Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 4...

Better day today!

Woke up late (lucky me, could sleep in) and felt much better than yesterday morning. Wasn't hungry at all either.

Last night's meditation was not all that successful... I just can't get on the spiritual plane. I did take the time to think about my day and what I had done successfully and what I struggled with. I'm hoping this is the general idea. Kathy wants us to visualize the person we want to be and project that image out into the universe so that as an existing persona... it's attainable. I'm not even sure yet what a really happy, successful me looks like yet (not in a sad or pathetic way, just an unimaginative way) - I just kept thinking about Angelina Jolie. Sounds ridiculous right? I know how much that girl has struggled with family and emotional issue.... but that hot tamale really seems to have her shit tight now! So, that's where I'm starting, Ms. Pitt and I at opposite ends of the spectrum. Maybe for now I'll just work at narrowing the gap.

Went out for a nice afternoon with my Da.. and he treated me to lunch! We went for Viet/Thai (healthy choice for both of us) and it was great! Normally we head to Harvey's or a pub for our lunch dates, so this was a great opportunity for us to have some healthy food, no beer and a great time together.

He's sort of watching what he eats these days ( I emphasize SORT OF) and HE made the choice to go for some Pho. Woot Woot Da!

Big Man had some beef pho and spring rolls and I had fresh tofu rolls and mango salad.

I was so full from my two rolls and a small serving of the salad, that I took the rest home and had it at work with some more fresh coriander and mixed it with half a head of Napa cabbage.

I bought my groceries at the asian market and 3 HEAPING bags of groceries (mostly veg) cost $33! Sobeys who? I picked up some packs of veggies that are totally unknown to me... and when I left I had remembered the names perfectly so I could look them up when I got home. Honestly, not even one set of lights away... totally erased from memory. I figure I'll just stir fry them... can't go too wrong.

Today's lesson in the 21 Day Wellness Cleanse is just a reminder of the three days that have passed and a little pat on the back for staying on track. Heck... I can do 4 days of just about anything. As I've mentioned before... it's the staying power that's the problem. Hence the 21 day project.... I can't fail if I don't set unrealistic expectations. One of my challenges will be learning to discipline myself, LOL.

My meditation for today is "I open my eyes do that I might heal". Will do that at bedtime.

Won't be able to blog until Monday night.. so I'll let you know that I'll recap day 5 and 6 then. Day 5's lesson is about exercise (groan... I know I know, Kathy) and 6 is about a break from alcohol.

I'll be cooking tomorrow... so look forward to some pics of that debauchery!



Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Three....

Chapter 3's lesson is all about visualization and meditation.

I haven't done this yet today, fancy it as more of a bedtime endeavour. I'll let you know tomorrow night how it goes.

Onwards... Woke up feeling really great this morning! Quite a bit of energy and pep in my step. A small problem with my commuting now (going green), is that it takes 2 hrs to get to work, so breakfast is not really a priority for me. I drink about a litre and a half of whatever decaffeinated tea I brewed the night before (tip- if you are having a cup o' herbal before bed instead of wine ((I pity you)) like me, make a pot instead of a cup and put the leftovers in a pitcher or jar) and that seems to keep me going until I get to work. As soon as I arrive, however, SOMETHING must be consumed.

I know there are quite a few tactics to solve this morning eating problem, but I am truly not really hungry until I settle down into work! Tomorrow will be a good test as I can sleep in and don't have to run out of the house and get hustling.

Here's lunch:

A plate of polenta I made last night with vegetable broth and nutritional yeast in lieu of cheese, along with crushed tomatoes and a sliced tomato baked with some broccoli.

This polenta was pretty awesome, considering it didn't have cheese or cream in it (the standard). The tomato slices helped and the sauce really sweetened up when baked. I was going to use some jarred pasta sauce, but checked the ingredients (love it) and indeed there was dextro- something in the first 15 ingredients.... no sugar means no dextro anything!

