Saturday, August 15, 2009

Detox wrap-up and Since...

Where do I go? Why do I go?

I don't know. Perhaps because no one is paying me to blog - if they were, I'd have it done on deadline...alas.

Still, I did want to write a bit about life post-detox and whatnot. The detox 30-days itself finished up swimmingly. Both Jill and I liked it and still like it! We bought Natalia's other book, her more generalized "Raw Food Detox Diet" - which effectively lays out 5 levels of eating to get oneself to being 100% raw (it took Natalia 10 years to work through the phases). Turns out, the "Detox for Women" book we used for our detox is about her Level 3 in the other book, with a few adjustments to address yeast and bacteria in women. For example, DFW was strict about sugar and grains; whereas the RFDD allows for maple syrup, raw honey, agave, as well as sprouted wheat breads and other goodies like that. It also allows for a wider range of fruits, and adds nuts as a 4th 'food category' alongside startch, flesh, and fruit (raw veggies being the unspoken 5th).

Since our detox ended, we've still had "green lemonade" daily each morning, and, with the exception of out-of-town guests, haven't eaten breakfast since late June. We know, we know...everything tells you breakfast is the most important meal of the day, etc. but honestly - we feel better, skinnier, lighter and more energetic without it. While it took the 30-day detox to shift gears and have that fact become true, it is. We eat raw salad for lunch and sometimes add a piece of spelt toast with avocado, or a sweet potato. Dinner is more or less "normal" food but again, preceeded by a raw salad (really, a 'normal' salad) that properly combines with the cooked food we are about to eat.

To that point, we are still being mindful and careful about food combinding never mixing (save again for the out-of-town guest) the groupings - starch, flesh, fruit and now nuts/dried fruit. We still limit the sugar intake as it seems to trigger cravings for me especially, and Jill is still having 1 coffee a day and I've added a few more back into my week (split shot) because, well, I like it. Red wine remains pretty much our sole alcohol intake, and desserts stay to goat milk ice cream (Laloo's), Coconut Bliss (so good!) 'ice cream', or dark chocolate. All of these permissable "cheats" do seem to serve their intended purpose: Keeping us on track while allowing for a reasonable amount of freedom and ability for general participation in society.

We've had a bevy of houseguests this week, so we are both anxious to get back to a more hardcore detoxing lifestyle as of Monday - we have tomatoes ripening faster than we can eat them (though we give it the college try!) and are excited to just feel that super clean feeling we found so inspiring. But even my trip to PA for my high school reunion went well, I aimed to keep 'detox kosher' until dinner each night, and then graciously ate what was given to me by my various hosts. I didn't miscombine much at all, and asked for some simple adjustments ("no need to cook my corn on the cob, I'd love it alongside my salad!) etc.

I'm still doing lots of yoga and Jill is doing Crossfit. We are both happy with our exercising and are each now down about 12-14 pounds from our start in late June. We feel better, more energetic, less gassy/bloated, never feel a yucky kind of full but do typically feel satiated. Also, we went a couple weeks back and once since for colon hydrotherapy. Not being to sure about it, we thought it could be our 'prize' (some prize, eh?) for detoxing. It's a process and many believe you need to go hardcore to get full benefits, but we can't really afford to do it more than maybe 1-2x/month, and we're kind of interested to see how we feel and if anything changes as a result. Frankly, so far, we've not seen any impact that's felt profound, but it does leave you feeling very light and super-hydrated! So, we'll see how that goes.

Hopefully, some new foods will emerge on my blog soon as I'm working to expand out repertoire now that we're more or less mixing the guiding principles of DFW with the RFDD. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 26

It's been hard to stay focused and not anticipate the detox coming to a close. We're bought in though, and generally plan to keep eating this way until we both lose a bit more weight. Today we went to a movie - and took a little container of cherries to snack on - and then hit Whole Foods' salad bar/food bar for dinner. We did great there, for about $20 got a good dinner that we didn't have to make! :)

Still we find it hard to operate seemlessly in a society that does not at all map to raw foods, food combining, etc. - but there are options. We are starting to read Natalia Rose's other book, the Raw Food Detox Diet - it is interesting as its focus is different that Detox for Women. It is still focused on alkalizing the body, but does not hold back on sugar (unrefined of course, maple syrup, raw honey...) or oil (cold-pressed olive oil, for example). While being "allowed" to eat these two food groups is appealing, they're also both super calorie laden. If I didn't have more weight to lose, I'd be 100% on board! But the idea of being able to use a little of these items sure does spice up. I'm not figuring on ending the eating of cooked food here at our house, but I do like how I feel, look and I love the energy I have! It's killer!

Yoga Day 26: Ok, Jenny was UNFOCUSED and did not wanna be there, but still banged out a resonably good class with Kim in Fremont. It is winding down, this 30-day challenge (in which I will only achieve 28, but I'm ok with that). I'm looking to the finish line and not necessarily focusing as I ought to.

Detox Day 26: Proud of bringing cherries to the movie! Otherwise, more of the same.

Weight: Down around 13 pounds total, and feeling really good about that!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yoga & Detox Day 23/24/25

Things keep moving along. We seem to be less freaky about eating and food - doesn't seem like we're uber-focused on it all the time, having to run to the grocery or farmer's market every 8 seconds, etc. That is to say - we are better organized and planning better, and also it seems not as hungry or anxious about being filled up or full. Seems we are simply realizing how much less one needs to eat to be satiated, and also how much room salad takes up! Often after the lunch salad I'm pretty much feeling good to go - but sometimes eat sweet potato or quinoa to keep me from being hungry 10 minutes later.

Yoga is going really well - it's so great to feel focused and for my body to be cooperating for the most part. I had two killer hot crazy soakers in a row (Lucy CH, Frani Fremont) - but then a nice solid good'ole Bikram class yesterday (also Frani in Fremont...what a difference a day makes!).

We are eating lots repeating items and not worth listing at the moment. Once we finish, we plan to continue eating this way. I want to read Natalia's other book - her Raw Food Detox - not that we plan to do that! Rather, I want to understand where she takes people next so we can continue to assimilate her method into our eating *most* of the time. That said, Jill is planning a giant burger with an onion ring atop it with a nice double Maker's Mark next week when we finish. That sounds frightening to me! Though, a plate of Thai food or maybe a fish taco...that sounds pretty good. So we'll see!

Doing great here! Jill has lost 9 pounds - she is quite pleased with this! I am at about 13 pounds. We intend to keep going as ultimately, Jill would like to lose around 15-20 total, and I would love to lose 25 total - so it seems another month or two and we'd be where we wanted and could work some 'regular' foods in a little more without consequence. 80/20 :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 22

Wow! Day 22 - only 8 days to go and really, at this point, it's become rather...easy. Seriously. Shocking.

While there is still an element of being quite limited in what you "can" eat, the overall habits have been formed. The Green Lemonade in the morning is tasty and we both can make it quite fast now, where in the beginning it felt like an ordeal. Snacking on a little fruit before lunch if needed works great, and doesn't take much to satiate me. Lunch - salads are great, I've gotten good at whipping up a salad now in no time, with or without equipment depending on what I'm making. And dinners are settling it. Not a whole lot of variety there, but at the same time, nothing feels bad or awful - just sometimes a little boring...but the meal itself is never boring. Just the idea of being so limited feels a little dull at times.

Yoga Day 22: A super soaker at CH Sweatbox with Lucy. HUMID! Phew! I had a pretty good class though, despite feeling quite debilitated by the humidity around triangle/separate leg head to knee. Revived nicely on the floor and finished with a bang. Good one!

