Results of my 10 Day Liver Detox

Well folks, I did it. Ten whole days of disgusting medical shakes four times a day and swallowing giant horse pills of pond-scum colored powder. Ten days of squeaky clean eating, including three days of eating ONLY cruciferous vegetables, beans and pears. Ten days of no exercise, which I actually missed. Ten days without MEAT! Ten days without CHOCOLATE! And even worse… Ten days without POPCORN!

I survived. I’m proud to say I didn’t cheat once, except for the time I added three frozen strawberries to the medical shake because I was literally sitting at the table near tears because I was so DONE with everything I had to eat. At that moment I remembered the little tow-headed girl who was forced to sit at her grandparent’s table because she wouldn’t finish her tuna casserole. I sat at the table for nearly an hour, crying because I didn’t like the fish taste and I had to eat it before I went to bed. (Note to self: Horrible lesson about food to teach your child. I get the whole not wanting to waste things mentality, but if your kid is crying because they hate something so much.. let it go.) In present day, my husband was a champ and talked me through it, but it took some MAJOR coaxing to get me to swallow that shake. Blech. So anyways, the strawberries helped mask the yicky fake sweetness. That’s hardly cheating, either… Three frozen strawberries is better than a binge at Panda Express, so I’ll take it. This detox was hard in a lot of ways, but it gave me some really good insight in to certain things. I had my blood re-tested today and should get the results by Wednesday or Thursday. I’d appreciate you all thinking clean liver thoughts, as I am admittedly a little bit nervous. I just want everything to be okay. Really, isn’t that all we ever want?

My final detox meal - spaghetti squash with heirloom tomato marinara. This was soo good!

My final detox meal – spaghetti squash with heirloom tomato marinara. This was soo good!

  • I always thought I’d be fine as a vegetarian, but this detox proved to me that I do actually crave meat. By day five, I would have traded my lucky socks for a chicken breast! My body was craving protein, and beans weren’t cutting it. Well, beans were cutting something, but it wasn’t hunger. Cutting the cheese, perhaps.
  • There are 5,000,000 ways to prepare vegetables, but after eating pretty much only vegetables for seven days, I’m sick of them. By day nine I was avoiding eating entirely because I was so sick of brussels sprouts, cauliflower and apples. I had to force myself to keep eating which is as rare as a unicorn for a foodie like me.
  • Eating squeaky clean does do amazing things to your taste buds. By the fourth or fifth day, I felt like flavors were so much more robust. Cinnamon was like a natural sugar bomb and black beans had such an amazing, earthy taste.

I was hoping after the detox I’d feel amazing, with incredible energy, no gray hairs, nary a zit on my face and a weight loss of 100 pounds. Well, I have no idea if I lost any weight at all because my scale conveniently crapped out the fourth day into the detox. I need to go buy a new one, but I’m hoping I lost some weight. As for feeling good, actually, I’ve felt pretty crummy the last four days. Tired, run-down, a little bit nauseous and head-achey. I’m trying to tell myself those are all actually good signs, that maybe my body is just hurting because all of the toxins are purging, but it’s tough to be positive when all you want to do is lay in your bed and whine about how crummy you feel. In addition, my husband is sick and a bunch of my co-workers are sick, so it’s possibly I’m either fighting off a cold or coming down with one.

The first piece of meat I've had in ten days. The angels sang!

The first piece of meat I’ve had in ten days. The angels sang!

I won’t have true “results” of the detox until my bloodwork comes back and I can weigh in, but in the mean time, I’m grateful to have had the experience, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m happy to be back to semi-normal eating. I’m going to try eating clean, but just being able to incorporate a larger variety of choices is amazing! In the end, I’m proud that I stuck to the plan like a champ and that I was able to follow doctor’s orders. It may not have been the most pleasant plan in the world, but I’m fortunate to have been able to follow the plan in its completion. But… I’m happy that it’s over ;)

What’s the latest tough love thing you’ve had to do that maybe wasn’t the most pleasant, but you did it and have come out better because of it?

 

 

10 Day Liver Cleanse and Detox: Metagenics Clear Change, Day Three

Hi Chinners, happy Tuesday! Remember how last month I found out that I had elevated liver enzymes? So basically, there was one liver count test where the high average was supposed to be like 30.. and mine was 120. Yeah, about that. So I really don’t drink, maybe prior to going on Metformin, once a week, a glass of wine or two. I do know that I’m the cheapest date in the world in that it takes me only one glass of wine to get a buzz, and I’m super easily affected by caffeine. All of these things can point to a sensitive liver, which clearly I haz. (HELP ME! MY BLOGGING IS TURNING ME INTO A LOLCAT!)

