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Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Cleanse – Day 3

In Mindfulness on May 6, 2013 at 5:39 am

roses and workWork is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” ~George MacDonald

I woke up feeling fabulous on Day 3 despite having agreed to teach an early morning vinyasa class (not my specialty).  At 730am, I head to La Jolla Yoga Center after green juice and a smallish bowl of soup. The class was a bit awkward because my playlist would get stuck on a song eliciting exasperated you’re-wasting-my-$20-and-75-minutes stares while I tried to simultaneously instruct and manage the music. It seems that my tech savviness is rapidly decreasing as I approach 40. Becoming a yoga teacher has been a test of my willingness to continually expose myself as I lead a group to some unspoken place that is unique to each individual. I’m guessing and I’m doing my best and feeling my way through it but on some days it’s just not all that neat and tidy. This is a vulnerable place to be but I much prefer this place rather than hiding behind the possibilities and potentialities of my life.

As part of my cleanse I had decided to hire someone to spring clean my house – something I haven’t been able to do since I was separated – and get a facial. These decisions felt so indulgent that I didn’t even care as I ate my 10th bowl of soup in 3 days (I’m not really counting). I was probably drinking juice too…I can’t remember…anyway, Day 3 was more about pampering myself and my home and letting others do the work for me.

IMG_3774

Organic, locally-roasted, caffeinated coffee.

When I’m on a cleanse, my senses are heightened and everything around me looks so much more vibrant  and defined. I see more, I smell more, I hear more. It makes walking around town on a busy, sunny day like a marvelous adventure. While running errands, I managed to buy a decaf coffee without purchasing a scone but then the coffee tasted quite flat. My tastebuds were so sensitive that I couldn’t deny the badness of decaf. I really love coffee and will be going right back to drinking it after this cleanse but I have to admit that it feels empowering to not NEED the coffee each morning. I’ve discovered I actually can handle my mornings without the caffeine crutch (hats off to all of you who do it everyday). Coffee is a soothing morning ritual for me. It’s also one of the smells of my childhood (coffee, sawdust, and salt air). As a child my parents were often building, finishing, or remodeling the houses we lived in – and we lived on the bay – and there was always a pot of coffee brewing while they were up late staining hardwood floors or painting trim and listening to the Beatles or Bob Dylan. To make up for the flat decaf, I treated myself to an orange-carrot-ginger juice which was like candy to my all-veggies-all-day-tongue and headed to back to the house to get some more work done.

It’s important to take care of yourself inside and out during a cleanse as your physical body and your surroundings are a reflection of what is going on inside you on an emotional level. And having the abundance to get a facial as well as spring-clean my home felt absolutely in alignment with all the cleansing I was doing internally. With physical cleanses come emotional cleanses and before I got into the salon, I broke down sobbing. I was painfully aware of the thoughts and emotions associated with my crying but I was not aware of what triggered these thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t anything I had just heard or saw and, worse, it wasn’t a new emotion about a new issue. It was a recycled emotion or issue that I thought I was long past. Clearly, I wasn’t past it and had to let it move through me. So I did. And I felt lighter. Exactly what I had been aiming for on this cleanse.

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Cleanse – Day 1

In Mindfulness, Nutrition on April 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm
juices

Veggie Juices

“Habits allow us to not think about what we’re doing . . . giving us the illusion of ease. When we are under the illusion of ease, not thinking about what we’re doing and breathing the same old way, moving the same old way, thinking the same old way, we check out of the present, out of happiness itself.” ~ Alex Levin

My day of silence prompted me to do an 8-day cleanse. I know what you’re thinking. She’s already so healthy. Clean eating, yoga, meditation. Does she really need to cleanse? Yup, I do. I do it mostly for the emotional release and spiritual growth which allows me to come back to my heart. I am constantly striving to live from my heart. Make decisions from this place. Take action from this place. From where does your action and decision-making come? Is it fear, anticipation, avoidance, contraction? Or is it love, expansion, joy, and present-moment acceptance? Taking the time to change up our eating habits (however healthy they may already be) with a mindful cleanse allows space for awareness of the ‘stuff’ we may still be holding onto.

avocados

Organic San Diego County avocados

Anyway, this cleanse – the Salmonberry Signature Cleanse – is, roughly:

3 days of cooked vegetables only (no oils, fats, protein). Just steamed or simmered veggies. Fresh-pressed juices are definitely on the menu with a heavy emphasis on the veggies and less on the fruits.

