Posts Tagged With: nutrition

2 years (ish) later

LoveOkay, I’m a few weeks late with this post.  Okay, almost a month.  :)  But I did celebrate two years (!!!) of being medication free on August 13, despite my lack of pomp, circumstance or blog post about it. It’s a little surreal to think that it has been two years. And simultaneously, it seems like much longer. Especially if I think if it in terms of alcohol! It helps that I’ve been pregnant for all of 2014, granted…still, I don’t remember the last time I was even buzzed, let alone drunk! Strange. I guess my 30s will be defined by different types of headlines than my 20s. I am okay with that.

It has been interesting comparing Year 2 of living drug-free versus Year 1. The first part of any new adventure is filled with hope and motivation and dreams and pie-in-the-sky expectations. After that wore off, in Year 2, I had to M A I N T A I N. Long-term maintenance can be much more challenging than the initial cold turkey decision. It has been for me in a few ways. First and foremost, I started feeling better! This was a blessing and a curse. And as my dad would say, my lifestyle changes were working so well that I stopped doing them. I started putting different things into my diet, in the spirit of “seeing what works for my body”. In reality, it just tastes good to eat a bagel with cream cheese occasionally. I am human after all. As I was feeling better, I lost that direct feedback loop of “eat crap or get stressed out –> have blood in poop”. I didn’t have the blood anymore and consequently, I had to find new ways to remind myself that it’s not a good idea to freak out at small things out of my control or eat random processed sugar at all hours of the day. Of course, after a few days/weeks of poor decision making, the blood would make a comeback anyway, so, good job colon? At least it’s consistent and I know what I’m dealing with. Having strategies to combat the colitis has been hugely helpful during this second year.

Socially, the long-term maintenance has been way easier than the first year. People adapted so easily to my strict eating habits that when I began deviating from them after awhile, they were kind of confused. Especially after I got pregnant and my colitis was SUPER AMAZING. Gotta love the upside of hormones. I was eating whatever I wanted with no repercussions at all. Now that the pregnancy is almost at an end (is it Sept 19 yet??), I am noticing the return of traces of blood, small changes in my acne, slight shifts in my hair, etc. I love observing it and figuring out how to return my body back to balance. It’s like a crazy Jenga game.

I think the hardest part of long-term maintenance is the most obvious: staying committed. It’s like being an addict. You have to take it one decision, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You have to be okay with yourself when you deviate from the plan. Be nice to yourself and try not to develop an eating disorder.  :)  It’s all a little overwhelming sometimes, which means sometimes you take a break. Relax and eat a cookie and don’t judge it. But don’t eat the whole box either. Work in a little spinach and kale more often. Such a dance.

Speaking of being an addict, I was cleaning a few months ago, and it was stunning how I had hidden the drugs that were maintaining my colitis in various rooms of our house. I didn’t even realize it. I felt like an alcoholic discovering bottles they hid for themselves. I found a bottle of Asacol in the back of the third drawer of my bathroom. I found another half bottle faaaaaaar in the back underneath the sink. I still had three weeks worth of medicated enemas in my closet, just in case. Even though I had long since given up the habit of mesalamine, there it was, lurking everywhere. I knew I had the enemas as insurance in case things got really bad, really quickly and I needed it. However, I had been holding on for such a long time that they expired! The pills were all still good, but why did I have them? I hadn’t taken them in years. As I threw out the final bottle and box of enemas, I started crying. It was much harder than I thought it would be. At the same time, it was incredibly liberating. I knew I was doing right by my body, nevertheless, the finality set in during that moment. Saying I was done taking the drugs was one thing. Stopping the 9 pills a day regimen was another thing. Physically eliminating the option was apparently a whole new thing. Luckily, my incomparable supportive husband was there to give me hugs and tell me I was doing the right thing. He’s incredible. Not sure what I would do without him, but I’m pretty sure it would involve me shooting drugs in my butt through enemas. HAHA! That’s ridiculously gross! But true. Weird.

