Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 1 of detoxing the kids

Detoxing the kids went really well this first two days.  So I realized that I can't get them to go sugar free for even a day since it's honestly, honestly, almost the only thing they eat.  So... the first week will be fruit.  I figure fruit is easy to sell my kids on compared to veggies so I'll start easy and work them up - like getting a dolphin to jump through a hoop.  You start with the hoop below the water.  Then you slowly raise it until the animal (um, child) is leaping out of the water, flying through the air, and going through the hoop.

This week, I have said that they will eat one serving of fruit before they can have the rest of their dinner.  Yesterday it was grapes.  Today it was apple.  All week I will do the same with fruits until Sunday at which time I am going to do veggies for one week.  I will demand they finish the serving before they can have their carbohydrate rich favorite foods.  :)  Then on week three I will add both fruit and veggies to the requirements.  I discussed this with the kids in advance and so far they have been doing it and they agreed to the deal.  By week four I expect them to be eating a serving of fruit and veggies at dinner before they eat their carbs every night.  After I achieve that, I will see what I can do next.  :)  I'll keep you posted on their reactions and my progress.

Cheers for now! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 29 - The end is here!

Weight - 130 lbs.

Well...  I'm "done".  I guess that means the wild feast I had last night was okay.  :)  I went out and enjoyed a dinner at Catherine Dooney's.  Shephard's pie, bread pudding, sweet potato fries, glass of wine... etc.  It was good but did not agree with me well at night - stomach was all sorts of mad at me for eating all that alien food including red meat, fried items and sweets.  Dang.  Am I spoiled now for all time from eating rich food?  Don't know yet. 

Estimates of expense:

January 2011 food costs:
Natural foods from December 31 - January 24th = $532.21 in organic food costs

Supplements - 115.16 (not a great estimate cause it included a supplement for my kids and two supplements I did not use yet.  A better estimate of the actual cost of probiotic and candex would be $50)

Additional grocery trips at non organic stores = $376.56
Total grocery cost for family of three = $908.77

The reason I grouped the food together is that I shared some of my food with my kids and in some cases was able to buy foods that were organic at regular grocery stores so it was hard to split up the bill.  So it's a better estimate to say that the month I went totally organic my family of 3 spent $908.77 on groceries.  I should also mention I went to the grocery store 14 times this month.  :)

Now I will check what a non detox month's costs are - I'll use December.

December 2010
Organic = 138.06
Non-organic = 374.98
Total = 513.04

Went to the grocery store 7 times in that month.  I guess I'd need more data to be sure and also to look at how much I ate out.  I did eat out twice in January - both at Main Squeeze and I think it cost $15 each time for my organic lunch.  :)  In general it looks like it cost me about $400 to $450 in one month to detox.  I probably ate out quite a bit less, however.  So in the end it might not have been as bad as it seems.  If I get motivated here in the next couple days I'll do some more careful number crunching on that figure.  :)

Weight lost - 9 lbs.

My skin looks better than it's looked in ages. 
I feel healthier. 
I am off my nasal spray even though I actually have a cold right now - seems to be doing better.  Not so much swelling as is typical.
I do enjoy stevia artificial sweetener and will use it until I find out it causes cancer.  :)
Have not dropped caffeine from my diet.  Wish I had, but I just haven't.  Caffeine = me happy :)

Well, that's what I have for now.  I plan to detox again in June and I'll do financial compare again at the time.  I have the supplements I plan to use for that one in my cabinet and I plan to do something slightly different - might not do no carbs but instead low carbs and non-processes carbs. 

I've had requests to keep writing my blog from some friends.  THANKS SO MUCH!  It means a bunch to me that you read it.  I will keep writing.  Next challenge - detox the little Sweeneys.  OMG - is it even possible?  Is it?  I don't know.  I mean, they are really tough cookies to feed.  We shall see!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 26 - Busy busy busy

weight - 129 lbs

Well, I haven't really had time anymore to post and keep track of all my ups and downs for you all. This week I'm on a less strict diet after the 21 days sugar free.  I have still been juicing.  I invented a new recipe this morning that was very tasty:

3 leaves kale
4 stalks celery (with greens)
1 small organic tomato
2 very large carrots
1 large cucumber

It was a lovely green and very mild in flavor.  I really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately I'm coming down with a cold now.  I took some airborne and some zinc lozenges and some cold meds.  I hate taking meds when I'm detoxing, it feels like the opposite of detoxing. 

I bought some organic peanut butter.  I want to enter the brand here for folks.  It is creamy, not separated like most natural peanut butter is.  It is also sweetened with cane sugar.  Thing is, it's really tasty and I wanted you to know the brand.  It tastes very peanutty and I love it.  I'm not a fan of the seperated peanut butter - it's just sort of yucky to me.  Heres' the brand: Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter (an Organic American Classic).  My son thought it was too much like peanuts.  Ha.  Anyway, I love it.

I will be very sad to return my juicer to my friend Mike.


Still need to take the time to add up my food charges and estimate the total cost.  :) Coming soon!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23 - A lot has happened...

Weight - 130 lbs.

So... I celebrated day 21 with some cheating on my diet.  Sigh.  I made it 21 days without sugar so I decided to have a bit of organic dark chocolate after lunch and then I ate the pizza with my son during movie night. 

Then on Saturday I has a lovely juice of 3 leaves kale, 1 head romaine, and 1 lb carrots and a salad for lunch but I finished the day sort of badly with an oatmeal cookie after lunch and then a dinner that I also served my kids of: organic chicken thighs and celery with peanut butter on it.  Finally, today I don't think I did too great on my diet at all... lets see, the juice went fine this morning but then I ended up eating chocolate again after dinner tonight.  For lunch I had a stir fry of spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes with goat cheese and for dinner I had squash.  Yeah, just squash. So why do I feel like I'm cheating so badly... hmm.  I'm honestly not sure but it feels like I fell off the wagon. 

Okay, I'll see if tomorrow can go better.  I guess I am cheating a bit - chocolate, some nuts and peanut butter... that one cookie (yum).  Hmm...  oh, I also had coffee - no sugar though.  Oh, I also had some organic bacon on Saturday and one totally NOT organic pancake that I couldn't bring myself to throw out.  It was small... sigh, I really am cheating.  I got to day 21, lost 9 lbs, and just lost my steam.  I will try harder starting now... next week I'll log what I eat every day so I can't cheat.  I find that just allowing myself the chocolate she says is okay really doesn't work for me.  I can't just have one square of organic chocolate... sorry, forget it.  I have to eat like half the bar and stick some peanut butter on it to make it extra special.  Oh, I also added in berries - yum!  I've had blackberries and strawberries - and they weren't organic - sigh.  I will go to the store tomorrow morning and fix this little weekend off by getting back on the wagon.  :)


I am beginning to serve my kids veggies with every meal.  So far they haven't really eaten much but they are trying them.  I will keep on it.  Remember, next month is my attempt to "fix" what they eat.  I do feel like they are making some progress.  At least they are trying things. 


