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.







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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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm kind of a big deal...in INDIA!

I just wanted to say that this blog is really starting to take off. I just checked my stats and apparently, I've got readers all the way in India, Singapore, Greece, and Australia -just to name a few.

Of course, the readership in Greece is definitely coming from my family so... I LOVE YOU GUYS for reading- Philipia, Makis, Diana, who else?

And I know who is checking me out in the land down under -Oh Swifty... bring me back a Kangaroo!

For my readers in South Est Asia and beyond... how ever did you find me? Now if only I was Big in Japan!!!



Thank-you for reading, everybody!
Especially to my fellow Montrealers-you ROCK!

P.S. Don't forget to view some of my delayed posts on
stool stalling
dear cheater; and finally always a cheater!


xx

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Monday, March 21, 2011

CLEAN Lessons 101: Include/Exclude Food List



Have I ever shared the details of what I can and cannot eat during this CLEAN detox? 
I don't believe I have so here's the scoop...

Foods to include:
whole fruits, unsweetened, frozen or water-packed;
almond milk, coconut milk,
non-gluten grains and starch: brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat;
cold water fish, lean lamb, duck, chicken;
lentils, legumes, olive oil, sesame oil;
green tea, herbal teas, agave nectar;
most condiments: i.e. basil, cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, etc.

Foods to exclude:  
wheat, corn, barley, spelt, rye, couscous, oats;
no beef, raw fish, veal, sausage, shellfish; 
oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, bananas;
tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers;
no dairy, soy products, butter, processed oils, spreads;
alcohol, coffee, caffeinated beverages, sodas, 
sugar, chocolate, ketchup, relish, etc.

The reason these foods are eliminated from the detox is mainly due to their ability to suppress our digestive strength, unbalance our PH levels, and inflame our body.

Certain foods act as irritants preventing our system from breaking down properly and causing fermentation, i.e. tomatoes, chocolate, potatoes, shellfish.

Simply put, you’re body needs to absorb or eliminate what was eaten. If it can’t do it normally, i.e. by eliminating waste from you know where, then any residuals will be reabsorbed into your body creating a toxic condition; abdominal rumblings, heartburn, bloating, depression, etc. Yuck!

*Adding spices to your meals is a great way to help the body break down the foods you eat.

Other foods listed are more acidic which decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients; decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells and makes it more susceptible to fatigue and illness: milk products, bananas, and grains such as wheat -but these are also the main "mucus-making" foods that cause the stickiness in the intestines which in turn makes nutrient absorption and elimination harder to achieve. 

*Note, when it says avoid acidic foods, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to avoid them at all costs. It just means that there should be a healthy balance of both acidic and alkaline forming foods. You can buy PH balance strips, if you're really interested, to see if your body contains too much acid. 

Last but not least, some foods to avoid have inflammatory effects in the body: sugars and grains, especially refined grains (white rice) cause the body to release more insulin, which regulates absorption. Insulin is a pro-inflammatory hormone...big no no.

The Eat Clean Maintenance Checklist
1.   Eat more veggies, less dairy to balance your PH
2.   Include plenty of fresh, whole foods
3.   Eat at least 51% raw (veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, unprocessed oils)
4.   Support good bacteria in your intestinal tract with plenty of fiber, good-quality saturated fats, foods with natural probiotics.
5.   Avoid feeding bad bacteria with preservatives; sugar; wheat; refined grains; dairy products, and alcohol.
6.   Detox periodically (once/year)

And that about sums up our lesson of the day! 
Hope you learned something valuable. 

Thanks for stopping by.
xx

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Day 8: Once a cheater, always a cheater

On Sunday, my parents decided to have a few family members over for some food. Naturally, they told us they'd have some detox-friendly food -like lean lamb chops -yup, believe it or not, it's on the CLEAN menu- for us to chow down on... And my parents did not disappoint. True to their word, there was plenty of lamb chops for my brother and I to eat. Of course, what they didn't tell me was that they were also planning a pizza party for themselves and the rest of the family members!

Now, I don't know if you know this but my grandparents make some pretty good pizza.

