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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting Stronger

Day 49.

I think I truly feel myself getting stronger.
I feel it.
I feel it in my mind and body.
This is the kind of "strong" that says, "my body and mind feel strong and I don't need junk food or foods that are bad for me to feel good!" This is a monumental stride I've taken.

In the weeks leading up to me actually finding out what foods don't like me, I was so miserable. I was not only miserable because of stomach and mouth problems, but I was also miserable because I felt absolutely famished 98.5% of the time.

In the past week, though, I've felt (as a whole) unbelievable. And here's how I came to this realization:

  1. I had a great week last week, in terms of how I felt with my stomach and mouth.
  2. Friday night is when it dawned on me that my life, in terms of food, has changed drastically! I went to Whole Foods after work, as I do most Friday nights. As I unpacked my (reusable) bag, I thought, "I wonder if people look at what I am buying and think how unfortunate my life must be that I'm eating these foods?!" Here were my groceries: (2) * Unsweetened Rice Milk, (2) * Coconut Milk Light, Flaxseed Meal, Quinoa Shells, Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder, Orange Papaya Aloe & Glee Gum. Anyways, I didn't care what anyone thought - this food has changed me, slowly but surely.
  3. My workout yesterday made me feel like I was on top of the world. I feel strong. I have been lifting weights for about 2 years now, but I finally feel like it's working for me. I have figured out what I need and what I don't need. There is nothing like the burn after a great workout, and perhaps what's even better than that is when the mirror shows you that you have developed muscle and lost fat! Now that is priceless.
Finally, I know I'm getting stronger because my attitude is better.
I'm happier.
Happy and free, just like in Cancun!

Photobucket



Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats, Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Flax, and Stevia
  • Coffee + Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light
Lunch
  • Wild Salmon Burger
  • Olive Oil + Spirulina
  • Spring Mix
  • Organic Apple
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • 2 Scallops with Lemon
  • Organic Raw Carrots
Dinner
  • Extra Lean Turkey Burger (everything as last week + cilantro)
  • Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
  • Orange
I can't believe tomorrow is Day 50! Wow!

Friday, May 29, 2009

An A+ Day.

Day 47.

Today I had an A+ day on many different fronts.

I think the 2 diegestive enzymes at lunch helped me immensely! I still had a little twisting, but not too much. My mouth stayed consistent at a 2/3, possibly even a 1/2. It was terrific!

Other areas of my life are really transpiring in such a positive way as well! You should never, ever, ever give up hope! There is always something right around the corner waiting.....just waiting for you! Believe it! More to come on this in the near future, hopefully!

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Banana, Flax, and Stevia
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
  • Small coffee with Coconut Milk Light and Stevia
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Sweet Apple Chicken Link
Lunch
  • Lean Hamburger Meat
  • Olive Oil
  • Spring Mix
  • Orange
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
  • 1 Scallop with Lemon
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • 1 Scallop with Lemon
Dinner
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burger
  • Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
  • Dried Banana
  • Red Wine

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Never Fails.

Day 46.

I'm wondering why it is - and it never fails - that every day post-lunch, I become bloated. That's typically when the problems begin. I was fine all day today. Then, lunch happened around 1pm. My stomach was twisted and bloated some until about 5pm. My mouth was fine until lunch, too. Then, after lunch became about a 5/6. It's so strange!

I think I am going to try taking 2 digestive enzymes at lunch starting tomorrow. I will report back to see if that helps at all!

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Coconut Milk Light, Banana, Flax, and Stevia
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Sweet Apple Chicken Link
Lunch
  • Lean Hamburger Meat
  • Olive Oil
  • Spring Mix
  • Orange
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
Pre-Workout
  • Organic Apple
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
Post-Workout
  • Lean Hamburger Meat
Dinner
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burger
  • Orange & a little Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • 2 Scallops with Lemon
Happy Thursday Eve!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great Energy, Not-so-Great Stomach

Day 45.

Great energy today, but unfortunately, not-so-great stomach!

I attribute the increase in my energy to the vitamins and supplements I take. I read an article today called, "Warning: Potentially Life Threatening Vitamin Deficiency Affects 25% of Adults." You can find the entire article here. The article is about B12 deficiencies.

I am not B12 deficient, but Leah said that a good B Complex vitamin would really benefit me. She said it would help a lot with my energy levels, too. I have noticed an overall difference already.

When looking for a "good" B vitamin, though, it's very important that you find one that has "methylcobalamin" vs "cyanocobalamin." And here is why:

"It should be obvious that there are certain advantages inherent in taking methyl B12 as a supplement, versus 'ordinary' B12. For one thing, methyl B12 doesn't have to engage the body's resources to convert it into coenzyme form, it's already there. Even more important is the fact that methylcobalamin is the most highly reduced form of vitamin B12 possible; this makes methyl B12 a very potent reducing agent (antioxidant) indeed. In a body undergoing oxidative stress -- for example from a disease process or from a diet deficient in antioxidants -- it's possible that methyl B12 production can become impaired."