Thanks to those still reading my blog.  I guess I'd sum up the diet I've been on as a diet that gives the primary source of carbs and sugars from organic vegetables and allows protein from organic meats and dairy from goats.  And nothing else... hahahahaha.  Seriously, though.  Okay... off for now.  Sorry I haven't been entering things in.  I think I've felt guilty, honestly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19 - Redefine how you see yourself!

weight - 130 lbs
caffeine - yep
sugar - some blueberries
breakfast - straight carrot juice
lunch - salad of greens, tomato, avacado, cucumber and then yogurt with blueberries, flax seed and stevia (delish)

I think the trick (for a psychologically healthy person) to succeeding in a life change of this kind is to redifine how you describe yourself to yourself.  As Neil Meisel the co-owner of the Newark Awareness Center says:  "We all have stories we tell ourselves."  I think those stories are kind of like how we define who we are - how we know where we stand with ourself.   I think that redefining your stories is essential in life.  You are not unchanging - you are growing and learning and becoming new all the time.  So, your stories must do the same.  So my thought is that what I've done here is to redefine myself as a healthy eater from my previous state of eating whatever I felt like at the time.   Before this, I was really enjoying a high sugar diet but feeling sort of sick in many ways.  If I decide to embrace a high vegetable diet and release my sugar addiction, I can redefine myself as a healthy eater and feel better and healthier.  

It's important too for me to acknowledge my own superficiality in this.  So, while I give lip service to being healthy, how I look was certainly a huge motivator to sticking to the program.  I wanted to look thinner and have prettier skin.  :)  That's just vanity, my God!  But it sure was motivating.   In my proffesion it is helpful to look healthy - since I'd like to attract people to join me on a healthy journey through life by attending my yoga classes.  I also really did want to see if the allergies could be fought off with this change.  I have experienced improvements and I will stick with things to see if they continue to improve.  :) 

I'll keep you posted!  For dinner tonight I plan to eat an omelet.  I also plan to cook in the oven a squash and some sweet potatoes and make some boiled carrots.  There is a recipe for potato / carrot soup I want to try and also see if my kids will eat it!  We shall see!  I've found that preparing foods in advance like this saves me time and keeps me on track on the busy days when I dont' have time.  Such as tomorrow through Saturday when it's likely to be REALLY crazy in my life due to my work schedule!

If you are still reading my blog, thanks so much!  I am:

19 days Chocolate FREEEEEEEE!   (a modern miracle)

Day 18 - Final Week Blues

Well, I found myself feeling guilty this week for my eating and so I'm going to catalogue here and see how badly I fell off the wagon.

On Monday I had juice in the morning and followed the diet.  Then at lunch I saw these fabulous blueberries.  I ended up buying them because they looked too good to pass up.  And they were good!  Anyhow, I decided that any diet that doesn't allow blueberries can't possibly be okay!  Excuses, excuses, I know.  But I made it to day 17 - MLK day - and had a treat.  Blueberries.  That same day I ate some whole grain rice with a stir fry and I had some cashoes as well.  So those were my infractions.  I still ate a crazy amount of vegetables in that one day, however.  Dinner was a stir fry of Zuchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and wild rice and then I put a bit of goat cheese on top. I also had half of sweet potato and fish.  I've been combining flesh with starch for about four days now.  You might recall that the book I'm following - Natalie Rose's Detox 4 Women - does not allow starch and flesh mixed.   Her reason is that it slows down transit time through your intestines.  All I can say is that since I started combining the two I have been much more regular and now things are moving along just like she wants.  So perhaps she's wrong about that for some people - I really don't know - but I certainly prefer my meals that way and so I've gone back to doing that and I feel much more full and bathroom time is what she suggested it ought to be.  :)

On Tuesday I ate my juice in the morning then had a salad with salmon at lunch and finished the day with a bunch of veggies (cucumber, tomato, goat cheese, sweet potato, avacado, egg) and then I followed that with some of that buckwheat pasta with sauce on it.  I have to admit that the buckwheat pasta is just gross.  I'm sorry but I really think it is.  I ate it, don't get me wrong, but it's a bit slimy and I don't care for the flavor at all.  I tried putting oil, salt and pepper, sauce, and then some cheese but it ended up seeming like I was eating slop and there is just no way to avoid that.  I will try one of her buckwheat recipes in the next week - maybe a soup is what you have to cook it in for it to taste good.

I'm still hovering at 130 lbs.   As you recall my goal was 128.  I'm over a week away from the end of the detox.  I am now going to the bathroom the way the books describe I should be and my skin is looking acne free (or virtually acne free).  I do feel energetic and my sinuses do feel clear.  The detox seems to make me thirsty.  :) 

things I've learned:

Alkaline foods according to the detox guidelines do seem to help balance my digestion (lemon, cucumber, other veggies).  I do not have any cystitus (painful bladder syndrome) pain at all.  The one night I had coq au vin, I did have some discomfort in digestion.  I've avoided that since then.

I like dairy products (yep, I really do). I did not give up on the dairy to the extent the diet recommended. I found myself really wanting goat's yogurt or cheese and eating it.  I ate plain goat yogurt as dessert and I would put stevia and flax seed in it.  It tasted very nice.  I started adding blueberries this week (A real thrill).  I do not know if the detox I've been on has enough calcium for a healthy diet.  I have been happy to add it on my own by instinct and don't seem to have experienced ill effects.  I recommend picking low-fat or fat free dairy products and going organic and to the goat direction if possible. I'm not positive that there is a big difference betwee organic cow's products or goat products in my digestion - doesn't seem to bother my belly at all to have cow products (some people are more sensitive and might have trouble with them).  I don't appear to.

My joint pain is gone.  Just thought I'd add that in.  Forgot to mention it before. 

I still have effects from my female hormones this month.  Dr's say that avoiding fatty foods, caffiene, and salt is supposed to improve that.  I do think that I had less obvious bloating this month but otherwise I still had fluid retention, tissue inflamation (sinuses and skin) and mood related issues.  I am curious if continuing on a diet like this would relieve that stuff over time and one month isn't enough.  I just dont' know.  I will say that I suspect it would not and that as my well meaning dentist mentioned at the start of my detox - stress and hormones have at least as much impact on health as diet.  :) 

Okay, I'm off to the next entry.  That one will be about redefining how you see yourself!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16 - My Health Improvements So Far

weight - 130 lbs.
Food - carrot juice and much of the same stuff as before.  I did have salmon with my dinner tonight but it was wild caught and I've been told it isn't as good - and they are right, it isn't.  I wonder why...  anyway, it was fishy tasting to me but I ate it anyway.
caffeine - yes
sugar - no

Just wanted to take a quick moment to write about my health improvements so far.  I am starting to feel very energetic and thin.  It feels light.  I have also stopped needed my sinus spray and my allergies have nearly vanished.  I still have to clear my nose every now and then but I really feel significantly better on the allergies.  I have not felt this good in about three years when it comes to my sinuses.  Otherwise, I'm still hoping my acne will completely vanish but it is much better than it was.  I am feeling like I've got the candida yeast busted but I'm nervous about being wrong and adding in any sugar at all.  I did have some really cool whole grain rice yesterday and a dish made with red wine (cooked).  I'm going to shoot for not sugar until the 21st and then I am planning to allow myself berries and dark chocolate!  Woot!  I have wanted some dark chocolate but have managed to resist - by some miracle that I'm not sure what the source is...   Finsihed the candex supplement today and have decided not to start the candigone up right away.  All the warnings of use on the package have me a bit nervous.  I might change my mind tomorrow afternoon and give it a shot cause you have to take it on low sugar and I'm not sure I want to do this diet again any time soon once I'm done...  if you know what I mean!  Or I might wait until June and do a second detox then... haven't decided. 

Coming soon:  An estimate of the financial cost of the detox so far. 

Enough for tonight!  Off to bed! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15 - Gratitude

weight - 130 lbs.
caffiene - Thursday (yes), Friday (no), today (yes)
sugar - no, no, no (unless you count dreaming about eating sugar...)

