28 Day Raw Food Cleanse, Health and Wellness, Mental Strength, Weight-loss Record

Wrap up! 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse


I wanted to take a minute to recap how my 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse went (thanks for the reminder, Susan!).

Weight Loss

I felt it was a success, as I lost almost 15 pounds….BUT, I got sick at the tail end of it, so that last five pounds was not really related to the cleanse, I don’t think.

I am now up a few more pounds, but since the cleanse started on Jan. 1, I am still down about 8 pounds.

So, is it a good way to kick start your weight loss? Absolutely!

I think that a 2 or 3 week cleanse would do the same thing, however. It really just gives you a boost.

If I were to modify the 28 day cleanse, I might do something like this:

Week 1: Eliminate all animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and processed food

Week 2: Continue with above, and also eliminate all added oils and sugar

Week 3: Keep going with above, and eat only raw fruits and vegetables

Week 4: Continue with above and eat only smoothies for the first 4-5 days, followed by fresh pressed juice for 2-3 days

Health and How I Felt on the Cleanse

Here is how my Year-long Goals Sheet looked at the end of January.

SONY DSC

How did I do?

My top row, exercise/move everyday, was on track until I became sick.

My green row, the plant-based goal was solid, for every day of my cleanse!!

My cleanse goal, the third and yellow row, of eating only raw fruits and vegetables was awesome too. Four days I drank a homemade broth, when I was my sickest, and on the last day, I had chickpeas in my salad. Still…pretty good!

The last row is related to my mental health, which is to work on my blog. Now, I don’t expect to see that filled in every day, but I want to see some effort there. I can proudly say, that yes, I put forth an effort to either do research on blogging or health or to actually write a blog post.

I really felt terrific during my cleanse! In fact, as soon as I started to eat cooked food, and to eat some dairy, my mood altered…it dipped. I did not feel as good. Did that stop me from eating more unhealthy food? No.

It is amazing how easily I left the raw food that made me feel great, to eating food that I categorize as unhealthy (pizza, cheese etc.) What is up with that??

I think that as long as we eat unhealthy food, we just want more. It may be a cold turkey thing. Eat none of the crap, and you won’t crave it. I just haven’t been able to pull off the cold turkey thing yet!

cold-turkey-21

Thanks to FoodCourtComics.com, for this great picture!

I continue to struggle to eat the way my mind and heart wants me to. I will not give up.

Wishing you, and me, a healthy journey!

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Eating for Health, Mental Strength

How to Beat Cravings in 5 Easy Steps


I’ve been in a slump for the past couple of days, eating off track and not feeling great, mentally or physically.

Today, I typed in “struggling with eating healthy” on Google and found a nifty trick to help those of us who get cravings for the not-so-healthy stuff.

Psychologist, Katie Rickel, has a short video about the 5 Steps to help us deal with cravings. Check them out below if you prefer to see them in print, at a glance. Click here, if you prefer to go straight to her video. She calls them “The 5 D’s”.

5 Steps to Manage Cravings

1. DISTRACT: find something to distract you from the craving. Read, call a friend, do a crossword puzzle, clean up the house, tidy a drawer or your work area, or get online for some inspiration.

2. DELAY: Promise yourself you won’t give in to that craving for at least ten minutes (or pick a different amount of time). This gives you a chance for the craving to subside. If you give in after the delay, so be it, but at least you gave it a real shot! This step may work for you another time.

3. DISTANCE: Get away from wherever you are that is causing the craving. Go for a walk, go outside, go for a drive…just get away from the source of the craving.

4. DETERMINE: Take a second to think about why you are having that craving. What are you really seeking? Is it food you really need? Maybe you’re thirsty. Perhaps you are having an emotion-anger, sadness, loneliness, etc.-something that is telling you that comfort food will solve your problem.

5. DECIDE: Make a decision about whether you are willing to accept the consequences of eating that food-feeling guilty, feeling sick, delaying health or weight loss etc. Then decide. You are giving in, or you’re not. Don’t spend an hour debating it. Either give in, or get out!

These 5 steps sound interesting. I will give that a try next time. Good luck with your cravings…and beating them!

Wishing you a healthy joruney.

Eating for Health, Mental Strength

Ammunition for the Food Battle


How can food have such a hold on us, even when we feel determined to achieve our goals?

There are so many times when I feel terrific and don’t plan to eat any unhealthy food. Then suddenly…WHAM!

pizza

Image from Cliparts.co

I’m down for the count. I’ve lost the food battle, again!

We might not be able to win every battle, but is there a way to prepare for these struggles with food? It helps if you know what you are up against. Then we might have a fighting chance.

Food is Comfort So much of the unhealthy food out there gives us comfort: pizza, chicken wings, potato with butter and sour cream, creamy pastas, popcorn with butter. It makes us feel good!

