Monday, February 27, 2012

A 21-Day Detox Cleanse--again...

So, last year, Greg and I did Dr. Junger's CLEAN cleanse--

It was intense and I pretty much fought it every step of the way.

(I think my problem was that we did it starting Jan 1 or 2 when all I wanted was 
cold weather comfort food, red wine and chocolate every night after work!)  

But regardless, I acknowledged the reaped benefits of giving my body 3 weeks rest by eliminating many, many foods that are hard to digest--like gluten, dairy, eggs and soy--to name a FEW.  Because, even though it was hard, at the end of last year's cleanse--I realized it was an incredibly valuable thing to do for my health and I vowed to do the cleanse every year going forward...

Well, that time has come--I have started this year.  And this is basically what it is...

For 21 Days, you eliminate:
Any kind of wheat aka gluten, pasta, bread, crackers, tortillas, baked goods, oats, couscous, dairy, butter, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, white/brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweetners, carbonated beverages, bananas, strawberries, grapes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, white potatoes, citrus-except lemons, peanuts, eggs, mayo, ketchup, store bought salad dressings, red meat, white rice, corn, soy, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods.

For 21 Days, you embrace:
Avocado, hummus, miso, mango, pineapple, rasberries, blueberries, apples, watermelon, leafy green vegetables, zucchini, cucumber, carrot, butternut squash, broccoli, asparagus, rice milk, almond milk, brown rice, wild rice, millet, quinoa, lentils, beans, raw nuts, cold pressed oils, agave nectar, cold water fish, lean lamb, duck, chicken, turkey, garlic, onion, mushrooms, vinegars, mustards, home-made pestos, seeds, herbs & spices, green tea, almond butter, cashew butter, gluten free flours.

The foods you eliminate are potentially difficult for us to break down...if we are always eating them, its possible that we don't even realize we have trouble with them...The foods that are embraced are relatively easy to digest, highly nutritious and not typical allergens.

The other part of Dr. Junger's thinking is that the body can only heal itself when it has time to rest.  If we are always eating, we are always digesting and this doesn't allow us much down time.  On this cleanse, you have your main meal during the day at lunch time--a meal that typically contains a lean protein, greens and non-wheat grain, like wild rice or quinoa.  You then have a fresh veg/fruit juice/soup/smoothie for dinner and then again for breakfast.  You allow 12 hours to pass between your evening liquid meal and your morning liquid meal.  Smoothies can be made with almond or coconut milk, hemp protein powder, frozen fruit..etc.  Soups can be made raw or cooked. 
Freshly juiced vegetables and fruits--basically a powerhouse of a glass...

There are other things you do that I will explain along the way.

  This is Day Four and here is how my weekend went...

First off...Top priority with any detox program is to drink 


With Lemon!  All day, every day...with lemon.  Lemon is very good for the liver and really, this is what a detox is all about..There are several herbal supplements to aid and assist and I take those after the mid-day meal--will list those below.  And green tea...the whole world knows about how good green tea is for you, so I won't go into it here--but just suffice it to say...

I am drinking a lot of it!

A.M. Smoothie

Coconut milk, almond milk, almond butter, hemp protein powder, 
ground flax seeds, frozen raspberries, agave nectar...not bad!

Greg is a big fan of almond milk, blueberries, cocoa powder, almond butter and agave.

Mid-Day Snack

The point of this program is not to starve yourself or calorie deprivation.  You can have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack.  Apples; handful of almonds, cashews or walnuts; brown rice cake with avocado; brown rice cake with almond butter & agave; hummus and baby carrots--all good choices.   I found these dried fruit & nut bites rolled in sesame seeds and a friend passed on this great recipe for lemon treats rolled in coconut.  I made different flavors of these kind of home-made LARA bars last year.

Yippee!! Lunch time--Real food...time to eat!!

Ok, this is an example of a vegetarian option...

On a bed of arugula and red cabbage-that I dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I piled on steamed broccoli--LIGHTLY steamed not over cooked...same with steamed rings of acorn squash. I topped with a home-made tahini sauce, cashews and sea salt.  Along side, I did a quinoa (a complete protein, btw) salad tossed with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, shallots, apples, raisins, chopped fresh herbs, cumin and sea salt.  It was so much, I couldn't eat it all!  As a rule, you should eat till you are 80% full.  Inspiration for recipe here.

Another vegetarian recipe, and this one was seriously SO good...

Vegetarian Nori Rolls with Nut "Rice"

Soak walnuts and sunflower seeds for 2 hours (makes them easier to digest) and then along with a hand full of fresh herbs and half an onion, toss all into food processor...whirl/pulse around until it resembles grains of rice--it really does look like rice, kind of, and its surprisingly good...

