Archive | June, 2011

Pork Free Post: No More Cleanse = Pork (Yay!)

27 Jun

Finally, the end of my 21-day Clean cleanse journey has come. No more having to explain why I’m not drinking wine, or why I can’t have green peppers with my fajitas, or why I can’t have a s’more after dinner. Nope, I’m free to make whatever food decisions I want.

I learned so much about myself over the past 3 weeks, it is crazy. Noticeable changes:

— Much more energy. Instead of being exhausted at the end of a day and plopping on the couch before dinner, I want to go out and play tennis.

— Sleeping better. I now am asleep within 30 minutes of hitting the pillow, as opposed to possibly laying there an hour or more. I also sleep through the night uninterrupted, and if I do get woken up, I go back to sleep immediately. Result is waking up feeling less tired and more refreshed.

— Better moods. I’m more happy on a regular basis – just in a good mood all the time. I think this is because I feel better physically.

— WAY less bloat. Noticeable in my face and neck, as well as in my tummy area. My clothes feel more loose and I feel lighter.

— Softer skin on my face, and a healthy “glow”. This was a remark made by my husband after the first week.

— Noticeably reduced needs/cravings for various foods. Coffee will not be a part of my regular day – don’t miss it at all. Sweets aren’t anything I feel like I just have to have. I think desserts now will consist of fruit or cheese. Big deal for me! Sorry new gluten-free bakery down the street – I won’t be visiting you as much anymore.

— Increased alertness and better memory. I’m not forgetting the simple things like I used to – I guess I’m less absent minded than before.

— Lost about 6 lbs. This was a welcome bonus.

— Fewer headaches. I would suffer from headaches almost everyday. While yes, I had some headaches from the cleanse, they are less frequent and not as intense as before.

— Less hunger. I definitely identified boredom eating. Thankfully I can nip that one in the bud. Now, if I could only find a job that wasn’t making me so bored……

I will not lie – I did  miss wine. It was hard but I managed to resist even a sip over the last 3 weeks, even while we had company. Another side effect of this cleanse that is highly valued – increased willpower. Towards the end it wasn’t that hard to say no, because I knew I was doing this to better myself and that, frankly, I wouldn’t feel like crap the next day. It was nice to not have the congestion and headache that can come along with too much red wine.  I will note here that the first day off the cleanse I may have overindulged on wine. I needed to celebrate.

I had to give up a lot of stuff, namely certain meats. While I will still be enjoying all these things, they will be enjoyed in moderation. Pork shoulder recipes will be reappearing very soon, but may not be appearing as often. I will, however, add more non-pork recipes as I continue on with experimenting with the cleanse’s “Elimination Diet”. It is piquing my interesting in something so opposite of pork – vegan and raw food. No, I’m not going to be sprouting nuts and other random crunchy things like that, but I may be eating less dairy and meat products to balance things out. I’m emphasizing balance now in my food-related life

My first non-cleanse meal Saturday night wasn’t a total bust, but it was kinda borderline. You see, I’m supposed to reintroduce things one at a time and see how my body reacts. I opted for a three prong approach: organic grass-fed and hormone/antibiotic-free steak,  some wines, and a bit of Cowgirl Creamery’s Lamb Chopper cheese (sheep’s milk cheese). I don’t know if it is my mental state or if Whole Foods had a bad batch of meat, but the steak was not what I was envisioning. Normally, you can’t go wrong, but it was tough and not very good. Total fail, and an utter disappointment. I can’t wait though for the pork chops I bought – I may cry if those are bad too, as it might be a symptom of me not having these delicious things for 3 weeks. God, I hope that isn’t the case.

I can’t express how much I’d recommend this program to someone. It was no doubt very difficult at first to wrap my head around soup for dinner or no stinky cheeses, but in the end, I actually really liked what I was feeling. I will definitely be doing this again at least once per year, as well as mini versions periodically when I feel like I may have gone back to bad habits.  My daily routine will be permanently changed for the better.


Cleanse Update

13 Jun

I figure I should update on my cleanse. I’ve made it through week 1, and am currently on day 10. This cleanse is amazing, really. I’ve dropped some pounds, mostly of bloat and puffyness that I had no idea existed. It goes so far beyond just not eating gluten.

Surprisingly, we’ve managed to eat quite well on this plan. Yes, you have to have soup for dinner, but you can really make fantastic soups. Lunches we’ve had grilled lamb chops, fish with red apple slaw, wraps with chicken and apples, and so many others. Last night I grilled up some chicken kebabs marinated in mint, cilantro and garlic, served along side a red cabbage and mango slaw with cashews. So good.

I can’t believe how easy this has been, honestly. The smoothies in the morning for breakfast are great, considering I don’t really like breakfast anyway. And eating a big meal in the day is nice – I don’t feel full and uncomfortable at night or when I go to bed.

