Saturday, October 30, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 7 - 8

Day 7 came and went. Things are stable. I actually couldn't grab lunch (a shake) until about 4pm and did just fine. Watching the family enjoy patties with melted cheese for dinner was.... forgive me, I had lustful thoughts. But I filled up on baked carrots and yams drizzled with olive oil, 3-Cs (cumin, cinnamon, cayenne), and salt; and artichoke dipped in olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Dessert was banana, ground flax, psyllium, stevia, unsweetened cocoa powder and chopped apple. Oh, and I also found a few stale brown rice crackers in the cupboard and dipped them in some salsa.

This morning, however, I am enjoying waffles right now! Last night I put some batter on to soak. How am I enjoying waffles on the 21 Day Detox you ask? In the past I've explored waffle making to the point of trying just about every variation of wheat-free, gluten-free, grain-free, etc. etc. This morning's version was made with lentil flour, black quinoa flour and a little brown rice flour. Soaking grains is an institution in our house. There are no eggs in this recipe, just a bit of guar gum and arrow root, salt, dash of vinegar, baking soda, melted ghee and high heat safflower oil. I also often add a little vanilla and stevia. I'll caution anyone attempting this recipe that because of the flours and overnight fermentation, it is prone to stick and brown. You have to watch the iron and open carefully. Still it came out. The whole family ate them. That along with today's smoothie surprise, the usual fruit with carrots, celery, and purple cabbage.

I have to run... stayed tuned.

I'm back. We had to run off to the last day of the farmers market. It's colder now than winter in San Jose. I have to say that Spokane has felt a lot like Seattle since moving here last April. We've really missed our year-round farmers market at Princeton Plaza, the citrus, yams, persimmons, and all the other fresh produce. But the changing leaves are beautiful. A little sunshine would be nice to. Halloween here will look like a bunch of kids in the same costume: "vinter-vare."

Something I've noticed while on this detox is how pervasive added sugar is in our lives and how much we desire it. If you've followed my blog you know I've addressed this before, but I'm reminded of how we are wired to fall for sugar. Sugar lead us to life supporting calories in times past. Now it's used like a drug to spike every packaged food under the sun, almost.

Now at day 8 I have found that my sense of smell and taste are amplified. Fresh produce is so full of flavor. I can smell cheese from three houses down (or at least from across the room). Dinner tonight was what I call open burritos, something we have regularly, but I ate mine with some modifications- a brown rice tortilla, black beans, lettuce, bell pepper, saute'ed veggies, avocado (essential food for this diet), cayenne, salsa, and my cheese substitute (all-purpose sesame seed savory spread). The way we eat this is to basically build a salad on your plate, top with black beans and everything else. I warm the tortilla and then fold and tear it into fourths. Using the fourth with a fork I scoop and eat. It's easier to get plenty of the veggies and stuff without the back of your burrito exploding. For dessert I watched the girls enjoy homemade Halloween cookies with Sunspires. After a week it's easier to not even think about eating the cookies. I did have to ask Jill to move the grated cheese away from me during dinner because every time I looked at it I wanted to grab some and put it on my plate.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 6

Only day 6! How long can this go on? I'm having random thoughts of baked goods thanks in part to my wife mentioning Rocket Bakery and cinnamon rolls. So spouses out there, if your mate is on a detox diet for 21 days (1st off try to be on it to) try not to eat like business as usual or at least keep your gustatory fantasies and indulgences to yourself.

Actually my wife is a Godsend. To be married to someone as passionate as I am (well almost) about good health helps. Much of our meal prep, at least for dinner, just needed little adjustments to stay within the diet. We had begun to eat a little more wheat products here and there. It seems especially easy with children to gravitate to the processed snack foods and "Annie's Mac N Cheese Bunnies." I was making this for my girls the other day for lunch and realized that it's probably just as nutrient devoid as the Kraft version. OK, it's organic so you aren't getting as many pesticides/herbicides and you are supporting sustainable agriculture, but I hope no one thinks noodles made of refined white wheat flour and mixed with some reconstituted cheesy sauce is a balanced meal. I personally don't find these boxes much more convenient then say cooking up some quinoa, add a little butter, salt, brewer's yeast, and romano cheese. Of course I know the kids like the little bunnies or shells better. So... just add some rice bran or something to provide some fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Vegetables anyone? Kids (and adults) can't live on white flour and sugar alone.

The timing of this detox hasn't paired well with the weather. Ideally you want to do a fall diet of this sort before the cold sets in. For someone who grew up with endless Indian summers, eating fresh produce year round, this is a little rough. I weighed myself today and think I might need to increase my calories. But then again, what is the ideal weight for a 42 year old male who's 5' 8 1/2" and isn't working out enough? Probably less than we might think. Do a little reading about longevity and caloric intake and you'll discover that the fountain of youth is eating just enough to stay healthy.

