Thursday, July 19, 2012
Just 25 more days to go....
I spoke with my acupuncturist last night about missing coffee. She suggested I try rooibos tea with almond milk and a little stevia to make it feel like a morning latte treat.
I got some tea last night, and I tried it this morning. Sadly, I left my stevia at home, so I cheated and used a little agave syrup (1 tsp). It was comforting (oddly) to discover that the almond milk separates in EVERYTHING I put it in. Because it' s doing the creepy separation thing in the rooibos tea too. So, maybe I can enjoy the teeccino without getting creeped out now. :)
The tea is delicious. It smells like apple cider and has a delicious cinnamon taste that makes me quite happy!
I might actually have some sort of allergy to it though, because ever since I started drinking it (I haven't consumed anything else today except this tea and water), I have been congested, stuffy, and itchy. Weird.
I am quite pleased with the flavors though and also with my discovery re the separation issue. Now maybe I can enjoy my iced teeccino without fear that I've curdled the milk.
B - UltraClear with banana, peach, and kiwi
L - Baked lemon chicken, roasted broccoli, mashed sweet potato
D - Rotisserie chicken with sauteed veggies
S1 - UltraClear with banana
S2 - 2 black plums
Just 25 more days...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Once again, it took all I had not to drive to Starbucks on my way to work this morning.
Although I was somewhat awake at 6, 6:30, and 7am, I was entirely unmotivated to get out of bed and get ready for work. I just really did not want to go to work. At all.
So, I stayed in bed until 8am. I should be at work at 8am. Instead, I've gotten to work after 9am every day this week. Just have no motivation, nor do I seem to care. Part of it is that I'm not particularly busy at work. I have stuff to do, but it's not time sensitive, nor is it particularly important, so my motivation to jump into it is just not there.
I pulled myself out of bed after 8am and began to get ready for the day. On my drive in and even now, I feel so much more tired than I did in bed. I feel like I took a sleeping pill that hasn't worn off yet. I know this is because I went off the cleanse for 3.5 days, and am now getting back on it, but I wish the energy levels would increase already.
Still not a fan of the teeccino. (this is 30 seconds after stirring). It tastes...coffee like...but I am so grossed out by the separation when I add my almond milk to it that I almost don't want to drink it. Very disappointing. Anyone have any suggestions for how to enjoy it with a non-dairy beverage and NOT have it separate?
I have found Celestial Seasonings Sweet Zinger Ice herbal teas that have SAVED me! They're herbal tea (which I can have), in delicious fruity flavors, and sweetened with stevia (which I can also have). Such a life saver because water and peppermint tea get old, really fast!
B - UltraClear with a banana, peach, and 1 C strawberries blended with 2 C water
L - Brown rice pasta with marinara sauce made with carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes
D - Rotisserie chicken with sauteed veggies (have acupuncture tonight so I won't get to eat until later and need something fast)
S1 - UltraClear with banana
S2 - baby carrots and hummus (maybe?)
Energy Level = 2/3 (improvement!)
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I had to fight every urge I had to go to Starbucks this morning and get a latte. I REALLY want coffee.
I went to bed relatively early last night (for my normal schedule), and I woke up EXHAUSTED. I reset the alarm and didn't end up getting out of bed until about an hour and a half after I had originally planned. Which meant I had to drive to work - which meant I had already blown my budget for the week (have to pay for parking).
I am faltering in this plan. I logically understand that if I eat according to the detox plan, I will feel more energized. I will feel great!
But, I do not like the eating plan. The eating plan depresses me. I am trying to be positive about it but all I can focus on right now is all the things I cannot eat. There are plenty of nutritious choices that are delicious, but I don't want to eat any of them. I want to eat things that aren't as nutritious and definitely aren't on the plan. Most of all, I want coffee. COFFEE!!! Grrr.
I had gotten the teeccino (herbal non-coffee drink) because I understood it was a great replacement for coffee. And all the customer reviews raved about how they don't even miss coffee now!
