Tuesday, February 25, 2014

checking back in after Mark Hyman MD's 10-Day Detox… and answering the "was it worth it?" question

So, it's been a few weeks since I wrapped up Mark Hyman MD's 10-Day Detox and I've gone back to my 'normal' mom/wife/friend roles. From running into a bunch of you at the supermarket, volunteering at school, or just out and about, you all want to know, "so, was it worth it?!!". The short answer? Yes. Absolutely.

If you're just joining me and want to read all the nitty gritty about my 10-day whole foods detox journey start here:

But, I will not lie… when I made a batch of my homemade cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a recent birthday, I wanted to dive in. And, briefly, after I wrapped up the 10-Day Detox, I did revert to some of my old ways.

At the end of the 10 days, I was feeling on top of the world, and thought, "I'm fixed! I'm down 5 lbs and continuing to lose lbs, and feel so, so good!". For a week I didn't want to rock the awesome feeling, and I continued to stick to the plan, to a t. And then, instead of testing the effects of dairy/gluten on my own body through a methodical process Dr. Hyman recommends at the end of the book, I felt so confident that, on a weekend away with my family, I just dove back in. To everything at once-- Coffee! Cheese! Wine! Beer! Treats! I know. I know. And here I was feeling so good, my skin was glowing, my jeans weren't snug... But it took me exactly 48 hours to start feeling like crap again, and to remember just how awesome I had been feeling. And the beauty was, I was able to pick up my book, take a u-turn, and get right back on track. In a way, I am glad I had this blip because I was still kind of pinching myself wondering if it was really possible to feel that different in 10 short days. I had my answer.

So, while I am still figuring out exactly what I can and cannot have food-wise to keep the happy momentum up-- and the weight down-- I am continuing to start each morning with a protein packed smoothie.

For lunches, during this cold, snowy season, I am still favoring soups. I've been experimenting with different derivations of the ones I enjoyed from the 10-Day Detox book. Most recently, I took a bunch of leftover roasted veggies (cauliflower, bok choy, carrots, etc) and blended them up with coconut milk, turmeric, garam masala powder, fresh ginger, some raw cashews and almond milk.

 It was delicious. I had it alongside a spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs for added protein.

And I still have some of the "Green Goddess Broccoli and Arugula Soup" and "Chicken Soup for the Cause" in my freezer from when I made it during the detox and froze it in individual containers for easy lunches. {That's the Broccoli and Arugula Soup pictured above, with some grilled tofu for protein, plus a dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto, leftover from when I stuffed chicken breasts with the pesto.}

I've kept cooking the other recipes in the book that we didn't get to have during the 10 days, and all have been enjoyed by my whole family.

I still do a lot of cooking ahead, just so I can keep all the balls in the air. When I am roasting veggies, I do several different rimmed baking sheets at the same time, be they "rainbow" carrots or

roasted cauliflower dusted with some curry powder. And then I tuck them in the fridge for busy weeknights ahead.

And, I've started looking at my cookbooks and magazines differently, focusing on the recipes I can enjoy, like this miso-glazed bok choy.

Now that I am technically "off" the 10-day detox, but still want to keep the good habits going, for me, it's about whipping up big batches of nourishing foods, much the same way as I cook ahead for our freezer.

And from this point on, I look forward to taking the best care I can of myself… and if I ever swerve off course, I've always got those blog posts to inspire me back on track.

Note: The above links will take you to Amazon. When you click, it takes you to their website, and anything you purchase there will help support swellmom and the full plate blog. Thanks in advance for the support.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{the scale winked at me after} days 8, 9 and 10 of the Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox

As I write this post on Day 10 {!!!} of Dr. Hyman's 10-Day Detox, it's the second snow day of the week for my children. And did I mention today is Wednesday?

When I was chosen to review this detox for Dr. Hyman, I was thrilled because as many of you know, I was at a low point. My goal in participating was two-fold. First, and personally, I had decided that I needed to figure out someway {any way!} to get myself out of this awful FLC {"feels like crap"} rut. Second, as a popular parenting and food blogger, I was curious to see if the program was actually something busy parents can-- and should-- do, if they too were FLC. {Based upon all of the calls and emails I received after writing that zinger of a post, I knew I was not alone.} 

I had confidence that any changes I made would be helpful to me, and I knew that if I set my mind to it, I could do anything for 10-days. But the broader questions remained-- why was this detox different than any other I'd done in the past? Would I see results? Was it family-friendly? And what would make it sustainable?

