Tag Archives: cleanse

At the finish line: day 10

Wow, well that went by pretty fast,  in retrospect anyway. Here it is, day 10 of the fall consciousness cleanse and I made it: phew! There were some challenges, some moments, when I almost caved in….. but just knowing that I am accountable to all of you kept me going when my own will/wantpower wasn’t quite enough.

This last weekend was probably the hardest for me in terms of not having that evening glass of wine so I purposely kept my days(evenings) clear of extra social gatherings. I did go to one party last week and then out with my friend Chris(who also successfully has made it through: today is her day 11!). Instead of wine, I had some perrier and water and it felt great.

So what have I noticed after 10 days without caffeine, alcohol, sugar and the whites? First of all,  my sleep was deep, filled with dreams and I woke up refreshed each morning(sometimes I was wide awake 20 minutes before my alarm clock and could just enjoy those last stolen minutes before getting out of bed). Second, my energy was more even throughout the day and particularly in the early and late afternoon. Previously, I often would reach for a cup of coffee at around 2 pm to fight the urge to take a nap, which doesn’t fit into my work schedule, imagine that! Third, I felt more satisfied and full after a meal filled with clean foods, each one a bundle of powerful nutrients. I stopped craving anything sweet after a few days, although by day seven I could have snarfed down some lovely rich chocolate. Instead I tried a new fruit, a persimmon: wow, is that one sweet and yummy fruit. Fourth, although I consider myself somewhat of a foodie, I pushed myself to try new things: quince, persimmons, carrot chips for starters. I also discovered some new teas for my collection:  sugar cookie sleigh ride(sounds decadent: it’s not!),sugar plum spice, pumpkin spice and several new green teas.  Fifth, my clothes are looser as my weight dropped between 3 and 4 pounds, which I really noticed around my middle: that dreaded menopot!

Overall, my mood was even, my energy great and my body feels strong and ready to gear up for the holidays. Most of all, I feel empowered in knowing that I CAN DO THIS when I set my mind and soul to it. I have heard from quite a few of you who went all for the ride, some of you the entire way, some for just a portion. However much you did, congratulations for even thinking about it, as thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions lead to results. Remember that small changes cause big shifts, in your thinking, in your eating and drinking patterns, in your hormone balance, in you and in your life.  Thanks for all of your feedback(sometimes people prefer to email rather than comment on the blog: soon we will have a Facebook page which many find easier to communicate through). We love hearing from you and sharing our knowledge and experiences back and forth.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, delicious food and beverages, relaxation and much to be grateful for. Take a few minutes to think of all that you are grateful for: the list is often endless and it helps to remember all of the blessings in our lives and to be present and grateful. That is the magic of Thanksgiving: a day with no gifts, no cards, just a day to share and enjoy one another.

My beautiful family: of whom I am most grateful

My beautiful family: of whom I am most grateful

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A cleanse with a conscience

Day 2: we are 1/5 of the way there! So far, so good. How are you all doing????  Please share any insights and/or challenges you are noticing.

Last night I received a text from my dear friend Mary saying that she was excited to join in with us for the cleanse. In addition, she suggested tying our consciousness cleanse to a spiritual cause. In her words, ‘the money saved on wine for the week could be donated to Mercy Corps for the Phillipines or Syria’.

I love it! For some of us, it will be the wine or happy hour we are giving up, for others it will be chocolate or lattes or whatever is your favorite indulgence. I know many of us have been wondering just how to help all of the unfortunate people in various parts of the world.  Just this past weekend in our own nation we were faced with the devastation caused by the tornadoes in the midwest.

Each of us is touched by different things that we see and hear and I do think Mary’s idea is a terrific one. As we become more conscious about our own consumption of food and beverages, we do become more thoughtful about all of the choices we make each day.  Sometimes we are left feeling so helpless in how we can reach out to others, so if this idea resonates with you, I encourage you to add up how much you are saving during these 10 days(it can be as little as $10 but even that goes a long way when many give in unison) and donate to a cause that means something to you.

A toast to a cleanse that has local and global impact! Thank you Mary for sharing this idea with us(Mary and I have walked together for years, by the way and ideas do fly!).

