day 92. Instead of reaching for that pill bottle, let food be your medicine

natural painkillers

Many foods and herbs have amazing anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.

So what, you say? Well, I’ve been reading about the nasty side effects of pharmaceutical medications, so just bear with me.

Even though I rarely use pharmaceuticals these days, the one thing I have long struggled to give up is my use of pain relief. As someone who experiences back and neck pain, as well as chronic headaches, migraines, and period pain, giving up pain relief seemed impossible.

I switched from paracetemol to ibuprofen many years ago, thinking it was gentler to the body. Wrong! After reading about the effects of using ibuprofen – including damage to the digestive, intestinal, cardiovascular, and kidney systems, as well as interfering with tissue healing – I realised I needed a serious change in behaviour in the area of pain relief.

Was it possible I could be undoing all my good work by taking ibuprofen a couple of times a month?

So now I’m going through my first painkiller free cycle (friends may want to give me a wide berth for a few days). The symptoms are still there, but I’ve committed to not medicating them away.

Louise Hay, in her book Heal Your Body, says headaches and migraines are about invalidating the self, resisting the flow of life, self-criticism and fear. PMS is giving power to outside influences and a rejection of the feminine processes. How often do we ignore our bodies and keep pushing them to perform in the world, out of fear, or a resistance to signals of tiredness and pain? I know I do.

So I committed to listening to my body and re-discovering ways to treat pain without drugs, through food, gentle exercise, heat packs, lavender oil, meditation, herbal tea, and rest.

Sometimes it means not being able to function, and having to say no to things I could do if I popped some pain relief medication. It feels like letting my body being in charge instead of my mind.

In the meantime, I have found much peace and comfort listening to Marianne Williamson.

Marianne is a Hay House published author, another writer that I lumped in the Louise Hay school of trite New Agers and ignored until recently.

Her use of Christian ideology can be a little off putting to those not so inclined, but her message is that we are all enough as we are, that we are exactly where we are meant to be to learn what we are meant to learn, and really, if we could just stop stressing about where we should be in life, and just inject some love into our thoughts and actions, we could be the truly magnificent beings that we are meant to be.

I don’t know what’s changed in me, but I just love it.

She suggests committing to total surrender of all your thoughts for one week. And you know, just see what happens. I decided to give it a try. Every time I find myself thinking (read stressing out) about what to do, is this right or wrong? I just remembered, oh yeah, I surrender. Okay, universe show me what to do. I let go and trust.

My logical mind says this is crazy! And then the next thing is I’m not stressing and somehow I feel perfectly okay.

I have to remind myself to do this every few minutes. I keep taking back control, having new thoughts, stressing myself out.

Let go. Of what? Of my thoughts.

Having a pounding headache has helped me because it actually hurts to worry. So the incentive to let go of worrying thoughts and relax is far greater than when I feel good.

Talk about finding the silver lining!

If you are interested in the research about NSAIDS:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2042132/How-taking-painkillers-destroy-stomach-lining-days.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/102201-ibuprofen-side-effects-longterm-use/#page=6

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111123706.htm

http://fellrnr.com/wiki/NSAIDs_and_Running

If you are interested in natural and nutritional ways to relieve pain:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/02/the-healing-power-of-foods-that-fight-pain_n_1316436.html

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/11/19-homemade-remedies-for-headache-pain.html

day 89. consistency and patience – boring! how about some chocolate instead?

cacao beans

I was at a Korean restaurant last night and in the bathroom was one of those generic pictures of a lightning bolt with an inspirational quote. Apparently a misquote from Emerson, but it said something like “Be like nature: her pace is consistency and patience”

You know what its like with those things. One day you read an inspirational quote and groan with how twee it all is. And the next day it hits you between the eyes like God herself is speaking directly to you. I really pondered this.

It makes sense, if you think about it. If you do something consistently and with patience, it means you do it, and you keep doing it, and even when it sucks and it doesn’t seem to be working and you’re sick of it, well, you just keep doing it. And being patient means you’re not at all obsessed with seeing instant results or quick fixes, you just wait, like, patiently.

Now to some of you, this is a duh moment. But to me, its a lightbulb moment, a ray of light, if you will. Because nature always breaks through in the end, green sprouts grow through cracks in the concrete, you just can’t keep her down.

I want to be like nature – quietly irrepressible.

This week, however, I think I’m still under the concrete pavement waiting to break through.

I don’t know where the week has gone, or more to the point I don’t know where I ever found the time to blog, because at the moment, I just can’t seem to.

