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So I’m halfway into day 4 of my elimination diet, and I have to say, I’m not feeling the least bit deprived.  I’ve even found myself trying to come up with creative ways to get things into my diet as special treats.  My latest is to work on a milkshake made from almond milk.  I’ve made my own almond milk before, which is really quite easy, so now I’m going to experiment even further.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Last night for dinner we had sweet potato fries and I made a frittata with all of the delicious farm fresh eggs from our local farm share.  I diced up some potato (ok, so Mike actually did all the chopping), sauted that for a bit, then added diced red pepper, zuccinni (fresh from the garden!),  and onion.  I then added the sauteed vegetables to a bowl of 6 eggs whisked with some nutritional yeast and onion flakes and dumped in a bit of salsa for added flavor.  I then added this all back to the cast iron pan I was using, cooked mostly through, and then put under the broiler for a few minutes to finish off and brown the top.  Yum, yum, and leftovers for breakfast!  Yesterday I had some gluten free bread and avocado in the morning.  The brand was Kinnikinnick Foods, Sunflower, Flax and Rice Bread.  A little heavy, but not too bad at all.  Besides that, just more fruit, vegetables, hummous and rice crackers. 

The first few days I was pretty tired, especially first thing in the morning (which is often my norm despite a good amoount of sleep), but also in the afternoon, which is unusual.  I’m thinking it’s due to the elimination of all of these foods I’m no longer eating from my body.  Today I woke up much more awake, less groggy and less congested than usual.  I’m also feeling generally less bloated.  So all in all, things are good, hoping the energy is better today.

Happy eating,

Jess

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Woohoo, summer is here! Hard to believe it finally made it as we’ve been battling with endless rain here in the northeast.  I say that as I look outside at the puddles gathering in the street, but hey we had a nice 4th of July weekend anyway.

I wanted to give you a quick update on my latest diet.  After meeting with a great naturopath to discuss some chronic issues I’ve been dealing with, we decided the best path for me would be to do a true elimiation diet to find out what food allergies I might be dealing with.   As she asked me what kind of diets I’d tried, I realized as I was answering her that I’m not very good at following rules.  I can’t say I’ve EVER really done a diet completely.  The closest I could come was that I’d gone totally dairy free for 3+ months.  So I realized the only way I would ever do something so restrictive as an elimination diet was by doctors orders (especially a dr. I respect as much as Dr. Layton).  So here I am, day 2 of my elimination.

So what does that mean you ask?  It means: no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no refined sugar, no corn, no caffeine.  I think that’s it.  So what’s left you ask…lots of fruits and vegetables!  Luckily it’s summer (as I mentioned earlier, woohoo!) and I think I can do it. 

I’ll be checking in more regularly sharing my meals and experience.  So far so good!  Wish me luck, only 20.5 more days!  After three weeks off all this stuff I start adding foods back, one at a time, every 48 hours to see if I have a reaction.  See, the idea is to get all reminants of the foods out of your system, so then when you add them in (and as Dr. Layton says, when you eat wheat, REALLY eat wheat..pasta for breakfast, loaf of bread for lunch…), if you have an intolerance it should show up, whether its through a lack of energy, digestive issues, skin irritation, congetion, whatever.  Won’t that part be fun!

So, here’s what my meals have looked like the last two days:

Monday: breakfast- grapes and rice crackers with peanut butter

lunch: salad with tuna fish

dinner: shrimp and scallops with a grapefruit kale salad (raw kale with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and chunks of grapefruit)

Tuesday:breakfast: strawberries with cashews

lunch salad with hummus and carrots/rice crackers

dinner: steak and something

So, as you can see, I’m not starving by any means.  I’m kind of surprised I’m not going through withdrawl since my weekend meals consisted of wheat, sugar, caffeine and soy…just filling up in case I was going to miss it! =)

Happy summer,

Jess

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Going Raw

So in my never ending search to find the best diet for my body, I’ve made a commitment to move toward a raw diet this summer to see how it goes.   I have no desire to go 100% raw, I just plan to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and see how it goes.  This is so easy to do in the summer with all the fresh fruits and vegetables, so it just makes sense.  I’ve begun getting my farm share, so now have all the greens I can eat (along with amazing goat cheese and eggs..a few of the reasons I have no desire to go 100% raw!).  I also watch my garden as it grows every day.  It’s so fun to watch, and it just amazes me that I’m able to grow real food!  I’ll have to take pictures to share with you next week.  The peas and beans are starting to climb up their respective trellises, the broccoli is awesome, the mesculan greens are probably past their prime as they looked like they could have been eaten before I even put them in the ground!  The only thing I’m worried about is my watermelon.  I’m hoping they’re just waiting for the heat to start growing, as I really want some watermelon!  Pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, kale, all growing, believe it or not.  I’ve been carefully removing the bugs and eggs from my pole beans, as they weren’t looking so good in the beginning, but now they look great, so I think it worked.  I really have no idea what I’m doing, but trying my best.  The rain has helped too.  Now we just need some good sunshine.  So that’s my garden, will keep you posted and post pictures.  I don’t know if I have any lessons learned yet, but will share them as they come.