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who have been reading my blog and supporting me.  I've been busy the past two days and so had no time to post.  Now my courses have started back up again at the college so time is tight.  I have stuck with the diet through a tough three days, however.  I don't know why, but I just wanted to eat chocolate in the worst way possible these past three days.  In fact, I dreamt about three nights ago that I was walking around with an ice cream cone in my hands for a huge amount of dream world time and didn't eat it and it melted down to just above the cone and then I said, "What the heck!" and took a big bite and thought... this is the best ice cream ever!  It was mint chip - fyi.  Anyway, it's probably hormones making me want the chocolate...  WANT WANT WANT... but I'm hanging in there.  I've been eating much the same things the past few days as I've reported earlier.  I did cook something neat today, I'll enter the recipe in a bit and I also tried a new juice and I'll enter that as well.  Anyhow, back to gratitude.  Thank you, Mike Detwiler, for lending me your juicer.  Without that, I would never have been able to do this detox!  Much, much appreciation there.   I learned today, from Mike, that if I strain the veggie juice in the metal strainer after I juice it, it has a  much smoother feel and is more pleasant if you don't like fibrous pieces in your juice.  Also, I'd like to thank the many folks who have told me that they knew I could do it!  Thank you so much for believing in me, cause as I said, I didn't think I'd make it 12 hours.  I also want to thank people who have come to me with words of experience regarding their own detoxes.  I learned that emotions can run high during a detox as you, supposedly, "bring up more than just the toxins of a physical form" in your body.  That might be part of my trouble this week - whew - I've been emotional and sensitive.  Very sensitive.  Lots of tears coming out this weak, truth be told.  So again - Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support - all of you!

Alrighty, well, recipes: 

Erin's Coq Au Vin

1 bottle red wine (I only used about 3/4's of one because it was sealed on my counter but I wasn't allowed to drink it for the detox)
1 32 oz box of organic broth of some kind
1 pack boneless skinless organic chicken thighs
2 tablespoons flour
5 medium parsnips
5 medium carrots
1/2 of a red onion
lots of mushrooms, as many kinds as possible including  dried mushrooms - be creative and have fun!
Organic butter

So...  you want to cook the meat and veggies before you stick it in a big pot with the wine and broth.   You want to get it nice and brown.  I browned the thighs in butter in a iron skillet.  The wine and broth was in the pot heating at the time.  I also mixed the flour wiht warm water or other liquid (such as from the pot) and then added it to the pot once it was smoothly blended so it didn't clump.  After browing the chicken and throwing it in the pot I proceeded to brown the veggies in stages.  With coq au vin you can really let them get dark and it won't hurt the soup at all in the end.  I just brown them right on top of what ever residue is left from the previous batch and added butter as needed.  I don't really consider the is a diet food, per se, but it is definitely rich in nutrients.  This particular detox does allow the occasional glass of wine (though I have not had any alcohol on it, it isn't really breaking the rules even though wine does have a bunch of sugar in it).   I then let it simmer in the pot of hot wine for a good long time (like 2 - 3 hours) and then just let it sit.  It's actually a bit better on day two if you cook it the night before.  It also freezes well.  Traditionally it would be served with bread, but for me, I'm going to try quinoa and maybe a whole grain rice (though officially I'm not supposed to have rice so I haven't decided yet :) )  Anyhow, that's the crux of the recipe - very very easy and very gourmet.  If you do use dried mushrooms you can sort of break or cut them up as you add them and cook it until the soften fully.  

Oxygenator Juice (I had this today)

1 beet
1 lb. carrots
1 inch ginger
1/4 teaspoon ceyanne pepper

Dang, this was ZIPPY.  It really was good.  Supposed to increase circulation and I also thought it opened my airways.

I hear tell that I smell like beets.  Yep, I'm not trying to be funny.  I can actually smell that my own skin smells different even to myself.  As in, I think I have a sort of veggie aroma - onions, garlic, parsley - kind of thing. Don't really notice the beets but I'm sure it's there.  Anyway, I guess it's the price you pay for eatiing veggies - "You are what you eat" afterall.  So far I haven't started to look orange ...  that I've noticed... hmm.   Or beet red...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12 - This will be short

Weight - 132
Food - life force power-ade (veggie juice)
Big salad of sprouts, avocado, tomato, buckwheat, goat cheese, parsley, baked beet, lemon juice, salt and pepper

grilled organic chicken thighs fried in a pan with butter, mushrooms, spinach, and beet then sprinkled with goat cheese
caffeine - yes
sugar - no

Started my classes today.  We will be doing biochemistry, enzymes and digestion first in Anatomy class!  Yay!  And my Nutrition class is already pretty interesting.  Let's see...

Just for fun:

Dr. Weil - recognized health expert "most influential person in nutrition"

All I got tonight.  More tomorrow on Dr. Weil if I have time to peruse his website and see what he has to say about health!

Day 11 - Promised the caffiene talk

Weight 133 lbs.
Food - Eliminator Juice (Beet, carrot, lettuce, ginger, cucumber), grilled chicken thighs, big salad,  Erin's veggie spaghetti (I made this up but it was pretty good.  See recipe below)
caffeine - no
sugar - no

Erin's Veggie Spaghetti

1    zuchini thinly sliced in long thin pieces the width of spaghetti, I made mine short but they could be long
1/2 cooked spaghetti squash
4 sliced mushrooms
Thinly sliced red onion, not that much
Diced garlic clove
Baby spinach
Organic Tomato Sauce

Basically I just fried all thee veggies in butter.  Started with the garlic and the onion, then put    in zucchini for a minute then put in mushrooms then topped with spinach - just lightly sauteed the whole thing until it was cooked but not limp.  Reheated my spaghetti squash in the microwave and heated my sauce.  Layered it on plate like this - spaghetti squash on the bottom, then sauteed veggies next, then topped it with sauce.  Would be good with goat cheese sprinkled over all that if you want.

I really loved it.



I promised I’d talk about this and the news isn’t really great, to be honest.  Besides the fact that I just CANNOT spell the word - cafiene caffiene  cafeine   (oh whatever!) -  I’m still drinking it, you see.  I’m at about 1/3 of my previous rate of intake at this point – but I’m still drinking it.  I have to admit it gives me a nice buzz for a few hours.  Anyhow, I am going to type in what my two main sources say about it and please don’t dismiss them out of hand or freak out.  That disclaimer I just made is because some of you will just decide they are crazy for being so against caffeine – others will become afraid of the air you breathe if you read this stuff – and I especially mean Brenda Watson’s book.  She’s a bit of a panic monger if you ask me.  She really comes down hard on our toxic environments and while I do agree that our environments do have many toxic components, I also know that the balance of chemicals in the living world has always been a shuffling game – as in, living things are always shuffling the things they want near them in and the things they want away out – even our own excrement would be toxic if we lived in it.  So anyway, just know that it’s all part of the game of being alive.  Don’t freak out just listen to the info and decide if it’s a problem for you or not.  If you know you are sensitive to caffeine and you also know you are a tiny person (for example) then maybe you ought to restrict your intake more than a big person who doesn’t notice anything when they drink it – I don’t really know – but certainly I am sensitive to it and I like the way I am sensitive to it – it makes me feel happy.  But probably I ought to go off it for the following reasons… here goes:

Coffee and tea (even decaffeinated) have a negative effect on your adrenal glands.  They put a strain on your immune system during a time when you want to give it all the support you can.  If you must have some coffee, have it on an empty stomach (away from food) otherwise it will acidify everything it is taken with.  The “civilized” after lunch or dinner coffee is one of the worst things you can do after eating.  Herbal tea is fine anytime! Natalie Rose Detox 4 Women p 62

I just want to note that black tea is just as much an herb and ginger is… and ginger is pretty stimulating too.  I’m not arguing with her but I would like to see the biochemistry of caffeine in the body and I’d also like to understand why decaff is still a problem.  I guess I’m probably going to listen anyway, because I know it effects me and my anti-cystitis diet is NOT supposed to include caffeine but I really do want to see the proof. She doesn’t even explain what she means about the immune system and I wonder about it’s impact on hormones. Cause this is what Brenda Watson says:

What Qualifies as a Toxin

But I also want to point out another dimension to this definition that’s frequently overlooked.  Substances you wouldn’t normally view as “toxic” or “poisonous” are indeed members of this category.  These include pharmaceutical drugs, caffeine, and alcohol.  The number of people who died in 2001 as a result of conditions brought on inadvertently by either medical treatment or diagnostic procedures was greater than the number of those who died in that same year of either heart disease or cancer, the number on and two leading causes of death in the US respectively. Brenda Watson Detox Strategy p 25

Have you had your first cup of coffee yet?  Or maybe you prefer the buzz from a diet soda, again loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners.  While caffeine does afford people some benefits, including a temporary boost of energy, too much can result in a cycle of highs and lows that can ultimately wreak havoc on steady levels of energy-promoting and detoxing hormones.  Additionally, caffeine can increase the rate at which you lose nutrients, which can aggravate your condition by taking away your body's supply of the very nutrients it needs for proper detoxification.  Brenda Watson Detox Strategy p 189

Here's my thought on coffee and tea...  I do know some ways to get around the issues they have brought up.  First, there is a site you can buy a cold brewing coffee maker.  I have tried it (thanks to Mike Detwiler) and it is quite good coffee.  The cold brewing of coffee makes it acid free.  My guess is that decaffeinated organic cold brew would be pretty okay for your health and I find it gives you that warm cozy breakfast feeling too.  It is organic, low acid and mostly caffeine (did I spell that right finally?) free.  (It's the dang e before i - pain in my butt)

Anyway, another comment goes with my above comment - foods in general must all have varying impacts in the body - this semester I'm planning to learn some about that in school - but it just seems to me that tea is an herb whether it's caffeine free or not and that all herbs are probably doing something to us.  Garlic, mint, ginger, cinnamon, basil, oregano, licorice root, chamomile ... surely they all do something.  So I'd hazard a guess that in moderation black tea and organic coffee is probably just fine and that acid free organic coffee is even better than fine!

A site on cold brewing:

A site to buy the hour glass cold brewer: 
Here's how I make it at home.  I use my french press.  I fill the base with about a half cup of grinds and then add room temp water to the press with the grounds just floating in it.  I wait 12 hours.  Then I strain the grinds and poor the rich dark liquid out.  When I make a cup of coffee I put about 1 /4 cup of the dark liquid in the bottom of my coffee cup (perhaps even less) and then add boiling water to it.  It tastes great to me and does not aggravate my medical condition.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 - Beets Wonderful Beets

Weight - 131.5
Food - carrot/lettuce juice, 1 pork chop, large salad with a buckwheat salad on it (1/4 cup cooked buckwheat, half an organic tomato diced, small amount of red onion diced, parsley diced, goat cheese crumbled, half red pepper diced, lemon juice, salt, pepper), half a baked yam with organic butter
Caffiene - no
Sugar - no

I can't remember if I said this already but I bought the $8 butter but I've only used half a stick in 10 days so the price isn't really that bad if you think of it that way.  And things seem to have a nice buttery taste at that low amount of use. 

Let's see... beets.  So I baked one for around 2 hours in the oven at 350 and then ate it and it was like a treat.  I suspect it's because I'm starved for sugar and any treat is just fabulous but I'm tempted to start having beets for dessert now...  ;)  Also, I realized that the Life-force Powerade was so gross the first time I made it because I put way too little beet in.  I think I only had sliced beets from the produce section of the organic store (sort of a slaw) and not fresh beets and I truly had no idea how big they actually are.  The juice is totally drinkable with one medium beet in it.  :) Here's what Rose says about Beets:

Beets Can Take the Heat!

Despite a reputation for being too sugary and starchy, carrots and beets are really very low in sugar and starch and rich in water and flavor!  Baked beets are one of the best friends to a woman's bowel.  I recommend baking the beets in their skins - don't even cut off the rough part on the bottom.  Just rinse them and place them on a baking sheet at exactly 350 for 2 -4 hours.  Then either eat them hot or enjoy them after a night in the refrigerator - after which time they get sweeter and almost like they are caramelized.  They are delicious, filling and so good for the elimination!  Don't be alarmed if you have a burgundy-colored movement (or a pinkish tinge to your urine) the next day - it's just the beets! 

Now... depression.  This is the start of what I've found on that:

Depression as you probably know can be due to many things happening in the brain in regards to the neurotransmitters.  Now – can gut health have an effect on mood, anxiety, depression? Yes, as Dr. Rick Sponaugle very well knows and treats.  I am not saying that if you take a probiotic it will cure your depression, but what you need to do is get your gut health checked and treated properly, as it can have an effect.  I would suggest you check into Dr. Sponaugle's clinic here in florida – called Florida Detox and Wellness Institute.   Although he treats for addictions, one of his specialties is gut/brain health.
Hope this helps.
Brenda Watson (from blog on her website)

Wed 6/23 on the Poop Scoop: The Gut/Brain Connection – Anxiety, Depression and Addiction

Depression, anxiety, addiction to drugs and alcohol—they may not seem like things you’d associate with good intestinal health, but the truth may surprise you. In fact, your brain and your gut are more closely connected than you might think, and scientists are just now beginning to understand how important a healthy gut is when it comes to better brain function.
Join me and my guest, Dr. Marvin Sponaugle, the founder of Florida Detox® and a pioneer in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Sponaugle is changing the way “brain” conditions are treated and has seen remarkable breakthroughs in his patients using natural therapies to correct hormonal/nutritional deficiencies and improve gut health. If you or someone you love suffers from addiction, anxiety or depression, don’t miss what Dr. Sponaugle has to say about the remarkable treatment techniques that can accelerate your recovery.
Log on and listen to Brenda’s Poop Scoop LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5 pm (EST) right from your computer. Missed an episode? Visit the Episode Directory on my website and listen to past shows from the archive!

Okay, I ended up discussing more about elimination that I expected to in this installment.  The thing is, it is about changing my intestines and that makes it hard to avoid the other topic of bathroom time...  anyhow, tomorrow I plan to write about caffeine...  I didn't have any today but I've been on and off. The morning juices make me feel lively and I don't want the caffeine then, but my friend Stacy mentioned she was depressed for a month when she went off caffeine and I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't react in a similar way...  we'll see.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9 (And 8) - The War Against Dandelions

Weight - 133 (holding pretty steady here over the past two days
Food 1/8 - Life-Force Power-ade (veggie juice), large salad with avacodo, tomato, red pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper, spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and organic buckwheat pasta with spinache, mushrooms, garlic and sauce on top.  Also had one thing of string cheese when I got weak at the Lego League tournament.
Food 1/9 - Life-Force Power-ade, spaghetti squash with sauce, bean soup and goat cheese...

