Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We are almost there (making it through the holidays)

New Years Eve, aaaahhhhh, just one more meal, one more party, one more weekend until life will level out again. We all talk about the holidays being difficult to balance life, food, and drink, but golly! All those little tricks and tips given to us on the morning programs or the Block Island Times articles are much more difficult to adhere to, than to speak about. This year, for me, it has been best to just let it all hang out and when I had any say or any control on what I was eating I would reign myself in with greens. Greens: kale, collards, salad, spinach; sauteed, steamed, or raw. If I could slip those in here or there I would feel a little better about the piece of pecan pie I indulged in at 9 o clock at night. It has been 2 weeks of mayhem!

What has become so apparent to me, something I know in theory but is so fun to watch play out, is how these habits are perpetuating. Sugar leads to craving more sugar, alcohol leads to craving sugar as well as general malais and disregard, alcohol and sugar lead to craving rich and fatty foods. Before I knew it, the meals you see in any of my former posts hardly seemed satisfying! It is no wonder why it is so difficult to get off of this gravy train (pun intended). Fortunately this is what I do for a living, help people reign in...jump off the train, but if I didn't know what I do know, it would be some challenge.

What I am saying is I feel for everyone out there. For all of you that beat yourself up over choices, especially this time of year, don't do it. How you feel about what you eat effects you as much as what you eat. How you feel about a situation can also help you turn it around. So use this time as inspiration, new year new you Or new year, new perspective. Happy New Year Everyone!! 2009, whew. Tonight is stuffed lobster, and next week is a new 10 day diet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Latest Column..yay!

Below is my latest contribution to the BI Times. Let this be a reminder to slow down and enjoy. We are taking a break from the dieting for the next 2 weeks, although all the experiments have lead to definite long term changes. Less dairy and sugar overall feels so much better.

Healthy Times

“It’s the holidays” tends to be the warranted response to whatever life dishes up for us this time year. What I hear us saying is, “this time of year is stressful and there is nothing we can do about it.” There are four major types of stress that effect our wellbeing: mental, emotional, physical and chemical; and the holiday season seems to amount to a perfect storm of these stresses. The holidays can be a stressful time for many people due to the intensified focus on family, work and money.

We have lists to tend to and bills to pay. This time of year demands a lot of us, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Mental stress takes a serious toll on the body; it can disturb our digestion, our sleep patterns as well as raise our blood pressure or cause muscle pains. Mental stress can be caused by our perception of a situation just as much as the situation itself. Something that's stressful to you, may not faze someone else, they may even enjoy it. For example, driving to the ferry may make you anxious and tense because you worry that you will miss it; others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive. Taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, and your schedule will improve the way you feel about a potential mental stressor. Take 5 minutes a few times a day to sit quietly and breath, get organized, or add 30-60 minutes to the estimated time it may take you to finish something on your list.

Another difficult type of stress to cope with and manage during the holidays is emotional stress. Holidays can conjure emotions from the past and present that lead to anxiety, depression, or sadness. Be careful not to manage emotional stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors like overeating, drinking and smoking. These will only perpetuate the stresses. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so it helps to start by replacing one behavior at a time, taking baby steps. Next, identify your holiday stressors; what holiday events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Only engage in holiday activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. It is important to be sure to take care of yourself, get plenty of rest and ask for support from friends and family when you need it.

Chemical and physical stress come hand and hand during the holiday season. Eat, drink, and be merry can lead to a lot of stress on the body if we are eating and drinking ourselves to merriment for two months straight. Giving the gift of designated driver to a friend for a night of holiday parties can give you a break in return. When eating at holiday gatherings have a heaping tablespoon of everything you would like to try, this way you get to taste everything, you aren’t restricting yourself or over doing it. At dinner fill half your plate with vegetables before helping yourself to the rest of the dishes. This will ensure that you fill up on the healthier options first.

Finally, most of the stress that we feel at the holidays comes from our expectations of what a “perfect” holiday season looks like. The best remedy for this is learning how to laugh at ourselves. Understanding that there is no such thing as perfection, letting humility win out, and knowing that with every gaff comes a great story for the future. The imperfections are what memories are made of.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whats next? (intro to quinoa)

Yesterday was Day 10 of vegan nation. This meant oatmeal for breakfast, bean soup with toast for lunch, and BBQ tofu over quinoa with kale for supper. During this diet I re-discovered my uncles award winning barbecue sauce in the fridge. It really is award winning, he travels around with his group "The Bastey Boys" and enters down home BBQ competitions in Texas and Tennessee and does pretty good! Every x-mas he gives lots of meat treats to the family and, being vegetarian, I always get a big ol' jar of BBQ sauce. It is so flippin' good, I could drink the stuff. Because I never cook meat, I always forget it is in the fridge. I found it the other day when I went trawling for flavor. Chop had taken out the little fake chicken nugget thingies and we went from dipping those in the sauce to dipping corn chips. I would have dipped carrot sticks in the sauce if I had any carrots at my disposal. This reminded me to marinate the tofu and led to a delicious dinner last night. It was even perfect serving the kale on the side, like real southern cooking minus the lard (I used olive oil)

Quinoa (kee-nwa) is an ancient grain and a super protein. It is light and fluffy which is nice compared to some heavier grains. I highly suggest giving it a whirl if you've never tried it.
To make:
1 Cup Quinoa-rinsed
2 cups water
Put both in pot, bring to boil on the stove then bring down to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Thats it, easy peasy! Add a little S+P to taste if you'd like

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Strolling folly (some vegan ideas)

The stores on the island have been opening for Christmas strolls here and there. Last night they were open and I went a strollin'. It was a quiet night and I was by myself, very nice indeed. Everything is lit up on the streets but there are very few people and just a few stores open. Because of this quiet atmosphere, the store owners were all up for a chat and I had a very nice time conversing and taking advantage of the discounts, on the otherwise expensive boutiquie merchandise. I was so relaxed and I helped myself to a chocolate chip cookie at one store and then a second cookie as I browsed. I was actually thinking as I ate the cookie, how the last time I was around these cookies I was cleansing and therefore could not partake in the sugar, egg, flour fiesta. Ah ha ha. As I was leaving I was offered a cookie to bring home to Chopper. This was when I was brought back down from my elevated Christmas cookie state and realized that I was not supposed to be eating these cookies. They certainly were not vegan being made with eggs and butter, and this was not only unfair to the animals but also to Chopper who has been very good at keeping to the diet. I did bring a cookie home to Chopper and he was very happy to indulge.

Chopper likes to have meat every so often, but loves to eat cheese and eggs on a daily basis. I had noticed that I was finding ways to sneak cheese into more and more meals to make them more satisfying for him. What has been interesting these last ten days is not only how easy it has been for him to leave eggs and dairy out, but also what he has done to substitute them.

1. Lots of avocado. Chop has added avocado to almost every meal, it is a fat that satisfies on many levels. Usually he toasts a piece of whole grain toast, puts half an avocado on top, drizzles it with olive oil and a little pepper.

2. He eats oatmeal every morning with nuts and dried fruit. Generally eggs would be quicker to prepare, but he has just gotten up a little earlier in the morning to make sure he has time to make the oatmeal. This is something that is real habit changing, just doing it for 10 days will now set a precedent for his normal morning schedule.