My stomach, unfortunately, was not-so-great. It wasn't until 7:30pm tonight that I went to the bathroom. And this is a problem because it's been since Sunday morning! Not good! After lunch my stomach just felt twisted and more bloated. And this is why I did hard HIIT cardio tonight!

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with what the hard cardio does to my body when my stomach is not right. I love it that cardio, especially extremely intense cardio, can get my system moving. The problem with that, though, is that even though I'd like to say "I completed a half marathon," I realize that I may never get to that point. My system starts "working" after about 20-40 minutes of hard cardio. Even at 40 minutes into a half marathon, I would not even be 1/2 way through. It's painful to stop. And it's frustrating and embarassing.

Other than the energy and stomach today, my mouth was pretty great all day. It was about a 2/3 for most of the day, until after my workout - it was then about a 6/7. Odd!

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Unsweetened Rice Milk, Flax, and Stevia
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
  • Small coffee with Coconut Milk Light
Snack
  • Orange
Lunch
  • Turkey from Whole Foods Salad Bar
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 lettuce mix
  • Organic Apple
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
Pre-Workout
  • Lean Turkey Burger (lean turkey, cumin, garlic, sea salt, pepper)
Dinner
  • Organic Rainbow Carrots
  • Dried Banana
  • 3 Lettuce
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Wild Salmon Burger
Snack
  • Orange
  • Unsweetened Applesauce

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lean, Thin & Fabulous

Day 44.

No, I'm not saying I'm Lean, Thin & Fabulous! Just keep reading:)

I'm easing into a nice 4-day work week!

I had a real long workout tonight. Weights, then Sallie's Extreme Abs class, more weights and ending out the night with a 1.25 hour Yoga class with Neera!

It occurred me somewhere between my sets and reps of weights and the last Savasana I enjoyed that There is no "Shortcut" for Getting Thin! And I'll say it again....

THERE IS NO "SHORTCUT" FOR GETTING THIN!


How many times in a day are we bombarded by some new weight loss article, pill, gimmick, idea, etc? You name the type of diet you want to "make you lose a ton of weight," and you can probably find it somewhere out there. If you can't, chances are should you write a book about your "amazing new diet" it will become a bestseller! People want to see, hear and read about the latest and greatest way to be lean, thin and fabulous!

Everyone is out there looking to get lean, thin and fabulous in less than 1 week! But let's be completely honest....IF there were such a magic potion, the entire world would be lean, thin and fabulous - even if it took them 2 weeks instead of one to obtain this. I could write an entire book on this, but to get you started for today -

Let me offer up some "TRUTHS" and advice (as blunt as they may be) on getting Lean, Thin & Fabulous:
  1. There are no shortcuts for getting lean, thin and fabulous.
  2. Stop wasting your money on the "magic pill." There is no such thing. Once your bottle is gone, the FDA will probably then come out with life-altering news that "oops....that diet pill could have killed you."
  3. Women - I am a firm believer that achieving a lean physique is 80-90% what you put in your mouth.
  4. Moving your body is 100% necessary. You do not have to workout hours on end, but you do have to get yourself moving!
  5. If you are already in OK shape, treading lightly on an elliptical, while reading a magazine and barely breaking a sweat will not get you lean.
  6. Your healthy food of: Fat free this and fat free that, Special K Bars, Snickers energy bars and reduced-fat blueberry muffins are not healthy in the least bit!
  7. You can get thin without weights. You can't get lean without weights, though!
  8. And for crying out loud (!) you will not get big and bulky like Hulk Hogan. NOT POSSIBLE with your 15 pound dumb bells!
  9. Stop saying..."Starting on Monday I am going to....."
  10. And start saying, "Today I'm going to love myself. I'm going to take the time for me by eating the right foods and getting in the gym. I'm not buying the latest diet pill or buying into the idea of a diet fad. I know that this will be a journey. It will take longer than 1 week, longer than 1 month and probably even longer than 1 year. But I also know that once I've kept up with my healthy ways day in and day out for the rest of my life, as a lifestyle and not a diet, that I will then be a LEAN, MEAN AND THIN, FABULOUS MACHINE!"
Again, I practice what I preach. I have been living this "long-term" thinking way for over 2 years now. I love it! I still have a ways to go, but I am confident that there is a lean, mean and thin, fabulous machine in all of us!

My stomach was twisted and felt bloated late afternoon to early evening. I had this weird bloated pain. I have not gone to the bathroom in 2 days, though. Odd. Even more odd - my mouth was overall very great today! It was about a level 2/3. I had decent energy today. I think I was mostly tired from staying up so late last night. I felt good overall today, except for those few hours.

