June 2011

Back when i started detoxing i couldn’t wait to get the thing over with so i could go back to cheese, milk, pasta and lots of cream in my coffee.  But now I try to eat more detox healthy all the time.  It came about slowly.  I didn’t force myself, i just kept working at finding things I liked among the healthy foods and let them take over for things i’d prefer not eat as often.  Now I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten a french fry.  And I’m good with that.

I also had a realization.  While I try to stuff as many veggies as possible into family dinnertime, we still have food that appeal to the masses, like my kids.  The place where I really have control over what i consume is the meals I have at work:  breakfast, lunch and snacks 5 days a week.

Before, in the a.m.’s I would bring too little to work.  I’d think “oh yeah that’s enough food” and then I’d be at work and the hungries would hit and I would end up at a store or vending machine.  Now I bring lots of food but try not to spend a lot of time prepping.

On Sunday I make a big salad of grains (like brown rice or quinoa), veggies and some protein like feta cheese, beans or canned salmon.  Or I’ll make something like Greek Chickpea Salad.

I’ll fill 3 containers and put them in the fridge.  In the a.m., I just have to add salad dressing (the real stuff like Paul Newman’s, not the diet crap with all the scary ingredients).   Then i don’t have to think about lunches again until Thursday.

Sometimes I make a vat of carrot soup with lots of tasty spices.  I refridgerate enough in containers for 2-3 days and freeze the rest for another week.

I’ve found that if I bring two smallish lunch meals like soup and a salad, I’ll eat one at 11:00 and then the other at 2:00 or so.  Then I don’t spend my time snacking and I consume way more veggies.

I’ll also bring extras like fruit, greek yogurt and homemade oatcakes (whole wheat flour, 1/2 the sugar) on Monday and then the food is there to eat at some point in the week.

I even stock back-up.  I have drawer snacks like almonds and peanut butter for putting on bananas if I feel like i could use more protein.  I think i was always afraid that if I had a lot of food around me at work that all I’d do is eat.  But really, i eat the same amount, just better because i have plenty of healthy options.

My hero (he doesn’t know it) is this guy in my office who’s mid to late 40s and obviously lifts a lot of weights.  He clearly takes good care of himself.  He brings an armload of various sized plastic containers in to work and puts them all carefully in the fridge.  Big containers with salad and chicken, little ones with dips, dressings and yogurt. He brings in 2-3 days worth of food each time.  Now that’s organized.

He also washes the containers out at work and I’ve started doing that too.  There’s usually some point in the afternoon when you can use a 3 minute break and then it’s one less thing to do at home when you could be organizing the next day’s food.  Hope some of that helps –  happy detox-eating all the time.

I read about good benefits of coconut oil in a few places and so I did some research on it.  Internet research on something like this is so much fun.  You get the short general fairly useless articles.  And then you also get the in-depth so-scientific-most-of-it-goes-over-your-head articles.  But I pieced together that it’s pretty healthy, it also might increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.  So I decided to give it a try.

I worked up to adding a tablespoon per day to my diet.  I melted it in the microwave and drizzled it over a flat bagel with a slice of low fat cheese or egg for breakfast.  I put some in my hot cereal, soup, pasta and stew. I also dribbled some in coffee.  I know it sounds weird, but keep in mind that coconut oil is lighter than melted butter.  And i found an organic brand that tastes light and coconuty, it’s really good.  A friend of mine scrapes coconut oil on her crackers.

After two weeks of eating it I found I was a little less juicy around my middle which i was pretty happy about.  I know I lost a couple pounds but can’t give exact numbers because my scale died.  I was happy with the results.

After four weeks of eating I had fewer cravings and less hunger in general.  I would get to 4:00 in the afternoon and go, hey wait a second where was my 3:00 search for snacks?  And that’s weird, I never forget to eat.  I also find that I can do some baking and then not eat it like I used.  Like, actually walk by it, which just isn’t like me.  I was even happier with those results!

I also notice that if I skip I day I see a bit of a return of my cravings and hunger.

I noticed that Dr. Mercola did an article on coconut oil.   Dr. Mercola is a funny guy.  I subscribe to his newsletter because he has good info on staying healthy and supplements and stuff.  I read him because i often hear of things that I don’t hear in other ways.  The downside is that he often takes a fear mongering approach (the food additive that will KILLL YOU!), but then also offers videos of cute animals.  So he keeps you entertained while you wait for your impending death from over-consumption of aspertame.

But the bottomline is that I find what he says fairly trustworthy.  He does his research and what he says jives with things I research elsewhere.  So he’s a good resource for learning more.  If you want to learn more about coconut oil, he did an article on how coconut oil helps avoid heart disease and then reviewed a study that compares coconut oil to soybean oil.  So you can learn more yourself.  If you decide to try it share your results here!


let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go

so comes love

~ e. e. cummings ~

I was listening to Tara Brach’s podcast called Realizing True Wellbeing.  She says that the Positive Psychologists have found we have a Happiness Set Point.  Whether you win the lottery or lose an arm, a few months later you’ll be pretty much back at the level of happiness you were at before the event.

They’ve also concluded that we’re hardwired to see the glass half empty.  If you think about our cave forebearers – who was most likely to survive?  The dude in a hammock enjoying a beverage in a coconut shell Gilligan-style?  Or the dude tucking food away for the winter and keeping an eye out for the saber-tooth tiger?

The challenge is that we may have inherited the genes that keep us watching for the saber tooth tiger, but that isn’t our reality.  We have it pretty good.  But how we really make things lousy for ourselves is that when we notice what’s lacking we then have the second thought, “and therefore I suck”.  Right?  We make it worse by being hard on ourselves.

Being a Type A person I have a really hard time with seeing things undone, unfinished or unaddressed.  But frankly with all the stuff on my plate, I need to accept it will likely *always* be like that.  It doesn’t mean that I suck.  It means I just haven’t gotten around to that one yet.

We may be hardwired to see the glass half empty, to focus on what’s missing or what’s not right or perfect.  But we can train ourselves and practice being in a happier state.  We can focus on the part of the cup that’s half full, and we can go easy on ourselves.

Here are a few sure fire ways to help:

1.  Name It. Give that cranky judgemental, nothing-is-ever-good-enough voice in your a head a name.  Like Aunt Mildred, or Chrissandra The Crank, or whatever name resonates with you so that you can tell him or her where to go when you hear it.  The voice probably has it’s good sides sometimes.  It gets your butt out of bed in the morning when you’re tired and need to go to work.  It provides another point of view when you want to eat cookies for dinner.  But the key is to recognize when it’s not useful and tell it where to go.

It also helps to name the emotion.  “Wow I’m frustrated right now” can help you get just a teeny bit of distance from it so that you’re not just wallowing it and being hard on yourself for it and making things worse.

2. Get Grateful. When you find yourself going through your laundry list of what sucks about yourself and your life, sometimes you need to take drastic measures.  Like think about something else.  Like all the things that make up the part of your cup that’s half full.  And I start right from scratch, the fact that i have clothes and a roof over my head and don’t have to worry about the militia pounding down the door in the night.  It really helps put things in perspective.

Yesterday my kids were being nuts at one time or another and it was absolutely exhausting.  And at one point I turned to Honeybunny and said, aren’t we so lucky that our kids are healthy?  There are parents that spend days in the hospital with their children and would give anything for them to be healthy.  And here we are, our kids have enough wherewithall to drive us bananas.  We’re so lucky.  Why fight it right? What a gift that momentary insight was.