A delicious detox-approved green salad, with chick peas, avocado, cucumber, tomato and assorted butter lettuce.

A delicious detox-approved green salad, with chick peas, avocado, cucumber, tomato and assorted butter lettuce.

Under my awesome doctor’s orders, we decided to do a liver detox and re-test my liver enzymes after six weeks. The six week mark is fast approaching, so I ordered the Metagenics Clear Change Program – 10 Day. I specifically waited to start the cleanse until after FitBloggin’, becauseĀ  I didn’t want to have any issues with my stomach while doing things like bouncing around on mini-trampolines or trying out crossfit for the first time. On Saturday, I made a very expensive Whole Foods trip and stocked up on organic pears, apples, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, rice cakes and organic, unfiltered, unsweetened apple juice. In addition to ingredients you provide yourself, you drink a “medical shake” a few times daily.

The food part of the detox basically involves a vegan, whole foods diet from days one through three with some milk substitutes and rice allowed, and then on day four, you start getting more hardcore with no rice, no milk substitutes and no meat. Days five to seven are what have me shaking in my boots – those are days where I can only eat “Cruciferous vegetables”, aka, the fart-bombs of veggie-land; broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and greens. Oh my. Thankfully on those days I can still have some beans and my lovely organic apples and pears, but YIKES. I get HANGRY when I’m hungry, so this should be interesting.

A healthy mixed vegetable stir fry over a tiny bit of brown rice.

A healthy mixed vegetable stir fry over a tiny bit of brown rice.

So far I’ve been feeling okay. Days one through two were easy, though I had to watch it to “remember” I couldn’t eat certain things. Thankfully I love vegetables, so eating like a rabbit isn’t really unpleasant for me. However, today has been a little more dicey, as I started taking the detoxification capsules and shakes, and I’m feeling kind of run down and sluggish. Not to mention I’ve got some interesting stomach things going on, but as my handy little program guide tells me, these types of signals are all just signs that the program is working. Of course the few hardest days happen RIGHT WHEN OUR AIR CONDITIONER BREAKS AND IT’S GOING TO BE 104 DEGREES. Murphy’s law, right? Such is life…

So now that you know what’s up with me and my liver, tell me — have you ever tried a detox or a cleanse? What was it like? Did you experience any amazing after effects?

 

 

 

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 4

Hello Friends:
I didn’t really know how to approach this week’s weigh in – because while there was a lot I did right this week, it was kind of a weird week. I didn’t go overboard on anything, but I got tied up and didn’t track on MyFitnessPal for two days, and then I exercised and was active but took it down a notch over the weekend because I was sad (my cousin passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Bummer. A reminder for all of us to live our lives with purpose because you really truly never know when your number is going to be called.) So, I’m not altogether surprised that I didn’t hit 2 pounds down, but I’m not devastated either – because I hit 1 pound down. I know what I need to fix for next week – which as usual – is more cardio. I’m behind on my goal but I feel good about keeping consistent with my weigh-ins and definitely making more progress than I was before. I try and think that even if the scale isn’t showing what I want, I’m noticing other things – like more energy from working out, or my jeans feeling a little bit looser. And hey – a pound lost is a pound lost – so that’s great!

Here are some of the weight loss high points from this week:

Cucumber and Tomato Feta Salad

1) I ate TONS of veggies this week. This was a yummy and simple cucumber, tomato and feta salad with some green bell peppers. So good and so filling.

A nice sunset stroll in my snazzy new workout jacket.

On the day we got news of my cousin Josh passing, I didn’t want to work out – but Matt and I took a nice sunset stroll through the park. It was lowkey and we ended up clocking in a 3 mile walk – just enough to make me feel a little bit better and burn up a small sweat.

Very Veggie Pasta


I had a craving for spaghetti on Sunday night but knew that the way we usually make it (ground beef, wine, olive oil) would be too fattening. So I did half the amount of ground beef, a tsp of olive oil, and EIGHT different kinds of vegetables. It came out amazing – super chunky and filling but chock full of veggies, so I needed very few noodles. So good.

This next week is going to be interesting as I’m getting on a plane Friday to head to Josh’s funeral – so I’ll be surrounded by family and food. I’ll need to remember not to eat my emotions! How is your week going?