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light and Unsweetened Rice Milk, Flax, and Stevia
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion Bar (Dried Apple and Cranberry)
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Grilled Chicken
Lunch
  • Lean Turkey Burger (lean turkey, cumin, garlic, sea salt, pepper)
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 lettuce mix
  • Orange
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (Garbanzo beans, cinnamon, red peppers)
Pre-Workout
  • Grilled chicken
Dinner
  • 3 Lettuce
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Wild Salmon Burger
Snack
  • Bedtime Tea
  • Unsweetened Applesauce

Memorial Day Allergen Free

Memorial Day was Day 43.

It's true! You can have a Holiday (Memorial Day in this case) allergen-free! I did it! And the best part? It was easy!

It was such a wonderful day yesterday. Ryan and I got up fairly early. We went for about a 40 minute run outside (yes, I follow what I preach - see my blog from Sunday!) first thing in the morning. The sun was shining, our hearts were pumping and my mind was free.

We had people over to BBQ at night. There were foods that I could not eat, but I made sure there was plenty that I could eat!

The Memorial Day Allergen-Free Menu:
1. Appetizer -
  • Guacamole (Avocado, Lime, Pico de Gallo)
  • Green squash slices (in place of chips)
2. Main -
  • Turkey Burger (Lean turkey, cumin, pepper, sea salt, garlic)
  • Pasta (Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta, red peppers, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garbanzo beans, cinnamon)
3. Drink - Well, Red Wine, of course!

4. Dessert - I didn't need any; that meal rocked!

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Simplify.

Day 42.

Simplify.
Live simply so that others may simply live.
The Simple Life.

How peaceful does that all sound?!

Ryan and I currently attend a church in Mountain House that's held in the Wicklund Elementary School gym. For most, this is not church. There is no steeple. There are no pews. There is not a priest wearing a robe or an organ that sounds the heart upon entering. No, this church is very simple. It's called "New Life Christian Church."

I will say it now and I will probably never say it again, but I do not preach about religion or that there is any one religion that is better than the other. I do not believe in telling people they have to go to church or else....I just believe. It's as simple as that. "And as for me and my family - we believe."

Having said that, today at church, we talked about, "The Simple Life." This is exactly what I needed right now. Ryan said the same. I was at such peace listening to Matt, who is our Pastor, talk. Matt is extremely charismatic and helps us understand the big picture.

2 verses that stuck out to me today:
1. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." - Romans 12:22

How often in life do we conform to the patterns of the world? Or, rather, how many times in a day do we conform to the patters of this world? Society - America - All of Us - "We" - we live to conform to what we think is the "way." I could take any topic and give an example of how I feel we do this. It's not just in beliefs or traditions or routines, but in our wants and in our thoughts and in our negative depictions of "the good life." But I wondered, what if for one second, we actually let ourselves be transformed by the renewing of our minds. What if we reversed this conforming pattern and allowed ourselves to be renewed?

2. "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:27
Interesting. Perfect for me; this is what I needed to read this week. Worry. Worry. And then worry some more. It seems as though this is all I have been doing lately. I have 10 billion things on my mind, everything from food to fitness to work and missing my Family back home. Worrying only gets me anxious and anxious only makes my stomach more intolerant to the foods I am not even intolerant to. And then that makes me have anxiety about everything else. One thing builds and before I've even realized it, I have wasted a few hours (in sum) of my day. And for what? Nothing. I cannot get that time back. And I cannot add any time to my life to make up for it.

I want to share with you the Ten Controlling Principles for the Outward Expression of Simplicity that we discussed:
  1. Buy things for their usefulness versus status.
  2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction for you.
  3. Develop a habit of giving things away.
  4. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
  5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  6. Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
  7. Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
  8. Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech. (Yes = Yes; No = No)
  9. Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
  10. Shun anything that distracts you from seeking the kingdom of God.
Again, religious or not religious, I think there are things we can all take from that list.

With regards to my food intolerances, I could really look into #2. I had a severe food addiction with so many of the foods that were making me sick. And then I told myself (I say this a lot now to remind everyone and myself), "Clear the Clutter. Cut the Ingredients. Simple. Zen."

We could look into #6 and apply it to health/fitness. Get out of the gym for your long, Sunday run. Go for a run outside and enjoy all the beauty that lies around you. If you live in Northern California and are reading this, you have no excuse as to why you wouldn't run outside on a nice day. We live in an absolutely gorgeous place - mountains, hills, windmills, ocean, vegetation - and (most) is nature made!

My parents have a sign in their house that says, "SIMPLIFY." My Mother loves it. She looks at it a lot. She says that's what we should all really focus on more. She believes that our lives would be so simple if that's just how we could live. My definition of simplify is,

"Clearing the clutter. Cutting the ingredients. Simple. Zen. Happiness versus material. Filtering out negative - thoughts and people. A smile."

What is your definition of "SIMPLIFY?"

