30 Day Cleanse Workout

30 Day Challenge Success

Okay, so I didn’t post daily. Honestly, I imagined you getting bored with the day to day minutia of my eating habits. I know, I did. I would say this, I am 3 full weeks in and about to round the corner of the final week of the challenge. I have stuck by, oh about 80-85% of the plan. A friend texted me her 3 week after photos with her day 1 before photos, and so I too took mine. Sorry, not posting them.

There is a notable difference! I can see a change, a reduction in the front lower belly fat which my stretch marks, from two children and multiple surgeries due to cancer, cling to. Also, my waist is slimmer with a bit of an hour glass effect that was not there 3 weeks ago. My pooch is all but gone when I take the side shot. Woot! Woot!

I am down 8lbs over all. I am afraid that may change in week 4 for the worse not the better, due to my cheats. Confession #5-9 or more. I resumed my nightly bourbon and dark chocolate habit (although I did not eat my allowed after dinner snack for the program). We had a long weekend in Vegas for a soccer tournament and I drank 4 vodka sodas in addition to my bourbon. Last weekend I went to the ocean with 13 other women for a planning session. I stuck to the food diet (did that pretty well in Vegas also), but consumed oh, about 6 glasses of white wine, sparkling and not.

I have stuck to the workout 100%, I have maintained the morning ACV (apple cider vinegar) elixir, 80-100 ounces of water, and two cups of detox dandelion tea, every single day. All of my cheats seem to be alcohol related. I did give up beer and plan to discontinue drinking it for now. Going forward I am thinking only bourbon on week nights and leave a glass of wine or a cocktail for the weekend if at all.

Considering my cheats I a very pleased with the results. The food/menu is something I will incorporate going forward for sure. Delicious! The workouts are great and I will do them at least 3 times a week while going for a run the other days to keep it real. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to reset their gut, their portion sizes, and jump start a healthy diet and exercise program. In my opinion you shouldn’t just do it 30 days and go back to your old habits, but plan to make some of the changes permanent going forward, forever. That is the way to lose weight, and keep it off.

Healthy eating, regular exercise, and alcohol (if at all) in moderation. It’s a good thing.

Family and Pets

Crazy Cat Lady

A neighbor of mine takes the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ to an entirely different level. I could say that names have been changed to protect the innocent, but there is no one innocent here. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Her name is Carrie. A small, okay, maybe not so small part of me wants to blast her last name as well. I will show some restraint. Just a little.

Carrie lives in the condominium complex just north of our home in the lovely Bitter Lake neighborhood of North Seattle. I have met her once. A few years back I had a brief encounter with her daughter. A young girl of maybe 11 or 12 years old was dragging branches, large and small, down our road from the local park to her home at the condos. I watch her come and go a few times, it was a peculiar sight.

Finally I said, “Excuse me, what are you doing with all the branches?”

The young girl paused. Her lashes down cast she peered up at me hesitantly, “I’m making a fort.”

“Huh, okay. Well if you need a place to build it, I’m sure you could do it in our side yard.” I couldn’t imagine the other condo owners were thrilled with the mass of branches and debris she was hauling in to the common area.

“I’ll ask my dad.”

I never saw the girl again. Literally, for a few years I believe, I didn’t see her. Assuming she moved, I move one too, mentally.

Then one day I heard a male and female voice out in the street. Talking and laughing as they passed by. I opened my door to take the garbage out. They looked up and the girl and I locked eyes. It was her, only older. Long dark hair, a wool cap pulled over the top nearly down to her eyebrows. Her lashes once again obscuring her eyes. The couple continued on, down towards the park. Likely walking to Ingraham the local high school. Her walk, he demeanor, her laugh, the lilt in her voice when she spoke, once again struck me as odd. A little off as they say.

I went back inside and gave my cat a little scratch behind the ears. Rocky, neighborhood socialite. Our family got Rocky at about 8 weeks old right around my 40th birthday. It wasn’t long before he was roaming the neighborhood. In and out all day long, out to play and home to eat and sleep. Chasing birds, squirrels and other rodents I imagine. Lovingly leaving a few here and there on the porch. A thank you, I am told.

Often times when I would head outside I would find our neighbor Will, the masked man, sitting in our driveway getting his Rocky fix. Will, is one man Rocky will stop and let pet him. Will told me it was a nearly daily habit, at least on the nicer days. Other times I receive an email from LeAnn with a photo of Rocky sitting on her deck. He would climb up there and wait until she came home so he could see her. After some pets and love he would walk the rail and then wander away.

