Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 46 - Yoga and Sugar

OnDemand Yoga is treating me well. I guess my 40-day Yoga Challenge really began THIS week...haha...because I've actually been doing it every day. Yes, this week it is.

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 I Googled 'Maura Barclay' who teaches one of the televised yoga sessions: intermediate/advanced. I am absolutely not intermediate/advanced, but I certainly aspire to be so. Maura is a former olympic gymnast, maybe, and a former fire fighter...and now has a center for women's self defense. Powerhouse. It's nice to know that her body isn't only a result of yoga, because I wondered how her muscles got so bulky. And, man, she does the poses with such ease....I cannot wait til I start noticing improvement and strength =D

Let's see, I've also signed up for some races beginning in the spring. A 5k, 8k and 5-mile run. The Northshore Half Marathon is in June...which I'm DEBATING about signing up for, even though my true goal for running a half is not until the Fall. June might be a little premature, especially since my running schedule is basically nonexistent at the moment. Then there's the Chicago Rock n Roll Half in August, and the Chicago Half in September. I a runner or a dreamer?

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New goal for life.... QUIT SUGAR. Not just the refined kinds, all kinds. I've had a sort of epiphany, if you can call it that. I used to think that dairy really caused my skin to flair up at random and unfortunate times. And while that's still somewhat true (my face literally swells if I eat milk products) -- I think the larger and more dominant culprit is sugar. I may have said this before, and I certainly knew this in the back of my mind. But now is the time to make a more conscious effort to quit the sugar. I didn't exactly stick to that plan during the Candida now that I'm slowing down and trying not to be as hyper about what I eat.... sugar is the next to get axed.

It's like breaking up with a no-good boyfriend. You know he's bad for you, but you just craaave his attention. Giving in to your heart's desire only worsens the addiction because his grip on you gets tighter still. Til you wake up one morning and hardly recognize the person you've did this happen? You spiral into a bout of denial and sorrow, maybe smoke a few cigarettes or eat some ice cream while you toil with your troubles. Oh if I could only change myself...or turn back time. But really, really...the root of your problems is HIM. Get rid of HIM. LEAVE ME ALONE SUGAR!

Ahhhh ha. Not that I have experience with no-good boyfriends, or sugar.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 44 - Anxious No More

Today is Tuesday and I don't feel anxious.

For the previous two weeks, I'll admit I was feeling jumpy and a little crazy about what I was allowing myself to eat, what I wanted to eat, and what I "couldn't have". So I think that contributed to my demise...guilt + anxiety + overeating.

Anyway, I woke up Monday and did some OnDemand Yoga, went to work, ate a couple pieces of fruit and a green shake. I had some lentil soup and salad for dinner. And I seriously feel peaceful for the first time in two weeks. I'm not obsessssing about the weight gain, as much. And I feel pretty well.

I'm off of the Candida Cleanse extracts and back on my regular supplement routine: Green shake, chlorella, vitamin C, mushroom supplement, zeolites and adrenal boost. I'm about to place an order on for a new Adrenal Health capsule, Mangosteen supplements (for hormonal health), and some cheap(ish) almond butter! Raw organic almond butter by Maranatha is $20 for a jar! This one is $12.99, yay! Yea I guess I could make it, but I haven't gotten that motivated yet.

Ok and check this out. I won't be purchasing this at the moment, because I am trying to break the sugar habit. But how awesome that this even exists:
RAWTELLA - Raw vegan chocolate hazelnut spread =D

Creative raw vegan foods make me happy, even if I won't be eating them yet. Hmm maybe I'll bring a jar to San Diego when I visit my nutella-fanatic friend.

Today is election day in Chicago, going to vote and then probably hit up Costco for some more organic salad mix. Tonight, just a sensible salad. I worked from home today so I munched more than I should've...



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 39 - Hot & Spicy Salad

I got the camera out again!

The week is going decently well. I wouldn't say I'm totally back on the raw wagon, but I'm getting there. And I'm feeling pretty good. A few of those excess weekend-pounds have fallen off, so I'm happy considering...

Tonight, D went out with a friend to watch the Bulls game, so I had the place to myself to engage in some serious cooking and cleaning =D We're lending our apartment to an out-of-town friend this weekend, while we're out in the suburbs dogsitting for my parents. So the apartment must be spic and span. I got a heck of a lot done in just about an hour and a half.

