We did it! 28 Days!

Tonight was the final meeting, and the end of the 28th and final day of cleansing as a participant in Nourish’s Spring Cleanse. It was fun and inspiring to listen to the hurdles and successes of others in the group. It reminded me how elemental eating is. It also reminded me how eating is one of the things that brings us closer together in the most obvious ways, such as when we sit down to a meal with friends or family. Or when we make choices about the food that we share with our friends and family when we’re hosting a dinner party or filling the family refrigerator with healthy options for everyone. What we don’t often do is come together as a group to casually discuss our experience with food. I found this part of the cleanse process affirming, encouraging, and enriching.

I’m prone to taking issues around healthy dietary choices to the extreme; My husband might call me a food Nazi, insisting on the benefits of this and that, being particular about where we eat dinner out, and insisting my children finish their vegetables. But I also love an indulgence here or there (probably more here than there!) In my opinion the way we eat makes a strong statement about how we feel about ourselves and our precious, oh-so-temporary life. Those of us with a choice (how fortunate we are) are making a statement about how we feel about ourselves, not just physically but psychologically, and in some cases spiritually, every time we take a bite. When we choose to put all of those strange and delicious substances into our mouths we are choosing based on hunger, but also from a place of emotion, desire, and self-esteem, as reward or punishment, out of fatigue or convenience, with mindfulness or without. If our inside and our outside experiences are indeed related, then it would follow that when we choose to take an active role in taking care of our insides with something so foundational as how we eat , our outlook on the world around us will change inevitably. Being a part of a group willing to and interested in exploring the possibility of making such a shift —in some cases a dramatic shift—was absolutely inspiring.

I send thanks to the others in the group who shared their questions and stories with us tonight. Also, thank you Jocelyn for sharing your insight, knowledge, and wisdom. And finally, thanks for reading!

Valerie Moselle

The Final 4 (Days Cleansing)

Well, I’m down to the last few days. I have to say, I feel pretty great. I’m sleeping better (except when the kids wake me up), I’m down a few pounds, my energy is great, and I don’t miss tea. I don’t know how I could possibly not miss tea, but I just don’t. It will be nice to be able to have an espresso every now and again, and to enjoy a cup of tea here and there, but I have no intention of going back to my habit. I feel liberated. It’s nice not to be a slave to caffeine anymore. Also, I’ve replaced that habit with fresh ginger, lemon, and cayenne in hot water with a touch of Agave syrup. So now, when I’m enjoying my hot beverage, I also know I’m supporting my circulation and decreasing inflammation —tending to my various aches and pains. Not that I wasn’t conscious of nutrition and my diet before, it’s just nice to feel like all my food and beverage is…for the absolute lack of a better word….Nourishing me.

I feel like I made it gracefully through all the little humps and hurdles. Today I was at a pizza and cake birthday party for a 3-year-old friend in a park. I had to scramble out of the house in a hurry without much thought as to what I’d eat for lunch. I packed a paleobar (allowed) in my purse in case there was nothing I could eat. I remembered there had been veggies and hummus last year, and thought that would be fine. There was no hummus, which would have been nice; but I ate big plate of salad —sadly I had to skip the dressing because it had gorgonzola— and my bar. I felt plenty satisfied. I’m not saying the pizza didn’t smell incredible…because it did…but not indulging in it felt fine too. There is something about having committed to cleansing that makes all those moments of choice making easier. Eating pizza or cake just wasn’t an option today. I think I might not be so easily satisfied next week.

I’m looking forward to thinking about what I want my diet to look like over the coming months. I really liked the 4-5 small meals rhythm. It felt much more natural than my usual 3 squares and a snack around 3PM…maybe because my snack no longer included a daily indulging in dark chocolate and a cup of black tea, so that just feels better anyway. (Believe me, I have nothing against chocolate. I love it too much!) I’m also interested in reducing wheat and dairy on a more regular basis. I eat mostly whole grains, with the exception of pasta and the occasional french bread with soup or pizza on occasion. I would like to do more research on the more subtle effects of wheat, gluten, and dairy. Research has been coming out on wheat’s inflammatory effects on the joints for example. I’m curious if the studies looked at whole grains vs. refined, etc… I have never been particularly sensitive to any of them, and don’t suffer from any allergies or other sensitivities. Though I haven’t missed wheat, I can’t say I’ve felt much different off of it on the cleanse either. It will be interesting to pow wow with Jocelyn on these subjects Wednesday night: Our final meeting and the last day of the our detox!