3.We've been eating lots of beans. This was not a conscious move on our part, but when it comes to meal time a bean soup or bean burrito with avocado just seems like the natural choice.

4.Last night he had some soy cheese that my mother had given us. This isn't something that we'd normally buy or enjoy for that matter, but last night it called out and Chop made a little macaroni and cheese with some left over brown rice pasta. He said it was satisfying but he wasn't craving cheese and could have done without it.

Well now, is anyone else experimenting? I'd love to hear about it...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vegan-not restaurant friendly (miso gravy-YUM!)

The biggest issue with eating a vegan diet is eating out at restaurants. Working in the industry, I appreciate what it takes for a chef to create a meal and then recreate it every night. To change a dish in the middle of a busy Saturday night can really throw off the server and the kitchen. For anyone who is not vegan, the same rules still apply and although the server and kitchen may be more than happy to accommodate you, it is still nice to recognize what that entails. For anyone who does have dietary restrictions as severe as no animal products or even a wheat allergy, it is nice to call the restaurant ahead of time to see what may be done for you. This also allows them to prepare if they need special ingredients prepped.

I didn't call ahead the other night when I went out with friends. We went to a place in Boston that is known for the homemade pasta dishes. A key ingredient in pasta is egg, I did the best I could ordering but still broke the diet. I mean no disrespect to people that really commit to being vegan and in turn, are unable to eat places that the rest of us go all the time. It takes real commitment and conviction and for good reason. But this night was once again a special night with friends (the same friends as a matter of fact) and I made the exception.

The next morning I was back on track, fortunately bloody mary's are vegan (hehe). We went for brunch and my food choices were slim but I knew what I could have to drink.

Miso Gravy (Soooo good, great on sweet potatoes and greens)

1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Tbl Dried thyme
1 small onion diced
3 Tbl flour
2 Tbl Miso (I used mellow white, whatever you prefer)
1 cup of soy milk (or any kind of milk)
splash of tamari or sot sauce
S + P to taste

Saute onion in OO until translucent
Add Thyme and continue to saute
Sprinkle flour over onions and thyme until they are all coated
Put miso in 1/4 cup of soy milk and blend until miso is dissolved
Add miso and soy milk mixture and mix evenly
slowly stir in remaining soy milk until it starts to thicken
Give it a taste if it still needs a little kick add a splash of soy sauce, otherwise just add salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on what kind of miso you use it could need more salt flavor less)

Chopper enjoying his greens, sweet potatoes, and seitan smothered in miso gravy. mm mmmm

Friday, December 5, 2008

Easy Peasy (red lentil & ginger soup/ bean soup)

Vegan is a piece of vegan cake. Although the amount of beans that we've been eating is a little strange, for lack of a better word. Its been soup for the past 2 nights and bean burritos for lunch. Usually these bean dishes are accompanied by either cheese or sour cream, there is something to that, the fats help to balance the carbohydrates. But we've just been throwing some fresh avocado on there and mm mm. For anyone who jumped on the low fat train of the eighties, avocados are great for you, do not deny yourself, try the guacamole! The funny thing about this is that beans, although an obvious choice of protein for many vegetarians, were chosen quite arbitrarily. I just happen to have made a lentil soup and mixed bean soup and had these burritos available. Go figure. Thats all it takes, seriously. Spend an hour making some soup and you have saturated fat free meals for days! Throw some avocado on there and you don't even feel deprived. These things taste good man...good.

Tonight we are having my favorite comfort meal minus the biscuits. It'll be seitan (which is a wheat gluten meat substitute), swiss chard, sweet potatoes and miso gravy. Effing delicious. Recipes are to follow, but first lets start with the soups.

Red Lentil and Ginger
got this one from Chops mom and have added a new ingredient every time I make it, usually whatever is in the fridge that has to get used, it has made for a great soup though. Super fast too done in no time.

Original recipe + Add Ins
3/4 cup red lentils
1 Tbl. Olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves diced garlic
1 inch piece of ginger grated
1 diced sweet potato
1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans
4-5 stalks of kale washed and cut into bite sized pieces or spinach or whatever green you have that is about to go bad!
1 Tsp of cumin
1 Tsp of salt
1 Tsp of pepper
1 Tsp of ground ginger
4 cups of vegetable stock

Any or all of the Italicized ingredients can be left out, I added them in and they do taste good
Saute the onion in the OO till translucent 5 minutes or so.
Add garlic, ginger, and sweet potato and saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in red lentils, garbanzo beans and greens and saute for another minute.
Add Veg stock, bring to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add S+P to taste.

Bean Soup
You need a slow cooker for this one, or leave it on the stove for a few hours while you go about your business (or use canned beans and cook for less time).

1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup of dried pinto beans
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatos in their juices
5 cups of veg stock
2 bell peppers (I use red and orange) diced
2 onions diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbl. Olive oil
1 Tbl chili powder
1 Tbl Sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbl cumin
1 tsp coriander

Saute Onions on medium heat in OO till translucent 5 minutes
Add in garlic saute 1 minute
Add in peppers saute 1 minute
Add in dried beans and spices, mix well
Add in cans of corn and tomatoes mix well
Add in broth.
Bring to boil and then to simmer for 3-4 hours till beans are cooked. If using canned beans it only needs about an hour, but the long simmer time lets the flavors really meld well.

Happy Souping

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vegan Diet (greens on greens with Tempeh)

Cooking vegan is easier for me than the other few diets I've tried (especially the one that involved NO food). Although, I imagine, as a few days go by I may grow a little tired of soy and long for my free range egg breakfast. Unfortunately soy becomes a major part of many vegan and vegetarian diets and despite its claims it isn't always the best for you. Most soy foods are majorly processed and any food out of its whole form gets rather confusing for the body. In preparation for this diet Chop and I bought mostly vegetables, grains (quinoa is a great source of protein), and beans. However we did prepare for a possible craving and bought vegetarian chicken nuggets thingies. I just read the label to learn that they are not vegan, they contain egg. This means that in 10 days when we are done with this diet there will still be fake chicken "thingies" in the freezer to be made.

Fake chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes with miso gravy, and biscuits was my comfort food meal of choice for years. I never made the connection until I was discussing this with my Health Counseling mentor. During our talk it kind of poured out of me that this was also the 1 meal that my father and I would have the 1 night a year we would eat at home (we always went out to eat). Weavers chicken with Bisquick biscuits. Since making this connection I no longer crave this meal. I had decided that the next time I craved chicken and biscuits I would call my dad and then the craving never came. I love asking that question of my clients now, when in your life did you eat "that" food, its great to see what connections are made.

Vegan Recipe: Greens on greens with Tempeh
Greens: 4 stalks of kale, collards, bok chop or cabbage (I used kale and bok choy)
Cut up greens in small bite size pieces
Steam for 5-7 minutes till bright green

Crispy Tempeh: one package of organic tempeh cut into inch pieces
1/2 inch of Olive oil on medium heat
pan fry tempeh till golden brown, sprinkle with garlic powder near end of cooking

Tahini Dressing (awesome!)
1/3 cup tahini
3 Tbl. Shoyu (soy sauce)
3 Tbl. umeboshi vinegar
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 cup of water

Put all ingredients in food processor. Blend and add water till desired consistency.

