Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mary had a little Lamb

 And so did I...for dinner!

Garrison and I found some organic eye of lamb loin marked down at Wegmans so we jumped on that and got two! 

Guess what. Even the most google-savy person can't find a satisfactory "eye of lamb loin" recipe.
But I found Inna Garten's recipe for a 6lb lamb leg...that'll do right? At this point in writing, I have not eaten this yet.  I decided I should halve the recipe and that'd be acceptable.

Oh wait. This isn't a 3 pound lamb loin. This is like HALF a pound! We'll see how this goes.

Three garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, half a tablespoon of sea salt, a dash of black pepper and a tad of butter pulsed in my little "food chopper" (it wasn't enough to put in the food processor).

 The eye of lamb loin. Guh animal flesh. This is really why I could stand to go vegetarian. I hate handling raw meat!

The next step is to basically massage the rosemary garlic paste all over poor lamby's leg. I tried to touch it as little as possible. This is the paste I scooped onto the meat.

  I'm spreading the paste on with a spatula for as much as I can get away with.

I had to give in and touch it. My ring came off first. 

After I was finished massaging baby sheep's loin eye, I had to let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes to an hour.

Red skin potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, and 3 sliced garlic cloves. I probably should have left this out. I was supposed to put the whole cloves in unpeeled. I forgot and peeled them. Oops.

My little lamby ready to go into the oven! The 6 pound leg was supposed to roast at 450 for at least an hour. This was well over the internal temperature for medium in 20 minutes.


The next step was to cover the lamb with foil and let it "rest." I thought it was put to rest well before it reached my grocery store but oh well. While this rested, I finished roasting my potatoes.

After it's lamb nap, I started scraping the paste off because I was afraid of dying from too much seasoning.

Dinner is served!
I thought since I had pretty much overused my blue and white speckled plates that I should bust out the white ones. The result lacks color. I suppose I'll live.

I was really concerned that this would be way over seasoned and overcooked but to my pleasant surprise, it was still tender and had some pink in the middle. The salt was a little overbearing but the rosemary and garlic weren't causing my mouth the trauma I expected. The potatoes were damn near perfect.

This is definitely a different kind of meal for us. I honestly can't recall the last time we had meat and potatoes with nothing else for dinner. This isn't the most balanced of meals but definitely a rarity especially on a day when I had cupcakes for lunch.

Talk to me: Bahh bahh black sheep, have you any wool?

Monday, March 4, 2013

What's My Motivation?

Pinterest has proven to be a fast way of circulating information, both helpful and, well, not so helpful. With healthy recipes, fitness tips, and work out pictures a plenty, we might even say Pinterest can help us reach our fitness or weight loss goals. But lately I've seen a few pins that have bothered me big time.

These memes are supposed to help us become motivated to work out. They suggest that when we're tempted to slack off, we need to imagine what positive things other people will say when we've reached our weight loss or fitness goal.

Losing weight is hard. It's hard to say no to the cookie. It's hard to get out of bed early in the morning to  work out. It's hard to make choices that glaringly contrast those of friends who are staying up late, drinking, ordering pizza, and binging on ice cream. Willpower does not come easy. I feel it's important to have a phrase to repeat internally when motivation is low. But I have a big problem with mantras that connect fitness success to the accolades and congratulations of others.

Between my sophomore year and senior year of high school I slowly became overweight. From my senior year through my freshman year of college, I lost all that weight. I don't remember every single workout but I do remember every comment someone made about my body- because that's exactly what a compliment on weight loss is! People looked at my body, noticed that it had changed and told me what they observed. Though positive and well-meant, I was terribly offended by every compliment.

"Wow you've lost weight!" was supposed to be followed up with "Thank you," but I never felt like thanking the compliment-giver.
"You look good," in my mind translated to, "You looked bad before."

The world did not open itself to me once I became skinny again. My insecurities didn't just go away. I wasn't 100% happy all of a sudden. Changing the shape of my body did not change the beliefs I had about myself.

If a friend of mine asked for my help in keeping her motivated to lose a few pounds, I wouldn't dare to bait her with anticipation of all the compliments she'll receive. So why would I do the same internally? Do we have to look a certain way in order to be loved and accepted? If we really need to hear words of affirmation, we must make our needs known in our relationships.

The reason we should take care of our bodies is not so that our friends will tell us how hot we look. We should aim for our own optimal weight or fitness levels so that we are healthy and that we can enjoy life without any hindrances. Perhaps that includes feeling happy about the way you look but that, too, is an inside job.

Talk to me: Have you ever gotten compliments on your weight loss? Do they make you feel good or bad?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Do you love your slow cooker?

"I love my Crockpot! My slow cooker saves me sooooo much time! You won't believe this amazing Crockpot recipe I found on Pinterest! I don't know what I'd do without my Crockpot. No, seriously, don't joke about that! Hmmmmm I wonder how I can make this in the Crockpot..."
-Everyone except for Me

Maybe it's the advent of Pinterest giving me a false idea of what people are really into or maybe slow cookers REALLY are the saving grace of busy people but I'm having a hard time believing that my slow cooker exists to save me time.

