Juice Cleanse – What I have Learnt

As some of you may know this past weekend with the support of my husband and a good friend and running buddy of mine I decided to give a three day juice cleanse a go.

I did my research, looked in my school books, on the all reliable Internet and read testimonial after ridiculous testimonial and figured I would toss my own experience into the ring.IMG_0632.JPGSo first I will explain why I thought this would be a good idea. There are two reasons really the first being that it is supposed to make you feel better and more energized so why the heck no. The second being I am studying to become a holistic nutritionist and I figured if I may one day recommend someone do this I should have an idea of what they will be experiencing.

Once I had it in my mind that I would be doing this I started looking up smart ways to go about it. I am still training for a half and practice yoga regularly so I wanted to make sure that I would be absorbing benefits not hindering my progress in any area. So the first thing I did for the cleanse was to take a step back from too much activity, no biking or rollerblading and I stuck to Yin/ Restorative yoga.

IMG_0630.JPGThen it was all about figuring out what to drink. I decided after my research that aiming for 4-6 juices a day and more if I was still hungry would be a good amount. I wanted to be sure to get my protein in and seeing how I am allergic to nuts I used a vegan protein powder instead of the recommended cashew nut “juice”. Then I went grocery shopping and stocked up on organic produce from both my grocery store and local farmers market. Then came the easy part of drinking the fruits of my labour.

IMG_0640.JPGDay 1:

The first day of the juice cleanse wasn’t so bad. Still all pumped up with motivation and determination the first two juices were no big deal. I am pretty used to starting my day with a protein shake or something of the sort it wasn’t such a huge change from my norm.  However, by the third and fourth juice I was pretty much ready to sink my teeth into something.

It wasn’t that I was hungry per say but I was definitely feeling unfulfilled from not being able to actually chew my food. On top of the insatiable urge to chew something I had been nursing a ridiculous headache for most of the day, which was most likely a symptom of detox or due to lack of calories could be either or.

After I drank down my protein shake and put a different program on the TV so I wouldn’t have to watch others eat, I soon decided it was time for bed so I wouldn’t have to be awake and thinking about all the food I would much prefer to drink than to eat.

Day 2:

I woke up in the morning pretty jazzed up, my headache was gone and I was feeling pretty energized after having slept about 11 hours (which is completely unlike me).  It was farmer’s market day (which is always a good time) and I had one day under my belt so I was feeling pretty confident.

Everything I had read said that day 2 would be the most challenging, that when stuff starts to move through your body, you really feel the detox and it is when the hunger really hits.  Well to keep this polite things didn’t start to “move for me” which is quite unnatural for me, My hunger and desire to chew wasn’t worse than it was on day 1 and my headache had left me so I kind of felt like I was ahead of the game.

However, by the time juice 3 rolled around my body wasn’t havin’ none of it! I started to feel a little nauseous, light head and all around disgusting. I texted my girlfriend and husband who kindly reminded me that it was my idea to do this and to keep powering through.   Their love and support worked until my body completely rejected that last juice.

IMG_0660.JPGAfter losing my lunch (literally) I decided that I had put in a valiant effort and there was no shame or embarrassment in having to break the fast. I emailed my husband a grocery list of items to pick up from the store so we could eat solids (and yes meat was on this list), and then laid myself down on the couch to relax, drink some water and love my body.

Now through my research it was also strongly recommended not to eat meat or dairy for at least three days after such a cleanse because your body might have a hard time processing it. So sure I was a little weary of chowing down on some red meat, but when it came down to it, but this wasn’t the case for me and my body.

Day 3:

I had already broken the cleanse and eaten food, however when I woke up on what would have been day 3 of the cleanse I was actually craving a juice.  My body welcomed the delicious strawberry, beet and carrot beverage.   The rest of my day was spent normally having solid meals, lots of veggies and fruits and being all around satisfied with my meals.

