Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: adventures in detoxing.

Friday, 28 October

Today, I eat a pomegranate.  More importantly, today I open a pomegranate.  Pomegranates are on Jen's list of very good fruits to incorporate during the detox, so I buy one at Trader Joe's.  When I get home I look at the funny little guy with his quirky shape and inverted-nipple-stem and realize I have no idea what to do with him.  So I leave him on the counter and proceed to go to the obvious source of information about this type of important subject: YouTube.

I find numerous videos about how to open a pomegranate - all kinds of crazy things like cutting off the top and hoping for the best as you lose out on all the beautiful juice contained in the seeds you just cut through.  Another one just shows a British guy crushing the crap out of the fruit, and poking a hole in it it to drink the juice.  Interesting and very rustic, but not what I'm looking for.  Finally I find one that seems sane.  The video recommends cutting out the stem and scoring the pomegranate along its natural segmentation, therefore allowing you to open the fruit without losing seeds or staining your countertop.  Perfect!

I start my dissection and am suddenly having a blast!  My only experience with pomegranates was in 5th grade when I was in the Talented and Gifted program and we did a unit about Greek mythology.  My teacher brought in an actual pomegranate and I just remember...seeds.  I literally haven't seen one since.  So here's what it looked like!

post-segmentation, pre-seed removal.

I am having so much with my pomegranate adventure that I forget I can actually eat it!  I remove all the seeds and am amazed at how many I get from just one fruit:

Not only gorgeous but delicious!  I munch on seeds while I prepare my healthy lunch for the day.  I have enough seeds to incorporate into various salads/wraps/recipes over the next day or two.  Not only are they tasty, but healthy and full of antioxidants.

I am feeling great today!  My energy is super consistent and I love learning new things.  Now I know how to open a pomegranate!  ...And how to eat it too.

Saturday, 29 October

I teach my first class this morning and by the time I leave there is snow-rain falling outside and it feels like December.  I teach my second class and by the time I leave there is legit snow falling and sticking to cars/sidewalks/trees and you would think it was February.  I know exactly what is about to happen.  I am heading home to warm up and I am not leaving.

Yes, yes.  It's the Saturday before Halloween and everyone is treating it as if it is actually Halloween, getting dressed up and going to various parties and dressing in scantily clad outfits because they can.  Perhaps I should be social and grab my "go-to" costume (sparkly scant butterfly shirt, green 'antennae' and jeans) and attend one of the various gatherings I was invited to.

But it's so cold out.  And it's so warm in my apartment.  And I have this recipe I've been dreaming up all week that I can't wait to put to the test.  I pull out my dutch oven and go to work.

I end up making, quite honestly, some of the best soup I've ever had.  Butternut Squash/Sweet Potato/Ginger soup... slow cooked with love and care.  I don't even have a recipe - just put together a few ideas that I had seen and dreamed up as I was shopping for all my 'detox-approved' groceries.  A garnish of a few sunflower seeds tops it off and I am in heaven.

Tonight, I will not feel bad about hibernating in my apartment.  It's too cold to be half-naked anyway, isn't it?

Sunday, 30 October

As I wake up today, I reflect on the past two weeks.  While doing 14 days of a Detox seemed extremely daunting at first, now I can't believe it's already finished!  In many ways I am stubborn, and knew I would get through it regardless.  But in all honesty, once I started realizing how much better I felt, it was easy to maintain the diet and recipes, and to develop new ways of cooking, shopping, eating, and treating my body.

I don't miss coffee.  Sometimes, I miss the flavor - but I don't miss the energy rush and drop (and often nausea) that would accompany my morning cup of joe.  I have simply changed my old morning 'ritual' - which I thought I was ingrained in me forever.  A warm lemon water and shake gets me started now, and I feel better for it.

I have explored new territory - in food, cooking, shopping, and self-care - that I may not have experienced otherwise.  I have taken the time to stop and listen to my body and really hear what it's saying, instead of ignoring it and moving on.

I feel lighter - not necessarily that I've lost weight (I don't keep track) - but I feel a lightness in my body, like all the excess heaviness from food, alcohol, sugar, and other toxins has melted away.