I blame the juicer. It’s one thing making green smoothies every morning, but juicing as well. It’s very time consuming.

Seriously though, it’s not the juicer. I’m just having another tired phase. I’m so tired, ALL the time. I go to sleep tired, I wake up tired, I drag my tired body through the day.

I think out of all the physical symptoms I suffer, the tiredness is the worst. Because it is really hard to get motivated to do the stuff I need to do to feel better. I JUST CANT BE BOTHERED. Pull the doona up. Nigh nigh.

So I have finally decided that while I believe all the dietary and lifestyle changes are good for me, I need some help with getting over whatever the hell is wrong with me. Because I’ve checked, it’s just not normal to want to sleep ALL the time.

My friend told me about an integrative doctor she is seeing. It’s super expensive which has put me off, as my already straining budget tries to incorporate organic food and my social life evaporates due to lethargy and poverty, but I have become willing to try anything that might help.

So I’ll fork out the bucks for the fancy doctor, but I’ll stick with my smoothies and juices, even though it’s like a full time job, and I already have a job, and a kid, and ten gazillion other things on my plate. Just keep saying it, consistency and patience…

While I’m being so patient, I’ve been experimenting with making my own raw chocolate. A rather pleasurable experiment – far better than my green smoothie experiments. Because really, compared to liquified vegetables, how wrong can chocolate get?

These are my faves so far.

And cacao is really good for you – antioxidants, antidepressants, and magnesium. So don’t worry, they’re guilt-free (in moderation).

raw choc nuts

raw choc

Raw chocolate

So the base recipe is the same:

6 tbsps raw cacao

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)

Vanilla essence or pod

Blend in food processor. You know it’s blended when it rolls itself up into a ball.

Add whatever you like in the way of flavourings. The first one I just added some almonds and gave it another spin in the food processor until they were roughly chopped through the chocolate.

The second one has almonds, coconut and goji berries.

Press into a container or chocolate moulds and put in the fridge for at least an hour to set. Chop up into pieces and enjoy!

day 81. I think I pulled a muscle going with the flow

GoWithTheFlow

I try too hard. I’m just going to say that upfront. This I know about myself.

I love the concept of going with the flow. However when I try it, to use the preferred analogy, I usually end up in the river with the flow going the ‘wrong’ way and me swimming frantically against it. Or at the very least, even if I’m going in the direction of the flow, I’m trying to push it forward faster than it wants to go.

Hence the concept of pulling a muscle going with the flow.

I realise I have to stop trying so hard. But where’s the balance between trying too hard and not trying at all?

There’s certainly a middle way between stuffing my face watching episodes of Arrow and meditating and chakradancing and drinking green juices. But it beats me if I can find it.

Yesterday I felt triggered by some emotional stuff with an ex. I came home from work and made my banana-cacao ice-cream which I ate with goji berries and pepitas – all good and green and healthy – and curled up in bed with the DVD series Unites States of Tara. It was okay, kind of nurturing, until I ate my third bowl.

Instead of writing myself off for the night and letting my over-eating take over, I went for a run with the dog, did a chakradance and then did a chakra chanting meditation. After which I fell soundly asleep at 9:30pm.

I woke up today feeling so refreshed. The depression that’s been dogging me for a month has lifted (for now).

I don’t have the answers about how to find balance. I’m still learning.

It’s no wonder I’m such a try hard, growing up in a family of overachievers.

My dad overcame disability and chronic childhood illness to become a leader in his field and be awarded an OAM for his life work.

My mum was a working mother, who raised two kids, worked full time, and on weekends would engage in DIY activities like jack-hammering the concrete in the back yard and paving it with bricks. Then she’d cook and host a dinner party for 10.

Yep. Enough is never enough for my family.

When I came home with A on my report card, dad would say “why isn’t it an A+”. When I got 98% on my English final, he said “where did you lose the 2%?” I realise now he was kind of joking, but under the humour it was serious. He wanted me to always strive for better, like he did.

Now there’s nothing wrong with striving, as long as we feel like we are enough already.

My friend always reminds me “I am enough, I do enough, I have enough.”

Yep, there’s a lot of psychological conditioning from my childhood to overcome first!

On the plus side I believe my super-strong willpower has kept me going through depression and recovery from various addictions over the years. No matter how tough things have got, I never give up.

I can’t believe it’s five days since I last posted!

Y’all deserve two recipes for waiting that long.

I’ve been craving B12, well at least I assume that’s why I’ve been hankering for seaweed and tempeh. They’re not exactly comfort foods.

After a day of eating sushi and then having the tempeh pesto on zucchini noodles last night, I’m feeling much less foggy in the head. The bonus is they taste great too! The lemon zest in the pesto gives it a gorgeous cheesy taste. But don’t take my word for it – try it yourself.

Tempeh Pesto

tempeh pesto

1/2 cup almonds

1 cup parsley leaves

1 cup coriander

lemon rind of 1/2 lemon

juice 1/2 lemon

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

100g tempeh

Blend until desired texture. Serve on top of your favourite noodles, I use zucchini.

Raw sushi

sushi

Nori (seaweed) sheets

Grated zucchini

Sliced capsicum (in strips)

Sliced cucumber (in strips)

Spring onion

Avocado

Braggs amino spray

Assemble ingredients on nori sheet, spray with Bragg’s or shoyu sauce, roll up and cut according to taste – I cut in half as it tends to be less sturdy than nori rolls made with rice.

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day 76. cleaning up my act

natural-organic-skin-care

Day 10 of my smoothie/juice cleanse is done. Woo hoo!

Feeling pretty chuffed that I stuck it out through all the negative chatter going on in my mind.

A gentle transition from a cleanse back to regular eating is recommended, and to be honest I’m not in any hurry, I have really enjoyed my green smoothies, leafy salads, and vegetable juices.

During this time of cleansing I have also embarked on two exciting new developments in my zest for healthy living.

I planted a vegetable garden. Well, a garden and some pots as well. The seeds are only just starting to sprout but my seedling herbs are looking really good – I just have to stop eating them before they grow!

Herbs

The second development is that I had some kind of epiphany about cosmetics and cleaning products.

I have been trying for some time to buy eco-friendly and animal-friendly products, but that doesn’t always equate to organic and toxin-free.

Plus, I have still been guilty of buying hair-dye, nail polish and fake tanning products that were on special at the supermarket.

Anyway, it occurred to me that it was rather pointless to be spending so much time, energy and money on organic food and making smoothie and juices to detox my body, if I then just retox it with chemicals on my skin.

If you want a quick diagrammatic version of why this stuff is worth considering, check out this visual: what’s your skin eating?

In the course of my reading I discovered the creator of the natural make-up brand Inika, treated her infertility partially with diet and eliminating products that contain potentially harmful chemicals, particularly endocrine disrupting chemicals (found in makeup, nail polish & household cleaners.)

The two best natural cleaners are vinegar and baking soda. But if like me, sometimes you want some detergent on hand, I really like this brand Bio Dynamix, made from soap nut and other natural ingredients.

I am also on  mission to stop using plastic containers/bags to house my food and drinks. Years ago my friend was selling these fregie sacks to raise money for charity, and they are awesome. You take them shopping and then hold the veggies in the fridge, and the bonus is the veggies don’t sweat and go soggy and brown. And the bags come in a range of gorgeous rainbow colours too!

fregiebags

As well as the plastic bags that I store/buy my food in, there is also the containers I use to freeze and cook them.

I always thought the good quality plastic containers were okay, but apparently they can be a bit hit and miss, see here for more info on the toxins in plastic.

The safest bet is glass or ceramic. Looks like I need to invest in some mason jars. Time to drag out the old ceramic dishes from the back of the cupboard and have a look here for some snazzy glass cookware.

I’ve listed a whole heap of sites below that I looked at for this post. I’d love to hear about others.

Check out these natural cosmetic sites:

http://www.muktiorganics.com

http://inika.com.au/about-inika-natural-and-organic-and-mineral-cosmetics

http://www.barenaturals.com.au (they have eco tan for those like me who are tan-challenged)

Natural cleaners

http://totalorganicproducts.com.au

http://www.naturedirect.com.au/did-you-know.html

Nasty chemicals to avoid:

http://visual.ly/whats-your-skin-eating

http://www.safecosmeticsaustralia.com.au/2012/10/nasty-chemicals-z.html

Plastics – safe or not?

http://careandvalue.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/how-safe-is-tupperware-and-other-plastic-containers/

Safe food containers

http://www.thefregiesack.com.au

http://www.shopnaturally.com.au/glass-cookware-food-storage-heat-resistant.html

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day 73. what am I hungry for?

SWEDISH-CHEF-psd71677

Sitting in the sun (again! What bliss) drinking a very tasty green smoothie. I find – for me – it’s a bit hit and miss with my smoothies and juices. I’ve never been a fastidious recipe follower – I’ve never really been a fastidious anything. I follow the Swedish chef’s style of cooking, a bit of this, a splash of that. I have even known to make the la-di-dur-di-dur noises whilst cooking. As a result of my technique, or lack thereof, my output is variable. Usually I just add too many ingredients and the competing flavours make for ‘unusual’ tasting beverages.

Fortunately this morning’s concoction is a good one, seeing as I always drink them anyway, it’s nice to enjoy it!

In preparation for my green smoothie and juice cleanse, I signed up to about 10 new blogs and free email cleanses before deciding to purchase and follow Jess Ainscough’s 10 day cleanse.

Many of these emails I signed up for are just blatant advertising, but one I have really enjoyed and been very impressed with is Sarah Ives from www.ohmyraw.com.

After signing up to her cleanse, she sends out daily emails with various topics to assist people stay on track. As I mentioned in my last post I am reading Marianne Williamson’s Course for Weight Loss and finding it interesting to see the connection between emotions and eating, and learnings techniques to mindfully navigate through food cravings and negative emotions in order to stick to the cleanse.

Sarah Ives talks about feeding ourselves the other kinds of ‘food’ we need – relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality – and that cravings we often feed with actual food could be for another form of nourishment entirely. Each day she has asked participants to rate these areas and to focus on a few key questions about the level of satisfaction and self-care happening in these areas of our lives.

This stuff is not new to me, but I really need to be reminded that when I nourish myself well in all areas of my life, I naturally treat myself with more care and love and life flows effortlessly. It’s just getting out of the rut of bad habits to get to effortless that can be tricky.

I think laughter is a good start. And the Muppets always make me laugh…

Ode to Joy on YouTube

Oh, and this morning’s smoothie, filled with green leaves and ripe frozen bananas, which have cancer preventing properties (just let them get a few brown spots before you freeze/eat them).

Green Leafy Banana Smoothie

1 1/2 chopped and frozen bananas

1 cup spinach leaves

1 tsp spirulina powder

1 tsp barley green powder

1 tsp chlorella powder

2 tsps maca powder

2 cups water

1 cup coconut water

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Day 70. Here’s the juice

juice ingredientsIt’s a beautiful, sunny morning in Melbourne. The garden smells fresh after an early morning deluge of rain. I’m sitting on my verandah writing this and soaking up my daily dose of Vitamin D. Jen Cloher is playing. Feeling pretty darn contented.

Day 5 of the Jess Ainscough smoothie/juice cleanse. I feel good, today.

The key to doing a cleanse like this is being organised and planning ahead. Up until maybe 2 days ago I was still trying to throw things together, and with a diet of 2-3 smoothies and 4 juices a day, let me tell you, spontaneity is not your friend!

So in preparation for a full day’s work yesterday, I juiced up a litre of juice (Newsflash! I bought a juicer, it’s so much fun, but more on that later) the night before, and planned my smoothies so I could make enough in the morning to last me the day.

What a difference that made – yeah I know, I’m a slow learner when it comes to ‘boring’ things like planning – I had juice and salad and veggies throughout the day. Saturdays are our busiest day so I needed to be fuelled up and switched on all day.

I had done a lot of shopping last week in preparation (that word again, it’s like I’m a born again organisation junkie!) for the weekend as my organic shop isn’t opened on Sundays. I know I could  go somewhere else but on my one day off I just wanted to chill at home.

Anyway, the point of this story is that I had a lot of green leafies at various stages of freshness. I also had all the ends from the spinach, chard, kale, and herbs  that I get left with because they don’t blend. So I washed and chopped the ends of them all and put them through the juicer.

It took about an hour, but out of mostly stuff I would have thrown away previously (yes, I am ashamed to admit that) I made 2 green smoothies and 1 litre of juice!

It’s funny how much more care I take with organic food than I ever used to take with food before, it’s really precious to me (I’m mean it’s expensive, but it’s also so nutritious that I don’t want to waste any of it).

I have also been using the pulp that comes out of the juicer to feed my dog and add to my salads. (I can do this because my juicer leaves the pulp a bit moist, if you have a fandangled, super-charged juicer it’s probably not worth eating what comes out.) I have to say the dog loves it and she’s looking really healthy!

The last few days I have practiced yoga and chakradancing and chakra sounds meditation. This all feels right and I’m trying to practice moving my body in a gentle and healing way, rather the frenetic forced exercise I tend to do when I’m trying to “get into shape”.