A few other neighbors tell tales of Rocky walking right into their home when they leave the door open. They look up and there he is sitting on a couch or chair, natural as can be. Thankfully they do not mind and are always good to shew him out the door when they leave or close up for the night. Except for that one time, when I heard he got locked in the condo building. Someone left the door propped open bringing in their groceries and didn’t see Rocky enter. Once they were done they closed the door. Some time later another neighbor came out into the lobby and found Rocky wandering around meowing his head off! Apparently he wanted back out.

All of this goes along with having an indoor/outdoor cat. The neighbors tell us great stories, we apologize for his intrusive behavior, and we all get a bit of a laugh. Until last year, when Rocky starting disappearing for 2 days or so at a time. First I was worried. Maybe he had been hit by a car. Maybe he was laying on the side of the road somewhere, dying or dead. We would look around unable to find him anywhere.

After a day or two we would wake up to find him at the back door meowing his head off as if we were the ones who had forgotten to let him in. Upon entering, he would make a be-line to the basement where his food dish resides. We have a silly little ritual. I put wet food in a dish and before setting it down, I lean my head down and he gives me a little head bump. We call it a kitty kiss. Only, I noticed when we bumped heads a strong smell of flowery perfume. I do not wear flowery perfume.

I began to pay attention and sure enough, whenever Rocky was gone for more than a day or two he would come home smelling of this perfume.

“Babe, Rocky is cheating on us!”, I declared to my husband.

“Seriously?” Pretty sure at this point my husband thinks I am the crazy cat lady. I assure you, I am not.

One dark and misty evening I headed out with a bucket of compost to toss in the yard waste bin. The bins are secluded from the street by an arbor vitae hedge. Works great for those times you want to run out in your night clothes (hopefully not your skivvies).

“Uh, hey. Don’t mean to startle you. It’s me, your neighbor Dwight.” The voice came from the other side of the hedge. A man stood taking a long drag of his cigarette.

“Oh hey, Dwight. How are you?”

“I’m good. Don’t know if your daughter told you, but I know who is taking your cat.”

“Oh really? Who?” My curiosity peeked, smoothing away the irritation which had crept in when he startled me.

“Her name is Carrie. She lives in our condo building. I don’t want to start trouble. But I’ve told her several times Rocky has a family and she shouldn’t take him in. She keeps telling me that she likes him and so she wants him.”

“Seriously? If we all took things we liked we end up in jail.”

“Yeah, well she’s a little bit, um, how do I say this? Off, ya know?” He continued to smoke his cigarette.

“Well, I appreciate you telling her he has a home. I was getting worried when he was gone more often. Honestly, I haven’t seen him in a couple days again.” I turned to head back to the house.

“I bet he’s in her house right now. She lives in condo #101. Uh, don’t tell her I told you. I don’t want to start any trouble. I mean, she has a teenage daughter who’s allergic to cats. I’ve told her it’s not fair to her daughter either, even if you didn’t want your cat, but I know you do.”

“Yeah, we do. Okay, well thanks for the info Dwight. Have a nice night.”

“Sure, you bet. Sorry about the smoke. Bad habit.” He slunk back into the cover of night out of reach of the street light as I turned to go back inside.

Long story, long, this lady was letting our cat into her home and then keeping him in her home. I can only imagine against his will. I have often described the sound Rocky makes when he wants out as a caterwaul, and that is putting it mildly. He carries on and on until we let him out. If we ignore him and go to bed, we wake in the morning to a pile of cat poop somewhere other than in the litter box. Rocky’s way of say, “I’ll teach you to ignore me!”

The next day by late afternoon when my cat still had not come home I had had just about enough of this. I asked my daughter if she wanted to come with me to go see if this Carrie had our cat. We headed up straight away.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

I stood in front of her door, phone in hand, with a photo of Rocky (and me) loaded up for viewing.

The door opened just a little, “Hello?” The woman shielded her body with the door and peered out at us.

“Hi, we live just over there. We have a cat named, Rocky. You know him right? Here’s his photo.”

She took a glance at the photo and nodded her head.

“Well, he’s our cat, but it sounds like you have been taking him into your home. Is this true?”

“I like him. He’s a nice cat.” She stayed close inside the door while she spoke to us.