I'm a busy person. I don't have kids but I work a full time job as well as teach dance part time and I'm involved with a few groups.Crockpotting just isn't my solution to the nights when I have no time to cook. Here's why:
  • I leave for work around 7:40am and I return around 5:20pm. Most crock pot recipes require anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of cooking and no more. I found a few 10 hour recipes. It didn't turn out so great.
  • Chicken and some other meats need to stop cooking right when they're perfectly done. Every type of chicken I've had out of a crockpot has been overcooked and way too dry.
  • Cooked vegetables are most appetizing when they are crisp-tender. Any kind of slow-cooked vegetable is way too soft and robbed of its planty flavor (and probably nutrients) when it has been steeped in hot liquid for hours. 
  • Slow cooker recipes are pretty much the limited to soups, stews, sauces to go over grains (ah yes, you gotta cook that grain and wash another pan), or roasts with mushy veggies.
  • I like food to have a complex blend of textures-- gooey with crunchy, soft with crispy. Crockpot meals often all have the same texture.

Pinterest would like me to believe otherwise. Exhibit A.
Slow Cooker Lasagna. Has anyone ever seen something come out of a slow cooker that was this pretty?

Ok, I won't lie. There are 2 things I  like to make in my (fiance's) Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker: pasta/pizza sauce and chilli because the longer the herbs and spices steep, the deeper and more comples the flavors become. But even then I have to do some sort of extra prep step like sauteeing onions or browning beef. Hey, that's one more pan to wash! If I were simmering these on the stove, I'd only have one pan to wash. Aren't slow cookers meant to save me time?

I'm convinced. Unless it's a Saturday or Sunday, Crockpot cooking is only for people who work from home or full-time moms.

Talk to me- Can anyone prove me wrong?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spicy Thai Salad on a whim

I think many people have those days. You have plenty of food but nothing to eat. Ingredients galore but no dinner planned!

Hanging like a monkey on the refrigerator door tonight, I stared at the remainders from last week's grocery trip wondering just how I can bring them together in a dish that resembles dinner rather than Must-Go's (a term my daddy loves using for leftovers).

Eventually I decided on the fact that I wanted to feature my vegetation before it was past its peak. So I headed to and typed the four C's of my Saturday night dinnerless dilemma into the search bar: cabbage, celery, carrots, cilantro. I don't often use but tonight the results were spectacular. Well..they were after I took some artistic license with this recipe I found.


8 oz. rice noodles (rice sticks)
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 c. canned chicken broth
1/4 c. tamari soy sauce
1/4 c. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. chili paste, available at Oriental Markets
1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 lb. pork loin, cut julienne
1 med. onion, cut julienne
2 med. carrots, peeled and cut julienne
8 celery stalks, cut
1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 sm. bunch cilantro, minced
Cook noodles until tender but firm. Do not overcook. Drain and toss with 3 tbsp. oil; set aside.Mix stock, soy sauce, vinegar, chili paste and sugar in small bowl. Stir fry pork in wok. Add onion, set aside.
Stir fry the rest of the vegetables but cabbage. Combine pork and onions, vegetables, cabbage, cilantro and the sauce. Mix well. Can be served hot or cold.

Okay. Take a sec and read this recipe. "How on earth do you cook this?" said I. First of all, some specific terms in the ingredients list such as "minced" or "shredded" are used. Thanks but then how, specifically, am I supposed to "cut" the celery? Some of the instructions left me guessing as well.

I was determined to have this for dinner so I substituted or omitted ingredients, adapted it for two and, well, figured out exactly how I'd prepare it. So with all due respect to the well-meaning soul who posted this I shall claim this adapted recipe and it shall be mine.

Juli's Spicy Thai Salad

2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup Spicy chili dressing (see beow)
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup diced yellow onion
1-2 organic carrots, julienned
1-2 stalks organic celery, sliced into half moons
1 serving of noodles (I used Ezekiel 4:9 spaghetti)
2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro for garnish

Spicy chili dressing
1/2 cup vegetable broth (preferably home made from a broth bag)
1/8 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 rice vinegar
2 tbsp of garlic chili sauce


First you take the dressing and you whisk it, you whisk it (translation: whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl). This will give you well more than you need for 2 servings but the excess can be reserved for salads or making the dish again in two days like I plan.

Sriracha! Note the Fast Orange in background.Mechanical engineers can be foodies too!
Then you take the cabbage and you shred it, you shred it! I used a food processor with a grate attachment which made the process go super quick. I suppose you could hand grate it but that's a drag. This was my yield from half a softball sized mini cabbage I found at Wegmans.

Spicy chili dressing and shredded cabbage

Next, add about 1/2 cup of the dressing to the cabbage and let it sit while you prepare the rest.

Cabbage plus chile dressing
Prepare your vegetables to meet the saute pan.

Heat the sesame oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Start your noodles--depending their required cooking time, get started sauteing the onions and carrots.

Meanwhile, plate your cabbage. Add the celery to the onions and carrots a minute or two before serving unless you like it soft (yuck).

Cabbage in our famous busy pattern salad bowls displaying our beer pairings for the evening. 

Drain the noodles, return to the pot and add sauteed veggies. Toss together to the best of your ability (my sprouted grain spaghetti didn't combine well. Next time I plan on trying brown rice noodles).

Arrange your noodles and vegetables over the cabbage shreds. Garnish with cilantro!

The finished product! Your patience is appreciated while we work on our photography skills.

