Day 1: I’ve got a ticket to THRIVE

And so it begins. 

For the next 21 days I’ll be abstaining from the following as part of the 21-day Crazy Sexy Cleanse:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol

I’m luckily not alone on this journey, having found the Crazy, Sexy 21 Day Warrior Cleansers! group on Fbook before even deciding to do the cleanse.  With their help and support I’ll be focusing on consuming mostly alkaline foods over the course of the next three weeks.  This means I will be eating lots of the following (mostly in their raw form):

  • greens
  • veggies
  • low-GI fruits
  • beans
  • nuts & seeds
  • more greens

For more information on alkaline foods check out this great introduction and Kris’ vlog on the topic.

Working Up to It

This cleanse is something I’ve been working towards over the past couple of weeks.  Adherence to my food budget has been up and down as I adjust to consuming more veggies and less of everything else.  I’m experimenting with new foods, new smoothie combos, and new types of snacks (e.g. a baked sweet potato or celery with almond butter vs almonds and raisins).  I’ve (kind of) started meditating daily and have gotten into the habit of beginning each day with hot water + lemon + cayenne.

Last week was a major slip-up as I went on a huge sugar bender, barely meditated, and was in hibernation mode.  I blame the full moon as shit was hitting the fan in just about every part of my life.  This weekend I reset while in VT, focusing on veggie-licious meals..and enjoying my last two days with sugar + alcohol by eating too much dessert and drinking too much wine…with the people I love.  Yea it was perfect (if not recommended).

Playing by the my rules

Gluten: I have no intention of cutting out gluten completely but do intend on significantly cutting back on my gluten-intake (written as I spoon oyster crackers into my soup).  I do not believe I’m gluten-intolerant but I am curious to see how my body reacts.  As I’ve limited my carb intake (in the form of bread, pasta, crackers, chips, etc) over the past couple of weeks (again, replacing it with veggies), I’ve noticed my body feels better.  Pounds just come off, bloating goes away, and I sleep more soundly.  So I figure it can’t hurt.  Plus I already love GF grains such as oats and quinoa and products like Mary’s crackers.  My meal plan this week is accidentally GF so my goal is to consume no more than 2 servings of gluten each day (e.g. bowl of cereal + slice of bread or sandwich).  I’m hoping to taper this off as the cleanse goes on and see how it goes.

Sugar: I have decided to keep natural sugars from fruit, honey, maple syrup, and evaporated cane juice in my life.  With the exception of last week, my sugar intake is fairly low and is the form of fruit, self-baked goods sweetened with maple syrup or honey, and Nature’s Path granola (10g sugar + 5g fiber/serving). Rather than say sayonara to these, I’ve made traded them for better options.  For example, I bought cereal with a much lower sugar content (Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes: 4 g sugar+5 g fiber/serving) and have begun using only half a banana (vs a whole one) in my morning smoothie.  I’m not limiting my fruit intake but will focus on snacking on veggies instead.  As with gluten, I intend on tapering my sugar intake off as the cleanse goes on.

For a brief overview of the CSD, check out Kris’ Top 15 CSD Tips!

Final Thoughts

I am so excited to embark on this cleanse with the support of all my other C/S Warriors!  There is no way we can fail because each and every change we make is a step in the positive direction.  We might slip up but that is ok as each moment presents us with a brand spankin’ new opportunity to make a better decision.

I am oh-so-excited excited about experimenting with new foods and the raw food lifestyle.  I’ve been hesitant to jump into the world of raw foods because it seemed so big and intimidating.  Having a structured guide to help me on my way is huge for me, as is having a group of people to turn to with questions and concerns!

The greatest part about the cleanse is that it isn’t just about the physical body.  Kris’ guide includes daily prayers (mantras if you will) and affirmations.  As stoked as I am to experiment with new foods, food styles, and flavors, I’m also eager to experience the growth that undoubtedly will come from checking in and living more in the moment.  I have no doubt it’ll be rocky at times but I also am certain that the joyous moments, when I feel completely one with the Universe will outweigh (and more than makeup for) the less-than-ideal times.

I’ll be sharing parts of my journey with you here.  I decided to not set a day or format but just create as is necessary and/or desired.  It might be in the forms of pictures, videos, song lyrics, quotes, personal ramblings, or anything else.  We’ll see what each new day brings.

Thank you for being a part of this new journey on which I’m embarking.  As always, please don’t hesitate to leave questions and encouragement.  I’d love to talk more about the tenets of the CSD and cleanse and help you on your journey if that is what feels authentic and sparkly and magical for you.

Here’s to coming into our full potential and THRIVING.

