Archive for August, 2010

Oooh, a new book for my library!

A new book has come out that I’m dying to get my hands on.  It’s called Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time.

Ever realize how hard it is to decipher a food label. I’m sure you look at calories, perhaps fat, protein and sugar. But what does that all mean in terms of your body? Admittedly, I get confused as well. Ever try buying a loaf of bread? Man, that is hard!

And what about those flashy, catchy words on the front of packaged goods like “Lowers cholesterol” and “Heart healthy!” What does that even mean?

Well, I’m gonna read the book and give you some better answers. Until then, 2 things you can do:

1. Read this post from Fooducate, one of my most favorite blogs, and read an interview with the author.

2. When in doubt, stick to natural, wholesome foods. That means foods with super short ingredient lists, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. When in the supermarket, shop the perimeter…that’s where all the good stuff is. Skip those middle junky aisles.

August 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm 2 comments

Should I Eat It?

That’s a tough question, whether you’re talking about cake or…a carrot.

So often we choose food for reasons other than pure physical hunger (duh). But how can we tell if we’re hungry, or if we need to find nourishment elsewhere?

Here are 5  questions I ask myself when in doubt:

1. Am I hungry? Of course that should be the first question. I rate my hunger on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ravenous and 10 being so stuffed my jeans button popped off.  If I’m below a 5, it’s physical hunger and I eat.

2. Do almonds or turkey sound good? If I’m not sure if I’m hungry, I ask myself if I’m in the mood for some high-protein snack like almonds or turkey. If I want them, then it’s a sign I’m hungry. If they don’t sound good, the sensation I’m experiencing is more likely a craving (But then I have to decide if I want to give into the craving. That’s another story)

3. Am I thirsty? You’ve heard this one before…quite often we confuse thirst and hunger. I make sure to keep myself hydrated throughout the day.

4. What are you feeling? Tired, bored, frustrated, angry, giddy, anxious, nervous?  Try to pinpoint your state of being to make a better food choice.

5. What do I NEED right now? This is the most important question by far. I’ve learned to ask myself what I need before diving into the cookie jar. So often we mistake the fleeting comfort from food with something else we might need.  Do you need a hug, to connect with a friend, a bath, exercise, stop procrastinating and get work done, take a nap, to dance around buck nekkid in your home? Whatever it is, ask yourself if food will fill this empty space. If the answer is NO, then ditch the food and fill yourself up some other way.

If after asking yourself these 5 questions the answer is still “Gimme cookie,” then by all means, enjoy the cookie with gusto. But at least you know that you’re eating the cookie because you’re hungry and not for any other reason.

August 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm 8 comments

When You Can’t Eat Your Emotions

What happens when a recovering emotional/binge eater no longer turns to food for solace?

Well, life pretty much sucks. For right now, at least.

The past few weeks have been a bit rough for me with my emotions rolling up and down. Suffice to say, I’ve been in a funk. We’re all human, this certainly happens, especially to a “glass is overflowing” type of gal like myself (which is why it particularly sucks)

But this time it’s different. My moodiness has a new edge to it. I’ve been racking my brain for the past few days wondering why I’ve just felt so, well, meh. More so than usual.

And then BAM, last night it hits me:

I no longer eat my emotions.

What does that mean? Well, in the past, when anything in life got tough, scary, or too much for me to handle, I’d turn to food. Sound like you? A piece of chocolate does not talk back to you, but it does make you feel better…if only for a little while. It’s way more fun to raid your pantry than focus on life’s issues. Although, the problems and issues were still there after you through out the candy bar wrappers. Except now you had issues AND you felt guilty and fat.

But I don’t do that anymore. Somewhere along the way with all my personal growth work, I’ve stopped (mostly) using food to comfort me. Which means I am actually experiencing my emotions to their fullest. Now I understand why emotional eating is so alluring.  Feeling your feelings sucks.

Now that I’m not using cookies as a crutch, I’m left vulnerable, raw, naked (figuratively, people!). I feel wounded in a way, left with a whole mess of emotions, thoughts, and feelings  for me to untangle. And this is hard work. This is what I’ve been avoiding for all those years when I was stuffing my face.

As I always say, The only way out is through. For any growth to occur, there has to be some uncomfortableness, some vulnerability. And that’s where I am now…feeling like I’m on the precipice of something BIG, although I’m not quite sure I know what that something BIG is. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

Do you turn to food when life gets tough? What does turning to food do for you? What are you avoiding?

August 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm 3 comments

Skweet-y clean

I found a super cool new product!

If you’re like me, you have multiple reusable water bottles (Oh, I bought a really cool 13 oz one from Earthlust)

And if you’re like me, your water bottles can get a little…well, stale. And even if you wash them out with soap and water, you never can fully get them clean. And seriously, what’s up with that smell?

Worry no more, friends!

