Everything's Bouquet

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Cleanses

             Best buddies freshly home from church, and ready to shed those clothes!

Last January of 2010 I did the same cleanse from the book Clean.  It was my year to finally shed the last baby weight before Mr. Baby turned 6 in August.  I did all three weeks perfectly, lost 15 1/2 pounds, gained self-confidence and softer skin among other wonderful things.  I meant to continue on down the scale and dress sizes.  I was just excited about wearing a dress period.  My oldest daughter graduated that May, and I had many reasons including that to keep me motivated.  Something happened and the scale never went down any further.  I kept most of the weight off until fall.  After the holiday feasting I had gained all of it back plus 9 more pounds by January 1, 2011.

This January I needed to travel so I postponed my cleanse until February 2011.  I dedicated the entire 28 days, four weeks instead of three, to the cleanse program.  I have to say HALLELUJAH  today is my last day.  Tomorrow or Wednesday I will post my four week cleanse results and my goals for March.  The tale of this cleanse is just beginning.  I have ten more months until January 1, 2012.  I do not want the same results as last year.  This year Mr. Baby, cute as he is, will be 7 in August.  I hope and pray that I will be celebrating  his birthday in a smaller size, with a healthier outlook, while humming Victory in Jesus while I cut his birthday cake!

Posting my cleanse results and March goals soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not for the Faint of Heart

I was looking for a gluten free, artificial sweetener free, dairy free protein powder and I saw this on The Shape of Things to Come.  A little internet searching and I found a jug at a health store not far from my house.  It was a little hard to get use to it.  In fact I thought I would never get used to the taste or the chalky texture.   Miracles happen and I actually do not mind it now.  Mr. Smoothie requests his drinks without it..like I said not for the faint of heart...just kidding sweetie.  It is helping me get my protein in during my Vegan trial week, and I like adding some protein to the high carbohydrate levels in the smoothies and juices to ensure my insulin doesn't spike.  I do recommend it if you are looking for a healthy brown rice protein powder.

I also saw this tea on the same blog.  While I was drooling in our local Whole Foods store I stumbled upon this tea.  Oh me of little faith; once again on the first trial I thought it was awful.  Just wanted to waft it (anybody else a Parks and Recreation Fan?).  On my third night of  Yogi DeTox tea I actually didn't mind it.  I may even be looking forward to it tonight!

Today I watched Dr. Oz tell his audience the one food he wants out of their houses....drum roll... SUGAR.  He gave five things sugar affects and the first is blood pressure.  This is a new one they are studying, and I found that really interesting since my blood pressure is so much better since I gave up sugar 24 days ago.  I think he said the American Heart Ass. recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day.

Adding Vegan to my cleanse is going well, but I miss my chicken and fish.  Last night I picked up a Costco rotisserie chicken and it smelled so very good.  I wonder how long it takes a person  that decides to give up meat to not drool when they smell it.  I actually do not drool over sweets, but that aroma of chicken..wow.

Yesterdays lunch was this stir fry of brown rice, black beans, garlic, and broccoli.  I also ate a berry smoothie for breakfast, a handful of almonds for lunch, and a green juice for dinner.

Today I made the same lunch but I left out the garlic do to my dentist appointment following lunch and added onion, portabella mushrooms,  extra black beans, and balsamic vinegar.  It was delicious.  I do want to add in some raw veggies this week, so I plan to make some hummus soon.

I should probably stop blogging since the tornado sirens are going off in our neck of the woods.  Instead of American Idol there is a lot of orange, red, yellow, and green moving blobs on our tv  translated by our talking weather man. I am off to make mini muffins and breakfast loafs for the PTF meeting in the morning before our electricity goes out!  Oh and I can't forget our dinner mango and pineapple smoothie.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week 3 Cleanse Results

Above is dinner last night: freshly juiced watercress, beet, cabbage, carrot, lemon, and apple juice.  I tried to do it without the lemon and apple and it only made one-half a cup; that translated to one-fourth of a cup for me and Mr. Smoothie.....NOT ENOUGH!  Adding the lemon and apple gave us each one full cup and covered up the taste a good bit; although he still complained.  It did make the prettiest color which does not really show up well in the picture.
Working backwards yesterday's lunch is below.  It was broiled salmon, brown rice and quinoa, and steamed broccoli.                                                
The topping on the fish is made of fresh garlic, Dijon mustard, and a little Agave.  Breakfast yesterday was a berry smoothie.

