Changing for the better, one bite and (deep) breath at a time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Clean Week 3! Woohoo!

We're on the home stretch, people! Please see the previous posts regarding weeks 1 and 2. Of course, we're still doing the same supplements and choosing all organic meats and fruits/vegetables.

Day 15 - August 23rd

Workout - 45 minute walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, white peach, chia seeds, cashew butter, almond milk, ice

Lunch - quinoa pasta with chicken and summer vegetables (thanks again to Stacey!); green tea

Snack - sliced Persian cucumber with sea salt and raw Dr. Hummus hummus, both from the farmers' market!

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, chia seeds, ice; herbal tea

Today was rough. I was cranky and ticked off for no apparent reason. I had a dietetic association board meeting in the evening, so I brought my "dinner" and enjoyed it there while everyone ate Wildflower sandwiches. That didn't really bother me, honestly. I was just in a bad mood, but being around friends and having a lively discussion perked me up a lot. I went to bed feeling a little better.

Someone on the Clean Program community responded to a post I had written about heartburn, recommending that I stop one of the supplements (Clear 1, an anti-parasitic). My last pill was at lunch, so I didn't do it at dinner and already started to feel the "silent reflux" go away. I had it before the Clean Program, but I thought it would get better, not slightly worse, doing this! I'm glad I found the culprit for me. My sister, on the other hand, has been fine with it!

Day 16 - August 24th

Workout - 1 hour walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, nectarine, cinnamon, chia seeds, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, ice

Snack - 1 Persian cucumber with sea salt

Lunch - Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen for my boss' birthday! Quinoa pasta with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, olive oil, and lemon, gluten-free bread; green tea

Check out their fresh herbs sitting right out front:

Snack - 1 Persian cucumber with raw hummus

Massage - one of the creepiest massages of my life, but at least it was deep tissue (though not very relaxing!)

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, ice; herbal tea

Today was pretty good! I was feeling much better than yesterday, and I enjoyed being able to have a yummy lunch out. My shakes seem to be getting smaller and smaller in volume, but I'm equally as satisfied.

Day 17 - August 25th

Pre-workout snack - brown rice cake with raw almond butter

Workout - 1 hour walk; P90X Cardio

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, spinach, avocado (yes, avocado), frozen raspberries, almond milk, ice

Snack - Persian cucumber with raw hummus

Lunch - buffalo buger atop black lentils with Swiss chard, microgreens with olive oil vinaigrette; green tea

Snack - Persian cucumber with avocado slices, sea salt, and kelp sprinkles

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, spinach, tahini, frozen raspberries, almond milk, ice; green tea

I felt pretty good today as well, and I did happen to hop on the scale to see that I have lost almost 10 pounds so far. Interestingly, I think this is mostly water weight, as my clothes aren't falling off of me. I almost feel as if inflammation carries a lot of water or "allergy weight" with it, so I'm not very concerned about the relatively big weight loss. I'm just happy I feel better and my allergies are greatly improved!

Day 18 - August 26th

Workout #1 - 55 minute walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen blueberries, avocado, ice, almond butter; Teeccino with stevia

Lunch - quinoa pasta with summer vegetables and chicken, micro greens with olive oil and vinegar; iced green tea

Snack - brown rice cake with pecan butter

Workout #2 - Karve

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, almond butter, almond milk, frozen raspberries, ice

I was definitely starting to feel the "detox high" today. My aches and pains have definitely diminished, and I am sleeping really well. My skin is glowing, my eyes are bright, and I feel healthy and rested. I love that I don't have strong cravings or get really hungry. Food isn't a big deal. I really like it, and I enjoy everything I'm eating, but I'm not really thinking about it at all. It's very liberating. I'm still really loving fruits and veggies too!