I've shared a lot of the nitty gritty with you along the way, so if you're just joining me now, I encourage you to start at the beginning:

And now, here I am, having just wrapped up Days 8, 9 and 10. So back to those burning questions:
  • Yes, this detox is different than any I've done in the past.  
  • Yes, I absolutely saw-- and felt-- results. {More on that in a minute.}
  • Yes, if you put your mind to it, this program is absolutely family-friendly. But, yes, it takes planning, a little creativity, and a will to make it work within your normal family responsibilities. And no, I was not sitting around "just detoxing" those 10 days!! This 10-day detox included my normal volunteer/kiddo chauffeuring/social/household/and blog commitments plus two major winter storms {translation: snow days from school}, a lunch out with a cookbook author I admire, a family ski trip, and a Superbowl party!! It wasn't a breeze, but the fact that by Day 3 I felt like a better version of myself is what sustained me to stay on track and participate fully, no matter what was thrown my way. 
  • Yes, it's sustainable. Or, here as I write on Day 10, it feels that it will be. One thing to note is that, yes, you can just do it for 10-days, and you will reap benefits if you do it exactly as Dr. Hyman has it laid it out… but I think when you get to Day 10 and you're feeling so good, you'll be hard-pressed to just revert to old habits. You'll think first before popping your children's pizza crust in your mouth. Or ordering dessert. Or book-ending every single day with coffee and wine. I've begun to plan future meals around ones that were hits during the prior 10 days. I am looking at a calendar and figuring out when I want to reintroduce dairy and gluten {via a methodical process Dr. Hyman and his team taught me of seeing if/how they affect me}. And I'm excited to try the recipes we didn't have a chance to make during the detox, because they all sound so good. {If that isn't a testament to crowding out the "bad" with good, I don't know what is!} So, the truth is, when you get to Day 10, you don't want to lose that feeling, so it really can become longer than a 10-day project if you assume the way you feel today is your new "normal". 

And while I know some of you are here for the food porn, I know that a lot of you who cheered me on after the honest pre-detox post are wondering if it was worth it?

If you're here for the food, you can thank my trusty iPhone for, top to bottom:
  • Almond-Strawberry Smoothie
  • A family snow day lunch of a big salad for all and Whole Foods' pizza for the kids
  • My take on Day 8's dinner, which was supposed to be Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto…but since we went straight from skiing to a Superbowl party, then woke up snowed in Monday morning, I used the extra Asian-Chicken I'd made to go on salads, and just put a dollop of the pesto on top with frozen spinach on the base, which was perfect
  • Day 9's Steamed Cod with Ginger and Scallions with Asparagus and Shitakes {since I couldn't find snapper as everyone was racing around preparing for the next snowstorm}
  • Today's snowstorm/school snow day lunch {are you seeing a theme with the big salad and pizza as a quick lunch that works for all of us?}
  • And, last but not least, Day 10's dinner of Grilled Tofu with Cilantro Pesto {unfortunately the only meal out of the 10 days that my husband and kids did not care for… so much for ending on a high note, meal-wise!}

But, even if I walk around with a glow, tell all of my friends how amazing I feel, and go on and on about how delicious and satisfying the meals were, I know that the burning question really is, did I lose weight?

Yes. I lost 5 lbs these 10 days. I also lost 1" in my waist, 1" in my hips and 1.5" in my thigh. {I have two thighs but only measured one.} Part of the journaling you do during the detoxes includes tracking changes daily. {I skipped Days 6 and 7 because we were skiing… and while I was dedicated, I wasn't going to lug a scale along with ski equipment for four people.}