Belly Flop in the Kitchen: Paneer

You know how there’s always that one thing you want to try in the kitchen, but you never get around to? Well, today I attempted something I’ve wanted to make for a long time – homemade Indian Paneer! Paneer is a very simple farm cheese made from milk and some sort of acid component – you can use lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt. The steps were simple – heat 2% milk until boiling, add yogurt, and stir until curds separate from whey. Then drain the mixture in cheese cloth. This part was easy enough, and I felt like Mario Batali with boobs as my homemade cheese drained in the kitchen sink.

The cheese drained and then I got ready to cut it into cubes – so far so good.

Freshly made paneer

Like any good chef (or hungry person), I sampled the fruits of my labor and was pleasantly surprised with the simple, milky taste of the cheese – and the fabulous squeak squeak as I chewed. I cut it into cubes to use in my recipe for dinner.

Paneer was a success! ... So far.

I decided to follow the Paupered Chef’s Matar Paneer recipe, and I diligently ground up ginger, onion and garlic in my trusty food processor. Do you have a food processor? If you don’t, you should get one, because my food processor is hands down one of my top three favorite kitchen accessories/appliances; along with my lime squeezer and OXO vegetable peeler. I browned the paneer and set it aside, continuing to mix all of the other ingredients. The recipe was coming together nicely, filling my house with aromas of India.

After everything was cooked and mixed, the recipe said to add the paneer to the mixture and let simmer gently for 20 minutes. I placed the paneer in and noticed it was starting to crumble a little bit, but I didn’t think too much of it. Unfortunately before I even knew what was happening, the paneer fell apart and disentegrated into tiny little crumbly curds. Sad, sad, sad. The curry still tasted fine, but it definitely wasn’t good. I was so bummed! There’s nothing worse than putting a lot of time and energy into a new dish and then having it be a total belly flop at the end. I ended up tossing the whole dish, because I just couldn’t get over the grainy texture and mismatched flavor. Lame.

The finished product - Matar Paneer

However, I did have one kitchen success today – homemade salsa with veggies from my garden. Lime juice, green pepper, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, tomato, garlic, salt – that’s all you need for an amazing homemade salsa.

Garden Grown Salsa Saves the Day

So yeah – unfortunately my first paneer recipe was a flop. I’m going to try it again though, and this time, let the curds and whey soak longer, and avoid cooking the finished product as long in a recipe. I hate it when a new recipe turns out sucky, but I have to remember that that’s part of learning the cooking and kitchen process. Stuff gets screwed up all the time – and even master chefs have belly flops every once in awhile. (Usually all my belly flop recipes come from Pinterest!) What was the last kitchen belly flop you had?

2012′s Summer Garden

It’s that time of year – when I spend lots of time watering and digging in the dirt! Here’s this year’s vegetable garden:

Garden!

Currently we have six types of tomatoes growing: San Marzano Roma, Tomatillos, Golden Peach, Black Krim, Beefsteak and Cherry. We also have four different types of peppers: bell peppers and a couple varieties of hot peppers. We have zuchinni, squash, cucumber, beans, basil, pumpkins and mint.

San Marzano Roma

We’re starting to get big clusters of tomatoes on all of our plants – these San Marzano Roma’s are an italian heirloom tomato that will be fantastic made into a sweet marinara sauce or dried in the sun.

Straight Eight Cucumbers

We have “Burpless” Straight Eight cucumbers, that I’m training to grow up a trellis rather than spread out on the ground. Does anyone know why cucumbers and some types of tomatoes are called burpless? It’s weird. I’ve never know cucumbers or tomatoes to make me burp but maybe I’m in the minority…? Strange.

Yellow Squash

I only planted ONE squash plant this year, because you know I’ll still be having to leave them on people’s porch at night to get rid of them. Last year I made the mistake of planting three zucchini plants, and I got so sick of them I let them grow until they were as big as baseball bats and could be used as battering rams. I’ll clip these little guys much sooner, and enjoy the sweet and light flavor in stir fries and on the grill.

Tomatillos

Tomatillos are a new addition to my garden. I love tomatillo salsa, and when I saw a tomatillo plant at Home Depot, I jumped at the chance. Aren’t they weird looking?! They’re like alien seed pods, but the plant makes such pretty yellow flowers that eventually turn into the alien seed pod. I’ll be making a lot of salsa this year.

Gardening is one of my very favorite things because it’s relaxing, and rewarding! What other hard work rewards you with delicious, homegrown and organic food? A tiny red tomato plucked off the vibe is amazing on a sunny day, just like a slice of sweet, garden grown cucumber.

