Author Archives: dougamstutz

Day 3 Detox

Three days done. This morning I decided to weigh myself. If nothing had changed, I could live with that, my goal is to make it to day 10 and if I feel better that will be great. Losing pounds would be a happy bonus. I stepped on the digital scale (you need to know that it registers something slightly different each time, so Wanda & I step on 2-3 times and use the median result) and waited . . . 8 pounds less. That’s not right. Try again. 8+ pounds less. Wow. That’s a good feeling. Hopefully it is coming off my belly fat. A good weigh to start the day!

And I needed it after yesterday. The symptoms continued; slight nausea and headache, listlessness and low energy. Which contributed to feeling sorry for myself. But I still carry on, I’m going to make it to that goal line. Once again I had a smoothie. With lots of water, the PGX and assorted vitamins (at every meal), the smoothie keeps me from feeling hungry. But it doesn’t prevent the feeling of being ‘off’, like a picture hanging at an angle. It’s not quite right.

Creamy cauliflower soup was on the menu for lunch, so I made it. That and a salad plate. Like most of these recipes it was good . . . but probably not something I would make on a regular basis. I do like experimenting with new foods and new tastes and I would never had made this soup without a catalyst (the diet), so hurrah! Most of his recipes, like this one, have olive oil, onions and garlic which I like. This also had cauliflower, cashews, sesame seeds or tahini, avocado all cooked on a stove and then into a blender. A side of cheese would have been nice.

Wanda made supper as I was out again helping Radj with his car purchase (setting up insurance yesterday). She made grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a salad. Again, it was all good and we’ll have it in the future but would love to add bread and cheese and a glass of wine but alas! not for another week.

And then the evening epsom salts, baking soda and lavender bath. The good doctor recommends one make it a soothing 30 minute session with candles and a good book or just silence. I watch the clock to get to 15 minutes, maybe 20 and playoff baseball is on the tablet. Sorry Doc.

Besides the weight loss, I do feel slightly better today. The wall hanging is slowly being adjusted. Body, heal thyself . . .


Day 2 Detox

Yikes! This is hard. No sugar, no grains, no starches (like potatoes), no dairy. Fruits like bananas, apples, oranges are out. A complete upheaval of our daily diet. But I can do all that, if I wouldn’t have to put up with withdrawal. Yes, the withdrawal from sugar is hard. One starts the day OK, but by lunch one is feeling ‘off’, then by afternoon the headache kicks in and one doesn’t feel like eating but you have to eat before you go to bed or the temptation to snack will be pretty high.

Day 2 started with a ‘Dr. Hyman’s Whole-Food Protein Shake’ which consisted of frozen blueberries, cranberries, lemon juice, almond butter, pumpkin, chia, and hemp seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, avocado, coconut butter, almond milk and water. Amani found a ‘Nutri-Bullet’ mini blender on FB marketplace and we are using it every day now. I am now having smoothies every morning to begin my day.

We looked at the options for lunch and, between feeling that slight nausea and nothing appealing, we made our own lunch within acceptable parameters. Eggs are fine in the Doc’s world so Wanda had two boiled eggs and I had two scrambled eggs with onion, garlic, pepper and some left over salmon. A good lunch with familiar foods!

But the afternoon descended into difficulty. Low energy, feeling off kilter, with background head aching and nausea. Not enough to proclaim oneself sick, but not enough to do anything. Yet I did get out and help Radj buy a car. He needed transportation to a couple of small time car dealerships so I drove him up to Lakeshore Motors in Waterloo and Auto Smarto in Kitchener on Manitou, in other words all around. In the end he bought a car at the latter. And even though I wasn’t chatty and energetic, I think the activity helped me feel less crappy. A small lesson there, be active if you can.

Supper was grilled chicken with a ratatouille of fresh zucchini, tomatoes (from our garden), peppers, onions, garlic, steamed broccoli and all manner of herbs and spices. That meal saved the day for me and the Doc’s plans. I miss potatoes or rice or bread in a meal but I keep telling myself that I want to see how this experiment changes me, how it makes me feel and, yes, if I lose weight.

Bath time follows. To draw water for a bath every night is a challenge for me. I’m not a bath person but if it helps leach out toxins from my body, I’m all in for 10 days. So 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1/2 cup of baking soda, 10 drops of lavender liquid and very warm water, to the point I am not comfortable getting in. But 20 minutes later I’m done. Last night I followed the bath up with a quick shower to rinse myself further. Which helped me sleep better. That, and cooler temps outside and putting flannel sheets on the bed. I slept pretty well overall.

So how was your day?

Detox Day 1

Here we go . . .

