Oh the bitter chill of winter, how I do not like thee. I am not a fan of the kapha season. In other words: the winter. It’s cold, heavy, dull and damp. My fiery pitta self is not fond of this, not one bit. I just want to snuggle up in my warm cozy bed and dream about the summer. It also doesn’t help that I have been up working on my book until my eyes are drooping and exhausted. But I am truly having so much fun. It’s such a joy to finally give my gifts and passions the attention it deserves. 2015 is my year. And I am really really excited to share my book with all of you (stay tuned).
For my birthday this year I decided to buy Sarah Wilson’s book, I Quit Sugar. Honestly, I never really thought anything of the amount of sugar I was eating because let’s be honest, the white refined crap wasn’t in my diet in the first place. I had no idea what I was getting into and what it really entailed. Little did I know, sugar is lurking EVERYWHERE. Okay, I actually knew that sugar is hidden in everything, what I didn’t know what the culprit was fructose. No…not high fructose corn syrup (which is an abomination, but we knew that already).
I had no idea that all the fruit and some of those awesome healthy treats (you know, bananas and raw honey- YUM) I was eating was actually keeping me sluggish, moody and tired. But of course I didn’t realize this until I decided to give it up for 8 weeks, which ultimately turned into an 80 day cleanse.
Before I go into detail about my journey, let me tell you I decided to start this challenge a few days after my birthday so I was detoxing BIG time off of the cakes, treats, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Did I mention that I LOVE chocolate? For heaven’s sake, my boyfriend baked me a double chocolate double layered cake. I was so dedicated to this challenge I didn’t even have a second slice. Needless to say, Matthew was not too thrilled. Sorry babe!
The way Sarah Wilson’s program works is it starts with awareness and a ton of information.
I have to admit, the first week, which included cutting down sugar (I mean fructose) was hard. I LOVE fruit. Absolutely could not see myself without it. I was drinking a green smoothie for breakfast almost every morning. I really had no idea that I was basically living off of fructose. Fruit for breakfast, raisins for a snack, a nibble of dark chocolate here and there and sweetened almond milk in my tea or coffee. Cutting out was hard. But one of the principles that I learned while studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was that you must crowd out the bad stuff with good stuff.
I started to introduce more hearty breakfasts into the mix (since that’s a favorite for me) and started to find alternative snacks. I would start my day with rice millet toast with avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, Herbamare, red chili flakes, garlic powder, and turmeric. I was surprisingly full after one piece of toast but if I would have a green smoothie for breakfast I would be hungry almost instantaneously (and that is RIDICULOUS).
After realizing that I can actually survive and feel light, fit, clear and healthy with a piece of avocado toast for breakfast I started to really dive deeper into this journey. My body started to speak to me. How weird is that?! Yes! I said SPEAK to me. I have been vegan for 2 years and a lifelong vegetarian but once I started to pay closer attention to the sugar I was consuming I started to feel the urge to eat dairy. How weird is that?!
Our body’s are much smarter than we are. We just need to take a moment to listen and feel. You will be surprised how beneficial it is to tune in to what your body really wants.
After a few weeks, recognizing how different I felt without sugar was simple. I actually didn’t miss it. Okay, maybe I missed chocolate but other than that I was able to really, truly recognize what is was my body REALLY wanted. I needed more grounding foods, some dairy here and there and to actually eat more wholesome foods.
So what’s my point?
1. Sugar is in everything. But the main culprit is fructose (surprisingly in fruit). Read more here. We should only really be consuming under 25g a day. Did you know one soy chai latte at Starbucks can have about 46g of sugar per serving?!
2. Fruit is not the culprit but there are some fruits that have higher fructose than others (bananas and mangoes, dried fruit)
3. Your brain is less foggy, your skin is clear, you become more energetic. Without over consuming fruits and sweeteners you can actually do wonders for your energy, your skin and your overall well-being.
4. You may begin to recognize what your body truly needs. For me, I really needed to add a little bit of dairy (full fat greek yogurt, full fat cheese on occasion) and adding more healthy fats to my diet.
5. Your tastebuds will be extremely sensitive and that’s a good thing. I can taste almost every single flavor in my food now which makes it that much more of an enjoyable experience. I LOVE cooking and eating so it’s truly important to SAVOR every last bit.
I have since allowed a little sweetness in my life. I really missed pineapple, bananas and various fruits but I am more aware than ever.
Have you tried to quit sugar? I’d love to hear about your journey!
Peace, love, and no beef!
For a few months I obsessed (well, more like contemplated) over starting a juice cleanse. I have to admit, this probably started after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check this documentary out, you should. It will change your life. I was full of self doubt initially. I thought, “how am I going to live without FOOD for 3-days?” I LOVE FOOD. I did a ton of research on people’s reactions to juice cleanses and then ultimately decided it was time for me to cleanse.
