going to extend my plan through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (that’s three extra days). Of course, so that I am not miserable on Thanksgiving, I’m going to limit myself to small portions at dinner. (Fortunately, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t turn me on that much. I mean, I like it. But it’s not something I couldn’t live without.)
I’ll just close with some other small pieces of good news. Although I haven’t lost any more weight, I haven’t gained either. My clothes still fit. All is well on that front. In addition (another TMI alert!), I am getting my period. In spite of not sticking exactly to the program, I am not having a major breakout like I have pretty much every month. A few, small blemishes showed up, but I normally get more of them – and they’re bigger and much more painful. This month, I feel like I still look human. So I continue to experience good results even though I fouled up a bit.
I’ll be back to let you know how the balance of this plan goes – how I’m feeling, whether I lose additional weight, etc. Wish me luck!