Detox Day 22: Pluggin' away... here's what I ate:

Green Lemonade

1 c. Rainier Cherries

Salad of 1/2 avocado, 1/2 c. raw corn, 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, couple cups of spinach dressed with lemon juice/stevia/salt & pepper.
6 oz. baked sweet potato with a little butter, salt and pepper.

Salad (Pictured above) - Erika's creation above - Spinach, raw beets, cucumbers, caramelized onions, raw goat cheese. It was so nice to eat a salad I didn't (or wouldn't) have ever thought to make!
Spaghetti squash with sauteed mushrooms and onions, Rising Moon Organic Port & Asiago sauce, (which we're in love with, btw), topped with raw sharp cheddar. (Still not a fan of the goat cheese melted, sorry)....

Goat Milk Ice Cream with Strawberries

Calories: ~1200
Weight: Looking good - down 12.2 - and happy with that!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 19/20/21

It's going well in Detox land. Been a busy couple days and rather than writing a zillion detailed posts, I'll call out the highlights here:

- Weight is moving again a little bit! Down almost 12 now, and that's just fine. I feel and look way, way better.
- I missed yoga yesterday. For shame. I was just...exhausted by the hot room. I did walk the lake however, so it wasn't like I was a slug.
- Food is going good. More of the same...however...

We have been social a few times lately. We went to a gathering and ended up eating...lettuce, raw carrots, a little cheese I brought in my purse and dark chocolate. They all ate giant plates of delicious-looking Mexican food.

What was interesting, however, was at the end, everyone there complained of being stuffed, too full, feeling like they needed a bucket, etc. And Jill and I both felt great. Not too full - and believe me, before, we would've been right on board with the group (this is not a diss of them!). But it's cool to see the benefits of just feeling better *all the time* - in so many ways, this being one of them.

Food intake has been around 1200 calories.

Tonight was my biggest 'cheat' yet - I had 3 bites of cupcake. Sinner. But you know, in the scheme of my day - whatever. I realize one cannot be perfect all the time. :) More soon!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yoga & Detox Day 18

Today one of my students said, "Wow, you look amazing! Have you lost some weight?" and then two other people said things to the effect of how I looked great, etc. - detox is good!! I have to say I'm feeling pretty good inside, but it's nice to know the effects are showing on the outside, too!

In a very exciting event, we ventured out to lunch today! It was my mom's birthday and my sister Julie met up with mom, Jill and I at Seattle's very hip/trendy/fitting Homegrown, an organic-locally-sourced-sustainable salad and sandwich shop located in Fremont where we live. While we did "cheat" in that we got the dressing- olive oil and a little vinegar/mustard seeds - otherwise, it was a successful detox-friendly outing. We ate organic chicken, which is permitted, rarely - but it worked and was delicious. I lamely forgot to photograph it!

For dinner, we'd prepared to have two friends over who just started the detox - but unfortunately, they canceled a couple hours before dinner. My sister Julie & her husband John kindly offered to pinch-hit and came over to enjoy what is becoming a 'regular' dinner for us of raw salad, Opah, cauliflower puree and yellow beans.
Yoga Day 18: Whoa! Holy crap. I've been practicing in the mornings just due to my schedule lately - but today warranted a 4 p.m. class as I taught 9;30, had birthday lunch with Mom and expected dinner guests at 6:30. OMG. I forgot how amazingly open one is later in the day! How delicious to just feel so powerful and strong - open and flexible. I was trying to keep track of my favorite posture but couldn't keep track because so many were so yummy today. My Rabbit pose was my favorite - I always feel so bunched up and tight in that one, today I felt like I had the biggest roundest spine ever!

Detox Day 18:

Green Lemonade

OUT! at Homegrown - Arugula, chicken thigh (2-3 oz.) with 1 tbsp. dried cranberries, and vinegarette.

Salad with spinach, raw corn/peas, cherry tomatoes, 1 oz raw goat cheese, lime juice.
Opah, pureed Cauliflower and yellow beans.
Red Wine - 4 oz. or so

1 oz. Dark Chocolate

Calories: 1100ish
Weight: Still hanging in there...the same...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yoga & Detox Day 17

Another routine day in the detox and yoga world for Jenn. Sometimes the logistics are hard, like today for example. I got up and wasn't hungry so I had some water, puttered around a little and then at 9:20, got wildly inspired to go to 9:30 yoga. Having made green lemonade for Jill earlier, I grabbed mine and headed to yoga.

I had a great practice and raced to Capitol Hill to teach my noon class, drinking my green lemonade on the way. Checked in the class, taught it - feeling a bit hungry during it, ok, more than a bit - and then finished up and ended up home by 2 p.m. to eat my first food of the day. I've gotten away from snacking, so no fruit on the way home or anything like that.

Once home, then had to prepare lunch - another avocado salad with raw corn and cherry tomatoes - which I devoured along with Jill. Having waited so long to eat, the salad was plenty and I was FULL - no sweet potato, grain or anything as a follow-up.

Dinner was a little early since I taught again at 8 p.m., so again no need to snack. Comfort food tonight - simple salad with goat cheese followed up with spaghetti squash topped with mushrooms, onions and more raw cheese (I have raw cow when it's hot, I just don't dig the goat cheese melted - a little too goaty for me). No wine when I'm headed to the hot room! Little bite or two of chocolate though. :)

Yoga Day 17: Impromptu 9:30 with Kim in Fremont, got there with 3 minutes to spare and set up next to my pal Virgil, then had to jet right away and didn't even get to say much more than "hi" - though, it's amazing how connected you can feel to a friend just practicing next to them and sharing a mirror :) Nice class!

Detox Day 17:

Green Lemonade

Avocado/Corn/Spinach/Cherry Tomato Salad.
Yes, again.

Spinach with tomatoes and raw goat cheese.
"Not Lasagna" (photo above) - Spaghetti Squash topped with a heap of mushrooms and onions, marinara and raw cow cheese.

A dollop of dark chocolate.

Calories: 1100 (that's better!)
Weight: Still down about 11, no real movement but that's to be expected with a big fast loss like I had at the beginning...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 16

Today felt like a repeat of many days before, so there isn't too much to say that is new or exciting. What is good is that it is starting to feel a little normal, a little routine...and that feels easier and smoother. This is good!

Yoga Day 16: Up and at'em, somehow I was inspired at 5:48 a.m. to go to 6 a.m. yoga, which I made on time (3 minutes to spare) and had a nice practice with Kate in Fremont.

Detox Day 16:

Green Lemonade

Spicy Corn Avocado Spinach Salad (again, yes...)

Snack: Some cheese while preparing dinner

Salad with shredded raw goat cheese
Seared fresh halibut
Green beans
Cauliflower mash

1 oz dark chocolate
3 oz red wine

Calories: Piggy! 1400
Weight...: The same...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yoga & Detox Day 15

We had friends over for dinner and opted to do a "starch" meal. Buckwheat soba noodles (100% buckwheat), stir fried veggies with a little butter, a touch of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and raw soy sauce. Yum! At this point, our dinner guests can hardly tell it's a detox meal!

Yoga Day 15: Solo practice Monday. It was good - I had a good amount of time to do it right! :)

Detox Day 15:

It's getting repetitive I know...but...

Green Lemonade

"The Usual" - Spinach, tomatoes, raw corn & avocado.

More Spinach and tomatoes with avocado.
Buckwheat noodle stir fry.

Chocolate, berries and red wine.

Calories: 1350!
Weight: Still hanging out at about 11 pounds lost...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 14

Before I talk about today - let me just say that there will be NO ground meat in my future. I had the *worst* stomach ache from that bitty 2 oz. burger I made yesterday. Woke up with it still at 3:30 a.m.! However, somehow it finally subsided for me to teach my 7 & 9 a.m. classes, and then I even took one at 11 a.m.! But oy, it was painful!

