Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 6,7,8,9...Day 10, Inspired

This weekend was like the anti-cleanse weekend.  We had so many plans that I probably should have waited until just after to begin.  Which really is probably the end result.

Friday night, we had a concert.  We didn't actually do too bad, except that we picked up fast food on the way there because we ran out of time getting there.  I hadn't done very well that day, either, having eaten a pepperoni pizzadilla during a work meeting.  So still not committed.

Saturday, we rested most of the day and had all day to be good and excellent and on plan.  Can't remember, but pretty sure we just ate whatever and no lemon water to be found.  Then we got hammered at our friends' bachelor and bachelorette parties.  We don't drink that often, but when we do, we drink to excess. Some aspects of that were fairly awesome, like getting flirted with and then having my husband show up and make out with me in the photo booth, but then there was getting his drunk ass home and the fast food problem again that night.

Sunday, we woke up pretty hung over and it was sports day, so we had waffles with friends.  Didn't do too bad at the game, all things considered, but who wants to slam beers with a hangover like that?  Not this girl.  So we had some Vietnamese chicken and rice, but I needed more grease apparently, so I added fries and a hot chocolate.  Dinner that night was at a friends place and that was delightful and could have been totally on plan but for the delicious cheese plate.

So basically, all weekend and through today, including my breakfast of chicken salad, I've just been continuing to eat unconsciously.  Two things have woken me up a little: 1) my MIL telling my husband what to eat and take for his cold and 2) a colleague's honest and public blog about her decision to give up plastics and processed foods.

Not much to say about my friends blog, just that she's making a hard change and struggling with it and it inspired me to try harder, but more about my MIL.  My husband and I don't eat a lot of fruit, but we eat a lot of vegetables. Probably not as much when she was here, because I always get lost and confused about what to make when she is here.  And, to be honest, because I'm not the best food planner.  But also, we've done TSFL/Medifast and my husband is still doing it.  So she seems to think that we're avoiding fruit altogether and also that this is what he needs to eat to stay well.  She also said that he needs to take vitamins and vitamin C.  Though she's his mother, it's insulting to me as his wife and as a physician for her to be telling him what to eat and take.    Then he asked me if we need antibiotics.  So I blew up at him and pointed out that I bring things home for him to take and that he doesn't take them as recommended and explained exactly why we don't need antibiotics.  He then said something about maybe our systems are just weakened.  Well, enough said, yep, our systems probably are weakened and I resent her just enough to be inspired by that.  Okay, honey, want to be well more often, well, it's not wellness for wellness sake, but to spite your mother, I will start making sure we eat right and get better.

I still don't know if this cleanse is what I need or want to do or if I agree with all of its principles, but I think I can modify the plan to something that makes sense for me.  For the remaining 11 days:

  • Start the day with lemon water and herbal tea
  • Solid food if and when I feel hungry for it, not necessarily waiting until noon
  • Greens in my smoothie every day at some point.  
  • No sugar
  • No animal products
  • Eat like I tell my patients to eat - that is 1/2 plate produce, 1/4 protein, 1/4 optional grains and fruits
  • Drink more water
  • Take my multivitamin, Vitamin D, B12 and things for my cold.
That's the least for the next 11 days.  I'm not quitting gluten at the same time - as Zooey Deschanel says, being gluten free and vegan is hard.  I'm also not quitting coffee altogether, but I am certainly not going to drink it like I was.  I was drinking 16-32+ ounces of coffee per day and I feel better and enjoy better my herbal tea in the morning, but I also want to be able to have a cup of coffee with my husband on the weekends.  I guess that's sort of the difference between a cleanse and a lifestyle.  So, here goes. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 5: So far, so good

I started the day with lemon water.  No cayenne - that shit is just too spicy for me. I decided to just grab a small glass of water with lemon as I was getting the dog settled this morning.  Drank it down.  Check.

Made some herbal tea.  Good Earth caffeine free herbal tea plus a bag of Tulsi tea for those adrenal glands.  This is actually delicious with a small dash of soy creamer.  Check.

Green drink.  Damn, I knew I forgot something.  No smoothie this morning, which explains why I'm starving.

No solid food til ... when?  Did she specify exactly how long you shouldn't eat solid food?  This is another of those little random bits of "wisdom" that floats around the web-verse that I'm not sure I agree with.  I love breakfast.  I'm hungry in the morning.  I'm not one of those birds who wakes up and breakfast doesn't agree with me.  I'm one of those, give-me-a-hearty-breakfast and no-you-cannot-finish-my-hash-browns gals.  It's my favorite meal of the day in terms of how it makes me feel.  Dinner and lunch are fun because there are so many great options, but breakfast feels RIGHT. So not eating solid food in the mornings seems like hooey to me.  I guess this cleanse is also good for getting straight about what you do and don't think are reasonable ways to live.

