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Friday, May 31, 2013

Whole 30 - Healing Crisis

Im coming up to my halfway mark of this program, and I'll have to admit, it isn't all the smiles and roses that I reported last time.  Yesterday was the first time I was feeling some cravings for my forbidden foods.  I was looking through Pinterest on Halloween boards (yes, I look at Halloween stuff all year long.  This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone by now), and there were a lot of cool cakes, caramel apples, and other various desserts.  It looked good.  It looked really REALLY good.  More so than I've ever wanted sweets before.  And it's not the only time in the last few days that desserts have looked good to me.  Which is strange, because I really don't eat much sugar, so I thought that would be the easiest of the food groups to avoid.  Why do they look so good to me now?  Don't tell me Im going to want sugar just because Im not eating cheese?  Or is it because Im eliminating all of the sugar from my body, and the tiny bit I ate before was just enough of a "comfort padding" for my body, that now it is losing it and craving more?  This is a question for the more health-smart people in my life (Katy? Jason?)

I've also had some physical distress - I had a migraine (true migraine - sensitive to light - could be due to dehydration) over the past three days - thank goodness for strong meds!  I had also felt some flu-like symptoms.  Chills, nausea, achy.  But for some reason I knew it wasn't the flu.   I'm hoping this is the point that they call the Healing Crisis

  • The healing crisis is the result of every body-system, in concert, working to eliminate waste products through all elimination channels and set the stage for regeneration. The end result: old tissues are replaced with new. When any treatment or cleansing program causes a large scale die-off of bacteria, a significant amount of endotoxins (toxins within the bacteria itself) are released into the body. The more bacteria present, and the stronger their endotoxins, the stronger the cleansing reaction. When any treatment or detox causes the organs of the body (particularly the liver, which is a storehouse of drug and poison residues) to release their stored poisons and toxins, a cleansing reaction may occur. Any program, such as fasting, which causes a rapid breakdown of fat cells (which are a storehouse for toxins), can cause a healing crisis as toxins previously lodged in the fat cells are released into the blood stream. 
If in fact I have hit this point, it means that my body has really worked through all of the stores of sugar, gluten, toxins, and all rest of the things I have eliminated, and are working them out of the body.  It means my body is truly getting healthier, and replacing the poisoned cells with new healthy ones. 

Strangely enough, my willpower is still going strong.  I know some of you are considering this plan and you don't think you could do it.  YOU CAN!  I considered not reporting the bad stuff from above, but it is part of the necessary healing process.  The worst was only 3 days.  Today is day 4 and while I'm not feeling awesome, I am going in the right direction.

To end this blog, I will share a collage of foods I have been eating - YUM! - While I might have to work a little bit harder for my meals and be prepared, nobody can say that Im not eating well!

Peace.  Love.  Serene!

Eggs and veggies, cherries!
Eggs and veggies, farmers market sausage

Panara fuji apple salad (no dairy in the dressing - I checked!  But probably a wee bit of sugar)
Tuna salad (olive oil Vitamix mayo) in lettuce wrap with shredded carrots and cucumber

Chicken stir fry (no rice) - no sauce
Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, cherries

Zucchini noodles with marinara and fresh basil
Shrimp scampi with clarified butter (only dairy allowed)

Marinated grilled pork tenderloin, grilled apples, grilled onions, green beans, fresh pineapple
And my NEW FAVORITE:  Frozen bananas in vitamix w/ coconut milk, salt, & cinnamon

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spring Gardening

Ohhhhh can you feel that?  I almost forgot what sun felt like!  After this very long and hard winter, it is finally spring (except for in Northern Michigan, where it is still snowing every other day!)  You all know how much I love to tend to my garden, and the surprises I get every day as new flowers come up.  Well this episode of "In the life of Serene" is doing double duty!  Not only can I share beautiful pics of some of my annuals coming up that I am so proud of (tulips and daffodils are nearly gone, irisis are up, and I see the lilies making their green appearances), I am also going to share pics of my trip to Eastern Market, in downtown Detroit for the annual flower day.  My big brother, Seabrook, wants to take his super cool, suped up old Chevrolet truck.  See pics below!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whole 30 progress

So my plan was to blog for all of you once a week, but since this is the FIRST week, I thought I would throw in an extra blog to let you know how I'm doing, because, you know, I'm supposed to be kind of batty this first week.