So, I got the teeccino grounds on Sunday and made a pot via french press. I refrigerated it and poured it over ice Monday morning, and added almond milk. It tasted alright. But, the addition of the almond milk causes weird separation...almost like curdling, but not really. If you let the "coffee" sit for about 10 minutes, it will completely separate out. It's the weirdest thing ever. It's also not very appetizing. So, when I go to take a drink, I'm just picturing curdled milk, and I can't drink it.
So, last night, I bought the teeccino tea bags and decided I'd try it that way. So, I followed the instructions for iced coffee this morning, and I added my almond milk. Curdle. GRR!
I cannot figure out what I'm doing wrong, or maybe the almond milk just curdles. I haven't tried to hot beverage yet. Maybe it won't curdle then. I think I'll try that now to see if that works. I'll keep you posted.
So, I'm at the fork in the road. I keep telling myself it's only 28 days (actually 27 now), and I just have to deal with the next 27 days...out of all the days of my life. It's not that big of a deal. I keep telling myself just to get through these 27 days, and then I can have coffee. It's just 27 days...I can do this.
BTW - I ended up eating a bag of banana chips and half a bag of taro chips for dinner last night, instead of making dinner. Just feeling unmotivated and apathetic. I ended up making "dinner" so that I would have lunch for today.
Lunch will be delicious.
B: steel cut oats with sliced toasted almonds and almond milk
L: baked chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli
D: brown rice pasta, sauteed mushrooms and carrots, mushroom marinara sauce
S1: metagenics drink with banana
S2: metagenics drink with strawberry
Energy level = 2 (want to go back to bed....)
Just 27 more days...
Monday, July 16, 2012
So, I gave myself free range Fri, Sat, and Sun to eat and drink whatever I wanted.
Today, Monday, is the start of the next 28 days.
Friday, although I only had 3 hours of sleep - I was energized, in love with life, and ready to conquer the world! I wasn't sure if it was due to the cleanse I had just completed, or because I was allowing myself freedom to eat and drink what I wanted - which meant I could have COFFEE!!!!! As much glorious and wonderful coffee as I wanted! Not holding back!
So, Friday - Sunday, I'm not even going to THINK about posting everything I ate. It was bad. I know it was bad - I don't need to rub my nose in it. I chose to go off plan (WAY off), and I can live with it.
Today is a new day.
Saturday, I woke up with a lot less energy than I had Friday. Sunday, the energy was gone, completely, and I was lethargic and depressed. Today, I feel drugged. I am SO exhausted! So, because I gave myself cart blanche for Sat and Sun (and allowed myself unlimited coffee) - yet did not experience surges in energy, I am going to say the energy really was the result of the cleanse. And I feel horrid today because it apparently did not take long for me to "uncleanse" my body.
This is good and bad news. Good because I know I'm on the right track and the next 28 days are going to be productive and get me closer to my goal. Bad because even 3 days of eating a "normal" diet has such horrendous consequences, so that means that after the 28th day, I'm going to have to come up with a plan that is very close to the cleanse meal plans in order to avoid destroying all my hard work in a mere 3 days, or less.
This program is divided into 3 steps. Step 1 is called "initial clearing". Step 2 is called "Detoxification" and Step 3 is called "Reintroduction". Step 1 is the phase of eliminating potentially allergenic foods. Step 2 is the hardest part because it is the most restrictive and Step 3 is the ending of the program (2 weeks) by the addition of all the foods that had previously been cut out in Step 2.
So, Day 1 of Step 1:
Breakfast: oatmeal with nuts and banana, almond milk; teeccino with almond milk (the jury is still out on this one);
Lunch: spinach and bean soup
Dinner: Chicken breast with mashed sweet potato and oved roasted broccoli.
Snack: medical powder with strawberries
Off to a good start - but so tired and REALLY wanting to climb into bed now. The rest of the day is going to be a challenge to get through.
I'm so tired I'm tempted to skip making dinner. But, I know that's not a good idea. The best way to be successful on this plan is to be prepared and that means having meals ready to go. :)
Energy level = 2
Thursday, July 12, 2012
So, I met with my naturopath today after finishing the cleanse (technically, today is the last day). We were scheduled to go over my ASI (adrenal stress test), blood work, and nares culture results, as well as my feedback for the cleanse.
