The fresh start I began two weeks ago tomorrow is coming to a close. My purpose was to flush out some of the nastiness I had been experiencing and to also give my liver a rest and see if it changed my outlook in life.
My very important conclusions:
1. Sugar does not agree with me. At ALL. When I eat sugar, even just a little, I become short tempered, emotional, impatient and exhausted. Almost immediately.
2. Wheat or grains give me a bloated, tired feeling. Again, almost immediately.
3. Green juices taste nasty going down, but have long-lasting energy and feel-good effects. They also seem to help alleviate my desire for sugar.
4. I don't want coffee. This makes me sad. But I've discovered a new love of lemon/ginger iced tea. But I miss iced coffee.
5. I sleep MUCH better when I eat a raw, meat-free meal at night. Tested this the other night by having a large green salad and pork chop. Felt like I'd swallowed a bowling ball.
Conclusion: I'm going to continue a modified version of the fresh start. I want to feel better longer.
A few life changers that came as a result of this: I discovered that what I eat CAN make my exhausted. If I want to lose weight and actually enjoy my life, I have to focus on eating fresh, live foods and cutting back on the meat, grains and sugar. (PS - Dairy, even raw, has LOTS of sugar. Cream, not so much. I will be sticking to little bits of cream from pastured cows. )
This is a 'for now' thing, as I will keep monitoring myself to see when it's time to bring back certain foods again. I am going to cut back to meat 2-3 times a week, always at mid-day.
Because this gave me more energy, I have been waking up early which has enabled me to begin to exercise before Trey wakes up. This is huge. 20 minutes of intervals up and down the small hills in front of the house (within earshot, so if he wakes up I can hear him) are helping me lose inches and have more energy.
In short, I see a new lifestyle coming out of the fog. It's a bit inconvenient, as I now have to make two different meals for me and for the rest of the gang, but it's worth it to feel like I have been.
Thank you so much for following me on this 'real food' journey! Hope you have been encouraged to try your own 'fresh start'!
Here is a last recipe for you. This is a no-grain breakfast or snack food. Yum!
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 pastured egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sunflower oil, olive oil or melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp realsalt
1/2 cup milk (fresh or sour)
pumpkin seeds (optional)
sunflower seeds (optional)
cashew nuts (optional)
Blend together everything but the seeds/nuts. Best if allowed to rest for 30 minutes, but I don't usually have time. Add seeds and nuts, and a bit of water to make it a batter consistency. Heat a cast iron skillet with 2 tsp of olive oil or coconut oil. Fry in small rounds. Use as to-go snacks or add maple syrup for breakfast. I like these smeared with homemade no sugar jam as a snack.
It's been a rather crazy week already - I can't believe it's already Wednesday!
I've continued making choices to eat cleansing, nourishing foods. I have however, eaten a few meals with the family. And enjoyed them, because even for them, I kept the meals real and nutrient dense.
I am noticing a difference in how my taste buds are reacting.
Yesterday I bought a small cup of coffee and two chocolate chip cookies.
I couldn't finish either. They just didn't taste good to me. I'm grateful for the change in the taste buds. I was encouraged to wait and eat my lunch at home - a spinach, grated carrot, green onion and smoked tempeh wrap. Super tasty.
As I begin to wind down these two weeks of my liver cleanse, I am encouraged that the whole package approach seems to have really paid off.
By beginning first with getting enough rest, I was able to approach my food choices with clear thinking. By adding in exercise every day, I've found new energy and encouragement to make choices that don't undo the work I'm doing. And the new tastebuds make up for those moments when the 'old' way calls my name!
I don't have a recipe for you today, just an encouragement to get one large dark green salad with vegetarian-based protein into you today. Your body will say thank you!
The carnival is in town.
They have fried dough.
So last night we took Trey to the carnival. He had a blast. I had an hour to talk myself out of why I didn't want to eat the pizza, the hot dogs, the hot sausages, fried dough... Yada yada yada.
