Monday, February 27, 2012

February = clean living

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions... or rather, I am not big on sticking to them, so I have given up on making them. January 1st always comes too quickly for me to implement any positive changes. The house is still full of sweets and booze from parties or gifts and I am still stationed smack dab in the middle of the hedonistic penumbra of Christmas.

But February is a different story... At the beginning of this month, I was ready for a change, so I decided to dedicate the whole month to detoxing. I had a whole number of reasons why- I'd been feeling sluggish* and puffy and slow, I had nasal congestions almost every day, my skin was looking especially terrible... I was in need of an overall tune-up.

* No offense to my lovely slug friend, who I blogged about yesterday!

I was inspired at first by my dad, who is trying to change his life for the better. He signed himself up for his local health club's Biggest Loser competition, and has won the coveted title once in the first 3 weigh-ins (go dad!). I also picked up some ideas from Lar of AsianCajuns who blogged about her venture into raw foods. But I ended up I customized my own detox plan after a little online reading and consideration of my personal dietary needs/constraints and health goals.

Here are my "rules"

No alcohol
No dairy
No gluten
No processed foods of any kind
No sugar
No soy
Drink full pitcher of water daily (with fresh lemon :)
Take a daily supplement (live vitamin)
Eat plenty of superfoods (see below)
Exercise 4-6 times per week
Do something nice for my skin daily (I have so many great masks, etc. Time to start using them!)
Sleep at least 8 hours a night (my favorite)

Might sound like it would be difficult, but the first two weeks went by without me feeling deprived of anything at all. Then the chocolate cravings hit. I have not yet succumbed, but they are still there... My mom got me a wonderful sprouted trail mix that's got raw cocoa nibs and it does the trick. Also, I have been pretty good about having toxic foods in the house (is that what I should call foods that are 'no-no's while detoxing?) but I had to ask Matt not to get a fresh mozzarella and basil pizza, cuz that would have gone right in my mouth. No doubt about it.

Instead of pizza, I've been trying to load up on Superfoods. Like:

goji berries
radish seed
chia seed
flax seed
steel cut oats
adzuki beans
and my favorite...
chard, kale & spinach

This isn't an exhaustive list of what I eat, just the things that I try to incorporate into most meals.

And I am seeing some changes in the way I feel and look...

I feel a lot less thick and tried. 

I have more energy and a bit more pep (although, waking up in the mornings to go to the gym is still a challenge, but it is getting easier). 

I am getting stronger, I can do a few things at the gym that I could not do when I started out almost a month ago. 

My skin has improved, I have a lot fewer breakouts, but my face in nearly always red, so I might have to ease up on it a little (I tend to go overboard sometimes :).  

I pee all the time (TMI?) but I figure that's what you are supposed to do when you're drinking a lot of water. 

I'm still kinda stuffed-up, sometimes before bed or when I first wake up in the morning, but maybe it's the 3 cats that sleep on me all night that's causing that!

I've lost about 10 lbs and dropped a dress size. Not my primary reason for detoxing, but a very welcome side effect of clean living!

So, while my month of detox is coming to a close, I think I'll extend it for one more month. Initially, I thought about doing a 3 month detox, since I read that's how long it takes to really run something out of your system, so who knows, maybe I'll extend it at the end of March as well. (I am going to a wedding though at the end of the month and it will be hard to keep it up around flowing drinks and passed hor dourves!)

I might even 'up it' a bit... This morning, I cut out my last real vice, coffee, and sipped a cup of organic green tea and I have yet to fall into a narcoleptic slump. And, I've got my eye on some kelp powder that I can enjoy internally and externally- it's that awesome. On top of it all, I'm trying yoga again. Tonight will be my first attempt to incorporate yoga into my life since... my last attempt (there have been at least a dozen attempts- a few times I even got a *little* good at it before refusing to go to any more classes). But now I'm in my 30s. You know, older, wiser, stronger. I think I can finally stop comparing all the peaceful bendy people's poses with my twitchy, strained, frustrated self. Tonight, I'll just go with the flow.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Slug luv

This is Lana, the Banana slug. She was mugging for the camera, so pretty! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A simply sweet Valentine's Day

My Valentine brought me flowers.

And then took me to one of my favorite restaurants, Native Foods. I got a delicious kale salad.

And we went to the show and saw Hugo. So happy to catch it before it is off the big screen. It is so beautiful and charming. I loved every moment!

Thanks for another wonderful Valentine's Day, my love!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy 200th Birthday, Charlie!


Today marks Charles Dickens' 200th birthday, and the world is celebrating! Really. Check out Dickens 2012 to see the extent of it all. The man gave the world unforgettable literary characters that speak to the human condition-- greedy characters, vulnerable characters, resilient characters --that us real people see in own world... in ourselves.

I've written about Mr. Dickens on this blog before, mostly to gush about how much I love his works and to admit how many I have yet to read. So, for 2012, I am committed to putting a dent in his man's prolific collection. Anyone have suggestions where to start? Which is your Dickensian favorite?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where I been?

I've taken a mini break from  my blog, and now I'm back. Anyone interested in all the Happy things that kept me from my online responsibilities? Well, here they are:

First, Matt and I have had a visit from one of his closest friends, and they let me tag along to a Martin Sexton concert. I think this is the sixth or seventh time that I have seen "Marty" live and this show was one of the best. He rocked the El Rey Theater! If you haven't heard of this guy, check him out. You'll be happy you did.

I've also been reading a few of the books we checked out of the library for our Burns Supper. I realize that I appreciate the poems more if I figure out their meaning with the use of a Scots-English dictionary, and then reread them a few times to get the cadence and rhythm.

And I've been eating.  A lot. I'm trying to keep to an all natural diet for the month of February. Can't talk too much about it, since I am only a few days in and I don't want to jinx myself. So far, so good though. No gluten, no dairy, (no meat, of course), no alcohol, no refined sugar and no processed foods. So... these kiwis are a go!

But this pie isn't. I did make it though, and sent it off to be eaten without me. I've made it once before, its a blackberry/apple pie with a crumble top. I will post the recipe some day, because it is a little too delicious to keep to myself. 

And, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday, which for me means two things...

1. The halftime show- had to check out Madonna, who despite the haters I have read online I thought did a great job. I mean, it was what it should have been- showy, short and full of songs we all know backwards and forwards... (I had to keep reminding myself that she's in her 50s! Amazing!) and...

2. The Puppy Bowl. Freaking awesome. So. Incredibly. Cute. And I loved how much they promoted and pet adoption. (This year's game belonged to Fumble!)

I wrapped it all up with an episode of Downton Abbey.

And I've made some leaps and bounds in my knitting, but I can't share any pictures of that, yet. Hope you all have enjoyed a Happy week!