Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution Remix

If you read my last post, you know my resolution for the new year was to make my own kombucha, as soon as I returned to Seattle. I came back Thursday, feeling pretty horrific from a herx as I tried increasing my Amoxicillin from ten capsules a day to eleven (making me one capsule shy of the full dose).

This Friday morning, before my appointment with my naturopath Nesreen, and before I'd had a chance to do anything about the Kombucha Project, I opened the refridgerator for breakfast. I pulled out the yogurt and scooped some into a bowl. Then I pulled out the bottle of maple syrup I usually put on my yogurt. I was already hungry, but when I saw the maple syrup, my stomach lurched with hunger. I was a strange feeling-- as if something inside me saw the maple syrup and was yelling "gimme gimme gimme!" I poured the maple syrup on my yogurt, the way I always do, and ate it.

Meanwhile, The Poet had come back to Seattle a week earlier, seen his own doctor and started a strict detox diet. No gluten, no fruit, no tomatoes, no nuts besides almonds and pumpkin seeds, no vinegar, no dairy, no... well, it's basically chicken, fish, turkey, vegetables and quinoa.... I said I would do it with him, but I wasn't really considering cutting out fruit, yogurt or maple syrup. I figured I'm virtuous enough since I never eat wheat or any refined sugar.

So I was explaining all this when I saw Nesreen later that day, even the part about the small monster inside me wanting the maple syrup. And guess what she said? I should do the diet with The Poet. Not just a symbolic giving up tomatoes and salad dressing.

"No fruit, for real?" I asked.

"No fruit, no sweeteners, no vinegar," Nesreen said. "You have yeast and you need to get rid of it. This diet will do it."

"No maple syrup?"

"Absolutely no maple syrup. For at least one week, two if you can do it."

"No grapefruit?"

"Grapefruit is a fruit! No grapefruit."

"Dark chocolate?"


"What about kombucha?" I asked.

Nesreens eyes widened. "No no no no! No kombucha!"

She explained that while kombucha is a probiotic, it usually contains yeast, due to the fermentation. That sediment at the bottom? Yeast.

So my resolution went out the window, only to be replaced by a harder resolution: the anti-candida diet.

While making kombucha at home sounds like fun, even hip, even glamorous (my twenty-three-year-old Manhattanite cousin was all over the kombucha idea), eating no fruit or maple syrup or vinegar is just boringly difficult. Now I really understood how disciplined The Poet was being with his diet for the past week.

Interestingly, all I could think about for the rest of Friday afternoon was how tragic it was that I couldn't eat any blueberries or frozen mangoes. Now on day three, I'm starting to get used to the all-veggie thing, but after every meal I find myself thinking "and now I'll have a piece of fruit." Or I start to make a grocery list, and the first thing that pops into my head is orange juice. And so on.

To compensate, I've been fantasizing how the anti-yeast diet will in just two weeks leave me focused when I write, speedy when I run, graceful and spontaneous on the dance floor, free of that clogged-lymph feeling and of the tight muscles and lingering tendonitis in my left calf.

And if it doesn't happen, I've promised myself a certain cardigan sweater I've been longing for, if I can make it through the whole two weeks. But then again, at the end of two weeks that first taste of dark chocolate will be its own reward.

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