Today I would like to think that I will be able to follow the Detox food recommendations even after the program ends.  And while it may be unrealistic for me to follow every single rule I have been working on for the past two weeks, I know I will take many of the shopping guidelines, recipes, and self-care techniques with me, even as I work back to my new version of "normal."  I feel healthier and more energetic than I have in a long time, and look forward to maintaining that in some respect.

...God, I can't wait to have a glass of wine.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: I love you, Detox.

Tuesday, 25 October

approximately 12:22am:  As I sit down to take my evening supplements and prep for tomorrow, I realize I have no more resumes to attach to my headshots.  I go to print off some more and discover my printer is out of ink.  I have two auditions in the morning.  I have a slight panic about this (OMG...why me?  why now?? how on earth am I going to get these resumes printed?!?!?!?) until Jen sends me a G-chat.  I share my concern and she assures me I can run out to her place in Astoria in the morning, fix up the resume, print it, and head back into Manhattan for the auditions.  OK, easy enough (?).  I take a breath and try to calm myself into sleep.

I fall asleep quickly but am tossing and turning for the last two hours before my alarm is set to go off.  I am having all sorts of crazy dreams about missing auditions, running after trains, standing in the audition room naked... you know the type.  Shaking these images from my tired head, I finally get up before the alarm goes off, hoping that if I take the time to calmly prep for the day ahead everything will fall into place.  I can't stomach any extra fruit in my shake today, and opt for a plain Cinch Vanilla Shake with almond milk for breakfast.  I try to pick the Perfect Audition Outfit (always a fun game) and head out to Queens.

I get the resumes done, attach a few to headshots, and get through two auditions with smiles and energy.  I teach my afternoon classes and head home.  It's time to make Round 2 of Detox Broth!  As I create another delicious batch, I sit down for what feels like the first time today.  I ask Jen why I'm so tired.  "Well Deb, you got up early to run out here, shot right back into the city, traveled to two auditions in different places, and taught two classes."  Oh - is that why?

I make a delicious dinner with my leftover salmon and settle in for my Tuesday night Shaklee call with a nice hot cup of Detox broth.  I am feeling tired but comfortable, and am noticing some interesting changes in my body:

  • I have much less sinus congestion than I normally do, especially this time of year.  
  • In general, I am sleeping MUCH better at night, and once awake have significantly more energy during the day.
  • My energy during the day is more even and consistent.
  • I have NO sugar cravings!

Cutting out caffeine has had a significant (positive) impact; I don't rely on a caffeine rush to get me going in the morning anymore.  I get the cleansing of lemon water and metabolism boost from a balanced breakfast and my energy stays strong.  Most days I haven't even been drinking green tea in the mornings anymore!

I can feel the program doing exactly what it's supposed to do - and my body is loving it!

Wednesday, 26 October

I am in the double digits of this Detox!  Now that I've gotten it down, I feel like I am coasting along - getting better by the day with meal planning, enjoying consistent energy, and embracing the new lightness I feel.

I head to Trader Joe's to re-stock my cleanse-friendly cupboard and it's already so much easier the second time around!  I know where everything is and how to fill in the blanks of what I don't have at my apartment right now.  I make another delicious lunch at home, then the day is a whirlwind - business meeting, audition, and 3 awesome classes.

I am still pleasantly surprised by how much energy I have!  People hear "detox" or "cleanse" and usually assume you are starving because of some ridiculous plan where all you drink is juice, or water with lemon/cayenne/maple syrup and whatnot.  As far as I can tell, all those 'cleanses' really do is starve your body, and perhaps help you lose a few pounds which you will inevitably gain back the second you start to eat normally again.  This detox has been different - many of the habits I've learned in the past 10 days I will be sticking with long after the plan is over.  Oh yeah, and I'm not starving!

Thursday, 27 October

I basically kick ass today.

I teach a 60-minute Cycling class, stay at the gym to do my own workout, then do a quick shopping trip to reward myself with some new clothes for making it this far (after all, I've saved so much money eating at home!).  I teach my evening Chisel class then head down to Peridance to take an amazing and emotionally liberating Contemporary class from my friend Kristin Sudeikis.

In between all this, I have prepped a few things that are waiting for me in the fridge, so that when I get home dinner is pretty much ready - all I have to do is assemble it!  I am physically tired from all the movement I've done today, but don't feel horribly drained like I used to at the end of days like this.

I feel like giving my detox a hug today.  Maybe I should go find Jen... she designed it, after all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: getting over the hump.

Sunday, 23 October

Ahh, Sunday.  The day of rest.

Often, the day of Recovery.  And Brunch (prosecco).  And Football (beer).  And then, Recovery Again.

I don't think I'll be doing any of those today!  I pop out of bed by 10a (no alarm, thank you very much) after again sleeping deeply through the night.  I do the morning ritual, but today I can't get the thought of coffee out of my head.  I think it's the Fall Sunday morning feeling - I could be making coffee, sipping it slowly it in bed, lazing around and enjoying my apartment - my little (ahem, tiny) slice of NYC heaven.

Instead of coffee, I treat myself to an extra-tasty smoothie today (extra ripe raspberries = heaven) and settle in with some Yogi Green Tea.  Once my body is awake, it's back to work!  I have decided that today will be the Day of Reorganization.  I go to town once again on my apartment, this time pulling things off shelves, moving items to different storage locations, and generally streamlining what was already happening here.  The Detox program seems to have inspired me to align the cleansing that's going on in my body with what's happening in my home environment.

Around 4p I finally yank myself away to make another delicious gluten-free, sugar-free, meat, egg & dairy-free lunch.  And it is actually quite delicious!

still life of a Detox lunch.

With renewed energy I am back into Attack the Apartment mode.  I have been staring at my hideous curtain rods for months, just waiting for the day when I would have the strength to take them down and start over.  It looks like today is going to be that day.  But I need outside reinforcements.  I head over to Home Depot for a few very important "home improvement" pieces (ehm... spackling paste and a putty knife).  I even buy special rubbery "work gloves" for all the home repairs I am going to do - after all, fixing the curtains will be just the beginning.  I'm going to be a regular Bob Vila!

I make my way over to Bed, Bath & Beyond and have just enough time to find... the Perfect Curtain Rods.  The ones I had been searching for all these months but have eluded me until now.  You're coming home with me, Rods.  

I go home and spackle away.  I wear my sexy new work gloves (more for the novelty than for any actual need to wear gloves).  In between spackling and hanging new rods I am preparing salmon.  I literally don't think I've cooked salmon.  Ever.  But I need protein and it's allowed on my detox.  So I'm cooking salmon.

It's close to midnight before I finally sit down to enjoy my meal and an episode of Breaking Bad.  I look around at my fresh, organized, newly-curtained apartment and feel proud.  My salmon is quite delicious (if I do say so myself) and I have enough leftovers for at least two more meals.  

So maybe I didn't get to do all those Sunday Funday activities so often associated with this second half of the weekend.  But I did get a heck of a lot done.  And I have the gloves (and the curtains) to prove it.

Monday, 24 October

My body must really be detoxing, because I am sleeping.  A lot.  But it feels good - like really high-quality, deep sleep - something that often escapes me.  I wake up today and don't want to get out of bed.  But unlike last week, it's not because of some ridiculous "the end is near!" assertion which drove me to a state of disaster.  It's because I feel good.  I am not craving caffeine the way I used to - I look forward to my morning lemon water and feel much better after drinking it than I ever did drinking coffee.  I have (for the moment) decided I may continue to severely limit my coffee consumption (if I have any at all) even after the cleanse is over.

Hinging on yesterday's escapade of organizational bliss, I have furniture coming today!  An adorable bar table/stool set I had been eyeing for weeks - I finally purchased it and can't wait to assemble it.  The delivery guy is a trooper, lugging 100lbs of wood up the stairs and barely breaking a sweat.  I open the box and - you guessed it - grab my work gloves!  I am going to do some work.  So I need to wear my gloves.

Within 5 minutes my hands are all sweaty in the gloves.  Ok, maybe I don't need gloves.  I continue to assemble without the gloves, but keep them close by in case I need them on a moment's notice - one never knows when you are working "around the house." 

