This challenge was timely - it's spring and we all need to detox a bit more in the Spring as our bodies shed winter cells and fat, and we prepare for a much warmer time of year. We are 3 weeks into this 28-day challenge and I have been very steady with my practice of yoga AND my practice of eating clean and eating regularly. When I began the challenge I was also starting to recover from being very ill all through the month of April. My illness was emotional stress related (long sad story) and I knew that my challenge wouldn't be to eat clean to lose weight, but to eat healthy foods to try to gain back some muscle on my body.
Each day I have reminded myself to plan ahead, to eat 3 meals a day whether it is a big or small meal, make it as healthy and "clean" as possible.
Today I taught two yoga classes and for the first time in over a month, I felt strong, not a bit shaky. It has been a slow, steady "race". The Tortoise method seems to be winning.
I know that everyone who signed up for this 28-day detox is committed to getting enough exercise. Did you know that just 10-20 minutes per day of walking or housework will count as physical exercise that helps your body? Walking helps your digestive system work! Not fast, tense walking though! Surprised? Just like the fact that yoga helps your metabolism utilize your calories more efficiently, so does any slower paced exercise! Slower pace calms your body and nervous system down so you are LESS likely to hold onto excess FAT!
So slow it down! Go for a stroll! As long as you are working up a mild sweat, you are burning calories and fat, and you are helping your digestive system move in the right direction.
So why do we stay healthy and vital? A WHY is very important isn't it? I tell my family that they are my WHY - my reason for wanting to be healthy. So they know that I will do my part and take good care of myself because when I do that, I am available to take care of them!
My new grandson's name is William Greyson Ricigliano and he weighed in at 10 lbs. 6 oz., 22 inches long with a 15 inch head. That may be why he wasn't dropping into the birth canal. My daughter would have been pregnant 43 weeks as of tomorrow, he was delivered by C-section this morning. I am so happy I am in tears and I get to meet him this evening.
I am one of those kind of people that doesn't eat or forgets to eat sometimes. I have to think about it. I really get into my work and my life and eating interrupts that. So when I have a busy, interesting day, I might forget to eat until after lunch time! This has happened to me a handful of times and it is not good because I end up with low blood sugar. Even after I do eat, I am then sleepy for the remainder of the day. It's very rare now that this happens, but yesterday just happened to be one of those days when I had a meeting right after a class and it was at a coffee shop and because I am gluten free - and coffee shops don't really cater to that, I didn't eat until about 12:30 pm. Lucky for me I didn't have to do anything the rest of the day, so I read a book and relaxed and dosed into a nap in the late afternoon.
Now that's one extreme of the eating spectrum. Another is for people who try to lose weight, they sometimes think that eating less food and maybe two meals a day instead of 3 might be a good idea. Not true. It's a good idea to eat something nutritious every 2-3 hours! In the 72-hr yoga detox book, that salad is the perfect thing to eat every 2-3 hours. Just help yourself to a small-mid-size salad every 2-3 hours and see what happens! You will boost your metabolism, you'll start burning off unwanted fat! Now don't forget to do your yoga before you eat. It is best to do yoga on an empty stomach! See you on the yoga mat!
A very busy day yesterday for me. Nonstop teach, meeting, teach, errand, teach, granddaughter slepping. And I ate healthy food all day still! My daughter's baby is due any day now, so I may be distracted in the next couple of weeks, but look for me on our detox Facebook group once a day.
Today I found out there is dark chocolate that doesn't have refined sugar in it. Real dark chocolate is high in antioxidants. It is actually a food that does help people lose weight - in moderation. Get a 70% or higher version of the dark chocolate. It's not really sweet, but it is very satisfying to that sweet tooth that can get in the way of the best intentions at detoxing. READ THE LABEL though. I recommend organic, and also make sure it is sweetened with whole, natural sugar, not refined sugar. If you are in doubt, don't buy that. You could ask for help in a co-op for the right kind.
Another natural sugar-craving-satisfier is honey. Not all honey is alike either. Get a high quality, unrefined honey. A little bit of honey can satisfy a sugar craving and provide minerals. Natural, unrefined honey is non-addictive, so it won't keep the sugar addiction alive, just satisfy the craving.
