Dehydration leads to poor fitness and even life threatening changes in the body

Our physical therapist/trainer, Julie Yunaska explains:

water-fatigue-400x400Dehydration is defined as an inadequate amount of fluid in the body and is a serious health condition that has been reported to effect 75% of people in our country. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, low urine output, weakness, dizziness, and inability to produce
tears. The implications of dehydration on overall muscle activity with exercise can be significant and lead to poor fitness performance and even life threatening changes in the body.

It has been reported that muscle function can be impaired when an individual is dehydrated as little as a 2% of their body weight and that fluid loss in excess of 5% of body weight can decrease the body’s efficiency by as much as 30%. Unfortunately, the majority of people who exercise, especially high endurance athletes, only replace 50% of sweat loss during exercise which leads to significant fluid deficits in the body.

Adequate water intake helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract. Good hydration helps maintain adequate blood flow/volume in the body during exercise. Dehydration will result in decreased blood flow (ie. oxygen) to the muscles which leads to early fatigue and decreased overall performance. Decreased blood volume can also result in muscle spasm, which is often described as “muscle cramps”. More importantly, low blood volume can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure which can lead to serious systemic changes in the body requiring immediate medical attention. Inadequate hydration can also result in decreased heat dissipation and increased core temperature of the body. A persons ability to tolerate heat is impaired when dehydrated. Proper hydration helps keep the body cool during exercise. If the core temperature elevates too quickly which is common when we are dehydrated, we experience fatigue much earlier in our workouts which can impact our overall tolerance to and performance with physical activity.

As a pelvic floor Physical therapist, I feel it is important to understand the effects of dehydration on bowel and bladder function as well. Lack of adequate hydration can often lead to constipation. When the body in general receives too little water, it naturally begins to siphon water from other sources, including the colon. This results in constipation which can interfere with exercise tolerance due to discomfort/pain. Dehydration also can lead to more concentrated urine in the bladder (ie. urine often appears darker in color). Concentrated urine can be irritating to our bladders and therefore, can be the culprit in an increased need to go to the bathroom (urge/frequency). This is not normal and can significantly interfere with a persons ability to tolerate their full exercise program. (It should be noted that bowel/bladder changes can have many different causes and should always be properly evaluated by a health care provider.)

It is recommended that we drink 1/2 oz of water for every one pound of body weight per day to stay properly hydrated. It is suggested that active individuals hydrate on a schedule because most underestimate the amount of fluid they need. So let’s be the other 25%……..and HYDRATE!!!

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Our 6-week Weight Loss Program is here!

We have been helping women lose weight and live healthier lives for several years, and now we’re making it even easier for women to reach their goals with our new comprehensive 6-week weight loss program.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom for an introductory offer!

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The Wholistic Women’s Weight Loss Program™ is a 6 week immersion program that guarantees results by addressing the two key components that all other weight loss programs lack and what’s necessary for healthy, sustainable weight loss - the mind and body.

Space is limited to a very small number of women per program so please register early to guarantee a spot. If the program is full please call the center and we will put your name on a waitlist and notify you if a spot becomes available.

The program fee is nonrefundable two weeks prior to the start date. Please call the center at 267-613-8246 if you would like more information or have any additional questions about our program. A program coordinator will contact you prior to your start date.

Insurance companies may or may not reimburse you for portions of this program. We can provide invoices for you to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.

Visit our website to stay up to date with the latest information on the program!

Upcoming 6 Week Program Dates: 

May 17th – June 21st

Workout dates:

Tuesdays and Thursdays 6AM

Group Meetings with dietitian and licensed therapist dates:

Saturdays 11AM-1PM (May 17th, May 24th, June 7th, June 21st )

**INTRODUCTORY OFFER**
$50 off if you register before May 1st using the code “READYTOLOSE” at checkout.

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Kristen G., lost 19lbs, finally sleeps through the night and cures heartburn with personal training and the cleanse

There is nothing that we love more than hearing about our clients’ amazing progress! Another incredible healthy weight loss testimonial: Kristen G loses an astonishing 19lbs, finally sleeps through the night and cures her heartburn with personal training and the … Continue reading

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Acupressure for Headaches

Here’s the next installment from our video series with our practitioners! Ever have a headache that you just can’t kick? Or just want another way to soothe it rather than popping an Ibuprofen? Try this little tip from our acupuncturist, … Continue reading

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DID YOU KNOW…

This gallery contains 1 photo.

