Liver Cleansing Medley

There’s a lot not to like about Sunday nights. Lazy Sunday morning spent lingering over the breakfast table has disappeared. Spontaneous Sunday afternoon adventures have come and gone. And before you’ve gotten anything productive done, it’s 7 pm on a Sunday evening, and Monday morning feels way too close for comfort.

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There is one thing I like about Sunday evenings, though. There’s the feeling of a fresh start, the setting of good intentions, and a hushed hope that this week won’t kick your butt quite as much as last week did.

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I managed an hour in the kitchen tonight, prepping food for the week. This salad took 20 minutes to make, and although it’s not really the food I want to be eating (Smitten Kitchen’s cinnamon toast french toast stole my heart this weekend) I know this salad will help me feel healthy all week long. medley1.jpg

As I’ve learned before, change begets change. Something as small as a few cucumbers and radishes could propel you to get out for a run, do a few yoga stretches before bed, or ditch scanning your morning emails in bed for a few minutes of meditation instead.

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A book I’m reading, The Woman Code, describes this recipe as a “liver cleansing medley”, which sounds a lot more appealing than just “salad.” Author Alisa Vitta writes: “The liver is responsible for removing toxins from your body, and it does this by turning fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble ones so they can be excreted through your large intestine, kidneys, and skin.” If you have a hormonal imbalance, as many people do, your liver can’t operate optimally. Choosing certain foods, like lemon and cruciferous vegetables, give your liver a break. medley2.jpg

I hope you can find some time this Sunday evening to just sit quietly, and enjoy your last few hours of calm before Monday’s rush of deadlines and demands. If you have an extra 20 minutes on your hands, give this medley a try.

Liver Cleansing

Spring Mix Medley

From Alisa Vitti’s The Woman Code

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 head celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped finely with mandolin
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Dress with apple cider vinegar and olive oil

Mix ingredients in a big jar and store in the fridge, store dressing separately. OR, store medley in individual containers with the dressing on the bottom (see pic above). Medley will last up to 1 week.

 

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The Whole30

 

This month, I went to see an acupuncturist for the first time. Needles in the face and everything! She’s one of my (badass) yoga teachers, and has a great discount for her students- so I gave it a whirl.

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Two sessions later and I’m totally hooked! Besides the immensely relaxing process that happens on the table (seriously, it’s even better than a message), I find I’m much more calm and centered for about four days after my appointment. I’m catastrophizing less, and am more in tune with my emotions. It’s been blissful.

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Plus, it’s just nice to talk with someone about my general wellbeing and stress management- we cover everything from my mood to my yoga practice to my work to my diet. Which led me to try The Whole 30 this month, per her recommendation.

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Now, years of fad-diet fails taught me that diets don’t really work for me. I’m much better with an “everything in moderation” approach to food. But this diet is so similar to how Trevor and I eat already, we decided to try it out.

The Whole 30 guidelines can be found here– basically, no gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, or alcohol for 30 days. We are 14 days into it, and here’s what we like about it so far:

A big part of The Whole 30 is identifying and abolishing your cravings. For me it was sweets, for Trevor it’s been gluten. The first five days of this challenge were the hardest for me- 2:30 in the afternoon would hit and my sweet tooth would start going crazy! The second week in, I’m relishing the sweetness of whole fruits. Although I do miss my organic chocolate fix from time to time, I don’t feel controlled by it anymore.

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In general, we’re both feeling much more clean and energetic. Here’s what we’re not so hot on:

It costs more, and we’re eating a LOT more meat. We’re spending an extra $50/week on meat and nuts in order to keep us full enough. We used to eat meat once or twice a week. Now we have meat at almost every meal. Also, it takes even more prep work than we usually do- but this week I think I got the swing of things and devoted a whole Sunday to prepping meals for the week.

