Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Looking for a Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free Whole Foods Snack? Look no further! Forth Bars Do NOT Disappoint!!!

Since starting my fitness journey I’ve been experimenting with different healthy eating strategies (I refuse to say I’m dieting because this is a lifestyle change not a diet!).  Within the last couple months I’ve been loosely following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) program that focuses on finding a balance between the three main Macro Nutrient groups: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. You can read more about it here on the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) website.  They also have an awesome Macro Calculator and an IIFYM Official Facebook group for support.  A couple weeks ago I saw this promotion in the IIFYM Official Facebook group for a new gluten, soy and dairy free whole foods snack bar that I intrigued me.  So I entered the contest and was blessed to have been given the opportunity to review the new Forth bars as part of this contest!

So a little about this new company.  Forth was founded by Terri Mintz who has struggled with profound food allergies.  She lives an active lifestyle and became frustrated with not being able to find healthy, nutrient dense, whole food choices and thus decided to start making them herself.  As others took notice of her improving health, stamina and performance she decided to create a whole line of products designed for people with similar nutritional needs.  “Forth products are filled with FDA identified functional foods, superfoods, whole carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Made from minimally processed, plant based ingredients, Forth products leave you satisfied and energized.  Each Forth product contains targeted ingredients – whether functional food, traditional remedy or superfood – known to positively affect our body and mood. All Forth Bars and Bites are:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy Free
  • Soy Free
  • Plant Based
  • Minimally Processed
  • Very Low in Salt
  • Low Fat
  • Free of fillers, preservatives and unnecessary ingredients”

Needless to say that’s an impressive list so if I could find a wholesome, nutrient dense snack food that met the above requirements for my friends with dietary restrictions then I was excited to give them a try!  You can learn more about their products on the We Are Forth website and follow We Are Forth on Facebook and Instagram for special promotions.

I was lucky enough to get a variety pack to try so below you will find my reviews of each of the 7 varieties of Forth Bars that are currently available.

Calm Bar

Lavender + Vanilla + Honey + Berries

The first bar I tried out of my variety pack was the Calm Bar.  In the midst of kitchen renovations I figured I could use a little more calm in my life plus the essential oiler in me was super excited to see lavender as an ingredient! I absolutely love the unique flavor profile of this bar!!!  It is a little “herby,” for lack of a better description, due to the lavender buds.  While I truly appreciate the unique flavor it might be an acquired taste for some.  I was impressed that the bar was sweet enough without being overly sweet or filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners like most snack bars you can buy in the grocery store.  It does have 14g of Sugar and a total of 29g of Carbs so for those on a low-carb or keto diet this may not be for you.  But I’m trying to conquer my fear of carbs as they are necessary for sustained energy and to build strength and muscle and 29g of Carbs is about the equivalent of a slice of organic, whole wheat bread.  Plus, the Forth Bars are Gluten Free so those who need a little carb fueled energy boost but can’t eat gluten containing products will love Forth Bars!  I was also super impressed that all of the Forth Bars are low in Sodium.  Most snack bars like this are super high in sodium which is one of the main reasons I tend to avoid processed foods.  These seem like they will be a healthy, nutritional option for those who need a quick snack or energy boost throughout their day!  I’m looking forward to trying out the rest of the bars in the variety pack!!!

Macro Breakdown: 29 g Carbs (64%), 5 g Fat (25%), 5 g Protein (11%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Freeze Dried Cherries, Hemp Protein Powder, Freeze Dried Mango, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Acai Resveratrol (The only ingredient I didn’t recognize so I had to look it up.  Turns out this is an all natural and powerful antioxidant to help your body fight free radicals and support your immune system!), Lavender, Vanilla Powder, Lemon Balm, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Cherry Powder, Vanilla, Lavender, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Honey

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Calm Bar Nutrition and Information

Body Bar

Chocolate + Molasses + Spices

The second bar I tried was the Body Bar.  Our routine has been super messed up by the kitchen renovations and the tiny human did not sleep well  the last couple hours of the night making it nearly impossible to get up and work out.  So I chose to sleep in which meant that I wanted to get in a good run on my lunch break to get in at least some exercise that day.  With back to back clients all morning I don’t have a lot of time to snack and knew my energy would be low by noon when I would finally get a chance to go for a run.  So around 10:50 am I decided to open up the Body Bar for a quick little pick me up and to provide some energy to help get me through my run.  My first impression was that it smelled amazing!!! The combination of molasses and spices was a beautiful balance of savory and just sweet enough.  I was pleasantly surprised on my lunch run how much energy I had.  The week prior I had allowed stress to get the better of me and hadn’t run much at all so I was really working on getting my stamina back up and I ran nearly a mile further than I had a couple days earlier without feeling as tired and run down.  So the Body Bar definitely gets a winning review from me!!! Might have to order a 12 pack of this one! 😉

Macro Breakdown: 32 g Carbs (66%), 5 g Fat (23%), 5 g Protein (10%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Dried Cranberries, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate (undutched cocoa powder and evaporated cane juice), Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Molasses, Pumpkin Puree, Pea Protein Powder, Maca, Drum Dried Bananas, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Maca, Pea Protein, Molasses, Coconut Electrolytes, Probiotics, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Body Bar Nutrition and Information

Belly Bar

Cranberry + Ginger + Lemon

The third bar I tried from the Forth variety pack was the Belly Bar.  My stomach was a little upset so I figured it would be a good time to try out their bar that was designed to help soothe the stomach. After all, keeping the gut and urinary tract healthy are important in maintaining overall health and wellness so we can use all the help we can get!  Let me just tell you guys, this bar is awesome!!! I love the ginger zing!  Ginger is one of my favorite flavors and this bar has just enough of the ginger spice and it balances beautifully with the citrusy flavor of the lemon and the sweetness of the dried cranberries!  A little higher on the carbs and lower on the protein than the first two bars I tried but overall a win and a really good mid-morning snack to help keep me energized until lunch.

Macro Breakdown: 33 g Carbs (68%), 5 g Fat (23%), 4 g Protein (8%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Date Paste, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Dried Apricots, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Dried Cranberries, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Cranberry Powder, Maca, Honey, Spray Dried Lemon Juice, Probiotics, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Belly Bar Nutrition and Information

Heart Bar

Mango + Papaya + Coconut

Saturday, March 25 was the suggested race date for my 10K & S.P.E.W. race, sponsored by Hogwarts Running Club (yes, it’s a real thing!) so I wanted a snack that morning to help give me enough energy to help me run the entire race without weighing me down (because I wanted to help free house elves not lose my lunch! lol).  Naturally, I turned to my Forth bar variety pack and decided to give the Heart Bar a try.  Figured a little support for my cardiovascular system while running a 10K would be just what the doctor ordered!  Thankfully, it didn’t let me down!  This bar was a little sweeter than the others I had tried so far and had a nice tropical flavor profile with the mango, papaya and coconut.  There were also a few larger chunks of fruit in the bar which made for a nice little surprise when I would get one in my bite!  30 minutes later I went for my run and was pleased to know I shaved 2 minutes off my run time and finished the 10K in 1 hour flat!  While I can’t promise the Heart Bar will make you run faster I can say it did help provide the energy I needed to run the entire race without stopping to walk!  This and the Body Bar would be excellent choices for any of my runner friends looking for a healthy snack option before races!