So back to the 5 lb drop. As you can imagine, that jump start to getting back to my ideal weight was awesome. It feels good to be back in control, and heading in the right direction. My ideal weight no longer just seems like some "pre-kid notion". But as I sat on today's conference call with one of Dr. Hyman's expert RDs, and a life coach from The Handel Group, who we had daily access to for the 10-days, I thought about all of the other good things that came out of this 10-day detox because I am celebrating them just as much:
  • My skin in clear {and several people have told me "it glows"}.
  • My belly is flatter. {I didn't say "flat", I said flatter… I am a work in progress.}
  • I am in a rhythm of getting the kids fed and off to school in a relaxed manner, and then working out before making my morning smoothie. {This routine ensures that my workout doesn't fall prey to anything else that comes up later in the day.}
  • I feel much more positive and happy. {I joke that someone is blown sunshine up my backside.}
  • I am sleeping soundly. {This is a biggie. I cannot remember the last time I slept soundly, before this detox.}
  • I am learning to take breaks in my day to relax. {The nightly Detox Baths were what I'd call "forced relaxation"… this is an area that I'm working on.}
  • I am more clear-thinking, and through the journaling exercises that are a part of the detox, feel more in control to evaluate the choices I make in all areas of my life.

So, on the eve of Day 10, I'll leave it at that. Any questions about my experience, feel free to leave a comment here, or on the Facebook page for the full plate blog and/or swellmom. I would love to see some of my friends and readers embark on this 10-day gift to yourself, and come out the other side feeling this good.

Take me to the transition post… I want to know how you're feeling a few weeks after the 10 days!

Note: I was given an advance copy of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detoxand given the opportunity to participate in daily calls with Dr. Hyman, and/or an RD from Dr. Hyman's staff, and a life coach from The Handel Group, as part of my chance to review the book. I was not compensated in any other way for participating in the program, and all opinions are my own. The above links will take you to Amazon. When you click, it takes you to their website, and anything you purchase there will help support swellmom and the full plate blog. Thanks in advance for the support. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

{I was ready for} Days 5, 6, and 7 of the Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox

I started writing this post on Friday, then decided to do a little digital detox as well. But the post that was in my draft folder started with, "Day 5 is even better. I am full of energy, and feel like I can take on the world."

So, I'm back, and it's Day 8!! And it's funny, the time has truly flown. I'm actually a little bit sad that the official 10 days ends mid-week, because I never thought that I could 'heal' my body this quickly, and I am excited to keep going. I mean, don't get me wrong-- I am thrilled I feel so good. But I also wonder what will happen after the 10 days are up, since this has been such a clear way of enacting change?

Someone on the full plate blog's Facebook page today asked "So, you've been pleased...satisfied. Timing and cost of preparation. Are you allowed to disclose this?"  And my answer is a resounding "yes!". Yes, I am pleased. Yes, I am definitely satisfied. But I'd also answer an honest "yes" to the amount of time required to really commit and do the 10 days. And, yes, real food costs more than processed food. Pathetically, that's a fact. As for what I'm allowed to disclose, I can tell you anything I want about this program. I'm not being paid to endorse it, I was simply given an opportunity to participate fully in it and review it. From Dr. Hyman's standpoint, I'm sure he and his team hope the experience would be successful and that I'd write nice things about it to spread the word! Well, they hit the jackpot with this mom because I feel amazing, and am now a firm believer that it is possible to completely change the way one feels, and in turn, hopefully set the course for continued health, weight management, and positive outlook long after the 10 days are up.

I want to share a bunch of photos with you all {food porn if you will}, but first, if you're just joining me and would like to catch up on the other 10 days to date, here are the links:

OK, so last weekend we were heading out of town as a family… and I can assure you that after turning that corner between Days 1 and 2, starting to feel better Day 3, and then feeling GREAT on Days 4 and 5, the last thing I wanted to do was undo all of the hard work I'd put into following Dr. Hyman's plan to a t.    

So, I woke up Friday morning with a plan. I laid out all of the Friday, Saturday, Sunday recipes and started cooking. The smoothies, which took me several minutes to make at the beginning of the detox {since I was constantly glancing back and forth to the recipe}, were now becoming more rote. I made two big containers of them to tote on our trip.

Lunches were at the ready, since I had made big batches of the Green Goddess Broccoli-Arugula Soup and the Chicken Soup for the Cause earlier in the week. While I knew I could opt for a salad + protein instead, knowing these were on hand {and were delicious} alleviated any chance of me getting to lunchtime and just grabbing whatever was around because I suddenly found myself hungry.  

So, all I had to do was quickly whip up the three dinners, and I'd be able to stick to my {delicious} detox all weekend away. 

