And holy cow it has been forever. How have you been? Long time no see. Tell me everything…
Well, now I’ll admit I’ve neglected this blog and my endeavors to be more accountable to my life and to healthy and happy living (I won’t tell you how many Mao’s chinese take-out deliveries were made in my absence here). But I’m gonna try once more to get back on track at least for myself (seriously, need to reign in the take-out).
And with that, how about a JUICE CLEANSE!?! Sheesh, go big or go home, I guess.
So I signed up for a 3-day fall juice cleanse with Red Carpet Cleanses through the awesome Gilt.com deal site just before Thanksgiving. The deal is over now but these damn juice fasts are all the rage these days so I’m sure you can find one easily. Before you jump on the bandwagon though, here are my two cents on the process and on good and bad of juicing:
For anyone interested in a juice cleanse, I’d say if your goal is weightloss, then a juice cleanse is probably not for you. Unless you’re eating a healthy level of calories, with the necessary nutrients, you are starving your body. In doing so, you’ll likely slow down your metabolism and end up right back where you started as soon as you start eating foods again.
My 3-day cleanse turned into more of a mental cleanse. I was feeling frustrated and out of control with my recent eating habits and cravings. Too many late nights literally phoning it in with chinese food orders (as referenced above).
As I went through the process of “detoxing” myself of chinese food, I recorded my mental state. Probably not the best idea but it was amazing to see the emotional roller coaster my mind went through on the first day purely based on hunger. Each juice felt like a surge of energy through my body that was shortly lived, like an intense sugar high. In this cleanse, the “nut milks” in particular felt like this (ahem, finishing off each night with the “liquid churro” for example). Now, I will say, thank goodness at least for them as they gave me some of the protein and fat my body needed.
The second day was relatively blissful. I woke up easily and felt light and calm, pleased with my accomplishment of getting through day one. I found myself craving less foods, especially those that were terribly salty or sweet. I went to bed by 10pm as well and felt good! I suddenly felt very yogi-like, with serene clarity. This may have just been me being too hungry to think anymore… but I will say it felt nice to give my overactive, over-stressed mind a rest from my own thoughts.
On day three, I overcame my fear of passing out if I exercised while on a cleanse. I went to my usual class at the gym and it felt great. I realized I probably should have been moving around more and trying to sweat sooner in the past three days rather than thinking I was reserving precious energy. Amazingly, I felt as energetic as any good day. Plus, I didn’t get into that “sleepy slump” that would normally happen after eating my usual breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. A good reality check on what I was eating and how it was affecting my body…
I decided to finish the third day with a glorious vegan feast at California Vegan because my wonderful love, Maxine, was in town. We filled our bellies full and I was grateful for the meal. I said a little prayer under my breath and gave thanks for the fact that I was enjoying the company of a best friend and the reaping benefits of our good health together.
I am still torn on the idea of lengthy juice cleanses. It’s hard on the body and, if used improperly, can mess up your digestive system and metabolism. But I learned a lot from this cleanse and I encourage anyone curious to be thoughtful and exploratory in the relationships we build with our minds, our bodies, and our food.
While maintaining proper sun protection of course, like a sombrero, says Dr. Peyton.
Our close friends’ daughter reminds Dart how fun it is to play in the sun. Not only is it fun to run around outside, but I’m sure you know by now how the sun ups your vitamin D levels like nothin’ else. You’ve been hearing more and more about how everyone is suddenly vitamin D deficient and needs to start taking supplements. Here’s the thing, the body produces its own vitamin D when skin is exposed to UV rays. So how about we do what we did when we were kids? Just ten minutes of direct sunlight on the body can do loads of healthy goodness.
Vitamin D strengthens your immunity, it beats off depression, and may even help you lose weight. That means not having to worry about what we look like in a bikini, as I clearly demonstrated when I was 3.
There are other ways to get your daily dose of D; whole foods like fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms are a few trusty options. But I encourage you to make time for yourself and step out into the sun. And if you can’t do that, allow me to suggest a “crazy idea”… tanning beds.
Now before you stop reading this post entirely, hear me out. We need the sun’s UV rays. Tanning beds provide just that in very specific, controlled, and timed increments. No, I’m not saying you should go everyday and become a piece of leather. In fact, the darker the skin, the harder it is to produce vitamin D. All I’m saying is that, from my own experience, it has been the safer and healthier alternative to laying out in the sun (and often overdoing it). When I would go to tanning beds once a week, I’ve noticed I get sick less, I’m happier and more energetic, my skin feels firmer and my circulation improves, and my face is clearer (thanks to the added bonus of UV rays being naturally antibacterial). My skin is also less sensitive to the sun and heat (read, actually, LESS redness). When I stop, I very quickly notice myself feeling more sluggish, stressed, and just overall bleh.
Now tanning beds may not be for everyone, I know, and I say all of this with a huge emphasis on making sure you don’t overdo it (too much of a good thing is certainly the case in this situation). But I encourage you to at least listen to your body and how it is affected by light (sun or booth, it’s all UV). You may notice you’re getting more than just a tan.
Some quick articles I recommend for reading more on this:
I thought I would start the week off with a more “motivational monday” today, as I have been spending this morning preparing for some potentially important steps forward in my career today. It is scary to embark on new endeavors, but they say that our own fear tells us that we are beginning something really great.
