Wednesday, January 25, 2006

LIfe After Cleansing

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Life after cleansing is a huge new priority for me. Are we required to go back to the Standard American Diet, and feeling like crap, so we can escape through the euphoria of another cleanse a few months later?

My goal is to see how good I can feel, how healthy I can feel, for how long after a cleanse. Here's a recent post I sent to the great gang at the Yahoo mastercleanse group:

Yesterday was my first real "day off" day.
As many of you know, my plan for life after the cleanse includes (by week):

1. 64 to 80 ounces of water per day (I thought that was a gallon, but it's just half a gallon!)
2. four days of eating right, including the quality of food and attention to total caloric intake - with a focus on good fruits, veggies, whole grains, and good protein (e.g. limit or avoid red meat)
3. one day of fasting (Wednesday, water and some fresh juice only)
4. two days "off" of fairly unmonitored eating

On my first real "day off", I had lunch at my favorite restaurant (tilapia in butter cream sauce and ceasar) and 3 Tastykake cupcakes. I also had water, nuts, and fruit in between.

Well let me tell you, I felt lousy by the end of the nite. I don't think I ever want to see a Tastykake again! What surprised me most was how my next morning went...

By this AM, I wasn't feeling like the glowing ball of vibrant life that I was getting used to. I almost felt "blue." I even thought about starting the day with a Wawa cappuccino! I wanted "relief" and found myself craving the wrong stuff.

My mind wandered back to the kind of eating day I had, and I realized how much food really does affect our emotional state and why cleansing is such a euphoric time. Imagine how terribly we eat on a daily basis sometimes. We really do adjust to being "sick and tired" all the time. Remember how the school was able to eliminate behavior problems in the movie "Super Size" when they switched to a healthy hot lunch program?

I'm really ready to challenge my post-cleanse guideline of "two days off" for eating. I feel like I'm gonna spend this entire fasting day (today) trying to recover from the crap I ate yesterday.

I've even changed the date for my next cleanse from June/July to April. There's no way I'm waiting that long in between cleans
es. LOL

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cleanse 2, Days 13 - 15: Body Quits Before I Do

Friday January 13, thru Sunday January 15, 2006

Day 13 was definitely the most unusual cleanse day I've ever experienced. The mild rejection of the lemonade on Day 12 became a full blown problem today. Not only do I have trouble swallowing the lemonade, but just smelling the individual ingredients turns my stomach.

Day 13 Stats: 4 glasses lemonade, Senna Tea AM and PM

By the end of the day, I was only able to get down 4 glasses of the lemonade - which is 2 short of the 6-glass minimum. In spite of that, I was still willing to continue... UNTIL... I couldn't get the Senna Tea down! It tasted like somebody mixed something strange in my tea, and I had to struggle to get it down. I've only heard of one other person who experienced an actual rejection due to a strange change it taste. Alas, tomorrow must be orange juice!

I awoke on Day 14 still somehow willing to make a go of the lemonade again. As I continued to reject the advice "listen to your body," I am more bent on wanting to finish 21 days! I stepped out of bed and decided to go squeeze some lemons. My stomach leapt and twisted in my body. In perfect obedience, I declared: "No problem. Orange juice it is!"

I continued to "cleanse" today, and felt quite great. I made the right choice.

Day 14 Stats: 1 liter of organic Bolthouse orange juice and a few glasses of water

Day 15 was a repeat of Day 14. Same amount of orange juice and water. Feeling even better. In spite of my personal let-down for missing 21 days, my body keeps screaming what a success the cleanse was. After two days of just orange juice and water, I'm feeling like a spring chicken.

This time around, my life after the cleanse is a MAJOR priority. I'll continue this blog for everyone who's curious about the trials of maintaining weight and other benefits after a cleanse.

For all those interested, my next 10-day cleanse is scheduled for 6 months from now.

Cleanse 2, Day 12: Winding Down Before My Time

Thursday January 12, 2006

Oh Lordie. I'm starting to experience mild rejections to the lemonade. I wonder if it's related to my tongue turning towards shades of pink.

This unexpected turn is making me a little nervous. This cleanse is part of my "First Fruit" offering for the year. This biblical principle of setting aside the first of the year is an important part of my life. Beyond the regular tithe (10%), first fruit represents consecrating the freshest offering for the Lord. My 21-day goal to fast is offered in addition to my financial offering.

I am going to continue on the cleanse, and explore other "worst case scenario" options. I can always dedicate the balance of the 21 days to fruits/veggies/nuts. Most of all, I want to make sure this is really a physical phenomenon, and not an emotional desire to return to food!

