Better late than never- time for something new

Friday the 18th was my last day of my gluten free 30 day challenge and I noticed a few changes by the end of it all: my skin cleared up a little bit (not 100%, but at least progress is being made), my mood lifted drastically and I wasn’t getting sick. On day 31, I binged a little and I felt horrible. I had gluten free pizza (which is gluten free but still not good for you), bread sticks (definitely not gluten free), and 2 packages of these little whole foods halloween oreo cookies (so 4 cookies in total). I felt awful. My nose was stuffed, I had a headache, I was EXTREMELY tired and my mood was low.

I don’t think that it necessarily is the gluten that affects me so much, but just what gluten foods usually contain. Foods that contain gluten are usually refined bread items with cheese and oil slathered all over them. They are also filling foods so it’s easy to replace something healthier for these unhealthful options. I don’t believe that I am gluten intolerant, nor will I totally give up on gluten foods, but now I know how these foods affect me so I want to stay away from them.

Now that this challenge is over, I am attempting a second challenge to try and totally clear up any other issues that I have been having. It’s called the “Clean Program” by Dr. Junger. Its basically a long cleanse/detox to get rid of all the toxic build up from every day sources such as air pollution, cleaning chemicals, and chemicals/hormones in food. It’s a whole body experience because not only will I be changing my diet for 21 days, but I will also participate in daily meditation, dry brushing, yoga (3x/week including my other workouts), and mindful, positive thinking. I am really excited to start this one because I have heard so many great things and I am ready to invite more health and happiness into my life.

The cleanse will go from November 1-21st. I invite anyone to participate in the cleanse with me as well and to post about their daily experiences.

Check the cleanse out online at www.cleanprogram.com or read the book (which has a lot more information and I found more useful) called “Clean”. The cleanse is meant for busy, every day people and shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to do! Look it up, get some information on it, and try it out! You never know, it may just change your life.

*As a side note, the website sells the supplements and protein powders that he suggests for the cleanse, but you don’t have to use these. I’m using my own supplements from brands that I trust and I’m also choosing to not use protein powder, but instead use flax and hemp seed (which are high in protein). You can definitely use these items that he sells and I’m sure that it would be more convenient, but you don’t have to use them.

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DAY 23: dessert

Desserts are good for your soul and can be good for your body also. Especially when this is your dessert:

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This is a giant raw peanut butter cup made with organic cacao, coconut oil, almond butter maple syrup, almond flower, and sea salt. I also paired it with a gingeraide kombucha. Very refreshing and a healthy dessert to follow my lentil soup and salad dinner.
I did hot yoga right before dinner and walked over to the coop and picked up those little delicacies! Dessert can be tasty, healthy and guilt free and this is proof!!

DAY 21: raw kale salad

9 more days until my gluten free challenge is up! I have noticed that I have more energy which is great. I’ve also been doing a lot more yoga and tonight I’m doing hot yoga! Yoga has inspired me to become even more “clean” in my eating and overall lifestyle. Tonight, I’m having a raw kale salad with a baked sweet potato for dinner.

Raw Kale Salad
One head of green kale
One avocado
One lemon
1/2 can of black pitted olives

Clean and chope the kale and put into a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from an entire lemon into the kale. Cut open and take out the whole avocado and put it into the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze the mixture together until the avocado covers all of the kale pieces. Cut the olives in half and put into the salad.
Enjoy!

This salad uses the avocado and lemon as dressing and the olives as a natural form of salt.
It’s a great healthy side dish to any meal.
The longer you let the mixture sit, the more tender the kale becomes because the acid in the lemon breaks down the fibers. So if you want, you can make it a couple hours early and let it sit in the fridge.

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DAY 19: another challenge

My long time family friends, the Curry’s, completed a cleanse over the summer and told me about the program that they followed. I’m no stranger to cleanses myself. I’ve done juice cleanses and raw food cleanses (which I think are amazing), but this one was a little different.
They got the program from the book Clean by Alejandro Junger, MD. The book focuses on everyday toxins that your body comes into contact with and how this explains many of today’s diseases.

I bought the book yesterday and already a I am 100 pages into it. Until last year, I had a clear complexion and plenty of energy. When I moved to Arizona to go to school I began to eat a lot less healthy (mostly due to my boyfriends eating habits and me adopting them). I’m active, so I didn’t notice any weight gain, but I did notice that I became sad and I would break out a lot. That’s why I took the 30 day gluten free challenge (today’s day 19!). I noticed that my mood has lifted but my zits have not.
So I’m going to try out this 21 day cleanse and see if my body needs a little reboot! That will be my next challenge once my gluten free challenge is up!

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DAY 18: dinner

Tonight I made shepherds pie with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. Sweet potatoes have more nutrients than regular potatoes plus more flavor!

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All you do is boil one sweet potato with 3 cloves garlic until tender.
While that is cooking, pour some oil in a pan and cook two chopped celery, one chopped carrot, one chopped yellow onion and cook for five minutes. Add chopped string beans and frozen peas. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth, one tablespoon tomato paste, salt and a teaspoon thyme. Simmer for five minutes.
Drain the sweet potatoes and mash it with milk, salt and pepper.
Pour the vegetables into a baking dish and top it with the mashed sweet potatoes.
Put it into a 400 degree preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes!