Monday, June 20, 2011

Eating Healthy Ain't Easy (not always)

You know, I sit here and preach what everyone should be eating, meanwhile, I've had 5 Big Mac Trio's this month, several slices of greasy pizza, and an Italian poutine over the weekend. None of it felt good. In fact, my body was very much rejecting all this food but I just chose not to listen. As a result, I've put some weight back on, my skin looks dull, and I feel tired all the time.

Since I completed the detox in April, I found that the times I struggle to maintain my clean lifestyle is when I'm with my friends, or when I don't feel like cooking. The majority of the restaurants around me are fast food places or Indian. It's not easy. 

Of course, the more food I eat that isn't clean the more my cravings increase. The more my cravings increase, the more out of control I eat. Yesterday, for example, I had chicken and potatoes (good) followed by a mini danish (not good) followed by watermelon (good if you're eating first thing in the morning, not in the afternoon) then back to the chicken and potatoes. Later, I had nachos with salsa followed by cookies, then back to the nachos with salsa. 

I overate. Too much, too quickly. No stopping me.

So, I need to get myself back on track. I started my morning with a Glowing Green Juice
  • 1 bunch spinach, 
  • 2 green apples, 
  • ginger, 
  • a hint of mint,
  • 1/2 cucumber, and 
  • 1 lemon. 

It's so yummy that I'm even considering serving it as an updated iced tea!!! Yum! 

If you have a juicer, then try this concoction. And you can mix your greens any which way you like. The apple is important because it removes the bitter taste of green veggies. So refreshing!!

So that's my update for this week. I'm still working on some other articles so don't forget to sign up to my posts by adding your email address on the top right hand corner of my home page. 

Cheers,
j.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Beauty Basics Vol.1: Food Pairing Guide


Hey you!
Have you ever been on a dinner date, in the middle of a business meeting, or out with your friends when you suddenly experience uncontrollable gassiness and/or bloating? Uncomfortable, yah? I know! And embarrassing too.  
The especially hate when I feel sluggish or groggy at the end of my meal and all I want to do is lie down in front of the tube on my big ol’ comfy couch (there goes that jog I’ve been trying to squeeze into my night).
What if I told you it’s all due to the ill-combined foods we eat, would you be willing to make the change? No? Even if these changes will help you fight the signs of aging, help you regain your youthful glow, and get rid of the bloat and fat you've been so desperately trying to lose?
Booyah! Now we're talking!!!
Stripped directly from The Beauty Detox Solution I got a while back (find book here), the much-anticipated food-pairing guide has arrived, finally (sorry for the delay)! So please, have your pad and your pen handy as this is the first of three installments on how to look and feel radiant!
Ready? Good.


#1: Our bodies can’t properly digest more then one type of concentrated food at a time.
 Concentrated foods are foods that don’t contain any water (proteins and starches) whereas non-concentrated foods are water-containing foods.
Non-concentrated Foods: ripe fruit; non-starch veggies
Concentrated Foods: All starches (grains, starchy veggies, breads, etc); All proteins (fish, chicken, meat, seeds, nuts, etc.)
You've all heard of steak and potatoes not going together, right? Well, you can also forget about scrambled eggs with toast, tuna/turkey/salami sandwiches, etc. These foods are harder for your body to digest.
 (stop crying)
#2: Proteins + Starches = No, No!
On that note, here's more bad news; we also shouldn’t be eating bagels with cream cheese, grilled fish with rice, chicken pad thai, etc.
I know what you’re thinking, WTF, right? Relax, you don't have to quit everything you love all at once, but you should gradually eliminate them in the long-run. Meantime, you can still eat these foods in moderation, but just not all of them at the same time.
Why? Simply put, you’re body has to work overtime to break down all the junk you’ve ingested before it can attempt to digest anything; making you lose copious amounts of energy. For those who want to understand further what’s going on inside our bodies, read on (it’s quite important). Otherwise, skip to the next rule.
The longer it takes for your body to break down the food, the longer the food stays idle in your body. *In case you weren’t aware, your body’s temperature is about 98.6 –degrees. This means that long hours of [food] stasis in our hot bellies will cause animal protein to rot, and most carbs will become fermented. You’d be losing most of the nutrients you were meant to absorb. Anything lost is unusable. Anything unusable does not a healthy body make.
Quick Recap: Rotting and fermented food are some of the major causes of aging. The more toxic sludge in your body, the more you speed up the aging process.
#3: Veggies are A ++



Eat ‘em up! These bad boys are neutral and can be mixed with anything!




#4: Starch + Starch = A. Okay!
Say you're going for Indian and you're having a chutney with basmati and of course some naan bread... It's not as difficult to digest so it’s okay to eat these two starches at the same time (even though not ideal). Same goes for bread and pasta- but careful, if you throw seafood to the mix, you'd be breaking rule # 2!



#5: Animal Protein + Animal Protein = Don’t even think about it!
I’ve talked about proteins in a previous blog post so if you’ve been following then you know what I’m about to say – animal protein is the hardest to break down. Our bodies need the amino acids that come from protein. Since animal protein is the hardest to digest, it makes our bodies work that much harder to break down the protein into amino acids for assimilation. Therefore, consuming more then one protein at a time isn’t efficient (chicken and ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers, eggs, bacon, and sausage).
You can mix plant proteins as much as you want because of their ease of digestibility.
#6:Fats + Protein are to be eaten moderately; Fats + Carbs are no problem!
Pair minimal amounts of protein with fat for the sake of digestion, particularly if you want to lose weight (tuna and avocado).







