Friday, March 30, 2012

Detox Diet - Final Day

This being the last day of the detox, I determined that I would take the day for me. I slept in a bit and took my first morning walk of the year with my dog in complete sunlight. Everything was so green and bright. I have been amazed how much has happened in these past 10 days. So many new happenings, trees in bloom, birds coming around again in full force, and a new scent in the air.

I am also surprised at what has happened to me. I feel like I am a person that sets and meets his goals - but willpower with food has always been my downfall. In the past 10 days I have turned down all of the food that I have come to love and over-enjoy. The force of my will came much easier than I ever expected it to. A few cravings here and there were easily pushed away by a determination to work with myself.

This experiment, however, is far beyond food. This detox, instead, has shown me the importance of new beginnings, reflection, and meditation. My fears, anxieties, and doubt can disappear to instead bring a concentration and focus to the work that I try so hard to avoid in my daily life. This detox has helped to create a new beginning; a beginning to the season, a new focus, a new energy, and a new example for determination. The bi-product is the beautiful bloom of spring that can be found around me and inside of me.

Detox Diet - Day 9

I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts. After such a long day, my body and mind were a little tired. I drank my water and took the walk with my dog and slowly felt myself coming back to normal. After a great sitting, I started my day.

I was the only one in the office today, which provided some nice quiet and peace. I found time on my lunch break to perform a few slow asana and a long savasana. My body settled very quickly and I found myself incredibly calm yet alert.

After work I attended the Thursday night class at Karuna, where the class was concentrating on Pratyahara again. Allowing time to move inward. Prior to class, Eileen shared that while Pratyahara is a quieting of the senses and a moving inward, it makes us better when being with others and reacting in the outside world. I feel like this detox has been just that. My body feels so clean and prepared to meet the challenges that Spring brings. I feel like I am also able to notice its beauty and enjoy what is to come.

What I learned today:
  • I can get energy without protein

  • I have to make time for me and for quiet

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 8

Today was the second day in a row that I woke up with a smile. Spring has begun! When I say today, I actually mean yesterday. Day 8 was so long that I had to write this the next day.

I basically spent the day on my feet teaching a day-long course at work. This involved quite a bit of moving items around the room and being quick on my feet and focused. I tried to squeeze in food on every break and had a few herbal teas. After cleaning up and checking in with my coworkers, the work day was over. I stopped at home and had a quick snack before moving on to an appointment. I finally got home a little before 10. Then I hit the bed and passed out. My energy was so low by the end of the day that my focus was weaning. I could have used a good power nap in the middle of the day.

Lessons I learned yesterday:
  • During a detox, you have to give yourself time to rest and reflect

  • I can eat an apple very quickly

Detox Diet - Day 7

It happened! I woke up and smiled. It has been a while since I started the day in a good mood. From there the day just got better. I start every morning with a walk and that is where my mood typically changes. Today, the walk kicked me into high gear. I became incredibly productive. My mind was so clear and focused that I was able to manage all of my tasks at work and end early. I took a beautiful quiet break at lunch time and was able to enjoy that time for myself.

The diet is still going very well. I have decided, however, that I need a break from roasted vegetables. On to steaming and baking!

I am a little nervous about tomorrow. I am teaching all day long at work and then have an evening appointment as well. Normally I would be tired after a day like that - I wonder how it will affect me on the detox diet. We shall see.

Things I learned today:
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel - I am excited to start tomorrow with a smile

  • Roasting for a full week is too much

  • The spring transition really is difficult. Sometimes we can't see the scope of the job until we begin to do the work

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 6

I woke up very moody this morning. But just like any other day this week, after drinking my two glasses of water, I am back on track. I have started to notice some physical differences. My skin looks like it is glowing. Someone told me it looks like I lost weight, which of course is possible. (Note for future detoxes - pre and post weigh ins and photos are necessary). I have also started to feel cold. I have been wearing an extra layer lately. Perhaps it is because I have not been eating as many "stick-to-your-ribs" kind of meals.

