Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Today I walked out in a very cold wind to buy cilantro and parsley for my juices. Cilantro helps to detox against heavy metals and parsley is a great detoxifier that helps to alleviate allergies. I got lucky and received the last three cilantro.
I also bought vegan D3 because I realized that taking a supplement possibly involving fish bladders and livers, possibly gelatin from beef for the capsule, was not what I was all about. It made little sense to have that going through my system when I was on a long-term detox and living a vegan lifestyle. So I am trying out D3 possibly from Japanese mushrooms that begin with sh. (I am trying Country Life because the store and it in stock.)
Later, rushing back for my winter jacket, still in sandals, I bought plenty of coconut water, headed to a store that had Mother's Day cards, then went to sit underneath the cherry trees near where I live.
I learned just recently that the courts gave the go-ahead for an 11-story building of mostly glass and steel in an unusual shape to take the place of what has been at the site for ages. This is where the cherry trees surround the current building, now in full bloom, tall and healthy, very bit as lovely as the ones at the Tidal Basin. Apparently the corporation building this shining glass building feels that the cherry trees can not be saved. They want the land the cherry trees are on and also say that it would cost too much to transport them elsewhere. They have long roots.
So today I sat under these wondrous cherry trees, feeling the love, the way these trees reach out to the public walking by, the way they are in full bloom, some of the branches reaching toward the sky, most reaching out for us. They seem to be so happy to be of service to us, and if one lightly touches a branch, it is easy to feel the energy and life in those trees. They provide spectacular blooms in spring and shelter from the blazing sun for the rest of the year.
But we now live in a society where trees seem to take on less value. I have seen so many new home owners chop down every single tree on their property, often regretting it later. I have seen gorgeous cherry trees chopped down in the name of progress too many times in D.C., in my very own neighborhood. They might be replaced by ugly generic bushes or perhaps nothing at all.
So I try to enjoy these trees as much as I can at this moment. They are so welcoming, even as the wind starts blowing the cherry tree blossoms, causing them to be a pink rain on me and everyone else who walks by. I seldom take the time to sit under the trees, but now I will put on warmer clothes later and be sure to sit under the trees much more often. In a city full of concrete, steel, glass, and noise, I truly appreciate these cherry trees. They are a spectacular site as one walks along that block on two sides. They have been a source of joy to our neighborhood, and I keep hoping that a change of heart will save them.
So today, as I continue to have detox symptoms thanks to Allegra I took for an allergic reaction two days ago, I will make up my special green juices that include the cilantro and parsley, along with kale, cucumber, celery, and lots of ginger, all I can stand. I'll perhaps make another carrot ginger juice, too. I drink a lot of coconut water today because I need something as I go through a hard detox after Allegra.
The pain in my eyes, the headaches, the sinus problems all remind me that antihistamines caused me far more problems than I realized at the time. I kept wondering why I had pain in my eyes and it turns out that antihistamines had something to do with so many of those kinds of symptoms. Up until I had an allergic reaction, apparently from unwashed quinoa, I hadn't taken antihistamines in ages. i was determined to not do that, no matter how runny my nose got. And now that box will be kept only for emergencies, like a serious allergic reaction. The same is true with the Advil I took for pain before. Even though I had a lot of discomfort yesterday, I chose to ride it out without the Advil. After all, I am trying to detox and get healthier. I also want to do all I can to eliminate allergies from my life.
Today I can get more done but I will have to take it easy as well. I lost four pounds from yesterday so this is actually a detox that is going fairly well at the moment. Except a mild headache/eye ache, a bit of sinus ache still, plenty of mucus running down my throat.
I will get a lot done today but I will also try take it easy again today. I'll do my coconut oil pullings for 20 minutes 2-3 time per day and will definitely get in another hour of meditation today as well. I am using the Deepak Chopra series and loving it.
This is Day 2 of 100 percent juice, including coconut water. I'm on my way. BTW, I did find some dandelion greens, which I love. I'll be making my super detox and may have to go back for more dandelion greens soon. That would make another great variation on the greens.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Today I am still tired and groggy after an allergic reaction last night. It started after the quinoa-kale-coconut dish and was the second scary reaction. Doing some online research, I found out that I likely had a reaction to the quinoa, as I hadn't been rinsing BEFORE I cooked it. I would rinse it after cooking, thinking it would work out just as well. Also I had no idea how to rinse tiny seeds. Quinoa is a pseudo grain, actually seeds, and is tiny.