Side note: my grand-folks are so cute. They baked pizza for everyone in their apartment building a couple of weeks ago. The tenants were from France and loved the pizza so much that they invited my grand-folks to a party they were having and my grandparents went-with more pizza too!! How cute are they? They were a hit.

So we love their pizza. It's bee-u-tifoo, as my grand pops would say. And pizza is fun! How could I NOT have any pizza? The worst part was that by the time the pizza's were out of the oven, I was hungry again!!!

What to do, what to do?

My brother, God bless him, doesn't have much of a conscience like I do. When I asked him if he was going to cheat, he gave me his million dollar smile and said "the weekend doesn't count!" Of course not, this detox was written for 5 days out of the week only. "Neither does my birthday". That's right. The author also made note of birthdays being exceptions. Yes. I remember now. Mmhmm.

Yes, and my brother's birthday is today, March 21st. Should I tell you what he's doing right now? He's having drinks with a friend of his. Oh, and also, we're officially celebrating the day of his birth this Thursday during 5 a 7 at a new favorite local bar (alcohol, alcohol, alcohol). On top of that, this Sunday, my family is combining my granny's bday with my brother's because her's is on the 25th. So more cheating for him, and more torture for me. YAY!

So back to the pizza party. Everyone sits down at the dining table and I put salad on my plate and stared at everyone else eating their pizza. They kept telling me to forget the detox for one day... "what's ONE day?" they said "we won't tell anyone, c'mon, have some. It's the best pizza your grandfather's ever made. EVER!" I could have killed them, and they almost had me convinced too. I began rationalizing why I should eat the pizza. It's just preliminary week, I thought to myself. What's the big deal? I'm allowed to make mistakes, aren't I? It's just an adjustment period. I'll eat it, and have more liquid meals throughout the day tomorrow to compensate. Right? No biggie.

Then someone at the table would yell, "don't do it, Jen, you're doing so well" and I'd pull my hand back from the pizza platter. I tried not to breath in the aroma of all the ingredients mixed together baked to perfection by the stove, but it smelled. so. good. The cheese, the pepperoni, the mushrooms, the dough, the crust...oh...and the chili peppers, and Frank's Red Hot Sauce!!! TORTURE! Ahh, I want some now!

Meanwhile, my brother was enjoying his fourth piece and washing it down with beer. "Do you feel bad yet?" I asked. "Like, are you bloated yet?" He looked at me and said "No, I'm not bloated, but I am starting to feel guilty." A-HA! This immediately made me feel better about my choice! That's exactly what I was trying to avoid- guilt. I look at him with a big smile on my face and just when I was about to claim victory he turns to me one last time as he grabs his fifth piece and says "just kidding. I don't feel bad at all. I feel great!"

Damn him. 

The struggle to NOT eat the pizza went on for a while until my father made me realize that I could just get up from the table and walk away! Wow! What a revelation that was. It helped too. I tried to distract myself but of course I was still thinking of that pizza until the moment I left. I can't believe I have to go through this all over again this weekend.

As for everyone else who taunted me, they all felt extremely bloated afterward! So there! Hmph...! And as for my brother, well... he admitted to getting mucho cravings this afternoon. He partly regretted cheating. Partly. But once a cheater, always a cheater. So I suspect he'll cheat again. Even after all his birthday celebrations.

Good news is, I didn't cave (SPIRO!!!). My family was proud of me, and I was too.

I really should have taken pictures of my brother cheating this weekend... remind me to do this next time.

xx



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Day 7: cheater, cheater, steak and fries eater

My dearest brother, Spiro,

I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed your steak, fries, and over consumption of alcohol Friday night (cheater).
I also hope you felt some mild bloating, a bit of flatulence, and a lot of indigestion, with a little bit of a hang over on the side.

Much love,
You're loyal, non-cheating, detox following, do it the right way, sister.
xx

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Day 5 & 6: spoke too soon (repost)

Round 2: This one's for Antzi!


I had posted up Day 5&6 on Friday, but something happened and my post got deleted...I'm trying to recall what I blogged about and I believe it had a lot to do with feeling tired, getting cravings, and poops (yes, I will talk about poo).