Today was another pretty good day for me. Again, just a little sick right away in the morning. My cold went away! I had a little rumbling of my stomach from about 5-7pm. My mouth was about a 5/6 all day. I had a day very similar to yesterday. I think I'm seeing a pattern with how I feel during the week vs. the weekend?

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light, Flax, and Stevia
  • Small (Peets) Coffee with Coconut Milk Light/Stevia
Snack
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Walnuts

Lunch
  • 5-Lettuce Mix
  • Salmon Burger
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Orange
Snack
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Carrots
Dinner
  • 5-Lettuce Mix
  • Olive Oil
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta
  • 1 Glass Red Wine
S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What exactly ARE Food Sensitivities?

Day 41.

Today was such a great day! I got so much accomplished: Baristas, Farmer's Market, HIIT Running, Weights, Cleaned our House, Fiona Haircut, Bill Pay and "Office Stuff!" Whew!

I felt great today, overall, except for my cold that's still here mildly. I only felt a little sick right away when I woke up. After that, no more stomach problems all day. My mouth was about a level 4/5 all day.Interesting.

Today I was searching around on the World's Healthiest Foods website, when I came across an article they have on Food Sensitivities. For the whole article, click here.

I wanted to point out a few items of interest:

  • "There is increasing evidence that food sensitivities are more common and have a wider and more varied impact on our health than previously realized. Although often equated with food allergies, food sensitivities also include food intolerances which, unlike allergies, are toxic reactions to foods that do not involve the immune system and are often more difficult to diagnose."
I think I have mentioned it before, but I have food intolerances not food allergies. The test was a food allergy, but in reality it was for intolerances. I will not die from any food I have. It has taken me years for this diagnosis. Doctors just kept telling me, "Eat more Fiber. You have IBS. Drink more Water. Etc. Etc."
  • "In general, food sensitivities are the result of toxic responses to food and are divided into two categories: allergic responses; and food intolerances."
I have food intolerances. Many of my "healthy foods" are, indeed, toxic to me.
  • "Reports of food intolerance reactions to food preservatives and additives have been widely published. Food preservatives such as benzoates (including sodium benzoate, an additive found in literally thousands of different processed foods), sulfites, and hydroxytoluene including butylated hydroxytoluene, or BHT, a preservative commonly used in procssed foods, flavoring agents like salicylates, and dyes like yellow dye No. 5 (tartrazine) are known to cause hives. Since 1986, the FDA has required that sulfites added to foods be listed on the label and has banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables intended to be eaten raw. Benzoate preservatives (including sodium benzoate), many different food dyes, and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) have been found to produce intolerance reactions in aspirin-intolerant individuals."
I was not tested for food intolerances to preservatives or additives. It was not in that specific test. However, I am a firm believer that I need to stay away from them as much as possible. They are so terrible for us to consume. How can anyone expect that something they cannot pronounce is good to put into the body?

  • "Delayed Reactions to Food: Many of the same foods that are known to cause immediate hypersensitivities in a small number of people, have been implicated as a cause of delayed or "masked" food allergies in much larger numbers of individuals. Delayed food hypersensitivity reactions are believed to affect millions of people; some physicians have suggested that as many as 60% of all Americans suffer from masked food allergies. These reactions may be responsible for a variety of symptoms including dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, fluid retention, dermatitis, sinus congestion, fatigue, abdominal pain or discomfort, joint inflammation, mood swings, indigestion, headaches, chronic ear infections, asthma, poor memory, anxiety and depression. As the name suggests, delayed hypersensitivities do not appear immediately after consuming a particular food. In fact, in most cases the immune response is so delayed that it is difficult to determine which food is causing the symptoms, and many people are unaware that they are sensitive to certain foods. Only through careful dietary manipulation, such as an Elimination Diet or Rotation Diet, is it usually possible to identify these hidden food allergies. The foods most often associated with delayed hypersensitivities include dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy products, peanuts, shellfish, and refined sugar"
You will see a link in the article for The Allergy Avoidance Diet. If you cannot afford to get blood tests done and/or see a nutritionist, I highly recommend trying this. Be consistent. Stick with it. And whatever you do, don't cheat! You will find amazing insights to your health.

  • ""Leaky gut" is the term commonly used to describe the condition when your small intestinal wall is broken down allowing large food particles to pass through. Leaky gut can be caused by intestinal inflammations from parasite or microbial infections as well as a food allergy response and can result in the development of multiple food allergies. Inflammation of the intestinal wall caused by allergic reactions to one food left untreated can facilitate allergic responses to others foods because the inflamed wall of the intestine allows toxic food molecules into the body that normally would be prevented from entering. Increasing number of food allergy responses taxes the ability of the macrophages to eliminate damaging food molecules. The immune system gets overwhelmed and increasing numbers of toxic food molecules are allowed into the body. Leaky gut can often prevent the absorption of nutrients vital to your health. Nutrients are normally absorbed through the cells at the tip of the intestinal villi, however, when the intestine is damaged from inflammation, the villi are no longer healthy and in tact and are unable to properly absorb the available nutrients. Cow's milk, eggs, soy, and wheat are common allergens that are associated with intestinal inflammation and leaky gut. Research has shown that stress can also cause leaky gut. This may help explain a type of food allergy called "exercise-induced" food allergy which occurs after an individual has eaten shortly after exercising which is a form of physical stress. Individuals with this condition should avoid eating for at least one hour after exercising.""

