WEEK TWO: I LIKE SUGAR.
My twenties were about adding things. Doing more, even if it felt forced or unnatural. My thirties are more about reducing things. What I can do without? How can I react less? Who are my core people? What is really meaningful to me? So, in a way, this summer detox – stripping away the excess fluff for a short amount of time – is fitting.
A psychologist friend recently told me though, “We never really change, we just become truer versions of ourselves over time.” Aww.
Week Two I cut out fruit. (Doing a plan based on the 4-hr Body, except this week I could NOT find lentils or black beans at the foreign food store.)
It’s been painful, for I will always have a sweet tooth.
SUNDAY: I have to make a cake.
Morning: Free day over. I am a little sad. And no fruit smoothie for me this morning, so I cook two eggs and two egg whites. I drink hot water with lemon per a friend’s advice. I got the: “ARE YOU DRINKING HOT WATER WITH LEMON?” from Mindi on Skype this weekend. It is energizing, or as energized as I can feel not drinking caffeine. Meet Chelsea in the park for yoga. Afterwards, I buy myself flowers. #Flowerpower for week two.
Afternoon: I make a quick lunch, roasted salmon and broccoli, AND because I had to reschedule this Japanese cooking day with a teacher, I make a cake. I promised dessert for her daughter, so I have to make a banana chocolate chip rice cooker cake.
Evening: My sensei meets me at the grocery store and makes me buy anything I don’t know how to cook with. In goes a lot of Japanese root vegetables: gobo, daikon radish, bamboo, and lotus root. We make cold shabu shabu, udon, kinipira, tempura, miso soup, and this chicken vegetable stew thing called chikuzen. We cap off the meal with cherries and my cake. I have a piece because I will always eat a piece of my own homemade cake, then wrap up the rest of the cake and send it home with them. I wistfully watch them leave with my cake.
MONDAY: I am a bear.
Morning: I make yesterday’s scrambled eggs again, but I’m feeling blah. I miss the weekend. I miss eating doughnuts and cake and fruit. I have a hectic morning schedule, and it gets to the point teachers ask, “Are you okay?”
I explain my detox and giving up coffee for the month, maybe forever…
“Sarah-san, you NEED coffee!” they exclaim. Most of them only sleep 4 hours to 90 minutes – YES – a night. It’s like a competition of who can sleep less.
“But I was drinking too much. Like, sometimes, five cups a day!”
“Oh, that’s okay.”
“No, it was too much.”
“Three! Drink three cups a day,” was their solution.
I sit down to snack on my almonds and water, scribbling in my organized yet cluttered planner, “At work! ANNOYED! GRUMPY!”
Afternoon: Leftover cold shabu shabu. Later on, the PE teacher comes over to my desk to make sure that I am playing handball with elementary kids from 7-9 p.m. that night. I am so having a case of the Monday’s that I want to bail, but I can’t, so I just smile and nod yes. He tells me to bring two water bottles and a towel. Hmmm.
Evening: Bike home, change into gym clothes, bike to Melissa’s. Eat steak and a Greek salad and almonds and dried seaweed sheets until my belly is full, then bike back to school to play handball. I am thinking that it will be light passing and drills with five-year-olds. No. It is like the all-star handball team for 5-10 year olds. After stretching, we sprint. I can barely keep up, especially since the gym must be 85 degrees. It was followed by an hour and a half of drills, then 30 minutes of scrimmaging. I played three minutes and I thought my lungs would burst. But the kids are so adorable and give me HUGS, so I tell them I’ll be back next Monday.
I bike home, walk into my apartment, down a Nalgene of water, make a protein mug brownie, and eat it laying down on my futon. Immediately, I feel like Jell-O and am really lethargic.
TUESDAY: Hello tea.
Morning: The usual egg scramble and hot lemon water. When I arrive to work, sweating from my two-mile bike ride in the blazing heat, and I see that we have a new toy in the teacher’s room. A cold tea machine. HELLO TEA! I feel better already.
Afternoon: Leftovers chikuzen. Later on I snack on almonds.
Evening: I come home feeling hungry. I make another protein mug brownie, and contemplate going for a short run. I put on my running clothes, run for three minutes, and just decide to walk. I still feel like a Slo-Mo Sarah, but at least I am not taking naps like last week.
For dinner, I make steak (marinated with PW’s Asian marinade) topped with caramelized onions and sautéed green beans, eggplant, and tomatoes. I used to hate onions, until I realized that you could cook them slowly with a little bit of olive oil and they turned SWEET. I haven’t made them in forever, but they are my new favorite food.
WEDNESDAY: I want sugar.
Morning: The usual egg scramble.
Afternoon: Leftover steak and vegetables. Snack on almonds in the afternoon.
Evening: I need to go to the grocery store, but first, I want something carby for a snack. I am craving something light and fluffy and sweet. I try to make a protein pumpkin pancake to snack on, but it is inedible, and for the second time this month, it goes down the toilet. I’m annoyed and find some old melted chocolate in the cabinet and eat some of that. (EMOTIONAL SAD PANCAKE EATING.) I decide to walk to the grocery store to get things for dinner. Come home and make baked chicken and stir-fried vegetables.
Late evening: Still feel the urge to bake something. I turn Cassie’s Blogilates healthy doughnut recipe into protein cupcakes. They taste more like muffins, but in my sugar deprived mind, could rival a salted caramel cupcake.
THURSDAY: I’m hot.
Morning: It’s HOT when I wake up, so I make a protein shake. It doesn’t fill me up like eggs, so I eat a protein muffin for a snack.
Afternoon: Leftover chicken and vegetables. More almonds in my afternoon.
Evening: Do about twenty minutes of yoga, but it’s just too hot in my place. I make a very random dinner. Omelet with cabbage, sausage, and sliced cucumber.
FRIDAY: I want ice cream.
Morning: Protein shake + protein muffins.
Afternoon: Leftover omelet and sausage. More afternoon almonds. My bag is almost empty…. I wonder if I am eating too many almonds perhaps?
Evening: Eat my last protein muffin with a scoop of peanut butter and go for a slow three-mile jog. It’s my first run in two weeks, so I consider this some kind of major achievement. Make an easy roasted salmon and broccoli dinner.
Late evening: I have had to pass by an ice cream shop on my way home from school every single day. It’s been a hot week and there have been lines for the amazing ten-swirl cone. By the end of the week, I cave. I have some vanilla ice cream with Strawberry pocky crushed on top.
So I made it two weeks without any coffee. Oh, HEY! Overall, it wasn’t a perfect week, but I am not aiming for perfect. I feel that over the next few weeks, it’ll get easier and my energy will increase. (RIGHT? Positive thinking.) Regardless, I’ve been listening to Cat Power all week and she just makes me feel goooooooood. Enjoy.