So to cut straight to the chase, for the first time since being on this detox, I finally started to feel tired on Day 5 (last Thursday). I couldn't seem to focus on anything in particular. Maybe it was because I had a lot on my mind, or maybe it was because I'm starting to crave certain foods. Which brings me to what I'm about to say next.

Bacon. I miss bacon!

Of course, I got this urge to eat it from watching a few episodes of Dead Like Me. You see, the characters get together in a restaurant for breakfast and all I saw were mountains and mountains of bacon being served. It made my mouth water and sent my taste buds straight into withdrawal! I felt like the Cookie Monster when he sees cookies and says "COOOOOKIEEES" just before devouring every cookie he sees in sight. Well, "BAAAACOOOON"

The other thing that happened was that my poopsters weren't regular -like they were every other day. I swear, it's like my body heard me and said "oh yeah? You think you're the one in control here? Ha! I'll show you who is in control, Missy!" and shut down my system. I was hors-service. Game-over.I was stool-stalling in the bathroom stall for like 20 minutes last week! I just wish I had some reading material or something... you know? Ooof!

Well anyway, by this weekend, I was back in business. Everything working and functioning just as it should.
I suppose it was just a glitch in the system. Shit happens sometimes, you know? HA!

(yes, mom, S-H-I-T)

Well, that about covers those days
Thanks for reading xx

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 4: ch-ch-changes

*Blogger deleted two of my posts somehow. I had written Day 4, 5&6 and now they're gone. Luckily, I had a copy of my 4th day, but not day 5&6 :( sucks... anyway, here's Day 4.

I figured it's time I let you know what's been going on with my body so far: if there's been any obvious or subtle changes, any withdrawals, etc.

I can tell you right now that I haven't had ANY withdrawals. I don't crave chocolate, or Stacy's Pita Chips (the ultimate pita chip), or pasta, or bread, or Mcdonald's fries, or pizza, or...and the beat goes on. I don't even get late night snack cravings anymore -and that's a first for me!

You know what? Let  me just make a quick list of the changes I've gone trhough since I started so you can see for yourselves.

Noticeable changes in 4 days:

  • More self-motivation = more pro activity
  • More alert during the day
  • Less tired (day and night)
  • No bloating or swelling of any kind (body or visage)
  • No 'yucky, too stuffed to move' feeling after meals
  • Never starving, always quite content
  • No morning groggyness
  • Overall pleasant mood
  • Feel lighter, more refreshed
  • Skin appears to be less dull
  • Frequent and regular usage of bathroom for both number one and two -ah thank-you!


Well hey now -those are some pretty good changes, wouldn't you say? All that in 4 days! And I'm sure the majority of you can identify with some or most of these day-to-day 'nuisances', so maybe it's time you consider doing a detox yourself. I'm not saying pick this one, but choose the one that's right for you -a healthy one! This one just seemed to make sense for me.

I'm keeping it short and sweet today.
Stay tuned for more xx

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Recipes: These are a few of our favorite things

My dear, good friend John couldn't figure out how to post a comment on my blog because he's slightly internet challenged (don't tell him I said that), so he sent me an inbox in reference to the jail dream posting. Here's what he wanted to post with his comments in red.

PRISON (and its psychological meaning):
You may feel that your life is restricted at the moment (perhaps being on a restricted detox diet- sound familiar?), and your dream reflects your need to change your routines. To release yourself you may need to make major changes to your waking life (like eating).

He makes me laugh, however, he brings up a very valid point. And now, I would like to take this time to prove him wrong; I do eat. There. Done.

On that note, I decided to share a few of our favorite recipes from the CLEAN detox program that you can easily try at home.

 

Roasted Cilantro Chicken Breast with Avocado, Mango, and Papaya Relish


 

Salsa ingredients: you can improvise with the fruit selection

1/2 mango diced into small cubes
1/2 papaya seeded and diced into small cubes
1/2 avocado cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbs lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of your nipple *optional. (kidding-it's not an option)

Chicken ingredients:

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 organic chicken breast halves with bone and skin


1. Mix salsa ingredients and let sit for at least one hour in fridge.
2. In a bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, and cayenne.
Coat chicken and marinate it for one hour.
3. Turn oven to 350 deg. Place chicken with marinade on top and bake for apprx 45-50 min. Turn occasionally until ready.
4. Serve chicken and place salsa on top.