So, what is this war on dandelions I speak of?  Mankind and dandelions - both brilliantly evolved and adapted living things and both battling for what they want.  The dandelion wants to spread it's seed around and man wants to either kill it for the perfect lawn or (much less often) eat it for lunch.  We cut the grass low to crop off it's leaves and it's flowers but that doesn't work because it quickly puts out new shoots that flower low and go to seed before we cut again.  We spray it with any number of poisons but that has the negative side effect of poisoning our yards - over use of such herbicides could even poison our whole environment.  And don't forget the other important fact about life, it is so incredibly adaptable that resistance to pesticides occurs and organisms prevail over time no matter what we throw at them.  The only way to win against the dandelion is to either dig out it's whole root so it can't grow back or farm it for lunch.  I guess we've learned a lot from dandelions in this battle.

This is how I see my battle against candida yeast.  I believe I have been treating it with pills and other medicines (herbicides so to speak) for twenty years.  Taking antibiotics and applying creams for acne, taking Elmiron for interstitial cystitis, taking a vast number of drugs for my allergies (pills and nasal sprays), taking caffeine so I don't feel exhausted after my sugar crashes... it started small and got worse each year.  I wasn't fat so I just kept eating the sugar - it comforted me and seemed okay since I also ate lots of healthy foods too.  Anyhow, I'm trying to do a reset now.  I'm trying to kill it off - dig it out by the root - and start over clean of it.

It's been 9 days but I still don't think I've gotten rid of it yet.  My acne is clearing up and my cystitis does feel just fine (in fact I think I've forgotten to take my pills a few times and it hasn't seemed to matter).  I think the shifting of urine pH is really going to fix the cystitis with time - I fundamentally believe it's just a matter of diet and that it has to do with pH and isn't complicated.    

Here's what the book says about the infection of candida yeast:
     Do you suffer from more than two of the following conditions? Eczema, acne, hives, inability to concentrate, depression, lupus, vaginal yeast infections, IBS, rectal itching, chronic fatigue? - Natalie Rose Detox for Women page 56
Here's what Brenda Watson has to say in her forums about the issue:

Doing what I do, I have a lot of folks come to me with problems like heartburn, constipation, gas and bloating—things that make you think right off the bat, “That’s a digestive issue.” But what about problems like fatigue or weight gain? Even allergies, joint pain or skin problems? What a lot of people don’t realize is that all of these things are connected, and they all come back to your gut.
I have a new book coming out called The Road to Perfect Health, and in it I talk about the vast numbers of bacteria in your body, especially in your digestive tract (which is where roughly 80 percent of your natural defenses are found). And when a healthy digestive balance is upset because of things like poor diet, stress or other factors, the result can be not only poor digestion, but a total breakdown in health.
If you’ve been having persistent health problems that you and your doctor just can’t seem to figure out no matter what you try, it may be time to look at what’s going on in your gut. And to do that, there are two absolutely essential tests that I recommend starting with. One is called a comprehensive stool analysis (CDSA or CSAP) and it’s really pretty remarkable. It evaluates your poop (now don’t cringe, this is important!) and looks at things like how you are digesting your food, as well as your levels of good and bad bacteria, whether pathogenic organisms such as C. difficile are present, what your yeast levels are, and if there are parasites in the gut.
The CDSA will also show you whether you have Leaky Gut Syndrome or inflammation in your digestive system, and it will show you how well your gut immunity is working, along with important gut health markers such as pH, blood, short-chain fatty acids and even how well your pancreas is functioning. These are all extremely important aspects of gut health that together can help you get to the bottom of what is going on in the rest of your body. Again, I can’t stress enough how connected your overall health is to what’s going on in your gut!
The other test is a gluten sensitivity test. Why gluten sensitivity? Because wheat gluten is a major (if not the worst) food irritant to the digestive system, and it is in a huge number of products on the market today—not just bread. Seriously folks, more than 40 percent of Americans are gluten sensitive and most don’t even know it, and 2 million of those have a serious autoimmune disorder called celiac disease, which causes the body to try to attack gluten in the system. And because even a lot of GI doctors don’t understand the difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, most will either label you as having celiac or nothing, which can be extremely frustrating when you don’t feel well and are trying to figure out what’s wrong (read more about this here).The bottom line is that people are having all these problems which could lead to bigger problems later on, and the reality is those problems can be helped.
Both of these tests are non-invasive and can be done right at home (visit and for more information). Then, all you have to do is send the tests to the lab for analysis (prepaid envelopes are provided) and hopefully take the first step toward getting your health back on track. If they seem expensive, think about it this way: how much money do you spend each week or each month on frivolous things you really don’t need? Isn’t your health a hundred times more important than a $4 latte every morning? And even if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost right away, you may be eligible for reimbursement, so I beg you—make this investment in your health. It’s worth it to get to the root of your problems and start enjoying the vibrant health and energy you deserve!!
Yours in good heath,
Brenda Watson, N.D., C.N.C.

Regarding pH of the gut...

Balancing pH
What's important to know about pH is that most grains, all meats and sugary foods are acid-forming foods in the body while most fruits (even citrus) and vegetables are alkaline-forming (though they may be acid in their raw, undigested form).  The consensus among experts in the natural health field seems to be that the ideal diet would consist of 80 percent alkaline- forming foods and 20 percent acid forming foods.  That means more fruits and vegetables should be eaten than meas and grains.  The SAD (Standard American Diet) is backward, with emphasis on starchy carbohydrates and meat.  This imbalance can be corrected by adding fruits and vegetables to the diet while limiting starchy carbohydrates.  

A green salad at least once per day and at least one cooked green vegetable daily, gradually adding more greens, will achieve an ideal diet.  In addition to increasing the number of salads and vegetables eaten, you may wish to add green drinks to your daily routine. - Brenda Watson The Detox Strategy page 153

Coming Soon!
Tomorrow I'll write about my new favorite food:  beets.  Yeah, I know, I know...  but I'm serious.  Also coming soon is intestinal health and depression - yes, that is right, you can be depressed just because your gut flora is wrong!  I'm not making it up! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 - Lots of distractions!

Weight - 135 lbs.
sugar - nope
caffiene - yep
meals - I think I ate too much today actually.  I had salad and juice at lunch time, then black bean soup with goat cheese on top around 4:30 pm, then I had a 2 egg omelet with veggies around 9 pm.  I do not feel even slightly hungry but I do still crave the sugar.  My son's old piece of vanilla cake sitting out on my counter for the past three days has been calling my name...  "EEEERRRRIIIINNNN."  Anyway, I think I'll just throw it out.  When he came down with a stomach bug he lost all interest in it and also in the morning donut I was going to get him this morning.  A clear sign your child is sick when they don't want a donut.  :)

I had breakfast and lunch at The Main Squeeze juice bar in Newark.  They have organic foods and options on their menu that match my diet.  They sell two veggie juices.  They also sell salads that work with what I'm currently eating.  I enjoyed lunch with my new friend Zing Rafzinger.  She kindly read my whole blog today and even sent me really great comments, though she wasn't able to post.  I think you might need a google ID and be signed in to post.  I will check my settings to see if I can change them to make posting easier.  I never even went through my profile options yet.  Here are her excellent comments:

My comment for Jan 4th's post:

The foods you are eating sound so yummy that I salivate while reading your blog! Eating things that are easily digested tends to keep me from feeling full. Since it's fats that make a body feel full, I found that it was the touch of butter I added to dishes that kept me from feeling hungry. And it added flavor, too.

