The good part is that I feel 100 times better, I have more energy, I'm waking up earlier, sleeping better, and I feel more alert. I've lost a fair bit of weight too, I've gone from a 16 to a comfortable 14. Thankfully I've lost weight evenly, sometimes you see people who go on extreme diets and they loose it all in one area, like off their legs or chest, I was afraid this would happen and I would look lopsided. But because this is a detox and not some mental diet it's far more balanced and therefore it's an even all over body weight loss. Also my skin has improved somewhat, not entirely but I can see definite improvements, it has improved enough that people won't comment about it anymore(people can be so rude sometimes!). But I think my skin will take the longest to heal as I've had trouble with it for years. It's really great to work so hard for something and to actually feel the results from it, it makes it a lot easier to carry on the struggle. People have been very kind and commented on how well I'm looking which really helps, as it's a gradual process sometimes I can't see the changes, somebody even said I looked younger the other day, I should have given them a hug!
Physically I feel better too, I no longer feel sluggish or over tired. I used to wake up in the mornings still feeling exhausted sometimes. Apparently this is a sugar hangover, when you are just letting your body go from one sugar rush to the next. So now there is no highs and lows it's just an even keel energy level. My stomach feels a lot better too, I no longer feel bloated sometimes as I'm no longer putting rubbish into my body. The first month was very tough with physical withdrawal symptoms, mostly from sugar, I got headaches, chronic tiredness, crashed energy levels, extreme cravings, and pretty horrible mood swings. Toni who did my allergy test told me to warn my friends and family about this so they could help me through it. So pre-warned my friends excused my ratty mood for about 3 weeks.
There are difficult parts, mostly when I try to eat out. I'm really happy about what I'm eating when I'm at home because I'm well prepared and have lots of variation. Whereas if I try to eat out it's a nightmare, if I can find something on the menu it usually has to be changed, and lot's of the time I have to take out the main contributor to flavour. Even when I go to my local shop I can't buy anything. Or worse again if I'm in Tesco/Dunnes it's shocking to see that most of what is sold is processed food. Now 90% of the time I do my shopping between the Milk Market and Eats of Eden as I can't find anything I can eat in a regular shop.
We went for dinner the other night in a nice restaurant and I asked nicely about making some changes. The waitress was lovely and made a huge effort, but the food that arrived out was really bland and tasteless, it disappointed me that they couldn't add seasoning and flavour. Having worked in a restaurant I know it's hard, but I thought I might get a bit more inventiveness in a good restaurant.
Bon Appatit Crepe shop at the Milk Market, who made a wheat and dairy free crepe and soup the other day that was delicious.
Cafe Noir on Robert Street, who on a few occasions made lovely salads and baked potato for me(although it drives me nuts that they don't have table service there).
No.1 Pery Hotel where Paul and Shelly got married were really accommodating, and gave me gluten free bread, herbal tea, and fruit salad. Amazing service considering it was at a wedding. By the way the rooms were to die for, I felt like an Edwardian Lady staying there. It's only around the corner from my house but I want to stay there again!
Eats of Eden has been totally invaluable, I don't know how I would have gotten through this without that shop. I buy a lot of my food there, most of my cleaning products and all of my supplements. I've gotten fantastic advice and pointers towards what food I should be eating.
Orla Redican at the Milk Market has a totally gluten free selection, I buy my yummy bread off her every week. She also has amazing gluten free cakes for those of you who can eat sugar, sadly not me though(she is just past the fish stall on Saturdays).
On top of the difficulty of food I really miss drinking, not in a depressing chronic way, but I miss the fun of it. I'm a very sociable person and going out with friends has been very different. It has been quite isolating, even when I'm out, probably self imposed because I feel kind of awkward. I'm trying to meet people for 'coffee' more (herbal tea) or food, so that there is a different focus, and I'm more likely to be on the same wavelength. Summer time with my friends is very much about long lazy days with some pints and a laugh, and now that the sun has eventually arrived I really miss that easy sense of relaxation, sparkling water is just not the same.
Despite all this the benefits totally outweigh the difficulties, and I am 100% sure that I see it through the 6 months. If I'm going to do this I'm going to do it well, and do it once so I never have to do it again!