Enter Skweet Sport Bottle Wash. According to the site:

Tired of the soapy taste? Worried about the germs that can grow in a used sports bottle? Skweet sport bottle wash cleans naturally, easily and effectively. So you taste only the refreshing, replenishing drink you put in your bottle, and nothing more.

No more washing with soap and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing. Clean it once. Clean it right. With Skweet sport bottle wash. We use only natural ingredients. Easily biodegradable. Non-toxic.

This stuff works, people! Just put the powder in, shake, and rinse. Ta-da! Brilliantly clean water bottle.

Now go hydrate!

August 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

“Inner Mean Girl” Cleanse

So you know I just did a 3 day detox cleansing my body. Now I’m onto my mind!

I am doing a 40 day cleanse to give my “Inner Mean Girl” the boot!

If you’re like me, you’re tired of the self-depricating thoughts that play over and over in your head. Let’s replace them with Lady Gaga anthems, instead! (Alejandro, ale-ale-ale-alejandrooooo!)

During these 40 days, you’ll learn how to dump the 6 most toxic habits that contribute to your “inner mean girl.” You’ll receive weekly emails, support, and teleclasses, and videos.  Sounds amazing, right?

The cleanse begins on August 25th. Click here to register.

Oh, PS: It’s FREE!

August 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm 2 comments

Day 3: Joulebody Kickstart Cleanse (Last day!)

I woke up at 9am (Yes!!!) feeling quite refreshed. After a massage and epsom salt bath last night, who wouldn’t? I woke up clear-headed, in a positive mood, ready to take on the day…and that Chisel class I’ve been talking about. Right now I have tons of energy. It’s SO nice not to wake up bloated like I often do.

9am: Berry Chia Smoothie Same as the other days, still just as good. I was hungry for breakfast after I took the dog on a short walk, but I wasn’t starving. I think I’m starting to make peace with my hunger pangs. I just had a thought that I’m sad this is the last day!

12pm: Watermelon Gazpacho watermelon, cider vinegar, potassium broth, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, herbs Well, I made it through my Chisel class with tons of energy. I did notice that I wasn’t as focused in the class, but that could be attributed to other things. I meandered home, stopping to do some errands, and even though I was hungry, I didn’t have the feeling like “I must eat NOW otherwise I’m gonna kill someone.” It was a gentler, kinder hunger.  The soup was good, and I loved the sweet watermelon. I added some brown rice and avocado to it. And guess what? I didn’t finish it! I was like 3/4 of the way through and I just didn’t want to eat any more. I took a break from eating, took my dog on a walk, and when I came back, took another bite just to make sure. Nope, still didn’t want anything else to eat. WEIRD. Seems as though my blood sugar and body is settling into this!

3pm: Green Joule Drink You’re not gonna believe this, but I was so busy that I forgot to have this until I glanced at my watch and saw it was 3:30. What a big difference from Day 1 and 2! I still have not had any cravings during my 3 days, which I am pleasantly surprised about.

5pm: Citrus Cleanser I find I am liking this drink more and more, and I look forward to the spicy afterkick. It’s really refreshing, cooling, and just the right amount of sweetness. I’m sad that this is the last one! I’ve been snacking on some carrot sticks to curb some of the uncomfortable hunger. I think I need a major break from carrot sticks this week!

7pm: Detox Pitta: potassium broth, fennel, celery, carrots, ginger, flax, parsley, celtic sea salt (also some bean–I think mung beans?) This was a chunky soup that grew on me as I ate.  I really liked having to CHEW the beans…something other than carrot sticks. I added avocado and brown rice. I ate the entire bowl and was very satisfied afterwards. Not hungry, not full…just perfect. I can’t believe I have my dessert left and then I’m done. I wish I could do this 5 days!!

I just got an email from Yvette about the end of my cleanse. Booo. The email gave some “rules” on how to maintain the cleanse, such as how to incorporate protein back into my diet. She also gave me a menu if I wanted to continue the cleanse on my own, which I will definitely do.

8pm: Cookies That’s all folks!

I’m done! I’m done! Wow…I think back to how crappy I felt on Friday to how AMAZING I feel today. I was apprehensive about doing this cleanse, not eating as much food, but there was definitely no cause for concern. I do feel it was a bit easier for me because I have a very healthy diet (mostly vegetarian, whole foods) and I don’t drink coffee. I do, however, eat chocolate and having intense sugar cravings was something I was afraid of. But as you’ve seen, I never had one craving.

I completely understand why this is titled the “Kickstart” diet because after 3 days of feeling my body nothing but the finest, purest ingredients, it’s almost impossible to eat anything but. Any bloating or GI issues are gone, and I am going to try hard to find the causes and eliminate them from my diet.

