Feeling Great While Cleansing

Artichoke, Tomato, and Lentil StewIt’s day 5 of my cleanse and I feel really good except for a sore throat.  The throat has nothing to do with the cleanse and everything to do with sucking in cold air while running outside.  My energy is high, I’ve had delicious meals, and dropped a couple of pounds.  The picture is the Lentil Artichoke Stew that I made.  Yum!

My goals for this cleanse were to be more mindful of my lunches and to do more self-care.  I had been rushing through lunch lately and not paying as much attention to myself as I should.  I was feeling depleted and anxious as a result and wanted to reset those habits.Happily, my lunches were back on track this week and I made more time for meditation, baths, and quiet time.  I slept better and my mindset was happier.  This weekend I’m going for a massage as well.  While I don’t love getting mani/pedis I’m a sucker for a good massage.

An interesting thing for me is usually when I cleanse I crave sugar the first day or two.  This time I didn’t, nor was I looking for my other vice – cheese.  Surprisingly what I missed was black tea.  For the cleanse I stick to green since it’s full of antioxidants and has less caffeine.

I have been exercising but I believe in taking an easier approach while cleansing.  With less food our bodies don’t have the energy to sustain a long run or heavy gym session. While it’s great to move your body and sweat a bit, the way to take care of yourself is to do less mileage or a gentler session.

I fully recommend resetting your eating habits before the craziness of the season sets in.  You can visit my webpage, http://empoweredplate.com/press-the-reset-button-cleanse  to participate in one of my cleanses.  It’s full of delicious recipes that are easy to prepare.

 

You Ate What After Running?!

I am known for being straight up with people.  If you ask me what I think I’m going to tell you.  So when a friend recently told me, rather proudly, that she ran 10 miles and went back to eat an egg white omelet and salad I really couldn’t help my response.  I looked at her and asked, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?  You ran 10 miles and you don’t feel your body is entitled to a yolk?”

Seriously, your body needs fuel, especially when you’re active, and it requires whole foods to get the appropriate nutrition.  You need fats, you need carbs, and you need protein.  A yolk holds an amazing amount of goodness; anything that is naturally brightly colored is full of vitamins and nutrients.

In the case of the yolk it has choline which plays a key role in brain health and keeps your circulatory system clear of inflammation.  Inflammation is what leads to a variety of diseases. It has a unique protein that keeps platelets from clumping together in blood vessels, minimizing heart attack.  It maintains bone health with Vitamin D and it has lutein which keeps your vision sharp.

When you eat fragmented foods you are not getting the nutrients your body needs.  They are generally lacking in key vitamins, fiber, protein or fats.  A runner is fueled by carbohydrates and fats, it’s what provides energy during a long run.  By not refueling properly you tank on your next run.  A normal run becomes unnecessarily hard and it takes the body longer to recover.

So eat the yolk and add in a piece of whole grain toast, a side of grits, or oatmeal.  Your body will thank you. Interested in more tips on what to eat and why?  I have a recording of my teleclass that you can listen to.  The call in number is: 1 209-255-1099 and the access code is: 842695.

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

The Italians have a phrase that is “Il dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing”  We’re so busy rushing from one place to the next that every now and then it’s nice, even necessary, to just check out for a little while.

I had a ton of stuff to do and my head was filled with “I should do x y and z.”  Unfortunately there was also a nagging pain in my forehead and all I really wanted to do was nothing.  I haven’t had a quiet day since the storm last week.  It’s all been go go go since then and my body is starting to rebel.

I am achy, I feel a cold coming on and I know I just need time to chill out.  So rather than doing all the pressing things that need my attention I’m taking a little me time.  I played a mindless game of spider solitaire and then I napped.  There is something decadent about taking a nap in the middle of the day, when I should be at my most productive.

I knew that I’d be more productive after a nap.  Work is easier when you feel refreshed.  Things look brighter when you’re rested.  It’s a quick inexpensive way to regroup and rejuvenate, no travel necessary.

What is the way you disengage and just relax?  Post your comment, I’d love to know.

 

Insider Tips on Storm Stress Management

You may know that I live on Staten Island which has been hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.  The amount of damage is tragic and unbelievable.  So many have lost their homes, cars and lives.  My family has been extremely fortunate and we were just inconvenienced by power loss.

Not a big deal in the scheme of things.  In fact it made me more aware of what I’m grateful for, what we truly need in life and what I can do without.  Gratitude is a powerful stress buster.  I can do without power as long as I have the people I love, food and shelter.  I am grateful that this was the case.

I cannot say that I didn’t find the storm scary or stressful, it was.  I prayed, meditated, and did a lot of deep breathing.  I even took a candle lit bath.  The next day I journaled and exercised to keep my mind clear and calmer.  There is a lot to be said for practicing self care during stressful times.

I’m not the best at meditating but it’s better than letting fear and wild thoughts run in my brain like a hamster on a wheel.  And it’s called a practice for a reason!  If you are new to meditation I suggest starting with 5 – 10 minutes of sitting quietly in a comfortable position. I sit in a chair or on the floor with my back against a chair.

Set a timer so you aren’t focusing on how long you’re sitting still.  Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths in through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.  Then just focus on the breath, not changing it – just noticing how it feels going in and out of your body.  Then start silently saying the word so on the inhale and on the exhale silently say the word hum.  So hum.

If your mind starts to wander, acknowledge the thought but don’t follow it.  Gently bring your attention back to your breath and the so hum phrase.  When your time is up slowly open your eyes and just sit for a moment or two before getting up.

If you are able, another way of showing gratitude is to make a donation to the Red Cross or to volunteer.  In the NY area you can find out where to volunteer here:  https://www.facebook.com/nycservice.

Namaste.