Friday {Day 5}'s, choices were Herb-Crusted Chicken Breast with Roasted Garlic or a Roasted Cod with Fennel and Leeks. The latter recipe sounded delicious, with fennel, leeks, garlic, tomatoes, herbs and kalamata olives… but we were going to be eating in shifts on Friday, so I decided the chicken recipe would be a better bet. 

Once roasted, the chicken was served over a bed of asparagus and wilted greens. Everyone in my family loved this recipe. You're seeing one of my children's plates above. I don't normally cut my husband's food up for him…

Saturday {Day 6}'s choices were Baked Cod with Olive and Caper Pesto or Almond-Flax Crusted Chicken. Again, while the cod recipe sounded delicious and easy, I opted for the chicken one, since my children are not big fish eaters {yet}… and there's nothing that makes a vacation weekend come to a screeching halt faster than when you have to become a short-order cook.

I thought I snapped a photo of my plate, that was loaded up with the delicious veggies and some of the chicken {that I think is my favorite recipe so far-- soooo good!!}, but apparently I just took two different pics of the plates that included Seeds of Change Seven Whole Grains blend. Oh well, use your imagination, close one eye, or hold your hand over the pilaf, if you want to know what my plate of deliciousness looked like.

Anyway, that recipe was another hit. {Even if nothing else were to come out of this detox, I'd have a bunch of fabulous new recipes that my family has loved!! But fortunately, that's not the only upside of these 10 days. It might have been a post-workout high, but I think my scale winked at me this morning.}

OK, so back to the recipes. Last but not least, we were going to be rolling home just in time to go to a Superbowl Party. Yes, I am doing this detox right.smack.dab.in.the.middle.of.Superbowl.eating. And I know what you are thinking… you're thinking that maybe I was feeling so good that I'd just have one little pig in a blanket. Maybe one itty bitty rib. Maybe just a corner of a brownie. 

Don't get me wrong-- my weekend was full of temptations. Who wouldn't want a nice glass of red while sitting by the fire after a full day of skiing?

And the cupcakes I picked up as a treat for the kids? Oh look! They are gluten-free! Maybe I could have one! {Hello "health halo"…}

But no, not during the 10 days. These 10 days were really about clearing the decks and only filling my body with simple, nourishing foods. A chance to re-set cravings, and re-prioritize what I put into my body. Does that mean that I'll never have a cupcake? No. But 10 days of not having sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, or alcohol, really makes a difference in how I feel, and so I'll probably be more mindful when making food choices after these 10 days. And you guys have seen what I can have. When I reminded myself of all of that goodness, and how good I feel eating this way, I was able to feel satisfied with what I was enjoying.  

So back to that Superbowl issue though! Because, yes, it's an "issue" if you love food, and you know the party you're going to is going to have really good food, just not food that's detox-friendly…. 

Sunday {Day 7/Superbowl}'s choices were: Roast Chicken Breast with Rosemary or Beef with Bok Choy. Two out of the four of us love beef, but again, I was weighing outside factors into my menu planning… and knowing I was going to be adding my dish to a smorgasbord of Superbowl fare, including beef chili, I opted for chicken. Again.

I marinated the chicken on Friday and roasted it, along with a big sheet of organic tomatoes, zucchini and onions, just before we left town. 

When we got home, all I had to do was slice the chicken breast, fan it around the veggies and off we went to the Super bowl party! Oh, I also brought along a container of the Tahini Dip and Spinach-Walnut Pesto I made on Day 1 so others could try them. 

And this is what I feasted on at the Superbowl party. Yes, I skipped the beer, wine, delicious chili with all the fixins, and gooey brownies. But I enjoyed a fabulous plate of food, and went to sleep content in the knowledge that these 10 days are truly a gift I am giving myself. 

Note: I was given an advance copy of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detoxand given the opportunity to participate in daily calls with Dr. Hyman, and/or an RD from Dr. Hyman's staff, and a life coach from The Handel Group, as part of my chance to review the book. I was not compensated in any other way for participating in the program, and all opinions are my own. The above links will take you to Amazon. When you click, it takes you to their website, and anything you purchase there will help support swellmom and the full plate blog. Thanks in advance for the support.