Today was Day 14 - tomorrow is 1/2 way!

Yoga Day 14: Great focused class with BJ in West Seattle after teaching two beforehand. Good one!

Detox Day 14: Another day in Detox land...

Green Lemonade

10 oz. lemonade with agave from the Farmer's Market (just to get me thru yoga)

Avocado 1/2 with lots of spinach, veggies and a little raw corn
1 - 7oz. sweet potato
1/2 oz. dark chocolate

Spinach, tomato and about 1/2 oz. raw goat cheese salad
3 oz. Swordfish with Asian Seasoned veggies (snap peas, mushrooms)

1/2 c. vanilla goat milk ice cream with
1/2 c. fresh strawberries

Calories: 1200
Weight: Down 11.2 - should start moving again I hope!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Detox and (NO) Yoga: Day 13

For shame, but I decided a day out of the hot room was more important than doing 30 days of yoga in a row. That said, I intend to do a make-up to ensure 30 practices in 30 days by the end! We had a gorgeous 4th of July in Seattle, and started the day with my first coffee in 13 days, decaf Americano, no cream...but still, I miss the coffee culture! We then walked around GreenLake and I picked up a super cute dress (very versatile, as well) for my class reunion.

For lunch, we went to Thrive again - the mostly raw food restaurant. Again, while it's good and interesting, it feels like a lot of money for cold food that is good but not super satisfying (mentally). Today we had our first "nut" meal - nuts are discouraged, but if you do have them - it has to be raw, and cannot mix with starches or flesh, and fortunately, our meal fit the bill so it was legal! Salads with tahini dressing and a few pine nuts, Thai creamy coconut soup made with raw almond milk, and Chili (no beans) with cashew cream. We didn't finish it all and brought some home, the soup was pretty intense (spicy too) so 2 oz. would've done me good, and I got 14 oz. Good snack! Jill wanted desperately to heat up her chili, which we think had a lot of veggies and almonds with a "sauce" made from (we're guessing) sun-dried tomatoes, agave, and spices. Tasty and interesting.

Fourth of July! We decided to just avoid temptation and eat here. We opted for a grass-fed beef burgers on the grill with all the fixin's.

Yoga Day 13: Did not happen. :(

Detox Day 13:

Decaf Americano
Green Lemonade

Salad with tahini lemon dressing
Lemonade with ginger and a little agave
Thai Creamy Soup with almond milk and coconut (Thrive)
Raw "Chili" (Thrive)


Salad With...
.5 oz. Raw Goat Cheese, shredded
1/3 c. Raw Peas
Mixed Greens
Lemon juice, stevia, salt and pepper

4th of July BBQ!
2 oz. grass fed ground beef
.75 oz. of raw cow cheddar cheese
1/2 c. carmelized onions
1 tbsp. butter (all together)
Mustard, a little tiny bit of ketchup, pickles

None, my belly kinda hurt from the ground beef. I'm not even a fan of it! So, only tenderloin if it's gonna be beef...

Calories: 950
Weight: Sigh. The same.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Detox and Yoga: Day 12

Tonight we had friends over for dinner. I'm getting good at this cooking/detox thing, to the point that one might not even notice/know that they are getting a cleansing meal! On the menu was mixed greens, tossed with lemon/stevia/salt/pepper, topped with a concoction of fresh raw peas, grated raw cheese, cherry tomatoes and green onions. It was delicious! Main course was a reprise of a night earlier this week, with grilled Opah (Jill's favorite fish), cauliflower puree (with butter, salt/pepper) and green beans with a bit of herbs tossed in. Dessert? Berries - raspberries, rainier cherries and strawberries - with an array of dark chocolates. Red wine to drink, and we were happy bellied folks!

We did talk about what is missing. One of my guests suggested that "this isn't that far from how you eat anyhow..." and, while somewhat true - we are not coming from a place of pizza, coke and McDonald's - still, missing are many things:

  • Breakfast. Oh, for the love of God, breakfast out once a week was a favorite thing...
  • Coffee - particuarly a creamy soy latte...or Americano with cream...
  • Going to Coffee - the coffee culture here is a big part of my life, and it feels a little isolating to not be a part of it :(
  • Thai, Mexican, Indian food, out...
  • Crackers & Almonds as car snacks (now replaced with carrot sticks and cherries)
  • Cheese & Crackers (now replaced with cheese/lettuce/pickle/mustard wraps)
  • Wheat, though I wasn't hugely dependent upon it, you notice when you "can't" have it
  • Grabbing food on the go - nearly impossible to stop anywhere for anything on the go without prior planning or forethought
  • Pork. I love it, sorry, but true. And I miss it.
  • Eating out - while it's better not to, I sure do like to, and I miss it...
And, on the other hand - more of some stuff that I'd like:
  • Some days, I'd just skip the green lemonade if I could...
  • Salad out the ears, again, some days, you just are sick of salad
  • Everything, outside of fish 3x/week or so, is pretty much cold. Yeah, a little quinoa here and there and whatnot, but sometimes we both just crave a hot plate of yummy food...before dinnertime....
  • Grocery store/farmer's market runs...oh my! They seem constant, and expensive.
All that said - not complaints so much as observations (ok, Breakfast out, that is a complaint) :). We both feel really good, notice that our systems run more smoothly (is that eloquent enough?) and that we have a lot of good energy on a lot less food (calorie intake), and the food that is eaten is mostly raw, local, or high protein - and all of it, low carb without really focusing on the fact that this is a low-carb diet, really.

Yoga Day 12: Did my own practice in between teaching an unplanned double, just to be able to have a nice chunk of the day afterwards. My floor bow is coming along, right now it's my favorite posture!

Detox Day 12:

Green Lemonade

Spinach with veggies, a little raw corn and spicy guac dressing.
1/2 c. quinoa with veggies and raw soy sauce (a little bit Asian, a little bit rock'n'roll)

Raw sheep cheese

Mixed greens with raw peas, shredded raw cow's cheddar, cherry tomatoes, and green onion.
3/4 c. Cauliflower Puree with butter
5 oz. Opah
1/2 c. Green beans

6 oz Red Wine
1 oz dark chocolate
1 c. berries (throughout the day...)

Weight: About the same (10 pounds from the start, but nothing lately...dumb PMS)
Calories: 1500 (big eatin' day!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 11

Big events today included coming up with a "honey" mustard dressing to add some umphf to our dinner salad, and making fish in parchment paper - one of my favorite healthy preparations of fish that somehow, I just kinda forgot about. Quinoa at lunch was another 'new item' that came out really delicious - like a big bowl of comfort food really!

Yoga Day 11: Butt-kicker with Kristen in Fremont. Peppy class, good energy - just a wham bam yoga class.

Detox Day 12:

Green Lemonade

Salad with Avocado Corn Guac, spinach and veggies.
3/4 c. hot, steamy Quinoa with butter, salt and peppper. Mmmmm!

Raw goat cheese wrapped in lettuce leaves with pickles and mustard.

Spinach Salad with 'honey' mustard dressing, shredded goat cheese and heirloom tomato.
5 oz. fresh halibut, cooked in parchment with asparagus tips, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, a splash of wine, butter, salt and pepper.
3 oz. Red Wine
1 oz. Dark Chocolate

Calories: 1200
Weight: About the same.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 10

Yay! 1/3 of the detox down! Day 10 completed. It's bizarre how much less I need to eat to feel satiated, and more surprising is how good I feel after eating, say, 1/2 an avocado and a couple cups of green vegetables. My energy is really good too, and again, it's unexpected on around 1000 calories a day primarily comprised of raw vegetables with a little cheese or fish tossed in.