Today is day 22 for my cleanse adventure.  The program in the book calls for 21 days, and I am doing an extra week this time.  It just seemed to make sense since there are 28 days in February to just dedicate the whole month to the program.  I am adding a new element to this cleanse; inspired by the vegan for a week trial that the Oprah staff did I am going to try to add vegan to my last week of the cleanse.  I only get meat at the middle meal of the day anyway, so surely it will be doable to leave it out and replace it with vegetables and beans.  If it starts to drive me crazy, my first priority is the cleanse, so I will add meat back in if I can't handle the vegan.  I am just curious to see if I notice any changes without meat.


Fasting Blood Sugar

2-15-11      87
2-16-11      85
2-17-11      79     Love it.  So much better than a sugar cookie!
2-18-11      92
2-19-11      86
2-20-11      89
2-21-11      77    A little jumping up and down happening here!

Morning Blood Pressure

2-15-11      97/63
2-16-11      97/62
2-17-11      95/60
2-18-11      79/53    This may be my lowest yet.
2-19-11      94/67
2-20-11      93/58
2-21-11      95/46

Dreaded Scale Numbers

2-16-11      -0.5
2-17-11      -0
2-18-11      -0.5
2-19-11      -0
2-20-11      -0.5
2-21-11      -0.5
2-22-11       -0

So a total of only -2 lbs this week.  Total pounds lost in the three weeks of the cleanse is 12.  The dreaded scale lived up to its name.  I don't think I have ever watched in go down so slowly in half a pound increments.  I really love the way I am feeling though, and my blood sugar and blood pressure is so much better, that continuing on has been a clear choice for me.  Not always an easy choice, but a clear choice.

Some other changes after three weeks of the cleanse:

SKIN, SKIN, AND SKIN.  My skin is so much softer.  Seriously.  Behind my earlobes and my elbows could pass for baby skin...maybe. I went to a bridal shower Saturday afternoon, and the mother of the bride asked what I was eating because she said my skin looked so young.  I had never met her before, and she had no idea I was cleansing (as far as I know).  Really I don't tell that to brag; I was just so shocked that someone noticed and connected it to what I eat!

CLOTHES, CLOTHES, CLOTHES.  They are fitting soooo much better.  My 14 pants that were a nightmare to squeeze on are now fitting correctly.  My muffin top is going down and not hanging over my spanx.  My boots that were getting dangerously tight zipped up with ease.  My shirts are fitting a little looser...and we all know what that means!  Why does the chest always go first?!  Oh and one last very important one...a little TMI maybe but....my undies are fitting nicely without rolling down!!  Yay for undies that stay up!

ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE.   It is hopeful, confident, and happier.  This small taste of victory gives me hope for the future, allowing me to dream of the future realistically.  Not dreaming like it won't happen, but dreaming with a plan.  I wake up confident that today will be a success like the last 21 days; not in an arrogant way but humbled by the grace of God that makes it possible  to continue on in His power that supported me the day before.  Happier because I am so close to the memory of living in daily defeat that I am thankful for a respite from the sadness and depression it brings.

HEALTHIER, HEALTHIER, HEALTHIER.   My numbers are showing it.  My skin is showing it, and I can't help but think if my skin on the outside...my largest organ is glowing and changing....what are all the organs doing inside!

HUNGRIER, HUNGRIER, HUNGRIER.    Not gonna lie.  My tummy rumbles a lot.  When I go to bed I am slightly hungry each night.  Usually I pray this is a mean moving metabolism and my frenemy the dreaded scale will be down a miraculous 3 pounds in the morning.  As you can see that was NEVER  the case this week.  Embracing the hunger is a part of the process for me; sometimes I don't mind it and other times I get whiny.

EMOTIONAL, EMOTIONAL, EMOTIONAL.   Teary and moody.  Very happy one minute and sad the next.  Overall though I am facing the sadness without my food crutch.  This is a good thing.  It is making me just start to learn to be sad and accept it.  I have a long ways to go, but this is probably the most important aspect of the journey because if I fail again and gain back all my weight (the cycle I have been stuck in for 6 years) , it will be because I medicate my feelings with food.