Oh wait, I did have solid food this morning.  I had toast (gluten) with veg-butter and nutritional yeast.  Delicious, but not enough to stick to my ribs.  Giving up eggs is going to be hard.  All I want are some whole eggs on that toast to make me happy.  I can do without the cheese between said eggs and toast.  Maybe I start my "transition" lifestyle there - give up meat (not hard) and ditch the dairy (hard).

Oh well, I thought I was doing good, but even when I think I am, I'm not.  What do I say to my girl friend who is so gung ho?  Do I just jettison the project or keep thinking about it and trying it?  And I think I've proven to myself that I'm not addicted to coffee - no withdrawal, no headaches, legitimately not feeling like I "need" it - so can I go get a cup now to deal with this dreary weather?  Seriously, when I moved to P___ 14 years ago, I thought it was hysterical how many espresso places there are - they have them in the barber shops and car washes - but now I know why they exist everywhere.  You need that little high to deal with the weather here - I'm not giving up coffee.  I don't tell my patients they have to give it up, so why should I?  I do, however, think it's wise not to drink it in combination with other factors that may raise my blood my in-laws.

Yeah, I'm going to the coffee shop.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 4: The Universe Gives You What You Want

So I left work early on Tuesday and stayed home Wednesday, also known as Days 2 and 3.  And then returned to work, pretty well ready to get back into the fray, only to have most of my patients cancel.  All told, I had 5 cancellations, though not all were last minute.  That's got to be some kind of record for me.  I wish I could say that with all that extra time, I followed my cleanse rules or at least caught up at work, but no.  I headed out to the local teriyaki place and wolfed down the lunch special which is a huge serving of white rice, fatty chicken, sweet teriyaki sauce with a spring roll and a small side of steamed cabbage.

It's delicious and they get me every time because it's so easy to order "lunch special" which includes a drink for $6 instead of bento for $4 which is a much more appropriate sized portion with no corn syrup or alternatively sweetened poison to wash it down with.  After eating my kings feast of meat and white food for lunch, I had to walk it off because I felt like I would burst.  This is what I need to remember before I engage in binge eating - how I feel after I binge eat: awful, sick, heavy, stuffed.  So I walked around until my staff texted me that my next appointment cancelled.  Then I sat at a picnic table and played video games until I couldn't justify staying out any longer.

And now I'm finishing the day with brownies.  Because I made them before the cleanse and can't stand throwing them in the compost.  And because I want their sweet delicious goodness more than I want to do a cleanse right now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 3: What part of vegan, gluten free, no coffee do I not understand?!

I just had a yummy breakfast of eggs with veggie sausage (did you know TVP is made with gluten?!) and broccoli, aged cheddar and toast...with coffee to wash it all down.  I guess one could say I'm not on a cleanse, but I almost think battling this daily IS the cleanse.  Dealing with the decision again and again, deciding to feel guilty or not because this is really my choice and then there is all the internal cleansing going on.  Emotional venting, cleaning out the hairball from my recent visit with my in-laws and then practically, I've just gone through all my husbands clothes and pulled out about 1/2 his wardrobe that can be donated, much of it never worn.

Yes, that's not my stuff that I'm clutter clearing, but his stuff is literally and physically in the way of my accessing my stuff.  He's bought so many new golf shirts lately that are still in their packaging that he was overwhelmed to put away his laundry.  Well, combine new clothes, clean clothes, dirty clothes, recent travel and new furniture and the need to decide where everything goes and he was overwhelmed.  So in addition to clearing family clutter, I also provided a loving service to my husband.

If you doubt that, just know this, there are three tasks that my husband does in the house that I don't do. Ever. He cleans out the drains, he mows the lawn and he does his own laundry.  I love being a good wifey and am happy to cook and clean for my husband even after working just as long and sometimes longer hours than him. He's the major bread winner for our family, so if reducing his stress when he comes home by him not having that many chores to attend to helps him focus at work, so be it.  But there is something about handling my husbands dirty laundry that strikes me as a bit too subservient.  Maybe it's the disdain I've always held for people who came to college not knowing how to run a load of laundry, maybe it's the stereotype of wives and mothers doing laundry for their kids and men, maybe it's the possibility that I might see stains on his clothing that I'm not interesting in any event, since we started living together, that's always been my rule.  I've only broken it once before, and though I can't remember the circumstances right now, I think it they were special circumstances and that I ended up running our laundry together just to speed up the process.  In any event, I didn't just clean out his closet - I also did his laundry.  That's twice.  In a marriage of 2 years and relationship of 7.  So yes, it's a loving service to him.

