Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Detox / Retox: Old Habits Die Hard!

After approximately four years of publicly declaring that I never get sick... I finally have. In an effort to contain my infectious coughing and sneezing, and watery eyes, I have been holed up in bed the past two days. I completely forgot how awful a common cold could be! I really struggled to come up with an appropriate title for this piece, however, as you will gather, the essence is why holidaying with old friends is bad for your health!

I have been in my beloved Melbourne now close to some three weeks - taking a small sojourn away from my healthy north coast life; my other life! Apart from a couple of weeks break from university, and staying with my parents, what this actually means for me is that the days are about 10 degrees cooler than what they are up north, however unlike the north coast, houses in the cooler climes are actually set up for winter, and are generally insulated with heating!

In many ways, if you're really not a fan of the cold, which I'm not, then it is better to be in Melbourne, as it is absolutely freezing on the north coast in the evenings! As it is such a humid and warm place for the majority of the year, the houses there are simply not decked out for cold weather, so if you live in a weather board shack circa 1950s as I do, once that sun and the temperature goes down, it is very much like living in a canvas tent! Brr...

However, apart from the few weeks off uni, and catching up with family and old friends, my entire lifestyle seems to take a beating whenever I return to Melbourne. Due to the steady stream of 'catch ups' and parties, not only do I find myself eating out and drinking more, but I am also away from my juicer, trays of wheatgrass and my veggie garden.

Retox. That's right. The opposite of detox - which is how I would describe my usual north coast lifestyle!

Whereas I would ordinarily commence my days with a fresh wheatgrass shot followed by a green veggie juice, here I have found myself on more than three occasions, waking up hungover from catching up with old friends the night before, and unable to find a juice bar, or let alone, stomach a veggie juice, subsequently found myself in the closest cafe ordering a soy flat white and some variation of beans on a toasted white sourdough, dripping with butter! White bread and butter! I mean, seriously!

The perfect hangover food! ...and that's the biggest problem with hangovers. The cravings.

Having said that, cravings for hot chips and fried food are not the only problems with hangovers. It also means that sleep patterns are thrown into chaos. Unlike most folk I know, I've never been good at sleeping when hungover, so on these occasions, I only ever seem to catch around 3 hours sleep. And man, do I feel it!

Sleep is essential for cellular growth and repair, and ideally, we should be aiming to get around 6 to 8 hours per night. However, when there's been a few wines involved, often it can be hard to get to sleep in the first place, or worse, if you've really had too many, you tend to crash out then wake up too early, feeling sluggish, dehydrated and wishing you didn't open that last bottle! ...and then you end up fighting off the fried food cravings, until finally you swear that you're not drinking again!

...and so, the cumulative effect of too much partying, too many catch ups, too much eating out, disturbed sleep and a change in climate, has completely degraded my immunity. Hence, I am now suffering with the worst cold known to man! Okay, maybe there's worse, but it's been such a long time, that I forgot just how rotten they can be!

It's a slippery slope. I guess I am weak when it comes to staying committed to my general rule of very minimal drinking and eating out when constantly invited to social occasions. And I'm not saying that I'm bullet-proof, either, but it is hard to stick to the rules when friends invite you around, or out for dinner. I want to see my friends, and don't want to decline on account of the menu.

Being known as a fickle killjoy is the last thing anyone wants (although I suspect this may be the case in some quarters!).

Apart from the past two days, I have had the best three weeks that I have had in a long time, so I've no regrets on the social front, despite the fact that I attribute my current ailment to this fun time.  I am however, very much looking forward to resuming my detox-esque lifestyle next week!

More importantly, one thing that this does do, is once again strengthen my resolve to continue on with my clean living, organic green juice, raw food, minimal alcohol and regular sleep lifestyle! Feeling the difference really does make all the difference, and affirms my belief that a healthy lifestyle, with clean air and lots of sunshine is the best weapon you can have in your arsenal against ill health!

To green veggie juice!


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