Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cleanse day 15: The 'good' and 'bad' of eatting out during a cleanse

I stink, I have been really bad about posting on my cleanse and for that I apologize.  A couple of days ago I sprained my wrist, it’s fine now but made it too difficult to type.  In addition to the wrist, I must admit that I haven’t had much to say about the cleanse.  In general , week two of the cleanse went well (with the exception of eating a little too much protein the first night and feeling sick).  With that being said here is something I noticed during the week that others might be able to relate to or learn from.

I was talking with my boyfriend, who is being a good supportive boyfriend and doing the cleanse with me, and saying how week two didn’t seem so bad to me and that I sort of felt like I was eating normal (and during a cleanse I felt like I should feel like I’m eating abnormal for some weird reason).  His reaction to this comment was funny (at least for me), “are you kidding me! There are so many foods I’m craving or haven’t been able to eat!”.   At that time I thought to myself, well maybe I just normally eat similar to this, but I was quickly brought back to reality and proved wrong later that night when I was out to eat for a girlfriends birthday.  My moment of clarity first arrived when the basket of bread was brought to the table. It smelled amazing! I wanted to eat it so bad, but in hindsight was glad that I couldn’t eat it or I would have over indulged.  The second moment can when looking at the menu.  I came across 2 items I could eat without modification and several more if I changed the side/asked for no cheese.   Then while eating and everyone had a glass of wine or a drink, I was the odd ball out. Later, everyone shared a dessert …. Everyone but sad me.  I kept looking longingly at the warm chocolate waffle and ice cream.

Again in hindsight I’m glad I couldn’t eat most of these things because it prevented me from over indulging and feeling stuffed, eating things I know I shouldn’t, and racking up a higher bill. I will admit while it was painful to watch everyone slowly pick away at their oh so yummy looking dessert it was really nice when the bill came and mine was half of anyone else’s.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cleanse Day 9: the difficulty of business lunchs during a cleanse

Today was the first day I have eaten out at a restaurant since beginning the cleanse.  It was a business lunch with a pre-set menu where I could choose one of four items.  This proved to be somewhat difficult since I wasn’t able to ask for something on the side and forced me to change what I would normally order. Typically I would have ordered the Greek Salad, but because I can’t have cheese this week I had to order chicken and rice instead. Normally, a meal comprised of just protein and rice is not ideal (where are the vegetables or fruit?) so I decided to just eat the meat and then ate some carrot sticks when I got home to round out the meal.

What I ate today…
Breakfast – apple and peanut butter
Snack – Greensfirst shake
Lunch – Grilled chicken with carrot sticks
Dinner –  Sautéed Kale, mushroom and asparagus risotto, and grilled shrimp. I cooked the Kale in a skillet with some olive oil, mushrooms, diced garlic and leeks. It was my first attempt at coking kale and it turned out great!

Cleanse Day 8: the return of meat to my diet

Today I was able to eat meat again… YEY! I’m not that big of a meat-eater, but there’s something about being told you can’t eat a certain food that makes you suddenly crave it. It’s not until I do a cleanse and can’t eat meat for a week that I realize how hard it is to get enough protein in my diet without it, which then makes me realize that I’m probably not getting enough protein on a regular basis since I don’t eat that much meat.  While it was hard, this time I was able to find a lot of alternative forms of protein that I can add into my normal diet to ensure I get enough protein.

What non-meat foods do you eat to get protein?