So, even if you don’t have a garden, you too can begin eating with the seasons.  If you’re not sure where to start, just go to your local farmers market (in RI check out www.farmfreshri.org) and see what’s there.  If they’re selling it, it’s in season. 

A few ideas:

Most nights we tend to make a huge salad and then have a protein.  Tonight it was grilled shrimp and a pretty standard salad with a balsamic dressing.  Last night it was grass fed steak from a local farm with a bok choy, onion, apple salad with honey dijon dressing.  The night before it was grilled salmon, marinated in a soy ginger sauce with a salad with a umeboshi plum paste and tahini dressing.  This is my new favorite discovery.  I think I just took about 2 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp of umeboshi plum paste, 1 tsp honey and some rice vinegar.  Great on steamed kale too! 

Ok, I’ll post some complete recipes next week, but feel free to experiment, dressings are so easy, you just keep adjusting and tasting until they’re good! 

Happy eating,

Jess

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Time to be Fabulous!

Hello my dear readers!

I am sorry to have been away for oh so long! Unfortunately, we had some major technical difficulties that took us offline for quite sometime, but thanks to our amazing techman behind the scenes, the great Andy Olson of ozonedesign.com, we are back and better than ever.  I have to give serious props to Andy, he is always there to keep us moving forward with our mission, even when life  seems to get in the way.  New jobs, lost jobs, babies, marriage, new houses, the whole bit.  But here we are, still with a purpose that won’t die.  To support others in their journey toward wholeness, balance and health. (thanks to you too Ryan!)  We are so honored to support you in any small way we can.   

And with that, I am recommiting myself to you, to myself and to my journey toward fabulous. This entry will be short and sweet, but you will be hearing from me weekly with updates on my personal path (in the hope that you may glean insights from my experiences), as well as tips, tricks, and recipes to help support you on your personal path to wellness, one we all tend to hop on and off as we move toward an unknown destination.  Isn’t that so true?  If we really have no clue where we’re going, but only know where we are, then doesn’t living conciously in the present moment just start to make complete sense.  It’s the only thing we have any control over, so why not take it by the horns and…what?…wrestle it to the ground?  Ok, why not give it a huge hug and tell it how much you love it.  Or cry on it’s sholder, or go have coffee with a friend and it, or take it to yoga?  Why not treat the present like it’s its birthday every day, all day?  Doesn’t that seem like a nice way to live? 

Let me guess…you’re all hung up on “reality”?  Well, I hear you, believe me, I do, but I can’t help but believe that we all create our own reality.  Even if it really sucks.  And more importantly, we are the only ones who control our reaction to that reality.  So take those lemons, and make some lemonade, its high in vitamin C, will boost your immune system, and made with natural sweeteners can be a healthy sweet treat.  So look there, what once was a crappy situation is now a sweet treat that you can franchise and make millions on every street corner in America.  Using industrious children happy to push your creation on every passer by.  Life is good.  Yes, life is good.

So for this week, be present, feed your body and soul and spare the quarter for a cup of lemonade, would you?

Be well,

Jess

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So my 40 Days of Yoga has been going.  Going ok.  Maybe even going good if I’m feeling really optimistic.  But the reality is that if I step back and look at it realistically, I’m being a bit harsh on myself.  Since it started I’ve gotten up and meditated almost every morning.  I’ve also been doing more yoga than I’ve done for the last year, which feels amazing.  And I’m really feeling the difference.  I was even at a class on Sat (a heated power class) and felt so great.  After class, my friend who was practicing next to me commented on how great I looked during my practice.  It felt so good to have someone else notice the changes that were happening for me, many of which I wasn’t even allowing myself to notice.  A big part of the 40 Days program is letting go of the judgment.  But another part is about sticking to your commitments.  Realizing that you can’t just keep piling things into your life and expect to keep up.  To add things in, often we need to let other things go.  So for me, even though I’ve been really wanting to get back in shape and ride my bike more, I realized I was using that as an excuse to not fully participate in 40 Days of yoga.  So now, I always choose yoga first, and cycling second.  In this way I’m able to honor the commitment I made to myself and feel good about that.  Surprisingly, I’m still fitting in plenty of cycling as well.  It’s amazing how balance finds you if you can commit to what is important to you and stay on that path.

