Monthly Archives: January 2014

Self-talk and Changing My Perception

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I continue to struggle with the idea of weight and happiness and how they may or may not be connected. One of the ideas that I’m working on is that every time I go out to dinner or accept a social invitation I don’t have to be guilty or view these activities as “bad.” I’ve come to a place where I am probably a little too black and white with this part of my life. I like wine, and I like cocktails, but somehow the only way I seem to be able to get a handle on this part of my life is to tell myself I can’t drink at all. Or I’m misbehaving if I do have some drinks, or eat a great meal.

I work with a Life Coach (Jessy Stickel – worth every penny) who has helped me discover so many things about myself. The work we’ve done over the past year has helped me create a vision for my life, have the confidence to follow my dreams, and be a little more gentle with myself. I’ve focused in on my health and weight issues as a top priority in 2014. Here are some of the ways we’ve discussed for me to work through this challenge:

Start looking at social invitations as a positive opportunity to interact, rather than an eating/drinking disaster waiting to happen. I often start beating myself up the moment I say yes to an invitation. This can stop. I am trying to start looking at invitations as a way to connect with people, build my business, learn something new, and actually enjoy human interaction. Jessy suggested that maybe once I reframe this thinking, food and drinking will take a backseat and may just naturally become less of an issue.

Focus on my vision of my best self – what pieces need to be in place to get there? We all know that hydration and water make us feel good. Exercise makes us feel good. Whole foods make us feel good. But how do I make sure I’m focused on this when I’m in social settings, without going back to my belief that social settings are a trap for me? I know that my best self can drink water between each drink at happy hour. I know that my best self can make time in my day to workout, even if I went out the night before. My best self can both sincerely enjoy social outings, and have all of the pieces of a healthy life in place.

Remember that happiness does not live in excess. I was watching a Ted Talk by Matthiau Ricard, a Buddhist monk, who says that we can train our minds in habits of well being. We train for so many things, is it possible for me to train my brain when it comes to my problem with food and drinking? In the talk, Matthiau uses an example that stuck with me: our first piece of chocolate cake is delicious, decadent, and truly exquisite. The second piece doesn’t have that same effect, nor do any after that. This is the literal story of my life. I’m attracted to that initial feeling, and For some crazy reason I expect it to continue when I’m on my fourth serving. Happiness is savoring the real delight, and stopping before excess takes over my life.

Fast break: Setting Up Shop

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Another week has gone by, and it was a rough one for me. I fell off of the wagon in many ways, and I’ve been procrastinating about writing this blog all day. But I made a commitment to start each week with a check-in, and I’m going to stick to it.

Strategy: The spark diet is all about baby-steps, and this week it’s about making sure you’ve got the right stuff in your environment. I’m already pretty good about only buying the things that are good for me and having a cleaned out kitchen, but it’s when I go out that I have the problem. This week is going to be tricky, because I’m a little overloaded on evening social events (two wine tastings, really?) I am going to take the advice of eating a small meal or snack before I head out – hopefully curb my appetite. I also appreciate the idea of having a cup or water bottle that you like to drink out of around at all times. My trick right now is this pretty tea pot and cup – I go through about 3 pots of tea each day!

teapot

Move your body challenge: It’s going to be cold, cold, cold again this week in WI, so here’s another one you can do in the house, with very little space needed. Let’s do it. At least once.

cardio

What am I going to eat? Check out this recipe for roasted chicken and winter squash with endive-apple salad. I make the chicken recipe from Practical Paleo all of the time, and I found the rest of the salad in Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner cookbook. This was a huge hit when I made it for my parents – I will make it again!

winter squash salad

Motivation: Oh man, do I ever need this for the week. I’m pulling my inspiration here from my effort to try to be a little more in love with myself, every day. Each day, I’m going to try to remember that by getting on the treadmill, cooking and eating healthy foods, and being gentle and forgiving with myself, I’m living my life with love.

A bright yellow sunbeam pattern on vintage paper.

