Embrace the Healing Crisis

When I’m about five days into a habit of healthy eating (no sugar whatsoever, little or no wheat products), my skin clears, my clothes loosen, my head aches.

My head aches so I can taste metal in the back of my mouth.

My head aches so that nothing makes it stop all the way. Even with coffee and analgesics, the headache lurks in the shadow. Its eyes are yellow and they glow in the dark.

My energy is low. The dimmer switch is turning lower. Everything is getting on my nerves. My sense of humor is missing. I am taking everything seriously today, even jokes. I’m sitting in the corner frowning.

This will be over in a day.

Advice to myself: Eat protein and vegetables. My body is used to inflammation and toxicity. Now it is getting used to functioning without them. It won’t take long. Meanwhile, eat protein and quinoa and fresh oranges from the tree.  Drink water. Wear comfortable clothes. Take a vitamin. Take it easy.

Remember that if my body requires a healing crisis every single time I give up sugar for a few days, then sugar must be poison. It must be addictive. Try to remember how much this hurts and how disappointing my day is when I have to operate at power-saving mode. Remember how much better I feel afterwards even when that “better” is my new norm so I think that my sugar addiction must have been a figment of my imagination. Remember how calm and clear my skin is now but how I am just one piece of bread away from painful inflammation.

Be alive to this healing crisis and grateful for the lessons it has to teach me. It would be great if I learned them this time for good.

Not my friend.

Journal ideas:

Write about a period of time when you experienced temporary difficulty (i.e. a toxic job, a painful breakup, junior high). What did you learn about yourself in retrospect from that experience? Did it have any lasting effects on decisions you made later on?

Write a letter to yourself in which you remind yourself of why you do all of the healthy things you do every day to take care of yourself. You take walks to clear your mind and be in nature. You avoid eating one pink sprinkled donut so as to avoid eating nine. 

If and when you face a healing crisis of the body or spirit, acknowledge that it is happening, that it is temporary and that it serves an important purpose. I wrote in my journal today that I welcome the healing crisis because it is proof that I am not cheating, and that I haven’t cheated in several days. Write a page acknowledging whatever feelings that are coming up as your body or mind wrestles with a new healthy equilibrium. You are stronger than you may realize. 





  1. Johnny Beau

    Although sugar is high on my addiction index, I have come to believe that wheat, in all it’s forms, is more of a problem. Alzheimer’s disease and many other brain diseases are a result of eating wheat: See the book Wheat Belly.

    My experience is that when I stopped eating wheat, I stopped wanting to fall asleep after the meal.

    My sister’s experience is that she gave up wheat alone and lost 30 pounds; she didn’t give up anything else. Her doctor became frightened by the weight loss until she explained that she wasn’t trying to diet but only give up wheat. Her comment to me was, “Now I have a waist after 50 years.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know something? I am inclined to agree with you. While sugar is a serious problem for me, it’s the giving up of wheat that has the most immediate benefit to my health and wellbeing. One piece of bread and within two hours, my skin is painfully inflamed and broken out. Wheat Belly is a very helpful book. Thank you for bringing that up.


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