Stationary Drifting


spring cleanse: days 1-3

I’m just going to do this like my small things project because frankly I can’t think of another way to do it right now. All I want is chocolate.

Day 1:

I started the cleanse today. I was doing really good too, drinking my teas, avoiding bread and dairy. I went to the gym. I talked it out with Marseau, we made a late (late) lunch and as soon as we were done BAM I wanted sugar really really badly. I rarely crave sugar anymore, mostly because I have been baking a lot, but I  really think that this will be the hardest part.

So far I’m not feeling anything else that’s all that different or hard. I feel surprisingly pretty energized given that I haven’t had any coffee today, everything else is going pretty well. I’m hungry but I don’t know if that’s because I worked out or because I haven’t had my usual filling wheat flour. 2 weeks feels like a really really long time from here. I hope that I get some good results to keep me going.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling crappy. I don’t know if its because I’ve been sleeping badly or because of the cleanse but I feel like I have a cold coming on. I think its because of the cleanse though, I’ve heard that people generally feel shitty the first few days. If that’s true I’m definitely on schedule. Could possibly be from the fact that I quit smoking cold turkey too.

Also, I’m hungry. I gotta do some research of what I can eat because I need some good snacks that fit within these stupid restrictions.

I miss coffee and I miss sweet things. A lot. I still think about it all the time. Which is weird because I don’t think I ate really all that much sugar in my daily life but for some reason the fact that I can’t succumb to a craving is making me want it very intensely.

Nothing all that great to report today. I went to the gym and did my workout, but I didn’t feel energized like I usually do. I just feel tired, cranky, and a shitty. Things better look up soon or I’m going to go back to sugar. This is no trade.

Day 3:

I still feel shitty but definitely less shitty than yesterday. The cold symptoms are still gone and I’m not craving sugar quite so much. I’m just missing caffeine and am feeling a bit slow.

I’m starting to get angry at the cleanse though and how its blocking me from having all the delicious foods that I like eating. I considered quitting it this coming weekend when Marseau and Mood started planning a soul food night (how can I live without the cheese

smoothie for my sugar cravings, tea for my herbal stuff (I think that this is the dandelion root one)

biscuits and breaded chicken?). I’m still planning on seeing it through but I’m annoyed.

I’m less hungry though, or at least I’m starting to fill satisfied with the food I am eating and can feel decent after a big meal, not still hungry. I think that this means that usually I eat a lot of carbs to fill me up. I know that I’m not supposed to have gluten but I’ve kind of cut out most carbs (minus granola) for the moment. I’m going to look for rice crackers and maybe corn chips soon though for snacking. Must also get apples


spring cleanse

(warning: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing my cleanse plan because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please don’t take this as advice and if you plan on doing this or something like this make sure its okay for you.)

teas

Today is the day that I start my first ever cleanse!! Holy crap this is going to be hard. 2 weeks of a restricted diet, drinking tons of tea and being strong willed. NO CHOCOLATE! I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to drink coffee, I’m not allowed to have cow milk in it though. Deeeeeeep sigh.

I’m kind of constructing my own plan, not without advice though. I went to the see the herbalists at the health food place in the market (Alfalfa) and got a couple of teas, the Flor Essense herbal tea blend, dandelion root and ‘aubier de tilleul’ which translates to limewood (and might be the same as linden? unsure). Anyway, the herbalist recommended this in combination with eating lots of green veggies, avoiding processed foods, sugars, dairy and heavy meats (like red meat) for 2-3 weeks. Both of them said that they are doing this exact thing right now and also eating only green veggies for a week. Apparently spring is a really good time to do this kind of cleanse. I don’t know why exactly but it makes sense anyway.

I’ve also been doing some research online and am planning on having a restricted diet for the next 2 weeks. I’m not going to cut out a large amount of food, just particular types (dairy, wheat flour, junk food and sugars – but not fruits) for a while to give my body a little boost. I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately, and might be getting a cold from my crappy sleep pattern these days so I’m hoping this helps. This on top of my new workout schedule and quitting smoking, I have high hopes to be feeling good this spring.

Maybe I’ll blog about it in particular to see how it goes over time and share what’s going on. I’ve been planning this all week but didn’t start because I wanted to make sure my body wasn’t too stressed by my new workout lifestyle and lack of nicotine first, and I had to finish that pan of brownies I made for Corrie Sunday night! Can’t waste baked goods!

SO here is a bit of an outline of my plan.

– Herbal Teas (2-3 times daily)

Flor-Essence is taken in warm water 30mins before meals for 2-3 weeks

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about this stuff before I start taking it, to make sure its safe and will do what they say it will do and also because I’m a herb nerd and like to know these things. Here’s what I know about it so far. Its a blend of a bunch of herbs that have an immuno-boosting & detoxifying effect. A lot of websites like it for a lot of reasons, including some traditional medicine ones because it is looking like it might be useful in fighting some forms of cancer, or at least treating it. Here is the information I got from a website called National Nutrition:

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) contains inulin, flavonoids (including quercetin), lignans, tannins, volatile oils, vitamins and minerals. A strong antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating, and can reduce cell mutations while cleansing and strengthening. Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral; increases lymph drainage. This burdock root is North American and certified organic.

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an astringent, diuretic and laxative; it also oxygenates tissues and provides immune system support. All aerial parts are used as they contain several effective antioxidants including flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Sheep sorrel is a bile stimulant with phytoestrogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities. North American-grown and certified organic.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is noted for soothing inflammatory irritation, especially of the digestive tract, due to its mucilage content. Alkalizes by balancing pH in the GI tract; also absorbs toxins from the bowel and reduces bowel transit time. Contains high concentrations of antioxidants including beta-sitosterol, beta-carotene and proanthocyanidins. Certified organic when available.

