Monday, 23 April 2012

Keeping it Clean and Simple: Home Edition

Lately I've been finding myself looking into and putting into practice clean, eco-friendly and fruity lifestyle friendly ways to keep my home clean. I've been using the green and bio-degradable products that we can now find basically anywhere fora few years and as much as they work well, I want simpler and cleaner than that. I've become greatly interested in DIY everything, I find myself shopping around and grabbing things that look interesting only to put them back because, I can just do it myself!

The DIY movement is nothin new, but to me it's definitely the best way one can get truly green be sure of the safety of the products used to clean my direct environment. Nobody wants to be breathing in fumes of questionnable ingredients that can be found even in products that are advertised as green.

My number one favorite thing in this category is Soap Nuts:

1. Simply they are a dried fruit that cause suds in water. Completely natural and they work great!I use them for my laundry but I have heard of other that use them for everything from hair washing to cleaning around the house. Bonus is that they are very affordable, 6 nuts last 3-6 loads. You can find them in most health food stores.

2. Next one is an easy DIY cleaner that can be used universily in our home. Simply grab some leftover citrus rinds and let them soak in vinegar for up to two weeks. Strain out the oranges and compost them. Dilute the vinegar mixture with a 2:1 water ratio and voila! Your own homemade cleaner!

3. To make a disinfectant so that you don't need bleach, mix 2 cups of water with tea tree oil and some Dr Bronners castile soap.

4. In the kitchen, the best thing to clean and disinfect wood cutting board is half a lemon rubbed all over and left to sit for a few hours, then rinsed off. It even takes out onion and garlic smells.

5. Baking Soda makes for a great scrubber, just dust it on any surface and scrub with a wet cloth.It's also great as a drain declogger, just pour half a cup down your drain and follow with boiling water to was it all down.

I remember the days when everyone thought clean meant the strong smell of bleach or other chemicals, I never understood it, because of chemical sensitivities the smell was always such a bother to me. And if anyone is still looking for something similar because they've just been convinced by the norm, just tell them to wash everything with straight up vinegar!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Top 5 ways to get and stay on track.

Most of the time the only reasons things don't span out as you want them to, is because of a lack of organization and a not-so defined focus on the reasons and goals of a certain project, new habit, workout schedule, etc. I know that for me there are many things that I can do to set myself up for success or failure. The key is to really know where you want to be and how exactly you are going to get there. Here are my top 5 tips to get and stay on track:

1. Write it down. Be it on a piece of paper, a notebook, a file on your computer. Basically whatever works best for you. I primarily use lists written on my computer in a file that is always open. I also like using paper lists of goals I want to acheive in a certain period of time (like in 3 months) and pin it up somewhere that I am going to see it every day so that I have another constant and mostly subconscious reminder of what I want.

2. Make a vision board. This is the time to let out our inner craftsmanship and get busy with magazines, colored paper, markers and glue. It doesn't have to be perfect and it's for your eyes only anyways. Making it vibrant and noticeable is key here because you want it to be as noticeable as possible so that your eye is drawn to it every tie you pass. This enables you to keep these goals at the forefront of your mind and makes an idea and goal much more tangible.

3. Talk about it as if it is happening, even if it isn't. Being vocal about your dreams and goals enables you to bring them to the realm of the possible. Affirming it will help you acheive it because you are basically motivating yourself by convincing yourself that it is already started, usually the hardest part about any changes. Keep your words and thoughts positive, even if you tumble off track a bit, just get back up and continue trekking on.

4. Ask for help and advice, or even just a few opinions. This will keep you on track in the aspect of not only having others opinions, but also affirming your own. Just make sure you have someone that you can talk to that will carry the conversation on a positive note, and be ready for some constructive criticism.

5. Be accountable. This one depends on what works best for you as an individual. As an example, when I write lists, I make it a point to have to get everything done that I write down. If for some reason it isn't done on the day I wrote it to be, I keep an afternoon a week to get done what wasn't accomplished during the week. It works for me because I get pleasure in highlighting tasks that got done!