This is a really simple meal with a food processor or blender. I put my greens and tempeh over wheat soba noodles to make the meal go a little further. Mmmmm Mmmmm

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanks is given (personal history with meat)

I was 17 when I ate my first red meat. My parents had made an early decision to raise me vegetarian which slowly became me eating chicken and the occasional fishstick but still, I had never tried a meatball. I was at Burger King with my friends when I had my first bite followed by my very own Whopper Jr. I came home and told my mom "I had something to tell her", I was 17. After her heart dropped (and so did her face), my news of the Whopper Jr. came easy and she laughed, relieved. For the next 2 years I seamlessly entered the meat eaters world (I was never far from it, working at both BK and KFC). When I was 20 I started dating a vegetarian and learned more and more about why my parents had made that decision 20 years ago. I slowly converted and after 6 months broke my "clean living" diet once, I stopped for a glazed donut and iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, I took a few bites and sips, was sickened by the sugar and dumped them in the trash.

I had been vegetarian for 3 years when I found myself in a face off with a plate of Shrimp Scampi. The SS won and I ate the shellfish for the first time since becoming vegetarian. Soon after I moved to San Francisco I became vegan (eating no animal products at all) and this began my roller coaster of vegetarian living. To eat or not to eat eggs, fish, or cheese was a question that I would consistently change my answer to. In SF it was easy to adhere to a strict vegetarian diet with so many great restaurant options and I hardly cooked and ate well. When I decided to move back to Block Island I made the conscious decision to start eating fish again and this is where I have been for the last 3 years. Since exploring more and more and moving further and further from my VegNews magazine (a great proponent for veg. living) I have been eating free range eggs, organic cheese, and fish is a staple when I go out to eat.

This past weekend I found myself at yet another crossroads and it wasn’t with the Turkey. I ate a hamburger. I will save you all my inner turmoil and both sides of the argument to eat or not to eat meat. All my many reasons not to eat meat still hold true for me and this will not become a regular occurrence, unless of course I surprise myself and it does. I had become curious more recently since working with so many people who eat a lot of meat and with my own experimenting and knowledge of food. The beef I ate (sounds so bizarre) was from a farm who Pasteur raises their cows and does not give them any antibiotics or growth hormones. This means the cow grazes on untreated grass and lives a pretty optimal life for a cow, with little intervention, except when it comes time for the slaughter. What prompted me to try it was the fact that my mouth was watering. A lot. This is extremely rare for me, I am not one who pines for meat or even looks twice at it really. I knew it was a healthy high quality burger and so I started with a bite, ate half of it, it tasted good, and ended up with serious indigestion.

The burger was eaten the day we were to "sacrifice" the turkey and 2 ducks. So after i ate my slaughtered cow I was on to kill some birds, not a vegetarians best day. Chopper loves meat and he loves animals so I was really excited to see how this experience would effect him. He is also especially fond of ducks, really, he always points them out and stops to watch them and he never orders duck at a restaurant. But he eats turkey and just about everything else and so wanted to take part. I did not hold the knife at all, but watched on and said a little prayer for the animals as Chopper and our friend Nicolas slit the birds throats (sorry for the graphics but this is how it was done and I feel as though we shouldn't pussyfoot around it). They were both very loving to the birds and saddened to have to do it, but this is the price that was paid to put the turkey on the table this Thanksgiving. After the birds had passed on there was plucking and removal of the innards to be done. Chopper, Nicolas, and his son Gillen all took part in this very arduous and smelly process. The experience reminded us all that at one time, when we had to kill our own meat for dinner, eating it was saved for very special occasions. This lead to more of a respect for the animal who was giving its life for food, more respect for the work that goes into it, and less health problems (to be frank).

So with no further ado... Chopper and I have decided that our next diet will be Vegan for 10 days. No animal products or by products. No eggs, dairy, meat, honey, or fish. We start today. Vegans actually do not wear any leather or wool as well, we have both decided to try to stick to this the best we can, considering what we own. I would love for anyone who would like to, to try along as best they can. Maybe this just means cutting back on meat for the week or experimenting with different forms of protein. Whatever this means to you, it will make a difference to your health or to your perspective. Gobble gobble.

Eating the burger. Probably talking about my "feeeeelings" on the subject.

Chopper paying homage to the duck.

The birds are dipped in boiling water to soften the feathers for plucking. Here the work continues.
He looks like he's running away.

Finished duck l'orange

A most memorable Thanksgiving. Beautiful food and friends (family). At the table everyone said thank you for all that they cherish including the animals that were to feed us. Gillen (11) who raised the birds and then helped to clean and prepare them said a very special thank you which brought tears to my eyes.

For more pictures please visit Maddie's blog
and get her rounded perspective on this great week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We are in Georgia!  This is very exciting as we love to be here, spending time with one of our favorite group of people- Madeline, Nicolas, Gillen, and Jesse.  Today we will be doing some shopping in preparation for the big holiday feast and later sacrificing a turkey and 2 ducks for Thursday (sacrificing seems like such a better way to put it).  These birds were raised for food, on a beautiful farm and free range meaning they could go where and as they pleased but always returned for feeding time.  The birds are beautiful, and the feathers will be used for some lovely decoration they are really pretty.  The thought of this experience is raising a lot of questions for me about my choice to be vegetarian.  Because I have chosen not to eat meat for close to 10 years it has been an easy decision but one that has perhaps lost a little meaning.  This is a great perspective.  It really displays the difference between raising an animal humanely as apposed to factory farming, which is how almost all of our animals are raised and slaughtered.  I can't say I'm happy or excited about the killing, but I am choosing to participate to experience first hand.

On that note,  to avoid stuffing yourself like a turkey....I highly suggest not skipping your breakfast.  We think we're saving the room by skipping a meal but then golly the feasting can get a little out of hand.  Eat your breakfast, a nice big healthy breakfast, and then enjoy a yummy, but not out of hand Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NYC and bust

Celebration nation went well but I reaped the repercussions the next day. I had a great meal which did include bread, wine, and dessert. It tasted great and I felt fine but then woke up the next morning around 4:30, could not get back to sleep, and as a result had a splitting head ache and my body felt like I was hit by a truck the entire next day. I had only had 2 glasses of wine so I believe that this was all a result of sugar overload. This was the second time I was learning the same valuable lesson, I must ease myself out of these diets. This seems to be a classic case of restriction leading to overcompensation as most people experience when dieting. Since I am on these diets solely for the purpose of testing their theories and their effects on my system, I should probably do my best to see that a way of eating doesn't become more detrimental to my health by going over board when I come off of the diet. Genius!

This weekend Chopper and I were in NYC and had a grand ole time romping around drinking coffee, eating Indian food and grabbing ice cream at bedtime. Its New York! We did have a great time, it was freezing and so ducking into a Starbucks every 30 blocks or so seemed like good idea. It is truly amazing to see how many carbohydrates or sugars are in almost every meal or snack if you aren't conscious of it. This weekend we were not careful. However I would suggest experimenting with it for yourself, if for only a day and see how many times you have to redirect yourself.

