We started two days later then we planned to, but it's better to set yourself up for success right from the beginning. Dennis tried to delay it for another day, citing that we could take the girls out for Dim Sum and start tomorrow, but I convinced him we just need to start! So the rules are simple yet oh so difficult in this society and culture. I'll just give you the basic rule, NO: sugar of any kind (that means fruit as well), wheat, dairy. Also no coffee, no alcohol, no raw food for 10 days, no mushrooms, no peanuts. There are a few more rules but you get the idea. The bottom line is you have to eat real food. So here we go, I hope you enjoy our journey and maybe get motivated to start your own.
Day 2 - Headache Already?!
Last night I went to a friend's house, she must have thought I was snooping in her bathroom cupboards as I went pee three times in 5 hours! One of the side effects of a good cleanse is your body eliminates the bloat, which means it all has to come out somehow. This morning I woke up with a mild headache which was expected but I was still annoyed. I hate being reminded that I'm addicted to coffee and sugar. As I ate my giant bowl of steal cut oatmeal I broke down and had half a cup of coffee. I figure candida doesn't drink coffee and my liver can handle it, but my family doesn't need a grump in the house. Also, like I said before, you have to set yourself up success. After breakfast my body continued with a big cleanse (okay, I'll say it, a big bowel movement). One day of eating clean and I'm 1.6 lbs lighter. I know it is all water weight, but this is good because that water was causing the bloat in my belly. Along with our dietary cleanse, one of my goals is to cleanse my life along with my body.
Today we set out to once more park both cars in the garage. We have only had the mess in the garage since the flood in the basement forced the stuff from there to be moved to the garage four months ago. Four months is way too long to let a pile build and it's such a slippery slope if you have hoarding tendancies like I do!
Two hours, a few garbage bags, return a desk, put stuff away and done.
Room for two
Day 3 - Better
This morning I woke up with mild headache that resolved after I had half a cup of coffee. I am slowly overcoming my coffee addiction. I am down 3.5 lbs. I'm not hungry because I'm eating lots of whole foods. The early weight loss is just the excess water I was holding and the idea of this cleanse is to feel better, weight loss is secondary. One thing about a cleanse or any dietary change is you have to plan ahead. I am not the best meal planner at the best of times so planning two or three days ahead is a stretch for me. You have to plan to succeed.
Today my goals were to get back on Twitter and to Tweet, and to work on my physical injuries, accomplished! You will now see a Twitter button at the top of this page. I also went to my new RMT friend Nicola Carroll. Nicola does this very cool and interesting treatment called Matrix Repatterning. I will tell you more about it as I learn more.
Day 4 - Mild Headache
On day 4 I woke up with a mild headache so I had half a cup of coffee 30 minutes after my nasty tasting Dandelion extract. Dandelion helps to support the liver which is now working hard to filter out the candida die off and toxins. After breakfast I felt great! I'm still 3.5 lbs lighter and I don't experience hunger, cravings yes, but not hunger. After lunch of a spicy soup I was craving sugar and coffee big time so I had to brush my teeth and go out with my daughter.
On this day for my life cleanse I wanted to spend 2 hours with my daughter Meredith and not get distracted by my BlackBerry, but I didn't accomplish this. I did hang out with her but I responded to 6 messages while we were skiing! Seriously, thats just silly. I'm going to try this one again but leave the phone at home or in the car. My phone is like junk food for me, out of sight out of mind. I am happy to report that during the afternoon my coffee craving diminished and I didn't feel too tired. Today's picture is of one of our favourite snacks while on the cleanse. Its homemade guacamole and hummus with Mary's crackers. Mary's crackers are so crunchy we call them "the loud crackers" and they're the only ones I've found that are fine on this cleanse.
Meredith telling me to put my phone away!
Day 5 - Still!!
Wild salmon with lemon and dill, green beans and spinach
Well once again I woke up with a mild headache. The good news is, it wasn't that bad and it didn't last long. I think tomorrow will be the day I can make it on 1/4 cup of coffee. I miss the ritual of coffee making and the taste of drinking it but I don't miss the highs and lows of energy. I'm not saying coffee is bad, it's just not a great feeling when you "need" coffee to get through a day. Today I had a very full day of work, home and kid stuff and I did not experience that usual mid-afternoon slump and I didn't even think about coffee or sugar until I started to write about today. I was however VERY hungry at one point, but it was lunch time and I didn't feel tired or irritable, just hungry. Once you eliminate sugars from your diet, your body is able to keep your blood sugar steady, as it should be.
