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Monday, April 8, 2013

DAY 32 of 92! One Third of the Way There!

Last week was a challenging week on the Feast!  That 2 day break in Chicago lent itself to many cravings this week.  It took a great deal of focus to make it through!  But here I am - on day 32!  It feels good to be 1/3 of the way done.  But it feels even better to know that I still have 60 days worth of exciting body/life changes still ahead of me!  I feel a great sense of resolve to continue to the end!

Here are some things I'm noticing so far:

My skin looks more alive - less dull! (Others have noticed this too and mentioned it!)
I've lost 12 lbs this month.  (I won't weigh in again until day 60)
My stomach feels flat and light When I ate last weekend, I immediately felt bloated!  I also woke up Monday morning with a huge headache and puffy fingers.

As I've been studying about detoxification, I've come to realize that our bodies are completely inundated with toxins all day long.  Before we even leave the house in the morning, women apply approximately 300 toxic chemicals to our bodies/hair through our personal care routines.  I know that there is no way to completely eliminate toxic intake in our current environment, but I'm working really hard to remove toxins via juicing, dry body brushing, enemas, etc...  And then - I turn around and use shampoo and conditioner, make up, and acrylic nails!  Yikes!  So I've decided that phase 2 of this feast I'm going to focus on eliminating "those" types of toxins.  I've already removed my acrylic nails.  What a mess!  I am certain that restoring their health is going to take many months! But that's ok -- it will just be one more measuring stick for healing!

Now you're wondering... "how is she planning to eliminate shampoo and conditioner!?"  Great question!  More and more  people are going "poo-free"!  The substitution is baking soda (instead of shampoo) and Apple Cider Vinegar (instead of conditioner).  **Side note**  About 2 months ago, after reading an article about the hazards of hair care products, I decided to reduce my wash/condition routine to about 2 times per week.  The result is that my hair is noticeably shinier and very soft and silky.  Not oily!  Not smelly!  So In my mind, ditching the products is the next logical step for me.  Here are a few additional reasons you might consider it for yourself:

1. Chemicals in shampoo are simply hazardous to your health.
2. Chemicals in shampoo can irritate and dry out your scalp and hair.
3. Your body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Using shampoo daily upsets the natural balance and causes you to produce more oil than necessary to compensate.
4. Hair care products are expensive!

I've read that when you stop using shampoo and begin using BS and ACV, you will probably experience a transitional period while your body gradually adjusts to produce just enough oil to keep your hair healthy. During this time, which can range from a few days to a month or so, you may have some extra oil than you're use to.  Although, many people report that they see immediate positive changes with zero negative side effects.

For more information, including "how to" details, check out this great blog:
OR, just google "Baking soda, ACV for hair".

I would be remiss if I didn't also take a minute to tell you about a wonderful documentary that I watched on Friday.  I found it on Netflix and it's called "Hungry for Change".  This is a very practical documentary which outlines WHY it's difficult for us to lose weight; what effect sugar has on our bodies; how food is manufactured specifically with addictive chemicals so that we'll keep eating it; and most importantly, what to do about it. 
I was so pleased with it's down to earth, easy to follow format that Sunday, I begged my family to watch it with me.  Reluctantly, they did.  They (Ryan!) made sarcastic jokes and comments all the way through it.  But about an hour later, he told me he is on board.  No more processed food or sugar.  No more fast food!  My daughter and son (though teenagers, and still prone to enjoy junky treats on occassion) have been on board for a while.  When I told Sophie what dad said, she responded "Good!  It'll be so much easier if we're all on board!"  FOR SURE!  Only my college student refuses to comply.  Good think he's only home on the weekends.

Over the course of my 18 month journey, I've watched a number of excellent documentaries on this subject.  Following is a list, for your reference.  I was able to watch all of these on either Netflix or Amazon.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Food Inc.
The Gerson Miracle
Food Matters
Forks over Knives
King Corn
The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue  (Presented by Forks over Knives)

I feel like I'm forgetting one... I'll keep thinking!  These are ALL worth your time!

I can't believe how many recipes are out there for juice concoctions!  Yes, many of them are similar.  Nonetheless, I'm finding no shortage of variety!  I have discovered that I LOVE pineapple in my green drinks!  I'm trying to really focus on drinking mostly green (with just a tad of fruit to sweeten it up) every day - allowing just one totally fruity drink. 

My Daily Routine:  Generally, I start my day with 1 quart of warm lemon water.  This causes the liver to force out toxins!  Then, within the same hour, I have my green juice made up of a pound of dark leafy greens, 1 bunch of celery, 1 cucumber, 1/3 pineapple.  I also like to add some parsley or cilantro, as they are especially good for detoxing.  I take 3 quarts of juice to work with me.  One fruity juice (the possibilities are limitless!).  I drink it mid morning.  In the early afternoon, I drink a quart of green juice.  It's just recently that I've started taking a thrid quart of juice to work.  Actually, it's my dinner juice.  But I take it to work so that I can drink it on my way home. I follow it with at least a liter of water.  This is a strategy I've developed to help me come home and prepare dinner for my family without feeling so tempted to nibble.  (Yes, I have to stop cooking and pee repeatedly!!)  I feel very full by the time I get home, AND I've fed my body the nutrients it needs to ward off cravings.  Very useful strategy! There is one exception with when I drink my fruity juice.  If I'm going to run, I wait and drink it about 15 minutes prior.  It provides a surge of energy with helps fuel my body for running!

Tonight at Barnes and Noble I picked up a little treasure called 100 Foods to Stay Young.  Guess what!?  You don't need to buy it, because I'm going to start featuring one food in each blog post!  Our special guest today is...... CUCUMBER!

Cucumber is actually a squash, long used for it's cooling effects, inside and outside the body, reducing inflammation and speeding repair for young-looking skin! 
As well as drinking fluids directly, we need to receive water from the plant foods we eat.  The high water content of cucumber makes it a hydrating food that prevents dryness and wrinkling of the skin, as well as helping to remove the toxins that can age us.

Cucumber is rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber, so works to  reduce high blood pressure by balancing the fluid in the body. 

* Source of silica, a trace mineral needed for a healthy complexion.  (I'm in!)
* Cucumber juice is known to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatic conditions and keep joints healthy and young.
* Contains the trace mineral molybdenum, which is needed to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.  (That's right - you don't need the body secretions of another species to accomplish this!)

Cucumber Juice Recipe
1/2 cucumber
2 apples
1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

If you don't have a juicer yet, just throw these in a blender and drink it as a smoothie instead!

I realize this was a long post!  Thanks for hanging in there! 

Sweet dreams, friends!

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