Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fricassee

Today is the last day of my 10-day fruit and vegetable detox.  (Those of you who follow me on Twitter have listened to my intermittent whining.)  I'm already a whole foods nut, so it's not like I had to purge my body of fast food or Twinkies.  But it's amazing how much starch and sugar you're eating without really noticing.

Here's the amazing thing:  During the past ten days, I have not felt drowsy/fuzzy-headed/lethargic in the afternoons like I often do.  I already knew that sugar can do that to you (and your body thinks white flour is the same as sugar, so it has the same effect), so it's not like I was shocked.

But wow! The productivity!  I've been working on revisions, and as I sat down on Monday to begin this week's work, I was prepared for a lot of hair-pulling and teeth-grinding.  Guess what! It didn't happen.  I have been literally breezing through the revisions this week.

I'm not saying that everything I do is suddenly drop-dead astounding.  It's certainly not flawless.  But my ability to think clearly and make quick decisions is unparalleled.  I could definitely live like this and be happy.

Nevertheless, I am absolutely eating a burger tomorrow.  Yes, I am.  I haven't missed the starch and sugar.  I haven't even missed my evening glass of wine.  But oh, baby, I have missed my grassfed beef!

There's something to be said about purging things, whether it's food or entertainment or simply the "extras" that tend to clutter our lives and minds without our realizing it.  When we take them away for a while, we realize what their negative impact has been.  Then it's up to us to decide what stays and what goes.

As writers, we find a plethora of things online to keep us informed and amused and challenged and busy.  There's a lot of good out there, and there's a lot of bad out there.  Obviously the bad needs to go, but there's often a lot of good that needs to go, too, because WE NEED TIME TO WRITE!

I'll be pondering what needs to stay and what needs to go in my diet, and I'll also be pondering what needs to stay and what needs to go in my online life.  I love the productive, alert writer I've been for the last 10 days, and I don't want to lose this.

What will you purge from your life in order to increase your writerly productivity?  Share your ideas! We are one heck of a thinktank here.

And think of me tomorrow, smiling through bites of burger.  It's the small things, yes?


  1. Love this post. For one, I understand about purging your diet. I found after I stopped drinking pop, I eventually couldn't stand the taste of it any more. I think it's like that with a lot of things, once you get it out of your system, you wonder why you ever wanted it in the first place.

    As for purging my life to focus on my writing, I totally agree. It often feels like I'm so busy on the little things I never have time to write. And it can be so easy to say "just five minutes here, I have to keep up with my email/Facebook/laundry/whatever". But when you keep piling those things on top of each other they can add up to no time to write.

    I think I need to work on setting up a fixed time to write, just blocking out a time of day that I don't do anything else, and make sure everyone else understands that. Of course, with a family, that is easier said than done. Then again, if this was easy everyone would do it, right? :)

    Again, thanks for all your wonderful posts, Authoress. You're a real inspiration for a struggling writer, still trying to get published.

  2. Good for you!! I'm not sure I could do a 10-day detox~ maybe a 7-day one, but wow. I'm majorly impressed! And I love the idea of purging things from your life bringing an increase in productivity. I've already given up watching tv (with the exception of Food Network shows), and I'm wondering if I need to have something like "Twitterless Tuesdays" where I use my Twitter-checking time for actual writing instead :)

  3. Which fast did you do? I've done the Lemonade and Salt Water thing twice before and felt so great during and after, and like you, there were certain foods that turned me off afterward. Been contemplating doing it again soon....

  4. It IS the small things. We don't eat a lot of meat, but when my husband barbecues ribs I'm all over them like...well, I'm all over them.

    A year or so ago I severely limited my internet time for a week, to a half hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I've been thinking of doing that again. Just a little vacation, help me get my priorities straight.

  5. Nice post!

    I wouldn't say I'm purging per se, but I'm experimenting with cutting out certain foods to see if that helps with skin issues. This week: dairy. Next week: nuts and peanuts. Which means I must set aside my beloved peanut butter in all its delicious forms.

    Anyway, to help with my own writing, I've decided to "purge" television. It's not a problem, really, in the summer, but I'm already thinking about next fall and what TV shows will keep their Season Passes on the TiVo and what will get cut. It helps that I no longer have satellite and so have to rely on my digital antenna for a signal, and that sometimes it just cuts out.

    What stays in: exercise and sleep. Don't get me wrong, if I get into grind mode on a project those might get sacrificed, but I don't want to make a habit of it. I'm already a poor sleeper, for one thing, and I see exercise and sleep as things that will help me keep up the energy to write in the first place, and help assure me of a future where, yanno, I'm not at risk of dying due to poor health. Can't write if I'm dead. :)

  6. [["Can't write if I'm dead."]]