Macro Breakdown: 32 g Carbs (61%), 7 g Fat (30%), 5 g Protein (9%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Jungle Peanuts, Date Paste, Dried Blueberries, Freeze Dried Mango, Raisins, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Coconut Flakes, Honey, Acai Resveratrol, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Honey, Drum Dried Mango, Drum Dried Banana, Coconut Electrolytes, Maca, Vitamin D Oil

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Heart Bar Nutrition and Information

O’Mama Bar

Berry + Figs + Ginger

After my race the day before, Sunday was my rest day and time to spend with my daughter.  So naturally the O’Mama Bar seemed like a good choice for my afternoon snack while she was napping!  Like the Belly Bar, the O’Mama Bar does have a bit of a ginger zing but it was more subtle and had a sweeter, richer flavor overall.   This bar is lower on the carbs so for days when you are less active or don’t need quite as much of an energy boost this would make for a great snack!

Macro Breakdown: 27 g Carbs (58%), 7 g Fat (34%), 4 g Protein (9%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Date Paste, Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Drum Dried Bananas, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Figs, Honey, Acai Resveratrol

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Banana Powder, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Freeze Dried Cranberries, Honey, Probiotics, Vitamin D Oil

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: O’Mama Bar Nutrition and Information

Sexy Bar

Spicy Chipotle + Chocolate + Jungle Peanuts

If you have been reading closely or follow me on Instagram then you know that I am in the middle of kitchen repairs and renovations.  I don’t know about you but I find new appliances super sexy (guess that’s a sign I’m officially an “adult,” whatever that means…) so it seemed apropos that I should choose the Sexy Bar to try out the day they were delivered!  It smelled super rich when I first pulled it out of the wrapping so I was excited to give it a try.  OMG!  It was like a flavor explosion in my mouth!  I loved the spicy chipotle and chocolate combo!!! It was so good I took extra small bites so I could enjoy it longer! Definitely had a little kick but oh so good!  Hands down, this is my FAVORITE Forth Bar!  I will be ordering more! ❤ 🙂 Plus, it has Goji berries in it and you all know how much I love my NingXia Red so any other healthy snack that includes the immune supporting Goji berry is a win in my book!

Macro Breakdown: 27 g Carbs (64%), 4.5 g Fat (24%), 5 g Protein (12%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Puffed Quinoa, Peanut butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa, Chocolate (undutched cocoa and evaporated cane juice), Jungle Peanuts, Freeze Dried Raspberries, Aronia Berries (sweetened with apple juice), Dried Cranberries, Goji, Berries, Maca, Honey, Acai Resveratrol, Chili Powder, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Undutched Cocoa, Freeze Dried Raspberries, Chili Powder, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Sexy Bar Nutrition and Information

Brain Bar

Espresso + Chocolate + Coconut

I was feeling a little sluggish when I returned to work after my 3 day weekend so I figured a little extra brainpower couldn’t hurt!  Thankfully, the Brain Bar was the last bar left in my variety pack for me to try.  It has a subtle espresso flavor with chunks of dark chocolate without being overly sweet.  A similar flavor profile to the Sexy Bar which I loved so much but without the chipotle kick.  So if spicy isn’t your thing or you just love coffee, then this bar is definitely for you!

Macro Breakdown: 35 g Carbs (70%), 5 g Fat (22%), 4 g Protein (8%)

Ingredients Bar: Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Puffs, Peanut Butter, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Date Paste, Freeze Dried Strawberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Aronia Berries (apple juice sweetened), Undutched Cocoa Powder, Dark Chocolate (cocoa powder and evaporated cane juice), Coconut Flakes, Molasses, Acai Resveratrol, Maca, Dehydrated Coffee, Spices

Ingredients Topping: Date Paste, Drum Dried Blueberry Powder, Undutched Cocoa Powder, Coconut Electrolytes, Coffee Powder, Spices

You can check out the full Nutritional Information on their website: Brain Bar Nutrition and Information

Final Review

Overall I’m really impressed by all of the Forth Bars!  They taste great and provide sustained energy for workouts, chasing toddlers or to get through a grueling work day!  I love the unique flavor combinations and that they give me just enough of a hint of sweetness without being overly sweet.  But perhaps the biggest selling point to me is that they are all natural, with no artificial ingredients, are low sodium and are all gluten, soy and dairy free making them the perfect snack for those with dietary restrictions or who are just mindful of what they put into their bodies!

Pros

  • Taste great!
  • Unique flavor combinations
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Naturally sweetened with fruit juices or honey – just sweet enough without being overly sweet or triggering my sugar addiction!
  • Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free – perfect for those with dietary restrictions.  They are not nut free, however.  Most of the bars I tried have peanut butter in them so be mindful if you or a family member have a nut allergy.
  • Low Fat – ranging from 4.5-7 g per bar
  • Low Sodium
  • Reasonable Calories – ranging from 180 – 210 calories each, the Forth Bars are an excellent choice for a quick, nutrient dense snack to provide sustainable energy for an active lifestyle without adding unnecessary calories.  Plus, if you wanted slightly fewer calories to help you stick with your goals, you can also check out their “Bite” options, available in the same great flavor combinations but coming in at less than 100 calories each!
  • Available in packs of 12 in variety packs or single flavors if you find your favorite!

Cons

  • Cost – coming in at $47.40 per 12 pack these bars will run you $3.95 per bar.  However, this is comparable to buying other snack bar singles at your grocery store but without any of the nasty artificial ingredients, high sugar or insane sodium content of what you’re used to finding in the energy bar aisles!
  • Low(ish) Protein – these are not a high protein bar like you might want for post-workout recovery (grab the protein powder instead) but they do seem to provide the sustained energy that the company boasts making them ideal for snacks on the go for afternoon hikes or a pre-workout energy boost!

So overall, I highly recommend supporting this new company so that they can continue to bring healthy, nutrient dense, whole food snack options to the market!  So head on over to the We Are Forth website and order your Bars or Bites today!  And make sure to tell your friends!

