Days 20 to 25 - A Blur of Days
I have no idea where these last days went! We should have installed a revolving door on our garage, instead of the new knob I'll tell you about later. My mom was in the hospital for a total of 3.5 days during which time we tried our best to bring healthy meals and fresh fruit smoothies with greens mixed in. Whole food is so important for optimal health and a speedy recovery.
I took a picture of the staples in my mom's knee but I'm pretty sure you don't want to see it! Once a patient with a knee replacement is discharged the real work begins. There are meals to be delivered, exercises to be done, appointments to get to, cleaning, well you get the idea. Even though our house has been a busy place with all the normal household stuff, full time work, kids in school and activities, visits and meals to mom; we have managed to stick with the cleanse and even squeeze in two hours of skiing on the weekend. I must confess that we both "cheated" and had some coffee this week but we have maintained everything else.
One thing I've learned about myself through doing these cleanses is I'm an all or nothing sort of person. By this I mean, it's way easier for me to say I'm not eating sugar than it is for me to cut down and just eat half a brownie. You'd think this would be something I'd know about myself before turning 30 but I didn't know it until taking on the challenge of my first cleanse.
As the last 3 days of this 28 day cleanse are here I'm already thinking about all the things I will maintain and things I will splurge on. I am pretty sure I will continue to eliminate wheat, or at least drastically reduce it. I am also going continue with my reduced coffee consumption and switch to black coffee from the cream I usually take with mine. I am not going to buy processed snacks and "treats" for the kids anymore. We will make our own snacks or do without. I'll share more plans later
Yesterday I started on my Quick Books challenge! You know, it is just so much easier to ask for or accept help when you need it than to muddle through things on your own. A friend was reading this blog and she offered to help get me started with my books. Several years ago I would have declined the offer and just plugged away on my own but this time I couldn't email her back fast enough! There was an ice storm the morning of our first meeting but there was no way I was going to postpone this agony any longer, that's what snow tires, 4 wheel drive and driving 20 mph are for! I learned a few things from my friend so I'll be inputting information over the next couple a days until our next appointment where I'll learn my next step. Baby steps.
So back to the door knob. For 10 years we've had this doorknob that sticks, it's no trouble for us but the kids can't open it. Every time we use that entrance the girls have to wait for us which means there is a cluster of us going in the door at the same time. Dennis switched it out of the lever type! (My brilliant idea, his implementation) Dennis has totally gained energy and motivation from this cleanse. Sometimes it can take 10 years for you to realize that something isn't working quite right and then make the effort to make the necessary changes. If you've been thinking about changing your lifestyle and want to find you way to optimal health maybe now is the time to take those baby steps?
Days 18 and 19 - A bit of Chaos
My mom had her knee replacement surgery today, it's amazing that this is even possible. So with the surgery, kids to lessons and school, work, home and life on the cleanse we are managing quite well. If it was the beginning of the cleanse I think I'd be more stressed but I'm not. I'm not even planning the food that well but we have managed to stay a day ahead so that we're ready.
I have missed a few meals these last couple of days but I didn't experience any of the typical hypoglycaemic issues. No headache, no fatigue, no irritability, sure I was hungry but I managed just fine. When sugar is removed from your diet your body is more able to keep your blood sugar at a constant level. (I think I've said this before)
Have I learned Quick Books yet? NO! But I did clean out another kitchen drawer. :-)
You might notice there is an Epi Pen in the before picture. Meredith was born very sensitive/allergic to milk. She had eczema, rashes and one severe reaction where her breathing was laboured so we've carrying around the pen for 3 years now. I decided to forego the traditional medical route for allergies and intolerances and instead discovered BIE. This is how I got started down the path of Holistic Nutrition and BIE Practitioner. Meredith has had four BIE sessions for dairy and can now eat dairy with out a reaction.
I am really enjoying your comments so keep them coming. Let me know what you'd like to see more or less of and I will try to accommodate your requests.
Day 17 - How is Dennis Doing?
People often ask me, "how is Dennis doing on the cleanse?", well he's doing great. It took me about six months to convince Dennis, and myself, to do our first cleanse and we're both happy we took the plunge.
For Dennis the Candida is expressed as weight gain, eczema and a puffy face. When Dennis gains weight it goes on his belly and he notices his hockey pants get tighter then he gets a rash on that belly of his after he pays hockey! I'm happy to report that the hockey pants fit nicely again. As a direct result of the cleanse Dennis' skin has cleared up and his face looks so much slimmer and younger. He also notices more energy and the afternoon slump has disappeared.
