Day 21 of 21

Ahhh! It’s here. I think the theme of the day is “let it go.” I went to work today and on the way there some funky stuff happened. My car wouldn’t start so I had to borrow my mom’s car to get to work and on the way to work there was some road work going on that delayed my freeway exit and I forgot my work badge in my car so I couldn’t get in right away and was late. But you know what? I could’ve got pissed and angry, but I didn’t. I just told myself to let it go.

And in the spirit of letting things go, today is the last day of my Ani Phyo raw food cleanse. I’ve gone through 21 days of raw food shakes, soups, salads, wraps, nuts, seeds, miso, avocados, withdrawals, cravings, slip-ups, and will power. And now that this day is coming to an end, I now let go of this experience but remain inspired and motivated to continue eating this beautiful, tasty, nutritious food. Why wouldn’t I want to feel amazing beyond 21 days? I learned so much about my body and being in my body and what foods make my body feel really good and really bad.

During the last day of the cleanse, you can eat any shake, soup, salad, or dinner you would like. So I’ve basically used the ingredients I had to make the Banana shake, Easy being green salad variation, and tonight I plan on making the Kreamy Chipotle Dressing and eating that with salad and the cashew pate to go inside of a collard wrap with cucumber and avocado. I don’t have the scallions so I’ll just have to do without.

So now that the cleanse is pretty much over, what is coming next? Plenty. I’m going to Los Angeles two weekends in a row for my best friend’s birthday and a wedding so you know I may re-tox myself a bit. Just being in Los Angeles alone, re-toxing comes with the territory 😉 Just playing, well sort of. I’m not hating on Los Angeles and the pollution or party atmosphere since you’ll find that anywhere. L.A. is my hometown and I love it to pieces.  My favorite Bikram Yoga instructor Loren Cherrstrom used to say “detox to retox” and people in class would always laugh because anyone can relate to that. No one is perfect or shall I say, we are all perfect in our imperfections :). Good thing about Bikram Yogis is that it doesn’t take much to get us drunk or full. And toxifying yourself isn’t always alcohol related. We toxify ourselves by eating too much bread, sugars, processed foods or if you are in Los Angeles of NY, just breathing in the air. I may just do a little bit of that while I’m in Los Angeles but you know when I come back I’m planning another detox. And you know which one that will be?

The Master Cleanse a.k.a The Lemonade Diet.

Yup. One of the wildest, craziest most effective detox diets I’ve ever heard of and tried. Now this cleanse is a real spiritual journey since there is NO EATING involved. This really is about cleansing not just the mind but the spirit and if you want to know more about it check out Stanley Burrough’s book “The Master Cleanser: with special needs and problems,” or “The Complete Master Cleanse: a Step-by-step guide to mastering the benefits of the lemonade diet,” by Tom Woloshyn. This diet I plan on doing in mid August for just ten days. There are some people who go 30 or 60 days. I don’t know about that one. Stanley Burroughs suggests doing the Master Cleanse four times a year rather than 60 days straight. He says in his book, “The Master Cleanser,” that it is recommended to do the cleanse a minimum of 10 days, so that’s what I’m going to do. 10 days, no more, no less. I already did this cleanse once back in February so I know I’m due for another one.

And I just want to say thank you to all the people who have joined me on this journey by following my blog. I have felt so inspired by your energy and interest in my writing topics. I am truly inspired to keep going because of you. It is my passion to share my research, knowledge, struggles, breakthroughs, and love of health with all who are interested.

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Day 20 of 21

I’ve got some demons in me right now. The writing will purge them out of me. I can totally be honest in saying what it is that bothers me even if it’s not completely positive all the time. I find myself wanting to be cautious now that I have some followers, but why should I be? I’m not writing vulgar things. This is a documentary of a diet cleanse and why should I censor myself when I am writing exactly what I’m feeling?

I guess today when I woke up I got upset because I’ve been wearing these big ass shorts that I bought when I first came to Arizona because it was so hot and I barely had any clothes and I needed shorts. Well, now that I’ve been cleansing and exercising, those shorts don’t really fit me anymore. They are super huge! Great news, right?