Are you growing any vegetables this year? What are they?

My adventures in Seattle

This weekend, I took an adventure up the Pacific Northwest to the lovely wet city of Seattle. My friend Monique is getting her MSW (Social Work – isn’t that awesome?!) at the University of Washington, and I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time! Matt was supposed to be going with me, but his company just had to go and win a technical achievement Academy Award, so he was schmoozing with stars while I ate freshly fried mini doughnuts and posed with trolls. I flew in Saturday morning with my long underwear ready to go (I had been egged on by other Southern Californians about how cold I would be.)

Yummy things at Pike Place Market

Monique and I dropped my stuff off at her place and headed downtown via bus to the world famous Pike Place market. This place is a foodie’s dream, with stalls heaping with colorful fruit and glossy-eyed fish draped on ice. We shopped around, sampling the various goods and stopping for lunch at a Japanese stall. I got the vegetarian yakisoba and it was delicious – hot and sweet with fresh, crunchy cabbage and thin peels of carrot. We had dessert of mini-doughnuts – powdered sugar, sprinkled and cinnamon sugar.

Miss Monique samples a dougnnut

I also had to buy some dark chocolate pasta, just because the idea was so novel to me. I’ll be making chocolate pasta for dessert the next few weeks – I’m thinking chocolate linguine with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I’ll blog it! I posed for a picture next to the famous Pike pig, and then we headed back to the bus so we could check out one of my favorite novelty stores, Archie McPhee. If you haven’t heard of Archie McPhee, I highly recommend you visit their online store. It’s a great place to buy all kinds of things you don’t need, like pickle finger puppets and potato guns.

Bronze pig appreciates bag of freshly fried doughnuts in hand!

After Archie McPhee, we walked a mile to the Fremont Troll. The troll is a piece of community art commissioned by a Fremont resident. The troll was a popular attraction and we had to get our picture taken a few times to make it troll-gawker free.

TROLLLL!

After the troll, we headed back towards the Northgate area and then had dinner at Taste of India. This place was awesome because they gave us free chai and pakoras while we waited for our table. I had the butter paneer masala and it was amaaaaazing – so creamy, tangy and rich over the basmati rice. We sopped up the sauces with piping hot garlic naan. When our bellies were full, we headed over to the local $3 movie theatre and watched Midnight in Paris. The plot of the movie was charming but I thought the ending was poo-poolicious. After the movie I passed out on Monique’s lovely futon. We woke up Sunday morning and picked up a sandwich at Jimmy John’s, where I was delighted to order a giant dill pickle. Sadly, my pickle had a hair on it of mysterious origins (discovered after my first bite), so I lost my pep for pickles, but my sandwich was still deee-lish.

Moments before I discovered the hairy pickle.

We drove 30 minutes to Snoqualmie Falls, where the air was frigid, wet and cold. The view of these giant manmade waterfalls was breathtaking – the water crashed angrily onto the river below, and rocks broke the surface among the crystal blue water. We explored the park area around Snoqualmie falls for a bit, shopped in the gift shop, (I scored a cast iron bumble bee – yeah!), and then went back towards Monique’s house for some more local adventuring of my favorite kind – shopping!!!

Breathtaking Snoqualimie Falls

We shopped till we dropped and then swung by Cupcake Royale, where I picked up a “Dance Party” cupcake, with vanilla frosting. It was pretty amazing with a glass of wine! We also got ingredients to make homemade tacos! Here’s a sneak peek – but tune in next time to learn how to make flour tortillas that are a million times better than the packaged ones.

Yummy homemade tacos

On Monday, I ventured to the university district to see my Uncle Daniel, who works downtown. We had a good time eating lunch and bantering back and forth about why California was the superior state. Okay, fine, we never agreed on that, but I have decided that although Washington is lovely, California wins with its sunshine and perpetual blue skies. It was fun to see him on the west coast, as I usually only see him in Minnesota on short family vacations when we’re visiting my grandmother.

My Uncle Daniel and I

This weekend was exactly what I needed – a long weekend to decompress, enjoy some girl time, and do fun things instead of laundry, thesis writing and errand-running. I definitely did not track my meals which will probably get me into trouble this week at the scale, but I’m taking full responsibility for my actions and can say with very little regret…damn, I ate well and enjoyed it! Cest la vie.

Tune in soon to see us get our tortilla on! I hope you had an amazing weekend and are having an even better week!

Grad students DO smile! See?