I then laid the nut "rice" on a toasted sheet of nori, topped with carrots, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, red cabbage or baby spinach.  Roll up, slice and dip into wheat-free tamari along with wasabi and ginger.

Incredibly satisfying and does not feel like you are depriving yourself AT ALL!!

The recipe to this is in CLEAN the book by Dr. Junger (and in link to pdf at end of post)...which if you think this is something you would like to consider doing--I HIGHLY recommend buying and reading CLEAN.  Besides being very informative, this is serious stuff and its good to be as well informed as possible.  If you were to google Clean clease, you'll get to the website that offers a "kit" for a 21 day detox session.  The kit is $425.  If you read the $10 book, you will find out everything you need to know--and what to get, on your own, so you don't have to buy the kit.  

That is what we did...

 In a bit of a nutshell, what you need to get:


1) Garlic--great antibacterial & detox aid.

2) Fiber--you can add powder to smoothies/juice/soups 
OR you can take in capsule form...Ground flax seed is recommended.
but either way its crucial that you move your bowels at least ONCE a day.  
Fiber is a very critical piece in the whole detox puzzle.

3) Omega-3s--just good to take.

4) Papaya enzyme--that is more me; it aids in digestion.

5) Probiotics--Absolutely necessary...
what we do to our poor gut by using all those anti-biotics is pretty incredible.  
Here is a chance to put some of the good guys back.

6) An herbal liver detox supplement...because it is all about the liver.
NOW makes a good one.

7) Organic olive oil--will explain later...

8)Plus, it is necessary to add protein powder to A.M. smoothie.  
This is great non-dairy hemp protein powder.

Other things to do:
1) Dry Skin Brush--Before you jump in the shower, you give your arms, legs, back, front side a little sloughing off of the old skin..the skin is hugely important in moving out toxins and this is a great way to get things going.

2) Hot/Cold showers--Hot as you can stand it for 30 seconds; cold as you can stand it for 30 seconds.  Repeat, and then repeat again--several times. Simple, challenging, exhilarating.

3) Use pure natural oils (like jojoba) as skin moisturizers instead of store bought lotions.  Try to limit make-up as much as possible.  Use organic, basic products to wash your self, hair, face, clothes, sheets, dishes, kids, pets, house.  Basic ingredients that you can pronounce and with nothing artificial in them.
No petrol-chemicals!

4) Exercise/Sweat--To get the toxins out, you have to sweat.  There is just no way around it.  Walk at least 15 mins a least...exercising may seem counter-intuitive when restricting calories like this, but TRUST ME! You will feel amazing!!  I took a 15 minute sauna session this weekend after exercising and it was GLORIOUS!!

5) Yoga/Meditation--Stretch at least 10 minute before you go to bed and meditate for at least 5...but I know you can do more!  Meditating is challenging but think of it as a cleanse for the mind.  Just try to sit still and count your exhales till you get to 4 and start again.  You will get better with pracitce--I promise!!

Limit tv/computer...catch up on good book or some creative endeavor...or just go to bed early and catch up on some much needed sleep.


 Have your P.M. MEAL

A juice is simplest and easiest to digest.  But it was cold this weekend, so I made this carrot/ginger/miso soup.  I chopped 3 cups carrots, an inch of ginger and added to 6 cups of water.  After the water came to a boil, I simmered for 15 mins till carrots became tender.  Using my immersion blender, I pureed and then added a couple tablespoons of miso paste.  Stirred till smooth and enjoyed with fresh dill and sea salt.

And remember, if you have your P.M. meal at 6pm, then you do not eat again till 6 A.M...with the exception of the olive oil right before bed, water and herbal teas.

Last thing you have to do, and I promise, this is take a tablespoon or two of olive oil right before turning in.  Drink down with lemon water.  It helps moves things along...

Carrot/Miso/Ginger Soup

So, that it!!  19 more days to go...After you are done, you are in this unique situation to add the more problems food back into your diet, one by one, and see how you may have an allergy to something you had no idea about.  It can be very interesting to see how your blank canvass, so to speak, reacts to foods that can be hard to digest.

But the funny thing is, that this time around--this year: I am not fighting it.  I am actually kind of into it (ok, so I am day four--I am sure I could be singing a different tune on day 19...)
But I feel calm, centered, well (i.e. no stomach issues);
and I am not cursing the person's name who got us into this in the first place--
like I was last year! : )

and seriously all of this without my red wine and chocolate!!

So, there you have it...

You won't hear from me again on the subject--I don't like to preach.  But if this sounds interesting to you and you have some questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line and I will do my best to help.  

As Magda says...HAPPY CLEANSE!  

