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Category Archives: Monthly Rules

Month 12: Emotional and stress detox

This month marks the last month of my Year of the Detox! Wow, I can hardly believe that the year is almost over and that I made it through all the challenges I set for myself. December may be the last month of the detox, but it is the first month that I am focusing on my emotional state, rather than my physical one. The holiday season can be especially stressful, so it is really worth it to take time out and focus a bit on yourself. It may be the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself something, right?

The rules for this month are:

1. In bed by 9 p.m., lights out by 10 p.m.

I know, 9 p.m. seems really early and I have already started to have a bit of issues with this one, but I’m going to keep trying.

2. Every night, I will journal five things that I am grateful for.

This will help me focus on the best parts of my day and hopefully remove the negative thoughts of anything that irked me.

3. Write affirmations every night

Affirmations are statements of what we want from life and what we want to be, but written in the current tense. So instead of writing down, “I want to be healthy and weigh XXXlbs.” I write something like, “I AM healthy and I love my lean, toned, XXXlb. body. Everything contributes to this perfect result.”

4. Spend at least twenty minutes doing some form of meditation before bed.

Whether it be straight meditation, chanting or something else, I will devote time to doing that each evening. Meditation has a calming and relaxing effect, so I plan to benefit from this as much as I can.

Obviously, with the holiday season being here, I may not be able to commit to the 9 pm curfew every night, but if I can do it for 90% of the month, I’ll consider it a definite victory.

What nighttime rituals do you have to keep yourself stress detoxed?

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Month 11: Liquid Life

juicer

juicer (Photo credit: Shockingly Tasty)

Wow, it seems as the year comes closer to the end I am getting lazier and lazier about these postings. Sorry!

So month 10 was a bit of a change up and had more to do with what I was putting on my body, rather than in it. Month 11 will be going back to what I am putting into my body.

Your digestive system is an amazing machine. If you haven’t realized this by now, it is time for a wake up call. It takes everything you put into your mouth to nourish you and converts it into the energy you need to function every day. It is constantly working, constantly and tirelessly. Isn’t it time to give it a bit of a break? Well, you can’t really stop eating. I mean, maybe you could, but not for long. In our fast paced and demanding society, a complete fast is nearly out of the question. Some people choose to go really hardcore and go on the Master Cleanse, which is basically lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. I’m not sure I could ever be one of those people, but you never know what the future holds. Instead, I have decided to give my digestive system a less substantial, but sure to be appreciated break for the month of November.

Rules for this month:

1. Breakfast is freshly made juice from fruits and vegetables.

2. Dinner is either completely blended soup or a protein shake.

And those two rules are it. Simple, yet very, very time consuming. Also, it is completely necessary to have a juicer for your breakfasts.

I’ll admit, it hasn’t always been easy. I have had to ‘cheat’ with store bought juices on one or two mornings. I’ve also had to forego the liquid dinner on a few occasions. When you are eating out or invited to someone’s house, it isn’t really easy to have that liquid dinner. I have managed to make my liquid dinners in the majority however, so that is something to be proud of. Also, there’s a lot of liquid dinners to go. At lunch I make sure to include healthy decisions and protein so that I’m not lacking in those. Juicing does not yield a ton of protein, nor does it allow for much fiber. If you are thinking about juicing for the first time, make sure that you research it and if you can, talk to a nutrition expert.

Have you ever gone on a juicing spree? Did you notice any effects it had on your body? Mind? Spirit?

Month 10: Skin Kind

Oh my…I’m so sorry I haven’t been keeping up with my blog for the past couple of weeks. Although most people think of wedding season from May through August, September is normally my busiest month and this one was no exception. I was on such a back log with contractual deadlines that they came first. But, I’m back now! Yay!

Although I haven’t been blogging about my latest detoxification efforts, I have been maintaining them. What have I been doing? Check out the rules for Month Ten.

This month’s rules:

1. With the exception of soap, everything I use to cleanse or prettify my body will be something safe enough to EAT.

Nothing says it has to taste good…

2. Take an epsom salt bath twice a week.

3. Dry brush my entire body at least three times a week.

4. No makeup unless it is 100% edible.

Although these rules may seem like some of the simpler ones I’ve had throughout this entire process, the first one is freaking hard. I’ve already had to give and wash my hair with my regular shampoo twice. If anyone has a recipe they love for shampoo that (taste buds aside) I could eat, please pass it along.

It may not come to mind when you think about your body, but your skin is the largest organ there is and your system passes a lot of toxins out through it. Along with keeping yourself looking healthy and young, you need to help your skin pass these toxins out to make you feel healthy and young. The studies on how many chemicals we put on our skin daily ranges anywhere from 126 to 515. I believe myself to be a lot lower than the average, but I can’t control the amount of chemicals circulating in the air either. With chemical exposures up and us slapping it on our bodies as well, no wonder the people with diseases and sickness are on the rise. In the coming month, we’ll take a look at some of these scary chemicals and tell you why you should be avoiding them.

More on my adventures and discoveries so far to come. Soon, I promise!

I leave you with this poster…scary. (you can see the larger one on the Daily Mail UK site)

Slathering ourselves with chemicals. Courtesy: dailymailuk

Month 9: Reduce Inflammation

When you see the word inflammation, what images come up for you? Most people, including myself, would say they see puffy, red and angry looking wounds. Or maybe just swollen ankles or wrists.  Inflammation is an essential part of your body’s defenses. When you cut yourself, your body inflames in order to get your immune system up and running on the issue. The area around your wound swells allowing multiple white blood cells to arrive on scene. The same thing goes for if you strain a muscle. Your body inflames so that fresh, oxygen rich blood can get to those muscles to protect and heal. This is a true definition of inflammation, but inflammation also happens to be inside your body in places that you can’t see. The inflammation that I am talking about is bodily inflammation that is caused not by wounds or muscle strains, but by the diets now prevalent in North American society.

A lot of people are walking around, right now as you read, with inflammation and they don’t even know it. Inflammation is somewhat handily categorized and hidden in medical terms that end with ‘-itis’. Arthritis, rhinitis and diverticulitis, just to name a few. They are inflammations of a certain area of the body, my examples being  joints, nasal passages and intestines, respectively. Although there are many drugs out there to deal with the symptoms of these diagnoses, few medical practitioners look at treating the cause. In this case, the cause often being diet. People are unique in this situation as far as dietary allergens or stressors, so I cannot claim to have the one, cure-all answer to get rid of your inflammation. However, I can give you a place to start.

The rules for this month are:

1. Avoid all dairy products.

2. Eat 2 servings of cold water fish every week.

3. Avoid refined grains.

4. Snack on raw nuts and seeds.
Dairy products and refined grains are common digestive stressors that lead to inflammation. Cold water fish and raw nuts or seeds help combat inflammation. As we go through the month, I’ll be writing about these things in a more detailed way, but for now, I just wanted to get these down so you can start your month with me.

If you’ve ever gone on a diet to reduce inflammation, I would love to hear your story! Please, do share.

Month 8: Be kind to your digestive system

29. colon-cancer-symtoms

Happy tummy! Hopefully mine will look as good as this by the end 🙂

 

And so begins Month 8 of my Year of the Detox. I’ve already talked about and done a lot as far as helping my digestive system, but the things I’ve done have been to better overall health. This month the things I’ll be doing focus specifically on the health of my digestive tract…from start to finish.

Drinking lots of water helps your digestive system, as does eating foods with lots of enzymes. Exercise helps to massage the organs and I had already added a probiotic course in month 4, but it is worth doing again. As you can see, I’ve already been nice to my digestive tract, but I can do much better.

The rules for this month are:

1. Chew every mouthful at LEAST 20 times before swallowing.

Digestion starts in the mouth with the enzymes that breakdown your food in preparation for the stomach. The more you chew, the easier you make it on your digestive system.

2. Take a probiotic every day.

Good intestinal flora is essential to your gut health, so I will help mine along.

3. Add fiber to your diet, every day.

This can be a tricky one. Everyone already tells you to add fiber to your diet, but if you are constipated already, this will make it worse. I’m going to be tracking my bowel transit at the beginning and end of the month, I suggest you do the same. (More on that, and other semi-gross things to come!)

4. Follow the ‘poop rules’:
– Go as soon as nature calls you
– don’t treat your bathroom like a public library
– use a ‘stool’ stool to get in optimum position to go

So, you may be confused by what a ‘stool’ stool is. Humans were designed to squat when we go and our modern toilets don’t exactly have that as an option. By putting a little stool to raise up our legs a few inches, we help our bowels release as they were meant to.

What do you think? Are these rules doable for the month?

I’ve also planned on getting a colonics session done this month, closer to the end. I didn’t make that a rule because I know that colonics is not in everyone’s comfort zone. I’ve had it done before…it IS uncomfortable, but so is a facial or a bikini wax. I’d rather look great on the inside and outside than just the latter. Wish me luck!

Month 7: Eliminating environmental toxins

Now, it will be nearly impossible to eliminate all the toxins that surround me and I’m definitely not going to be able to live in a bubble for a whole month…unless it was air-conditioned…hmmmm. I can’t do that and I’m not the only one. So, I will just detox on my own personal Jenn scale.

