Saturday, April 30, 2016

5 Day Real Food Detox Day 5 & Results

The last day of the 5 Day Real Food Detox and I was stuffed.  I couldn’t even finish the dinner!  I definitely felt like I was losing some weight but I never felt famished. Okay, there was one day where I was hungry but most of the time, just when I started to feel like I could stand to eat a little something, it was time for a snack or another meal. 

Truth is, I wasn’t expecting remarkable results either time.  The first time I did the detox, I lost 5.8 lbs and was shocked.  The following week, I did not eat well at all because we had company and Rob really wanted to make a dessert for us.   I regained a few of the lbs but not all of it.  Which is why I had lower expectations for the second time doing the detox. I mean, how could I expect similar results at my age? 

I love 5 lbs doing the detox this time.   If I had not regained any of the weight, I would have lost over 10.8 lbs.  Instead I lost “only” 7 lbs. 


I have some concluding thoughts about this detox, which I will explore next week when (if?) I have a little time to write things out.  I feel I’ve learned a few things about myself along the way, things that I want to embrace and make a part of my daily life.  Not overnight but gradually, over time, because I cannot deny that I enjoyed giving this detox a try and was surprised that even my husband enjoyed most of the dinners we shared. Yes I will need to tweak some of the recipes because they are too spicy for me and I am still searching for that perfect black bean burger recipe.  But don’t be too surprised if you read about my doing this detox again next later in May.  Nikki Sharp recommends doing the detox once a month and I have some thoughts about that as well.  As I said, I want to write a post.  I just don’t have sufficient time today.

Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Day Real Food Detox Day 4

As I said in my previous blog post, the 5 Day Real Food Detox is not my first time doing a detox.  The worst one I ever did was The Master Cleanse.  Knowing what I know about nutrition, even reading about it I knew it made no sense but I 1) had also read from a lot of people who swear by it, that it leaves you feeling energized and healthy and 2) I received a copy of a book for review.  The book itself was well written and organized, the author explaining the benefits of doing the cleanse. 

I didn’t finish it.  I couldn’t.  Every day you do a “flush” which forces you to stay near a bathroom.   But then I found the Master Cleanse drink didn’t stop the umm  . . . aftereffects of the flush.  The author was clear that this was not normal and I stopped the cleanse. 

Again, gotta love a detox that has you eating real food.  According to the calendar, you’re actually supposed to have the Eggs-cellent Breakfast on Day 3 but I had it on Day 4.  I love this breakfast so much I actually made it when I wasn’t doing the detox.  Don’t get me wrong, I like oatmeal for breakfast too but I’ve never thought of putting turmeric in my eggs and it made even plain egg whites taste good! 

The recipe for the black bean burgers, however, is a disaster.  The first time I made the recipe, I followed the instructions and ended up with a pile of black bean mush instead of anything remotely burger like.  Do you know what a pile of black bean mush looks like?  Suffice it to say, I was reminded of the Master Cleanse flush experience.  It may have looked bad but it tasted good.  Very good, in fact, which is why I was determined to get it right the second time.  On Facebook someone suggested mashing the beans rather than blending them so I did that.  I even added more beans to create more density in the bean mash.

On the plus side, I did have something that looked a little less disgusting.  So word of warning for those who buy the book—don’t follow the recipe as written.  If you have a recipe for black bean burgers that you like, see if you can modify it using ingredients used in other parts of the detox recipe.  If, like me, you don’t have a black bean burger recipe you can tweak, then you’ll have to try to find one online.  The next time I do the detox, I will use a different recipe altogether, with better visual results. 

Trust me, there’s a reason I never took a picture of the black bean burgers after I made them following the recipe so learn from my experience and enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

5 Day Real Food Detox Day 3

For those who have read my blog for a while and/or read my book review blog, you probably know this is not the first time I’ve done a detox.   The first time my mother went to the New Age Health Spa, we did a juice fast.  She found it impossible while I could have gone longer than the three days we signed up for. 