Every once in a while though, I think about some food that is...well, normal. Like a bowl of Tom Kha soup at the Thai joint at the bottom of the hill. Or an enchilada. Chips & salsa, a food group for me! Or, even, just going out to breakfast is off the table since there is well, no breakfast. :(

Yoga Day 10: Somehow, I slogged myself to 9:30 a.m. before teaching a noon, 4:30 & 8 p.m. class. I didn't want to go but had that feeling - that feeling that I'd be better off and set up for a much better outcome to my day than if I didn't go. So I went, had a *great* focused practice and don't have to catch up on another day.

Detox Day 10: BORING food day....all leftover and repeats:

Breakfast: Green Lemonade

Lunch: 1/2 Avocado, simple spinach salad with random raw veggies and lemon juice. Plus 1/2 c. of thai sweet potato mash.

Dinner: Raw carrots and spinach to start. Spaghetti squash, marinara sauce and raw cheddar cheese. I didn't eat very much of it though...

Snack: 1.5 oz. raw goat cheese wrapped in lettuce with pickles and mustard.

A few little squares of dark chocolate.
Lots of water.

Calories: 1100
Weight: Up a little today - woke up with my monthly shift whereby my body puffs up a size. So, weight is at a total loss of 10.4. Not expecting much movement on this in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 9:

Ok, so the post today will be light as really, it's starting to be routine, more of the same. We are starting to eat leftovers from meals past now, and repeating the dishes that are good to us - which is nice and taking some of the struggle out of figuring out what to eat. Still, it's admittedly a hassle as today I spent hours shopping and prepping foods so they would be easy to grab & go over the next few days, which worked out great but did take a bit of time.

Yoga Day 9: Saiko in Cap Hill! Finally - it'd been ages since I took her class and it was really nice. Plus, I'm teaching there more lately so it is nice to practice with the students I teach!

Detox Day 9: Tonight - comfort food!

Breakfast: Green Lemonade

Lunch: Spicy Corn Guac Salad

Spinach Salad with beets, fennel and other veggies.
(Comfort food!!) Spaghetti Squash with Organic Marinara Sauce, Shreeded Raw (cow) Cheese, with sauteed mushrooms and onions. OMG, it was like eating pizza, sad but true!

Little red wine and dark chocolate, and a few spoonfuls of goats milk ice cream.

Calories: 1000
Weight: down 10.6 pounds, and obviously normal for it to plateau at this point. Plus, PMS is upon me!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Detox & Yoga; Day 8

It is getting easier. I'm less hungry, not craving, and feeling satisfied from just eating reasonable amounts of food on the detox diet. For real...and I'm having fun trying to put together detox-friendly meals creatively and that look good enough to eat. In fact, though the book has a lot of recipes, they're all so simple and somewhat bland - I've already come up with a bunch that are just, to me, anyhow - but not hard to make - just surprisingly tasty!

Twice now we've had friends over for lunch. Brave souls that they are, they've endured "detox lunch" that - had they not been told - they'd likely never labeled as such. I love to cook and am having fun getting to entertain a little without torturing anyone. Even Jill is more comfortable with things as it all settles in.

No overshare here - don't worry - but I must say there has been a corner turned in terms of elimination. It's clearly different than my former diet, and I guess that is good...right? I'm reducing fruit on an empty stomach, per the book, due to a little bloat and discomfort after eating a cup of cherries on an empty tummy. Just for a week or so, the book says, "you may not be clean enough for fruit..." alas.

Yoga Day 8: Solo practice between teaching a double. Had lots of time, nice practice - things are coming along. I quite enjoyed bow pose today. Just felt open! And, in Rabbit, I really focused on charging the energy up my spine mentally to stretch it and it felt kind of...amazing. Good one!

Detox Day 8:

Green lemonade

Salad with Spicy Corn Guac Dressing, raw corn, heirloom tomato and spinach.
Thai-Inspired Sweet Potato Puree * RECIPE BELOW

My first on-the-go dinner: Lettuce wrapped around raw goat cheese, with pickles and mustard, cherry tomatoes. Like a sandwich, but not... ;) Not exactly thrilling, but it worked!

Dark Chocolate bits throughout the day: .75 oz
A couple cups of Aveda tea (I love this herbal tea!)

Calories: 950
Total Weight Loss: Down 10 pounds (gained .4 - first time to see the scale "up")



2 garlic cloves
2 quarter-size rounds of ginger or galanga
2" of lemongrass, or 1 tsp dried lemongrass
Juice of a lime
1-2 drops stevia
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped.
3 yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2" cubes.
6 oz. coconut *WATER* (not milk!)

Peel and dice sweet potatoes and place in steamer. Steam until soft.

In a chopper or food processor:
2 garlic cloves
2 quarter-size rounds of ginger or galanga
2" of lemongrass, or 1 tsp dried lemongrass
3/4" round of jalepeno* (optional)
Juice of a lime
1-2 drops stevia

Pulverize to paste, or close too it.

Add to a sauce pan with 1 tbsp butter, place "paste" into pan and cook. Add 2 oz. coconut water as needed. Cook 5 minutes. Now add diced onion, and a little more coconut water. Cook until very soft. Place mixture along with steamed, soft sweet potatoes into a food processor. Process until smooth and of a desired consistency - adding the rest of coconut water to thin mixture. If you need more liquid, more coconut water or else water or veggie stock works too.

Put mixture back into the pan and reheat. Serve with lime wedges, and chopped herbs of choice.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Detox & Yoga Day 7:

Phew! First week is done. AMEN. Here are my bulleted thoughts on it so far:
  • Doing this outside of summer - with lots of fresh berries and veggies at the farmer's market, not to mention raw corn on the cob and avocados - would be dreadful.
  • It's not cheap - we spend a lot of money on produce. Could we worse - eating out likely was costing us just as much - but when a run to the farmer's market is $50, every couple days it seems...but again, feeding two of us healthfully is worth it.
  • It's a time commitment - no matter how much her book says how "easy!" it is... what is true is that indeed, no one part is rocket science; it's the whole thing together that feels complicated at times. Always having green juice for breakfast, thinking about combining proper foods for lunch/snacks/dinner - but once you get the hang of it, it's not that bad at all.
  • I've gotten to where things 2 weeks ago I'd have eschewed - cauliflower puree, goat milk ice cream - I now find plum delightful! It's changes your thinking and makes you appreciate things.
  • Indeed, we need a lot less food to get through the day than we think we do. Period.
  • In the first 7 days, I officially dropped 10.2 pounds - again though, I think it's more honestly around 5 pounds (ish).
  • Overall, it's doable, a great reset and though I expect I'll eat somewhat normally after, it's a good baseline to aim for in that 80/20 kinda way.
  • I'm trying things I'd never have been into before - like goat's milk ice cream. Read all about it here!
Yoga Day 7: Oh, yum. Today was just a deliciously perfect practice in West Seattle with Frances, perhaps partially since I'd taught the 7 & 9 a.m., so 3 hours of warming up the body time before hitting my mat. All good! Yay!

Detox Day 7: Good day, it was a long time to 1 p.m. for lunch after getting up at 5:45 and being in a hot room for 4.5 hours...but I did it on my green lemonade and a handful of cherries. Tonight I promised Jill we'd have red meat to celebrate 1 week, which is allowed. We also had dessert - goat milk ice cream which was delish!

What I ate:

Green Lemonade
Rainier Cherries, 1 c.