Yoga, beauty, life,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 19

Don’t know what this is?  Click here…or check out all my P:FB posts using the tag cloud/categories.

3…

2…

1!

Tip of the Week

I have a confession to make: I love grocery shopping.   As in, I often get lost inside of a store for hours on end just browsing and exploring.  Grocery stores are like black holes: they suck me in and before I know it two (or more!) hours has past and I didn’t even realize it!  In fact, I often joke that I should start a concierge grocery shopping business!  <–any takers?

This love and the many hours spent shopping have paid off, however, in the form of savings.  More specifically, on more than one occasion, whilst aimlessly wandering the aisles of Wegmans, pondering the best way to spend those last few dollars or which items I need to remove from my cart in order to make budget, I’ve stumbled upon something wonderful: coupons!  Thanks to my pensive ways, I’ve found coupons hidden on tables, end caps, and blended in with the prices!  One time, for example, I found a stack of coupons for free organic frozen veggies.  You can bet I grabbed a handful!  Another time I found a store coupon for an additional $1.50 off the blemish cream I needed and already had a manufacturer’s coupon for!  <–Doesn’t “blemish cream” sound so much fancier than “zit cream”?  Both times, and many others, the coupons were just sitting there, waiting to be used but placed strategically enough that most people, in their hurry and obliviousness, would miss.  It was equal parts sneaky and genius on Wegmans’ behalf.

So my tip this week is to take your time!  Wander around the grocery store and be aware of what’s around you.  Try going at an off time so you aren’t battling crowds…and so you don’t look too crazy while stuffing handfuls of coupons into your bag/binder/accordion file/etc.  Relish in your freedom to shop and in the varieties of goods available to you.  Discover something new, whether its a new treat to love or a hidden deal.

Meal Plan

*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner.  I also eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.

*Test recipes for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook are denoted with a * and can include neither a name nor a detailed description.

My photos are undoubtedly lacking this week.  I’m still figuring out this lighting/exposure/ISO thing and the couple of days where I could shoot in natural light happened to be blindingly overcast in the way only New England dreary days can be!

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Tofu Scramble with kale, orange pepper, & black beans + orange w/ AB

Lentils* + sauteed kale <– I was obsessed and ate this combo for 3 meals!

Veg Sandwich featuring carrots, avo, and spread* (the red stuff closest to the bread).  Also eaten multiple times!

My new go-to snack: microwave-baked sweet potato topped with AB + cinnamon

Pen*s Penne a la vodka* with roasted b’nut squash + peas.  Phone pic.

Continue reading

Wednesday Revelations: How Far I’ve Come

Source

Yoga classes have been hard lately.  I’m going through some sort of change and I’ve left classes feeling like shit.  Not energized and light per usual but completely drained and down on myself.  I thought there was something wrong with me until a recent teleseminar I tuned into with Hillary Rubin.  It was geared towards yoga teachers but I listened anyway (what can I say, I adore her and will listen to any content she puts out).  Well…I half-listened, as I do on most teleseminars.  But my ears perked up when she talked about her healing process and how, during times of cosmic shifts, yoga used to leave her feeling…well exactly like I had been lately.  That stuck with me, even though I didn’t know why (yet).

Fast forward to this past Sunday morning’s yoga class.  I woke up in a weird place.  Dragged my ass outta bed and forced myself to get grocery shopping before class to avoid the rush from people who were just realizing that the Superbowl was in a couple of hours and New England was playing.  I make my way through class, sometimes feeling juicy and strong and sometimes wanting to just give up.  I pushed my wrists harder than I should have.  At the same time I was gentle, taking rests when the Chataranga Dandasanas got to be too much or when my breath came restricted.  Jen was, as always, full of wisdom, encouraging us to modify twists and other poses (I’m guessing in response to the recent NYT yoga scandal), and talking about how we often mistake strain and shallow breathing for working hard when, in fact, our true edge still allows us to breathe deeply.

Then we moved into half pigeon.  Now, if you’ve ever practiced yoga, you’ve likely heard a teacher discuss the hips as emotional warehouses.  We send so much pain and joy and hurt and fear to them.  Physically, we sit all day and wear shoes that are awful for us.  Hip openers tend to be intense, always physically and sometimes emotionally.  I was doing fine until Jen said one word: change. 

Heaving/gasping/weeping…I couldn’t stop.  She went on to discuss navigating change gracefully and linked it in to opening the hips and finding calm in moments of intense sensation (but again: not pain!) and so on.  I don’t really remember because I was caught up in this wave of emotional release…of self forgiveness…of enlightenment.

At my parties I say that g-spot orgasms are a full body, out of body, curtain climbing experience.  This was better.

