The Day After


Confession: I went out for drinks last night. Yes! I did. And I did a really good job of it too. Cocktails. Sugary ones. At a fancy cocktail bar where my drink housed a single rectangular cube of ice, a stainless steel straw and a chewy, sugared ginger cube stuck on the side of my very tall glass. It was delicious. All three of them.

I’ve been cleansing out the breads and sugars from my diet, working to get my insides all in balance. And that was a big ol’ sugar bomb. Even the parts that weren’t sugar are probably turning to sugar as I type. Boom.

So what happens now?

Well, let me tell you something. I thought I would wake up with guilt stacked on tummy ache stacked on some long-term horror as yet to be unnamed. The tummy part was true, but screw the guilt. I’m back on track.

I’m drinking water and taking extra probiotics. this amazing salad (I skip the cheese and breadcrumbs). Thank you very much Dr. Weil. And I’m taking a ‘do not panic‘ approach. And aside from a headache, it feels pretty good.

More drinky drink tips from Your Healthiest You can be found here.

Image from the photo stream of Kowarski, here.

Bagel Friday


Every Friday at my office is bagel Friday. Piles of freshly baked bagels make their way into toasters and knives-full of butter and cream cheese coat the toast. I like this ritual. Can you tell?

Here’s the thing though: My body does not. I think.

I talked here recently about my latest juice fest. I felt completely awake and vibrant. And as I started getting back to my normal diet, I tried to be aware of how different foods made me feel. Which ones kept my eyes bright and which made me overfull. And I can tell you after my first bagel (even with the insides scooped out!) this is how I feel: Foggy and weighed down. Not just in my body, but in my head.

Now, I could wake up tomorrow with a head cold and then this bagel conspiracy is all just a coincidence. But for now, I’m just watching. Staying aware.

The Juice of It

blue print juice

I’m in the middle of my 3-day juice fest. (That’s not a typo. It is a celebration of juice, my friends.)

I have to say I think it’s going well so far. I have a lot of creative energy. Though I know from experience the evenings are the most difficult for me. Tonight, I plan to distract myself with a movie. And motivate myself with a delicious first food meal. I haven’t decided yet. Maybe a trip to Pure is in order? Although, I do have an avocado sitting on the counter that I’ll likely dig into as soon as the fest is done. Oh well, I can dream.

Cleaning Up My Act

clean foods

Oh, people. It’s time. It’s for serious time to clean up my act. In terms of food, I mean. At least it’s a place to start.

We eschewed Turkey this year and made pasta from scratch together – along with all sorts of other sides. Everything was delicious, but there was way too much bread – for me, at least. I’m pretty sure that it’s the bread that puts me way over the top. When it comes to this kind of eating, my belly grows three times its normal size (I’m not exaggerating) and it’s silly and uncomfortable.

So, now it’s time. I might not do a full-on juice cleanse. But it’s certainly time for some dedicated clean eating. Green stuff. Lots of green stuff. Maybe the old juicer comes out to live on the counter. And laying off the wheat and dairy for a while is certainly in order. I’ll let you know how it goes.

How about you guys? Can you keep your food balance over the holidays or are you more like me?

This & That: Drinky Drink

…if you hit the martinis a little hard last night, then start your mantras and try this toxin-wringing seated twist…

The idea here is that twisting poses squeeze the organs so that they expel old blood, and allow oxygenated blood to take its place – so twisting can wring out toxins from your body, including some of that day-after-martini feeling.

First image via Design*Sponge. Second image of seated twist from Kora Organics.

High Fructose Gross

I know that high fructose corn syrup has a new ‘it’s not so bad for you’ ad campaign but I can’t help but think it might be part of what is making me feel gross right now.

In part, I’m writing this to remember to bring healthy snacks to work, because I’m always starving around 4pm. Today I hit the vending machine and this is what I just ate:

Enriched wheat flour, riboflavin, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness (what?), contains two percent or less of soy lecithin, leavening, salt, natural flavor with other natural flavors.

Someone give me some kale, pronto.

5 Chinese New Year’s Resolutions (Including Lingerie)

Well and Good NYC has a little article up celebrating Chinese New Year and the resolutions don’t say anything about losing ten pounds or putting more money into your retirement account.

Focusing on a fresh start all around, here are the top five New Year’s to-do’s they listed. [read full article]

1. Add flowers
Live plants bring beauty and good fortune into your home.
2. Clean house.
Get rid of anything old, expired and cluttering up your space to make room for the new.
3. Get your hair cut.
Take this fresh-start attitude beyond your home and freshen yourself up too.
4. Wear new clothes.
This means new lingerie too, preferably in red for good fortune. Very fresh. (Really?)
5. Mend relationships.
Get rid of old grudges and move on.

Chinese New Year or not, I can get behind these to-dos. In the middle of this extreme-weather winter, a fresh start looks pretty good right now.

Lesson Learned. Again.

I’ve been pining lately – for a version of myself with clear eyes and skin, open breathing and open body. It’s the no dairy version of me. Remember when I stopped eating dairy and eggs? And I kind of complained that the changes were too subtle. I wanted SHAZAM! kind of changes. And eventually, the holidays came and I dove into a sugary vat of butter and eggs.

