Oct 6, 2013

Day 5 - Testing Rye

Today was more challenging to stay on target with my plan, but I walked into the day prepared.  For both lunch and dinner I knew that I would be away from my home.  My school had an outdoor workshop event with food (hot dogs, deli sandwiches, salads, etc.) and I knew everything besides the salad was NOT an option for me.  Instead, I packed my own lunch, arrived 30 minutes earlier, went into my classroom and enjoyed my lunch by myself, which included a spicy vegetarian soup and a salad with goat cheese and carrots.  My snack was a rye cracker with yes, my favorite....raw almond butter....YUM, YUM, YUM!  A friend had asked me to go out to dinner and I told him that it would be a bit challenging since I wanted to stick to this as best as I could, so I made dinner for him.  Instead of chicken, I made quinoa with an apricot glaze....again, delicious.  The quinoa was spread over a bed of arugula accompanied by a side of beet and carrot salad and sauteed zucchini and onions with basil and manchego cheese.  If you've never had manchego cheese, you should.  It's made from raw sheep milk and aged between 6 and 12 months.  It was the perfect touch!  I forgot the chocolate, BUT I did enjoy a few glasses of Cabernet.

This morning I weighed in and lost another .8 pounds.  I was a bit shocked at that because I always thought drinking wine late at night would make me gain weight, but obviously this wasn't the case last night.  In fact, red wine can aide in losing weight, interestingly enough.

I have not exercised at all, btw.  In fact I haven't exercised in months due to my sciatica.  I am nearly healed and hope to start exercising soon.  I tell you this because even without exercise I am still able to shed pounds.  I know, however, once I building more muscles, this may change my scale number.

Oct 5, 2013

Day 4 - Testing Cheese

I do love cheese.  And today I tested goat cheese because it's the least culprit of inflammation.  I will work up to other cheeses, but this one seemed do fair out just fine.  My salad and roasted veggie combo for lunch tasted amazing with the added goat cheese.  My snack and dinner ended up being a little later in the day than I had expected, but with two little kiddos expecting a Friday night out for dinner, I didn't have many choices.  But I did snack on my raw carrot sticks with some raw almond butter.  Raw almond butter to me is a bit of Heaven.  I was slightly full by the time dinner came so I did skip part of the plan.  BUT chocolate was on the lineup for dessert.  Yeah, it was a glorious moment.  

One thing I did notice with my body was that I wasn't able to use the bathroom as easily as I have....if you know what I mean.  I have a feeling that's what animal protein does to me.  So, I think from now on I will substitute quinoa for chicken and see how my body responds to that.  We'll see how fish fares out.  

I did weigh in and lost another .2 pounds.  Not bad for some indulgences.  :)

Oct 4, 2013

Day 3 - End of Cleanse

I was skeptical today because I was introducing meat protein back into my diet.  I would consider myself a part-time vegetarian.  I wasn't like this in the beginning, but I do occasionally eat ethically raised meat.  My snack before lunch helped to subside my hunger and I wasn't really hungry until dinner came.  No lightheadedness today.....thank the Lord!  

Breakfast was the same, except I added almonds since I didn't have a reaction to them the day before.  I also had an amazing spicy vegetarian soup that was LOADED with zucchini, squash, broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, chickpeas, etc. for lunch accompanied by a salad without any dressing of any sort.  Dinner consisted of a small portion of chicken with roasted veggies.  All of it delicious, filling, satisfying and again....NO CRAVINGS!  I drank another gallon of water as well.

This concludes my cleanse.  I lost another 1.2 pounds, which brings my total fro this cleanse to 8.2 pounds in 3 days.  That's pretty fantabulous!  For the next couple of weeks, I will be testing different foods everyday for inflammation in my body....even chocolate, wine and cheese.  :)  Ooh-la-la!  


Oct 3, 2013

Day 2

Day 2 of my cleanse went well again.  One thing that I will change today is to have my snack in the morning rather than the afternoon because the time span between my breakfast and lunch is longer than my time span between my lunch and dinner.  I was a little light-headed at times from getting up too fast after bending down to help a child.  This is why there's no exercising during a cleanse because your energy levels are down.

