Goodbye and Farewell…

This week is sadly my last at NOURISH. After working here for a year, it is now time to leave. I  will be moving down to Pomona, in Southern California, where my wife will start med school at Western University and I will chase my dream of working in the film industry (so if anyone has any contacts down there… I’m pretty sure Victor and Jocelyn will give me a good reference!)

I will take a lot away from my time at NOURISH. It is here that I enjoyed my first massage, learned a tonne about nutrition and the body, had the pleasure of meeting a plethora of wise and wonderful people, discovered a love for hummus, and received my first American paycheck!

I would like to thank Victor and Jocelyn for continually providing the flexibility and confidence that has allowed me to learn new skills and make the most of my time in Santa Cruz. Since walking through the door last May, I have felt very well taken care of and appreciated… they even let me wear my hat at work!

I will miss all the staff, everyone of you has made me smile in some way or other, and especially all the other receptionists who have been a great group of ladies to work with.

Finally, I msut say thank you to the lovely NOURISH clients and members.  In England and in the US I have worked several jobs, many of which have involved customer service, and I can honestly say that the clients at NOURISH have easily been the most pleasant and easy going. I think this is reflective of the atmosphere and ethos the center cultivates: NOURISH is a space of respect, warmth and commitment, and it has made for a great place to spend the larger part of my days and nights.

I wish you all a wonderful Santa Cruz summer, I will certainly be thinking of  Las Palmas Chile Verde burritos and walks on West Cliff, and I hope you have long and happy lives!

Ant

Cleanse Update: Fine Tuning

I wanted to open today by following up from my last blog and letting you know that the day after my champagne experience I felt much better. The sickness was short lived, but definitely apparent. In case you were worried 😉 Now back to the present day…

Just as I think everything is going well, I am totally wiped out today. Earlier I would have told you that things are going great and it feels as though I have settled into a routine, just cruising along. Today, however, I was incredibly tired. Although I am not fatigued anymore, I definitely require a full nights rest. If I do not get a good night sleep I am totally exhausted and need a nap. I just woke up from a long 3 hour nap, catching up from my long day yesterday and a short nights rest.

I wanted to mention a couple things regarding the transition into our Cleanse powders. As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the first week is essentially preparing your body to really cleanse with the powders and shakes. I guess it didn’t click with me that this could be an intense experience for some people, until today. One of my fellow cleansers was telling me that she had a severe day this past weekend (a couple days into our shakes) where she actually got sick and didn’t feel well detoxing the whole day. The negative aspects for me have only translated into a couple pimples in weird spots and requiring more sleep. For the most part I have been cruising along, but I understand now that it could be quite difficult depending on your previous detox level.

Another thing that I have heard has been difficult is incorporating the proper amounts of protein, whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners now that we have shakes that substitute afternoon snacks and make us not as hungry throughout the day. I have definitely noticed that unless I am really paying attention to my vegetable intake, it is easy to not eat enough in the day. Jocelyn has us preparing meals that include a “mostly carb” food, “mostly protein” food, and “mostly fat” food to keep us full and give us a well rounded diet and blood sugar level throughout. It has seemed, however, pretty easy to skip over the wide variety of vegetables and fruits that I used to intake because our meals are so small now. At any rate, you just have to be conscious and keep in mind that those still need to be eaten.

I am learning how to fine tune my shakes and staggering the fiber and greens powder throughout the day, rather than all at once like I was doing before. I am trying to be aware of my diet and exercise as well as continuing to drink lots of water. Jocelyn says that she would prefer us to have bowel movements twice a day, which I am not up to, but I am definitely regular. I have also lost 4 pounds thus far, which I am very happy about. All seems to be well up to this point. I will continue to update you with my ebbs and flows in the next couple days!

~Cassandra

Cleanse Update: Birthday Celebration

Hello again everyone, as the second day of our new shake regimen comes to a close I have quite a few things to update you on.

First of all, the shakes are great. They are really easy to take with you where ever you are (I had one on the road driving down to Santa Barbara today), taste delicious, and are easy to add into my current diet. I chose to have the strawberry flavor Paleomeal, which is essentially a protein powder with a multivitamin, as well as the berry flavored Paleofiber. Mixed with Organic Rice Milk it tastes like I just ate a big bowl of Special K with Strawberries cereal and am drinking the milk at the bottom :) really delicious.

For those of you who don’t know, our second phase of the cleanse is to in addition to our cleansing supplements that we have been taking, now add in: a cleanse powder, protein powder, fiber powder, and greens powder mixed with our chose of water, milk substitute or full on smoothie. We are supposed to have these shakes 2 or 3 times a day depending on what week in the cleanse we are at. Currently we are drinking two shakes a day.

