Wednesday, September 23

Cleanse Day #7

Eating kitcherie and drinking lots of water. Meditated today at 2:45 before picking Ruby up from school. These little things are making a huge difference. It really works! Going to try to be in bed by 9PM. I'm off.

Tuesday, September 22

Cleanse Day #6

Dr. Gregg sent me an updated version of the TLC smoothie for this time of year.  He suggests one in the morning and another in the afternoon if you need an afternoon snack.
The recipe for the Late Summer Green Drink that reflects some of these Seasonal modifications is:

1-2 scoops Hemp protein powder
1 tablespoon plain kefir
1-2 cups soy or rice milk ( naturally sweetened ) 
1 teaspoon of Udo's choice or other balanced 3-6-9 omega oil
1 tablespoon green powder
1 teaspoon chavanprash powder or jam
1/4 cup blueberries and or 1/2 ripened banana 
1 cup of pomegranate , pear or plain water 
jane b

Monday, September 21

Cleanse Day #5

  In Ayurvedic medicine the digestive tract is the heart of the physical body.  Everything is digested -- what we read, eat, smell, feel, see -- everything that our senses deal with.  Food is fuel. Food from groceries, and also what we bring into all of our senses, including the sixth sense -- the mind.  There is a lot here to digest (no pun intended). After three days of green smoothies and falling off the food wagon only to finish the evening off with a cup of miso soup, I had to get something substantial in my belly. In Ayurveda, as in Spain, France, Italy and so on, the noon meal is the most important event of the day. It should be big and there should be rest afterward.

So, today I got into the real meat (in a vegetarian sense of the word) of the Ayurvedic cleanse -- kitcherie. I'm not sure what the real definition of kitcherie is but I can describe it and you can go from there.  Kitcherie involves boiling some variety of mung dal (bean), steaming some rice, sauteing some veggies in ghee (clarified butter) and making a chaunce of herbs (sauteing herbs in ghee to open the flavors -- it's like an herb sauce - fabulous!)

I boiled some small little round green mung beans. I've never made them before, I usually use the red lintels (they are actually yellow). They have the best flavor to me. I also steamed some rice in the steamer and added a tablespoon of ghee and lots of shakes of tumeric.  I love, love, love tumeric rice.  When the beans were done in about an hour- fifteen I added the steamed rice and mixed them together like rice and beans.

I sauteed yellow squash, carrots, collard greens, and added some of the butternut squash I baked the night before.  I did not cook them very long.  While they were sauteing I made a chaunce of black mustard seeds, dried cilantro, and fresh ground corriander with a dash of Celtic sea salt. To make a chaunce let the ghee heat and then add the spices. Very quickly you will smell them, that is their flavors opening up. Then you can pour this into the veggies.

I served the veggies on a bed of the mung dal and tumeric rice. I may have added a little chicken broth to the veggies to help them steam. I'm not a vegetarian, I just eat like one.  I topped it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a touch of the crunchy sea salt. Viola! Se magnifique!

Words cannot describe how good this food makes me feel. It is the ultimate comfort food, better than mashers and gravy -- even Granny Pearl's gravy.

Sunday, September 20

Cleanse Day #4

A few weeks ago Miki Gabbard and I agreed to meet here at the ranch at noon to discuss and sample some of her delicious breakfast items that will soon be on our breakfast menu. We scheduled this meeting before I committed to the cleanse and at the time had no consideration of any kind of cleanse. My only consideration was for our overnight guests here at the ranch to have a tasty  breakfast. So much for discipline.

(starting October 10th)

Breakfast Nacho - a pastry, much like a danish pastry, one is topped with goat cheese and herbs the other with jarlsberg and green chilis.

Breakfast Empanada - An empanada stuffed with egg and cheese, served with creme fraiche

Breakfast Tamale Tart - A tamale tart with chicken and corn served with salsa

Morning Glory Muffins and honey butter with pecans

Homemade Gluten Free Granola Bars

To make up for my delicious lunch of these savory treats, I finished the night off with big bowl of miso soup stocked with collard greens (wakame substitute in the country), tofu (yes, they have tofu at Wal-Mart here now), and carrots.  I will also take a handful of probiotics and a couple of triphala to keep my digestion in tact and have a nightcap of ginger tea.

Saturday, September 19

Cleanse Day #3

Routine is something that I always shunned until Ruby Jane came along.  Routine, how boring, how predictable.  Yet I've learned that there is also something very primal about routine.  Circadian rhythms are real, not just poetry in an R.E.M. song.  There is a very real connection between the moon and tides and a woman's cycle. As there is about the changing seasons.

So it is in this cleanse that the morning routine is both comforting and very powerful in a supporting the body kind of way.  The first thing I do before I get out of bed is an exercise called the 5 pranas meditation and then alternate nostril breathing.  Then I get out of bed and do the Five Tibetan Rights.  The exercises is one area where a weekend retreat to kick off the cleanse comes in handy because these exercises are very detailed but when practiced just a few times are very easy to pick up.

A cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice right of the bat in the morning is one of the best things for me, setting the tone for my day.  It gets the whole body moving - quick. It's better than coffee to get things going. Seriously. It sounds very simple and sometimes its the simplest things that make the biggest difference.  After that there is 2-4 cups of distilled water, distilled water flushes out the toxins that have gathered in the night. There is also tounge scraping, neti pot, dry brushing, and abayanga or annointing the body with oil. 

 With the distilled water I take 4 probiotics and 2 triphala (an ayurvedic herb for digestion). Then I make a smoothing of kefir, udo's oil, blueberries or strawberries that I bought fresh recently and froze them, some acai juice, unfiltered apple juice, hemp protein, and greens powder. That's breakfast. Yum. I'm set for the day.

Friday, September 18

Cleanse Day #2

Okay! I admit it. Day #2 and I fell off the wagon, well, my pinkie toe and maybe a couple of other toes fell off. I took Ruby Jane to a birthday party and that greasy pizza looked so good. I resisted the bread, the cheese and the sauce and then popped the pepperoni's in my mouth without a care in the world. I reasoned that Ruby was not going to eat them (she only likes cheese on her pizza) and coming from the Depression, or at least the Depression mentality passed down through our generations, I cannot imagine throwing away perfectly good pepperoni.

Later on in the kitchen after being offered pizza, cupcakes, wine, and beer - which I all turned down (insert clapping and back patting here) I partook in two buffalo wings -- minus the sauce -- I turned down ranch, blue cheese, AND the butter Tabasco hot wings sauce.

Restaurant food is not on the cleanse, a light dinner with protein is. I figured the two balanced each other out so I ate guilt free. Speaking of guilt, eating in a state of guilt or any other emotion besides pure joy is much more harmful to you than eating the greasiest food or the sugariest.

On the way home from the birthday party we stopped off at a friend's house. Dave, a traditionalist when it comes to after work cocktails, made his best offer, "Can I make you a martini?" he said.  I told him about the cleanse. "You're always on a cleanse," he said, "you just need to live a little, you're body's too sensitive. Have a drink already."

"I'd love some water," I told him.

Dave's wife Allison and I drank water as Dave sipped his martini. We finished out the evening  listening to old vinyl -- The Police's first album, Outlandos de Amour, both sides, and then The Pretenders first album, one of the best debut albums ever - a scratchy, crunchy ode to British punk. The music cleansed my soul.

Thursday, September 17

Cleanse Day #1

With all this media hoopla about obesity and diabetes, it's pretty amazing what one full day of eating grains and vegetables can do to the body.  I can see how people would think, "I get sick when I eat lots of veggies." My response is..."of course you do." When you've been eating out a lot and eating lots of food with preservatives and very little greens or veggies, there is going to be a period of 1 to 5 days depending on the situation in your own digestive tract that is going to seem like it's the food that is making you sick.
It's exactly like a drug user coming off the drugs. There is stuff in the preservative food -- they're called preservatives -- that have to come out and they are not going to go lightly, if you know what I mean.  There will be many trips and sometimes uncomfortable trips to the loo.
I'm not saying this is happening to me now, but I'm not saying it hasn't happened in the past.  I can definitely say I have seen an improvement in my overall physical, mental, and digestive bodies since I began these cleanses -- emotional and spiritual too.

There are a series of morning, afternoon, and evening rituals. This cleanse is very detail oriented. The thing I like is that Dr. Gregg says, "If you are the type of person that has to do 100% of everything, then only do 75% of the daily routine. If you are someone that only gives 50% then bump it up a little." This cleanse is all about getting out of your comfort zone, changing the way you feel.  I'll go over the daily ritual tomorrow.
Namaste Ya'll

Wednesday, September 16

Total Life Cleanse

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Total Life Cleanse

One thing that is missing from my fall line up is Ayurvedic doctor, Kevin Gregg's, Total Life Cleanse (TLC). It's a cleanse created by Dr. Gregg and one of his collegues, Dr. Jonathan Glass when they worked together a few years ago in Boston. It's not a cleanse in a box, it is exactly what it says - total life. It starts with the premise that, "nothing new can come into existence until space is created for it." This fall, starting today, I am embarking on a solo journey into this intricately detailed yet truly life changing experience.

The basis of the cleanse is the cultivation of prana or qi, life force energy. Every part of this cleanse from the food, to the exercises, to the media cleanse is designed to create space for more prana and more instances of bringing prana consciously into your own body. The media cleanse is one of the more powerful parts of the cleanse. To be mindful of every nano piece of information and emotion you allow into your body was very hard for me at first. I don't care for coffee in the morning (not on the cleanse), but I love me some NPR when I drive home from taking Ruby to school. That one week a year ago made quite an impact on me. It's taken a whole year to sink in yet I remember it now in the mornings that school is back in session. Sometimes I choose another station and other times I play no music at all, only the silence or the occasional window down with the morning air/prana/wind blowing through the car. Last year's media cleanse planted the seeds that created the space for me to have another experience in the mornings besides NPR. This is just one example of how TLC has changed my life.

For the next two weeks I will blog everyday about the TLC and my experiences doing the cleanse by myself, which I have never done before. I plan on hosting a TLC for the spring and getting Dr. Gregg out here to the ranch for private sessions with people and to teach the Ayurvedic basis of the cleanse.