Goals:

What was my biggest challenge last week, and how can I overcome it this week? Drinking continues to be a challenge for me. I love red wine. I love having beers on Friday night. And I use an evening of drinking as an excuse to a)binge eat, b)not exercise the next day, c)eat poorly the next day, and d)beat myself up. I’m trying to learn to live a little less black and white, and a little more grey, where I can enjoy the lifestyle I enjoy, while maintaining my health.

What will I do this week to improve my appearance? I will keep up the painted fingernails.

What will I do this week that will increase my energy? I will commit to waking up early and STARTING my day with exercise. It always turns out better when I do.

What sports, exercise or other physical activity will I do this week to improve my fitness? When and how often will I do it? Mon-Wed I will use the treadmill for 30-60 minutes. Thur. I will train with Karen. Fri. I’ll be back on the treadmill.

What will I do this week to boost my self confidence? Put together a training schedule for Crazy Legs. (I didn’t achieve this goal last week).

What actions will I take this week to improve my health? Get my healthy meals on – at home!

Fast-break goals – small, simple, powerful changes:

Nutrition: I need to get back to My Fitness Pal this week. Honesty and accountability.

Fitness: Morning workouts.

Motivation: My mental health. This winter is getting long, and losing this weight will make it easier.

Cleansing with Dr. Luke Fortney

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I’m lucky to have a friend like Luke in my life. It’s my pleasure to give you the first installment of a little Q&A he and I are doing, discussing the cleanse he developed. I hope you enjoy and find some great insight!

Welcome to Fit Club Dr. Luke Fortney!

Welcome to Fit Club Dr. Luke Fortney!

Q: Not all physicians take a holistic approach to medicine; why do you believe that the elements in the cleanse are an important part of general health and wellbeing?

A: The more you learn about biology, the more mysterious it becomes. And the more you look at human beings and just experience living, it becomes even more amazing and mysterious, in the realm of awe I think ultimately. The mind and meditation were always things that were interesting to me, and the intersection of biology, medicine, consciousness and healing were even more interesting. It all seems to come together in people and how we stay well and get well. Most of healing, nearly all of it intact, is just the body doing what it does. Now, it gets off kilter from time to time and overreacts and needs some guidance and help (e.g. appendicitis, meningitis, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, anaphylaxis, and on and on and on). That’s what we’ve always called medicine. So what we do in medicine is really try to assist the body. But the body is still doing all the work (e.g. antibiotics only allow time for the body and its immune system to finally clear out infection). Everyday, you and I have cancer cells forming that the immune system and our own built in DNA repair machinery recognizes and destroys. Pretty remarkable if you think about it that way. Add to this, all the strain we’ve added to our body by not moving, eating unhealthful foods, smoking, drinking heavy, and its easy to see how this system gets bogged down and strained.

The first rule in medicine is: “do no harm.” The first rule to healing is “remove the obstacles to healing” meaning that if we just get out of the way and stop punching it, the body will naturally repair and heal itself. This is just what it does. There is no debate about this. Everyday, our bodies are dealing with toxins from the outside, and what are produced inside. It has always done this and is actually really good at it. But modern lifestyle has really taken it to its limits. There are so many conditions I see that don’t have a clear answer, but are actually signs of strain on the system (just look at that long list on the detox). Whatever our vulnerable points, which are different from person to person, that is where we manifest different symptoms. It’s all tied together and what affects one part of the system (including mind body connection) affects the whole system.

The detox is just a “control, ALT, delete” for the system. It’s actually a prescription to “re-set” or jump start things…mostly by what we remove!. Often we think of going to the doctor and taking a medicine of some kind. But the premise of a cleanse like this is to begin to remove those things that are directly impeding what the body is trying to do 24 hours a day 7 days a week for your whole life. For most of us in the US (according to the CDC), this is the place to start pretty much no matter what the problem or diagnosis is (there are some obvious serious disease states where this wouldn’t be appropriate initially).

Q: Why do you think detoxing or cleansing is a healthy practice for us?

