Detoxing. No, really.

December 15, 2016


There I stood in my kitchen, churning butter.

Well, not really churning it.

I was actually clarifying it to remove milk solids –the dairy portion of butter. You might know clarified butter as ghee, used in many Indian recipes. You can buy it in health food stores, but it’s pricey. I had a few pounds of butter in my freezer so I thought, what the hell, why don’t I make ghee?

You’re probably wondering why I would make ghee. It’s because I’m detoxing.

I’ve removed all dairy, sugar and grain of any kind from my diet. That means zero, zip of anything that resembles those things, including artificial sweeteners, stevia, cheese, rice… you get the picture. I eat only fruits, vegetables and meats. That’s it. No alcohol. No half and half in my coffee, Black only. Which is the hardest thing.

It’s an elimination diet and can help with all sorts of medical conditions, far too many to list here. After 30 days, you can reintroduce those items slowly and on a schedule, and see if adding a particular item produces a symptom. Or you can stay on it forever. Or mostly on it forever. But for sure you must commit to those first 30 days.

detoxingThe program is called the Whole 30 and I went on it impulsively, after reading very little about it and probably after reading far too much my friend, Trainer Tom,  posts on Facebook about clean eating, GMOs, and additives.  It was curiosity, at first, and also I knew it was time to take all that stuff out of my diet because the election did nothing for my eating habits. Talk about comfort eating.

So, I read enough to start and then began. I bought the book a day later and made a more detailed shopping list, which took me to more than one store. Because this diet requires constant cooking using various things I didn’t have on hand. Like coconut aminos. And clarified butter.

I can cheat the cooking a bit by haunting the paleo choices at my nearby Whole Foods, which sometimes has prepared food without the bad oils and dairy that I can’t eat on this plan. Not all paleo choices work for this diet but one day I found a lemon chicken and a pulled pork that do.

detoxingOf course, I’d really like to cook up a big pot of pasta and meatballs. But no-no-no! And I’d like to eat the pizelles at a party my friend is giving. Nope. Maybe I’ll take some and keep them till I am off the plan.

You can only imagine my body’s shock at losing cheese, shredded wheat and English muffins. Not to mention how it misses the comfort of chocolate cake and ice cream.  So I had a few days of withdrawal with various tummy issues. And then, all systems normal. As I write, I just finished the first week. Although I’m hungry a lot, I don’t have cravings at all and really, very little appetite. The hunger is physical pangs but it doesn’t drive me to the pantry. They say that your relationship with food changes on the program and I can see how it does.

Many of those who start the program get a big energy boost. I haven’t seen that yet, but it would be great if it happened.


This is a wall sculpture. But it looks so real I could pluck one right out and eat it. Or two. Or, at this point, the whole damn fake box!

And even as I say this program is fairly easy, let me describe what just happened.  We’re having guests for holiday dinner later and I was setting the dining room table. I began by putting the silverware settings out. M. walked by.

“Are we going to use placemats?” he asked. GRRR. Nothing irritates me more than when I am doing something domestic and he offers his helpful hints.

“Do you think this is my first rodeo?” I snapped back. “Wha’s it to you if we use them or not? Why do you even care? Why don’t you go in the other room do some banking law?”

I was on a roll.

“Carol,” he said.  “Have a candy bar.”

Oh. So maybe, not so easy.

Have you done the Whole 30? Fill us in on your experience!  And here’s a Whole 30-compliant slow cooker recipe that is yummy:


Cut 3 lbs. new potatoes in half and place in slow cooker with salt, pepper, sliced onions to taste, 4 cloves garlic and 4 T ghee (clarified butter). Add fresh rosemary or dill, whichever you like. Or nothing at all.  Cook on Low for 3 hours and then raise to High for about 2 more hours, maybe more..
The original recipe called for 5 hours on low but by 3 hours they were still hard as a rock, so I upped it to High for 3 more hours.  You might cook keep it on low for 8 hours or more and see what happens. It tastes amazing and the house smells so good, too!



27 comments on “Detoxing. No, really.
  1. ryder ziebarth says:

    Biggest tip you will LOVE: you can eat a LARA BAR on Whole Thirty called Cherry Pie. It saved me. Best of Luck! It gets easier and you will feel GREAT!