#7: Eat Fruit on an empty stomach
Fruit increases vitality and has many minerals and vitamins so it’s important they get absorbed first thing in the morning; your body is a clean canvas in the morning allowing the fruit to break down quickly while absorbing all the good stuff.
*Fruit goes well with raw greens (smoothies, juices)
So instead of running for that mid-afternoon coffee after lunch, or spending another uninspired night on the couch watching T.V., reconsider the foods you combine and read this guide. 

Next up: Eating light to heavy for optimal energy and digestion!


Food Pairing Cheat Sheet
Starches DO mix with veggies
Proteins DO mix with veggies
Starches + starches DO mix
Fats + starches DO mix
Fruits + raw greens DO mix
Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach
Proteins + starches DO NOT mix
Proteins + proteins DO NOT mix
Fats + proteins DO NOT mix (pair moderately)



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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Challenge You: Be Clean for 1 Week

Okay, so an obscene amount of you have been asking me what my diet consists of, how I lost all this weight, and how you too can get into better shape. I've become your very own personal nutritionist!!! "SHOW ME THE MOOONEY!!!" Kidding.

Nah, but seriously, it's a good thing because this allows me to get back to blogging, more importantly to get back to what I loved most about blogging: sharing health tips that have helped me turn that junk in my trunk around. Wow. Totally off topic.. i think i'm gonna share this tune with you right NOW:




Random, I know. Okay, back to the challenge.

With that being said, I've created a week's worth of our favorite smoothie recipe's for you to try during breakfast. Combine those with the following YES/NO foods and you'll feel a world of a difference. If you don't have time to make smoothies, you don't have to. Just eat fresh fruits in the AM (jump to bottom of page to see why).

YES Foods:
  1. ALL legumes and green veggies: the greener, the better
  2. Grains and starches: Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat/kasha, Millet, Beans (all), Black-eyed peas, Brown or wild rice, Chickpeas; Gluten-free crackers and pastas, and other foods, Lentils, sweet potato, yams, squash (all)
NO Foods:
  1. Dairy
  2. Wheat, and wheat products
  3. Processed and refined sugars and starches; white rice, barley and rye. 
*Eat more plant-based foods then animal protein. Keep animal protein lean (fish, chicken) and to a minimum (3x week max).


Smoothie Recipe Ideas:
(you can make your own fruit smoothies, this is just for the lazy folk)


Kale, Pineapple, and Chia
½ cup pinappele chunks
2 leaves kale
2 tsp soaked chia seeds
1 cup pure water
1-2tsp agave syrup
1.     Blend until smooth
Mango and Coconut Milk Smoothie
1 cup mango chunks
½ cup pinapple chunks
1 ½ cups coconut milk (can be replaced with coco water and ¼ avocado)
1.     Blend until smooth
Berries, Carob, and Almond Milk
1 cup berries
1 ½ cups almond milk
1-2 tsp agave
2 tsp raw cacao powder, carob powder, or cocoa*
1.     Blend together until smooth
·      Cacao is same as cocoa, but the raw form is usually called cacao and is packed with nutrients and antioxidants!!
Energy Smoothie with Almond Butter and Cardamom
¼ cup almond butter
2 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom (not a full tsp, careful, very strong)
1 ½ cups pure water
1 cup frozen peaches
1-2 tsp agave
1.     Blend together until smooth

Berry Smoothie with Coco milk and cinnamon
2 cups mixed berries
2 cups coco milk with coco meat or ¼ avocado added to 1 ½ cups coco milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp agave
1. Blend together until smooth
I ask that you try this for ONE week, and I guarantee you'll see a difference. You're cravings, if any, will diminish throughout the days, and you'll feel more energetic. Plus, you'll get rid of some water weight, making you feel loads lighter.

I feel it is important to note that fruit should be consumed first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and not during the day.

The reason for this is that all the nutrients get immediately absorbed in the morning because your intestines are free from any 'clutter'. As your body absorbs these minerals the fiber will make it's way down your intestines and out the bum-bum. You'll not only regulate your washroom visits, you'll also maximize the amount of nutrients your body absorbs throughout the day.

It's also important to eat all your veggies first during any meal. Again, this is for absorption and digestion reasons. If you're body digests veggies first, chances are you'll feel fuller after your meals.

So good luck, and keep me posted on your progress!

xoxo
j.








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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Truth Revealed: Digestion and PH

Hey there best friend, my reader!

This weekend, I bought two new books I felt followed the same CLEAN principles, with some minor differences. They both offer great recipe's and provide lifestyle changing advice on nutrition based on solid facts, and I'm going to share them with you. (If you want to see which books these are, scroll to the bottom or keep reading to find out.)

Remember when I spoke about the alkaline vs. acidic levels in our bodies, and what foods cause these levels to rise? Well, I'm about to get into that detail right here, right now. 

Premièrement, I feel it's imperative that I explain our digestive system prior to getting into the nitty gritty.

Basic Digestive Anatomy 101 


See the pretty picture? 
It even talks about what I'm saying now.
Digestion, is obviously the way our system breaks down our food so that it is much easier absorbed into our bloodstream.

The broken down food interacts with chemicals and eventually turns into a thick liquid called chyme. Chyme then travels down the small intestine, where 95% of the nutrients get absorbed by tiny hairlike villi along the walls. It then passes the large intestine, and gets eliminated through the back door. Buh-bye!


Got it? Good, now pay attention to what I'm about to say next.

