Not only is January no-spend month (with a couple of exceptions), but cleanse/elimination month as well. And just like no spend month, everyone in the family will be participating.
Please don’t think that we’ll be starving our children. Far from it. In fact, we’ll be eating a greater variety of foods. We will not, however, be eating gluten, dairy (of any kind), sugar (perhaps some agave nectar and stevia), and soy. We don’t plan–or want–to stay away from most of these foods long-term, but we do want to see if the elimination of certain things produces positive results–or rather–stops negative results.
Here’s the skinny:
Gluten. Adelaide and I have very sensitive skin. Eczema outbreaks are very common. Adelaide also has some problems with irregularity and Bennett is a little too regular. And…in general we reach for a slice of bread or bagel for snacks more often that we should. Gluten is an experiment. We sincerely hope that we don’t detect a sensitivity to it, but we’re open to recognizing it. At the very least, we hope to use this time to invite a wider variety of snacks into our diet.
Dairy. We already know that Adelaide and I are allergic to cows-milk dairy. Adelaide’s skin breaks out if she has too much and I get headaches and feel exhausted. Both of us seem to be able to eat goat and sheeps’ milk products without a problem, but we’ve never really tested it. Now’s the time.
Sugar. We have very little added sugar in our meals and snacks. We eat very few processed foods and follow a whole foods diet. I, however, have huge sugar cravings right after lunch (when Bennett is at school and Adelaide is napping) and again in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. The addiction has become so bad that I will continue to eat the sugary item (generally chocolate) until much too strong of a sugar rush ensues. Not good. The kids have also gotten into the habit of wanting “something sugary” after school/nap. This is fine on occasion, but does not need to be a daily occurrence.
Soy. More specifically, soy milk and other unfermented soy products. Margie has read a few studies on the affects of soy on young girls. No time like the present to cut it out of our diet.
We will continue to eat meat. Some cleanses require no meat. We’re–more or less–following an Arbonne cleanse being offered through It’s All Yoga. This cleanse allows meat and–well–we have a freezer full of meat.
We’re not sure if we’ll do the cleanse/elimination diet for the entire month. We’re committed to two weeks as a family. We’ll then re-evaluate and decide if and/or how we should continue.
We started phasing gluten out earlier in the week. We’re no sugar beginning today. And we’ll be dairy free by the end of the week, or by the time the milk and cheese has been eaten (no sense in wasting it).
As I type this–during my high sugar craving time–I’m doing okay. I’m glad there isn’t any chocolate or cookies in the house. The temptation might be too great. One minute, one hour, one day at a time…