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Aspartame Withdrawal

Hello! I just joined this community. =)

A little background about myself: I'm not "living naturally" 100% but take what baby steps I can to get closer to it. The small changes I've already made have been good ones, but I've just taken a bigger step that seems to be hard to beat!

I'd read up on all the hype surrounding aspartame, all the problems that it can cause and why exactly it's bad for you. (It breaks down into formeldahyde, how is that NOT bad for you?!) Unfortunately, I've been a Diet Coke addict for the longest time!! (Truly for the taste of the soda... I don't like most other sodas!)

I weaned myself off of the Diet Coke, substituting (guhhh) Mountain Dew for the caffeine kick. (I needed SOMEthing to get me through the day.) Not being one for teas or coffee, and not liking many other sodas on the market that's what I went for. Thankfully, a coworker gave me a sample of a tea she really likes and it tasted alright to me, so, I have a better source of caffeine until I can work on weaning myself from that, too. (Hey, one thing at a time, right?)

So it's been about two weeks or so since I last consumed ANY aspartame. I had kicked it for about a week, then got a fountain Diet Coke and could really taste the aspartame in it after not having had it for a while, and decided that yes, the Diet Coke certainly had to go.

Already I've been seeing small signs of improvement, having been off of aspartame. On the flip side, I've also been seeing signs of withdrawal from aspartame. Headaches, general body aches, and the strange sensation of feeling like I *have* to sweat but my body can't. I definitely don't want to go back to aspartame, but, this withdrawal business is TOUGH!!

My question to you all is this. Does anyone have an idea of a natural way to help with the withdrawal symptoms, and possibly help to flush out the nasties that are still in my system? I don't want to do a full detox - you know, the whole regimen of liquid diet, then certain solids, then liquid, then solid, yadda yadda... I know a lot of people swear by those but I simply couldn't function on that. But, if anyone knows of vitamin supplements or certain foods I could try to help me get past all of this?

I'm at my wit's end about this stupid withdrawal, but at least these symptoms further seals the deal that I *have* to give aspartame the boot!!

Thanks! :)

Edit: I'd also like to point out before people start replying. My daily diet consists of plenty of water while at work, wholesome cereal (good nutrients, nothing like high fructose corn syrup in) for breakfast, a sandwich on whole wheat w/ organic ham & organic cheese on for lunch, fresh fruit in the afternoon, and dinner's usually some kind of meat w/ veg, possibly pasta or potato something on the side. I also get in some apple juice during the day too. :>

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
ancientsong
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
One of the best ways to flush that I know is water, preferably distilled water. I might consider drinking that, only that (as in no other drinks but certainly eat and don't fast unless you choose to do so), and a lot of it, for a couple of weeks. That might be a good flush.

Good luck. I kicked the diet soda habit a while ago (still haven't let go of caffeine in the form of chocolate, though) and it was hard hard hard to do.
cyn
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
my sister doesn't drink soda, but sometimes has soda water with lime just for the fizzyness. this might be worth a try?

(personally, i have perhaps one cream soda or gingerale every 2 weeks. cola is just too acidic.)

just keep drinking lots of water, eating fresh fruit & veggies, and sticking to your guns. ginger tea is a delicious energizing drink without caffeine. hang in there - in a month you'll feel fantastic!
ladyceleste
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Lots and lots of water. Possibly with a little salt in it. I like veggie juice as well, to make my system feel "fresher".

That's in addition to eating normally. I wouldn't do a detox/fast of any kind. Your body has enough to worry about.

Also, for the caffeine kick, try Mate (tea) instead of the HFCS-heavy Mountain Dew. It's a little less shocking to your system, caffeine-wise, and you can put your own sweeteners in it.
ellenclaire
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I agree with the Mate recommendation. And try a little agave nectar in it to make it sweet, if you like sweeteners in your tea.
sillyjordan
Feb. 7th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
agreed. Mate is wonderful for the detox as well. (has over 21 anti-oxidants!)
popchex
Feb. 8th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
agave nectar is awesome. I just got my first bottle of it and it is my new favourite thing ever. I'm trying to get off of the diet coke/aspartame thing (years of dieting has messed with my head on that issue) but I cannot let go of my tea! The agave sweetens it SO well. :)
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
no veggies in your food layout!!! I hope you eat those too ;)
crssafox
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Eep! I do, I tucked them away with dinner. XD