What I learn:

I learnt that juice cleanses are bananas.  I mean I was coming from a place of curiosity and wanting to do good for my body and I honestly think I did.  Although I didn’t finish my cleanse I did come out of it with a renewed sense of mindfulness when it comes to what I put into my body.

I will continue to include homemade veggie juices in my life and was grateful to have the opportunity to find out what it would be like, however I don’t think I would ever attempt a 100% juice all day every day cleanse again it didn’t work so great for me any my personal body make up.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse or something of the sort?  How did it pan out for you?

 

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Weekend Round Up

This past weekend marked the yearly tea party my running buddy and I throw. This year out friends little ones are a bit older so it was much more exciting to cater to the miniatures.

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We picked a princess theme and got prepared to stuff people’s bellies have some tea and spend some time catching up. Seeing how I am still doing my 100 days of digestive clean up the food theme was fresh and detoxifying. The salads and chicken skewers were a hit and as always the mayo free deviled eggs and hummus were a crowd favorite.

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The adults had lots or fun food so I figured it was only fair to make sure the miniatures also had a healthy, organic variety of foods for them to choose from. We put it in a muffin tin so it was little a small buffet for them.

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Lots of chatting, eating and running after little ones made for a busy and fun afternoon. Once the party was over my co-party thrower and I were ready to put our feet up. It was a great afternoon and we were lucky enough to be left with lots of left overs so good prep this week was made super simple, besides having to take care of the protein portion of my meals for the week my veggies are completely taken care of which is a nice change of pace.

I hope you all had a great weekend and I hope you had as much luck with food prep as I did this weekend.

Happy Monday.

Clean Eating Update

I am coming into my 34th day of clean eating from my Digestive Spring Clean and I am starting to feel pretty fantastic.  I was able to stick to my clean eating program while sick, and in all likelihood it probably helped me to recover from my cold a lot faster than I would have normally.

After getting over my sugar withdraw everything has been pretty spectacular.   My eczema (reappearance from my not so optimal food choices) is almost all cleared up, my digestive system is starting to feel way less taxed than normal (less bloating and general uncomfortableness), my face is clearing up and a whole bunch of other positive benefits like more energy and better sleep.

I also think my new organic food delivery has a lot to do with this.  Yes, I am eating clean and changing my diet has a lot to do with starting to feel better and yes, I have started taking my vitamins and supplements again. However the food box that is delivered opens me up to a larger variety of different organic and non-GMO products.  I mean when I do the groceries I load up on vegetables and fruits but being completely honest I go for the same ones time and time again.  With the food box I get a varied assortment of different fruits and vegetables that I would likely only buy on occasion or never (what do you do with a star fruit?) Which leads me to an important part of clean eating, which is mixing it up.

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I find that when I start modifying my eating I end up finding a handful of things that work for me and then just stick with them until I become so sick of them I pretty much never want to eat them again.  Not only do I get bored of the foods I am eating but I am also limiting the type and amount of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that I am feeding my body.

Our bodies are complicated amazing things that require support from a wide array of nutrients to function and if we want our bodies to function optimally we, as the owners of said bodies, have to do what we can to provide ourselves with a variety from various sources.

So give it a try this week. When you are doing your weekly grocery for the up coming week try and add two items (fruit or vegetable wise) to your cart that you normally wouldn’t select.   Pick something bright and colourful, or maybe it is that yucca everyone is always talking about.   Regardless of what it is try two new things, maybe make it a bit of a challenge for yourself, picking more and more and more new things each week to keep a healthy mix of vegetables and fruits in your diet, who knows you might find a new favorite food.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

 

My 100 Day Challenge

So since I have gotten back from Costa Rica I haven’t be as great with my nutrition as I could have been, but I also understand that this ebb and flow is a part of life no one can be “on” 100% of the time.  I guess my “break” just lasted a bit longer than expected.