The verdict: This was probably the best meal I've ever pulled together at last minute. It had lots of varying textures that worked well together. Even though I didn't like how my sprouted grain pasta didn't toss well with the veggies, its heartiness contributed to the combination of textures and I was surprised with how well the flavors worked with it- not being an Asian noodle.

The heat from the chili sauce was countered by the sweetness of the carrot and cooled down by the water in the celery. The dressing and cabbage added a depth to the familiar flavors of carrots and celery. Cilantro's clean taste really completed the dish.

HEY! Did anyone notice this recipe is pretty much VEGAN? The only thing that may disqualify it are some of the eggshells, meat scraps or bones I throw in my broth bag. I have the feeling this dish will make its way into our regular eating from now on. Not bad for an unplanned dinner night!

Talk to me: What was the most successful dish you've thrown together on the eve of grocery day?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A pineapple for me

But just one over the course of 4 days and counting.

I had grand plans of finding myself a nice fresh pineapple every day, chopping it to bits and eating the whole thing for breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day. To a lot of people that may seem far fetched. To me it sounded fun! I know I need more raw fruits in my life, why not start there? The whole idea is because it's chock full of the digestive enzyme Bromelain and that's supposed to help my with my acid reflux battles.

I started hacking away at this thing Saturday and it was easier that I thought! The eating, however, not so much. Don't get me wrong, it was sweet and delicious. But my tongue wanted to jump out of my body because it was overcome with tang even just after eating one fourth of this thing!

Oh yeah...and even though it has a digestive enzyme, the acid in the pineapple was no bueno with my reflux. There is no rest for me.

Stupidbowl Sunday rolled along and I did something naughty. I took an antacid because I'm having an affair with bufflalo chicken dip. I ate brownies. I ate chips and chilli. I ate way too much food. But then I danced in the basement with the teenagers playing Wii. I'm quite young at heart.

Since Saturday the Pineapple leftovers have been making their way into my snacks and meals but I take it with other foods so it's not so harsh on my LES. I may cave in and just buy the bromelain chew tablets. Le sigh.

It's becoming very disappointing attempting this heartburn diet. All the foods I love make some form of acid so they have to basically wait until I'm healed. I think in order to give my body a little reprieve, I will allow a small amount of refined sugar in my diet just so I'm not saddycakes all day long.

Coffee has to go too. You have no idea how difficult that will be but since I haven't been able to cure it while still sipping my black magic juice, it's gonna go.

So I'm just gonna wrap up in my blankie and cry now. Bye.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post-Cleanse update

Since coming off the Master Cleanse, I've made a few changes in my diet and in my lifestyle. There are certain things I eat a lot less of but haven't cut completely- hey, no one's perfect!

Foods I've been avoiding (translation: have done well in not eating until I just can't take it anymore):
  1. Dairy: Low-fat varieties have dangerous ingredients added and full-fat versions are said to trigger acid reflux. Conventional dairy products have synthetic hormones (as if I don't have enough hormones myself already) and all milk products, even organic, are said to increase mucous production and cause inflammation.
  2. Citrus Fruits and tomatoes: Solely because of their acid content.
  3. Meats: I'm cutting down on meats significantly but not going completely vegetarian. Stanley Burroughs suggests that too much meat will cause ulcers. Meat also takes longer to digest which means it stays in the stomach longer. Meals that stay in the stomach too long can worsen acid reflux. 
  4. Spicy food: This is a tough one because I love peppers and wasabi. I managed to avoided my beloved Frank's Red Hot for a few days but I've since indulged.
I've also introduced some wonderful new habits in my lifestyle to help both with heartburn and with weight loss.
  1. I've been eating less.  My appetite has decreased! The first week off the cleanse I got full SO FAST at mealtime! It hasn't really grown back into what it was and that is very good. I've been able to note when I feel full and I stop eating right when I get that indicator...usually. When I was a kid, I was told to "make a happy plate" by eating everything that had been served so it's tough for me now to listen to my own body's "I'm done" signals. This becomes a problem especially when there's only 3 BITES TO GO and I'm full. When something tastes amazing, it's so hard to let those 3 bites go! I'm still working on this one but in general, my stomach hasn't been able to contain as much food as before.
  2. I've been walking at least 20 minutes per day. I've scheduled a workout routine that requires me to "squeeze in" my exercise rather than carving out a long block of time. There's a treadmill as well as some light hand weights in the basement where I live and there's also a small workout room where I in the office building that has a treadmill and a total gym-type weight machine. My plan is to do at least eight 30-minute workouts per week. I missed a few last week but I'm back on track this week. I love it - I get a great calorie burn, I feel more energetic and since I'm using my muscles, I STAY WARM when I go out in the cold.
  3. Snacking on raw fruits, making meals more plant based: My mid-morning snack is usually an apple and I'm full through lunch. I've been packing more vegetables (raw and cooked) into lunch and dinner to fill in the meatless gaps. Results are tasty! Coming soon: new vegetable per week challenge.
  4. Stop eating before bed: Good for sleep and discourages acid reflux.
  5. Water, water, water: I've been upping my H20 intake for better hydration and cleansing. In the morning I'll drink a glass of water with an ounce of aloe juice to help heal my esophageal sphincter. Aloe hosts a ton of other benefits too, like boosting the immune system.
  6. MOST IMPORTANTLY-- NO SWEETS AT WORK: I won't lie. I had a truffle yesterday. The other day I had some peanut m&m's. But this resolution comes from what I've learned at OA--that not taking the first bite of your personal binge trigger is imperative. If I'm bored at work, thinking about things that upset me, I could dive straight into the cookies or donuts with no least not until later. If I REALLY want to maintain my weight and lose more, I can't have that first bite. I told myself that if I didn't have sweets at work, I could have what may be offered at fellowship on Tuesday. It's nicer to share treats with company rather than alone at my desk.
Stay tuned because I'll be starting a couple series. I'm going to do an experiment with Pineapple and I'm going to track my gym-less fitness endeavors! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ease Out Day...wait, what?

By now, my instructions are to "resume normal eating" but since my fiancee is a day behind me, I'm a little confused.

I figure since I'm eating "normal" again I can begin my walking and weight program at full force. So even though I shouted some 4-letter words when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I got up any way and hopped on the treadmill. It felt great to get moving!

Before I consumed anything, I took an ounce of aloe juice with 8oz of water. Then I visited a long time forgotten friend. Coffee. Oh my coffee! I missed you so! Your sweet smooth beans sitting on the shelf watching in jealousy while I pulverize the fruit of cleansation.

And because I forgot to soak my almonds last night, I made a bowl of oatmeal (peanut butter, raisin, cinnamon) instead of an almond milk based smoothie as I had planned. I couldn't finish my oats. Right after I finished my oatmeal, my body eliminated all the orange pulp I guess it had been holding onto during this process. Oy. I felt a lot better after that.

I was completely sated at work until about 9:45am but I didn't eat anything because I was busy. I felt so focused and awake at work. Maybe it was the coffee. Maybe it was the work out.

At noon I poured myself maybe 8oz of soup but couldn't finish it and I didn't even have any crackers.

Then I walked 20 mins at 3mph. Then I did 20 reps of 3 arm exercises (only one set. Ran out of time).

Then I felt TIRED. Drowsy. What the heck? How is this the second time I've had a good workout that hasn't left me energized? Then about an hour later, some gas pain sent me to the ladies room where I emptied out for a while and now I feel energetic again.

I'll tell you something. Most people say that they just can't imagine ever doing the Master Cleanse. That it'd be just too hard to go 10 days without eating!

This is the truth: What's hard is not going from eating solid food to a liquid diet. What IS hard is going
from a monodiet of  liquid back eating solids. That's something you haven't done since you were a baby. And you probably had a tough time with it back then, you just don't remember.

Ease Out Day 3

Day 3 went a little better than Day 2. I started the morning with about 4oz of orange juice with some aloe juice in it. Meh.

I think in Tom Woloshyn's book he offers mango juice as an alternative. I probably should have gone with that option but I had no acid reflux trouble last year so I figured  I'd be fine. I wasn't.

I got to work and sliced a green apple (not an organic one) and ate that for breakfast. It took me maybe 2 hours to finish it though because I'd have 2-3 slices and I was full for a half hour. Then around 11am I felt more growling and answered that with a Wasa 100% whole rye cracker. I discovered the Wasa's last year on the Ease-Out and they have become a regular staple in my pantry. Put a little natural peanut butter and some raw honey on top and you have yourself a delicious snack/dessert.

By noon I didn't feel very hungry because I was still full from the cracker but I sat down anyway with my soup. I had maybe 4oz and I was done. Then I went to walk on the treadmill. Wait no. I slept on it. Or was that yesterday? I can't recall but I walked one day and slept the other.

Toward the end of the afternoon I had a banana: TASTY! And then, since all the bananas were still green (boo) I made the mistake of eating an orange. I felt the burn!

When I got back to Garrison's, we had veggie soup with wasa crackers together (even though since it was day 3 for me, I could have had quinoa and a veggie or a salad) and I was full before my bowl was empty. Normally, I'd keep eating until the soup was gone but I stopped this time because I don't want to regain the 5lbs I lost during the cleanse nor do I want to continue exacerbating my acid reflux. But then, in almost hourly increments, I felt hungry again. First I had half a cracker with honey, then another small portion of soup, then some celery with peanut butter and raisins-- items not expressly on my Day 3 approved food list but I didn't have any adverse reactions *knock on wood.*

Garrison and I hit up the grocery store after the 3rd snack. Apparent was the fact that it had been 2 weeks since we've gone full not-just-citrus-fruit grocery shopping. We were wandering the store, missing certain sections. Then I got really mad because I got back on my rampage about the fact that I can't find any damn tortillas that contain 100% whole wheat and a short list of non-GMO ingredients. BAH! Chi-Chi's "whole wheat" tortillas have regained their spot in my fridge.

I feel another attempt at tortilla making coming on.

Ease Out Day 2

So in another post I said that I'd still be cleansing on Wednesday since I teach 3 hours of dance at the studio. Well obviously I didn't do that. I ended on Day 10 instead of Day 12.

Day 2 of easing out didn't go so well for me. I brewed the sample bag of peppermint tea and while I was drinking it I had no heartburn. But as I went along in my day I felt dizzy so I drank some OJ. Almost instantly, I'd have heartburn. Guh! Orange juice was supposed to be my breakfast and lunch with vegetable soup for dinner but I couldn't take it! I heated up some veggie soup (mostly broth) for lunch and ate about 4-6oz till I was full.