The rules for this month are:

1. Use natural household cleaners including:
-vinegar
-baking soda
-lemons

2. Avoid scented products for laundry and soaps

3. Spend as much time away from heavy car traffic as possible! It is summer after all.

4. Try to walk whenever possible to avoid creating even more carbon emissions. (Though with the recent heat, I’m not sure this will be often :s )

Since this goal will not be a 100% achievement, my main goal is to educate myself and anyone who reads this blog about certain ingredients to avoid and why. Many of us are not educated in the reading of labels, especially not labels for cleaners. We tend to read the front, see what properties are advertised and just base our decisions on that. Accompanying this basic problem is the ‘green washing‘ that is going on in the industry. Companies finding ways to make their products appear more environmentally friendly and making unwitting consumers pay more for the fancy label. Vote with your wallet and you can make a change, but first it is important to be educated voters.

It reminds me of highschool when my grade was old enough to vote in the election. I heard a group of girls talking about the upcoming election and they were giggling. Why were they giggling, you ask? They had all decided to vote for one particular candidate because he was ‘cute’. I urge you not to be the giggle girls. Be conscientious and vote with every dollar you spend. Not just for the environment, but for you and your loved ones.

I’ve already posted a reblog about some of the chemical ingredients to avoid, write them down and keep them in your wallet so you don’t have to be unsure.

All this typing and I’ve broken a sweat…it’s super hot here in Ottawa…and we don’t have central air. Probably for the best, definitely better for the environment anyway!

The Prop Store of London - LA - Bubble Boy

I think I’d need a bigger bubble!

Month 6: Eat Organic

English: Autumn Red peach. Français : Pêches E...

 

I know, I’m a few days late in posting this, but my husband and I have been trying to enjoy a bit of a staycation. We don’t really have the budget or the time to take a get away, so I thought that a staycation would be in order and so far it has been great. On Monday, we went to the Nordik Spa to relax followed by some sushi. Not organic but not too bad. Yesterday we took in the Mayan exhibit at the Museum of Civilization as well as an IMAX film. It has been great! Whenever we’ve eaten at home in the past few days, we’ve done our best to eat organic.

Now, this can seem like a tall order, especially if you are on a budget. Believe me, I know. That is why I do have a list that I got from Jillian Michaels‘ ‘Master Your Metabolism‘  book to share with you. It will help you to know what the most important organic purchases are. I’m sure different sources have different recommendations, but I have to start somewhere, don’t I?

Always organic foods include:

  • meat, dairy and eggs
  • coffee
  • peaches and nectarines
  • apples
  • bell peppers
  • celery
  • berries
  • lettuces
  • grapes
  • any foods that you eat a lot of (for me, this is my rice and almond milks, rice and quinoa)

Sometimes buy organic:

  • processed foods
  • onions
  • avocadoes
  • pineapple
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • bananas
  • asparagus
  • corn
  • mangoes

Don’t bother buying organic:

  • seafood
  • water (I have to admit I’ve never seen organic water!)
  • foods you don’t eat that often

Toxins and pesticides permeate our foods, especially the non-organic ones. So if I’m trying to detoxify myself, I will have to cut these out at the place I eat from the most, my home.

Wish me and my bank account luck!

Month 5: I’m Sweet Enough Without the Added Sugar

Well, here it is. The month I’ve been simultaneously excited for and dreading the most. Dreading because I have a notorious sweet tooth. I love sweet! It is my favourite flavour and my goodness, am I going to miss chocolate. Sweet anything makes me happy! Though I am dreading all the times I’m going to have tell that sweet tooth “NO!”, I am still excited for this month. The reason is I am certain that this month will be the month where I start to see a greater physical change in my state of health. I’ve had to cut out sugar before and I noticed a difference within a few weeks. I fully expect to lose a few pounds of fat, hopefully around my middle where that belly fat is just sitting there going along its toxic way. I also think that gaining a bit more control over my blood sugar will help in that process as well.

Here are the rules for Month 5:

1. Avoid all artificial sweeteners. The only permitted sweetener is Stevia, which is a naturally occurring sweetener that does not raise your blood sugar levels.

2. Avoid all sugars and anything that contains added sugars, including sauces, cereals, dressings, etc.

3. Have protein at breakfast so the blood sugars don’t shoot up at the first meal of the day.

4. Don’t go too long between meals, snack to keep blood sugars stable.

5. Make sure to have a light snack before and after any workouts.

Seems relatively simple when you read it, but I promise it is not as easy to implement. Start reading labels. Sugars and sweeteners are in EVERYTHING. Things you never even thought were sweetened, you’ve got sucrose, fructose or something else in there. My wrist is going to get sore flipping over all those cans and bottles, I’m sure!

While I am cutting out all refined sugars and things with added sugar, I will allow myself fruit. I’ve done this before where I’ve cut out fruits but in the long run, I’d rather keep them in there. The benefits from consuming fruits, in my opinion, outweighs the blood sugar risks. Especially since I am not diabetic or suffering from any other diagnosed blood sugar level issue. For this month, I will however be avoiding fruit juices. As I understand it, without the fiber to slow down the absorption of the naturally occurring fruit sugars, it can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels.

What do you think, are my rules reasonable? Do you think that you could do this for a month? The rest of the year?