Stationary Drifting


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spring cleanse: day 7

Wow I feel bad. I think going from nothing to everything was a really really terrible idea. I’m food hungover. I loved the food SO much last night but my body is very displeased today. Oops.

I do regret it, the food was worth every delicious bite. I just don’t feel good today. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to restart my cleanse, keep going or give it up. Earlier today I was all, fuck it. But now I think I’m starting to recognize the ways that I felt better this past week. I think I’m going to give it one more week, to my original 14 day mark, and see what from there. I have all the herbs and stuff already. Here’s hoping I don’t go through my original sugar withdraw and feeling crappy again.

On the quit smoking side, I had another drag of a smoke last night (yes, I was breaking every possible rule), and I again didn’t like it. Could this be the end of smoking for me? Fingers crossed.

the biscuits that broke me


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!


Small Things Project: Day 34 to 42

Day 34: (March 27)

Back at it after a 10 day break.

Today I’m happy that I have one more day to mark all these papers and that I had nothing to do today other than mark so I could procrastinate a bit (a lot).

I’m happy that M took on cleaning and cooking today so I could focus. I like it when he does that and I like being able to keep my mind in one place for a while.

I had a nice weekend celebrating Felicia’s 30th. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. I’m also pumped about the new cake recipe I found, I’m writing a post about it but it didn’t last long enough to take a picture. It was a hit at the party.

MJ Cirque du Soleil show for Felicia's birthday. I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the show.

Day 35: (March 28)

Today I’m happy I have one more night to finish marking this god forsaken papers. I’m happy that the prof I’m working for didn’t really care that I’m not done and I’m happy that although its mind numbing work its relatively easy and pays decent.

I’m happy that Marseau is dealing with finding us food because the fridge is near empty and I’m hungry but too tired and with too much work to want to do anything about it.

Day 36: (March 29)

Today I’m so happy that I finished marking all those gd papers and got to finally get the sleep I was needing. Even when I don’t procrastinate marking is pretty painful (the novelty of it wore off after my first year as a TA), but when I do procrastinate and have 60+ papers to mark in 2 days its ridiculous. I’m glad that I was able to give the attention to each paper that they deserved, I’m also happy that there weren’t too many that were awful.

I’m happy that I’m finally rested up to clean the house. It got into total chaos mode with me working and Marseau’s busy schedule this week. I just got out of bed (after pulling 2 all nighters in a row) and survey’d the mess, its a little ridiculous. Enough to give me energy to tackle it even on my total sleep deprivation. I’ve turned into a serious neat freak since moving into my own place last year. Something about everything being in its place makes me feel like the world is right.

I’m happy to go back to my quiet life of work, crafts, social life, and regular sleeping patterns.

had to put up the fuzzy picture because I didn't want to show off someone else's work

Day 37: (March 30)

Sun! Even if its cold-ish out I’m happy for sun. I wonder how many times I’ve written that in this project. Clearly I’m a sun loving person, sun sensitive.

I’m happy for a fridge full of groceries, its been a little empty this week since M and I have both been so busy. I’m looking forward to having food at home to eat again.

I’m working away on Corrie’s bday present. Its late, as usual, which is kind of my (and her) style. Late presents are nice though, I like getting presents any time of the year and I like taking the time I need to make a nice present for someone instead of going out and buying the something and hoping they like it.

I’m happy that I’ve caught up on my sleep and am feeling more normal again. I’m getting too old of all nighters.

Day 38: (march 31)

I’m happy for a quiet day at home and the return to somewhat normal.

I’m happy that we’ve finally agreed on a wedding invitation design and that I was able to put it together myself. I feel really strongly about making as much as possible ourselves. Having a really personal/personalized day is very important to me. Plus I love an excuse to play around on photoshop, I don’t get a lot of chances to exercise those muscles these days. I have a ‘life after school’ folder in my head and taking some photography and photoshop/indesign classes are in that plan. I really do love graphic design but I’m so self taught I know that there are a lot of things I could do that I can’t figure out how to.

