Wednesday, 8 April 2015

I am cleansed!!

Well, folks, I did it. successfully completed a 12-day cleanse, using the Wild Rose Cleanse; you can find out more about it at There are great recipes online, and a fun cookbook you can order.

I feel great. I feel clean, I feel well, I feel healthy, I feel great. 12 days of only eating healthy, whole foods, and my body is a happy place to inhabit!

I don't think this cleanse is for everyone - the eating habits are probably pretty great for most people. Cut out sweet tropical fruits, sugar, flour, dairy and alcohol; eat mostly alkaline-forming foods, and reduce acid-forming foods (I'll include a list below). But the cleanse part, the herbal pills and drops that you take for 12 days, may not be good for everyone. They clean you out, with the laxative and diuretic properties; it might be a great idea to check with your doctor before you do it. Some of the herbs may affect people in different ways. You need to cut out any vitamins or supplements you take normally, and the effects of the pills likely affect any other medication you're taking, so don't enter into this without doing some research first.

But for me, I'm really glad I did this; feeling good.

I woke this morning thinking, oh fun, I can eat chocolate if I want to. And then I thought, I don't know if I want to. I've worked hard to feel this good, and my body loves it. I don't want to put shit in my body anymore. I've lost some weight; I feel good. I don't want to throw it all away now! Maybe the occasional treat.

I've just now had a chocolate. The first taste was delicious. and then the following two or three bites it took to finish it felt like an explosion of shocking sweetness in my mouth. Not actually the pleasant experience I thought it would be. More of a "ugh. this is so too sweet". And now there is an odd aftertaste in my mouth that I'm really not enjoying. Oh no, what if I've ruined my desire and enjoyment of unhealthy fake processed foods?!?! :) what a funny thing - my taste buds have changed in 12 days for sure - they've only had the sweetness of fruit for the last couple weeks, and this introduction of chocolate was not the joyous celebration I thought it would be. hmmm.

So, going forward, I think I'm going to stay with this eating plan. I think I'll commit to another 15 days, which will take me right up to my vacation to Curacao. I won't take anymore pills or drops - just stay with the healthy eating plan. Though I may take a cheat day now and then. I read somewhere about someone who eats as they wish on Sundays - I might try that plan. 6 days a week of these awesome eating habits that make my body feel amazing, and 1 day to splurge if I want to. I'll see how that works for the next couple of weeks.

So, fun readers, thanks for reading along on this little journey with me. I will testify that clean whole healthy eating makes me feel friggin fantastic!!!

Here's the lists of foods to eat and not eat for this fun plan. Have fun if you decide to jump in, and please write me and tell me all about your story! I'd really love to hear it!
And wishing all health and wellness for you all as we move happily into Spring!

Section 1 (eat less than 20% each day) - Protein/Acid forming foods:

Most Recommended
Not Recommended
Beans (dried fresh)
Beef (lean), lamb, liver, poultry, pork, veal
Cheese (of any kind)
Lentils, dried peas, fresh peas
Nuts (except peanuts)
Prunes, rhubarb (cooked)
White rice
Seeds, soy beans
Tofu (plain, unsweetened)

Section 2 (eat as much as you want!) - Alkaline forming foods:

Most Recommended
Not Recommended
Millet, buckwheat
Almond milk (unsweetened)
Bananas, grapes, melon, oranges, pineapple, tropical fruits
Brown rice
Apples, apricots, berries, cherries, lemons, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines
Currants, dried fruits, raisins
Popcorn (no artificial stuff on it)
Fruit juices
Pumpkins, squash, yams, sweet potatoes
Any flours, soups thickened with flour
Sesame seeds, tahini
Honey, malt, malt syrup, molasses
Tomatoes (in moderation)

 To be avoided entirely:
Flours or flour products
Dairy products (may have butter)
Tropical fruits
All fermented foods (wine, beer, vinegar, soy sauce, black tea, miso)
*coffee, green tea and herbal tea are acceptable, max 2 cups a day
**barley, kasha, bulgar, spelt, kamut, amaranth, oats, and rye whole grains are allowed as part of the 20% list as they are acid-forming
***cook and use lots of olive oil, flax oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil (my new favourite!)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Finish Line!!!