Butter lettuce, Onion, Tomatoes and Raw Peas
Raw sheep cheese (1.5 oz)
2 farm eggs with asparagus, mushrooms & 1 oz. raw goat cheese

Butter lettuce, raw corn, raw peas, cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, lemon
3 oz. Grass fed local beef (from the farmer's market)
1/2 c. cauliflower puree
1/2 c. green beans
4 oz. red wine

1/3 c. goat milk ice cream
1/3 c. strawberries

Throughout the day:
.75 oz. dark chocolate

Big day - 1300 calories
Weight: Minus 10.4 pounds

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 6

Well, I think it's safe to say we're getting in a groove with this. It is hard to be perfect at it all the time, but the "cheats" are *so* insignificant in the realm of the detox (much less so in the realm of life...) but they are helping. Like today, Jill ate 2 eggs as a snack before going to workout. Technically, a "no-no" but they are on the diet and it was that or possibly not working out, for fear of being too light-headed. I had cherries after my juice this morning (the 'proper time' if you're going to have them...) and then strawberries on my way to teach a 4:30 class. It's allowed, but if I were perfect - no fruit at all. Turns out I'm not perfect (shock!) and that is ok!
Yoga Day 6: I taught a 7 a.m. class and was all warm and loose to take the 9 a.m. with Yu. Great class, reasonably good focus, the floor felt afire but it was what it was. My energy still at times feels low, but I'm eating very few calories throughout the day, and expending a lot at once in a Bikram class. I'm good with that - if my body would kindly access the excess on my hips and thighs, I'd be much obliged.
Detox Day 6: It's funny, but I feel like I want less food. She said this would happen in the book - and so it seems to be happening. Today for lunch, we had a avocado/salad concoction (one of the best yet!) and I found that though I knew in my head a sweet potato was permitted to round it out, I had no desire for it. Weird! I will admit to missing my iced soy latte on the way to teach my 4:30 class...but I had a few berries and lots of water instead. Alas. Elimination is back "on plan" today - and so that part is feeling better. Jill it seems prefers spinach to salad greens, so we're on spinach now, which is my personal favorite- so I'm in! Got more groceries today, because you never want to be without avocados or raw goat cheese (we also got some raw sheep cheese, 2nd string but permitted - and I love this one! It has rosemary dried into the rind...good eatin' cheese!). For dinner - very exciting - we splurged with a "legal" grain (recommended rarely, but is ok after the detox) of buckwheat noodles - which cost $6.50 for 8 oz. - so we damned well better enjoy them. Jill prepped the veggies, we got the raw soy sauce (Nomu Shoya), and made a stir fry paste of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, jalepeno, stevia and lime juice.
Here's what I ate:
Green Lemonade (frozen the night before due to 7 a.m. teaching)
Snack: about 1 cup rainier cherries
Spicy Avocado Dressing with Spinach, topped with raw corn, tomatoes, and avocado
Snack: about 1/2 cup strawberries
Spinach Salad with heirloom tomato, 1/4 avocado, lemon juice, salt/stevia.
1/2 c. buckwheat noodles & 'stir fry' veggies, with a touch of coconut water, raw soy sauce, and a mixture of garlic, ginger, lemongrass, jalepeno for flavoring. Yum! I couldn't even finish it, believe it or not!

A few squares of my new favorite organic chocolate (more on that later!)
2-3 sips of yesterday's wine :)

Cheats: 1/2 green apple in my lemonade
Calories: 900
Weight: steady at a loss so far of 8.8 pounds

Friday, June 26, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 5

It's hard to believe in 2 more days, we'll be at the one week mark! I'm learning more all the time as I dig into this. It seems overall, my energy is a little less than normal - it could be the caloric intake dropping to around 1200 or less per day, and most of that being "fast exit" food - which is the point - but also means not much of it stays with you. And to be honest, not much is, um, "exiting" either. I don't know where it is going really. :) I'm still curious about the impact after a month, so I'm on board, but the cheating is starting. And really, the 'cheats' are still within the guidelines of the 'maintenance' diet - alkaline foods. Today, my big cheat was I chucked a green apple into my green lemonade. I went to 6 a.m. yoga and felt weak and depleted, and I had to teach at noon! So I did it. And it was good.

Did you know quinoa, which is NOT a grain, but sure looks/acts like one, has a zillion calories? Like over 600/cup. Though it's allowed, I'm trying to drop a few pounds, so...I'm limiting the quinoa intake - that is some killer packed-with-nutrients food. Whoa.

Yoga Day 5: As mentioned, I hauled myself to 6 a.m. yoga which had around 40 (!!!) people in attendance. It was kinda nice, actually, it felt like a full afternoon class. Kim taught, and it was a good one, esp. after that disaster of a class yesterday. I felt good in it - I think overall, I'm pretty ok to be on an empty belly in the morning (6 or 9:30) but it's a lot harder to have eaten all of 1 avocado all day and then hit 4 p.m. or later. Ug.

Detox Day 5: Well, as mentioned we had a little cheat of the green apple. Also, I ate the equivalent of 1 small pickle. That's it though - those are the big cheats! Not bad for 5 days in - this is not easy. The book has so obviously been edited by the publisher to add things like "it's so easy!" and "you'll be skinny" at the end of every other page. Kinda kidding, kinda not... but it's not that complicated, true - but it does require a lot of planning, organizing, time in the kitchen and powering through some hungry moments when you're out and about as there isn't much that you can just grab at the store. The farmer's markets are saving us! Today, we scored some killer cherry tomatoes, gorgeous spinach, and red onions for our salad. So good!

Here's what I ate today:

Green Lemonade ala Green Apple (for shame!)

1/4 c. quinoa leftovers
1/4 avocado
1.5 c romaine lettuce with a little red onion, red pepper and a tablespoon of corn (leftovers)

Second Lunch :)
2 Lettuce Wraps (Lettuce, Goat Cheese, Pickle, Mustard and Red Onion)
Rainier Cherries

Spinach Salad topped with Cherry Tomato/Raw Corn Salsa (basil, lime, salt/pepper, onion)
6 oz. Swordfish on the grill
Garlic Whips
Red Wine

.75 oz. dark chocolate

Calories: 1200ish
Weight: - 8.8 pounds

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 4

Doing this during the winter would suck. Seriously, the avocados, corn on the cob, berries. I don't know how I would do it outside of farmer's market season. Speaking of which I practically spent a week's wages at the Farmer's Market in Wallingford yesterday - and can I say, it was worth every penny! Romaine as big as your head, garlic scapes, mini broccoli, Rainier cherries, carrots, beets, garlic, onions, salad mix, green beans, peas...the list goes on. And we keep eatin' it. Our yardwaste bin (which is where in Seattle you are required to put your food scraps) overfloweth. My pal Kirsten brought us a big bag of spinach from her garden for salad, and spicy greens for juicing. The spinach was 86'd by dinner.

It's really going ok, Jill is struggling maybe more than I am but it was my idea - she is (painfully) along for the ride. After all the nutso diets I've done in my life, this is actually (fairly) doable! Though today brough my first cheat: 1 dime size dollop of vinegar for my salad. I can't take the lemon juice salads twice a day anymore - and it's only day 4! But man, dinner with just spinach, shredded raw goat cheese, salt, pepper and that lil' bit of vinegar - YUM. I really cheerfully downed it. Shame on me. Catholic guilt abounds.

BTW, did I mention I've lost 8 pounds in the first 3 days. But then again, I think the first 5 were just the big mountain of Thai food I ate the night before. ;) Jill has lost about 5 pounds.

Yoga Day 4: Dear God. Somehow I did it, Lisa at 4 p.m. Fremont. But when you feel like you're in trouble by the end of the first set of's scary. I don't think I was hydrated well. And, I think I'm better going in the morning before eating anything than going later in the day when I've stayed true to the detox and eaten maybe 300-400 calories - undoubtedly those calories were all used up by the time I got to my mat. Oy! Tomorrow's another day.