Valerie Moselle

Some Info on the Supplements

I am an alternatively inspired skeptic of alternative medicine.  I believe in all sorts of ‘out there’ kinds of things.  I speak of chakras, believe in ghosts, buy organic, and set intentions with a capital ‘I’.  The psycho-spiritual, bio-energetic teachings of yoga are right up my alley.  I used to work in a vegetarian restaurant behind a juice bar and touted the benefits of wheat grass, spirulina, and bee pollen.  I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, and raw.  I’ve fasted, enema-ed and I’ve peeled.

I birthed my babies at home and have stood on my soapbox and preached natural childbirth to anyone who will listen.  At first I was inspired by Western Medicine’s seeming insistence on invading my body with drugs, appalled by staggering C-Section rates.  Later I became  absolutely armed with every evidence-based reason to avoid most things medical around birth (given an healthy pregnancy) and this feels better.  You can see my leanings.

I also feel that we (humans) tend towards adolescence in many things.  We are bright, forward-thinking, creative, beings who are also easily fooled, sloppy, indulgent, and self-centered if given the slightest chance.  I have been on earth long enough now to have watched alternative fads come and go.  I have been one of those who jump on the bandwagon of things recommended by friends who’ve seen ‘results’, only to feel like a fool later.  Now, in my dawning middle age, I am an ever more sophisticated fan of science.  Especially when science supports my leanings.  And I’m no longer willing,  to believe every little study.  These days I’m a skeptic, and I want to see peer reviews analyzed by an expert representing an organization I trust.  You see, I have never been taught to read studies (few have), so I know I need someone to interpret results for me.

I’m tired of being convinced I’m not ‘whole’ or ‘healthy’ by a supplement industry that is now largely owned by pharmaceutical companies.  And I’m not interested in spending my money on the illusion of  ‘wellness’.  I thoroughly enjoyed Ben Goldachere’s book Bad Science.  It’s a touch extreme, but a great read if you appreciate a little sarcasm.  I’m telling you all this so you can get an idea about the healthy skepticism I hold for many things alternative these days.  I know science isn’t perfectly unbiased nor accurate, and I know in general, almost always, ‘more studies need to be done’ about almost everything ‘alternative’.  But as far as I can tell, it’s the best thing we have from which to make decisions.  Especially about what to put in our bodies, and what to avoid.  I tested Jocelyn a lot during my first consultation with her.  I wanted to know that she hadn’t been hoodwinked by the snake-oil salespeople.   And, probably much to her annoyance, I am always asking about the science behind what she’s recommending.

I thought you might appreciate this video about the supplement company that Jocelyn carries at Nourish.  They are the makers of the shakes and pills that have been supporting my poor old liver in this detoxification.  They made the video, so I am not presenting you with an unbiased look at the company by any means.  But I’m optimistic.  I’m happy enough to leave the tough questions to Jocelyn. I know she does her homework.

Valerie Moselle

The Last 10 Days

I have been amazed and impressed at how ‘gentle’ (to use Jocelyn’s word) this cleanse has been.  It has been easy to follow, and with the shakes my daily eating routines have been simplified.  There are, of course, those moments when everyone I’m with wants to go out to eat and I have restrictions, or when I go over to someone’s house for dinner.  Yesterday was the first day I found myself counting down to the last day; and the reason is that I’m starting to enjoy the shakes less.  I’m going to write Jocelyn for suggestions (she encourages contact by email or phone whenever we feel the need, which is a nice service to offer on her part).  For me the thing that’s getting to me is the sweet.  They’re not all that sweet, but they’re mildly sweet, and twice a day.  I’m starting to get the feeling I used to get when I worked at the cookie shop in College.  I stopped wanting to eat cookies.  At all.  Actually, going into the shake (when I’m hungry) feels OK.  But afterwords I’m left feeling a little sweeted out.

I’ll keep you posted.

Valerie Moselle

More than 1/2 Way Through

Cleansing away…I am.  I’m more than 1/2 way through now.  My body seems to have stabilized on the shakes, with a little dietary adjusting from Jocelyn resulting in less general gas.  I was just starting to get into the rhythm of things when I came down with a little GI virus.  It seems to be passing relatively quickly.  But I’ve been feeling pretty crummy the last couple of days.