… that about 9.2 million women in our country have pelvic floor dysfunction but don’t know about it because it has not been properly diagnosed? … childbirth, bearing down on the pelvic floor muscles in daily life, chron…ic coughing or … Continue reading

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2014 Montco’s Happening List Results!

We were so happy to find out today that Wholistic Fitness was voted the WINNER in the 2014 Montco’s Happening List’s “Beauty & Wellness – Trainer” category! And we were also a FINALIST in the “Beauty & Wellness – Nutrition” category! We couldn’t be more proud of our staff.

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montco-2014-finalist-badge

Thanks so much to everyone for your support and votes! We truly appreciate it!

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Body Image

We’re so excited to introduce our new video series to you all! Our practitioners will be sharing some of their best advice, tips, and suggestions for overall wellness in short 1-2 minute long videos. We hope you enjoy them and please let us know if there are any topics that you’d like us to cover!

Our first video is brought to you by our staff psychologist, Dr. Christine Marston, and discusses body image and the importance of connecting with and having a positive relationship with your body. Feeling good about yourself and taking better care of yourself never comes from a place of body hatred.

Do you find yourself struggling with maintaining a positive body image? Who’s going to take this step in practicing this little tip for appreciating our bodies and moving towards self acceptance with us?

 

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Vagina Monogblog: Leaky Faucet in your pants?

incontinence_cartoonClassificatin of urinary incontinence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it, ladies.  It’s one of those unmentionable topics you probably won’t hear us talking openly about over coffee, in grocery store lines, or at Book Club.  It’s inconvenient, stressful and often embarrassing.  Those affected may cringe at the thought of coughing, sneezing, or laughing in public.  Others may seek out their favorite department store based on bathroom accessibility rather than latest fashion apparel.  And some avoid that favorite kickboxing class everyone talks about for fear of losing bladder control with that first lunge or jump.  Yes, we are talking about URINARY INCONTINENCE, a condition that affects 26% of women between 18-59 years old and is the culprit of activity restriction for millions of women in our country every day.  Though common, urinary incontinence is NOT normal and everyday we are learning more about what can be done to help improve bladder function.

Most of us probably have a pretty good understanding of the symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI).  By definition, UI is the involuntary loss of urine accompanied by a strong desire to void (URGE INCONTINENCE ) or with physical exertion (STRESS INCONTINENCE).  Less formally, it is described as “I pee when I sneeze”, “I feel like I always have to RUN to the bathroom” or “I’d feel more rested if I didn’t have to get up to go so much in the middle of the night”.  UI is often caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles or in some cases, abnormal tightness of these same muscles.  Pregnancy can certainly contribute to changes in these muscles, but so can menopause, abdominal surgery, sport-specific activities, and age. It is important to determine the cause of UI in order to set up the right treatment approach. Pelvic floor physical therapists are trained to evaluate the strength of these muscles and along with your referring doctor, come of with a treatment plan specific to YOUR body and YOUR needs that can help improve the quality of YOUR life!

So, what exactly is the “treatment plan” for UI? Each plan is unique and individualized for each patient.  It may include pelvic floor strengthening exercises (yes, I know EVERYONE has heard of Kegels but are you performing them correctly? Should you be performing them at all?), biofeedback training (for strengthening, coordination and endurance of muscles) and bladder modification activities (bladder irritant education, bladder diary) to maximize good bladder habits and promote fitness..  The good news is that conservative care such as pelvic floor physical therapy has been proven effective in reducing episodes of incontinence and helping women return to a healthier and more active lifestyle!

In closing, I give you a few “do’s and don’ts” for optimal bladder fitness!

DO                                                           DON’T

1. Urinate 5-7x/day                      1. “JIC” -“ Just In Case” pee

2. SIT on toilet to pee                   2. “Hover” on toilet to urinate

3. Drink enough water                   3. Push or strain to empty bladder                                      (32-64oz/day)

If you have concerns regarding your own bladder health or habits, don’t hesitate to contact our women’s physical therapy specialists for more information and details about treatment! Call 267-613-8246 or visit http://wholisticfitnessonline.com/physical-therapy.php

 

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Audrey Cleanses, Part 7 – Cleanse Complete!