I also wanted to update you on what happened with my birthday! Well I made it to my 24th year of life..I know, quite an accomplishment right? Anywho, the day was fabulous. I got a wonderful massage from Greg, one of our massage therapists, and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the sun. I ended up having a BBQ with a small group of friends and I was even surprised how easy it was to have a big meal with others and not really have to adjust anything around my diet. We grilled garlic herb chicken, lots of bright peppers, onions, tomatoes, as well as a combination of purple and sweet potatoes with garlic. It was SO good! My friends loved it and I was happy. I got to have pomegranate juice, sparkling water, and lemon in a wine glass and a yummy vegan, gluten free fruit cobbler from Staff of Life with birthday candles. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Now on the down side, I wanted to address what happens when you take your halo off and stray from the cleanse. Tonight, I had a wonderful evening out with one of my best friends since we were 11 years old. We haven’t seen each other in over a year and she took me out for a birthday dinner. The dinner was great, we had a long conversation catching up that worked out well. The problem was when our other friends, who I don’t remember the last time I saw, wanted to meet us out at the bars. I was very confident and just happy to be with close friends. Well, my friend whispered to the bar tender to pour me us small glasses of champagne for a celebratory cheers. Against my will I went a long with it, seeing that I hadn’t seen her in forever and it WAS my birthday after all. Half a glass of champagne later and people blowing cigarette smoke in my face and I felt HORRIBLE almost immediately. My lungs, stomach, and body feel so sick. I tried to drink a bunch of water on the way home, but it didn’t work very well. It is incredible how sensitive we become to toxins after being clean for even this long.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we are all human and as Jocelyn says, we live in the real world. We may occasionally slip up but I have certainly learned my lesson and my advise for other cleansers is, if you can avoid it, don’t stray (and stay away from places with smoke). It’s not worth it.

Until next time,

Cassandra

Cleanse Update: Week One Closing

Well with the first week almost under my belt I am feeling MUCH better. The fatigue and hunger cravings have gone away! I am sleeping very well and all bodily functions in check. I have been doing additional cleansing additives such as long Epsom salt baths and exfoliating in the shower, and plenty of exercise. I think today I am starting to really notice a difference. My skin is much softer and clear, my teeth have that silky “I’m healthy” feeling and I am starting to have enough energy to get a good work out in rather than just long walks and yoga.

Jocelyn was mentioning in our group meeting last week that we will be entering a “second phase” of cleansing after about the first week. I believe I have made it through my slump and am on the up and up!

I also had my half hour nutrition consultation with Jocelyn today that went great. I got some more tips on how to round out my diet. I am learning how to incorporate a variety of gluten free whole grains and some good snacking tips. She also gave me some wonderful options for a birthday celebration dessert. My birthday is on Thursday and although I am incredibly excited I am also still a little apprehensive. I am not sure if my friends are going to be responsive to a dinner made according to my new eating habits :) Oh Well! I am going to have a great time with or without dinner approval.

Our next meeting is tomorrow and we will be adding cleansing shakes and smoothies into our diets. I’ll let you know how it goes!

~Cassandra

Cleanse Update: Gluten Free??

Well hello everyone, just as I promised I would like to fill you in on what the first couple days of Jocelyn’s Spring Cleanse are like.

I knew for the most part what I was getting myself into, I guess I just didn’t realize how much of what I ate included things that you are NOT supposed to eat on this 28 day cleanse. For those of you who are not aware, you are required to be caffeine free (aside for the almighty green tea), alcohol free, dairy free, gluten free, processed sugar free, no red meat…I feel like I should be saying etc. but I believe that is it. Now as Jocelyn so delicately put it “enough of all the things you CAN’T have and more for what you CAN have”. The list of what you can seems much longer than than ones you can not: EVERY kind of delicious fruits and vegetables, brown rice and brown rice based items, corn (tortillas, polenta, blue corn chips, etc.), any other gluten free grain, poultry, fish, lamb, eggs, beans, nuts, I could go on and on. I realized it’s really not that difficult to find substitutes for all the stuff you might be missing all over Santa Cruz!

A challenge that I faced on my first day of the cleanse was eying those delicious Greens + bars that I know we all love so much, as my stomach is growling sitting at the reception desk. I was reluctant to ask the dreaded question, can I eat these? Of course Jocelyn’s answer was that they had gluten in them. After my mini temper tantrum I grabbed a Chocolate Almond Paleobar (Coconut Almond also OK) and to my surprise was totally satisfied. They tasted great! To all those Greens + fanatics who are looking for a vegan or gluten free option I totally recommend it. Don’t be cautious.