3. Take a Nap or Find Your Happy Place. Here’s how many of my Saturday a.m..s go.  I’m wiped from the busy week, I get up in the a.m. and have a to-do list of about 15,000 items.  I start to pick them off.  And say I get three things done, I’m disgruntled that it’s not 6 things.  You know?  Even though I’m getting things done I’m thinking, there’s no way i’m going to get everything done this weekend, there’s too much, this sucks, I suck.  Then the part of the day comes when i can take a nap.  After I wake up I stretch and yawn and feel kinda lazy and you know – I don’t care about the to-do list.

All of a sudden, it’s no big deal.  I notice what i’ve gotten accomplished so far and i think, huh, not bad, the other stuff will come around, and if it doens’t it couldn’t have been too important.  One nap, one total attitude shift.  I’ve also seen the same attitude shift after a nice walk.  It seems counter-intuitive that if i’m feeling cranky about not getting things done that i should stop doing and nap.  Or walk.  But there it is.

Because the thing I’ve realized is that  it’s not about the to-do list.  It’s about the cranky and being hard on myself.  So i need to deal with my attitude and figure out how to improve it.  Because then the whole world looks better.  I’m happier.

There’s a great interview with yoga teacher Cora Wen in The Magazine of Yoga.  She talks about how when she started doing yoga she was practicing for 6 hours a day.  She went to visit her family for Thanksgiving and was mostly cheesed off that she couldn’t practice like she did at home and she wasn’t really present for her family while she was there.  Then her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died very quickly.  Here’s the rest of the story:

Cora Well, thank you. I mean, it just was this is how it happened. And I remember thinking that that was the last Thanksgiving that I spent with her.

I remember thinking about that. All the times that I couldn’t talk to her on the phone because I was practicing, all the moments that I couldn’t go to a movie with my friends, all those things.

That’s what yoga’s about. Being present with your family. Being present with yourself. Living this life fully, completely, and absolutely and not defining life in search of some practice or some goal or some pose or some memorization of some sutra.

I’m not saying that that’s not good. I love chanting the sutras and mantras and I love going after poses. But how is it changing who I am? Who am I in the world?

And as a teacher, how can I help others? When I have somebody newly coming into my class that is clearly like new, mastectomy, chemo, recovering from cancer, and they’re coming into a class, how do I hold them when the tears come? How do I help them remember how to accept their body?

That’s what yoga’s about. Not whether you can put your feet on head.

Wow, I finally finished the cookbook and got it up on the site.  I’m really excited about it.  I figured how to make a detox granola.  I know, another breakfast option – woohoo!

I also really got thinking this time about the best ways to keep the whole 80/20% food thing straight.  It’s one of the challenges of doing the Wild Rose D-Tox.  I heard someone say once that eating on the detox is no big deal, they just make a big pot of chili and then eat it constantly.  And I thought, um, aren’t beans and meat 20% foods?  So shouldn’t chili maybe make up one meal?  Or at least put it on brown rice which you can eat in unlimited quantities?

My point is that it’s hard and I included some advice on how to figure it out in the cookbook.  I also included 6 recipes that you can make with all 80% or foods from the unlimited list.  In other words, eat up.  No math required.  Things like Lemon Rice and Almond Crusted Salmon.  Those dishes are so yummy I eat them when I’m not detoxing.

So check it out if you’re thinking about your next detox.  For a mere $4.95 e-book, it costs less than your next bag of organic brown rice.  Happy Detoxing!

A friend just sent me this article on saving things called Rotten Happiness.  My friend could relate.  She had saved a bottle of expensive wine for years, looking for the perfect time to open it.

Finally she opened it and it had turned to vinegar, she had to dump it out.  She was so cheesed off that she didn’t just drink the damn thing when a “good enough” time came along.

I can relate to it too.  I can hoard things.  I understand it’s a Taurean trait.  Save things for a rainy day and all that.  But a couple things I do do, is wear the clothes I buy and eat off all the dishes.  I’ll be looking for areas to improve.  Just enjoy the stuff.

My horoscope for June reminded me that to enjoy and experience the abundance in our lives we need to celebrate it by sharing it.  Then we open up space in our lives for more to flow in.