At any rate, the house is now officially 100% mesalamine free! It only took almost 10 years to get there! It is an interesting, frustrating, exhilarating, educational path, and I’m grateful everyday I’m on it. Plus, since it is a chronic disease, I may as well embrace the journey because it’s not going anywhere! As the name of the blog implies, I feel that I’ve been given UC as a life assignment and the only way I know how to deal with that assignment is through love. Love of self, love of patience, love of mistakes, love of others, love of balance within my body and life, love of food, love of yoga! It’s all very exciting. Thanks to all for the support and hopefully Year 3 will be even better than the last! I’ll have at least one more family member to share it with soon.  :)  LOVE!

 

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

In the spirit of love, here’s one of my favorite love songs ever. It captures the emotion of love in such a heartbreaking and accurate way. Makes me cry most of the time when I hear it. I like the studio version best:

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Categories: Colitis, Healing, Love, Patient History, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Too Much of a Good Thing: whole grains vs refined vs flour

2014

Happy New Year!  2014?!  I can now say “that was 20 years ago” or at least “that was 15 years ago” very easily….it’s strange but fun at the same time.

Quick updates before we get to the topic at hand.  First, I had wonderful holidays; I love my family/friends and it was really nice to get spend time with most of them between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Some are just too darn far away but still felt the love from far away.  We also hosted and attended a lot of super fun parties.  December is one of my favorite months.

In terms of a health update, I am doing pretty well overall.  Emotionally I am getting better about my body image, about how I perceive the food I am eating, why I’m eating it, etc. which is a huge part.  But I do still have the physical damage of UC that I’m trying to heal through food, yoga and love, and not through medication.  It becomes challenging because what I eat often affects those around me…..you know, since they are around me while I’m eating.  I still struggle with keeping the majority of my diet whole, plant-based foods throughout the day, and throughout the entire preparation (i.e. no added sugars, butter, excessive oil, etc).  If I am preparing it, it is obviously much easier to control, but time management issues take us to restaurants more frequently than I’d like to admit.  Plus with the holidays there is a TON of eating out and eating at other people’s houses.  Which is fun, just not as fun for my bloody poop and burny butthole feeling.  :)  This all resulted in a mild but consistent flare during pretty much the whole November/December season.  I had a few blood-free movements but most of them had a least a little bit of blood, some a lot.  It is what it is and as I keep telling myself, it is still WAY better than when I was on medication.  I had a GI appt yesterday morning and he doesn’t see a need to have a colonoscopy this year after all.  He said if I wanted to, he could do a flexible sigmoidoscopy (much more mild procedure) but I think I’m good right now.  I can feel where my body is at and overall I’m happy.  I know what I need to do to stay healthy, it’s about sticking with it!

Onto the topic at hand.  Too much of a good thing.  I was/am very confused about “processed foods.”  Everyone in the current research says they are bad.  I know first hand that if I eat mostly processed foods, then I feel like crap.  Processed foods are hard to process!  Or is it that they are too easy?  There seems to me, two different kinds of processed.  Commercially processed and at-home processed.  Granted, I don’t have time to take whole wheat berries and pound them into flour, but if I did, would it still be “bad” for me?  If I get a smoothie at Jamba Juice, it’s going to be orange juice from concentrate and fruits picked out of season, frozen and shipped across the world, blended with yogurt.  But if I make a smoothie at home, then it’s organic fruit, small amount of fresh fruit juice and vegetables.  Inherently, blending isn’t “bad”, in fact most would agree that blended food is much easier to digest than whole foods (see: baby food vs adult food).  If you follow that logic even more, why would it be bad to take every food, mash it up into tiny little pieces and then eat it?  You are saving your body hours of time!  Some people actually do that, and with fruits and vegetables, maybe it’s not a bad plan.  It also leads to one of the arguments for juicing: your digestive system doesn’t have to work hardly at all, and it is a BOOM! effect of vitamins and minerals.  Ahhh, but then you are taking out the fiber.  Which is where we get into commercially processed foods.