There is something satisfying and therapeutic about putting furniture together.  It's like putting a puzzle together, but at the end you have something you can use in your home that will become part of your daily life.  There are a few frustrations along the way (namely a huge split on one of the table legs followed by a call to Bed Bath & Beyond, followed by an exchange of said table leg), but it's worth it in the end.  The piece looks great and fits perfectly where I envisioned it.  

Suddenly I realize most of the day has gotten away from me and I have an hour to eat, shower, and get to Grand Central to take the train to Stamford!  Our Chairman & CEO, Roger Barnett, is speaking tonight with his wife Sloan and I have been invited to a special reception honoring "Shaklee VIPs" who bumped up in rank last month.  What an honor!  But I haven't had lunch and I have no idea if they will have cleanse-friendly food at this event.

Luckily, I have last night's salmon.  I put some in a wrap with quinoa, veggies, & chick peas and munch on it while I plan what I will wear tonight.  Shower, dress, makeup and I'm gone!  The rest of the night is sort of a blur of really happy, healthy, successful, wealthy people who are all helping other people become the same.  By the time our team gets back to the city it is close to midnight.

Quick snack and then bed.  This detox thing isn't so bad.  Less than a week left - I am over the hump!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: from inside out to outside in.

Friday, 21 October

Healthy Jenny was right!  I wake up today before my alarm is set to go off, feeling amazingly refreshed and well-rested.  This is new for me, especially on a Friday!  Friday is sort of my "flex day" - I have no permanent classes scheduled, so I usually use it as a day to run errands, attend appointments, work on my Shaklee business, and even - gasp - take in some time for 'relaxation' (occasionally including recovery from deciding to go out a little harder on Thursday knowing I don't necessarily have to be productive on Friday).

Well, this Friday of rare 'unscheduled time' is not going to waste!  I have decided that if I'm going to cleanse and detox my body from the inside out, it is time to get the crap out of my living environment as well.  I make another yummy breakfast smoothie and sip some jasmine green tea (delicious!) while I map out my game plan for apartment overhaul.

Once I start sorting laundry, it's all over.  I turn into a cleaning machine, running laundry up and down the stairs, thankful for the light weight and portability of my super-concentrated Shaklee Laundry Concentrate.  In between loads I am vacuuming, wiping down countertops, cleaning toilets, and dusting shelves with my toxin-free Get Clean Products.  I'm not putting toxins in my body, so why would I want them in my home?  I even post my old TV on Craigslist and get somebody to take it out of my apartment within three hours.  The place is looking clean, smelling fresh and toxin-free, and I am feeling great.

By the time I stop moving I realize the sun is looking like she wants to set.  I remove myself from the clutches of Cleaning Obsession and decide it is now time for Detox Relaxation.  But wait a second... something's missing.  Suddenly I realize - I'm starving!  Hmm... with which color from my food palette shall I create tonight's meal?  Since I just spent the whole day getting the toxins out of my place and making it more "green," I think I'll go with that! This seems like a great night for some homemade guacamole - totally healthy, delicious, and allowed on the detox.  I run a nice hot tub with Chamomile bubbles while I prep my guac.  I reflect on how this detox has brought me back into my (tiny NYC-sized but still very usable) kitchen.  It's empowering to be back in the habit of prepping my own food, making these choices and knowing exactly what's going into my body!  I also realize that I've already saved a bunch of money - while I may have winced slightly at the bill from Trader Joe's on Wednesday, I haven't spent a cent on outside food (or coffee or alcohol - my two biggest money suckers!) since I did my shopping trip there.  I combo my delicious guac with a brown rice wrap and load it with a beautiful rainbow of veggies; on the side I munch some homemade apple slaw I created the night before.  When I'm done I feel satisfied and ready to relax!

I enjoy my bath and take my time with my nightly routine.  Instead of what might normally be a glass of wine, I drink a hot soothing cup of detox broth as I wind down.  I snuggle into clean sheets and linens by 11:30, feeling relaxed and breathing freely.  I know there is a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, so getting my home in order today has been just what the doctor ordered!