And yes, providing my husband with clean laundry and an organized closet may not be justification for completely breaking with my cleanse (did I mention the many Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups I ate yesterday?), but it all comes down to choice.  I am interested in becoming vegan.  I think it might be good for my soul and good for my health.  I don't eat much sugar anyway.  I don't think coffee is the devil and don't have withdrawal symptoms when I stop drinking it.  I think even as good as I am at it, I should still keep trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.  But do I think I need to do this cleanse?  Do I think I need to stick to the arbitrary rules defined by a self-educated woman with her own experience as her primary guide?

In a word, no.

But I committed to my friend that I would do it with her.  And mastery comes from making the same decision over and over again.  So even if I don't necessarily share the passion that THIS is what's going to shake my world in a profound way, I will endeavor each day to make decisions in alignment with this current program.  And if I fall, every day, I will keep getting up, because maybe I'll be surprised and my world will be shaken.  And even if it's not, I will grow from taking on the challenge, even if I just end up thinking about why I didn't stick with it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 2: Not starting out so hot

So I finished up Day 1 with the anti-cleanse menu of macaroni and cheese, made with the leftover milk remaining after my MILs stay and diet Dr. Pepper and diet cola to wash it all down with.  So, gluten, dairy and nasty sugar-alternatives.  I didn't feel great about my choices, but obviously don't feel too bad about them either, since I woke up this morning, drank 1/2 cup of lemon water and then had a bowl of my leftovers for breakfast.

I feel emotionally depressed and let down and feel like I need a reset to get back on track.  About the only things I feel good about right now are my husband and my dog, although I could even complain about them without straining my brain too much.  My husband was very disapproving of my food choices last night and my dog shit on the floor and vomited all over the couch yesterday.  Or some days ago...I'm not actually sure when he vomited on the couch and that's really just a sign that our house is simply too big.  If you don't see your furniture or belongings enough to know that they've been vomited on, you probably just have too much stuff.

I'm not ready to sign up for the 100-belongings challenge yet, but I do enjoy a good clutter clearing.  Looking forward to keeping up that project as we move into fall and winter.  After cleaning out our garage and getting both vehicles inside, A and I both felt so motivated to keep it up and I've been slowing giving items away to friends, but unless and until they pick up their items, they are still there cluttering up my home and it just makes me want to dump it all at goodwill or the shelter and be done with it.

So anyway, it's day 2 of the adventure cleanse, yeah!, and my shit is still coming up in a major way.  So I'm blogging to try to get it out of my system.  Maybe this will help.  I'm also going home from work early today and staying home tomorrow.  Planning to wash the couch cover that the dog vomited on, the 2 sets of sheets the in-laws slept on (oh yeah, they slept in one guest bedroom and didn't like it so they moved into the other guest bedroom, so now I get to wash both sheets, one after only a single use!), do the dishes and plan some options for better food choices.  Maybe I'll sit on the Wii fit board and "meditate" a little today, too, since that's supposed to be part of the cleanse.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Trip to Lake Tahoe...synonomous with Lake Chelan

So I just wrote and tagged my post about my first day of cleansing.  I wondered if I had ever tagged a post "in-laws" before so I checked.  At the beginning of my MILs three week stay with us, we took her and my FIL to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend where we met A's sister and brother-in-law for a family vacation.  I could write about the trip, but it would pretty much be the same post as what I wrote about our Lake Chelan family vacation more than four years ago.  

They still complained about almost everything.  I didn't actually get to do anything without them this time, but they still set my nerves on edge and we still left with someone crying, "never again," only this time it was me.

Except that we planned a trip to Hawai'i with them for next year.  Bugger!

Doing a Cleanse: Day 1: A Tortuous Adventure

Day 1

My pal and I decided to do Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet 21 Day Adventure Cleanse a week or so ago.  She did it over the summer and reported that she got compliments on the evident change in her appearance literally every day.  While I wouldn't mind sporting a new glow, I was thinking of it more like a vegan kick start.  Here's the gist of the cleanse:


  • all animal products: meat and dairy
  • gluten
  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • starting the day with lemon water (cayenne optional)
    • water with lemon, cayenne and maple syrup is part of the master cleanse, so not sure if that just got left out...?
  • liquids only until noon
  • food combining - basically just eating fruits away from other foods
  • dry skin brushing
  • exercise 35 minutes daily
  • daily morning meditation
  • prayers
All of this is a big change for me - I usually eat gluten and dairy daily, I enjoy a hearty breakfast, I'm very inactive and I don't meditate or pray.  But maybe I should...and maybe I will. 

Today is only Day 1 and here's what I've learned so far:

1) The cayenne to water ratio needs to be specified.  

And the size of glass of water with lemon and cayenne to drink.  I poured myself a full mason jar (that's 32 ounces) of water, squeezed in 1/4 lemon worth of juice and added a "smidgen" of cayenne and about 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup.  My first sips tasted pretty good and as the morning wore on, this started feeling more and more like some kind of torture.  I rarely get heartburn, but this drink was enough to trigger some serious heat.  I'm thinking tomorrow, 1 granule of cayenne in 8 ounces is probably sufficient.  I also think sipping lemon water throughout the day is probably not good for my teeth.  The acid in the lemon has to have some effect on my enamel, right?  Yes, drinking lemon water is probably not as bad as soaking my teeth in soda, but still. 

