Spring 2016 Detox - Part 1: How I Kicked My Coffee Habit

You might be surprised to know that just because I'm a health coach, I don’t eat healthy all the time.

I follow the 80/20 rule - as long as I eat well MOST of the time, I can be a bit more lenient when it comes to my food choices for holidays and special events.

Even though I have food intolerances, I do have small amounts of dairy, soy and sugar occasionally. I watch what I can, and found substitutions for most things.

But I never could adjust to anything other than regular cream in my coffee. 

I do sweeten it with Stevia though instead of sugar.

I make the best choices I can when I have zero control over the food that’s available. When possible, I’ll bring something with me - such as a smoothie to a breakfast event or my own lunch for work meetings.

When I go to holiday events and potlucks, I bring a large side dish that everyone can enjoy plus a sample of healthier versions of treats that I make from scratch using alternatives to dairy and refined sugar.

Sometimes, I do indulge in a treat at parties and other events. Because I don’t do it too often, I don’t notice too many side effects.

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These choices I make usually keep my digestive problems under control, but lately I’ve been noticing that they’ve been getting worse.

I have to admit that perhaps the 80/20 split was becoming more like 60/40!

I heard about a 7-week detox and cleanse program and I thought it would be a good idea to give it a try. I started it around the end of March.

I took the questionnaire to determine my starting toxicity level and I was low in the moderate range.

There is a dietary protocol which eliminates the most common inflammatory foods – dairy, soy, sugar, corn, gluten, a group of foods referred to a as nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers), eggs, strawberries, beef, pork, coffee, chocolate and peanuts.

I’m already well adjusted to having minimal dairy, soy and sugar plus I don’t eat much gluten anyway.

Other items have been a bit more challenging, especially eggs, beef, pork, corn, tomatoes & peppers, and coffee.

Believe it or not, chocolate has not been much of a problem.

I had a little over a week to adjust my diet before the elimination diet was to start.

I didn’t think that the food itself would be too much of a problem, but at that point I was drinking three large cups of coffee a day!

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop drinking coffee cold turkey, so I decided to slowly reduce the amount I had every day until I reached a point where I could get by without it.

I work in an office full-time and knew that a weekday wouldn’t be a good time to start weaning.

I used to have my first cup early in the morning, before I left for work. Then I would have another around 9:00. My third cup each day was either in the mid-afternoon, or after dinner (those were the days I would try to get by on two and then give up)!

The first thing I did was to start adjusting the time I would have them.

I took my first coffee in a travel mug and drank it on the way to work (around 8:00). Then I waited until at least 10:00 to have the second one. I also dropped the third coffee on the first Friday I could and just went to bed earlier! 

The following Monday, I started increasing the time I waited for the second one by at least 15 minutes each day, until I was able to wait until after lunch.

By the end of that week, I got to the same time I used to have the third coffee.

So, on the next weekend I dropped the second cup and only had one cup per day.

The following Monday, I waited to have that first cup of coffee until I got to the office. Again, I started increasing the time I waited by 15 minutes. The following weekend, I didn’t have coffee at all!

Then Monday morning came.

I had to get up earlier in the morning to go to work and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.

To replace my coffee at the office, I took tea instead.

The one I chose for the morning was a blend of honey, lemon and ginseng and after lunch I had a peppermint tea (good for digestion for most people).

I made it through the first day at the office without coffee, then another, and another.  With that, I became 100% compliant with the elimination diet protocol. 

After a few more days, I can start adding foods back in slowly and one at a time to see if anything causes a reaction.

I'm prioritizing the foods I want to challenge first. I think I’m going to start with eggs because they are a nutrition powerhouse.

Plus, it’s a lot easier to make pancakes, muffins and other things with eggs than without! Trust me – I’ve tried!

I was able to come up with a detox friendly recipe for pancakes though. Click here to get the recipe!
 
With food intolerances and sensitivities, reactions are not limited to digestive or respiratory issues – which is what most people expect. It can also take 24 - 48 hours to notice any symptoms, which can range from stomach upset to brain fog. 

For the most part, I'm doing ok when it comes to meals. But I am getting a little tired of chicken, turkey and fish for my protein choices!

I'll post an update after I complete the challenge phase to let you know how I make out with reintroducing certain foods.

Please let me be able to eat eggs...and pork...and beef...and corn...tomatoes & peppers...oh and strawberries! I also wouldn't mind if I am able to eat SOME chocolate!

If you think you might need to detox and would like to learn more, contact me for a FREE assessment and evaluation!

I have a couple of spots open for private coaching clients and I would love to help you.

Kate Elliot