Dinner was roasted asparagus and a quarter of pineapple. I was so spoiled during the summer at the farmer's market with asparagus, that the currently available flimsy stalks just don't compare. One of my upcoming 21 day challenges will be a 100 mile locavore trial, and I am going to try to push it to summer... just for those emerald spears of love.

On a side note.. my skin has BLOWN UP! I know Ms. Freston has promised clearer skin, but I am hoping that I am just going through some sort of toxin exorcism! It's really ridiculous- I look like I've been eating (and not just thinking about) fried double cheese panzerottis all week... not the bounties of the earth. I might be jumping the gun a bit... after all, a CLEANSE is indeed to rid yourself of the poisons. Maybe my skin has just jumped on the train a little early- it's channeling Steve McQueen and depositing little humps of dirt everywhere planning for The Great Escape... the final purge.

Have you ever found your skin reacts to your diet so quickly?

Other than drinking boatloads of water... any suggestions what to do?



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Two...

Well... I accidentally skipped a chapter in Kathy Freston's 21 Day Wellness Cleanse and today's lesson is all about caffeine and it's effects. Sound familiar? So, I'll skip the chapter synopses and just blather.

Last night after work I decided to roast some chestnuts. Last year, around Christmas, a colleague of mine let me try one of his home made roasted chestnuts. It was awesome... or at least that's how I remember it. After purchasing some nuts at a Portuguese bakery (as was suggested to me by my colleague, a son of Portugal), I let them sit for a few days while I delved into the depths of the Internet to find the perfect recipe.

Turns out, all that delving was useless... most everyone agrees on how to make these seasonal nuggets.

After slitting a small 'x' into the rounded side of the nut, either soak the chestnut in water for a few hours, or bring them to a quick boil in a generous amount of water (I went with boiling, it was after midnight already). As soon as whichever water treatment chosen is complete; turn dried chestnuts onto a baking dish or cast iron skillet which has been preheated to approx 375 degrees. Bake, or roast for 25-35 mins,. checking for doneness (I had no idea what 'doneness' was supposed to look like- so I just waited for the smell).

After you have removed the nuts from heat, and allowed them to cool until they are touchable (like me) and peel back the hard outer shell (like me). Be sure to remove the inner husk as well. My sources on the inter-web say that if the inner husk is hard to remove, or excessively furry (like their outdoor exteriors), that they should be discarded and considered foul (like me).

They taste decidedly less amazing this year than last. To make sure I am not suffering from palate amnesia... I brought the chestnuts to work, where they were sampled by some castagna (chestnut in Italian) experts. (FYI :Kastana in greek). The girls gave the nuts a thumbs up... so the recipe was apparently spot on.

I can see how they might be good in a stuffing, or as a meat replacement in a sauce (might give that a go later this week), but on their own... not a lot of flavour happening. I tossed mine with some bran oil and kosher salt. Meh.

Lunch was pretty much same as yesterday (no time to prep- all food time consumed by chestnut affair). Today was brown rice and roasted asparagus and broccoli with balsamic and oil with pineapple for dessert. Again, meh.

I did the 'lean in' meditation last night in bed. I was doing ok and feeling very relaxed and affirmed... but then I heard from the other plane of existence that the Espada and La Flor teams were merging and I rose back to the surface to make sure my Marty would be safe.

I have consumed another 3 litres of unsweetened tea and water so far... GLUG.

I am really trying to use the food in my fridge and freezer to ameliorate my meals, it's amazing how many items have gluten and animal products it them. Label reading is tedious... but I think it's a weird sort of fun. I think I'm a grocery nerd.

Do you have any embarrassing food traits?

Do you meditate successfully?



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Official Day One...

Of the Kathy Freston 21 Day Wellness Cleanse.

The premise of this cleanse is that by eliminating caffeine, alcohol, gluten, animal products and sugar from my diet; I can REBOOT my life ( the heavens open... the angels sing). The diet part is of course, only one part of the regime. The Cleanse is for Body, Mind AND spirit (if I have any left). She asserts that by clearing my body of chemical and animal toxins, I can clear the slate for healing, happiness and fulfillment.