So about dinner. I decided I wanted some cooked vegetables, and cooked some quinoa to go with them. So in order to get those those raw veggies in, I put it all over a large bed of raw greens.
And thus is my creation: The Hot & Spicy Salad:

Here's a look at my mound of greens, so you can see that I didn't skimp on the most important part! (In my lovely handmade udon bowl courtesy of my talented cousin).
I didn't feel like making my regular "quinoa pilaf" so I just made about a cup of quinoa in 2 cups water, just like cooking rice. And it turned out to be the fluffiest batch I've ever made.
The final product: fresh vegetables sauteed in a little olive oil, veggie seasoning and a bit of hot sauce (jalapenos too) over fluffy quinoa and lots of fresh greens. It's like a stew and a salad in one.

Salad can warm the tummy too =D




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 37 - Just One Week...Just One Week...

I hate to provide constant "status updates" without any real "content" for all of you, but as of late my laziness is the most apparent thing that is keeping me from providing real raw content if you will. So the latest update will be equally as depressing as laziness on a raw diet. Ok, I guess I should stop myself from calling it depressing, because this "depression" has spawned from a weekend of joy and carelessness...and alas...I am left with the aftermath of said "joy".

I've regained almost ALL, yes, ALL of the weight. WTF. I'm feeling bloated beyond belief. I stuffed myself to the brim and then some this weekend, away with friends, in the state of Michigan. I remained mostly vegan (aside from the amount dairy held within a sweet morsel of dark chocolate) - but mostly vegan on a gorger's diet is basically irrelevant to the love handles. My downfall was the sweet tooth, I entertained many chocolates from a sweet little shop, followed by some serious stomach pain, and then more vegan mass consumption.

So today is Tuesday and I have to remind myself that last week was merely ONE WEEK in the 52 WEEKS of this lifestyle experiment. I had mounted a large horse on Jan 9, so the fall was a long one. To get back on this large horse will take a few big steps and a renewed sense of things. OH HORSE, I hate you sometimes!

I took advantage of my "cooked bites" rule by bending and twisting til it made sense to eat french fries...virtually cancelling the Candida Cleanse portion of the show. I'm still taking the extracts and herbs, but in order to really reap the benefits of a candida cleanse.... I should actually do raw, no sugar. I feel like I can't be trusted around cooked food and everyday temptations. I let myself down, and I am paying for it emotionally and physically.

So that's the pity party. The good news, if there is any, is that it's just one week out of 52. So the longer I dwell on mistakes made, the more energy wasted. And the big reminder here is that I really did enjoy the weekend away, aside from the stomach pain. This says to me that I have an emotional attachment with cooked food/sweets. Cooked food + sweets = joy. What an odd equation, but I think this pretty much sums up my current mentality about demonstrated by my actions.

Yesterday I had planned to begin a 40-Day Yoga Challenge, which I heard about from a former college roommate who just finished one herself. Basically, the challenge is to do yoga everyday for 40 days, following a book by Baron Baptiste - with one day of rest per week. I've been so lethargic from the food that I haven't been able to wake up early enough to do it. But the plan is to do 20 minutes of yoga when I get home from work today. This way, I'll be ending my 40-day challenge in time for my BIRTHDAY, and what a great gift it will be to have a peaceful centered practice and reshaped body in time for that.

Lucky for me, OnDemand has televised yoga classes for those times I can't make it to the gym. I will start the Challenge with televised beginners yoga until I get into a bit of a groove. Then, I also have a Groupon for 20 classes of Bikram Yoga near my apartment. And our Gym also offers yoga at least once or twice a week. The real challenge will be to make time for these workouts, while also trying to be more consistent with training for the half marathon!

Oh how lovely are the prospective plans we putting these plans to action, there's the challenge! Anyway, please don't judge me -- I certainly didn't feel like blogging all my failures. But who would I be if I only told you the good stuff? Here we go....



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 30 - Finding Balance

It feels like I never fasted. I mean, it hasn't been difficult to go back to eating solid food and I haven't experienced any difficulty digesting (that I can tell) yet. Yay?

