Monthly Archives: May 2011

Deep Cleansing Your Dirty Soul

So you have decided to that it is a good idea to partake in a full body cleanse even after reading about the goop you have to drink? I commend you, fellow detoxer! Allow me to take you further into the nether void that is a detox diet.

Now that you have (supposedly) pre-pre-prepared and had “the talk” with your body, it is time to start the actual process. For the next 21 days, you will reduce the amount of inflammation your body is currently experiencing and you will start to get your body’s pH balance back on track. Cast aside the unhealthy American diet and begin anew!

In order to balance your sexy body, you will need to eat more alkaline foods and less acidic foods. I have decided not to give you the list of acidic foods because I want you to just see the good stuff!

The “Food Heroes“:

Purified water, nuts (flax seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds), avocados, cold-pressed oils (borage seed, flax-seed, hemp seed), gluten-free grains (wild rice, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, millet)
wheatgrass, green veggies (endives, collards, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, spinach), lemons, limes, grapefruits, lentils, beans, miso, oil-cured olives, raw tomatoes, stevia, sprouts, seaweed, root veggies (sweet potatoes, jicama, potatoes, daikon)

Alright, so a typical day in meals is as follows*:

Breakfast-

  • Large glass of purified (bold = important, so you better do it) water w/ lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper to wake up your groggy circulatory system.
  • Two (2) cups of herbal tea (white, green or yerba mate). I prefer to order my tea from Teavana. This is because I am a total tea snob and I hate you if you’re not. (I kid, I kid. I only hate you a little.)
  • When you start to get hungry (and you will), make yourself some of that green goop from the previous post and sip on that.

Yes, that is all you have for breakfast. You will be so starved by lunch, you won’t care what you eat. This is a very good thing!

Lunch-

  • Fill your plate 70/30: Seventy percent of your plate should be “rainbow-colored salad, good fats and other raw delights (‘peanut’ noodles, raw veggie pasta, nut pate, jicama nori rolls. Other recipes can be found at AliveFoods.com.
  • The thirty percent of your plate that is left should be filled with whole cooked foods (by ‘whole cooked’ I mean slightly steamed or sautéed). Excellent choices for the remaining 30% include veggies, beans, tempeh, tofu, soup, baked sweet potato, or gluten-free pastas/grains

Snack-

  • When you start to get hungry around 3 p.m., grab another glass of green goop. If you feel like you are already sick of drinking the stuff (don’t fret, it happens to the most willful of us), grab a handful of raw almonds and supplement your juice binge with some hummus/guacamole/tahini and flax crackers. I found it was helpful to always have some snacks with me.

Dinner-

  • Make sure you stick to the 70/30 plan. I would suggest loading up on salad and adding some oil-cured olives. Mix it up and don’t try to eat the same things in your salad that you had for lunch. Try GOOP’s ‘Carrot and Ginger Dressing.’
  • To round out your plate, fix some gluten-free pasta w/ snap peas, chickpeas, broccoli, kale, cayenne, garlic and pepper. Add in essential oils like flax to give your body some positive fat.

Dessert-

  • If you must have some dessert, have very little. The more sweets you eat, the longer the cleanse will actually take. Thus, you should try not to eat sweets everyday.
  • Foods that are alright to have in small quantities: dark chocolate (if it’s at least 70%), square of carob or cacao pudding.

Even though the menu is an extremely important part of the cleanse, you have to make sure that you are sweating out those toxins! Whether you dance, sauna, walk, run, or chase after your children/cat/dog it is important that you are doing something for at least 35-40 minutes. You should also try to lift some light/moderate weights for 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week. A typical week for me (during the detox process) would be:

  • Monday– Run 5-7 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break in the day to walk while I have my snack (just enough to get my blood pumping, nothing strenuous), light yoga before bed
  • Tuesday– Light weights paired with 45 min on the elliptical, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, take the dog for a quick jaunt around the block when I get home
  • Wednesday– Run 2-3 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, dance (ballet) before I head home
  • Thursday– Light weights paired with 35 min on the elliptical, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, take the dog for a quick run around the block when I get home
  • Friday– Run 5-7 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, light yoga before bed
  • Saturday– If I don’t have work I do 1 hour of Pilates or Ashtanga yoga, if I do have work I run 5-7 miles, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, dance (ballet) after work/later in the afternoon
  • Sunday– 35 min swim in the morning, take the dog for a walk later in the afternoon, meditation before bed

Take this work-out routine with a grain of salt. I have been running since high school, participating in ballet since I was three (3) and I have been practicing yoga for ten (10) years now. A much simpler routine would be:

  • Monday– 40 min walk in the morning
  • Tuesday– 30 min weight lifting routine
  • Wednesday– 40 exercise routine
  • Thursday– 30 min weight lifting routine
  • Friday– 40 min walk in the morning
  • Saturday– 1 hour of park play with the kids/walk the dog around the block a few times/ride your bike to the local farmer’s market
  • Sunday– 30 min walk in the morning, light yoga in the afternoon

This routine isn’t as time-consuming, nor as strenuous and works very well. You just have to make sure that you are actually sweating by the end of it! Sweat out those vile little toxins that have been hogging your body for too long.