I originally went to my doc because of fatigue issues. I am constantly tired. ALL. THE. TIME. I can get up in the morning, lay down for a nap at any point during the day, and can easily go back to bed any time during the day for at least 3 hours. I've been this way since about college (over 10 years). I've seen a variety of doctors who all tell me the same thing: "You¡'re overweight and you need to exercise more. Lose the weight and your fatigue will go away¨. I try to ask why and how there are people heavier than I am who don't need to rest all the time, but they then just tell me "Everyone's different. Exercise and diet and you'll be fine!"
Yes, I do need to lose weight, and yes I do need to exercise. But, I've lost weight in the past, and my energy levels did not change, so it cannot be that. There has to be something else going on!
So, I met with the doc in late June. He had me complete the ASI, mail it in, and come back the following week for blood work, a culture of my sinuses, and a 10-day (it's actually only 9 days) cleanse protocol.
The ASI test was to measure my adrenal functioning. He had done an in-office test of my adrenals by measuring my blood pressure while sitting, and then after standing. Fatigued adrenals will result in a blood pressure loss at standing. This is not normal. Normally, your blood pressure rises when you stand up. He also checked my pupils. Pupils dilate when it is dark to allow more light in for vision, and retract when it is bright (to protect the eye and filter the light). My pupils dilate with light shining on them (not normal). So, the ASI test involved me sticking cotton in my mouth 4 times throughout the day and mailing the kit in the next day. I had done this before (2004) and my results indicated that my cortisol levels were out of whack.
The blood work was to test my TSH, and other thyroid functioning hormones to ensure it was not a thyroid issue, as well as to measure my B12, Vitamin D, and other nutrients which are related to fatigue and general malaise.
The nares culture was to test for strept in my sinuses. I almost always have a sinus headache and sinus pressure. Additionally, I get sores in my nose which do not heal, ever, and are quite uncomfortable.
So, as I mentioned previously, met with the doc today to go over everything thus far.
ASI test was normal ¡V text book results. Weird because of the in-office test with the blood pressure and the dilation (blood pressure test was even worse this time - it dropped 30 points when I stood up and I got dizzy).
Blood test was normal, except for Vit D and Vit B12 which were deficient and insufficient, respectively. Thyroid function is optimal.
Nares culture was normal. Which we were BOTH very surprised about ¡V especially since I told him the sores go away with antibiotics. He was truly expecting a positive strept result on that one. But, he says the tests say what they say and they don¡¦t lie. (I think that is up for interpretation).
The cleanse was to allow my body to detoxify, let my liver rest and eliminate toxins it holds on to, to lose fat and allow the fat (which holds on to toxins and bad things) to break down and release.
The results of the 10-day cleanse:
My energy levels/notes were as follows for the various days:
Day 1 = 3: Feel drugged, lethargic, massive headache, kill me now
Day 2 = 0: Feel drugged, extremely lethargic, massive headache, want to die
Day 3 = 2: Body aches, feel flu like; Massive sinus congestion; Headache
Day 4 = 3: Body ache, flu like; Sinus congestion; Hay fever symptoms; Cannot stop sneezing or sinus drainage!
Day 5 = 4: Body aches; fever; headache; sinus congestion
Day 6 = 5: Improved body ache, slight sinus headache/congestion
Day 7 = 6: Slight body ache, but not bothersome; No headache!; Had energy burst in afternoon (went for 1.5 hour walk, cleaned house, did dishes, made meals for next few days, etc.)
Day 8 = 6: Sleepy (only 6.5 hours of sleep) but feel motivated and ready to greet the day!
Day 9 = 6: Sleepy (only 6.5 hours of sleep) but feel motivated and ready to greet the day!; In good mood, able to be positive and happy!
Because all of my lab work came back as "normal" and the cleanse resulted in positive changes, he wants me to continue the cleanse (or a version of it) for 28 days.