Saturday, 22 October

3 classes.  2 events.  12 hours.  Non-stop movement and energy output.  Probably the longest day I've had since I started the Detox.  Will I have the energy to get through?

I wake up a little extra early today (yep, 7:30am on a Saturday), knowing I will want to have enough time to do the Detox morning ritual and get set for the day ahead.  I enjoy another delicious smoothie, take my supplements, pack my gym bag (complete with Madonna-style headset mic), and head down to teach my first two classes of the day.  This is the first morning that the thought of drinking coffee hasn't even crossed my mind - I don't even realize it until I'm outside Crunch near Think Coffee.  I grab a green tea (more for the ritual than anything else) and head inside.

My first two classes go off without a hitch and I realize I am feeling more energetic than I have on a Saturday morning in a very long time!  I head back uptown to teach my third class and the energy is consistent and ongoing (of course sustained with some thoughtfully packed-ahead energy snacks).  I run home to shower, switch my bag, and prep for the afternoon of Shaklee events ahead.  As I am getting ready to leave, I realize something shocking:

There's been a bottle of Pinot Grigio (my fave!) sitting in my fridge for almost two days and I haven't even thought about it!  It was left after our event on Thursday night and I was given the job of 'holding onto it' and bringing it to share with our guests at the Spa Party tonight.  Well, well, would you look at that?  Booze in the house and I didn't even think to crack it open?!  This Detox must really be doing something to my brain!!

Jen and I give a successful afternoon presentation to some fresh faces interested in learning about Shaklee, then prep for the evening ahead.  Since we are offering chocolate, wine, and other 'non-detox-friendly' treats  to our guests at our evening Spa Party, I run out to grab us some food to get us through the home stretch.  The funny thing is, I'm not even tempted by the other things on the table.  I can't decide if I am just so stubborn that I am determined to get through without breaking the detox, or if my cravings have actually changed.  I would venture to say some combination of the two!

I arrive home tired but with a feeling of accomplishment after an exciting and productive day.  I had a marathon day in the middle of my detox, and I survived to talk about it.  Apparently, I even had enough energy to write this blog.  ;-)

...and with that, to bed I go in preparation for the halfway point.  Day 7, here I come.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: get down with your detox.

Wednesday, 19 October

approximately 2:34am:  I am so damn excited to get the first blog posting up I am just finally winding down for the night.  Just as my eyes are closing, my neighbor decides it is an appropriate moment to throw his own little private dance party, complete with bass beats and stomping feet.  "Why me? Why noooow?  I'm supposed to be on a schedule!" I whine to myself (in my head).  I get up and pop a couple of Gentle Sleep Complex and am in dreamland within 20 minutes.

I allow myself to sleep until 9, knowing I need rest while my body detoxes but still wanting to take full advantage of the day.  I do the lemon water thing, healthy breakfast and supplements, mug of green tea, and by 10 I am leaping out the door to attend to morning appointments.  I have looked at my assignment for today and I know what time it is:

Gluten-free time.


Deep breath.

That's right.  I love bread.  Pasta.  Crackers.  Scones.  Pizza (you may have gathered).  Delicious gluten-y things are a staple of my diet.  Oh yeah, and they taste really good too.  How will I be able to eat enough to stay energized but not eat all the things I'm used to?

I opt to make a midday run to Trader Joe's, hoping that the lines will be manageable enough that I won't want to clock someone in the head with my 3-lb. bag of organic sweet potatoes by the time I'm ready to check out.

Today, I win!  The line is short.

I launch into a new world of "gluten-free-ness" that I have never experienced before.  I start to fill my cart with selections from Jen's handy shopping list, exploring shelves and sections of the store I had never visited.  Of course, I bought some more green tea as well (one must have options).  I get so excited to fill my cart with all these new items that I end up with more groceries than originally intended.  I wobble home with two huge (reusable, of course) bags full of new treats and lug them up the stairs to my apartment.  By the time I finish unpacking everything and putting it away, my traps are killing me from carrying the bags on my shoulders, and I already feel exhausted from the day.  And it's only 2pm.  I wonder for a short moment: "why am I doing this?"