Tomorrow we will be in Georgia for Thanksgiving. We have friends there that have an organic farm (see my favorite, Barn-Raising blog), and we look forward to sharing the holiday with great people and making some great food.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I would like to offer y'all a holiday tip for staying conscious of what is going in and getting the most out of your meal. If visiting with friends or family, offer to make a green vegetable or salad to contribute to the meal OR instead of bringing flowers or wine bring along a bowl of fresh berries as a dessert. Its all about the options, if they aren't there what are you to do? I've decided to offer these tips in leau of starting my next diet right away. We will start when we get home, in the meantime look for these holiday ideas for staying on your game.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Celebration nation (scallops/arugula-raspberry/yogurt-tuna salad)

I am celebrating tonight! My friends don't know it, we have plans to have dinner and for no special reason, but I will be secretly celebrating my achievements in the last few weeks. So this means I am entering into rash city for the night (if you don't get that, it means that I will be eating foods that IF I had candida would make me feel crumby and break out). What I have discovered is that Candida cleansing is very difficult for me and for Chopper and going out to eat at all would be really hard if I actually had Candida. So I shall say a silent prayer for all those suffering, I pray to give them strength to rid themselves of this dietary hindurance (I know a lot of people and it really sucks), and I shall lift my glass to them this evening.

What are your achievements Persephone? What? Oh huh? Who me? Well, thank you for asking. I was very proud to have completed my first public speaking engagement last week. I covered the topic "Eating for Energy" and had a great turn out. I did not pass out, or stumble over words (too much), and by the end felt very comfortable in my place in front of everyone. I really had a good time and loved being able to share ideas and discuss openly, topics with people that are near and dear to me and effect all of us. Then, this week I started working with a few new clients that live right here on BI. This was big because last year I had gotten into traveling so much. And lastly I was told today that the Block Island Times would like me to be a contributing columnist on the topic of Health and Wellness. This is really exciting, it is another flower in my garden that I can tend to and watch grow (I realize I am no poet).

So tonight I am not cooking my own dinner and I will have a glass of wine or two. I will revel in the carbohydrates and avoid going overboard.

I have added a pole in the upper right hand corner. I'd like to see what you all think of this little diddy. I've had a hard time determining if this is of use or interest to anyone, please let me know what you think. Below I've included some more food pictures, mostly because they are just so pretty. I believe we should all definitely put value in, not only the taste and smell of food but also the appearance, texture, and the love.

Isn't this beautiful...pan seared scallops over green salad with avocado and roasted brussel sprouts

Looks like sweets. Frozen raspberries blended with organic non fat yogurt. It tasted really tart, but was nice and cold and creamy. Towards the end I sprinkled a little stevia.
I feel like I'm on a wimpy version of the Atkins diet. Instead of hamburgers no bun and chicken wings, I'm eating a lot of proteins like fish, eggs, etc., fats like avocado and nuts, and greens. Its all really good but definitely more straight up proteins than I usually do (I like to go the bean route) This is tuna in olive oil over mixed green and cabbage salad with red bell pepper , carrots, avocado and a little apple cider/tahini dressing. Colorful!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I see you Cherry Garcia

Tonight Chop and I went to the grocery store to look at the ice cream.  I know I should be eating lots of raw vegetables and that would probably make this much easier.  However it's freezing outside and the vegetables at the grocery store here are kind of gross.  Limpy, room temperature, squishy, dried out...ech.  We decided on scallops, brussel sprouts and salad, not too shabby.  Chop keeps picking up the most intensely sugared junk food and just kind of holding it for a little while, I think this is hard for him.  Tonight it was rainbow sprinkled Entermans donut holes and then a jar of hot fudge sauce, these aren't his typical go to's.  Aahhh its funny what the parasites in your tummy will beg of you.  For me its a matter of balance, I am not craving "sugar" sweet things as much as carbohydrates in general.  I feel like my diet right now is uber fats and proteins, again I need to be eating more raw vegetables.

Just cause I know you love them so much here's a picture of my healthy tongue...Big difference eh?  Nice and pink, no white film.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Got Celeriac?

So what day is today?? Today I am feeling the effects of this diet. I feel like I am eating large amounts of fats and proteins. So the story has been told that if you eat this way (healthy fats of course) you lose weight. I lost 10 pounds on the Master Cleanse and I'm maintaining that weight doing this candida diet, something I didn't expect. Despite the slimming attributes I am not crazy about the imbalance. I miss fruit, my smoothies, and bread. Someone commented the other day about any way of eating that cuts out fruits or carrots can't be great. I've always agreed with that long term, but this is to cleanse a particular problem, and everyone could use a good sugar cleanse every now and again.

I was eating a spoonful of almond butter today and feeling a little tired of all the heavy snackies when Chop reminded me that I could have green apple and still be kosher. So I went to the store, grabbed a green apple and happily smeared it with the almond butter. It was like apple dipped in frosting, it was amazing how sweet it tasted to me.

Talk to me you sweet sweet apple...
The brown rice and eggs which have been my breakfast since losing my fruit smoothies...
(looks pretty darn good doesn't it? Drizzled with hot sauce, since I started allowing vinegars, if you have Candida don't try this at home)

This has certainly gotten me into being a bit more creative in the kitchen. Without meat to fall back on and not wanting to eat too much fish, dinner sans carbs and beans is a little tricky. We had a bunch of celeriac root from our CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) share. If you're unfamiliar with this vegetable, it is the root of celery and has a mild celery flavor and the texture of turnip. I had never really prepared anything with it before, but it is allowed on this diet, and needed to be cooked so I went to town. Meal 1 was Cream of celeriac soup, this was flippin delicious, really rich and creamy but without a lot of cream (look for the recipe in the sidebar). With the other celeriac root I made a sauce, this was also really good. It was like a beschamel sauce but without all the flour and cream (a little cream, but nothing crazy, you could use soy milk for either recipe). I made them both at once because they had very similar ingredients and then tonight put the sauce over sauteed portabello mushrooms and onions with mache leaves (a really sweet delicate green) and baked tofu. Oh my could have been a cheesy toast cream of mushroom casserole, so good! So I'm happy with my little celeriac experiments.

Meet our new friend, Mr. Celeriac. He's ugly on the outside but with a little coaxing, his beauty really magnifies.

Here is the soup...

And the rich cheesy bad for you imposter... (sssh, its really just a bunch of health food)
Just rereading this post, I find it funny that I started out complaining about having to eat so many heavy rich foods and ended up begging for more. Isn't that just the way?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Candida Cleanse diet is definitely harder than you may think at first. Its good to understand that it is only meant to be so limited for about 30 days to allow your healthy bacteria to trump the yeast (for all you poker players out there). Since Chop and I don't have Candida we may start to allow some vinegars and fermented foods as these are great foods for you in every other capacity. Still NO sugars, fruit, wheat, gluten, syrups et cetera et cetera.