 

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Looking for a Gluten, Soy and Dairy Free Whole Foods Snack? Look no further! Forth Bars Do NOT Disappoint!!! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 2: My Supplement and Protein Shake Reviews)

2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 2: My Supplement and Protein Shake Reviews) was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


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10 Day Detox: My Daily Journal and Meal Plan

If you follow my blog you’ve already seen my recent blog posts My New Adventure: The 10 Day Detox and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox.  If you haven’t already, please check out my two previous blogs for more info on the detox itself and how I’m using essential oils to provide support on my detox adventure. This post is my daily journal and meal plan for those who are interested to know exactly what I did, my progress along the way, and my ultimate results.

As much as I don’t like following pre-made meal plans that come with diets I did make my own Meal Plan before I started my detox to help with grocery shopping and help the hubby, who is the primary cook in the house, know what to cook that would be allowed given the restrictions of the detox.  But I’ll tell you this, be flexible.  I wound up getting sick in the middle of my detox and we altered the meal plan significantly from it’s original plan to what you see below.  Figures that the week that I really try to start getting healthy and focus on me is the week that I get sick after almost 2 years of being overall healthy and not needing a Dr.  I tried desperately to avoid taking any medication since I was on a detox and trying to get sugar and other toxins out of my system but here’s the thing, when you need medicine, you need it.  I’m a firm believer in Western Medicine, but with a holistic approach.  When the oily remedies aren’t helping or the pain is bad enough it’s time to rely on medicine.  I just think that overall we tend to over-Rx and overuse medicine without first looking for other solutions.

So without further ado, here is my daily journal and what I ate.  I will share my results at the end.

Day 1: Monday, September 21, 2015

We went shopping over the weekend and stocked up on lots of healthy fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats, and other ingredients to get started off right this morning.  I also ordered a Glucomannan fiber  supplement from Amazon which arrived on Sunday.  I forgot to discuss this in my intro blog to the 10 Day Detox but Dr. Hyman recommends adding Glucomannan, what he calls the “super fiber” supplements to your daily regimen as a way to get your daily fiber intake and promote a feeling of fullness.  Glucomannan comes from the root of the Konjac, or Elephant yam, native to Asia.  It is making it’s rounds through the weight loss circles because it can absorb up to 50x it’s weight in water which helps promotes satiety and pushes more calories through your colon rather than letting them be absorbed and lowers the energy density of the foods you eat.  Which is basically a fancy way of saying that it fills your stomach up with zero calorie fiber so you feel more full and don’t overeat or aren’t tempted to keep eating after you’ve already eaten your allotted amount for your meal. This was important to me because portion control is a really difficult thing for me to master and I have concerns that I will feel super hungry by cutting so many things out of my diet for this detox.  My goal is to take between 1-3 Glucomannan supplements approximately 30 minutes before meal times per the recommended dosage. (Read more about Dr. Hyman’s thoughts on Glucomannan here: The Super Fiber that Controls Your Appetite and Blood Sugar)

So, armed with a fridge full of healthy food and my new fiber supplement I geared up to face my day.  First thing in the morning I weighed myself and took measurements of my bust, under my bust, my waist, hips, thighs and upper arms just so I had a point of comparison.  Even though I am doing this detox to help break my sugar addiction rather than to specifically lose weight, I certainly wouldn’t complain if I lose some weight along the way so thought it would be nice to have some objective data. Oddly enough, I was at my lowest weight since well before I got pregnant with my daughter when I started the detox!  I did pretty good sticking to my original meal plan that I had set for myself.  I did skip my afternoon snack because I elected to take off work early to go visit family.  Overall I’m impressed with my resolve.  But it’s always easy the first day of any new diet because you are super excited and optimistic about the results.  I did have a pretty major craving after dinner but was able to resist. We shall see if I can keep it up.  I did have a little bit of a headache around my morning snack and again before bed. Wasn’t super bad and I was able to help minimize the discomfort with my Headache Remedy roll-on essential oil combo.

Day 1 Meals:

a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 8 oz of water when I first woke up

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Dr. Hyman’s detox breakfast smoothie didn’t sound super appealing to me and I had heard many people say that they didn’t care for the taste so I found an alternative breakfast smoothie recipe from Smart and Savvy Mom’s blog when she did the 10 Day Detox.  Here is her Strawberry, Banana, Almond Smoothie recipe.  I modified it slightly by using Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk instead of the Soy Coconut Milk that she used as I didn’t want the added sugar since that was my main issue.  I also added 1 tsp of Brewer’s Yeast and 1 Tbsp of Flax meal to my smoothie to help keep my milk supply up since my caloric intake would be decreasing without all the added sugar.

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water.  Since I didn’t have my essential oils order in yet to do my Oily Support supplements I added 2 drops of Grapefruit oil to my water to help boost my metabolism and keep my blood sugar within normal limits.

Morning snack – 1-2 servings of mixed nuts (Seriously, 1/4 cup of nuts is almost nothing!)

11:30 a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement (made sure to drink a fair bit of my water from that morning when I took it)

Lunch – Salad with tuna.  I threw together a bunch of salad ingredients that I liked all of which are included on this cheat sheet to Dr. Hyman’s Super Salad Bar.  For dressing I just used my homemade balsamic vinaigrette but you could pretty much use any oil and vinegar based homemade dressing recipe you wanted. I also had another 20 oz water with Grapefruit eo with my lunch.

3:00 p.m. – Left work early to go visit family so didn’t have an afternoon snack.  Did however have another 8 oz of water before I left.

5:00 p.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 20 oz of water.

Dinner – Baked chicken, sauteed kale, steamed green beans, and side salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Finished my water from before my meal.

Total Water Consumption = 76 oz

Day 2: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I know I said I wasn’t doing this for weight loss and that you should never weigh yourself daily because of natural weight fluctuations but I totally couldn’t help it and weighed myself this morning.  Down almost 2 pounds in 24 hours! Say what!?!  Probably just a fluke or normal weight fluctuations but hey, I’ll take it.  Hope I get some good results by the end of this!

My Essential Rewards oils shipment came last night so before bed I got to make my Oily Support supplements in anticipation of today.  I was super excited to add NingXia Red and my new oily supplements to my routine today.  I decided to up my Glucomannan from 1 supplement to 2 to see if that helps promote more of a feeling of fullness today.  Totally forgot to take it before lunch.  Need to figure out a good way to help me remember.  My biggest struggle today was that I woke up with a headache that has pretty much persisted throughout the day.  Even though I didn’t drink a whole lot of caffeine I did drink 1-2 cups of coffee daily.  I wonder if I’m having caffeine withdrawal headaches? It’s possible it could be sinus stuff too.  My poor little booger is living up to her name and has been super congested, snotty, and generally under the weather so I may be fighting off whatever she has.  Either way, the Headache Remedy roll-on is helping some but not a lot and I’m resistant to the idea of taking medication since the whole point of a detox is to rid your body of toxins.  Will see how long I can handle it before I give in. But, no sugar cravings today!