Detox Day 4: Well, I wrote about it above. Here's what I ate today:

Green Lemonade

Snack: Strawberries

CornGuac Dressed Salad (I think I've perfected it! Revised recipe below...) in a "cobb" style/presentation
1/2 cup Pumpkin Pie Juice for dessert

Spinach Salad with 1 oz. shredded hard, raw goat cheese - CHEAT: 1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar.
4 oz. Grilled Opah
1 c. haricots vert
Butter (1 tbsp. all together)
Celtic Sea Salt

3 oz. Red Wine
.75 oz dark chocolate

Calories: 1,000 calories today
-7.8 pounds


CornGuac Dressing (See photo above)

2 Avocados
2 Corn, raw, off the cob
Juice of 1 lime
1 small jalepeno pepper, more or less to taste
1 ring red onion, 1/2 inch thick
1 garlic clove (or more, if you like)
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
Pepper to taste
Swirl it all up in the food processor! The coat a giant bowl of greens with it, top the salad with some more of the corn, red pepper, zucchini, avocado, and other veggies you dig. Plop a bonus scoop of the corn-guac atop it, and dig in! Great dip too for veggies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 3

So the author of the book I'm using, Natalia Rose, is a little bit woo-woo. But not THAT woo-woo. One of the things she requires you to do first thing outta bed is called "body brushing" - and I was actually surprised there is no Wiki entry on this! So, basically, it's just taking a brush to stimulate movement of the lymph fluids - which only move if you make them, there is no circulatory system within the lymph glands. Learn all about your lymphatic system here as it *does* have a wiki. Anyhow, the body brushing starts the movement of the lymph, and though it is recommended you use a "body brush" - which you can pay a lot for - I just use cheap exfoliating gloves which, as an added benefit, take with them a layer of dead skin. I must say, I've been diligent about this (evening have to undress and re-dress today, after forgetting at 4:50 a.m. - my bad, really). It feels really good! And does seem healthy and smart to do. Though, with all the yoga, I'm guessing I'm getting it done...

Yoga Day 3: Well, teaching weirdly today (6 a.m., Noon, 8 p.m.) I opted to do a practice alone after my 6 a.m. class. Being a teacher and having access to a hot room with mirrors, it just made my whole day go better and took a ton of stress off of me. I usually listen to music when I practice alone, which is a fun little bonus now and then. Went fine - I felt super open and loose, which then I felt bummed about, figuring a good push from a teacher would've probably elicited a truly kickass post-yoga bliss. Ah well, there is always tomorrow!

Detox Day 3:

The raw veggies are getting to be a little bit...much, especially when you can only dress them with lemon juice. That said, I'm carrying on! If avocado is on the menu, then all is well - easy to make a 'dressing' out of it. However, the detox rules do not allow you to mix "starch" (which for our purposes, avocado is considered) and "flesh" (nice word choice, Natalia) which includes meat, eggs, cheese. So today's lunch salad was what I terms "almost Greek" but it was kinda rough to choke down. If only balsamic vinegar was allowed!

On the upside, my big notion today was to grill asparagus and then wrap it up and take it as a car snack...and guess what? It worked! I miss my tamari almonds and crackers, but found chomping on asparagus after my noon teaching en route to my lunch worked great. Seriously. Asparagus in the car.

Hit the farmer's market today and spent 2 billion dollars but got some GOOD stuff for us to eat in the next several days - splurged on some Rainier cherries (allowed) and got buckets of veggies that we'll hopefully be able to eat cheerfully, even if raw... Here's the the day's food - again I got a little screwed up but I'm ok with how it went.

Green Lemonade

2 eggs
Many asparagus spears
Grilled summer squash
"Almost Greek" Salad
  • Romaine
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cuke
  • Black olives, diced
  • Greek oregano from the yard
  • Lemon juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 oz goat cheese
A portion of the "Awaken" Warm Grain Bowl from Thrive (check out the menu here!) - we are lucky to have this in Seattle - I'm no 'raw foodie' but for my purposes at the moment...yay! (It's at 65th & Roosevelt, across from Dania on 65th).

Various Veggies
A skimpy portion of Avocado (like seriously, could you spare it?)

Sadly this was a little rough on my lapband, so I didn't eat too much. Which was fine, as I just found out that quinoa - though nearly a perfect food - has 600+ calories per cup!! Since I barely ate dinner in the end, later I had:

A sweet potato
1 oz dark chocolate (which I measured and realize is a LOT. 1/2 oz. is plenty from now on).

1200 calories.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 2

I find it fascinating the way we need to hear the same information 100 different ways to "get it." Or at least I do. One of the themes of this cleanse is to turn the body more alkaline, hence, less acidic. If you look at this list of alkaline and acidic foods, you'll see that it's more of the same - this site suggests you aim for 70% alkaline and 30% acidic foods. Surprise! All your green and low calorie veggies, low-sugar fruits, healthy oils, nuts and seeds are alkaline - and then all the "bad" stuff is acidic - meat (no judgment on meat, I love and eat meat! but it is more work for our bodies to digest, that is a fact), dairy, grains, convenience foods, coffee, tea, fruit juices, 'bad' saturated oils, and all sugary fruits (outside of berries, grapefruit, lemon, etc.). So there it is again! I feel like this message has been delivered to me in 100 ways to Tuesday since I was 5 years old. Still, never hurts to hear it in a different way and get a deeper understanding of how the human body works. There's more to think about than just fat, carbs and protein.

BTW: I'm going to try to open each daily post with a little bit about the "point" of the detox, like above.... :) Now, more about me...

Yoga Day 2: Lovely 9:30 a.m. class at Fremont with Julie. Good heat, nice energy - handful of friends and other teachers along. Not to be all woo-woo here, but today in the standing series I just felt the word "surrender" and between postures, I really, really let go and envisioned all of my energy just pouring out of my body through my feet - emptied out and relaxed, I had a lot more focus and new, fresh energy to give my next pose. I was more focused than I have been in a long time! I also got a couple "Good Jenn" on postures (spine twist, for example) I could barely do a couple weeks ago with the sciatica - they still feel a little stiff inside, but good to know the form is good on the outside!

Detox Day 2:
I woke up feeling pretty good - admittedly a little hungry, but nothing out of the ordinary really. I often wake up hungry but after a few minutes and a glass of water, it goes away for a couple hours. Ok - now I plan to talk about 'elimination' in a very, um, internet friendly way. It's part of the deal folks - stuff goes in, stuff comes out! But I'll keep it to polite conversation, as polite as poop can be. That said, things in that regard things started well - she says to expect 2 'healthy' movements a day that just come out, no really effort. All is well in this regard. Then, I had a cup of herbal tea, made my green lemonade and went to yoga. I drank my green juice instead of water in class (timing issue, couldn't get it in before I left) and then came home to fix lunch. Getting better at the salads! Still, at a point it does feel like you've been eating salad for 2 hours.

Had a near little 'melt down' before dinner. I ended up teaching a 4:30 class today so after lunch, I just had water and then about 8 oz. of the "pumpkin pie" juice (primarily carrot, with some raw sweet potato and a little avocado). Class went fine - but driving home, I had a little 'getting off sugar, now, are ya?' headache. Came home and ate a few bites of goat cheese (we had a "flesh" dinner - see below) and a big glass of water with a dollop of lime juice - and all was well.

Car snacks for this thing are near impossible. Unless you like hot celery sticks. Bluck!

