I’m in need of a good old fashioned diet haul. Yes, even us health practitioners need to rethink our habit habits. It might surprise you to find out that I love salt, the real problem is that as your taste buds get de-sensitized, you use more and more of it. This does not help my puffiness, winter water weight and skin dehydration. I also love sugar – but everyone loves sugar. Of course, I try not to eat too much of either but at times of stress I will fall prey to the lure of snacking on-the-go. There is so much of both lurking behind even specialty products such as gluten-free and organic treats (have you seen healthy cereals? The first ingredient will be evaporated cane juice). Just because we perceive that we are eating something healthy does not mean we are (shaking fist). I think therefore I am? Not always! So, I am going on a salt and sugar detox for 30 days.
Of course, salt is not inherently bad for you. We need a little sodium (heck, its involved in many of our physiological processes) – but if we’re honest, really honest, most of us are eating too much. I know I sprinkle it on my meals way too liberally and my husband who miraculously does not like salt always gives me a disapproving look. As I mentioned before, the problem is that the more salt you use, the more de-sensitized you get to it and then the more salt you use. This is why I need to do a salt detox and reset my taste levels. Plus, salt is hidden in so many items – even when you look at sweets there is usually a good amount of salt in there. And packaged foods? Forget it! This is where the heavy doses of sodium come from.
Too much salt can lead to dehydration. This is not only bad for our kidneys but also worsens dry skin and prompts water-retention and puffiness. So, from a holistic vanity perspective – I need to get my salt-love under control.
I used to be a lot more strict about sugar when I had acne. I had to be because I would break out immediately from eating too much of it. This is because refined sugar causes inflammation and often cutting back on it helps a variety of inflamed skin conditions. No refined sugar also helps with anti-aging. Yes, you may have heard of the concept of glycation in which consumed sugar leads to stiffening and damage of our collagen…so if we want good elasticity we need to treat our sweet teeth.
The 30 Day Challenge
A friend of mine is a chef and explained to me how his taste buds have gotten less sensitive from years of tasting salty sauces and seasoning. Now he fears he is over-seasoning his food (yikes!). When we overeat salt and sugar we start to increase our intake as we the little buds become numb to it. So, 30 days away form salt and sugar should do me some good (for all the reasons outlined above and more). Of course I will be blogging about the whole thing and hopefully some great new coping mechanisms…ahem, I mean tips on to do this. The point of this break from salt and sugar isn’t to say that these both are ingredients that should be blacklisted from our pantries. What I am really doing is to acknowledge that they are as addictive as they are delicious and often we need a rethink. And for me, the best way to rethink is to take a lil break.
I think that this will actually be my hardest cleanse. I’ve cut so much out of my diet in the past and even fasted for multiple days but this isn’t about switching to almond milk or rice pasta, its about abstaining from flavor. Is life without flavor even worth living? Did I say that out loud? I’ll have to be retrain myself to evaluate flavor in a different way and rely those with more subtly. Here’s to coming out from this with some new recipes and a “healthy tooth”!