Day 19 - August 27th

Workout - 1 hour walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, nectarine, almond butter, ice, tahini; Teeccino with stevia

Snack - pineapple and melon from Edible Arrangements (a birthday gift to my boss)

Lunch - Compound Grill! Organic chicken and local produce! Garden plate (roasted veggies and fresh hummus on top of mixed greens) with salmon; green tea

Snack - more Edible Arrangements fruit

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, chia seeds, cashew butter, almond milk, frozen raspberries

It was a bit challenging going out to lunch, but I absolutely loved what I ordered! Strangely, everything tasted spicy to me at lunch. My coworkers tasted the same carrots I was eating and didn't notice any spiciness, but maybe my taste buds are going a little nuts. I felt so great not eating normal restaurant food and easily passed on the cheese fondue, tortilla chips, and birthday dessert. It just didn't appeal to me!

Day 20 - August 28th

Workout #1 - Walk (55 minutes)

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, nectarine, sunflower seed butter, cinnamon, almond milk, ice; Teeccino

Workout #2 - Karve (and Karve seminar on organics!)

Lunch - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen blueberries, spinach, almond butter, almond milk, ice; iced tea

Snack - raw carrots, broccoli, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries at a bridal shower (passed up the beautiful appetizers and desserts); brown rice cake with sunflower seed butter at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner - birthday dinner for Jenna! Salad, soup, mackerel, rice, and green tea at a Japanese restaurant; green tea

I felt really great today until the evening, when I got really hungry. We didn't eat until about 8:45 pm, so I was definitely ready for it! It was strange eating my biggest meal at night (and so late), but I'm glad I could find yummy options and had a great time with friends, which is all that matters. Turns out I really love grilled mackerel! I always recommend it as a fish that is high in omega-3s and relatively low in mercury and PCB's, but I've only had it as raw sushi and never as a cooked fillet. Yum!

Day 21 - August 29th (wooooooot!)

Workout #1 - Walk/run (knees feeling great!) - 1 hour

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, 1/2 peach, chia seeds, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, ice; iced tea

Workout #2 - Zumba, followed by some pool/sun time and hot tub

Lunch - YC's mixed vegetables, chicken, turkey, brown rice, chicken veggie soup, and sauce made with garlic, sesame oil, cooking wine, and ginger; pluot

Snack - brown rice cake with avocado

Massage - lymph drainage massage followed by an epsom salt bath

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, chia seeds, spinach, frozen raspberries, almond butter, almond milk, ice

I MADE IT! I can't believe this is the last day! I'm so glad I did the Clean Program, and I know it has changed my health and eating habits forever. I'm feeling really great, and I am excited to learn what foods I can add back without allergies and what foods cause problems. It a difficult emotional roller coaster with big payoffs, and I am really glad I made it all the way through.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clean Week 2

Week 2 of the Clean Program has brought some very interesting and wonderful changes. Please see the previous posts on the first week. As mentioned before, I do take the supplements as indicated with the program and stick to mostly organic fruits, veggies, and animal proteins.

For the most part, I completely forgot to take pictures of my lunches because most of my blog pictures are of dinners. I do share a few, below, and hope to take them during week 3.

Day 8 - August 16th

Workout - 60 minute walk with intervals; 10 minute meditation prior

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, blueberries, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, ice

Here's a picture of what the shake looks like when made with raspberries:

Snack - Sliced cucumber with sea salt

Lunch - delicious delivered food from Stacey Weber, personal chef! Chicken curry with brown rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and zucchini; green tea

Snack - almonds and a nectarine

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, spinach (yes, spinach!), frozen raspberries, almond milk, cashew butter, ice

I still have some jaw tightness going on, and I'm thinking it's stress related. It's interesting what happens when you can't relax with a glass of wine or enjoy a warm dinner at night. Perhaps this is what I need to help truly tease out some lingering emotional eating from my "dieting" days.

Stacey Weber, a Scottsdale personal chef, started delivering our food for lunch today. (For the record, my boss and sister are doing this with me!) The food was so incredibly delicious, satisfying, and filling, and we loved having the convenience of someone else shopping and making it for us! She uses all organic meats and vegetables (especially for the "Dirty Dozen" foods), and she delivered it to us in individual portions that we could heat together or independently. YUM!

I can't believe I'm already on day 8. This has started to feel like my normal routine, and I really like having a break from cooking for a few weeks, though I'm sure I'll be glad to return to it.