Then I open my fridge.  It is a veritable palette of beautiful fruits and veggies of every shape and color, and seems to be simply bursting with health and vitality!  There is more produce out on the counter, just ripe with deliciousness and begging to be transformed into some sort of delicious recipe.  My kitchen looks better than I've seen it in a long time!  It looks like healthy people live here!

I create a delicious lunch with some of my new items, drink a mug of detox broth, and take my daily supplements: Vitalizer, Nutriferon, & Vivix.  I am already feeling re-energized and ready to teach the three classes I have coming up tonight!

I teach my classes with energy and vigor, feeling newly motivated by the good things I am putting into my body.  I even have a few members that are inspired by my initiative and want to come on board and do the detox program as well!  I come home and create another delicious meal, take my evening supplements, and drift off to dreamland before midnight.

...and no, I didn't dream about bread.  Not yet anyway.

Thursday, 20 October

I simply can't wait to eat breakfast today.  You know why?  I'm going to use my amazing new Cuisinart blender/smoothie maker!  I love new gadgets, and I love them even more when I can use them to do cool things like make a super duper healthy breakfast smoothie.  And do I ever make that smoothie.  And boy is it delicious!

I feel good leaving the apartment, but by mid-morning I am sluggish today.  My midday meal, supplements, and green tea boost my energy back up, but I can feel that the 11 classes I have taught in three days are catching up with me.  It's definitely time for a nap!

There was a time in my life (some people call it college) when I used to survive on naps, but these days I don't generally have the luxury of being able to indulge in an afternoon snooze.  I decide that today I will honor my body and the detox and snuggle into my bed.  It feels amazing - and is apparently much needed as I pass out almost instantly!  I can't remember the last time I slept this hard during a nap.

I jump out of bed to prep for tonight's Shaklee in the City event in Midtown.  I am aware that I am about to enter Round 2 of the Wine In Your Face Challenge, as our Shaklee team offers wine and snacks to the fine folks that attend this monthly event (aren't we classy?).

Ding!  I arrive at AXA Financial and greet my Shaklee colleagues and guests who are attending.  There is wine there.  I am over here.  And you know what?  I'm OK.  The bigger challenge for me may be the gourmet cheese that is just staring at me next to the platter of, big surprise, NOT gluten-free crackers.  I just keep reminding myself of the delicious leftovers I have at home from last night's meal, and make myself content to munch on grapes and drink seltzer.

I mention my fatigue to Jen, and she reminds me that this is a process and my body needs time, rest, and recovery to get rid of all the bad stuff.  She assures me I'll be feeling more energized tomorrow.  And I believe her.  After all, she is Healthy Jenny!

I take heart knowing that my body is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing, and the Cheese and Crackers Challenge didn't get the best of me.

Healthy Jenny & Detoxing Deborah, both on Day 4 and feeling good!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tales of an Urban Detox: the beginning.

"Why even bother with a Detox?  You already look great," remarked one of my members this morning.  "Well thank you," I replied, "but it's not about how I look, it's about how I feel."

I'll be the first one to admit that this year, I fell back on that old standby - "but it's Summer!" - as justification to drink a glass of wine (or three, or...) or chow down on pizza in the wee hours of the morning.  It feels so good, doesn't it?  Everyone is in vacation mode; everyone is at someone's rooftop party; sidewalk cafes are open and Sunday brunch feels like it could last forever.

But as October came rolling around with its crazy seasonal changes and cute fall clothes, I realized this excuse was not only invalid, but ridiculous.  My body was still feeling the effects of a Summer's worth of "excuses": drinks, parties, late night snacks and not so pretty mornings.

When my best friend, holistic health coach, Shaklee business partner, and all-around amazing woman Jen Morris ( mentioned she was doing a pre-holiday Detox, I couldn't say no.  I knew it was time.  In fact, we had tossed around the idea of starting this in August as a pre-Fall Detox... but I venture to say we were (or at least I was) still pretty content to use the "it's Summer!" excuse while the days remained long.