Mary on one of our morning walks with RIley and Ringo

Mary on one of our morning walks with RIley and Ringo

Kyle walking with RIley (and Mary and Ringo)

Kyle walking with RIley (and Mary and Ringo)

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First day: off to a great start

I woke up this morning feeling READY for the next 10 days. It’s funny how once I wrap my head around giving up some of the things I like to indulge in from time to time and instead focus on the great food and beverage choices I DO have, everything starts to fall into place.  Ten days is not such a long time yet it is just enough to feel the impact of making better choices, as well as learning how often I do cave in throughout the day(eat a cookie, a piece of candy on my co-worker’s desk, have that extra glass of wine, etc). So hopefully you will learn something about yourself as well as we embark on this journey together.

Here is the recipe for that yummy elixir that I spoke about yesterday. This is from a blog post that I wrote back in January, 2013 as some of us embarked on a new year’s cleansing start.

Excerpt from the original post:

“Golden Elixir” (great name): Boil up water, fill up your mug with hot water, add 1 Tblsp of fresh lemon juice, 1/8 tsp each of turmeric and ground ginger(you can always use fresh of course), a smidge of cayenne(or more if you like it spicy) and honey. I also added some truvia to make it a little sweeter. Drink a cup of this in the morning and at night. This is a powerful drink, loaded with anti-inflammatories and immune boosters, great for your liver and your adrenals. And I found it incredibly satisfying at the end of the day, when I often pour myself a glass of lovely red wine; this was a perfect substitute.

Enjoy.

Wishing you health and balance.

One of my favorite places to find and feel balance: the Oregon coast

One of my favorite places to find and feel balance: the Oregon coast

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Cleanse eve: again….

Okay, this is it…eat, drink and be merry tonight for tomorrow we go back to a cleaner, more conscious and healthier way of eating and drinking. Here is a quick recap:

Peppers are a colorful and tasty choice

Peppers are a colorful and tasty choice

~Focus on whole foods, as close to their original state as possible.  This means you will be shopping the perimeter of most stores(this may be obvious to most but in case you haven’t noticed, produce, dairy, and fresh foods like fish, meat and poultry are all around the sides of the store: boxed and canned foods are all in the center aisles)

~Eat organic foods whenever possible. If cost is a limiting factor, at least be sure to buy organic versions of the fruits and veggies on the “dirty dozen list”. Go to http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/2013s-updated-dirty-dozen-produce-list for a complete list of ‘clean and dirty’ food.

~Avoid white sugar. You may have small amounts of honey(organic, locally grown), agave and of course stevia.

Whole grains galore! Be imaginative and try new ones.

Whole grains galore! Be imaginative and try new ones.

~Avoid white flour(choose whole grains), white pasta(pick whole wheat), white potatoes(choose sweet, yams and purple), and white rice(choose brown and black)

Avoid alcohol. Choose herbal teas, organic fruit juices, kombucha and the like. I will republish a recipe for a wonderfully satisfying elixir that you can sip on each evening in lieu of that glass of wine, beer or cocktail.

Some of my favorite teas

Some of my favorite teas

Avoid caffeine. I know, this is the hardest for many of you. If you are seriously addicted to it and going without would cause terrible withdrawal headaches, you have several choices: one, gradually cut down by 1/2 the amount you consume each day or two until you are completely off or two, do the best you can.  Try new herbal  teas: there are SO many choices! I have over 15 types in my kitchen cupboard so that I never get bored. Oh, and let’s be clear: green tea does have a small amount of caffeine but it is so incredibly healthy for you, go ahead and include it during the next 10 days.

For some of you, it might be wise to eliminate gluten if you think you may have some issues with its consumption(common ones are bloating, weight gain, fatigue, eczema). For others, dairy might be a problem: gassiness, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.

We have heard from a bunch of you and we are excited that you will be joining us during the next 10 days. Remember we will be giving away a copy of “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin to one of our participants. All you need to do to be eligible  for the drawing is to be sure that you are signed up as a follower of our blog and write two comments about your progress/thoughts/etc on the cleanse. 

Looking forward to hearing from you, as always.

Bon appétit and Namaste.

Sunset over Willamette

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4 days til our “Fall Consciousness Cleanse” starts : are you ready???

