The three of us are trying to think of a name for our little hiking group and one name made the 10 year olds laugh, Women with B. O. (Boots On). I must say it made me laugh as well. After trying about a dozen pairs, I'm happy to report that I have finally decided on my boots, I think!
It's scary to think that I will be living in these boots for 8 days while hiking 75 km with 35-40lbs on my back. Suddenly I can feel every little touch of a boot on my foot or ankle, suddenly I am terrified to buy boots! All the sales people are about 20 and have hiked all over the World. I find myself feeling old and inadequate. I told one 20-something sales guy that deciding on my hiking boots has been more difficult than choosing my mate, he looked at me like I was mental, and maybe I am? One guy rolled his eyes and actually yawned when I told him what I was doing so I found myself telling him that I cycled The Camino de Santiago last summer. I felt like I had to prove that I was worthy of buying his hiking boots, what am I, 17?! Today I drove an hour each way so I could try on more boots, just so I could be sure I love mine but I still haven't committed enough to wear them outside. I will wear them in the house and to work for three more days and then I will make a decision... maybe.
The Final Days!
I couldn't decide If I wanted to do a 28 day or a 30 day cleanse, so I did a modified 30 day cleanse, classic indecisiveness! The evening of the 28th day I went to a gathering with friends, okay I'll admit that I'm a Scrapbooker, and the snacks were yummy. I brought an extra digestive enzyme and indulged in some fresh fruit salsa and chips but managed to pass on dessert. The really hard part for me was avoiding the candies, I love candy but it doesn't love me. Would I wake up with a headache if I indulged? I really didn't want to find out and I think I'm finished with late night candy. After you finish a cleanse like this you really need a plan for how you'll finish and how you'll incorporate what you've learned about yourself and what foods work for you. I am planning to follow The Wheat Belly next but Dennis was just so happy to be finishing that he made plans for a sushi feast.
Now, I have learned that a sushi feast following a cleanse is NOT a good idea. I already knew that I should slowly introduce more food but I wanted to go along with Dennis and I wanted sushi. I was fine that night but the next morning I had a troubled tummy, cramps, bloating and a general unwell feeling but by the afternoon I was fine. I'm still working on the small projects around the house as 30 days wasn't nearly enough time to get my act together, baby steps :-).
We finally went to the stone place and picked out a top for a beautiful cabinet we had made several months ago. I wanted to find an environmentally friendly solution, Dennis wanted rock, so that's my excuse for why it took me so long to make this final decision! For the kitchen we will look for a different option.
I'm still working away at my accounting but I now have the help of my friend Sylvia Cook, yippee! Check out her services at Making Sense.
My next step is to write this cleanse as a proper blog, so please look for it and join. Once I finish publishing all the old posts then I will get to work on The Wheat Belly Blog. Thanks for following, to be continued, because our health is worth it.
Wild West Countdown - 89 days
I've decided to hike The West Coast Trail this summer! I have two friends who have always wanted to hike this trail so the three of us are diving in. One friend has lots of experience, one has minimal experience and I'm right in the middle. So here we go again, another adventure, another epic that starts with baby steps.
I figure the best place to start planning a hike is with your feet. The last time I went officially hiking you just wore wool socks or whatever socks you had around, did you know they make socks just for hiking? So here you see a picture of my new $23 dollar hiking socks, seriously?!
Now to get in hiking shape. I have already done my dietary cleanse so I'm feeling pretty good on that front, but now I need more muscle. I exercise regularly but since the hike is a big challenge I decided I need to shake up my routine. The idea came to me while talking to my plumber (who's awesome BTW), I need to try P90X! I have 90 days before the hike so it's a perfect fit.
Days 26 to 28 - Arthritis?
Wild salmon with garlic, kale, brown rice, carott
I regret not taking a picture of the knuckle on the baby finger of my right hand. When I started the cleanse the knuckle was red, swollen and very tender to move and touch. I think part of me didn't want to talk about my finger on Day 1 in case the problem didn't improve, I should have known better! My finger is 90% better. The redness is gone, it doesn't hurt to move it and it is tender only when I press hard directly on the knuckle. I'm confident that if I continue to eliminate refined sugar and flour, the finger will be perfect within a month. So many people don't need to suffer with inflammation and pain, food is the answer.
Green salad, brown rice pasta with garlic shrimp
We haven't been eating fancy or complicated dinners on this cleanse but if you're more adventurous and have time then I would reccomend the Candida Albicans Yeast-Free Cookbook by Pat Connolly. I have this book and use it for inspiration. Many people delay a cleanse like this because they are worried about the cooking and finding tasty recipes, well I say dive in and figure it out as you go along, today is the perfect day to start feeling better.
Over the last few days, as the cleanse is coming to an end, I have felt a sense of urgency to complete nagging projects. First, I finally organized and filed a big stack of papers that I have been avoiding for about six months, okay more like 18 months. Next I wanted to work on my office. My Wildberry partner Trish and I work opposite days in the office so even though we are business partners we never see each other. We both really wanted to get some paintings up on the office walls so we finally forced the issue and squeezed 30 min into our busy schedules and now we have two lovely paintings for clients to enjoy. These paintings are both by a friend's friend Laura Higgins. When I look at these paintings I think of "Wild" for the one on the left and "berry" for the right. I have owned and stored these paintings for 10 years and now they finally have the perfect home.
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.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist,