Recap of Day 14: I am in love! With cupping that is. Holy moses, no one ever told me how amazing this ancient technique is. I went in for acupuncture and I ended up getting both done. I didn't know what to expect so I was way more in my body than in my head. I felt an energetic shift come over me. Be warned though, you will end up with giant hickeys all over your back, but I didn't care! They don't hurt and I don't even know they are there. I have never in my life felt the "energy" physically sucked out of me until now. This is definitely a new treatment I am adding to my toolbox of health.
Day 15: Saturday has arrived and I am thrilled. Today I am running off to yoga in the AM before the kiddos stir too much. I haven't been in so long that I am excited to finally have some energy to go back. Yoga has always felt like ice cream for my soul. Then late this afternoon I am getting a massage. If I was reading this, I would think "how does this woman afford all of this?". When you used to pay $1,450 for insurance a month and decide to go rogue and take your health in your own hands these treatments do not even add up to the monthly premium, copays and "non-approved" insurance treatments. In turn my kids get a much healthier mama that is able to care for them, while doing it with a smile on.
Fact: Cupping is an ancient technique used as early back as 300 AD. Many Chinese medicine practitioners still use this technique to help enhance circulation, relieve pain and pull out the toxins. More importantly for people dealing with autoimmune issues, it is believed that by causing localized inflammation, cupping triggers cytokine production that influence your immune system response. Here's a great post to learn more about cupping.
If you are interested in trying this technique out, reach out to College Park Acupuncture.
Recap of Day 13: Warning, don't go anywhere that has food trucks nearby. That's my only lesson from yesterday!
Day 14: It's Friday and I have a session with a new acupuncturist today. I can't wait. In terms of the cleanse...I am also finding smoothies are my go to "life saver". For someone who didn't consume fruit much for the last 4 years, I have to say it's a time saver, yummy and kinda feels like I am cheating. Hello...welcome to the party Amanda. If that's me shaking it up and getting "wild and crazy", I guess I just like to live on the wild side. But seriously, this cleanse is showing me how safe I play life. I am so scared to do anything wrong in fear of the repercussions to my health or status. Time to live life on a different vibration.
Fact: Smoothies give you the the soluble fiber needed to help slow down digestion and can help keep you regular, control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Your body has to work to process a smoothie and absorb the nutrients and benefits, but it will give you that full feeling you are looking for. Cold-pressed juices give you the in-soluable fiber you need. Your body is able to absorb the nutrients from a cold-pressed juice much quicker (often as quickly as 10 minutes) than a smoothie because it has no "hard work" to do. Both have amazing benefits and both should be consumed often.
Recap of Day 12: Infrared treatment and passed out by 8pm on the couch. Not much to report other than a day of rest and little commitments. We all deserve a day like that here and there. Why don't we give ourselves permission to take a personal day from work? When I was working full-time and I never took days just for myself. If only I knew then what I know now.
Day 13: 16 days left. I am totally counting. This cleanse is easy in the scheme of life, but I have to say cooking for my family has become harder. Their food is looking so good to me right now. What is also hard is the awareness of wanting to put food into my mouth. I cook something, I sample it. I cut something up for the kids, I automatically pop a little piece into my mouth. It's interesting to see how habits are very strong and yet we are so unaware of them until we shake things up. It also makes me wonder what else am I so unaware of? Oy!
Fact: The basil ganglia is the part of the brain that deals with habits. This NPR report explains habits are formed and how we can break them. "Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.".
Recap of Day 11: Expectations are a bitch! This is where I had an aha! moment yesterday. Now stay with me. Everyone says that our illnesses or issues (whether they be physical, mental or emotional) are a manifestation of energy (thoughts, words, fears, etc...). Well, I have definitely had my share of fears over the years. Yesterday I was having "HUGE" expectations of different situations: myself, people in my life and things. Which is connected to fear of things NOT working out. I was feeling myself totally exhausted and consumed with my expectations that "X" needed to take place or happen. Which either never did or didn't work out the way I thought it should. I finally was so stressed out that I meditated and somehow by a miracle I completely blissed out (that's only happened a few times for me).