It's in sight!! Today is the last day, day 12! I am thrilled, proud, delighted to say, I made it!! Well, I have half of today still to go, but I'm feeling strong and confidant that I'll make it:)

I made it through Easter weekend, a feat unto itself! [I feel ok with a little bragging after this one]. not even one bite of chocolate, though I was so so friggin tempted to break!! so much chocolate all around me... and desserts... my aunt had pecan maple pie, which normally I could take or leave, but man, my mouth wanted it so badly. But I didn't. nope, not even one bite. I'm seriously impressed with my self-control:) there's that wee bit of bragging I'm allowing myself:)

I've had some delicious meals since I last wrote. I didn't have to work Friday (Good Friday, a holiday), and took the opportunity to make myself a fun breakfast of sweet potato fries and eggs with spinach and garlic - delicious!

For lunch, to keep me fueled for writing a paper for this class I'm taking, I made a quinoa salad and guacamole. For the quinoa salad, I cooked up some beluga lentils (tiny, black, I think a fun combination with quinoa), added tomatoes, lots of cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The guacamole was ripe avocado, tomatoes, lemon juice, a touch of olive oil, and a finely-chopped shallot. I ate it with brown rice cakes.

It was a perfect feast, and filled me up till dinner, which was leftover tilapia and brown rice I had from a couple days before.

Saturday I headed to visit family, and that night I made a chicken stirfry with all kinds of veggs and coconut milk, over brown rice for my sis and parents. Yum. They enjoyed it, and were happy with how full and healthy and content they felt afterward.

Sunday was a tricky day for me. The fam went out for a beautiful Easter brunch at a hotel near by. And let me tell you, they put on an amazing brunch. The first thing displayed as you entered the room was a table laden with about 15 different desserts, cakes, pies, squares, treats. Oh jeez. Here we go. The buffet had everything from shrimp cocktails to eggs benedict, exquisite pastries, salads, bacon, sausage, breads, spreads, cheeses and a huge freshly baked ham. oh my goodness. Thankfully they had tons of veggies, roasted and raw, beautifully baked salmon and lean prime rib, so I did feast on those things. I had one cheat, the second of these 12 days - I ate a shrimp. Shellfish is not allowed in this cleanse. But I made a conscious choice to eat one. and it was so delicious:) Otherwise, I was solid though so so very tempted! But thankful for the delicious variety of options, to be able to eat well and healthily even at a buffet. A little bit of cantaloupe somewhat satisfied my sweets craving. I was so so longing for all that chocolate cake though!!

Sunday night was a feast at my aunt and uncle's - cheeses and spreads and crackers for appetizers, a big ham, scalloped potatoes, pecan pie, and the always-wild-fun family easter egg hunt which ends with everyone gathering piles of chocolate eggs. But there were lots of fun green salads with nuts and seeds, and I made a big quinoa salad, and my mom made a dish of mashed sweet potatoes, and so I feasted on healthy choices. I made my second conscious decision to cheat at this meal, by eating a very small piece of ham. Two cheats, on Day 10, both little bits of protein. I was ok with these decisions, so close to the end. My body is now processing and digesting food quite well and effectively. I didn't bend to the deep cravings for all that chocolate that surrounded me, but I brought a little home, which I will enjoy over the next few weeks, a wee little bit at a time:) I can't wait for the taste and experience of those first few mini-eggs!

Last night I cooked a meatloaf with ground turkey, spinach, onions, garlic, and quinoa, some sweet potato fries, and a big bunch of steamed broccoli with a bit of coconut oil and salt and pepper. That's lunch for today, with a bit of guacamole for snack time I think.

Tonight I will take the very last of the herbal pills and drops that have been my companion through these 12 days. My plan is to enjoy a little chocolate tomorrow, and to have little treats and splurges occasionally, but to try to stay with this type of eating. I feel so good - so clean, so clear. My body feels tight, and like it's working properly. My mood is fairly stable, and I haven't once felt hungry, in these 12 days. I've lost some weight, and have tons of energy. Putting good things in my bod seems to be a good thing, all-round!