My diet for day 8…
Breakfast – apple, walnuts and coffee
Snack – Clementine
Lunch – leftover vegetable quinoa from yesterday
Snack – Grrensfirst shake
Dinner – Chinese lettuce wraps. This is my homemade version with a great orange taste. You can tinker with the spices to get the exact flavor you want, and then the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cleanse Day 7: getting creative with other forms of protein

Today is the last day of the first week, which means I can start adding proteins and rice back into my diet tomorrow. I must admit that I do not miss protein that much, but I am looking forward to having a larger pool of recipes to pull from.  During this week I have had to modify a lot of my previous recipes to fit the cleanse mold, and am excited to get back to an almost normal diet. Sadly chocolate will not be included until the last week… boo

Breakfast – half an apple and banana with some walnuts

Snack – other half of the apple and banana

Lunch – Carrots and Humus

Snack – Greensfirst shake

Dinner – Vegetable Quinoa (Quinoa looks similar to rice or coucous but is actually closely related to the spinach family. This item is high in protein and a great addition to a normally vegetarian meal), steamed broccoli, and one of the eggplants with humus and spinach from the other night. I had some extra eggplant leftover from the other night (just sliced, not cooked) so I made one of eggplant steaks.  

Cleanse Day 5 and 6: my two biggest difficulties

Confession time, I have been really bad about eating the past two days.  I still kept to the cleanse as far as not eating certain things, but I just did a bad job of eating. The first day (Friday) I ate plenty of fruit, nuts and beans but was definitely lacking in vegetables.  Vegetables are such an important part of a diet, even though I wasn’t eating anything ‘bad’ for me I still wasn’t eating the things I needed to provide me with the nutrients I need. The second day, I ate breakfast then got busy and didn’t eat again until dinner.  While doing a cleanse I should be eating more food than normal (because of the fact that it’s mostly fruits and vegetables) and not less.  So, here is my plan of attack for next week….

1.  Look up more recipes that involve vegetables.
2.  Pre-cut a bunch of veggies (carrots and celery mostly) for easy eating access when I want a snack
3.  Make sure my snacks are vegetable related.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cleanse Day 4: First dinner at a non-cleanse doing house

Last night I had dinner at my Dad’s house. I love going over there because there is always good food that is also healthy (along with the company), but I was a little nervous for last night because my boyfriend and I are doing the cleanse but he isn’t. He asked what I could eat, and was willing to be very accommodating but I was still a little hesitant. Luckily, my dad is amazing in the kitchen and came up with a great dinner!

What I ate….

Breakfast – banana and almonds
Snack – Greensfirst shake

Lunch – Moroccan Salad (same as the other day)

Snack – rest of the homemade vegetable soup and a clementine.

Dinner – Bean Stew with spinach salad (had cranberries, walnuts, and carrots with olive oil and salad vinegar).  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cleanse Day 3: craving chocolate

I miss chocolate.   In an attempt to eat healthier, and less ice cream at night, I started keeping a chocolate bar in the refrigerator and having a small piece after dinner as a treat.  But a small piece started to become a couple of medium size pieces and has now replaced my dessert. Yes dark chocolate is a much healthier dessert than ice cream, but my hope is that after this cleanse and not eating chocolate for 21 days that the cravings will be less (cause I could sit down and eat a whole large bar). Because it may have only been 3 days, but every time I open the refrigerator door and see the chocolate bar I want to eat the whole thing!

Breakfast – apple with peanut butter

LunchHomemade soup (leftovers from the other night), but this time I added some fresh sliced avocado to it (after it was heated) which added a nice flavor and gave it a little more texture.
Snack – Greensfrist shake and later some walnuts and cranberries

Dinner – ‘Eggplant dinner’ and asparagus.
I cooked the eggplant two different ways, one with humus and spinach and the other with tomatoes. Click here for my recipes.  Note: The tomatoes-eggplant dish wasn’t as good at the other one. It was lacking something in the flavor. I tried adding olive oil/balsamic vinegar to it but it didn’t add much. Typically you would do this recipe with mozzarella cheese (which is stated in the recipe) which adds a lot of flavor, but I’m not sure what to replace the cheese with. Suggestions?

The asparagus was really easy to cook.  I just cut the ends off, put it in foil, added a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, wrapped the foil up and baked at 350° for about 15 minutes (until tender but not mushy).  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cleanse Day 2: altering plans slightly to minimize temptations

Last night I had a dream that I was eating a cupcake, but after one bite remembered I was doing a cleanse and got sad that I had to stop. I think this dream steams from the fact that while planning things to do with friends I keep forgetting (just for a second) that I’m doing a cleanse so planning a happy hour next week might not be the best idea. So, instead I changed my lunch plans to getting coffee, and going out to eat to coming to my house for dinner. This way I am able to keep the cleanse diet while still being social. Here is what I ate yesterday….

Breakfast – apple and a handful of walnuts. I also had a small cup of black coffee.  
Snack – Greensfirst shake

Lunch – My version of a Moroccan salad. A typical garden salad with beets, dried dates, butternut squash (cooked but cool), and almonds. I didn’t use a dressing because of all the other flavors in the salad.

Snack - another apple with peanut butter.
Dinner – Stir-fry. You can find my 'Quick and Easy Stir-fry' recipe here. Note: typically I use chicken sausage or leftover meat to add protein to the meal, but last night instead of meat I added a can of black beans.

Dessert/after dinner snack – clementine and a hand full of cashews.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cleanse Day 1: and so it begins

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was the first day of my cleanse. So far I haven’t had any issues other than finding myself very full after dinner at 7pm and then hungry again at around 9pm. This is probably due to the fact that I had soup for dinner but nothing wrong with a healthy snack at 9pm. Here is what I ate yesterday….

Breakfast – apple and a handful of walnuts
Snack – Greensfirst shake

Lunch – Garden salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing.  
Dinner – Homemade veggie soup. Click here for my recipe. Also ½ cup black beans (not in the soup but on the side for protein)

Dessert/after dinner snack – a handful of cashew and dried cranberries and a clementine.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Goodbye Toxins… Hello Energy

Today is the first day of my cleanse.  There are many reason’s someone might do a cleanse, but in general it helps flush out all the toxins we have accumulated over the year and helps turn over a healthier GI tract. I’ve done two cleanses before and by the end I notice I have twice the energy, I can think clearer, my skin looks AMAZING!, and I don’t crave those crummy crabs as much.  

For the next 21 days I will be chronicling my journey. I’ll be sharing what I ate that day, issues/successes, and anything else you might find interesting or helpful.  I hope with will help support those who are doing the cleanse with me, and inspire other to do a cleanse program themselves.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Too busy to eat

Do you ever have this problem… you’re at work either being productive or just doing busy work and suddenly look down at the clock and realize it’s 3pm and so far today you’ve only eaten an apple, a yogurt and a handful of nuts. Now when I tell most people my ‘problem’ they tend to laugh and say “Man I wish I had that problem! I do the opposite; I tend to eat mindlessly while I’m at my desk”. What might not seem like a problem to some is actually a big problem for me.  For those that have experienced this same thing know what I mean. What ends up happening is I either eat something fast, and usually not that healthy, or I don’t eat anything and by the time I eat dinner I’m ravenously hungry which of course results in horribly overeating followed by sitting on the couch lazily watching TV as I slip into my food coma.  

Neither of these situations are healthy, and yet I seem to be ‘forgetting’ to eat lunch more and more.  I’ve tried making my lunch the night before, carrying around healthy snacks, and leaving stuff at work to munch on when I’m hungry. Which helps but does not solve the problem. The big problem for me is that I don’t get hungry so I forget it’s lunch time. So, for those that experience this same phenomena any suggestions/advice are welcome!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sick Days

I heard on the radio yesterday that this weekend/week is the most common time of the entire year to get sick. The theory is that for the past couple of weeks we’ve all been so busy with Christmas and New Years that this is the first time we have all ‘relaxed’ and so our bodies are now ‘feeling it’.  Well I don’t know about all of you, but I found myself on the sick end of that statistic this weekend.  Nothing major, just a cold (runny nose and sneezing) but was definitely tempting to medicate myself through the symptoms.  While a lot of people might choose to take Nyquil or some other type of medication when they get sick I try to go natural, but when it’s 2am and I can’t sleep because I’m congested I start to not care about being healthy as much and just want to breath normal again (It’s times like these that make me appreciate the small things in life… like being able to just breath normal haha).  For those that also would like to attempt the more natural, home-remedy path here are some of the things I found to be really helpful.