When he told me this, my heart sank. I almost wanted to burst into tears. He asked what I thought. I told him I did not want to do the 10-day cleanse again, I could not maintain that for 28 days. He went over the cleanse protocol for the 28 days, and it's slightly different than the 10-day cleanse ( www.balance152.com/Balance/Lifstyle_
The 10-day (technically 9, but you're supposed to use the 10th day to ease back into life) cleanse is more like a"boot camp" of cleansing. The 28 day cleanse is more of a gentle protocol. As I previously mentioned regarding the 10-day cleanse, Days 5-7 I was only allowed cruciferous vegetables, apples, and pears. Three days of broccoli and apples was enough to make me want to kill myself. The 28 day cleanse (which is actually 28 days) does not have any protocols like Days 5-7.
I was almost in tears the entire time he was talking about the cleanse and the next 28 days. I forgot, until I was getting ready to leave his office, that this also meant no caffeine. Many of you know how I feel about coffee. It is my life blood. I do not use it so much for the caffeine, as I do for the ritual and emotional aspects it carries (I can't explain it, but it is an addiction). I can't drink decaf because it still has about 60% caffeine.
I literally started tearing up as the receptionist was handing me my bill, protocol, and supplements for the next 28 days. I was so overcome with sadness, and melancholia, I began thinking "what's the point of living?" (I know - drastic for a cup of coffee!!! But, I cannot explain the emotional void coffee fills for me ¡V I look forward to it in the morning, I love the ritual of my coffee break, my iced coffee with non-fat milk is my happiness and the joy in my day. Without it, I want to cry. It has been a hard 9 days, and it's going to be a difficult 28 days).
So, as I walked back to my office from the naturopath, I struggled with the dichotomy of the situation. On the one hand, I have a potential solution to my fatigue. It is a wonderful way for me to be healthy, and to be able to operate at 100% as my body was meant to do. I will be eating all the nutrients I feel my body should be eating: clean, whole foods. No processed foods, sugars, or non-whole foods. I am eating the way nature intended.
On the other hand, I do not want to give up all the foods and sustenance that make me happy. I want to live a happy, healthy life, with a sustainable diet. And this is definitely not a sustainable, long term thing for me. I love coffee! I love eggs! Dairy! Meat! Although I am not a big drinker, I do enjoy an icy margarita on a hot lazy Saturday, or a celebratory mimosa! I love baked goods and sweets! Yes, I understand I can¡¦t have them all the time, but I was just getting used to the idea of having them in moderation when this whole "no you can't have them at all" thing came into play and I'm dealing with how that is making me feel.
How do I sustain this type of lifestyle while trying to live amongst birthdays, celebrations, vacations, holidays, cookies, cakes, wine, Friday night pizza nights with friends, etc? Because the reality is that I don't think I'll be able to. This "diet" does not allow for "only in moderation". It is an elimination of all things delicious (ok, exaggeration, but I am trying to make a point) and fun. It is a no-fun, no frills, to the core nutrition plan.
Why am I talking about the 28-day cleanse as a lifestyle when it's only for 28 days? Because I can foresee my naturopath turning this into a lifestyle plan (minus the medicine drink that is included in the cleanse) and I am trying to wrap my head around all of it. I know, I am probably getting way ahead of myself, but I am currently feeling sorry for myself and at this pity party, getting ahead of oneself is a requirement.
So, here I am - at this fork. Healthy, good for Jenn, 28-day plan? Or coffee fueled fatigue?
I've spent the money and am going forth with the 28-day cleanse. And I am feeling pretty positive about it at this point. Here is why:
a) Although I may not like the solution, it is a potential solution to my long term fatigue and general feelings of crappiness;
b) It's only for 28 days, and it's a trial. I cannot say I've tried everything if I don't really try everything!;
c) I may lose more weight (hopefully);
d) I think I found a substitute for coffee (teecchino? It's a caffeine free herbal drink that is a coffee replacement made from dandelion roots (I think));
e) Although it was almost intolerable, the boot camp cleanse made me feel good about what I was feeding my body (as little as I was feeding it); and
f) After doing the boot camp cleanse, this 28 day thing isn't looking TOO tough (ask me again about this on days 7-15).
