Monday, October 27, 2014

Cleanse Day 19

There is a goddamed BEN AND JERRY'S truck in front of the food co-op handing out free ice cream samples.

God hates me; that's the only explanation.

I walked on by with my vegan chili and my pumpkin seeds.  I wasn't happy about it, but I managed to walk away.

Will I ever be in a place where I can eat a sample of Ben and Jerry's without wanting to eat an entire pint? Doubtful.  Here's what I know about my addictions to drinking and smoking: I can't have just one. I can't have just one drink at the bar or one cigarette at the party.  Within a week of "just one," I'm drinking/smoking daily to excess.

No self control, that's me.  The switch is on or off; there's no dialing down.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cleanse Day 16

Only about half of the original group showed up for cleanse class last week.  They're dropping like flies, but I'm soldiering on. While I haven't done everything that's on the cleanse (no high colonics for this girl), I haven't done anything that's not on the cleanse.  It's kind of amazing.  No sugar, coffee, dairy, meat, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, rye, barley or nightshades for more than two weeks.  I feel good.  I'm eating plenty and regularly, so I'm not hungry. I've lost a few pounds but am not rapidly losing weight, so I feel healthy.  I'm walking every single day, plus jogging about 3 days per week.  I need to be more regular about strength training and aerobics, but one thing at a time. I sit down at the table to eat my cup of rice and load of veggies rather than eating in front of the computer. We have chard in the garden right now, which is lovely.  Chard, broccoli, onions and garlic with rice? Divine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cleanse, Day 14

Last weekend, Sequoia and I drove to Eugene and back in 24 hours so we could have breakfast with Arly on Saturday morning. It was a long drive and I wasn't quite as organized as I should have been. Instead of cheating on the cleanse by eating things I shouldn't, I cheated by not eating enough.  I had reached the point where I was supposed to drop the beans and legumes and just eat vegetables, fruit and the good fats. They advise you to take it very easy, but whaddaya gonna do?   I wanted to see my girl.  We had brunch at a lovely vegan restaurant (mushroom soup, big salad), I had pumpkin seeds and a couple of pears, it was a good day.

On Sunday, I cooked enough soup for the week and baked a small pumpkin and an acorn squash. The acorn squash didn't taste bad (although it wasn't particularly appetizing), but within 30 minutes, my stomach was turning. Within an hour I was sick as a dog.  I haven't thrown up since I stopped drinking 17 years ago. Acorn squash; who knew?  I was so sick, I actually took a sick day at work, a rare event.  When I finally came around on Monday, I ate some rice for ballast.  I added beans back in on Thursday.

Even though I got seriously sick, I didn't break the cleanse diet. It would have been easy to throw in the towel.  Even though I injured my back, I've managed to exercise every day in October except for Monday when I was sick.

As far as the other "modalities," they aren't as important to me.  This journey has been about facing food addictions and developing new habits. Permanent change is the goal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cleanse, Day 8

My pants are not so tight.
That is all.
I mean, really, what else matters?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cleanse, Day 5

So far, not bad.

I signed up for the seasonal cleanse at the hippie healing retreat in Ashland.  Beautiful facility, nice people but I have to stomp up and down on my inner cynic every time I walk in. That's OK; I'll fake it till I make it. Or, as my brother Greg says, "fuck it till you luck it."

This is not a fasting cleanse. I am supposed to eat 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 2-4 servings of grains and legumes, 1-3 servings of fat and a lot of water. It's a strict program: no sugar, meat, eggs, dairy, wheat, rye, oats or soy products including miso and tamari. No nightshades, and that's a killer with a garden full of cherry tomatoes. No tree nuts, just seeds. No tropical fruits, just local.  No coffee or alcohol. But, I can eat plenty of food and have not felt hungry.  If I start to feel a craving coming on, I treat it like a two year old having a tantrum. I sit with it quietly while it screams, knowing that it won't last forever.  The more I breathe and relax, the sooner it passes. That was an interesting discovery.

I received a shopping bag full of powders and potions and I don't know what all. Antioxidants, probiotics, herb tincture, herb tea, fiber, fiber and more fiber. Sadly, the protein/vitamin/fiber powder that gets mixed into a morning smoothie is nasty. It does not taste good.  The afternoon powder that gets mixed in water is much less noxious.  And then there are the laxatives, but the less said about them, the better.

I've only been able to sit through the "cleanse affirmation" CD once. I mean, come on; a girl has her limits  And, I don't think I'll be signing up for the series of three high colonics, even though they are offering a "cleanse discount."  I'm exercising and stretching every day, but I haven't been brushing and oiling my skin or doing castor oil packs or salt scrubs or "warming socks" like they recommend. I'm focusing on the food, water, exercise and supplements. It's a lot to process. Maybe I'll add in some more groovaciousness as I progress.  Sequoia and I could go to the hot springs; yum.

I do appreciate that they aren't threatening me with death every 10 minutes like the last nutrition class I took. That woman kept telling us we had to lose weight or die.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that we are all going to die.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blood Moon

To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.  Federico Garcia Lorca

Credit to for the Lorca quote in relation to tonight's so-called "Blood Moon," the second in a series of four lunar eclipses that will occur over the course of two years, a so-called tetrad. Eclipses, the mediums and intuitives tell me, are an end and a beginning. Something comes a hard stop, something else begins. 

Which can pretty much be said of any waking day, right?  How can a woman who is so utterly skeptical read astrology columns and throw the tarot? Call it my charming contradictions.

A few weeks ago, I fell hard right in the middle of Main Street, bloodied my knees and palms, tore my pants and injured my back. I didn't feel the back injury until the next day, but haven't stopped feeling it since.  After two trips to the chiropractor, one trip to the massage therapist and innumerable sessions of heat and ice, it is not getting better. I made a pact to exercise every day in October, but the back injury has confined me to walking.  Calisthenics and core exercises seem to make the injury worse.   Stretching helps some, but can also exacerbate the problem.  

There's only one other way to skin this rabbit. It's time to close the door on bad habits that contribute to ill health, time to open the door to a healthier relationship with food.  In truth, I'm not looking forward to it. I'd so much rather read, write, play music, watch movies and generally sloth about like a slug. I plug into music and take a brisk walk for about an hour every day, but it's not enough.  If the back injury prevents me from exercising more, then my alternatives are to eat less or blow up like a balloon.  

Diet - - shudder.  I hate to even say the word.  If I choose to commit to a program, I have to go all in wholeheartedly, without skepticism or second guessing.  I have to believe I can see it through, believe it will work, believe I can make positive, permanent change.  Belief is the hardest part.