If waste foods (processed, microwaved, canned foods, refined sugars, cow's milk and dairy, excess animal protein and white flour based foods) clog the villi on the small intestinal wall -where all the nutrients get absorbed- then guess what happens? We don't get the nutrients!

Wanna know what else happens when we don't get the nutrients our body was supposed to receive? We wind up overeating.

Let me explain.

When the tiny villi get clogged by wasteful food (see above if you already forgot) that it can't metabolize and utilize efficiently, then our bodies don't feel nourished, no matter how much food we stuff ourselves with. Hold on, there's more.

If our bodies can't utilize the foods we eat then that also promotes the production of excessive mucus or yeast (that's candida, ladies). Of course, yeast further prevents the small intestine from absorbing nutrients leaving you starving for vitamins, minerals, and especially protein, regardless of what you eat.

So where does the overeating come in, Jen? 
Would you hold your horses, I'm getting to that.

It's simple. When we aren't absorbing these nutrients, our bodies keep telling us were hungry, even though you just stuffed your face. Le result: weight gain.

There. We covered digestion, and now we can move on to PH levels. Alright, back to chemistry class we go.

The Alkaline-Acid Principle


Based on my research (see below for list of books), you're PH levels are the key to proper nutrition. Apparently, it is the key to fighting aging and weight gain.

Basics
PH scale ranges from totally acidic 0.0 to totally alkaline at 14.0, making 7.0 neutral.

What's important for our health and beauty is the way foods are broken down and the residue they leave. We should strive to eat the 80-20 ratio: 80 percent alkaline-forming foods, and 20 percent acidic-forming foods. What are alkaline forming foods? Good question:

Very Alkaline Foods (in a nutshell):
Ripe fruits (very important to eat when ripe)
Sprouts
Greens
Other Veggies (excluding starchy varieties)

Very Acidic Foods (in a nutshell):
Alcohol
Animal protein
Artificial sweetners
Caffeine
Dairy products
Drugs (antibiotics/steroids)
Nicotine
Processed foods
Refined sugar
Sodas

The most acidic food is animal protein. 

A few quick facts
High-acid environment is prone to fatigue and premature aging.
It's also a stressor, which increases cortisol levels*, and impairs sleep as a result.

*Cortisol primary functions are to increase sugar levels and suppress immune system.

When the body has too much acid, alkaline calcium compounds (stuff found in Tums) are extracted from our bones in order to reduce acidity. It's our body's survival mechanism. The long-term effects of that can lead to osteoporosis. That's why it's important to balance your PH levels.

Here's something else I bet you didn't know:
Cancer is impossible to develop in alkaline environments!

How do you like them apples!?

Note: Alkaline also comes from maintaining a positive attitude. In other words, being stress-free. So DO deep breathing exercises, DO yoga, DO light stretching, DO meditate, DO activities that make you happy.

I hope you enjoyed this mini chemistry lesson, and I hope that it gears you towards a happier, healthier you.

Don't forget to check out my list of books below, if you're interested in learning more.

Stay tuned for my next blog where I'll cover how to pair certain foods for optimal PH balanced results.

See you next time
xx



  1. The first book is called the The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier who is a professional ironman triathlete and formulator of Vega (his own product line for athletes and health enthusiasts).

    What I like about this book are the recipes he has for pre and post exercise routines for building energy and assisting recovery. Great for before and after my jogs.
  2. The second book is called The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder is also a very informative read -much more illustrative with graphics and charts, and broken down in very simple terms so that even if you don't understand the first thing about nutrition you'll get what she's saying. I, personally, need to be taught like I'm a four year old, otherwise I get confused. It's true.





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And in this corner, weighing in at....

Hello dear readers. Yes, you!

I see you come less frequently and I would like to apologize for that as it is my fault. I've been paying less attention to you, I know. I haven't been communicating as often as I used to while I was on the detox. Sometimes a girl just needs to break free from all communication, you know? A cyber detox, if you will ;)

So I'll spare you the boring details of what I've been eating because I'm sure by now you're tired of hearing me say; veggies, fruits, and gluten-free. I will, however, tell you that my friends have really been commenting on my weight lately. From co-workers, to family members, everyone seems to feel that I have lost in the face, stomach, and everywhere else. Since I had never really weighed myself properly during this detox, I figured now was a good time.

First thing Saturday morning, before eating anything, I woke up at my parents house (yes, I'm back-boo), and weighed in. I squinted at the numbers trying to make out what they said, but because I normally wear contacts I couldn't see a darn thing. I ask my dad to read the scale for me and I couldn't believe what he said; I have lost a total of 8lbs (3.2kg's or something -for my Euro readers). I was shocked to find out how much I lost. I guess I hadn't realized it while I was staying at my brother's place over the last month.

Primo, he doesn't have a scale, so I couldn't monitor the weight loss -mind you, that was a good thing otherwise I would have been obsessed with checking. And secondo, you'd think my clothes would have been a good benchmark, but with today's fashion everything fits loose or stretches, i.e. flowy tops or jeggings.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. From weighing in at 118lbs, I am now 110lbs! I haven't been 110lbs since I was 22? Maybe 24? I feel amazing, but I still have some work to do though. I need to tone up. That's where my Tracy Anderson workout video and marathon training comes in.

Speaking of which, I jogged today with my Mickey (my brother). What a beautiful day it was too; 12 degrees and sunny. We went in the morning around 9:30-10AM, right after we did some 'dynamic stretches'. What? Yah, that's what I said. They're a series of stretches that are supposed to strengthen your muscles while you stretch, so: walking lunges or jumping knee bends.

I wish I could say I jogged more then I did on Tuesday, but I didn't. I pretty much covered the same distance, 3.5KM at 28 minutes. At least I'm consistent, right? Then I did interval jogs until I reached 4KM where I officially gave up. My brother, on the other hand, jogged to timbuck-effen-too and came back around 12:30. I watched him jog up Wilderton without stopping. I don't know how he does it, but I'm impressed. I also hate him at the same time. How the hell am I supposed to run the half???

I'm so f*****.

Anyway, zats eet for now.

I'm back home now, hopefully I'll be able to maintain my nutrition and fitness while I'm here. I did buy a book though that seems quite interesting and is similar to the CLEAN philosophy; eating raw.

Stay tuned, kids. And thanks for stopping by.

xx

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Marathon Training: breaking record

Jesus. I had alcohol last night at L'Assomoire. Let me tell you something, wine kicks in. Fast. Much faster then vodka. Good to know for next time. I was feeling tipsy after my first glass. Of course, it didn't help when the waiter kept bringing us shots either.

On another note, I went jogging yesterday morning! That's right. Me. Jogging. I found my Mickey; my brother. We woke up at 6:45, ate an apple with almond butter (yum) and dressed up for the rainy weather. It wasn't by any means fun. In fact, I couldn't wait until it was over when I got to the first corner down his street. I toughed it out though. We jogged through Jarry parc so that kept me distracted enough to almost forget I was jogging. My breathing was much better this time too. I think it's because my brother gave me a neck warmer, which I covered my face with. Helped me control the oxygen I was letting in; there was less burning in my chest.

I ended up jogging 28 minutes for a total of..... (drum roll please) 3.55km!!!!!!

Stop laughing. I broke my record. It's more then I did on Sunday (2.02km). And might I add, I burned 175 calories, not bad, yah? Well anyway, I was impressed I went longer.

I might hit the road tomorrow morning, but we'll see. It's really hard dragging me out of bed to go jogging in the morning. It's really hard drag me out of bed, period, let alone to go jogging. Pffff!

Well, that's all I've got for today. Keeping it short and sweet.

xx



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Monday, April 04, 2011

Volume 2 - Chapter 1: The Rocky Challenge

So based on your votes here's what I'm doing next:

What: The Ottawa Half-Marathon
When: May 28, 2011
Where: Ottawa, duh
Why: Because I love Rocky, and I want to run like Rocky to the the beat of the soundtrack. In fact, just call me Rocky from now on. Jen DouRocky. yah!

The Low-Down:
I have to be able to run 21km by May 28th. That's 54 days from today. Is that realistic? I dunno.

I'm not gonna lie, jogging has never been my thing. In fact, I'm such a rookie that I suck. No, really. I'm horrible. I used to hate walking to the corner convenient store for the love of baby jesus. Could you imagine me running? Okay, I'm not that bad anymore, but still.


The Training
I have to create a schedule in order to see how often I'll need to jog during the week, and how much distance I should cover. I found a training schedule online that should help. I'll have to run 4-5x a week. Do I really have to jog that often? Ugh, I'm already not looking forward to this.

On Sunday, I went for a "jog" for the first time since last Fall. I say "jog" because I only managed to run (don't laugh) for 16 minutes. That's it. Pretty bad, huh? And after 16 minutes of jogging, I covered a whole 2.03KM. Ouu, eh? I was so done at the end of it. toast. fini. blegh. How come I suck so badly?


The Brother
I'm nervous about this challenge, and I'm doing it alone too. My brother has already had a head start on me. He's run three half-marathons so far, and he's currently training for the full 42km's in Ottawa, in May. That's the same one I'll be running at for the half.

The Whining
So listen, does anyone know how I should breathe while jogging? My lungs burn... do you understand burn? It's like a wheezing, burning feeling. I don't want it to burn. Does anyone know how to make it stop? So uncomfortable. I think that's why I couldn't go on. It's usually my breathing that stops me.
 
More Whining
Last fall, when I was jogging more regularly, it was either that, my knees, or my shins that were my biggest obstacles. Weird how they never bother me during the same run, it was always one or the other. Never simultaneous. What's up with that? Is it because I suck? It's so frustrating too. I think the longest I've jogged was 45 minutes, and that was on the treadmill. Is that bad?

The Cry for Help
Will I make it? Does anyone have some tips, advice, or motivation for me?
Does anyone want to jog with me? C'mon, be my jogging partner. Please? Anyone?
Does anyone want to coach me? Who wants to be my Mickey!

Make me "eat lightnin' and crap thunder"

Here's a little Rocky Flavor
 

Peace
xx


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This is the end, beautiful friend (almost)

The detox is finally over and now I can look forward to eating normally again... Or so I thought!

On Sunday, as my first free-from-detox meal, I made a hearty vegetarian lasagna, and it was dee-licious. I mean it. I went to Marché Jean-Talon on Saturday and bought fresh spinach lasagna, yum! What a difference fresh pasta makes.

My ingredients were fairly simple. I used zucchini's, eggplant, and spinach as my filling; a homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms; and finally topped off my layers with a béchamel sauce (apparently the traditional way to make lasagna, si mon-nombo?).

It was scrumptious. Divine. No. Wait. It was scrumptiously-divine

And now here are the after-effects:
Since my meal contained dairy, wheat, and sugar I felt tired and, of course, bloated almost immediately after I ate it. That was a first since the detox. I won't even tell you what today was like. Okay, fine, I will. We both woke up feeling fatigued, and that feeling pretty much continued the rest of the day. My eyes didn't look so hot either. I had bags big enough to carry my lunch in. Also, my washroom visits weren't fun either, but we won't get into that...I'm just saying.