I have been known to do 6am spin classes every day plus running in the evenings. While part of me misses the body I had whilst doing that, I know it’s not sustainable for me to force my body in that way. I’m searching for the middle way between depressive lethargy and manic over-exercising.

A lot of negative thinking has arisen. It’s like my inner Sergeant Major barks at me to jump through hoops 24/7 and it’s still not good enough. Jess Ainscough talks about detoxing the mind and refusing to entertain negative thoughts.

It’s interesting when these thoughts come up, often immediately following thoughts of joy and self-love, and when practicing yoga and meditation.

During yoga practice I looked at my body, the rolls of fat around my stomach. I looked at the yoga instructor and her lean body. I remembered what my body looked like when I was practicing yoga 6 times a week (as well as running and spin and kickboxing – no wonder I burnt out) and I instantly felt depressed and a wave of hopelessness spread over me.

Sergeant Major Bitch seized this moment to deluge me with negative thoughts: “Why didn’t you stick to that?” (I got injured) “why did you let yourself get so fat?” (I was depressed and unwell) “it’s too late, you’ll never get that body back” (it’s funny that when I had that body I still thought I was too flabby and not the right shape) “you’ll never stick to this” (yes, I will), and the ultimate clanger “why bother?” (because I’m worth it). I noticed my mood plummet along with my self-esteem. I had the urge to eat for comfort and to stop practicing yoga.

Instead I recognized the negativity and self-defeating nature of these thoughts. I asked myself, how do you want to feel today, tomorrow, in a month, in a year, in ten years? What choice in the present moment will help you feel the way you want to feel? The moment passed and I stayed with the discomfort of practicing yoga in a body that’s less nubile and flexible than it used to be.

I also am reading Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. Even though I don’t really need to lose weight, the book is more about how we see our bodies and how we use food to avoid experiencing ourselves and our feelings. It’s the third time I’ve started it. I had done some of the written exercises, I find them challenging, they go deep into why I hide in overeating and hide my body in a shell I’m not comfortable with. It’s very confronting. These feelings of hurt and shame and looking at my past make me want to comfort eat, but I guess that’s the point of the book, so I will persevere.

Enough of the heavy stuff, how about some good news?

I finally bought a juicer! I got my yearly bonus from work so I bought a juicer. It wasn’t top of the range, but I decided just to buy the one I could afford now. I have to say I’m really happy with it. At first I was shocked by how much went in and how little came out, but once I discovered I could put all my green leafy ends in, I’m producing a lot more juice.

Just a word of warning about green leafy vegetables. They will make you nauseous if you have too much. So if you make a juice with them and drink green smoothies it may be too much. Moderation is the key and maybe choose one or the other.

I think I may have overdone this today, I feel a bit squeamy in the belly, moderation isn’t my strong point either. See how I’m learning all these great new skills? Moderation, planning? Next stop sainthood!

As suggested by many juice enthusiasts I am using primarily veggies and maybe the odd apple. The idea of juicing is to get the nutrients without the bulk, but fruit without the bulk is mostly sugar, which is not very healthy.

The juices are absolutely delicious. It feels like pouring liquid sunshine and rainbows into my belly! Guaranteed to sweep those inner grey clouds away.

Uplifting juice

juice beet

1 beetroot

1 apple

4 medium carrots

2-3 cups stalks from leafy vegetables e.g. kale, chard, spinach, celery

1/2 head red cabbage

1/2 red pepper capsicum

1/2 green pepper capsicum

1 clove garlic

1 chunk ginger

Prepare veggies for juicing, top and tail carrots, core apple, peel and chop beetroot and cut any daggy ends off the vegie stalks. Feed through juicer and enjoy the party in your belly!

Day 67. Learning the hard way (is there any other way?)

okay in endIt’s been a funny, funky week. I’ve had some powerful healing experiences, some freaky dreams and a low grade depression and lethargy that just won’t quit.

After attempting a green smoothie cleanse this last week, I felt very disillusioned with myself. I would start the day well, but then find myself going rogue about four in the afternoon. (Okay, so going rogue was only eating a bag of banana chips in one sitting – they were organic at least!)

I have to say I felt like giving up on this whole healthy eating thing. Feeling tired, fat and hormonal doesn’t help – I mean I can’t seem to even drop a few kilos, never-mind heal my health!

Instead I did a lot of reading about healing through food and lifestyle changes. I watched the DVD Forks over Knives (www.forksoverknives.com), which is just great for anyone becoming interested in food as medicine.

