It’s hard to believe that I am already in my last week of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox ! It has sped by even more quickly than other years. Perhaps it’s because I have become more familiar with the program and have learned to navigate the ins and outs of the detox. Or maybe it’s because I have learned to LET GO.
Human beings have an un-satiated desire to control. This might go back to our survival instinct. Most of us have one or many areas in our lives where we believe we need to hold on tight to ideas or beliefs in order to survive. In my case it has come in the form of striving for perfection. The all or nothing mindset that can trip me up if I make even one mistake. Does this sound familiar ?
In the case of this 30 day program, I would have set a goal in the past to “be perfect ” throughout the 30 day program. If I did veer off I would adapt the all or nothing mindset and sometimes sabotage my efforts. We all know that it is not realistic to think that humans can be perfect. So why not let go of this idea?
Over the years I have come to forgive myself, let go, and move forward whenever I strayed from being perfect. The wonderful reality of being human is that very fact that we are not perfect. life is fluid and we must adapt to what comes our way even when we are on a 30 day mission to improve our health. I practice this belief more each year. For example this week, I didn’t have time to make an actual meal for my family so I searched out the organic food section of the grocery store and found a wonderful organic soup with very few whole ingredients (see photo for brand). Today, I had a glass of champagne and a small piece of birthday cake for a dear friend celebrating her 50th. In the past I would have felt guilty and disappointed in myself for falling off the wagon. But today I get right back up, dust off my boots and keep going ! After all it’s the home stretch !
I have to say one of the biggest benefits of being on the 30 Day Whole Body Detox is how much more I taste. Sweet food tastes sweeter and savoury dishes explode with flavour. This is so important and powerful considering most of us follow our taste buds when choosing our foods. After a few days and weeks on the detox, foods that normally come across as bland when eaten now taste wonderful ! Before I continue and for those reading this blog who are not familiar with this program, let me be clear. This is not a calorie counting program or diet. You eat tons of beautiful whole foods on this system and there is plenty of opportunity to cook simple delicious sweet and savoury recipes that are great for the whole family. As your body becomes accustomed to no longer eating refined sugars and processed foods, your taste buds begin to change and crave simple ingredients. I even love my vegetables now ! I must confess that for most of my twenties and thirties I loved anything rich and savory. A meal was not complete without a buttery sauce on my protein and I wasn’t satisfied without some kind of starch like mashed potatoes slathered with butter or gravy. Simple was boring to me and not worthwhile. How things have changed ! Now my taste buds are happy with a kale salad rubbed with sea salt and olive oil and dressed simply
with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (from the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Recipe and Guide Book). Today I made the Luxurious Tomato Basil Sauce from the Oh She Glows cookbook using cashew cream which I made last week for the very first time and froze for future use (ie. desserts, whipped cream, creamy sauces).
Raw Vegan Cashew Cream
- 1 cup of raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours or overnight (on counter or in refrigerator)
- Once soaked , drain and rinse them well
- Place in your blender or food processor and add a little bit of filtered water (for desired thickness)
I also added some extra nutritional yeast for added cheesy texture. Again , simple ingredients that exploded with flavour ! The 30 Day Whole Body Detox has introduced me to a whole new world and my taste buds are thanking me !
Life is a journey and so is becoming our best and healthiest self. I have always been drawn to optimal health although I didn’t always apply the success principles of a healthy lifestyle. Thinking back to my twenties and most of my thirties , it was about instant gratification and enjoying the pleasures of life most of the time. This included rich foods and less exercise. I dabbled in diets, and fitness programs and never stuck to any one thing. And we all know diets have a beginning and an end. They are not sustainable.. It is always challenging to make a lasting change.
It wasn’t until I partnered with USANA Health Sciences that i was immersed in the world of cellular nutrition and glycemic eating. I learned about the importance of treating our bodies with kindness and reducing inflammation whereby reducing the onset of disease..
Five years ago I was introduced to the 30 Day Whole Body Detox program and this is when I deepened my self-awareness around food. I noticed more how my food consumption was linked to my emotions. I also realized more than ever that we are what we eat. I always had the mindset that working out would give me the best results. As long as I did my cardio four times a week I could eat anything I wanted. In reality it is what we put into our mouths that gives us 80% of our results.
And so every year, I improve my health and take one more step towards better health . It has taken me a few years to finally understand that the number on the scale is not nearly as important as reducing inflammation in our bodies and being healthy. The scale would wreak havoc on my body image and my progress and so I finally threw my scale away and have not weighed myself since last summer. My clothes say it all.
My other big change has been to remove grains from my diet. I made that decision back in December of 2015. And now during this year’s 5th edition of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox I have cut out all caffeine. This is a big step for me towards better health !
I decided today to create a little skip in my step and photograph my progress and compare it to last year. It was well worth the effort to see how far I have come on this journey.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step !
Today marks the official half way mark of my 30 Day Whole Body detox. I am encouraged by how I feel as I begin my third week of the program. I rise in the morning feeling awake and refreshed. But that is only if I get enough sleep ! I need my sleep now more than ever and I especially appreciate the hour(s) before midnight. I suspect that because my body no longer relies on caffeine to wake me during the day, my body tells me when I have not had enough good restorative sleep. This is great news! My body is finding its own rhythm again !
One of the pleasant side effects of doing this program is how our physical appearance improves. I don’t own a scale and have not weighed myself since the fall so I am not aware f I have released pounds but my clothes do feel loose and more comfortable. I have been receiving compliments from people who don’t know that I am doing the detox but notice that I am glowing and look healthy.
I realize that I have been eating quite similarly to this program for the most part since December 2015 when I decided to stop eating grains, but I continue to learn new ways of preparing food and I stumble upon little things that make me realize there is a whole world out there of things undiscovered. Who knew that you could purchase empty tea filters that allow you to steep your favourite teas and most importantly who new that I would one day get this excited about teas ? David’s Teas offers these wonderful little sachets with a drawstring closure so tea leaves stay put. I am excited to discover the hundreds of new tea flavours out there. This is what makes it worthwhile to stretch ourselves and leave our comfort zone so that we may grow and expand our world.
Yesterday it was Mother’s Day and my husband and kids took me out for dinner to celebrate. I stuck to the program for the most part and did the same today when I attended a family lunch at a favourite local restaurant. I did help myself to a few corn tortilla chips and some dips that may have contained dairy. But for me this program is not about being perfect but more about the journey and strengthening my healthy habits. Five years ago when I followed the first edition of this program I veered off the path more often and I may have even sabotaged with the all or nothing mindset. Today I can say that when I do stumble, I have learned to accept my choices and move on.
It happens to the best of us, We start off excited and extremely focused on our goal and feel like we can conquer the world. Whether it’s tacking a new year’s resolution with a brand new exercise program or creating new success habits , our enthusiasm is through the roof ! We are invincible !
And then life happens. When the big and small stresses of life come up and they most certainly will come up, we humans go to our default position of desiring comfort. And to add to that, excitement and focused energy always wanes with the passage of time and we must make a concerted effort to choose to fight this universal law.
I am almost at the halfway mark of my detox and today I felt that initial enthusiasm dissipating a little and found myself thinking of my comfort go to habits I believe it’s important to be honest with ourselves when committing to a goal like this. It’s this honesty that allows us to see what shows up.
For me it meant waking up and craving a cup of coffee. I believe my body is no long physically craving coffee but it was that longing to go back to what was “easy” and comforting. I miss my Saturday morning ritual of pouring myself a cup of my favourite Italian java and sipping it while cuddling on the couch with my family. During my errands today I passed a wine counter at my grocery store and watched merchants purchasing bottles of wine and perhaps preparing for a weekend of entertaining. I found myself longing for that glass of chilled white Pinot Grigio in my backyard with friends.
The lesson here is how will we respond to these normal feelings when in the process of achieving a goal like the 30 day Whole Body Detox? I can choose to have that glass of wine or coffee. And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. After all, this is my journey and I choose how I want to achieve my goal.
Instead, I opted to cuddle up with my warm cup of herbal tea. I changed my mindset and decided to replace my craving for wine and coffee with my favourite dessert on page 112 of the recipe and guide book. Gorete’s Delicious No Bake Protein Bars was just enough to put a smile on my face again. My choices empowered me to realize yet again that we are the sum of the decisions we make ! I am ready to take on the second half of this detox !
