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Conversations about optimal health.


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Hibernation

For healthchat followers, I had a successful 21 day detox in the Fall and felt great going into the holidays.  Results were surprising for me.  The acid reflux symptoms I was having before the detox went completely away.  I found they were associated with dairy and wheat.  And it reinforced the experience that chocolate brings on wicked dizziness and migraines.  Weight loss was not the motivating factor but, I lost 15 pounds anyway.  So, I considered it a success.

However, with the holidays and 40 inches of snow last weekend some of my unhealthy eating habits have reared their ugly heads.  I call the post-holiday eating syndrome Hibernation.  Snow shoveling has been my exercise and all I want to do is stay at home, read and eat. I can relate to the bears and ground hogs.  IMG_0047

Some good habits are still in place.  Cheese and chocolate are still off the menu and I’ve reduced my wheat consumption most days.  Finally got back to bicycling at the gym. So, some of those ugly habits are not going to come back.

The plan now is to keep the healthy eating and exercise in place until Spring.  I’m not going to begin another detox or add anything new until my body wakes up from the long winter’s sleep.  Remembering how I felt before the detox and preventing those symptoms from recurring will help.  Also, keeping fresh fruit and vegetables on hand to prevent eating processed food from the cupboard is key.

Finally, accepting the fact that my body is coping with the season.  Eating heavier foods that help to keep me warm is okay.  Also, I’m determined to stop stressing about what I weigh, instead learn how to like myself and accept my new habits as part of the journey to ultimate health.  Enjoying the winter months and hibernation mode is the goal.  I think I’ll take a nap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Detox and Travel

NatGeo15     In my world there are not 21 days in a row that are conducive to staying home and concentrating on a healthy Detox.  So, this past weekend covered days 9, 10 and 11 on the Detox plan and I had to fly to Denver for a conference.  Instead of giving up before I started , I decided to plan ahead and be creative.

The first thing I packed was some Protein shake powder and a good shaker cup.  I’ve found that the Nutrilite Body Key shakes work really well because they have great flavors and all you have to add is water.  I also packed some ready-made shakes in a separate suitcase.  So I had my protein shakes, 2 per day ready to go.

I made sure that all the accompanying supplements were in my travel vitamin case and I packed an empty water bottle to refill with filtered water when I found some.  Next I included apples, and carrot sticks for the plane, instead of eating sugary snacks or nuts.

Once I got to the airport it was time to be creative.  I love Dulles Airport because they have a Chipotle restaurant open early in the morning.  Before I boarded the plane I ate a bowl of brown rice and vegetables.  So satisfying and I wasn’t ravenous when I arrived in Denver.

From then on it was just a matter of making good choices from the restaurants and stores.  Would you believe I even found delicious seedless grapes at the 7-11 along with giant bottles of filtered water.  The only compromise was egg whites and vegetables on a thin whole wheat bagel for breakfast.

On Sunday, day 11, I could introduce chicken breast or fish.  So, we went to a great restaurant that served bison and I ordered grilled Salmon with asparagus and kale salad.

Now a lot of you are thinking, “how restrictive, I could never eat that way”.  I get it, but I wasn’t craving dairy, red meat or wheat products at all. I felt great, had good energy and all systems were working well if you know what I mean.  I just had to think ahead with a plan and make choices that fit the detox profile.


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Day 7 Detox

This isn’t for weight loss though it can be a great side effect. The 21 day plan is for detoxification. Ridding your body of pollutants, preservatives, and helping your cells to work better. It’s also a great jumpstart for a healthy eating plan. Having said that, I weighed myself at the beginning which everyone should do and then I weighed myself this morning just for some extra encouragement and that’s what I got. I’ve lost 15 pounds!


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The 21-day Detox – My personal journey.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA  Time for true confessions.  I’m great at talking and writing about

optimal health but sometimes I’m terrible at following my own advice.  The last five years have been an emotional rollercoaster and my bad eating habits have re-surfaced.  Binging, eating whatever I want with no regard for calories when I’m angry or sad.  Basically, covering up the tangled mess of feelings with the legal drug . . . food.

Emotional eating is difficult to control until you expose the emotions that are driving it.  Sometimes life comes at you so hard that it takes a while to untangle how you are feeling and express those feelings appropriately.  I’ve also found that establishing healthy boundaries also works for me.  Quick aside, see the book by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled Boundaries if you have the same challenges.

So, having sorted through the knots and set up some healthy boundaries I’m now ready to tackle the eating issues. Breaking out of the cycle of emotional eating is tough unless you have a path to run on.  My path this time is a 21-day Detox plan suggested by my Chiropractor.  In theory, it supports healthy liver and kidney function, aiding in the breakdown of the toxins that we all pick up from our food and our environment.  I researched the detoxification process on several websites including the Better Living Institute  and decided to follow their guidelines using Nutrilite supplements and protein shakes.