Day 2 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and  1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added (I find it’s best to add the essential oil first then add the NingXia red – otherwise the oil sits on top and DiGize can be a bit hot on the lips).

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – probably more like 3-4 servings of mixed nuts… I portioned out a small amount but still felt hungry so I portioned out another bit.  Going to have to work a bit more on self-control.

11:30 a.m. – totally forgot my Glucomannan supplements

Lunch – Salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 10 oz water with 4 drops of Slique Essence essential oil blend

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Afternoon snack – raw veggies (carrots, sugar snap peas and bell peppers) with hummus

5:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

7:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily support supplements with 8 oz water

Dinner – baked salmon and leftover kale and green beans from last night. 20 oz water. Ate later than I wanted to but our daughter got sent home sick and hubby (who usually cooks for the family) wasn’t able to prepare food before I got home from supervision because she was being super needy all afternoon and evening.

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 3: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Down another pound today! Woo-hoo! I seriously can’t stay off the scale now and that’s counter to my entire philosophy.  I really think obsessing over numbers on the scale is a bad idea in any diet or lifestyle change, but alas… here I am.

Our daughter is home sick today so I called in to stay home and snuggle with her.  Threw my routine off a little bit but I was pleased overall with how well I ate even though I had a bunch of food not on my diet plan staring me in the face all day.  Honestly, I didn’t have any cravings for junk until right before bed.  That time of night is pretty much my Achilles heel it seems.  Did well and resisted though.  Go me! Headache not as intense as yesterday and was intermittent instead of persisting throughout the day. Thinking it’s caffeine withdrawals. 😦

Day 3 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – raw veggies with hummus

12:15 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan with 8 oz water

Lunch– salad with tuna and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

Afternoon snack – seaweed snacks from the local Asian market (yum!)

3:30 p.m. – the hubby watched the baby and let me take a nice, relaxing detox bath! 20 oz water during my bath.

5:00 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. Finished water from bath.

Dinner – baked salmon, baked eggplant, and steamed broccoli. 20 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 4: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Headache is back today. But it’s coupled with considerable pressure in my head and sinuses as well as a bit of a sore throat.  Lovely.  Hoping my NingXia Red helps provide some immune support and I think I’ll diffuse some Thieves tonight to help me fight this crud.  Busy at work so no real time to snack but honestly I’m just not that hungry today.  As much as I’d like to think that this is because of the detox I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t feel well.

Took off an hour early today and found out when I got home that I was running a 100.5° fever! No wonder I wasn’t feeling well! Reluctantly took some Tylenol but wanted to see if it would help bring my fever down.  Seemed to help for a bit.

Day 4 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 20 oz water

Lunch – Salad with leftover salmon from last night and balsamic vinaigrette.  Ate less than half of it because I wasn’t feeling well and it was decidedly not appetizing.  Did eat a handful of mixed nuts to make sure that I had some food on my tummy for energy to get through the rest of the day. Finished water from before lunch.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened herbal lemon ginger herbal tea with 2 drops Thieves oil.  Skipped the Glucomannan and Oily supplements because I honestly wasn’t very hungry at all and didn’t want to fill up on fiber with no real substance.

Dinner – homemade chicken and vegetable soup, with homemade chicken broth (because my husband loves me!). 20 oz water

10:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96

Day 5: Friday, September 25, 2015

Figures the week I’d start trying to take better care of myself would be the first week in almost 2 years that I get sick.  The little one didn’t want to sleep in her crib last night so I wound up on the couch with her and was having alternating chills and sweats all night long.  I was still running a 100.3° fever this morning so called in to works and went to the Dr. Sure enough, bacterial sinus infection (thank goodness not the flu and the rapid strep was negative too). Got a round of antibiotics to help clear it up. So my goal was to relax and take care of myself today. Skipped my supplements because I wasn’t particularly hungry to begin with and wanted to make sure I ate enough food.

Day 5 Meals:

 5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – warm detox bath and 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from when I had my bath.

3:00 p.m. – unsweetened lemon ginger herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from earlier.

After dinner snack – cheated a bit and had a peach. It was one of the few things that was appetizing to me today and in the grand scheme of the glycemic index not too terribly high. 10 oz water.

Total water consumption = 70 oz

Day 6: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Still feeling under the weather but woke up with no fever! Yay! Have very little appetite today but no sugar cravings. And much to my surprise, I’ve lost almost 8 lbs in 6 days! I’m sure part of the reason my weight loss is that significant is because I haven’t eaten a whole lot the past couple days due to not feeling well, but if I can beat the sugar cravings and get back to eating well maybe I can lose a few more!  TMI alert – my stomach got really angry after eating the bacon and eggs this morning.  I desperately wanted something other than a smoothie and didn’t want to get hungry in the middle of shopping at our big bi-annual Kids Market consignment sale this morning.  My mom thinks it’s the antibiotics that upset my stomach not the bacon but I’m not so sure.  This is the first grease I’ve had in awhile (since even before starting the detox).  Of course it could be because I pretty much ate nothing but liquids the past 24 hours too.  Will have to see what tomorrow brings.

Day 6 Meals: 

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast- bacon and scrambled eggs with 1/2 peach. 20 oz water.

7:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – the last of the leftover chicken soup. 20 oz water.

Afternoon snack – raw veggies and hummus

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened lemon and ginger herbal tea

Dinner – “Italian” meatloaf (made with almond flour instead of breadcrumbs and a homemade tomato sauce instead of ketchup) with sautéed kale and baked zucchini. 20 oz water.

Total water consumption = 80 oz

Day 7: Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feeling a little bit better than yesterday but still not well.  Didn’t have a headache for most of the day.  Did have one hit in the late afternoon that was pretty bad and broke down and took some Ibuprofen and took a relaxing detox bath.  That helped and my headache went away for the rest of the day.  No sugar cravings today but still not much of an appetite.  I’m pleased to report that whatever upset my stomach yesterday didn’t bother me today.  I did make some bacon as an experiment and it didn’t bother me so who knows what it was yesterday?

Day 7 Meals:

7:00 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast– bacon and scrambled eggs. Glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

10:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover meatloaf and a few raw veggies with hummus. Finished water from earlier.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – detox bath.  20 oz water.

