A Different Detox
I’m a coffee person. On most mornings, I take a sweetener and some non-dairy vanilla creamer in my coffee. Not long ago, I discovered the joys of the Nespresso. During the week that I had access to one, I drank a lot of coffee with frothed milk instead of my usual non-dairy creamer.
I began to notice that my body was doing weird things, and the only thing I could think of that had changed was the absolute ridiculous amount of dairy I was consuming. It made me think back to all the other times I had noticed (and promptly written off) various symptoms that coincidentally happened when I would drink a regular latte, eat cheese, yogurt, a strawberry In-N-Out milkshake… At 41 years old, I began to wonder if I’m lactose intolerant and never knew it!
It also made me wonder how many other things we unnecessarily suffer through because we refuse to give up various poisons. You may not be lactose intolerant, but what else do you indulge in that is making you miserable? Maybe, like me, you never even put two and two together…
As we close out 2020, let me give you a few suggestions to consider detoxing:
A toxic relationship
What would you add to this list?
When I gave up dairy, I noticed that my body got worse before it got better. I had unknowingly become dependent on it, and had to be diligent about scrubbing it out of my diet because it can be sneaky. You might be amazed at how many things are made with milk! I also had to be diligent about finding a substitute that would suffice. There are so many things I could use in place of real milk, but what is best?
Giving up other toxins can bring the same struggles—perhaps you have been self-sabotaging for so long that you no longer know what you want in life, much less how to set a goal and achieve it. Or maybe you’ve been so gripped with bitterness or negativity that you never knew just how many places it was hiding in your life. Be diligent to root it out and starve it from your system. Remind yourself that you’re removing a poison from your life.
But don’t just scrub it out—substitute it with something that is better! Commit to reading your Bible each day, even if it’s just a few verses (try to focus on ones that specifically talk about the issue with which you’re struggling). Develop a habit of prayer in the morning, before you reach for your phone to scroll through social media. At night before bed, instead of reaching for the remote, reach for a journal and a pen. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reels, text a friend and have a real conversation.
On Christmas Day, I said to heck with it all and enjoyed homemade macaroni & cheese, rosemary crostini’s with delicious Brie & apricot jam, and creamy mashed potatoes. I ate as much milk chocolate as I could stand, and would substitute a few things here and there to justify my discrepancies. “But it’s Christmas!,” I told myself.
Was it delicious? You bet your stocking stuffers it was! But was it worth it?
Some of the issues I noticed when I would eat dairy were internal, private. Those were the ones I thought were fine if I cheated, because no one would know, right? However, there are external symptoms that can rear their ugly heads, too—acne for one. This is a correlation I hadn’t even considered until my Christmas splurge! Three days later, though, it’s painfully obvious that I had over-indulged.
It’s the same with other toxins like bitterness, envy, or fear. We walk around with these poisons in our system and we think no one knows because we don’t talk about it, but it leaks out in other ways. The truth is, often these toxic traits are written all over our faces.
I’m going to continue to eliminate dietary poisons from my daily habits, along with a few other things on this list. Will you do a personal inventory and quit something with me?
Let’s do better to be better this coming year.