All these things keep me on track for getting er done. If I don't do them, I tend to get sidetrack and disorganized where I waste time and don't get much done, which in turn is unmotivating in itself!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast Day 6 and the days that followed.

Day 6 was actually my last day fasting. I felt like it was time late that evening and had a couple bananas as my first meal back on solids. They we're carefully chewed and through fully enjoyed! I don't think I've gone 6 days without them in a very very long time. I think that this will be be my last juice fast for a while. I did get some good things out of it, but really I want to wait until I can truly give it my all before attempting it again. This means time to relax and sleep, not being too busy, time to meditate for hours if I really feel like it, etc.

I stumbled quite a bit on the reintroduction of solids, since I had some steamed rice on day 2, with some homemade tomato sauce. I've been keeping it extremely simple though, since any kind of complex meal just upsets my stomach, as it should.

I find that I've been sleeping much more since coming off the fast. Where before I found myself waking up easily after 7 hours, now I get through 9 easily. I'm not really complaining at all, I know that my body needs it. On day 6 itself I was in bed by 7:30PM and only woke up 12 hours later, only to sleep another 2 hours! I am going to bed much earlier and getting up just a tiny bit earlier as well, which was something I did want to start doing anyways, this saves me going through a schedule change gradually.

I am back to a low fat, very high raw high carb diet, with the grand majority of things being fruit. The only meal that I've been wanting and eating that is cooked is rice. I could easily like on bananas and rice right now! I think that as long as I stay away from processed anything and high fat anything, and keeping all my meals very very simple, I am very happy with the way things have progressed.

I lost a total of 8 pounds while fasting, regained 4lbs in the past few days, which is totally normal and expected. Now as long as I keep my diet in line with my desires, and get back into exercising daily I will be continuing on the trend I've set with the fast.

Overall I have to say that I am happy with the way things have come together. I feel better, my candida symptoms have diminished greatly, I lost a little weight, I love my juicer and I am back on track just like I set out to be!

Life loves you back when you give it some effort and some dedication :)

Have a great day!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast: Day Five!

I woke up this morning feeling great! I had to get up for a short period during the night to use the facilities but other wise had a very restful night. My brain fog had started to lift significantly from when I woke up until now, I have a clearer mind right now than I've had in a while. I have been feeling significantly better these past few days than the first three. Barely any hunger, although many many cravings.

I spent the major part of the day driving to and from Montreal to pick up a friend at the airport and so did get my juices and water in easily. But as soon as I got home I was tired and set out to take a short nap... that lasted about 3 hours. Although I woke up feeling rested, my body decided it was time to have some nausea and cramps, which I quickly found out was a BM coming into play.  Straight afterwards I was feeling so good! Getting rid of all that toxic waste is so important.

Back to cravings, although I am feeling very good, I am getting the urge to break my fast already. I'm not entirely sure if it's just detox speaking so I am waiting at least another day to see if the feeling subsides. I didn't think that I would be feeling this so early on. But like I set out to do, the first thing I am doing right now is listening to my body. I am giving it as much rest as it is asking for and plenty of fluids and movement when asked for as well! The things that I've been craving aren't entirely terrible though, mostly salad, random fruits and rice. All low fat and non junk food related.

My goals for this fast have actually been pretty well accomplished. My candida symptoms are almost non-existent, my eating is going to be much cleaner now that I'm not craving the junk as much if at all. I've lost some weight, but really I just wanted to kick start it again to get back to raw, which will have me truly achieving my goal in that regard. My liver seems happier and will be even more so when the herbs help it out. Bowel movements are really important when detoxing the lover so I wanted to wait until after I was done fasting to really help it along.