Dinner – baked chicken, sauteed Brussels sprouts, and steamed yellow squash, carrots, and onions.  10 oz water

Total Water Consumption – 70 oz

Day 8: Monday, September 28, 2015

Feeling a little bit better but still not 100% yet.  Had to return to work and anticipated that my appetite might return today so I resumed taking my fiber and oily supplements.  Trying to get back on track with the Meal Plan I had made after several revisions due to not feeling well and working in some chicken soup for some comfort food.

Day 8 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Ran out of Brewer’s Yeast but added Flaxseed Meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.

4:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

5:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. 20 oz water.

Dinner – turkey stuffed poblano peppers with broccoli, green bean and avocado salad. Finished water from earlier.

Total Water Consumption = 78

 Day 9: Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nothing new to note really.  Haven’t had any sugar cravings for a couple days now so that’s good.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve been actually physically hungry, rather than what I call emotionally hungry lately.  I can’t remember the last time that I felt hunger pains before I thought about food.  So I guess that’s good that I’m not constantly obsessing over food and what my next meal will be!  Got sick midday, had to leave work early and couldn’t even think about food in the evening.  Poor hubby already took the day off to take the baby back to the pediatrician and I couldn’t even give him a break when I got home from work.  He did great with the bedtime routine and let me crash around 7:45.  He takes such good care of me. I got a keeper!  Love my man so much!!!

Day 9 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – couple bites of salad greens with leftover ground turkey and broccoli, green bean and avocado salad from last night.  20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.  Something got the better of me and I was unable to keep lunch down. Went home from work sick.  I swear, this has not been my week!

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint tea

Dinner – couldn’t even fathom eating food.  Waves of nausea kept hitting me all night long.

6:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 78

Day 10: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Holy smokes! I lost 10.1 lbs!!! Say what!?! I’m sure part of it is because I was sick yesterday and didn’t eat much though. No nausea this morning but boy did my milk supply take a hit from yesterday. I’m sure I’m borderline dehydrated.  Even drinking water wasn’t super appealing yesterday evening but I tried to drink enough to get by.  Decided to skip the supplements today because I didn’t want to add anything to potentially upset my already delicate stomach.  Poor hubby woke up with a fever himself this morning so now he’s taking a sick day for himself.  Apparently we are just sharing germs among the whole family…

Day 10 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal. 16 oz water.

9:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – I couldn’t even look at the salad mix at home after eating so much of it and having stomach upset after eating it so I ventured out to the cafeteria on campus for lunch.  It is really hard to find food that meets the detox’s restrictions in a college cafeteria, or any buffet style restaurant I would assume.  They have a soup and salad bar so I figured I’d be safe there.  Unfortunately they only had really small side salad plates (I had to go back twice!) and both their soups had either rice or potatoes in them… Bummer.  But I was good overall.  I did cheat and used the Italian dressing which I’m sure has added sugar in it but I desperately wanted something other than oil and vinegar, which is the basis of my balsamic vinaigrette that I make.  16 oz water.

5:30 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – Baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and blanched green beans. Finished water from earlier.

7:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 82 oz

So this was really not my week.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so sick and I hate that it fell during the week that I was trying to do a detox to break my sugar addiction because I don’t think this really reflects my every day appetites.  But alas, when picking baby up from day care you often bring home more than just the baby.  I guess we were overdue.  It’s a lesson in being flexible I suppose. I am pleased to report, however, that I feel like I’ve managed to overcome my sugar addiction.  There has been A LOT of stuff in the house that is not on my diet plan (Did I mention the hubby got donuts the day he took the baby to the pediatrician) and I’ve done well to not only avoid eating it but haven’t really craved it.  There were a few evenings, especially early on that I really wanted something sweet after dinner.  I’m not sure why but it seems that before bed is my Achilles heel when it comes to sugar cravings.  But I’m reasonably confident that I can grab a piece of fruit or have a hot cup of tea with honey to satisfy my sweet tooth instead of eating something loaded with processed sugar. So that’s a win!

Also, my hunger cravings in general don’t seem to be bad.  I love food and honestly could eat all day, even when not hungry.  But lately I’ve found myself actually getting physically hungry rather than “emotionally hungry” or just thinking about food.  So that’s a huge change.  My portion control seems to be a bit better under control as well.  Of course several days I was sick so it’s not an accurate reflection of my appetite but by the last day I was more or less back to normal and these changes appeared to be lasting.

Which brings me to my weight loss.  Overall in the past 10 days I’ve managed to lose 10.1 lbs.  In addition, I’ve lost 3″ off my waist, 1.5″ off my hips, 2″ off my bust, 2″ from under my bust, and .5″ from my upper arm with no loss from my thighs. Even though this wasn’t my main objective, I’m really pleased with the results.  I honestly didn’t expect such dramatic loss.  I can only hope that by getting back into a clean eating/whole foods lifestyle that I’ll be able to keep it off and hopefully lost a bit more.

The question remains as to whether I will pursue the Transitional phase of the diet or not.  I’m seriously contemplating just adding back fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables, and gluten free grains (like quinoa) and continuing to abstain from dairy and gluten.  I haven’t decided yet and am still researching the pros and cons.  I admit, I miss cheese. And really I didn’t eat a ton of dairy or gluten anyway.  So we shall see.  If the research indicates that I might be able to shed a bit more weight by remaining dairy and gluten free for awhile I might just try it.  See resources below for more information on dairy and gluten.

 

Have you done the 10 Day Detox? What were your results like? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share your story!

 

Resources

Dr. Hyman on Dairy:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/06/24/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-at-all-costs-2/

Dr. Hyman on Gluten:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/12/04/gluten-making-sick-can-going-gluten-free-help-lose-weight/


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Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox

Sadly, my September Essential Rewards order processed a couple days later than expected so it did not arrive in time to start my new weight management routine or my 30 day NingXia challenge on the same day as my 10 Day Detox but better late than never! I’m excited to tell you all about my new oily routine to help support my healthy weight management goals as a supplement to my 10 Day Detox.

NingXia 30 Day Challenge

First up is NingXia Red.  I’ve been hearing so many things about this great product since I joined Young Living.  I tried the samples in the Starter Kit but didn’t really know a whole lot about what it was or why I need to take it until recently. Have you ever heard of the Wolfberry or Goji berry? The wolfberry is a “superfruit” that has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to help strengthen the body, promote fitness, prolong life, and ease transitioning of the seasons. In addition, Wolfberry supports healthy eye function and some research suggests that they may even help improve vision imperfections common with Type 2 Diabetics!

NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices to deliver a whole-body nutrient infusion.  The wolfberry and other superfruits provide sustainable energy and also contains powerful antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system by preventing free radical damage and oxidative stress.  The citrus oils contain d-limonene a powerful component that can help support GI and other bodily systems.