I'll write one last hurrah tomorrow, in celebration of the end of my cleanse. See you then.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

smooth sailing seven

Day 7 of this 12-day cleanse is going well so far! I'm past the half-way mark. Most of the odd internal workings have settled down. No headaches today, and definitely less washroom breaks. I'm feeling well, pretty much like I usually do, minus any heaviness or sluggishness that I experience after my chocolate bar indulgences or after a lunch with bread and dairy.

It's true, when I think about it, I don't have any of those bloaty, sleepy, foggy, dopey feelings I sometimes experience after meals with dairy, flour, or sweets. I feel pretty alert. Pretty clear headed.

Last night I did make that delicious spaghetti sauce with ground chicken (see ingredients in yesterday's blog). And for the first time I cooked a spaghetti squash and used that instead of pasta. And it was so so delicious!!


Look at how that spaghetti squash looks just like noodles! To cook the squash, I cut it in half, took all the seeds out, brushed olive oil and S&P on the insides, then turned it upside down on a baking sheet and cooked it, skin-side up, for 45 minutes on 400 degrees. When when it had a cooled a little, I took a fork and gently pulled at the flesh and it came away all noodly!! Add the fresh healthy yummy sauce (oh, I added Kale to the sauce as well), and it's a sweet dish! It is actually quite sweet, because of the squash, so I added a little salt, because I like my "Italian" salty rather than sweet.

I must confess that I cheated a little. I love stringy cheese on my spaghetti. But I'm sticking to this no-dairy thing. So I found this:

It's not dairy, not soy, but it has tapioca flour in it. Flour is banished from this way of eating,  because of how it sticks to the walls of the intestines, but I figured, as the only cheat I've done so far, tapioca flour, and the very little bit of it I ate, is, well, it's not that bad, is it?! And look at the finished product:

Deliciousness. The "cheese" actually melts and becomes wonderfully stringy, just like Mozza. And the fun thing about this meal is, I had it around 6:30pm, and seriously wasn't hungry at all for the rest of the evening. No cravings for evening snacks.

I will say, though the cheese was a fun addition, I did pay a little for the cheat. That little bit of flour, when added to a system that has been cleaned out and has only processed all whole natural food for a week now, hit my intestines hard. I really don't think it's sticking to my intestinal wall like wallpaper paste, because cramps and trips to the loo followed soon after ingesting.

But I slept well through the night, and woke ready for my herbal pills and drops and steel cut oats and berries and nuts and seeds. I'm loving this morning breakfast, though I think I may try some fun egg concoction tomorrow, to satisfy my need for variety.

For lunch today, I went out with a friend, and had a huge veg salad with beautifully done medium-rare steak on top. Skipped the dressing and had olive oil and salt and pepper on top. An hour later I think I'm a little hungry, so may soon have my apple slices and almond butter.

Tonight I may have leftover spaghetti, or I may try a fun ground-chicken/quinoa meatloaf recipe I found, with sweet potato fries. Seriously, you can eat really well on this cleanse!

The cravings have disappeared, I think - now its more of a mind game. I WANT pizza and beer and chocolate. But my body's not craving any of it. I will dig in to my wealth of self-control, and keep going. only 5 more days to go after today:) and a cleaner, healthier body with some unhelpful unhealthful habits broken. yes.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

sunshine and ease

I'm happy to report, Day 6 feels easier:) The cramping has almost completely disappeared, and though I woke with an ache in my head, it's faded as the day passes. I wonder if its because those herbal pills contain a diuretic, and therefore decrease the body's electrolytes. I wonder if a doctor would think this is healthy. Maybe not. Likely not. I'll just make sure I'm hydrating well.

Delicious steel cut oats and berries and nuts for breakfast; coconut-oil-fried brown rice with toasted almonds and tilapia and a perfectly ripe avocado for lunch. Just finished a pear for snack, and I'm feeling good. My cravings are still there, usually when I'm around others with yummy food. In the staff lunch room today, there was pasta and poutine and grilled cheese, and I'm not going to lie, I coveted those meals. deeply. but as long as I fill my belly and don't let myself get hungry, I'm ok.