I was also dastardly tired so I went to the work out room to get on the treadmill...for a nap. See, I'm a receptionist so I'm not as privileged as those with offices with doors you can shut during lunch to get some shuteye.

I was scared because I'd been reading up on heartburn and it says that it's not good to lay down right after you've had a meal. Oops. I wanted sleep more than I didn't want heartburn so I stayed there anyway.

Toward the end of the day I started feeling dizzy again so I gulped down a little more OJ (to my esophagus' dismay) and heated up some soup around 4pm. This made me marginally better but I was getting nervous...what if I pass out in the middle of dance class? I just can't do that! It will scare the children and I'll never convince anyone to do the cleanse because I will then have to report to them the reason why I passed out: I've drank nothing but citrus juices and laxatives for the last 12 days! Bad context.

I texted the studio owner but she was at her other job. She told me not to worry, I'll be fine but to get some sugar in the form of hard candy or maple syrup??? My dance teacher telling me to eat candy!? I'll take it!! Those gummy bears I stashed away earlier became my supplementary dinner. Oy, the terrible ingredients in those. I did feel stable enough to get through my first 2 classes like nothing happened.


In the middle of tap I started losing my mind. Losing it! I didn't know what color was up! I didn't know my left foot from my cheekbone. However, I've been blessed with an assistant for my second two classes and she demonstrated what I told her to do or what I meant to tell her to do. Then I proceeded to sit on a stool trying to direct class, eating the remainder of my gummy bears and basically embarrassing myself.

THIS is why I wanted to still be cleansing on dance day but NOOOOOOOOOO, my impatient ass had to end earlier than planned.

Gosh I felt great on the cleanse! But easing out as, well, easy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ease Out Day 1

I'd say this Day 1 of this year's cleanse ease-out went a lot better than last year's! I felt fine for most of the day. There were a couple of moments where I felt a bit dizzy but I combated that by drinking more orange juice.

I went to a local health food store around the corner on my lunch because I knew a certain lady that had helped me before would be working. She is very knowledgeable in natural healing. I told her about how my Day 1 had gone, what with my throwing up and it not stopping until I took some Pepto. I told her I didn't want to take it but I had to in order to keep stuff down. She told me peppermint tea and aloe juice are good remedies for heartburn. She also said that I'm way too young to be on medication for acid reflux and that, instead of just neutralizing my stomach acid, that my esophagus needs time to heal and I should have the ongoing problem.She also gave me a couple jumping off points for natural asthma treatments.

I bought some aloe juice to put in my OJ and peppermint tea to drink later.  So far I think it's working.

I've done some research on acid reflux and how to cure acid reflux naturally. Based on what I read and different habits I've identified, I've come up with a few resolutions for myself once I get back on solid food in order to be heartburn free!

1) Make sure I chew thoroughly. After the last couple of bachelorette parties I've gone to (well more like morning after) I've discovered I really don't chew my food well enough.

2) Stop eating well before bedtime. Laying down right after eating can trigger acid reflux.

3) Eat smaller portions. I've let the habit of overeating creep into my life and it has done more damage than just weight gain. Overeating puts pressure on the digestive organs and pushes acid toward the esophageal sphincter. I can recall a few too many times I've done this. It's especially easy at The Ledges.

4) Lay off the spicy food for a while. I'm hopelessly addicted to Frank's Red Hot but I will just have to give my esophageal lining some time to heal. Especially after 10 days of cayenne pepper. My fiance will miss the chipotle chilli chicken fajitas but he'll just have to deal for a while.

5) Take aloe juice before meals and peppermint tea before bed.

Anyhow, back to my ease-out. I did have something other than orange juice. It was a homemade kale chip after fellowship. Lukas (the 13 year old prodigy) made it with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper. It tasted like heaven. Chewing again was foreign. I chomped and moved my tongue around to get every morsel to my teach. It was like having to re-learn chewing.

Then I stayed up super late making my veggie brother and soup for Day 2 which probably deserves it's own post. Word to the wise: if you make your own stock from scratch, start it before the cleanse.

I had a few sips of that sweet sweet broth and well as one small morsel of garlic as I was prepping.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 10 and my walking

So yesterday after my epiphany of how I'm going to get my exercise in hit, I hit the treadmill. But only for about 6 minutes this morning because I ran out of time. Then at lunch, since I had the whole hour, I walked 20 minutes on the treadmill at 3mph (which felt a lot more of an intense than I anticipated. I guess I don't walk as briskly as I thought I did) and did some arms stuff with the total gym for about 15.

Now. Something odd happened.

I usually feel like soooo kickass after I work out. In fact, Sunday morning at fellowship, Lukas said he was tired because he had worked out that morning, everyone was like HUH?

But at 1:00pm when I got back to my desk, I was feeling tiiiiiiiiiired. And dizzy! Worn out. Like it was nap time. I wanted a pillow, some animal crackers, and a juice box. Well those weren't in the regimen for day 10 so another glass of lemonade had to do. I felt marginally better. But then another hour passed and I needed another drink! I was getting so nervous because I usually only drink one every 2 hours. If I had kept on drinking every hour I would have been out by 5pm and I still had dance class and a meeting after it I had to get straight too. I also envisioned myself power walking through Driver's Village, pounding up and down the stairs and working up a serious sweat. That wasn't going to happen unless I had more lemonade.