Wow. Just WOW. When I first started this Cleanse, this blog post felt SO far away. I can’t believe 21 days are over! But we’ve come to the end of the road. *Cue Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”* (Fun Aud Fact #253: My first CD purchase was Boyz II Men’s II Album) 

Week 3 was the big push to the end. The Cleanse regimen is no different than where we left off from Week 2. It was just a matter of following through the program and keeping up with the new habits and routine that I’d been doing the previous two weeks. I’ll admit that I was super antsy on the last few days and ready for the end. I may have even uttered the words “I’m so over this Cleanse.” a couple many times.  I just wanted to go back to “normal.” I needed an attitude adjustment.

You know what can instantly change this nerd’s attitude? Numbers. They don’t lie. I always say that you can’t argue data.

The first question that I usually get asked about the Cleanse is “Have you lost a lot of weight?” And my final total weight lost was  *drum roll* 10 lbs. I saw numbers on my scale that I haven’t seen in YEARS. That plateau that I had hit for months (despite working out multiple times a week) was overcome and is way behind me now.

I also asked my trainer, Kate, to take measurements body measurements pre- and post-Cleanse. Well, they were technically Day 20 measurements, but I doubt my body would drastically change in another day so I think they’re a reasonable comparison anyways. Here are some results:

  • Chest: -2.25″
  • Upper arm: -1.0″
  • Waist: -0.75″
  • Hips: -1.5″
  • Thigh: -0.5″
  • Belly: -3.5″

Assuming that each thigh and arm lost the same amount, that is a total of  11 inches lost in 21 days! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the numbers Kate was writing down. I’m sure I can tell myself that if I worked out more, had less rice, didn’t add protein on Days 11-21, there would be more pounds and inches lost. But you know what? I’m going to stop that thinking for once and just be proud of the progress I did make! I’m really happy!

So how about things that can’t be measured? How am I feeling? Here are some of the areas where I felt the most differences.

Energy Levels & Sleep Patterns
- Pre-cleanse: It was always really hard for me to get a good night’s sleep, which of course just starts a horrible cycle. Then I’d wake up and still be exhausted, need caffeine to wake me up, get a burst of energy, and then crash a couple of hours later. I used to be sluggish in the middle of the day, especially right after lunch. There used to be times when I worked in an office where I felt like I just wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day. And I always got soooo tired on my commute home, which always made me nervous since I was driving 40 miles each way. So dangerous to be tired and driving on the highway!

- Now: It’s easier to fall asleep and STAY asleep! Less tossing and turning. I woke up with energy and I had plenty of energy throughout the day. I didn’t feel like I was on a roller coaster with ups and downs. I felt great ALL day.

Moods

- Pre-cleanse: I consider myself a pretty laid back person for the most part. But I will say that if I am tired or feeling hungry, I can be grumpy just like anyone would expect under those conditions. I’m an emotional person, and during certain times of the month, I will go from crying happy tears for some stranger winning $100,000 on a game show (seriously, it’s happened) to bawling over the silliest thing like not being able to find my keys (also happened) in no time.

- Now: While on the cleanse, I felt less hormonal as if the hormones had come to a happy healthy balance. I asked my hubby for his take on this, haha. He said that after Day 5, my moods were great and I was pretty even keeled. (Again, no gun was held to his head. ;))

Focus and Clarity

- Pre-Cleanse: I used to always say that I’m a good “multi-tasker” and I think part of that is that my attention span is short and I’m easily distracted. Kind of like that dog in the movie Up – SQUIRREL! So I’m always jumping from one thing to another with no rhyme or reason.

doug-up

- Now: I felt like I had superhero strength and my super power was laser sharp focus. I felt really productive after Day 5 and I could for once sit down, concentrate, and methodically get through my to-do list by finishing one task at a time. It was so good to not feel frantic and disorganized. Makes for a less stressful day that’s for sure!

Physical Effects 
Pre-Cleanse: I’ve always had some physical effects that I assumed were due to diet, but just lived with as if they were normal. I would get headaches every few days that were just unbearable. I often had itchy skin. My nose was constantly stuffy and my sinuses often hurt – I would always attribute that to seasonal allergies which just happen to be around EVERY season. I also had occasional bloating and abdominal discomfort.

- Now: Other than the one wicked headache on Day 3, I haven’t had a headache or needed to pop the Ibuprofen for the duration of the Cleanse. My skin was less itchy. The stuffiness and post nasal drip were significantly reduced. There was practically no bloating and I had no problems with abdominal pain at all.

