Monday, April 27, 2015

Diary of a #Cleanse part 3 of 3

Day Four
I slept until 5:30 which is sleeping in for me.  I'm an early to bed early to rise type of woman.  Sleep has not been an issue with the cleanse.
I started my day by melting 8 teaspoons of ghee in a half cup of almond milk.  This doesn't bother my stomach at all.  For the rest of the day though no matter how much water I drink, kitchari I eat or how many times I brush my teeth I still feel the ghee coating my mouth.

It is here I must confess that the cleanse I am doing is a modified version of the most strict cleanse offered.  There are more beginning cleanses discussed in the e-book that include fruit and protein.  It also gives you options if the ghee is too much.  A cup of ginger tea is recommended and not increasing the ghee each day is another option.  I would definitely read the entire cleanse through and not base it solely off of this diary.  I'm only touching on the highlights, my impressions, feelings and family reactions. 

It is Saturday so I headed off to my belly dance class.  Luckily it was a slower paced class than normal as we worked with veils.  I did feel a little light headed a few times but, the spins can do that to you as well.  I came home and raked out the last of my flower beds much to the chagrin of my daughter who helped me only because she wasn't given an option.
After dinner I drank my 12 ounces of prune juice.  I have no problems eliminating so I opted for the more gentle option.  Plus I just couldn't wrap my head around drinking Epsom salt no matter what it was mixed with. I love snacking on prunes but had never had prune juice.  It is thick and sweet and if I wasn't drinking it for a purpose would have cut it with water.
I followed that with a hot shower - OK a warm shower.  I like my showers on the cool side so this was really hot in comparison.  The first option is a warm bath but I didn't pick that for several reasons.  First, the tub is in my daughter's bathroom and she cleans her own bathroom.  Second, with our water pressure it would take an hour or more to fill. And lastly, I really don't enjoy baths.  So, warm shower it was.  After rinsing I rubbed/massaged coconut oil on my body starting with my feet and working towards my heart.  I then washed with some yummy homemade soap by this fantastic soap maker I know (shameless plug).  I toweled off and put on some comfy pajamas.  I curled up on the couch with blankets and a heated pad on my tummy.  And just in case the prune juice wasn't enough I sipped a cup of smooth move tea from Traditional Medicinals.

I went to bed earlier than usual and about an hour later the very audible gurgling started.  Gurgling like I have never heard before.  Many trips to the bathroom over the next hour and I was able to sleep through the night.

Day Five:
Even though it is called a four day cleanse it is really more like six.  The day before you should eat a little lighter and if you are a huge coffee drinker I think you should remove that before starting.  The day after you should eat light as well.  I have to say I'm craving grilled chicken and a salad.  My notes say I should take "digest and clear." for the next thirty days.  I could not find reference to this product in the e-book but different digestive aids to help balance the digestive issues such as gas and bloating and help improve fat and sugar metabolism by boosting more bile acid and pancreatic enzyme flow.
I decided to skip my coffee for awhile and switch to dandelion root.  The bitter springtime root feels right intuitively and it is a wonderful liver tonic.
I woke up feeling good and had a normal (for me) bowel movement.  I sipped a cup of roasted dandelion root infusion.  I'll have a light breakfast and my grilled chicken and salad for supper.
I've lost 4.7 lbs. I'm hoping this has kicked up my metabolism and I shed a few more pounds through exercise and proper nutrition.
I'm glad I did this for the experience.  Will I be doing this again?  I don't know.   I tend to eat seasonally and listen to my body. The cleanse wasn't hard.  It wasn't exciting or life changing either. I didn't lose energy or become super crabby as I've heard can happen when foods are eliminated.  But, I eat very little sugar except what is naturally in vegetables and fruit and I've already greatly reduced my consumption of breads, pastas and grains.  It just feels better when I stick lean clean protein and organic fruits and vegetables with lots of good herbs in the mix.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Diary of a #cleanse part 2

Day two:
I started my day with 4 teaspoons of  ghee melted in a half cup of almond milk. My last day of the week cat my  accounting job (YEAH!) and I packed up the same fare.
Hubby and daughter were having ham and eggs for dinner.  I asked if hubby wanted a bagel with that. He gave the whatever you want to do answer.  I came back with, "What I want to do is bite your head off - a simple yes or no would be helpful."  Bagel it was.
I was really tired and obviously cranky.  I remembered one of my classmates had scrambled an egg into her kitchari for some protein and to make it through.  I did the same and added lots of greens.  My daughter said I could pretend it was a burrito.  I opted to think of it as an omelet.  I did feel better after dinner.