I was reminded again yesterday that all things worthwhile take patience and take time. Whether it’s experiencing the benefits of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox or seeing your business goals come to fruition, patience is a true virtue. It is in times of waiting that we learn our greatest lessons.
My husband and I spent part of the afternoon yesterday at a low vision clinic where John hoped to walk away with solutions (adaptive tools, specialized glasses) for his vision challenge. He is now legally blind as he waits to heal from an eye surgery that took place back on New Years Eve 2015. It has been a much slower recovery than expected.
The experts at the low vision clinic yesterday could not provide any immediate solutions and John left the clinic somewhat disheartened. Although, the eye specialists involved in John’s case have reminded us that he has 8 more months of healing left, it is always hard to wait. But every small improvement adds up to great things. Four months ago John could not see the sidewalk and I would take him by the arm during our walks. Today he can do chores and play guitar with his two bands and at church. The compound effect is always at work in our lives.
The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Our present reality is an outcome of the little, seemingly innocuous decisions that have added up to your current bank balance, waist line, business success, relationship status. – Darren Hardy
The choices we make each day either bring us closer or farther from our goals. This brings me to the 30 Day Whole Body Detox. We can choose to follow it to the letter and chances are we will end up on the other side with great results or we can cheat here and there and end up in a whole different place after 30 days. Every single choice you make does make a difference.
Last night I was offered a glass of white wine. For a moment I considered it and the wheels began turning as I produced in my head a list of excuses for why a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt. And I was right. Having a glass of wine here and there during the detox probably wouldn’t have an immediate negative impact. But if I added up all my “cheat days” I might find myself further from my goal.
This program is not about being perfect but about having the opportunity to choose where you want to be in 30 days. I have strayed ever so slightly from the plan but I am always growing and learning to be more patient, knowing that my patience will be rewarded. Meanwhile my beverage of choice tonight is my herbal tea. Almost half way there !
I may have gotten over the hump with my caffeine withdrawal. Can I hear a cheer ?! Headaches have been gone for a few days now and my sciatica is lessening. I am left with a dull lower backache but nothing I can’t tolerate. Again this is my body telling me I am tired and I am grateful that I am aware of the underlying fatigue my body was experiencing. I couldn’t feel it while I was wired on coffee.
I must say I am still shocked at how addictive caffeine can be. As the most widely consumed stimulant in the world, it sure packs a punch when we try to remove it from our diet. And for this reason I have decided to not go back to it. My adrenals don’t need the extra stress that my daily coffee has placed on them for the last decade. I am excited to experience my energy without the help of a stimulant. The real “Energizer Bunny” is returning!
Meanwhile I am enjoying the whole foods and the supplements I am nourishing my cells with. My adrenals will heal in no time.
Part of the joy of this program is that it allows us the time to create easy dishes with simple ingredients in just minutes with what we have in our fridge. I am inspired and it’s so zen to me to spend time in the kitchen creating simple dishes.
Today for lunch I decided to fill a Portobello mushroom cap with a tomato sauce I made for my family featuring red peppers, more mushrooms and sweet onion cooked in olive oil. I baked it at 450 degrees Farenheit for 15 minutes. It was juicy and meaty.
This program has made me fall in love even more with avocado. We need our good fats. My favourite treat is the occasional gluten-free toast that I spread with half of a perfectly ripe avocado topped with sea salt.
I look back at a decade ago and this would not have been the types of food I would crave. But the longer I am on this journey of optimal health the closer I get to feeling like my best self all while helping others do the same.
With Day 9 almost complete I am happy to go into my second week with more energy and with a renewed sense of excitement that my body, specially my adrenals, are receiving the attention they need to work optimally.
Just when I thought I had it all figured out when it came to cutting out caffeine for thirty days ! Today I had an epiphany.
What I absolutely love about this program is the ability to not only raise self-awareness but also help us recognize potential life changing information about our physical well-being. We may discover an allergy to gluten or a passion for cooking. For me it was the realization that my Naturopath was right all along. She had stressed the importance for me to cut out my caffeine habit.