A: Its a way to anchor yourself, so that health is least likely to quietly escape when we’re not noticing. It rev’s up the system and clears it out. We seem to understand this with our cars and any type of engine. Its the same for us. At times we need to reset, to get out of the way of what the body is just trying to do.

Q: What can most people expect if this is their first time participating in a cleanse – are there symptoms or side-effects?

A: First, it is not designed to be an endurance test or what George’s dad on Seinfeld might call “feats of strength.” Somehow in our culture we’re always doing that: if it isn’t really hard or painful, then I must not be doing it right (e.g. exercise and diet). I try to tell people to really read through it first, and to make preparations a week or more ahead of time. And then if you’re going to do it, REALLY DO IT. It’s only a week, and in doing it, it is a project. In essence the whole thing is really just an experiential awareness exercise: let me see for myself what it is like to do this, to eat healthy and do healthy things. I can talk til I’m blue in the face (most physicians do), but until a person experiences what good healthy behaviors feel like, they’ll never really know. Show a man how to fish kind of a thing.

In the beginning, most people withdraw (literally, just like drugs and alcohol) from sugar, caffeine, etc. Modern food is highly manipulated combinations of fat, salt and sugar that do the same things in our limbic system that heroin does. So sometimes diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, irritability can be expected. By mid week though, if people stick with it and listen to their bodies and make appropriate adjustments (e.g. drink lots of fluid and don’t starve, EAT!), their bodies are starting to run more efficiently and we begin to actually experience the buzz and high energy, which is really our normal state.

Q: Do you believe that cleansing can actually impact physical symptoms like sinus issues, headache, and heartburn?

A: Yes, absolutely, this is why this was created in the first place. Modern medicine is mostly dealing with fatigue, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, frequent migraine headaches, sinusitis, congestion, sleep problems, irritable bowel, joint and muscle aches, skin problems, mental cloudiness and concentration problems etc etc etc. Our culture teaches us to reach for the quick fixes and pills, which are powerful and effective, but they are a double edged sword and carry consequences. For example, use of chronic antacids leads to significant problems in the long run (now there are cases where daily use of these medications is appropriate), as one example. Most of our current chronic lifestyle diseases (heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, glucose elevation/diabetes type 2, many types of cancers, etc) eventually result from what the CDC calls “4 modifiable health risk behaviors” namely smoking, heavy alcohol use, poor diet, and being sedentary. Some reasonable and reputable models suggest that we can wipe out 80% of our chronic ailments and health problems simply by not smoking, no to moderate alcohol, moving around a little bit, and eating a fairly healthy diet overall. Big impact for such a little intervention.

Q: How important are the recommended supplementary practices, like journaling, vitamin supplements and energy work? 

A: The mind body connection is involved with everything, and is the most unrecognized and under appreciated aspect of health in our culture. There is a saying that “the sorrow that hath no vent in tears makes other organs weep.” Journaling is one of the cheapest but most powerful tools to get at the root of much of our despair and stress. Infact, obesity in our culture at it’s root is not even really about food, it’s about mood, stress, thoughts, and behavior. We self medicate our despair and sorrows with food (again fat, salt and sugar stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers like alcohol and drugs). So its mind body and body mind. They are inextricably connected. Nowadays there really isn’t any debate about this. I can go on and on and on and give lots of examples, both extreme and common that illustrate the powerful and universal effects of the mind body connection.

“Diet” Confusion & Weekly weigh-in

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I’ve been struggling lately with the concept of what “diet” or way of eating is the best for me. You hear a lot these days about gluten-free, Paleo, and even vegetarian – and they’re all so different! How is it possible that one camp says you’ll have the best health if you stick to all things “primal” like meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and another camp says to avoid the animal products and stick to beans, grains, fruits and vegetables? (I guess we can see the common denominator here).