Herbal Tea
Green Lemonade

Corn & Avocado Dressed Salad
5 oz sweet potato with butter, salt & pepper

Corn & Avocado Dressed Salad Recipe

Into the Food Processor:
1 ear of raw corn 'off' the cob
1/2 avocado
1 slice red onion
1/3 red pepper
Chunk of jalapeno pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime
Sea Salt
Toss with chopped romaine lettuce. I added a few chopped mushrooms, and placed another 1/4 sliced avocado on top. Yum! Next time maybe more avocado and a scoop of salsa to further jazz it up. Maybe reserve a handful of corn for on top too...

Lots of herbal tea and lime water for snacks today. Trying to keep it clean!
8 oz "pumpkin pie in a cup" juice

Raw beet, carrot & cabbage salad (ok, likely only 1/2 cup...)
6 oz Halibut (fresh, local), with a little lemon butter
Spaghetti Squash with shredded goat cheese, salt, pepper & a little butter
Broccolini, steamed

Red Wine (4 oz)
Dark Chocolate (1.5 oz)

Calories: 1500

Monday, June 22, 2009

Detox & Yoga: Day 1

Yoga Today:

Nooner at The Sweatbox Capitol Hill with Meghan. Perfect class for me today - good but workable heat, nice peeps and though I had to pay, decent parking. Overall pretty good practice, though I think I fell asleep at the savasana (I had just taught a 6 a.m. & 9:30 a.m. class...) Still battling the remnants of the sciatica through a totally crap Triangle pose, but otherwise feeling pretty good!

Detox Today:

First day - seems like something that will be so easy once I get the hang of it; but right now it seems exceedingly complex though it's not. The goal of this detox is to starve the yeast and poor bacteria in the body, as a reminder :) In a week this will be a breeze! Here's what I ate today (recipes for my own re-use, but feel free...):

"Green Lemonade" (You'll see this daily: A head of romaine, 5-8 Kale leaves, a lemon (skin on) and a hunk of ginger through the juicer.

1 Sweet Potato w/ a pat of organic butter, salt & pepper
1 Guacamole Salad
  • Head of red leaf lettuce out of our garden, chopped
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/3 c. raw corn off the cob
  • 2 big mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp onion
  • Stevia drops (sweet), lime juice, hot sauce, salt & pepper to taste
I whipped up the avocado and corn in the food processor and used it to coat the lettuce and other veggies. The options on this one abound - next time, no stevia and I'll what I think without it. It was a creamy, veggie-packed salad that didn't feel like I was eating a whole head of lettuce!

"Pumpkin Pie Juice!"
  • 32 oz Carrot Juice
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 peeled/cubed raw sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and cloves
  • pinch salt
Juice the carrots - 32 oz. Then in blender or food processor, blend raw sweet potato, avocado and 1/2 the carrot juice until smooth. Add spices and rest of carrot juice. Really tasty cold! (This is from Natalia Rose's book - but I omitted the Stevia and added salt).


Well, I kinda got timing all messed up and had another batch of the pumpkin pie juice and some carrot/beet salad, that...well, sucked. No, really, it needs work.

1 small square of dark chocolate (legal!!!)

About 865 calories all together. Tomorrow will focus on more protein!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And she's back...

Where have I been? Busy. But who isn't?

I think I've been off trying to negotiate and figure out what's next for me in life. Meanwhile, though, I've been teaching lots of Bikram yoga - class #300 last Thursday in fact! Practicing has been spotty since early May when I hurt my right hip and developed sciatica - a condition that I would argue falls outside of Bikram's "you're never too old too sick...etc. to do the yoga." When you can't stand up, well, you can't do this yoga. I rested, it helped, and it's better now.

So here's what's up: I'm resetting! Starting today I'm doing Natalia Rose's Detox for Women. A 30-day detox diet that is reasonably do-able with the aid of a few niceties. And you get to actually EAT, which is the only way I'd do something like this. Here's a link to it:

So, I plan to blog about it daily as part of my commitment to myself. I'm doing a 30-day yoga challenge too, so I'll report in on that as well!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blog Shift + 30-Day Challenge #3 for Jenn!

Hello all!

Sorry for the delay in posting. I had been thinking for a while about this blog, and whether or not I could comfortably write about teaching without violating the privacy of students. Sure, lots of teachers in the world blog and write and share their experiences in the classroom...but at the same time, this is different, more personal...and I wondered if this was a good idea. My thoughts on the matter were confirmed today, as I was asked not to blog about students in any way by a studio owner - and that is fair, pretty much in line with what I was thinking anyhow.

I took a couple posts down and revised one other, and from here on out, I will just be blogging about my own experience in a way that is not specific to students. I think my real goal here to just to share my own experience of doing the yoga, as well as the impact teaching has on me as a person and my practice. The nuts and bolts of teaching, while interesting reading, aren't really relevant in the big picture. I'm always happy to share with someone 1:1 about what it's like to be a teacher, about my worst and best days...but that's not so, well, public, now is it? So, if you have questions, ask me! Otherwise, I'll be blogging here about yoga, me and my life in general...and with that, I feel a little better actually. My lack of posting was my own contention with this matter and I was sent a clear direction on how to proceed, and I'm good with that!

Speaking of my yoga, I'm finished Day 25 of 30 on my pre-Maui challenge! I'm moving right along and honestly, have gone through the things one does in a challenge like this. I was excited, bored, irritated, happy, excited, bored, irritated, etc. just like it happens. This is the 3rd time I've done one (not including training, of course) and honestly, the impact doesn't feel quite as fantastic as it has in the past. Still, I have endured the nuances that come with it - the forcing yourself to go because you don't have a choice...period...the manipulating your day to get yourself there, the going at 6 a.m. because it's truly the only time you can make it, the having to do it even when you're teaching 3 that day... but it's good. I don't know that I've felt any grand effects other than that of knowing I can do it, and a a bit of pain in my right shin.

I've been teaching a good bit - still between 8-12/week right now - and that is good. I really dig teaching right around 8, having a couple days where I'm not teaching and can just practice, and once my challenge is over, getting to have at least 1 day/week out of the hot room. Since other work for me has been hit or miss, some weeks I don't at all mind a heavy load, but others - it's rough.

Jill and I are off to Maui to celebrate her big birthday next week! We are excited to do some Bikram Yoga there, of course, and maybe find some other yoga that would be fun to do/try. When I get back, I'm going to diversify my exercise as my body seems to be in a bit of a rut, doing the same thing all the time...I could stand to lob off 5 pounds and just keep things looking and feeling optimal. So, more soon, thanks for your patience those of you who had been asking for a post. I should be back with some better regularity now!

p.s. I've also been working on my book, writing like mad for that which has left me a little deflated when it's come time to blog. Hopefully I can balance the two out since the writing is so different!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

JIll's 1-Year Bikram Anniversary

So when I first met my girlfriend in October 2006, I had just started doing Bikram Yoga. I was still working to lose another 20-25 pounds before my plastic surgery and while I can't say I loved it right away, I loved to hate it. Or something.

I rattled on about it on dates with her and told her how amazing and hard and cool it was. She said, "Thanks, but no thanks" and stuck to running and pilates, and 'regular' yoga. I resolved that we'd just tell each other about our respective exercises, and not overlap...

Then came my plastics that December and I struggled to get back to the Bikram until that following September, 2007 - about a year after my first class. At this point I got hooked and was "in" - Jill, however, still was not. She had no need to go into a hot room like that, she hated heat.

One of my most impactful Bikram teachers was Saiko - especially in the beginning - she and a couple others "raised" me at the Fremont studio. One night I learned that she was also certified to teach Power Vinyasa (she studied with Brian Kest) which is also heated - but technically, "not as hot." I tried it, because I trusted that if Saiko taught it, it would be good...and it was. So somehow, after a longtime of convincing, I got Jill to go to Power classes with me. To me, they were just as hot as a Bikram class, but she was not willing to try Bikram.