I have "Leaky Gut." Since I am intolerant to so many foods, Leah said that I have "Leaky Gut." This is also why I am on so many nutitional supplements. We are healing me, one day at a time. I am intolerant to most categories that are common with Leaky Gut (Milk, Eggs, and Soy). I am learning how stress plays such a large part in this all. I'm learning it the hard way, unfortunately.

The article is absolutely amazing and I highly encourage everyone out there to read it. Perhaps you are sitting in the same place I was not so long ago. You were going to doctor after doctor who had no "real" answer for you. And all along, you felt miserable everyday (healthwise). Food heals. Believe it!

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light, Flax, and Stevia
  • Small Coffee with Honey/Stevia
Pre-Workout
  • Dried Banana
  • Dried White Peaches
  • Organic, Raw Walnuts

Lunch
  • Organic Spinach
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burger
  • Orange
Snack
  • Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Carrots
Dinner
  • 5-Lettuce Mix
  • Olive Oil + ACV + Cinnamon
  • Salmon Burger
  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta
  • 1 Glass Red Wine
  • Applesauce
How exciting that tomorrow is Sunday, but that we still have another day off after it this week! Have a Healthy Sunday!

Friday, May 22, 2009

5pm = Happy

Day 40.

At 5pm today I was home sweet home until next Tuesday, as Monday is Memorial Day! I am so excited about this! It's been a stressful, very stressful week.

As promised from yesterday, reflections on the quote by Anne Frank,

"Our very lives are fashioned by choice.
First we make choices.
Then our choices make us."

First of all, I think we can all agree that Anne Frank was wise, much wiser, beyond her years! Here were my thoughts pertaining to her quote:
  • As a noun. Synonyms: selection, preference, alternative, election, substitute, favorite, pick, a good bet.
  • We make a million initial choices every single day. (Should I hit the snooze button? What should I eat for breakfast? What should I wear?)
  • We make many big choices in life. (Should I marry him? Should I stick with my job? Should I have a baby? Should I go to college?)
  • EVERY choice we make is like a fork in the road: the direction you go next is up to the choice you've made.
  • It's like a "Gertrude Stein," (A rose is a rose is a rose.)- "A choice is a choice is a choice."
And after I looked those over, I realized just how important choices really are! And for me, the "small choice" of "What should I have for breakfast?" is just as important as a "bigger choice" of "Should I stick with my job?" I think this is where my merged-life gets tricky for me somedays.

Ultimately, though, as Ms. Frank said, "I need to make these choices, but I also need to keep in mind that these choices I make will make me."

I've had a very stressful week. And yes, it's made me sick. But as I was coming home from work tonight I called my mama, who lives across the country from me! It was a breath of fresh air for me. For that whole 30 minutes I was calm and relaxed and was able to think about something else. I, of course, vented to her. But being that my Mother is probably my Number One fan, she put everything into perspective for me and, as usual, took my side! Mother's are so great! And interestingly enough, during that 30 minutes, my mouth was OK. I could talk to her with no problems. Thanks, Mom!

Photobucket

As I mentioned, I haven't been feeling too hot. Today my mouth and teeth annoyed me again, at about a Level 8/9. Frustrating! My stomach felt a little bloated late afternoon, and then moved into a little left-sided pain after that. I got "sick" around 7pm. Then, my stomach was ok again.I have a cold now, too. Some say it could be allergies, but I've never had allergies from the environment, so I'm not so sure about that one!

Here was my day:


Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light, Flax, and Stevia
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Sweet Apple Link

Lunch
  • Sweet Apple Link
  • Lean Turkey + Kidney Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • Spring Mix
Snack
  • Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Carrots
Dinner
  • Organic Spinach
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burger
  • 1 Glass Red Wine
  • Orange
In other news, our Baby Great Dane is doing better today! She finally ate and drank water. She can walk up our steps, so she'll get to sleep in her crate by us tonight! Now that's a zen night for us!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"First we make choices. Then our choices make us."

Day 39.

I was not online yesterday. Absent for a minute. My Baby Great Dane needed me. The surgery was really hard on her. She cried as we tried to get in her the car. She fell to the ground. We had someone from Bishop Ranch Vet come out to assist us. It absolutely broke my heart.

She did not move all night. She panted off and on. That scared me. I got up a few times during the night to go downstairs to check on her. It was a restless night. I am hoping for a better night.