Week three behind me, I am starting week four today!!  This week I also need to decide what plan happens after week four.   I am off to meet a friend and walk at the church gym while my two little brother stooges....the pop picture boys from the last post play basketball.

                                            It cracks me up....just had to add it again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What a Weekend!

This past weekend was really busy but extremely rewarding.  I started the weekend on Friday cleaning like a mad woman and getting bedrooms ready for our 21 guests.  Then I took a quick break Friday afternoon to watch my baby girl get inducted into the National Honor Society.  This made me, her teacher at home until this year when she joyously entered the regular school system, extremely proud and teary.  After a reception we whizzed back to the home front to clean until the Dnow (Discipleship Now Conference) girlies and teachers knocked at our door.
It was a weekend full of food, loudness, little sleep, and lots of giggling, screaming and laughing.  I cannot explain how I cooked dozens of delicious pancakes, a massive amount of yummy spaghetti,  stared at their stash of junk snacks they brought, and attended two bridal showers with massively enticing loads of food without really wanting any of it.  It was the grace of God.  It was so nice to honestly not feel deprived or wishing I could dive face first into all the treats.  This cleanse is really changing my taste buds and cravings.  I think watching my numbers every morning also makes me realize no sugar cookie or plate of spaghetti is worth diabetes.
Below are a few pictures of our weekend.  I stayed on the cleanse plan perfectly and my Mr. Smoothie did pretty well with a possible  nibble of an Oreo or to from the snack counter.  Tomorrow I will hopefully have time to post my results from the cleanse week three!

                       Okay my camera is so slow and I missed the sword over the head shot.

Above is the stash of junk food and pop the girls brought.  Pop modeled by my two sweet brother stooges.  The were so proud of this shot...budding comedians that they are.  

Minus a couple of the girls, but this is most of our guests for the weekend.
 One of the teachers is getting married soon, so we had a surprise shower for her Saturday evening.
Her wedding colors are black, red, cream, and silver.

The happy bride to be.
And I cannot leave out the wedding dress designs made out of toilet paper.  The girls really did a great job.  I think they must be watching those wedding dress shows!

I am not designer, but I think maybe my baby girl should have taken her aqua hoodie off first.

Final morning breakfast before we headed to church for the big final rally.  I wish I had not forgotten my camera so that I could post the darling final group picture in their yellow matching Dnow shirts.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but I met some really sweet and mature girls that impressed me with their desire to learn, grow, and minister to others.  I also came home Sunday afternoon and took a three hour nap; I am getting a little old trying to keep up with energetic seventh grade girls! 

Friday, February 18, 2011





Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emotional Eater Me

I am such an emotional eater.  Today is day 17 of my cleanse and tonight I was so tired.  I just wanted to throw in the whole load of towels and call it quits.  I wanted to grab Mr. Smoothie and run for the nearest restaurant for a long overdue date night.  I knew this was not an option, so I tried to rack my brain for what was going on, and I didn't have to rack very far.  My house needs some scrubbing...a LOT of scrubbing, straightening, vacuuming, sweeping...etc.  This isn't unusual except for the fact that this time I have a deadline.  Friday, this Friday, I am hostessing a group of 17 young people all weekend for a wonderful event.  I just don't want to scrub and clean...who does?!  I realize procrastinating what I need to be doing is causing me to want to grab some comfort from another source, and of course my usual go to source is my friend food.  Not this time.  I searched my cleanse book for some help, and came up with the energy smoothie of peaches and almond butter.  So I am sitting  to blog my feelings, down my energy smoothie, and hopefully get motivated to work.  Actually just writing this down makes me feel a little better, or maybe it is the smoothie already energizing me! ha.
Yesterday was a good on plan day.  The scale just doesn't want to budge much.  Today's food is below.  I am counting the massive amount of cleaning I am about to engage in as my exercise.

           Breakfast for me and Mr. Smoothie was a polka dot berry smoothie.  It was thick and cold.

 I felt like Dorthy it was so windy in my neck of the woods while I grilled our lunch.  I grilled fresh garlic dijon agave chicken tenders, asparagus, and yellow squash.  This platter will feed us for two meals at least.
                                                      A veggie closeup.  Yum.
                                                          Chicken tender closeup.

                                                                        My plate.

                                  Dinner was an energy smoothie with peaches and almond butter.