Tonight's plan is homemade spaghetti sauce - ground chicken, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, zucchini and peppers. I think I'll have to eat it on some brown rice, because rice pasta is made of rice flour, and flour is a no-go on this cleanse. think "flour+water=wallpaper paste", and you can understand why it's not allowed on this program intended to clean out the pipes!! Oooh, I could have it on spaghetti squash! Even better!!

Onwards and upwards. This is (mostly) fun. I am feeling good.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ah, poop

Day 4-5 is less than fun for me. Oh, I was all cocky at the beginning - "maybe because I tend to eat pretty cleanly, this is easy peasy". What was I thinking, tempting fate that way. Last night around dinner time, and all through the night, and all day today, my body has experienced a deep cleansing. An emptying. It's not pretty, and it hurts my belly. AND I'm peeing like a mo-fo. Seriously hard to get any work done today, constantly heading to the loo. Those little herbal pills and drops contain laxatives and diuretics. I read somewhere that it's not a great idea to have both happening at the same time. Hmmm. I see why. So I humbly state that this is not a walk in the park. My mild headache continues to hover in the background. Apparently it won't last long, this slightly aggressive and really unpleasant cleansing - the promise is that by day 5 or 6, you feel strong and refreshed and clear and alive. Well, today, day 5, I want to leave work and climb into bed. AND last night and today I've had my first cravings - cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate bar are at the top of my list. I'm eating well, but I rebel against being told what I can and can't do in ANY area of my life, so my little rebel, and my loud need-for-variety voice are both yelling at me. Give up. This is silly. You feel sick, let it go, just go back to eating normally. You love pleasure and deliciousness and yummy food adventures. Give up on this silly quinoa/nuts/rice/veg starvation diet. oooh, and how I want to listen to this voice.


Instead, I had a big lunch of brown rice and chicken and onions and spinach cooked in coconut milk. Divine and delicious. And I had a plum, instead of the chocolate bar I want. And now, mid-afternoon, to soothe the grumbling in my stomach, I'm having broccoli soup (no cream or milk). And for dinner I will pop my pills and eat a quinoa/tomatoes/cilantro/oil&lemon salad and my apple with almond butter.


I will survive. No, more than that, I will triumph. Likely my belly will be settled tomorrow. And I will continue to enjoy the feeling of not being bloated, feeling light, feeling solid and firm inside, with a clear and calm mind.

And at the end, I'll have had 12 days of super-clean, everything-from-scratch eating, had a little clean-out of my liver, kidneys and digestive tract, and likely lost about 10 pounds. I didn't weigh myself before this (I don't own a scale) but this seems to be the norm when people do this. Almost all water-weight, I'm sure. And I'll have likely broken some of the bad winter/studying habits I'd developed regarding chocolate bars and convenience eating.  All very very good things. I need to keep repeating them to myself when the cravings and discomfort start SHOUTING MY NAME!!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Clean freak weekend #1

So I've made it to Day 4 of my Wild Rose Cleanse. And through one full weekend, which can be a tricky time for a cleanse, because of social times! So far, so good.

I've been taking my herbal pills and drops every morning and night before breakfast and dinner. I've been drinking water by the barrel, it seems. I've had some odd belly gurglings, more toots than usual, and a little more bathroom activity than normal, but nothing shocking or disturbing. I wonder if this is because I tend to eat quite cleanly normally - I don't consume much wheat or red meat, drink occasionally, tend to only have one coffee a day anyway, and really have minimal dairy intake except for cheese. (gosh, that sounds boring, doesn't it?!) I'd say sugar and chocolate are the one big thing I consume the most of. So I guess maybe there wasn't a whole lot to clean out. I've had a few little achy headaches - I woke up with one this morning - maybe more detoxing happening. But I do notice that I'm feeling pretty great, all in all! Though my external body doesn't look or feel any different, I have this interesting feeling of feeling tight and firm inside. Like, there's no bloating, no puffiness, everything feels tight and great inside my abdomen. I don't know how else to explain it. But I like it a lot.