So we went 3 days strict candida, 1 day rash city, and now we are back on track. This weekend was really great. I took part in a workshop that was a very beautiful and spiritual experience. Then on Saturday night there was a Native American Sweatlodge. Some people of the community with the help of a Native American spiritual leader (Carl Big Heart) built the sweatlodge and then he returned to facilitate the "sweat". I didn't know what to expect except that I knew it would be hot. This was a very sacred experience, one that words cannot describe. Native American tradition is deep rooted and is centered around Mother Earth and her blessings. The experience of the sweat was one of surrendering. Because of the intensity of the heat, the small space, and the darkness you had to surrender and just when you didn't think you could take anymore you were able to have a breath of fresh air and some water. I encourage anyone, if the chance ever presents itself to participate in a sweat lodge, even if you don't know what to expect, just show up with an open mind and heart, water and loose clothing.

Yesterday (day after sweat) we went to a nice brunch with friends, then had a great day of walks on this windy island. We had all participated in the sweat the night before so this gave us some time to reflect and talk about our experiences. It was a lot of fun
Now as for the food. Found out that Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds especially are actually really good for candida. I was worried that gourds and squash would be too sweet, but what is nice is that they taste sweet, but their sugar content isn't all that high. Tricky tricky, so they are great foods to eat to satisfy sweet cravings without leading to more sweet cravings. So I roasted my pumpkin and toasted the seeds, and used Stevia to sweeten it with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. (Stevia is an herb that is very sweet but does not turn to sucrose in your body, tastes sweet+doesn't raise glycemic index=sweet sensation! I know corny). The pumpkin was served with wild salmon and dandelion greens (also great for Candida). Dandelion greens are wicked bitter, sometimes they can be hard to eat. I tried to cut the bitter with a little citrus, unfortunately I used a little too much lemon, so they were bitter and sour. Hard to get down. Everything else was delicious. Those are our pumpkin seeds in the background.

For breakfast we've been eating either eggs over brown rice (if you've never tried...DO, its great) or juicing vegetable. Carrots are high in sugar so they are to be eaten in smaller servings and only raw as cooking brings out the sugars in them. So I threw a few in my juice, raw of course. The purple is from purple cabbage, then there was celery, green cabbage, lemon and a splash of aloe vera.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indulgence Day

Sunday night. Day 4 of the Candida diet. Today both Chop and would be getting rashes up and down if we actually had Candida. We had a pretty fun/crazy/interesting/exciting weekend that I'm excited to write about tomorrow when I have more time. Today, the last day of this fun/crazy/interesting/exciting weekend we threw our caution to the wind and wheated/sugared it up for the whole day. Starting out at brunch at the 1661 with friends (which included, french toast, maple syrup, muffins, and fruit) and then a quick snack of pizza strips, we've decided to stick to the trend today and go for dinner at our favorite restaurant on the island on their last day open for the season. Tomorrow we'll be back on track for 6 more days. We've just added a rule whenever you veer off the diet, you have to add a day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 1 of Candida cleanse was, well, fine. Chop resisted the urge of donuts that I guess someone brought to work, they were "Dunkin Donuts" from the mainland so it was kind of a big deal. He asked if he found something with sugar in the wild, could he eat it...then proceeded to call his partner and ask him to hang a donut from the tree. I think this is a little tougher for him, he should be writing this blog.

My urges were much more subtle, I cored, pealed and froze our bag of apples that we had bought pre-c.c. The apples weren't "green". I have been searching and I haven't found the answer, but for some reason "green" apples are allowed on this diet (as well as berries and citrus) but no other fruit, I'm assuming sugar content, but they still would become sugar pretty quickly during digestion. In any case, if you have candida you would just have to pay attention to how your body reacts.

There they are! The evil doers...

Being a non-land animal eater alot of my diet is made up of grains and beans. Candida makes this amount of carbohydrates kinda out of the question. Since the Master cleanse dairy (except yogurt) has made me feel sick, so meals may start to be a bit tough. Gluten free grains are allowed but limited amounts, I'd say no more than a cup a day. We had brown rice pasta (gluten free) last night for dinner. I made it with lots of garlic in hopes to counter the effects. I'd say it was cool.

Breakfast. Bor-ing! Plain yogurt with walnuts. I would have loved a drizzle of m.syrup (listen to me last week I would have been whimsically singing the praises of such a breakfast. How quickly we forget)

Lunch-Leftover seaweed and cabbage salad over greens. There were raisins in the leftovers that I told Chop to savor. The dressing was made with apple cider vinegar which you can has malic acid which helps to fight the yeast.

Dinner- Brown rice pasta (really good if you haven't tried it, much better than whole wheat pasta. Not as grainy) with broccoli in homemade pesto that I had frozen (no cheese) and onions. I cooked the onions for a while till they were nice and sweet. hehe

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Candy? No, I said CANDIDA

So we got it! Chopper and I talked about what crazy way of eating we'd like to try first. Chop tends to have a little thing for sugar, as in he eats an awful lot of it. So he wants to go no sugar. I know this is a challenge for anyone as it also means no fruit, no dried fruit (our favorite snack), no breads/baked goods, cereal, etc etc. As well as the standard sugars like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar. I want to up the ante a little so I would like to eat a "candida cleanse" diet. For those who aren't familiar with candida the information is all there in the word (click link). In short it is an imbalance of bacteria and yeast in your body, we all have this in some form or another, but it is when it starts to manifest into skin rashes and digestive issues that it can become an issue. Alot of people have this and don't realize it, ever go to a dermatologist for a skin rash that just won't go away?

So what can't we eat..thats what I want to know. Aged cheeses, alcohol, chocolate, dried fruits, fresh fruits, fermented foods, mushrooms, vinegar, glutenous foods (wheat, rye, oats, barley), all sugars, honeys and syrups (that includes any ‘ose’, like lactose, sucrose etc), and foods that contain yeast or mold (breads, muffins, cakes, baked goods, cheese, dried fruits, melons, peanuts - although nutritional and brewer’s yeasts are not harmful, as they do not colonize in the intestines). SO there you go! Candida is an overgrowth of yeast, hence the fermented foods and aged cheeses. I have to look into root vegetables, i have a pumpkin sitting here lookin at me, waiting to be eaten. Something tells me no, but I want to check.

Neither Chop nor I have Candida symptoms. We will do our best with this, Chop has asked for 1 piece of fruit a day (he says he really likes his 3:00 banana). Fortunately for us having that piece of fruit doesn't perpetuate a really itchy and painful rash or belly ache or in some cases diabetes like it would with someone suffering from Candida. If anything I think this will show us just how much sugar we actually eat! All I keep thinking is broccoli here I come!

PS: Ok so now that I have continued to research this diet I am getting some conflicting information one website says no "gluteness" grains (this would allow rice, millet, oat bran, rice bran), and then the other says no grains whatsoever. This same website does however allow: Green apples, berries, avocadoes, grapefruit, lemons, limes. I'm going to do a little combining and get the best of both worlds..hehe. Oh like you wouldn't have done the same!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here we go...