I really have to go clean now.  I know I will feel so much better when I am done.  How do you motivate yourself to do a job you are really dreading? I would love to hear some ideas!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recap for Cleanse Week 2

Yesterday my Valentine of 25 years asked to join me on this cleanse.  As the cleanse goes we have liquid for breakfast, real approved food for lunch, and liquid for dinner.  Above was what was left of our green juice dinner.  Mr. Valentines's cup is the one one the left; I wish I had been watching when he licked that baby out!  It must have been truly good to the last drop.

My numbers are good, and that alone is proof to me that I need to eat healthier for the rest of my life.  I am disappointed in my scale number, but hopefully it will start going down some more this week.  I am really enjoying this cleanse right now, and it is a good thing because I am just a little over halfway since I am doing four weeks this time.  I am really tired today though, and hoping some of that energy from the first week will reappear soon; I am hostessing DNOW (discipleship now) for a group of seventh grade girls and their leaders this weekend, so another energy burst would be wonderful about tomorrow morning!

Week Two Results

Fasting Blood Sugar

2-8-11      84
2-9-11      90
2-10-11    76    Wow!! Loving this one!
2-11-11    81
2-12-11    89
2-13-11    92
2-14-11    95    Not loving this one, but it is still under 100!

Morning Blood Pressure

2-8-11     109/64
2-9-11     109/61
2-10-11    100/62
2-11-11    97/65      Wow!  Smiling bigtime!
2-12-11    107/62
2-13-11    86/58      My lowest yet!
2-14-11    98/59

Dreaded Scale Numbers

2-9-11   -2lbs   I recorded 2-8-11 on last weeks update since the scale starts going down one day into the    
2-10-11  -0
2-11-11  -1 lb
2-12-11   -1 lb
2-13-11  + 1.5 lbs  This was a rough morning on the scale.  I think I went potty 98 times...to no avail.
2-14-11  -0 lbs
2-15-11   -0 lbs

That is hard for me to follow, but with losses and gains I ended up with a loss of 2.5 pounds for week two.  This brings the two week loss to -10 pounds.  I wanted to show the numbers daily to show how frustrating that dreaded scale can be.  I stayed completely on the cleanse plan and still saw the scale dip down and then go back up.  I don't know if it is water or what, but I do not like scale surprises unless they are in my favor...of course.

I did exercise four times last week: three 34 minute rounds on the elliptical, and one 45 minute walk at the gym with a friend.

Todays food was a berry smoothie, lunch of grilled salmon, asparagus, and brown rice and quinoa (pictured below), some almonds, and a mango pineapple smoothie.

After a brisk 34 minute walk outside in the glorious sunshine and 60 degrees, I was ready to grill and eat!!

Fifteen days down and thirteen to go!!  This is the year for VICTORY!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hitting the wall on Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentine's Day!! Okay hitting the wall may be overstating it a little, but this was the first day I felt like I didn't want to keep going on the cleanse.  I don't know if it was the dreaded scale that did not go down again this morning, or the Valentine chocolate tradition dancing in my head, or the fact that this is my 25th Valentine with my Mr. Wonderful and I wouldn't be spending it in our out to a special delicious dinner tradition.
I am committed and I did not even really consider quitting, but today was tough.  After a 45 minute walk with a good friend I had hashed it all out and felt better.  I just have to succeed this time, or I feel like I might not ever.  Anybody else feel like that?  Six months from now is my birthday month, and I can reach it in victory Lord willing, or I can arrive there in defeat struggling to fight the same battle over and over and over.  I want to focus on my next choice; really that is all I NEED to focus on to succeed, BUT sometimes it helps to remind myself of the future to inspire myself to make the right choice NOW.
So instead of heading out on the town, my sweetie joined me on my cleanse meals today.  Below is what we enjoyed together along with some cashews and almonds not pictured.

Two cold berry smoothies coming right up.  I am married to Mr. Smoothie, so these he enjoys.

I grilled rosemary garlic Dijon lamb chops and asparagus.  This was our special Valentine Cleanse lunch.

My plate with brown rice and garlic quinoa.  It was licking the plate good!

Coming right up: 2 Valentine green juices, and Mr. Smoothie said....."no smoothie?" :)  The ginger in this juice gives it a bite that makes it really good.

Happy Valentines!!!  Hoping tomorrow is an easier day!!!