Other Important Detox Tips:

Sleep: Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. You need to aim for eight (8) hours of uninterrupted sleep, preferably between 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Try to finish your last meal at least three (3) hours before you sleep and if you miss a few hours due to obligations/pet/children, find some time during the day to take a quick nap.

Relax: Try meditating for five (5) minutes. Relax your body, relax your mind and free yourself from the stresses of living. Make sure you take at least five (5) minutes out of each day for yourself. This can include reading a few chapters in a book, listening to some relaxing music, flipping through a magazine or cuddling with a pet.

Supplement: Probiotics, omega-3’s, vitamin D, multivitamins, digestive enzymes should all be considered. Talk to your physician/nutritionist before you start adding any sort of supplement to your diet, you don’t want to take anything that will interact with medication you make be taking.

Journal: Give yourself a pat on the back. Write down a daily affirmation and really consider it. The detox can be difficult and you need to remain positive and focused throughout. If you start to feel a little listless, break out some music, dance around and scream the lyrics!

Distraction: Throughout the detox process you will have cravings and you will begin to feel unfocused. How do you stop this? Shiny things. Not literally shiny things, but any sort of distraction will do. Remove yourself from the temptations by taking a walk outside, playing with your pet, reading on a park bench, calling a talkative friend or having sex!

Detoxing is tough, but I know you can do it! Just stick to your diet and tell yourself that every day is one day closer to you feeling so much healthier!

*This can be found in the March 2011 issue of Natural Health (naturalhealthmag.com)

Glorious Green Goop

Well it really isn’t so much “goop” and more juice, but to most people it will appear like I am drinking some sort of algal soup.

The recipe for this green liquid is*:

2 large, organic cucumbers
4 stalks kale
4 stalks romaine
1 large broccoli stem
1 1-inch piece of ginger root

I can hear what you’re saying, “Wow, what a vile concoction. Why on earth would you drink that?”

In response to that I say, “Well, I’m glad you asked! I am currently preparing to detox.” The reason for this detox is two-fold. The first, and most important reason, is that I want to cleanse my system of toxins that naturally build up over time. The second, vainer reason is that I tried on a dress a few days ago and it was a little tight.

Now, for those of you who are just reading this blog and know nothing about me outside of what you have learned in the first few posts I will tell you something. I can be vain. I’m not kidding; I have this strange obsession with the way I look, that I can only attribute to years of ballet. Constantly being judged based on my appearance (especially my weight) gave me not only an eating disorder, but also a complex that I have carried with me even throughout medical school. To this day I stare at the scale in disbelief if I jump above what I deem the “appropriate weight.”

So now that you understand why I am drinking myself to death on what appears to be TMNT slime/swamp water/contaminated sewer drain-off, I can tell you a little more about how I am about to wage war on my insides using juice, exercise and water.

One of the first steps you have to take before embarking on any sort of detox program, is a “pre-pre prepare.” This requires you to make an appointment with your doctor or a nutritionist/dietician before deciding on what detox diet you want to try. Once you have your physicians blessing, you will need to stock up on the items that the detox/cleanse requires. Let me explain the importance of this to you with personal story…

The very first time that I tried a detox/cleanse, I went out and bought a whole week’s worth of food! I assumed that I would just use that up and then go buy more; the only problem was that now I was hungry for the bad stuff. After a week detoxing, entering the grocery store was like diving straight into Dante’s inferno. Aisle after aisle of foods I couldn’t have, processed sugars hiding in every corner, waiting for me to slip up so that they could prey on that one moment of weakness. I tried to ignore it, but I left feeling miserable and the rest of the detox was a failure. I only ended up following the detox program for 10 days out of the “prescribed” 24.

This experience showed me that, even though I may think I have will power, the cravings were ultimately too much for me to handle. I failed in spectacular fashion and ended up going on a candy fueled sugar binge, which ended in me feeling so sick that I swore off LifeSavers gummies forever. The lesson that I took from this was to prepare myself beforehand, so that temptation was not constantly staring me in the face every time I ventured to look into the refrigerator.

Now that you have “pre-pre prepared” you will need to warm your body up to the idea that it is going to be tortured for the next several weeks.

  1. Slowly remove caffeine from your diet. This means that you will have to wake-up on your own for the next 21 days. I know this sounds scary, but I have faith in you!
  2. Make sure that you are really drinking those eight (8) glasses of water every day. You are going to need to flush all that build up out when it starts to churn (believe me, it will).
  3. Cut back on the alcohol, you lush. Your hard partying ways will need to take a backseat throughout this detox program!
  4. Eliminate processed sugars and refined carbs. This means that your normal noshing will have to learn to love herbal teas and seeds instead of Fritos and Dr. Pepper.
  5. Repent your carnivorous ways, the velocirapture** demands it. In order to properly maintain this detox diet, you will need to consume no more than 3-4 ounces twice a week.
  6. Double your intake of delicious greens. (see the juice recipe above)
  7. Drop dairy and kick gluten to the curb. No more than 2-3 servings PER WEEK!

After you have kick-started your detox diet, you will have to be very strict with yourself. This particular diet that I am going to try is a little more involved than a basic cleanse and it is very difficult to “get back to normal” after you have been eating like a gazelle for 21 days. I will write-up another post that will go into more depth after I have already started the detox/cleanse. I feel like this post will be a lot to take in if you are just getting started. Besides, you need to pre-pre prepare you slacker! Get to it!

*This recipe can be found in the March 2011 issue of Natural Health (naturalhealthmag.com)

**When this post was written, the “rapture was upon us” so any reference to the apocalypse was completely warranted at the time.

In a strange turn of events…

…I was actually able to have lunch with a friend today.

It was yummy, I do admit

Was it worth it? Yes. Yes it was.

It was nice being able to see someone whom I had not seen for several months. I was hoping that he would decide to take his “beloved” dog back, but I wasn’t THAT lucky.

(I was going to rotate the image, but then I decided that I wanted to continue to be lazy today…)

This House is Now a Home

I am very excited! The sale went through on the house and we have finally closed! I will be moving in (officially) at the beginning of July and will start to take some stuff over there in a few weeks.

Since we have finally closed, I am now starting to think about how I want to decorate the new house. While I have been in my current place, I had a lot of it upgraded and renovated so hopefully it will be a quick move out process.

I have taken some time off of work at the end of June-beginning of July, so I will use that time to move things and to become familiar with the new house.

This is a very exciting event for me! This is the first home that I have ever owned (no point in buying when you move every few years) and it will now be a place where I can feel stable for at least the next 4 years or so. A new house and a new chapter in my life begins!

Buying a life

The offer I made on a house here in Hermosa Beach was accepted, the details are pending and I am set to move in the first week of July. The house is beautiful and it boasts a gorgeous view of Hermosa Beach. It is definitely more than I need, but I did not want to settle. When my realtor walked me through it and showed me the expansive rooms, I instantly fell in love. Now I am worried that the expansiveness will feel lonely and cold without someone to share it with. I have to buy even more furniture just to make the house appear “lived in” and “like a home and not a house.”

I don’t think that reality has actually hit me yet, I still believe that I can just move back to New York anytime I want. I debated on buying a house here in California for a long time and I’m not sure why. I still can not picture myself here, but perhaps when I actually sleep in my home I will start to wake up to the realization that I have another 3.5-4 years here.

The thought of living in California forever still terrifies me. I have been here for over a year and I am just now coming to terms with the fact that this is my home. Everyone assumes that I have made friends here, just like I did in NYC. This is not the case and I am not sure when I will actually have the time to form a “social circle.” Thankfully my cousin lives just outside of Los Angeles, making it a short commute to actually spend time with someone I know. She has quickly fallen in love with California and some of her friends have become acquaintances of mine as well. When I have asked her if she is planning on staying in California she is all smiles and yeses.

I, however, can not picture myself staying in California past my contract date and have been counting the days until I can return to the East coast. I fear that I am too sullen and serious for the West coast, though I am not even sure if that is at all possible. The warm, sunny weather annoys me and I know that I will crave the brisk autumn weather that I loved in New York. As much as I miss NYC, I know that I need to get over the fact that I want to be there and make the most of living in Los Angeles.

However, I need to realize that I am purchasing and cultivating a life here and that all of this can be transplanted to a new location when I have completed my work. Perhaps the reason I have been so sullen is because I continue to live across the country instead of just enjoying the view I will soon have.

This view is from the rooftop of the house

What is a weekend?

My week never actually seems to “end.” I suppose that it comes with the territory, but I never seem to get the same break from the work-week that everyone else gets.

Telle est la vie, je suppose…

I do have tomorrow off (Thursday), but I have to work Fri-Mon with a 10 hour break on Tuesday morning. I am already tired just thinking about it.

I should sleep. The sooner I sleep, the sooner I get to sleep in.