I’m sure you’ve noticed how I haven’t mentioned weight loss yet. Truth is, I don’t weigh myself so there’s no way for me to tell. However, I do notice that my stomach is flatter and I FEEL lighter. Who cares about the pounds…I just feel fantastic.

These 3 days were a wake-up call for me, to remind me to pay attention to how I feed my body. I learned that hunger is not a bad thing and that it’s nothing to fear. I learned that I don’t need as much food as I was eating before. And I learned that when fed well and rested, my body works like a perfect machine.

So, would I recommend Joulebody Kickstart for someone who wants to push the “reset” button on their diet and get in touch with their body? Yes, yes, yes.

I will definitely be doing this again…only 5 days next time!

August 23, 2010 at 12:28 am 3 comments

Day 2: Joulebody Kickstart Cleanse

7am: Wakeup I woke up this morning (sans alarm–yes, I’m one of those annoying morning people) feeling….strangely GREAT. I went to bed hungry so I was curious (and yes, a bit apprehensive) as to what this new day would bring, but I’m feeling GOOD! Took a long walk with the dog this morning and had some hot water with lemon before my morning smoothie.

9am: Raw Smoothie Same as yesterday’s. Love it, very hearty. I wasn’t even hungry for breakfast, strangely enough. Let’s re-assess in a few hours before lunch.

10:45am: I am starting to feel a little..well, woozy. I haven’t moved from the sofa since breakfast (catching up on Project Runway) so it’s not like I’ve been active. I think I’m just hungry. Going to snack on some carrot sticks to tide me over till lunch.

12pm: Root Ginger Soup carrots, lentiles, ginger, herbs, potassium broth, salt, garlic, parsley, collard, flax OMG this soup was amazing! Creamy, thick, tasty, warm. JUST what I needed. I added some brown rice and 1/4 avocado to the soup (OK per my personalized modifications) and after eating I am completely satisfied.

Delicious, hearty lunch!

Another reason why I think this lunch was so satisfying is because I know that Yvette, the founder of Joulebody, made this herself, in her kitchen. It doesn’t come from a big facility and I can actually taste that this cleanse was made specifically for me.  Makes me feel special.

I also noticed that I haven’t had any cravings yet. I figured I’d be yearning for chocolate or something sweet but in all honesty, I haven’t.  I’m very sensitive to when there’s no sugar in my diet but yet I haven’t felt those intense cravings. Score!

3pm: Green Joule Drink Same as yesterday, just as good! Very refreshing, and love the chia seeds to give it some texture.

3:45pm: I went for a 90 minute walk with my dog and for me, that’s about all I could muster for exercise today. Even though I’m feeling good and clear headed, I’m still a bit tired and I don’t want to push myself. I’m hoping tmw I will make it to chisel class.  I’ve been snacking on some carrots to tide me over because I’m slightly hungry.  This cleanse is also answering the question: When food isn’t part of your day, how do you fill your time? I’m so accustomed to always cooking, preparing, and thinking of where and what I’m going to eat. If I’m sad, bored, tired, etc., my first reaction is to turn to food. Now, during this detox, I don’t have that option. It’s quite eye opening for me to see how much I turn to food in my life.

5pm: Citrus Cleanser Same “master cleanse” as yesterday. Love the spicy aftertaste kick. I am definitely more hungry today, perhaps from the long walk I took. I was getting a manicure just before drinking this juice and I was grumpy and cranky and had NO patience for the manicurist who was too slow. I quickly walked home to be in the comfort of my own home. Cannot wait for dinner!

7pm: Protein: Dandelion and Lentil onion, celery, parsley, garlic, fennel, potassium broth, cayenne, collard, dandelion, tumeric, cider vinegar, lentil Now this is what I call a good dinner! See pic and video below:

I was amazed that I was satisfied by a small portion of food. This makes me realize that I’m normally eating too  much!

8pm: Fiber Cookies Same as yesterday, a welcome sweetness to the day. I enjoyed them after my massage.

Hooray, day 2 completed!

Recap: Today was WAY better than yesterday. My energy and mental clarity increased. I did experience some moments of crankiness, but nothing like yesterday.  I still do not have any cravings for sweets. I experienced more hunger pains, but was satisfied with the juices and the meals. The carrots, brown rice, and avocado really helped me get through the day.

What’s becoming clear: I’m beginning to understand why this is called the Kickstart…it’s like pushing the reset button on your diet. I’m hyper aware of what I put into my body and how I feel afterwards. Eating fresh, unprocessed, wholesome foods just makes me feel good (ie. no bloating, etc). I’m realizing that I can be satisfied with less food on my plate. And, I’m re-familiarizing myself with the sensation of being hungry. Somewhere along the way I started believing that hunger was something bad, a sensation to fear. I realized today that I haven’t been truly hungry in a while, and I love feeling how my body is checking in with me, telling me what it wants.

Day 2 done….one more day to go!

August 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm 1 comment

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August 2010