Two years ago I visited Naturopathic Dr. Olinca Trejo with symptoms of fatigue and sudden weight gain. We ran some tests and discovered my cortisol levels were at rock bottom upon wakening and it was likely my adrenals were exhausted. I was given strict orders to eat no sugar and follow other nutritional guidelines similar to those in this detox. One big item to check off my list was to remove caffeine as coffee can be taxing to our adrenals. These round disk-shaped organs sit atop each kidney in the areas of the lower back. A single cup of coffee stimulates our adrenal glands and are responsible for secreting the hormone adrenaline, which rapidly prepares your body to spring into action in a stressful situation. For many people this is not a problem but for some , over time it can lead to exhausted adrenals . A caffeine addiction can not only lead to weakened adrenals but as well it can weaken the entre area around them. You guess it…the lower back.
Yesterday was my first official day without any caffeine. By late afternoon I began to feel sciatic pain, also known as sciatica , in my back and going down both my legs. I do not have a history of sciatica. This pain continued throughout the night and woke me many times. This morning it was so bad I finally took two Advil to relieve the pain. My body had spoken to me once again.
I finally understood how important it was for me to say goodbye to caffeine. Now that I am continuing to rid my body of caffeine I realize how coffee has been a highly addictive stimulant that has managed to cover up my exhaustion. I can now begin to heal my body naturally and my hope is that my hormonal health will be restored as well as my natural energy rhythms. I have also struggled with extra pounds these last few years. This may help finally release that weight.
I am excited for all that is to come and I am grateful for the 30 Day Whole Body Detox and how it is helping me take my optimal health to new levels.
Thank you to the Founder of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Julie Boyer for inviting me to be the guest blogger while I take on yet another 30 Day journey with this fabulous program. This is my 5th time coaching and doing this program and I have looked forward to taking the time out every spring for some self-care and being conscious of what I put in my mouth. The detox has gotten easier every year and this is all due to the lifelong habits I have created along the way.
This year I wanted to challenge myself and really confront head on this fear I had of giving up coffee for 30 days. After all, the things we hold on to very tightly are maybe the very things we need to let go of. During my four previous experiences with my 30 Day Whole Body Detox I would replace coffee with the USANA Rev 3 Surge pack, which is a clean source of caffeine from white, green and black tea and includes nutrients and ingredients like Korean Ginseng and Rhodiola.
Unlike 90 percent of the population who consume caffeine daily I spent most of my life caffeine free. Somehow I never picked up the morning coffee ritual until I was 40 and a first time entrepreneur. I had managed to live life without coffee until then and so my occasional cup of java turned into a full-fledged dependency… or so I thought.
What if I didn’t need coffee to start my day ? I wanted to experience my pre-coffee days again when I had plenty of energy and was even nicknamed the “Energizer Bunny” by friends and family.
And so day one arrived and I temporarily ended my love affair with coffee and went cold turkey. I was prepared for the worse as I had heard from many people that caffeine withdrawal could be very uncomfortable. Six hours after what would be my daily caffeine indulgence of two cups of coffee, the symptoms showed up in full force. I did say I liked a good challenge !
I felt sleepy and so sluggish and experienced a massive headache. I also felt unmotivated and slightly depressed and had to nap several times. The morning of day two was much the same except for the headache. The sleepiness and fatigue made it tough and after consulting with Julie Boyer I followed her suggestion and chose to ease the symptoms with one half of a REV 3 Surge Pack which is equivalent to a half cup of coffee. I did this for three days and today I can say as I write this I am caffeine free for the first time in a decade !
This program is so much more than a spring detox where you create new lifestyle habits and take care of yourself for 30 days. It is an opportunity to recognize our fears and our misconceptions and the self-doubt we have. When I look back now, I had expected that going caffeine free would mean days and perhaps weeks of discomfort . But our bodies are remarkable machines designed to do the very things that we take for granted. I look forward to waking up tomorrow bright-eyed without any help from my morning cup of coffee. I am not saying I won’t return to coffee but I know now tat when that day comes it’s not because I need to have my coffee. It’s because I choose to enjoy a warm cup of coffee on a cool sunny morning on my patio.