I woke up not feeling so hot. I woke up feeling so awful for the Baby Great Dane, Reagan. She finally drank some water, out of a syringe-type gadget that I fed to her. That's my biggest concern - dehydration. I left work early today to come home and be with her. I needed to be near her. She had an accident all over the carpet. I did not get mad. She cannot help it. I fed her from my hands tonight. She does not want to get up and eat out of a dish. I'll do anything to keep her eating. Ryan and I rubbed her ears tonight, just as we always do - she loved that! We both agree that seeing her in pain is "heart-wrenching."

Yesterday was a terrible stomach day for me. I had so much twisting and turning. It was uncomfortable and not fun at all. My mouth started to get more annoyed, too.

Today has been another awful day for my mouth. I am absolutely so stressed out today, though. My stomach got increasingly bad as the day went on as well. A lot of twisting and turning. Eventually, I did get sick. My teeth even hurt today. Today my mouth pain was an 8/9. It's just miserable.

Leah told me, "More than 90% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut! There is a REAL connection between our moods and emotions and our digestive health." I am really started to believe the STRESS factor on my system.

Mexico - stress free. Monday - the stress starts all over again. I don't think all of this is purely coincidental. But what I really need to focus on now, along with my diet still of course (!), is how to MANAGE my stress. My stress, currently, has the best of me. And that's not fair.

Leah gave me a list of 12 ideas on how to manage my stress. Every other one of them was to breathe. Just as simple as breathing. I catch myself forgetting to do this all too often. I'm trying to be more aware of it now that she emphasizes it so much.

I'm taking care of myself so well with my diet, but I have completely forgotten how to take care of myself in other ways. I figured out some of this while I was in Mexico, but I absolutely need to think about this more. I need to figure out "what's eating me," since clearly it's not my food anymore! What is it that's killing me on the inside with this stress day in and day out? I've said it before and I'll say it again (and I'm sure this will not be the last time I ever say it)..."I need to fire those things from my life." And really, I need to do it sooner than later because HEALTH IS NUMBER 1! I can't afford to feel awful day in and day out, when I am working so hard to avoid that by avoiding the foods that don't like me.

Anne Frank wrote,
"Our very lives are fashioned by choice.
First we make choices.
Then our choices make us."

I think I will start here, by reflecting on this quote. Think about it....really think about it. I'll take this quote tonight and write down everything that comes to my mind. I'll report back:)

Here was my day:

Breakfast
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light and Unsweetened Rice Milk, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Lunch
  • 2* Sweet Apple Links
  • Olive Oil + ACV + Sea Salt
  • Spring Mix
  • Apple
Snack
  • Dried Bananas
  • Mango
Dinner
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Mango
Snack
  • Bedtime Tea
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
I am hoping for a better day tomorrow. Better days are right around the corner, I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scooby, Dooby, Doo...and the Little Dog, Too.

Day 37.

I had more energy today and that made my day! I got a little bloated mid-afternoon, but nothing else with my stomach all day. My mouth was about a 3/4. I had a headache again a couple of times, but nothing too severe.

When my fatigue lifts, it's amazing. I felt it some tonight, but that was post-workout. I had a great workout. I lasted for 1.5 hours tonight. I think I need to try to make that my "cut-off" point for my workouts. It really is not necessary to be spending hours and hours at a time in the gym. If you are working your body extremely hard during the time that you are there, you should not have to be there so long! I need to keep listening to myself on this one.

I did my HIIT with sprints tonight. I also did Sallie's Extreme Abs class. Finally, weights - miscellaneous weights for about a half hour. It's Tuesday night. I usually set aside this night for Yoga, but the Season Finale of Idol was on tonight! I could not miss it!

I am focusing on my dogs tonight, especially the Baby Great Dane. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but we have 2 dogs - an 11-month old Great Dane, Reagan and a 3-year old Peekepoo, Fiona. My heart - both of them!

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Tomorrow, Reagan is getting spayed. For most dogs this procedure is really no big deal. But because of the Great Dane's size, it can be a big deal. Our breeder specifically told us, "This is a major surgery and many have lost their Danes going through this type of surgery so don't cut corners on expenses." And by expenses, she meant that we have to have a full blood panel done on Reagan tomorrow before the procedure. We do not even technically own Reagan until the spay is done. She is such a beautiful, purebred dog. Great Danes are so massive and have so many special requirements, rules and restrictions. We love her so much!

Fiona is also going to the vet tomorrow. She is due for 2 shots, so we figured that as long as we already had to bring one, we might as well get Fiona done as well. She is the little Princess in this household. Fiona has been my heart since the second I laid eyes on her. I was living in California alone - I found her in a teacup on startribune.com. I knew I had to have her. I committed to buying her even before actually seeing her. She has been mine and I have been hers since she was 8-weeks old. She is by far the more clingy between the two. I call her my Monkey-Poo a lot. She has a mouth and nose like that of a little monkey.