Day 1 is done. Well that was fun (he says, tongue-in-cheek). So far no sugar for 24 hours. The body was in rebellion. We started off with lots of water, vitamins and a PGX pill. If you don’t know what a PGX pill is, think of metamucil on steroids. The Doc says it adds fiber, slows down the digestive system so you feel full even if you are eating less. One is supposed to take 2 or 3 each meal but we started with just 1 per meal. Good thing. The downside is that they are binding. All I can say is they have certainly changed my digestive system in 24 hours (along with the diet). To counteract potential constipation we’re to drink water, alot of water. So I’m drinking more than 60 oz. daily, usually swigging 20 oz. at a time for the pills I’m taking. That’s alot more peeing.

So we started the morning with an almond and strawberry smoothie. That was good. But my taste buds missed the sugar rush, it was ‘bland’ by comparison to what I normally have (OJ gives you that shot of sugar). But I didn’t mind it.  The morning was fine, as I wasn’t too hungry. Lunch was Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw with Turkey Meatballs. It didn’t sound filling but we dutifully followed the directions and baked the meatballs and ate them with the slaw. Surprisingly tasty! And with the PGX and water, I felt fine. Then we headed out to watch the matinee showing of Downton Abbey on the big screen. I took along pistachio and pumpkin seeds for my go-to munchies. I probably ate too many because after a while my stomach was unsettled.

By the time the film was over I was fighting a headache. Wanda had had one at the noon hour. Withdrawal symptoms. The rest of the afternoon was no fun. Slight nausea, dizziness, growing headache. I took ibuprofen but didn’t seem to make a dent. And it made for a lack of hunger. We needed to make supper but no one wanted to. But Amani came home from work so we had to. 

Supper was Grilled Salmon with Onion Marmalade over Greens. Wanda is not a fan of seafood but she is willing to try salmon since it’s a big plus health food wise. I’m not a fan of celery but will allow it in the house for the duration since it’s also part of the diet. We’re both stretching ourselves. The salmon was good with the onions which was served on a bed of arugula. Again, didn’t seem like much but with the water and PGX, we were satisfied. And we both knew there would be no post supper snacking (unless it is nuts or seeds).

The last part of the day is a detox bath. 2 cups of epsom salts, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of lavender into hot running water. The good doctor says this is essential every night for the 10 days. I’m not a bath person, I shower. But for the sake of the experiment I’ll do it. So on a hot and steamy night I drew a hot and steamy bath. If it draws the toxins out of my body then I’ll do it . . . 

The 10 Day Detox- How did I get here?

And now for something completely different. A serious attempt to cure my sugar addiction. I have made many half hearted attempts over the years (those annual 40 day Lenten fast from sugar? Not very successful). But here I am, starting a radical 10 day detox with absolutely no sugar or any sugar derivatives. What accounts for the change of heart and mind?

It started with an article in the Washington Post back on August 6 ( Steven Petrow wrote so honestly that I had to think about my own sugar addiction. Maybe there was hope in this detox diet by Dr. Mark Hyman. I borrowed the books from the local library and read. The three most important statements that hit me were, ‘it’s not your fault’, ‘fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat’ and ‘sugar is in everything’. The food industrial complex is making huge profits at our expense. Hooking us on sugar and processed foods that is killing us. But finally I read a solution, hope, for my own body and life.

You see, I have gout. Have had it 8 years now (since 2011). It’s an arthritic related condition, I can feel it in my joints, in my feet, in my hands. Thankfully I have controlled the crippling pain and swelling with meds, allopurinol. It is said to be hard on my liver over time. But what can one do? I want to live pain free so I take my 200 mg daily.

But lately I have also felt a list of other symptoms. Nothing so bad that I need to go to the doctor; a general sluggishness, tiredness from morning to evening, lack of energy, sometimes an angry gut (runs in the family), and occasional achiness of my joints (even with meds). Is it age or illness? Should I put up with fatigue the rest of my life or is there hope? Are my constantly stuffed sinuses a hopeless case or is there an answer?

In September I decided I wanted to try the 10 day detox program and talked with Wanda about it. She read the book and agreed to join me. She’s a veteran of diets, has seen it all. Me, on the other hand, am a rookie. I began spouting Dr. Hyman quotes from his book and she would counter with, heard that before. She knew all the diets past to present. So perhaps there was nothing new under the sun after all. Still, Dr. Hyman put it together so well, so organized, so complete, that I was sold.

We made an appointment with our naturopath, Dr. Sarah Millar. She encouraged us and answered questions we had. But when to start? It’s not so easy when you basically have to buy a whole new pantry and refrigerator of food. Dr. Hyman suggests a major clean and throwing food out. Should we do that? Another point is recording results. Starting with a baseline and keeping track of our body changes. So this is what we agreed upon, starting on Tuesday, October 1 for 10 days, finishing the detox on the 11th, just prior to Thanksgiving (Canadian) on that weekend. Additionally, we will get full blood tests done on that Friday to see the effects of our 10 days of detox.

The one other thing that Dr. Hyman highly recommends is to find a way to be accountable to others. I’m doing this with Wanda so we will hold each other accountable. But he insists on more. So I have decided, with some hesitation, to share this on a blog for others to read and comment on. It’s pretty high exposure for me to do this. But I am doing it because I want to succeed pretty badly. Perhaps this will be my ‘cloud of witnesses’ that I need to succeed. So, as you read this, you are my cheering section (I hope). I will share as honestly as I can for 10 days. Thank you for your support.

Roth Amstutz update

Once in a while I’ll do a family update. Today is one such day. This post is just some random thoughts.

  • Weather – The ‘polar vortex’ has disappeared back up north, thankfully. That was cold! We’ve had rain and mild temps but the past couple of days we’ve actually seen the sun (what’s that yellow ball in the sky?). I had to get gas for the van so I got it washed as well. Perfect time to do it (I’m not pretending it will stay clean for long). We’re supposed to get a couple of inches of snow over the next couple of days so the ground will look nice again.
  • Food – Every week it’s the same, what should we plan for supper? This week we’re a bit more organized. Yesterday evening Wanda put together a Weight Watchers recipe; penne casserole dish with mushrooms, zucchinis, tomatoes and cheese. It was good. Tonight we’re going Middle Eastern; we buy warm, soft pita bread and the best hummus in town from Al-Arabesque restaurant then I make fuul (looks like refried beans) and Wanda makes a tomato/ cucumber ME salad. It’s usually a favorite. Tomorrow night we eat at Conrad Grebel (see next), Thursday we’ll have a roast beef dinner, Friday I’ll make pizza to round up the week. Saturday we are going to two ‘Buck & Doe’ events (never heard of that? neither had I until I got here. They are basically fundraising events for engaged couples, like a co-ed shower party. There should be lots of food at both places.
  • Conrad Grebel/ U of Waterloo – There is a special event for all Grade 10 students in the Waterloo region at U of Waterloo that Conrad Grebel is piggy backing on. So we’ll go to supper at CGUC and then go onto the U of W campus for a 2 hour meet and greet session. Amani and Abby have been on the Hesston campus, on the Canadian Mennonite University campus and now at CGUC/ UW. We have 2 years to show them Goshen (and EMU?) . . .
  • Exercising and health – This section is just about Wanda & myself since the girls have been getting enough exercise with sports and PE. We’re back to exercising daily, either by walking outside or inside with the treadmill or elliptical. Or sometimes I say I’ve had enough exercise by cleaning the house or shoveling snow (I get an achy back to present as evidence). Went for a physical the other day. A few minor complaints and worries were mostly put to rest by the doc but with my sinuses/ respiration issues, she said she will try to get me to an allergist. I think it’s pretty clear by now (to me anyways) that our cats are the source of our sneezing and wheezing. Never had problems to this extent before. The Doc suggested I try Claritin or the like for 30 days and see if that helps. So I probably will. She also suggested I lose weight, it would probably help me sleep, among other things. She’s probably right. Hmmm. Wanda did lose alot of weight over the past year so I have an example right in my own home (she’s fighting the post Christmas weight gain right now. It’s tough to revert to a disciplined form, especially with non-converts like me around).
  • House work – Was a plumber over the past week, the bathroom sinks upstairs are now fixed (ours from leaking, the girls from being stopped up, what a ball of hair I extracted from both the sink and bathtub!). Next on the list, puttying and sanding the dining room and then painting. Should happen in the next week or so.
  • Miscellaneous – I was digging around in my boxes last night trying to help the twins in their family genealogy projects (information about 3 generations in their families and a ‘show and tell’ type of artifact from their families). I was looking at old Kidron Mennonite pictorial directories, my ’79 graduation box, looking at letters and my Dalton yearbooks. I also found my James O. Lehman Sonnenberg: A Haven and Heritage book. Boy I wish I had had that with me a couple of years ago when we were in Switzerland! In the book were documents about our John Amstutz family I had put in there and had forgotten. The towns where the Amstutz family lived in the Juras were circled, we were only minutes away in the summer of 2011! I reread some of the parts of his book, it makes more sense to me now that I am older and know more. I should read his book again.

Happy New Year

My of my New Year Resolutions is to blog. I’m not sure what defines a blog. Is it a journal? Is it a diary? All the above? It is obviously not private since I am posting it on the internet. Journals and diaries were private back in the day. Sometimes the person even demanded they be burned upon their death. We’re in a different time and space as a society. I’m not quite sure I want to be ‘all out there’ like my daughters’ generation but I must want someone to read this, or else I wouldn’t start this blog post. 

It will be for myself that I write but also for friends and family. A small circle. I am also aware that anything I post can (and maybe will) be used against me in the court of public opinion. So lets just get this out there, I am a follower of Christ (OK, a Christian, although that term is fraught with meaning in North America, not all good), I am a progressive/ liberal to the point of wishing there were strong Green parties in Canada and the U.S.

Let’s see; religion and politics. Yep, that should stir the pot. But because I am aware I will also not post every inner thought here. Hopefully I will think before I write (just as I have spent a lifetime to learn to think before I speak; Still working on that). 

2014 seems to me a be a good time to start. There. I’ve begun.