I've found that I really like keeping a blog. However I've decided that if I'm going to keep this going it needs to be relevant to more than just myself and my musings. I was talking about this with Chopper last night and he suggested experimenting with all types of diets for 10 days a piece. And again, just like any time in the past when people would suggest "how about a cleanse" I squirmed. I don't like not being able to eat what I would like to, I don't like restriction. But with that squirming comes clarity, this is then something I must do!! Well there are so many diets to choose from...macrobiotic, raw, candida cleanse (no sugar in any form), high carb, high protein, Gluten free, the Zone, the list goes on and on. Where should I start? To be honest I'm going to have to think about this...even now I don't want to do it. This is however, what I ask people to do everyday. To change what they know, how they eat, and how they look at food. It is of course a more gradual shift, but there's nothing gradual about food allergies, and I've had my gradual's time to step it up! So I will be thinking about this today and choosing my diet tomorrow...oh boy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Perhaps a bit superfluous at this point, but below are some of the pictures that were taken and promised. Yes I am kissing the spinach pie.

Proof that it went in...the "Frozen yogurt" cake

I wouldn't suggest a meal at Chili's to anyone. In case this looks like an advertisement or condoning behavior. I more wanted to mortify Heather by putting her in the blog, AND display how horrific that plate of food looks...

And finally a photo and digestive cleanse. This was my juice yesterday. Celery, apple, carrot, ginger, and daikon radish. The daikon snuck in there, it was only a little guy so I just through it in, wheeeewweee spicy. I added the ginger because I had been sooo cold, ginger is very warming. Then around 4:00 I made a pot of rice and ate it. The rice was nice and warm. I practiced chewing which is a long and arduous process with rice, but very necessary for proper digestion especially of grains.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What can I say...

Day 10. I couldn't sleep at all last night. I don't know if it was the guilt, the food, or the wine. I broke and not a crack, I shattered. I hate having to write this right now, really, I have been dreading this since the euphoria of the spinach pie wore off.

It was my friends 30th birthday party, not just any friend, one of my oldest and closest. Just for a minute will you conjure up how you get/feel/behave when with some of your oldest girl or guy friends? Giddy, silly, goofy, hungry, thirsty, haha. She has a big Italian family and the food! Admittedly I had non-verbally decided earlier I was going to eat something, I didn't prepare for the day the way I had for every other social event I had attended this week. I didn't make enough lemonade, I had my period so I was doing some early justifying and I wanted to have fun with my friends.

Anyway lets just get down to the dirty details. It started with some cucumber slices, celery sticks, and carrots. Then some salad, no dressing. The chewing felt good, but with the eggplant parmesan, pasta, spinach rolls, crackers and cheese, vegetable casserole, and a few other dishes covered in tomato sauce, the vegetable sticks were not satisfying me. Then some fruit salad. Then Heather was eating a spinach roll (possibly at my request) and I took a bite. I chewed the first bite for a long time, tasting the bread, the spinach, the oils, the cheese and then I had more (there was one spinach roll left at the end of the party, I just remembered it's in my purse). I wish it had stopped there. At this point I started showing off. I poured myself a glass of wine. The wine went right to my head and I was laughing at everything. That was fun, I can't remember the last time a few sips of wine made me so silly. After the wine came "frozen yogurt" cake, I shared a piece with Heather and we were both vying for the crumbly chocolate crusty part. There are pictures of all of it, not sure I'm ready to post those. So right now were at salad, spinach pie, and cake...hardly reintroducing food the way I thought it would be done.

After the party we all wanted to keep hanging out, it was early and we were in the suburbs so our options were very limited. We ended up at Chili's. Can I stop now? There I proceeded to have 2 more glasses of wine, chips and salsa (alot) and then the penultimate about 7-10 french fries. This was not at all what I had in mind. I have to admit that telling people about it is the worst part. My stomach doesn't even hurt, how bizarre is that? I understand why telling people is the hardest aspect of all of this..because I had good time. I was with my friends who I never get to see, and the food was only showcased last night because every bite I took was a field day, otherwise it was secondary. Apart from how I may feel today physically, I'm cool with it.

My plan now is to juice cleanse for today and tomorrow. I feel extremely dehydrated. Juicing for the next 2 days will be easy compared to the last 9 days. I will share my juice recipes with you for anyone who wants to juice along. It was really when I let my mental guard down that I couldn't resist any longer. This entire process has been a mental challenge and cleanse so much more than a physical (or perhaps equally). For anyone who wants to give it a whirl, give yourself time to prepare mentally. Mark it on your calendar, look at your calendar regularly, and just know that when that day comes...its on.

(Pictures of me with spinach pie to follow)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lonely, not eating is

Yesterday was tough. Then last night I learned why it was so was the first day of my period. Poor planner when it comes to that, always have been. So all day I felt tired, almost sick.

Then last night I went to the opening of a friends wellness center in Providence (really beautiful space offering acupuncture, reiki, massage, yoga, and dance. Check it out I was introduced to an acupuncturist who, when she was told I was on the master cleanse, got pretty fired up about it not being a good thing to do. This was someone who's opinion I respect and I wanted to hear her reasonings. She spoke of the maple syrup being pure sugar (which it is) and the cayenne just irritating your intestines, but the lemon is beneficial. I agree with her on the m.syrup, but I also understand that the amount that you are drinking throughout the day (about a cup), and the neccesity of it to make it 10 days no food makes it more of a tool than a inhibitor. And the cayenne, its there to circulate the blood which it does. I feel flush after taking a big gulp from the cayenne and again it is a 1/4 of a teaspoon per liter of fluid, so not enough to be a major intestinal irritant. Regardless of us both having our different educated opinions, I continued to think about this as I was not feeling so hot and thought she could be right.

In that processing time I came to this...this is more of a mental/endurance feat for me than a physical cleanse. Granted my tongue is no longer white and velvety and my skin feels smooth and soft And I've lost some weight, most of which I will gain back but what I don't gain back was excess and I'm happy to be rid of it. But like I've said before, it has changed my view on food and it's place in our lives. We don't need all the food we eat, we don't need 1/2 of it. We do need, however, connection with people to break bread so to speak. I understand why people overeat, especially when their needs aren't being met in other areas of their lives. I knew that in theory, but now I feel like I understand it a little deeper. It was lonely not eating. Because I have my period now I may drink a vegetable juice today. Juicing is also a great cleanse. I may stick to juice cleanses from now on, after having completed my cleansing marathon. Tomorrow is Day 10. ahhhhhhhhh

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today I want to scream...but first eat a pizza

Today is day 8 and I am definitely not feeling the euphoria that I've heard so many others describe. I started with psyllium husks today just to mix it up. Chop and I went to his mom's to hang out and took a nice walk on the beach, after the walk I felt really low energy and had to go to the market for some emergency lemon juice and maple syrup. I can't say I am feeling better now. More than anything I miss the social aspect of eating, I can't believe I have a birthday party tomorrow. I do want to eat, I do. At the same time I don't even know where I would start.

I have been skimping on water today too. I think I'm a little tired of the whole thing. Pull it together Persephone!!

Ok, so you know when you eat the same thing like 2 or 3 meals in a row and you just get so tired of it? I don't know if that'll happen to me now. I can see plain brown rice being the sweetest most flavorful food. When I cook I like to go all out I love for there to me lots of flavor and different flavors to compliment the others. Maybe now this will change, for a little while anyways.

Its mental man, aaaaallllll mental.