“We like him too. Pretty much everybody in the neighborhood likes him. He’s our cat.”

“He doesn’t have a name tag.”

“Excuse me?” I was taken aback by her random comment.

“He doesn’t have a name tag.”

“Well, actually he has had a name tag. Twice someone has removed his collar and name tag. I got tired of buying new ones. He does have a collar. And he is micro-chipped. Definitely our cat.”

“I like him.”

“I know, you told me that. Here’s the deal. He’s our cat. I don’t want you keeping our cat. It’s not okay. You can pet him, talk to him whatever, but don’t feed him. And definitely do not keep him in your home. He has a home.”

She stood there looking at me with this blank, deer in the headlights stare. It dawned on me that she wasn’t opening her door very wide. Bearly sticking her head out to talk to us.

“Is he in your home right now?”

She flinched.

“Are you kidding me? Is he in there?”

She opened the door wide and stepped to the side.

Sure enough, there sitting in her rocking chair was my cat, Rocky, all curled up. Traitor.

I walked past her, into her home and picked up my cat. He meowed and then yawned.

“Do NOT take my cat and keep him in your home again. Am I clear?”

“Yes.”

We left and she closed the door behind us. Life went on as it had before crazy cat lady began taking our kitty into her home. For a while, maybe 3 months or so it seemed. We began to get more affection from Rocky. Apparently he had been getting his fill of love and affection elsewhere and thus didn’t require any from us. Now with crazy cat lady out of the picture he was a bit more snuggly. Nice.

Fast forward, present day. We headed out of town for the long weekend for a soccer tournament. Our daughter came by every day to check on Rocky, let him in/out, feed him and such. Only problem was, he wasn’t home. Not one single day. She happens to live in our neighborhood and realized she didn’t see him roaming as he usually does either.

We got home late Monday night. No Rocky. I stayed home all day Tuesday as our son was sick. No Rocky. By Wednesday I had a sneaking suspicion crazy cat lady was back at it. After a short walk, I suggested Tom go speak to this woman. He is much calmer than I.

Tom heads up to her condo and knocks on the door. Crazy cat lady opens the door and says hello.

“Hi, I am the owner of Rocky and he hasn’t been home again in several days. Have you seen him?”

“No, I haven’t seen him in like 3 days.” Crazy cat lady responds.

“You’re sure you haven’t seen him?”

“No, I haven’t seen him.”

“Hmmm., so Rocky hasn’t been in your home?”

“No.”

“He isn’t in your home right now?” A tone of disbelief dripped from his tongue and the words passed through his lips.

“No, I haven’t see him in 3 days. He’s not here.”

“Okay.” Tom turned and left.

About 60 minutes later, no more, as I was standing in the kitchen I see a flash of mixed grey fur in my line of sight. I lean over just as Rocky begins pawing the glass door wanting to be let in.

Imagine that! Rocky came home.

Crazy Cat Lady must have let him out.

30 Day Cleanse Workout

30 Day Challenge Day 5-8

These days have been a breeze. Not a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day, breeze. More like a walk in the park, breeze. Days 4-7 were lined out in the first email giving instructions for the 3 day detox. It was an easy transition from daily smoothies, to more smoothies and a couple small meals. The difficult part was the added snacks. I am not used to eating every 2-3 hours.

I still find it hard to believe that women do this while working a full time job. This is not to say that I am not working. (Please, real estate clients reading this, understand, I am working. But, I have the luxury of working from home with my kitchen (and my bathroom) within a few feet of my office. All ingredients and the appliances needed to create these meals (and they are many) are within my reach. Not to mention I can hop up and make these meals/snacks at any given moment.

The recipes have been wonderful. Easy to follow and quite delicious. The most prominent change thus far for me is the lack of sweet (sugar) in sauces, marinades and such. The cleanse has balance or neutralized my palette and I no longer crave what little sugar I was having before. The smoothies, while they have fruit, have only a little fruit and thus, they are not overly sweet. I don’t even miss it! In fact, I think I like them better this way.

The second hugest thing (in the words of our current President), is the feeling of being satisfied after every meal or snack. Not full. Not bloated. Not hungry. Not wishing for more. Satisfied. What a lovely and contented feeling! I have also found that I eat more slowly. Notably chewing each bite and savoring the texture as much as the flavor. In slowing down, I find that I am done when the food is gone and I do not feel the desire for a second portion.

