Yesterday felt….normal. There were some distraction sit-ups and some staring at my kitchen pantry for the magical thing I just WANTED (but wasn’t there). No major headaches, no terrible digestion issues, I think we are finding a groove. So, I don’t have much to stay but staying accountable on 800arrows, helps too. So to make it sort of worth your while if you’ve been reading, here’s my favorite lunch, so far – hardly ground breaking but perfect if you are in chilly weather:
Sweet potato and Kate salad (serves 2)
2 sweet potatoes
coconut oil (optional)
1 bunch kale (leaves separated from stems)
red peper flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 400
Scrub your potatoes and pork with a fork, place in oven and put a pan underneath to catch the drippings.
Cook for 40 minutes.
Once cooked, slice open spread a bit of coconut oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.
After washing and thinly slicing kale, place in a medium bowl
Juice 1/2 lemon, 1-2 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with salt and massage. You’ll feel the kale start to soften a bit, I feel it after about 1 minute. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
So, I mentioned our family was planning a winter detox, well then I got the flu, then my husband got the flu and here we are a couple weeks later with our kitchen under construction and we are beginning. Not the best time you say, I suppose not, but we are going with it. So here I am at the (near) end of day 1 and I’m feeling it folks. I truly thought I had kicked most of my caffeine dependency during my visit from the flu but my raging headache suggests otherwise or perhaps it’s my body freaking due to lack of copious amounts of sugar. Whatever the reason, I’m considering getting into my PJs at 5:00.
I share and air all of this because it’s a great opportunity for me to get excited about not feeling so good. It’s a terrific reminder my body needs this break. I’ve been partying like a queen, with heavy foods, too much food, too much heavy food, not enough of the good and over my fair share of the not so good. If you are following my line of thinking I’m impressed, can I blame run on sentences and incoherent thoughts on day 1 detox blahs? Sure!
Where was I? Oh yes, embracing the fog, I’ve been caffeinate-ing and sugar-ing my way out of this fog for months but now I have the opportunity to feel it and clear it.
We’re using the Clean program once again to give our bodies a bit of a break. No fancy tricks or supplements, just a smoothie or juice for breakfast, a lunch from the approved list of foods and a soup or smoothie for dinner. That felt like I was quoting a commercial but what I continue to appreciate about this program is it’s not about counting calories or being hungry. You can take this concept to many different levels depending on your goals and needs for detoxing. Ok, now I really do sound like a commercial, I give up, I’m off to grab my PJ’s.
Our Clean cleanse has come to a close, and as I wrote earlier, I’ve been a bit concerned about our next steps. During the last week of the cleanse I had two dinners out and wasn’t able, nor did I make myself follow the rules of the cleanse to the “T”. I felt immediate differences after ingesting the “contraband” foods – bloating, gas, indigestion, irritability, even a nightmare. So, I continued marinating on how great I’ve been feeling while eating the foods prescribed on the cleanse and while thinking these thoughts, I mindlessly start typing to check out some of my blog regulars and here’s what they had to offer me:
Zen Habits – “A Guide to Eating a Plant Based Diet”
D Moms Blog- “Achieving Work Life Balance (Sort Of) with The Gem’s Kale and Quinoa Salad“, an article about how one lunch filled with green goodness made a marked beneficial change in this woman’s day.
I am not kidding, three seemingly unrelated blogs/websites ALL expounding on the benefits of eating a “clean diet”. Pffff. I get it universe, I get it, I don’t need any more messages from the Internet telling me that this way of eating can be more than an experiment.
After much discussion, my husband and I have decided not to live by any rules or standards or labels other than our own. Our daily meals may look vegan or raw but that doesn’t mean you’ll never see grilled fish on our table again. We are leading with health first and foremost but there will certainly be sprinkles of alcohol, sugary sweets, potato chips, etc. during the long and healthy life we are setting ourselves up for!
The details on the cleanse results:
1. Weight loss – I’m not a scale girl but going by my clothes, I dropped at least a dress size, possibly a dress size an a half. And remember weight loss was NOT a goal, I was packing in the calories.
2. Energy surge – The energy I experienced from day 3 through the end to day 21 was incredible! No afternoon dips, no groggy mornings, a steady flow all day that thankfully released me in time for bed. I did notice a decrease in the amount of sleep needed the last week (about 6-7 hours, vs. my typical 8-9)
3. Glow-y soft skin and bright eyes – “Did you change your make-up?”, “Did you get a facial?”, “You look so shiny and happy”, these are actual comments directed my way from unpaid individuals.