The beginning has been tough yet satisfying.  Buying fruit, vegetables, (as much organic as the budget will allow), soy milk and brown rice was deeply satisfying.  I have arranged the apples, pears, kiwi, mangos, pineapple, bananas, avocados and the squash in baskets on the kitchen counter along with a jar of brown rice and the Nutrilite supplements.  I feel like my kitchen is healthy for the first time in a long time  and I am excited about combining these ingredients into healthy shakes and meals.  What can I say, shopping for healthy ingredients felt good!

The next step was to get rid of the unhealthy food from the kitchen and my line of sight in the refrigerator.  The detox requires no dairy for 21 days and we have little children in the house so i bought lo-fat Mozzarella cheese for them, and lo-fat milk.  It also requires no animal protein for 11 days and then lean organically raised pork, chicken or fish for the last 10 days.  However, the little ones need their protein so I bought all non-preservative, organically raised protein sources for them.  Their snacks these days are animal crackers, goldfish, fresh veggies and fruit.  So, all the family is eating a healthier diet.

Days one through 3 were tough physically because I felt low on energy and if I didn’t continue to drink lots of water I developed a headache.  I slipped on day 4 and finished some homemade chocolate ice cream that was in the basement freezer.  Big mistake.  I am allergic to concentrated chocolate but I’ve been able to eat a few chocolate flavored foods like plain chocolate ice cream.  However, this was homemade, no fillers and real cocoa powder.  I had the mother of all migraines for two days. It was a great wake up call.  The detox is showing me what foods cause a negative reaction.  I now know that chocolate in any form is just not worth the pain.

This post has rambled on long enough. More to come over the next 15 days.  All thoughtful comments are welcome.  I will post the best ones.


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Choosing what I like

I had a great revelation today while choosing what to drink at the local Panera.  I like sweetened ice tea and from now on I’m going to choose it over unsweetened.  Now this may not seem earthshaking to you, but when you have made choices based on healthy considerations instead of what you enjoy all of your adult life, it’s big.

And that is what I have done.  Chosen unsweetened ice tea because I thought it was healthier and it always tasted terrible, but I soldiered on thinking I was doing my body a favor. Actually, I was just drinking something I hated and developing feelings of resentment that later turned into an eating binge.  Really, how much sugar is in a glass of tea? and is it really going to kill me.  I don’t think so.  From now on I’m going to eat in moderation the foods that I like and that make my body feel good.

No more pressure from my overly developed food conscience.  Life is too short.  It’s time to enjoy it!


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Holistic Health or Turn off the TV

Back in the day, holistic health referred to the whole person, an undivided approach to wellness. I had a professor in nursing school who taught the theory that all illness is caused by emotional reactions. For instance, since cold germs are always present, we “catch a cold” when our immunity is weakened by grief or stress. I agree with her, that human beings are made up of physical, emotional, and spiritual selves and they cannot be divided for the purpose of treating disease.

This theory was brought home to me this winter. I have joined an exercise class made up of women who are older than I am. The main topic of conversation is ailments, MRI’s, physical therapy, acupuncture and the latest health report on the news networks. The prevailing attitude is negative about life in general. Granted, getting older is not for the faint of heart, but this stage of life is no more difficult than any other stage, it’s just different. I’ve been struck by the aches, pains, constant complaining and pessimistic viewpoints.

Now I ask you, if we are a whole person and wellness comes from being well in every aspect of that person, why do we treat the physical and neglect the emotional and spiritual parts? These women spend a lot of money on the latest treatments for their physical ailments, yet they ignore the stress caused by watching the nightly news or the anger that has not been addressed in decades, or the grief and hurts that have not been resolved or the basically negative worldview.

Western medicine seems to diagnose and treat the physical ailment without considering what emotions, or spiritual beliefs lead up to it. Stress, we are finally acknowledging is a contributing factor but is there a concerted effort to treat that as well? I think if we payed attention to the mental state, emotional history, all the body systems that contribute to disease we would have more keys to treatment and prevention.

If the women in my class delved into their emotional state, worked to change their mental outlook and turned off the TV, I believe their physical health would improve. The atmosphere in our class would be more upbeat and optimistic. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Weigh in, let’s continue the conversation.


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Biking in December

IMG_0382Living in the Mid- Atlantic region means temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s in December. Everyone I talk to puts their bikes in the shed and looks for indoor exercise venues. My advice, don’t be so quick to table biking outdoors. There are always days when the temperature moderates and warm biking gear works well. I even found a pair of heavy weight biking pants at WalMart. Old school lined leather gloves with tapered fingers are great for changing gears and keeping hands warm. If you are prepared you can still bike until Christmas.

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