Some of the others on the cleanse are clients of Jocelyn’s with weight loss as one of their overall nutritional goals.  I started the cleanse at a comfortable weight for me.  So weight loss has not been one of my personal goals, but I thought you might be interested to know it seems like I’ve been losing about 1-2 lbs. per week.  During my consultation with Jocelyn this week we talked about what my caloric intake should be with regards to my particular nutritional needs, level of physical activity, and goals with regard to weight (which are to maintain).  She prescribed the number of calories I should eating in each of my 4-5 small meals/day and it seems in that first week or two of cleansing I was probably under-eating.   That sounds great, because I haven’t been feeling hungry, or like I’m missing out on the foods I love.  But I’m happy to eat more too!  Probably just cutting out the ‘discretionary’ eating I was doing was enough to lower my calorie intake to weight loss levels.  (Eating out of boredom, feeling munchy, after dinner snacking, chocolate…etc…).   And…honestly, I’m happy to let go of a few of those pounds.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the types of food choices I’m making on the cleanse don’t feel that restrictive to me.  I eat a lot of whole grains, meals without bread, cheese or red meat, tons of vegetables, alternatives to sugar, and I restrict alcohol in my diet anyway.  So for me the process of letting go of a different way of eating hasn’t been so dramatic.  I’m not the best example compared to someone who has maintained a very different way of eating.  Shifting to the shakes as meal replacements has been challenging though.  Not because the shakes are gross, or I’m not feeling full or good after I  drink them.  But more because it just feels weird to survive on foods that come in powder form out of plastic tubs.  I am aware of the purpose of them and their role in supporting my body in the cleanse, but they’re sweet enough, and of a texture and flavor (I chose Vanilla and Chocolate…Berry is also available) that psychologically makes me feel like I’m not doing the best thing for my body.

You could surely survive on these things —balanced nutrition in a cup.  They have adequate proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat plus omegas-3s, greens, and fiber, as well as the herbs, amino acids, and other complexes that support liver function.  Along with a multivitamin I’m guessing one’s body could function quite happily on little else.  But I have to say, there is something about preparing wholesome food for yourself, and sitting down to savor it that makes me feel happy.  I am blessed to live in a place where I have access to  a variety of organic, mostly local, mostly unprocessed, usually fresh, whole foods.  (I spend a fair amount of money on groceries for this privilege).  These foods look and taste like they came directly and recently from the earth.  They have all the flavors, colors, and textures of nourishment.  And though I still get to eat them twice a day now, I can’t wait until I can let go of the scientific concoctions in my blender, and get back to those other glorious meals.

Valerie Moselle

Cruising Right Along…No Caffeine!

Today is day 8 of the 28 day Cleanse I’ve been doing under the very impressive tutelage of Jocelyn.  Boy, does she know her stuff.  I made it through the first week with very little discomfort.  I haven’t really been missing the sugar or the wheat.  Which is surprising because, though I know it doesn’t make me feel great my very favorite food is probably a pastry…any really good buttery pastry.  I don’t eat them very often, but I would eat them several times a day if I could without any repercussions.

I can’t believe I waited until the second paragraph to brag that I am off caffeine.  The slow weaning was painless after that first day, and yesterday was my first day with 0 caffeine, probably since I was pregnant with my first baby 6 years ago.  (I had a cup of tea each day with my second pregnancy…less paranoid, I guess).  I have to say it feels good.  I even contemplated continuing without the caffeine after the cleanse…which did not sound interesting to me a week ago!  My energy is fine, and I’m not even missing the ritual.  Of course, it’s been replaced with another one.  Tubs of powders to mix together with water or alternative milks into a thick, off greenish sludge resembling a shake.  Twice a day.  They’re a little bit salty and a little bit sweet.  Quite filling.  Satisfying even.  I like eating food better.

One more thing:  I have gas.  It must be the shakes…or maybe I’m detoxing.  My house is aromatic, and my family is giggling a lot.  Sorry everybody.  I hope it resolves before my class tomorrow.  It better not be not too crowded!

Stay tuned!  Valerie Moselle

Cleansing

Cleansing…Ahhhhhhh…  All right…my cleansing diary begins.  Here we go!

I’m participating in Jocelyn’s spring cleanse.  It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been able to do something like this because I was breastfeeding up until last week!  Ha!  So I jumped on board Jocelyn’s program…knowing that if I let this train go I’d be unlikely to hop on another any time soon.  I am ever curious about nutrition and the workings of the body.  I am also a skeptic around ‘wellness lore’ that hasn’t been adequately studied, because I’m wary of the financial motivations of the wellness industry.  So I probably wouldn’t have done this kind of thing through anybody else.  Thanks Jocelyn!

I’ve made it through the weekend.  I have to say I’m making it sound a little more dramatic than it’s actually been.  My first day I ate too little, and drank too little of the 2 cups of black tea I’m extremely attached to.  I wound up with a throbbing headache and that nauseous feeling I get when I eat too little.  In the middle of the night I woke with the headache, and the realization that despite my careful listening, I had failed to follow Jocelyn’s instructions.