Day 9 - August 17th

Pre-workout - brown rice cake with almond butter

Workout - 1 hour interval walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen blueberries, spinach, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, ice; green tea

Snack - sliced cucumber with sea salt

Lunch - quinoa pasta with gluten-free meatballs, broccoli, chickpeas, and dairy/pine nut free pesto; ginger tea

Snack - sliced cucumber with avocado and sea salt

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, spinach, almond milk, cashew butter, ice; Yogi "Calm" tea

Today was hard. I had what the program calls "quantum detox," which means that some emotions bubble up to the surface as your internal chemistry changes. I was apathetic, unmotivated, and irritated, and I honestly never feel like this. I went home intending to do some yoga, but without any energy I just hung out on the couch with the pups, watched Weeds with Greg, and tried to breathe. About 2 hours later, it was as if a cloud lifted. I was happy, driven, and optimistic again, and I felt super energized and clear-headed. Phew! Obviously there was something that needed to get out!

Day 10 - August 18th

Today was really hard because we had to put our Lucy down. Jess and I just wanted to have a glass of wine, but we stuck to the program and dealt with our sadness by leaning on our family, crying it out, and going to bed early.

Pre-workout snack - Brown rice cake with almond butter

Workout - 45 minutes interval walking; P90X Cardio

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, blueberries, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, ice

Lunch - grilled chicken atop homemade hummus (no canned chickpeas!), celery and cucumber salad, micro greens, a few bites of leftover brown rice; green tea

Snack - sliced cucumber with avocado and sea salt

Dinner - Shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, cashew butter, almond milk, water, ice

We will all miss our Lucy girl. She was there when I graduated from high school, college, graduate school, and even when I got married. She saw some of the most exciting times in our lives, and she was a "mom" to Waldo and Wanda. It's amazing how emotional change can happen while on this cleanse, and I think I would not have been as open to dealing with Lucy's passing if I hadn't gone through this catharsis.

Day 11 - August 19th

Workout #1 - 1 hour walk

Breakfast - shake with vanilla protein powder/fiber, nectarine, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, cinnamon, ice (tasted like apple cinnamon ice cream! Yum!); green tea

Snack - sliced cucumber with sea salt

Lunch - salad with various greens, "breaded" chicken (almond flour), homemade olive oil vinaigrette, sliced figs and plums - Stacey Weber rocks!

Snack - coconut Lara Bar

Workout #2 - Karve

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, cashew butter, almond milk, water, ice; Yogi "Calm" herbal tea

Today was much better, emotionally and physically. Jaw pain is gone, and I'm really not that hungry. I don't worry about what I'm going to eat (or not eat), and I've found that I almost have to remind myself to eat (which never has happened before). I just have to be careful that I don't slow my metabolism, since I've definitely lost a lot of weight (8 pounds) in 11 days. I'm very concerned about honoring my metabolism and not undoing some of the great muscle work I've done through Karve and P90X!

Day 12 - August 20th

Workout - 1 hour walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, nectarine, cinnamon, almond milk, almond butter, ice (this is seriously delicious)

Snack - 1 fresh, wonderful pear (fruit tastes so much better to me now!)

Lunch - Picasso Pizza: gluten-free crust (rice/tapioca flours and xantham gum), olive oil/garlic, spinach, chicken, broccolini, mushrooms (hold the cheese!) plus microgreen salad with Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette, which is olive oil based; green tea

Snack - 1/2 cucumber, sliced, with sea salt

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powder, fresh raspberries, cashew butter, almond milk, ice; green/hibiscus tea

Starting to feel really good! I'm noticing that fruit tastes so much better than it ever has, and it's super satisfying to have raw fruit or vegetables for snacks. I'm really liking how my tastes are changing, and I'm surprisingly satisfied and full most of the day.

Day 13 - August 21st

Pre-workout snack - 1/2 brown rice cake with almond butter

Workout #1 - Walk for 40 minutes (too hot!)