We are all imbued with natural mechanisms to eat (assimilate) the right amount of calories. And not just calories but of what sort, animal, vegetable, mineral. The data is in.... and is overwhelming; placing a laboratory animal (or you and me) into the feeding experiment we now find ourselves, a world with drive throughs and the nutritional catastrophe that are our grocery stores, and we end up with high rates of excess body fat, deficiency, poor fitness, and all the diseases that result: cardiovascular dz, diabetes, hypothyroidism, cancer.............................
These foods fool our bodies and minds to think we are being well nourished when in fact we are being poisoned.......... slowly. They fill our bellies but leave our cells wanting..... for the stuff they need to run, not just the fuel, the oil, the coolant, the cofactors and detoxing agents that the body uses to prevent self-destruct.

Think about it.

Soon I get a serving of meat; it that Monday or Tuesday? I will dream on that. In the mean time I'll whip up something exciting for my evening snack

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 5

This was a good day. No more brain fog like yesterday. If anything, I had a little difficulty focusing, but not too much worse than I might have now and then. My girls have been gifting me with extra sleep in the morning. This morning I awoke to my eldest tapping me and glancing at the clock was surprise to see it was eight-o'clock. I was a little sluggish getting going, but felt fine after breakfast. I made brown rice hot cereal with a little butter and sweetened with blended fruit. The girls loved it and I found it quite satisfactory.

My energy was good through the morning and didn't feel as hungry as lunchtime approached. My smoothie, carrot sticks and celery with sesame spread was filling and lasted me until dinner, black-eyed peas and sautéed kale with garlic and soy sauce. I just polished off an evening snack of pumpkin seeds, coconut, grapes, whey protein, unsweetened almond milk, a cal/mag powder, ground flax, and topped off with SP Cleanse powder. I thoroughly enjoyed this, ceasing the temptation to hit the cold cereal.

I'm trying to exercise more. So far it's mostly stretching and strengthening exercises at home. Did some squats tonight with more stretching. I prefer outdoor aerobic exercise. With the shorter days and colder weather it's been less inviting. I just need to get back into my routine when I lived near Seattle. You layer up, hat and gloves, night or day, and just get out and go. Running mainly. I'd still like to get on my bike before the snow and ice hit. I'll probably have to stick with resistance training with our double-wide jogger stroller and two turkeys along for the ride.

Oh, my family continues to taunt me with candy corn, rice and corn chex, mint chocolates, and plenty of cheese. Maybe tonight in my sleep I'll have visions of sugar plums.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 4

This morning I awoke feeling like someone had drugged me. It was mostly my head, very groggy. I felt a little light headed as I tried to prepare breakfast and had a few mild waves of nausea. Some of this was my blood sugar but I'm definitely stirring up an internal toxic soup. Yesterday I took my 2nd and 3rd dose of SP Cleanse at 5pm and bedtime respectively. Since just like drugs, doses of herbs should take body weight into account and individual sensitivity, I may decrease to 5 or 6 caps 3x day. I've also found SP Cleanse sits better if I take it blended in the smoothie. Swallowing 7 capsule brings some air into the stomach and I've been having heartburn after my last dose. It's mild and doesn't last. Last night I took a little herbal remedy and it went away.

I didn't feel clear headed until after lunch today. Oh, breakfast was an apple and banana smoothie and some beet. Midmorning I felt low blood sugar so I had a piece of brown rice bread with ghee. Technically the program allows cooked brown/wild rice, but I caution eating things made from brown rice flour, say bread, pasta, crackers, and tortillas (it's easy to get too much starch). Lunch was leftover vegetable soup, winter squash, and a brown rice cake (yes, that's my second serving of rice today) with sesame spread on it. My gourmet dinner, exquisitely prepared by my lovely wife, was spaghetti squash with a vegetable sauce. Not sure everything that was in it but I think it included kale, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, EV olive oil, Redmond salt, basil, oregano, thyme, and a little balsamic vinegar. I topped it with a little brewer's yeast. I also put some butter on my squash.

I didn't seem to have any cravings today. I've been keeping up my water intake to about 64oz without too much trouble. I've been lucky to drink half that prior to the detox. The only way to do this is to have a water bottle bottle you can see the water level and keep it nearby at all times. Oh, the other new symptom I had all morning was dry mouth. My eyes were also dry. I just kept drinking and finally this improved after lunch.

I'll probably close the evening with a light snack. Not sure what yet. I want another smoothie but the kids are all in bed. I'm thinking of jello. I'll have to make my gelatin dessert soon. I use agar, as I suppose that gelatin isn't totally legal. I'd say it's fine after day 10. I'll probably just add blended fruit, beet, carrot and maybe some stevia.