I usually eat 3 square meals and a snack (and sometimes dessert).  So even though I heard Jocelyn say we were to eat 4-5 small meals…she held up her hands in the shape of a small bowl…I somehow decided on that first day that she meant 3 small meals and 1-2 snacks.  So my calorie intake on day 1 must have been about 1/2 what I usually eat.  (And I’m an eater!)  I was expecting to feel bad, and I did. That night I asked myself, “why did I think this was a good idea, again?”

The second day was better.  I was more organized, ate as instructed, and allowed a little more caffeine into my tea cup.  Today (day 4) I am headache free and settling into the new rhythm easily.  I think I’m down to a little less than a full cup of tea, and headache free.  I’ll be done with caffeine by the end of our week.  In terms of food I feel satisfied, but I get hungry more often (because of smaller meal portions)…Then again, I get to eat more often.  So that’s not so bad!  I’m not really missing wheat and dairy.  I like soy milk, and I have a healthy habit of alternative grains to bread and pasta already.  I imagine those things might be harder for people who like sandwiches.

I usually drink about 20 ounces of green ‘smoothy’/ day.  I blend up greens, avacado, a little apple juice, and sometimes some fresh herbs like ginger or cilantro in my Vitamix.  Because I’m not sure where to fit that into a ‘meal’ and still keep it small-bowl-sized, I have not been getting in those extra helpings of veggies.  In that way I’m actually eating less vegetables/day than I usually do.  I’ve been feeling more secure with stick-to-the-ribs choices in my meals like beans and grains.  I’ll probably try to change that ratio some in the next weeks.

I purchased a selection of rice crackers, and gluten free breads…packaged foods I don’t usually like to buy, but going off wheat was feeling scary.  It turns out I eat a lot of grains, veggies, and legumes in my diet anyway, so I haven’t been dipping into that supply as much as I thought I would.

So far the cleanse has been (dare I say it) fun.  I’ve only been mildly uncomfortable a few times.  My energy is good, and it’s nice to focus some attention on  taking care of my body by feeding it consciously.  I mean, we eat every single day.  And though I think I’m pretty good at the internal housekeeping, I reach for food for plenty of reasons other than nutrition —reasons like boredom, addiction (to sugar and caffeine), and the ever popular stuffing of emotions!  It’s nice to give those impulses a rest for a while.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep cruising so comfortably…but I’ll keep you posted.

Please feel free to comment!  I’d love to answer any questions you might have about my experience as the days tick on…

Valerie Moselle

Face Under The Covers Music

On Saturday I played covers of Beatles songs. Here are the playlists:

10:00 a.m. Class

1993 Here Comes The Sun Richie Havens
1970 We Can Work It Out Stevie Wonder
2002 I’m Only Sleeping The Vines
1978 Come Together Aerosmith
2001 I’m Looking Through You The Wallflowers
1985 Eleanor Rigby Aretha Franklin
1977 With A Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker
1979 Day Tripper James Taylor
2001 Two Of Us Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
2001 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds The Black Crowes
2002 Revolution Grandaddy
2001 Mother Nature’s Son Sheryl Crow
1969 Hey Jude Wilson Pickett
2001 You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away Eddie Vedder
1971 The Long And Winding Road Aretha Franklin
2001 Help! Howie Day
2001 Strawberry Fields Ben Harper
2001 Don’t Let Me Down Stereophonics
2001 Nowhere Man Paul Westerberg
2001 Across The Universe Rufus Wainwright
2001 Blackbird Sarah McLachlan
1975 For No One Emmylou Harris

Noon Class

1993 Here Comes The Sun Richie Havens
1970 We Can Work It Out Stevie Wonder
2001 I’m Looking Through You The Wallflowers
1977 With A Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker
1985 Eleanor Rigby Aretha Franklin
2001 Two Of Us Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
2002 Revolution Grandaddy
2001 Mother Nature’s Son Sheryl Crow
1969 Hey Jude Wilson Pickett
2001 You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away Eddie Vedder
1971 The Long And Winding Road Aretha Franklin
2001 Help! Howie Day
2001 Strawberry Fields Ben Harper
2001 Don’t Let Me Down Stereophonics
2001 Nowhere Man Paul Westerberg
2001 Across The Universe Rufus Wainwright
2001 Blackbird Sarah McLachlan
1975 For No One Emmylou Harris

Got to love The Beatles. Straight up or covered.