Day three:
I started the day with 6 teaspoons of ghee melted in half cup of almond milk.  Sipped some water and headed to my girlfriend's house for our Friday morning 6 AM walk.  I had more energy than I'd had in days.  By the time hubby got home from his midnight shift at 9 I was on my second load of laundry, the plants were watered, the bathroom cleaned, the house vacuumed and I had enjoyed a bowl of kitchari with steamed rainbow carrots on top.
I'm pretty sure I will not achieve the goal with water but I'm trying.  I'm supposed to drink half my weight or half my ideal weight in ounces.  I'm getting close.  It's not that I hate water.  I drink water every day.  I just can't drink that much of anything.  Plus the whole moving into the bathroom is not an option I want to consider.  
The amount of water it feels like I need to drink

My energy stayed up all day and I didn't want to bite anyone's head off.  Wondering if it was a combination of cleanse and accounting rather than just the cleanse getting to me.  This is a very real possibility especially since it was my first week back after vacation.
I had more time than the previous two nights so I steamed up a big batch of broccoli and pea pods to add to dinner.
I must admit that I normally have a voracious appetite.  I can never remember to feed a cold and starve a fever or the other way around so I feed them both.  There has never really been anything to make me loose my appetite.  This cleanse has done it.  Not in a sickening type of way but in a rather boring type of way.  I know I can change it up with my steamed vegetables but lets face it kitchari and steamed vegetables three meals a day with no snacks and water is not very exciting.  I'm eating slower and can actually push the plate away when I'm full.  And I really haven't been starving.  I'm not feeling deprived in the amount of food.  I am satiated.  But, for someone who loves to cook and doesn't make the same dish twice for weeks or even months this is really rather bland.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Diary of a #Cleanse part 1

I am, taking a 3 week end class on Ayurveda with the lovely Kate Gilday of Woodland Essences. Our last week end is soon approaching and one of my homework assignments was to do a cleanse.  We had several to choose from.  I chose the quick four day cleanse as I wasn't sure how I would fit a 12 or 16 day cleanse into my life at the moment.  The cleanse is a modified version of Dr. John Douillard's  4 Day cleanse.  "It is designed to reset the body's ability to be a better fat burner.  Fat is the body's calm, long lasting, mood stabilizing, detoxifying, repairing, rejuvenating and endurance fuel.  The cleanse will support the body's natural ability to burn fat and detoxify itself."  Straight from my notes.
I thought it helpful to record my journey as I've never done this before.

Leading up to the cleanse.  
I read my notes.  I checked out Dr. Douillard's website and downloaded his e-book on the four day cleanse and read it. I'm kind of geeky like that. I picked the kitchari recipe I wanted to use and made sure I had all the ingredients.  I shopped for fresh organic vegetables, prune juice and dandelion tea.  I stopped drinking coffee and any other caffeine  products four days before starting. This is not really hard for me as I indulge in only one cup of coffee a day.  Warning need to go out to the family if I reach for a second cup - the energy level is more than anyone can handle.  I do miss it on the days I moonlight as an accountant - it seems to keep those synapses firing and focused. The day before the start date I ate light and simple - lots of fruit during the day and fish with steamed vegetables for dinner.  I explained to the family what I was up to and that they did not have to join me.
Compiling the ingredients for kitchari

Night Before:
I made a batch of ghee (clarified butter) as I would need this throughout the cleanse.  I made my first batch of kitchari.  I went with a kitchari that is tridoshic (good for all constitutions) though it is especially good for pitta (which I am). The red are the places I switched it up.