So was wheat the culprit? Or was it the fact I had everything at once that bothered me? Tum, tarum-tum, tummmm!!

(10 minutes later)

Ooopsy Daisy, looks like I made a big booboo.

I just read the After The Cleanse chapter and I wasn't supposed to jump into the pre-Clean diet right away (!!!) What I was supposed to do is consume one liquid meal, instead of two, and then eat three solid meals a day by the end of the week. Eesh. The author says I should continue to follow some recipes from the book. I probably should have read this chapter before making the lasagna, hehe. Silly me.

Anyway, so once I'm back on three meals a day, I should then include one type of food from the Elimination Diet's "exclude" list into my daily meals (not 3 like I did in my lasagna...mii). For instance, wheat or dairy. Then I'm supposed to observe what happens. Do I feel tired, does my tummy hurt, etc.

Dang, and I thought this thing was over. I guess I shouldn't have had alcohol on Friday night either...

You heard me. I CHEATED, okay? Boooo, I know. But in all fairness, I thought Saturday was my last day. I figured whatever changes my body went through this wouldn't, couldn't, possibly reverse it. Right?

What? Don't judge me. You don't know me (LOL the Mauri show).

Well, unfortunately for me, it's not over. Not to worry though, I'll just bounce back. Starting with my smoothies in the AM. I like them smoothie's anyway. Very filling too. I could last all the way through to lunch without feeling like I'm starving. So stay tuned as I continue to investigate the after-detox grub.

xx


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CLEAN skin

It's funny how they say that the foods you eat aren't what cause breakouts, and maybe that's arguable. But I can tell you this much, since starting this detox, I haven't experienced not one little bugger on my face. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. (ok, aside from the one that comes around every month - ahem ahem).

I'd also like to add that my pores are much tighter, and my skin tone is a lot less blotchy. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that it's pretty much even now! Feels great to look this good again. And as I mentioned in my earlier post, my skin glows. I'm still getting compliments about that. Especially into the third week.

So, Proactiv, shmoactiv.

If you've ever had minor breakouts, and uneven skin tone then this detox is worth the try. It can definitely help cure all that. Of course, it depends how much garbage your regular diet consists of. If you're already a relatively healthy eater (no processed foods, salty snacks, chocolates, fried foods, etc) then doing this detox will clear up your skin, HUGE!

If you're not a healthy eater and eat out often or make ready made food, then perhaps your skin might have the opposite reaction to the detox. They say the more waste you have to eliminate, the more your skin might break out during the course of the detox. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean it will.

I must say, it feels good to see the results after the effort and preparation this detox requires. Make no mistake, it does require preparation. Every day you're making a fresh meal. Every morning, you're blending a new smoothie. Every night, you're cleaning up the mess. It takes time, but you get used to the time, and you manage yourself accordingly -depending on how badly you want it, of course.

Although I have had many weak moments, including being tempted to consume foods I wasn't suppose to, I am glad that I stuck through it. Weekends are your biggest challenge, mainly because that's when your routine breaks. You run your errands, you hang with your friends, you go for dinners. All these situations can easily tempt you to go off track, cheat, give up. Take my brother, for example. He may have not given up, but we all know what he did here, here, and here!! And you know what, it's alright. Just bounce back the next day, if something like that happens.

My point is, stick with it. You can still do most of the things you want, but you just have to be smart about the choices you make. And it's just three weeks of your life, for the love of God, suck it up!! If you can turn your body into a strong, healthy foundation, why wouldn't you? You can be in total control of the way your body reacts to the foods you consume. You can be in total control of the way your body looks and feels. So why not try? Aren't you worth it? 

I know I sound like I'm on a high, and maybe I am...maybe that's what this detox has done for me. Maybe it's made me realize that I can look and feel like I've always wanted to. And I want to be healthy and fit. I know that by reading my posts, some of you have already begun asking yourselves questions, and that's good. I didn't know any of the things I blogged about until this cleanse either. I'm learning as I go, and changing in the process.

Hope you continue to learn on this blog and I hope that you choose to try something new, to better yourselves!

Cheers,
xx



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Meet the grand-parents!

"YoooHoooo!" -my grandfather's famous expression
My grandparents came by my brother's today because I'm feeling kind of sick. They think I'm sick because I starve myself. If I can't have pizza, tomato based foods or potatoes then according to them this detox is severe.

Anyway, they have now taken over the kitchen. My grand pops brought some fruits for us in one bag, and in the other he had some beans. He said he wanted to make them later once they went back home, but then asked me if I wanted some. At first, I said no, but if you know my grand father, saying no is like telling him you don't love him; he puts on the saddest face making it impossible to resist. If you do then you're just a cold, cold person! (kidding, not really)

So, he started cleaning some beans (fasolakia in greek) because "einai cute" they are cute. "Eez a nice to eat vetze-ta-bless, eez a health" I love when grandparents, or parents, raised in another country try to speak English.  What's even funnier is when I start speaking the way they do just so they can understand me.

So vetze-ta-bless it is!

Once he finished cleaning them and putting them in the pot to boil, he opened up the fridge and started emptying everything that seemed 'expired'.

The zucchini's my brother bought the other day were already going rotten -tsk tsk, Spiro. "Ti einai afta? Koita, na, sapoia einai. Pes tou Spirou na pigeni edw ston Delta na ta perni, oxi eki pou pigeni"  

what are these, look, there, they're rotten. Tell Spiro to buy them from Delta, not the grocery store he goes too.

