“It’s been a long, a long time coming but I know
A change gon’ come, oh yes it will.”
Every since I came to America in the cold, bitter winter of 1999, I have adopted the American way. I remember watching MTV’s TRL, Saturday Night Live and Good Morning America. I would imitate the way people on the show talked. First I would try a Texas accent, then I think it shifted to North Carolina, then Mid Western, until it finally morphed into the accent I have now. But if you listen hard enough, you might just hear those remnant of Africa, remnants of my mother and father’s perfect British English (they could both have dinner with the Queen it is that posh).
But while I changed a lot about myself to fit in, what I didn’t realize is how much I changed my diet.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, chocolate cake, mac n’ cheese, spaghetti and meatballs.
I think I spent my ENTIRE college years eating Ramen noodles and spaghetti and Ragu. I am not kidding you.
This extreme shift in diet has taken its toll on me, and it is only after this detox that I have realized it.
You see, in Kenya I would eat everything made from scratch. Very rarely were things cooked from a “box” or a “can” or heated up in a microwave. The American diet is built around convenience, and I respect that because we are very busy people. However, what has this “convenience” done to us?
Made us obese? Diabetic? Cancerous?
Because that is no way to live just for convenience.
So I have decided to make a change. It’s been a long time coming.
I am not saying that I am done with the convenient food, or even the super delicious food (I have been dying for some chocolate cake), but I am going to start making fresh meals, eating more fruits and vegetables and staying away from all the processed foods.
I mean If I don’t even know what some of the words on the back of the box mean, then why should I ingest them? I don’t know the effects.
Day 4, 5, 6 and 7 of detox have been hard but very rewarding. I have honed my cooking skills, worked out more than I have in a long time and tried some new and tasty cuisine.
For example, I love quinoa now. I am so going to cook with it more often!
Also, I learned how expensive it is to eat fresh foods in this country! I literally spent about $250 on groceries, that is no lie. When I think about all the different types of fruit and vegetables I bought and the whole grains, it makes sense. Most of these things are coming from Mexico and beyond. Really what I was paying for was the shipping cost.
Amazingly, my skin cleared up. I always have breakouts on my back and this week my skin feels and looks amazing. Also, my sinuses cleared up. I can smell things! This is a rare occurrence for me because I constantly am suffering from congestion.
Some of my new Foods:
- Pomegranate: In Kenya we used to have a pomegranate tree in our back yard. I would go pick them and break them open. They are delicious, fulfilling fruits bursting with antioxidants. Give them a try.
- Papaya: A great source of dietary fiber, I used to eat it all the time in Kenya.
- Bok Choy: It is so delicious!
- Ginger: Putting ginger into more of your dishes is really good for digestion. Buy some fresh ginger, chop it up into small pieces and add it at the end.
- Brussel Sprouts: Another thing I used to eat often, it’s nice to add them back to my diet.
- Mangoes: Yum, yum, yum.
- Vita Coco Coconut Water: You can get these delicious drinks at the CO-OP or Whole Foods. Try them, they are so good! And the sugar in them is all natural, no additives.
- CiaoBella Sorbet: Made from natural fruit puree and cane sugar puree, this stuff is yum and a great substitute to ice cream.
- KIND bars: They are good for you, good towards animals AND good for the environment! Super win! What’s even better is that they are good for your glycemic index, meaning they won’t spike your sugar up and then bring you crashing down.
- Agave Nectar: Yay. I found something I can put in my tea that tastes good and is better for me than processed sugar.
So what is the consensus?
Was it worth it? Yes.
Would I do it again? Definitely.
Have I learned from it? Without a doubt.
Would I recommend it? Yes, yes, yes.
And I have heard many people say to me this week, “Oh I could never do it.” But you can! It just takes a lot of time and energy, but it is doable.
And the results?
Initial Weight: 126
Current Weight: 120.
But way beyond losing the pounds are the things I have gained:
A fresh new outlook on life, insight into my self, love, appreciation, and respect.