According to Ms. Freston, some of the changes I can expect to see are:
  • More Energy (some has to be better than none)
  • Clearer Skin and Eyes (not that I spend a tonne of money on skin products... ahem, but I'm looking for that Isabella Rossellini skin)
  • Weight Loss (obv!)
  • Cessation of Certain Aches, Pains and Digestive Ailments (insert mother-in-law joke here)
  • Release from Addictive Habits (well, I can think of 10 or 12)
  • Profound and Deepened Awareness of your Personal Power and the Effect you have in the World (I'm a skeptic... and I very much doubt this. I will, however, give it a go)

I must admit I've just ravished my lunch failing to take a picture.

You can imagine it looked like this, without the good and tasty parts.

I'm joking, sort of... I had a cup of barley with oven roasted broccoli and asparagus with an orange sesame vinaigrette. It wasn't that bland to be honest, but I was so hungry from my fruit fast yesterday that I scarfed this down with reckless abandon. For dinner, I'm sticking with fruit (nectarines and pineapple) and have already consumed 2.6 litres of unsweetened, decaffeinated iced blueberry and ginseng tea. I'll likely have had around 5 litres by days end.

My biggest struggle so far has been not having a glass of wine after work last night along with the obligatory Diet Coke first thing this morning. According to Ms. Freston, this could be a chicken and egg thing. Her first chapter deals with coffee withdrawal and while this is not a problem for me as a non-coffee drinker... I do rely on a steady stream of that heavenly caramel nectar we know as Diet Coke. She asserts that soda consumption (at least, the caffeine part in this chapter) alters central nervous system activity and therefore leads to changes in dopamine production.

Essentially, the upswing we feel under the influence of caffeine is false and we (the consumers) tend to compensate for the prolonged effects of caffeine by searching for relaxation inducement. Enter the Good Ole' Vino.

Take away the formula... and we're.... home free?

Well, I'm not sure about that, but I feel okay today. Other than being especially hungry for lunch (missed breakfast- no time in my morning), I feel pretty bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Today's meditation is Lean In:

Kathy wants us to find a quiet spot to sit or lie down and close our eyes (yes, I'm including you in this too...). Repeat the following phrase a few times: I am leaning in. Apparently, this will gently, but firmly plant the idea that we are beginning a process that will reward us in all dimensions.

Ok Kathy... I'll do it, but it'll be in bed and I will be very, very ashamed.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And Away We Go....

So I have tried this before, the results, I can admit, were mixed.

I find blogging to be cathartic and forces me to be accountable. Even if my audience was never vast (but very loyal... thanks guys), I knew that someone at some point would read it and that gave me a feeling of responsibility. Like most things I endeavour to do, once I decided to 'take a break for a few days'... I was a lost cause.

One of the things I blogged about in Champies, was identifying the types of habits you have and using those traits to help you stay on course. Some people are abstainers and some are moderators. I have proven to myself that I am a capital "A" abstainer. To be clear... I am not very good at abstaining, but have reached much more success in avoiding things than trying to mete them out.

In attempt to make meaningful changes in my life, I have decided to take manageable chunks and tasks and work in 3 week increments. My challenges will include a variety of physical and mental tasks and plans. I will be selecting the plans as prescribed by experts in the appropriate field. Almost all topics I am interested in have a 'jump start' day plan to get you started.

My first goal is the 21 day Quantum Wellness Cleanse authored by Kathy Freston.

I am doing a 'ramp up' day today.. and will write my first entry on the plan tomorrow as well as brief synopsis of the cleanse and my goals for the next 21 days!

Whatever template I come up with for tomorrow's blog (Day One, Project One) will be something that can be used for all of my Fresh Start entries.

I'll be thinking of all the fabulous things to discuss with you as I chomp on some fruit and stay at work late to avoid "wine time" tonight!