Posts Tagged ‘detox’

Healthy Reset: How Its Going End of Week One

July 6, 2015


Fourth of July presented its challenges. I invited a few friends over for dinner, and like a bad take on the old joke about three people walking into a room, we had the vegetarians, the carnivores and me. Miss Paleo Extremo. A menu where vegetarians and carnivores eat blissfully together is one of the easiest to plan. I usually prepare a variety of salads and vegetable side dishes that everyone will love, and make sure there are plant based protiens and some kind of grain or pasta to round out the meal, while making something meaty for the others. This time, everything I tried to make had something in it I couldn’t have. I finally gave up, and prepared the dinner I wanted to serve my guests, and dealt with my own meal separately.

I made a kale and mint salad, and put the non compliant ingredients (chickpeas, edamame and dried cranberries) on the side. A tomato and basil salad had the mozzarella in a separate bowl, and I pulled out a piece of precooked salmon for my protien. Everything else I just simply avoided. It was a casual dinner, and everyone was fine with my dietary restrictions. It was made easier by my being the hostess, and not the guest. I don’t want to be “that person” with all the food issues at someone else’s home or a in restaurant with a group. Its only a few weeks, so I will make it work without inconveniencing others if possible.

I made quinoa patties, which I have never done before. Since I couldn’t taste them, I couldn’t correct the seasonings or the texture. I am eager to make them again, and experiment with the flavors a bit. Recipe to come when I get it right! Note to guests: If I try out an untested recipe on you, consider yourself “family.”

Honestly, I didn’t feel deprived or tempted a bit. I committed to this for a short period of time, and since I was able to plan for it, I was fine. Five adults consumed five bottles of wine and champagne, at a five hour meal so there was a long period of sitting at the table, idle. There was a plate of bar cookies, s’mores and brownies that everyone nibbled at, but there was also a bowl of strawberries to keep me occupied. In the end, no biggie. BUT. I have been convinced that my burning stomach is food related. It always seems to come when I am eating decadently. Like chocolate and red wine type decadently. Last night, around 2 a.m. the burning started. Definately not food related. Hopefully, it was an isolated incident.

Here is what I didn't eat... Info on

Here is what I didn’t eat…
Info on

This weekend had brunch out twice,as usual. I had an egg white omelette with vegetables one day, with a salad on the side.  I did not ask what fat they cooked the omelette in, or for every ingredient in their viniagrette.  It was a decent restaurant, and not a greasy spoon diner, so I am assuming it was house made. Honestly, if they used a tiny bit of butter, or non compliant oil to cook my omelette, I am going to need to live with it. This is supposed to be about a reset, eliminating cravings for less healthy foods, finding out what might be causing inflammation, and developing a healthy relationship with food. Asking a restaurant to cook eggs in a specific type of oil, feels way too obsessive. No going to do it.

Although I am not supposed to get on the scale, I did, and I am down a few pounds. I am pleased with the number, but I still feel like my stomach is a little puffy and bloated. I am hoping that the next week or two resolves that, as I get used to the increased quantities of fruits and vegetables. I am also assuming that the weight loss will stabilize. A couple more pounds would be welcome; five more would be too much for a small person like me.

One week down, one more to go! So far, so good.

Whole 30ers report that they have more energy, and clarity in week two, combined with an overall lighter feeling in general. I look forward to that, as I am coming up on some big project deadlines the following week. Stay tuned…

Related links: Kale Salad recipe.

Photo: Flag: Glasshouse Images

Cookies: Spencer Jones for Glasshouse Images

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Healthy Reset: How Its Going Week One

July 3, 2015


The new eating plan got off to a rocky start on Monday morning, when I discovered that the only thing to make a smoothie out of was a few freezer burned strawberries and some pineapple chunks. Those mixed with water left me a bit cold, but it was better than a completely empty stomach as I headed to the gym. The lesson was quicky learned; be prepared.

In order to eat fresh, whole foods, one has to have them on hand. On the way back from the gym, I detoured through Chelsea Market and picked up lots of fresh produce and some fish to facilitate easy meal preparation. I am lucky to live in New York where I can walk out the door and have my pick of places to buy healthy food within a block or two. A word to the wise: if you have to drive to get groceries, stock up!


The rest of the day went off without a hitch. While the program allows snacking if you are hungry, it is preferable to eat three healthy and filling meals instead. Some of the snacking cycle is in our heads. We get bored, or tired and think we need a snack. Sometimes we do, but often times we just need a glass of water or a cup of green tea and a diversion. Yesterday, I needed a snack.

Most Whole30 participants complain of headaches and low energy during the first week. This is a result of our bodies coming off of sugar, caffeine ( although coffee and tea are permitted, without dairy or sweeteners) and much of the excess junk that we previously consumed. My diet is not all that different on a daily basis, with the exception of dairy, mostly in the form of Greek yogurt, so I am hoping to bypass the hangover feeling that many people endure during days 2-7. Afterall, it was that hangover feeling that I got when I ate poorly that prompted me to try this. So far, I made it through a cycling class followed by a pilates class, so I guess I am doing fine.