So here’s to starting now and letting ourselves set wonderful, scary, positive goals for our future. In a bit of hopeful foreshadowing, I grabbed this logo from Lululemon, which has a blog full of goal-setting inspirations that I recommend checking out. Imagine what amazing things you could achieve even if you didn’t reach your goals! Of course, with that said, you’ll reach them all, maybe even surpass them, you awesome thing, you.
I figured why not leave it light today as it is the end of the week… Just checked out one of my favorite bloggers‘ (and a fellow Scrippsie’s) page to find her 5 favorite things of the week. She does this every friday and it’s such a cool idea.
Thing #4 stopped me in my tracks, perhaps because I’m already getting impatient for halloween (too soon?) but I wish now that I could find that mold of my teeth that the dentist took post-braces and do the same!
I have to say, I am loving this simple and effective way to tighten and renew my skin… just by brushing it!
With all of the silly quick fixes out there for smoother, firmer skin, I love that this one simply uses the body’s own ability to heal and transform. Basically, a bristled brush used in long or circular strokes up the body (always in the direction of the heart, following blood flow) does a number of feel-good, love your body things.
First, it exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, leaving you with an immediate rosy glow and softer skin. Second, in exfoliating the top layer of skin, you’ve made it easier to release toxins throughout the body, resulting in healthier skin and a healthier body! Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, brushing in the sensitive areas like the backs of the knees is great for this where the lymph nodes hang out, working hard to keep your body healthy. Think of this as giving your lymph nodes a huge thank you and a chance to drain themselves of those toxins, which can build up in there. Dry brushing has also been linked to cellulite reduction and firmer, tighter skin. I can say at least from my own experience that this is true. My skin just feels better and more youthful. Perhaps this is the secret to aging well!
For more information on body brushing and how to do it, check out: Organic Passion’s website here. And I encourage you to look up the amazing benefits of body brushing and the importance of being good to your lymphatic system.
Now go get your brush on… I recommend one like this.
I was thinking about when I went to college and for some reason I thought it would be very grown up and sophisticated of me to deck out my dorm room in black and red. Soon after, I was shocked to find myself angry, stressed, and tense whenever I’d walk into my room. And I realized the simple – and powerful – effect that colors have in our living space.
Right now I’ve stuck to light, girlie colors of pink, purple, and teal. But it’s always fun to gather up inspiration for when I have to give up an ultra-feminine boudoir for one that accommodates two.
Check out more of my home inspiration on pinterest. Each of these images seem to evoke such different tones and emotions. What do you feel when you look at them? What colors are important to you in your own resting space?
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a deodorant/antiperspirant aficionado, as I rarely had any desire to work up a sweat in my tweenage years (oh, if I had only known then…!) and therefore never really felt the need for it. In fact, I still don’t notice a need to slather on chemicals to keep my underarms absolutely dry and smelling like “a summer caribbean breeze” or whatever. So I don’t. I like to think that by not applying deodorant (much to the immediate shock of my friends followed by a strange realization that I don’t smell) I’ve allowed for my body to not become dependent on such chemicals to essentially keep my body from naturally releasing built up toxins through my sweat.
And if you think about it that way, I think you begin to realize how terribly socialized we’ve become to fear our own bodies and to cover up our own naturally pleasant scents with chemically designed ones from a lab. We’ve got an addiction to deodorant on our hands, people. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to smelling it all the time but sometimes I feel like I go up to a person and all I can think is you smell like old baby powder. Maybe that’s harsh, but consider the fact that our bodies are releasing pheromones too in our sweat and smell is a powerful tool of attraction (cough cough, Chanel no. 5) so by covering this up, maybe you’re really keeping yourself from getting laid.
You can take that with a grain of salt, but my point is that our dependence on commercial deodorants may be doing more harm than good… and not just in the sex department.
We all know by now that the key ingredient to antiperspirants on the market (even Tom’s “natural” antiperspirant) is aluminum and studies have linked aluminum-based underarm products to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I think that is certainly reason enough to stop using antiperspirants. But let’s also consider what I’ve mentioned before. If you don’t sweat out those pits, you don’t release those toxins. If you don’t release those toxins, guess where they hang out until they can be released… Do you really want to mess with your lymph nodes?
So here are my own recommendations for embracing your sweat and smell and freeing yourself from deodorant dependency!
DETOX: Spend one month (that’s right, 30 days) without deodorant. Yeah it may suck at first but if you stick with it, you’ll be amazed at how your body can heal and adjust itself accordingly now that it’s working more efficiently. On tough days, just try squeezing some lemon juice under your arms. It will kill unwanted odor-causing bacteria and you’ll smell like a lemon tree. Very pretty. (Read here for a deodorant detox pep-talk)
And after that, if you need an occasional boost of NATURAL deodorizing power (or, it’s ok if you didn’t wanna go ahead and detox, at least you’ve gotten rid of your old antiperspirant): I recommend Soapwalla deodorant cream. Not only is it full of practically edible ingredients that absorb moisture and inhibit bacteria, it smells like a dream!
Oh and if you aren’t already whining about having to change up your whole destructive routine, watch out for that extra cup of coffee. Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, causing you to sweat for no reason.
But above all, be patient, be kind to your body, and when it gets too tough… take a shower.