Well, guess what? SHAZAM! I feel like crap. I could go into all the seamy details, but for now let’s just say all that too-subtle opening and energy seems like a dream state and a good starting point. So here we go again. Day 1, no dairy. Again.

UPDATE: To keep myself honest, I plan on tweeting some of my yummy vegan food choices with the tags #febislovemonth and #veganlunch. Follow along if you like! I could use the encouragement.


UPDATE: Or I had a 24 hour virus. I came home from work and slept for about 15 hours. The cleanse is still on, but I am feeling slightly less desperate than I was yesterday.

I’m reaching now, stretching the bounds of being reasonable, searching for a reason my body feels this way. As I mentioned in a comment string earlier, I fell off the health food wagon hard this weekend. I was ok through the chips and dip, insisted on hummus instead of cheese with my crackers. But soon enough I dove in. Bread and butter. Zucchini with gorgonzola cheese on top. Even thinking about it, I feel nauseated.

I know I have some other issues at work here – comfort eating, unconscious eating – but I have never felt so physically awful as a result. And I’m searching for a reason. Is it simply the amount of food, the dairy, the gluten? I’m online looking and looking for help.

My dad has had stomach problems for most of his adult life. After a big night out, we’d tease him about looking three-months pregnant. But our jokes ignored his suffering. Eventually, after being diagnosed with Chrones/Colitis, he went on a strict (and restrictive) diet. Cutting out all processed foods, he recovered almost completely. And now he is mostly well. But every now and then, food becomes an enemy once again.

When I talked to him this morning, it was almost with tears in my eyes. I felt so awful, and I needed help. He promised me he would. We’d start making better dinners. Be more focused on putting the right fuel in our bodies. Support one another when that midnight snack looks so appealing.

I’m not sure what it is that is triggering this feeling of dis-ease in me. Some combination of stress, poor eating habits, and maybe a little bit of hypochondria (good to know that, too, runs in the family). But today, I read this from Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl, and nearly started crying. Whether or not gluten is the culprit for me, I don’t know, but her words struck a deep chord.

She describes going off gluten in this way:

Gone is the exhaustion, the nausea, the brain fog, the heartburn, the skin flares, the sore throats, the stuffed nose, the bone-tiredness, the lassitude, the easy bruising, and the confusion of feeling that I would never be well again.

Shauna, as she describes on her blog, had been dealing with the effects of Celiac for years. And I’ve had the gift of being mostly healthy my whole life. A fact I’m even more grateful for now, feeling how I feel in this moment.

As I said, I’m reaching now for a solution, for a reason, for something beyond “Maybe you’re just stressed out.” I’m aware of the lure of hypochondria, or the pit that can be self-diagnosis. And I’m trying not to go there.

No matter what it is that is making me feel this way, a good do-over is in order for my system. Maybe then I’ll be more clear as to what the causes are.

Cutting the Cheese

Since I’ve been home – back, uh, unengaged and living in my parent’s guest room – I’ve picked up some extra weight and acquired unhappy skin (some blemishes, a little extra allergic to bug bites, and once, a huge growing rash that took over my torso. Fun!).

I can chalk it up to stress and to life changes. But these are not strangers. The fact is, I’ve acclimated to the way my parents eat. Which is to say, with a lot of cheese. As a tenured vegetarian, I’ve always relied on cheese and dairy as a protein source. But I’m starting to question the whole concept. I even ordered Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.

Digression: First of all, she’s so cute I’d probably buy whatever she sold. I’m a sucker like that. But truthfully, she just looks healthy and happy. I want what she’s having. And I’m pretty willing to give whatever-she-does a shot.

This morning, as I woke up with a quiche hangover – stomach aching, sinuses stuffed, throat gross – I thought, maybe my questions were answered. The bloating, the stuffiness, the inflammation. Could it be a dairy thing?

I’m not saying cutting out cheese is going to solve all my problems. And even though I don’t want to work at getting back in shape (I’m over Jillian’s 30 Day Shred. I’m over portion control failure.) I’ll still do it. But it would be nice if all the hard work were accompanied by feeling physically healthy. I wonder if this will do it.

So, I’m embarking on this adventure slowly, with trepidation. What is life without cheese? I love cheese. And eggs. And yogurt. But, at this point, I’m willing to give it a try.

Has anyone out there shunned dairy? A little, all the way? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I could sure use the support.

To cleanse, or not to cleanse

That is the question.

Boho Girl just finished the Master Cleanse. A tweeter I know is juice fasting. It got me thinking about the whole idea once again.

I did the Master Cleanse once about ten years ago. Three days in I had hives and an uncontrollable crying jag. But, now, I’m not so sure.

After all the stress of the move, and not having a routine, my eating habits definitely need to be reset. Some days I ingest nothing but tea until dinnertime, then feel groggy and dizzy. Other days I’m onto second breakfast before the dishes from first breakfast are cleaned.

In the mirror, my skin looks gray. I have dark circles under my eyes. My pants don’t quiet fit like they used to. And I think it all has something to do with bourbon beer and pizza being my new go-to meal.

Because I did the lemonade craziness once without much positive effect, I wonder if it’s the right way to go for me. It might be too drastic. Although, my body is certainly different now than it was back then.

What I know for sure is that I need to reset. Whether it’s juicing, raw foods or lemons I’m not sure. In the meantime, if any one has had any positive food-cleanse experiences, I’d love to hear about them.