Fiona gives Baby Reagan a "run for her money." Fiona is allowed to sleep with us at night; Reagan sleeps in an extremely large crate in our room. Reagan will come alongside the bed for attention and Fiona typically growls and hops all over the bed as if to say to Reagan, "No way, you are not coming up here. This is my territory!"

We take our dogs for walks a lot (although, Reagan is only supposed to walk one mile or less at a time). One night while we were out walking a little boy spotted us from across the street. He saw Reagan, pointed at her and said, "Look, Mom - it's Scooby, Dooby, Dooooooo....." It was so cute! The little boy really thought she was Scooby!

Funny how dogs can warm our hearts, lift our souls and reduce the amount of stress in our lives just by being them - being there.

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light and Unsweetened Rice Milk, Flax, Banana, Mango and Stevia
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Lean turkey and light red kidney beans
Lunch
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Olive Oil + ACV
  • 1/2 c. grilled chicken
Pre-Workout Snack
  • Lean turkey and light red kidney beans
Post-Workout Snack
  • Fruit Fusion Bar
Dinner
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burger
Tonight we say a prayer for Scooby, Dooby, Doo....and the Little Dog, too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Healing. Peeling. And Supplements.

Day 36.

I am starting to heal. I can feel it, even in this first day. How can I tell? I'm extremely tired. My body has started to detox itself.

I am peeling. All over.

Supplements. They are a huge part of "Part II."

Today was a pretty good day. My stomach did very well today. No real problems. (Well, except for the fact that my "female friend" is currently with me:( Just that small stomach problem.) My mouth annoyed me some today. Probably about a level 5/6 all day. I had a slight headache off and on. Mostly, though, I just struggled with energy. I am so tired. Fatigue, oh fatigue, go away.

2 things that changed already today:
1. Toothpaste
2. Supplements

1. I am not using any toothpaste anymore that has added chemicals and artificial ingredients. Besides the increase in supplements for Part II, I am also focusing on detoxing from other parts of my life as well. There will be more on these "other parts" later, but for today we start with the toothpaste.

I am now using a toothpaste I got from Whole Foods. It's by Nature's Gate. Cherry Gel - Natural Toothpaste with fluoride.

2. Supplements. Leah has suggested some Nutritional Supplements. She does not have me doing any kind of crazy pills or anything like that, but what she does have me on are essential nutrients that are going to help me. It is my hope that they even speed up the healing process for me!

I have done some of my own research on these supplements as well. The supplements I am doing include:

Supplement

Dose

Betaine HCl

1-4 caps with each meal

Vital 10 (Klaire)

2 caps per day

Zinc solution mouth rinse

2 tsp

Aloe Vera juice

3 Tbsp daily, take about 10 min before each meal.

Fish Oil

1 tsp daily

B-Supreme

2 caps daily

Digestzymes

1-2 caps with each meal

Cal-Mag citrate

1 scoop at night


In addition, I get my daily dosage of Spirulina everyday! (I will discuss each of these supplements as time goes on.)

This all seems like a lot. Perhaps it's a bit to manage, but it becomes routine. I think of it this way: There are so many people in the world that are living with some sort of disease, curable or incurable. To make the quality of their lives better, they may take 10, 20 or even 50 pills of some sort every single day. What I'm doing by taking these supplements is helping me build the best possible immune system I can. It's helping me heal the damage that's already been done. And hopefully, then, I will never have to be someone taking pill after pill after pill.

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats, Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light, Flax, Banana and Stevia
Snack
  • Organic Apple
  • Lean turkey and light red kidney beans
Lunch
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Olive Oil + ACV
  • 1/2 c. grilled chicken
Snack
  • Lean turkey and light red kidney beans
  • Unsweetened, Organic Applesauce
  • Dried Bananas
Dinner
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Grilled Chicken
I ended the day oh-so-sweet. Ryan and I took the dogs for a walk. It's a great way to unwind after the day. It was great for me, too, to get out and move a little despite my fatigue. I always know that being with the 3 of them, my family, is a for sure smile to my face and peace to my heart!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Things I Learned in Mexico

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"Technically" Day 35.

Welcome back to me! Today is Sunday, May 17, 2009. We got back to California late last night. Can I just say this about our Honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico - WOW!

We spent an entire week in bliss. Pure bliss. Life was so relaxing and beautiful.