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a heavy metal detoxifier, a rich source of chlorophyll for blood cleansing, and increases the flow of bile for improved digestion. Excellent protection against xenoestrogens and many hormone-related diseases, it contains indoles (also present in cruciferous vegetables), which deactivate excess estrogen and eliminate it from the body.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is an antioxidant and blood purifier, and facilitates elimination of toxins through the skin, kidneys and colon. Shown to combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections, it has been used for lung, liver and digestive ailments. This legume contains isoflavones that help balance hormones and protect against xenoestrogens. The leaf and blossom are harvested from certified organic plants grown in North America.

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) contains a bitter-tasting compound called ‘cnicin’, which increases the flow of gastric juices, thereby relieving indigestion and headaches associated with liver congestion. Blessed thistle is an anti-inflammatory and contains lignans that have proven antimicrobial activity. The flower top is harvested from plants grown in North America. Certified organic.

Kelp (Laminaria digitata) contains alginates, which soothe and cleanse the intestines, and help to neutralize heavy metals and radiation (including electromagnetic fields from TV’s, computers etc.) in the body. Kelp stimulates the immune system and supplies minerals including iodine for healthy thyroid function and metabolism, and to help control pre-cancerous breast lumps. Harvested near Iceland and certified organic.

Turkish Rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) helps to safely normalize bowel movements, cleanse the liver and detoxify the colon. A safe and effective laxative, Turkish rhubarb also exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and antiviral activity. Increases the flow of saliva and gastric juices for improved digestion. Certified organic when available.

kidney, liver, digestion, blood, thyroid, metabolism, colon, intestines, skin, lung, bowel, lymph nodes, immune system, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.

I can use all these things.

Dandelion root, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled in water for 5-10 mins, strained. 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre dandelion root is rich in vitamins A, B, C & D, minerals like iron, potassium and zinc, is good for the liver, kidney, swelling, skin, heartburn, stomach upset, high blood pressure and digestion. Its a diuretic.

From the above website:

Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Linden/sapwood of lime tree, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled and strained, 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

This one was a little harder to look up because I only had the french name for it. It translates to sapwood of lime tree, which some places say is another name for linden (sapwood not flowers). From what I can figure out this is good for calming anxiety, promoting relaxation and calmness, sleep aid, liver, gallbladder, soothing an upset stomach, fighting infection, promotes blood flow, and boosting immune system.  (from WebMD & Livestrong Foundation)

I was told the I could take the dandelion root and linden together or separately but in total I should have having some combination of those teas 3 times per day. Not 2-3 times each.

– Food Plan

The herbalist told me to avoid processed foods, dairy, heavy meats, sugar and fat; and eat a lot of green veggies. Which all make sense to me. I’ve been reading up about other cleanses online though, particularly the wild rose cleanse which I’ve heard good things about and I’m going to add this.

Avoid:

  • processed foods
  • wheat flour (gluten)
  • dairy (except butter – I don’t know why butter is okay but I’ll take it)
  • tropical fruits (apparently they have a lot of allergens that the body can react to in the absence of all these other things)
  • alcohol
  • sugar

Eat:

  • lots of green veggies
  • soups and broths
  • beans, nuts and grains
  • almonds, fruit, millet, buckwheat, and brown rice
  • neutral foods like most veggies

So here it goes! Crossing my fingers that I won’t have too many side effects and am able to keep it up. If anyone has cleanse strategies they would like to share I’d love to hear them. Including how to motivate yourself to stay at it, what you ate or didn’t eat, recipes, how to deal with side effects. I’m curious to be testing this out and how my body will react!


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Eating: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Bars

I have one helluva sweet tooth. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that yet. Don’t let the nice bread and humus recipes fool you. I would live off baked goods if I could manage it. Anything with chocolate, whipped cream/icing, and cupcakes is a-okay by me. I’m the person who reads the desert menu first when I get to a restaurant, meals are often means to a (desert) ends. I love eating and good food of all kinds but give me a dense, sweet baked good any day. Just ask my parents, I could put away a box of chocolates in an hour without getting sick. I can still do that now, I just try harder not to.

Case in point. I made this chipotle flourless chocolate cake twice last week (which I found over at the Kitchen Sink). Once for Felicia’s 30th birthday party. It was a hit there by the way, gone before I could take a picture. And once just for me and M, where it was also gone in about a day before I could take a picture again. It’s really really good, especially warm out of the oven. I highly suggest taking the recipe makers advice and getting good ingredients because there are so few of them. I used a block of semi-sweet calibault chocolate (again, I love living near Little Italy). I couldn’t find chipolte up here, which I found weird. So I used regular chili, which was still good. The sweetness of the cake coupled with the burn of the spices is incredible.

I also made these Peanut Butter Brownies, from Smitten Kitchen the other week around the time of the soul food night. I’ve been have a lot of late night baking urges recently and this was one of those times. I was surprised how easy making ganache is. Its the perfect top to contrast the salty peanut butter bottom. They lasted a bit longer than the cake and made excellent evening snacks for a little while.

This baked up super fast. Though I think I over cooked it a little bit (my oven runs hot) because it was a little dry-er than I hoped. Its good enough to put in rotation in the baked goods tupperwear though. I took it to my friends’ for dinner and they fought over who got the bigger piece.

Off to get more butter for more baking.