Getting Tired of This Detox Life

So it is 3 weeks today of this austerity diet and I am getting tired. Literally tired. I want one cup of coffee. That’s all. One cup of coffee in the morning.

But then last night, I also wanted one glass of wine. One glass of wine. In the evening. Is that so bad? But I know what that will lead to. I do. It will lead to gelato, and gin and tonics on the deck, and beer, and then I will be back to my old ways.

But I ask myself: what is so bad about those old ways? And my answer is: crummy sleep, a black tongue, some flab around the middle.

And I think I just talked myself out of wanting my coffee in the morning.

But this is what I wonder: could I just have the coffee and not the other stuff? Just the coffee? Make that my only bad habit? Stay away from alcohol and sweet things? Could I adjust my streak? Let the coffee streak die, but keep the alcohol and sugar streak going a bit longer?

I don’t know. I think Gretchen Rubin is right about abstaining. Sometimes abstaining is easier than moderating.

Is coffee my gateway drug? I really don’t think so. I think alcohol is my gateway drug.

Alcohol leads me into sweets and other food temptations, like cheese and chips and other kinds of happy hour food, and it lowers my resistance to sugar. For some reason I always want something sweet when I am drinking wine. I don’t seek sugar as much if at all when I am drinking gin. But I do when I drink beer.

I think alcohol is the stupidest drug of all. I wish cannabis would hurry up and be legalized already. It is such a better high, though there IS the problem of munchies, which is not to be discounted.

So did I just talk myself out of breaking my streak? I think so. What I have been thinking is that I will break it when we go to Sanibel at the end of May.

I don’t really think I can last that long, but I am going to try. I am at least going to keep going until the end of April. These austerities are my own little “April Challenge.”

Food Sins

Last night I came home from my wild and crazy Fall Flow class, starving. On the counter stood a warm rotisserie chicken and a bottle of wine at the perfect temperature. Oh god, it was the sight of heaven.

I fixed a plate, poured some wine and settled into the couch for a DVRed episode of The Amazing Race.

Ever since I have come off Clean, I have been super-aware of the effects of food on my mood, my sleep and my energy levels. This past weekend, for example, I indulged in pulled pork on a roll and, of all things, Cheese Balls.

Yeah. You know, cheese balls–those things that come in a jumbo plastic jar that are nothing but salt, preservatives and chemicals? Yeah, I ate those. After the 10th one I felt like I was going to throw up. Seems I no longer have the “palate” for crap I used to.

Cheese balls

The white roll that housed the pulled pork was this tasteless piece of “meh” that didn’t even offer that chewy, doughy, satisfaction of really-bad-for-you carbohydrate. It was just a hunk of processed white flour posing as food.

Last night though, the chicken was tasty and greasy, the wine fruity and satisfying. Alcohol has not been a big player in my life for the past 2 months, so as I sipped this nice Cline Zin (on a Monday, no less) I was aware that even though this probably wasn’t the best thing for me to be drinking, it nourished my soul.

The biggest problem with me and wine is not the wine itself, but how it lowers my resistance to other things. Like chocolate.

After I drained the first glass, I went to the kitchen for “just a splash more” and returned to the couch with my splash, plus a square of Ghiradhelli.

And then another one.

I went to bed and slept the sleep of the dead.

For 2  hours.

Then I was UP.  Chocolate at night. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I looked at the clock at 1:30. Then again at 2:45. Then at 3:30. I adjusted pillows. I started the fan for some white noise. Squinted at the clock again at 4:45. I planned my NaNoWriMo project in my head for awhile then woke with a jolt at 8 AM.

I shuffled to the kitchen and made a big batch of amaranth cereal with apples and dates, and while I ate it I said 3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Marys.

Clean slate.

Recipe for Amaranth cereal:

3 cups almond milk

1 cup amaranth (find this in the bulk food section of Wegmans, near the candy)

1 apple and 5 pitted dates pulsed in the food processor until they are in little pieces.

A good healthy shake of cinnamon.

Put all of these ingredients into a pot and bring to boil. Continue to simmer uncovered until the cereal is of the consistency you like. For me, this takes about 20 minutes. It makes a lot, so save it and heat it with a little almond milk the next day.

Amaranth is an ancient grain with a lot of protein, fiber, lysine and magnesium.  It will absolve you of the sins of cheese balls and chocolate and wine at night. I hope.

Poor Me…More Wine


This sign hangs in my dining room (right under the one that says: “Live well, Love much, Laugh often”)

I bought it for more for the word play on the homonym than because I resonated with the sentiment.

I love wine, and have grown to love it more and more over the years as I’ve trained my palate to taste more dimensions of it.

Mostly though, I love the language of wine. I love how some wines are “soft” and other are “metallic.”  I have tasted flabby wines and flinty ones, musty ones and mellow ones. I don’t like “green” wine (young, unaged, high in acidity), but prefer the “chewy”ones with great body and a strong aftertaste.

I love smelling them and figuring out if it’s licorice, tobacco, chocolate, or cherries I’m smelling.

I love the word “terroir” and thinking about how different soils within the very same vineyard can produce such different tasting grapes.

I have very rarely drowned my sorrows in a bottle of wine. (Mostly because I very rarely have “sorrows.”) A glass of wine, for me, is a treat and a delight, not a way to numb out or medicate.

That’s why I can hang this sign in my house. It’s just a funny play on words.

This is my favorite scene in the movie Sideways. It makes me swoon.


There is a glass of wine sitting here on the coffee table, waiting for me to finish this post.  It’s Jargon Pinot Noir, if you must know. It’s Friday night and I just had a super Happy Hour Yoga class with all my right people.  I just love it when my right people show up.

(And just to clarify: “My right people” are people who have made yoga a ritual practice in their life.  YOU could be “my right people” !!  Maybe you already are and we just haven’t met yet!  And maybe I am one of YOUR “right people” too!  In which case, I would like to know, and officially become a member of your tribe.)

So to get back to tonight, all my right people showed up, including Michelle, who has just been through hell and back dealing with a medical issue and will continue to deal with said issue in the coming months, but at least she is now back with her yoga tribe and we all feel like, “Yeah, the tribe is back again!”and “Let the healing games begin!” (Welcome back, Michelle!)

So I led the Meditative Posture Flow which is a lot of hard, with a little easy inserted in at key moments.  It’s like throwing a big rock into the pond of your body, then allowing some time to watch the ripples flow out to the edges, then disappear, over and over again for an hour.  Rock, ripples, rock, ripples, rock, etc. It’s intense, but in a cool intense way.

And after this was over, and many good convos too, I headed home to Friday night!

This is the first Friday night in a month that I am officially off my cleanse, so I came home and had a bowl of butternut squash soup (so very yummy, not to mention beautiful in color and consistency. It is the color of cantaloupe and the consistency of paint.) And then, afterwards, I had a tiny piece of the Groundhog Day Carrot Cake (vegan), and now there is a fire going and the Jargon Pinot is glowing jewel-like in the firelight.

And I will drink the Pinot now in little sips until it’s all gone.  And I might have a tiny piece of dark chocolate too.  And I will watch the movie “9” by Tim Burton that Emily recommended, and be so grateful for my life, once again.

Because what could be better than my right people, rock and ripple yoga, good conversations, soup the color of cantaloupe, a fire,  pinot and chocolate?