My tested almonds and brown rice yesterday to see if those caused inflammation in my body, but the scale this morning said NO!  I was down another 2.6 pounds so no weight gain here!

I will say the food on this plan is very tasty.  My dinner last night rocked my world with sauteed kale, shiitake mushrooms and chopped zucchini smothered in a spicy coconut sauce and topped with some brown rice.  I'll be having that one again for sure!

Another key is to drink A LOT of water!  I can't express this enough.  A whole gallon went through my system yesterday and will again today.

Oct 1, 2013

Day 1

Today's meals were delicious and definitely filling.  I am extremely pleased and amazed at the fact that I went through my whole day without one craving.  People were walking by me with brownies and other desserts and I'm usually tempted by those, but not at all today.  I'm a bit shocked.  Just goes to prove that when you put really great food in your body, the cravings subside.  I also drank large amounts of water today, which isn't going against the norm, but man....I had to excuse myself several times to use the restroom.

Tomorrow I am testing my body for almonds to see if there is any reaction.  Crossing fingers that it's a big fat NO because I love, love, love almonds.

On to day 2 tomorrow.  My lunch bag is all packed with it's goodness.

Update:  10/2/13 - The scale said this morning I lost 4.4 pounds from my first day of the cleanse.

Sep 30, 2013

Pre-Cleanse Day

I am all set for tomorrow.  Everything is ready!  I have my meals made for the next two days at least.  I am feeling very positive about this new adventure.  On the lineup for tomorrow's day is my homemade flax granola, ginger-carrot soup, salad, steamed broccoli, steamed kale with veggies and a beet and carrot salad.

My scale is ready for my body to be weighed first thing in the morning as well as my detox tea and water. I can feel my body already opening itself up to all of these delicious foods.

One of the side effects of doing a cleanse is that you feel aches and pains.  I have been struggling with sciatica for a few months now and only very recently have I been starting to feel better through acupuncture and massage.  I am hopeful that the aches and pains will pass over my body like a silent fog and never make contact.

Sep 29, 2013


Recently I've been doing more research on how foods cause inflammation in our bodies.  I consider myself a relatively healthy eater.  I cheat sometimes, but hey, one has to live.  I have been noticing, though, that even with healthy choices, I still get bloated and gain weight from it....significantly.  I had a 5.5 pound difference between evening and morning just this past week, so I know that certain foods are causing reactions in my body and now the mission is to find out which foods.

I was going to start a 3-cleanse tomorrow and thought I was prepared, but alas, I need to do some soaking overnight and baking before I can start.  So Tuesday will be my start day.  After my cleanse, I will proceed in an elimination process to figure out which foods exactly are the culprits.  And once I find out, I'm taking them down!

What I like about this cleanse is that I can still eat food.  I'm not a big juicing person only because I don't own a juicer YET.  So, this cleanse works for me and my appliances on hand.

Why cleanse?  It's a way to reset the body by decreasing inflammation and creating a neutral base line.  This way, when introducing new foods, you are able to test them accurately.  Interestingly enough, cleansing is an ancient practice in which nearly every culture and religion participated in.  Through time our bodies become desensitized to the foods we eat all the time.  But when you do a cleanse, your body gains it's function back of properly recognizing invaders.  I remember when I switched over to an 85% raw food diet and after two months of this, I shared in a Thanksgiving feast with family....turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.  Within an hour I was doubled over in the most intense pain.  Do you know how many Thanksgiving dinners I've had and this has never happened?  It was then that I knew I was doing the right thing for my body and continued on that path.

My plan is to document my journey throughout the cleanse and elimination process.  I hope any reader will find it informative and encouraging.

Jul 22, 2013


Recently, I have become a distributor for NuSkin.  Why?  Because they are the only company that has what my hand is on....the biophotonic scanner.  I am working very hard to obtain one for my business.  Along with the scanner, I have become a believer in NuSkin products as I've experienced some of them for myself and have seen the results on others as well.  I couldn't be more excited about it.  I am excited for many reasons.  One, this will be a great tool for my health coaching business.  In talking with some chiropractors, I am hearing that clients want measurements...numbers.  It's a sign of reassurance that they are making progress.  I can't tell you how delighted I was to have used the scanner for the first time and score in the blue, which is the best side to be on.  Most people in the United States score in the red or orange section, being at the lowest level of anti-oxidants in the body.