I caved. I bought some fresh cut french fries. They were terrible.
When we finally got home, hours later than we are used to, and no made-ahead dinner, I threw a pizza in the oven. Then I ate a piece. It tasted...okay. Then I went for another slice and realized that:
a. it didn't taste THAT good
b. I was going to have to 'fess up to YOU today
c. I wasn't even hungry anymore.
Interestingly enough, I slept well (thanks to the sugar crash from the white flour) but woke up exhausted. This flour/sugar stuff is just plain ole' BAD, folks. Seriously bad.
So today I've done better. Not without struggle. This morning I really wanted that bacon and eggs I cooked for Trey. And toast. But I powered through and instead made homemade V8 juice with my juicer. I snacked on strawberries, almonds and walnuts. For lunch, I made a light version of Portuguese kale soup - no sausage. For snack I made some avocado chocolate pudding - and didn't want more than a bite or two.
My point? Temptation can work in your favor. It's not always bad to be reminded that our choices are working - even if it takes a 'fail' to remind us. And, as I keep telling myself, this is only for 2 weeks.
Except... I really don't want to go back to feeling so tired and sluggish.
How about you? Are you feeling better? Do you notice a difference?
Trust me, you don't want to see a picture of Day 4. Although, I'm very proud of it.
This morning I woke up at 5:15am and lazed in bed until almost six. At which time I changed into my workout clothes and did 20 minutes of interval training. It wasn't pretty, but I feel GREAT!
Two weeks ago I was so fatigued and depressed I all I wanted to do was sleep. All the time.
Well, I had a few good conversations with a counselor who reminded me that I needed to guard myself against being defined by my circumstances. Our lives can begin to take over our 'me', if you know what I mean. Mine certainly was.
So I started praying. 'God, please help me.'
I didn't have the energy to pray anything deeper.
Words the therapist had spoken to me echoed in my head. 'Most people's problems can be solved with three things: sleep, nutrition, and exercise. The medical industry has gotten us so used to magic pills and quick fixes. But all we really need are those three things.'
I resolved for one week to get more sleep. No more staying up until midnight. The next week I realized that I was calmer, more patient, had a sense of humor and didn't feel so drained.
Then I ran across an article that talked about cleanses, and creating a fresh start for our bodies. I read about how our livers get so overworked with all the sugars and flours we eat. I began to make a list of 'cleansing' foods. I smiled when I noticed that my garden was LOADED with the foods most suggested - dark greens.
An article that I read caught my eye. It stated that if you knew you'd lose weight, feel great and have your energy back, would you follow a program for 2 weeks? My mind flashed back to the 9 months of life-rest I'd chosen in order to have a successful pregnancy with Trey (after two back-to-back miscarriages).
So I resolved to try, for 2 weeks, to cut out sugars, flours, grains, dairy, eggs, meat, animal fats - anything that would make my liver 'work' so hard. I decided it was time to give my liver a rest and my body a boost.
And then I thought - if I don't tell anyone I'm doing this, I'll just quit after day one.
So here we are. It's the beginning of Day 4 (actually, it's day 5, but day 1 was only half a day) of my self-designed liver rest, life boost. Some folks have been asking me - 'What exactly are you doing?', to which I say - let your liver rest. Add energy via live foods. Get your protein via fish, beans and soy-free tempeh (a fermented grain product).
Are you ready? Just getting started? Check in and join us on facebook, or here in the comments.
So here's a good question - When you're attempting to change food habits, and you visit a friend, how do you respond to offers of food and drink that don't fit into your fledgling food fresh start?
I had the opportunity to answer that for myself today. And it was eye-opening. I decided not to make a big deal out of it, and accepted the quiche and iced chai tea, although in very very small portions.
With forethought, I had eaten a breakfast loaded with healthy fats and fiber and protein (strawberries, blueberries, pecans and coconut milk), so I wasn't hungry.