I talked to my trainer Karen (click her name to see her blog – and her amazing bod – talk about inspiration!) about this, and her response was, “do what’s best for YOUR body.” Not everyone responds to food the same way, and it’s actually much more complicated than the old adage, “calories in, calories out.” No doctor, nutritionist or trainer would recommend living on a couple of snickers bars and a coke every day as long as you’re exercising, which I get.

My struggle is this: when I’m eating Paleo, I feel good. But I miss things that are supposed to be healthy, like chickpeas and milk. I added quinoa and edamame back into my diet this week, and honestly, I feel kind of crappy. Like – diarrhea and nausea crappy. In fact I’m about to throw out a big salad that I made for the week because it has not agreed with me at all.

Sad to see this beautiful salad go, but my body says, "No!"

Sad to see this beautiful salad go, but my body says, “No!”

So does this mean I am meant to be eating Paleo? Or am I allowed to make up my own version of these diets, where I get to have my milk and chickpeas, but avoid the other stuff?

Have any of you found a way of eating that just works for you body, allowing you to feel good, lose weight and still actually enjoy food? What have you tried? What’s your motto when it comes to food?

And this just in – I weighed in at 221 pounds this week. Down four pounds in 11 days, not bad. I’m going to have to crank it into high gear though, to hit my goal of 210 by Feb. 1. I think the treadmill will have a big impact on this.

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This is me today at Push. Wow that muffin top looks gross. Something to work for, I guess. Get ready for it, because next week, Karen is going to come do training at my house, and we’re putting it on YouTube so you can work out with her at home, too.

Fast break: Finding the Time

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It’s Sunday again! Time to get geared up for a good week, which for me pretty much boils down to planning. I’m feeling motivated as this is the new view in my basement!

treadmill

Strategy: This week the Spark Diet talks about using every small opportunity we have to do a good thing for ourselves and our diets. One example is especially easy if you’re a Subway fan – switch out the mayo (100 calories) for mustard (11 calories) on your next sandwich. Carve out 15 minutes to move rather than sit. Maybe even team up with someone for meal planning or exercise. I forgot to mention it last week, but if anyone would like to hook up with me on My Fitness Pal for some accountability, my screen name is keandrew82.

Move your body challenge: I was an epic failure at last week’s challenge. I printed it out with grand intentions, and I didn’t do it even one day. I’ll keep it out again this week. I also challenge you guys to do this one at least once this week. It shouldn’t take long (maybe 20 minutes?) and it’s all basic moves that are great for you.

workout

What am I going to eat? I’ll post recipes with photos later in the week, but this Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing is on my agenda for today. Like many people, I keep a lot of recipe ideas on Pinterest, so if you want to follow me, you can find me as Kelly Andrew or under the email keandrew82@gmail.com.

Motivation: This is from one of my favorite workout songs (and songs in general) “Shake it Out” by Florence And the  Machine. Let’s be honest, the devil on my back right now is a whole bunch of extra pounds, which are making it hard for me to do the things that will make my life how I want it (ie: physical activities with friends who are in better shape, having the confidence to date, etc.). Shake off whatever devil is riding you this week, and dance with me, okay?

devil on your back

 

Goals: I didn’t do this section last week, but I thought I’d share to stay accountable. I’ve used this goal sheet for years (on and off) and it helps me remember to take baby steps each week to feel great about everything in my life, not just a “diet.” I think it’s a combination of something I read in a Jillian Michaels book, and Spark People, and maybe a little me, but it’s not original by any means. It helps me though, so feel free to use it if it will help you.

What was my biggest challenge last week, and how can I overcome it this week? The cleanse offered a protective barrier from the real world, and once it was over, I went nuts and had waaaaay too much wine and felt like crap. This week I will remember that moderation is okay. I can drink wine, it’s not “bad.” I just need to do it in a way that doesn’t make me feel bad.

What will I do this week to improve my appearance? I will take the time to wear makeup when I leave the house.

What will I do this week that will increase my energy? I will work to get on a sleep schedule that allows 7-8 hours per night. For me this means moving away from a bad habit of Netflix in bed.