wheatI’m going to be focusing on grains here, because it’s what confuses me the most and is my Achilles’ heel.  I love anything baked in an oven.  Especially sweet things out of an oven.  Bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones, even pretzels (although I tend to crave sweet over salty), oh and did I mention bread?  When I do any cleanses or strict food diets for a long period of time, bread is always the #1 thing that I crave.  Why is that?  The answer is probably an entire blog post on its own, and it probably involves emotional eating, but all of the things I mentioned are flour based products.  How is it we make flour?  We pound down whole grains into powder.  But much more than just pounding is going on here (that’s what she said)….

facts_seed

In whole grains, there are three main parts of the seed that we harvest and eat (these seeds are also known as kernels, groats or berries): bran, germ and endosperm.  By buying whole wheat berries and then grabbing a meat tenderizer and smashing the hell out of them in your kitchen, you are doing more than simply getting a little aggression out (although that could be a good mental health exercise to focus your anger).  You are breaking down the outer layer or bran of the grain.  The fiber is all spread out and pre-broken down on your kitchen counter.  All of the sudden, that grain is magically now digested faster.  The body doesn’t have to worry about breaking down the hard exterior that held the grain together.  It will be processed much faster and more efficiently.  A good thing?  Maybe?  Question mark?

So you continue your demonic demonstration of power and continue to beat those poor wheat berries until there is nothing left but a fine powder or flour.  It’s not that different, right?  The nutrients are still there.  And yet if you were to eat a spoonful of that flour, it would have a radically different digestive journey than a spoonful of the original material.  Although eating a raw spoonful of either substance would be questionable behavior.

Whatever you do with it, if you leave that flour out too long, it will start to decompose, much like any food that is even halfway decent for you.  The oils and fats in the germ oxidize and become rancid.  In the 1800s, humans figured out they could merely take out the parts that would go bad!  Industrial milling started to filter out the germ and bran, leaving the endosperm by itself, sad and lonely.  The endosperm can last on a shelf (or in your freezer) for a loooong time.  Viola!  Crisis averted.

Unfortunately, there are a ton of awesome nutrients in the bran and germ that you lose in the endosperm-only flour.  They try to mechanically add a few of the vitamins back in (hello enriched and fortified products), but I think common sense would tell you that an isolated chemical nutrient isn’t going to be as welcome in the body as the real thing.  Perhaps even more relevant, the ratios are all off and they don’t even bother putting back in most of the vitamins.  It’s like anything (a beautiful piece of music, a great football team, really delicious pesto): the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

And finally, back to fiber.  Fiber makes things metabolize slower, makes you fuller longer and protects against insulin resistance.  Buuuuut, most of the fiber is in the germ and the bran which was just milled out!  Oops.  Without it, metabolism becomes lightning quick, triggers an insulin response and a dramatic drop in glucose…followed of course by a surge of hunger.  Hunger surges crave quick fixes.  Your body is craving the nutrients, not the donuts.  But unfortunately, what’s a quick fix to trick the body into thinking it’s happy?  More refined carbs, more sugar, more distilled and concentrated foods that would be more appropriate for an astronaut.  But we’re not astronauts.  Well most of us anyway.  It becomes too much of a good thing.  We process the flour like juice, it’s instant.  Except with vegetable juice it’s a boost of vitamins and nutrients.  With flour, it’s a boost of starch and basically acts as sugar.  Even the whole-grain flours that purport to have all the germ and bran in there still have the fiber all spread out, just like your now ruined kitchen counter.

At this point, for me, it comes down to preparation.  How do we humans typically prepare whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa)?  Boil it in water for awhile, maybe throw some spices or vegetables or even meat in there.  Then we eat it!  How do we humans typically prepare flour?  You’re not going to take flour and sprinkle it over your broccoli.  Flour is gross on its own.  It must be cooked, baked, fried, something.  And usually that “something” is going to be an even harder food to digest.  We combine it with sugar and dairy, oil and eggs.

What’s my bottom line here?  Like seemingly everything else, if you are going to eat flour-based foods, eat them in moderation.  Make those foods the minority on your plate and pair them with a bunch of veggies!  For example, we made pasta last night.  Pasta is obviously, flour based.  But we made it with 6 cups of spinach, a bunch of artichoke hearts and a pistachio-lemon “pesto” (pistachios, lemon juice, olive oil and shallots).  I felt great afterward, no bloating or hunger spikes or weird cravings.  Important to note that I made the meal with my wonderful husband, we played games and took our time through the whole thing.  I have to always keep in mind, to digest peacefully, the ritual of the meal may be just as significant as the meal itself.

