12-Step Programs are a place where the patterns you're confronting would be well understood. You might try some "Overeaters Anonymous" or Al-Anon (for family members of substance abusers). Otherwise, find someone to talk to about these issues. It's very tough to have to choose between your health and your relationship with a spouse or other close family member. You shouldn't have to.
On the purely logistical level, it is difficult if you have made a decision to improve your diet but are not in control of what is bought at the grocery store and placed on the family dinner table. If you are a young person still living at home, we suggest you work around the chief cook's schedule and prepare some of your own food, frequently preparing enough to offer everyone else some of what you've lovingly prepared. Vegetable soups can be made in large enough batches to last for several days and they can be frozen to last indefinitely. With a salad on the side, you've got a whole meal. The ingredients to make them are all very inexpensive as food items go, so there shouldn't be a huge problem with the cost, whether you buy them yourself, or ask the supply sargeant to purchase them for you. You may need to invest in a large soup pot. [Href: More suggestions for working around the cook] If you're a working person, we suggest you control your diet at breakfast and lunch and then eat gingerly around the meal that's placed before you at home. Maybe you have to make a big salad when you get home, and load up on that instead of the fried chicken, French fries and ice cream.
If you're not in one of the nation's major veggie producing states, it might not be as easy as it is in California, but your demand for high quality produce, especially organic, will help pave the way for that to happen, if it hasn't already.
We're assuming you're already familiar with a local health food store, which should be able to supply you with some, if not exclusively, organic produce, grains and oils, as well as other items that you can't find at the supermarket.
Keep your ears open for a rapidly developing concept known as community- supported agriculture (CSA) to become available in your area. CSA is a system in which households "subscribe" to an organic farm. Families pay a fee for an organic farmer to produce food for only those families. It's a cooperative venture that takes the risk out of organic farming for the farmer and assures the household with an abundance of high quality produce during the growing season. Many of these families then preserveby canning, drying or freezingsome of the wealth of produce from the growing season and are then able to enjoy the food year-round. If you're a great organizer, maybe you could start one yourself. Talk to the organic farmers at the farmers' market and see if any of them are interested in a CSA arrangement. Then start talking to your friends, place an announcement with the local newspaper, post a bulletin at church, the day school, et cetera, to begin a list of subscribers. Usually people are very excited about the possibility of knowing exactly where and how their food is grown and the experience is very valuable for children. Is it worth the money? The answer is always, "What is your health worth, and that of your family?"
2. While Traveling
Obtaining high quality food while traveling can be quite a challenge. When planning air travel, remember to request a special meal. Vegetarian is widely available, some airlines even offer "non-dairy vegetarian" meals and some even offer "non-gluten" meals. Airports are harder, as are other terminals. Pack some food with you is the best advice. An apple, a nut butter sandwich on non-wheat bread and a small bag of almonds can tide you over without doing too much damage to a diet. Your own small bottle of water can help you avoid the liquid junk they sell for too much money in airports and terminals.
Restaurants increasingly offer a vegetarian dish. If you're still doing fish and chicken, you shouldn't have a problem anywhere, unless you're eating in a coffee shop or equivalent restaurant that fries EVERYTHING. At such restaurants, a baked potato and iceberg lettuce salad may be the best you can do. (It can be rather grim.) If you can anticipate such fare, for example when traveling by car, perhaps you want to carry your own healthy salad dressing with you, and some healthy alternatives from the health food store for eating on baked potatoes, such as nutritional yeast flakes (very tasty) and Bragg's liquid amino acids (tastes like soy sauce but is unfermented, a very healthy condiment that we often spray on pop corn along with the spray-on olive oil.) Several of the fast food chains, including Wendy's and Carl's Jr.'s, now offer salad bars, and again, with your own salad dressing, they reasonably good. If you're not a snob, Taco Bell offers possibilities for no-meat-, no-dairy-, no-wheat-eaters at righteous prices. You can get a bean tostada without cheese or just pintos without cheese for well under a dollar.
In better restaurants, explain that you're on a strict diet and ask the waiter what the chef is able to prepare for you. Hopefully he can stir up some pasta with lots of garlic and fresh tomatoes and basil and you'll be very happy. You may end up with the steamed vegetable plate. French, German and other European restaurants are the worst for not offering alternatives. If you can steer the group away from those, you should have more to choose from. Barbeque restaurants are miserable unless you really like cole slaw. Ethnic restaurants are the easiest. In any Italian, Chinese, Indian or Thai restaurant, you can find non-meat, non-dairy and non-wheat possibilities. Mexican restaurants are usually a good choice, but once in a while, you still find yourself in one that flavors their pinto beans with lard, as well as their tortilla chips. If you're health impaired and have to be very serious about your new detox diet, you shouldn't be eating anything that has been deep fried in vegetable oil either, but from personal experience, it's one of the things that I bend on so as not to feel deprived.
C. Periodic maintenance
Maintaining your body is kind of like maintaining your car. You know you need to have the oil and the filter changed every so often, more often if you want the car to last longer.
The same is true with personal detox. What you're doing is cleaning the filteryour liver, as well as the pathways that both nutrients and toxins travel, the blood and the gut.
Most detox experts recommend doing a seasonal detox twice a year, spring and fall. But anytime you feel sluggish or for any other reason feel that you especially need one is a good time to do it.
D. Supporting others
When a personal detox program works for you, lots of people will ask what you've been doing differently. Don't feel shy about telling them. If you're in a situation where you can spend a couple of minutes to explain that you've been "turned on" to and successfully tried out the latest in scientific biochemical conceptsconcepts that will bring mainstream and alternative medicine much closer in the next 20 yearsyou will begin to acquaint your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and fellow parishioners with a concept that can also add life to their years, not just years to their life.