Of course, I always feel good after a meditation, but yesterday was different. It was only for a few seconds, but it was real for me. It was then I felt a shift or maybe as my friend calls it...a download or upgrade to my model. Then throughout the day I truly had the patience I had hoped for. I was still having expectations though, but it finally last night it hit me...If I released all my expectations and just went with it...I could heal myself. I literally could feel the cords I was juggling being cut (my total control issues - having an expectation of how things should be). The second I released this...I released whole lot of shit. I don't want anyone to expect anything from me...why in the hell would anyone or anything feel any different about my expectations of them. BINGO...freedom of a new sort. And for anyone (including myself) who I ever had any sort of expectation...I am forever sorry!
Day 12: Now today's intention is to have no expectations and just be. I have such a visual mind that I often can visual things how "could" happen. Example, I imagine every morning with my cup of celery juice waiting for me. However, I woke up this morning and forgot my celery juice at the shop. So now what? I made myself a cup of hot water and lemon. "Go with the damn flow Amanda!!! You won't die from things being "shaken up" a bit." And here I go...
Fact: How does clarity come from a cleanse of any sort? I am still searching for more scientific papers, but came across this absolutely fascinating article on how the brain actually detoxes itself, I will keep digging... But until then here's another great read from the Huffington Post on the benefits which lightly touches on this fact: "Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning."
Recap of Day 10: I ate often, drank often and wham I had an all around "no fatigue" day. It's what I seek and dream about the most. I even remembered someone's name that my husband (who never forgets a thing usually) couldn't remember! That's a total win for me! I also picked up my house too and I think my husband came home and almost fell over with shock. Having an organized home helps me think clearer for sure.
I am reminded our lifestyle and actions impact our kids. I try to be conscious of my what energy I bring into the house, but it can be hard sometimes. Yesterday I got home to a drawing by my daughter from a Martin Luther King Day "I have a dream" assignment that depicted her future family (multi-cultural I might add) and said her dream was to be a Mom. Of course I melted. My mini me was also so excited over my avocados that she requested homemade guacamole for dinner! Win Win all around.
Day 11: I fell asleep and woke up to a heavy chest but thankfully it's loose. That's rare for my body. I keep envisioning each symptom has to present itself first to reverse itself. I am a huge believer in mind over matter. Speaking of which, today is an all day at the shop with the entire family, once school gets out. Patience is my intention for the day.
Fact: The benefits of avocados are bountiful. The Authority Nutrition breaks it down best. Just a few of the many benefits are: contains more potassium than a banana, reduces inflammation, loaded with soluble fiber, lowers cholesterol and blood triglycerides levels significantly.
Recap of Day 9: I didn't eat enough, worked hard and ended the day with double vision. Sometimes you have to push it to "see" the impact...ha...which makes the double vision a tad bit entertaining. And I know I will do it again (and again). This isn't my first rodeo with double vision. So the lesson is, just accept, be gentle and start over again tomorrow.
I have to add, working the farmer's market yesterday might have busted me up a little bit physically, but being around such amazing people energized me in other ways. Looking back on the past week I did learn one important lesson that I do not want to forget to mention. I realized I have everything I ever need "now". I am often in a place of "when" I am better, or when we accomplish this next goal. But I was driving home from Wholefoods in the morning and I thought about the Farmer's Market and that this vision we had actually came true. We can manifest what we truly want and if we don't "get it" - it's either because we think we don't deserve it or hopefully it's because we truly don't need or want it. I will go with the latter and take with me the ability to keep manifesting what I need and want. But right here and right now is pretty sweet and I have to embrace the journey more.
Day 10: Double vision is gone. Usually a good night's sleep cures it. 3 things I have gleaned from last week to help make it a successful "health" day ahead... Take it easy, don't take life too seriously and lastly prep, prep & more prep. Having the food ready to go helps make like so much easier. We do this at the shop for our customers, but doing it for myself is another thing. Isn't the cobbler's children always barefoot? Consuming a ton of good nutrients is important in the process of healing.