Continued happy and peaceful eating to you!

Editor’s Note: I am not an expert on this stuff, but I did learn a ton by writing this post.  Hope you got something out of it too.  I encourage you to do your own research and see what resonates with you!  Please correct me if I said anything wrong on here, I want to be as accurate as possible, as I am still learning myself!  I heavily leaned on the work of the interwebs (yes, even wikipedia), this great write-up, and my awesome new book I got from Deb for Christmas: Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.  That recipe from last night was our first try from the book and it was amazing!

ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER

I haven’t been into too much new music lately.  JJ Grey & Mofro have fun background funky music that I’ve been throwing on Spotify.  Or for yoga, I’ve been listening to playing a lot of Bonobo in my classes.   Other than that, oldies but goodies!  I am looking forward to the Bruno Mars halftime show at the Super Bowl.  Oh, and we went to a Reel Big Fish show last weekend.  Despite having only one original member left, they brought the house down with their still true-to-roots ska energy.  The number of teenagers there was unbelievable too!  I was a teenager when that stuff was popular.  I think the sole radio hit they had was Sell Out, but we listen to Beer after every softball victory.  Here’s both, dance your heart out!

Categories: Colitis, Food and Diet | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Balance

Awhile ago, Jon asked me what this term balance was all about because I’ve been throwing the word around like beads at a Mardi Gras parade (with less flashing).  My hippie friends and I are often saying things like: “My doshas are not in balance” or “I need to work on being more balanced” or “Get that balance out of your pocket!”…..okay the last one doesn’t make sense, but what is this elusive balance that we are trying to achieve?

I’ve come to realize that no matter what you eat, or how you eat it, there are going to be toxins in life that need to be addressed.  Disease cannot be managed by medicine alone.  These toxins come in not just through your food, but through your thought patterns and emotional choices.  Don’t get me wrong, food is wildly important in health.  It clears out the excessive toxins so your body can work on the real crap (pun intended).  Food is my medicine, thank you Hippocrates, and it is much preferred to 9 pills a day or steroids for me.  But it’s not the whole picture.  This pyramid seems a closer for nutritional guidelines:

primary food pyramid3

I think it’s missing a component on sleep and also fun.  I also think vegetables should be a larger section with fewer grains, definitely fewer proteins, and maybe even less fruit.  Veggies are pretty important.  At any rate, what this pyramid does show is that there has to be a balance between ALL of these areas in your life.  Without that balance, you can eat as much organic broccoli as you want….if your outer red circle is toxic crap, you will feel like toxic crap.  And for relationships, this applies hugely to the relationship with yourself as well as others.

I didn’t realize it, but somewhere along the way, I was fighting my inner wisdom and had sort of misaligned my relationship with self.  I was at war with my self-acceptance, my natural beauty, and now I have this “disease” that is literally eating up my colon with its own acids.  Great.  It left me with many feelings of shame, guilt, anger, imbalance, confusion and discouragement.  The strange part is that throughout this whole process, I was and am a super happy person.  I love my life and my family and friends.  But it is so hard for me to allow myself to feel true, unadulterated joy.  I often stop myself from being 100% vulnerable or 100% free.  I get damn close!  But still I stop at 98%.  That’s my move!  I stop short.  Why??  I feel….undeserving for some reason.  I struggle with the concept that I am special and that I have a right to a good life because I don’t want to come off as an entitled jerk.  What makes me different from the person who is outside, right now as I type this, without a home, without someone to take of them, shivering cold and hungry?  I am a human, same as them.  To me, my joy and amazing life is somehow a smack in their face.