I cried through the other hip.  I cried through savasana.  I cried through our closing ohm.  I tried to grab a bathroom to sob in but none were free.  Other people clearly felt uncomfortable, not sure what to say.  But I couldn’t stop it.  The tears flowed out of me taking with them months of guilt and hurt and anxiety and I wouldn’t have wanted them to stop even if I could have.  I made a deal with myself that I would ask Jen for a hug.

Sounds so simple, right?  But I’m never sure of the line with my teachers, especially those I’ve only practiced with a handful of times.  I was sure, however, that I needed the comfort of someone else’s touch.  The fact that Jen is an awesome massage therapist mighta influenced that thought.  ;)

So I asked, and I received.  It wasn’t a big deal.  But what came after the hug was.  I looked at Jen and said, “Don’t worry.  This is good.  Its all good.  I need this.”

Because it was and because I did.  I felt cleaner and clearer than in months.  No tightness in my third eye, no worry over returning home to who-knows-what, no question in my mind that I should travel down to see my honey for the big game.  Just calm and peace.

Fast forward one day.  When I walked out of work on Monday, I immediately was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the moon over Lake Quinsig (kind of like the one above).  Inspired by the pure beauty of that sight, I meandered home slowly, taking in every bit of hope the dusk had to offer.  I determined I would stop rushing, stop running, stop whizzing through life.  I missed my “regular” yoga class b/c I was caught up in the many moments of my wakl.  How beautiful is that?

All the while I kept thinking: look how far I’ve come.  I posted a while back about how far I had to go.  And when I posted my 2011 review and 2012 intentions, I didn’t acknowledge a lot of the self work I’ve done.  As a society we are so focused on the material things.  On quantifiable accomplishments.  But mine over the past two years have been quieter than that.  I’ve come to know myself in the deepest ways possible.  I’ve learned to accept myself, faults and all, while recognizing the areas where I could use improvement.  I’ve seen my strength and learned to ask for what I need.  My yoga practice has transformed from something physical into something spiritual.  I’ve found my edge, played with it, and sometimes pushed it all the while learning to find calm in discomfort.  There is still a lot of work for me to do.  There’s a lot of forgiveness I need to give and I still feel the pressure of needing to “figure things out” in a way that fits society’s standards (and therefore many of my standards #workingonit).

I might not have a grad school acceptance letter.  Hell, I might not even have a plan for May when my lease is up.  But I have me and all I’ve learned and an amazing support system and the true belief that I’ll land butter side up, right where I’m supposed to be.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 18

Don’t know what this is?  Click here…or check out all my P:FB posts using the tag cloud/categories.

Let’s. do. this.

Tip of the Week

I think I might be #1 on the Wegmans (Couponers) Watch List.

And thus we have this week’s tip: know your stores’ coupon policies like the back of your hand!  Better yet, carry the damn thing with you.

Now I had looked up the coupon policy at Wegmans when I first embarked on my couponing adventures.  I knew that they didn’t allow overages and that they doubled coupons up to $0.99.  I believed that you could use a max of 4 of the same coupons per order and that for any given product you could use one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon.

I say ‘believed’ because I double checked after tonight’s adventure and realized I had misinterpreted things a bit.  In fact, you can use 4 manufacturer’s coupons on 4 of the same brand products per day and you can use 1 manufacturer’s coupon plus 1 store or one savings card deal per product. I did violate the first one on accident (6 Woodstock products and 8 Wessex Oats) but I discovered this after checking the coupon policy and not from the Wegmans staff.  And yes I got a bit carried away since it is the end of the month and I wanted to get my free stuff before the coupons expired!

Anyway, I have been shopping based on the misinformation since starting couponing and have had any issues yet.  It all started when the $2 Woodstock coupon wouldn’t scan and a manager had to be called over.  Now, these coupons haven’t been scanning all along but I’ve helped the cashiers just enter in the UPC code (side note: seriously, train your cashiers!) or they’ve called the manager who entered it manually and it was no problem.  Not this week.  This manager was super suspicious of the coupon (it did print horribly and is a higher value) but when she entered the UPC it went in no problem. I was then told that normally they wouldn’t accept such coupons because Wegmans isn’t likely to get reimbursed by the company for them (a) not my problem and b) that makes no sense since they were legit coupons). When I responded that their coupon policy states the coupons are acceptable and that I had used them in the past, she simply replied with “Doesn’t the policy also state something about manager’s discretion?” <–shouldn’t you, a manager, know the policy verbatim?! 