Well, not so much.  But let me explain:  as I said before, I don't drink coffee.  Wait, I do drink coffee, but only when absolutely necessary, filled with milk and sugar.  I don't enjoy the taste, and I am certainly not dependent on it to start my day.  So obviously I didn't even think about that.  While there have a been a few sugary things that look good to me, I haven't had any cravings for them (not unusual for me).  I thought I would be longing after all the foods I can't have, but i really haven't.  My willpower has been pretty strong (I know, color me surprised!), but generally my meals keep me pretty full.  Yesterday I just had a handful of raw cashews for lunch.  That's a no-no, so I promise not to do that again. (I know, Hartwigs, 3 meals!).  At this point, you're saying, "Serene.  You've only made it through 4 days."  HEY!  I dare you to try it!

There have been things that I looked at and thought "just one taste?", but they (from now on you can assume that when I say THEY in relation to this program, I am referring to the authors of the book it starts with food, and the whole 30 program, Dallas & Melissa Hartwig) are pretty adamant that there are no "one-bite" cheats.  So alas, NO SOUP FOR YOU!  (Completely lost on you if you aren't a Seinfeld fan).

My mom will be surprised at the breakfasts I am eating (I'm not much of a breakfast person), which have been yummy, but I have a feeling I'm going to run out of ideas fast.  I'm already a little sick of eggs.  I might go back to my ways of high school and have dinner for breakfast.  I'm a weirdo.  I would eat leftover Chinese food at 7am.  So maybe now it will be grilled chicken and broccoli.  Sounds like a good way to start the day!  Gosh, I can hear you in my head! "Why not try those gluten-free waffles, pancaked, etc or some oatmeal?"  .... 1) Oatmeal is off limits too.  Grains.  2) I'm sure those gluten-free items still have a form of sugar.  I can't even have maple syrup or honey, which is the substitute for most people.   3). They generally say that you shouldn't eat the foods that fool your body.  It doesn't help you break the habit.

When I wanted to cheat (but didn't):

- Making dark chocolate brownies that my grandmother requested.  Mmmm batter.

- Red wings game:  0 items to eat.  Everyone eating pizza and beer.  Another time that I was surprised that it was the beer I really wanted.  Not even BW3 (buffalo wild wings for you younger folks - they changed their name) had their "naked" wings without breading.  I held out and just drank water, and ate a banana when I got home.  Surprisingly, I only needed to satiate my hunger, there was no cravings once I got home.

- I already know I'm going to want a tailgate beer after my hockey game tonight.  It's part of the game - hanging out in the parking lot.  Again with the beer ... And I know I'm not an alcoholic, but it definitely shows how much a part of life it is.

Yeah that's it in the 4 days

How I feel:

Not much different.  I haven't woken up in the middle of the night since I started.  I always get up to pee, or because I crave cheese.  I want to give this another week to make sure it's the program and not something else.  So far no extra clear thinking or amazing energy.  I didn't really expect that after 4 days.  Ok, yeah I did.  I also haven't seen any weight loss (Im actually not allowed to weigh myself per the rules, but I don't anyway - I mean I haven't FELT any weight loss), but I feel less bloaty.  You girls know what Im talking about.

Here's what I've been eating:

Breakfasts:  Sweet potato hash with 2 fried eggs, and Egg scramble with onion, pepper, sausage, tomato, and sprouts on top for crunch.  Side of strawberries.

Lunch at work:  Salad with grilled chicken, cuc, sprouts, peppers, blueberries, dried cranberries, pecans.  Guacamole on cucumber, fruit salad  (I had this twice).  Second day I added an apple with homemade almond butter made with raw almonds, coconut oil, himalayan salt, and cinnamon.  Yum!  I love my VitaMix!

I can do this!