I also have never enjoyed the idea that I am not in control.  Of anything.  And everything.  :)  So when situations occur where I am not in control of my body or my surroundings, I become very anxious.  Toxically anxious.  I don’t want to go to a place where I have to surrender everything.  This was a completely foreign concept for me when I was first introduced to it.  Surrender?  Give in?  Never!!??!  I am an amazonian woman warrior and I can do ANYTHING.  Give me something.  I will dominate it.  Giving in felt like giving up and I had not once opened myself up to having an experience where I had to give in and surrender.  I refused to show any weakness.

This may seem like a jump, but I’ll bring it back together.  :)  My therapist had me do an exercise the other day where I had to invite different feelings into my body, including love, guilt and joy.  Inviting love and joy into your body is one thing, that was awesome.  :)  Inviting guilt??!  I have tried for so so long to push guilt out of my body that it was a strange guest.  But it was immensely powerful to do it.  I made a few realizations with the exercise:

1–I am really good at breathing now!  I am very effective at breathing into areas, thoughts….being breathed by them is wonderful as well.  And through yoga and ujjayi breathing, I can bring these emotions in and out of my body relatively easily.  So I have that going for me.  Which is nice.

2–There’s only so many parts of your body and consequently, only so many parts of your body where you can experience emotions.  As luck would have it, love and guilt were both felt for me in my gut.  Shocker.

3–Emotions and feelings can only last so long.  Some longer than others, definitely, but they are not with you forever.  Reminding myself of that and experiencing it physically was very eye-opening.  I tried to hold on to each feeling as long as I could but eventually it just went away, no matter how hard I tried.  I feel empowered by this knowledge and it has helped me in the practice of non-attachment (aparigraha or vairagya in hippie Sanskrit yogi terms).

The fun part is that I am in the middle of this process and that I am living life!  I’m going through this seemingly tough time working my way through an “incurable” illness. (I put incurable in quotes because I refuse to believe it, despite the Mayo clinic’s warning.)  But in the meantime, I am becoming a more whole, assertive, loving version of myself.  I think I’ve been pretty darn excellent in how I treat other people in my life.  I’m trying to allow myself the opportunity to apply that same kindness to me.  I am allowed to be me and to be happy.  I know that my purpose in life is to help others.  I’ve known that for a long time.  What I didn’t fully understand is something I’d heard a million times, I just didn’t absorb and accept it: in order to truly and effectively help others, I have to accept myself.  Which means having moments of pure, unadulterated joy.  Having moments of complete, utter sadness.  Knowing that giving in and giving up are two completely different concepts.  Realizing that I am unique and special, and that is okay.  Just like this poster.

you are unique

None of this makes me “better” than the person who is homeless in the streets, it just makes me different.  (sidenote: I know nothing about this anonymous street person or their journey….why was I feeling bad about them when they could be having a completely normal or even great day?)

That “thing” that seemed out of reach just a few weeks ago when I wrote the post on my patient history is coming into focus and I am happy about that.  I am striving to set myself up for success by being honest with myself and doing what is right so I can function at an optimal level.  It is only from a place of love and acceptance that I can fully help others.  It’s the patience part that is hard now.  :)

Well.  That was a load off.  I’m going to go process now.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

I was having an urge for baked goods (my kryptonite) so I made some muffins last night that turned out to be delicious!  I did use a 3/4 cup of flour (ahh!) but they were still super clean and tasty.  Not super sweet which was what I was going for, so you can add honey once you are eating them if you want.  Here’s the recipe if you want to try them out:

Carrot-banana-walnut-raisin Muffins adapted from the “Coffee & Quinoa” blog

Ingredients

¾ cup flour of your choice (almond or 100% whole wheat would be my suggestion)
¾ cup ground flaxseed
¾ cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove
2 ripe to overripe bananas
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup applesauce
2 medium-sized carrots, grated
½ cup walnuts (I just smashed them with my hands, you don’t want them too small)
some raisins to taste…..I didn’t measure them!

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, oats, flaxseed meal, baking soda and spices).

In another bowl, mash the bananas (with a fork is fine). Add the pumpkin, maple syrup and applesauce and stir until combined.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. I added in a little bit of water here, not much.  Gently mix in the grated carrots, walnuts and raisins.

Place muffin cups in tin and fill 90% of the way full with batter. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.  Tasty!

Categories: Balance, Colitis, Love, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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