Day 39: (april 1)

I’m excited for my new spring plans! Today I’m going to the gym, that I signed up for yesterday. I’m going to try a spinning class. Its been years, a fair amount of weight gain and starting smoking since I last did a spinning class. I’m nervous but excited. New healthy lifestyle here I come!

ran into the bike demo against the proposed raise in tuition here. It was awesome, I wish I had biked in it.

Day 40: (april 2)

I’m excited for Game of Thrones, the tv series that M and I just started watching. This is runs somewhat contrary to my get my life together plan but still I’m enjoying it.

I’m also excited to quit smoking, though I really really want a smoke right now I’m still trying to resist because I’m excited about having healthier lungs.

Day 41: (April 4)

I’m happy for the fact that I’m still keeping up with my gym plan, and excited to start my cleanse soon. My abs are killing me but I’m happy about that, means I’m really getting into it. I’m still avoiding smoking during the day, which has been hard but I’m doing pretty good. I have smoked before 6 the past couple of days but didn’t break until 5:30. I also am not really enjoying the smokes I have. Which is good, I gotta learn to dislike them if I’m going to make this permanent. I’m looking forward to quitting.

I’m happy for the nice lunch I had with Marty and running into Mood and Corrie (separately) on the way home. I love living in a neighbourhood with lots of friends. Makes me feel so at home. Which was something I always missed after leaving Halifax and am happy to have going on again.

I’m excited about the spike in readership on this blog lately. I think my Eating: peanut Butter and ganache brownie recipe got posted on The Kitchen Sink, so a lot of people are clicking over from there. Thanks folks! I hope you like it once you get here.

Day 42: (April 5)

Today I’m happy for a quiet day at home to work on school stuff. I got a really good pep talk from Marty yesterday and she’s motivated me to get back to it.

I’m happy that its my brother Riley’s 28th birthday and I’m sending him lots of love for the next year. I wish I could be there to take him out for beers but he lives on the other side of the country. Sigh.

I’m happy for my sore muscles, it means that I’ve been working them hard! I’m excited for my session with the personal trainer tonight. I’m looking forward to getting some personalized advice, particularly for working out the shoulder and arm that I had surgery on. They are so much weaker than my right side and I want to figure out how to work out without injuring myself and getting back to myself. My arms are pretty powerful, I’ve always liked that, and I want it back.


April is for resolutions

January is not a good month for resolutions. I feel like the world is ending in January. Its so dark and cold and all I want to do is curl up under the blankets, watch a movie and eat baked goods. Basically winter is like one long pms cycle for me. The beginning of January is the last possible time I ever want to do anything active or motivate myself to do stuff I really really don’t want to do. Besides, everyone knows that the new year starts Sept 1 with the start of a new school semester. I don’t care how long you’ve been out of school, the beginning of fall is when its time to start the calendar over again.

A great time for resolutions is the beginning of spring though. When the snow finally leaves, the air starts to get warmer, hope and enjoyment of life returns, and I have all sorts of new energy. Its the time of the year that I want to clean out all my cupboards and drawers, air out the house and start planting a garden. This is the time of year that I want to make life changes, to make resolutions and really feel like I have a chance of keeping them.

So that said, here are my new season life plans:

1. Be Healthier

This one is a 3 part-er some more immediate term and some longer term, as all get healthy plans are.

– Join a gym

Marseau bought a damn scale this week and now I know how much I weigh. I hate knowing how much I weigh, it makes me so self conscious about my weight. I know that I’ve been gaining weight as I get older (I am constantly reminded of this fact whenever I go home ~ why do people insist on commenting on other people’s weight by the way?). I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fact, and okay with not being the skinny ideal in general. My height, frame, genetics, love of good foods all keep me from looking like a supermodel. I have accepted that and frankly sometimes I think that models kinda look unhealthily skinny. Trying not to comment or judge other peoples’ weight either here. The truth is that ever since I stopped biking because I was too scared/in pain after my accident I haven’t really been getting any exercise. Even if climbing the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment with a load of groceries feels that way. I found a gym that’s 3 blocks away from me that has pilates, and I like pilates (waaaaaaay more than yoga, but that’s a different story), it also has spinning and I don’t know if I like spinning but I want to like it. It has a steam room and a regular gym part (that I’m less excited about) I think that if I like some of the classes I would go frequently and start feeling like I’m getting some exercise and get energy from that. My goal is to get healthy enough to join a boxing gym, I really want to learn how to fight. In the meantime though I just want to drop some weight and feel healthier. I don’t have any particular goal weight and I’m not going to diet/deprive myself. I just want to feel better in general.