Fact: Double vision is often caused by something called optic neuritis. This is caused by intracranial increase in pressure. Mayo clinic states: "It's believed to develop when the immune system mistakenly targets the substance covering your optic nerve (myelin), resulting in inflammation and damage to the myelin." Thankfully this is often not permanent and can be reversed.
Recap of Day 8: "Do the things you enjoy" was my mantra yesterday. And I did just that. I had CranioSacral/Therapy work done in the morning (more info below), I ate avocados (not as exciting as I had hoped...will try again today) and went to the Wetlands with my family. Nature has the most healing powers over the human spirit. At the Wetlands you can feel the native american history on that land and the animals there remind you how simple life really should be: i.e. the sun is shining take advantage of it.
Now to get really personal, I actually had a little bloat last night and moments of the "she-she's" (figure that one out please). Thankfully there was no discomfort. My throat is also getting scratchy and my lungs are heavy...these are my trademark symptoms. So the goal now is to be aware of the "on-set" and keep it at bay.
Day 9: I am definitely bored with the cleanse. It's easy in terms of knowing what to eat, constructing the meal and having limited choices, but the flavors do get boring. At this point if I could do a smoothie the whole time I think I would, but do love me a good crunchy salad. I been trying to use Pinterest to find variations to things, but too lazy to actually implement them. I definitely need to be "sexy"ing up these meals. Here's to a week of bringing sexy back! Oy!
Fact: According to the Upledger Institute: "CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.". Thankfully I have the best therapist in town. Dr. Shelley's approach goes a little deeper than just hand healing...it's a little of talk therapy mixed in. The treatment is best described here "Your life experiences leave energy imprints in your body that create a library of your life journey. The combination of techniques that Dr. Shelley uses—psychotherapy, CranioSacral therapy, and energy healing—expedites the healing process and creates the opportunity for you to experience what Dr. Shelley calls a Cellular Shift." If you want a grasp of this cellular shift talk definitely purchase this book: Making the Cellular Shift. I often tell friends you can't believe it until you experience it for yourself...or until you see a child have it done. It's a life changer!
This is me after my treatment...even my dogs couldn't resist the good vibes.
Recap of Day 7: Ozone treatment (i.e. blood cleanse) is always such a treat for me. Sounds crazy, but having to sit in a chair for 2 hours, while my blood drains, is close enough to a spa visit where you are forced to do nothing but relax. While I was on heavy medications this treatment was the only thing that gave me a boost of energy for throughout the week. I would always shop at the WholeFoods immediately after treatment because I felt so good. I 100% believe in this holistic treatment and plan to continue it - not because I see results, but feel it them (my most important radar). With my new found energy and this confirmed energy booster I felt great all day! I will also admit I did fall asleep on the couch at 8pm, during the Trolls movie, but I'll take it.
Below are photos of my actual treatment yesterday:
First they use gravity to drain my blood.
Once the bag has been filled, they add 4 vials of Ozone to it. Looks just like "air" but that special air comes from an Ozone machine.
Then, the treatment nurse takes the bag and slowly with her hands moves it around for a few minutes making sure the Ozone is nicely mixed into the blood. Then they put it back up on the IV stand and let it drain back into your body. The blood drains out as a very dark and thick blood and once mixed turns the most amazing bright red (which photos cannot do it justice).
Day 8: Today the family is attempting to go biking at the Wetlands. It's our favorite place to appreciate Florida wildlife. With a little leg pain happening today (die off from yesterday's treatment) I am excited to see how I do. I also am nervous to fall back into my normal habits of overdoing myself when I get a single burst of energy. One of my mantras is to slow down. I have to use today as a test to enjoy the energy and also rest in between. Let's see how I do. I also have CranioSacral appointment today with one of the best in city. As people will start to learn, I am not a single approach gal. I want Mind, Body & Spirit healing approach...I believe with all three I am getting closer to my "freedom".
Most important about today...I get to start bringing avocados back into my diet. Whoever thought anyone would be so excited to see an avocado. The food part of the cleanse has not changed until today. Excited for a minor expansion.