Monday, October 25, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 3

Today everyone slept in a little, which felt great but made for a crazy morning. I managed to get the girls fed with my buckwheat pancakes from the freezer, topped with blackberries and honey-molasses syrup. Then I made them a smoothie to split and finally I made mine with one golden delicious apple, a few remaining raspberries out of the freezer, a little ground flax and all the supplement powders. I made a double batch so I could have it for lunch.

Made it to the office and felt good this morning, very satisfied and alert. By noon I was feeling hungry and made cheesy bread for my daughter (picked her up from preschool and she wanted to have an afternoon with daddy). I gave her some roasted salted mixed nuts I had at the office as an appetizer and I was salivating at this point. It's amazing how acute your sense of smell and taste become while doing a detox. I finally pulled out my smoothie from the fridge and had that with some baby carrots, celery and an apple. I was content after that. I didn't feel hungry until about five when we finally headed home.

I haven't had cravings or low energy. Quite the contrary; I have more energy, seem to sleep more soundly, and my bowels are working well. The only time I desire something outside the diet is when I see or smell it. This is more difficult having my family eat outside the program. But we generally eat very healthy, so it's not like they are holding a Big Mac and fries in my face and saying, "naanahhh naanahhh na na nahhh!" On the way home from the office in the car, my daughter said, "it smells like popcorn." I didn't smell it but it made me want it, and then I could smell it... in my mind's nose.

Dinner was leftover lentils, korma and rice. While the family topped their lentils with plain cream top yogurt, I added my sesame spread, which really tastes great. I'm feeling very good now; I may just have some cut up fruit in a bit.

By the way, this detox is an excellent way to detect food allergies/sensitivities. On day 22 I can begin to add foods back into my diet, one at a time. This can elicit a reaction even though I've previously never noticed anything.

Recipes from day 2

Here are a few recipes

Curried Lentils
2 cups dry lentils
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 quart water (for cooking)
2 tsp curry powder (3 parts each ground cumin seed, corriander seed, tumeric; 1 part fenugreek, black pepper, mustard seed, fennel seed)
1 tsp clarified butter or ghee
1 inch piece of dried kelp (kombu) (or 1/4 tsp of ground)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp lime juice
1-2 tsp dried onion

Inspect lentils for pebbles/stones. Place in pot and cover with water, about 1 quart. Cover and let soak overnight or 6 to 8 hours (this is optional but will allow them to cook faster and be more digestible). Drain and rinse once. Add 1 quart water, bay leaf and kelp and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med/low and let simmer covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add water if level drops below level of lentils. Add curry powder, dried onion and clarified butter for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. You can let it simmer longer as long as there is enough water. Add salt only after the lentils are at your desired tenderness. Adding it too soon will prevent the lentils from softening. Add the lime juice, stir and enjoy.

This pairs nicely with brown basmati rice, but for the program just watch the starch. We also like to make vegetable korma to go with this.

Vegetable Korma
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup chopped summer squash
1 cup chopped carrots
1 yam
1 large onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (might want to add a little more)
2-3 tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup ground pumpkin seeds (optional)

Add vegetables (note, I prefer to chop them with a food processor so they cook faster), garlic, onion, clarified butter, curry powder, 1 cup water, and salt to large cooking pot on medium high heat. Cook covered stirring regularly until vegetables begin to soften, about 40 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and water as needed. Continue simmering until vegetables are very soft and mixture thickens a little. Reduce heat to low and add coconut milk and ground pumpkin seeds. Continue simmering another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with basmati rice and lentils. Note you can substitute just about any vegetable.

1/2 apple cider vinegar (or balsamic or white wine)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (I also like to add a little fish sauce)
1/2 tsp each dried oregano, basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup water
2 tsp ground flax or chia seed

Add all ingredients to a 16 oz jar or shaker. Attach lid and shake vigorously for 1 hour (just kidding, 10 sec should be sufficient). Let stand for 10 minutes or so and flax/chia seed will thicken. You can add more ground seed or a little more liquid to get desired consistency. You can vary the seasoning to your taste, i.e. add ground mustard seed, ginger, and stevia (or a little honey) for a honey mustard dressing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 2

Good day and welcome to day 2. Things went well today. A little churning inside but things are moving in the right direction, if you catch my drift. The point of doing a cleanse or detox is to move things that shouldn't be in the body, out of the body. I wanted to highlight the main herbal product I am using for the first week to support and open the detox pathways in the body.