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, mix of frozen blueberries and frozen raspberries, almond milk, cashew butter, ice

Workout #2 - Karve class

Snack - brown rice cake with raw tahini-free hummus (from Dr. Hummus at the North Scottsdale Farmers' Market)

Lunch - Chipotle salad with lettuce, beans, chicken, and guacamole (pretty good actually!)

Afternoon/evening snack (we were at a BBQ and didn't leave until 9:30!): cantaloupe, watermelon, and vegetable crudites (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower) with guacamole (avoiding the tomatoes)

Dinner (at almost 10 p.m. - so starving!) - small shake with protein/fiber powders, chia seeds, almond milk

Today's schedule was a little unusual because we went to a BBQ in the afternoon that lasted well into the evening. I had a blast, even though I could not eat anything but fruits/veggies or drink anything but water. Even though those around me felt bad for me or worried I wouldn't have a good time, I had an absolute blast! It became a little difficult at around 8:30 because I started to get really, really hungry and was almost shaky. I hope to never do that again in week 3!

I think a really hard part of this process is that despite what your own experience is, those around you might not approve of or like what you're doing. Their reasons vary, but it could be from a lack of bonding over food or drinks, or perhaps because they don't understand why you're doing it. For the most part, my friends and family have been pretty supportive (and my husband has been awesome), but there are a few naysayers who really don't like that this is my lifestyle for 3 weeks. I personally am so glad I have done this, and I feel so great now. I'm sleeping like a rock, my eyes are bright, my allergies are pretty much gone, and my clothes fit much better. I'm saving a lot of money, finding many ways to have fun, truly enjoying (and fully remembering) moments with my friends, and really enjoying my life right now. I've completely changed my relationship with food and crave fruits and vegetables more than ever before. In my opinion, it's one of the best things I have done in quite a long time.

Day 14 - Sunday, August 22nd

Workout #1 - 1 hour run/walk (knees are feeling so great for the first time in a while, so I can run!)

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, nectarine, cinnamon, almond milk, cashew butter, ice

Workout #2 - Karve (super hard today too - I was sweating buckets!)

Snack - 1/2 brown rice cake with raw hummus; green tea

Lunch - True Foods! Drink made with freshly pressed honeydew, mint, and lime (could only drink about half); veggie crudites like fennel, radish, and Persian cucumber with vinaigrette hummus; quinoa, arugula, beet, pomegranate seed salad with chicken added (this was seriously delicious - thanks for the recommendation, Claire!)

Dinner - I'm writing this before I have dinner, but it will likely be a shake with chia seeds, raspberries, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, and ice

Feeling really good today! It was great to wake up completely rested without an ounce of alcohol from the night before in my system. I felt centered, balanced, and happy. I'm really motivated to get to week 3 and see what other great changes I will experience. To be honest, I'm a bit nervous about Day 22, when I'm "off" the Clean Program, because I've experienced so many great things already. As for now, I plan to slowly introduce foods back into my diet to see how I react to them, if at all. I really want to continue eating like this for the most part, though I know a warm dinner at night would be a welcome change. I hope that my love for more unusual fruits and vegetables and my lack of craving for sugar or processed foods does not go away!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guest Blogger - Jessica does the Clean Program

I dragged my sister and boss into the Clean Program with me. Below is my sister Jessica's account of her experience through the first half of the program. I hope this gives you some insight into what our last ten days have been like! I will post my week 2 experience on Sunday.

I was very hesitant to do the 21 day Clean Program mainly because I was scared to try something so drastic. I am not what you would call a “health nut” so it was intimidating to read through the guidelines and menus and discover how many foods and drinks were completely off limits. The main reason I ultimately decided to go through with it is because it is supposed to help with inflammation (I have a bad low back), seasonal allergies and of course the obvious weight loss.

I am a very active person but noticed that I was staying the same weight regardless of how much I worked out. As I am writing this, day 10, I am down almost 9 pounds!! I cannot believe how much water weight I was holding onto and how quickly my body reacted to a change in food and drink intake.

