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$300 loan.

Before I started working at Experience Life, I’d never think I’d be one to actually want to do a detox. (I’m talking elimination-diet style, not juice-only or the Master Cleanse.) But as someone who enjoys planning, it’s a bit of a relief.

I like Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraSimple Diet, which we featured in the July/August 2010 issue of the magazine. (You can also check out Heidi Wachter’s fantastic essay on completing her first detox in “Detox Diary,” and listen to our podcast where we discuss our experiences on the plan.) I’ve done both the UltraSimple Diet and the longer UltraMetabolism plan, and had a lot of success with both.

So why do a detox now, when I already know what foods set my stomach up for discomfort?

Usually, a season of eating various foods at parties — some that taste good but don’t really do me service — and wonky schedules with travel or late-night socializing has me eating for convenience and not for fuel. And I’ve been spotty with sending life coach Lauren my nightly promises report, so the detox usually corrects my inconsistent eating.

I incorporate a seasonal, elimination-style detox at least twice a year, in January and in September (after two busy social seasons). I feel better and more energized, and it allows me to feel like I’m back on track. (Check out Courtney Helgoe’s “Detox Done Right” for more thoughts on various detox programs.)

Another reason for me to do a detox now: When my friends show interest and decide to attempt it as well. Solidarity, sister!

This week I’m in prep mode, and will start the full seven-day detox on Sunday. We’ll be traveling that day, so I’ll need to pack smoothie essentials for the morning, then plan to grocery shop in the afternoon.

I originally thought I’d keep coffee in my diet for the week, sharing with Lauren that it would be on my “allowances” list (along with a glass of wine for our anniversary on Monday and one small dessert and glass of wine for my birthday on Thursday), but I’m questioning this line of thinking. Maybe it means it’ll be even more worthwhile for me to cut those foods and drinks now? Or perhaps I should add an additional week and make it a full 14-day program? I can feel that following this plan will help me, and, as always, I’m investigating my desire to write my own rules as further information about my relationship with food.

If you’re interested in joining me on a seasonal detox, email or Tweet at me, or comment below and we’ll support each other.

Today, I enjoyed my last Sushi Wednesday (when the local grocery store lowers its price at their in-house sushi bar) for awhile, and these crunchy sushi options from the nearby Japanese restaurant are a no-no for now.

Thoughts to share?

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