Update. Cleanse Day ?!?7!?? Up Up & Away!

Cleanse-schmendz. Tomorrow is another day! ♥

It is I, dismal cleanse failure, Bobbe, here to report on what is supposed to be Day 7 of my two week cleanse. I say “supposed” because I am not sure what to call it after I cheated all weekend long.  Saturday I was so tired, I could barely move so we deemed it, “couch potato Saturday”, and we literally laid around watching movies the entire day. (We justified it because we have been going and going since before summer with barely a break. Truth but it still feels like an excuse.) Long about three in the afternoon we decided to get up and drag ourselves to the store. Sometime during the three minute drive there we also decided it would be a good idea to buy frozen pizzas for dinner. (Frozen pizza? It takes little to no effort to make a fresh one from scratch, but we decided even that was too much trouble.) We settled on a DiGiorno Spicy pizza and a California Pizza Kitchen Margarita pizza. Oh, and just to complete the failure circuit, vodka.

Yesterday, we decided to get out of the house and do something new for a change. I adore planes and knew of an Aviation Heritage Festival going on, so we were out the door at 11:30 in order to meet our friends there at noon. It was a gloriously, beautiful, sunshiny day! There were food trucks, vintage cars, vintage planes and lots of old friends! What more could I have asked for. I felt like I was in heaven.

My father was a pilot and I suppose this love of winged things is in my blood. I felt totally energized from the moment we set foot on the tarmac and then, our dear friend Bobby, announced that we should go up in one of the planes for a ride. He pointed out some weird looking triple engine plane (last plane on the bottom right in the photos above) that looked like it was held together with scotch tape, aluminum oil and gum. No thanks. I am terrified of heights (and dying). I pointed to this jiffy little red biplane that I regularly see flying all over our skies. Hubs and I have often pointed to it in the sky and said that it would be so cool to get to ride in it, but then just as quickly we’ve always said, “But I would never do it because I’d be terrified.”

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Before I’d turned around twice, dear friend Bobby, had run off and found the table where you sign up to ride in this plane. Poof, just like that, I was signed up to ride with him! OMG! OMG! (Did I mention I am terrified of heights?) Also, take a good look at the plane above. The pilot sits in the back. Oh, and one other item, there is NO LID on the thing…no roof, whatsoever. Bobby kept saying this was a “Bucket List” item and he was right. He paid for me, so there was no way I would back out. Within twenty minutes we were standing with the pilot getting ready to board!

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Today I can barely contain the joy I feel. I was scared at the initial thought of going up, but once we got in and started, all I could do was bounce around in my seat, unable to contain my excitement. I giggled and belly laughed and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I have no idea why, but I had no fear of heights and I was able to look down and recognize where I was. We even flew over my parent’s house and they were outside to see it, as I’d called them when we go on the plane!

So what do you do after you just checked an item off a bucket list you didn’t realize you had? You go find your friends, drink some beer and enjoy the rest of the day and that is exactly what we did. I may not have been good on the cleanse, but I had a glorious day that rejuvenated my spirit. This morning I’m still smiling over what a wonderful time we had with dear, dear friends and I cannot thank our friend, Bobby, enough for forcing me out of my comfort zone to experience something I will NEVER forget!

Cleanse-Schmendz. Tomorrow is another day! ♥

Cleanse Update, Day 4

 

Guilty!

Confessing my sins.

Yesterday was a mixed bag of up and downs. For the most part I did very well. The shakes went down well, I took my walk, I even took a long soak. I planned every single detail of what I would do in the evening. YET…..

I cannot tell a lie. Despite all of my efforts, I cheated. (Argh!) Last night we had decided to do steaks, fingerlings and steamed broccoli for dinner. I was doing just fine until I got in the kitchen. All of the sudden I felt like I’d literally been struck in the heart with a horrible feeling…deep sadness mixed with a little anger. It felt like a vice grip on my heart. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I felt like someone had just hurt my feelings in the cruelest possible way.

I tried everything. I stopped what I was doing and prayed for strength. I ate a salad. I went out for a short walk. I sat down and tried to be rational about where the feeling was coming from. I even tried to write about it. Nothing came.

When my hubs came in from walking the dog, he took one look at me and he knew what I was contemplating. At first he said he was not going to say a word because whatever words he chose would be wrong. Then he reminded me that I had been working the plan like a pro and that the only person imposing the no wine rule was me. (It isn’t part of the actual “plan” I am on- I threw it in.) I kept telling him I refused to fail. Yet there I sat in misery. He told me it isn’t wrong for me to indulge one day a week. I know that. Two glasses of wine is a far cry from falling down drunk over consumption. Still, in my heart I felt a total failure.

My brain urged me to go immediately to the kitchen and stuff my face with dinner. My stubbornness refused. “I. Don’t. Wanna.”