I never believed in diets because I don’t think anyone ever sticks to them. I have seen a number of people try for a few days or weeks and then give up because they cannot kick the cravings. Well, after the first four days I was feeling the same way. It was really hard giving up dairy, gluten, lattes, red wine, and sugar (a few of my favorite things) and my body was definitely not happy with me! I noticed my emotions were starting to get out of control because I didn’t have the opportunity to channel them to food or alcohol anymore. I don’t think people realize how much they depend on these things until they are taken away for a long period of time.

Someone very wise once told me that it takes 21 days for someone to form a habit (hence the amount of time this cleanse takes), so even though I am only half way done, I know I have a lot more work ahead of me.

Here are a few specific examples of what I have been going through…

1.) Detoxing- The first week I could feel myself going through a very intense detox (the website says it is the worst the first three days but mine lasted a whole stinkin’ week)! After I got over the hump of feeling like I wanted to eat anything, including my own dog’s food, I started to become more aware of my hunger and realized my body didn’t really need food it just wanted what it couldn’t have. Since then my appetite has changed and I am not nearly as hungry before each meal, I get full really fast, and I crave fruits and veggies as opposed to carbs and sweets.

2.) The Clean Program with food allergies- I am one of those weird people who have all kinds of food allergies that are the complete opposite of everyone else. For example, I am allergic to tree nuts but not peanuts, and fish but not shellfish. Unfortunately, peanuts and shellfish are not allowed on the cleanse (but tree nuts and fish are of course) so it has been a challenge to find recipes for satisfying lunches that actually taste delicious. Luckily we have found an awesome personal chef, Stacy Weber, to come to the office and bring us lunch four days a week. She has been great working with my food allergies and has found some awesome alternatives for me. Her chicken curry is to die for, and quinoa noodles with pesto and turkey meatballs are heaven! Go Stacey!

3. The dreaded shakes- Well, I guess they aren’t so bad now that I have had 20 of them! I was very scared to learn that my dinners for three weeks would be nothing but a cold shake with some sort of fiber powder/fruit/rice milk concoction, but and after I got used to the taste and my appetite changed, I am actually craving them! My favorite combination is a scoop of the Move fiber powder, 1 ½ scoops of vanilla protein powder, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed butter, 1 cup of rice milk, 8 ice cubes and a half a cup of frozen organic blueberries. I also substitute the protein powder flavor for chocolate and the fruit for frozen raspberries and fresh peaches. Trust me people, this is all coming from someone who does not like “healthy shakes” and never thought I would actually be enjoying them. I even bought a sweet blender bottle from Whole Foods so I feel more legit when I carry it into work in the morning. To be honest, I will probably continue to make the shakes every morning for breakfast, yum!

4.) Let’s talk about some positive results, shall we? Like I said before, I have lost almost 9 pounds and my clothes are fitting much better. I know that my weight will probably even out soon and I won’t lose much more but it is nice to see such quick results. Also, my skin has cleared up a lot and I have a ton of energy in the morning (which surprisingly enough isn’t coming from my Grande vanilla nonfat latte from Starbucks)! Another huge change is that I am sleeping like a rock. I used to wake up at least five times a night tossing and turning and would be exhausted all day long, lately I have been falling asleep very fast and only waking up once. Also, my dreams have become incredibly vivid and I remember them all very clearly…I feel like I am in the movie Inception! Finally, the amount of money I am saving is awesome! Even though the initial sticker shock of the program is kind of intense, just divide that all out among three weeks and realize you will hardly need to buy groceries, you won’t be spending money at the bars, and $5 dollar lattes are out of the question.

5.) Emotions, emotions, emotions - This part of the Clean Program is not what I expected at all! I have become aware of my emotions in a way that I have never felt before. Usually if I was stressed out or tired after a long day I would go home and have a glass of red wine. So, what does a girl who is on week one of an intense cleanse and can’t have a drink do? Shop of course! I made the dangerous mistake of going to the mall hungry and cranky, spent some of my “saved” money and realized all I had done was channel my emotions from one habit to another. After that experience I learned that if I have those feelings again I should go to the gym or read a good book. Also, spending time with family and friends who are supportive of you is a huge help.