I'm holding steady at 3 pounds regained, which feels pretty good. My goal this week was to eat one meal a day to kind of ease into the eating thing. However, I've had a couple of unplanned lunches come up at work, so I'm doing the best I can. I ate all-veggie salad with vinegar/oil at both lunches, Mon & Tues, so I'm sticking with the raw theme. I HAVE, however, eaten some cooked food both nights as well. I'll explain.

Monday, D and I made some veggies sauteed in coconut oil (the best) with a little Braggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce substitute). Delicious. Today, since I had eaten another salad for lunch, I wasn't all that hungry when I came home so I ate some celery sticks with this fantastic new discovery from Costco:

This organic peanut butter is not raw. However, the ingredients on the bottle are: Dry roasted organic peanuts & salt. OK, for a little pick-me-up, this will suffice just fine. No added sugar (2g naturally). I dipped a few celery sticks in the PB, and it was my one non-raw thing for the day.

$7.50 for the 2-pack, and they are obvi larger than the average PB jar. If anyone can offer me a reason why this is bad for me, please do tell. Because for now, it feels so wrong to taste this good...

As I look for balance in this new lifestyle, there will definitely be some cooked foods incorporated into the everyday lifestyle. 80-85% raw, to me, means that I'll dabble with a few bites of cooked food here and there, but maintain the core of my meals as raw organic. I'll add foods like: quinoa, rice flour, sprouted tortillas and polenta -- to eat with my raw greens and veg. As I get deeper into the Candida Cleanse, I will limit my intake of non-raw foods to really let the herbal extracts do their thing. So far, I think the biggest difference is that I'm remaining vegan. My body likes this.



Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 29 - Yum I'm Done!


The 28-day detox portion of this year has come to an end, and I survived =D Just to recap, last week I did ended the program with a 7-day fast, which really ended up being about 6 1/2 days by default. It was a lot more difficult than I anticipated, but I am seeing some results for my perseverance.
  • I lost a whopping 10 pounds in 6 days. My total weight loss for the month is 15 pounds...never fear I have gained back 3 already just from eating a couple of meals. I've been told, a weight gain of about 4 pounds is expected and "normal" after coming off the detox.
  • My skin is FINALLY showing me some improvement and it's nice to see. I'm down to just a few cysts on my cheeks and chin. I hope it will continue to improve as I stay away from dairy, wheat and sugar products.
  • My energy level is back to normal, I'm not feeling weak (since I've eaten) and I feel pretty well rested after about 6 hours of sleep, where previously I felt good after 8.
I broke fast with a delicious smoothie made only of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and spinach - all of the frozen organic variety - and it was DIVINE. The lighting by the stove was perfect, no I didn't cook it...

Coming up this week, I'm doing a 2-week Candida Cleanse by the same company that did the herbal kit I used for my 28-day cleanse, Ejuva. The goal here, while my system is pretty "pure", is to attack the candida (bacteria) that is causing my acne...and attack it on a deeper level than the initial cleanse was able to do. I'm taking new extracts and more probiotics 3x per day and eliminating all sugar, wheat, and starch from the diet. Or should I say, continuing to NOT eat them...

Today I ate an all-veggie salad for lunch with a red wine vinegar and olive oil drizzle. Was super yummy. Tonight we're going to try to skip dinner and do a little work out instead. I'm going to allow some cooked veggies, but stay about 80-85% raw throughout. the two weeks I think 85% raw will be a realistic number for me going forward, because there is a longing for warm things from time to time.

Also, I wanted to share that I ate at the Chicago Diner last night with my friend's a vegetarian/vegan diner on Halsted in Boystown. I was really trying to avoid the Superbowl snackfest, and didn't care all that much to watch the Packers/Steelers anyway. So this was as nice alternative. My meal was fantastic: sustainable veggies sauteed in Briggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce substitute) over a bed of Quinoa. I was seriously drooling on my food while eating it...I could barely talk. SO GOOD. No tummy aches today, and I'm feeling great. Oh...and when I got home I saw ALL the Superbowl highlights on ESPN, so I feel like I watched the game anyway!



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 25 - I'm Gonna Get Through This

Remember that slightly irritating, slightly catchy song by Daniel Beddingfield -- I'm gonna get through this, gonna get through this....? I should be playing it on repeat at the moment.