Fact: Ozone (O3) is a molecule consisting of three atoms of oxygen. Best explained here: "Oxygen is the single most important nutrient for the body and your wellness. The body can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. Every cell of the body requires a continuous supply to generate energy, detoxify the body and maintain healthy cells. Any reduction in the availability of oxygen to the body, whether by poor posture and breathing, deoxygenated water and refined foods, smoking, lack of exercise, environmental pollution or exposure to carbon monoxide, reduces the optimal performance of these essential cellular functions. Ozone (O3) is activated oxygen (O2), and in a short period of time the O3 molecule will revert back to oxygen. During this short half life cycle, the O3 molecule can therefore be utilized for sanitation and sterilization purposes. Ozone inactivates viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus and protozoa."
Here are the Top 10 benefits to Ozone.
I get my treatment done at my doctor's office. I am thankful for their approach to mind, body and spirit. You can visit their site here: www.drkalidas.com. The office hosts free seminars every month and are always worthwhile to attend.
Recap of Day 6: Yesterday I was on auto pilot as predicted (which sometimes isn't so bad). I was also blessed by getting to see one of my best friend's newborn baby boy. Just watching him feed and feel so content in his mother's care was amazing to see. Even having your own children you forget that moment of birth and how natural everything falls into place. It was a reminder to trust in our instincts and keep listening to that voice that pushes us to do things that "feel good and safe".
Day 7: Woot Woot! I made it a week! Have I been perfect with the cleanse? No, like this morning I was running so behind I only had my celery juice. But cheating has not been had. I won't allow myself to cheat. This is the game of life. Not to get too serious, but I want to live! I want to enjoy moments being fully present and not feeling like "shit" (there's no better word for it). Today is Ozone treatment (more on that tomorrow) and my last chiropractor appointment after pulling my back out due to a sneeze (wish I had a better story for that one!). Not sure if Chiropractic work is "part of the elements" of healing me, but I am open to it as well. Thankfully there is NO BONE cracking at this place. I have to say I feel damn great after it too.
Fact: Everyone keeps talking about the spine being the highway of the body. I have even heard "highway to spirit" and "highway to health". On the Paleo Mom, she speaks to Dr. Keith Hassinger about the benefits and connection with healing Autoimmune disorders. He says "Scientifically, what has been shown are changes in different chemicals and cells in the body such; as an increase in immune molecules (Immunoglobulin, CD4 cells, etc.) and a decreases in stress hormones (i.e. cortisol). There are changes in these molecules because the adjustment stimulate signals to the brain. They stimulate what is called proprioceptive signals to the brain activating all different areas. These signals are actually required nutrients for the brain. Just like vegetables provide nutrients our body needs to function optimally, proprioceptive signals are requirements for the brain. When there are changes in these signals, different molecules are produced providing balance to the system and our bodies will function better especially when an autoimmune disease or syndrome is present."
Recap of Day 5: Emotional overload. They say cleansing brings up emotions...does it ever. Yesterday was compounded by personal stress: work and mom life collided. But I did 3 things that shifted it all...I jumped on the trampoline for 10 minutes. I wanted to die and after 2 minutes I checked my timer on my phone to see if it was almost over. But once I got into it, I thought "when and why did we start taking life so seriously?". I also tinkled my pants, but what kid (or Mom) doesn't? Then at lunch I sat outside with the sun shining on my face and listened to a flock of birds flying away. I immediately felt relaxed and grounded. And last night after the kids went to bed, I reconnected with my husband by realigning our life goals. Still on the same page, but it's good to circle back now and then. Who says a body cleanse doesn't cleanse the mind, body and spirit? I feel not only a physical shift but a mental one at that too!
Day 6: Drink, Eat & Repeat. Nothing new today other than just another day of the same thing.
Fact: Consistency is the key to success they say. Some find it boring. However, by doing something consistently gives you the ability to gauge if that "thing" you are trying is giving you the results you want. I love this article on the Power of Consistency: 5 Rules. Even though it's business focused article, it can be applied to any area of your life.