One of the difficult things for Dennis is packing a cleanse worthy lunch, so we usually make extra for dinner then he has his lunch packed the night before.
Our girls have been eating almost the same food as us but with extras thrown in. I think Dennis is missing all the snack food and junk food because he keeps bringing stuff home for the girls. I'm working on that, because if we wouldn't eat it why would we let our kids eat it? Also, feeding kids junk food is associated with a list of health issues from the obvious, obesity, to the not so obvious, mood and behaviour. Baby steps for all of us.
Dennis is also getting quite involved in the whole Life Cleanse. He has been working right along with me to cleanse the basement and garage. Next he needs to clean up the tool area as I'm not going near that spot!
I cleaned and organized our hall closest today. Anything to avoid learning Quick Books!
Day 16 - Dinner Party
Tonight was my Aunt's 70th Birthday dinner party, it's always fun to see family in a party atmosphere. We were served Greek food including lots of yummy dips and the yummy toasted pita. I was being tortured! Dennis and I lived near the Danforth in Toronto for 15 years where we enjoyed Greek cuisine regularly. We managed to resist the dips but enjoyed lots of the delicious chicken and salad while watching our girls enjoy the other food. When you're past day 10 of this cleanse and eat a small amount of food that likely isn't cleanse worthy then you take an extra digestive enzyme and make sure you get right back on the cleanse for the next meal.
For my life cleanse, and to avoid Quick Books, I finished organizing the other half of our basement. This is the half were the flood occurred so we gutted and rebuilt. For such a small space this room does so much. It contains a Murphy Bed (wall bed) for guests, our home gym and even a space for friend clients before we moved to our new office in Uptown Waterloo.
Tomorrow I'll update you on how Dennis is coping with the cleanse.
Day 15 - No coffee
It's amazing, I just realized that I haven't talked about missing sugar the way I talk about coffee. I must confess I am a recovering sugar addict, I love all things sweet but sugar doesn't love me. If I eat something sweet close to bedtime I will wake up with a crazy headache. The funny thing is, it took me years to figure out this connection. I think I was in denial, how could sugar give me a headache? It just can't be true, can it? Well it does and it does a lot of other nasty things to our bodies but I'm not going to lecture :-) In addition to the sweet taste, sugar give you a high followed by a low, which leaves you wanting more and more.
Most people have Candida in their body. The Candida needs sugar to live so when you have Candida you'll crave sugar even more! Some people say, "oh I don't crave sugar, but I love bread", well that's a sugar craving.
Today was crazy, kids to friends', home again, sleepover, clients, cook and I even had a nap! I NEEDED that nap, I'm too old to sleep on the floor.
My life cleanse was to say "yes" and go with the flow today. Another big step for me today was I opened Quick Books and looked at it for a bit. I haven't actually done anything but once again it's baby steps for me. I'd rather clean out the garage than learn this program!
I posted Newfoundland for today's picture because I love the colours, the promise of summer and the free spirit of the girls. Put this province on your list, you won't be disappointed.
When I was growing up no ski day was complete without cheese and crackers for lunch and then a homemade pizza for dinner. Those were the days of T-bars and rope-tows, now we have magic carpets, chairs for 6 and soup with hummus and Mary's crackers for lunch. Eating dinner out today was almost as difficult as skiing in near whiteout conditions but we all had a great time. It's all about the company and not the mega chocolate dessert with 4 spoons, one of which was not used :-(
It was a fairly cold day with lots of real and man-made snow coming down all day. Part way through the day I made an interesting observation, my nose was not running nearly as much as it usually does when I'm out in the cold. I attribute this to the cleanse. The food eaten on this cleanse is non-mucus forming and as a result my body was better able to handle the cold that day.
During the first 10 days of this 28 cleanse if your slip up you have to start all over again so it's best to eat all your meals at home. From days 11-28 it's still better to eat at home but if you have to eat out you just make wise choices and take an extra digestive enzyme with your meal.
My life cleanse today was to actually make the effort to spend time with friends. It is so easy for me to say I'm too busy to carve out the time for friends and tell myself I'll do it later, but time with friends doing something you love is something I need to do now, not later.
I don't know why Dennis lets the girls eat this stuff! The kids love it when daddy is on Costco duty because they know there's is no way I'll buy this for them, yuck! Even if I wasn't on this cleanse I would still think poutine is the grossest food ever.