My Daisy Cooks cookbook arrived, and I had a fun time looking at recipes and planning a healthy life after the cleanse...

Keeping it short today, so here's the:

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 20 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Weight Loss (no scale): We're rolling now! I may be down a whole size, and the mirror is so so good to me right now.
Healing Crisis: None? (gotta follow this "lemonade rejection...")

Rocking on, no mater what...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 11: Past the Halfway Mark!

Wednesday January 11, 2006

Alas, the halfway-mark celebration is shadowed by the fact that boredom is setting in. Hey, if you eat anything 3 three times a day for 10 days straight, you may start looking at it a little cross-eyed.

I can say that I'm truly loving the free breast enlargement. C'mon ladies, raise your hands if the fat loss on your belly gave lift and definition to those feminine curves.

Regardless of boredom, I'm pleased with my jump into unknown territory (since my first cleasne was only 10 days). As many cleansers often describe, I am shockingly "unhungry" at this point. Your brain wants to fight with you and force you to believe that you must eat soon. A tiny voice wants to panic when food has been consumed in double-digit days. But your body is also speaking, and the feel-good results fight back against the brain's attack with logic. Then the brain counter-punches with a whiney, "I wanna taste food."

Then I step in and end the match, reminding both that this cleanse isn't just about either of them. I started with a specific purpose to give a first-fruit offering to the Lord for spiritual reasons. Like two children, I send them to their rooms so I can make more lemonade.

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 33.8 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Weight Loss (no scale): I can look down and see lap... and chair!
Healing Crisis: None

Wanna see where I was shortly after I finished my first cleanse?
The Day After: Attack of the Oranges

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 10: I'm Every Woman

Tuesday January 10, 2006

Some time ago, as I helped my 6-year old with his homework, he had a wide-eyed revelation:

"Mommy, you're a teeeeeeee-cher!"

"Why yes, honey, I am."

During the Christmas holiday, I got some scrubs for wearing around the house, and he had another revelation,

"Mommy, you look like a NURSE!"

"I am a nurse, honey."

Whether single parents, wives or mothers, women are still living the life of "every woman."
Wife | Friend | Boo-boo nurse | Teacher | Daughter | Secret-keeper.

That list can go on until the blog crashes or Christ returns - whichever comes first. The "woman" missing at the top of too many lists is "just me."

As I cleanse, the way I look and feel starts actually feeling like "me." The time I take to care for my health - outside of mom and boo-boo nurse - is a step closer to enjoying the "me" that I rarely get to hang out with.

Ever notice how women on makeover shows become a heap of tears in the mirror as they exclaim, "I finally look the way I feel. That's really me."

Every moment I spend on this cleanse is a moment dedicated to me. Besides, everbody benefits when the boo-boo nurse has lots of energy and lives a long life.

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 20 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Weight Loss (no scale): Noticeable shrinkage in the midsection
Healing Crisis: Not sure, but nauseous cramps and loud ringing in ears in the evening that was gone when I woke up.
Wildcard stat: I've caught myself running up the steps enough to rival Rocky Balboa.

Wanna see where I was on Day 10 of my first cleanse?
Day 10, Part I: To Be or Not to Be Done(?)
Day 10, Part II: The Finish Line

Cleanse 2, Day 9: Flushing Cowburgers

Monday January 9, 2005

Wow. Thank God for small favors. I was off from work today with my son, who was fighting some sorta bug.

I've been eliminating today like I ate an entire cow the night before the cleanse. Make that a bacon-cheddar cow, with bun and all. Unlike the first cleanse, where I had many days of regular, but light elimination - I've been sloughing off stuff from Day 1 this time.

I had a few crappy moments today. I suspect that whatever emotion I've been medicating with food... it's coming to meet me head-to-head. I've been snarky with the kids, and I hit a period of emotional hunger. I can't help but wonder if it's because tomorrow is "supposed" to be the last day of a cleanse... and Day 11 becomes unfamiliar territory for me.

Funny how I can feel so crappy and look so great. The skin is still glowing! lol

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 40 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Nothing (fell asleep!)
Weight Loss: About the same
Healing Crisis: Dark spots on the whites of my eyes today, that lightened/went away by evening.

Wanna see where I was on Day 9 of my first cleanse?
Day 9, Part I: The MasterCard(R) Commercial
Day 9, Part II: The Beat Goes On

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 8: The Standoff with Johnny Carino

Sunday January 8, 2006

I took my kids to our favorite restaurant today, Johnny Carino's. This was a much greater test of my will, compared to Pizza Hut. When the menu came, I could hear the old Western movie gun fight music. I clicked my spurs and positioned my hand over the holster.

Victory for me is defined as a new relationship with food. Success means the ablity to say "no" when necessary. And face it, if I can't look Carino in the face without breaking a sweat, how will I ever succeed when I'm outside of the protective lemonade barrier??

The waiter, Alex, was the fun part of the night. I told him to pass by me, because I won't be eating in January.

[Eyes growing big] "You're not eating for a month??"

[Shrugging] "No, just 21 days."

By now, Alex's eyes look like they might pop out of his head and land on the table. For something that gross, I'd expect a free meal.

Alex made several trips back to our table for more information. He was fascinated. I love when somebody is willing to accept new information regarding proper health and longevity. Alex became my foster child. His curiosity was lovable.

By the end of the meal, our young 20-something server was considering the cleanse to break some barriers with his weight and overall health.

I left the name of the book and a 58% tip to make sure he remembered our conversation.

Alex, you rock, man.

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 20 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Weight Loss (no scale): The comments are coming in. It's very noticeable at this point.
Healing Crisis: None
Wildcard Stat: Survived the first and only time I will ever enter Carino's and not order something, like the amazing Garlic Jalepeno Tilapia. That's just crazy talk.

Wanna see where I was on Day 8 of my first cleanse?
Day 8: Stuck on Snarky

Cleanse 2, Day 7: Food Fantasy Graduates to Entire Restaurant Fantasy

Saturday January 7, 2006

I took my boys to Pizza Hut today. While they sat and ate pizza, I wrote a mini-business plan for a unique restaurant. As I consider life after the cleanse, I'm disappointed by the food choices available to families who want to dine out.

I have to admit, the restaurant idea could be a defense mechanism for surviving an afternoon at Pizza Hut. It could be my chitlin food fantasy turning into a full blown "restaurant fantasy."

I've been watching a lot of cooking shows. Some say this introduces temptation, and only a nut would cleanse and watch people cook scrumptious food. But I'm taking a different position. My post-cleanse life is all about better food choices. Watching those shows now is building an arsenal of better skills while NOT under the pressue of eating.

The best part of the day? My 13-year old son was my two-armed tape measure on my first cleanse. He discovered that he could get his arms around my waist by day 7. Today, he conducted the same test and found he could overlap his wrists on the other side.

Today was a slow day, so straight to the quick stats:

Quick Stats:
Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 20 ounces
AM: SWF (1/2), PM: Senna Tea
Healing Crisis: None
Wildcard Stat: The youngest person in the family to ever need Preparation H to make it through a day.

Want to see where I was on Day 7 of my first cleanse?
Day 7, Part I: The Two-Armed Tape Measure
Day 7, Part II: The Tolerance of a Flea

Friday, January 06, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 6: Pass the Preparation H

Friday January 6, 2006

If you stopped by yesterday, you'll remember how I was fantasizing about chitlins. If you have any idea what a chitlin is, you might say it was a coincidence that I suddenly have a hemorrhoid!

I know hemorrhoids are the hush-hush little problem that we keep to ourselves, but nothing is sacred when you're cleansing. We're getting a good laugh at the mastercleanse Yahoo group since discovering that we're okay talking about bowels movements, but shy about hemorrhoids.

I've actually only had 1 or 2 mild cases in my life, so I was surprised like the Publishers Clearing House winner when I woke up this morning.

Just in case that wasn't interesting enough, here's a few more blurbs from Day 6:

* I had a more-than-mild cramp this AM. I had to turn over on my back and felt the darned thing "move" when I touched it.
* Just like my first fast, I love how I'm walking fast everywhere. And it's totally unintentional. I used to think I walked slower because I have short legs. I was the one in the group telling everybody to "slow down." I'm convinced, without a doubt, it was a function of energy and overall health.

I suspect I'm going home to another "debate" with my 6-year old over why he can't share mommy's "juice." In spite of the fact that the household menu shows take-out from our favorite pizza place, he's gonna try to hijack my lemonade.

Quick Stats:
Glasses of Lemonade: 6
Additional Water: 33.8 ounces (don't ask me how I know the details)
AM: Senna, PM: Senna
Weight Loss: Body parts that used to rub together when I walked are breating a sigh of relief.
Healing Crisis: Do hemorrhoids count???
Wildcard Stat: I talked about my hiney today more than ever in history.

Quick Tip for Cleansers:
When I started my first cleanse, I was using glass iced tea bottles with metal lids. One day, I noticed a black liquid on my hands. The lemons were corroding the metal cap, and I'd been drinking that black stuff. Now I use plastic bottles with plastic lids. It seems like a small thing, but not something you think about your first time around.