Quinoa has a mild toxin covering it to protect it from bugs, etc and that is why it needs to be washed. Sometimes people taste a bitterness if they don't do it. I really didn't taste that, especially when I tossed in other ingredients.
The bad news for me is that the body can begin to detect the quinoa itself as toxic, something to which it must react strongly. I had always heard that allergic reactions were rare and did not suspect quinoa before. Now I learn that some people do have serious reactions and can't eat quinoa again. I'm hoping that I am one of those people who "rests" my body a bit, detoxing, that I will be able to have quinoa later. I do love it. But I won't be consuming it for a long time.
An SP friend has been reminding me that kale can do the same kind of thing. I do rinse the kale but I also eat a lot of it. Sometimes. These days I make a lot more carrot-ginger juice and put less kale in it. But I'm grateful for that reminder. I am going to start learning how to use other greens such as collard greens much more often. I can have a limited amount of spinach as well.
Mixing it up, varying the food, is good no matter what approach we take. I once learned of an older couple who were so impressed by carrot juice that they drank nothing but carrot juice for four months. They turned orange. Honestly, as the story goes, their skin had an orange tinge to them. They really did turn orange from too much of a good thing.
I have met and heard of so many vegans who ate so much soy when they first became vegan that they became allergic to it and can never eat it again. That includes a very well-known vegan cookbook author. In fact, her experience was what got me to be especially vigilant about having little or no soy in my diet. I had been overdoing the soy milk at one point. I don't do that now.
I love kale and all its health benefits. For juicing, it really packs the most wallop, especially for protein and other nutrients. I can't afford to become allergic to it. And I really do love kale. So I am going to take it as a challenge to be like other juicers who really mix it up more. I need to stay with green juice as much as possible, but I am going to start mixing up the greens more.
Already I have cut back from 5 kale juices per day to 2-3, although I did sometimes add kale to other juices. But I am really going to make it a point to learn about one new veggie or fruit every day, some new health benefit.
And am going to do a green juice fast reboot so that if I need a bit of fruit here and there, I won't feel bad about it. Especially when I travel, bananas can be my friend. I learned that on a fast, bananas are one of the best foods for someone who needs a little something. But with all the farmer market produce, I might start wishing I could have a little something more.
I plan to stick to juice right now, but I later might progress to salads, fruits, veggies (no salad dressing unless it is lime juice, etc.) Today I am doing carrot ginger juice to start out the day and actually find I like to start nearly every day that way. Again, I know I can't live on carrot juice either. LOL
Variety is the spice of life. How many times have we heard it? This was a bit of a wake-up call for me. I do think that being exposed to other allergens might have been a factor in the reaction I had last night, which caused me to rush to take 3 Allegra antihistamines. I hadn't taken antihistamines in ages, determined to break the allergy cycle. I am doing much better now.
And one of my hopes for this long-term fast is that it is going to help me to further address allergies. I am so grateful to be doing much better than I was four years ago when I had to worry about going outside in spring and summer and had to stay near the hepa filter. But I now want to find out if I can become nearly allergy free.
I am also doing this for my knees, which would love weight loss. I had a knee injury just over a year ago and want to continue the healing.
So today is a groggy kind of day but I plan to get a lot done. I'll be making a lot of carrot ginger juice which I find energizing for a day like this. I also will take time to pack up my winter clothes and put them away. My hepa filter will stay on this entire day to help protect me from allergens. And I'll definitely get in a walk on this lovely day.
The universe is definitely telling me it is time to start my juice fast and go deep. So that is what I aim to do. On that journey, I am going to learn much more about all the vegan foods I'll be consuming so that I become more proactive. I kept hearing here and there about washing quinoa but I had no idea how important it could become. And no one mentioned how to was those tiny seeds. So I would rinse after cooking instead. And I will now pay attention about kale and discover the joy of other kinds of greens. A whole lot of variety in veggies is essential for long-term juicing.
Has anyone else had a reaction to quinoa? Or anything else like that?
