Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Another Eat Healthy Challenge Bites the Dust

This is my fourth Eat Healthy Challenge and I’m not ready for it to be over. How can today mark the 28th day, the end, when I feel like we’re just getting started? On the other hand, it’s hard to believe I’ve spent 112 days, more than 30% of my time out of this last year on this Challenge. Having spent this much time completely clean—without hydrogenated / processed foods, sugar, white flour, caffeine, dairy and alcohol—how do I feel you ask? Amazing! I feel healthier than ever. I feel grounded and stable, energetic and full of life, clear-minded and sharp, strong and sure … and thin. That’s right—I feel thin.

Another thing I’ve noticed is these Challenges get easier with experience. I spent the first three withdrawing from caffeine for the first two weeks. It seems I’m a slow leaner. I knew I was committed to putting myself through these Challenges every three months for 28 days, but would rush right back to my coffee routine the day after each Challenge ended. Big mistake! Sure enough, three months later, I was in another bout of coffee withdrawal torture. After the May Challenge, I decided to limit my intake to one dreamy soy latte per week. Of course, the one crept up to about three per week by the beginning of this current challenge, but I stuck to the “ultimate why bother”; a one-shot, decaf, soy latte and didn’t experience any withdrawal symptoms. Instead, I experienced the positive side effects from the Eat Healthy Challenge immediately.

Also this time around, I didn’t encounter my usual cheese envy. Friends would eat their camembert and aged cheddar and I wasn’t at all disturbed. Everything in my system is flowing magically and I’m feeling trimmer than ever. I attribute this, in part, to the lack of cheese in my current routine. I’m going to try to limit the cheese from now on … however, we do have reservations at a restaurant that serves fresh-pulled, warm mozzarella this Thursday. I said limit, not eliminate.

As for my third regular indulgence—wine and beer—I’m beginning to see the absolute benefit in us taking time off from each other. Sometimes in taking long vacations from those we love, we begin to see their true colors. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a heavy drinker and I’m certainly not a lush. But truth be told, I feel better—less bloated, clear-headed, not stuffed up, digestively more fit and all around lighter—when I’m not hanging out with Mr. and Mrs. Alcohol. This being said, please promise you won’t judge me if you see me flirting with them in the near future. What I’m learning is I actually like socializing without them. They’re going to be invited out less often from now on.     

Congratulations to all you Healthy Junkies who participated (on all levels and for any length of time). Remember, if my schedule doesn’t suit you and you want to begin this Challenge at a different moment, great! Use the facebook page or blog if you need encouragement or just want to comment and feel connected.

The next Eat Healthy Challenge begins January 3rd, 2011.


Why Cleanse – Part 2 of 2

After posting Why Cleanse – Part 1 a few days ago, I felt a little better.  The knowledge that The Community Cleanse is helping my body move away from a more acid environment, into a more balanced state, kept me sane at last night’s dinner party.  Not once did I snatch and chug the wine from the non-cleansers wine glasses.   But it never hurts to be further reminded because sometimes I still wonder – why the heck am I avoiding all this again? 

We eliminate sugar from the diet, in all its forms including; cane sugar, glucose, fructose, corn syrup and others, to allow the body a break from artificial energy.  White sugar is void of all nutrients and has to steal vitamins and minerals from the body to be metabolized.  See, White Sugar – Hazardous so Beware.  See, The Fake, The Sweet, The Goat, and The “Chips” for a complete list of names for “sugar”.

Coffee is acidic and can irritate the stomach lining.  It pumps excess adrenaline into the blood that can result in tension, irritation and mood swings.  Regular intake of caffeine can lead to a deficiency of calcium and B vitamins in the body.  See, Coffee Break.  

Most every cleanse involves eliminating dairy.  Dairy’s a difficult food for most of us to digest and if we’re unable to digest a food, the vitamins and minerals are not available for our cells to utilize.  Dairy can also create chronic inflammation, digestive issues, bloating, gas, pain and mucus build up.  According to the book Allergies Disease in Disguise by Carolee Bateson-Koch DC ND, “Milk is the number one allergic food.  An estimated thirty-three million Americans are allergic to milk.”  See, Dairy – Oh Cheese, I’m Going to Miss you.

For all of us gum chewers or diet-food eaters, aspartame and sucralose are highly toxic and should never be used as a sugar replacement.  Aspartame is known to increase nervous system dysfunction and promote multiple sclerosis, birth defects and many different types of cancers.  Aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde in the body and alters cellular DNA.  Best to avoid this one on and off the cleanse.  See, The Fake, The Sweet, The Goat, and The “Chips”.

Now for my favorite – alcohol, equals fun.  Unfortunately there are a few negatives when discussing alcohol.  One glass of wine (five ounces), one beer (twelve ounces), or one glass of hard liquor (one ounce) doesn’t seem to have an impact.  But ingesting three or more glasses can depress our immune systems by depleting the number of white blood cells and killer t-cells in our systems.  Not so fun!  How many ounces in my martini?  Alcohol is also acidic and can cause stomach problems, cankers and chronic acid reflux.  Excessive consumption, three or more drinks imbibed often (like many nights of the week) may result in nutritional deficiencies.  This is the main reason I take supplements – kidding! 

Again I’m reminded about why I’m cleansing and forcing myself to take a break.  I get to put a little distance between me and some of my “habits” like coffee, cane sugar inspired brownies, and cheese.  After all it’s not like our stored wines are going to go bad in four weeks. 

Happy cleansing!

Oh No – It’s The Weekend!

Yay, it’s the weekend, time to have fun!  But wait, I’m on a cleanse.  What can we do over the next weekends to stay away from the temptations of alcohol, coffee, alcohol, dairy, alcohol, non-cleanse friendly foods, and alcohol?  Sounds like I’m staying in!  

For some of us this weekend is going to be the real test.  Let’s face it, most social events revolve around drinking.  Many of us have rarely been in a situation where we’re not partaking in the exercise of raising mugs or wine glasses to our own lips-even if only in sips of complete moderation.  It may take courage for us to believe we’ll continue to be fun and exciting without the loosening effects of alcohol.  This can be uncomfortable.  If we have committed to The Community Cleanse, we can’t allow ourselves to fail without even trying to get to know ourselves in social situations without alcohol.  Maybe, I’m speaking for myself here, but it can be a real struggle to hang out with the same friends and family in homes, out at bars, in restaurants, or at wine events.  It’s not the fact that they’re drinking, it’s that we’re not drinking.  So, if any of this rings true for you, here are some tricks to make it through the weekends:

  1. Give yourself a chance to interact without alcohol or any other usual, habitual non-cleanse friendly substance or food.
  2. Go out!!!  Go for coffee, but have an herbal tea.  Go out for a drink, but have Perrier.
  3. Tell restaurant servers you are looking for meals without sugar, dairy, and white flour.
  4. Tell your friends and family, prior to going over for a meal, that you are on a cleanse and offer to bring a contributing dish that’s cleanse friendly.
  5. At home or other people’s houses, drink bubbly water with POM-pomegranate juice in a wine glass or martini glass.  It’s delicious and pomegranates are super high in antioxidants.  This will make you feel like you’re drinking too.  It’s amazing how much of the discomfort comes from us not feeling like we’re a part of the group.
  6. All bars have options.  When out, drink pineapple juice, bubbly water with lime, soda water with lemon, pure grapefruit juice, or orange juice.

Happy weekend cleansers!  I have to go and get ready for the wine event I’m going to this afternoon.  I think I’ll have a Perrier and POM martini to “loosen” me up before I head out.