See where I was on Day 6 of my first cleanse:
Day 6: Exodus from Mount Toxic Waste

See you tommorrow. Rock on.

Cleanse 2, Day 5: So Smooth That I Lost Count

Thursday January 5, 2006

I woke up this morning thinking how great it was to be on Day 4. It took me serveral hours into the day to realize that I was on Day 5! I guess it's like a road you've traveled before... once you take the trip, all future trips seem shorter because the route is familiar. The unknown associated with my first cleanse made some days seem like an eternity.

The road has been so smooth, I'll focus today on providing some sound bytes:

* I slept great last night. No Senna Shaking in my gut waking me in the middle of the night.
* When I woke up, the bloating from Day 4 was gone.
* My lips are terribly dry. Although it's the winter season, my lips are drier than usual.
* My face is an oily mess. Skin usually dries-out in winter, but mine looks like a teenage acne eruption waiting to happen.
* The sensitive tooth (gum spot) is worse. That makes brushing a chore. I reported the same problem on Day 10 of my first cleanse, and noted that it started somewhere around Day 5. How strange to have the exact same symptom, on the exact day.

I also had my first official food fantasy today. My cleansing co-worker and I got to talking about soul food, and the discussion of Chitlins sent my mind skidding off the Cleansing Highway. I think I landed in a ditch covered in Black-Eyed Peas. I tried to climb out, but slipped on the Collard Greens. The fantasy almost ran away with me when it started raining Deviled Eggs. You get the picture?

Quick Stats:
Glass of Lemonade: 6
Additional Water: 20 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea (1/2 cup)
Healing Crisis: None, if you don't count the painful tooth/gum.
Weight Loss: My face/neck is shrinking.
Wildcard Stat: Set a record for consecutive "No" when 6-year old son insisted we share my lemonade. He was satisfied when the night ended with a small sip. Humph. Kids.

Check out where I was on Day 5 of my first cleanse:
Day 5, Part 1: Squirrels and Salt Water Flush Don't Mix
Day 5, Part 2: Furry Teeth That Want to Chew

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 4: Hold the Cake, Just Give Me the Candles

Wednesday January 4, 2006

When scheduling a cleanse, you do your very best to avoid times when eating is almost necessary. Holidays, birthdays, and family reunions are the worst time to cleanse. But alas... I missed one.

With an airy sigh in her voice, my mother had a revelation, "Oooooooh. You'll still be fasting on my birthday."

Ouch. I can't remember a year that we didn't celebrate my mother's birthday with some kinda meal. How could I have missed that one? There won't be cake or any other festive food for me. Just pass me a candle. For a moment, I was disappointed with her. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the journey of finding a replacement.

Quick Notes About the Day:

* Bloating, gas, and belching today. That's a surprise for me.
* Still don't miss food one bit. The days are flashing by. 21-days, here I come...

Quick Stats:

Lemonade: 6 glasses
Water: 20 ounces
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Healing Crisis: None
Wildcard Stat: I've used enough toilet paper to wipe King Kong for a week. That's a lotta bananas.

Find out how I was doing on Day 4 of my first cleanse:
Cleanse Day 4: If You Could Only Take Two Things With You

Cleanse 2, Day 3: Chicken Burrito with Beans and Salmonella Sauce

Tuesday January 3, 2006

Why are women so strange about being heard in a public bathroom stall?

Today was the first day back to work while on the cleanse. I was reminded of how “colorful” bathroom trips can be. As I was fighting not to sound like I had a Chicken Burrito with Beans and Salmonella Sauce, I wondered why women are so dainty about public bathrooms.

Face it, men stand in cattle lines with their family jewels in hand, and we’re afraid of a few sound effects. Sheesh. LOL

Anyway, besides my public bathroom antics, today was smooth sailing.
I eased my own fear of 21-days by rationalizing:

Gee, that’s only 6 more of what I just did (3 days).
Six sounds a whooooole lot better than 18.
Hey, whatever works. ;-)

Other quick notes about the day:
* Woke up with a mild sore throat
* My calves shrank already!
* I slept like a baby
* Just like the last cleanse, I find myself walking fast everywhere. I find that "symptom" quite funny, since I usually complain that everybody is walking too fast.

Quick Stats:

Glasses of Lemonade: 6
Ounces of Water: 40
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Healing Crisis: Not really, just a few itchy spots on the skin in the AM.
No-Scale Weight Loss: Hmmm.. Feet look longer when not wrapped in bloating.
Wildcard Stat: I posted more times to the Yahoo masterclease Group than any other day.


Take a look at where I was on Day 3 of my first cleanse:
Day 3, Part I: Control (Like Janet)
Day 3, Part II: Over Tall Buildings in a Single Bound

Just in case you missed it, Salmonella is the bacteria, which causes food poisoning.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 2: Thank God for Cleansing During the Holiday

Monday January 2, 2006

The day started with a “healing crisis” early in the morning. By 5:40am, I had a rapid heartbeat and wasn’t feeling very well at all. Several years ago, I was on beta blockers to assist with palpitations and rapid heartbeat. The worst started two days after giving birth to my 6-year old. I was rushed to the cardiac ward with a resting heart rate dangerously close to 200 beats per minute. As the staff explained, “200 beats is fast enough to make the heart quit trying.” I have never seen maternity nurses scramble so fast. They seemed more afraid than I was. I remember clearly, it felt like my chest was full of air, and I had to pee a lot. Other than that, I kept asking if I could get up or nurse the baby. Their shocked faces should have been a clear clue.

Anyway, I was actually happy to start Day 2 with a “healing crisis,” because it means I’m getting down to business. In my mind, I was cleansing whatever caused those heartbeat problems in the past. I also knew the crisis would pass. By 10am, I was feeling great – and VERY thankful I wasn’t cleansing at work. That particular “healing crisis” may have prompted me to quit… just to escape the symptoms at work. And I NEVER want to quit just a few days into a cleanse.

It’s 21 days or bust, baby.

  • Quick Stats:

Glasses of Lemonade: 6
Ounces of Water: 20
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Healing Crisis: Heck yes, rapid heart rate, lasting about 3 hours
Weight Loss: Wow. Feet shrank. Son noticed. No kidding. They were bloated from holiday eating.
Wildcard Stat: Somehow I think I get an award for "fewest food fantasies on day 2."

  • Flashback

Check out where I was on Day 2 of my first cleanse:
Day 2, Part I
| Day 2, Part II

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 1: Dodging Cheese Biscuits

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Here was the fun part of the day: Sitting in Red Lobster watching my 13-year old son eat dinner. We always eat out for dinner after church. And just like clockwork, he wanted to know: Where are we gonna eat this time?

We?????” [not the sweet kind...but the kind with an attitude]

“Oh. Yeah. Right. Where am I gonna eat today?” [not noticing the fire in my eyes]

After recovering from the urge to drop him out of the car and speed off, I realized he was right. As a single mom with two boys, I’m outa luck for cleansing buddies in the house. My routine should be the only one that changes.

The Red Lobster host and the waiter both stared at my lemonade mix. I was clearly breaking the rule “No Outside Food.” I must have looked insane enough for them to resist approaching me about the subject. I felt like Queen of the Hill as I sniffed cheddar biscuits and happily passed.

The start of the day was a little shaky. I didn’t have the senna tea the night before, because I only one tea bag that I was trying to save. Yikes.

My body got right to work. I certainly gave PLENTY of reason. I ate holiday-style until the last possible minute. I’m talking Jamaican Curry Chicken and Rice at around 1am, and a fried chicken leg after 2am – all after a New Year’s night service.

The day in summary: Mild headaches. Plenty of elimination. The “heavy body” detox feeling. And one big grin for finally starting.

  • Quick Stats:

Glasses of Lemonade: 6 (barely.. still forcing it down after 11pm)
Ounces of Water (additional): None
AM: Senna Tea, PM: Senna Tea
Healing Crisis: None
Weight Loss: None
Wildcard Stat: I think I broke a bathroom record for Cleanse Day 1.

  • Flashback:
Wanna see where I was on Day 1 of my first cleanse?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Cleanse 2, Day 0: Searching the Sofa Cushions for Excuses

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Oh boy. The roaring decision to go on a 21-day fast is turning into a whimper. I’ve been on a preparation roller coaster that Ritalin couldn’t cure.

One day I’m excited about the cleanse. The next day my mind is searching for excuses like a junkie looking for extra change between the sofa cushions.

“The 31st is right after the holiday. You’ll be loaded with holiday food and that will make the cleanse harder.”

“The last cleanse was barely three months ago. This one is too soon.”

The list went on and on…
I’m happy to report that I stepped off the roller coaster and settled into my decision – with a big smile on my face.

This time around, I’m adding some quick stats to my posts. Somebody from the Master Cleanse group at Yahoo gave me this idea. My scale is on the fritz, so those stats won’t include weight loss in pounds.

See you tomorrow!