Friday, November 7, 2008

You too, shall eat again

Day 7. Just as I expected, I am feeling much better today than I did last night mentally. I ended up eating an apple last night, it was almost like "hitting the bottle" it was more for my mental state than for anything else. I figure eating an apple probably isn't too far from drinking the lemonade digestion wise.

A lot of friends and family are asking questions and seem really interested in trying this cleanse for themselves. I am really happy to have inspired some people. I do think that because this does, to some degree, change your relationship to food this could be really positive for people that have never done anything like it. It really just gives a new perspective. Anyway for those that are interested I would like to give a little more info.

--The logistics are drinking the lemonade and doing the flushes twice a day. What I am finding is I've stopped drinking as much lemonade in the morning, because I'm not hungry and I don't feel like it, but that only makes it much harder in the afternoon. So drink consistently. Now that I am so far into this the lemonade was actually starting to taste way to sweet for me so I have cut the maple syrup down to 1/2 a cup. I've also started watering it down. If you are aiming to lose weight by doing this cleanse they also say to decrease the amount of maple syrup.

--The first flush in the morning (SWF), do that before you drink anything else, on an empty stomach. And sip it slowly. On day 3 I chugged the swf because i just wanted to get it over with and ended up throwing it all up. A big salt water puke. That made the day much harder because my stomach felt so empty.

--Aches and pains are normal signs of detoxification. A friend who is also doing this ended up with a fever last night, this again is a sign of deep rooted toxins or virus that was buried in his system being flushed. This is a good thing, otherwise it could lead to future ailments with worse conditions down the road. Get it up and out! Also if you feel this way, take a epson salt bath or if you don't have a bath tub, scrub your body with a loofah in the hot shower. This will help to draw the toxins out through the skin.

--Try to get your partner or someone else to do it with you. Left to his own devices chopper has been cooking up a storm. Its been great to see, but really hard on the senses. Roasted chicken, sauted peppers, homemade chicken soup with sourdough baguette, eggs..its almost too much.

--Journal your experience. This has been a great forum for me. I have gotten so much support, and it gives me something to do with my extra time. Journaling helps to get what you're feeling out, just like you are detoxifying your body, you can detoxify your mind as well.

--Not having to stop and eat, never mind prepare food will give you more time in your day. Maybe on your normal lunch break you can take a short walk instead, or plan something to do for yourself that you wouldn't normally during those meal times. Make these ten days about self care. And know that you will eat again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mornings good. Nights bad.

Day 6, 7:40 pm. Tonight is the first night where I find myself wondering if I'll make it. I thank you all for being here with me, and for allowing me to post more than once a day without throwing tomatoes at me (though that would be nice). It helps to talk about. I feel like I shouldn't be white knuckling it, the way I am. I am actually fine all day and then night time, man oh man. I think the anticipation of the weekend is making it harder as well. Chopper and I are going off island and we usually love to go out to eat, I have a friends birthday on Sunday, and would love to have dinner with my father but should probably wait to see him.

Tonight I drank psyllium husks and water instead of the laxative tea. The psyllium husks are basically pure fiber. It helps to move any solid waste, that may be stuck, through your system and help to fill you, oh for about 15 minutes. Sorry, am I whining?

Tomorrow I will wake up and feel great and I will tell you about how great I feel. Until then...

Day 6

Day 6 and I'm feeling good. I feel like I have been drinking a lot of coffee, very wiry. I think this is what people describe as feeling great. Its funny to think about not eating for as long as I have..hahahaha. I have lost 8 lbs, which is still mostly water weight I believe, but I feel very slim. Losing the retained water will be very good for my back and sciatic nerve, so I'm happy about that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pocketbook Tears

I have been a blubbering fool all day! This election has proved to be more emotional for me than I realized it would be. Actually I understand that when detoxifying the body you usually detoxify your emotions as well. Just like some people cry when they get a massage or do yoga, it can be a release of emotions that is unexpected. So yes, I've been very emotional.

Today i watched some news, cried, did some laundry, cried, washed the dishes and then decided I had to get out of the house! Took a nice long vigorous walk and when I got home was thiiirrrsty. Good thing all I can ingest is fluids, phew. This morning, aside from the crying, my salt water flush worked in full force for the first dehydration nation. Fortunately I have been drinking my weight in ounces of water.

I've included another tongue picture for your viewing pleasure. Notice how pink my upper lip is, and the tip of my tongue is the same color. That will really showcase the contrast of my white velvety tongue. Once again I must remind you that this is completely normal and a great sign of detoxification.

I also wanted to include some pretty raw food pictures from my mom's house. Its not the photography that is showcased here, but the fruits themselves. Those white cannon balls are baby coconuts (full of electrolytes), and the fancy pants dish is my mother's beautiful raw portebello mushroom topped with fresh guacamole, tomatoes, red onion and arame seaweed (rich in minerals) hmmmm hmmmm.

Whats the deal with the whole raw thing? Well living foods have a life force, they are full of nutrients, antioxidants, and active enzymes. All of this make them very easy foods to digest, which is very easy on your body (digestion takes a lot of energy), and you absorb many more nutrients. So a little food goes a long way. Personally I've enjoyed having some raw/some cooked foods. Something, which I am finding this cleanse does, is really put into perspective the idea of food purely being used as fuel for energy. We use it for so much more, it is the nucleus of many cultures, families, entertainment, and celebration! This is why we love it so much, However i do get the sense that I will look at food differently after this experience. More subtle flavors will be very satisfying, and right now I could eat nothing but that line up of coconuts for breakfast lunch and dinner and be one happy camper.

So Excited!

I am just SO excited about our new president!!!! I am not naive, I understand noone will solve all of our problems, but for this country on so many levels, this is a huge step forward.

OK that being said, Day 5 and I feel alive. It is about 7:30 am and I am sipping my salt water flush after surviving a trying pot luck last night. There was vegetarian meat loaf, quiche (that looked awesome), beautiful salad, pizza, rice and beans, seven layer dip, chips, banana bread, brownies, cowgirl cookies (oatmeal cookies with walnuts dried cranberries and choc chips) and wine. Ha! Fortunately the food and the TV were in 2 different rooms, so I immersed myself in the election poles and the many babies that were there. I think there were at least 5 (babies). It wasn't all that hard actually, I had a few grapes and a few cucumber slices. The brownies were a little tough, the smell permeated the room, but hey brownies are always hard to resist.

Its a beautiful day outside so I hope to get out there and be a little physical, now that I'm wearing my "day 5" shoes. Over the hump so to speak. To anyone reading, enjoy today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Not all bad

Today has actually been a really great day. It is 6:20 and I am not starving, which definitely hasn't been the case in the past days. My flushes still don't seem to be working as they should. I haven't been to the bathroom that much at all (except to pee ...alot) I really need these flushes to work because now is the time that my body is starting to release the toxins from my fat cells and I want to be rid of them! Below is a picture of my tongue which is rather white and velvety. This is a big indication that my body is creating mucus in reaction to the toxins.

I also have some aches and pains also a reaction to the toxins flushing. This is all to be expected and makes me feel good that this sh*t be working.