So yesterday was the worst day of the last 25, by far. Thankfully we're amid Blizzard 2011, so I wasn't required to be all that productive. The snow plows on Montrose have created a barricade to the side streets, so our cars are literally trapped -- and last night Comcast went down, so we can't even "work" from home until they address that issue. It makes our techno-fasting a little more literal! I'm sitting at Subway to update my blog -- Starbucks was way too packed.

So anyway, back to my brutal day. I woke up, did my normal routine, took my herbs. I went to sit on the couch and I was feeling a little dizzy. The more I sat upright, the dizzier I one point I was hugging our door frame on my way to the kitchen because I thought I was going to fall. So the dizziness lead to some severe nausea -- because I have a pretty weak stomach. So I went to lay down in bed, and I started noticing that my heart was pounding at the slightest move. I would simply turn over in bed and my heart would start to race......something was definitely wrong.

I took about an hour nap, then called one of the holistic practitioners I work with who does Lymphatic Drainage. I told her what I was dealing with, and she said it sounds like symptoms of Candida die-off. All I felt like doing in that moment was EATING, but I knew it was at least symptomatic of my body getting rid of toxins -- so I wanted to avoid that scenario if possible! She suggested I add some "green protein" to my juice with lemon to get my bowels moving and eliminating the bad stuff. So my loving husband made me a green juice with added Chlorella (superfood), lemon juice and cayenne.... Honestly after one, I felt okay, but remained in a horizontal position on the couch for a while.

I had a second juice, same recipe, a couple of hours later. And within a couple more hours I felt almost normal. I still feel somewhat depleted and weak, but my body is using most of my energy to tend to the toxins, I believe. Sometimes I picture what my insides are doing as cartoon characters: "Hooray! She's giving us time to get rid of this crap, instead of shoving more sloth food at us! Let's get to work team!"

So that was yesterday. I've made it through 3 days of successful fasting -- I'm down about 6 pounds for the week -- 11 total for the month. Some of it I will surely gain back when I put any kind of solid food in my mouth. I'm wearing the ultra-skinny jeans that I wore shortly after my first detox, you'll see them in our engagement photos on FB. I literally wore these jeans ONCE haha. It feels good =D However, I think about what it would take to wear these jeans -- and if fasting is the only way -- I'll wear them once a year and that is fine.

It's funny, as the week goes by, I find myself saying "wow it's already Thursday!" But I've also mentally changed my end-day multiple times "well if I can make it to Friday, I'll break it then." "Maybe Saturday..." I'm taking it one day at a time. If it makes sense for me to break the fast on Saturday, I will do so. 7 days isn't for everyone, and my body is still doing a bunch of healing this week.

I wish I could say the same for my skin! I think it is flattening out, but it's still hella red. And the zits are migrating to my chin...I've NEVER had acne on my chin! This candida is one tough cookie. Anyway, I'm hanging in there. The smell of fresh bread in the oven at Subway is a lot to take in, but I guess I'm just powering through. D made some kind of kimchi soup with brown rice last night...smelled delissshh. But it smells like kimchi in our house today, yick.




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 23 - Techno Fasting

Greetings from the realm of non-eating.

As part of this fasting week, I've challenged D and myself to a week without technology. Ok, aside from the obligatory technology use at work. When we are at home, we will not be watching television or sitting on our computers. D was less than excited about this...but I think I've finally got him on board with me.

The basic idea here is that during the hours that we would typically be eating dinner, we'll be doing something else productive like:
  • Working out
  • Reading
  • Talking (gasp!)
  • Bible Study
I've been wanting to get back in a routine of spending time studying the Bible -- something I did a TON when I was living in Madrid. I didn't care much for Spanish TV, and since I was in another country with few obligations to tend to...I found myself popping into cafes mostly daily to sit with a cafe con leche and read the Bible and journal. I really miss this a lot. It was like built-in time for thought, meditation and learning. I'm hoping D wants to do this WITH me, but if not, I will probably just go down to the Starbucks on the corner and indulge in a little Me-time.

A friend brought this passage to my attention, which is totally relevant for the raw food diet! So I'll be studying the book of Daniel this week. Feel free to do so with me =D

Daniel 1:1-15 (from
Daniel’s Training in Babylon
 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.  3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
 6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
 11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.