As many of our faithful readers know, I have been trying to set aside two separate times each year during which I turn my attention more fully to the things that I eat and drink for 10 days.  I have called these time periods  ‘ a consciousness cleanse’ as opposed to a true cleanse (or a detox), which is usually quite a bit more entailed and rigorous.  The goal of setting aside 10 days each fall and spring for cleaner eating and drinking is more aimed towards increasing our awareness of what we consume,  in hopes that by doing so, we can slowly change our habits in the long term.

The rules for OUR cleanse are simple: eat whole foods, avoid alcohol, the whites(see end of post for link to specifics), and caffeine for 10 days. Benefits? Decreased belly fat, improved sleep, increased energy,clearer thinking, balanced mood and the satisfaction of doing something absolutely incredible for your body!! One more thing: there is something so satisfying of sticking to a wellness program for the entire duration, just knowing that you CAN.

Some healthy and delicious food choices, packed with powerful nutrients

Some healthy and delicious food choices, packed with powerful nutrients

This fall the kick-off begins Sunday , November 17th and runs through Tuesday, November 26th and is designed to increase our consciousness right before the superbowl of holiday feasting(Thanksgiving day) arrives, with all of the subsequent festivities that occur between that day and the coming of the new year. Did you know that the average American gains up to 12 # during said famed holiday season? That is an alarming thought indeed, as anyone watching the news knows how the epidemic of obesity is causing a plethora of chronic health problems in our country(see some of our previous blogposts on this subject).

Some of my favorite herbal teas and sweetener to enjoy during the cleanse

Some of my favorite herbal teas and sweetener to enjoy during the cleanse

The best part of doing the ‘cleanse’ at this time of year is that you will have some excellent company. This year both Candace and I will be doing it together, along with at least 10 others.  It really is so much easier(and fun) to take on a challenge like this with some support. As an extra added incentive, if you sign up as a follower AND post at least 2 comments during the 10 days about YOUR experience on the cleanse, we will enter your name into a drawing for a copy of the wonderful book, “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.  She offers some wonderful ways to take inventory of your life and make changes, all designed to bring more happiness and balance to your life.

Here are some more specifics about the cleanse from a previous post that I wrote:

http://menopausibilities.com/2013/01/05/preparations-for-our-cleanse/

Please refer back to that post and the several that follow it as you get ready to join us. And don’t forget to sign up as a follower(if you haven’t already done so) and comment along the way: you might just win that book for some terrific fall and winter reading. Plus we love to hear from you….

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Fall cleansing is in the air

We have been truly blessed with a warm and sunny ‘Indian summer’ here in the Pacific NW this year but 2 days ago, the autumn switch turned on, dropping the temperatures down into the 50’s by day and 40’s by night. Any illusions of an endless summer were quickly abandoned, so back indoors we go for the majority of our waking hours.

I imagine many of you, like me, find yourself purging your house of excess things, rearranging cupboards and closets, raking up the fallen leaves and turning over the soil in the garden. There is something about the transition from living outdoors as much as possible to nestling inside that makes me want to simplify my surroundings before adorning the house with decorations for our fall and winter festivities. One of my fall rituals is moving all of my spring and summer clothes(after taking all of the ones I still didn’t wear to Good Will for a better home) from my bedroom closet to my spare one,  in exchange for my fall and winter wardrobe.  Doing this always makes the seasonal change so definite for me.  I actually enjoy this ritual as it makes me reflect on the activities of the past few months while thinking ahead to the upcoming holidays.

Fall lights add to a warm and cozy atmosphere: I can't resist!

Fall lights add to a warm and cozy atmosphere: I can’t resist!

For those of you who are faithful MP blog followers, you know that fall also means thinking of ways to be more conscious and mindful about the food and beverage choices we will be making in order to stay balanced despite the holiday festivities. This can be a huge challenge to many of us: avoiding unwanted weight gain, getting inadequate sleep, feeling stressed out about shopping(perhaps on a more limited budget than in years past), getting burned out by the extra demands placed upon us, all of this leading to cortisol overdrive and its many associated symptoms(irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depression, belly fat, salt and sugar cravings, to name a few).