So what are anti-oxidants?  Well, let's take a look at the word "oxidation".  For example, when a car or bike rusts, it does so due to oxidation - mainly moisture.  The rust is the damage done to the car or bike as a result of not taking care of it by making sure that it is clean and dry.  Now think about our cells.  They, too, can be damaged by free radicals in our body and can even die.  Insert anti-oxidants!  When you see fruits or veggies, they come in all kinds of colors.  An anti-oxidant is basically the color inside the food.  You want that inside your body!  Blueberries, blackberries, kale, beets, etc.  The deeper the color, the better.  You won't find antioxidants in a bowl of cereal nor will you find them in a cheeseburger with a side of fries nor will you find them in angel food cake with a side of ice cream, which are all pretty much staples in the United States.  But you will find them in the produce section of the grocery store or out in your garden.  5-7 servings a day is what we should be consuming and if you're not, start today!  Keep your cells healthy.  They are depending on you to do so.

May 31, 2013

Strictly Nutritious: The Experts Weigh In: Going Raw!

Strictly Nutritious: The Experts Weigh In: Going Raw!: Image via noshtopia.com BY: HEIDI GEIGER, CONTRIBUTOR Soaking, sprouting, dehydrating, blending, juicing... welcome to the Raw Food w...

May 13, 2013

FREE food!!!

Recently, I experienced some interesting behavior in relation to food that I feel compelled to share.  As you read, you will see two things....how the word "free" has an impact on our minds and emotions and how a food addiction can trump health and perspective.  

Scenario 1:

While at dinner in downtown Chicago with my two children and friends, I was jostled by a loud, offensive conversation just across from my table.  The f-bomb was dropped twice, so, of course, the mama bear came out and walked over to the table to let the gentleman know that my small children were in earshot of this and to please STOP!  Come to find out, he was the manager on duty and the conversation was pretty much a one-way street toward his female employee.  What I witnessed was abuse in action.  He bobbed his unempathetic head at me with a meek, "Sorry."  You couldn't help but feel the tension, which put a damper on the meal I was having with my company.  At the end of the meal, the waitress brought out a foiled package and said, "This is free dessert from the manager because of what happened."  Hmm...I'm sure a large percentage of people would take it and walk out the door.  Nothing said.  Not a word.  NOT ME.  And seriously, what a coward!  To have someone else be his delivery boy....it made me a little unnerved.  So my response was, "I don't want it."  The waitress was shocked.  Why wouldn't I want something free...especially dessert?  I let her know that if he was really that sorry, he should be the one to deliver the package, not her.  When all was said and done, he did come out and remind me of his earlier apology, which btw is so professional, right?  And as I turned the free dessert down a second time and calmly pointed out his abusive behavior to his employees IN FRONT of his guests, let alone children, he walked away with an "I don't care" attitude.  Don't worry, I did get his name and made a call to the owner.  
As we walked away from the situation, one of my friends said, "You should just take the dessert anyway...it is free and all."  I looked at my friend and reminded her that if I took that dessert that I didn't want, two things would happen - number 1, I'd pack on 1000 extra unwanted calories and number 2 - he'd win.  This is how this man rolls....I misbehave and then I give a gift to make up for it and hopefully you can sweep it under the rug.  Even though this made sense to my friend, I could tell she still thought I should take it anyway.  Why?  Because it was free and it was dessert....two words that like to make love and create unhealthy babies.  ;)

Scenario 2:

After a delicious, filling lunch one afternoon, the waitress came to the table and asked if anyone wanted dessert.  There was only ONE person who desired to have something...even though she was full.  She encouraged everyone at the table to have a piece of pie, even after hearing 3 times no one was interested.  I could see she wanted a piece, not because she was hungry, but because she wanted that sugary taste on her tongue, but she knew she probably shouldn't because she had indulged quite a bit in sweets prior to lunch.  She was feeling bad about it, which is why she was pressuring everyone else to join her so she'd feel better about herself.  But nobody was budging.  She ordered a piece of pie anyway.  Then the waitress announced that free pieces of pie were being offered for ladies only.  My friend's eyes shot right over to me as if to say, "Now is your chance!  It's free!  Take it!"  I looked at her and said, "I don't want any pie.  I am full and honestly, I just don't want to consume all those empty calories, now or later."  Her response was, "But you can freeze it and if you ever have company who wants it, they can have it.  Or you can give it to your daughter!" (who happened to be RIGHT THERE).  I really didn't want my daughter eating one more large ticket item of crap, either.  But now she wanted that piece of pie because the suggestion was made.  In fact, my friend had pointed out the perfect piece of chocolate pie with colorful sprinkles before my daughter could even have a chance to think.  I allowed it because honestly, it was becoming ridiculous.  Can you see what happened, though? Two things:  number 1, addictions like company or else I would've never been pressured and number 2, the word "free" gives us an excuse, a reason, as to why eating something we don't need or don't want makes perfect sense at that moment.  So who do you think felt better leaving that table?  You cannot deny that when a person consumes something like that, they just don't feel good about themselves later.  But those that can walk away, unmoved by those unwanted offers, feel great, especially later.  

Just because it's FREE doesn't mean you have to take it or consume it.  You can choose to be a victim of that word or not.  I will not deny that FREE is a good word.  I love that word!  But sometimes we can go after that word and not pay attention to what it stands for.  

The next time the word "free" comes together with an offer, stop for a minute and really evaluate it.  It could save your health.

Mar 28, 2013

Miraculous Millet

When one thinks of Spring Break, one thinks of vacation, relaxation, drink in hand, warm weather, etc.  Life is great!  You dread going back to work and wish you could just squeeze out a couple more days or weeks of vacation, right?  My Spring Break 2013 has been FAR from what has been just described.   So far away you wouldn't even see it with that telescope from Macklemore's song Thrift Shop.  It all started with a fever on Saturday and proceeded into vomiting and much more.  I have had to wash bedding twice, my couch once and LOTS of underwear and shirts in between.  My body has knelt next to a little girl's body in the bathroom while her whole body convulses as she's throwing up for what seems to be the 15th time.  Meanwhile you have a hungry, active 20 month old who is throwing everything in sight and doesn't understand that his play mate can't do the usual hide-and-go-seek games at the moment.  As my daughter was losing pretty much everything in her body and not able to keep anything in, I decided to consult my Chinese Medicine book called Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.  I looked up "vomiting" and "diarrhea".  What I found was right in my pantry....millet.  I was a little surprised, but what the heck?  Supposedly millet soup ceases vomiting and a bit of a thicker millet concoction, such as a porridge, is supposed to thicken stools.

As I was making it, I knew in my head that my daughter would snub her nose at it because she hates millet and she's the kind of kid that doesn't like anything out of the norm.  I didn't tell her what I was doing or what I was making.  All I knew is that there wasn't going to be any sweet talking about it.  It was either eat it or I am going to have to take you to the hospital.   She ate it....about 7 bites of it.  I have to admit, it was bland, very bland.  The results - EVERYTHING CAME TO A HALT!  From then on, she sipped water slowly and started to recover.  It could've been timing or it could've been the millet. Whatever the case may be, you can be sure that in the future I will be trying this again.  

I am thankful and grateful that we are on the mend and trust me, I will not be trying to squeeze any days out of this Spring Break.  Monday will be a refreshing day as I enter back into work.  Perhaps summer vacationing will go a bit smoother.  I can see it....relaxation, warm weather - I am ready!

Mar 27, 2013

The Baiden Mitten

One of my friends on Facebook loves a website called "Pinup Passions", so every now and again, I'd see her "like" one of their pics or posts.  She is a happily married woman to a truly amazing and loving husband.  Both of them just rejoiced in the birth of their second baby this past year.  What I have noticed is that her makeup always looks amazing....like she just walked out of a Pinup Passions magazine.  I am still trying to figure out the whole makeup thing, so I decided one day to take a look at the website to figure out if there was a secret I could unfold.  I clicked, I searched and there it was -  a cute little video about an inexpensive microdermabrasion mitten called The Baiden Mitten.  You must watch the video because I love the woman's accent....and wit....and of course, her makeup.  Here's the link:  http://www.pinuppassion.com/pin-up-skin.html   I have noticed my skin, especially my face, needs some attention these days, but my pocketbook will not cooperate.  Priorities...feed the kids or spend money on my face every month.  Hmm....considering my children never stop eating even when I ask them to (just kidding), I guess I'll have to feed them.  But for $50 I can have a DIY experience, that's a no-brainer.

Yesterday I received it in the mail, read all of the instructions with enthusiasm and excitement and tried it after my late night workout.  I started on my face and worked my way South.  What I can say is that it did what it said.  I saw all my dead skin balling up only to be washed away and taken down my shower drain.  My skin felt smoother, especially my face.  I almost slipped and fell in the kitchen because my feet were also released from the clamps of dead skin.  (Don't try this at home)  But most of all, I felt invigorated from the detoxing experience.  Heavenly!  But trust me, your arms will get a workout...and after I had just lifted weights, I was definitely feeling it.

So here's what it does promise - Immediate Improvement in the following:
 - blackheads and large pores
 - skin firmness and wrinkles
 - scars and stretch marks
 - skin tone and dryness
 - deep skin detox
 - discoloration
 - even tanning
 - acne control

I cannot compare this to a spa experience because I've never had one, but check out the reviews on google.  It seems like a really great product.  With a 60 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty, it's worth a try.

Mar 20, 2013

Good-bye fat! Hello Sexy Muscle!

Last summer I started seeing a Personal Trainer in order to start toning my body up.  I had lost a lot of weight and quite honestly didn't have the time nor desire to workout.  In retrospect, I really didn't know what to do in a weight room.  A weight room can be very daunting to someone who has never weight trained, especially women.  Why is that?  Well, I think it's just the fear of the unknown - at least for me it was.  But I refused to think that way any longer, so I told my personal trainer that I not only wanted to get toned, but I also wanted to be able to walk into a weight room with confidence.  I wanted all of those guys to think, "She's got her *#$% together!"  Personal training helped a lot and I was able to break through that barrier of entering the muscle zone with grunting men, sweaty shirts, loud heavy metal music (eye roll) and so many mirrors in case you didn't get a good look at yourself before you came.  Okay, confession....I love looking at my muscles when I'm lifting, so I get it.  ;)

Then came my back issue which put me out for about 4 months.  Hello chiropractor!  I will admit, I've been through some chiropractors in my lifetime and though I was a little skeptical in the beginning, I'm very pleased with where things are now!  I've gone from crying because there's so much pain to running almost 2 miles pain-free!  A-mazing!

Back's good - check!  So now what?  ChaLean Extreme, baby!!  I am on my second week of a Beach Body makeover....and LOVING IT!  Okay, so I must admit, I was a BIG BABY before I signed up.  My thoughts were, "I hate pain!"  "This is going to be so hard!"  "I don't have the commitment level like others do."  "What if I fail?"  Yup!  All of those negative thoughts lured through my mind.  Did I mention that in high school the track coach asked me to run track and I told him only if he could promise me I'd never have to run a day in my life?  Ha!  Needless to say he was shocked when 2 years later he needed a volunteer to run the 2 mile at a competition and it was ME and only me who raised a hand on the bus that day.

Deep down inside though, I want my body to change.  Not just for my overall health, especially my back, but what woman doesn't want to look sexy?  All of these desires and positive thoughts started to override the negative ones.  Everyday I have to tell myself the same thing, "It's gonna be work, but you are worth the work, baby!"  It's not easy, but I feel amazing once I've finished a workout.

So here I am on the second week of my 12 week excursion.  But really, this is more than just 90 days...this is a lifetime change, just like food is a lifetime change.  I choose health!

I write this to inspire others and let them know that EVERYBODY has those thoughts everyday.  Working out is a choice.  Will it be yours?

Mar 13, 2013

Changing It Up!

Life is a journey, isn't it?  Once we think we have it all figured out, life happens and things shift again.  This is why I am so glad certain "how-to's" such as putting on my shoes or peeling a banana haven't changed.  Can you imagine?.  ;)  Since 2009 I have been on a food journey, changing the way I eat and prepare foods and it has been one of the biggest undertakings of my life...besides being a single mother of two.....and, of course, you might as well throw in the whole birthing process of having those beautiful beings in my life.  WOWZAS!