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We’ve still got another 2 weeks to go before we can start slowing re-introducing foods back into our diet. We’re thinking about keeping sugar and highly processed carbohydrates, like bread and pasta, out of our shopping cart for good. But we are looking forward to our old staples of rice, beans, select cheeses, and oats.

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If you’ve been meaning to clean up your diet but are looking for a little extra motivation, I’d highly recommend giving this program a try. It’s 100% free, there’s a wonderfully supportive online community (just search the hashtag #whole30), and it’s focused more on how to make your body feel GREAT, and less on losing weight.

Have you tried the Whole 30 before? What did you think?

 

 

Magic Apple

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We’re about 3,500 feet up and my head is spinning. My heart is pounding everywhere except in my chest- in my ears, in my temples, in my feet, and OH MY GOD my quads are on FIRE. I’m out of breath, and hating myself for not being in better shape. For not being able to propel myself up this mountain as fast as the rest of the group. The self-doubt comes rushing in and I lean up against a tree, wheezing. And then, Trevor hands me an apple.

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It was a magic apple. Bright red and small. Sugary but not too sweet, juicy and crunchy and purely satisfying. It lifted me out of my own head and put the pleasure back into hiking. The last 1,589 feet weren’t easy, but they were far from torturous. My thoughts changed from shit-talking my abilities to positive reinforcements of my own strength. We summated Mt. Lincoln, all 5,089 feet, in an hour and a half.

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One of my very favorite parts about hiking, aside from the spectacular views and the sense of invincibility, is that food takes on a whole new meaning. Whether it’s a handful of trail mix or an apple on the way up, a hummus-cheese-and pickles sandwich at the top, or even downing the last drops of your water bottle, you can taste with every bite or swallow new strength coming into your body.  You can almost feel every glorious calorie finding its way to the parts of your body that need the most repair.

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It made me think about all the meals I have when my body isn’t being heavily strained. “Food as fuel”- the notion that we should eat solely to keep our strength up- has never been a motivating concept for me before. I believe food has purposes far greater than simply caloric intake. Food brings friends and family together, it can connect you with the seasons and to your community, it can bring back memories of wonderful times and people, or food can be just be simply fun.

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But there’s nothing like a long hike to help you take stock of how much food for fun vs. food for fuel you’ve been enjoying recently. Last weekend’s hike helped me to re-evaluate my diet. I noticed that my portions have been a little large lately, and that there really isn’t a need to snack between meals unless you have a workout you’re prepping for, or unless you’re really, really hungry.

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And if you are really, really hungry- eat an apple.

Weekly Wrapup

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It’s FRIDDAYYY! This is a new series I’m starting, inspired by this amazing blog. Take an extra long coffee break and get ready for a healthy, nourishing, relaxing, and adventurous weekend ahead.

  1. I can’t wait to make these this weekend.
  2. I’ve been binge-listening to all 3 of Gimlet Media’s podcasts. They make my runs (and commute) feel so much shorter.
  3. ZOODLES. Do it.
  4. A bunch of these hikes are on my list.
  5. Grab some paint and freshen up that room you’ve been wanting to repaint. Mega inspiration.
  6. I’m thinking of adding this to my morning breakfast routine.
  7. We’ve been eating more and more vegetarian these days. Up for the challenge?
  8. I first read this article on running over 7 years ago- I still think back to it every time I need motivation to lace up.
  9. Put the cone down- make one of these snacks instead.
  10. Sunday will be here before you know it- get your meals PREPPED so next week will be stress free.

Farmers Market Smoothie

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We got back from our whirlwind adventure in Sri Lanka and Vietnam a little over a week ago. It was spectacular. We climbed 5th century AD kingdoms, saw ALL the buddhas (and brought one home!) and ate the most amazing, other-worldly good food.

And while some of the food we ate was fresh and green and full of nutrients…

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…many other things we ate were fried, or ice cream, or filled with additives (protip: NEVER eat the airplane food, especially the meat. Bring your own snacks.)

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