Now he's showing me how he's organizing all of my greens. "Eides, exw valei ola ta laxanika mazi. Koita afto tou evala ligo neraki k zontanepse. Eithele katharisma. Tora einai bee-u-tifoo" Yes, grand pop, it's bee-u-tifoo now!!"  

You see, I've put all the veggies together here for you. And look, I just watered this one a bit and brought it back to life. It just needed to be cleaned out. Now it's beautiful.

Who else is loving his hat as he's cooking? They're really too cute.

Hey brah, they're on to cleaning the entire fridge now... I think they're emptying ALL the contents and scrubbing the shelves... maybe I should go help? LOL.

Oh, wait, he wants to show me something... "you have a 1 minutes?" he asks... I'll be back.

Yup, he cleaned the fridge and he's proud of it too. Everything is airtight in zip lock backs in the veggie department, and the fruits are overflowing and plentiful in the top drawer. Wow, what are grand-parents for, yah? Gotta love 'em!

Spiro, he just cleaned your garbage can too!!! "You see? Kathreftis!" Mirror!

You know what's funny about all this, they're totally blaming my brother for all the food that's been poorly handled -hahaha- and I'm letting them. I on the other hand, I'm an angel, I can do no harm. I am perfect!

Oh good God, as we speak they are opening his back door where the garbage is and they just discovered the pot he threw out... "Oouuu, Ooooh tin katsarolitsa mou!!! Ooohh!!!!!"  

Ohhh, my little pot that I gave him. I'm laughing so hard right now because she's talking to the pot... (Spiro, you know what I'm talking about... ) and she's laughing because I'm laughing...

"Akou eki, tin katsarola tis giagia's. Koita pos tin ekane h giagia" she says as she's cleaning it in the sink 

I can't believe it, his grandmother's pot. Look what he did to it

"Kai tin ferame aptin ellada afti tin katsarola" says my grandfather...
And we brought it from Greece this pot.

"Tou dosame to krevati, tha to petaksi k afto sta skoupidia. Den tou dinoumai tipota" 
We give him a bed, he'll throw it in the garbage that too. We're not giving him anything anymore.

"Einai bikouti" it's spotless now (the pot).

Take that for cheating, Mister Dou. Karma, Ha-YAH! 
Now they think you don't know how to shop or store your food. 
You're so gonna get a call tonight, for sure!!! 

Ooof, he's looking at Spiro's plants now! You're in trouble, kiddo.


Here's a video of my grand-papa and the plant (sorry, it's in Greek-he no speaky engleesh)
 

 


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My Metamorphosis

Perhaps I should have elaborated on the work out video I wanted to plug into my regime because it's really not getting any votes.

You see, it's not a lame work out video at all!! It's actually made by Tracy Anderson, one of the biggest, top celebrity trainers who also happened to train Gwyneth (I swear I didn't pick her on purpose).

She created a special routine that activates smaller muscle groups and works them out so that your body can be as tiny as possible without bulking anywhere.

According to her, your body is supposed to go through a serious metamorphosis. It also got insane reviews on Amazon, and I'm curious to see how it can work for me. Also, I seem to be in extreme competition with Gwyneth lately, only she isn't aware of it. I just figure, if she can do it then why can't I, dammit!? Grrrr.

Anyway, going back to this video- there are several workout video's. The first one is the Tracy Anderson Method -Mat Workout (which is what you see above), the second one is the Dance Cardio workout. I'm supposed to combine both DVD's five days/week. It sounds insane, and at that rate, I guess your thinking any workout could render me the same results.

Well, to that I say, you gotta start somewhere.

So there you have it.
xxx


an envelope absolutely, positively has to be there overnight 


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I am on GOOGLE!!!

Did you know if you google search my name not only will you find out that
a) there are Asian Jen Dou's out there, but that
b) my blog shows up on the first page !!!!!!!!!! Woot WoOT!

Okay, fine, so maybe I'm the last one in the search results, but still!!!! That's pretty awesome, nah?!

Oh, and a big shout out goes to my brother's friend Markella in the UK who decided to start the CLEAN detox this week! (I was wondering who my UK reader was)

Markella, let us know how you feel at the end of your first week. It could motivate more people into trying this out, then maybe we can start a global detox movement. CLEAN out the entire population. HA! Keep us posted, please!!!!


****

On that note: Has anyone else been thinking of trying the CLEAN detox? If you have any questions about it, you know where you can post them (comment box below)

Maybe I'll run a poll to see what the general consensus is... but first, don't forget to vote on my next challenge.

Speaking of which, switch over to my next post to read more about the workout challenge I'm planning on incorporating into the rest of my physical routine.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Poll: Next Challenge ---> Dou it!

I'm already thinking of my next challenge, but I need some help narrowing it down.

I need you, my amazing readers, to vote on which challenge you think I should do.

But hurry, because you'll only be able to vote until this Saturday when the detox ends. 

You can find the poll on the right hand side on my home page. --->

Go ahead and vote.
I promise, there won't be any miscounting a-la Bush, here (who said that?)

xx

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KUNG-POW! (featuring Lady Gaga)

I ate it again!

Praise the ethnic folk who came up with all those wonderful spices we now have at our disposal! I made the "Oh-So-Nessa" lentil soup again. I don't think you understand how good this is! I'm telling you, if you like ethnic spices, pa-pa-pa-please try this.

Hmm. I feel like breaking out into a Lady Gaga song.