Anyway, I am here to tell you that anytime you make a change, it is a process and definitely NOT one that happens overnight.  When people talk with me about what I do, they feel like they could never accomplish the things that I've accomplished.  If I talked to myself, which I don't, I'd probably feel that same way.  I mean, who the hell makes their own cereal?  Isn't that so primitive?  Where's your cave, woman?

Truth be told, I am a pretty healthy eater, but I don't always follow the rules.  I still enjoy foods that don't follow the RAW outline.  People are shocked when I tell them this.  So, I want to put it out there because many times we have this impression of how it is, when really it isn't.  I still eat the occasional pizza, ice cream, french fries, blah, blah, blah.  Why not?  For me, and I can only speak for myself, it's no fun being good all the time.  And quite honestly, I don't have the time to always be good.  Now, I don't eat that stuff every day or even every other day.  But once in a while, there's a place for it.  I would say 90-95% of the meals I make for my family are healthy, unprocessed and at home. Considering my circumstances and lifestyle, that's pretty good.

Even now, I have turned more into a vegetarian than I am a raw foodist.  I still love raw foods and definitely still hold a true passion for it, but sometimes I want a warm, cooked meal with a side of another warm, cooked meal.  My all time favorite, feel-good breakfast, especially on the weekends, is scrambled eggs with salsa, avocado and whole-grain toast.

So if you feel like making changes to the way you eat is just too daunting and impossible, think again.
Food is fun and it definitely holds a purpose....to fuel your body.  Don't be afraid to be imperfect in the process, though  It's about experimenting, listening to your body and eating with consciousness...with some wiggle room for unleashing that naughty side.

Jan 17, 2013

Is Cereal Harmful for the Human Body?

Cereal....what's not to love about it?  It's easy, it's dependable, it's got VA-RI-ETY.  Many people have it for more than just breakfast.  Toddlers are chewing on Cheerios in grocery stores, church, libraries and plane rides.  I'm sure cereal is a staple in almost every household across the United States.  We have come to trust this little box that sometimes comes with prizes and fun little puzzles on the back.  In fact, many consumers are excited about that little marketing trick called, "Made With Whole Grain".  Even Lucky Charms has dooped people into thinking their box of magic is somewhat nutritious, right?  So this is where I burst your bubble.  You better grab the peanut butter because this could get messy.  Ready?  Here it is.  Cereal is NOT healthy - for anybody - no matter how many whole grains come in the box.  In fact, the more whole grains and ORGANIC it is, the more unhealthy it is.  Yes - that is right.

I'm sure you're baffled, right?  Let me tell you why cereals are so unhealthy.  It goes back to a couple of things.  Number 1 - our stomachs.  Humans have a small stomach, which makes less room for food items to digest properly, especially grains.  Grains need to be properly prepared (soaked in acidic water to break it down) before eating so that it's not toxic to our body, namely the nervous system.  Number 2 - cereals are made by a process called EXTRUSION.  A grain is taken at very high temperature and pressure then pushed through an extruder operator to make your Cheerio, corn flake, puffed rice, etc. This process is extremely dangerous for humans, considering the kind of stomach we have AND considering some other information I am about to share with you.

Isn't it interesting that there has not been ONE published study on the effects of these cereals on humans or animals.  Not one.  There are, however, 2 unpublished studies out there and the results are frightening.  One unpublished study was discovered by a man named Paul Stitt who used to work for a cereal company and found unpublished files.  He revealed them in his book called, Fighting the Food Giants.  The study was done on 4 groups of rats. 

First group  received plain wheat berries and water – lived over a year
Second group received sugar water and vitamins – lived 6 weeks (shows you cannot live on vitamins alone)
Third group received water alone – lived 4 weeks
Fourth group received (extruded) puffed wheat and water – lived 2 weeks

The other unpublished study was done by a scientist.  I am uncertain of his name, so I will not post it.

When preparing oatmeal, soak your oatmeal in warm water overnight with a little lemon juice to make it acidic.  This will break it down and make it ready to digest in your stomach.  Drain it the next morning, then bring other water to a boil and cook for one minute.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  I usually add some raw cacao, hemp seeds, and chia seeds once it's finished cooking....oh, and a little raw honey.  I hope you find this helpful and eye-opening!