This is a great and simple salad dressing with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen


Basic Salad Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flaxseed oil (you can just use olive oil if desired -1 cup)
6 tbs lemon juice (that's 3 lemons)
3 cloves garlic pressed
2 tsp dry Italian herb mix (oregano, thyme, basil)
2 tsp onion powder
4 tsp clear agave honey -or regular honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp mustard powder
pinch of cayenne


1. in a glass container mix all ingredients and whisk.
2. keep in fridge (should last about 1 week).


If anyone tries them, let me know what you think.

Hope you enjoy.
xx

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Day 3: super spoon

I dedicate this entry to Gigi, my adorable cousin in Manhattan.


Obviously, the natives didn't hear my request the other night because I woke up yesterday morning from another disturbing dream.

First, I'm on stage with Lady Gaga at a concert she held in some theater (because that's what me and the Lady do). Then, I was by a river or on a boat? Or the boat was on the river? And finally, I went to jail. The kind of jail where "you're better off not looking anyone in the eye if you know what's good for you, little lady", said the mean security guard just before I began to cry.

Yah. Great dreams! My brother had a dream too. You ready? He dreamt (that's not how you spell it, is it?) that he was in a prison too!!! How nutty is that?? NUTS, I tell you.

Hmm... prison. It's either our body is getting rid of some serious toxins, or we're feeling emotionally and mentally trapped by this detox. I believe it's the former, because we're loving it so far. To be honest, we're  actually really starting to feel the benefits from it.

Yesterday, for instance, was an easy, breezy day -almost like wearing Cover Girl make-up, only not. We both had immense energy, loads of focus, and a sense of accomplishment with our day. I finally squeezed a yoga class in last night and still had enough time to make our dinner and today's lunch.  Super Woman!

The meals were super duper too: Pineapple and Kale Smoothie for breakfast; Roasted Chicken with Papaya, Mango, and Avocado Salsa for lunch; and Butternut Squash Soup for dinner -with enough left over for tonight as well. Yum Yum!

And now, the moment you should be waiting for: My brother's dream.

He was in Greece, naturally, because in our minds we're always in Greece, swimming by the Mediterranean coast, soaking in the sun, and enjoying fresh Kalamari at the local taverna on the seaside. Ahhh, bliss...

Well, unfortunately, this wasn't that kind of dream -so get over it.

He wasn't dreaming of the Mediterranean, no, no.  He was dreaming he was in a Greek Prison because of a fight he got into. As he's sitting in jail, he notices a swarm of people waiting outside for him -and it wasn't fan club or the media, but a gang out to get him (of course).

Then, at midnight -that fairy tale hour- the cops gave my brother his get-out-of-jail-free card. It was time for him to leave the prison, so he and his friend Tsoukala (if you don't know Tsoukala, then I feel sorry for you) started walking out just as the gang began to move in on them. My brother, alarmed by the herd of bad-asses, grabbed Tsoukala by the arm and said "Hey! You can't go there, they're going to get us!"

That's when he had an epiphany: "this was just a dream, I am the master of my dreams, I can control them" -I love that moment. When you realize you can be in total control of the way your dreams turn out.

Well, instead of oh, say, I don't know, pulling some matrix move, or tossing them aside with the wave of his finger -très Sylar from Heroes- he threw a spoon. A spoon, of all possibilities. Right in one of the guys' forehead. Bam! Neo's got nothing on you, bro!













Dragons breathe fire,Chuck Norris breaths dragons,and my brother, Spiro..? Well, he throws spoons.

Apparently, that was enough to make the others scatter, and so, my brother and his spoon, conquered!! Hooray!! May the Chuck Norris force be with you all day, my brother!

xx



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Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 2: Strange Days

What a strange day.

Did anyone else have a hard time getting up this morning, or was that detox related too? I couldn't do it. My mind kept telling my eyes to open but they wouldn't listen. There goes my morning yoga class. Sigh.