Peace. Love. Serene.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It Starts With Food


Ok, so it's not a diet, but it is a PROGRAM called Whole 30, from the book "It Starts With Food" by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig.  So technically I am CHANGING my diet, which I guess is the definition of a diet, but it's more than that.

They include a lot of what they call "sciency" stuff that explains why grains, gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and legumes are bad for your system.  Let's not even start on processed food (this includes protein and "health" bars)  But the bottom line is that many of these food groups can cause systematic inflammation, which leads to pretty much a gamut of bodily issues:  weight gain, allergies, migraines, swelling, IBS, depression, and all kinds of other things.   Oh and also, they explain that milk is made by mothers to fatten up babies, and give them much needed nutrients very early in life.  That its not really meant to be consumed throughout your life.  And cows milk is for calves ... not humans.  I don't know - that all kind of makes sense to me.

So here's the plan:  30 days with none of the above mentioned food groups.  A diet of quality organic meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, veggies, and fruit.  To season food: olive oil, clarified butter (oh yeah, clarified butter and heavy cream are allowed - Im really not sure why), vinegars, and herbs.

Im not going to lie.  Im a little bit nervous.  One minute I'm saying "I don't drink coffee, and I don't have much of a sweet tooth - this will be a breeze!" Then I went to the grocery store.  Bad move.  I had gone too long before dinner, but I had to get some much needed "prep" food so that I can avoid this very situation in the future. I was hungry.  Then I saw some yummy looking crackers, and some delicious cheese.  DOH!  Ok, so maybe not so much a breeze.  Im not even going to talk about the pasta aisle.  BUT I kept reminding myself of the equally yummy meal at home I was going to make.  And it's only DAY 1 for cripes sake!

So I went home and made my dinner.  In fact, I took pictures of all of my meals today, and you will find them below.  Even my hamburger at the farmer's market!  What surprised me was that it wasn't the bun that I missed - but the beer the guy at the next table was drinking looked awfully good on this 90-degree day!

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs w/ basil, vietnamese chicken sausage from the farmers market (I know every ingredient!), fresh strawberries.  It was amazing how sweet and flavorful the first bite tasted.  I realized that I didn't feel the same about the last few.  Is that normal.  Are we so used to not tasting our food?  I couldn't even finish this meal.

Lunch at Eastern market:  Perfectly cooked hamburger with grilled onions, ketchup, and mustard.  No, I did not eat the bun.  And Im sure that there was off-plan stuff in the condiments, but the book says sometimes you can't control it.  I definitely couldn't finish this - it was like a pound of meat!

 Dinner:  Marinated grilled chicken, steamed broccoli with olive oil, grilled carrots, fresh strawberries and blueberries.  And yes, that is a strawberry cooler in the background.  Strawberries muddled with mint and stevia.  Let it sit for a bit, then added club soda.

All in all, this could be any other day (other than the no bun).  Im told the first week is the hardest.  Im told that my cravings will go away.  Im told that I will sleep better, have more energy, have better athletic performance, be in a better mood, lose weight, have less allergies, and generally feel good.

I am striving to plan my meals so I am not tempted.  The plan includes NO CHEATS.  I know ... harsh.  Basically you have to start over.  I learned today that I just can't go too long without a meal or I get really really hungry, and thats when mistakes are made.  Im also suppose to eat enough at my meals that I do not snack.  That seems wrong to me, but if I'm going to do this, I have to follow it their way.  I will have a few little "snacky" options so that if I need it, its there.  Im not going to beat myself up about it as long as I have healthy choices.  They are adamant that we are not supposed to get super hungry in between.

I may need some help along the way.   Please don't offer me a cocktail at my little brother's graduation because I can't, and Im going to be bummed out about it.  Please forgive me when I only eat one thing when you invite me over for dinner.  Please understand when if I get a little bit crabby at the end of this week.  And please please don't mention cheese.  I already know that's my weakness.  The things I thought about today were:  cheese, crackers, pasta, and taco shells.  But ....


Peace.  Love.  Serene

P.S. If anyone wants to join me in this program, Im happy to share the info, or the book, or the recipes.  I have posted a bunch on Pinterest.  Click here to see my Whole 30 board.