Monday, January 30, 2012

The Breakthrough

It's the last day of week 1 and it's mostly likely going to be the last day of the cleanse as outlined on the website.  I have a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, I'm hungry.  I woke up Saturday morning with the pain and brain fog gone, lots of energy and feeling great.  With the energy I've been able to be much more active, Tally and I have been logging miles and miles twice a day.  But with the increased activity has come increased hunger.  I've been angry hungry for three days!  I'm starting to feel deprived and that's never a good thing.  Second, I'm anxious to get back to my weight lifting and for that I'm going to need protein fuel. 

That being said, the cleanse has really done its job.  I'm down 9 pounds, my palate is cleansed, I feel light and my clothes are fitting better.  This is a good thing.  And I'm not giving up all the tenets of the cleanse for the next three weeks.  I'm just modifying. I'll be continuing with no processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine.  I'll be adding back meats, eggs and fish, some dairy and very limited grains.  I'm going to continue with veggies and more veggies and my juice every single day.

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to having two pastured eggs tomorrow after my  juice and having some grassfed butter on my steamed broccoli! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Snacks

It's cleanse day 4 and it's the best day of the week so far. Still waiting for my energy level to bounce back fully but the aches are subsiding and the brain fog is clearing. I'm enjoying the plant-based meals but when I took Tally out earlier, someone in the hood had the grill fired up and the smell of smoke and meat in the air nearly made me weep. I'm all for eating lots of fruit and veg, but I honestly don't think I could give up meat forever.

Snacks are encouraged on the cleanse.  Whole Living has nine "balanced snacks" to choose from.  I made three of them this week.

The first was Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix.  Since no added sugars are allowed on the plan, dried cranberries are a no-go, I don't think I've ever seen unsweetened dried cranberries in any food store.  I used golden raisins instead, they are my favorite.  I mixed them a blend of raw nuts and seeds; pumpkin, cashews, almonds and walnuts.  The half-cup serving size is generous, since the overall daily calories are so low, this makes a satisfying snack.

Next up is the Dried Fruit and Nut Bites, these babies are awesome!  It was a bit of a messy process grinding everything up then kneading the mixture and rolling the balls but it was worth the effort.  I ended up with 24 balls, rather than 20 but stuck with the serving of four.  These are so tasty and filling, this recipe is a keeper.  I used raisins, prunes and dried apricots and cashews, almonds, walnuts and flax seeds.  I rolled them in sesame seeds.  Yum!

Last, I made up a batch of Minty Pea Dip.  This was quick, easy and really delicious, bright, garlicky and with a bit of sweetness from the peas.

Raw garlic is really healthy but hard to eat, so this is a great way to get some raw garlic in a most delectable way.  The recipe said it makes 2 cups but I got a little over 3 cups. 

Next week I want to try the Pistachio Stuffed Dates with Coconut.  Mmmm, dates!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes

Day 3 and holding on.  Tally and I went to bed so early last night and I slept very well.  It was much needed deep sleep, the headache is better today but still lingering as is the leg ache.  I've been reading the blogs over at Whole Living and I see that many of the participants experienced the same thing during their time on the cleanse.

I started my day with my revised version the Green Machine Smoothie.  I had made the original incarnation on Tuesday morning and while the flavor was pleasant, the texture was disgusting.  The water mixed with blender-chopped romaine lettuce left a thick, gelatinous texture that was really hard to get down.  I managed as I didn't want to waste any produce but I knew that I could make it better.  This morning I juiced all the greens and the ginger then poured it into the blender with mango, added a banana and some frozen blueberries.  OMG, it was so delicious.  You'd never know that there were so many good green things in that drink.  And the banana gave it really good staying power.

 I was at the dentist earlier having an old filling replaced.  I'm very fortunate to have access to great dental care and have dental insurance but boy, oh, boy it was painful.  I think I'm extra delicate due to the cleanse, my dentist had to put a second dose of Novocaine halfway through the procedure because I started to writhe in pain.  My mouth hurts like a bastard!  Good thing I made up a batch of the Roasted Beet and Garlic Soup the other day.  I had that for my lunch and it was so soothing.  I love beets but it's the roasted garlic makes this recipe.  Very tasty and filling.  The recipe it meant to make four cups, but I ended up with five. 

When buying beets, I always choose ones with bountiful green tops.  I love me some beet greens!  I sauteed up a big pile the other night and ate them up the first two days of the cleanse. 



I'll probably have another green smoothie for supper as my mouth is not going to be up to chewing any roughage today.  Tomorrow I'll make the spiced butternut squash soup and roast up some cauliflower.  Hopefully my mouth will be feeling better so I can have a big, green salad for lunch.

Now I'm going to watch Lethal Weapon, it's on Encore.  1980's mullet-wearing, pre-batshit crazy Mel Gibson was HOT!  It's so funny watching Murtaugh act like he's so old. He's 50!  Hasn't he heard that 50 is the new 30?  ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quick Check-In

I really wanted to post last evening but I had the worst detox headache and just had to go to bed.  The headache had subsided somewhat this morning but stated rearing up this afternoon and evening.  I got out on a nice walk with Tally this morning but otherwise the energy level is low, I'm freezing cold (despite oddly warm weather) and I can't roam too far from the bathroom. 

This is a tough challenge for sure, but the recipes have been good for the most part.  I'll have some pics and reviews upcoming when I'm not feeling so rotten.  I spent $127 on all the produce which was mostly fresh veggies, some organic, supplemented with fresh and frozen fruit and plenty of dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds to last for the next few weeks. 

One of the steps in preparing for the cleanse was to write down the reasons for wanting to take part in the challenge.  I've been thinking about it (Why, God WHY???) while rubbing icy hot balm on the base of my neck trying to ease this headache.  I want to feel strong and healthy again and the only way to do achieve that is by feeding my body in a nourishing way.  When I'm nourishing my body, I have so much more energy and a more positive outlook which makes life joyful.  And because I'm not above a little vanity, I want my smallest jeans to fit again.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

*Crickets Crickets*

My last post went over like a lead filled balloon.   No one has any opinions on SOPA, the Internet as a distraction, hand milking a cow, nor are there any takers to join me for the Whole Living Action Plan.  I definitely need to learn how other bloggers get their readers so involved in fitness and weight loss challenges. 

I know dropped ball in 2011 as far as weight maintenance and fitness motivation and that must have carried over into my blog.  I'm planning on making that right this year.  After all, it's the Year of the Dragon!  If that doesn't spark some fierce determination, I don't know what will.

I've always purchased the January/February issue of Whole Living magazine with the lofty goal of taking on the challenge they present each year but have never done it.  This year's challenge looks totally tough but it's only three weeks.  I'm committing to the entire three weeks, here and now!  Tomorrow I will hit the market to purchase the items on the first week's shopping list. 

I don't usually like to focus on what I can't have but here is the must avoid list for the challenge...
  • processed food or beverages
  • added sugar
  • dairy
  • gluten
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
I do great without processed foods, most grains and added sugar and don't even mind giving up my wine and coffee/green tea for periods of time but I'm going to miss my raw milk and Greek yogurt for sure.

It's better to focus on what I'm going to have, so here is how the weeks will unfold...

Week 1
  • fruits, 
  • vegetables
  • plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils
Week 2:
  • week 1 foods
  • seafood
  • beans and lentils, and organic soy
Week 3:
  • weeks 1 and 2 foods
  • gluten-free grains and eggs
I'll likely modify the plan by avoiding soy and having extra portions of the vegetable juices.  Otherwise I'm going to follow the plan closely including the tips and exercises.  I will blog here with photos, recipes and how I'm doing on a regular basis.  I'll also post my reviews of the recipes and the plan itself as well as the shopping costs.  Click here for a look at week 1.  I'm off to print the first shopping list.  Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And We're Back!

Did you boycott the Internet yesterday in support of Stop SOPA?  I took the blog down and I stayed off the net for a good day and a half.  Mostly because I feel it is a worthy cause to support but also because it was a great excuse to stay off the computer.  I find the Internet to be a HUGE distraction and I am so much more focused and productive without it.  I enjoyed the break so much, I'm thinking of instituting a computer free day each week.  What are your thoughts on it?

In other exciting news, I've signed up for an extensive tour of My Dad and Me Family Farm which will include taking part in farm chores.  I'm going to have the opportunity to gather eggs, feed the hens, slop the pigs and hand milk a cow.  HAND MILK A COW!!!!!  I'm so excited.  It's coming up in April and I will be sure to come back here and share my experience with you.

What's on the menu at Shady Dame?  I'm picking Rob up at the airport this afternoon and he's coming home sick.  I have to get him well before he has to travel again on Monday.  I've got the fridge stocked with lots of juice produce and I'm going to make up a big batch of minestrone soup with tons of fresh veggies, dried and soaked cranberry beans  and homemade bone broth.  I'm also going to make mushroom barley soup and perhaps a homemade pizza with arugula for dinner Sunday evening.  I wanted something fun for during AFC game.  Go Pats!

Before I get to all the chopping for my minestrone, I wanted to share my plans for the next few weeks and invite you to join me.  I'm going to do the Whole Living 2012 Action Plan.  While I do a juice fast a couple of times a year, I've always wanted to take part in the Whole Living challenge and see if I could do a proper clean eating cleanse for a full three weeks.  So who is in?  I'd love some support and company.  The full plan is on the website so you don't even need to buy the magazine.  

I'll have more details and links in an upcoming post.  Think about it!  Have a fantastic Thursday.  I've got to hit the kitchen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Chit-Chat

Thanks for all the well wishes, you guys are the best!  I am feeling better today, it was one rough week.  Rob flew off to Zurich yesterday and was just starting to feel the stirrings of what I had despite my best efforts to keep him well.  I sent him with Zicam, Halls, Theraflu and all his supplements.  I hope his week away isn't too terrible, poor Bunny.

