Lately, I've been dragging my ass. (Well, ok, I've been dragging the part that's still attached. The rest is less 'dragging' and more 'flapping in the breeze'). I've been tired and cranky and feeling perpetually hungover, which sucks because if you're going to wake up feeling hungover, you should at least have the pleasure of looking next to you and thinking, "Whose that guy? And why am I in Mexico?" (Ah, memories). In days of yore, I would have simply sucked it up, given my body a pep talk (by 'pep talk' I mean 'three Diet Cokes, a sugar-free latte and some Sour Patch Kids) and powered through. Now that I'm new-and-improved-with-a-side-order-of-responsibility-and-common-sense, however, I decided to take a different route to reset my awesome meter: a detox diet.
This would be my second detox diet. I went on the same detox plan (phase 1 of the Fat Smash Diet) nearly a year ago before the first surgery. You're only allowed to eat small portions of oatmeal, fruit, veggies, egg whites, tofu, lentils/chickpeas/beans, yogurt and brown rice. My idea was to get rid of all the gunk so that my body was functioning at "all systems go" and I could stroll out of the hospital with my new hip ready to take on the world. (We know how well that one turned out). There are very few things you can control about your surgery (like, say, your ass falling off and the fact that nearly a year after the operation you're still walking like a zombie grandfather with a mild case of palsy), but I figured I could control the state in which my body arrived on the operating table. (You hear that, Dr. ___? I held up my end of the bargain! I laid off coffee, alcohol, and chocolate for a week!) You know how warriors used to fast and pray for guidance before battle? Same deal, but without the hunger-induced hallucinations.
I lasted 4 days on the diet. I actually felt amazing and you can eat as many fruits and veggies as you want, so I wasn't even hungry.My energy levels were back to normal, I was rolling out of bed ready to face the day, and I didn't even miss my beloved coffee. The problem with any detox diet, however, is that it's impossible to be a social butterfly. You instantly turn into that chick who's pushing a salad around her plate on a first date complaining about the sugar in the vinagrette while the guy looks awkwardly at his steak and mashed potatoes. I was the Victoria Beckham of Champaign Urbana (minus, you know, the gorgeous husband and the accent). On day 4 of the diet, I therefore found myself sitting in a Mexican restaurant with my friend Shawna. She was tucking in to a steaming, cheesy plate of enchiladas. I was picking at a bowl of lettuce covered in salsa.
All of a sudden, I little voice inside my head said, "Arley, you have only about 30 days left in Champaign-Urbana. You can eat lettuce with salsa for the rest of your life.' And it's true. I mean, on June 25th, the day after my surgery when I'm puking neon green bile from the pain killers and injecting myself in the stomach with blood thinners, am I going to say, "Gee, I wish I'd eaten a few more egg whites" or "Gee, I wish I'd had a freaking margarita." I decided that my time in Champaign-Urbana was too short to be wishing for a week of it to be over so I could have a cup of coffee. I ended the diet and went out for brisket.
So now, I'm turning my leftover egg whites into white-chocolate-coconut macaroons, which is still kind of diet food because a) they're made with egg whites and b) I don't have a hand mixer, so the journey from 'liquid egg whites' to 'stiff peaks' was a cardio workout in itself. The recipe cheerfully instructed me to "switch to the paddle attachment on your stand mixer" and I was like "bitch, please. All I've got is a bowl, a fork, and a set of biceps." Anyhow, I briefly achieved a zen-like state by staring into a churning bowl of frothy eggs and in the end I made a batch of slightly deflated macaroons, which I ate while trying to remember how to play Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To the End of Love" on my guitar, and everything was lovely. Life lesson learned.