Thankfully I'm not doing this alone. Garrison had some leftover concentrate at the end of the day and brought it to my rescue before class. I had a class around 5 o clock and I was doing good until halfway through the warm up when I felt faint and had to sit down to drink. After class before the meeting I did go for a small walk but it wasn't quite the calorie burning session I dreamed up.

Also toward the end of the evening I had several movements but I had lots of air in my system. So my eliminations became less like expelling water and more like blowing bubbles. I'm not kidding. This continued until about 10:30pm when I sat down with a cup of senna tea and told Garrison I was starting my Ease-Out tomorrow and he better just deal with it.

I felt like I was done! My tongue was pink again and not much was coming least at that hour.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Master Cleanse Day 9 and a New Plan!

Day 9 was moderately uneventful physically. However, I've been experiencing a lot of emotions. Sadness and anger.

Of course we also went to fellowship and again there was a food offering. A freshly baked blueberry pie and a veggie tray. Rats! And Lukas of course described how he made a sandwich and roasted red peppers with garlic. He had a jar of the peppers in vinegar. Gave me a whiff. Done. That's it. I gotta go home.

I definitely looked at a little too much food porn for my own good. I browsed Pinterest and talked food with Garrison nonstop. Then I went to the gym for some hamster time and watch an hour of "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Now I absolutely have to go to Minnesota to get a pizza with cream, cheese, some sort of  cheek bacon, leeks and an egg. Have to.

On the upside, I weighed in at 135 this morning. SCORE! How that happened in 3 days, I'm not sure but whatever. I'll take it.

It dawned on me that even though my circumstances aren't glamourous, I totally have a home gym and a work gym that I REALLY need to use. There's a treadmill in the basement of the house I live it as well as some 8lb dumbbells. There's a treadmill where I work and a "Total Gym" weight machine and I have an entire hour for lunch. The problem is that these spaces are totally unappealing. Well, despite the messiness or dinginess, I need to work out.

My New Plan:

20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of weights every morning Monday - Friday.
20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of weights 3 times per week on my lunch break at work.
Pilates and modern dance class Monday night.
Teaching my classes Wednesday night.
2 hours of something rigorous on the weekend--could be some gym time before my membership runs out or it could be something fun and social yet active like skiing or skating now that it's winter. Or biking, hiking, running outdoors once it warms up. Maybe some bowling but that usually involved junk food.

According to a calorie calculator, all these activities should burn about 3500 calories. Maintaining a healthy diet, this should set me up for a 1 pound weight loss per week. Of course the more weight I lose, the more I'll have to work to continue so I'm going to do my best to squeeze in some bonus burns whenever I can. For instance today after dance class I have a meeting with my boss but there's an hour in between so I plan to walk around the mall, up and down the stairs.

In the meantime I have to hope Val will stay out back today because he smells like a garlic peppered pork chop.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Master Cleanse Day 8

After talking it over with Garrison, we've decided that our cleanse will go through Wednesday, which makes my cleanse 12 days and his 11 since he started the day after me. The reason is because I didn't do so well on Day 1 of my ease-out when we did this last year. On Wednesday nights I teach dance so if we went together to the end of his 10 days, I'd have my ease out day 1 on Wednesday. No good. We both want to do the minimum of 10 cleansing days and we want to be on the same schedule with returning to "normal" food. Another plus was that day 1 for me was not really cleansing so much as barfing and sleeping so an extra 2 won't hurt.

Won't hurt my flesh, that is.

Because it kind of hurts to keep resisting the temptations of food all around.

Even before we had made contact with society on Saturday, I was dreaming up all the wonderful things I could be eating today but cannnot.

I thought of how amazing buffalo chicken dip is. I thought of Tostito's scoops. I thought of spooning wing dip into their pockets, topping them with bleu cheese and baking them for a delicious Wing Dip Bite; all the goodness of eating chicken wing dip in one bite. This concept is kind of like the French Onion Soup Bites we had at this very amazing restaurant a few times. It's a big crouton soaked in soup, topped with cheese and baked on a spoon. All the goodness of French Onion Soup in one fleeting bite.


We went to the (s)mall. We needed to go to Sears to buy Garrison a tool cabinet for his garage. The mall bathrooms were all in the Food Court. This is torture. The salad bar could be seen from the Ruby Tuesday's window. The  Chinese food in the display case. The pizza on their stands. Hell, even Arby's sounded good. Subway. I could taste the food in the air. I never walked through the fiery hallways of hell to get to the toilet before. Now I have.

Later as I laid with my dear one on the floor I randomly said "buffalo chicken bites."

"Are you whispering sweet nothings in my ear?"

That was it. We keep whispering an entire week's worth of food back and forth moaning and longing for one delicious tasty morsel.

Do we notice a pattern here? While on this cleanse I keep craving processed food because craptastic unhealthy food sounds amazing when you've only ingested 3 different liquids in the past week.

In other news, my tongue is still white but it's getting pinker. Eliminations aren't much clearer though. As  type this it is the morning of day 9 and I just drank my SWF. Waiting for it to do its thing.

Master Cleanse Day 7

Last year, I experienced Day 7 euphoria. This time around, not so much. I didn't feel crappy or sick. I just wanted food.