Now don’t get me wrong when it comes to the “big picture” my diet is pretty healthy, lots of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins etc., but I had thrown my 80% healthy 20% indulgence rule seems to have been thrown out the window. So in order to get myself back to feeling how I did before and while in Costa Rica I have started a little personal challenge with myself.

eliminate - clean eatsThere are only 94 days left now but when I started there were 101 days until summer, so I figured it was the perfect amount of time for this challenge. This amount of time is also more than enough time to start cultivating and reinforcing some healthy habits before summer happens.  the idea is to cut out all refined sugar, processed foods, preservatives and whatever other junk food has found its way back into my life.

So over the next 101 days I am going to start working on my insides.  I will be using my same basic challenge rules from my first two 50 day challenge, keeps it simple and it gives me the chance to reset my insides and get them back to an optimal level again.

spring challengeSo if you would like to join me on my Digestive Spring Clean Challenge here are the rules:

  1. Always eat breakfast, this is important! Your first meal of the day kick starts your body and gets your metabolism going.  If you can’t eat right away maybe start your morning off with a fresh cup of lemon water to wake up your insides – heck we should all try to start our day with a cup of lemon water.  Then be sure to have an actual meal within the first hour of waking.
  2. Drink Water. Everyone has a different daily requirement for how much water they need. If you are an athlete, pregnant, lactating or growing you may need more water than the rest of the population.  But it is a good idea to aim for 2-3 liters of water a day, or more if your personal situation demands it.  Just try not to drink any with your meal, drinking water while eating can dilute your digestive juices making it more difficult for your body to properly digest your food.
  3. Have 5-6 small meals a day. Instead of breaking your day into three giant meals, try and break your meals down into smaller portions and spread them out throughout the day.  I do this by still having my scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner and I just throw in two small snacks of veggies/fruit and protein between my meals.  Try to spread your meals out to ever 3-4 hours.
  4. Boost your vegetable intake. Make vegetables the main part of most of your meals and snacks. Giving vegetables more of a central role in your meals you can give your body a nice boost in vitamins and minerals. Also yes, fruits are important also, however I will also be trying to reduce my sugar intake so I will also be cutting down my fruit servings to 2 a day and doing my best to stick to more fibrous fruits like apples, pears, and berries. If you are not reducing your sugar try and keep your fruit intake to about 3 servings, with veggies at 7-9 servings.
  5. One treat a month. Every now and then these challenges can become overwhelming and a glass of wine or piece of chocolate or whatever your vice might be required for sanity purposes. To make the next 101 days feel less daunting I am giving myself 1 treat day a month.  I will be doing my best to skip treat days if I don’t really “need” them, however any skipped treat days do not get transferred to the next month.
  6. Clean protein.  Keeping with the clean eating idea stick to leaner cuts of meat (fish, turkey, chicken breast, lean red meat) along with other types of non-animal protein (chia seed, hemp seed, soy beans, etc). It can get a bit expensive but do your best to buy organic and non-GMO protein sources if your wallet allows.
  7. No more processed or refined foods.  Basic rule is if you can’t read it you shouldn’t eat it.  Remove all processed sugars, flours, high fructose corn syrups, and other foods that come in boxes from your fridge and cupboards. Fill your body with whole, fresh, organic foods. Focus on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats and dairy.
  8. Cut out the booze. Yup you have to cut out the booze.   Don’t worry refer to number 6 there is some wiggle room if you need it.

In addition to these rules I will also be reducing the amount of dairy I consume (because I know it doesn’t agree with me) my goal is to only use diary from small animals (goats and sheep). I would suggest that if there is something you know your body isn’t normally okay with you try and eliminate it for the duration of the challenge just to see how you feel.

My challenge to you is to set your own parameters, or feel free to use my guidelines, and set your own time frame.  I personally chose 101 days because I have done two 50 day challenges because having a goal like the beginning of the summer is exciting to me, I also like the longer length because it feels like a much bigger challenge, and challenge is where we find out what we are really capable of.

I hope some of you join me on my next personal challenge for cleaning up my diet.  If you don’t already follow me on Instagram to meal ideas and food inspiration.