Day 4 is just herbal tea, water, lemon water, sparkling water…clean, pure water in all forms.

3 days of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds with a bit of honey and oil. To me this means avocados all day long! Again lots of fresh pressed juices and fruits are welcome!

Day 8 is only fresh watermelon juice (or pineapple juice). At this point in the cleanse I’ll be feeling so fabulous, I’ll start annoying people (it’s happened before!). I usually drink over 100 ounces of watermelon juice on this day.

For 3 days prior to this cleanse I was to have dropped all meat, wheat, sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. But, since I don’t see the Cleanse Police in my neighborhood, I drank coffee right up to the last minute. The night before I started the cleanse was like the last supper at my house. I ate way too much and even had a belly ache…so embarrassing and clearly time for a cleanse.

Day 1 was tough (as it always is). I was crabby first thing in the morning. Most likely because I couldn’t have my beloved coffee and I hadn’t yet made the Cleansing Soup so there was nothing for breakfast. I pulled my foggy self out of bed, brushed my teeth and headed to my favorite juice bar to stock up on juices. Of course, the super cute juicer was working and I looked really rough (it was like I had a food hangover from the last supper). Oh well. I stocked up on Green Lemonade (ginger, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, and lemon) and Super 7 (ginger, parsley, beets, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and carrots) and transfered them into 12oz Ball jars filled all the way to the top and sealed tight so they will keep as many nutrients as possible over the next 3 days. I used to do my own juicing but my juicer is so old that it’s starting to suck at it’s job so it makes more sense for me to buy someone else’s juice. I really need to retire and recycle that poor juicer (here in SoCal that means ‘leave it in the alley’).

movie snack

Movie snack when on a cleanse: steamed sugar snap peas and veggie juice

So I started in on a green lemonade and preparing my home studio for our weekly meditation group. After meditation, I had a much better attitude so I cranked the music and powered through making the Cleansing Soup (recipes turn out much better if you sing during food prep). The rest of my day consisting of getting some work done, a walk on the beach, and 3-4 bowls of soup. In an effort to distract myself from my raging, caffeine-withdrawal headache, I met a friend at the movies. The movie was heavy, The Place Beyond the Pines, and, since I was subsisting off veggie juice and steamed sugar snap peas, I’ve had more enjoyable movie experiences. The movie was actually quite good but we both needed something lighter and more uplifting. That’s what you get when you pick movies based on eye candy as opposed to plot.

I could not get into bed fast enough after the movie and was sound asleep by 8pm. I slept like the dead all the way until 5am when I had to get up to open La Jolla Yoga Center for sunrise yoga. According to my iPhone app – Sleep Cycle – my sleep quality was 100% that night but it sure didn’t feel like it.

Living a Sepia-Toned Life

In Mindfulness, Nutrition on April 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm
gratitude genius

From Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Fire Starter Sessions.

I’ve never been a black-and-white kind of thinker. You might say I am comfortable in the gray area but that evokes a kind of dullness. I prefer the gentle warmth of a sepia-toned life. My line of work, my physical appearance, or other observations of me by others prompt such assumptions as: I’m a vegan (I’m not), I never eat sugar (I do), or I sell salmonberries (I don’t!). I admit to having very healthy eating habits but I don’t follow a dogmatic approach to eating nor do I ever say ‘never’ (hmm, did I just say it?). I feel we can all learn to trust ourselves enough to live mindfully in the Sepia Zone. It’s the area between black-and-white-rule-following that is warmer and more inviting and nothing is out-of-bounds. I eat a plant-based, no-sugar diet like…80% of the time. I’m making that number up – it could be 90% or 75% – the number doesn’t matter! What does matter is that this is my diet the VAST majority of the time. It’s not painful or steeped in willpower. It’s just present moment awareness and mindful decisions that involve trusting myself and my body. This approach feels easy, joyful, and appreciative to me as opposed to strict, disciplined, and degrading. I am not the type to eat a daily dessert so when I want to treat myself, I go big. If you are the type that would rather have a treat more often but are concerned about the nutritional impact, then check out Chia Pudding and Choco-Chia Nut Spheres.