Later, I studied more about juice fasting and, while I enjoyed the experience, I came to understand that removing the fiber from fruits and vegetables is not as beneficial to the body as eating whole foods. Plus, some vegetables, such as tomatoes and carrots, are actually more easily digested when they have been cooked at least a little. 

This is one of the reasons I enjoyed Nikki Sharp’s 5 Day Real Food Detox.  On Day 3, I had the Detox Smoothie for the first time.  With a hint of cinnamon and a handful of almonds, it is naturally sweet.  Another glorious salad for lunch, and a “taco” bowl for dinner.  The bowl is a Portobello mushroom cap and I added some ground beef to Rob’s.  We both like the flavors.  And because neither of us like guacamole, I had a handful of nuts on the side. 

And yes, that is the most ginormous organic strawberry I have ever seen in my life.  I was almost afraid to eat it alone because I didn't know if I had enough of an appetite to finish what I started. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

5 Day Real Food Detox Day 2

Of all the meals included in The 5 Day Real Food Detox, the stuffed bell peppers are not my favorite.  But that isn’t why I didn’t finish last night’s dinner.  I was too stuffed!  I just couldn’t eat another bite.  I didn’t immediately put the food away.  I thought this momentary fullness might subside but it didn’t so I packed up the leftovers and will eat them later this week.

That is not the most surprising thing for me about this detox, however.  The thing that amazed me most is that after the first time I did this, I finished and the next morning I made myself a cup of coffee but didn’t finish it.  I love my morning cup of coffee!  I realized a long time ago that it isn’t so much the coffee so much as the ritual of it, the slowing down to drink it.  But I have never found anything as gratifying as that first cup of coffee.  Still, for some reason, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about my morning cup after the detox.  Now that I’m doing it a second time, I realize that I like the hot cup of water with turmeric and cayenne and lemon that Nikki Sharp recommends.  She also recommends adding a dash of apple cider vinegar; from past experience, I find this too harsh for my throat so I leave it out.  To be honest, I also reduce the cayenne pepper to just a dash. 

I think after this round of the detox, I will continue drinking the lemon water with turmeric and a dash of cayenne. I may even start making it with my ginger tea instead of just plain water.  And I may still end up making myself a cup of coffee afterwards. I just don’t know that it will be the first thing I reach for each and every day any longer.

Wow!  Who’d a thunk it?

I don’t care how healthy I strive to be, however.  I will never give up my pizza!  EVER!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Day Real Food Detox Day 1

The first time I did the 5 Day Real Food Detox, I quickly learned that the author really likes cayenne pepper. I am not a fan of spicy foods and some of the recipes were a bit hard for me to enjoy because of this.  Which is why I am trying to find a balance in how much cayenne I add to everything while still keeping close to the recipes.

For instance, in the morning, instead of my cup of coffee, I am having the hot drink she recommends which includes ¼ teaspoon cayenne.  The first time I drank it I knew I could not and would not be able to do that again.  Now I just add a dash of cayenne and am content.  There are other tweaks to the recipes I’ve had to make.  Like adding a bit of water to the Superfood Salad Dressing, otherwise the end result is too thick.  Needless to say, I ignore her tip to go ahead and add more cayenne to anything.  LOL!
Rob is joining me for the dinners but since he doesn’t want to go vegetarian, I add animal protein to his meals.  For instance, last night’s stir-fry for me had a bit of tofu in it and for him chicken.  It worked. We both ate well. 

But boy oh boy, was I hungry!  I didn’t feel so ravenous the first time I did this detox.  I guess yesterday was just going to be one of those Famished Days and no matter what my menu was for the day, I was going to want more food.  That’s what makes revisiting an experience interesting.  It’s easy to compare one experience with another with an eye to finding what’s better or worse.  Instead of setting myself up for unhappiness, I’m exploring how each experience is different.  So yesterday I was very hungry and today . . . well, I woke up hungry.  I’m hoping that this will subside before long.