How to Fight Back? Ask yourself: do you want to rely on food to make you happy? Or, are there other things in life to focus on that give you joy (hobby you love, spending time with friends/family, pursuing goals and dreams)?

Food is Celebration All cultures seem to have food as a focal point of celebrations. Whether it’s cake at a birthday party, a buffet dinner at a wedding or drinks and dinner out to celebrate a promotion, we eat when we celebrate.

How to Fight Back? This one is tricky. I say enjoy the food at celebrations and try to focus on eating healthy at home. Indulge when you are celebrating, but remember to indulge with limits. You don’t have to have three cupcakes…have one.

cupcake13

Image from Clipartlord.com

Food is Addictive Many of the foods we grew up with, and find tasty, are the ones that have addictive qualities. Processed foods that include high levels of fat, salt and/or sugar are some of the culprits we find hard to put down, or that we crave. Foods like potato chips, salted nuts, cookies etc. Even foods like cheese and meat have addictive qualities.

How to Fight Back? if you give up a certain food, you may be able to beat your addiction to that food. If you binge on cookies, maybe cookies should be off limits, period…no weaning off period. Of course, this is easier said than done. But, it is possible.

Food is Social Even when we feel determined to eat well, and have had success for a period of time, it’s difficult to eat healthy foods when we’re in a social situation where everyone else is eating chicken wings and pizza.

How to Fight Back? Eat a healthy portion of food BEFORE you head out to your event. You may not totally stick to the healthy approach, but at least you will have less room in your stomach for the bad stuff. If you are caught off guard and cannot plan, then have a healthy salad first, and then indulge.

Food is Everywhere Even aside from social settings, food that we know is not nutritionally abundant is all around us: grocery stores, advertisements on television or radio or in magazines, recipe postings on social media, billboards as we’re driving, restaurant signs etc. It’s difficult to turn away from all that!

How to Fight Back? Try to look at all the images and words around you as annoying advertisements. Healthy food doesn’t need big billboards. An apple is healthy: you know it, and I know it. Try to look at all the other stuff as an annoying advertisement, calling desperately for you to eat it. It’s desperate because it has little to offer that is good.

Restaurant Outings Even if we eat well at home, it can be very tempting to eat the less healthy choices when we dine out. It is possible, but it means examining the menu and asking your waiter for dishes with substitutions or asking for special requests. Sometimes we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. Sometimes, we just aren’t sure how to get a healthy meal at a restaurant without ordering a boring salad with no dressing.

How to Fight Back? Look at a menu and see if you can come up with something that will be tasty, but also healthy. You can ask for a pasta in tomato sauce (most restaurants can cover that one), or you can have a salad with dressing on the side. Enjoy the dressing, but in small amounts.You control how much you consume. If you enjoy potato or rice, try to get that with some vegetables. Instead of focusing on your food for your entertainment, focus on the company.

Food as a Treat When we’ve eaten well for a period of time we deem successful (a morning, day, a week, a month) we feel proud of our efforts and reward ourselves with food. We justify eating unhealthy food when we feel we deserve it as a treat or reward.Unfortunately, this can put us right back where were started and keep us on the diet cycle.

How to Fight Back? Choose something other than food as your reward, such as time to yourself to read, get a manicure or have a nice hot bath. Maybe a walk in the park can be a reward or a new piece of clothing.

Need more ammunition?

Educate youself about food. Learn what companies do to make it addictive. Find out more about what’s in your food and about different ways of eating.

Connect with others who also battle with food. Support each other. Learn from one another. You can connect with people you know as well as online, with people you don’t yet know.

Ultimately, we can’t let food win.Stay on guard and keep fighting!

Wishing you a healthy journey.

Mental Strength

Healthy New Me!


As I usually do after the holidays, I regroup and attempt to eat well and exercise. Gosh, sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Many of us recommit to health as a New Year’s resolution.

This year, I turn 50! At the half century mark, it’s time to take my health seriously. We always hear that it’s in our 40’s and 50’s that our health starts to decline, leading to chronic illnesses and other diseases in our 60’s and 70’s.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be vibrant and energetic, even when I am 80 years old!

We don’t have many role models to turn to for guidance at being healthy in old age, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Although rare, there ARE people in their 70’s and beyond who are active and healthy, and don’t require meds or walkers to live on a daily basis. So, if they can do it, why can’t I?

I want this year to be THE YEAR that I stick to the one commitment that counts the most.

I commit to My Health  But, how?

Step 1: Make the commitment. Ok, I’ve got that part covered.

Step 2: Decide what actions I will take to make the commitment happen.

Hmm…step 2. There are a lot of different ways I could approach this, but since it is a brand new year, I will start with my Year-Long Goals Sheet. I have a lot to say about this valuable tool, so I’m going to put it in a separate post. Right away!