Mung Dal Kitchari
1 Cup yellow mung dal (split mung beans)
1 Cup basmati rice
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. unsweetened, shredded coconut (4 Tbsp)
1 small handful cilantro leaves (or more)
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups water (4 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups water)

Wash mung dal and rice twice.  Soak the mung dal for a few hours if you have time (1 hour), then drain.
Put the ginger, coconut, cilantro and the 1/2 cup water into a blender and blend until liquefied.
Heat the ghee on medium in a large saucepan and add the blended items, turmeric and salt.  Stir well.
Next mix in the rice, mung dal and the 6 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Then cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, turn down the heat to simmer and cook 25 - 30 minutes, until the dal and rice are tender.  This will be a little soupy.

Day One:
I started my day with 2 teaspoons of ghee melted in a half cup of almond milk.  Packed my kitchari up in two containers; a small one for breakfast and a larger one topped with steamed broccoli for lunch. I filled two water bottles with warm water and a travel mug with hot water.  I headed off to work.
I ate the kitchari and finished most of the water.  By then I was hitting the bathroom on a regular basis and it was coming out as clear as it was going in.  Lovely visual I know.  I was tired when I got home.  A lazy no energy kind of tired.
I grilled two beautiful grass fed steaks for my hubby and daughter and served it along side some kitchari and corn.  I had my bowl of kitchari with broccoli and lots of greens stirred in - kale, spinach and Swiss chard.  My daughter said it was awful and could she put it back in the pot.  My hubby looked at me with all the sympathy he could muster and said, "I'll eat this little bit but I can't believe this is all you are eating for the next three days."
Now, I don't find it bad tasting.  It's rather mushy so the texture gets to me after a while.  The second batch I made I doubled the coconut and was more generous with the cilantro.  Even though you don't taste the coconut this seems to help.  I also realized I should only be soaking the mung dal and not the mung and rice together.  Batch three I added a little more ginger and more cilantro.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bud Walk #Springflowers

I love this time of year when plants pop through the earth and buds appear on the trees.  Each day I take a bud walk searching out the latest green happenings around the yard.  I shared the latest walk in pictures on When Weeds Whisper.   Go check it out - I know you want to.
A little Autumn Olive teaser

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#Earthday Celebration

This Sunday, April 19, 2015
This is an annual event and offers plant swaps, weed walks, lots of vendors including herbal goods and live plants.  I will be there with all my soaps, lotions & potions for beautiful skin.  Sample some nourishing lotion.  Smell my newest offering Spring Rain Soap.

It is part of a larger movement. Earth Day is in its 45th year!
"With over one billion actions to date, Earth Day Network's A Billion Acts of Green® – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – is steadily building commitments by individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to protect the planet.
A Billion Acts of Green® inspires and rewards both simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that reduce carbon emissions and support sustainability.
It’s a global referendum on the environment."  

 Celebrate Mama Earth waking to a new season & Go Green in the Process!
P.S. This does mean the studio will be closed.  I'm still working on being in two places at once.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Poundcake #Recipe

     Often people tell me my soaps smell good enough to eat.  I laugh and say you will only do that once.  Some scent combinations are taken right from the kitchen like my lemon & poppy seed soap.  The poppy seeds stay whole and suspended just like in baked goods.  The texture of the poppy seeds give a gentle exfoliating element and it is great for gardeners who want to wash the dirt off after the pleasure of digging in Mama Earth.

     Traditionally a pound cake is made with a pound of flour, a pound of butter and a pound of eggs.  Today's recipes are modified a bit and can be flavored in many ways.  A double vanilla version  which involves steeping milk with vanilla beans is a family favorite.  Cocoa powder can be added for a chocolate version.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
     The cold process soap is made with organic lemon essential oil and poppy seeds.  This pound cake is flavored with lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Sour cream keeps the cake moist.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp grated lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

     Mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully combined.  Add sour cream and vanilla and mix.   Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda hen add to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.  Add lemon zest, juice and poppy seeds and mix until batter is smooth.  Pour into a greased loaf pan or a parchment lined loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or so.  A toothpick will come out clean.