So I went to my closet and I looked in two bags where I keep three pairs of pants that I used to wear when I was thinner. I started thinking I had come really far so I tried them on and they still didn’t fit properly. There’s nothing like trying on clothes that don’t fit to put you in a funk. Yea, that’s pretty much why I got mad this morning. Yea, I’m one size away still. Like I mentioned before, vanity is not my only motivation for weight loss and healthy eating, but I thought I was there already. I guess I shouldn’t get down on it so much because I have lost weight. It’s a freaking journey. Really. It’s not like I’m going to do one cleanse and I’m going to fit into my pants that I was able to wear three years ago.

I gained thirty pounds over the course of three years, so I have to give it time to fully get back to where I was before. I’m almost there. This cleanse is nearly over but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating right. I have to keep going. I’ve worked too hard to give it up.

I mean, I feel really good. My skin looks great, I’ve lost weight, I don’t get sick, I think positively. Should fitting into a pair of pants really be the measure of my progress? I don’t think so.

Day 19 of 21

What do I love to do on my day off? Cook, experiment with recipes I’ve been reading about, watch the Food Network. Today is Friday, and I have two more days on the cleanse. I feel inspired to stay raw this time around after the cleanse is over. This is the first time in my life where I feel really safe and organized because I moved away from everything I knew and now spend a great majority of my day being productive, focusing on my health, my career, and what I love. Going on a cleanse has made my body super sensitive. It was already sensitive from doing Bikram Yoga but now it’s really sensitive. I didn’t used to get stomach aches eating bread or chips but now I do. I think I was supposed to experience days where I cheated by eating carbs so I could see just how awful my body feels when I eat food that is cooked or processed.

I think what I love the most about the cleanse is just how sensitive my system has become. Health is not a game. Good health is something we may or not be born with but I think there is no such thing as a genetic predisposition towards being fat, prone to any certain diseases or addictions. People develop sickness due to what they believe and the environments they are around. Yea, maybe if you grow up in a toxic family full of toxic thoughts and behaviors, then you will be prone to getting diseases that manifest in the body as a result of the toxic nature of the family’s thoughts and actions. Trust me, I was born into a family full of toxicity and I hung out with people who were toxic because it’s what I knew. I was pretty chubby growing up because I was fearful. In Louise Hay’s book “You can heal your life,” she has a list of ailments and the reasons why they occur, along with affirmations you can use to create new thinking that will change you and heal the ailment.

Carrying excess weight means that you are trying to get protection and you don’t feel like you are safe. That makes complete sense to me. When I was a kid, I was always scared so I put on excess weight. I didn’t feel I was okay. You can diet and exercise all you want, but if you don’t change those fundamental thoughts that made you so sick, then you aren’t going to change.

I’ve been working hard to change with diet, exercise, and affirmations. I had gained thirty pounds in a few years but now I’ve nearly lost all that weight because I changed my mind and stopped doing things out of fear. I set my affirmations hourly and read them off my phone. It’s worked for me. I knew there was something better out there for me and for all people. We are meant to operate from love and when we do that, everything else just falls away. We don’t need anything else that isn’t love.

I don’t need to eat any food out there that isn’t made with love. Raw food is made with love. It hasn’t been processed for extended shelf life so that some company can continue to manufacture their crap product on a massive scale. That’s what I think of when I think of how processed foods are created and for what purpose. If it doesn’t grow, then someone made it. Did they make it with love? Did some poor animal have to suffer or die for me to eat it and is this food going to truly nourish my body or is it going to make me sick with disease?

Anyway, these are my thoughts for today as I embrace the weekend. I have to find my camera so I can take some pictures of the awesome dishes I’ve made during this cleanse. Once, I find it I’ll update.

Day 18 of 21

With the weekend approaching, I am super excited to have some days off work and I am so close to finishing this cleanse, it makes me giddy. Last night before I went to bed, I made the raw brownies for today’s snack. What I did differently was I put the batter inside of cupcake tins with cupcake liners because I knew I wanted to take some to work to have as an afternoon snack. And I also wanted to make them cute and travel friendly for my mom as well since she seemed very interested in trying them out.