My will power, having grown by leaps and bounds, now resists the temptation to lick the peanut butter or nutella off the knife when making my son’s lunch every morning. I no longer finish the apple I have sliced simply for because it is there, uneaten, unable to fit in his small lidded bowl that goes in his lunch box. I wash my hands rather than lick my fingers when creamy curry sauce which I am cooking finds its way onto my hands. You might think I am going a bit over board here, but I think it is the reset of a bad habit which had gotten out of hand. One taste leads to a bite, which leads to another, and another. Before I know it I have eaten a small plate before dinner is even served. Now, I am able to eat my full meal, guilt free, knowing I have not sabotaged my waistline for the sake of tasting.

Day 8 kicked off week 2 of the program. With it came new recipes, a new meditation, and a new workout. So far, the recipes I have tried have been delicious! The peanut butter balls are divine and go well with a cup of black coffee in the afternoon. The workout is challenging but not too difficult. I can feel my energy picking up and my waist whittling down. It’s a good day!

30 Day Cleanse Workout

Quickie Day 5

Today was a breeze. The fact that the meals now consist of more than a smoothie and there are snacks makes it easier to get through the day. I still don’t know how women who work outside the home are doing this. I have the luxury of making my breakfast at a reasonable hour and then doing the Pilates workout. My Vitamix makes the smoothies easy peezy too! Can’t imagine taking that to work with me. Let’s just say I am counting my blessings.

I am feeling like the 3 meals and 3 snacks is a bit much and worried I will regain the 4 lbs I lost. I am trying to trust the program and not get on the scale or alter the plan. I am looking forward to adding back more exercise as I am used to doing a bit more. Looks like next week includes a run. YAY!

Tonight’s dinner has sauteed Bok Choy and turkey bacon among other ingredients. I have never had Bok Choy, but the photo on the recipe looks pretty darn good. I am optimistic that I will like it.

Keep on truckin’ peeps!

30 Day Cleanse Workout

As Easy as it Was Hard

Today was Day 4 of the 30 Day Program and the first day that is not considered the cleanse. In some ways it was much easier. More food made it quite appealing to my stomach, mind and attitude. The plan consisted of morning elixir, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, Dinner, snack. Quite honestly it was too much food! After 3 days of so little, it seemed like over eating.

The difficult part had nothing to do with the food or the recipes, it had to do with my schedule. I had been very privalidged to be able to stay home for the 3 Day cleanse. This made timing of tea, water and smoothie drinking, not to mention the hundreds of trips to the bathroom, very doable. Today however, I had a 3.5 hour real estate training class to attend during what would be snack and lunch. Then between our son’s soccer practice and an open house tour of the middle school our son will most likely attend in the evening, we were left with about 30 minutes to cram in some dinner.

As we entered the real estate class we were greeted by 3 long tables full of bagels, cream cheese, danish pastries, fresh fruit, and coffee and tea service. I glanced and smiled. I had tucked my allowed two hard boiled eggs in my bag and brought my allowed mug of tea, with the plan to refill my tea at a break. I was proud of myself to say the least.

I had eaten my breakfast, had my snack midway through the class and yet, I found myself growing quite tired as the class went on. It wasn’t boring. I have heard the speaker before and really like her delivery, as well as the subject matter. The State of the Market. This particular woman makes predictions each year and is historically 98% accurate. She is educated as much as opinionated. I think it was sitting sedentary for so long after the 3 day detox that was getting to me.

After the class finished up I dashed home and was supposed to make my lunch. Knowing the evening we had in store I chose a quick 55 minute nap instead. I slept like a log! Woke up to an alarm and dashed downstairs to make my grated beet and feta cheese wrap. It was DELICIOUS! No pics today, sorry.

After driving my son to practice I came home to get dinner prepared for us all. Leftovers from the freezer for my husband who is not participating in this challenge, grilled cheese and fruit for my son and I elected for a smoothie as I didn’t have time to make the bokchoy salad with turkey bacon. I plan on making that tomorrow evening instead.

After the open house we came home and got our son doing his homework. I dished him up a promised bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce and then made myself the allowed evening snack. A small smoothie. It was wonderful. I love the variety of smoothies this program has had. Danette May knows what she is doing.

Many in the group are putting away the scales and will not weigh in until day 31. I am on the fence. I may join them, or I may do a 2 week weigh in and then a final weigh in. I’ll keep you posted. Future posts will be a quick check in now that the detox is over.