Today was my first day back at work after the extended weekend. Transitioning from keeping the focus on myself to keeping the focus on work has been difficult (perhaps because of the reflective mood). I was happy to take a nice long lunch break by myself and spend some time in quiet.

I was also blessed to be able to sub in a Monday evening class, giving assists in a gentle class. It was nice to be in such a supportive environment where I could help others and feel that energy coming back to me as well.

Things I learned today:
  • You can keep an inward focus in your day-to-day life
  • Sometimes a glass of water can change your mood
  • You can find and feel that reflective energy in others

Detox Diet - Day 5

Day 5 is here!

I decided that I would keep today's post short, so here goes.

The tea is interesting! I went to an herbalist the other day to pick up the herbs for the detox tea. She told me, while mixing it, that the tea sounds like it will taste good. And she was right - it's not a typical cup of tea, but still tasty. And speaking of tasty - liver cleanse!!! It is nice to have something so delicious as part of a diet.

The issue I have been having is finding something sweet to eat in the evening. I have been craving sweet pretty bad. Apple juice has been my savior thus far.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 4

Today was a practice in opposites. My day began with a mad dash out of the house. We were off to a family gathering, then to a restaurant for lunch. Thankfully, I made my tea and had my two glasses of water. I even made a fruity-delicious liver cleansing drink. Without these I would have been lost. Perhaps the mad dash was due to all of this liquid preparation?

When we made it to the meal, I was hungry again. Everyone was drinking wine - there was even a glass bought for me that I had to politely refuse. Then the meal was served (buffet style). 3 meat options (which included pasta or veg) and salad.

I immediately gravitated to the salad. I could not eat everything in the salad (tomatoes and mushrooms) or the dressing. For this reason I got many looks and questions. This did not bother me - what bothered me was the host of cravings that followed.

Craving 1: Meat. I haven't eaten it in a while, I suppose I was due for a craving

Craving 2: Cheese, which led to

Craving 3: Pizza

I tried not to think about it and made myself a beautiful roasted vegetable lunch with greens and sprouts when I got home.

Then my mood switched and I had some alone time. I spent some time meditating and looking out at the river. I am still fascinated how quickly my focus turns inward this week, especially when I give myself time for myself.

Frankie (my faithful pug) and I took a nice walk afterward and had a wonderful run in with a bird. (for those of you who haven't noticed, the birds came back all at once). This particular bird was sitting on the grass when Frankie and I walked by. He (I have determined he is a male - no science behind this whatsoever) hopped into the tree above where he settled so comfortably. We stopped to watch him, Frankie taking a seat on the grass.

We then proceed to have a staring competition that lasted a few minutes. The bird finally gave in with a chirp and a flourish - victory is mine.

What I learned today:

- There will be temptations along this journey

- Roasted veggies are a perfectly acceptable alternative to meat

- I need practice steeping tea

- I now think staring competitions with birds are interesting.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 3

I decided to take the day off of work to take time and reflect. I had quite a wonderful morning sitting on my back porch. Not doing much, just looking at the river and buds on the trees. Some of our perennials are coming up. I am glad that I took the time to notice. So much goes on under our noses - things that we take for granted or things that may not seem important in our regular hustle and bustle.

The river also rose this week, new meltings from the north, here to sweep away what the winter left on its shores.

All of these spring happenings got me thinking about humans and how/if we bloom and flower in the spring. Do we go through as large of a change? I feel blessed this week to have the sun and warm weather to spread my leaves and grow.

I am really settling into the food. When I need a little something sweet, I drink a bit of organic apple juice. I have not used any salt, pepper, or any other spices. Anyone who knows me understands that is very unlike me. I already have a feeling that I will be eating much more simply when this diet is done. I feel so clean and alert. I picked up the tea mixture from the herbalist today. It is steeping as I type. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

What I learned today:

- I can eat simple food

- Everything seems clearer

- Tea mixtures from herbalists look illegal

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 2

Part of the reason I decided to take on this detox was because my mood has taken a major shift. I wake up irritated, I have lost interest in what typically keeps me going. While I am not looking at this detox as a cure, I am hoping that it can help to give me a new outlook - that fresh start that I spoke of in previous posts.