What sports, exercise or other physical activity will I do this week to improve my fitness? When and how often will I do it? M-3 mi. jog with Erin, T-morning walk & yoga, W-off, R-off, F-workout challenge, S-morning walk/jog, Su-morning walk/jog. I want to say I’ll do something every day, but I also want to be realistic. I’ll get there.

What will I do this week to boost my self confidence? Put together a training schedule for Crazy Legs.

What actions will I take this week to improve my health? Stick to my food plan and cook at home.

Fast-break goals – small, simple, powerful changes:

Nutrition: I will continue to track all of my food daily using My Fitness Pal

Fitness: Switch out couch TV time with treadmill TV time

Motivation: 210 pounds by Feb. 1 – which is coming fast. I’m going to a gala next month and I want to be able to feel good in a dress!

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 7

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As I sit here drinking my tea on the morning of day seven, I feel good. I’m proud that I’ve been able to stick to the cleanse guidelines for a week. I’m happy that those holiday pounds seem to have come off during this week. I’m glad that I feel good.

But this is also a scary day for me. Without the excuse of “I’m doing a cleanse” how will I regulate my diet? I already have social plans for this weekend that include eating and drinking – how will I maintain moderation? How can I keep the cravings that I know are going to pop up again at bay, and how do I keep from overeating and binge eating in the future?

I have to think that this is the case for many people out there. We start the new year right, we clean out our systems, we engage in the right activities for a few weeks and feel great…and then we stop. Somehow the weight gets put back on and we start to feel like shit again. I don’t know how this story is going to end, but I’m committed to sharing the story along the way, and hopefully becoming accountable to readers of this blog.

On to day seven. Nothing new or earth-shattering here. Same routine as yesterday. I made this slow cooker savory bean and spinach soup, which was good, so I’ll have some leftovers for the next couple of days.

spinach soup

 

I’ve also got some broccoli slaw salad left, and ingredients to make this crunchy cashew thai salad tomorrow. Of course I’ll be back with more recipes next week.

Why I’m looking forward to the weekend: my treadmill gets delivered tonight, I have a date with Erin for a 3-mile run on Saturday (it’s going to be 35 degrees, a WI heatwave!) and there’s plenty of time to cook.

Why I’m nervous about this weekend: I want some red wine. And I want brunch. And those are two things that can get me in trouble when it comes to going overboard, having no boundaries, and ending up with a 3,000 calorie day.

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 6

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Wow, after an impressive reiki session last night, I slept well and I’m ready for my day. I’ve got some appointments this morning and afternoon for work, so I’m strategizing on how I’m going to handle my food and liquids since I’m leaving the house and won’t be 12 feet from my tea pot and refrigerator! I should be okay though – I’ve got an hour to kill between two appointments, so I’ll take some of this broccoli-slaw salad to eat in the car, then get some tea at a coffee shop.

broccolislawsalad

 

Today, the cleanse instructs that in addition to fruits and vegetables, I can add back mushrooms, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts and healthy grains. I made the broccoli salad yesterday without pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but I’ll add them in today. I’m sticking with my green smoothy for breakfast, although I’m out of juice cubes, so I’ll need to stop at the store for more greens to juice. I’m going to pop this Savory Bean and Spinach Soup recipe into the crockpot before I leave, so I should have a nice, warm, NEW meal when I come home tonight!

As we near the end of this cleanse journey, I feel good. My body feels revitalized and my head is clear. I think I may even feel a little less achey when I wake up in the morning. I’ve tracked my food intake every day on My Fitness Pal and cleared all of the crap from my fridge. So the next challenge is living this as a lifestyle, not just seven days out of the year. How can I incorporate this feeling into my every day life? What kinds of recipes can help me stay craving-free and eating at a normal intake rather than bingeing? I don’t know the answers yet, but I’m working on it.