Surprisingly enough, I didn't feel hungry after any of my meals today. Not even around 3PM -that dreaded time of day you normally poke around your office space for something, anything, to munch on; a piece of chocolate; a cookie; some paper; ANYTHING!

Okay. I'm calm now.

******
I am interrupting this blog post because we've got a cheater in the house!!! My beloved brother has just gotten up from watching a movie to grab the hummus we made last night, and he's eating it with carrots (it's 10PM).

I know what you're thinking... what's wrong with that, right? Sounds healthy, yah?

Well, he may have made a healthy choice but if we're going to get technical then technically his last meal was supposed to be his liquid meal. More importantly, you must, Must, MUST leave twelve hours between dinner and breakfast so that you're body can detox properly.

According to the author of the CLEAN program, you're body is given the detox signal aprx. eight hours after your last meal, and requires at least four hours to function well. In other words, it's better to fast a little before sleepy time so that the ritual called breakfast exists. Get it? Here, let me break it down for you, pay attention: Break-fast. You're "breaking the fast" Ta-Da!!!

Speaking of sleepy time, I started having strange dreams last night. So did my brother. They say that at the early stages of the detox, some of the side-effects are nightmares. Yikes! So does that mean my subconscious is also detoxing by getting rid of any messed up movies I've seen, or stories I've read, or personal issues I may have buried back there? Oh for the love of Native Indians! Construct me a dreamcatcher already and let's call it a night.

Anyway. I'm beat. Time to count sheep. 1....2....Zzzz



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Oh Matt!

And when I say Matt I'm referring to Matt Damon, of course, and by Matt Damon I really mean my personal coach, Chris. That's right. I have a coach. He's there to make sure I stay on course, so he's over at my house right this minute eating away anything and everything that might deter me from achieving my goal (make sure you get rid of all those paximathia).

By the way, thanks to all of you for joining my blog page... I just got started and already I have 7 followers! I don't even know what that means? Do you guys get automatic updates? Boh.

If you do want to keep tabs on my Adventures in Detoxland (hey, that's got a nice ring to it), then stop by for a visit every now and then. I'll be here... just typing away...tuu-turu-turuuu.


xxx







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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 1: off to a jittery start

Today was a mess.

First, we woke up late, then we realized we were still missing ingredients, then by the time we got back from shopping it was already 2:30PM and we still hadn't had breakfast !!

Anyway, we made our first liquid meal: the Energy Smoothie with Cardamom and Almond Butter. It didn't take long to make, maybe 10 minutes or so. The taste wasn't horrible, but it wasn't 'oh my God, it's better then eggs, bacon, and sausage' either. And it made me feel a bit jittery right after...or did it make me feel drowsy? You know, I still can't decide what I was feeling more... sleepy or wired..? Strange combo.

Lunch was pretty good. It was the Basic Quinoa Salad. I'm a fan of quinoa. I first got a taste of it at work from a Lebanese friend of mine, originally from Nigeria. He eats it all the time in these amazing stews he makes, yum, and I get to taste 'em! Well, I don't really give him that much of a choice...I should get him to post some of his recipes here !!!

Quinoa is such a great alternative to rice, too. It's benefits alone make it worthwhile to switch over to this seed. It helps lower cholesterol; aids elimination and toning of colon (who knew my colon needed toning too?); and prevents arteries from clogging. It's actually pretty insane to think a seed packs all that punch. If you haven't tried it yet, I definitely recommend you do. It's yummy. Like couscous, only better. Read more on the benefits here.


Cardamom's got interesting benefits as well. It's loaded with tons of healing powers for digestive disorders, urinary infections, and blood pressure -and that's not even the half of it -check out more here.

For dinner, we had another liquid meal: Cucumber and Basil Soup. It was more of a gazpacho type meal; very refreshing.

I guess what's going to be great about this experience is that as I try these recipes I'm also going to experiment with new ingredients, which will allow me to learn about their effects and how they can benefit me. Then I can let you in on the daylee dose ;)

I guess that's that for today.
I'm pretty exhausted right now.
Tomorrow's another day.

Until then, xx


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