So I committed with Jen to do her 14-day "Detox in A Box" - not sure what I was in for but knowing it was time to show my body some extra L-O-V-E.   In the end, we opted to start the Detox on Monday, 17 October so we could "break it" on Halloween - just in time to kick off the holiday season with a bunch of drunk people wearing inappropriately revealing clothing they would never be caught dead in the other 364 days of the year.  Ah, the joys of the season.

Here is the beginning of my LOVE story...

Thursday, 13 October
I add Shaklee Liver DTXPre- & Pro-biotic ComplexAlfalfa, and Herb-Lax Supplements to my monthly Shaklee supplement order.  Can't wait to get my package!  This is going to be great.

Jen emails me the fully designed "Detox in A Box" program and I have to admit, I am a little bit in awe!  It is extremely thorough, with day-to-day and step-by-step guidelines to help get you through the cleanse.  Even a handy shopping list to get prepped!  I am feeling good and super positive about the two weeks ahead of me.

Sunday, 16 October
I meet up with Jen to go over last minute Detox details, borrow some supplements to tide me over until my package comes... and promptly start to drink wine.  Lots of it.  Oh and I eat a generous portion of pizza too.  After all, it's going to be my last time doing these things for a while - might as well go for it, right?!

Monday, 17 October 

That reasoning is even more ludicrous than the "it's Summer" crap.
Now I feel like crap.  I went to bed late, had trouble sleeping, didn't drink enough water.  On top of it I feel like I've been fighting some sort of cold all weekend.  Basically my body hates me and I have no one to blame but myself.  I wake up feeling horrible and ALL I WANT IS COFFEE.
But I'm not allowed to have coffee.  I can have as much green tea as I want... but no coffee.
Maybe I'll start the Detox tomorrow.
Jen won't mind if I'm a day behind, will she?
It's just one little day...

I debate for a moment.  Then I realize... I made a commitment - not only to my friend, but to myself.  I got myself feeling this way and need to take responsibility for it.  I pull it together and take a look at Jen's beautifully designed guide.  All I need to do today is give up caffeine and sugar and get started on the supplements.  OK, I can do this.  One step at a time.  I chug a mug of green tea, get in the shower, and get myself moving.

By the time the day is over I have taught four classes, discovered a gorgeous Vegan restaurant on the Upper West Side and already have a new favorite "cleanse-approved" sandwich.  I am exhausted but feeling seriously much better just knowing I have taken the first step in the process of cleaning out the crap in my system.  I even muster the strength to drop in to my local bodega on the way home and get all the fresh veggies I need to create Jen's special "Detox broth."  I come home, eat my sandwich, take my nighttime supplements, take a soothing hot shower and promptly pass out by 11pm for the first time in I don't know how long.

Tuesday, 18 October

My alarm is set for 8am and I wake up quickly after sleeping like a baby all night.  I diligently prep my warm water with fresh lemon juice, and chug it while I sit in bed and watch New York 1's "What's in the Papers" and get caught up on the weather report.  Then it's onto healthy breakfast with supplements and green tea.

I feel super positive, like I am ready to really delve into these next two weeks with wild abandon, loving and caring for my body in ways I never had before.  I am a different person than the hungover, sickly mess I was  the day before.  It is as if I can feel the toxins thanking me for releasing them from my body.  I am ready to take on the world!

Then, it happens.

I am on the train on the way to teach my first class of the day when it hits me, slowly at first and then increasing in intensity as the ride goes on - like a vice mounted on my temples and tightening with each stop of the subway...(insert dramatic music here): the caffeine headache.  I launch out of the train and drag myself and my aching head to the first Starbucks I can find.  "Well... I guess I'll have green tea" I say dejectedly to the overly perky gentleman at the counter.  I pay for my ridiculously overpriced teabag and hot water and shuffle my way over to the gym.  It is time to motivate people to be the best they can be.  Woo. Hoo.

I warn my loyal members that I am on a cleanse and am off coffee for two weeks.  I still kick their butts of course, knowing exercise is a great way to keep the blood flowing and toxins moving along.  Several of them actually come up to me after class to offer their condolences, citing coffee as the single reason they would never be able to participate in a detox.  "But green tea is OK..." I remark weakly.