2) Trying to start the day on liquids requires more planning...and serious sipping.  

After preparing my water and packing my lunch, I made my usual morning protein smoothie, this time with vegan protein powder instead of whey.  I got to work with a little extra time, so I called my mom and before I knew it, time to get busy...with little time to finish that lemon water (I still have 1/2 left), no time to drink my herbal tea and forget about getting my smoothie out of the fridge.  I usually drink my smoothie on my commute, because either my husband drives me to work or I take the bus/train - plenty of time to drink and fiddle with my phone.  Not so when I drove myself in today.  And seriously, that's a lot of liquid to carry on a commute.  I've been trying to whittle my 20 lb pack down and adding in a mason jar of lemon water, 2 blender bottles of smoothie and a thermos of herbal tea - so not happening.  I'm going to have to slam that water at home, plan on making tea at work and bring my smoothie with plans to drink it on the way in.

3) Temptation is impossible to avoid and hard to resist.  

So today was also unusual in that midday between patients I had to take my mother-in-law who's been visiting for 3 weeks to the airport.  I had seen a few patients this morning on only my cayenne water and 1/2 smoothie, so by the time I was driving back to the office, I was starved.  Because my MIL is a vegetarian, we eat exclusively vegetarian when she is visiting.  She doesn't even know that my husband and I eat meat.  I find it ironic that we're so careful about her not knowing we eat meat when I find myself really wanting to lay into her about her milk consumption.  I find milk (the literal liquid milk, not all dairy products) disgusting and I think my MIL would feel a lot better if she gave it up, but she doesn't ask, so I don't try to change her.  She's almost 70 and feels pretty strongly about her diet and lifestyle, so I don't suppose I'm going to make much change unless it starts with her own curiosity.  I did enjoy taking her to a presentation entitled "Becoming Vegan" in which the speaker focused on milk and it's many ill health effects.  Brilliant.  

But I digress.  The stress of dealing with my in-laws often drives me to meat.  Something I don't typically crave that often, but always want after being with them for any prolonged period of time.  I often meat-load in advance of their visits, sneak out during and then binge on meat after they leave.  I don't really want to do it, but it's just part of my emotional eating routine.  Today, in a rush to get back to the office after dropping her at the airport, I considered a quick run through McD's for a burger...deciding on some restraint, since I'm cleansing and all, I ran through Taco Bell for some bean burritos instead.  I haven't gotten my diet soda, yet, but I'm mentally making plans to go out for one soon.  It's gluten and sugar free, but I don't think it's really in alignment with the goals of the cleanse.  And that brings me to #4.

4) Cleansing brings up your shit.  

I'm dealing with a lot of emotional baggage following this most recent visit of my MIL, including things that have nothing to do with her and it's hard to deal with or let go, so it's just hanging out in the soup.  Though this blog is completely anonymous (except for the possible couple of friends who subscribed a long time ago and may still be subscribed not knowing it - what's up Brian and Christa?), it's probably not a good idea to blast out the whole of who did and said what and the seven years of my relationship with them and the many years before that of my husband's relationship with his parents and the entire cross cultural history of how they and he have developed into who and how they are today, so I'll just summarize. 

Husband and I did something moderately bad.  His mother got mad and screamed at us for two days.  She then gave us the silent treatment for two days.  Then we all just pretended nothing happened.  

I think this is probably a typical peace-keeping strategy employed by families in all cultures and it works in a limited way.  But I didn't forget what was screamed at me, nor do I think it advisable to forget.  Due to the screaming, it has become clear to my husband, even without my prompting, that there are certain changes that need to take place in our dealings with his parents.  His parents, who he deeply loves and respects and treats with as much difference as I've ever seen.  His parents, who expect him to pay, plan and execute many aspects of their lives and then treat him like a child.  His mother, who basically called me a gold digger, told me that the entire family doesn't like me and pretty clearly indicated that marrying me was the biggest mistake her son ever made and attributes all of the ways "he's changed" (obviously with negative connotation) to being in a relationship with me...or maybe with white girls in general.  

So, on Day 1 of the cleanse, when it should be easy cause I'm just getting started, it feels like torture.  My head is pounding, my blood pressure is elevated and all I can think about is laying in bed for the next week in blissed out abandon that our home is just ours again, we don't need to fear another wrathful outburst and that we don't have to put on our pants or robes to go down to the kitchen for another cup of coffee or bowl of sugar-free dairy-free ice cream.  

But sure, it's an adventure cleanse after all, right?