So Today is ELECTION DAY...woo woo!! What the country and the world has been waiting for. And with election day comes election night potluck..yay. I feel good, and I did a little food preparation today myself with out dipping in, so I am not too worried. However my contribution is something that if the temptation gets to great, I can nibble.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm hungry

OK I'm not going to lie...I'm hungry. Day 3, I believe, is the proverbial hump that I must get over. Just so we're all on the up and up, I had a plum last night at 5 pm, another plum at 6 pm, and then at 8 I had an avocado. The plums were mealy, a bit disappointing (out of season, but they looked so good). THe avocado was rich and creamy and I really took my time with it. I consider the avocado a little like cheating, because it is a fat, but it was raw and a fruit. As I had mentioned before I am allowing myself to have raw fruits or vegetables for the first 3 days, only at dinner time, and I am trying to space them out so that they digest easily (the whole point of the cleanse). Tonight I'm at my mother's house (gotta wake up and vote tomorrow). My mother has been living a cleanse (so to speak), she has been eating a raw/living food diet for the past month and a half! I am so proud of her, and also excited to perhaps have a few bites of her raw food meal tonight.

I imagine some people or purists may be disappointed at me mentioning eating (at all) during this cleanse, but the point is to cleanse my body..not take any major stances or impress anyone. I actually think eating during the cleanse will hurt more than help, my body getting a taste of food will crave it more, making hunger more prevalent. So just the first 3 days, maybe 4. I am going to an election night potluck tomorrow night and I'm thinking of making a little raw veggie platter so that I can nibble on something, but then thats it! I promise. Even after the first few days I still have another 7 of not eating, so yeah, its cool.

I went grocery shopping today. I'm on the mainland, it had to be done. Actually my mom asked how I could do it and I realized that I really really wanted to. I started justifying why I had to go today, instead of waiting till I'm eating and cooking again. When I realized I was coming up with justifications, I had a loving "acceptance moment" with myself, just how much I love food. I love to shop for it, cook it, and eat it, having food completely removed is too hard. So torturous, as it may have been, I visited the new Trader Joes in RI. I spent way more money than I should have, and I guess thats because I broke the cardinal rule.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What is it about that food?

What is getting me is the smells of food. I have had great energy for not eating for the first 2 days. The hunger is there, but it's definitely bearable. But food, like bread just coming out of the (no not the oven) but the bag smells amazing! I can smell french fries cooking a mile away in town. I'm sure this amazement at "not eating" will start to fade, but man oh man I never realized.

I do know that one reason I never tried a fast/cleanse in the past is simply because I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to stop eating. I love food and I love to cook and I was doing just fine with all of it. I can say that what changed that for me, was being injured and realizing how every day I had taken my health for granted. So now I am a little more willing to experiment, put forth an effort. Eating healthy has been easy for me, but this not as much. I am understanding how it is hard for people to make "sacrifices" in terms of maintaining their health. Food is fantastic, and if you love it, it can be so hard to give it any capacity.

Sunday 12:10

Chop thinks he's funny with the plunger and toilet paper. (I do too)

I've decided to change the amount of salt I put in the flush. Instead of 1 tsp I will now put 1 Tbl. I'm afraid that my body is going to absorb the salt and retain the water as apposed to flushing it through my system. Its been 2 hours, no affects of the flush. I'm not eating, the last thing I want to do is sit around and wait for poo to come!

Sorry maam we are out of coffee, but I can pour you a nice warm glass of salt water.

Sunday morning Day 2. First of all I'm not a big coffee drinker, but nothing is finer than being in my pj's sunday morning and having a cup of coffee and listening to some music...I know you all know the feeling! Instead I am drinking my salt water flush and listening to Chopper's eggs cook on the stove. sizzle sizzle.

Why the eff would someone do this, and is it safe, and what does it do for you exactly? Well it is safe for a given amount of time, and any amount of time be it a day or 10 days is helpful to your body and digestive system. Giving your digestive system a break, allows your body to focus its energy on other areas. I had hurt my back and it spawned me to want to do this cleanse, allow my back to heal and rid my body of excess water retension and toxins. Also a lot of people do this cleanse to lose weight, of course you have to change your eating habits after the fast to not gain it all back (pssst..I can help you with that)

The unavoidable here, is talking a little bit about my bodily functions. I won't be graphic, but essentially what I am doing is deliberately giving myself diarrhea. I woke up at 5 am to find that the salt water flush (SWF) from the morning before had finally kicked in. I am looking to get a faster return from this point on. Apparently after 1 or 2 days your body adjusts, you have more energy, less cravings for food and you are cleaning yourself inside out! I am looking at this like a reset, after a busy summer of a little too much wine and rich foods from working at the restaurant this will enable be to start fresh for the winter.

I have to admit that last night was tough (after 7:30), I started to get reaaal hungry. I ended up having some vegetable broth, and celery sticks. It feels a little surreal, the whole experience. I am now in the mourning stage, of the food that I won't be eating for the next 9 days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today is Day 1. I have decided to do the Master Cleanse, in short this is a 10 day very specific liquid diet. No Food. No alcohol. No caffeine. Right now it feels like the deprivation is more than just those 3 things, but those 3 things cover a lot of ground.

I've decided to blog this experience for the accountability. If someone somewhere may be reading this and day 4 I start mowing on french fries, I not only will have disappointed myself, but my avid (cause you know they will be) reader (s) as well. I am also blogging my experience for other people who are interested in doing a cleanse themselves can see what they are in for, what each day brings. And finally because I am a Health Counselor and I would like to see if this is something that I could introduce to my clients, and be able to relate to their pain as they follow through.

Just so we're all on the same page..information on the Master Cleanse is here

Overview: A day on the Master Cleanse consists of drinking a lemonade made of fresh lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, lots of water, and salt water flushes twice a day to really clean out your intestines.

Day 1 I woke up and drank my salt water flush while I prepared my lemonade for the day. Its suggested that you give about and hour to 2 for the salt water to kick in and make you have to go (to the bathroom). I drank it and waited and waited. Finally I decided it wasn't happening and went to work. I work part time building stone walls, not exactly a quiet low energy job, but I thought that the busier I was and the less I was around food, the better.

I felt fine in all honesty. The trouble I foresee myself having isn't the hunger, which is strong yet bearable, but food its self and the role it plays in my life. So much of my time is spent planning meals, making sure my fresh produce doesn't go bad, cooking, preparing, baking, oh man food is such a huge part of my day! 3 meals a day I cook or prepare food at home. What am I going to do with all this time!? Blog?

It is now 7:30 pm of Day 1. After work Chopper and I went for a walk. We came across an apple tree, it is so rare that the apples from the wild trees out here are any good (usually crabby). Chopper took a bite and ooooh delicious. I took a few nibbles then a few more, i don't know if it was because it was the first thing I had eaten all day, at 5 pm, but everything about that apple seemed perfect. I had decided to ease myself into this cleanse by eating only raw fruits and vegetables at dinner time (no earlier) for the first 3 days, so this apple gnashing was was "allowed".

So back to 7:30 pm. Dinner time is almost passed, I think I will have some carrots or watermelon. I am low energy, and have a headache but this could be because I still have not felt the effects of the salt water flush this morning, I never went. Holloween candy must be harder to digest than I suspected.