Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Survived My 21 Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse

December 22, 2010.....

I survived. Better yet, I succeeded with the 21 Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse. As a lover of all things butter, meat and diet coke, I was able to go vegan/sugar/gluten/alcohol and caffeine free for 21 days.

If anyone followed me on Twitter, you'd know I almost lost my mind at times; thought the tofu in the fridge was mocking and had a fear of soy milk.


I have to admit, I still have a fear of soy milk. I don't care what anyone says, you don't always get used to something. I grew up on powdered milk and HATED it. In fact, I can't bring myself to drink anything less than 1% milk and wished my husband would love 2% as much as I do. Nope. He's a 1% guy and has a stronger argument why 1% is healthier for you. Dang it for him being right.

I also learned to put less salad on a plate than most people. Because I eat slowly, I found out it took forever to finish a huge plate of salad AND my jaw would get tired.


I did find out I like tofu, but haven't mastered cooking it.

I also found out I really like this rice/gluten free protein shake I was having for breakfast.

The cleanse was more than just food. It had me setting aside time to meditate, declutter my home environment, visualizing (basically, learning to focus on my goals and make a game plan to succeed).

In the end, my skin feels great, I lost weight, feel calmer and happier, and realized I often focused my energies on other people's problems as a distraction to avoid mine. I've learned I can't do that anymore. This doesn't mean I can't be sympathetic, but it does mean I have to set up boundaries or it will distract me from focusing on what I should be doing. Besides, I also discovered when confronted with a friend's situation that was extremely difficult and unable to help, I was emotionally drained. It think, actually know, I would do this in the past and won't going forward. I realized it's okay to sympathize, or even emphasize with someone, as long as it doesn't consume you.

When I started the cleanse, I thought I was depriving myself because of all the food groups I was giving up. However, I was wrong. What I failed to see was, creating a strict dietary guideline and forcing myself to do the other things that are part of the cleanse, I was actually taking the time to care and celebrate me.

Will I do this cleanse again? Absolutely. I will probably do it twice a year. Am I becoming a vegan? Absolutely not. I do plan on serving less red meat per week, and possibly go meatless 2 nights a week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Movies.....

Monday, December 20, 2010.....

For the past month, I've been watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. They pretty much have the same underlying theme, and all have a happy ending. Yes, I'm a sucker for light movies with happy endings especially this time of year.

You have to understand, I'm an extremist in much of what I do. I love either really deep, dark movies such as Clockwork Orange, Monster, Boiler Room, Seven, etc. or happy romantic comedies that most guys run from.

However, Christmas is the one time of year, I exclusively watch happy movies and have 6 movies that are an absolute must watch during the holiday season. They are:

Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers and David Nivens (1939)
Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck in 1945
It's a Wonderful Life (which is now a tradition for hubby and I to watch on Christmas Eve)
White Christmas with Bing Crosby
Holiday Affair with Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum (1949); and
When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal

What are your must see holiday movies?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1/3 of the Way on My Vegan Journey.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010.....

Today begins my 8th day of my Quantum Wellness Cleanse, or what I like to call my Quantum Leap Cleanse, and I'm still doing it.

For the first few days, I MISSED my diet cola. I had headaches and was unusually tired, but I got over that. However, what I can't get over is how much I miss eggs.

It's puzzling to me, but everyday, at some point in the day, I'm longing for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I have to admit, bacon and real cheese and bread is something I would enjoy, but it's the egg I fantasize about most. Go figure.

In addition to the food part of this cleanse, I'm really enjoying meditating. I've meditated on-and-off for a number of years, but making it a priority in my day is great! However, I will admit, the days I was going through my caffeine withdrawals, I, ummmm.... feel asleep in the middle of the practice.

I started walking with hubby at night, but now that it is very cold in Connecticut, I'll be heading to the gym.

Other parts of the cleanse include visualization with action, decluttering, massage and it may even include yoga (I got close to watching a yoga dvd, but didn't).