Then the Universe decided to be tricky and my Muir Glen coupons wouldn’t scan.  This, of course, has never happened over the last several months when I’ve used them.  So now I seem like coupon caper numero uno and she proceeds to check each coupon against each product.  Fine, I always double check and knew everything was legit.  She tell me that I’m not allowed to split my orders just to use more coupons because I’m only allowed to use 4 of the same coupons per day and that next time I need to bring someone with me (as she types in the coupons, mind you). Note that this information is also incorrect because the $2 coupon was good on multiple brands She also told me that you couldn’t use both a manufacturer’s coupon and a Wegmans’ coupon.

I’m going to head to customer service later this week (I have two week to do so according to the policy) to redeem the Wegmans coupons she refused because I wasn’t going to pick another fight when the woman was already doing me the favor of running through my over-the-limit coupons.  I do feel a bit bad because I did take advantage of the system accidentally but at the same time, if the employees don’t even know the policy then how are we as customer’s expected to comply?

Anyway, lesson(s of hubris) learned.  I will be printing out the coupon policy for Wegmans and WF and carrying them in my coupon holder from now on. I highly suggest you do too!

Meal Plan

*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner.  I also eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.

*Test recipes for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook are denoted with a * and can include neither a name nor a detailed description.

Thai Soup*

Lemon Basil Pasta (EHH)

Three Bean Salad with Capers over sauteed kale/garlic/lemon

Polenta*

  • Basic Oatmeal Squares  I finally found an oatmeal bar recipe that works and is tasty and filling!  Yay.

I also had one of “those” nights and reached into my freezer for a Dr. Preager’s veggie burger and Alexia spicy sweet potato fries.  That’s why I keep these things on hand.

Continue reading

Call to Action: Say No to CANCER

I know…two days, two calls to action.  You can check back tomorrow for a P:FB post if you’d like.  I promise not to be upset.

Alright so lets continue on the highly controversial track and talk Planned Parenthood (PP), women’s rights, and Susan G Komen for a bit.

Still with me?  Ok great.

People have a lot of misconceptions about PP and those who use it.  Certainly some of those misconceptions (aka stereotypes) are probably true.  However, when I think about the people who use PP, I think of my friends who, during school, couldn’t get birth control to help their PMS symptoms and/or acne because their parents refused to take them to an ob/gyn and our health services dept couldn’t provide the script.  I think of people like my mom who, despite being college-educated and employed full-time, still live under the poverty line and thus seek their care at clinics.  I think of fellow Passion Parties consultants and bloggers and other small business owners who can’t afford the astronomical cost of healthy insurance despite working full time (or more) and use clinics to keep up with their health.  And I think of people like those I served at the Family Life Center (and a number of my co-workers) who found themselves penniless, jobless, and homeless after finally making the gutsy and oh-so-brave decision to run from an abusive partner.

In other words, when I think of the people Planned Parenthood serves, I thin of you and me.

When I write, I do so from personal experience.  That’s why this blog is often more like a journal than a newspaper.  I write about what I know to be true based on those things I’ve gone through or people close to me have gone through.  I try not to philosophize and wax poetic and if I do I make it known that these are my own thoughts.

So here goes.  The Susan G. Komen foundation pulled its funding from Planned Parenthood.   This breaks my heart.  In fact, I’m crying as I write this because I think about the further cuts that they will have to make and the fewer people they will be able to serve.  People like you and me and our friends and family members and neighbors and co-workers

I know everyone associates PP with abortion and birth control but if we could for just one damn second remove those variables from the picture we would be able to see the other services they offer.

Pap smears.  Mammograms.  STD testing.  General health services (e.g. flu shots, anemia and thyroid testing, physical exams etc).  UTI and yeast infection screenings.  Men’s health screenings.

All of these amazing services that help heal and prevent and spot disease early.  None that have to do with murder.

I am perhaps one of the biggest proponents of annual screenings.  Ask my friends: I will flip a shit if you tell me that you miss your ob/gyn annual visit or, worse, that you are a in your 20s and never had a visit.  Your GP, I can survive.  Your ob/gyn?  HELL NO.

An annual saved my momma’s life.  It has saved or enhanced the lives of the thousands of patients I’ve worked with at UMass over the past two years.  It has given parents, grandparents, partners, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and best friends a second chance at life.

This is what we are denying people when we de-fund Planned Parenthood.  This is the statement that the Susan G Komen foundation chose to make when they pulled their monies, that we do not deserve the right to receive the necessary screenings.  Sounds pretty outlandish for a foundation that proclaims it wants to see the end of cancer.

Please, sign the petition.  Do it for someone you love.  Do it for my patients and the countless other patients.  Do it for the people who love them.  Do it for yourself.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

 

http://bit.ly/zhn0Gc