Detoxing through Reiki

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Tonight, as an unexpected addition to my cleanse, I was blessed to practice reiki for the first time. As I was reviewing the cleanse guidelines yesterday, I noticed that a suggested add-on to day 5 was energy work which includes reiki and acupuncture. My friend Rebecca recently opened Mosaic Wellness Studio in Germantown, so I emailed her to inquire if she provides reiki. I was in luck! Although her treatment rooms are not quite ready yet (her yoga studio and retail store are bustling though!) she offered me a session, on the condition that I ignore the construction equipment in her back hallway. Of course I agreed, and off I went to Mosaic.

I’ve never practiced reiki before, nor did I really know much about it going into the session. Frankly, I was a little surprised that it was recommended by a physician trained in western medicine, so I guess that made me even more curious. Rebecca had me lay down on a heated mat filled with amethyst (yes, she pulled up the sheets and I kid you not, there were rows of little amethyst chips sewn into the mat) which is intended to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions.

Rebecca began the session by “scanning” my body from toe to head which was basically just floating her hands over each area and gently placing her hands down at times. She explained to me that the practice of reiki is meant to tune in to the chakras and make sure energy is balanced between them. She started with the root chakra, and moved up my body through the sacrum, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown (yes, she gave me a lovely worksheet after our session to help me remember these). She said that she had set her intention for the session for healing and cleansing, but that she is more of a vessel, an that the energy is actually doing the work. She warned me that I may not really feel anything other than relaxed, or I may feel some heat as she worked on certain areas, or even a magnetic type feeling.

During my session, I did feel heat coming into me from her hands. I felt extremely relaxed, and even got into a meditative state during the second half. During my meditation, I focused on releasing toxins, negative energy and the past from my body and soul. I visualized it moving out of my hands and feet (Rebecca had told me earlier that those are the places where most detoxification can happen). When Rebecca got to my throat chakra (this chakra’s function is inspiration and expression) I felt something – I can’t explain it well, but it was a blocking – my breathing wasn’t as easy, and I wonder if this has something to do with the challenge I’m having with my business identity right now. I also felt something different when she was working on the third eye (this chakra’s function is seeing and wisdom) – I felt almost like I was hearing electrical currents or something.

Now I know, to many of you all of this probably sounds whack-a-doodle and you’d laugh at someone for spending money on such a thing. But I’ll tell you this – I sort of get why reiki was recommended at this point in the cleanse. In the first couple of days, it’s more about movement and detoxing the physical toxins out of your body, and frankly, physically expelling the bad stuff. This practice, on day 5, left me feeling emotionally light and balanced. I was surprised at how nice my body felt on the way home. No hunger cravings. No tummy rumbling to poop some more. No headache. Just plain old nice.

If you are open to it, I do recommend trying reiki. I know that it will do different things for different people, and I think that’s okay. Tonight, it helped me release some things on a different plane than the caffeine, alcohol, sugar and wheat that I’ve been detoxing from all week. It helped me send some feelings away, and made me feel good, and quite frankly, if that’s what it takes, then that’s pretty cool.

Mosaic Wellness Logo

Oh, and if you’re in the Germantown area, I encourage you to check out Mosaic Wellness. They’re on Facebook, too. They have a gorgeous yoga studio with a variety of classes and teachers each week, awesome retail goods (I bought a beautiful scarf and a lip balm tonight), and coming in February, the treatment rooms will be available for massage, reiki, etc. Support local, y’all!

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 5

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I told you from the beginning that I would be honest about how I feel during the cleanse, so I will. I’m flabbergasted by how good I am right now, after the fasting day. This is my third time doing a variation of this 7-day cleanse, and I have some very different experiences to compare. The first time that I did it, I had such a headache  that I didn’t get out of bed for a couple of the days. I’ve experienced extreme fatigue.

And to be really honest – I’ve never made it through the fasting day before – I’ve always had to add in something (usually a big salad or sweet potato saute) to get through. But yesterday was different. I drank a lot of tea, and I had a cup of vegetable broth around 10:00 and a cup of beef broth (I guess that’s sort of cheating) around 1:00. I whipped up a vitalizing beverage (juice of 1 lemon, 3 tbsp. maple syrup, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper and seltzer water in a big glass) around 4:00 and that was it! It was perfect timing that a friend called to invite me to see a movie last night, so I was distracted for a couple of hours that are normally my snacking/eating hours. I will admit, it was hard to turn down popcorn at the theater, but not that hard.