Just one more note: Sometimes I got away from coconut oil pulling. I did it twice yesterday, and as usual, it is magical for healing eczema. I'll definitely keep doing it and make sure I get to three times per day for 20 minutes. Maybe it can help with my itchy ears as well. LOL
Thanks to all the Allegra, I have to drink a lot of water today, all I can get into me, as Allegra dries me out. It also can cause sinus pain and other problems. I took it for years and hadn't taken it in ages. The last time I took it I had serious sinus pain, etc. So I won't be tempted back to antihistamines. Instead I'll be drinking all the filtered water and coconut water that I can, along with juice.
What I am doing is working. I used to be so congested that I really couldn't do "breath of fire" breathing in Kundalini through my nostrils. Then one day I realized that I could do more of it and that my sinuses are doing much better. I plan to get back to that and also release all the mucus problems from my life, as much as possible. The coconut oil pulling and green juice fast will help with that. Also staying away from acidic foods helps.
So this is my new day 1. Maybe in some ways every day is the new day 1.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Always wash quinoa before cooking. I just learned that tonight really. I had heard it was important to rinse quinoa, a gluten-free pseudo seed (not grain). I thought I could just rinse the quinoa after cooking, before I tossed in other ingredients. Wrong.
And it turns out that not rinsing off that mild toxin can cause a reaction over time. For some people, it can become a serious adverse reaction. For instance, some people get serious stomach pain and nausea. Still others can end up with serious allergic reactions that are Epipen-worthy and require a trip to ER.
I have often heard that allergic reactions to quinoa are rare. Quinoa is a superfood that most people can tolerate well.
Except I have had some scary reactions lately and wasn't sure what was causing it. I love quinoa-kale-coconut oil and had a adverse reactions a few times. Tonight, I thought I'd have a bit of quinoa to build up protein for my juice fast, and found myself running to the bathroom to find the stored bag containing antihistamines (Allegra). I took more than one, very worried about the reaction i was having. I had been fine just before I ate the quinoa meal.
Granted, I did have to get away from paint fumes earlier in the day and spent time outside in pollen, etc. But really I felt fine once I was in the fresh air. Tonight I have just taken the first antihistamines in ages because I felt I needed to do so. And the thought that an adverse reaction like that can build with each exposure has me deciding it is time to take a vacation from quinoa.
Since I am heading into a long-term juice fast and mostly juiced today, it works out well. I am really hoping that the juice fast will help alleviate allergies, help me to detox, heal, as well as slim down. I'd love to be allergy free some day. I am doing so much better but I do have a serious shellfish allergy and still have to be careful around mold and some other allergens.
When I do try out the quinoa again, I'll be sure to wash it well before cooking. I'll have to figure out the right way to do that since quinoa is tiny seeds. But I will figure it out and cook the quinoa properly if I try it again. it just won't be soon. As much as I love quinoa, I think I need a vacation from it. I've had two reactions that are especially worrying.
Sometimes people eat so much soy as vegans that they become allergic to it. They can't eat it at all for the rest of their lives. I met so many vegans with that story that I moved away from eating soy earlier. All the same, I drank more than my fair share of organic soy milk at one point. When I did the elimination test for allergies, I found out I felt better without the soy. That really surprised me. I'm not allergic but I can do without it. I mostly stay away from it.
The experience with quinoa reminds me a bit of the soy story. I consumed so much of it every day for awhile, not rinsing it properly and perhaps not cooking it quite the way it should have been done. Now I need to move away from it for awhile.
Luckily there is my juicer and juicing. And a fridge full of kale for a long-term fast. I had mostly juiced today, but after the paint fumes, I thought I might need a bit of something. On second thought, green juice is the best kind of detoxifier. I'll go that route next time. And I'm working on varying my veggies. That is especially important for long-term fasting.
Lesson for today: Wash the quinoa before cooking. Wash it well, rinse. And cook it properly.. A tip from Bon Appetit cooking:
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Today I just had my last big meal before heading into a 60-day fast. My husband loves a good buffet, so we went went out to eat. As we prepared to leave, a long line of superheroes came through the door, including a princess, a woman with a giant turtle backpack, pirates, and even a cowboy who held the door for everyone. (They were all turned away because the restaurant staff didn't want to admit new people 35 minutes before closing.)