As far as I know, the stomach produces the right environment to neutralize what's coming in. So when we eat alkaline things, the stomach neutralizes it by producing acidic digestive enzymes, which is hard on the immune system. When we eat acidic things, the stomach produces alkaline digestive enzymes, which is supportive of the immune system. 

Prune juice is my laxative of like a charm.

My comment for Jan 3rd's post:

I find it interesting that when my body needs detoxing, the detox teas taste marvelous and I can drink them easily. When my body has had enough, the teas taste horrible, and I can't drink them without retching.

The sugar craving will go away. Three weeks on a no-sugar diet will do it, as the body rebalances itself. Then be prepared to allow yourself a new "normal" of NOT craving sugar. And don't force yourself to eat it when your body no longer wants it!

I find that a buffered Vitamin C is a miracle booster to my immune system. And I find that my body simply will not tolerate Calcium in any pill form. My body doesn't like milk either, and only tolerates cheese and ice cream. I believe I get all the calcium I need from almonds.

My comment for Dec 31st's post:

If veterinarians for years have been using dietary change as the main ingredient in restoring animal health, I wonder what it is about humans that makes them resist dietary change so much? A very large woman once asked me if I knew of a good diet pill she could take. I told her that people who avoid sugar and dairy find that excess weight melts off their bodies. She replied that she loves sugary sweets, so all she is looking for is a good diet pill...

Love to you from Zing

Zing reminded me of my acid / alkaline question and so did my friend Stacey.  I did some brief internet serarching and found one blog that discusses alkaline versus acid foods in a way that I can work with.  So, basically, I don't think this author is a native English speaker but the content seems plausably accurate.  I will continue to ponder it:

How to classify alkaline/acid foods?
To classify an acidic food, we have to remember that any food that increases the acidity of our urine after the consumption is classified as acid forming food. Vice versa if the food we consume increases the alkalinity of the urine, and then it is classified as alkaline forming food. One thing that needs a clarification is that the effect of certain foods in urine does not have to do with the pH level of the food itself. Like for example, lemon is considered a highly acidic food base on its citrus acid content. Nevertheless, after being metabolized, lemon will become alkaline. So, lemon is considered as highly alkaline food on the contrary to its nature.
You may want to ask what are considered acid forming foods, here are the list for your reference: corn, most grains, fish, meat organ meats such as organ, eggs, gravy, processed foods, wine, yogurt with active cultures, buttermilk, sour cream, fermented foods, aged cheese, vitamin B complex, hydrochloric acid supplements, and soft water, coffee, plums, prunes, and cranberries.

On the other hand, alkaline forming foods are as follows: fruits not mentioned above such bananas, lemons, and watermelon, dandelion greens, figs, barley, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, cucumber, kale, parsley, sea vegetables and grasses such as wheatgrass.
Prior to this new diet I think I was definitely eating many more of the acid foods than the alkaline foods.  I am trying to un-acidify myself and I'm still gravitating somewhat to those acid foods - eggs, fish, yogurt (yum - even plain yogurt tastes good these days).  I'm even concerned that my allergy pills and my vitamins might make me acidic.  And my water here is very soft.  SO...  I guess I just have to hang in there without the sugar and eat more kale and cucumber! 

Today was very busy and tomorrow is likely to be the same due to family responsibilities.  I will post as much as I can.  :)  Have a great night!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6 - Cultivate Self Love

Weight - 134.5 lb
Breakfast - Green Lemonade - 5 stalks kale, 1 head romaine, 1 lemon, 3 stevia packs, 1 tbs ginger
 - It tasted fine
Lunch - Left over chicken veggie quinoa soup
Dinner - Salad of tuna / chicken in a goat yogurt sauce with avacodo and greens - also had a small butternut squash, baked and plane (tasted good)
caffiene - yes (couldn't resist, I was so tired yesterday)
sugar - no

I think I have plenty to write about but I'm just too tired to write it tonight.  :)  I will share that I learned something really obvious and really awesome during this detox.  I always buy squashes because I love them and then it takes me forever to cook them because they are so hard to cut open and they cook so slowly.  well, I found out during this detox that it's perfectly fine to bake them in the oven as they are.  So you can just rinse them off, stick them in a class pan, cook them at 350 until they are soft, cut them open, take out the seeds and scoop out the flesh and you're done.  It's so easy and I'm so thrilled about it!

Okay, well thank you everyone who is reading and offering me support.  I really appreciate it!  So many folks have said they know I can do it and it meant a lot to me.  I hope that I will have time tomorrow to write more but it turns out we are expecting snow and my son has a stomach flu.  So I'm liable to be busy again.  I will hope for the best, however.

Oh, I almost forgot and had to come back to add this.  I've been meaning to upload it and cut it out etc.  So... I found an article in Yoga Journal this month about how to stick to your resolutions and I wanted to share it with everyone.  This is just part of the article.  If you wan the whole article let me know and I'll scan it in and email it to you.  :)  Until tomorrow... 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5 - A bit tired...

Weighed in at 132 this morning
Sugar - no
Caffiene - no
breakfast - "chocolate milk" veggie juice
lunch - 3 egg omelet with goat cheese, tomato, collard greens, red pepper, and mushroom
snacks - a bowl of plain goat yogurt with flax seed and stevia in it
           - a glass of fresh organic carrot juice
dinner - ahi tuna steak with collard greens and other stir fried veggies

Feel tired today.  I don't feel ill or anything, just tired.  I'm a bit concerned that I'm just hungry!

Never had collard greens before.  I fried them in organic butter and garlic - they tasted great.  (course everything tastes twenty times better when you are hungry).  I don't feel weak or unable to function, just tired.  We'll see how much longer I can go with no sugar.  Five days is pretty great though!  My goal is 7 days but I also want to see some changes as a result (besides getting skinny) - the magical fix that I'd wish for is no more interstitial cystitis symptoms and no more acne or sinus pressure.  :)  A girl can dream.  I do think that my allergies are improved but it's not night and day.  I'm giving it the 7 days at least, though, and then from there I can see if I need to try for longer or not.  If I add in my "treats" after that they are:

small amount of dark chocolate (over 66%)
occasional red wine
yams and sweet potatoes (according to Natalie Rose, women should get most of their starch calories from winter squashes and yams / sweet potatoes.)

I can do without the red wine but the berries - YEAH BERRIES - that I want.

Okay, all I have to say for today.   Don't worry about my "huge" weight loss.  I weighed myself in the morning today and in the evening on Saturday so it's not as much as it seems.  :)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 - Is it really day four? Erin's Quinoa Chicken Veggie Soup Recipe

Several things to discuss today... 

First off, I promised my soup recipe.  Quinoa is a grain that can be bought at local health food stores.  In its normal raw state it needs to be rinsed to take the bitter flavor out.   I soak it in water for five minutes and then put it in my fine mesh strainer (sifter) and run the water over it for a couple minutes.  You can also strain it in cheese cloth but I've found my regular kitchen items do the job just fine.  Then I cook it just like rice except instead of water I use organic vegetable or chicken stock.  This gives it much more flavor than if you use water.  I think it's delicious. "Cook just like rice means" 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid for about 20 minutes - maybe even less - try not to overcook it.