I started this cleanse with the intention to purify, detoxify and clean my body out of winter sludge (yes, sludge- gross). I purposely chose the Spring Equinox as the ideal date to start fresh and welcome one of my favorite seasons (basically, I love every season except winter). Everyone speaks of spring cleaning and it is much more than just putting away winter clothing, planting daffodils and brightening up your living space. It is about awakening the dormant spring and summer within. Spring cleaning is the ultimate purge. And boy, did I need to purge and release the winter.
I ended up not making my own juices (waiting to purchase my dream juicer aka Jack Lallane) and going with a phenomenal company: Love Grace Foods. For $56 a day ($168 for 3 days), I got 6 juices a day (you drink 1 every 2 hours) chock full of vitamins, minerals and pure liquid healing in a bottle. Love Grace sends you the following:
1. 16 oz Purify
2. 4 oz Ginger Bomb
3. 16 oz Super Cider or Longevity Tonic
4. 16 oz Smoothie (Chocolate Superfood, Green Protein, Probiotic)
5. 16 oz Green Sunshine
6. 16 oz Restore
Initially I was anxious but more so excited. The moment my juices arrived I was practically bouncing off the walls. Yes, I get excited about the little things. I’m just a tad weird but hey, why not?
The first day I woke up ridiculously hungry. I went to the fridge thinking about steel cut oats with blueberries and walnuts but then it hit me, I’m drinking juice FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS. I almost panicked. I know my body freaked out slightly. But I grabbed juice numero uno and nourished my body with pure green deliciousness. Though I was turned off by the cucumber (not my fave, but I know it’s good for me), the coconut water in the first juice balanced the rest of the veggies perfectly.
The rest of the first day went well but was definitely the most challenging. I felt lethargic initially. Then the benefits hit me and I was bouncing off the walls as though I had consumed 2 cups of strong coffee. The remaining two days flew right on by but were completely worth it and necessary for my body.
It was truly mind over matter. It was and is essential to be hydrated. I sipped on herbal tea, water with chlorophyll in it and kept my intention as my focus. I had a few moments of self doubt. I thought I was going to die of hunger but I simply hushed my mind and let my body know I was nourishing it with pure love.
I have never used the ladies room so much in my entire life but I know I was flushing out (literally) whatever toxins I was clinging to internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I took time each day to contemplate, reflect and meditate. Being in silence with myself really brought great clarity. Not only did I do something amazing for my body, I feel an immense glow surrounding me. I really feel uplifted, like my spirits were scrubbed clean.
I am truly grateful for Love Grace Foods for helping me pre-cleanse to post-cleanse. I could not have asked for a more supportive company.
Now, I am slowly introducing solid foods back into my diet. My cleanse isn’t completely over (yay- even though I really want a bagel-eek!). I am drinking smoothies, making chia pudding (recipe will be up soon) and brothy soups.
Sometimes our bodies really need to reboot, refresh and be allowed the opportunity to detoxify. I am definitely making this a monthly practice.
Please note, I do not recommend this for everyone. It is not a crash diet or a way for you to lose weight temporarily. This is for a greater benefit, overall wellbeing. Make an intention to start eating cleaner, more organic and unprocessed or unrefined foods. Treat your body as the temple it is.
YOU are divine.
Peace, love and juice!
P.S. Want a little guidance with your health, diet and lifestyle? Schedule a FREE health consultation with me by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
With every change of season, I begin thinking about new beginnings. With the fall approaching, kids are going back to school and vacations end, I can’t help but think the fall warrants some sort of change. By change I don’t necessarily mean a drastic haircut or completely altering yourself. My idea of change comes as cleansing, detoxification.
To cleanse, by definition means, to make thoroughly clean, or to rid (a person, place, or thing) of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted, or defiling. It is synonymous with purging, purification, clearing and refining. In order for our bodies, minds and souls to feel completely replenished and achieve equilibrium, we must purify and cleanse ourselves.
In my experience, when people hear detoxification or cleansing they immediately think it is entirely related to diet. Yes, eating clean is an important part of purging your body of toxins but separating yourself from negativity from all angles is where true results lie.
There are numerous detox and cleansing diets from the master cleanse (also known as the spicy lemonade diet) to a raw food diet. Each, if done properly, is meant to purge the body of toxins. These diets are not meant to bring permanent results, they are intended to purify the blood, liver and get your system back in balance. Now, I don’t believe in doing a cleanse for weight loss. I believe that doing, let’s say a three-day purifying cleanse is ultimately helpful to get your body to a state of equilibrium. But of course, please take extra precaution if you have serious health risks or ailments.
Detoxification is ultimately about you realizing what it is your body needs to feel better; whether it is taking a break from social networks, allowing yourself to have a break from emails, removing yourself from negative people or situations, making conscious healthy choices for your day to day diet. Take time for yourself. You’re the only you. Be good to you.
Peace, love and no beef!