I walked into the office at the beginning of the day on Friday and glanced over at the kitchen and saw some gold shiny packages on one of the tables. I thought maybe it was a bag of coffee. Coffee belongs in the cabinet, idiots, what is it doing on the table? I went closer-- my first mistake--it was 2 bags of Haribo Gummy Bears!!! I love gummy bears!!!!! I walked out and in a few times to see if anyone had taken them. No one had. So I picked up the bag. I wanted to rip it open and shove a handful into my mouth and chop on their fruity, gummy goodness. I didn't. But I squirreled it away in a desk drawer for later.

It gets worse.

Someone decided our office needed an entire spread of goods from Geddes Bakery that morning so spread they did! I think there were 4 or 5 boxes of donuts, danishes, pastries, muffins, etc. in our office kitchen. I better not look at them. Aw shit, I looked!!!

Mind you, this was not just some Friday treat. Okay, it was a treat on Friday. But 3 other days this week, SOMEONE brought a dozen donuts to work. One day, an employee AND vendor brought over a box of donuts. That's 2 rounds in one day. NO ONE needs this crap or deserves to indulge that many days in the week! No one!

Well good for me because I was cleansing so I didn't have to help clear up. I just had to throw the box away when it was empty...or had two left in it. Whatever. Donuts are garbage so that's where they went.

Anyhow I thought it was over once the baked goods collection was whittled down to one box. Nope.

Gino & Joe's called mid-morning to ask our Italian mother accounting clerk (who does all the food ordering) about a credit card order she had placed. Okay, this is fair warning here. Someone ordered pizza. Since no one told me about this, I figured it was a few people going in on a lunch delivery together, not pizza for the whole company.


I found out it was pizza for the production employees when the delivery guy showed up through the front door with 5 boxes and plopped them down RIGHT ON MY FUCKING DESK!!!!! How dare you?!?!!?!?! I don't get any doubly because it's not for me and because I'm cleansing. This is the worst!!

I did my best not to make eye contact with the boxes and focus on my work as Ms. Mozzarella was signing the receipt and the quality manager whisked the pizzas away to go feed the vultures out back. I thought I'd be relieved but the scent of fresh baked dough, garlic and oregano still lingered in the air and forced itself into my nostrils. At this point, I was just angry. I was also angry because the copier was being a pain but that's another story.

I escaped for my "lunch" hour to buy some more organic lemons. When I came back, leftover pizza was ON THE BREAK TABLE, sitting there, just smelling delicious.

I'm not kidding you. Like a K9 I could sniff every single scent incorporated in that bitch-ass pie. I stood about 20 feet from it but it was as if it were right under my nose about to be inserted into my mouth for a cheesy saucy explosion all over my tastebuds.

By 3:30pm, no one had eaten the last slice. I wrapped it delicately in the parchment lining at the bottom of the box and ceremoniously threw it in the garbage. The last of the danishes and muffins went there too.

Went home to do my SWF in some temptation-free relief but I couldn't stop thinking about food. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Master Cleanse Days 5 & 6

Thanks to blogging, I was able to recall the happenings of last year's cleanse. Days 5 and 6 last time were problem days for me, I felt tired and a little sick. This time around, I felt fine!

I'm not going to lie, this cleanse is not ALL fun and games. The sitting on the toilet part and the feelings that go with it are very frustrating moments. However, I  didn't have many stretches of time where I felt like crap this time around. I've been happy and energetic!

I was a little mentally foggy the last couple of days. I had to try harder to keep myself focused in order to get through the work day. Other than that, I've had no issues.

Here's my big qualm though: according to the scale, I have not lost any weight! I'm stuck at 140, which for a 5'2" woman, that is overweight. I am overweight.

But how can this be? I feel slimmer, I fit into my clothes better, my stomach looks flatter and my waist looks smaller and when I gaze down at my thighs, they don't protrude as much as the did before. "It's just because you lost water weight." Well, water weight is weight isn't it? So why haven't I lost any? If the scale is inaccurate, I guess that could explain it. And if it is, I bet this has been the cause of my discouragement since it makes me feel fat when I see an unchanging number on the scale despite my many efforts.

Maybe this is it for me, this is the body I was destined to have. Not skinny, not obese, just overweight by a little bit.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Master Cleanse Day 3 & 4

The past couple of days have been going well. Since I'm lumping the days together I'm just going to describe what has been going on as the thoughts come to me.

  • There are a few moments where I get a little woozy and have a hard time focusing. I've experienced my mind sort of going out the window and forgetting what just happened. I don't remember having that my first cleanse. 
  • I drank my senna Sunday night and Monday morning. I had all my eliminations within an hour. I took the SWF Monday night and all the eliminations were done in one hour. BUT I took senna the next morning and I didn't eliminate until about 5pm. Then after that, I had them almost all night, until about 11pm. WTF?
  • When I cleansed last year I didn't work out or dance. I went to modern class last night and had no trouble whatsoever. In fact, I was more flexible! My cleanse will extend through next Wednesday so I'll have taken another class as well as have taught six classes (3 on Wednesday).
  • I don't pass things as quick as other people. This concerns me.
  • I've generally been feeling well. The only time I was like "this sucks" was yesterday when it felt like there was no end to my eliminations. I didn't feel crappy, I was just tired of going to the bathroom. 
  • I've determined that I need to eat my "healthy" food when I dine out and I need to make my "junk" food at home. If I get a salad at a restaurant there might be sugar, soybean oil and pesticides but at least I'll be getting my veggies. If I make fries in my kitchen, they'll be tossed in olive oil and baked.
  • I feel the need to forgive co workers I don't like and to try and make nice with them. What? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Master Cleanse Day 1 and Day 2


I drank my senna tea Friday night and woke up Saturday morning as it began to work.