With most raw food desserts, the texture can be crumbly. I found that the brownies held together best inside of the cupcake liners. I did my best to make sure the batter was moist enough by adding a few splashes of water in addition to the sticky dates.  Putting the brownies in the refrigerator overnight helped as well. They are still pretty crumbly but oh well. That’s what you get when you don’t have milk and hydrogenated oils holding everything together for you. I feel much better eating these and in using the cacao powder, you still get a nice chocolately taste.

Well, my mom and her coworkers loved the brownies. I am so excited to share raw food with people and have them enjoy it as much as I do. It will make them want to eat and explore more. Also because I love cooking for people and sharing food. Since I’ve been exploring raw foods, I experiment with so many different ingredients and recipes. When I get to cook or shall I say prepare food for people, they can see how easy it is to make, how good it tastes, and how well eating this food makes them feel.

Day 17 of 21

I think I’m the kind of person who desperately needs structure. Structure is the only way I get anything done in every aspect of my life. Maybe it’s the product of having  gone through the Catholic school system for my first eight years of schooling or possibly being artistically inclined.  I’ve always loved school, getting good grades, studying, going to class. I even went so far as to get a Master’s degree but now I’m totally over school and I highly doubt I would go back because I now have the overwhelming feeling like I can make my own rules. I can approve of my self progress and success. I don’t need to go through another system to be judged and graded. I can do that all on my own. I can make my own system.

Only problem is, I’m a little bit of a rebel. I still have that wild side inside of me that loves to go against the grain even if its my own system I create that’s supposed to help me be healthy and prosperous. I slip up so easily. I mean, I eat good for the most part when I’m not doing a cleanse but I love carbs so much. I love to chew. Even though I feel pretty terrible when I eat carbs, they are hard to shake. I’ve always kinda loved the bad stuff that tastes so good but you know its not in your best interest. I know that I’m changing and structure is what I need to maintain life changing behavior so that I don’t go back to my old ways. My goal is to maintain the health I’ve worked so hard to attain.

Anyway, I thought about this today as I started thinking of what it’s going to be like for me once these last few days of the cleanse are over. A structured diet plan is the only way I stay on track with my weight loss and healthy eating.

 

 

Day 16 of 21

I got home today and felt really really hungry. I saw this baguette on the table that looked so tempting but then I went to touch it, and it was so hard like one of those display food items at Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma. It was funny and reminded me that processed food items look better than they actually are good for you.

Today I listened to Louise Hay’s audio tape, “you can heal your life” and she said that her nutrition philosophy is “if it grows, I eat it. If it doesn’t, I don’t,” or something along those lines. She is a woman who overcame cancer with holistic nutrition and positive affirmations. Honestly, she is one of my biggest inspirations for even creating a blog dedicated to health in the first place. Her existence has shown me that you can really heal your life by changing your mind set and releasing your need for negative thoughts, foods, people, etc. It just starts in the mind. I’ve already learned so much from her and changed aspects in my life due to her teachings.

Lately since I’ve been partaking in this cleanse journey, I feel myself releasing the need to hang onto excess weight and I don’t feel like eating bad stuff as much. It doesn’t serve my purpose as a human being on this earth. I find that exercising and feeling what it feels like to be in my body, just existing, is very grounding.  Eating bad food makes me feel heavy and weighed down but not in the grounded way I need to be in. Exercising definitely helps me be more grounded and in my body as opposed to feeling heavy to be grounded. I know that I like chewing certain foods because I had an oral fixation for years and eating stuff just made me feel better temporarily but that’s it and I now release the need for that behavior.

Anyway! All tangents aside, today is Day 16 and I’m so excited to make the celery almond pate tonight for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to this meal for weeks.

The celery almond pate consists of:

1.5 cups celery chopped, 1/2 tbs fresh grated ginger, 1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 tbs miso, 1/2 cup almond meal, 1 tsp fresh herbs of your choice (dill, tarragon, oregano)

You just put the celery, ginger, raisins, and miso in the food processor and process into small pieces, then add the almond meal and pulse, then finally add the herbs.