Now that I know a little bit more about NingXia Red I figured it was a good time to take the 30 Day NingXia Red challenge.  Not only could I use a bit of a sustainable energy boost as I give up coffee during my detox but the added nutritional benefit couldn’t hurt either. Not to mention, everyone around me is getting sick lately with the changing of the seasons so a little boost to immune support seems like a good idea!

More about the Wolfberry here from the National Institute of Health – Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects of Chinese Wolfberry.

More about d-limonene and how it helps support various body systems here from the National Insitute of Health – D-Limonene

DiGize Support

In addition to my shot of NingXia Red each morning I’ve decided to add a couple drops of DiGize to help support my digestive system.  DiGize is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.

My GI tract function is hit or miss and honestly I don’t really know what all sets off discomfort or irregularity.  I’m actually kind of hoping that after my 10 Day Detox when I add back dairy and gluten per Dr. Hyman’s recommendations that maybe I’ll discover the root cause.  But since a detox is all about flushing toxins from the system I figure a little boost to the Digestive system might help rid my system of sugar and unwanted toxins in a more efficient manner.  I’ve heard lots of personal testimonials about people taking DiGize daily either before meals or in a capsule as part of their vitamin and supplement routine.  I highly recommend searching some of these out to find out how DiGize has helped others maintain a healthy digestive system and minimize discomfort!

 

Weight Management Support

Lastly, is my weight management routine.  There is lots of information on the interwebz about essential oils for weight loss.  In fact, Lemon, Peppermint, and Grapefruit have long been dubbed the “weight-loss trio.”  The idea of taking essential oils to help reach and maintain a healthy weight seemed a bit too good to be true but I did a little research and was surprised by what I found about these oils and how they can be used along with proper diet and exercise to help support healthy weight management goals.  First a little about the individual oils then I’ll tell you how I use them.

Lemon – Lemon is well known in diet and weight loss circles as having a natural detoxifying effect on the body. In fact the Master Cleanse diet that was so populare several years ago is based on this premise. Lemon essential oil contains limonene which helps aid in healthy digestive function, cleanses and revitailizes the urinary tract, supports a healthy immune system and can promote healthy, younger looking skin.

More about limonene from WebMD

Peppermint – Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for supporting normal digestion, including promoting healthy intestinal function and gastrointestinal system comfort.  Peppermint may also act like a diuretic to help flush the toxins from your system!

Grapefruit – Grapefruit helps promote healthy weight management by supporting proper metabolic function and reducing sugar cravings.  Like Lemon essential oil, Grapefruit oil contains limonene and also helps cleanse the system and aids in digestion and immune system support. (Note: consumption of Grapefruit, or other citrus oils, may increase photosensitivity.  Always wear sunscreen!)

 More about Grapefruit essential oil from Dr. Axe

Cinnamon Bark – Cinnamon Bark contains the naturally occurring constituent cinnamaldehyde which stimulates metabolism, helps support healthy blood sugar levels and promotes a healthy immune response.

Ocotea – Ocotea is an essential oil extracted from an Equadorian tree, Ocotea Quixos.  It is also known as “fake cinnamon” and like cinnamon Ocotea may help support healthy blood sugar levels.  In addition, Ocotea has the highest level of alpha humulene of any Young Living essential oil, which is a compound that helps aid the body’s natural response to irritation and injury. Ocotea also has natural cleansing and purifying properties and can help promote relaxation as well.

More about alpha humulene here from The Leaf Online – Terpene Profile: Humulene

Slique Essence – Slique Essence is a unique blend of Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon, Spearmint and Ocotea essential oils with stevia extract.  It is part of Young Living’s Slique line of products designed to help promote satiety and support healthy weight management.  They also offer Balance Complete meal replacement shakes, Slique protein bars, Slique tea, Slique dietary supplements, Slique gum and a Slique Complete kit of products to help you find the right solution for your weight management needs.

 

 

Oily Support

So how am I using these to support my healthy weight management goals?

First thing in the morning I take a 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with a drop or two of DiGize to help provide some energy and support my digestive system during my detox.

In a vegetable capsule (which I also ordered from Young Living) I combine 3 drops of Lemon, 3 drops of Peppermint, 3 drops of Grapefruit, 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark, and 2 drops of Ocotea and fill with carrier oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  I take a capsule in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.  To make it easy I’ve been taking them at the same time as my Glucomannan fiber supplement, about 20-30 minutes before meals.

In the afternoon after I finish lunch, I add 4 drops of Slique Essence to my water.

 

Want more information on how essential oils can help you achieve your weight management goals? Check out this article from Natural Living Ideas: The Complete Guide to Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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My New Adventure: The 10 Day Detox – to help break my sugar addiction and get back to a Clean Eating/Whole Foods Lifestyle!

As a general rule I don’t believe in dieting because I don’t believe that it is sustainable.  I’ve done the yo yo dieting trying everything from Atkins to South Beach to Weight Watchers and had some success with them all.  But inevitably I always wind up gaining more weight back and have watched the scale slowly creep up my whole life.  In January of 2014 my husband and I made an agreement to be more conscious about the food we were eating and to start focusing on clean eating and a whole foods lifestyle. Pretty much synonymous in their meanings, clean eating and whole foods “diets” are really more about lifestyle changes. The basic concept is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.  This essentially means having an awareness of what you are eating, reading labels, and focusing on eating real food that hasn’t been processed, refined, enriched, or added to.  It cuts out pretty much anything artificial and minimizes exposure to unnecessary additives and preservatives.  And ultimately it means that you spend more time preparing and cooking in your home.  We’ve enjoyed our transition over the years and take pride in viewing our grocery cart (or Costco flatbed as is more often the case) filled to the brim with fruits, vegetables, organic meats, and whole grains and it has inspired some pretty creative recipes and regular menu additions thanks to my awesome hubby and his intuitive approach to cooking (something I lack).  This lifestyle change was so beneficial that when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at 12 weeks pregnant with my daughter that I didn’t have to make too many changes to my regular eating habits to keep my blood sugar within normal limits.  As a lucky silver lining, I only gained 17 lbs during my pregnancy which melted off pretty quickly thanks to breastfeeding.  And I’m blessed to be under my pre-pregnancy weight by 10 or so lbs at 8 months postpartum.