Right after that, my husband and I went to Stabucks, where I stood in line behind a woman wearing a suit coat and a white bunny costume. The tail flaps of the suit accented her fluffy white bunny tail. As I waited for the order, I stood beside tall guy dressed in a red superheroe costume, including red tights and special shoes. He had a metallic backpack of some kind, and he held a long sword--along with his girlfriend's purple umbrella. Two other superheroes stood by his side. D.C. is very nonchalant so no one made a fuss or even took open notice that so many people were in costumes for a comic book convention in town.
I had already been preparing to go on a green juice fast/reboot for as long as I could handle it before I heard about Rosie O'Donnell's story once again. But somehow it hit me this time. i still have to lose a substantial amount of weight. Rosie O'Donnell was 50 years old and weighed perhaps 220-230 when she had a heart attack so severe she is lucky to be alive. it is called a widow maker, and she waited 50 hours before seeking medical attention.
Apparently before the heart attack occurred, Rosie and others had been at a mall. A very obese woman, weighing perhaps 400-500 pounds, was struggling to get out of her car and asked for help. Rosie realized that this woman was dependent on the kindness of strangers and spent 15 minutes helping her out of the car. This was very strenuous work, and it may have contributed to the heart attack a few hours later.
Although Rosie didn't feel well at home and even remarked more than once about the possibility that she was having a heart attack, she didn't call 911. Her symptoms included severe pain in both biceps, chest pressure, become very pale, and having severe fatigue, so much so that she could barely make it up the stairs to her bedroom to sleep. She also had indigestion, nausea, and later vomited.
Even when Rosie thought about calling 911, she apparently worried that she might be wasting the ambulance driver's time if she wasn't having a heart attack. Also she considered that perhaps someone else needed the ambulance worse, like someone in a car accident. So she didn't call an ambulance. She worried that she'd scare the kids. They were already concerned that another family member had been in and out of the hospital just before this happened. Also Rosie reasoned at times that they were already in their pajamas, this could weight. She even worried about being weighed if she went to the doctor's office or hospital. (Yet she says that if her kids had such concerning symptoms, she would have sought medical attention for them in 20 minutes. She just didn't do that for herself. The entire situation taught her that she had to start taking care of herself and listening to her own body, what it was telling her.)
It turns out that Rosie is not alone. At least 50 percent of all women having heart attacks do not call 911, even when they think they are having a heart attack. In many cases, this can cost their life. Every minute counts. Especially in a case like that of Rosie O'Donnell.
She did chew four aspirin at home, which contributed to her survival. (The aspirin had just been purchased a few days before.) Mostly she was very lucky. Most people in Rosie's situation don't survive the heart attack. Rosie did, had a heart stent put in, and immediately felt better as blood flow was restored.
Since then, she contacted Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn to learn more about a vegan diet and how it could reverse heart disease. She also learned to get in long walks as she hadn't been exercising before. She also began meditation and other practices for stress.
Some time ago, she appeared on the Dr. Oz show and helped review symptoms of a heart attack:
1. Pain (chest, jaws, neck, shoulders, arms, breasts--usually one or more of these places) if the pain lasts more than a minute, it is especially worrisome.
3. Unusual fatigue
4. Dizziness and lightheadedness
5. Shortness of breath (Dr. Oz said this was the symptom that worried him most.)
Rosie O'Donnell reiterated that women should not be afraid to call 911, that 50 percent of women having heart attacks don't call 911. Heart attacks are the number one killer of women. Breast cancer is not the leading cause of deaths. Also be sure to have some aspirin around for emergencies. (Apparently chewing the aspirin makes a difference.)
One of the parts of the show that hit hardest was when Dr. Oz was showing how all that belly fat and visceral fat (fat around the organs, from all that belly fat). It turns out that the belly fat is constantly sending fat to the organs and some of all that awful stuff can break off and have deadly consequences.
I have greatly decreased my heart risk by eating (and drinking) a plant-based vegan diet, exercising daily, and ensuring I stay on top of stats. My cholesterol is in the normal zone, my blood pressure isn't sky high, etc. I also meditate, do Kundalini yoga, journal, take long walks, and have other ways to address stress. But I do have belly fat, lots of belly fat.
Juice fasts do a number on belly fat, especially visceral fat. That is yet another reason to love juice fasts.
I've actually switched around my schedule and cancelled a few things to be 100 percent juicing tomorrow. Even if it is hard at times. I didn't have the buffet today, ordering vegan food from the menu instead.
