So, as you'll recall, I started a "detox" cycle under the guidance of Meredith at Eating Mindful, our go-to nutrition expert. I have now reached day 11, which means I'm allowed to re-introduce (some) meats into my diet after ten days living off of fruits, veggies, and protein shakes.
I had baked chicken for lunch. It was glorious.
Physically, I did experience a nice fat-burn effect, which is pretty awesome; this week I've had several people in and out of the gym ask me if I've lost weight. (Update: just weighed myself. Hard to say exactly when this happened because I don't keep terribly close track, but I'm down about 6~7lbs from the last time I stepped on a scale, about a month ago).
Speaking of the gym, though: remember how I said my energy level was good throughout the day? That's true, but MAN did it tank around 5pm. That's usually when I'll get to the gym, so my "performance" definitely took a hit this week (someone is about to recommend I go at 5 or 6 in the morning instead. Don't). Meredith advised me to throttle back and let myself rest, and I took her advice. I got a few strength sessions in throughout the week but didn't have the juice for a real metcon until about Friday. Whew.
As a side note, I sort of hate using the term "detox" to describe this. It's technically accurate, but I've found it tends to mean something different to just about everybody. Let's get this straight. This is not a "cleanse." If anyone tells you to live off of lemon water and cayenne pepper in order to poop your way to better health, you should seriously question their credentials.
Furthermore, there's a lot of debate about the concept of "toxins" or "free radicals" or whatever and their actual effect on your body--some folks swear that they interfere with your body's ability to process food and manage weight, I've seen others shrug it off with a "that's what your kidneys are for," and frankly all of the terms involved are so fuzzy and vague that no one is really having a productive discussion on this level anyways.
Here's the bottom line for me: I look at this as "food programming." The same way that I'd program a month-long strength training cycle depending on what my goals are, this is a structured approach towards getting a healthy long-term diet running smoothly.
Eliminating the processed crud we run into constantly for a long enough period to reduce cravings is a overwhelmingly positive step all by itself (argue the actual effects of processed food vs. "clean eating" all your want IIFIYM crowd, there is no debating that "junk" foods are addictive--deliberately designed to be, in many cases--and if that leads to eating them in serious quantities instead of the occasional indulgence, you're in trouble). This "detox" is also deliberately designed to be as inoffensive to your body as possible--most food sensitivities are eliminated and food groups are slowly reintroduced, so you can catch things that bother you that you might not have been able to attribute to a cause before. Not to mention that it forces you to expand your culinary horizons a bit, and having more quick-and-healthy options on my tool belt is already starting to prove useful.
Soooo yeah. Day 11 of 21. Back on the carnivore bandwagon and starting to ramp it up in the gym again. I'll keep you posted.
Update: See part 3 here