Then, last year, in January 2008, we were in NYC and I was going to go to a class there. Jill brought her stuff along and ended up coming along for class at the Lower East Side Bikram studio. Earlier in the day we went to find it and ran into the owner, who said, "That'll be a great class - John is teaching, he's amazing. " We got there, and the teacher was John Salvatore, a Broadway actor/singer, and a flippin' hoot. Jill did great! There were two other new people who had to leave the room and struggled a lot (it was humid, way more than we're used to). According to my post on my normal blog, "it was brutal and amazing all at once. Jill did great, though I nearly died. :)"

Today we celebrated her 1-year anniversary of that first class. Looking back, she commented "Wow, to think back then you hadn't even thought about going to training...and now, here a year later, you're a Bikram Yoga teacher!" And, I thought, "Yeah, and you, who wouldn't even go - now you're regular and half the time, dragging me to class!"

Here she is, a year later, with a dedicated practice 4x/week minimum (usually maximum, too :). She has a killer backbend, camel and rabbit for that matter. She has conquered her anxiety of going into the hot room, which was huge in the beginning. Now, she has the same anxiety/stress we all have about getting to class due to logistics, tiredness or whatever else is going on in life. She said, "it's like going to the chiropractor, getting a massage, exercising and meditating and I get it all done in the same 90 minutes." Like most of us, she gets excited about getting props on postures that are hard for her...and wants corrections so she can get better. When she takes my class, she's always one of the strongest practices in the room.

Needless to say, I'm proud of her! I love when we go to class together - whether we practice together side by side or not, I love that she's in the room. She understands me, my practice, my teaching in a way that never could've been possible without her own practice and dedication to it.

Sadly, I was not able to practice with her today - and though it bummed me out, I thought about the fact that yoga is a personal journey. While you practice in a room with other people, the experience itself, once your toes and heels are touching and toes on the line, is all yours. So that she practiced alone today was fitting, in a way, because her yoga is hers. It's not about 'us' but I think we both really love that we share a love of it, and understand each other's experience of it.

The picture above is one from when she visited me at teacher training in Acapulco in June 2008. There, she did 7 classes in 5 days and got all the hits - Bikram, Emmy, Raj, Craig and Jason Winn...among others.

Big ups to my Jilly! Here's to another year of killer yoga classes and feeling really good about yourself :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Did I really blow it already?


I mean, I didn't post 2x last week. I only got to yoga 4x, not 5. Lame. But you know, goals are just that - goals. They aren't always met, but I sure do try!

This week was exciting in that I'm now on the sub list (officially) at one of the affiliated studios in Seattle, and teaching about 3x/week (right now) at the other. After about 6 months of putting in time at non-affiliated studios - a reality in this town - I'm happy to finally be where I want to be. I'm not able to, nor do I necessarily want to, leave the studios where I've been all this time. However, it's nice to be moving in the right direction. Bonus that they're closer to home, and/or in more appealing neighborhoods.

I continue to learn a lot and come up against new challenges as a teacher, but I keep cooking along, remembering I'm just a guide - and each person brings their own stuff into the room. I've found lately that sometimes I just say what to do, and how to do it - and in some cases, I add in the "why" because as adults, we all want to understand why we are doing something. At least I do, and when I do, I buy in *way* more than when orders are merely given out at me. So, when I see questioning looks - esp. from newer practitioners - I throw in a little more explanation in between sets. Not always, but sometimes.

Practice has been hard for me this week - motivationally speaking. My thyroid, on a related note, has been frakked up. That is to say, not working. And when it doesn't work, concentration/motivation is impacted...along with energy, sleep, metabolism. So I've just been feeling a wee bit like a pile'o'poo in that regard. Good news is I'm back on the right dose/brand of meds. I'm off to confirm with the doc tomorrow, and from here, in a few weeks once the drugs are squarely re-established in my endocrine system, I'm hoping things will look up. Still, the guilt I harbor when I don't get to class almost outweighs the painful idea of going on those days. You'd think I'd learn. Alas. Still, when I do go, I'm loving it. So, there is that!

This week I started a writing class/program at UW. It's a non-credit writing certificate program called "Writing the Memoir" - that's right, I'm gonna write me a book. While I can write, I wanted help with structure, feedback, methods, and specifically an understanding of how to best couch certain aspects of a book like this. Memoir is the art of telling non-fiction in a fiction-style of writing - so all the elements of story-writing (which I love) are there, but with the added flavor of only writing the truth...unlike fiction where you can just make shit up, that has nothing to do with anyone or anything in your life. Here, I'll be baring my soul and writing about my experiences over the past few years, tackling my weight and all that went along with it, as well as providing enough of a backstory to show what a big deal it was. For me, anyhow. Goal: To go on Oprah and make my millions. See note about goals above. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jenn's Yoga Goals 2009!

So I wrapped up the blog I kept over 2008 (, as I decided to go to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training and somehow managed to finish it, came back to Seattle and started teaching.

Still, and always, my practice will be more important than teaching - it has to be. It's the airplane analogy - put on your oxygen mask before you help others. Practice your yoga before you guide others through their practice. And I really, really believe it - I have a hard time teaching on days I don't practice, as I feel almost hypocritical (unless it's a "legal" day off)! While this is silly, it rings true on a conceptual level.

With that, my first post is my yoga goals for 2009:

Posture Goals:
1. 2nd Part of Awkward: First, be consistent and lose the fear of it. Second, learn to love it (or at least stop hating it?)
2. Standing Head to Knee: Touch my forehead to my knee when kicking out on the right side. Get elbows down below the calf muscle on the left side.
3. Triangle: This is the big one with a few facets to the goal. First, work with as many experienced teachers to understand this posture better in my body. Second, consistently focus on it in every class. Finally, stop hating it.
4. Camel: See my toes while keeping my hips out past my knees.
5. Savasana: No, I'm not kidding. Truly get this under control - not only the long one, but all of them. Focus!
6. Half-Moon Backwards: Keep Going! Seeing the back of my mat is the goal.

Other Goals:
1. Practice Frequency: Practice minimum 5x/week; that's 260 for the year - minimum. 300 is the stretch goal :) no pun intended...
2. Rotate Around the Room: Practice in different places all the time, and learn to focus no matter what or who is around me. Let go of preferences and attachments.
3. Triples: Do one triple each season this year (4 total).
4. Advanced: Do advanced, assuming it's offered, 2x/month.
5. Other Yoga: Try at least one "other yoga" at different studios once/season (4 total).
6. Blogging: Post at least 2x/week to this blog!
7. Visit Teacher Training: Nothing like an injection of the energy of Teacher Training, The Boss, and the enthusiasm and energy of soon-to-be-teachers.

Teaching Goals
Sadly, these are somewhat dependent on finances since - I know this will shock you - teaching yoga isn't exactly lucrative $ wise. So, these are my hopes in terms of goals:

1. Teach at least 5 classes a week if I'm doing other work; 8-10 when I'm not. And no more - I stop enjoying it at this point, and I don't want to teach unless I'm happy to be there.
2. Visit Teacher Training.
3. Go someplace or to at least one workshop or seminar on Bikram Yoga with a senior teacher, outside of Seattle.

I'm starting the year super excited about the yoga. Having spent the last couple days in Vancouver, BC, and seeing friends from training (and doing yoga with them) brings it all back - rekindles that feeling, that connection to the yoga and to the massive focus I found for myself at training. Plus, whenever I'm sharing a mirror with a TT friend, I know they know what I'm capable of. And that helps to hold me accountable, which is something I want to do more and better in regular practices. So, with that - welcome to 2009!

Let's see what we have a year from now!