I am dedicated to break my fast properly this time around. Last year around this time I broke my fast the wrong way, by just giving in to what I thought was hunger and just chowing down on a huge complex meal. I will be eating only fruit and greens, as I've planned to do so mostly forever more. I'll be keeping it extremely simple for at least the first week and then go from there. I am thinking that I will be breaking my fast on Sunday, making it 7 days total. It's been sounding right to me since I've had the thought come into my mind. As much as I wanted to do longer, I think that this being my third juice fast ever, and my longest as of right now, I'm better off keeping it short and sweet and doing it longer next time around. I will be continuing a detox regiment after i break my fast by taking some liver cleansing herbs followed by a full body detox for 30 days. I'll be cleaned out by the time summer comes around!

I also can't wait to start doing vigorous workouts again. I have the urge to move and get outside, but haven't been pushing myself too much over the past days because my body wanting little to do with it.

Tomorrow is another beautiful chance to make positive changes. Enjoy!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast: Day Four!

One of the best things in this world is to wake up knowing you've had amazing sleep. I got a great 9 hours in last night and it's just what I needed! As much as juice fasting while living a normal schedule (well as normal as my schedule gets) works fine, making sure that one is getting enough sleep an rest is so important all the time. I don't know anyone who can function truly optimally without waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated from a good night's sleep.

So after that great start, I actually had a pretty good day! I actually had enough time to make my juice for the day and walk calmly to work for my 9 hour shift. It went by as usual, a little slow but actually enjoyable. Nice thing was that my brain fog lifted as the day went on, quite the opposite from the first three days. I started the day very mucus-y, and still have some, but again it diminished throughout the day. Now I have a certain sense of happiness and balance permeating my world. 

My only concern is that I haven't had a bowel movement since end of day 2. I've had IBS for a very long time and get uncomfortable when I dont have a few a day! So I had a laxative tea earlier. I wouldn't actually recommend this, since it'll just irritate my bowels in the end, but having a BM will give me that last ounce of peace of mind that's been creeping up on me throughout the day. 

So for todays juice extravaganza I consumed:

Spinach-Carrot-Apple 1L
Pear-Blackberry 1L
Red Grape 1L
Water 2L
Kombucha 355mL
Tea 250mL

In the morning I'm going on a roadtrip to and back from montreal to pick up my BFF from the airport. I think that no schedule change should ever keep you from accomplishing what you decided to do. So I'll be bringing some delish juices along and tryyyyy not to have to stop for washroom breaks tooooo often. Try being the word. 

Have a gorgeously fruity day! 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast: Day Three!

Soooo I almost forgot to post tonight! I've given myself the gift of a veryyy relaxing evening cuddling with my dogs and was just about to turn the lights off!

Ok so today went somewhat better than yesterday! Good news indeed. I still had physical detox symptoms, like the uneasiness and a little nausea this morning, plus brain fog most of the day. Otherwise I was in a better mood.

I'm hoping that it gets better from day 4 on, simply because I don't know how long I can take this eurk feeling right now. Especially with it being Easter weekend, full of family events and having already committed to making dinner for my family on Saturday. I know I can do it, the thing I really need to work on is having the patience to go through it and not get impatient with my body doing what needs to be done. This shall be my lesson to work on most for tomorrow.

I haven't really gotten into my emotional and spiritual reasons for doing a spring cleanse yet, but that is sure to come as I feel the detox working on those areas of life. When I do a juice fast, it really breaks one down to the roots. You have no food to hide behind, little distractions from you are really thinking, what you are really feeling. It's a truly 100% raw experience to bare it all. Raw food to some extent does the same, but I think that getting down to the bone of it all happens at it clearest during a fast of some sort. I can't even imagine how purifying a water fast can be, but it is something I would like to experience sometime in the future.

Today I had:
Parsley-Carrot-Orange 1L
Pineapple 1.5L
Pineapple-Blackberry 500mL
Double Shot Wheatgrass
Water 3L

I am going to try to space out my juices more throughout the day, seems like right now I am either splitting it out more to one side or the other between morning and evening. The wheatgrass reallllyy had me feeling it too, so a single shot next time is going to be more than enough!