I’ve managed to not eat a dessert once. Weird. I think I’m going to make one on Wednesday when I’m home to have with my lunches. I’m dying without a little something. Just not sure how to do it totally vegan. So new to me!

I’ll do another update after week 2. But so far so good!

Cleansing = No Pork (Boooooo)

3 Jun

It is June 3rd and we have what seems to finally be Spring weather (meaning, when the snow falls it mostly melts rather than sticking around forever). We have survived 7 months of awful Winter, including snow over the entire Memorial Day holiday. I could have sworn it was February 28th, not May 28th. Ugh, but we made it through.

With the new season comes the infamous Spring cleaning. Not just cleaning and organizing of the home (which my wonderful husband has spent a lot of time doing), but also of the body and the mind. In keeping with this, I am in desperate need of a cleanse. Besides all the heavy comfort foods we ingested to get through the most dismal 7 months ever, the last 2 weeks have been particularly hard for me. I was “glutened” at a conference in San Francisco, then had the most painful bout of non-food related heartburn ever that lasted 5 days and resulted in prescription meds. I’m pretty sure at this point my body was telling me something – feeling you are getting stabbed through the heart every time you swallow can’t be good. Oh, and let’s not forget the mental state of mind that comes along with 7 too many months of snow. SAD, seasonal affective disorder, exists – I’m living, breathing proof.

The idea of the cleanse was put into my head a while ago, but brought up again last week by Christian. I think we both just feel gross. A friend of his recently completed a rigorous cleanse, at the end of which he lost 22 pounds (which is nuts because even with water weight, I can’t imagine how he had that much to get rid of). Neither Christian or I need to lose that much, but if a few extra lbs go away, we definitely won’t be upset. What this is really about is just feeling good – I’m tired, puffy and all around feel worn down. Our friend, and others who have done the cleanse, say they end up with an amazing sense of smell, much better concentration and clarity, and generally more energy.  I want to feel and look refreshed when we finally have good weather so I can run around and have fun. I guess I’m hoping it is sort of like a time machine and transports me back to when I was 10 years old, running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day.

So after much research, I’ll be doing the Clean cleanse by Dr. Junger. It has received a lot of press lately, mostly by Gwyneth Paltrow, but it is also the one completed by our friend. The cleanse is a 21-day detox program, which at face value seems impossible for someone who enjoys eating. But, it really is quite easy, so easy in fact that I questioned whether or not I was understanding it properly. Basically, you have a fruit and/or veggie based shake in the morning, a big lunch (it is really your dinner), and then a shake or soup for dinner. Seemed like not enough food, until I heard that you can snack throughout the day (except after dinner), as long as it was on the approved list (same goes for the lunch meal ingredients). This approved list really just cuts out inflammatory and potentially allergenic foods – think gluten and wheat, nightshades (potatoes, eggplant, etc), sugars, dairy, alcohol, etc.  Meat is on the list, thankfully, but unfortunately pork is not. Travesty! Weird that lamb, duck and other game is okay, but whatever, I trust this guy knows what he’s doing.

From the photolog, Satan's Laundromat

The way I see it, this cleanse does two important things:

  • First, it rids your body of toxins and eliminates/reduces cravings of foods that aren’t that great for you. When the cleanse is done, you don’t have to stop eating the “unapproved” foods forever, just in moderation. When you start reintroducing them to your diet, you’re supposed to be able to identify what might be a “trigger” food, so you know what not to eat too much.
  • Second, and for me really important, the timing of meals aids with digestion. It is really what I call the European Plan – eat your large meal in the day when you actually need the energy, and a lighter meal at night when you are mostly at rest. This schedule not only gives you fewer calories when you don’t need it, but it is easier for your body to digest while sleeping and resting. That leads to less heartburn, indigestion, etc.

Because we have some company coming in 14-days, I’m going to be forced to do an abbreviated version. I’ll be doing the official Clean cleanse for those two weeks, and am going to then move on to what Dr. Junger calls the “Mini Cleanse” format, where you have the shake for breakfast but then two meals (of course, with ingredients from the approved list) at lunch and dinner. It just doesn’t seem that difficult to me, with one caveat – I will drink wine when we have company. I’m sorry, but there is no compromise there. But, if it is only for Friday and Saturday nights, I don’t think it will kill the whole cleanse (or, at least that is what I’m hoping).

I’ve planned my first week of meals, which was pretty fun. In order to show Christian it won’t be all that bad, I’m going to be roasting some fish on Saturday for lunch, and lamb chops on Sunday. Sounds like the most awesome cleanse ever, if you ask me.

I am going to check in every week, posting about my progress and putting down my menus – I’ll be curious to go back and see how it went once I’m done. Wish me luck!

Some resources on the Clean cleanse below…….

GOOP (Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter):

Article and good details on the Clean cleanse

GOOP’s 7-Day Abbreviated Cleanse Plan

Clean Cleanse website:

Lots of info on the cleanse plan

Support forum with recipes, etc.

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