Cleansing

Colonoscopy prep

First of all, thank you for all the kind texts, emails, comments and in person comments (real life comments? is that allowed?) about my recently reported reduction in inflammation.  It is truly amazing how lucky I am to have such great people in my life.  Thank you.

Also, many people have been asking about the colon cleanse that I went through instead of taking the drugs that were prescribed for the procedure.  I did not make this decision lightly, and no I didn’t consult my doctor on it.  I did write him an email about a week prior, asking if there were any alternative supplements or anything like that I could take, but didn’t exactly let him in on my plan.  Like so many things in life, I figured it would be easier to ask forgiveness than permission.  This was a dicey maneuver on my part, I realize that.  But it made no sense to me (still doesn’t) why you would ask someone who has diagnosed UC to take such a strong laxative.  Many UC patients have daily symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramping, and painful passage of stool.  Then the doctor wants you to take something that induces diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramping, nausea and for many people, vomiting, anal irritation and painful passage of stool (which, granted, probably just comes from all the pooping).  To me, it just doesn’t add up.  Additionally, every single person I talked to who already had a colonoscopy said things like: “The prep is the WORST!” “Good luck, the prep is terrible!” which didn’t add to my excitement.  As a result, I decided to take matters into my own hands and change it up.

There is a decent amount of work that went into the prep, so I created a new page for it.  I hope it serves as a good reference if you ever want to take on this challenge for yourself.  I will say that it was a challenge.  As you may remember, I tried a three day liquid diet in December and it was too hard to stick to.  I didn’t get into too many specifics in that post, but it was a difficult time emotionally, physically and mentally.  I broke down after only a day and a half and made soup for goodness sake.  I didn’t take it seriously enough and was still trying to maintain my everyday life, despite taking in zero calories.  Now that makes no sense.

This time around, I had a larger incentive to “do well” because of the scheduled colonoscopy.  If I didn’t clean out my colon, they couldn’t see what they needed to, and I’d have to reschedule the whole thing.  I did not want that outcome.  Plus I knew that I was breaking new ground by not going the normal route.  I wanted to be an example for other UC peeps to follow (and anyone else that may want to try it for their own colonoscopy).  I was very mindful of clearing out my calendar, and only committing to one social event for the weekend, which is a big deal for me.  I knew I had to let my body fully relax and come into a place of healing on its own, without trying to add in extra stressors.

Check out the new page, feedback is always appreciated and encouraged.  :)

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

Over the last year or so, I’ve been semi-obsessed with Allen Stone.  One of my favorite live songs of his is a cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love“.  The arrangement is just killer, beautiful harmonies, etc.  The other day, I was watching an old episode of Parenthood (I love that damn show) and in the background, I heard a woman singing the same freaking arrangement!  I immediately jumped on the google machine to figure out this mystery and it turns out that Allen Stone is just ripping off Corinne Bailey Rae’s version!  Granted, he still kills it.  His is a much bigger production with the band, etc.  But the concept was hers…I think?  Who knows, really.  Kind of goes back to an old argument that I’ve had with Jon and the Pirazzinis over whether or not a song is “better” if the person singing is the one who wrote it.  I still stand to the fact that just because a person wrote the song doesn’t make it inherently better when they perform it.  Some songwriters are terribile performers.  Some performers are terrible songwriters.  But for better or worse, wind was definitely taken out of my sail when I found out the innovative arrangement I fell in love with at an Allen Stone show had little to do with Allen Stone himself, other than his great taste in covering cover songs.

Oh yeah, back to what I was listening to.  :)  Corinne Bailey Rae on Spotify, of course.

corinnebaileyrae

Categories: Cleansing, Colonoscopy, Patient History | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Food, more food!

I was a little off with my “I’ll post more recipes tonight” comment in my last post.  :)  But here I am with some more food now.

This first recipe is originally from Sisterfriend…she brought me this delicious salad on Mama’s birthday and we ate it in the parking lot of Swallow’s Inn!  haha.  It was soooo good that I’ve made it with friends multiple times since then.  We’ll be enjoying it tonight too!