I’m also able to see how well I’m doing with 21 DayFix.  After all, I first used the program around this time last year.  So what, if any, difference do I see?  Well, for one thing back then I was using 3 lb weights, sometimes skipping reps, etc.  Now I’m using 5 and 7.5 lb weights.  Yes, I still follow along with Kat most of the time but I surprise myself sometimes by not needing to drop to my knees quite as often.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how very sore I am.  Ow!  I hurt from head to toe!  It’s not so bad that I can’t walk or go up and down a flight of stairs.  It’s just sore enough to know that I pushed myself and that the exercise is working. 


I am on Day 2 of using my Mira Wellness and Activity Bracelet.  In case you’re wondering, the one I’m using is from Omron, a company that makes very good pedometers, heart rate monitors, etc.  Thus far, I’m on the fence about it. I’m assuming some of my reticence is rooted in the newness of the technology.  If I don’t immediately see or feel a need for it, is that because I’m not accustomed to having it or something else?  After all, 20 years ago I was pretty sure I didn’t need a cell phone and look at me now! 

We’ll see.  I figure if I am going to fall in love with it, a week or so should suffice.  So tell me, do you use a fitness tracker?  If so, what about using a fitness tracker that you feel is most helpful in your wellness journey?  If not, what would you want/need from a fitness tracker to make it essential? 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Roller Coaster Quarter

A couple of weeks ago, I did the 5 Day Real Food Detox and I started yet another round of 21 Day Fix. I didn’t blog about either one because I have sort of fallen out of the habit of blogging.  Add to that the fact that we lost internet for at least one day and I had a new phone which meant adding apps and such . . . well, a couple of weeks ago things were a bit chaotic.

But a good chaotic because I also signed up for an online course.  In a few months I’m hoping to be a fully certified Nutrition Coach.  What with Rob’s diabetes and all, I know a lot about nutrition already.  Add to that the fact that both my husband and I love to cook and it just makes sense.

So far, 2016 has been a bit of a roller coaster for us, starting with our daughter-in-law’s illness in January and culminating in my turning 54 a few weeks ago.  Laptop problems and being told I don’t have Early Onset Dementia (yes, the doctor was worried and wanted me to see a specialist just to make sure and yes I was scared and distracted and relieved when the diagnosis finally came back that I was/am okay) and learning that Rob’s anomalous blood work last year was not an anomaly after all to my son starting a new job last week. 

Basically, 2016 has been Life.  Sometimes good.  Sometimes not so good.  In the end, though, I’m surrounded by so many wonderful people who genuinely love me and who make even the harder moments softer.

Rather than try to catch you up with All Of The Things, I’ll just pick up where I am now and fill in background information as needed.  Now is as good a time as any to try to get back in the habit again because we have a lot happening in the next couple of weeks.  In other words, sit back and enjoy the ride because it’s about to get interesting. 

Well, I hope it will be interesting anyway.  I’ll do my best to make my mundane life something worth reading.  Promise!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Working it Out

I started the new year weighing more than I had midway through 2015 but still weighing less than I had in January of 2015 so I am saying, with confidence, that I will lose more weight in 2016 because I know what to do and how. 

The success last year actually began the year before, 2014, when I was given the opportunity to do the No Excuses Bootcamp.  It was through this opportunity I learned about HIIT and began aggressively modifying even the most challenging routines. And from experience, I learned that even stepping out a high impact cardio workout could and would result in weight loss.  You may think that not jumping means you aren’t getting a good enough workout but I can assure you it works!

But when my free 90 days were up, I could not afford the program.  So I began searching for alternatives and eventually stumbled upon 21 Day Fix.  You’ve probably seen the infomercial in which seemingly impossible promises are made (and yeah, I didn’t lose infomercial amounts of weight) or that the food container system is a bit of a gimmick (it is) but what interested me most is that the workout has a woman modifying all of the moves. 

Her name is Kat and she is the reason I took the chance and ordered the DVDs.  And this program works.  It’s amazing!  And my results were so good that not one, not two, but three people I know were inspired to give it a try.  Plus, Rob started working out more regularly as well, although he chose to use a different program altogether. 