Erin's Quinoa Chicken Veggie Soup

1 cup quinoa cooked seperately and set aside
2 parsnips
1/2 of a celery root
4 carrots
1/2 - 1 pound grilled chicken seasoned as you like and cut up for soup
64 oz organic chicken stock
1 - 2 tablespoons organic butter (maybe less if you want to go light)

Basically you set your chicken stock going in a large pot.  Just peel and chop your veggies and then fry them for about 2-3 mins a side and then put in the hot chicken stock in a large pot.  They cook quite quickly once the stock is hot and boiling (maybe 5 minutes).  Then you just add the chicken and the quinoa and make sure its warmed through.  You can eat it right away. 

The way I serve it to myself is to keep my quinoa to the side and ladle my soup onto it, but you don't have to do that.  Also, good in the soup would be other veggies such as onions and mushrooms.  The way I handle the meat is to grill my chicken the night before and eat half the grilled chicken with dinner and save the other half for my soup. 


Second of all my breakfast was weird.  I finally found kale in a local grocery store.  It is just a gorgeous plant... huge, curly, sturdy, green leaves!  I love it.  So now that I finally found it (I did have to ask the grocer to be sure) I made one of the weird juices for breakfast.  This one is called "Life Force Energy Power-ade" and I'm going to be completely honest here... it was almost disgusting.  It was a lovely velvety and frothy green.  It included 5 large leaves of kale, 4 packets of stevia artificial sweetener (not the 1 or 2 recommended by Natalie Rose, I just couldn't drink it with only 2), 1 whole lemon (peel and all), 1 whole beet, 1 large cucumber, and about 1 inch of fresh ginger (zippy).  Yuck.  I'm not too hard to please either.  Now that it's in me I don't find that it disagrees so far with my system, in fact it seems to bring nice after affects, but it does bring me to an interesting point...  Natalie speaks a lot about getting the average American woman's body chemistry from acidic to alkaline.  Recalll that one lemon - well the juice tasted strongly of lemon - an acidic item.  So...  Let me type up something on that and then make a note for the part I don't understand and want to...

"My first memory of learning about alkaline versus acid was in seventh grade science when we did experiments with litmus paper.  A result of 7 was neutral, above 7 was alkaline, and below 7 was acidic.  Well, our blood chemistry should be 7.4 which is slightly alkaline.  There is no need to check it unless you're either very curious or very sick.  you will know if you are too acidic if you get sick often, get urinary tract infections, suffer from headaches, and have bad breath and body odor (when you do not use antiperspirant).  Acidosis is the medical term for a blood alkalinity of less than 7.35.  A normal reading is called homeostasis.  It is not considered a disease; although in and of itself it is recognized as an indicator of disease.  Your blood feeds your organs and tissues, so if your blood is acidic, your organs will suffer and your body will have to compensate for this imbalance somehow.  We need to do all we can to keep our blood alkalinity high.  The way to do this is to dramatically increase our intake of alkaline-rich elements like fresh, clean air; fresh, clean water; raw vegetables (particularly their juices); and sunlight, while drastically reducing our intake of and exposure to acid-forming substances: pollution, cigarettes, hard alcohol, white flour, white sugar, red meat, and coffee. By tipping the scales in the direction of alkalinity through alkaline diet and removal of acid waste through cleansing, an acidic body can become an alkaline one.

Bear in mind that some substances that are alkaline outside the body like milk, are acidic to the body; meaning they leave an acid residue in the tissues, just as many substances that are acidic outside the body, like lemons and ripe tomatoes, are alkaline and healing in the body and contribute to the body's critical alkaline reserve." - Natalie Rose, Detox For Women, p. 19

The part I don't understand is how lemon and ripe tomatoes become alkaline in the body.  I understand that milk breaks down to an acid... but what about lemon?  Mystery.

Okay next thing to think over...  bowel movements.  Yes, I know, charming. I  won't go into details really but here's where to find it in the book:  Pages 31 - 33 give a very clear explanation of what indicates a healthy detox and what does not.  In short, just having the runs and going to the bathroom every second isn't a healthy detox according to Natalie Rose.  She wants two well-formed bowel movements a day and she explains what that means.  She also has steps to follow to encourage things along because she explains that women especially can get bloated and constipated initially in their detox.  She empahsizes in several places in the book that getting the "old matter" out of the body is very important so if you aren't going, don't ignore that, instead, make it right.  And I will also say that she doesn't think much of herbal cleansers.  She argues they shock the system into purging things but that isn't really getting at the real issue or cleaning the colon.  This, too, I don't know why, I just have to take her word for it now.  But I'll be paying attention and searching for answers to the things I don't understand yet, that's for sure.  She is a fan of gravity-method colon hydrotherapy sessions.  I have heard of them.  Seems a bit freaky, but who knows, I irrigate my sinuses, why not my colon? 

Today I weighed in at: 134.5 lbs.
Still morning so I don't know about food and other things yet. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 - A Response to Skepticism

Weight - 136
Caffiene - yes (one cup of tea)
Sugar - no (well two grapes and two pieces of pasta)
Breakfast was weird (Juice made of one beet, one head romaine lettuce, 8 carrots, 1 inch ginger, and a cucumber) it tasted zippy and very refreshing
Lunch - half an acorn squash, chicken soup with parsnip, celery root, carrot and quinoa
Dinner -  a big salad of avocado, organic eggs, grilled chicken, red pepper, mixed greens, goat cheese

Today I wanted to address a great question my friend Isy pointed out.  I wish you guys could post the comments here  on the blog, but if it isn't working right for you please email me like Isy did.  Anyway, she recommends "Triple Leaf Tea" detox tea and I will try it and give a report - looking forward to it because I have to admit I've always hated tea without sugar but seem to be gaining a taste for it now.  I love the yogi teas - they are all delicious and the one's I've tried don't need sugar at all. 

She also said:

"I don't know about all your supplements... they cannot possibly be good for you, in my opinion. Have you read about all the research that has shown they not only not always contain what they claim, but are also often stuffed with mercury and other poisons. What makes you think the huge corporations that produce and market those supplements are more trustworthy than Kraft or Exxon?"

Of course anything I buy could be toxic, that's true, but I consider myself to have really carefully researched the only two items I'm currently taking right now.  Both are products recommended by organic food and anti-toxicity advocates who research this stuff and I purchased them through organic food sources.  I can only do my best.  I'm not taking more than two supplements currently.  As I've said... all I'm taking is Candex (an organic product designed to kill the candida yeast infestation I have due to long years of a very high sugar diet and antibiotic use for sinus infections) and Probiotics (an organic product designed to build the good flora in my gut that have declined from long years of antibiotic use).  I'm not doing an herbal cleanse right now, either.  I did buy one and am storing it in my cupboard (and boy it takes up space...) anyway, I haven't decided to use it yet because I haven't researched how to use it.  This (my current detox) is just a really special diet designed by a nutritionist specifically for women including all organic foods in a careful balance of protein and vegetable matter.  I'm fairly comfortable eating it and I don't feel hungry.  I have been craving sugar, though.

Anyhow, I do have a bunch of other things that don't fit in my cabinet.  I bought some vitamin mixes - EmergenC and Airborne.  If anyone knows that those contain toxins or contaminants, please let me know.  I have found them to work really well in the past  on keeping me healthy when I'm afraid I'm coming down with something - perhaps the placebo effect, though I think it's probably the vitamin C.  The only reason I'm not taking them now (as I know I recently got exposed to a stomach bug...) is that they do contain some sugar (for taste) and I'm not supposed to have any.  I do find they taste pretty darn good and really do seem to keep me healthy.  The other thing is that Ca/D supplement that I bought at Target.  Not sure if it's safe, it was Target brand which could be a large / evil big business manufacturer... anyway, I'm not taking it yet.  I'm not sure when to take it (as in with what foods, how much and what time of day) or how it might react with the detox, so I'm waiting until the detox is over for stuff like that.  I bought it because I read it ought to help with PMS and I'm also concerned about my Ca levels - trying to be proactive as women and bone density is always an issue.  If anyone knows about calcium supplements please post and let me know.