However, the unexpected (although really I should’ve anticipate it) side effect of being forced into avoiding certain foods is that after my daughter was born both myself, and my husband, have been on a pretty constant carb and sugar binge since January.  I’m a firm believer that almost anything in moderation is okay but I admit I have a full on sugar addiction.  I literally crave sweet stuff morning, noon, and night.  While my husband has impulse buys at Kroger and will happily help me eat the oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies I was making to help boost my milk supply he has a job where he runs 100 miles per hour all day long and walks, no kidding, an average of 10 miles a day.  I… do not.  I sit at a desk in between counseling sessions where I sit in a chair opposite my clients and listen to them tell me about their problems.  It’s a pretty sedentary job.  And exercise? Forget about it. That’s the equivalent of a 4 letter word in my vocabulary.  About the only exercise I get is walking up the 3 flights of stairs to my office in the mornings. So, needless to say, that even though I’ve been blessed to have not gained any weight during these last 8 months I won’t be able to keep this up for long before it catches up to me.  So I started trying to figure out how to break my sugar addiction to get back on track.

My research led to me Dr. Hyman’s 10 Day Detox Diet.  Dr. Hyman is the author of another book called the Blood Sugar Solution.  I was intrigued by his approach because he focuses on helping you break your addiction to sugar and to make positive lifestyle changes to prevent disease and maintain a healthy weight.  Given my risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes (family history, GD during pregnancy, weight, etc.) I liked that he stresses the importance of foods that help keep your blood sugar within normal limits and lowering your risk of diabetes and other diseases.  Once you get past the initial “diet” phase of the detox what he suggests is pretty similar to the lifestyle I was leading last year.  So it seemed like a good fit for me.  I figure I could do 10 days, right? Guess we shall see.

So what’s the 10 Day Detox all about? Basically it cuts out all sugar, carbs, starchy veggies, and foods that tend to increase inflammation and cause GI distress for 10 days.  In addition, Dr. Hyman encourages other healthy lifestyle practices including exercise (ugh!), detox baths, mindfulness meditation, journaling and relaxation exercises to help you along your journey.  I’m cheap frugal so I didn’t want to buy the book (and lets get real, I’d read it then it would sit on a shelf and collect dust for 10-20 odd years before I got frustrated with the clutter and decided to purge my home of junk).  I’m sure his publisher would tell you that you need to buy the book and in fact, you may find it easier.  I’m sure it’s full of a wealth of information and guidelines, recipes and meal plans but I’m stubborn and decided to research until I was blue in the face to avoid spending the 16 some odd dollars it cost to buy the book.   So if you are like me and just want the bare bones and to figure it out on your own without someone telling you specifically what to eat and when, here’s what I learned.

The first 10 days you get none of this:

NO Caffeine, including tea, soft drinks, coffee, lattes, etc.; NO Alcohol, including beer, wine, or spirits; NO Sweetened beverages, including juice; NO Processed foods – if it comes in a box or a can, unless it is a whole food in a can like tuna, don’t eat it; NO Sugar or anything that has added sugar in the ingredients (read carefully!); NO Gluten, including wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, and oats; NO Flour or any food made from flour, including crackers, pasta, bread, pretzels, etc.; NO Grains – no rice or even quinoa during the first 10 days; NO Starches, including sweet potato, potato, squash, parsnip, beets, etc.; Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, kidney beans, etc.; and NO Dairy, including yogurt, sour cream, cheese, milk, etc.

A little of that:

Fruits – in moderation, low-sugar fruits, single portions, including berries, blueberries, cranberries, kiwi, lemon, and lime

And unlimited amounts of non-starchy veggies, including:

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beet greens, Bell peppers (red, yellow, green), Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger root, Green beans, Hearts of palm, Jalapeño peppers, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Radicchio, Radishes, Shallots, Snap beans, Snow peas, Spinach, Summer squash, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Zucchini, etc.

In addition, you are encouraged to stock up on lots of foods that will help detoxify, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy weight loss, including:

Lean proteins (preferably organic, grass-fed and sustainably raised) like chicken, turkey, salmon, omega-3 eggs, tofu or tempeh; Extra virgin olive oil; Extra virgin coconut butter (often called coconut oil); Other healthy oils that you like (walnut, sesame, grape seed, flax, or avocado); Nut butters (raw if possible; choose from almond, cashew, macadamia nut or walnut); Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts; Seeds: hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, Tahini (sesame-seed paste — great for salad dressings and in sauces for vegetables); Canned full-fat coconut milk; Unsweetened hemp or almond milk; Almond meal; Apple cider vinegar; Balsamic vinegar; Low-sodium, gluten-free tamari; Low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken); Dijon mustard; Sea salt; Black pepper (peppercorns that you can grind fresh); and detoxifying and anti-inflammatory dried herbs and spices, including turmeric, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, paprika and parsley.

 

Dr. Hyman recommends a prep phase where you rid your home of the tempting ingredients you aren’t allowed to eat and start to taper yourself off of your daily caffeine intake.  I’m a bad example and totally skipped this step.  It didn’t seem fair to hubby to make him completely follow the diet just because I wanted to detox so there’s plenty of stuff I can’t eat in the house for him to indulge on for lunch, snacks, and add-on items for his dinner to ensure that he is full enough and doesn’t want to kill me! lol!  And I only really drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day and no other caffeine so I decided to go cold turkey.

The first 10 days is the actual detox phase.  It is the most restrictive phase of the diet.  After the detox is what Dr. Hyman calls the transition phase where for the next 6 weeks you pick the plan that best meets your needs. There are several options including the Super-Advanced (if you need to lose 25+ lbs or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure and are wanting to get off your medications), the Advanced (which is basically the Super-Advanced but adds legumes), and the Basic Transition phases (Chewfo has a good breakdown of the Transition phases).  While I could probably stand to lose 25+ lbs I honestly don’t have it in me to stick to such restrictive diet.  Even the Basic Transition phase continues to prohibit dairy and gluten but does add back in legumes, gluten-free grains and starchy veggies in moderation.  Truthfully, here at the beginning of my adventure my plan is to pretty much skip the transition phase.  Although I do think I will follow the guidelines suggested for adding back dairy and gluten after the transition phase to see how my body reacts to these things after not eating them for awhile.  I’m curious how my GI tract and any general inflammation (like carpal tunnel) may react.  But I guess we will get to the end of our 10 days and see how it’s going.  If I have some crazy amount of weight loss and am feeling great I may just try the Basic Transition phase out at least until our vacation (because really? Who diets on vacation!?!).

 

Words of Warning: it is generally NOT recommended to attempt any detox or cleanse while pregnant or breastfeeding.  The main reason why is because if you consume too many toxins for your organs to safely process your body has a fail safe system where it attaches a buffer molecule to temporarily reduce the toxicity and stores the toxins in your cells as a way to keep them out of your blood stream and away from your organs.  A good detox is designed such that it knocks these buffer molecules lose and releases the toxins in your cells into your blood stream to be sent to your liver to be processed.  Once they have been entered into the blood stream they are not only released through urination, bowel movements, and the skin (acne anyone?) but they can also then pass through the placenta if pregnant, or breastmilk if nursing.  Since you are obviously trying to rid your own body of nasty toxins you most likely are concerned enough to not want your baby exposed to them either.  In addition, during a detox you run the risk of dehydration or too little nutrition which can impact your milk supply if nursing.

