What exactly is a “faileo?” Quite simply, it’s when you’ve been following a Paleo diet and you have a cheat day and end up falling off the wagon…hard. Cheat days are not the worst things in the world. They allow you to indulge in a food you may have missed; it only gets bad when you overindulge, which I definitely did the past couple of days.
Holidays are notorious for letting not-so-healthy foods creep back into our diets. Yesterday Kevin and I got each other Easter baskets and mine was filled with some healthier treats, like mixed nuts and dried fruit, and not-so-healthy treats, like Hershey’s Pot of Gold chocolate. Bless Kevin’s heart for getting me one of my favorites, if only I had the will power to stop at one or two chocolates instead of eating half the box in a sitting! It was a definite “faileo” on my part.
Well, last night I was reminded of why I started this Paleo journey to begin with. My body just has a low tolerance for refined sugar. I was restless during the first four hours of trying to sleep last night and kept waking-up feeling anxious after vivid dreams with my heart racing. Excess sugar has such a negative impact on my body. It’s like night and day.
That is why Paleo has been life-changing for me. Reduced anxiety, reduced worry, and a much calmer nervous system where I’m not waking up with adrenaline surges because sugar is coursing through my body.
If there’s any positive to this happening it’s that I was reminded of what I felt like before Paleo and why a diet change has proved to be beneficial for me. The funny thing is, this is only what happens after eating chocolate. Imagine what my body was going through before when I was eating all sorts of candy, drinking large lattes, and eating a carb-heavy meal of pizza (or something similar) everyday. No wonder my anxiety felt out of control!
By the way, these are some of the ingredients Hershey’s makes their chocolates out of: high fructose corn syrup (no surprise there), partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (the artery cloggers), diglycerides (added to make the chocolate appear “prettier” in the packaging so its moisture is retained and it doesn’t look like it’s separating), disodium phosphate (food preservative to slow bacteria growth), and PGPR (a “fake” chocolate that is added to reduce the need of real cocoa and therefore cut down on cost).
With all of those ingredients it doesn’t even sound like real food. It sounds like something that was created in lab.
Well, now that all of the Easter festivities are over, it’s time to put this behind me and do a gentle “detox.” I was reading up on ways to recover from a cheat day and came up with this list:
1) Drink a ton of water in combination with tea to help rid the body of toxins.
2) Take a fish oil supplement or eat fish to help reduce the inflammation that’s happening in the body.
3) Get back on track with your meals. Choose a heavy protein (like chicken), a leafy green (like kale), and max-out on vegetables.
4) If your brain is sending intense signals to eat more sugar, grab some fruit.
5) Get moving. No matter how icky your body feels go for a walk, do some cleaning, just do something active to speed up the process of letting the toxins exit your system. If nothing else it’ll be a great, healthy distraction from how you’re feeling.
Does anyone else have advice on ridding your body of toxins after eating not-so-healthy foods? I’d love to hear them!