I will research the issue some during my upcoming nutrition class and my second semester anatomy and physiology course.  I had heard years ago that a sugar rich diet can strip Ca from your bones (from one of my aerobics instructors at the YMCA).  It didn't make sense to me, honestly, but I just took Anatomy and Physiology I and I learned about the Endocrine system in that class.  I don't know much, just enough to be dangerous, but I did learn that certain hormones in the parathyroid and thyroid regulate blood Ca (Ca is needed for your muscles to contract) and also metabolism (so to some extent blood sugar).  So, bare with me here, basically, I had calcium crystals in my urine that were causing the irritation of my bladder,  Someone told me once that high blood glucose strips calcium from the bones (don't know why) and I know I eat too much sugar.  Also, I've had an acidic digestive system due to stress and my poor diet and that contributes to the irritation in my bladder.  Anyway, I'm just putting all the points together a bit.  If my sugar was involved in some way in producing a removal of Ca from my bones, couldn't that be why the crystals were in my urine and couldn't it all mean I need some Ca supplements to build things back up again?  But as I said, I don't understand it well enough yet to know.  I plan to study it at some point to figure it out more and then I'll be able to decide if the supplements will help me.  Before I do that, however, I'm trying to get things back in whack as they are now.  And that's what the detox is supposed to do and that's why I need the candex and the probiotics.  If anyone knows more about this please post.

I guess the skepticism that marks Isabelle's email is worth talking about too.  I am a reformed skeptic these days. I'm not sure I'm proud of it, honestly, but it's just true.  I had a spiritual experience about three years ago and ever since then I've got more faith than one person really ought to use to live their life by... from a practical standpoint.  And yet, that's just how it is.  Anyway, this particular detox is really very convincing and logical however.  My motto on the back of my business card:

Trust in God, but tie your camel.

Well I really believe in that.  What I mean, is that I took the time to really read and research this detox business.  I also have a basic understanding of health and nutrition principles that I can draw from and a lifetime interest in health practices.  So, I picked Natalie Rose because it works for me on several levels...  it seems logical and makes sense to me, it allows for meat which is good since I can't eat soy due to my cystitis, it involves foods I do already like, it follows sound nutrition principles and could be healthily maintained for a long time (it's not a fast, it's a detoxing diet) and it's designed specifically for women with many of the issues I struggle with. Oh, so how am I a crazed zealot who is going through life riding on faith from all that logic?  Well, it's because I decided to detox based on the words of guides in my life...  First, my friend Elizabeth told me about Dr. Joshi and then my professor in Anatomy and Physiology mentioned nutrition class and then a fellow yoga teacher Robert mentioned another holistic doctor with a diet treatment method that worked for him and finally the owner of the Awareness Center in Newark, Neil, mentioned that recent studies indicate our bacteria and yeast are unique to us and they make up a lot of the cells in our bodies.  It begs the question, who are we really?  And that's the question, right?  Am I a bunch of sugar craving yeast and bacteria that are driving me to be addicted to my food or am I me, Erin, who doesn't need that crap?  (YEAH!  Watch me tell that yeast who's boss!)

Anyhow, day 3 is going just fine.  I did end up eating two pieces of penne pasta and two grapes (all when I tasted food I prepared for my kids to test it in the food preparation process...)  Otherwise, driving down mainstreet was a big distraction - I had never realized just how many ice cream, cup cake, and other various treat shops there are on mainstreet Newark!  I drove down it 3 times today and salivated the whole way!

I've written so much today... tomorrow I will give the complete quinoa / chicken soup rescipe (I made it up myself) and discuss the issue of elimination of waste (as delicately as possible).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 - Challenges and Interesting discoveries

My weight - 136 (my clothes were probably just heavier yesterday)

So far I'm not hungry or anything.  But my kids come back from dad's house tomorrow so the comfort eating cravings are likely to hit me then.  My observations so far:

1.  OMG where do you put all the supplements?  I mean, mine just don’t fit in the cabinet I'm using.  I know it sounds like I only have probiotics and candex but the truth is I also have candigone to use after the candex is done and I bought some other things too.  I got all interested in vitamins through this process and so I bought a cleanse by renew health - first cleanse 15 days - but haven't started using it.  Also, I bought some Ca / D supplements and a probiotic for kids.   Anyhow, it's hard to fit it in my cupboards so I better use it up just so I can get some space back.  And that list didn't include all the herbal teas I'm trying.  That's my next discovery.

2.  Skin Detox tea is delicious and I think it almost started working right away... or that could be my imagination.  I'll keep you posted.  So is Egyptian Licorice - doesn't taste anything like black licorice.   

3.  Going to the grocery store right now brings on carb cravings.  God, the grocery store was all looking really tasty... especially in the cereal and bread areas of the store... yummy...  

4.  Kale... well, who knew that it was a popular health food product.  It's been sold out of both grocery stores I've been to and when I asked at the last one they told me that it was there in the morning but they sold out!   Apparently, and who expected this, I'm not the only one trying to eat healthy starting January 1st. 

5.  Goat's yogurt costs $8 and organic butter is $7.50.  Just warning you.

Alrighty, well that's not all my amazing discoveries of the day, but enough for now.  :)  What did I eat today:

Morning: lettuce / carrot juice blend
Lunch: three egg omelet with goat cheese and tomatoes (all organic)
Dinner: half a baked acorn squash, half an avocado on a salad, and a bit of grilled chicken really intended for a soup I'm making for tomorrow.
Caffeine:  Yes
Sugar: No
Probiotic in midmorning / candex in the night
Lots of cups of herbal tea - all yogi brand
I am a bit concerned that I'm not going to the bathroom as much as I should.  Sorry to be indelicate but Natalie Rose indicated a minimum of 3 bowl movements a day on the detox.  So... I'm going to have a big glass of water now and hope for the best.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1

Happy New Year!

I did well today.  It's 8:10 pm and I made it.  I am craving sugar but it's not too bad.  I didn't eat until mid day but when I did eat I had the "chocolate milk" veggie juice recipe (that was supposed to be breakfast) and a mix of fried spinach, mushrooms, and peppers with two hard boiled eggs.  Then later I cooked a whole wild caught sea bass... that was funny.  I had no idea how to cook it but it turned out fine.  And the cats enjoyed the leftover pieces of meat and skin that I didn't want.  So far no sugar...  I also took my probiotic and my candex.  I weighed in at 139... perhaps it was too much rich New Years Eve dinner last night...  anyhow, so far so good.

My Weight - 139 lbs.
Cost of organic foods and meat at grocery store - $54 
Cost of supplements (including one I bought for my kids) - $115 (renew life from Brenda Watson's website) - should last the whole 28 days
Caffiene - yes, tea
Sugar - No

Some of my juice recipes include kale and beets.  I'm having some trouble finding kale and beets at my local acme, however.  I'll head over to the Newark co-op and get some soon.  I think I might have only eaten kale once in my life... I think I did like it... 

My friend Nina does tell me that licorice root tea is supposed to get rid of sugar cravings.  Going to get that tomorrow for sure!