For my life cleanse today I tackled a small pile of paperwork, baby steps for me :-)
It's very interesting how people react when they find out you're doing a cleanse. I struggle with mentioning it to people because I don't want them to think I preaching some crazy "diet" or judging their diet, yet I want to share the knowledge and offer support and assistance if they want to try and feel better and even heal themselves. Food is medicine.
Day 6 - Almost Caffeine Free
Slow cooker beef, brown rice, green beans and spinach
Well today I felt pretty good. I seriously only had a few sips of coffee this morning and that's it. The problem with caffeine is it has been shown to spike your blood sugar which then leads to a slump which means you need another hit and so it goes, up and down.
Cooking on the cleanse is easy but boring, unless you get a Candida cook book or do lots of research on the web. We tend to eat relatively mild tasting food anyway so it's not a huge stretch to cook on the cleanse. The problem is getting creative with packed lunches, eating out and snacks.
Lunches are usually soup, hummus or leftovers. I find it's better to not eat out at all because it's very difficult to find food that suits this cleanse. We tend to do too much snacking, particularly late at night. During the cleanse we snack on nuts and seeds and usually after all that crunching and chewing I'm pretty full and the snack desire has faded.
Today I tackled a kitchen drawer, not the official "junk drawer" but one that had become the "unofficial" junk drawer. I can't believe how much stuff one little drawer can hold! It took about 30 minutes, but in the end everything found it's rightful home, baking utensils were moved and now I have an empty drawer in my kitchen!
The "Unofficial" Junk Drawer
Seriously, this all fit in there!
Done, but I need some drawer lining :-)
Day 7 - Caffeine Free :-)
Almond butter on brown rice cakes
I finally did it, a day without caffeine. I was out late last night with the kids and there was the threat of a teacher strike so I turned the alarm off and slept in. When the morning twitter feed said schools were open there was some crying and some smiling in this household, then lunches were packed and kids were signed in just in time for first nutrition break.
Breakfast or snack I always enjoy almond butter on a lightly toasted brown rice cake. Be careful because these things burn if you turn your back for a second.
Since I had extra time today I decided to make homemade Flaxseed wraps for lunch. I found this recipe in "Wheat Belly" by William Davis. The wraps turned out amazing and satisfying with avocado and fried onions. As my life cleanse continues I'm working on the basement room. This is a room has been an ongoing project since the other basement room flooded four months ago. Again, it's amazing how much stuff fits into one tiny space and even though I've been purging the house of "stuff" for the past year, there is still lots to go. My hoarding tendencies are not going to be easily overcome but this is the year!
Flaxseed wrap (homemade), Avocado, Fried Onion
Day 8 - The Addiction is gone!
Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a cup of coffee and "something for my left hand" right now but I don't "need" it and I don't have a headache. Yay!! However, today I had a crazy morning where I locked myself, and my new clients, out of the office! I was seriously locked out, no phone, no car keys, nothing. Well I borrowed a phone, called Dennis, my clients went home, I made a dozen calls and 40 minutes later the dentist came to work and let me in, whew! Once I was back in the office and now had 40 minutes until my next client, all I could think about was a coffee and a treat, ugh it's such a habit. I drank a bunch of chlorophyll water and kept myself busy until the client arrived, crisis averted. On this cleanse you can't eat raw vegetables for the first 10 days. The idea is to let your gut rest while the candida dies off. Who knew I'd be craving salad? After a full day, dinner and kids in bed I went back to work in the basement.
Turkey Chili on Quinoa
Day 9 - Well I thought the Addiction was gone?
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.
(I still don't know what to do with the old highchair)
Day 10 - Last Day before Salads Again :-)
Dennis cooked - quinoa, green beans, fried eggs
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.....
Day 11 - 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 Cheat
I 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. Cheers!
Day 13 - Ski Day
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 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.
Day 14 - Daddy goes to Costco
No she didn't eat it all
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 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.
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.
Behind the curtain
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!
Days 18 and 19 - A bit of Chaos
Breakfast Biscuit and Scrambled Eggs (click on image for recipe)
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.
How does it all fit?
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?
Roast beef, brown rice, fried spinach, garlic
Eggs on toast - bread recipe from Wheat Belly substituted almond milk for dairy
Seriously? 5 lbs of nutella for $40! No I didn't buy it but I couldn't resist the photo op. Hemp seeds in my other arm. (The coat is faux)
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.
The stack is finished and then
brown rice pasta, homemade sauce, hemp seeds for dinner
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.
Click on the photo to go to the collection
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.