Sunday afternoon was tricky as I went over to a friend's place for some afternoon visits, and there was wine and beer and yummy crackers and all kinds of cheeses and spreads. I wasn't tempted, because I'm pretty committed to this, but my mouth was watering, and I could almost taste the brie, and the fig and black olive spread, and the asiago cheese dip. oh man. I do miss that kind of fun food. That might be my first "end-of-fast" indulgence:)

So I've been having such fun with the meals. The key, I learned the first time I did this, is to make sure you have all kinds of wonderful ingredients in your house, so you can cook what you want and have things to snack on when the urges and cravings hit.

Important things to have for snacking:

raw veggies cut up
almond butter
berries. lots of berries.
Nuts and seeds. I'm loving sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds; almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Make up some humus. Chickpeas bother my tummy, so I made red bean humus:

Great things to have on hand for cooking and creating:

Fish (I cooked with tilapia last night - delicious and served with brown rice fried with coconut oil and almonds!)
All kinds of vegs  - lots of greens - just leave out mushrooms
Almond milk
Coconut milk and oil
Soy milk
Brown rice
Steel cut oats
Sweet potatoes. Yesterday morning I made the best breakfast, sweet potato nests! It was so delicious - sweet potatoes and coconut oil all mashed up, and an egg cracked in the middle. oh my god so good:

So, day 4, I'm having fun with it. Feeling just a little deprived of chocolate, but apple slices dipped in almond butter can distract me for a little while:)

speaking of which, I think I need a mid-afternoon snack of exactly that!
ciao for now

Friday, 27 March 2015

Spring Cleaning!

Hey folks,

Happy spring time! Though it is snowing here in Ottawa, we're moving toward warmth and springy life. Apparently. And at this time of year, I sometimes like to do a cleanse, to clean out the gunk my body may have hung on to this winter, and to get back to eating clean, and a little more healthily, after this season of hibernation. So, for the second time, I'm going to engage in the Wild Rose cleanse. I used this cleanse a few years ago, after a good friend told me how great it had been for her, and I loved the experience. So here I go again!

Basically, you take these pills and drops twice a day, and you eat clean! Cut out all alcohol, sugar, tropical fruits, dairy, wheat. Eat as much organic as you can. One cup of coffee/day accepted:)

The kit, which costs $45 in Ottawa health food stores, gives you a great little booklet that outlines exactly what not to eat, and all the great things you can eat. There is no shortage of what you can eat, so this is a cleanse where you can eat, and definitely not deprive yourself of food. Which is an important factor to me, as a foody! There are a million wonderful recipes online to support this cleanse - I'm excited to try some over the next 12 days.

Day 1:
First, let me confess that last night I splurged a little, knowing I was going into 12 days of purging and healthy eating. I drank a little more wine and ate a little more dessert than I'd normally; also, it was a fun dinner with a sweet friend, so you know, the pleasure of indulging with friends... a delightful thing every so often!

So this morning I dove right in.

First step - taking these herbal things you see above in the photo. You take 2 of each pill, and 40 drops of the liquid, right before breakfast. And then again right before dinner. each day, for 12 days. These are packed full of all kinds of herbs that clean out your liver, colon and kidneys. I am ready for the next three days to be full of interesting "cleansing" activities (read: frequent trips to the loo) and odd detox symptoms (headaches, tummy aches, sweats, breakouts, who knows what fun will come as toxins flee my healthy bod!)

And then I had an awesome breakfast of steel cut oats, raspberries, nuts and seeds, soy milk and cinnamon, with a cup of coffee with soy milk in it. Delicious, filling, yum.

I'm about 4 hours in from taking those first pills, and here's what I notice - a bit of dryness in my mouth. A bit of grumbles and stirring in my belly. A sense of a bit of a fog (could be related to more wine and sugar consumed last night than I'm used to!). A funny feeling of feeling a little congested, sneezy and a little tickle in my throat. And the touch of a headache, but again, hard to know if its just the effects of the wine last night...

For lunch I'm going to have a big ol' salad with tons of veggies, with guacamole and a lean cut of steak on it. Sounds delicious, right?!

And then supper is going to be salmon and a little brown rice and a bunch of steamed veggies, with my cocktail of pills and drops beforehand. And maybe some berries for dessert.

I think this is going to be a fun adventure. I'm ready for it. I'll be reporting the adventures along the way:)

Have any of your groovy healthy peeps done this cleanse before?! Please tell me about your experiences!