·         Get adjusted. As a chiropractor I know how getting my neck adjusted can help with drain fluid and there are various other techniques to help drain sinuses and unclog hears.  Also, getting adjusted can help heighten your immune system to help fight off the cold quicker.

·         Increase the supplements, specifically zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D can help increase your immune system so you get better sooner.

·         Lots of hot tea. I find that the steam helps with the congestion and warmth feels good on my throat. In addition, a lot of teas have herbal properties that can help with colds (such as lemon and ginseng).

·         Replace peppermints for cough drops (peppermint is a natural cough suppressant, you can take as many as you’d like, it’s cheaper, and your breath will smell much then after a cough drop).

·         Get lots of sleep. This can be hard when you have a cold, since laying down can make it hard to breath or you keep waking up to blow your  nose, but when we sleep is the time when we’re able to heal.

What other things have you heard of that can help when you’re sick?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vacations and eating out

I was talking to someone today about how hard it can be to eat healthy when you’re on a business trip, vacation, or just going out to dinner with some of your friends. For me, the hardest part is knowing what is actually healthy and what just appears healthy. Most people look at the salad section of the menu and think “this is healthy, right?”. Wrong, well sometimes wrong. The way restaurants make some of their salads now-a-days they can have twice the number of calories and fat as an entree which is CRAZY! So, with this being said how do you eat healthy at a restaurant?

Tips one: most restaurants have their menus online. If you know where you are going to eat out you can always give the menu a quick look beforehand or look it up on your smartphone (if you’re lucky enough to have one) while you’re there.

Tip two: don’t be afraid to ask for things on the side or taken off. For instance, on a salad you could ask for the cheese on the side/taken off since typically restaurants will put a LOT of cheese on which just contributes to more trans fats. Cheese is not bad, but a lot of cheese can be. You could also ask for them to ‘go light’ on something.

Tip three: You don’t have to finish you’re food. Even if you aren’t able to take something ‘to-go’ you still don’t have to clean your plate. Many restaurants will have much larger portions of food then people typically (or at least should be) eating for dinner.

Tip four (for vacations/business trips): bring healthy snack food with you so that you don’t have to eat every meal out. For instance (depending if you’re traveling internationally) you can bring a couple of apples or oranges with you. Also trial mix, nuts, granola bars, ect all travel pretty well. If you can’t bring the food with you, consider finding a grocery store near where you’re staying and getting a couple of things there. You can even use the mini-frig in your room to keep some of your food cold. This can be a good way to eat a healthy breakfast and snacks so that you only need one or two meals out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year Resolutions

How many of you make New Year Resolutions? In the past I was notorious for making them, however, like almost everyone else they only lasted a couple of weeks before they very quickly fizzled out. I think there are two big mistakes that we make with resolutions. One, we are too generic and say things like “I will work out more” or we set goals that are too high like “I will work out 6 times a week” (when you don’t work out at all now). Two, we think of resolutions as something temporary and not a lifestyle change. Whether we realize it or not New Year resolutions are really goals we set for ourselves. With this being the case, here are some suggestions on how to make better New Year’s Resolutions.

1.       Make resolutions that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time sensitive). Then come up with specific ways/strategies you can use to achieve these resolutions.

2.       Don’t make more than 3 resolutions. If you try to do too many things you end up doing nothing.

3.       Get someone’s input. Ask them if this goal seems too easy or too hard. Also, by talking to someone else about it you are more likely to keep it up.

4.       Remember this is a marathon not a sprint, you are trying to make a healthy change to your life not a temporary change.

5.       Write down your resolution, if you write something down you are more likely to keep to it.

Despite all the previous failures with achieving my New Year’s Resolutions, I continue to make them.
Why? Not sure really, but it most likely because I am always striving to live healthier. So, this year my resolutions are:  go to the gym 4 times a week by March with at least one time involving strength training, and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night by March.

What are your resolutions?