4. Clarity of mind and overall feeling of lightness – Life seemed easier, removing some of the distractions that I now know food causes in my life was a completely unexpected insight and benefit.
We will certainly be repeating this experience, maybe in 6 months, maybe a year….I’ll let you know!
P.S. Here’s the recipe for the “Beeting Beauty” pictured at top:
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 lemon (peel removed)
Feed everything through a juicer.
P.P.S. I only name my FAVORITE drink creations….. just thought you should know.
We are finishing up week 2 of our Clean Cleanse (woo hoo) and it just keeps getting better. I could extol the benefits of this experience for paragraphs but you can go to the website and read through hundreds of stories like mine and my husband’s going on about bright eyes, clear minds, boundless energy, slimmer hips and a peaceful heart. So, here a couple of details, tips maybe, to acknowledge that like most good things, this experience also has it’s challenges.
1. Just want to clarify my husband and I are not doing “Clean” through the pre-packaged program they sell on the website. We are following the whole program based on the book, so $5.98 from the used book store makes this information accessible to most people. That said, having a juicer and a high-powered blender (my choices are Breville and Vita-Mix) do make this process a whole lot easier!
2. Defining your hunger and confronting the ugly truth – People have different goals when doing a cleanse, loosing weight wasn’t on my list so when I make my morning shake it is anything but low-calorie. I’m talking half an avocado, almond butter, walnuts, cashews….and sometimes that’s all together in one shake. SO, a few hours after ingesting said shake I know I’m not “hungry” but my body is craving something and sending signals that seem a lot like hunger. Identifying that I’d been using food as a distraction or a comfort has made me face the truth that I need some additional stimulation in my life. I need to “grow my garden” as a wise friend once told me. This is easier said than done of course when parenting and lack of “free” time are the facts of my foreseeable future.
3. Eating raw garlic and taking tablespoons of olive oil is hard and unpleasant. ‘Nough said there.
4. What goes in must come out…..right? I, but not my husband, have experienced some traffic jams with the end of the digestion process – please don’t make me spell it out, I’m not that brave. But my whole reason for doing this is to get the bad stuff out and that fact that that wasn’t happening as smoothly and effortlessly as I expected has been a challenge.
5. Fast-forwarding to the finish line – We still have a week to go with this cleanse and I already find myself thinking, “I don’t want to loose this good feeling, what are we going to do when we are eating ‘normally’ again”. Have I learned nothing?! My job right now is to stay present in the process and to focus on getting the most out of this for my body to heal and restore itself……this too, I find difficult.
For more Do’s and Don’ts this is the Clean Food list:
Week 1 into our cleanse and holy cow I feel so clean and so happy! Like dancing on the ceiling happy…and light, I feel light. This summer I wrote about my tendency to overindulge, especially in sweets and fats….I don’t think I was really overeating my salads if you know what I mean. An intervention was in order, so my husband and I broke out the Clean cleanse. We’ve done it before but this round we’re really following all the “extras” laid out in the book including daily meditation, banishing snacks whenever possible, dry brushing, and a nightly dose of olive oil to just name a few. The basics are for 21 days we do two liquid meals, one at breakfast and one for dinner, lunch is a meal from their list of acceptable foods with the idea being as raw as possible and as organic as possible.
Changing up our food has already yielded huge benefits, we are sleeping better, my husband is so glow-y with his bright eyes – he looks 5 years younger, he says I too am sporting a youthful glow, I’ve mentioned the spike in happiness we are both experiencing – all of these things are wonderful BUT they are not my favorite part of my experience so far.
My favorite part is identifying that food and eating out had become a sort of hobby!
“Let’s grab a bite, have some coffee/tea, take the kids for an ice cream, etc., etc.”
So, during these three weeks (and I’m hoping for longer) we will get out and DO something instead of go out and EAT something. One caveat, the “detox date”, my husband and I went out for a green juice at one of the few NEW juicing places that have opened after dropping the kids at school. $15 bucks for two green drinks – DAMN, thank goodness it counts as breakfast. But it was a really nice break from cleaning the juicer.
Not completely unlike traveling, this cleanse experience has changed up our daily routine, offering some awesome insights.
I should mention that neither my favorite part of the experience, nor all the benefits we are outwardly experiencing thus far are the point of our cleanse. We are giving our bodies a break so they can clean themselves up and heal as needed……also to break my crack, I mean SUGAR addiction. Has to be said, just in one week, I feel like the spell has been broken on that front!