What I read about different people’s healing experiences reminded me that food is not like a magic pill. The changes are gradual and require persistence and consistency. Neither of which I tend to display much of. I’m great with a new idea, a short-term project, but I lose motivation and get distracted after a while.

I realised I had unrealistic expectations of myself. I thought that years of letting my body become ill – through stress, incorrect nutrition, and running myself ragged with various commitments  – could be reversed in a 21 day detox.

The reality is I have had times of feeling much better and then times where my system has felt sluggish again, but that’s no reason to throw in the towel.

I have realised a few things about people healing themselves from a variety of illnesses (and please take this as the amateur musings of a health seeker, I am no professional or expert on such things).

So these are my lessons learned so far:

1. The body will heal itself, and will maintain health given the right conditions. This is not only the basis of most holistic health systems, but also the experience of a host of people recovering from a plethora of conditions.

2. Healing resides as much in the mind and the spirit as the body. It’s not enough to change nutrition and exercise, although it’s a really good start. A ‘mind detox’ as Jess Ainscough calls it is also essential. If we feed ourselves poisonous food we get sick, but what happens to our minds and bodies when we feast day after day on negative and self-defeating thinking? Yep. It gets sick.

Looking after ourselves spiritually doesn’t have to be anything more mystical than quiet reflection time and spending time with people and in places we love. Feed the soul nutritiously too.

3. All bodies are a little different and it’s important to find out what works for our own. Sometimes the hardest part of getting healthy is to stop listening to all the white noise of conflicting opinions and ask ourselves, our bodies “what do I need right now?”

Trusting in our intuition, our gut feelings about what is right for ourselves can be truly empowering and can generate health in it’s own right.

4. Healing can’t be forced or made to happen, we can only make the conditions right for healing to happen in it’s own time and way.

What? You mean I can’t force myself to look and feel a certain way (in my time schedule) by doing yoga every day and eating green leafies non-stop?

This lesson keeps hitting me again and again. Because I keep thinking I can, force it that is. If I just try harder, do more, maybe switch to this new diet, supplement, exercise regime, superfood… Nup. That stuff just buys into my willfulness, increases my stress levels, and promotes inconsistency.

That means I end up all over the place in a massive ball of panic because I just don’t know what to do anymore, and nothing’s working arrrgggghhhh! (See number 5 for why this is no good for me).

5. The major impediment to the bodies healing’s faculties is the stress response.

During the stress response our brains release a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, causing the adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These allow the body to alter “non-essential” functions like immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001).

This is fine and useful if a tiger is chasing you and you need to focus on fight or flight, but not so good when it’s a daily reaction to life. Long term levels of cortisol and adrenaline racing through your body creates a suppressed immune system (you know the one that keeps us healthy) amongst other detrimental effects.

6. True healing takes time, discipline, and consistency. No, it’s not a 10 day detox, although that’s a fine place to start. It’s an ongoing process of removing the bad stuff, the toxic food and lifestyle choices and increasing the good stuff, good nutrition and self-care.

And then keeping on doing that. Like forever.

7. It has to be fun. It has to feel good. Or I just won’t keep doing it. So make it fun. Stop taking it all so seriously! Remember to love life and love yourself every step of the way.

I know that sounds kind of contradictory to number 6. But it needn’t be. Learning to do anything well, dance, play guitar, paint takes time and disciplined practice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it too.

In light of this I pledge to stop weighing myself, to stop obsessing about my weight, to follow – with loving self-discipline –  Jess Ainscough’s 10 Day Cleanse http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/store , to find fun exercise that I love doing, to do things that I love with people that I love, to rest, and to be very, VERY kind to myself.

And try to let go of any specific goals or outcomes, and any specific timeframes and just trust that if I create the right conditions my body will do the rest.

This morning’s breakfast smoothie was based on Jess’ Wellness Warrior. It was delicious and it makes me feel amazing. on day 2 of the cleanse I feel that the supergreens – spirulina, chlorella, and barley grass – are really helping my iron and energy levels.

I also discovered I have been using way more green leafies in my smoothies than I needed to, 1 cup is heaps! (You can have too much of a good thing!)

The Wellness Warrior Green Smoothie

1/3 cup kale leaves

1/3 cup baby spinach

1/3 cup parsley leaves

1 frozen chopped banana

1 cup coconut water

2 cups water

2 tsp maca powder

3 tsp supergreens powder (or as directed if you buy them separately)

Blend in blender until smooth. Drink and enjoy the yummy green energy buzz!

Title image from here