Eat this as a dip or put inside of a lettuce, nori wrap, or collard green.

Yup. A total winner. Give it a try.

Day 15 of 21

Phase 3 is in full effect. It has to be said that the Kreamy Chipotle Dressing is orgasmic. I thought I loved the Thermo Dressing but this one is competing for my taste buds’ affections.

The Kreamy Chipotle dressing consists of pre-soaked cashews (1 cup), 1/2 cup water, 1 tbs miso paste, 1/2 tsp chipotle chiles. Goodness. The title of Kreamy is with a K on purpose, just to note. All the vegan mock creamy dishes use a K instead of a C on the word Cream or Kream. And the Kreamy Chipotle dressing goes over the lunch salad consisting of romaine, 2 tbs diced celery, 1/4 cup red bell pepper, and nutritional yeast.

Wasn’t too impressed with the Vanilla-Blueberry Shake. What’s cool about the dinner for today is you finally get to have zucchini noodles with raw marinara sauce. Now, I’m very excited for these noodles because I’ll be using the spiralizer to make them. Last time I did this cleanse I just used kelp noodles that I bought from the Asian market in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo arts district. Kelp noodles are from the sea, crunchy and packed with protein. Since I’m in Arizona now and don’t know where to find an Asian market that has kelp noodles, I’ll just make my own.

The spiralizer is a very cool gadget that makes noodles out of almost any vegetable. Zucchinis work best since they are long and pliable. It’s just crazy. Obviously  zucchini or kelp noodles aren’t like regular pasta noodles but have a similar consistency that is satisfying enough to trick your brain into believing you are having pasta since the mouth feel is reminiscent of a pasta noodle. But what is mostly satisfying is the marinara sauce which uses tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt all blended together and just poured over the noodles.

I love this Phase and I love that my mom has a Vitamix. I was planning on buying one but for now hers will do. This is the essential blender for making raw food sauces, ice creams, soups, shakes, etc. When I did the cleanse last year I used my roomates’ cheepo blender that eventually sounded horrible because of my overuse. A Vitamix is fully equipped to chop up nuts and seeds and pulverize food into a pulp if so desired. The Vitamix really made the Kreamy Chipotle Dressing happen today. I know it can be a little expensive but you would save money buying the Vitamix once since it has a lifetime warranty rather than buying a bunch of blenders that will break down due to raw food preparation. My old roomates’ blender sounded awful and almost seemed like it was smoking sometimes when I would use it.  Anyway, just wanted to share that as well. I’m just so excited for  Phase 3. We get to use the food processor in this phase as well and have dessert later in the week 🙂

Day 14 of 21

English: Ani Phyo
English: Ani Phyo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes! It’s the end of the second week. I finally get to go through Phase 3. I have to be honest in saying that repeating Phases 1 and 2 twice can be redundant. Ani Phyo suggests repeating Phase 1 and 2 if you want to lose more weight. And I feel like I’ve been successful in that endeavor despite the little carb mishaps. I can fit into my old shorts again. I haven’t worn those bad boys in years. I have to say that this weight loss hasn’t been only due to this cleanse, but exercising as well. The two go hand in hand but diet is really important. You can’t have one without the other.

One thing I think is helpful when staying on track with this is to let everyone know what you are doing so that they can be supportive in either joining you or knowing better than to offer you things or invite you out to dinner. I don’t like to look at this cleanse as being restrictive when in reality it is. There’s something about focusing on restrictions that I find relates to the law of attraction. The more we focus on what we don’t want, the more we get of it. I think if we focus on what we can’t have then we will want more of it. I think it’s better to focus on what we have and what we can eat when doing a cleanse so that we can understand how we are feeding our bodies positively with the clean, simple foods that are on our menu.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about having food other than salads, shakes, and soups during Phase 3. I’m so looking forward to the pates and wraps and the raw brownie dessert. I’ll add a photo of that once I get there.