What I learned is worth its weight in gold.
After about 20 minutes of eating and drinking, my sugar soared and I could barely think straight. Then, about 30 minutes after that, I became to tired I just wanted to fall asleep. It was crazy! What a wonderful encouragement to continue on with my 'fresh start' eating.
The past few days I haven't felt tired or hyper. Last night I was naturally tired by 9pm and slept until 6am. I really enjoy this feeling of well-being.
So, for lunch, I needed to get back on track.
Today's recipe: Vegan BLT Salad
4 strips smoked tempeh strips, fried in coconut oil
1 large tomato, cubed
2 cups shredded mixed dark greens (kale, spinach)
8 large basil leaves, shredded
1/4 cup hummus (homemade)
squeeze of lemon
fresh cracked black pepper
Toss it all together. A bit on the ugly side, but loaded with fiber, protein and anti-oxidants.
How is your day going?
After a few years of declining (and fit & start) food choices, I know this is going to be a challenge to get past my comfort foods and back to foods that make my body feel great.
While I'm not doing a 'raw' for two weeks, I am trying to make choices of foods that fit a few categories:
No added sugar
No flour or grain
No dairy, eggs or meat
More green foods - cooked and fresh
To be frank, it's been a little tough today. I was thinking fondly of a bagel, or slice of toast. I had to leave the room when Larry-Boy was swimming in chocolate. My blueberries with coconut milk and pecans was good, but I found myself wishing I could sprinkle some sugar on it.
I tried to talk myself into millet for dinner, but again, the goal is to give my body a REST from lots of digesting.
I find myself wanting, out of boredom, to eat. Especially something crunchy.
Protein is my biggest challenge. I need, and have always needed, lots of it. Fish and beans are my main stay for the next 13 days, and frankly, I'm looking at my husband's pork chop and drooling a little.
But it's only for 13 more days. And did that food make me feel good? No. Did those foods I'm craving fill an emotional hole? Not really. Did those foods give me energy? No.
Today I am feeling MUCH less tired than I have been in a long time. Feels good.
Breakfast - Banana, fish w/green curry sauce, broccoli and zuchinni
Snack - Banana
Lunch - mixed dark green salad w/ carrots, pine nuts, green onions and cauliflower topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a can of sardines, apple
Snack - Blueberries w/ coconut milk and pecans
Dinner - Beets, Asparagus, Fish and Baked Sweet Potato
How about you? How are you doing?
Today I ate a half of an Italian sub and realized yet again how horrible my food choices have become.
It's been a downward spiral for a long time, exacerbated by the challenges of a new baby, marriage struggles, and my own metamorphis of rediscovering myself in my new role as mom and wife.
Today I felt empowered to really start doing something about it. And honestly, I'm a bit leery of even sharing this struggle with anyone - I have a difficult time sticking to a food resolve. Any resolve. Especially a resolve that has me kicking my sugar and flour to the curb.
So I've given myself a time limit. Can I revamp my food, for two weeks, and run a bit of an experiment to see how I feel? So, we're going to start some solid daily journaling, you and me. You can respond, or just lurk, it's up to you.
I'll post my foods, my recipes, and my struggles. Starting with... a food list. This list is something I put together after deciding what type of change I want to see in myself. And right now, I just need to feel good again. This isn't a 'Forever and Ever' change. It's just for two weeks. I want to give my body a rest and replenish what I've lost.
That would be energy. And my figure.
I chose these foods loosely based on their cleansing properties. You'll notice I've basically gone meat and dairy and grain free. It's just for two weeks. Don't freak me out by suggesting I do that forever.
Nuts & Seeds (raw)
Chicken Stock (homemade)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (1 tsp in water or iced herb tea 4 times a day, between meals)
Herbal, caffeine free tea
Any good ones I missed that you want to add?...
Last week I started working on getting more sleep. This week I will be doing yoga and eating these foods.
Who wants to chime in?