(Sing to sound of Poker Face- go ahead already, click PLAY)


Oh Ne-Ne-Nessa (3x)
I'm gonna make this soup again and you will see
I'll blend it, then I'll scoop it, and I'll polish it so clean
make me de-con-gest-ed so my nose can become free
and I will use up some more spices so my brother cannot cheat

Oh-ohhh, oh oh.. Ohhhoohhhoh . oh. 
I'll spice it up or bif him with the pot
Oh-ohhh, oh oh.. Ohhhoohhhoh . oh. 
I'll spice it up or bif him with the pot


Can't cheat now, can't cheat now, until you taste the soup pa-please
it's Nessa's soup, you've got to try it
Can't cheat now, can't cheat now, until you taste the soup pa-please
it's Nessa's soup, you've got to try it

pa-pa-pa-please try this, pa-pa-please try this
s-s-s-soup
pa-pa-pa-please try this, pa-pa-please try this
s-s-s-soup

wow. I'm bored, eh?



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My name is Jen, and I am Gluten-Free!


I’ve been seriously wondering lately what will happen once I’m off the detox. I mean, will I go crazy and binge on the foods I missed? How long will I be able to maintain my toxin-free body? Will the foods I eat make me feel bloated, again?


I don’t have all the answers just yet, but I do have one that I am happy to share with you: How to be bloated-free!


Ever felt heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, or diarrhea? No, this isn’t a Pepto-Bismol commercial, this is about unexplained symptoms like bloating, fatigue, eczema and allergies. Believe it or not, they all have something in common: wheat!

It’s bad because wheat is in almost everything we eat, and over time it’s been modified to have a higher gluten content. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that seems to be the most common culprit for digestive problems (booo).

For instance, if you eat cereal and muffins for breakfast, perhaps breads and cookies for lunch and maybe some pasta for dinner, then your setting yourself up, and your digestive tract, to get all out of whack. Why? Because your digestive tract can't handle it. 

So then what is the problem, you ask? Splendid question!

The body, more specifically, our antibodies (the one’s that neutralize bacteria and viruses) has a bad reaction to one of the four proteins found in wheat: globulin, albumin, gliadin, and glutelin. Want to guess which one is creating all the fuss? Yup, that’s right. Gluten (what an ass****)

Gliadin, which is also a composite of gluten, can cause inflammation when digested and destruct the intestinal lining (BOOM!) which prevents your body from absorbing essential nutrients (son of a b…) This holds especially true for those who have Celiac disease -an immune deficiency due to gliadin.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms I mentioned above, calm down, it doesn’t mean you have Celiac disease. It could, however, mean that the probability of you being sensitive to wheat, is there - as I believe I am.

To test this theory, all you have to do is eliminate wheat from your diet for two weeks. You should notice a significant improvement after a few days (like I did). Once the two weeks have passed, try eating some wheat again. Stay aware of how your body responds. If you notice any symptoms, then perhaps it’s time you realize that wheat isn’t the friend you thought it was (haaptouiii –I spit on you, wheat). You can either omit it from your diet entirely, or reduce the amount you consume.

Since my body will be completely void of any toxins at the end of my third week (this Saturday), I will slowly re-introduce foods I used to eat. As I consume them, I will have to monitor the changes and note any reactions.

We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

If any of you want to try it out, go for it. It’s not that hard to do, and if you're a big pasta eater you can eat buckwheat pasta. It's a great alternative, and it tastes great too! 

Make sure you look for gluten free products. There are tons on the market. Trust me, if it cures you of many symptoms, you’ll thank me!

Have comments or questions? What do you think the box is for, dammit!? Type your thoughts down there, already! Gosh!


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Gwyneth, with Love

Special dedication to my dear friend, Bessie.

I've noticed that my jeans fit better; I've been getting a lot more compliments on my figure; and apparently, my skin has a glow! What!? AWESOME!

Since this is the third and final week on the detox (not counting the after-detox phase) I'm suppose to undergo more changes. The author says that if I need motivation I should look to my friends and family for support- well, sorry mom, but "want me to make some chocolate cookies?? want me to make some apple pie? want me to give you some potatoes to take with you?" isn't support! Yeah, yeah, I know the chocolate cookies were supposed to be gluten-free, mom, but the sugars and starches weren't detox friendly- love you though!?

My father also keeps telling me to just stop the detox now "You've done it long enough, just stop now, no?"  He's hilarious. "It's a THREEEEEEE week detox, dad!!! THREEE!"

Maybe I'll have better luck with my friends.

What else?

Oh yes, I should be feeling the natural high that comes with detoxification (yeah, I suppose I feel pretty good. I can't say I'm super energetic anymore.. I was during the first week, but I think I simmered down now); my skin should glow (why yes, yes it does - ah thank-you); my clothes should be a little looser (check), and friends should be asking me if I just came back from vacation (not exactly, but vacation is definitely on all our minds).

You know, after doing this detox for three weeks, spending time cooking and preparing the food, avoiding the things I used to binge on, not drinking any alcohol, and incorporating more yoga and exercise into my life, I'm beginning to think that my friend Bessie was on to something when she asked "Do you get an honorary friendship card from Gwyneth once you complete the program?"

"I am you're friend, from Gwyneth."

Damn you Gwyneth! All this work. Can't we be friends now? C'mon! I'll even say you're good at singing and dancing, I swear !!! No? Fine.

Can I get season tickets to Coldplay, then?
Does it even work like that?

You suck. But I still might buy your cookbook.


