Monday, January 31, 2011


Peeps have been asking about the process of the cleanse I am on.  *Yes, I am still on it.  So, I thought I’d write it out for you all.  I will link to the specific herbs and tonics through Blessed Herbs, but will give you the breakdown of events as they occur.

I started out with the Colon Cleanse.  Eight Days.  Three days of decreasing eating.  Five Fasting.  Once you are fasting you take the Toxin Absorber five times a day with apple cider.  It is vital that you drink a lot of water so you don’t get toxin absorber stuck in your system.  The Toxin Absorber is an herbal supplement of Psyllium seed husks, Apple pectin, Ginger root OR Peppermint leaf, and Bentonite clay and goes throughout your intestines gathering up crap, bad bacteria coming out as mucoid plaque.  It comes out, ummm, interestingly.  You are supported in this by a digestive stimulator which acts much like insoluble fiber and moves it all along. 

After that I waited about a week just eating well so not to build up new crap in my newly cleaned out colon and got ready to address the rest of my system.  I was taking the toxin absorber daily and making sure the body was maintaining stasis.

The Internal Cleanse lasts 21 days and acts a follow up to a clean colon by cleansing the liver, lungs, kidneys, skin and lymph.  While on the IC you continue to take the toxin absorber and digestive stimulator adding in herbs and a liquid formula.

The first week concentrates on removing parasites in your small intestine and cleansing the gallbladder and liver.  The liquid formula is vile.  I had a major reaction this week (vertigo).  No parasites though. (ya!) The second week was bladder, lung and kidney.  The third week is lymph, blood and skin.

It is vital that your continue to take the toxin absorber and digestive stimulator so you can continue to push out the toxins.  It is also important to eat as clean as possible for you so that you don’t build up toxins in the process.  They recommend you eat one “level” above how you regularly eat.  For example, if you eat animal protein and processed foods then you could continue to eat animal protein, but take out the processed foods.  They recommend eating organic, non-processed foods, but try to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

The Internal Cleanse is definitely more mellow of a process.  Sometimes I forget I am doing it, but do feel that it is making a difference.  Not only is it reinforcing a better eating style I am cleaning out the bad bacteria and nightly replacing it with good bacteria so that my body can work more efficiently.

My whole system will be all cleansed out on Friday.  In all a five week process.  Pretty intense, but definitely something I would do again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Great Blender Off

Yesterday we planned to do a side by side comparison of the Vitamix 5200 and a Blendtec to see which one was better.  Most people haven’t heard of the Blendtec as Vitamix has the green smoothie/raw foods market cornered.  They both are made by companies that have been making blenders for a long time.

Side by Side
In the end we we decided not to do an old school blender-off. We just made a few different types of foods comparing functionality and design, and generally had a good time doing it.

First of all – size – the Vitamix is huge and burly looking.  The Blendtec looks so small in comparison.  The jar size is actually the same.  I know, crazy, right?  They both hold the same amount of liquid.  However, I would say that the Vitamix has greater usable space as the lid is higher creating a little bit more space inside.

First we made peanut butter.  I would actually like to see the Vitamix do this as well just for comparison.  I thought this was going to break the poor Blendtec, but it totally worked.

Peanuts     Peanut Butter

Homemade peanut butter.  How cool is that??

Next we made ice cream.  Why not, right?  While we weren’t thrilled about the recipes (too icey) we found that both made comparable products.  We used some of the peanut butter to make the pb ice cream (with coconut milk)  with the Blendtec and a traditional chocolate ice cream with the Vitamix.  I then added a banana to the pb ice cream and blended it again resulting in an awesome pb milkshake creation which my son loved.

Next we made milks.  With the Vitamix we made a rice milk and the Blendtec an almond milk.  The Blendtec dry mixed the almonds first.  This created a one step process vs a two step (mixing and then straining) required by the Vitamix.

Last we made a Ocean Fruit Smoothie from the Blendtec recipe book. It was really really good.

DSC_0033      Mango Goodness

The recipe:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 mango – peeled

1 pear – quartered and seeded

1 TBSP sugar (we didn’t use)

1 banana – peeled

1 cup ice


You could easily add some spinach or other green to make this a little more green.

These two blenders cost the same, but in the end it comes down to functionality. I am pleased with my Blendtec. Had you not guessed which one I had yet?? Smile  I like the subject buttons (the fact that I can push it and walk away while it does it’s job) and I like the dry capabilities (which you need to buy an additional dry container to do with the Vitamix). 

Either one is a great blender.  Either one would work for you to make soups, smoothies, sauces, ice cream, breads or dressings. 

If you have a working blender, use it until it dies (unless you are like me and find that your blender can’t do what you need it to do).  But if you need a new blender, you might as well buy one of these that will last you forever and have much greater functionality.  It is worth it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Labels, Part Two

I recently found out the label for the diet I was follow from the fall of 2009 to last fall.  It is called the Paleo Diet and is based upon the principles of eating whole foods like man ate before the development of cities.  You should eat mostly fruits, vegetables and animal protein with a moderate fat intake.  I followed this diet for a long time until I realized that it wasn’t working for me.  I was developing a junk food (in the form of tortilla chips) habit that I craved alongside sugar.  Last fall I added in root vegetables (as it was the season) which curbed the sugar, but caused me to gain weight.  It didn’t make me happy anymore.

This January I have come upon a way of eating that makes me so happy.  I am eating 2/3 raw meals and 1/3 vegan/vegetarian meals.  A truly surprising develop considering my resistance to it when I listened to the lessons for school. I hesitate to label myself that way though, because this is how I feel now.  It developed through the cleanse I am doing and has just suited me.  Will I ever eat animal meat again?  My guess is I will.  Will I go totally raw this summer?  I have no idea.  But right now, this is making me happy. I feel vibrant, energetic and clear.  I am at a weight I truly like and feels sustainable. 

What am I eating that makes me feel so good?  I am eating beans, leafy greens, root (and other) vegetables, and fruits in abundance and whole grains and fats (in the form of nuts, seeds and avocado) in moderation.  Sounds eminently reasonable, right?  You are thinking this doesn’t sound too bad, aren’t you?

Why am I thinking about this right now?  Because I think this is all individual.  This is working for me, but I wouldn’t tell you that this is the healthiest diet and everyone should do it.  Having just read The China Study and Good Calories, Bad Calories simultaneously I can tell you that studies can be interpreted many different ways and that the scientists really don’t have a universal answer either.  My mom hasn’t eaten chocolate, coconut or eggs often for the past twenty years because the prevailing wisdom said not to if she wants to control her cholesterol.  Both those books said something different on the subject.  Somewhat similar, but from a different foundational basis.

So.  Chew on that for a while and then ask yourself, “Is the food I’m eating sustaining me?”  If not, you don’t need to find a diet by name (although I imagine that makes it easier) just try to discover the foods that make you feel good and the ones that slow you down.  Try to remove the ones that drain you and more of the ones that fill you with energy.  Or you can call me Smile.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Internal Cleanse Week Two

I started the Lungs, Kidney and Bladder cleanse today.  The concoction is much much less vile.  I went to yoga and had an amazing class.  In all of the liver detoxing moves I had no problems.  (Which normally make me start sweating like no tomorrow.)

After last week’s utter exhaustion I am glad to be feeling perkier again.  And I am wondering what mid-week will bring this round.

I have a lot more energy in general and am no longer cold all the time.  I feel good.  Like the food.  Especially lunch today at Prasad.  Soooo good.  Raw Tostada yumminess.

Grocery Store Transitions

I used to shop solely at Fred Meyer.  Once my son was born I started shopping at the Hillsdale Farmers Market.  This is a year round Farmers Market and we built it into our week.  M and I would walk there, shop for fruits and veg, play at the playground and go home.  It was lovely.  I eventually added in Trader Joes (which my husband calls the snack emporium) until it became one of the regulars.

After we moved last fall the closest grocery store to my house was New Seasons and now I shop there as my primary grocery store.  Last April I joined a coop.  Now I am finding more and more ways to avoid the grocery store and to get my food in bulk.

The thing that surprised me is my growing aversion to Trader Joes (aside from the overabundance of packaging).  My husband had a really bad experience there with another customer and I have had three negative experiences recently with quality.  So, I think it is going to go back to being the snack emporium for us.  The wine is good and the chips are yummy.  And that is where it belongs.

So today I found myself at New Season’s and an employee telling me that Whole Foods bulk is cheaper!  I have gone there recently more often due to their raw section and their non-dairy cheese.  Ending up thinking their bulk section looked awesome and the prices a little cheaper.  But having a New Seasons employee confirm it means I making the right moves toward more bulk foods and shopping at the right stores for the right things.  It might be more of a pain to shop at Costco (for snack and household goods), New Seasons (for some bulk, produce, jarred items, protein), Whole Foods (raw, vegan specialty items, bulk, produce), Winco (cat stuff, pullups) and the coop (produce, bulk grocery, spices), but I like knowing I am buying food at the best place to buy the food I want.

As I continue my slow transition towards shopping more at the coop (through better planning and more use of bulk grocery), I feel like I am doing the right thing for my family.  Trying to find the foods we like in a way that is good for us.  Hopefully a little better for the community as well.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am exhausted

I hadn’t really thought that I was experiencing any symptoms from the liver and gallbladder cleanse.  But now I must admit that I am.
Symptoms began on Wednesday, Day Five.  I woke up with intense vertigo that lasted all morning.  It was incredibly weird.  I hadn’t slept much at all the night before, which was initially caused by an hourlong bout of coughing (random), but combined with the vertigo I was pretty miserable in the morning.  I got a lot of sleep last night, but am exhausted right now and feeling nauseated.  awesome.
Only one more day though.  Hopefully I’ll feel better with the lungs and kidneys.  Or more like I did in the beginning of the week – which was calm, pretty happy and mellow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: The China Study

Talk about mind-blowing science!  You weren’t?  Well, this eminently readable book blew my mind at first.  This seminal epidemiological study conducted in China shows us the relationship between cancer and our nutrition.

The China Study was conducted over 15 years by T. Colin Campbell in conjunction with two Chinese scientists and a huge team of people.  This is definitely one of those books where reading the introduction is necessary. As the book continues he begins to lose me on some of his extrapolations and I am not sure about all of the science, but I believe the study itself to be highly relevant.  I will continue to read other nutrition books (in fact I found myself cross-checking his data and finding with another book I am reading) in search of the truth for me.

Only read this if you want to know how important your food choices are.  And really really read this if there is a cancer in your family.

T. Colin Campbell is in the the upcoming movie “Forks over Knives”.  So he’s still trying to get the word out 20 years later.  I can’t wait to see it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Number Four

According to the NaturalNews Insider Daily Digest I received this morning the number Four way to get toxic chemicals out of your body is: “#4) Detox your liver, kidneys and colon at least once a year. “

Yay, me!  Maybe that explains the headache I’ve had for the past 24 hours.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Internal Cleanse Rundown (Part Two)


I am now beginning the second part of the cleanse that will last this month of January (until Feb5).  I completed the colon cleanse last week and they tell you to spend four –six days regulating.  Week one of the Internal Cleanse will go after my liver and gallbladder (should be interesting…), week two- lungs, kidney and bladder and week three is blood, skin and lymph.

I have been eating two raw meals a day followed by a third vegan meal in the evening.  One night it was vegetarian stuffed pizza (mmm, cheese) and it was super yummy.  Also, interestingly the cheese didn’t bother me a bit which means my intestines really are pretty clean and lacking the stuff that makes digesting casein tough for me generally.

At first I thought I didn’t have enough food in me to do the exercise I regularly do at the level I would like, but I am not sure that is the answer.  When I have my green smoothie right before I workout I am fine. 

I am pretty cold all the time. But I absolutely love the even keel I am running on.  And can I tell you that I really like the food?  I look forward evening evening to my big exciting “cooked” meal.  And the food during the day is yummy and I can eat as much as I want.  So exciting for one such as myself.

Another interesting thing is I finally figured out what is causing my indigestion for the past year.  Nuts!  Sad for me, but good to know.  Nuts are a great afternoon snack for me to last until dinner.  I can have a few, but just nothing crazy.  Moderation as always.

So that is it for the rundown.  Looking forward to seeing what my liver has to say to me now that it has a chance to stand up for itself. 

So.  Who is going to Blossoming Lotus with me?  Not sure hubbend is up for it…

And stayed tuned for the great Blendtec vs. VitaMix – off!  The duel of the century will take place this Wednesday Smile.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Colon Cleanse (pt 1 of 2)

I started the Blessed Herbs Colon Cleanse December 30 with the hubbend.  The first three days are designed to regulate your digestion and lower your food intake in preparation for the fasting portion. 

Day One I ate some cooked foods, but days 2 and 3 I was completely raw.  I also had a headache (low grade) all three days.  At first I thought it was caffeine, but finally decided it must be sugar withdrawal.  Also, a lingering two week old cough disappeared on Day Two.

Colon Cleanse Day 2

Day Three I was exceptionally cranky and had no energy.

The first day of the fast I felt much better amazingly.  Had energy and even went on a (rather paltry) run.

Day Four

The cleanse went a lot better this time than the last time.  I regularly was eliminating some weirdweird stuff. 

Day Seven

This has been interesting and nice that it was successful.  I have had really stable moods, which I really enjoy.  I am ready for it to be done, but am anticipating the next step – the Internal Cleanse!  I am also really ready for food.  Surprised?  Stay tuned for more on my January Experiment 2011!

* Not sure why audio and video aren’t synced.  Will have to work that out if I keep using this format. Smile  Hope you enjoy it!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life is Pain, Highness

I like that quote a lot and I’ll tell you why.  This quote doesn’t mean that life sucks, it says that we can handle a lot more than we think.  Most people do everything they can to avoid pain – pain in the form of hunger, physical or emotion.  But pain can be good.  Pain stretches your muscles to be stronger, more flexible and quicker.  Pain in the form of hunger makes you appreciate the fullness and to remove some of the mental fear of not enough.  Emotional pain is the pain we feel from disappointment, loss, fear or anger.

So why am I thinking about this?  I was wondering if I am too extreme sometimes.  If doing a colon cleanse and the internal cleanse is just causing me pain.  Couldn’t I just stick to my old, don’t drink alcohol in January?   The answer is a big no.  Because I like pain (highness) in the sense that I like to see what my body can do, how it feels and what is possible.  I don’t want to let life sit on me.  I want to climb up and live, exploring what is possible in me.

Respect your limits, but push them occasionally.  You might be surprised how far you can go.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Five Pounds is a lot

I didn’t really realize it, but five pounds is a lot.  I hadn’t ever been five pounds over my weight before.  Usually more like twenty… So I didn’t know how much it was bothering me until it was gone.  I knew I didn’t like my body in clothes and I knew the number was high, but the number and I have other issues to deal with.

So after trips out east, Thanksgiving, Christmas season and cinnamon roll yumminess I just was feeling funky.  I wasn’t really motivated to do our January cleanse, but now that I am in the middle of it I truly love that I do one annually. 

I read somewhere yesterday that January is a bad and arbitrary time to do a cleanse.  It is cold and that cleanses don’t really solve a weight problem.  This I know.  But here is what makes that not relevant for me.  I needed something to change.  I need the restart to my brain and I can’t do it with “just eat better”, Brooke.  I need to purge my system of that weight that seemed more than just five pounds because it weighed on my mind and soul as well.

When I start eating food again on Friday I will be mostly raw for the month due to the Internal Cleanse that follows, (which I am really excited about, by the way) but this I know.  I will listen to myself and my body and honor what it wants (mmmm, black bean burrito and a really good fiction book to read).  And I will have wiped clean the old feeling of “bad” with my body back the way it is supposed to look.  I feel freer right now (maybe partially high due to a lack of food) and I know this is me doing what I am supposed to be doing.  Here.  Right now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day Three

So, day three of the colon cleanse and I am not even fasting yet.  But it is day three of a raw (except that first day I had two non-raw items) diet.  I thought at first this headache was caffeine related, but then I realized it couldn’t be because I don’t drink all that much caffeine.  And just now it came to me – sugar.  ahhhh.  That sucks.  And is good to know.  Simultaneously.