So there ya have it. I had one glass of white wine. I had one glass of red wine. Then, I had dinner and it was delicious.

I could spend the day feeling like crap because I cheated (I do feel crappy about it) or I can do something constructive. Today I am right back on the plan and because I indulged last night, I will accompany the hubs to the gym today to do my penance. Oh, how I hate the gym!

I remain determined to stay the course and so I will push forward and not allow last night to fester into more failure. ❤️

Progress, not perfection, right?

 

 

Cleanse Update, Day 3

For a long time I covered myself, guarded my personal thoughts and generally hid anything important to me because people in my immediate circle frowned on my sharing. In retrospect I know it’s the conforming to other people’s ideas of how I should live and what I should share that has held me back and down and covered up in evening cocktails. Not any more.

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Extra. Extra. Read all about it! I made it through Wednesday and Thursday, the hardest two days of the work week for me! I am so pleased and happy to report that it wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined it might be. Steady as she goes!

The absolute key for me is being prepared. Thursday’s are sometimes really draining for me; which can trigger hard emotions; which in turn trigger me to want to run home and unwind with alcohol. Knowing this, yesterday morning I made a mental note of what steps I would take in order to NOT come home and pour myself a drink.

Let’s just be brutally honest here. I have no problem giving up two meals per day and replacing them with protein shakes. I don’t miss the food one bit. The Usana plant-based protein shakes are fun and easy for me. I like crafting different flavors each day. (This morning I added a tiny bit of almond butter and coconut water to the cappuccino flavor package and the result was delicious.) What I don’t like is not being able to enjoy my wine with dinner. I do not like it at all. So far though, with careful planning, it hasn’t been the huge issue I thought it would be.

Yesterday’s visit with the Parental Units was fun. We talked mostly about all of the dogs in the family and I shared a lot of photos and videos of the animals with them. We also shared a lot of silly stories from years past and the conversation stayed upbeat. (Thank you, Lord.)

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That’s not ketchup, it’s Sriracha. Overdid that a little bit!

On the way home I stopped at the market and picked up some more yogurt and some bath salts and even a little hard candy, just in case I needed it. I admit to feeling pretty crabby by the time I got home. Vodka crossed my mind a time or two or fifty, but I powered through and went to the kitchen to prepared dinner. (Last night we had Mahi Mahi and it was delicious.) Once I’ve eaten dinner and am satisfied, the crazy, wanton thoughts usually subside.

 

We played with the dogs and watched movies until bedtime and it was lovely.

This morning I was rudely awakened with the fact that today is Friday. Friday is always homemade pizza and wine night in our household. I love Friday evenings at home. While I was in the kitchen making my shakes for the day, I was feeling high anxiety thinking about what tonight might bring. One side of my brain kept telling me how much I need to stay the course and the other argued that it’s just one night a week. Yeah, right. It’s NOT just one night a week. If I were to allow myself one cheat night, what’s to stop me from two? I can’t do that.

What helped tremendously was when my beloved hubs came into the kitchen and told me how proud he is that I am sticking to my guns on this cleanse. We decided dinner tonight will be the two filet mignon he brought home a day ago and we’ll make some organic fingerlings and steamed broccoli to go with them. Although it’s not the fish we’d talked about doing, somehow, his encouraging words and the fact that we are switching up our menu brought me comfort. I don’t know why my brain thinks I need to have wine to celebrate the end of the work week. I don’t. There are plenty of other things to do.

You know what else helps? Being able to write this out, publish it and not care who might see it or what he/she may think. Many people I don’t even know have sent me private notes of support and encouragement. I appreciate it so much. Even if no one said a word, having a place to journal thoughts and feelings and ideas is a positive thing.

For a long time I covered myself, guarded my personal thoughts and generally hid anything important to me because people in my immediate circle frowned on my sharing. In retrospect I know it’s the conforming to other people’s ideas of how I should live and what I should share that has held me back and down and covered up in evening cocktails. Not any more.

I took my Day 4 selfie. I still look really tired and despite the fact that my sleep is getting increasingly better, I still feel really tired. I imagine it will take many more nights of uninterrupted sleep to actually feel and look rested, so I refuse to be discouraged.

I remain encouraged. I will stay the course! (And I might even find my way to the gym tomorrow. We shall see!) ♥


Lime-Marinated Mahi Mahimahi-mahi

Ingredients:

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

Zest of 2 limes

2 (4 ounce) Mahi Mahi fillets

Directions:

Preheat a grill pan at medium heat, coat with olive oil (I also use real butter)

Whisk the extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, lime juice, and grated lime zest together in a bowl to make the marinade.

Place the Mahi Mahi fillets in a zip lock bag, add the marinade; allow to marinate at least 15 minutes.