Here is some additional reading that you might find helpful.
Check out this fun, informative blog report from an actual participant and
this blog for some more inspiration.

Here is Dr. Junger's website.
Here is the link to the awesome official pdf (that you can download) that basically says it all..
Loads of recipes

Finally, there are some more great recipes here and here.

As is ALWAYS the case, do check with your doctor before beginning any sort of detox program.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Still Life--continued...

I played around with some still life compositions this weekend...I have a lot of cool old stuff

(Greg would use slightly different words to describe my beloved collection of things!) 

And I found that arranging objects in a pleasing manner is not as easy as it looks--its kind of hard, actually!
 For me at took a lot of time trying to figure out what things should go together...
how they should go together...

I like more of a casual, less formal set up for most things
and its hard to be deliberate and accidental at the same time...
I wanted things to go together, but I wanted to create a sort of visual tension...
anyway, here is the collection of images I came up...I think I will get better with more practice.

And more things!!  : )

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Specialness

This weekend was great for a lot of reasons...

1) It was COLD; a great time to stay inside and make things!

2) Its the weekend before Valentine's Day...of course--an awesome time to make things!

3) And we had a fun birthday dinner to go to, so...another excellent reason to make things...

That is basically what we did--we made was an extravaganza.

First, I had some old cigar boxes that I picked up a while ago, and I have always wanted to collage them with sweet, little vintage art...and being invited to celebrate the birthday of a sweet 
7 year old girl--
this was the perfect time to break out the mod podge!

Magda helped me pick out the images and the placement...we gessoed the box to begin with
and added layers, paint and stamps.  Covered the whole thing the mod.

Perfect little gift for a girl to keep her secrets in! 

So, that was what Magda worked on...

Luca, on the other hand had to make a Valentine's Day card
for Jack...his classmate.  

Luca picked Jack's name out of a hat and since they are friends--

Luca wanted to do something extra special.  

Here is his creation that he did all by himself...

(ok, I helped a little!)

 I especially like the glitter wave on the front!

And then, I did a couple things...

I found this wonderful idea for Valentine's Day necklaces from eighteen25.

I love red and turquoise!!  Just makes me happy...

Easy little bling.

And lastly, I made Hazelnut-Mocha Truffles for the kids' teachers
to say thank you and let them know how much we love them...

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.  

So simple and amazingly good.
Just a little token of love...

and, there will be a few left over...for us!

: )

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!!
Hope the day is filled with lots of random specialness...


Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy B-day little blog!

My blog turns 1 year old tomorrow!! Can hardly believe it!!  


What started out as just kind of an experiment has turned into something that I am
really quite proud of and has given me such a lovely creative outlet.  

To be perfectly honest, a few weeks ago--I was going to give it up... 

I had convinced myself that I would get to the one year mark and then pack it in...its a lot of work 
(even though you do totally get the hang of it..)  But there were times--even though I am down to posting only once a week (on Mondays-just fyi!) that I just didn't have it in me...

But then, you know--I get thru it: I make something; I post it and I smile...mainly because it dawned on me that this whole endeavor has turned into a digital journal/scrapbook for my kids--
to my kids...

and dare I hope--my grandkids and their kids' kids...

so this whole thing has kind of become like my (don't laugh! : ) my digital legacy.

I would kill for something from my grandmothers--seriously--KILL!
Anything at all--a note, a letter, a hankie--even.  A photo, a journal, a dress from my great-grandmothers...something--anything--that would give me a clue into their lives...

To make connections, to draw lines of comparisons, to understand their personalities, their strengths, their trials and tribulations.  I have always felt a huge whole in my heart because of their absence in my life...or rather how unknown they are to me...

I heard a social media expert say recently that the internet as we know it now--won't exist in 20 years.  I don't doubt that...with the way things are going, it seems almost like that's a given.  It will be something cooler, bigger and more crazy than we can possibly imagine right now...But if, with any luck, Blogger is still around--and Q-made survives--or maybe I just print out the whole blog or burn the whole thing to some kids, when they are grown, they can see what they did when they were 4, 5 and 6...and then their kids can see it and their kids...

And they will know a little bit of what their mom/grandma was like and what life was like in 2012...

and really, that is why this blog will probably have many more birthtdays to come.

A huge, huge thank you to my wonderful, loving husband 
Greg, who has supported this whole endeavor from the beginning and
has not once threaten to divorce me because of it!  

I kid, I kid!! : )

Here are some highlights from the past year.

February 14, 2011

March 2

April 22

May 27

Couldn't decide--these two tied, in my book, for the best....

June 10

June 13

July 20

Aug 8

Sept 6

October 30, 2011

Nov 15

Dec 12

Jan 9

Thanks so much for checking in on us this past year...looking forward to sharing more.

With love,