I successfully make it through three more classes without totally melting down.  In fact, the mellow caffeine boost from green tea is more effective than the high followed by the crash and burn coffee usually delivers.  As I sit on the bus home holding my temples, I remind myself that in a few short days that vice will be gone.  In more ways than one.

My assignment today is to cut out meat (except fish), dairy, and eggs.  Totally doable as I was back by my newly-beloved Vegan hotspot earlier and have set myself up with some freshly made green juice and a hearty sandwich.

When I get home I muster the energy to rinse and chop my variety of healthy vegetables and prepare a pot of "Detox broth."  It smells like fall in my apartment and my headache is easing up.  I even run to Bed, Bath & Beyond to grab a new blender/smoothie maker (complete with $20 rebate no less!) so that later in the week I can make my healthy smoothies with ease.  I am owning this!

Then I realize what my actual challenge is going to be today when the phone rings.  One of my girlfriends just broke up with her man.  She needs some girl time and wants to drink wine and chat.
I can't drink wine.
I love wine.
A lot.
I invite her up to my apartment as I actually have some red left, sitting on the counter and staring at me next to my box of green tea.  Freaking green tea.

She comes over to talk and I pour the wine.  I see it.  I smell it.  (I want some).  But I focus on talking with her, trying to comfort her as she sips it comfortably.  There's definitely enough left for two.  I resist.  I walk over to my stove and ladle myself a big old cup of broth and hunker down with it.  It actually tastes wonderful and very...ehm... "healthy!"  We chat, cry, console, etc.  As she gets up to leave, I pour the rest of the wine into her water bottle as a "to go" gift.  Of course, this has the two-fold purpose of giving her some 'liquid comfort' for the road and getting that stuff off my counter.  Crisis averted!

Well, I made it through the Caffeine Headache from Hell and the Wine In Front of Your Face test.  I survived Day 2.  What adventures will come with Day 3...?

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Saw the Sign... Unfortunately.

There it was, written in black & white:

"If it's broke, fix it."

While the incorrect grammar in the above statement combined with the purely obvious nature of this message make it seem like it came from one of the pre-schoolers I teach, no such luck. It is yet another brilliant statement by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority which I had the pleasure to read on a recent ride on the downtown 6 train. In the eloquent way only the MTA can do it, they go on to say:

"Instead of waiting to fix everything in a station at once, we're fixing critical parts as soon as they need fixing. We're now at over 100 stations and counting."


Impressive, MTA.

So instead of letting an entire subway station go to complete and total crap and getting sucked into the vortex under New York City, you fix things in dire need of repair and ignore the rest of the myriad issues contributing to subway riders' daily stress and discomfort. Is this really something that needs to be advertised to the average subway rider, who already has to endure jacked-up fares, terrible weekend service, and dirty subway cars and stations? Are we supposed to be impressed that if something is broke(n!), it's getting fixed?

In most cases I am all for honesty, no matter how brutal. However, the moment when I'm late to work because the train comes every 20 minutes on Saturday, and I am 'being held momentarily because of train traffic ahead' (which is virtually impossible since I just departed a station that was a ghost town), I do NOT want to read a sign assuring me that the MTA is only fixing things it deems crucial. If I only did the things that were 'crucial' at my job, I would be fired!

If anything, LIE to me and tell me that everything is getting fixed. All the time. At least it would give me false hope. I mean, I would still see the dirty subway cars and endure crappy weekend service, but I would think, "I saw the sign that said: 'everything is getting fixed. All the time.' Maybe I just caught the MTA on a bad day. Maybe I'm being held because they're fixing everything right now!" Ignorance is bliss, right? All that extra money I'm spending to ride the train is actually going towards something... right?!

I would like to know who is (really) in charge of the MTA, because I cannot believe they are an "Authority" on anything except how to waste my money and yours. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Money-Taking Assholes? Fares have been hiked three times since 2008, while the quality of service has decreased as trains run less frequently, and many maintenance and other workers that kept the subway running (somewhat) smoothly have been laid off. Take the money used to print these idiotic signs and put it back into the budget!

Maybe I should see if one of my pre-schoolers wants to balance the budget - I bet they would do a better job. At least they can form a proper sentence.