Sorry if any of this has bored you, made you scared of the Clean Program or had you running for a big piece of chocolate cake, but my true intention was to give you an in-depth view of what this kind of intense detox program can do to someone who has never experienced anything like this before. So far it has been eye-opening and I am very glad I have stuck with it every step of the way. I look forward to seeing even better results after I am finished and I will give you all an update of how I feel in about 11 days!

Hammer out.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

CLEAN Week 1

So I'm doing something a little different. I'm normally not one for gimmicky detoxes and cleanses, but I became really intrigued by the CLEAN Program. Developed by a cardiologist who started experimenting with detoxing for his own health problems, this program is designed to improve intestinal health and decrease allergies. I've been having some issues with chronic post-nasal drip, allergies, and intermittent indigestion, so I figured I'd give it a go.

If you're interested in learning more about this program, check out their website. Here's the gist: it's a 21-day program that consists of meal replacement shakes, low-allergen foods and supplements. I'm using my favorite protein powder (Sun Warrior raw vegan sprouted brown rice powder) instead of what's included in the program, and I'm also using my own probiotic (Genestra's HMF Forte). Every day, I'm supposed to do a shake for breakfast and for dinner and then eat a "clean" lunch. According to this program, "clean" foods are most vegetables and fruits, gluten-free grains, organic chicken, fish, wild game, turkey, and beans, and olive/coconut/avocado oils plus nuts and nut butters. This also means that dairy, wheat/gluten, soy, strawberries, bananas, grapes, nightshades (tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants), sugar, and caffeine are prohibited. Sounds fun, right?

Word of caution: if you've ever had an eating disorder or have a strained relationship with food, this is not the program for you, as the "clean" versus "unclean" thinking can be destructive. I personally am not doing this program for weight loss, and I don't love the label of "clean" when it describes food, but I'm also doing this for medical purposes. If the program begins to create destructive "diet" thoughts, I will absolutely stop, since I myself used to be a dieter.

For the next three weeks (if I make it that far), I will be writing a daily update on the program that I'll post once a week. Most, if not all, is organic, and supplements were taken as indicated by the CLEAN program. Additionally, I took Carlson Labs fish oil, Dr. Ben Kim's Greens, Douglas Labs CoQ10, vitamin D3, and Pure Encapsulations MSM powder.

Day 1 (August 9)

So far, so good! Here's what today's food consisted of:
Breakfast - Shake with 1 scoop Sun Warrior, 1 scoop fiber powder, 2 tsp. cashew butter, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Lunch - Organic chicken with quinoa and roasted vegetables, sliced cucumber; green tea

Snack - Organic cherries (from the Farmers' Market!)

Dinner - Shake with 1 scoop Sun Warrior, 1 scoop fiber powder, 2 tsp. almond butter, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 3/4 cup frozen raspberries

I took all the supplements as indicated and walked for 1 hour with the dogs this morning. I still need to sneak in some meditation.

I felt a little strange this afternoon, and I think it's the beginning of the detox process. I'm already starting to feel some improvement in my throat, and I haven't really had any cravings at all. In fact, the combo of the insulin modulator supplement and the fiber kept me full and satisfied all morning until lunch. I was pretty hungry for dinner, and I noticed the shake wasn't quite what I was craving, but I made sure to really pay attention to it and savor it while I drank it. Now here's to 12 hours of no food while I allow my gut to rest and detox...or so they say!

The interesting thing about this process is it forces you to examine your own relationship with food and re-evaluate food's role in your life. Food is such a big part of our culture and our social scene, so it's going to be interesting when I arrive at an event where I don't eat. We'll see what happens...

Day 2 (August 10)

Pre-workout snack (prior to 1 hour walk and P90X Cardio): apple with cashew butter

Breakfast - shake with frozen raspberries, protein and fiber powders, almond butter, almond milk, chia seeds, and ice; Teeccino with stevia

Snack - sliced cucumber

Lunch - brown rice, mixed beans, mixed greens, avocado, cucumbers, and olive oil salad; green tea

Snack - coconut Lara bar

Dinner - shake with protein and fiber powders, cashew butter, almond milk, and ice

I'm feeling pretty good today, though I was very tired and lethargic around dinner time. I had less dizziness and "weird" feelings than yesterday. I'm shedding unnecessary water, since I notice that my rings are much more loose. I really don't mind this plan thus far, though I do get very hungry by dinner time. I think I have to eat a bit more to be able to sustain my intense workout regimen.