I am feeling detox in other ways too. As an example, I usually only need to shower every 2-3 days, but now I really feel the need to have at least one a day. Also, no BM today, which I'm not too happy about, but it's all part of the process.

Tomorrow is another juicy, vibrant day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast: Day Two!

Blah. Exactly how I feel right this moment. Detox is coming on strong this evening. I was feeling decent all day, but when dinner time came around, Cranky Bunny made it's appearance. Looks like it was a good choice to get started on a cleanse! Cause with these symptoms I certainly needed it!

Basically I feel like utter poo. If you've ever seriously cleansed before, it's that general eurk feeling that just takes over and makes you want to hibernate for a few days. OK so I may be being a little dramatic... I've only been feeling this way for the evening, so really living regular life while doing this works out fine. Did I mention I was cranky?

My favorite thing to do during the first few days of cleansing is snuggle in front of a good movie before bed. This way I'm comfortable and distracted, making the whole process of day 1-3 a breeze for me and those around me.

I might have pushed myself a little too much today too, I started my prep for my garden. This meant about an hour of sweating and shoveling compacted soil.It was a whim of the moment type deal. I'm happy I started on it though! I'm late starting my very first garden :) Can't wait to start growing and harvesting! Mmmmm heirloom tomatoes...

Ok back to cleanse talk. I had a lesser variety of juices today and that worked out better than yesterday.

Beet-Kale-Apple (1L)
Pineapple (1.5L)
Papaya-Mango (750mL)
Water (3L)

I also did my usual morning routine of Sun Salutations and meditation. I think that it's really going to help me along this adventure and keep me balanced, not to mention a great way to start any day!

Let's finish this day with:

Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring 2012 Juice Feast: Day One!

There are so many reasons to cleanse. In our society saturated with chemicals, from the polluted air we breathe to all the additives in our foods, not to mention the pesticides used to grow alot of it. Even if you eat only organic and raw foods, there are so many chemicals that we are subjected to on a daily basis that our bodies were never designed to deal with.

My personal reasons for cleansing are:

1. I haven't been eating as well as I should and I know that juice feasting is always a good way for me to get back to clean pure foods.
2. I always cleanse in Spring, always the best time for me :)
3. I have so weight to lose and it's being stubborn.
4. Reason for stubborn weight is my candida issues, which juice feasting will definitely help with!
5. I have an awesome juicer.
6. I have toxin buildup from past bad habits, like smoking, drugs and too much bad foods.
7. My liver has been complaining lately.

I've actually already started having detox symptoms, tongue coating, general detox feeling, cravings and fatigue. The first three days are always the worst, if you can get to day four, you are set to go on a great cleanse. All it takes is keeping your goals in mind! Basically, mind over matter.

I'm so happy to be able to make my own juices! Although I already made on I just couldn't finish. Note to self, celery is strong!

Today I had:
- Kale-Carrot-Orange (1L)
- Black Grape (1L)
- Tomato-Celery-Cucumber (500mL)
- Royal Gala Apple (750mL)
- 2.5 Liters of water

So moving on to day 2! I am so very happy I started this on a day I'm not working. I also have tomorrow to get myself used to it all, then Wednesday is a long day at work then a dinner training, to which I will bringing my own juice!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Let's do this!

So it's that time of year again. The one where I get down to business and get in a super cleanse. Last year I did an OJ mono-cleanse that lasted all of 5 days, because I just couldnt drink anymore of it more than anything. Also, all I had was a citrus juicer. This year, things are different! With having purchased a masticated juicer that works amazzinngly, I will be undertaking a Juice Feast!

I'm not 100% sure how long its going to last, I've come to the conclusion that just going with the flow and listening to my body would be the best way to go about it. That being said, I do want to accomplish at least 14 days. But I am going to try to keep in mind that my body signals come first.

I am going to be mixing it up and doing all kinds of juices, starting with a green juice first thing in the morning and then as much fruit juice as I are for, with at least 2 liters of filtered water throughout the day.

I am going to try and post every day, with juice recipes, how I'm feeling and all that jazz!

Here we go!