Connecting with my inner Carnivore

I am on a 14 day detox and cleanse, along with 50 other people in the local area, inspired by a local Naturopath, Amaali Shaw. Unlike other detoxes, this is not about all raw fruit and veg juices and salads – this cleanse is designed to rid the body of parasites and bad gut bacteria (including candida) by eliminating all the foods they feed on – dairy, soy, sugar, honey, grains and all grain products. Now, for me, whose favourite food is pasta and who eats way too much bread (after all a sarnie is always a quick and easy solution when hunger strikes!) and who is completely addicted to tea, the chance to rid my body of a few unhealthy addictions and toxins after the whole giardia drama and subsequent antibiotics. Plus, it seems I am ridding myself of toxic and unhealthy thoughts, feelings and ways of being so cleaning the temple which houses my soul at the same time, seemed appropriate.

A number of acupuncturists over the years have told me that soy creates mucus in the body, but I have chosen not to listen to them. After all, for a vegetarian or vegan, soy facilitates my tea addiction and tofu etc are protein, right? I have known since I was quite young that dairy did not agree with me, which helped my decision to become a vegan 20 something years ago. But I have been amazed at the difference no soy milk has made to my body – no more post nasal drip or stuffed up sinuses – I can breathe, hallelujah!

The first few days were relatively easy and exciting as I explored different food options (all fermented foods like tamari, balsamic, vinegar etc were also out, and all fruits bar berries and granny smith apples) and I certainly felt like I had a challenge on my hands. Ben was really sick with ear infections and fever so being house bound with him gave me kitchen time which I needed to ensure I felt fully satisfied at meal times.

Eggs which were once a staple of my diet had been left by the wayside recently, in favour of cheese and bread and homemade cakes, so it felt good to embrace them once more and fall in love once more with my lovely brown ladies who lay them. But still, it wasn’t enough and at supper time I had a bowl of carrots topped with a tasting of the delicious Harry stew that Ged had made for us – full of pumpkin. I carefully scooped all the meat out of the juice and settled down to sup. But a couple of little bits of meat had escaped my scrutiny and found their way to my mouth, and let me tell you, they were delicious! Hmmm, the carnivore within was reawakened … and I had a little more to fill me up.

I was beginning to enjoy my chia seed and coconut milk porridge in the morning (commonly known as frog spawn in our house!) and I loved my big salad with avocado and home made lemon, garlic and herb salad dressing for lunch. But again, by supper time, day two I was SO hungry so I broke out the bacon and fried it up – oh my, it was delicious. And I felt the emptiness subside . . .

Eggs and bacon were therefore my staples last week and at the weekend we went away to the Central Coast as Ged had to be on hand for a work project and our lovely Broome friend and her Mum were coming up to see us and for us to finally meet Jennifer’s children, and for them to meet Ben. Judy has always been exceptionally generous and while where they were staying was not very special, they had happily found a truly exceptional restaurant, The Lake House just next door . . .

So they had booked for dinner on Friday and I had a car full of pumkin soup, home made dressing, chia porridge, soaked almonds etc to get me through the weekend. I had requested a restaurant where we could have salmon steaks as that was what I was craving and I knew Ben and Ged needed some fish too. The menu was fantastic -salmon poached in coconut milk and chilli which quickly put my hand up for. The roasted pork belly on the starter menu was calling my name, so I recommended Ged try it to compare commercially produced pork belly with that of our friends who home grow, and to give us an idea of what Lilly and Pilly will taste like. He complied, I tried, and while everyone else was ordering their sugar laden desserts, I was asking for roasted pork belly. OMG it was divine. The crispy skin, the fat melting in my mouth, the chewy sweetness of the meat . . . I have slipped off the moral high ground and into the mire . . .

Frog Spawn and salads on Saturday day and then back to The Lake House by popular demand. Lead me to the trough where I can taste again those flavours, and feast upon those sensations as they explode in my hungry mouth! Goodness, who is this girl?

Now that I am on my way home and in the swing of the diet and my caffeine cravings are gone (rooibos anyone?) I shall endeavour to satisfy myself with just eggs and veg – roasted, steamed and stir fried, and tame the carnivorous beast within . . .

But I think it is fair to say that when the pigs meet their maker, I shall be happy to partake of the provenance . . .

But when the diet is over and reality is resumed, with grains reintroduced, will my carnivorous cravings abate and will I climb back on my meat free high horse, or will I finally, after all these years of dietary disorders (anorexia & bulimia) find a balanced way forward where nothing is taboo and all can be consumed in moderation. Time will tell, but I’m excited to think this could be true.

Meanwhile, I feel fitter, happier, stronger. I’m sleeping well, waking early and not tied to a litre of chai before I can do anything. My brain feels clearer, I have more enthusiasm and I don’t feel like I am struggling through a fog every day – long may this continue!

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