One of our challenge participants mentioned going off of dairy for a week. That's a great one for you to try. Cows milk products can be one of the most difficult for the body to digest as the protein molecule in cows milk is very large. It is typically one of the foods that can cause the most mucous production and inflammation in the body. If you have a chronic runny nose or post-nasal drip, this is one thing you should try - no dairy for a week and see what happens! I recommended this to a client many years ago and her chronic sinus congestion went away in one week. She had been suffering from that for more than ten years! You never know until you try.
One clue about if a food is not good for your body is how resistant you are to living without it for a week. Could you live without dairy? Coffee? Peanut butter? Cereal? I have met with many people over the years who have that ONE FOOD they cannot live without and are willing to try one week without it. They usually find that they are not so attached to it afterall and it gives you some personal power & freedom to not be ruled by a need for any one particular food. (How many times have I agonized over no half n half in the morning?!). I always have Coconut Oil on hand and now use that instead of half n half in coffee.
Speaking of coffee again - can you live without it? For 4 days? 3 days? Just throwing some ideas out there!
Are you trying the 72-hr Yoga Detox cleanse? The book can be purchased here. It includes recipes and grocery list for foods the are super nutritious. The theory behind this type of detox is that the body will store toxins - or questionable ingredients or nutrients that it does not recognize - or doesn't quite know what to do with it - in the form of fat. If you suddenly add super-nutrition into your diet, then the body will start to shed this stored toxic fat.
In the book, it also suggests using lemon juice in water and also drinking water with concentrated (not sweetened) cranberry juice. This is a great way to assist the internal organs in washing/flushing out these toxins.
There may be mild symptoms show up as these toxins leave the body. They include: stuffy nose, mild headache, change in bowel movements, gas. It takes about 2 weeks for this cleansing process to happen. Any uncomfortable cleansing symptoms that I have during a detox usually resolve within one week. After the uncomfortable part, I feel much more energetic and my skin is much more youthful feeling and looking. I also have noticed in a previous detox (I did one for one month before) that I had such clear thinking that I was "deadly" on the volleyball court as well as much lighter on my feet.
The yoga poses that are illustrated in the book (linked above) are great for helping the body push along these toxins. Twisting poses are very good for cleaning out the colon and kidneys...Lynn Shuck is doing a Twist Workshop at the Studio today. There are still a few spots open for drop in. The price is $40. Yoga experience is recommended for this workshop (all of you have yoga experience!). Make your reservation on our class schedule site.
Welcome to those of you who are starting today on day one. You can start anytime, but taking on a 28-day commitment for your own health & well being is a very self-nurturing thing for you to do! I started this challenge because I think that many detox programs are excessive and does not produce sustainable, healthy results. Most of them require drinking something nasty to clean yourself out, then a few days later return to the same old habits.
This program is about practice. Just like yoga, one day at a time, if we practice healthy habits, we learn healthy habits and they become a habit.
Day 1 - I am taking on "no refined sugar" for 28 days. I am also challenging you to take on "no alcohol" for 28 days as well. If this is something you find disagreeable, then obviously that is where the "challenge" comes in. Just try it! Also make sure you have some lemons on hand. Each morning (starting tomorrow if you have the lemons) start your day with a glass of lemon water. Use 1/2 to one whole lemon squeezed in your water glass. Before you drink anything else, drink the lemon water. This is a cleansing way to start your day.
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I have already started, since I was sick the entire month of April. My body is run down from grieving the loss of my son. So each and every day, I do all I can to feed my body super nutrition. I am going to the kitchen after writing this post and put a spoonful of 100% organic Spirulina powder in a glass of water, stir, then drink. It is packed full of super nutrition. Protein, vitamin A (via beta carotene), and practically every other nutrient your body needs except for vitamin C. So I'll need a source of vitamin c also today. My husband has been making me super-salads with Kale, lettuce (spring greens), sunflower sprouts or alfalfa sprouts, and dressing he makes with olive oil, garlic and the last batch with apple cider vinegar. I'm not a fan of vinegar - I prefer salads with no vinegar. This is pretty healthy diet though!
Since I am a vegetarian, it takes a bit extra work to make sure I am getting a full range of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). If you eat eggs, eggs are one of the best sources of protein - the body uses it more efficiently than any other protein next to spirulina. Spirulina is a completely vegetarian source of protein and it is the most utilized protein by the body of any food.
It is also the only vegetarian source of B-12 and GABA - which is good for your immune system. Join me Friday evening to learn more 5:30 pm at the yoga studio! May 2nd.