I have noticed that I am a little bit tired, which also could be explained by lack of sleep, but not doubt exacerbated by detoxing. I am also still adjusting to my smaller portion size, which is making me a bit hungry in the afternoons. Thanks to Jocelyn, however, she is giving us all tips for eating well and keeping to our regular schedule and general habits. For example Saturday morning pancake breakfasts.

I believe that the most precious quality of the cleanse is that we are working as a group. Being a part of everyday NOURISH life as a member of the staff I see our clients who are also participating walking in and out occasionally. I always get encouragement and recipe suggestions as well as good food finds around town. It is great to know that we are all in this together. Sharing our experiences and challenges and triumphs and being able to maybe add another healthy snack into your regiment is what this is all about. Making new friends and creating a healthy community for the long run.

I am very much enjoying this so far and aside from the drowsiness and mild hunger while I find my adjustment, it’s been great. I have been a little tempted by my friends eating habits, but I stuck to it and I am down one pound (according to my scale). The first couple days are almost over!

Stick with me, I still have 25 more days and many more events to brave through.

~Cassandra

Spring Cleanse Approaching!

healthy-eating-300Well the warm weather has finally arrived (for good this time I hope) and Jocelyn’s Spring Cleanse is approaching. I am sure everyone has heard word of it around our studio…28 days of detoxifying magic. As maybe only a few of you know, I am going to be participating in the cleanse along side a hand full of our other brave clients.

Now, I am not sure what 28 days means to you, but to me this seems like a long time! I have to say I am a little nervous for the full commitment. For those of us who have experienced Jocelyn’s work in the past I know I am in good hands and it most likely won’t be as challenging as my nerves are anticipating. Many things are rolling through my mind, as I’m sure the others participating have their own lists of apprehensions. My list runs something like this: what is my birthday going to be like falling right smack in the middle, as well as my boyfriend’s birthday? What is my trip home to visit my parents and friends going to be like? What am I going to do going to the Castroville Artichoke Festival for the first time and not be able to experience it to the fullest? These things seem quite difficult to navigate around.

What I do know is that I have spent a month under Jocelyn’s care before (for a trial month of Unlimited Nutrition) and somehow when you are in the middle of something that is so beneficial to your body and overall health, it doesn’t seem like such an obstacle. You don’t seem to mind that you are maybe not eating all the cake you would have liked before or indulging in a cocktail after dinner for celebration. Those things seem to fall away and are replaced with the good feelings of sleeping well, losing weight, looking great in those old jeans or swim suit, having an incredible amount of energy to enjoy the day and spend that time doing other things that make you happy. There are endless benefits that I have to say I am looking forward to. This can be my best birthday present yet.

Starting this Wednesday, May 12th, I will be blogging about my experience every other day for those who are interested in knowing the details of what it means to participate in Jocelyn’s 28 day cleanse. Please follow me as I approach and conquer my challenges and come out (hopefully) a changed woman!

~Cassandra (Receptionist)

Happy Mothers’ Day!

mystery-called-life-mother[1]Always the requests to post the playlists. Here are the Mothers’ Day mixes from Saturday. Word to your mother!

Vinyasa at 10:00
They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) Sting Nothing Like The Sun 
Shaking The Tree Peter Gabriel Feat. Youssou N’Dour Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats 
Freedom Richie Havens Resume: The Best of Richie Havens
Mother Father Dave Matthews Band Everyday
No Woman No Cry Bob Marley & The Wailers LIVE!
Your Mother Should Know The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen Queen Greatest Hits I
Woman John Lennon The John Lennon Collection
Great Grandmother India.Arie Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationships
Mother Pink Floyd The Wall [Disc 1]
Mothers Of The Disappeared U2 The Joshua Tree
Woman’s Gotta Have It James Taylor In The Pocket 
Mother Nature’s Son The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2] 
Mother’s Maiden Name Ben Carroll Lover Undercover
Woman’s Work Tracy Chapman Matters Of The Heart 
Four Women Nina Simone Anthology
A Child Is Born Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again
Sylvie Sweet Honey In the Rock Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly
Beautiful Me’Shell Ndegeocello Bitter

Beginning at Noon

They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) Sting Nothing Like The Sun 
Shaking The Tree Peter Gabriel Feat. Youssou N’Dour Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats 
Freedom Richie Havens Resume: The Best of Richie Havens
Your Mother Should Know The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen Queen Greatest Hits I
Woman John Lennon The John Lennon Collection
Great Grandmother India.Arie Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationships
Mother Pink Floyd The Wall [Disc 1]
Mothers Of The Disappeared U2 The Joshua Tree
Woman’s Gotta Have It James Taylor In The Pocket 
Mother Nature’s Son The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2] 
Mother’s Maiden Name Ben Carroll Lover Undercover
Woman’s Work Tracy Chapman Matters Of The Heart 
Four Women Nina Simone Anthology
A Child Is Born Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again
Sylvie Sweet Honey In the Rock Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly
Beautiful Me’Shell Ndegeocello Bitter

Victor

Some Thoughts on Breast Cancer

Today I worked at the reception desk during Jocelyn’s Fight Cancer with Your Fork: The Breast Cancer Edition today.  As I sat listening to Jocelyn, I got to thinking about how breast cancer affects all of our lives.

Breast cancer is a disease that has affected so many people I know, and so many people can say the same thing.  One of my mom’s best friends is still recovering from reconstructive surgery after her double mastectomy.  A dear friend of mine has a grandmother who was taken by breast cancer.  The most important personal example I have is my best friend, whose grandmother died from the disease.  She also watched her mother undergo treatment, and thankfully survive, when she was only 9 and 10 years old.

Her greatest fear in life is to get breast cancer.  I know this all to well because in what was possibly one of her least dignified moments (a rather horrifying senior year of high school night of debauchery as documented so well in so many trashy movies), she screamed and sobbed at me, the trusty designated driver.  As I held her in my arms (having secured a large pot nearby in case anything but words came pouring out of her mouth), I repeated, “No, you won’t get breast cancer.  Just think of the advances in medicine they’ll have!.”  Of course, I had no way of guaranteeing any of that. But I can hope that the support that this cause has accrued and the huge amount of attention it gets can result in something – research, treatments, and maybe someday a cure.

Does that make it more important than other cancers or diseases?  Of course not.  But there are so many faces, for all of us, that we can put to this disease.  Breast cancer can touch our mothers, our sisters, our friends, that neighbor who doesn’t work in her garden, and women we work with.  When I think of the fight against breast cancer, I think of the women who have already fought and survived.  I think of their struggles with a disease that is capable not only of taking our lives, but of taking a part of us that we see as a defining feature of being a woman.  I think of my best friend as a little girl, and all the little girls like her, who watched as her mother went through hell to survive for her.  I think of her now, as a 22 year old, waiting for the inevitable diagnosis that she (and I) hope never comes.

For these women, I ask that we all do something to help.  It doesn’t have to be much.  I certainly won’t be making any million dollar donations any time soon.  Walk in your local Race for the Cure, donate as much as you can to one of the fine research organizations out there (such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation or Susan G. Komen for the Cure), or pass on any information, like nutrition facts from Jocelyn, you might hear about prevention to a friend.  Do it now so that hopefully someday no one else will have to.

Finally – good luck to our clients Kristin Larkin and Zoe Williams, who will be walking 39 miles in two days in the San Francisco Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!

– Kate

Yoga Defined

There are so many people practicing yoga these days. But what exactly is yoga? There are many forms of yoga and countless “styles” of hatha yoga. Here are some definitions that I find useful. I hope you will too.

“Patanjali defines yoga as a multifaceted method of bringing consciousness to a state of stillness.” – Chip Hartranft, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning to bind, join, attach, and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply.” – B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga

“It [yoga] means the disciplining of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will, which that yoga presupposes; it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.” – Mahadev Desai, The Gita According to Gandhi

“Work alone is your priviledge, never the fruits thereof. Never let the fruits of action be your motive; and never cease to work. Work in the name of the lord, abandoning selfish desires. Be not affected by succes or failure. This equipoise is called yoga.” – Bhagavad Gita

“When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. This steady control of the senses and mind has been defined as yoga. Who attains it is free from delusion.” – Kathopanishad

“The meaning of yoga is union, the bringing together of the various polarities within, in order to reach a state of balance and transcend our limited vision.” – Swami Radha, Hatha Yoga The Hidden Language

“Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.” – Erich Schiffmann, The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness

“The Sanskrit word yoga means union, although reunion is perhaps closer to actual usage. Reunion implies a reconnection of factors earlier joined but subsequently separated.” – Raeburn Heimbeck, Ph.D.

“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” – K. Pattabhi Jois

“Whether you are sick or weak, young, old or even very old, you can succeed in yoga if you practice diligently.” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

“Yoga is a systematic technology to improve the body, understand the mind, and free the spirit.” Timothy McCall, M.D., Yoga As Medicine

“Yoga means acting in such a way that all of our attention is directed toward the activity in which we are currently engaged. Yoga attempts to create a state in which we are always present – really present – in every action, in every moment.” – T.K.V. Desikachar

Enjoy!

Victor