I've noticed that I'm a bit calmer, at peace and am able to focus a bit more, but will I go vegan? Highly doubtful since I dream about eggs.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday YogaGirl!

Monday, December 6, 2010....

Happy Birthday to my big sister, YogaGirl!

I am the youngest of 5 and am fortunate to have a sister I call a close friend. We are similar, yet different, and can't imagine a day going by without talking to her.

As kids, we shared a room. She had the unfortunate blessing of a little sister that wanted to hang out with her and her friends whenever she could; play with her Barbie dolls and try on her make-up. [note: my sister is shorter than me so stealing clothes never happened].

She would tell me stories at night so I'd fall asleep and I'd always be thrilled when the French Fry Monster would pay a visit whenever my dad would take us to McDonald's. It wasn't often, and I'd purposely order them so the French Fry Monster would come and snatch them away when I would pretend not to be looking (I'm probably one of the only kids that grew up disliking french fries, popcorn and mac & cheese).

As we grew up, I followed in her shadow and cursed her name with my high school french teacher that would say: "You're nothing like your sister, YogaGirl". I would always comment she was correct, and utter under my breath that is why my parents gave me own my separate name.

After college, we grew closer. We seem to balance the other and never pass judgment on the other. We talk about everything and nothing and admit that some of our greatest conversations have revolved around the latest and greatest info commercial.

I considered myself to be blessed to have such a great friend and cheerleader/supporter who just happens to be my big sister.

Happy Birthday YogaGirl! I can't imagine how much of a gap there would be in my life if you weren't my sister....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Going Vegan and Other Things for 21 Days....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010.....

In several posts along the way, I've eluded to the fact that stress from being unemployed has taken a toll on me. It's hit me with insomnia, depression and for the past several months a horrible, horrible skin rash. Who knew that stress could trigger a person to have itchy skin? I didn't, until I thought I was losing my mind from all the scratching, mostly while I slept.

To make a long story short, I caved and went to a dermatologist when I could no longer stand the pain. I hate doctors. Not personally, but it seems that when I get sick, it's not a minor ailment, but often something off the beaten trail. Basically, I'm the person who makes up that one or two percent of the population who get the side effects (i.e., I have partial paralysis from Bell's Palsey which is rare).

While I was struggling with my rash (translation: fighting hubby about going to doctor), I (and my sister YogaGirl) noticed that I was sad. It was true for months, because of pain I could have controlled, I was depressed. I think it was a combo of pain + no sleep = glow glums. During this time, YogaGirl suggested I fast or cleanse because I've always had some sort of food sensitivity. She thought a cleanse would help me feel better. However, I wasn't mentally able to wrap my little mind around this concept.

Now, I am.

In fact, I'm feeling better (thank you Dr. dermatologist) and found a cleansing program that was more than just food. Granted, I have to give up alcohol, sugar, caffeine, gluten and animal products for 21 days, but this is just a stepping stone.

I read Kathy Freston's Quantum Wellness Cleanse book a.k.a. to me as the Quantum Leap Cleanse and liked what she had to say. She talked about the importance of exercise, expressing your emotions in a healthy manner, taking time out to put a smile on your face (this can be just singing in your car when alone), decluttering, meditating, etc...

I really think her book spoke to me because years ago, when I had money in my bank account, YogaGirl and I would escape this time of the year to Canyon Ranch where I ate healthy, worked out, pampered self with spa treatments, journaled a lot and really took the time to decompress and re-evaluate my life. I always ended up leaving refreshed and vowing to establish boundaries with work. Ummm...that usually lasted about 2 months.

I know I miss that. I can't afford Canyon Ranch, but for 21 days (which turns out to roughly be 0.13% of my total life so far on Earth) I can shake it up a bit.

It should be interesting because I'm a caffeine, animal product whore. I love my diet coke and believe butter is necessary when cooking.

To hold myself accountable during this process, I've decided to twitter my progress. If interested in following my journey, you can find me at Twitter user name is Joanie922orLMB.