DAY TEN : Festival food, clothes shopping and a slip up

So it's the beginning of day ten of my cleanse diet. I have branched out and bought new veggies that I've never had. Daiokon radish : hate it. Mung Beans : OK in stir fry, YUCKY raw. Beets : Just can't seem to get into them, but I'm going to keep trying. Chayote Squash : Haven't yet tried it, but I'm excited to. Endive : Haven't tried it yet either, but I'm sure it will be tasty.

Yesterday I went to a local jazz festival to enjoy the music and we ended up eating dinner there. Of course the food was all (mostly) crap food. Junk. Fried this and fried that. There was even a booth that was called "Yes! It's fried!" and everything was fried. From Twinkies to pickles. It made my stomach turn. I managed to find a booth that had baked potatoes that I ordered plain with some garlic salt. At another booth I found a guy who had vegetable lo mien so I ordered a plate of that and Jackson ate most of the noodles and I ate most of the veggies on my baked potato. Jackson and I also shared a huge ear of corn, plain, and it was a total hit. I managed to find healthy, good-for-me foods at a festival. It was a job, but I was so proud of myself to sticking to my diet. Hopefully, as time goes on, Jackson will absorb this and see that it's OK to eat well even when you are surrounded by fried Twinkies and pigs on sticks.

I did have a minor slip up this weekend, I cannot lie. My sister-in-law (who's progressing toward being a vegan YAY!!!) and I went shopping and, well, shopping is exhausting! We stopped at the indoor mall food court and I saw fruit smoothies and I was all YES! They have fruit smoothies! It's fruit! I asked what was in the smoothie and was all sorts of giddy to hear that they were made from soy milk and fruit juices. It's vegan! SWEET. So I ordered a yummy smoothie and drank about a 1/4 of it before I realized that HELLO, it's full of soy milk (which I'm avoiding right now) and sugar from the fruit juices (which I'm also avoiding). Oh well, it was an honest mistake.

Also, I had a grand time shopping. I'm officially back to a size 8 FINALLY. Jackson's been 2 since February if that tells you anything. It was a LONG LONG LONG road, but one I've had fun taking and one I've learned so much from. I happy to be back, that's for sure.

In a few days I'll be incorporating tofu, quinoa and brown rice back to my diet. I'm really excited, especially about the brown rice and quinoa, two of my favorites!

I am so proud of myself that I've done so well and kept on track (except my one mistake). It proves that even when I'm surrounded by junk food and processed things that I can absolutely make the choice to refrain, because my body is worth it. I am worth it.
Bonus picture of Jackson eating his "corns". He cried when it was all gone.



Today is the beginning of my 6Th day on my detoxing cleanse diet. For almost a week now I've eaten only fruit and vegetables (mostly fresh, some canned and frozen), oils from homemade salad dressings, spices and protein powder for my morning smoothies.

Yesterday I started to second guess this diet. I know that to function well I need carbs from whole food grains and I started to worry that I wasn't eating what I body needs. I was feeling randomly light headed and I really did start to worry. Then I took a step back and really put some thought into this.

I know of a child who eats the same three meals at every sitting and rarely deviates. He's got zero variety in his diet and he's doing just fine (so far). I know people who eat fast food 2-3 times a day and they are still standing (maybe not well, but they are still standing). Recently I saw people at an all-you-can-eat buffet gorging on things like fatty meats and cheesy pastas made with white flour and they were able to function OK (if you can call that functioning).

I realized that by my just eating whole foods with no added chemicals, additives or other things that don't belong in food that I was way ahead of the game. After I realized all the above things I stopped worrying. I decided to add even more variety to my diet. I've been eating tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, sweet potatoes, squashes, all sorts of berries, all sorts of greens and tons of different kinds of spices. Today I plan on picking up a few more things to add. Maybe some jicama, hot peppers for some spice and some celery root (that thing is so intimidating!).

I'm not going to lie and say that it's been easy. Yesterday was the worst so far. I wanted something, anything that wasn't a vegetable or fruit. I wanted pasta piled high with faux meatballs. I would have loved to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich slathered with jelly made with tons of sugar. If I would have had chocolate or candy in my house I may have been forced to toss it down the garbage disposal. Instead I got a large bowl of frozen veggies and made a simple Asian stir fry with some soy sauce and a spicy pepper sauce.

For the most part I've felt full most of the day because I eat all day long. Every two hours I eat something small and the best part? I've lost 3 pounds. I know that's probably a lot of water weight, but it's still pretty exciting. If I lose a few pounds in the process I'm not going to complain.

I'm feeling more aware of how to use spices to make vegetable taste good. Combinations of different vegetables is quite fun to experiment with. My morning smoothies never taste the same and I've discovered that I really like carrots in my smoothie, especially baby carrots. They lend a sweet flavor. Who knew that I'd like spinach, carrot, banana and blueberries smoothies.

I have one week left of only fruits and vegetables and I hope that even when that time is over that I'll continue to eat the variety and amount of these super foods. Because, really, they are super foods, in more way than one.



Here it is day two of my cleansing diet. It's been interesting so far. I managed to go to lunch with a good girlfriend of mine and it was a smashing success. We went to a local sushi place and I got the raw cabbage salad with ginger dressing and the awesome chef (do they call them chef's at sushi places?) made a special roll just for me. It had cucumber and seaweed as the 'wrapper' and avocado, carrot and cucumber for the inside. It was scrumptious.

I generally feel pretty good. This morning was a little rough, but once I got some food in my belly everything felt much better.

