Daniel Detox – Day 7 of 10. Pucker Dressing

Day 7 down! All is well.

This morning around 4:30 a.m. my oldest came to my bedside and bumped the side of the mattress. He told me once that calling my name or grabbing me might startle me, so he just bumps the side of the bed until I notice. It’s the sweetest thing. When I rolled over and asked what was wrong, he said he’d had a nightmare that really freaked him out. I followed him to his room and laid with him for a few minutes so that he would feel secure enough to fall asleep.

This is the third night this week that one of my sons had a nightmare, and that’s unusual … the other night my youngest called me into his room from a bad dream. He said he dreamed he looked in the mirror, and his eyes were gone, and there were gray scratches for eye sockets. He looked at me and everyone else, and we all had gray scratches for eye sockets. I asked him if he’d seen that anywhere, in a book or on TV or anything … he said no. He’d never seen anything like that before. Creepy.

I’ve had weird dreams all week, but that’s not unusual. My dreams are usually pretty crazy. I don’t know what’s going on though, but I’ve felt unusually fatigued in the last two days, and I can’t seem to get warm. Even the boys have commented on how freezing my hands are. I’ve been anemic a few times before, and it feels similar, but I doubt there could be any anemia going on with as much greens as we’ve been eating for the last 7 days.

Can I be honest with you? I had decided to weigh the morning after the 10 days … but I’m anxious about it. I want a positive change so bad, I’m actually afraid there won’t be any improvements. With the new habits and cooking discoveries in the last week, there have been plenty of positive changes that we’ve gained from all this. However, my initial motive to do this was to kick-start a healthier eating habit, with the hopes of losing these stubborn pounds. What if I’ve gained? What if I’ve lost nothing? Just being real here … This has crossed my mind many times since day 3 or so.

For a change of scenery in our routine, we packed up and decided to head to the library for our school work. The kids love it, and oh my goodness, libraries are my #1 most favorite place to be. When my husband tells me to go somewhere and just take some time to myself, the only problem I have is deciding which library I’d like to go to. It’s so peaceful, and lovely, and all those shelves and rows of glorious books … I sigh just thinking about it. We brought our lunch, and I had a salad with dressing I whipped up from Google. My husband and I had eaten at this amazing, tiny, hole-in-the-wall BBQ place in Mississippi over a year ago, and they served me a salad with finger-licking dressing that apparently was their house specialty. It was a lemon-oil kind of dressing that was light and absolutely wonderful. I’ve been wanting to try to duplicate it, but it’s been so long now, I don’t know where to start. So I Googled “lemon salad dressing” and found an olive oil, garlic, lemon, and dijon mustard recipe that looked pretty interesting.

photo by Sarah Gualtieri

I dumped a couple tablespoons over my salad and took a bite.

My first thought was, Wow! This is really good! My second thought was, How the heck am I going to dig my lips out of my face now. Apparently with this dressing, less is more, and I added way too much. I puckered so hard, my lips practically inverted into my face. It was all I had to eat, however, so I just had to take a bite, chew, guzzle water, and pucker. Then repeat.

Tonight I cooked a chicken stir-fry that was different from the one the other night. This one had a thick sauce with broccoli and a ton of other vegetables. It only called for one piece of chicken breast, which surprised me because I had to feed four people with this recipe. But once all the other vegetables were added, the wok was full. It cooked up nicely and turned out delicious. Once again, my kids had no complaints with the meal and ate it happily. There were enough leftovers for Kris and I both to have for lunch tomorrow!

I gotta take a minute here and talk about chicken … Out of curiosity and for the sake of the detox, I decided to buy free-range chicken. I read in another health book about using grass-fed beef and free-range chicken and cage-free eggs. Could we really tell a difference in the chicken itself? Even though it cost double what I usually spent on chicken, it was worth a try.

In many ways, I wish I’d never done this, because now I don’t think I can ever go back. The free range chicken was so tender, and didn’t have that stringy, tough texture that regular chicken can sometimes. My cousin advised to just buy the smaller breasts, which is better. But when the smaller breasts aren’t available, I grab whatever is there. It just doesn’t taste good, y’all. I even told my husband that I was considering going vegetarian, because chicken in the last couple of years makes me want to gag.

This free-range chicken is no joke. It isn’t tough at all, and somehow tastes better. I swear it’s not just from the deliciousness of the recipes that we’ve been doing. It really makes a huge difference. Because I’m conscious of the cost, I don’t let any of it go to waste. Before, I had no problem throwing out leftover chicken dinner because the reheated version was usually much worse than the original. Not this time … free-range is the way to go. I haven’t tried cage-free eggs yet, but in all honesty, I’m kind of stuck on the mentality that eggs are eggs. I’d love for a cage-free committer to tell me the pros and cons.

I’ve been tracking everything in my super cute Wellness Planner, and I’ll be honest, this whole thing has been just plain fun.

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