It's day 2 and I woke up the same way, irritated, not wanting to get out of bed or go to work. After getting everything taken care of and on the road, I drank my two glasses of water and everything started to change. There is something so simple and soothing about water. I know that our bodies react very well to cool water. It is easy for Americans to get water - we have sinks, and bottled water at every turn. Our bodies, however, can go into survival mode when we do not drink liquids, causing us to get irritated or panicky. It is instinctual - we are programmed to hunt for water. I wonder if I have pushed myself into survival mode? Who knows.

One thing I am missing today - caffeine. I gave up coffee, for the most part, months ago. I do still enjoy a glass of green or black tea most days. Today would be one of those days. I am not craving caffeine, as a matter of fact I am not really craving anything today, but I do feel the affects of having no caffeine - sluggishness, heavy eyes. I am sure this is more a side effect of not having caffeine, not a side affect of actually being tired - but we shall see in the next 8 days.

My day ended beautifully with Karuna's Thursday night class. We worked closely with Pratyahara, or a softening of the senses to bring the focus inside. This theme is perfect for this detox. Getting the chance to go inside and be with myself was amazing. I would have to say that I had the most quiet savasana ever.

Points from the day:
  • The detox gets easier. I was scared that this was going to be impossible. I do miss certain foods, but have gained a new perspective.

  • Caffeine plays a greater part in my life than I thought
  • Grapefruit rocks my world

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Detox Diet - Day 1

I woke up this morning hungry- so I was immediately skeptical of how my day was going to go. One of the hardest parts of the morning was drinking 2 glasses of water before eating anything. I was able to get down 1 glass of water before leaving, and got the other one down in the car.

After getting to work, I allowed myself to gorge on fruit - we are allowed, after all to eat as much as we want. Two grapefruits and a kiwi later, I felt amazing and completely alive. I had my mid morning snack all prepared - I made my homemade apple sauce, but I put it in a container that apparently last held tomato sauce - and I could taste it. Regardless, starting the day with fruit really left me energized and alive.

Before lunch, I took some time alone and meditated for a half an hour. My energy felt so different. Almost like it was flowing backward. I wonder if this is because of the amount of citrus I ate, or perhaps it was that I had not eaten any grains? I felt lighter and more inside of myself. Regardless, I felt a different flow of energy that quickly brought a calmness and a steadiness.

This calmness has followed me through the day. I did however have some serious cravings mid afternoon. I learned this evening that potatoes may be the best way for me to feel satiated in the vegetable arena.

Lessons from day 1:

  • Perhaps going back to basics with food - fruits and vegetables - can bring the mind back to basics.
  • I can do this. All of my fears: not being feeling satiated enough or not having enough energy have proven to be only in my mind.
  • Do not put apple sauce in a container that last held tomato sauce. Garlic, tomato, and apple do not taste good together.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Detox Diet - the Next 10 Days

I am incredibly excited to begin a 10 day detox diet as part of a spring yoga workshop. Over the next 10 days, I can only eat fruits and herbal teas in the morning and only vegetables and herbal teas in the evening. I am incredibly excited to give this a try, as I am in serious need of a reset for spring. Over the next ten days, I will keep you up to date on what is happening and how things are going.

What I am afraid of:
  • I will be hungry all the time
  • I will not be able to digest everything well
  • I will cheat and have some grains to keep me full
  • No SWEETS!
What I am excited for:
  • Getting in touch with more natural foods
  • Trying things I would not normally try (I am talking to you beets!)
  • Making apple sauce again
  • Still being able to have garlic
  • Ginger!
  • Allowing myself some time with myself - and meditate on this new transition
I am planning my last few meals pre-fast.

For lunch: Avocado Roll and Sweet Potato Roll at one of my favorite sushi restaurants
For Dinner: TBD - thoughts?