Day 3 (August 11)

Pre-workout snack - brown rice cake with almond butter

Workout - 1 hour walk, 75 minutes P90X yoga

Breakfast - shake with blueberries, almond milk, cashew butter, protein powder, fiber powder; Teeccino with stevia

Lunch - salad with greens, kidney/black/garbanzo beans, avocado, olive oil dressing, brown rice; green tea

Snack - fresh cherries; 1 apple slice with pecan butter (the latter was a sample from my boss' snack)

Dinner - shake with raspberries, almond milk, almond butter, protein powder, fiber powder; green tea

Revelation of the day: I just don't care about food. I get hungry and have the desire to eat, and the food tastes good when I do, but it's just not that big of a deal. I had much more energy this afternoon than yesterday, and I met up with friends for dinner and didn't care that I drank green tea and water (and didn't actually eat). I was very satisfied from dinner, and I honestly had absolutely no drive to eat. I really expected to be thinking about food a lot because I thought I'd be hungry, but it's honestly not a big deal. It's actually kind of fun to "go out to dinner" when you can just focus on your friends and the conversation!

Day 4 - August 12th

(This was a special day because Baby Reegan Harding was born!)

Breakfast - shake with blueberries, protein/fiber powders, almond butter, almond milk, ice

Workout - 1 hour walk with intervals

Snack - raw broccoli, cauliflower, and squash with lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper

Lunch - Salad with spinach, salmon, beans, mixed veggies, olive oil vinaigrette, brown rice; green tea

Snack - raw pineapple and honeydew

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, cashew butter, almond milk, and ice

I was not as hungry today and felt more satisfied...until night time. I just wanted some solid food for dinner, but I got my shake and really paid attention to it. It turns out when I sat with how I felt, enjoyed some "Calm" Yogi tea, and watched some Jersey Shore, it went away and I was fine. I have been noticing a weird thing - my jaw has been hurting. I used to hold a lot of stress in my jaw, and I'm wondering if my place of stress (usually internal organs) is shifting back to my jaw. Sounds weird, right? I'm going to my acupuncturist in the a.m. to see if he can help me along with the detox process and help me relax. In case you were wondering - and this is NOT why I'm doing this - I'm down about 5 pounds. It's crazy how much water weight we carry around. This is not what I'm focusing on, however. I want to reduce allergies and improve digestion, and I'm already noticing great improvements! Also, the whites in my eyes are whiter, and my skin looks more radiant already!

Day 5 - August 13th

One hour walk

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber, blueberries, almond butter, water, ice, cashew butter

Karve class

Lunch - Salad with salmon, beans, mixed veggies, avocado, Bragg's olive oil dressing, 1/4 cup brown rice

Snack - Apple; smashed avocado with sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and sliced carrots

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, almond butter, ice, almond milk, frozen cherries; herbal tea

I had the day off and enjoyed lots of exercise, a wonderful acupuncture appointment, and visiting Baby Reegan in the hospital before leaving for Prescott for the weekend. Turns out my jaw tightness, according to Chinese Medicine, is related to the large intestine - no surprise! My acupuncturist looked at my tongue (one method of "diagnosis" in Chinese Medicine) and it looked "much better" than usual. I feel much better than usual too!

Day 6 - August 14th

Lots of exercise again today! 45 minute walk and 1 hour of P90X Kenpo

Pre-workout snack - apple with almond butter

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen peaches, almond butter, almond milk, ice

Lunch - shake with protein/fiber powders, berries, almond butter, almond milk, ice (I switched the liquid dinner with lunch so that I could go out for dinner with family)

Snack - smashed avocado with sea salt, garlic and onion powders, and pepper with sliced cucumber

Dinner - dinner salad with vinegar and olive oil; grilled salmon atop sauteed spinach with steamed vegetables and wild rice (not sure if wild rice is OK on the plan, but it's all that was available); herbal tea

I was very satisfied after having a full dinner, and I noticed that I was more hungry than normal. My skin is starting to clear up, the whites of my eyes are definitely whiter (my parents even noticed this), and I feel really good! My digestion is absolutely improving as well, with heartburn completely gone.