Book and Video Reviews, Mental Strength

Time to Renew


I haven’t posted since the middle of July. I was married in early July, and then went on my honeymoon in August.

Right after that, my sister and I hopped on a plane to visit our dying father. We were able to say our goodbyes, which was good, because he passed away three weeks later.

What has happened since then has surprised me. I have been way off track in terms of my health. Usually, when this happens, I am able to kickstart myself into getting back on track.

Not this time.

All of September and October were just low months for me. I would decide to eat well, and then the same day, I would give up. This past week, the first week in November, has been much better.

One of the things that has helped me is the book, The Monk who Sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma. I found it on the bookstore shelves in the summer, when I was looking for an inspirational read. I was only able to get to it a few weeks ago.

monk cover

Why is this book so great? I canno speak for others, but for me, it redirected my thoughts to the fact that I am in charge of my mind, and therefore; I am in charge of my life.

Here are just a few quotes that have stood out for me, just in one particular chapter (chapter 7).

  • Worry drains the mind of much of its power, and sooner or later, it injures the soul.
  • The average person has 60 000 thoughts per day, and 95% of them are the same thoughts from the day before.
  • Dare to dust off your dreams.
  • The boundaries of your life are merely creations of the self.

These words, and many other ideas from the book have reminded me that I am creating my own life. I don’t want to find myself 20 years from now, having the same thoughts every day about losing weight and getting healthy. I would like to reach my goals well before then.

If you need a recharge, try this book. It reveals many techniques, ideas and new habits that may give you the same boost I needed.

I feel a greater sense of calm in my thinking and in my life, since reading the book. Now, I need to take some of the specific techniques and give them a try.

Hoping your journey is healthy.

Eating for Health, Mental Strength

Break the Food Addiction


I feel great!

Starting at the beginning of this month, I decided to refocus my efforts toward eating the way I really want to eat: whole foods that are plant-based that are also raw and low in fat.

I was very successful to start, and then enjoyed a weekend away and indulged. But here is the thing. I was super irritable for the 2-3 days that followed. I was low in energy and honestly, almost felt a bit depressed.

I am a big fan of The Biggest Loser and watched a recent episode. It gave me the kickstart to get out of that funk. The next day, I got back on track.

For the last seven days, I have stuck to my commitment 100%. For the last seven days, I have used my treadmill once or twice in a day.

How I feel:

Wow! Energized. Pumped to run on the treadmill as soon as I get home-I even look forward to it. My whole body feels lighter and I feel happier.

Why the success? Here is my theory.

With all the junk in food (mainly fat, sugar and salt), we truly get addicted to the food consumed in everyday society. We crave it. No wonder it is so difficult to stop eating it.

So, I realize that when I go on a food “bender”, I still want that food when I’m done, when I decide it’s time to get back on track! But I can’t do it because it is very difficult. I want more chips and more cheese! I don’t want to eat it, so I struggle mentally and feel stressed out!

Not worth it!

Even though I feel great, and at day seven of continuously eating beautiful plants that are raw…at some point soon, I’ll be faced with a food I have loved always: chips…or…cheese.

 chips              cheese2

What will I do? The saying, “A moment on the lips…a liftime on the hips.” is starting to sink in.

If I eat those things, I’ll have seconds or minutes of pleasure through my taste buds, but then, what will follow is not appealing at all! Sluggish feeling, being irritable etc. I will feel like crap.

Although there are people out there who eat the way I am eating, and have done so for years, it is difficult for me, at this early stage, to see me eating this way for years and years without breaking down in some social situation and eating crap.

Why is it so hard for me to picture myself eating well for many years? Because I have not been successful, long-term, EVER before!

I feel like I am beating the food addiction that has trapped so many of us in a terrible diet cycle. My commitment feels more solid now, since I understand that I can’t look at weekends as “cheese time” if I want to adopt a healthy lifestyle, long term.

I think I’m getting closer to the true me that I want to be. Yippee!

yippee2

Cartoon design by Ché from indieberries.com

Mental Strength

Holiday Hangover


I don’t mean from alcohol.

It’s that time of year when I have enjoyed myself by eating food I normally would avoid. For some reason, it seems like no big deal.

Just a few days, right, and then back to normal?

Unfortunately, that’s not the reality when I have left-over food in my house. Cheese. Wine. Chocolate.

winechocolate                       cheese

So, the question is. Am I strong enough to just dump the leftovers in the garbage? My spouse probably won’t want to “waste” it.

Whether it is in the garbage or in our bellies, the result is the same. It’s gone. But the food in our bellies lingers on with an extra belt hole being created for extra belly room.

Alas, I continue to work at not being too hard on myself, so… I’ll give in to the holiday feeling of relaxing and enjoying myself…until I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to reality.

When that magical time of motivation hits me, I’ll probably pull out all the stops (books, recipes, recommitment) and jump into 2014 with a vengeance to lose weight…once again.