I'm looking forward to having sweet potatoes tonight, among other things.

I do have a question...about beets. Tell me what you do with beetroot. I've read about roasting and frying and boiling. But I want to know what you do with beetroot. One of the things I want to do is try new foods that I normally don't try. There aren't many veggies and fruits I haven't tried that are common around here, but there are definitely a few. Beetroot is the first lucky veggie!



So, it's day one of my 21 day cleanse diet. Today was a day of green tea and water only. It's actually not been as awful as I thought it could be. I feel a little run down and I'm finding that I'm contemplating and thinking more than I normally would s the day goes on. Before I go to bed tonight I'm going to take some time to reflect on why I'm doing this and what it means to me.

I went to the store the other day to prepare for this diet:

Then, yesterday, I chopped and sliced and mandolined most of these yummy foods:

I have a game plan for tomorrow that involves fruit and protein powder shakes for breakfast, sushi (minus the rice) for lunch, sweet potatoes and steamed veggies for dinner and snacks.
I've never been so excited to sink my teeth into a colorful salad and some juicy blackberries. I think that maybe that's the point for me. I feel thankful that I have healthy food available to me even though I've chosen to not eat it today. I feel fortunate to know that I have made the choice to feed myself what's good for me and not just what tastes good despite the nutritional value because I've found that the healthy things? They do taste good.


21 day cleanse (SCARY!!)

Tomorrow I'm starting a 21 day cleanse. I thought it would be interesting, at least to me, to blog about it each day. The point of this cleanse is to detoxify my body of all the built up nastiness that it just doesn't need. (Easter candy, I'm talking to you.) It's basically a mostly raw vegan diet so it shouldn't be a HUGE departure from my regular diet, but it's going to take some planning and willpower and LOOOOOOTS of support. Fortunately I have a detox buddy and since she's done this before so I'm hoping to get a wealth of knowledge from her and be smart about this. The other point of this cleanse is to get in touch with what my body really needs and really take care of it.

I started a semi-regular yoga practice a few weeks ago and I've really begun to appreciate my body and how it has carried me through so much even when I abused it and put it last. I actually thank my body after each yoga practice for showing up and being present everyday, it's the only one I have and it's about time I started thanking it and caring for it the right way.

It's funny how one little thing can change your whole outlook on life and yourself. I'm approaching my one year "veganniversary" and it feels so right. I've taken advantage of the fact that Swedish Fish are vegan, though, and that's, partially, where the cleanse comes in. I'm nervous and excited and prepared. I went to the store today and loaded up on fresh fruits and veggies, some I've never even tried before. The variety is IMMENSE. I got strawberries, beets, bananas, spinach, avocados, lemons, raisins, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions, celery, acorn squash, cucumber, carrots, blackberries, clementines, mustard greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers of all different colors and many other things.

It's going to be a tough 21 days, but one I hope will enlighten me and one I hope to start strong and continue strong all the way through.


Send snacks

One more day to go. Send snacks and maybe a pillow also.



Slight hoarding problem

I moved out from my parent's home on March 26, 1995. I was seventeen and hugely pregnant. That particular day was my wedding day. As you can imagine I had very little to my name. I had my furniture which consisted of a bed, two dressers, an old Army trunk that belonged to my grandpa and an old rocking chair. To have dishes and flatware in our new (to us) apartment, we had to put items on lay-away at Walmart. I think we bought maybe $100 worth of stuff but it was such a huge amount back then to a little old 17-year-old.

We never had much money and I bought the cheapest stuff we could find. $.99 shampoo made by some random off brand company wasn't below me. Sometimes I'd splurge and spend $2.99. I wore mostly Wet N Wild makeup because it was so darn cheap. Store brand anything was the way to go, even toilet paper.

As I got older and made more money I started stocking up on things. If you searched my pantry you might find 3 cans of cream of corn just in case. Needed nail polish remover? I bet I could produce 2.5 bottles for your removing pleasure. Those cheap $.99 shampoo bottles? I bet I had 4 of them lounging in the hall closet for future use.

I have no idea why I hoarded things like food and toiletries. The more I've thought about it the more I realize that I think it's because when I moved I basically started from zero and had to claw my way up. I didn't have reserves of things just in case I ran out and I never knew if I'd had enough money to a.) drive to the store or b.) be able to even buy things we needed. I won't even mention about my ex-husband who used his paychecks to smoke pot and drink with his friends. (That's a whole other set of things that influenced my adult life.)

I'm 31 now (I had to check and make sure that was right, I already forgot) and I'm the same, sort of. I still stock pile food, 4 cans of kidney beans anyone? But I'm much better about actually finding uses for those 4 cans of kidney beans instead of letting them sit there until the can is piled with inches of dust. (Vegan chili is AWESOME.) I still buy deodorant when I'm half through the current deodorant I'm using. And I thought I had several bottles of shampoo chillin' in the closet, waiting for me.

I went on the hunt this morning for shampoo because I ran out. I searched and searched and searched some more and HOLY SHIT people, I don't have any extra shampoo! I haven't run out of shampoo in 14 YEARS. I always have some on hand, always. Today, on my way home, I have to stop and get shampoo and chances are I'll buy the $8 shampoo unless the $.99 bottle of shampoo smells particularly yummy. I was all feeling smug as I was searching thinking I've conquered my demons, I stopped hoarding!

And then I counted the bottles of body washes and I'll just say that I stopped counting at 7.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

What, if anything, do you hoard?