While on vacation in Mexico, I learned some things. 2 things were from the book, "Eat, Pray, Love" that I'm reading. The others were miscellaneous:
  • The writer, Liz Gilbert, is at an Ashram. She is spending months in solitude and practicing meditation and yoga. She is forced to chant the Gurugita, which she hates. She wants to quit chanting it altogether, but knows that it's probably an important element to her "being" at the Ashram. She asks for advice on it. This is what she's told, "You have to decide for yourself. But my advice-since you asked-is that you stick to chanting the Gurugita while you're here, especially because you're having such an extreme reaction to it. If something is rubbing so hard against you, you can be sure it's working on you. This is what the Gurugita does. It burns away the ego, turns you into pure ash." (Eat, Pray, Love)
This really hit home for me. When I read this, all I could think about was my body when it's in detox-mode. I get sick. Nothing is very pleasant. The reaction I have is so extreme. It's almost like a nightmare. While reading this, though, I wondered if that reaction is actually good for me? This awful reaction that Liz faced chanting the Gurugita ended up great for her. I began to think that perhaps this is the same with food detoxification.
  • The Stress Factor.
I'll say it here. I'm guessing I'll discuss it much more. I felt fine in Mexico! Starting on Saturday, May 9th up until late last night, I ate, drank and did anything I wanted! I never worried about what I was eating or drinking (how could I, really?) and I didn't even allow myself to be consumed with extensive note-taking or working out or anything. I was just simply living. I did not let living simply get into my way, at all - ever - for the entire week.

I had no mouth problems. I rarely had a stomach problem, maybe a couple of (small) instances. It was like a miracle. I would really like to be able to analyze this. I would love to know what happened (or lack thereof for that matter) but I'm chalking it up to 2 things:

1. For 25 days before I took care of me! And probably more importantly....
2. For an entire week I was completely, utterly, 100% stress-free. I took care of me, but in a way that I was not doing before.

I have learned that I need to manage stress. I need to study it, learn it and be it. I need to figure out my triggers - what drives me all the way to STRESS, STRESS and more STRESS. And when I figure it out or figure out the sum of all it's parts, I'm going to FIRE it (or them) from my life.

My health is more important to me than anything that brings me stress. I am worth it.

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  • Traveling
Traveling is so important. Traveling opens your eyes to many new ideas. It allows you to see that there is more to life than California, to the United States, to Mountain House, etc. There are so many beautiful places in the world. So much to do. So much to see.

Ryan and I both agree that we would rather have less, in terms of material things and possessions and be able to travel. The best thing about it, too, is that we get to see and enjoy and love and fall in love all over again - together.

I can't wait until our next trip!

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  • If Time Stood Still
We always wondered the time. "What time is it?" "How much time until...?" "What time does this open?" "Is it too early for a drink?" But finding those answers out was always so challenging, and not because they were tough to answer, but because there were no clocks!

There was not a clock in our room. There were no clocks in the restaurants or at the pool or in the lobby. There just simply were no clocks. This drove us crazy. Of course it did, we are from the United States. We are always on such a tight schedule. Time drives us. Clocks keep us accountable.

After a few days, though, I liked not knowing what time is was. I could go several hours without knowing the time. It was amazing to be lounging around, sliding in and out of the pool, lounging around more and then thinking, "Wow - I have no idea what time it is!"
  • "The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." (Eat, Pray, Love)
I have been thinking so much about this line. Simultaneously, almost, I have been reading Inner Architect by Susan Hanshaw (inner architect). As a matter of fact, I read it 2 times while on vacation! (I would highly, highly recommend this book!) Susan's book allows you to really search within yourself. It allows you to use your creative side and it actually gets you very excited about a life you can design if you have the motivation and a positive attitude as your foundation.

(I digress..) What Susan does is pulls you out of your "comfort element" and places you into an element that allows you to see the you that you can actually be! And this is exactly what the Bhagavad Gita was saying as well. Choose what and who you want to become. Choose what you want to do with your life. Don't worry about what someone else may think. Don't take everything so seriously looking for perfection. Create your own path, even if it is imperfect. It's yours. Own it. Live it. Be it. Love it.

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  • I Married the Most Wonderful Man on Earth!
I truly did! Ryan is and always has been such an amazing person to me. He is patient, kind and caring. He is intelligent and loves life as much as I do. He makes me happy in the most unlikely places and at the most unlikely times. He makes me laugh. His laugh is contagious. I fall in love with him every single day...again and again and yet again, in some new way, shape or form.

I am so blessed!

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  • Thank God for Whole Foods Again!
Clearly there was no Whole Foods in sight. I am excited to treat my body well again via food and working out! I'm ready to go back to detox-mode.

I'm ready for Phase 2 of my healing process. I met with Leah the Friday before I left and I'm re-energized! She gave me a lot of great new stuff, which I will share throughout this upcoming week. (Speaking of Leah, she is starting a Summer 21-Day Detox on Monday, June 8th. I highly recommend it for anyone living in the Bay area. Click here for all the information!)

Tomorrow is Day 36. Back to work. Back to living without any and all of the foods that make me sick. Back to re-energizing myself through food and fitness. Back to health. And for most people this looks like, "Back to blah. Back to negative." For me, with my new-found energy, enthusiasm, positive outlook and zen, this looks like...

"Living my own destiny imperfectly and not living an imitation of somebody else's life pefectly."

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