Cook on the preheated grill pan until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Garnish with the twists of lime zest to serve.

 

 

 

 

Cleanse Day 3, Update

I am very encouraged by yesterday’s efforts. I knew it would be hard having to work in the morning and then cook dinner for a huge crowd. As I reported in yesterday’s update, I did experience the usual, “Why am I doing this? …

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Cocktail consumer Alexis would fall asleep shortly before 9:00 PM; sleep until 11:00 PM; wake up to go upstairs to bed; then sleep until 2:30 or 3:00 AM. From there it would be a failed battle to stay off the Internet until around 5:30 AM, when sleep would be intermittent at best. The whole shebang would end at 7:00 AM when it was time to rise to meet the day.

This morning I actually slept until almost 8:00 AM, which is highly unusual for me. I can only attribute it to the fact that I am continuing to execute my cleanse plan. I was awakened again about four or five times, needing to pop into the ladies room, but each time, I was able to fall right back to sleep with very little effort. When my hubs came to awaken me this morning, I was in total shock by what time it was.

I am very encouraged by yesterday’s efforts. I knew it would be hard having to work in the morning and then cook dinner for a huge crowd. As I reported in yesterday’s update, I did experience the usual, “Why am I doing this? Why can’t I just go home and have one or two drinks to relax? I don’t have to tell anyone.” Of course, the other side of my brain knew better.

Shortly before we started breaking down the kitchen to clean, I forced myself to eat dinner. It wasn’t easy because I was hot and defiant Alexis didn’t want to! However, I knew that if I didn’t, the chances of my going home hungry and pouring myself a cocktail stood at about 98%. I thought it through all the way to how I would feel waking up this morning knowing I couldn’t follow this plan for even two straight days. (Argh! To be honest it pissed me off. It angers me that I’ve gotten into this habit so much that it’s a chore to break.)

Two pieces of fish, a pile of rice pilaf and some Italian green beans later, I was satisfied. On the way home I thought about the things I wanted to do that would keep my mind, body and soul engaged in non-alcoholic activities. Tops on the list was taking my new dog, Sam, on a long walk and then settling in to read some new blogs.  Check. Check. I did both.

As a treat, I pulled out some organic, all natural yogurt and I giggled my head off when my husband tasted it and declared mightily, “OH MY GAWD, that tastes like ASS! It’s ASS with a side of sour fruit!” He’s a sweets person. I am not. I thought it was great! It’s a brand called, “siggi’s”. I highly recommend it! (siggisdairy.com)

Today on my way home from visiting my parents, I will stop at the health food store and pick up some more yogurt and some more super cool bath stuff. Those who know me already know that Thursday visits with my parents can spell disaster in the emotional department, so believe me, I must have my armor ready.

I will need extra prayers for strength for the time just prior to and right when I get home today. Although I have a plan, a hard visit with “The Units” (my sister and I nicknamed our parents this eons ago) can throw a wrench into almost anything.

I took my Day 3 selfie this morning and thought I looked better yesterday. Of course, I hate nearly every photo taken of me, so there’s that. First thing this morning when I looked in the mirror I could see a trace of “Less Puffy Me” and I smiled.

Day 3 Summary: I’m happy. I’m Blessed. I feel good, but I’ve still got one eye open for the demon temptation who wants to take me down.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1: 2-3

Tonight’s menu will be Mahi-Mahi, sauteed apsaragus and left over coconut rice mixed with whatever I decide to mix it with. My thoughtful husband went out this morning and rented the latest “Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, so we’ll eat dinner and then curl up and watch it together.

Prayers up. Over and Out until tomorrow. ❤

Cleanse Day 2, Update

The magic number is six. Six times last night my sleep was interrupted because I had to get up to use the rest room. You would think I would be upset about this. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. It makes me happy.

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The magic number is six. Six times last night my sleep was interrupted because I had to get up to use the rest room. You would think I would be upset about this. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. It makes me happy.

This is of course, the by-product of the first day of the two-week cleanse. It means to me that my liver is working on cleansing the rest of the body and it’s a nice sign that things are on the right track.

Even though my sleep was interrupted quite a bit, this morning I am feeling more rested than yesterday morning. Better than this, I feel more determined than ever to carry on. I know it’s just the second day, but I choose to take the good feelings as they come. BTW,  I took my “Day 2 selfie” and I can all ready see a very slight difference. (I’ll post those in two weeks.) Joy, Joy, Joy!

Yesterday I planned what to make for dinner well before I got home. I planned what I would do to reward myself for not having a cocktail and for eating a sensible dinner. On the way home from work we stopped at an organic market and I bought myself some bath salts. Last night when dinner was finished, I excused myself to go and take a well-deserved, relaxing, glorious soak. I have always been a bath girl, so treating myself to something special was just the little treat I needed. Once I had my PJ’s on, the feeling that I was missing out on a glass of wine just wasn’t there.

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I told Charlie this morning that I wished I’d bought more than one variety of bath salts, so I would have them tonight when I get home. Tonight will be one of the hardest nights to get through.

Why?

On Wednesday nights, my husband and I work together to produce a Fellowship meal for about 100-150 people who are members of the church where I work part-time. Every week we plan the menu, shop for the food, prepare the meal and drinks, help to serve it and help to clear it away when it’s over. It is an arduous task but I love it, which is why we do it.

Each week I get to work shortly after nine am and do my regular work. (I do the finances of the church.) At 1:15, I change clothes and head into the kitchen where we have until 5:00 to prepare the meal and set up for dinner service. We start serving at promptly 5:15. Like I said, it is NOT an easy job by any means. The pay-off for me is seeing people enjoy something I’ve made. It’s in knowing I worked very hard in the service of others and knowing I’ve given it all of me…and I do. My husband and I joke that, “It is ALWAYS Wednesday!” in our lives. Some weeks it seems to be so.

At some point every single Wednesday between the hours of 5:00 and 6:30 my brain starts to tell me I’ve earned the right to go home, put my feet up and have a few cocktails and usually, this is exactly what I do. (The last thing in the world I want to do is go home and eat dinner after I’ve just spent hours in the kitchen.)

Tonight will be a challenge and I admit to feeling a wee tinge of anxiety. The plan, however, is to force myself to eat dinner before leaving church so I will be full and will not want anything else. Writing this blog helps me to stay accountable too, because I hate to fail and I hate to lie. I don’t want to have to come back here and report that I cheated. I refuse!

Back to last night: For dinner this week, we decided to try to consume mostly fish and fresh vegetables. Last night’s fare was salmon that we picked up on the way home, coconut rice, mango salsa and freshly steamed broccoli.

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My plate last night.

 

I was shocked that I enjoyed the rice because I am not a fan of coconut, but it was lovely. (Recipe is below).

I will check back tomorrow to report on how I did this evening. Pray for me.

 

 

 


Coconut Rice

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This was Charlie’s plate last night. Mine is above. I’m not that fancy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice

1 1/2 cups Coconut Water

1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Salt (I used a little more)

3/4 Teaspoon White pepper

Directions:

Rinse and drain the rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with the coconut water, coconut milk, and salt & pepper. Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Ideas:

When I make this again, I will tweak it and add herbs and zest depending on what I am making. Last night I was wishing I’d put some lime zest in it, but it was still really light and delicious!

 

 

 

Risky Business.

This morning I have no doubt the Universe is conspiring towards me getting healthier. The minute I sat down to the computer to write, I hit a wrong button that directed me to a page with the headline…

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I was up half the night reading and following a lot of blogs. Like I said yesterday, the ones that inspire me most are written by people like me, who are trying to be and do better. I particularly love the ones that tell it like it truly is: the good, the bad, the funny and the ugly.

This morning I have no doubt the Universe is conspiring towards me getting healthier. The minute I sat down to the computer to write, I hit a wrong button that directed me to a page with the headline, “Give Up Alcohol for Two Weeks and These Incredible Things Happen to Your Body!” Okay. Okay. Message received.

So this is me declaring that as of Monday (because by now you should know that I always begin anything new on a Monday), I will embark on a two-week cleanse. (Yes, I am calling it a “cleanse” and you can humor me on this one.) In actuality, it’s supposed to last one month, but I don’t want to start off with that big of a commitment. I still have one more trip to Chicago to go. If my calculations are accurate, that trip is just over two weeks away. So there’s that.

This will of course, mean that in addition to my two protein shakes replacing breakfast and lunch, I will abstain from alcohol and I will eat a sensible, organic meal at night. I was thinking this morning it would be a worthwhile project to take a photo of my face every day for two weeks in order to document the difference.  This will require a huge amount of courage on my part because at the moment, my face and I are not on friendly terms. This also begs the question, “Am I brave enough to actually post the photos?” The jury is currently undecided and will get back to you on that.

The mere thought of doing this gives me anxiety, but I have worse anxiety thinking about never being confident in my appearance again. (Does that sound vain?) I’m so sick of looking and feeling tired and puffy. I equally as sick of feeling like life is slipping through my fingers at a rapid pace. I desperately need a jump-start and so this will be it.

I am not going to even try to pretend this will be easy. It won’t. I do very well following a prescribed plan, but I have some huge triggers to overcome. In past blogs I’ve spoken about Wednesdays and Thursdays being hard, but I haven’t actually been that honest about why Thursdays are such a big deal. I think it’s important for me at this time to drop my guard, so expect for me to get very honest and open.

Great things never come from comfort zones, right?

.risky