This success leads me to two conclusions, neither of which are based in fact or what anyone has told me, but which will give you an idea of who I am and how I function.

Conclusion 1: I must be so fat now that my body doesn’t even respond to going a day without food, it just lives off of itself. While I know this is most likely false, this is how my mind works right now. The negativity has to go, but I think it’s something I’ll always work on.

Conclusion 2: I must be way less polluted than I have been in the past to have less symptoms of detox. This may be true, although again, it’s not based in any research or advisement from an expert. I am in a very different place in life now than I have been for my past cleanses. There is a lot less stress in my life, I’m not stopping at Starbucks every day for a Venti Latte, I’m not drinking alcohol on as frequent a basis as I have in the past – there are a lot of factors that have changed for me recently. And I will take this for what it is – it may have nothing to do with the cleanse symptoms, but I’m grateful that this is where my life is, and that I’m making a move toward changing my body.

Today is day 5, back to fruits and vegetables only, which means I’m back to my leftover soup and spaghetti squash marinara. As you might expect, I’m getting a little bit bored with these meals. I’ve got three new dishes for the last two days of the cleanse – a broccoli-slaw salad, a quinoa salad, and a spinach and white bean crockpot soup. I may whip up the broccoli-slaw salad today without the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, just for some variety. We’ll see how the day goes.

I’m thankful to be feeling good today, but please know that if you are going through this cleanse process and you don’t feel great, it’s just fine. Everyone is in a different place, and everyone’s body will respond differently.

Detoxification Cleanse – Day 4

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Today’s the big day. My cleanse guidelines instruct me to avoid eating any solid food; drink plenty of water, broth, juice, and tea. Although I didn’t make the Superfoods Detox Broth, I do have some vegetable broth in the house that I’ll warm up (it’s still in the negative degrees here in WI, so soup is totally appropriate!) I’m also prepared with a wide variety of tea (I think I drank four pots yesterday – I just brew the tea in my 12-cup coffee maker), the ingredients for vitalizing beverage, and if I get really desperate, I’ve got a cucumber, carrots, apples and oranges that I can juice.

Yesterday began to get challenging for me. Maybe it was just a Monday where I was cooped up in the house all day, but I struggled with focus and some negative thinking. I got hungry in the afternoon, so instead of my ants on a log snack, I made some sweet potato hash:

sweet potato hash

 

This is a really easy solution and I’ve added beans and more veggies to make it into a full dinner before. I just shred a sweet potato using my food processor attachment, heat about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet and cook it with about 1/4 of a red onion and a bunch of spices: salt, pepper, and this time I used Penzey’s Forward! salt-free blend.

I did notice that about an hour after this meal, I truly started to cleanse (ie – my bowel was moving and hasn’t stopped since). I’m thankful right now that I work from home, and that it’s too cold to go anywhere, because it’s nice to just be able to let this process happen and not feel weird about running to the bathroom frequently.

My negative thinking struggle is a whole different aspect of this process, and trust me, I battle with it outside of my cleanse time, too. There was a realization yesterday, that I should move my body, I needed to sweat, but I felt trapped in the house and couldn’t even take a walk. I’m eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new treadmill (3 more days!) but until then, I need to figure out ways to deal with this. At one point I thought that maybe I should just give up and order a pizza (I didn’t). I also had the internal conversation of, “you’re never going to loose the weight, so why are you even doing this?” I can tell you this: I’m doing this because I love life and I want to live it well, in a body that can take on anything. I started a business, and it’s my responsibility to my business and my clients to be the best me, to feel good, to be productive and sharp, and this cleanse is a way that I can start down that road.

Today will absolutely be the most difficult, but I’m ready for it. Day 4 can bring it on!