Which leads me to my second point:

– Quit smoking

I’ve been a smoker for a long time now, and I’ve been quitting smoking about as long as I have been a smoker. I’ve never been particularly successful at it, in that I don’t think I ever have truly stopped. But its my goal to not smoke anymore by the time I’m 30. This gives me 6months of quitting, possible relapses and learning to be able to see people smoke or go to parties without wanting to smoke myself. Even more difficult will be watching Marseau smoke in front of me and not want one myself too. So, as of today I have a rule that I’m not going to smoke before 6pm. No more daytime smoking. Once that becomes easier I want to go down to no more than one smoke a day. My mid-term goal is to only smoke when I’m drinking by the end of April. Long term is to stop once and for all in 6months. I’ve never felt like I was exactly addicted to smoking, I mean I can stop for days or weeks without feeling shitty or getting cranky. I never have felt like I NEED a smoke. Its just very much a habit for me. Waiting for the bus, after eating a big meal, feeling socially awkward, needing to go outside for a bit, social times with smoker friends, writing a paper or grading and needing a short break, are all reasons to smoke for me. Its been the time filler or self care or stress reliever for me for going on…..8 years now. I can’t believe its been that long! I want to have pink lungs again (or whatever colour they are supposed to be). Plus smoking weakens my immune system and I don’t need more ways to be able to get sick.

Finally:

– Do a cleanse

I’ve never done one of these before. I used to be really disdainful of cleanses (quelle surprise, me being disdainful), maybe its because the people I knew who did cleanses just stopped eating and drank a lot of chili, maple syrup and lemon juice mixes. That always seemed (and still seems) ridiculous to me, and I don’t get how that can be healthy at all. I do get how going back to basics and cleaning out my body make sense though, and I like the kinds of cleanses that people I know now do, which include cutting out a lot of food things that are rough on the system, letting my body relax a bit and slowly reintroducing more complex foods one by one. I’m all into herbs and alt health care so this seems like less of a crazy thing to do than it did year ago. Even if this is the shortest term ‘get healthy’ goal of mine, I think it might be the hardest. Particularly not drinking coffee but also I’m bad at monitoring my food. It will be a good exercise in self-discipline. Which I really need because, life plan #2 is going to require a lot of it.

2. Finish my thesis

This shit is for real. I’ve been letting this large and scary amount of work paralyze me into inaction for way too long (just ask Marseau and my mom ~ the 2 most invested in me finishing). I sit in front of my computer every day and just look at it, and then I get up and tell myself that I need to get groceries, do the dishes, make dinner, finish someone’s bday present, whatever seems more manageable and less terrifying at the moment. The problem is that even if I’m not sitting here looking at it, its looking at me, from inside my head. I wake up early in the morning thinking about it, I feel guilty as soon as I wake up, and every time a friend asks me to do something my brain says that I can’t I should be working. Most people’s reaction to this kind of thing would be to just do it. My response is to ask first if you’ve ever written an academic book that you feel totally unprepared and unqualified to write and then when you do finally finish it you must sit in front of a panel of experts while they tear it apart? Sounds like a stress nightmare to me but its actually my life. Many of you may answer yes to that question, and kudos to you but this shit terrifies me. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it. I am. Starting today I’m going to work at this like its my job, which of course, it is.

I should probably write something about getting a job and saving money, or being better about calling my family, or sleeping but I already feel like I’ve got a lot down there. The road to self-discipline can’t all be traveled in one day right? I don’t know, probably not, maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow or something….