Although the plan strongly urges you not to count calories or weigh yourself for 30 days, I recorded my food and exericise in my journal anyways, and discovered that even though I ate three healthy, balanced meals, my caloric intake was extremely low. Most experts advise eating at least 1200 calories per day, without exercise. Given that my workout burnt over 700 calories today, eating less than 700 calories can’t be good, so I treated myself to a little Monkey Salad. It is a paleo fruit salad, consisting of a sliced banana, a handful of cashews, and a liberal sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes. It is considered an acceptable indulgence since it uses approved foods, contains fruit, fat and protein, and doesn’t mimic something we are trying to avoid. It hit the spot, and could become a go-to. It also contained almost 300 calories, so it is important not to go crazy with it under normal circumstances. However, it drives home a good point: although Monkey Salad has as many calories as a cookie (or 2), or a bowl of ice cream or some chips, it is healthy, nutritious and contains no additives. ( Check the labels when buying coconut and cashews to make sure that is all that is listed on the ingredients. Sweetened, salted or preserved coconut is a big no-no.)

Day three brings no news, and if I continue to be home, without travel or social plans, this could be easy to sustain. It requires a lot of shopping, and chopping, but I know that I am not putting anything into my food that is against the rules. I love vegetables, so eating lots of them is fine. I am not longing for anything at this stage, but I am only a few days in. The weekend presents a challenge, when we typically eat out for brunch, and I indulge in a little wine and whatever at night. I am committed to NOT doing that this weekend.

Day 4 brings an ooops into the equation. In repurchasing a few things that I had on hand, I read the labels more carefully and low and behold, I have been using a few non-compliant items.

Srirachia contains sugar, a big no-no on this plan. The rules state that you must start over if you eat non-compliant foods, but there is no way I am going to go nuts over a tiny squirt of hot sauce that probably contained mere grains of sugar. But, speaking of nuts, Trader Joe’s roasts their cashews in rice bran oil. Yep, not on the list. Today I bought raw cashews, and will roast them myself, without any oil at all. While all of this sounds a bit extreme, the lesson here is to read labels carefully, and avoid packaged foods wherever possible. Freshly roasted nuts are delicous, and Tabasco sauce and Chola are both compliant, so I am not really giving up anything else here.

Whole 30’ers report feeling nasty and viscous on day 4, but so far, I don’t feel any malice towards anyone. I didn’t sleep as well as I should last night, so I am a little tired, but otherwise, all is normal. Many of the participants don’t workout, but I am keeping up with my workout schedule as usual. I guess the more detoxing you need to do, and the worse these first few days are. I don’t recommend going cold turkey on this plan, if your normal eating habits are poor. If you decide to do it, it might be best to start weening off the addictive foods on the list a bit before embarking on the full deal.

I am planning to invite a few friends over for Fourth of July dinner. I don’t mind making a dessert for them and not eating it, and I often serve meat to my family or guests that I don’t eat, but I would like to make all the side dishes compliant. With vegetarians in the mix, it will be a challenge to give them enough heft without dairy, beans, soy, grains or flour. Perhaps putting non-compliant ingredients on the side will be the answer. Check back for the verdict on how the holiday weekend went, temptations and all!!!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Spa Craze

January 9, 2013

The holidays are over, it’s a new year and a time to unwind and detox.

Here a just a few of the crazy spa treatments that are currently available to help you get all of your body parts looking and feeling their best.


Shizuka New York offers their special “Geisha Facial,”containing an unusual ingredient.

The spa’s founder, Shizuka Bernstein (I kid you not) was inspired by traditional Japanese geishas, who use nightingale droppings as a beauty treatment. The bird poop contains natural enzymes, which work to break down dead skin cells, and leave the complexion radiant.

Ms. Bernstein insists that the poop is fully sanitized before being milled into a fine powder and mixed with other ingredients.

The facial includes a facial oil massage, and a green tea collagen mask for a mere $180. For those on a limited budget, (and have a low gross out threshold) pigeon droppings are readily available in most areas of New York City, free of charge.

Once your face is taken care of, how about your nether regions?

The Yin-Ova Center offers a special treatment they call the V-Steam.

You guessed it; it’s a spa treatment for your vagina.

The traditional holistic method is often used to relieve painful menstrual periods, and frequent yeast infections.

A pot of boiling water infused with herbs is set beneath a stool, allowing the steam to penetrate the vagina, cervix and uterus, drawing out impurities. The client enjoys a short back, hand and foot massage while the steam works it’s magic.

At just $150 for the most awkward hour of your life, you get 2 steams with massage, and a full consultation.

Euphoria Spa offers a “Sweet Cheeks” treatment for the set you sit on.

The oft-neglected area gets treated to a fruit enzyme peel and a sugar scrub, leaving it soft, smooth and lifted. The minute treatment costs $75, and is perfect for those with unsightly butt breakouts.

Only in New York people, only in New York.

photo: Glasshouse Images


Natural Detoxifiers

January 3, 2013

It’s the beginning of a new year, and the end of the period of over-indulgence that spans from late November until early January. Before you do something dramatic, like start a juice cleanse, consider adding some of these naturally detoxifying foods to your diet.


Broccoli helps the body eliminate toxins while providing a healthy dose of vitamins.


Cucumbers are high in water content, and flush out the system.


Cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties, and is also an anti-oxidant.


Grapefruit is high in fiber, and helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones, and lower cholesterol. It is also a digestive aid.


Lentils are also high in fiber, which aids in elimination, as well as lowering blood sugar.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and selenium, which helps the liver filter toxins. They are also known to prevent arterial buildup.

Adding these foods to your diet will kick start a healthy eating plan for 2013!

photos: Glasshouse Images

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