Tuesday, December 30, 2014


No idea how to make the label un-reverse
I really like tequila. So shoot me. It's replaced white wine as my drink of choice. Being a white wine drinker is probably more common among women. In fact, among my friends, it's very common. Too common? Probably. Anyway, it's that time of year to put all alcohol behind me for awhile. It's two days from my New Year's cleanse and I'm mentally preparing. I'm also cutting back on my coffee to avoid the headache giving up caffeine entails. For me, coffee is what I'll miss most, but I really don't think it's that good for me -- I don't care what a zillion articles about the benefits of caffeine say.

I'm giving up: alcohol, caffeine, dairy, wheat, and sugar starting January 1st. Lie. I'm going to a New Year's Day party on January 1st and I'll eat the good food offered there, some of which will include wheat and dairy, so that part of the cleanse will start January 2nd. But mostly I don't eat dairy or wheat anyway, so they aren't much of a challenge. Sugar isn't really a challenge either any more. But the first time I gave up sugar, it was a bitch. Same with wheat. Now I avoid sugar and wheat pretty easily, although if I do eat them, I'll crave them the whole rest of the day. Best for me to stay away from my danger foods.

I used to worry incessantly about my food addictions. I probably went years thinking I was an alcoholic; I couldn't imagine giving up drinking for even a day. But all that's behind me. I give it up every year. Last year I quit for over one hundred days. I then had to make a decision about whether to ever drink again, and slowly, drinking has crept back into my life where it's become an every evening thing again. However, I don't worry about it any more. I don't feel hungover in the mornings and in general I feel healthy. Plus I look forward to my New Year's cleanse when I give up alcohol. And sincerely, I do look forward to it. Here are the things the cleanse gives me:

More energy
Weight loss
Flatter belly
Good sleep
Clearer sinuses
Clearer mind
More hours in the day (I go to bed later, get up earlier)
Pain-free joints

So whatever your demons are, I suggest getting into the habit of a cleanse at the New Year. Design your own. Sugar is a great one to give up, particularly if you're not an alcohol abuser or maybe you should put the pot away for awhile.

Twenty-one days is a good amount of time, in my humble opinion. And my best advice is, eat a lot of vegetables. Three days of changing your eating habits will change the composition of your gut microbes. Good microbes feed on plant material. Give those good guys something to work with and they'll be your best friends.

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