Today at dinner ends my raw food detox. All I ate for the past week was raw fruits and vegetables. Here are a few observances I made…
My skin got drier, acne surfaced, and my tongue got coated in white. All these are supposedly signs of releasing toxins from the body. Also, my husband said I smelled like garlic, even though I didn’t have any. By the last day, today, my skin improved, my acne has cleared, my tongue looks normal. Day three and four were the hardest. The first few days I had major headaches which might have been associated with caffeine withdrawal. I did notice a lot less anxiety. Not only from not having caffeine, which I’m sensitive to, but from not having to give much insulin and not having to do a lot of food preparation. I also didn’t have food on the brain as much as I normally do. Maybe it’s because I manage my weight by restricting calories (since I exercise and still gain weight rather easily). On this diet I was stuffing myself with vegetables that take effort to crunch and chew and have a large quantity of filling fiber. I was more full on this diet than my previous one where I limit my calories. In case you’re wondering I lost 2 pounds and my meter’s 7 day average is at 116 right now.
This detox brought me mental clarity. That, I was not expecting. I was expecting to feel miserable all week. Instead, I had enough energy to go about my daily business and my mind felt…liberated. I could focus better and at night when I am normally getting sleepy, I felt wide awake and alert. I felt light as a feather.
I did struggle to eat sufficient calories. To eat more calories I had to eat an extra banana or mango throughout the day and that meant giving more insulin, which I don’t love doing in between meals. The good thing is that the sugar in fruit works right away and gets combated by the insulin and then it’s over. Unlike when I eat corn or wheat or rice where the glycemic effect lasts much longer, making insulin needs more complicated.
If you’re wondering if I had cravings or not, I did. I craved sushi, pizza, and eggs. The interesting thing is that after a few days I didn’t crave these things anymore. Last night my family ate pizza and I just realized this morning that I didn’t stop and think about wanting pizza. Not even for a second.
Speaking of insulin, I had to reduce my lantus from 15 units per 24 hour period to 13 units. Normally, if my blood sugar is 200, to bring it down I give one unit of humalog. This past week, I needed 1/3 of a unit. Once, when I thought I was low and had some glucose tabs when in fact I was hungry and confused the symptoms, I ended up with blood sugar of 320. Normally for a 320, I push it down with 4 units of insulin. In this instance I gave one unit and within an hour I was 139. So I got the impression insulin sensitivity made a marked increase.
For type 1 diabetics thinking about doing a detox of some kind I offer the following advice/warning:
-If you have any organ damage, do not try a detox of any kind. A detox and the toxins released can overwhelm a damaged organ such as the kidney or liver.
-If you do a detox, I recommend one where you still eat. Some people do a detox where they eat raw fruit and vegetables like I did, others do liquid diets like soups and juices, all of which are less stressful on the body than a water detox. I imagine a week long water detox would bring me a lot of lows and then a lot of stomach cramps from the glucose tabs.
-As always, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your plans to detox.
-If you feel sick in the middle of a detox, stop and gently work your way out of it. It shouldn’t make you feel like you’re dying. I hear that what is normal is slight discomfort. However, if you go from the standard American diet to a strict detox, your symptoms may be a lot stronger. Years ago I started eating really healthy directly from my flour and sugar laden diet and for a week I felt like I had the flu.
-If you go from the standard American diet to a detox, make it a gentle detox where you just cut out fast food so that you don’t send a shock to your system.
-When you are done with a detox, don’t jump into a piece of cake or a steak. You won’t be ready to handle it without a stomach ache. I had a tiny piece of cake for my birthday last night and I was surprised by how bad my stomach cramps were. This morning I had fruit and feel normal again.
-Set alarms at night to wake you so you can monitor your blood sugars and avoid harsh lows. I had one bad low this week where I hit 34 in the middle of the night. I haven’t been that low since my pregnancy 2 and a half years ago.
Better than a detox, I’d say, is a very graduated change in eating. One month you get rid of fast food. The next you get rid of soda. The next you add a salad to one meal each day. And so forth. The only way I’ve made my lifestyle changes stick is by going at it like this. It took years but it didn’t hurt.
Where will I go from here? Well, I feel super good with my raw fruits and veggies, although I will limit fruit. I miss my eggs so I can’t wait to have them again. I will add fats back in like avocado and olive oil. Protein like chicken and fish. I’ll have tea instead of coffee (this one is going to hurt) but it’s worth it.
For now I’m going to omit grains of any kind to see how that feels. I’ll keep you posted.