While doing 21 Day Fix, however, I noticed I had lost a lot of flexibility and decided to take another leap of faith.  I ordered PiYo and began doing it with 21 Day Fix.  I continued to have remarkable success with weight loss.  More importantly, my balance started improving.  I started off unable to do some of the things in PiYo at all but found myself, a few weeks into the program, surprising myself with my abilities.  I still used a chair to modify things—and the program has a wonderful woman (Michelle) modifying everything—but would occasionally not need to rely on it at all.  I mean, getting into Warrior III even once, let alone more than once?  Amazing!

So I was really happy with my progress and feeling stronger than ever.  I decided to really go out on a limb and invested in Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution.  Yes, I was obviously feeling ambitious and I was making great progress with it throughout the summer until I injured my ankle.  Good news:  It wasn’t because of the exercise I was doing.  Bad news:  I had to stop exercising for a while. 

You know something is wrong when even being in downward dog is painful!  But with a trip to Amsterdam on my immediate horizon, I had to rest because I really wanted to be able to walk around the museums.  (I still regret that Rob’s sickness precluded our going to the Hague but that’s a complaint for another blog post.)  A small sacrifice for a big pay-off.  I was able to enjoy the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh, and then in London we went to the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and hiked our way to the Burghley House.  So resting my ankle before the trip was absolutely worth the sacrifice.

When we came home, my ankle was still not pain free so I ended up choosing a workout that wouldn’t have me hopping, skipping, or even stepping my way to fitness.  I started doing Body Beast, using very light weights and never lifted anything more than 10 lbs but you can see more definition in my arms and in my legs.  But because there is very little cardio involved, I decided to do Brazil Butt Lift along with Body Beast. 

Let me remind you, dear reader, I have a balance disorder and severe osteoarthritis and I am 53 years old.  I obviously take my physical fitness very seriously and am determined to be my best.

Anyway, I would have lost more weight in 2015 if I didn’t regain some because of the trip (so much good food while traveling!) and then piled on more pounds during the holidays.  And I’m sharing all of this for a few reasons.
One, I plan on writing the occasional post about my progress, what fitness programs I am using, what advice I have for others who are trying to be healthier/stronger/whatever.  For instance, right now I’m doing my last week of Body Beast, a 90 day program, and I’ll be starting a new one so I’ll probably have a lot of thoughts about it.  (Hopefully, I’ll love it, of course!)
Two, I know that I’m not the only one out there who is exercising with a balance disorder or exercising with osteoarthritis.  Therefore, I may also share suggestions for how to modify workouts to accommodate any physical restrictions you may have.  I am constantly having to switch things up, make a high impact workout a low impact one or touch a wall for balance.  I Accept where my body is on any given day and adapt as needed to allow my body to do its best safely.
Three, I am going to make a list of my workout DVD library and may write reviews for them as well.  Once the list is made, I’ll share it and, if there’s a DVD or program in which you yourself are interested, just let me know and I’ll write a review for it.  Of course, I’ll be writing from the perspective of my own “limits” but I think that will make the reviews all the more honest.  I am not an athlete.  I hate exercising.  And I do it in spite of myself.  Each and every day. 
So now tell me, are there any workout DVDs and/or programs you recommend?  If so, why do you recommend them?  I’m curious.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Belated Happy New Year

My friend Pia gave me
this planner.  ♥
I had big plans for the start of 2016, most of them contingent on my laptop and the using thereof.  Then something happened and my laptop stopped.  So instead of hitting the ground running, I stuttered and stammered.  First things first—I pulled out Ye Olde Laptoppe and am using it.  But this is a very temporary solution to what I hope is not a permanent problem because this poor thing is ready to be retired and cannot handle documents of more than a few pages, struggles to pull up websites, and doesn’t want to communicate with the printer.

Or perhaps it’s the printer that is being uncommunicative.  I probably have an ageist printer that has decided Ye Olde Laptoppe is too old to work cooperatively. 

So 2016 started with a shifting of gears.  Now, this is significantly better than how last year started, with the chaos of renovations and all.  I am not complaining in the least.  In fact, I’m highly adaptable and shifting gears is a piece of cake.   Okay.  Who am I kidding?  I grumble with the best of them but eventually I begrudgingly accept things as they are.  It’s all about Acceptance, which is my theme for this year.  (I’ve asked my friends to please remind me when I’m resisting things as they are, especially when there are other people involved.)  

Why is it hardest to accept other people’s choices?   After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to tell me how to live my life or insist I follow their advice.  Of course, Acceptance goes deeper than that and I’ve been listening to myself a lot, the way I talk to myself, and I do not like what I’m hearing.  So this whole Acceptance thing really needs to begin with me. 

Even our holiday decorations
weren't put up
in a timely manner.  
Yes, even when I mess up Christmas, which I did.  I ordered gifts but didn’t double check the address.  Long story short, almost everything I ordered didn’t arrive.  It was heartbreaking.  Rob’s gifts, in particular, were few and far between as a result.  Thank goodness his mother sent him gifts or he’d have had barely anything to unwrap.  So yeah, a bit of a bah-humbug.  Still, I didn’t have to disabuse myself as I did during the holidays.  I am a flawed human.  Welcome to the club, right?

Christmas wasn’t all that was weird for me and mine; all of last year was.  It began with the renovations throwing everything into chaos and I don’t feel like I ever managed to get out from under it all.  In fact, I’m just now getting to where I am tackling the office, which gradually became so cluttered that I couldn’t even walk to my desk.  This week I discovered that there is actually a floor in there, and I’m so excited!  Who knew it would still be there?  I wouldn’t blame it if it had abandoned us altogether. 

This game is so much fun!
It’s going to take weeks, possibly months, for me to get the office where we need it to be.  Having it finished will herald a new era of sorts.  And this is the result of the renovations because one room’s change has rippled out to every room being changed. 

What hasn’t changed is how Rob and I rang in the New Year; we made our usual decadent dinner, including caviar, Oysters Rockefeller, and steak.  Last year, we didn’t schedule any game days and Rob and I both wanted to rectify this so we have set aside the first Sunday of the month for our Game Day.  It’s always nice to have everyone come together.  It’s my sincere hope that this year we’ll have at least six such gatherings.   Of course, if that doesn’t happen, I suppose I’ll have no choice but to accept it, right?

So what do you have planned for 2016?  Any special resolutions or goals?  Intentions or expectations?  

Sunday, November 01, 2015

NaBloPoMo Day 1

When I was a little girl, I had a blue blanket. My mother was brilliant.  She bought a large pale blue blanket for a king sized bed then cut it down into four separate pieces, binding the edges to make four, smaller separate sized blankets.

I didn’t carry it around with me everywhere. Mostly, a slept with it beside my pillow, turning and tossing it around so that my cheek would rest on the coolest part of the fabric.  It was my comfort thing, the one thing I wanted in bed with me but not needed.  I don’t remember taking it with me when I spent the night at a friend’s place or stayed at my aunt’s or even went away to summer camp.  But it was there, a part of my bed, for many years.  It wasn’t until I left home that I left the blanket altogether and, even then, I didn’t leave it right away. 

Maybe letting go of home was the first step to letting go of this remnant from my childhood.  Is that where and how it begins?  We reach an age—or maybe, really, it’s a turning point—and we put away the things we’ve outgrown.  The problem is too often the only way I seem to let go of anything is when I am convinced, on some level, I have outgrown it or perhaps that it has outgrown its usefulness to me.  Especially how I feel or think about things, people, circumstances.  I hold onto how I’ve felt and what I’ve thought for so long, far beyond the point when what I feel and think no longer serve me in any way.

It may be hard to tell, but this blog post is a step in letting go.  I still want to rest my cheek against something soft and cool, my eyes closed.  But I think it’s time to let go, time for me to grow up. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015