  2. Your post is timely, Carol. Just yesterday I interviewed a holistic physician who recommends this way of eating and it got me to thinking about modifying my diet for the new year. I went strictly vegan (with no oils) for six months a few years ago and it was tough. But I have to say I felt lighter in more ways than one. Food for thought. I applaud your discipline!

  3. beth grossman says:

    At least you can have potatoes!

  4. Diane says:

    I’ve been on a similar food plan for two months now. No sugar, no starches, very minimal dairy. Lots of nuts, vegetables and some fruit. I feel so much better! I’ve lost weight, am never hungry and have tons of energy! Yahoo! I’ve finally found something that works!

  5. Barbara says:

    I love food and I love to cook. I could never do this.But, if you find it helpful I support your decision.

  6. I looked at it after seeing a new friend on the diet…but giving up booze and bread? And cheese? Just not sure I could do it. I think the interesting part would be to see how one feels after the 30 days. My friend is continuing it indefinitely.
    Will be listening to see how it’s working for you.

  7. I have done,since last year, the 28 day Fast Metabolism diet by Haley Pomery. It does have certain grains…basically gluten free, and only on certain days. I must admit, I love it when I’m faithful. And most of the days and most of the time, it’s pretty easy to be that way. I went there because my cholesterol was a big high AND my daughter was getting married. I lost weight, but more importantly my blood work was worthy of showing around like it was pics of a grandchild!!! (of which I have none). But I never felt an energy, boost, it requires a lot of cooking, which I can get lazy with. But my hubby and I try to be as faithful as possible because it’s good for us. I do miss cheese and worry about calcium issues…good luck, Carol. starting during the holidays is brave, but just shows how darn amazing you are! Happy Holidays!

  8. Rachel says:

    I’ve witnessed friends do Whole 30 with mixed results, but mostly good. Interested in seeing how you like it at the end!

  9. tara pittman says:

    Those potatoes look yummy. The payoff of great health will be worth it.

  10. T.O. Weller says:

    So timely!! All week, I’ve had some sort of stomach thing. Last night, I was up past 3AM with it. I’m buying the book today and will curl up under my blanket this afternoon, to nurture myself and learn. New Year, new food? (Now, just to get Kip on board!)

  11. Joely Smith says:

    I have heard of doing this before but thank you for the great detail and benefits!
    Now I am wondering what you were doing with several pounds of butter in your freezer lol.
    I thought only I loved butter so much!

  12. sue says:

    Hmmm detox before Christmas??? I usually wait until January but good for you – stay strong.

  13. I need to learn more about that program. It looks so cool.

  14. Chloe says:

    For a few years when I was growing up we only used ghee, I actually really loved the taste. So good for you as well!

  15. Brittany says:

    Oh my this seems so hard but totally beneficial. I love my coffee creamer! I am considering doing this before our next baby! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Amy Jones says:

    It’s great that you’re looking into healthy ways in a month that’s mainly just all kinds of food. Stay strong!

  17. Lizzi says:

    Never done Whole 30, but I’m vegan and trying to cut down on the bad stuff. Unfortunately there’s still a LOT of bad stuff to be had when vegan. Surprisingly lots.

  18. I have heard of ghee but had no idea it was clarified butter. I’ve learned something today; now I can go home!

    Very interesting, Carol. Best wishes to you in your elimination diet. You’re an inspiration (one I’ll think of as I down pasta and meatballs… and likely regret it later). 😀

  19. Hmm. No, I confess I have not. From the sound of it, I doubt I would survive a day.

  20. I admire you for doing this because I don’t think I could ever do it. I’m having withdrawal symptoms just thinking about it.

  21. You seem so determine and I hope that you can last until the last day. You’ve been an inspiration to all of us. Goodluck.

  22. Coralie says:

    I need to do something like this after the holidays when things are not as crazy! Good luck!

  23. Great post! I’ve heard of this whole 30 but haven’t try it myself. I doubt I could survive!

  24. Karlyn Cruz says:

    This is so challenging. Especially when you are tempted to cheat.

  25. My goodness you are doing amazingly well. I don’t know how I would cope without dairy, good luck x

  26. TColeman says:

    I have never really tried a detox before. This sounds really interesting.I wish you the best of luck with it all.

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