I was planning on uploading the cruise pics and doing my trip report today but in light of the tragic accident involving Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, I thought it would be bad timing.  My heart goes out to the passengers and crew.  The photos were completely unnerving, the muster drill hadn't even been conducted yet!  During our muster drill,  things were so chaotic, people were inattentive, farting around on cell phones, turning up late and talking over the crew members, we were convinced that if there were any sort of accident that we'd be screwed. People think that it can't happen but the sea is dangerous and even modern ocean liners aren't immune to those dangers. We took note of our area, our lifeboat and where the life jackets were stored that afternoon just in case.  Thank goodness we returned home safely, I can't even imagine what those poor people went through.

I do want to share  a couple of pics from our anniversary, hoping it won't be too insensitive because it was a special day.  Rob "surprised" me with a beautiful bauble.  We picked it out sometime last year and the little stinker hid it and told me to forget about it.  Like that was going to happen.  And when I finally got to put it on, the squee was deafening.

This was waiting for us when we arrived in our room.  It was delicious, light and fluffy vanilla cake, not to sweet with a bit of jam between the layers.  The frosting was a creamy whipped icing.  


And my little black dress, which isn't so little but I sure felt beautiful that night.


Here we are at dinner on New Year's Eve celebrating 10 years of marital bliss.  It's not always bliss, of course, but there is no other person I'd rather share my life with.  The lovely waitress and hostess had just sung us "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and it sounded so sweet.  Rob was mortified, though.  We only ordered one dessert each, but they brought us another anniversary cake!

Moving on, did you see that wicked awesome Patriots game last night?  I'm not much of a sports fan but I always keep one an eye on my old hometown teams.  Maybe they won't make it to the Super Bowl but I'm psyched I didn't miss that spanking Tom Brady gave Tim Tebow and break all those records.  I did feel bad for the Saints, though.  That was another great game, despite the outcome.

What did you have for breakfast today?  When I saw this Baked Oatmeal recipe on Gina's Skinnytaste I knew I had to make it.  I had bananas ripening on the counter and blueberries in the freezer, and it was a good excuse to try my new Le Crueset baking dish that I found on clearance for $10. 

I didn't change the original recipe too much.  I used my real milk (I shudder at the thought of pasteurized skim milk.)  I added additional spices like nutmeg and ground ginger and since I don't use sweetener in my regular oatmeal, I didn't think it would be needed here.  And it wasn't.  This dish is a keeper, warm and satisfying and baked bananas are so luscious.  You must try it!

I felt well enough to take Tally walking this morning.  We went for almost an hour.  It's cold out today but the sun is shining and it felt great to get some fresh air.  Speaking of my precious girl, here she is doing what she does best, whatever the heck she wants to do.  I flipped the cushion down so she wouldn't steal my spot, as she does, but when I returned two minutes later this is what I found...

That's all for now, I hope Sunday finds you safe and warm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crawling Out from Under the Covers

My feeling "a little under the weather" on Sunday had bloomed itself into the plague by Monday morning and has continued to intensify all week.  I have not been this ill since we returned from Disney in 2009.  It's been a good run! 

I've had to cancel everything, including the dentist, the chiropractor, the realtor and worst of all, work, because I haven't been able to do anything other than sleep, stare at the television and sip hot broth.  Rob got me a jar of good old fashioned Vicks VapoRub and that's been helping me sleep at night.  It really does calm the cough.  

The good news is that in one feel swoop, I eliminated wine, sugar and most grains because I haven't had much of an appetite. Getting back to healthy eating once I'm feeling better is going to be so much easier after this unplanned detox. 

And in other really good news, Tally has become a lady of leisure of sorts.  Since just before Christmas she taken to sleeping in.  No more 5 and 6am wake up calls, she gets up when we do, my prayers have been answered.  Today, Princess Pointy Toes and I slept in until 8am.
Send healing chicken soup vibes, I'll be back when I kick this cold.  *crawls back under the covers*

Sunday, January 8, 2012


It sure was weird spending the first week of January on vacation.  Weird but wonderful!  We made it home safely last evening.  All that relaxation is hard work, we are exhausted.  But the laundry is nearly done and I'll finish unpacking tomorrow before heading to work, which is going to hurt for sure.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, but after a week of merry making at sea that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.  We're laying low today.  The cruise was heavenly so watch this space for a trip review along with photos of food porn and some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets that I've ever seen.
I'll also be back with my strategy for getting my workout back on and getting the 2011 (and cruise) weight gain back off.  I'm going to roast a chicken later for dinner then make a rich bone broth in the week to boost our travel-weary immune systems.  

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  It sure is nice to be home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's 2012!

May we each have our happiest and healthiest year ever.  Happy New Year!