    Count me amoung those who need to cut back on television. I really need to stop turning on the television "for background noise" because I generally just start watching it, too.

    Recently, I cut out grains, legumes, and dairy for digestive issues. I'm feeling a lot better, and without the insulin overload, I'm clearer headed.

    I write sporadically throughout the day, but I could probably do with establishing a set time for writing (for reading, too).

    Interesting post. Thanks for making me think.

  7. I've purged myself of checking work email during my writing time. It really wasn't that much of a sacrifice. :)

  8. Chowing down on white castle as I read

  9. Wow-this is exactly what I needed to hear as I sit blinking at the computer trying so hard not to go take nap! I don't eat fast food either but what did I eat today? Well, I'm not going to admit it publicly- lets just say it was starchy and sugary. Tomorrow, I am purging.

  10. I too found a no afternoon drowsies 'eating plan'. I refuse to call it a diet, because it is a lifetime change of eating habits. I've been carb sensitive all my life. (Once on the lips, still on my hips.) But after reaching my highest weight ever the end of last year, I finally caved into an Infomercial that really made sense. It is the Provida Diet Plan- I bought the plan and have had my husband and two daughters join me on this plan. Between the 4 of us we have lost nearly 90lbs so far (and that includes holidays and eating out). All of us can't believe how much more energy we have and how much more alert we are when we stick to the eating plan which you customize to your own body's needs.
    As far as purging, I guess you would say I've purged excess food and food preparation, clean up and calories from my life. With smaller portions, less cooking and more simple meal planning I have more time to use the energy from the emerging new me for all things writerly.

  11. This past winter I had the worst chapped lips of my life; the strangest part was I used Burt's Bees chapstick about 4 times a day! After a rough period of letting go, now I don't even NEED chapstick at all. I've heard of this chapstick dependency but thought since Burt's Bees is all natural it wouldn't be a problem.

    None of this is exciting as diet changes but I've broken the habit of slathering that glossy coat of chapstick on before bedtime and it's changed me! :)

  12. I'm always tickled when people realize their is weight (ha!) behind the old adage, 'You are what you eat'. It personally took me most my life to realize this, but I've been gluten free, corn syrup free, sucrose free and dairy free for four years. Working in an office full of women who bake, this has proved to be the best diet EVER. I've certainly never felt better and have since picked a wonderful hobby: Writing. Thanks for sharing Authoress!

  13. I'm not sure what distractions I need to purge to help with my writing. But you have inspired me to change up my diet! Great post! I'll be thinking about what you wrote all weekend.

  14. I've wanted to do a fruit/veggie cleanse for awhile. Is there any certain program you used?

  15. Wow, it's GREAT to read about what many of you are doing to improve your diets/health/lives.

    Karen -- I used this one:

    You're allowed to include nuts and seeds, but I did not. I wanted to stay with pure fruits and veggies. Either way is fine, though.

  16. Here's a coincidence - I just started on a detox diet yesterday, for all the reasons you mentioned, afternoon drowsiness being the most salient.

    I'm basically living on fruit, veg, eggs, tofu and no-fat plain yoghurt. And herbal tea. No bread, rice, pasta or potatoes, fats, processed foods or meat. Or caffeine.

    I'm at the stage of trying to get over the feelings of deprivation, which is highly distracting. Please tell me these feelings end once you acclimatise!

  17. Jo -- Yes, one of the benefits of detoxing is that, after a few days, your body stops its sugar and fat cravings (and caffeine, if you're addicted). You just have to hang with it until your body adjusts (and it WILL adjust!).

    I would recommend against non-fat yogurt, as non-fat dairy is very unhealthful (despite popular claims). You should really stay away from all dairy during a detox, at any rate.

    You can make yourself some yummy smoothies, which will taste better that the yogurt, anyway! :)

  18. After a 2-week Minnesotan family visit, I'm ready for a complete detox. They eat total CRAP! And buy it at Walmart. But worse is the toxic family in CA. Can diet and exercise exorcise a dysfunctional family? I night join you in that burger. And a good hoppy beer.

  19. Wow, it's been quite a while since I've actually commented here on the blog... forgive me :-) But I just may try this fruit and veg detox! And as far as moving toward my writerly goals, I may actually be purging a crit group. It's sad, but it's taking up so much time that I barely have any time left to write my own stuff.