Mind

Pre-Cleanse: Often “too busy” to plan or think through my diet choices. Healthy eating was not a priority. Didn’t understand why I made the choices I did.

- Now: I really think that not only was my body cleansed, but so was my mind. I really got the opportunity to examine some of the reasons why I was driven to overeat or emotionally eat (stress, anxiety, etc). These past three weeks let me take a step back, assess my behaviors, and really focus on changing them. Every food decision I made was deliberate and thought out. I was able to practice what I learned from my WF “Dream Team” about being mindful. It’s been a good mantra for my life. I even wear it on a bracelet so I remember it daily. It was something I always knew, but was inconsistent in practicing. Now I feel like I’m actually really living it wholeheartedly.

be mindful  Be Mindful. Tree of Life symbolizing wisdom, protection, beauty, abundance, and strength.

So after seeing the before and afters of these aspects, it’s really hard for me to say that I want to go back to “normal”. Do I want to go back to being unfocused, moody, tired, having headaches, sniffly, and acting mindlessly? Nope! I do plan on keeping a lot of the habits and lifestyle from this point going forward. I will allow myself to enjoy some of the non-Cleanse foods in moderation from time to time, but primarily continue what I’ve learned.  I think it’s time for a new “normal”. :)

Thanks so much to everyone for following along on this blog series! It was so nice to receive the encouragement from those of you who have come into the center saying that you’ve enjoyed reading this. I wouldn’t have made it through the 3 weeks wihtout it. I also hope in doing this that I would be able to help other women in some way – whether it encouraged you to come in to Wholistic Fitness to meet with a practitioner, made you more mindful of your own behaviors, maybe even encouraged you to try the Cleanse on your own, provided you with a new dinner recipe, or at least gave you a laugh with my silly jokes. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read. :)

Until the next blogventure,
-Aud :)

Here are a couple of recipes I tried on Week 3!

No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 235 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 23 g • Sugar: 4 g • Cholesterol: 81 mg • Sodium: 578 mg (without salt)
paleo-turkey-and-sweet-potato-chili
Ingredients:

20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10 oz can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
8 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and cumin. When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve.

We usually make a turkey chili recipe that includes beans, but we didn’t miss those at all in this recipe. The addition of sweet potatoes was very nice as well! This was a perfect meal for a cold, snowy, winter night!

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup free range chicken broth
2 tsp. arrowroot (corn starch post purification)
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. butter

Preheat broiler. Brush broiler pan with small amount of olive oil. Season both sides of chicken with thyme, pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt. Place chicken on broiler pay about 2-3 inches from the heat for 5 minutes per side (or until 160 degrees at the thickest part). Remove from broiler and keep warm. Heat a large skillet, lightly oiled, over medium heat.

Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and cook for 3 minutes. Place tomatoes on platter with chicken. Combine corn starch and broth in a cup. Stir until dissolved. If on purification, reduce broth to glaze on stovetop. In the same skillet, whisk together the corn starch mixture, lemon peel, and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Cook one minute or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add butter and any juice collected on platter and boil while stirring constantly. Cook until butter is just melted and sauce thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve. 35 minutes preparation time. Makes 4 servings.

This recipe was really simple to make and quite tasty. We’ll definitely be keeping this one in our recipe arsenal to use after the Cleanse is over.

Grilled Steak Fajitas
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes grilled-steak-fajitas
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 fajitas (3 oz meat total + onions, peppers + 2 tortillas) Sodium: 487.6 mg (without adding salt) • Calories: 297.8 • Fat: 13.1 g • Protein: 28.9 g • Carb: 30.4 g • Fiber: 16.1 g • Sugar: 1.7 g

For the Steak

2 lbs flank steak, trimmed of fat
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp cumin (or to taste)
2 scallions, sliced (optional)
salt + fresh pepper to taste

 For the Onions and Peppers

3 medium onions, sliced into long strips
3 bell peppers (I used multi-colors), sliced into strips
1 tbsp olive oil
salt + fresh pepper to taste

Season the steak a few hours ahead. Pierce steak with a fork all over to tenderize. Season steak with cumin, garlic, scallions, salt and pepper. Allow steak torest at room tempurature at least 10 minutes before grilling. n a large grill-safe pan such as a clay Chamba or cast iron skillet combine onions, peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place on the BBQ and cook on medium-low heat, tossing occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes. This could also be cooked inside on the stove as well.When the onions and peppers are done, set aside to keep warm on the top rack of your grill; raise the flame of the grill to high flame. Discard scallion and sear steak 4-6 minutes without moving, turn the steak over and cook a few more minutes until rare or medium rare (well done will be too tough). Remove from grill and let it rest a few minutes before cutting.