I usually keep broccoli or carrots in the fridge to snack on while I'm at home, too. :>
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm just a veggie fiend, so I was interested in what kinds you eat. :P
crssafox
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
I don't like too many! Actually for lunch I like to make pitas instead of sandwiches when I can, and put lettuce in those. :) I love peas, corn, carrots & broccoli, but that's about it. (Asparagus only when it's "done right" but to me "right" usually contains a lot of butter, erk!)
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of peppers, raw or cooked, but I like them in things like quesadillas or pitas. Those are probably my favourite vegetables as well, but I do like asparagus, but only when they are really think stalks and are steamed. I have found a love of artichokes lately.. oh, and I chopped up a bunch of bok choy and added it to my quesadilla last night.
crssafox
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Peppers, sadly, are my least favorite veg, because even the *slightest* bit of spice kicks my tongue. :( I can't even eat jambalaya without getting a runny nose... I do not mind them in picadillo though, from a cute little bakery downtown that offers wholesome food at GOOD prices. That's the only place I'll eat them! :)

Sometimes I'll eat onion too; there's a great baja grill that does fresh burritos/quesedillas/tacos (no gross sauces, no additives, etc) and I'll eat the onion in their salsa, which is most excellent. (Oh, I like tomatoes too; do those count as fruit or veg, or both? hehe)

Usually I have to "trick" myself by making or buying a dish that contains fruit & veg to get enough into my diet; I have a tendency to not eat much at all during the day.
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
oh wow, even regular sweet peppers bother you?

I think the only veggies I really don't care for are cucumber and tomato. I do eat tomato in September though, I get huge cravings, seeing all the nice fresh ones growing. I like the ones my mom grows. (I do love tomato cooked though)
sillyjordan
Feb. 7th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Tomato is the only vegetable (fruit) that doesn't lose any of it's nutrients when it's cooked!

Yum!
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize that!

My favourite way to cook tomato is to slice it, drizzle with grapeseed oil, sprinkle with chopped garlic, basil, and rosemary and cook at 250 for about 4 hours!!
ilovenirvana
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I keep wanting to try artichokes. What do they taste like?
f1ymetothemoon
Feb. 7th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Delicious. Just don't eat the pointy bits. After you scrape the flesh from the leaves with your teeth, discard the pointy stuff underneath, dip the "choke" (the meaty middle part) and stem in butter and num num num!!
ilovenirvana
Feb. 7th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen them fresh around here... Usually in jars in the canned food section. Are they sweet or bitter or what? The little jars are like 8 bucks so I don't want to get them if they're not something i'd like!
f1ymetothemoon
Feb. 7th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
The artichoke hearts in the jars are usually marinated in olive oil, vinegar and spices, so they're very oily and sort of tangy - not really like a fresh artichoke at all. They taste great on pasta with grilled tomatoes and capers.
raw_earthling
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Icon FTW! (sorry...)
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Well, the ones I've been playing around with lately are actually in oil, so not as healthy as plain artichokes. I don't really know how to describe the flavour, but they are delicious on pizza and pasta.

I've been reading about steaming artichokes, my friend's roommate does that. She steams it and then dips it in melted butter or something along those lines. I want to see if I like it just steamed. :)

I bought a small jar to start, and it was only a dollar and a bit, so not bad to just try and see.
ellenclaire
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
What about mushrooms? <3 mushrooms!
mellybrelly
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
oh, silly me, I missed the /veg part. :P
wildsurprise
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Get a massage to help you detox your body. :)
crssafox
Feb. 7th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Sounds good to me!! =)

Actually next weekend I'm going to a convention where a friend of mine is going to be giving massages (she does massage therapy for a living) and so I will definitely be getting one. ;D
wildsurprise
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Try to get a "full body session", for sure.
entelodont
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Are you positive that those symptoms are the result of withdrawal, and not something else?
crssafox
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'm about 95% certain, considering that the absence of aspartame is the only change I've made to my diet within the past month or so.
raw_earthling
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Skin brushing is great too, to help throw off whatever nasties you might have taken in. I've found it hard to find a skin brush in my area (I prefer the Yerba Prima tampico brush), but anything explicitly intended for dry skin brushing is great! (There's the option of ordering online, but I know that can be a pain.) I usually brush (when I remember that is!) either before a shower or before bed (or both, but that can take some getting used to).

Best of luck! I know detox can be a b@%*# even without doing a liquid/limiting fast.
verdianna
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
I would suggest a course of really good probiotics and fiber if needed make sure you are having at least one bowel movement a day. If the bowel is not clean then toxins you are eliminating are reabsorbed into the body
I second the skin brushing andif you can handle it go spend some time in a sauna or steam room to help with detox there. take a lot of drinking water with you and scrub down afterwards with soap to get the stuff expelled through the skin off the body. If your having trouble gettign enough vegtables take a greens suplement it helps with detixing too

foxgloved
Feb. 7th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Just a note - Mountain Dew has more caffeine than other sodas. If you're drinking the same volume of Mountain Dew as you were with Diet Coke, then maybe the discomfort is an increase in caffeine? I notice the difference in my body.

I just found this chart of beverage caffeine content:
http://www.cspinet.org/new/cafchart.htm
jennifer0246
Feb. 8th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
sounds like caffeine withdrawal to me.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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