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"Weekend's don't count" - Sypros Dourakis

They sure don't, at least not for Mr. Dou, and this weekend was no exception. (Look! You can LIKE this post here -------->
(Missed it? Make sure you've clicked onto the post page, then click LIKE)

It began with the celebration of his birthday on Thursday night where he consumed an obscene amount of alcoholic beverages, with the encouragement and support of his dear friends-BRAVO!! Round of applause. And it ended with potatoes and apple pie (not together) at my parents house today.



video



In his defense, he ran 30KM this morning so I guess he released his share of toxins, and merited himself some starch and sugar -so go easy on him when you see him, Sam ;)

I, on the other hand, have been battling with cravings all weekend. Friday night, I went out and couldn't, DIDN'T, drink. It definitely wasn't as fun as it could have been, especially when your watching your friends loosen up around you. Later that night, I started to crave McDonald's and almost had some, but then thought better.

Saturday night, I went for dinner at Caramel for my buddy's birthday. I'm not gonna lie, the food was pretty lame. I ordered grilled octopus as an appetizer and when it arrived there were two pieces the size of my index finger on a bed of chickpeas. In other words, I paid $16 for chickpeas.

Question: isn't grilled octopus supposed to be warm, if not hot, after being on the grill? No? I'm just saying?

My entree was a 1/2 a roasted, curry and coconut chicken with 'alleged' kale salad on the side. It wasn't kale, it was just cabbage - sorry, a posh coleslaw salad. The chicken was alright, but I couldn't taste the curry or the coconut that was apparently on it.

Anyway, that was my weekend. 

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The "Oh-So-Nessa" Lentil Soup

***LOOK! I've finally figured out how to add the facebook LIKE button, so now you can just like away any post you enjoyed!!! You can LIKE something simply by making sure you are on the post page and clicking LIKE-yaaaay!!!***

If you like lentils and spices, then you need to try my friend Vanessa's lentil soup. 
Filled with world spices, and creamy coconut milk this soup will make you say Kung Pow*! 

*warning, if you don't like hot spices, then use less cayenne or none at all.

Here's how to make  
The "Oh-So-Nessa" Lentil Soup
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped (up to 3 cups if like)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 8 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  1. In a bowl, mix the masala, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium-high heat and sauté onions until golden (about 10 minutes)
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute
  4. Add spices and mix thoroughly
  5. Add lentils, stir and coat well
  6. Pour 8 cups of broth with bay leaves, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender
  7. Remove from heat and puree the soup in batches using a blender
  8. Pour back into pot and add coconut milk, stir well

Serve and enjoy! Yummy yummy yummy... it's like love in my tummy. 


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fat Lessons for Dummies

The thing is, do any of us really understand how many different types of fat there are? 

I mean, really. I've heard of polyunsaturated and trans fat before, and I know it's a good thing when it says 0 Trans Fat on packaging, but why? And what the heck does all that stuff really mean anyway; more importantly, how does it affect me? 

Well, if you're anything like me, clueless about fatty acids, then dig in because I'm about to spill the beans all over your screen.

I thought I'd begin by covering the types of fat there are: polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, saturated, and trans. They are all normal fatty acids, but they are not all good for you. So here we go...

1.   Polyunsaturated fats  (nuts, seeds, fish, leafy greens, bananas, sesame oil, peanut butter)
Decreases overall cholesterol, decreases the risk of heart attacks, can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, contains omega 3's (fish oil, fish, and seafood).

Side note: Omega 3's (salmon, walnuts, flax seed) help lower triglycerides (high saturated fats) and lower cholesterol.

2.   Monounsaturated fats
Decreases cholesterol levels; helps burn body fat; improves blood pressure and glucose control; good source of fat soluble vitamin A, D, E, & K

Vitamin A (liver, spinach, mango’s, avocado’s paprika) It improves -vision, skin cellular health; antioxidants

Vitamin D (salmon, tuna, cereals) It reduces inflammation

Vitamin E (cereal: Quaker Oats, Corn Flakes; nuts: seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds; vegetables: spinach, tomato, broccoli, peppers, asparagus) It improves healing of wounds, decreases premenstrual symptoms, improves overall circulation. Want more info? Click here

Vitamin K (leafy greens, fruits like avocado, onion, peas, cucumber-unpeeled) It initiates healing process by slowing bleeding, good for preventing heart disease. Want more info? Click here

3.   Saturated fat (coconut oil, butter, milk and dairy products, meat) 
Increases cholesterol so try not to eat too many of these foods.

4.   Trans fat (fast food, snack food, fried food, and baked industries) 
This is a normal fatty acid found naturally from animal-based foods so it’s relatively okay to consume. More often then not it contains about 4% of trans fat. 

If, however, its transformed into partial hydrogenated oils (see glossary below) then this is NOT okay as it contains more than 50% of trans fat.

These foods makes you gain weight. How? For one, it prevents good fat from being absorbed properly so it lodges itself in your body and makes a home for itself (aka-your face, bum, hips, stomach, etc. Secondly, it also slows your metabolism down.

Not to mention that it’s linked to increasing risk of coronary heart disease!!
So avoid anything that says hydrogenated, will ya?


If I've missed anything, made a mistake somewhere, or you would like to add more info then by all means, go right ahead. I don't have that comment box for nothing. All you have to do is click the drop down menu, choose NAME/URL, enter your name, and then comment. You don't have to be a member.

GLOSSARY

1.   Hydrogenated Oils: used to reduce or saturate organic compounds in order to prolong or extend the shelf life of processed foods (for profit).

2.   Partially Hydrogenated Oils: transformed when liquid oils are made into semi-solid foods (margarine)





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