“But wait, are YOU still nursing!?!” you may ask.  Ah! You’re paying attention! I am still nursing my 8 month old daughter.  However, I have done my research and made an educated decision to go ahead and commit to the 10 Day Detox even despite this.  Because I tend to follow a clean eating whole foods lifestyle as a general rule and have long since cut out processed foods, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and most of the toxic junk people are usually trying to rid their systems of I figure that a sugar detox for me will have much fewer nasty toxins being released into my system than the average person.  I already drink nothing but water throughout the day and it’s a pretty easy fix to bump up my water intake to prevent dehydration.  And lastly, I’ve created my own meal plan to follow that ensures I will get enough nutrition throughout the day, without calorie counting, by adding in healthy snack options and also adding in some Brewer’s Yeast and Flax meal to my morning smoothies to help boost supply.  I also researched to some degree the 21 Day Sugar Detox which is safe to follow while breastfeeding.  Overall, the similarities between the 21 Day Sugar Detox and the 10 Day Detox Diet are remarkable.  The breastfeeding modifications for the 21 Day Sugar Detox pretty much just ensure that you are eating enough of a caloric intake to support both you and your baby.  So I figured that was a pretty easy modification to the 10 Day Detox while only restricting my diet for 10 days instead of a full 21.  If I have good luck with the first 10 days, I may just consider pushing another 11 for good measure.  But I know me, and that seems really overwhelming, so I’m taking it in baby steps. However, you should do your research, and a lot of it, before committing to any detox diet if you are breastfeeding (and I wouldn’t recommend it at all if you are preggers).

 

So there you have it.  Today is the start of my new adventure on this 10 Day Detox.  I’ll be adding additional posts about my Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management and my Daily Journal and Meal Plan over the next 10 days so stay tuned to hear how it goes! Wish me luck!

 

Have you done the 10 Day Detox? I’d love to hear how it went for you and any tips or tricks you learned! Comment below!

 

Want to know what online resources I used to research the 10 Day Diet without springing for the book? Check out these websites:

Dr. Hyman’s website (lots of general info and some good recipes too):

http://drhyman.com/

Dr. Oz’s episode on the 10 Day Detox (The first link has several other links embedded that you can click to take the Toxicity Quiz, get the link to the Meal-Plan One Sheet quick reference, and to get Dr. Mark Hyman’s breakfast smoothie recipe):

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/10-day-detox-diet-jump-start-guide

An alternative to Dr. Hyman’s breakfast smoothie (note: I chose to use unsweetened Almond milk instead of the Soy Milk listed in this recipe as the Soy Milk she used has added sugar):

http://www.smartandsavvymom.com/2015/01/10/strawberry-banana-almond-smoothie-my-go-to-detox-smoothie/

A good Food List to help get you started understanding what’s allowed and what’s not during the 10 Day Detox:

http://www.chewfo.com/diets/the-blood-sugar-solution-10-day-detox-diet-by-mark-hyman-2014-what-to-eat-foods-to-avoid-food-list/

Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10 Day Detox One-Week Quick Start Recipe Guide:

http://10daydetox.com/toptenfoodlies/_downloads/ONE-WEEK_QUICK_START_RECIPE_GUIDE-ONLNE.pdf

An ingredient cheat sheet for Dr. Hyman’s Super Salad Bar:

http://www.foodily.com/r/whx6k3y7jc-dr-hymans-super-salad-bar-by-shashi-srikantan 


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Lactation Smoothies: A Healthier Alternative to Cookies! #WBW2015

To continue celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2015 I thought I would follow up on my Lactation Cookie recipe with a healthier alternative for those mamas who follow a clean eating lifestyle or who are trying to shed some of that baby weight. If you missed my previous post a couple weeks ago head on over and check it out now for tips on how to increase your breastmilk production naturally and get that cookie recipe for when you are needing a sweet tooth fix!

I’ve mentioned several times before how much I love my Vitamix.  Not only does it help us make healthy and nutritious baby food but it helps us stick to our clean eating lifestyle by making green smoothies when we need a quick meal or a protein boost. There are all sorts of smoothie recipes on the interwebz that you can find with simple Google or Pinterest search so I won’t go into a great deal of detail on smoothies but I will mention that we prefer “Green” smoothies, which means that we add dark leafy “power” greens to our smoothies to help provide an energy boost, increase our fiber intake, and get all the delicious nutrients like Vitamins A, K, D, and E!  I really like this blog post on How to Create the Perfect Green Smoothie from 100 Days of Real Food.

My favorite ingredients to make Green Smoothies with are:

  • Greens – we like Kale, Rainbow Chard, Spinach, or our favorite is the organic “Power Greens” blend from the produce section at Costco.  You can portion it up into individual portion sizes and freeze it to keep it from going bad since it’s a giant bag!
  • Fresh or Frozen fruit – We prefer frozen so it makes the smoothie cold without having to add ice. We like to buy the organic Antioxidant blend with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from Costco.  They also have a Mango blend of frozen fruit that is really yummy!
  • Bananas – Aside from tasting really good bananas are loaded with vitamins making them really good for you.  They are an excellent source of Potassium which can help prevent cramps after long workouts! Plus they help keep the texture of your smoothie nice and creamy.
  • Greek Yogurt – Adds protein to your smoothie and is an excellent source of probiotics to keep your gut healthy and happy.  We buy the Kirkland Signature two-pack at Costco.
  • Soy Milk – I find that Green Smoothies can be really thick and often need a bit of liquid to smooth them out and make them a texture that I like to drink.  So I add Soy Milk instead of water.  We get the Vanilla flavored Silk brand from Costco.  It’s got a little added sugar to it to make it sweet.  Between this and the fruit I find I don’t need to add any natural sweeteners. Plus the isoflavones in soy help lower cholesterol naturally and can help fight heart disease!
  • Chia Seeds – Packs a whopping punch of extra fiber, protein, and vitamins for your smoothie!

Already have a smoothie recipe that you love? Add the following to your favorite smoothie recipe to help boost your breastmilk production and stick to your healthy eating plan!

  • 1 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast
  • 2 tbsp ground Flax meal
  • 1/3 cup of Oatmeal

Have a tried and true Lactation Smoothie recipe you want to share with us for World Breastfeeding Week #WBW2015? Share it in the comments below!