So we will be hosting another “Consciousness Cleanse” starting on Sunday, November 17th and will run for 10 days, ending just in time for Thanksgiving. As in years past, there are 4 major food/beverage groups that we will avoid during the ‘cleanse’ . These are caffeine, alcohol, sugar and ‘the whites'(white flour, rice, potatoes, pasta and again white sugar).  Some of you who want to do a deeper detox/cleanse of sorts may also want to eliminate gluten and/or dairy and/or soy, particularly if you suspect a sensitivity to a particular food type.

Some examples of the kinds of food you CAN eat and that will make you feel wonderful

Some examples of the kinds of food you CAN eat and that will make you feel wonderful

Last year we had approximately 60 people participating in our fall ‘cleanse’ and it was pretty remarkable to listen to the various comments people had about their personal experiences.  To view these, please go to ‘Kyle’s blog’ and scroll back to Oct 2012 and March 2013 blogposts to learn more about the cleanse and the reactions of the participants.  We are excited to be doing this again and we hope that you will join us.

For those of you who are interested in a longer term detox, please click on this link

http://bit.ly/HkqEyt

to work along with Andrea Nayakama and her staff of functional nutritionists for 21 days starting on Monday November 4th. Once you click on the link, you can listen to the  webinar she did yesterday: Tipping the Scales. This which was a really nice overview of the link between what we eat and our hormone balance and I recommend that all of you take the time to listen to it. We have written quite a bit about the importance of hormone balance and health/ optimal weight over the past 2 years so some of the content will be familiar to many of you, but I know that no matter how much I learn about this amazing and complex topic, I inevitably take away another ‘pearl’ with every new talk or article I come across.

Stay tuned. We will be posting more in the upcoming weeks to help you get ready for your 10 day fall cleanse. I promise you that if you partake in either the deeper detox or the 10 day mini-cleanse, you will gain a new awareness that what you put into your mouth  really matters . More about the details and benefits in upcoming posts. For now, remember to drink tea(all types but green is great for weight control and immune system), plenty of water, choose organic foods as much as possible, exercise  a minimum of 4-5 days a week and get at least 7 hours of sleep every night for optimal health and wellness.

Fall morning walk at sunrise: a lovely way to get daily exercise

Fall morning walk at sunrise: a lovely way to get daily exercise

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Day 3: feeling great

For those of you who are following along with the 5 day cleanse and started with me on Monday, we are already at midpoint. I just wanted to check in with all of you and share what I have noticed so far.

First of all, knowing that this is ONLY 5 days made starting this one so much easier. Plus I was very ready to clean things up, fresh off 10 days of traveling(airplanes, airports, sitting around more than usual, running around NYC eating more than I usually do, etc) and also very inspired by the integrative health care conference that I went to last week.  

Each morning I have started the day with either licorice spice or ginger tea prior to my workout, then I have rice cakes with hummous for breakfast. Mid morning I snack on either red grapes or an apple. Lunch has been a salad filled with colored peppers(trying to eat a ‘rainbow ‘of colored foods every day), goat cheese, nuts, dried cranberries, mushrooms and a cup of tea. By late afternoon, I reach for something salty usually, like a handful of nuts or falafel chips(chock full of nutrients and even some protein and fiber: these are one of my new favorite snacks, by the way) . For the past 2 nights dinner has consisted of a steamed artichoke, some goat gouda cheese and a grain of sorts. Last night I made some polenta, which was incredibly satisfying and yummy.A quick and wonderful way to make polenta is to take a baking pan and place 1 cup coarse grain polenta, 4 cups of water and  1 tsp of salt( I like pink Himalayan) stir this together and place in preheated oven 350 degrees for 45 minutes; stir in 1-2 Tbsp of butter and bake for another 15 minutes: serve with protein like cheese or chicken and some veggies for a tasty meal. In addition, throughout the day I love to drink an assortment of herbal teas and then of course the elixir(see my posts in January for this recipe): both of these beverages are warming and comforting. 

Let us know how you are feeling and what you are eating throughout the day. Are you finding it easier this time? How is your sleep?mood? And don’t forget to become a fan on Pearl Womens Center Facebook page and enter your name into the drawing for our contest.

More to follow…in the meanwhile, wishing you health and balance in your lives.

My favorite indoor flowers, providing color and inspiration on a dark day

My favorite indoor flowers, providing color and inspiration on a dark day

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