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Spring Cleaning Your Most Important Home, Your Body!

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write a blog. Big changes in my life, mostly having to do with my work situation and living situation. No apologies though, I did what I had to do and unfortunately that included skipping out on blogs for some time. But I’m baaaaaaaack! You may commence with the applause! 😉

We’re a few days in to May and a lot of people have been, or will soon be doing some spring cleaning of their homes. The sad truth however, is that most people won’t be taking care of the most important home of all…their bodies! I know I’ve been neglecting mine lately, allowing stress to overpower me and I’ve created a toxic state for myself. Well, no more! Today is the first day of an intense three week cleanse program for me. It also happens to be the first time in my life that I’ve been looking forward to a cleanse!

Lately, I’ve been feeling sluggish and although it’s spring and I want to be outside, I’ve been so tired I haven’t been out  nearly as much as I should be. Knowing what I know about the importance of vitamin D, it’s a vicious circle! Part of this also has to do with some liver pain I’ve been experiencing. When you don’t have liver’s sidekick Cap-i-tan Gall Bladder, it’s easy for this organ to get overwhelmed. So, I’ve dusted off a book that I’ve had for some time in order to help me. “Clean” by Alejandro Junger

I’ve tried to do this cleanse before, which consists of clean eating, removal of many common allergen foods, juicing morning and evening, with a solid lunch…but I wasn’t motivated, or prepared. This time, I am so ready! Using recipes from Junger’s cookbook “Clean Eats” and a few of my old standbys, I’ve created a 10 day meal plan, right down to the snacks. “But I thought you said it was a 3 week cleanse?” I hear some of you say…I know, I know, I just wanted to test a few new recipes first and then I will create the last 11 days of the meal plans.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to do a cleanse as intense as the “Clean” cleanse, but committing to something as simple as eating clean for 7, 14 or 21 days can really help your body out. Not to mention prepare you for bathing suit season! Wink!

So, if that appeals to you but you don’t want to go out and buy a book to read to do it, here are a few tips to spring clean your body.

1. Drink Water…a TON of it!

Water is so important to your body for so many reasons. If you aren’t drinking enough you are making your body work harder than it has to. Part of my initial Year of the Detox was increased water consumption and I haven’t looked back! Unless you have a medical condition, drinking too much water will not be a problem.

2. Eat Clean

What does that mean, eat clean? Basically removal of any processed foods from your diet and anything that you already know your body has trouble digesting. My mom knows she can’t handle cheese, but she sometimes indulges and has rigorous, porcelain consequences. Just don’t do it. You can resist it for a few weeks. Also, try to eat organic as much as your budget allows.

To give you a short list, you’ll want to avoid:

– sugar

– gluten/wheat

– dairy

– red meat

– alcohol

– soy

This list is very, verrrrrry basic. If you look at any cleanse book in your local bookstore or library, you’ll see that often the list is much more extensive.

3. Make a Plan

As I said, I made a plan and I’m sure that making a plan contributes to better completion rates of a cleanse. When you have your meals planned and your grocery lists written, you’re more likely to succeed and less likely to cheat!

4. Get Moving!

You might feel a little off at the beginning of a cleanse, maybe even flu-like or weak, but as soon as you feel able, get moving! Exercise is a very important part of health, even during a cleanse.

5. Recruit Your Health Team

Who is going to help you through this cleanse? Who will keep you accountable? I’ll show you who is on my team, and you may want to consider speaking to a naturopathic or family doctor before you embark on your cleanse, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

My Team

My husband – Chef Extraordinaire, Partner and Accountability Watch Dog

Adele Stratton – Nutritional Advisor and Integrational Manual Therapist at Phoenix Rising Healing Centre

Andrea Portillo – Personal Trainer and Kick-Ass Motivator at Visualize Fitness

Freyja – Walk Companion, Wiggle Expert and Actual Puppy Dog…there’s nothing more motivating to go outdoors than those sad, sweet eyes staring at you until you cave!

6. Take Some Supplements

With the help of your nutritional advisor, whoever that may be, make a list of supplements to help your body through the cleanse and cover anything lacking in your diet during the cleanse. I, for example, will have to up my B12 intake as I am removing red meats. You might also want to consider taking fibre and a good probiotic. If you’re interested in a more intense cleanse, look at taking an herbal cleansing kit, but talk to your doctor first.

So, with all that in mind, take a few days to plan your cleanse. Come back, let me know which cleanse you are choosing to do, if any. Do you have any great clean eating recipes you’d like to share? I’m all ears!

My Yummy meal for day one! I LOVE fiddleheads!

My Yummy meal for day one! I LOVE fiddleheads!

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Changing Labels and Your Health

Although I made some headway with my detoxing in 2012 and limiting my wheat intake in 2013, I have still gained weight. Sigh. I am currently at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m not only heavy, I’m also what I would consider ‘dangerously’ out of shape. No, I don’t have trouble walking up stairs or anything, but man, if the zombie apocalypse hit tomorrow I would not be running for long!

I also have trouble with my knees, lower back, feet and movement in general. ‘Try Yoga’, I hear those yogis calling. Yes, I’ve tried that. ‘Try walking’, I hear others in perfect chorus. Yes, I’ve tried that as well. The truth of the matter is, I need help. In the past few months, I’ve come to realize this and I’ve sought it out.

Firstly, I knew that even when I was at my healthiest, I still subscribed to certain labels of myself that have not changed. These labels still haunt me to this day. With the help of an alternative practitioner, on my blog I affectionately call, ‘My Adele’, I have delved into some of these labels. She has been trained in hypnotherapy and we used this to look at the more prominent labels I have put on myself. The exercise was to take these labels, erase them and replace them with a more positive one.

The first label was ‘SELFISH’. When I told my husband this, he was flabbergasted. To him, I am one of the most selfless people he knows, but that doesn’t matter…this is about the way I see myself. I’m not sure why I’ve taken on this label. I can be as simple as something I was told as a child and internalized it. I took this label, erased it and replaced it with the word  ‘SELFLESS’.

The second label I came upon was ‘UNDESERVING’. This one I already knew about. I often feel like I don’t deserve the happiness and love in my life. I had been working on this for the past year, so when I read the label during my session it was no surprise. This label I changed to ‘DESERVING’.

The third label I read was ‘GUILTY’. This is the second one I already knew about. In the past, I’ve felt guilty about everything. My husband gives me a hard time because I apologize all the time. Sometimes it got so bad I would apologize and he would say, “For what?”. Often, I would not have a good answer. I took that label and replaced it with ‘FREE’. My thinking was that in affirmation writing, you don’t want to write the negative word within your affirmation.

The last label I was able to change was a triple-threat. Three words were attached to the same ‘bottle’. The three were ‘FAT’, ‘SICK’ and ‘UNHEALTHY’. I had been trying to detox, get healthy, lose weight and all while carrying these labels internally. Talking about pushing a boulder up a hill! I changed that one to ‘HEALTHY’.

Now that I have my labels changed, I am ready to start a new journey. I have also retained help from a personal trainer named Andrea Portillo of Visualize Fitness. Andrea specializes in dealing with people who have injuries or physical issues that make it difficult for them to get fit on their own. I have been avoiding the gym lately because a big part of me is terrified hurting myself. With Andrea’s help I am going to rebuild my strength and regain my fitness. Wish me luck!

What labels do you have that you should change? What would you replace them with?

my new labels!

my new labels!