I've just gotten my Vitamin D by walking along a beautiful pathway on a gorgeous day. It was my favorite part of the day, walking with my husband as I listened to the birds sing and joined other very happy people enjoying the day. I have had to wonder how much of my Vitamin D levels has been being out in the sun vs. taking supplements. Often people absorb one better than the others. Since Vitamin D is essential to weight loss, I am paying attention to that, too.
Even in the noisy city, I can hear the birds sing today. Spring is a time for new beginnings, and it seems like the perfect time to work out the details of my long-term fast/reboot.
I already have a fridge full of organic kale. I'm ready to do this.
Here is the interview Rosie O'Donnell did with Dr. Oz. Be sure to let it go to Part 2 after Part 1, then goes no for several new parts. The clip keeps playing.
(I should note that I am doing this to heal a knee injury as well. It is healing well but getting off weight is the best thing I can do for my knees, ankles, feet, and all the rest of me.)
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Yesterday I got an eye-opening view into how we have given up so much privacy without even knowing it. I have an iPhone 4S, one of the very last iPhones that allows users to turn off the location finder. In other words, it is supposed to cut off the geotag data about where exactly I took that photo.
Imagine my surprise when I went to an IPhoto beginner's workshop and learned that not only did my iPhone track everywhere I went (except one location where I turned off 5 different parts to avoid extra phone charges). Not only that, I could click on my photos and not just see the vague location where I took the photo, but immediately see Google Earth zooming in the exact location where I took the photo. Good to one meter. That is how accurate it is. Google can even show you how many steps you took between to photos to get photos of ocean waves.
I grew up in coastal Maine where privacy was valued. For many people, their idea of a great get away was to go further into the woods where no one else was around and put up a tent. At least when I was growing up.
Now I live in a major city, downtown, surrounded by people, and realize that most people don't even realize how much privacy they have given up. Every time we email a photo from our smart phone or post to Facebook and Twitter, other online sites, we often have no idea that our photos have all kinds of data imbedded into them. We also don't know that this means that people can find us, even when we don't want to be found. When maybe we have found our own little paradise and want a week of peace. And for others, there is safety issues. Sometimes there are reasons people don't want it to be that easy for to be located.
I just upgraded my IPhone to the latest program and now am pressed to turn on the locator button. There is ICloud and all kinds of other function programs that really need the locator. And I do want my phone found if it is lost. Right? Well, that takes the locator being clicked on. Whatever it is called.
As I rested my sore back after sitting for several hours on hard stools at workshops to learn some basics, I contemplated this. Online, there was a story about how we can now let our online friends track us, everywhere we go all day long. Experts admit that soon corporate interests will want to buy this data, too, just like there is big bucks in buying the data of where our photos were taken and everything we say and do online. How exciting to find out where consumers go all day long.
I get to contemplate this locator key and whether or not I want to be constantly found and tracked even more. Meanwhile I think I might have to ease up on the workshops as I am not a "stool" person. I have enjoyed sitting on stools for quite some time, perhaps in part because I am heavy still.
I've been on a green juice reboot, but I found myself needing to eat a bit more over the past few days because of workshops, etc. I haven't gained weight but I haven't lost. So soon I will be heading more into Juice Land. I really do need to keep the weight loss going. My knees insist.
I got a new supply of Spirolina yesterday, the cold pressed Pure Hawaiian kind in 1000 mg dose, to help me on my way. While most people I know are contemplating more delicious food choices, I am likely to be sticking to the basics of organic veggies and fruits.
If I bring my iPhone 4S with me today, as I get my hair cut, perhaps it can track me there, too. Oh wait, the locator is turned off, and I may have to go to the Genius Bar and talk to Geniuses about how to get all these things turned on. If I need ICloud, Find My Phone, and a zillion other new options. I do love my iPhone and Mac Pro. But I think my mind needs a rest as I go out to enjoy this beautiful day.
Deepak Chopra has a new 21-day free meditation series online that i plan to try as I meditate on the lovely bouquet of flowers my husband bought me. I plan to take a lovely walk and get my hair cut so that I no longer look like a sheep dog. (Bangs in my eyes can give me migraines or bad headaches and eye aches, especially in allergy season with record-setting levels of pollen.) Don't tell my phone. it doesn't know yet all that I have planned for my day. Let's keep it a fun surprise!
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