Day 7 - August 15th

Pre-workout snack - raw almonds; Teeccino with stevia

90 minute walk/hike

Breakfast - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen cherries, almond butter, almond milk, ice

Lunch - leftover salmon, spinach, mixed veggies, almonds, avocado, and watermelon

Snack - Brown rice cake with cashew butter

Dinner - shake with protein/fiber powders, frozen raspberries, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, ice; herbal tea

I definitely noticed a surge in appetite today. I've been working out a lot, mostly because I was with family members who like to exercise, and my body is responding by asking for more food. Since I've started this, I really haven't been more hungry than normal. It's amazing what happens when blood sugar and insulin levels normalize, as I would have thought I would be very hungry with this amount of food. However, today definitely brought more hunger. What do I do when my body tells me it needs more? I EAT. Simple as that. I am so amazed at how fast my body has responded to these diet changes. It's truly incredible what nutrition can do to help the body perform optimally. Of course, I'm not going to eat like this forever, but it's so nice to give my body a break.

What is most interesting about all of this is that I just don't think about food that much. When I used to diet, I would be consumed by food and thoughts of food. Since I am now an intuitive eater and am doing this to try to really take care of some medical issues, this is much different than dieting. I just don't think about food all that much, except to plan what to buy at the grocery store. I was worried that I would have those same thoughts as before, which is why I was concerned I wouldn't be able to do this program. However, it has truly changed my mindset about food already. I feel grateful that I've had such a positive experience up until this point. Week 2 starts tomorrow!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reading Food Labels

My first published article in AZ Lifestyles Magazine is here! I will be a regular contributor to this local publication. Check out the digital version at their website. Enjoy!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Black Bean and Salmon Tostadas

I love any chance to make healthy, tasty Mexican-inspired food. This recipe stood out to me because it uses both salmon and avocado, which are good sources of healthy fats, and is relatively inexpensive. While I don't like using a lot of canned products because can linings can contain BPA, sometimes canned foods help when you don't have a lot of time or energy and are OK when not utilized regularly. This recipe, found at one of my favorite websites, can be seen here.

A few considerations:
- I personally don't like jalapenos (and forgot to buy them!), so I used a bit of cayenne pepper and/or Cholula to add a bit of zip.
- Instead of microwaving, which I try to avoid altogether, I heated up the black bean mixture on the stove in a saucepan. It took about 4 minutes.
- Instead of corn tortillas, which my husband doesn't like, I used organic whole spelt tortillas. If you use corn, make sure it's organic so you're avoiding genetically modified corn.
- The cabbage, avocados, lime, and scallions are all from the North Scottsdale Farmers Market.
- I made extra of the salmon mixture and cabbage so I could have leftovers (and add extra veggies!).

Black Bean Salmon Tostadas
4 servings, 2 tostadas each

- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 6-7 ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained (I used 2 5-ounce cans that had bones, and these bones, while not noticeable, added calcium!)
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage (shred your own if you can!)
- 2 T chopped cilantro
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (I used organic regular sour cream)
- 2 tablespoons prepared salsa (I used 1/2 cup pico de gallo - more veggies!)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Lime wedges (optional)

Here are most of the ingredients:


Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Coat tortillas on both side with cooking spray.

Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12-14 minutes. I only made 3 tortillas because I knew we wouldn't be able to eat 4 (2 each).

Combine salmon, avocado, and jalapenos (or cayenne pepper) in a bowl.

Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice (or Cholula) in another bowl.

Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth.

Heat on the stove (instead of a microwave) until warm.

Here's what my little assembly line looked like:

To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture.

Top with the salmon mixture.

Add the cabbage salad and serve with lime wedges.

It was really filling and light, not heavy and dense like a lot of traditional tostadas. Enjoy!