As for my food, that has been going well also.  This weekend I was a little too lenient, allowing dairy to creep in a bit, but as always, I feel the difference and will commit to removing that again.  As for some new meals to try out, here’s a few ideas that I’ve experimented with the last few weeks:

Whole wheat angel hair pasta with pesto sauce (you can easily find a pesto recipe on google, I used 2 c. basil, 1/3 c. walnuts, 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic and salt to taste).  Leftovers can be frozen, I like to put them in ice cube trays till frozen then store in a ziploc.  This way I just pull out as many as I need for a recipes.  In the pasta I added a whole shredded zucchini as well, which I just mixed in with the pesto sauce after the pasta was cooked.

Another great dish is marinated grilled tempeh served over roasted kale and topped with caramelized onions and thinly sliced red peppers.  The marinade I used was: 3 tbsp of maple syrup, 3 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of rice vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, minced and a pinch of cayenne.  You may even want to make twice this for a full package of tempeh to have enough for a sauce to.  I like to cut the tempeh in half first (creating two thin rectangles) and then cut it into pieces to allow the marinade to soak through.  Marinate for at least 30 min, then cook in a frying pan or on a grill.  Serve over roasted kale with a scoop of the caramelized onion/pepper mixture on top and drizzle with the sauce.  Remember because it’s not “raw” you can marinate the tempeh and still use the marinade as sauce, unlike with raw meat.

Here’s to making commitments, sticking to them, and seeing where life takes you!

Be well,
Jess

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Day 2 of 40

Day 2 of 40 days of yoga, so far so good.  I started off a bit slow, with a snow day yesterday, my yoga didn’t go as planned, but I did get in about 20 minutes, which is all that is suggested, so I’ll call it a success.  I did start the day with an hour on my bike so I’m sure that makes up for it, it was kind of a riding meditation =).  Food has been going well for the most part.  I did have one day last weekend that was completely “forbidden”, at least according to my latest “rules”.  You see, I don’t use these words in my practice, but somehow I naturally move toward them in my life, constant reminder, it’s easier said than done!  Anyway, I decided I wanted a burger, so I had one, and we also got calamari, which was fried, and reallly pretty awful.  And boy did I regret it.  Not because I felt guilty, but because I felt like crap.  Really, the whole rest of the night my belly was not happy with me.  Needless to say, I’m back off the meat.  Some of my meals this week have included spinach with baked falafel and cucumber sauce, black eyed peas (spiced with thyme, roasted red pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic) with onions, celery, collard greens, and brown rice.  I also made some corn biscuits sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar.

This weekend I’m off to NY to see a good friend and her family, so I need to make a huge commitment to wake up and do yoga first thing, or I know it will slip away.  So here it is, in writing, I will do yoga both Saturday and Sunday morning.  Done.  It’s also superbowl sunday, but we plan to watch the game at home and Mike is planning on making some healthy snacks and vegetarian chili, so I think I’d escape unscathed.

Meditation.  It’s hard.  It amazes me not only how thoughts keep coming, but how quickly I forget to ignore them.  I’m sure I’ll get better, I’ve got 38 days!

OOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM,

Be well,
Jess

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All is well.  Still eating healthy, with very little meat and dairy (seafood once a week and goat cheese once or twice).  For dinner over the last week I’ve had pad thai made with store bought sauce, rice noodles, zucchini, carrots, tofu and bean sprouts; forbidden rice with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, shrimp and a little goat cheese; vegetarian chili, and went out for sushi.  Lunches are leftovers and I also roasted vegetables and had that with a Sunshine burger; breakfast has been fruit or a smoothie with sprouted grain toast and avocado or peanut butter.  Snacks include almonds, dried fruit, soup, hummus and fruit.

Exercise has been good.  Snow shoeing, cycling, staining floors, pilates and yoga.  Tomorrow I’m going to a yoga workshop at All That Matters and a then fundraiser for Clean Ocean Access with some friends.

Overall I’m feeling good.  Haven’t lost any weight, but that’s to be expected.  I do feel a little slimmer, and fit into a few pairs of jeans a little better than a few weeks ago.  Progress is good!

Ok, now to the girl talk.  I wrote a lot more the first time, but here’s the summary.  Bascially started my period yesterday which is usually 24-48 hours of bad cramps at least one very sleepless night, and more bad cramps.  Although I tossed and turned a bit last night, the pain was minimal and today I felt good and had much more energy than I normally would.  It’s pretty cool to see how many ways food can effect you.  I’ve read alot about how eliminating dairy and animal foods can reduce PMS symptoms, but now I’m a believer.  Very cool!

Happy Friday, have a great weekend and a healthy, happy week.

40 Days of Yoga starts next week, woohoo!

Be well,
Jess

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