I was waiting until I had the place to myself because I had planned to do the salt water flush in the morning before any lemonade. I started to feel fuzzy and my caffeine withdrawal headache was in full force so at around 10am I made myself a drink. I had another a little bit before noon because the weak feeling was not going away. And then I think I had another shortly thereafter...I'm not sure...maybe I was just thinking about it.

Soon, I found myself sitting on the floor in the bathroom with my head hanging over the toilet bowl. How could this be? I cleansed last year in February and did not have such an adverse reaction. I've been eating mostly organic since then so this can't mean my body is more toxic!

Anyhow, from about 2pm until 10pm, I could not keep anything down, not even a sip of water. After thinking about why on earth this is happening, I brought up to my fiancee that maybe I'm more toxic this year because I've been on lots of asthma medication. Then we recalled that since I was getting ready for the cleanse, I discontinued my heartburn medication. It would make sense that if this medication inhibited my stomach's production of acid, that it's possible that it may have compensated by making more. And all that strong acid was just sitting there in my stomach without any food to digest. This explains the very burning, painful vomiting of the contents of my empty stomach.

Needless to say, Day 1 was awful. I'm not so sure I should even call it Day 1 because all the lemonade I had was purged and I took a couple doses of pepto in order to finally neutralize my stomach acid so that I could stop throwing it up.

On the morning of Day 2, I still felt very weak as I hadn't had any sustenance in the last 36 hours. But after some coaxing, I managed to down two glasses of lemonade. Then I finally felt like a functioning human being. I was able to -somewhat foggily- lead our fellowship meeting with smiling and singing. Afterward though, during a conversation I started helplessly crying for no reason! Mind you this is Sunday morning and I hadn't taken my herbal laxative since Friday night, nor done the SWF so my body's only way to expel toxins was through my tongue, sweat or maybe my tear glands? I don't know. Either way, my routine was turned upside down and I basically spent half of the previous in bed or puking.

The rest of today has been great- only a few moments of feeling weak or fuzzy. And lemonade definitely made those go away. There were some more challenging moments, however. We were offered both a free lunch AND a free dinner today which we regretfully turned down. It also didn't help that we passed by a new sushi joint up the road.

You truly do not realize how much food is such a prominent focus in life until you stop eating! Food is often used in comparison to non-food related things! Food can easily be the subject of conversation with just about anyone.

I think I remember it getting easier with time, so we'll see how it goes. Drinking senna tonight and hoping to feel different I've flushed away some toxins in the morning!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Easing In

So this vegan thing isn't very easy! Hell, being a vegetarian is totally hard for someone who is usually an omnivore.

This morning I was trying to track the days so far I've been a vegan or vegetarian. Sunday I had barbequed chicken for breakfast! It wasn't an ease-in day though. I don't remember Monday. I had some cheesecake and there was some parmesan on my sprouted grain pasta. I think Monday was meat-free.

On New year's eve I stayed the night at the home of a couple of friends who were doing the Master Cleanse together. They also happen to be moving so they gladly gave away a ton of the groceries. Score! Part of that was a 6lb bag of carrots, a bell pepper, and half a bag of oranges. We made off with a few packaged food with health claims or sporting the green "All Natural" label (which we know does not make it healthy). Nonetheless, it was nice to go home with some free groceries a few days before the anticipated expenses of organic lemons.

Anyhow, on the morning of January 1st, I had planned to make oatmeal but that was interrupted when the couple suggested having some organic vanilla (sugar filled) yogurt with some Kashi (sugar filled) cereal. Garrison indulged. I had 2 oranges. I was starving not long after so we got some dried mango from the health food store (we were there to pick up Stanley Burroughs' book and some copper supplements).

After we came home, I sauteed some garlic, onions, carrots and green peppers in some coconut oil and doused my veggies with Frank's Red Hot then wrapped up the mixture in a (mostly) whole wheat tortilla. I had 2. Garrison put cheese on his. I refrained so up to this point, I had a vegan day.

So then we went to yet another party at which I snacked on fruit, veggies, nuts and grains. I did not succumb to the cheese! Yay! But there were cocktail weenies sitting in a bowl and looking at me. Just before we left, I popped one in my mouth. It was cold so it wasn't worth it. Then later, as I was snacking, I had some cheese.

Yesterday I ate pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast, snacked on raw fruit (which freaked me out because I had to eat so much!) and a lunch of the above described veggie tacos. Dinner was a pb & J sandwich (100% ww bread, all fruit spread without added sugar, and natural peanut butter), then whatever the heck I snacked on: Nut Thins, mustards, pepper jelly, pickle relish, crap- half an ounce of cheese.
So Wednesday was vegan up until about 8:30pm. Not bad. Just not perfect.

I had intended today to be grain-free but I have two more tortillas to use up (I hate wasting). Other than that I'll be grain free and I WILL NOT HAVE CHEESE! I had a pumpkin banana smoothie this morning with peanut milk and chia seeds. So far, I've eaten 3 clementines and 2 pears. It's a half hour until lunch and I am very hungry.