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Food Friday – Apple Berry Snacks

Today’s post is going to be a quicky because there is a lot going on here (work, school, yoga retreat, meal planning) basically it is bananas but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging over the weekend. So I whipped up these delicious treats that will help to curb your sweet tooth, fill you up and provide you with loads of vitamins, antioxidants and other feel good stuff for your body.

So without further delay the recipe:

Apple Berry Oatmeal Snacks:

2 cups homemade apple sauce (organic no sugar added store bought is fine too)
1/4 cup blackberry purée
2 1/4 cups organic old fashioned oats
2 tbsp chia seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350
2.Combine everything in one large bowl. There is no real science to this so just toss it all in and stir it up.
3. Grease a mini muffin tray with coconut oil. These little guys will stick if the pan isn’t greased.
4. Scoop about one TBSP into each of the little muffin spaces. It should make between 22-24 snacks.
5. Place tin in preheated oven and cook for 25minutes. The centers should be spongy but not oozing.
6. Allow them to cool and the. Serve.

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I hope you all enjoy this one.

Have a great Friday!

Food Friday – Fall Quinoa Salad

This week while doing my food prep I decided to try out a new salad.Generally when working with quinoa I gravitate towards the same salad time and time again because I love it, but this time I figured I should try and incorporate one of my other food obsessions.   Lately I have been completely obsessed with apples, so thank goodness it is apple season!

So this week I decided to take the general guidelines of a recipe I found online, while removing and subbing some items that don’t agree with me and the end product was delightful.
run for the cure

Fall Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1.5 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
1 cup unsalted Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened Dried Cranberries
1 sm-med chopped Gala Apple (golden delicious or any other sweet apple will be fine)
1 tsp fresh Lemon juice
1 chopped Red Pepper
2 handfuls of chopped Baby Spinach (about 3 cups packed)
1/2 a log of Goat Cheese

Dressing:

3 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly.
  2. Place quinoa in a pot with vegetable broth, bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook stirring occasionally until all broth is absorbed. Should take about 10-15minutes.
  3. Spread cooked quinoa out on a plate and allow it to cool.
  4. While quinoa is cooling, chop red pepper, apple and spinach. Before mixing all these items together, place the chopped apple in a small bowl and add lemon juice being sure to mix to prevent browning.
  5. In a large bowl or storage container mix together pepper, apple spinach, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Set it aside and mix all dressing ingredients together in a sealable container. Shake until it is all combined.
  6. Once quinoa has cooled add to vegetable and fruit mixture, and stir together.
  7. Before serving add dressing and goat cheese.  If you are making this ahead of time for the week, add goat cheese prior to consuming the salad so that it keeps it flavor.

I hope you all enjoy this tasty fall twist to quinoa salad. 

Happy Friday!

Food Friday – Maple Punkin Muffins

So it has been some time since I have shared a recipe and today as I was doing some baking to get myself ready for the up coming week I extreme amounts of pumpkin puree left over so I decided to start experimenting and to see if I could come up with something.

This is the time of the year of pumpkin EVERYTHING so I figured why not join the bandwagon and see if I could come up with a healthy protein filled snack that would be great for on the go.  Seeing how my husband is normally my test subject I figured I would play up a flavour that he loves.  So I went with maple.

I do what I can to sub out cane sugar, brown sugar, stevia and the like when I can and I try to go for things like pure maple syrup or organic honey they just feel more natural to me and well it worked out for this experiment.

So without further ado here’s the recipe….

Maple Punkin Muffins

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Dry Ingredients:

2 cups organic gluten free rolled oats
2 scoops natural protein powder
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

1 mashed banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or organic honey
2 tsp maple extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.  In a small bowl combine wet ingredients and be sure to really mash the banana.

3. Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients and mix until everything is completely combined.

4. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and fill them.  The muffins don’t rise much they are fairly dense so don’t be worried about over filling them.  There is enough batter for 12 muffins.

5. Place in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.  Remove allow them to cool and enjoy.