Sister’s eggplant with hummus and beet salad

1 eggplant sliced to ¼ inch thick pieces
hummus
cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
slivered or sliced almonds, to taste
1 lemon, most of it for the juice, but cut 8-10 super thin slices, like paper thin
3-4 beets, diced
1 apple, diced
arugula
goat cheese (optional)

Heat the eggplant slices up in a skillet over medium heat until soft. You don’t even need oil, it softens on it’s own, shouldn’t stick. While that’s heating, toss together the arugula, apples, beets, almonds, tomatoes and goat cheese with the lemon juice and lemon slices.  Place one or two eggplant slices on the plate.  Slather hummus generously on each piece.  Top with the salad mixture and enjoy!  Serves about 4.  PS-you can buy the beets at Trader Joe’s already all done and ready to be cut.  Really easy.

Here’s a final recipe before I leave for dinner.  It’s what we had last night and it was great.  Yes, I am still eating fish from time to time because it doesn’t seem to affect my stomach like meat and dairy.

Alisa’s Traditional Salmon Dinner for 2

2 fillets of salmon
1 cup “power rice” (½ cup cooked brown rice and ½ cup cooked quinoa mixed together)
1 white or red onion, sliced into rings
2 veggies of your choice….last night we used broccoli and kale

Heat the oven to 350°.  Bake the salmon with freshly cracked pepper and a tiny bit of sea salt for 35-40 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes, throw a ton of broccoli into the oven with the fish.  Then saute the onion on low with a little bit of water (no oil required, there’s a decent amount of liquid in the onion already).  Once it’s 90% there, throw in a bunch of kale, and cover for the last few minutes.  Distribute the rice on the plates first, top with salmon. Layer the onions and kale half on the salmon, half off (it’s all about presentation).  Broccoli goes on the side!  Voila!  I also used a little bit of ponzu sauce on the kale (ponzu=equal parts lemon juice and soy sauce with diced green onions) but not too much because that is a ton of salt.

Off to the Pirazzinis for dinner!  No Music Corner tonight, just listening to the rain.  :)

Categories: Cleansing, Colitis, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Recipes!

My beautiful cousin requested some recipes for getting a healthier kick to life.  There are SO many different great websites and cookbooks for this sort of thing.  I’ll give you a bunch of resources and then also some good recipes that I’ve been making lately.

First to mention is definitely Kris Carr.  I’ve been slightly obsessed with her story, her book and her recipes lately.  I identify a lot with her and she has a fun writing style, so it’s been good to learn from her.  Here’s a link to her online recipes.

Taking a step back to educating myself about health, a big game changer for me was watching Forks Over Knives….do yourself a favor and watch it right now.  Even just the first half hour.  I’ve seen Food Inc, watched Jamie Olver’s Food Revolution, read Fast Food Nation, and still through all of that, I was a pretty ardent meat and cheese eater.  This movie either came at the right time or it just did a good job at explaining things.  Either way, it seriously shifted how I approach my plate.  I hadn’t been that woken up since Michael Pollan who also shifted me into higher thinking with his books (which I need to re-read, it’s been a few years).  His mind-numbingly simple and profound slogan on In Defense of Food reads: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.  Man.  Can’t get more simple than that!!  Make it the caveat of eating REAL food (not overly processed crapola) and you are there!

But back to recipes….two things that I’ve learned are hugely important in trying to balance my insides are my pH levels and the amount of inflammatory food that I’m eating.  Dr. Robert Young wrote the pH Miracle and it makes so much sense.  Keep more alkaline foods in your body and disease doesn’t want to hang out there!  Also, Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid makes some sense for my body too.  Although I’m being much more strict than that in my healing phase (ie no meats, dairy or processed sugar at all).

Luckily, my new favorite person Joy Houston wrote out a ton of really good tasting, fast recipes that incorporate a lot of the concepts from all of these ideas.  She has a cookbook too that I’m sure I’ll end up getting at some point.

So there’s some homework for you to start in learning about what will (hopefully) make your body happy!  It’s a process, but with some baby steps and some giant steps, I think it’s all doable.  :)

Well crap, I am out of time and have to run.  Here is one recipe but I will put more up later tonight.  Love to all!

Healthy, Mexi-Salad

I adapted one of Joy’s recipes and made it last night for dinner.  It was quite delicious:

½ head romaine lettuce, chopped
¼ cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup black beans seasoned with cumin, pepper and chili powder
¼ cup diced mango
¼ cup diced white onion
¼ cup diced green onion
some cut up cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
dash Tapatío
½ diced avocado

In a large glass mixing bowl combine oil, lime juice, Tapatío, salt and pepper.  Taste dressing and adjust as needed.  Toss beans, rice, quinoa, mango, onions, and cilantro in the dressing.  Place a handful of lettuce on each plate, top with bean and rice mixture and some diced avocado.

You can adjust the amount of beans, rice or quinoa you are putting in depending how many peeps you are feeding.  This amount was good for me and Jon.

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNERmusic_notes

Today has been all about Stevie.  They have his entire collection on Spotify which is great.  I started backwards with the Down To Earth album, moved on to For Once In My Life, My Cherie Amour and am now halfway through Signed, Sealed, & DeliveredTalking Book next!  I don’t think I could ever hear these songs enough in my life.

Categories: Cleansing, Colitis, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Moisture is the essence of wetness

green juice

I am finishing up Day 3 of an all-liquid phase of my cleanse.  I feel surrounded by liquids.  Yesterday was rough.  I broke down and made some Kitchari, which is a very basic Ayurvedic soup/stew with rice and sprouted mung beans.  I chopped up some carrots, celery, broccoli and zucchini and threw that in there too.  The recipe actually made a ton more than I thought it would, so I will be enjoying that over the next few days for lunch.  It was good, not great (I didn’t add in a ton of spices) but honestly, anything would have been good at that point, seeing as I hadn’t consumed whole food since Thursday night.  In the future, I will be adding more vegetables and spices to it and I think it could be a really delicious option for me.  My body was definitely happy with me so it was worth it.  I hit a wall yesterday afternoon and this brought me back some energy which was the goal.

Today is much better.  Everyone participating in the cleanse met this morning at 7:30am for a yin yoga class where you relax into postures for 3-5 minutes each.  We also had a guest lecturer on meditation who made meditation a lot more accessible and achievable.  Most importantly, we were able to commiserate about our highs and lows over the past few days.  I reintroduce whole foods tomorrow, and I’ve never been so excited to eat fruits and vegetables!  It’s amazing what foods start looking attractive after you haven’t eaten any for a few days.

Jumping topics (sort of), we had an incredible raw food chef, Joy Houston, come in last Wednesday to make us food and teach us about enzymes and cleansing in general.  Huge takeaways for me:

  • There are really creative recipes and food combinations that I need to get into!
  • Raw food is anything under 118° because that’s where most of the enzymes start breaking down
  • It’s okay to have a balance….Joy is a very realistic mother of two with a meat-eating husband.  Consequently, she has a creative and varied approach to making healthy, living meals that can include cooked grains, etc.
  • Overly cooked and processed foods are like zombies in your body….the body is not quite sure what to do with these foreign objects, so it wraps them in fat and sticks it to your butt.  Or maybe the toxins carry on all the way to your already compromised digestive system :)

Most importantly, I was reminded that cleansing is an amazing tool to not only rid the body of toxins, but also give the digestive system a break so that the body can get to work healing tissue and addressing other issues that the body is typically too distracted to get to.  It’s a like taking a week off of work so you can stay at home,  get down on your knees, and get that weird black stuff off the floor in front of your oven.  Stuff you usually don’t get to but can make a huge difference in your house.  This was a necessary motivation today as I made yet another green smoothie.  :)

I am hopeful that this time of rest in conjunction with stress reduction, meditation and as many Dinacharya practices as possible* will be beneficial for my mind, body and spirit.   Onward and upward!

PS-speaking of stress reduction, I found this graphic today from a recent survey on ihaveuc.com and it made me laugh out loud:

stress and uc

I must say that I agree…..and I’m glad I’m not alone!  The real reason it’s funny is because the first thing my GI told me when I was diagnosed with colitis was that it had nothing to do with stress OR diet.  Right.

music_notesALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

Today for background music, I am listening to the RedZone Channel on the ipad next to me.  :)  I missed the 10am cutoff to bet on the morning NFL games so I’m going with later games only.  I’m really glad because all three of the games I was going to take did not cover.  Hopefully that means the ones I did actually pick will work out!

*Edited to say that I do not engage in all of these practices  :)  During this cleanse, I have started to do the dry-brushing, neti pot (which I really strongly dislike), self-massage (ooh la la), prayer and meditation.  I have not worked in the meditation daily yet, but getting there.  I also stopped doing the neti because I really, really didn’t like it.  Maybe later when my body is more cleared up or something.  Sisterfriend loves it so I’m sure I will get there someday.

Categories: Cleansing, Colitis | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.