So, what is involved in this 28 day cleanse?
Rice, oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, tapioca, quinoa (and products made from these starches)
Nuts and seeds (except those listed in the "not allowed" category)
Meat and fish (except those listed in the "not allowed" category)
Milk substitutes (rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, other nut milks)
Cold-expeller pressed olive, flaxseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, sesame, walnut, pumpkin, or almond oils
Water, herbal tea, seltzer or mineral water
All spices (except those listed in the "not allowed/condiment" category)
Brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, blackstrap molasses, stevia
Foods NOT allowed
Oranges, orange juice
Corn, creamed vegetables
Wheat, barley, spelt, kamut, rye; all gluten-containing products (and all products made from these starches)
Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, other soy products
Peanuts, peanut butter
Beef, pork, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausage, canned meats, eggs, shellfish
All dairy products
Margarine, butter, shortening, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayo, spreads
Soda or soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, tea, other caffeinated beverages
Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, relish, chutney, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, or other condiments
White or brown refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, candy, desserts made with the above sweeteners
Only fruits, vegetables, oils, and brown rice.
Add back grains and milk substitutes
Add back legumes, nuts, and seeds
Add back meat and fish
So, the hardest days are going to be Days 7-15 because I can't eat anything except fruits and vegetables. The naturopath wants me to limit rice/starches because I have to lose so much weight. The plus side is that I get to experiment with all the wonderful fruits and vegetables the farmers markets have to offer and I get to try so many different wonderful recipes I've never tried before! Who knows, I might find a new favorite veggie! The down side is it is limiting, but I will survive. It's only 9 days (ask me again at Day 9 though...).
Today, tomorrow, and this weekend I am allowing myself to go off plan. I am drinking coffee, and eating sugar and all the things I can't have. Because 28 days is a long time. Now, I do want to note that even though I left the doc's office and went straight to Starbucks, and have all the intention of eating like a crazy woman who has just been introduced to processed foods and sugar (I've never gone this long without sugar (not counting fruit) before in my entire life), after consuming half my scone and drinking my sugared coffee (which is typically a treat for me anyway, normally I just drink coffee with non-fat milk), I feel sick. I liked the way I felt when I was eating healthy, and although I missed all the "nauty" foods, I felt "clean". And I feel a sense of guilt for re-toxifying my body after the 9 days of detoxing I did. But, I have another 28 days to fix that, so I'm allowing myself these 4 days.
The foreseeable challenges : my mom's birthday in a week, a friend's fundraiser event, my best friend's bridal shower, and a quarterly game night I host for friends. Those are going to be the hardest days to get through, but I am strong and will be able to overcome. I planned the cleanse to start on Monday, July 23rd so that Day 6 falls on her birthday - nothing has really been eliminated at this point (except dairy, caffeine, and bad things), so I can still have meat, grains, nuts, etc. Which should make it easy to take her out. Going to the movies with her will be another challenge because popcorn is one of my favorite treats! I will have to come up with a homemade replacement that I can take instead. Any suggestions?
Day 7 falls on the friend's fundraiser event. I will have to be creative with food choices then, as well because it's the first day of the elimination. Nothing but fruits and veggies.
Day 13 falls on the quarterly game night. Last quarter I did a nacho bar. It was a big hit. This time I was going to do pizza. It's the last day of my elimination phase (nothing but fruits and veggies), so it will be hard but I've faced pizza before while on the boot camp cleanse, and I survived.
Day 21 falls on the bridal shower. I'm one of the hostesses, and we're doing a tropical themed party so the food is island style (my fav - I'm a Pacific Islander, born and raised in American Samoa for 14 years). I will be very limited in my choices because although I'm allowed meat at this time, most of the meat is marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, or other "no no" items. I will have to be creative with this one.
It's going to be a challenge, but what's life without challenges, right?
I'll keep you posted on my progress.
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