Tonight I, along with 4 other leaders, had the pleasure of sleeping in the church basement with our Sparks and Brownie Unit. Life goes on while eating clean so I packed up my snacks and my breakfast and away I went. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pass up a smore while having a "campfire"?
One of the leaders asked me how much longer I had for the cleanse and I had actually forgot what day I was on. Once the first 10 days are over then you're basically eating great food and taking supplements so it's easy, and probably better, to forget what day you're on. It is fun though watching the number of supplements left in the bottle slowly go down. So officially we are half way through the cleanse and we both feel great. We have both lost a bit of weight but the real goal here is to feel better, loose the coffee addiction and basically increase our overall health.
My life cleanse for the next two days is to get my accounting set up on Quick Books, arrggggg.
Day 11 and Day 12- Yay Salads!
Who knew you could look forward to eating salad again? I was so excited to go buy greens and make a giant, crunchy salad drizzled with olive oil and a squirt of lemon. With every meal we take supplements to kill candida and parasites, support the liver, build the good gut bacteria and keep the bowels moving.
It's important that your bowels move at least daily and not with the aid of laxatives. The toxins are meant to be moved out. Trish and I at Wildberry have had great success helping people with constipation issues, from babies to older adults. Sometimes it's as easy as recommending a good probiotic but sometimes it's more complicated and involves figuring out food sensitivities and then using BIE to help their body heal.
My mom's surgery was cancelled yesterday because there were no beds in the unit for her recovery! Seriously, don't all those sick and injured people know that I had a plan!? Such a disappointment for everyone. Anyway, surgery will be rescheduled and I'll plan for it all over again.
Since so much time was spent at the hospital I didn't have time for a big job today but for my life cleanse I found three bags of extra "stuff" so out it went, along with the stand up mirror we've been meaning to fix. Even if we did fix it we don't have anywhere to put it! Why were we holding on to it for so long?
Another piece of exciting news (for me anyway) is I'm now set up with a supplier of organic eggs from happy chickens! Thank you to my cousin Danielle.
Day 12 - More Salad and a Coffee CheatI feel great! I'm down 5 lbs, my clothes fit better and I feel alert.
I really like to eat toast in the morning but steal cut oatmeal is growing on me and I'm pretty sure I'm not going back to wheat again. Once the cleanse is over I can add a few berries to the oatmeal and I'll have a tasty breakfast. I'm also getting used to drinking hot water with lemon which is great for getting your system going in the morning.
It amazes me that my girls are eating almost the same meals that we are and they don't complain - much :-) I think we just need to start with healthy food choices when children are young and not give up. It's actually not a struggle in our house, if you're hungry you eat what's being served. However, if I make something that's way out there or if even I don't like it, I will make the kids something else but it's not going to be processed chicken fingers and fries. If you feed children real food, they will expect real food and they will learn to recognize that processed food makes them feel less than great.
So for the life cleanse I worked on this website :-) I'm going to do double duty tomorrow and find a big project to do.
Seriously, I'm so looking forward to eating a salad. On the cleanse you have to make your own salad dressing because almost all packaged has sugar or vinegar and let's face it, packaged salad dressing is nasty.
I'm feeling great, I've lost 4.5 lbs, someone said my skin looked good, I feel as though I'm thinking better, I'm not irritable (unless snoring wakes me up), I have lots of energy and I made it through the day without coffee!
As I look to the weeks ahead I'm going to be very busy once my mom is released from the hospital with her "new knee". I'm so glad the hardest part of this cleanse is over and happy to be feeling great and full of energy to get it all done.
Today I purged the house of a small bag of unused toys, it's so much easier to get rid of other people's stuff :-) Tomorrow while my mom is in surgery I'll quickly get salad stuff and then look for my next household cleanse, hmmm.....
Well it's Sunday morning and by the time 10:30 rolled around I had a slight headache, then Dennis reached down to the floor and with a big grin he pulled up a take-out coffee! We cheated and shared it.
After a leisurely morning it was back to the basement and now I'll let you take a look at the before and after. I'm kind of embarrassed about the before but it's history now, so who cares? Now when I walk into that room of the basement I feel so much better. It's so strange how cleaning up "stuff" lifts a big burden off of your shoulders and the house and your life "feels" lighter. I find that cleansing the house is a lot like a dietary cleanse, there is pain, there is addiction to overcome but the rewards are huge.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist,