Monday, April 30, 2012

The Reboot {cleanse} - DAY TWO

Day two was much easier than day one. I woke up that morning and was shocked that I wasn't starving. I cherished my one cup of coffee knowing it was all the caffeine I would have for one day.  I was on a mission to get a real juicer. Especially after I juiced a glass by hand through a cheesecloth. Never again was I going to do that. Try everything once, right?

I thought it would be an easy task. Go to a store and get a moderately priced juicer and be done. Well....that wasn't quite the outcome. My mother in law watched our kids so we could go on this "juicer mission". I honestly thought this mission would end of the local Wal-mart in her town. Not the case. I wanted to spend around $50-60 for the juicer. Any of their display options in that price point were not on the shelves. Bummer. 

That lead us to leaving that town (yes, Wal-mart was the only option there) for more stores. I HAD to get more pure juice into my system. STAT!  After another 4-5 stores (I lost count) we ended up at Sears in the middle of a run down mall (it truly was our last hope in this town). There is was, the juicer I actually really wanted from Wal-mart in the first place. Regular $79.99. On sale for $59.99. Score!

 It was the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Blender. I practically hugged the box. I later apologized to the cashier since I was acting a little "off" aka grumpy from lack of juice. At one point my husband and I both laughed as if we were on a mission that would never end in success and I would just shrivel away to nothing. You can tell by the picture the poor lighting in this Sears. HA!

That evening for dinner I made a HUGE salad with spinach, mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes (with a small amount of fresh salsa as dressing). I thought for sure I could eat ALL that salad from the way I felt. I made it half way through, had myself a nice hot decaf green tea and called it a day.

Day TWO...Done!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Reboot {cleanse} DAY ONE

Let the fun begin...I have always wanted to do a cleanse but never felt that I was ready to commit to days without eating.  Rebooting your life is about taking a set amount of time to drink freshly made juice concoctions. I decided after talking with some friends that were coming off their cleanse that I would start Saturday! I knew the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead was about juicing so I decided to watch it Friday night to prepare me mentally for the benefits of a cleanse. WOW! I loved the film. It was funny, educational, and inspiring. I will be watching it again.

I logged on to and inputted my goals and it suggested I do a 10 day cleanse(juice + eating). That meant I would consume juice + raw fruits and vegetables. My personal goal is 7 days. Please follow me in my journey of REBOOT!

I typically eat 6 meals a day so my mind is always on what is next to eat(and having clean options handy). I woke up that morning knowing I was in for a challenge. I decided to keep one cup of coffee in with this cleanse. One thing I suggest doing before you decide to cleanse is to buy a nice juicer. I wasn't going to get to buy one until Sunday so I stopped in Kroger to get some Bolthouse Farms juices to be ready for morning.  They were buy one get one. SCORE!

I had a charity auction to work on the whole day at someone else's house. I thought this could get interesting. I packed my cooler with my juices, fruits and veggies and off I went. Determined to make it through DAY ONE!  Luckily when I arrived the host had fresh fruit out for breakfast(and some sort of cake, I didn't even look at it) and then lots of veggies for lunch. It was HARD because they also had homemade hummus(a weakness of mine), pita chips, tortilla chips, chicken salad, croissants (which i would have had one if not on the cleanse), and many other items. I consumed a lot of veggies. And the nastiest beverage I have tasted to date. Never again! I can't get my juicer soon enough at this point, but I can't leave my duties that I came to do.

I was actually fine until about 4pm and then the hunger hit. WOW! I was famished. I'm hoping DAY TWO is better since I will have a juicer and can juice whenever I am hungry.  I left the meeting and headed home around dinner time (like I cared much about dinner time at this point). I wasn't myself, that's for sure. Weak. My family had been away at church and were getting home late so I decided to make them some dinner. It took all I had in me not to eat anything I was preparing. When they arrived home I had to get out of the kitchen because at that point I could have eaten a piece of cardboard. 

FINALLY, after consuming 2 bottles of juice, watermelon, and a hot green tea my hungry stopped. I decided to play it safe(and get sleep) and ate a small spinach and tomato salad with a drizzle of Bolthouse balsamic dressing around 10pm. It was a Bolthouse day.

I will say I LOVE the Bolthouse juices without the protein.  They are delicious.

I slept through the night and didn't even wake up hungry. I was shocked. DAY ONE...done. 

UPDATE 2013: Bolthouse has a lot of juice concentrates in it. It doesn't give you the same effects of true green juicing. I am always learning and wanted to share. I did NOT do a good day on Day one. Looking back, I should have waited a day to start AFTER I had a juicer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pack a COOLER! {Every single day}

I preach the importance of a carrying a COOLER all the time! If you don't you are setting yourself up to fail and live a {dirty} life. It's one of those tips that Tosca Reno states is a must have (and do). Everyday Almost everyday I pack a cooler, or at least have food on hand with me at all times. Today I left the house without one. Not by accident, I just got lazy I guess.

I finished zumba and I was HUNGRY! I still had errands to run so I thought to myself...Chick-fil-A seems to have "real" chicken, I'll just get a sandwich. So I went through drive-thru (which I haven't done in a long time) and ordered Chicken Sandwich Deluxe (no cheese or condiments). It was satisfying (and way salty). I lived. No stomach upset.  

I believe you should always find out what goes into your food even after the fact of consuming it. It usually helps me from ordering the same {dirty} choice again. I went to the company website and wasn't shocked by the calories, fat, and sodium. It was ALL the chemicals that were in the sandwich that disgusted me the most. ugh! 

Here are the {depressing} stats: 

Ingredients: Chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached flour {bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, whole powdered egg and nonfat milk solids], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added]), bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, contains 2% or less of each of the following: liquid yeast, soybean oil, nonfat milk, salt, wheat gluten, soy flour, dough conditioners [may contain one or more of the following: mono- and diglycerides, calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates, calcium peroxide], soy flour, amylase, yeast nutrients [monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate], calcium propionate added to retard spoilage, soy lecithin, cornstarch, butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color]), pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

440 Calories 16g Fat 2g Fiber 30g Protein 1400mg Sodium

I don't even want to take the time to break all those TERRIBLE "big words" down for you. Take my word for it, it's NOT good news.  I think I might just go pack my cooler RIGHT NOW for tomorrow. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I think I despise sugar. Seriously. Not really so much the taste of it, but what it does to my mood, my kids behavior and mood, my body and my health. I know there are many of you out there that are skeptical that sugar plays a MAJOR role in our mental and physical health, especially when it comes to fatigue. With that being said, did you eat Easter candy??? Did you double up on the Easter desserts??? Are you feeling tired???

It seems manufacturers have a strong hold on the world each holiday season when it comes to highly processed, hydrogenated oil(trans fat) filled, sugar loaded treats.  If these things are "tradition" in your home you should really consider a {cleaner} version of them.  My kids still get candy on a regular basis, but it's the best option out there and it's in small portions. Even my daughter (age 7) told me she wanted to give up candy a few months back on her own (I think she even realizes at a young age it's addictive).  I told her that was a great health choice and we should be realistic (not cut it out completely at her age) and decided to only have candy on the weekends. She agreed and that is what we do now (besides a few pieces of dark chocolate in their lunches at school & HOLIDAYS). It has worked out great!

I love all holidays don't get me wrong, but why can't it just be Halloween that is ALL about candy? Why does it have to run into Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc? Bags of candy treats roll in from family members, events, etc when a new holiday comes around.  It stresses me out. I have worked SO hard to make my home a {clean} house.

It just takes one piece...They get one taste and I can see it in their eyes, they are like a drug addict begging for their next hit. Then the post candy event happens: the meltdown, the prying them off the walls, the get the picture. THEN, the post POST candy event, the hangover. It takes days for my kids to get back on track and look "rested". This isn't just a reaction kids get either. I have had a couple of friends of mine complain of extreme fatigue this week and they have admitted to falling off the {clean} wagon and eating Easter candy.  You can see it in their face that they are a completely different person and disappointed in how fatigued they feel.  Once off the health wagon it's harder to find passion or desire to workout, drink plenty of water, get enough just keeps going downhill. The problem is, sugar is ADDICTIVE.  Once you have a taste it's hard to stop.  Until you detox off of it!

Since I have eliminated processed sugar (except an occasional "clean" store bought treat or in clean processed foods) from my daily life for over a year and a half I can taste a huge difference in candies.  I'm human and I will take a taste here and there. I can tell a huge difference in fresh {made in Belgium} chocolates and the ones that sit on the store shelves for months on end. Even the candies I used to LOVE as a child taste way too sweet to me. The foods I have eaten at family gatherings for decades are too sweet for me to enjoy now.  

I know people look at me like I'm crazy because it appears I have had a tongue/taste bud replacement when I react in such shock at how different things taste.  Let them look, I like this new found "freak" in me. I know it has to do with the fact that I am off the processed sugar and all artificial sweeteners for well over a year. Artificial sweeteners damage your taste buds. Period. I feel so thankful I made that change.  I feel MUCH better and fruits now taste the way they should, super sweet!

Here's a great article if you find yourself dragging...

Processed sugar poisons your system. Yes, you heard me right. Manufactured sweeteners of all kinds create a toxic response in the body. They cause your blood sugar to rapidly spike and crash, weaken your immune system, deplete your body of essential nutrients, increase oxidative stress and trigger chronic systemic inflammation throughout the body, a setup for inflammatory diseases and associated fatigue. Worse, dietary sugar plunders already depleted adrenal hormone reserves in those suffering from adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), allowing fatigue to burrow even deeper into your system. Get rid of sugar, and watch your natural energy return.
1. Sugar is addictive. The craving for sugar is an addiction, like any other. Temporarily abstaining from sugar makes the sugar cravings (withdrawal symptoms) disappear — often in as quickly as 72 hours. Stop eating all sugar, and allow your body to make the glucose it needs for steady energy from whole foods, and those feelings of deprivation will evaporate quickly.
2. Sugar spikes glucose levels. Sugar spikes force your pancreas to pump out too much insulin at once, something it was never designed to do. This leads to sudden and very high levels of circulating blood sugar in your bloodstream, which just as suddenly disappears, leaving you with unpleasant hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) symptoms — shaky, weak, tired and drowsy. To stop the unpleasantness, many of us reach for quick sugar all over again. And the cycle repeats.
3. Hands off the coffee cake. High blood sugar levels literally “burn” tissues and organs, crusting them with a layer of oxidized sugar in a process called “glycation.” That process releases reactive oxygen molecules that cause oxidation and reduces the presence of antioxidants such as glutathione. According to research, high levels of oxidative stress contribute to the symptoms of chronic fatigue.
4. Ditch the sodas. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a popular cheap substitute for cane sugar in sodas and processed foods, is much, much worse than regular sugar. A studypublished in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that HCFS harmed blood sugar metabolism in ways that glucose did not.  Another study found that fructose fails to turn off your appetite by triggering leptin and other essential hormones. So there is no feedback loop telling you to stop, and you keep chugging sodas and eating foods containing fructose, with predictably debilitating results.
5. Sugar substitutes are bad news. Sugar substitutes are far worse than table sugar.Studies show that diet sodas including aspartame (AminoSweet, NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin) cause formaldehyde accumulation in the body. Other fake sweeteners like saccharin (Sweet’N Low) and sucralose (Splenda) have similar problems.
6. Refined carbs spike glucose like sugar. Refined carbs refer to the highly processed, denutrified white flours that are found in virtually all processed foods. They are as addictive as sugar, because they convert too rapidly to glucose once you eat them, according toresearch. Avoid them as well.
7. Sugar harms adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion are epidemic in the West today. Our modern processed diet of over-sweetened convenience foods is a big reason why.
study published in Endocrine Review shows that whenever blood sugar crashes, tired adrenals must pump out adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones to raise blood sugar to a level that keeps the brain alive and well (glucose is its main energy source). Another studypublished in Neuropsychobiology reports that under certain conditions, sugar actually shuts down adrenal function. This astonishing finding means that the glands primarily responsible for responding to stress cannot fulfill their life-saving function.
8. Choose healthy food instead. The Fatigue Healing Diet is loaded with foods that keep your energy levels stable and growing. Once you eliminate heavily sugared processed foods from your diet, your body loses the desire for them. And that helps set your adrenals on the road to recovery.
So pack snacks and your lunch to work every day. Enjoy nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs and fruit for snacks, and dine on abundant whole grains, beans, vegetables and lean meats.
Above all, be kind to yourself during this time. Withdrawal is hard work. Take time to prepare for it, ask for support, and love yourself deeply as you step out into the unknown. You are on your way to healing.

2013 CF UPDATE: Still doing great and avoiding all highly processed candies, treats, and so on. I feel great. It's been over 2 years now.  I do not experience the extreme highs and lows I used to on sugary things. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

{clean} Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch

I stopped buying bagged popcorn after I received a Whirley Popper for Christmas. I had always wanted to get one but never remembered to do so when I was at the store. I know, shocker that air popping popcorn wasn't at the center of my mind.

Most all bagged popcorn is loaded with harmful chemicals, artificial colors, artificial flavors and {bad} fat.  The chemical diacetyl, which is used to create the buttery flavor, is linked to respiratory issues. Many of the name brand manufacturers have quit putting them in their products, so they say. I don't think I will chance it anymore. If you are eating a lot of microwaved popcorn a week you should really consider giving it up and popping your own. Make sure you get the facts.

Another reason why it's great to pop your own is that I'm saving money and making less waste. You are paying a lot for a little amount of popcorn to even get what the box calls {all natural}. 

Every person I make this popcorn for LOVES it! It has a subtle hint of coconut with cinnamon, cane sugar, and sea salt. It doesn't get much easier than that! 

{clean} Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch

Add all ingredients to Whirley Popper and Whirl away. Let cool for a few minutes and it will turn into a healthy crunch version of caramel corn. Feel free to play around with the measurements of the ingredients.  Just remember that if you add too much salt or sugar it is no longer a healthy snack.