SP Cleanse from Standard Process is an impressive list of herbs formulated to support the emunctories (elimination organs). Here are the ingredients:
Juniper berry powder (Juniperus communis), red clover (flower) powder (Trifolium pratense), collinsonia (root) powder, apple pectin, burdock (root) powder (Arctium lappa), barley (grass) powder, dandelion (leaf) (Taraxacum officinale), Spanish black radish (root), Oregon grape (root) powder (Berberis aquifolium), cayenne pepper powder (Capsicum annuum), fenugreek (seed) powder, choline bitartrate, inositol, globe artichoke (leaf) (Cynara scolymus), fennel (seed), oat flour, dried beet (leaf) juice, beet (root) powder, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) (80% silymarins), Tillandsia usneoides, carrot (root) powder, broccoli (whole plant) powder, and kale (whole plant) powder.

"The phytonutrients from these multiple ingredients help the body eliminate toxins that originate in the environment, as well as metabolic toxins that are given off internally. The vitamin complexes, minerals, and phytonutrients in SP Cleanse support the body's internal waste-removal systems to encourage healthy kidney function, help purify the blood, support lymphatic system function, promote efficient gastrointestinal elimination, and maintain healthy liver detoxification function."

I will consume 150 capsules of this over the first seven days. Then the diet and protein/nutrient shakes continue for the duration of the program. Why go through all this trouble?

Obviously the "carrot" for some is guaranteed weight loss, lowering BP without drugs, or maybe giving that statin drug the boot. These are all worthy motivators, but for me none of these are why I'm doing it. I weigh the same as I did as a sophomore in high school, I have low blood pressure and my cholesterol level is ........ I actually don't know but 5 years ago it was normal (by the way, cholesterol level is a red herring).

My motivation is the same as it was ten years ago when I buried my father after he succumbed to pancreatic cancer. I decided I can either live in denial or fear, or be proactive in caring for myself and others. To that end I've encouraged my patients to seek a healthy path. Inevitably we all live in a world that exposes us to increasing levels of toxins, those from without and those we make inside just by being alive.

I battle the same forces as everyone else, the desire for easy pleasure- quick unhealthy food, while not exercising (though I do find some types enjoyable if I'd just make the time) and not getting enough sleep. Anyway, so since grad school I've certainly amassed additional strains on my body that can be helped by a purification process. Just like fasting regimes or retreats, the idea is to clean the inside of the body (physically, mind and spirit). Satiety mechanisms are reset, habits are broken, new ones are made and I am reminded of the supreme responsibility I have in my own health. Not my genes, not my parents, not MacDonald's, not fate, not my victim status.

So back to today. To hasten the GI tract I added beet to my smoothie at lunch and it did the trick. I had some vegetable stew and apple. Then dinner was vegetable korma, lentils, and brown rice. Sound boring? Not when it's made with fresh homemade ghee (google it), fresh ground spices for the curry, coconut milk and sea salt. Since I couldn't eat the homemade pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting that Jill made, I'm hunkering for my banana chocolate pudding....
Mashed banana
1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax seed
1/4 tsp of stevia powder
dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp of carob powder (OK, I'm out, so I used organic unsweetened cocoa powder)
enough liquid to mix it into a delicious gelatinous dessert
Oh, and topped with shredded coconut.

Tomorrow it's time to take the detox diet to work. Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

21 Day Detox......Day 1

I've decided to embark on a cleanse/detox for the next 21 days with a few of my patients and thought I'd post updates on how things are going.

The program involves an all-you-can-eat paleolithic diet with no grains except at most one serving of brown or wild rice, millet, or quinoa per day; up to two servings of lentils; eating twice as much vegetables as fruits; no corn, potatoes, soy, eggs, dairy, animal products EXCEPT organic unsalted butter or ghee; no sugar, sodas, fried foods, unhealthy oils, HFCS, canola oil, margarine, shortening, and most processed foods with additives. One serving of wild fish, FR chicken or turkey, wild game or grass-fed beef or bison is allowed after day 10. The core of the program is protein/fiber shakes, 2-3 per day, with a greens and fruit powder. In addition, there is an intensive herbal supplement to support the detoxification pathways in the body.

Today was a little rough watching the family eat one of our usuals for breakfast- apple pie oatmeal... a proprietary recipe. After my first smoothie I had to make a sesame butter spread to dip my baby carrots in or fear I'd fade away before high noon. Lunch was another blackberry smoothie, green salad with a vineigrette and pumpkin seeds. Dinner was winter squash soup, a little brown rice.. and yes, a slight "cheat;" we had left over salmon enchiladas made with Ezekial sprouted tortillas. Yes there was a little cheese, potatoes, corn, and black beans in there, but I limited my portion and it was for the sake of using up leftovers. (Hopefully none of my patients will read this.)

Really this program is about taking a break from unhealthy patterns and really allowing the body's elimination pathways to work unhindered. My weakness lately- banana chips fried in coconut oil and lightly sweetened. Oh, and very dark chocholate; like so dark I have to eat it wearing a headlamp. Anyway, hoping I can get to bed early... at least earlier than usual.

Stay tuned for my Klingon banana pudding recipe that will definitely be made (and eaten) tomorrow.