 

 

 

 

Day 13 of 21

There is one more day of Phase 2 during my second week of the cleanse and I’m excited to get through it. I’m writing later than I normally write but it’s just been a busy day. My back is  sore as shit today. I went to yoga more than usual this week and I can feel my body changing. My intense lower back flexibility is returning. Man, it took two months for that to happen but when I come to class at least 4 times a week, I can maintain it better.

Yesterday I broke down and bought cacao powder for the “Chocolate Banana Mylk Shake” (banana, cacao, flax, water, pinch of stevia or two dates) that is the morning breakfast and snack shake for today. I used to use carob powder that I would buy from Whole Foods because it was cheaper but I think I like the taste of cacao powder better. It smells and tastes more like chocolate than carob.

The salad for Day 6 is the Asian Cabbage Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Many of the salad recipes in Fat Blast use shredded cabbage and carrots as the salad base, which I never thought to do before. This salad is my favorite. It is basically shredded cabbage and carrot with sliced cucumber, mint, basil, and cilantro and almonds for protein. Oh, and you sprinkle nutritional yeast over it with the apple cider vinaigrette. To live for. Seriously. This salad is so simple but so delicious.

Today was productive. I feel good and clean and happy to be alive.

Day 12 of 21

Since I already completed Phase 1 and 2 of this cleanse once last week, I feel liberal with interchanging the recipes. That may not be the entirely correct way to go about this cleanse but I’m basically using what I have so it doesn’t go bad before I go out and buy the supplies for the last phase of the cleanse next week. You don’t want to miss out on the phase 3 recipes of the Ani Phyo fat blast cleanse. You get to make wraps, rolls, desserts, pate, zucchini noodles. Phase 3 is delicious, fulfilling, and so worth the wait.

Today I had the Strawberry Mint Shake which includes avocado, providing a very creamy consistency that tastes very much like strawberry yogurt without the dairy. Avocado is amazing in its versatility. It makes me want to cry with how simple and delicious it is. Whenever people ask what my favorite food is, I always say avocado. People go around saying, oh I like Italian, pizza, fried chicken, Sushi, etc. I just straight up say, avocado.

The first time I did the fat blast cleanse last year, whenever I would have cravings, I would look up raw food recipes online and watch raw food cooking videos on Youtube for inspiration. You can pretty much make any familiar dish using raw food ingredients. There are so many creative geniuses out there that will keep you inspired if you ever feel like falling off the wagon.

One of the recipes I enjoyed and eventually made was the avocado mousse which uses avocado as the cream base, carob or cacao powder for the chocolate flavor as well as agave for sweetness and vanilla or almond extract for a nice kick to bring out the chocolate flavor. This is such a delicious recipe by raw food author and chef, Jennifer Cornbleet. She is such a spunky woman who has a great speaking voice. You can find more of her recipes at http://www.learnrawfood.com.

And watch her video for the chocolate mousse tart at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsP3E73bAJw

People love to badger vegetarians by asking them how they get their protein. Avocados! I trip out on people sometimes when they seem to be so concerned with the fats in avocados and nuts, like eating these natural sources of protein is such a crime and ingesting them will make you fatter than oh, a hormone injected fat pig or cow carcass would.

But anyway, it’s the middle of the day. I had the Easy Being Green Salad which consists of greens, tomatoes, sauerkraut, capers, fresh corn, and avocado. It’s really not as dry as you might think. The sauerkraut and avocado make it moist and flavorful. I wasn’t much of a fan of sauerkraut before but now that I’ve read about it, I understand that due to its fermentation, sauerkraut is used on this cleanse to clean out your stomach and improve your digestion so that you can better absorb the nutrients from your food and  release all the built up crap in your stomach.

This cleanse is all about probiotics and fermented food such as sauerkraut, capers, miso, apple cider vinegar. Good stuff. And my favorite “yoga beer,” otherwise known as kombucha , that is also a fermented beverage. I had a yoga instructor who called it that. Forget soda, man. Kombucha is just as good, and of course better for you.

I once thought about going to a party with a six pack of kombucha. It is said you can get drunk off kombucha. One day I’ll try that. Maybe.