How To Get Back On Track When You've Fallen Off The Wagon
by Frederic Patenaude
Whenever a discipline is concerned, everybody falls off the wagon once in while. With a diet and exercise program, I know it can go downhill pretty fast, once you get into a bad pattern. What to do when that happens? That is the subject of today’s article.
It started perhaps out of boredom, temptation, or another reason. At the restaurant, you were tempted to taste your friend’s pasta, cheese, etc. You were able to control yourself quite nicely and had only a little bit of it, and best of all, enjoyed yourself. But strangely enough, the next day you wanted more. Your taste buds had been excited by the salt, sauces, and spices in the food you had the night before. You tried your best to resist the temptation, but it was stronger than you. That very night, you ended up eating a whole bunch of foods you previously swore never to eat again. You slept poorly, woke up in a daze, and then for the last few days have been trying to get back on track — but it’s been tough.
Now you don’t have the energy to motivate yourself, your good old plain fruits and vegetables don’t taste so good anymore, and you’ve been feeling a little depressed, sick, and especially confused by the fact that such a little indulgence could put you in such a miserable state!
First, you’ve got to understand that when you eat “modern” foods, not just junk foods, but all foods that contain salt, spices, foods that are combined and seasoned in such ways to please your palate, you are under the effect of excitotoxins — substances that directly affect your brain. So you are literally not yourself anymore. You feel a little bit drugged. Your system is upset by the effect of these “excitotoxins.” Because you are not used to consume them, your reaction is a lot more dramatic than that of most people around you. You also feel the addictive nature of excitotoxins a lot stronger. You’ll find yourself wanting more of the very foods that made you feel ill the night before, instead of naturally reaching for the simple fruits and vegetables that you normally eat.
So getting back on track, feeling energetic and good again will require a bit of a discipline, but not too much time, hopefully.
The easiest way to do this is as follow: fast until you experience genuine hunger again, and satisfy that hunger with simple, properly combined fruits and vegetables.
With genuine hunger, any simple fruit tastes like a delight of the gods.
Not there yet? Yes, the simplest thing in the world, eating with genuine hunger, is also the hardest! So if you’ve got the discipline of a champion, you might just meditate on the above statement and let balance come again into your life. Otherwise, you could try out my suggestions.
Fred’s Getting Back on Track Program
-----> For the next few days, skip breakfast. (Or do not eat 3-5 hours after waking up). This will give your body the chance to detox, a thing that needs to happen at the moment. If you do not have the courage to do this, at least try it out for a day. Then consider doing this for a few more days.
------> For the next few days, consume only the following food:
- Fruit — Any fruits will do, but if you’ve made yourself a little sick by your dietary indiscretions, avoid acidic fruits for some time, and instead eat apples, bananas, pears, etc.
- Smoothies— Simple smoothies will give your body a rest for a little while, while providing you all the nutrients and calories you need for an extra boost, as well as extra water that you probably need to balance out the toxins that have accumulated in your body.
- Raw soups & vegetable juices — Rest from chewing salads for a while, and instead have only raw soups (or blended salads), and vegetable juice. No fruit juice, because the sugar in it enters the blood too quickly.
-----> For a while, do not eat any of the following foods:
- Fat — Fat is to difficult to digest, and what we want at the moment is to give your body a rest. So no nuts, seeds, oils or avocados for a little while.
- Cooked food — We want to flood your body with oxygen and foods filled with energy and sunshine. So do not have any cooked food for some time. If you must, then have only steamed vegetables.
- Fibrous vegetables — All the vegetables you’ll be eating will be in the form of green smoothies, raw soups or vegetable juice. Do not have any carrots, broccoli, beets — or any other really fibrous vegetables (unless they are juiced or well blended). Those are again too hard to digest for the purpose of this cleanse.
- Dried food — You want to stay hydrated — not get more dehydrated. So avoid all dried fruits, crackers, and any type of dried food.
- Salt, spices, or seasonings of any kind. It is very important to abstain from all forms of seasonings. Why? They are all stimulants to some degree. Right now, you may be overly stimulated from the foods you ate recently. All those excitotoxins are driving you crazy and making you want to eat more and more junk. You have to break that pattern. So for a while, abstain from all seasonings, including sea salt, seaweeds of all kind, spices, vinegar, etc. You can use some lemon juice however.
-----> Get some oxygen in your system by doing aerobic exercise. You may be feeling down, tired, or whatever. You can rest to recover, of course. But you also have to get some oxygen flowing in your system. And you’re going to do this by doing some aerobic exercise. The standard exercise I recommend in that case is a daily one-hour brisk walk. If you feel like doing more, go run, hike, bike, rebound, etc.
Other Things To Do:
- Write down how you feel. Take your journal or open a fresh new page in your computer, and write down how you feel at the moment. Pour out your emotions on paper — and also note everything that you ate or did recently. Don’t worry if you have no inspiration — just write anything that comes to mind. Letting out your emotions by writing is a powerful therapy.
- Go walk in nature. Reconnection with nature uplifts your spirit, and this is exactly what is necessary when you need at the moment. Whether it is raining, snowing, or sunny doesn’t matter. You should find some time soon to go for a long walk in the forest, mountain, etc. Your soul will thank you.
- Write down a list of all the things that you love to do that do not involve food. This is an interesting exercise. The idea is to make a list of all the things that you love to do that make you feel good. The last part is important, so avoid things that make you feel good upon gratification only to make you feel bad later on. And those activities shouldn’t involve food. So take out a piece of paper and brainstorm. Write as much as you can. Then, select the top 5 or 10, and choose one or two that you can do today or soon — and set plans to do them.
- Write down a list of the people in your life. This is another good exercise: write down on a piece of paper all the most important people in your life — those that you relate to often — friends, family, co-workers, etc. Then divide them into 3 categories: uplifting, neutral, or negative. There’s no judgment there, just honesty with yourself. Once that is done, decide to spend more time with the uplifting people in your life.
- Meditate. You may have a special technique for meditation. You may not. It doesn’t matter. Just sitting still for 30 minutes or longer and observing your bodily sensations, observing your thoughts come and go is a powerful way to reconnect with yourself again — which is just what you need at the moment.
So you see, falling off the wagon can be a great opportunity to take time to reevaluate your priorities and move in the direction of what you really want! Just taking the first step, one day at a time, is all it takes.
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