Cut meat into small cubes and combine with the cooked onions and peppers andserve with tortillas, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

I love Mexican food so this recipe was a great one for me! I had my serving over brown rice, while my hubby had them in flour tortillas.

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Audrey Cleanses, Part 6: Week 2 (Days 8-14)

2 down, 1 to go! How has it already been two whole weeks?

In my head I’ve been equating this cleanse to a 5K race. Whenever I run (and please, let’s use that term loosely very loosely) a race, the 1st mile is the slowest and most difficult as my body gets used to the running and warms up, the 3rd mile is the big push to the end, and the 2nd… is the head game. Usually that middle section of the race is where my head says “Oh yeah, we got this! Wait, no we don’t! C’mon, don’t stop now you’ve already done a mile. Nooo… I really want to walk a little. The finish is getting close!  Where the heck is that 2 mile marker already?!

That’s kind of what this second week has been for me. So many highs, but a lot of little lows nagging me in the back of my head. We’ll get to those in a bit, but for the record, I haven’t cheated or quit yet and I’m pretty proud of that!

What does week two of the Cleanse look like in terms of the regimen? Just like week 1, you drink 2 shakes a day (or more if you’d like). The SP Cleanse pills are finished and you’re onto 5 SP Green Food pills twice a day instead. Yay! I’m all for swallowing half the number of pills this week! The huge change in week 2 though is that on Day 11, you can add lean proteins back into your diet. Some people choose to continue on the all veggie regimen, but for me it was like…

million angels(Aud Fact #124: If you are a Tina Fey or 30 Rock fan, we can be instant besties.)

Back to business… for lean proteins you’re allowed two to four servings a day with 1 or 2 of those being fish. Meat should be broiled, baked, roasted or poached. No cured, smoked, or lunch meat should be eaten. The guidelines for fish are that they should be deep-sea fish (e.g salmon, cod, or sea bass) and not farm raised. Lean red meats examples are grass-fed beef and venison. For poultry, you want to stick to organic, free range, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free (if possible).

So you’re wondering about the highs and lows that I mentioned earlier. Here they are… let’s start with the lows, which aren’t really super low.

1)  Winter blues. This weather! Monday, we were cooped up in the house due to the 8″ of snow that came down.  We were lucky enough to have our power on the whole time, but our furnace blew out. So I was cold and stressed and stir crazy. Talk about a time when you just want some comfort food! But I was one of the lucky few Cleansers who was still able to use my blender, so I stuck with the plan!

2) Routine, Boredom & Frustration. Being limited in your food choices was making me antsy which is why I was so excited for Day 11 when I could have a little bit more flexibility. I enjoy the meals I’ve been eating, don’t get me wrong! But I’m not super creative with coming up with my own recipes and not crazy adventurous in trying new things so I tend to stick with stuff that I know I’ll enjoy. And after 2 weeks straight of just those few things, my palate was getting a little tired of eating the same thing over and over. I found myself missing things that I used to have. (I just want a spoonful of Peanut Butter!)

3) That darn scale. Since everyone is always curious about this aspect of the Cleanse… After seeing pounds coming off during week 1 so rapidly, the weight loss slowed down this week and I haven’t seen much movement in that area. Remember when I said that the scale should go into hiding? I’m taking that advice. See that’s the thing about that silly apparatus. It has a way of stopping me dead in my tracks and talking me out of feeling proud of my progress. One silly number that can fluctuate so much in a day. It’s just one indicator of the state of your body, and it’s not always reliable. And I knew full well that week two would be less weight loss, but I guess when I’m already in the Mile 2 head game doubting my ability to make it through the Cleanse, that did not help.

So those were the lows. Not really all that bad, right? Mostly me just being whiny, really. :)

The highs are much better, I think!

1) In your face, scale!  Despite the ongoing battle with the scale, I did see a number flash across there one day that I haven’t seen in oh, 10 years? That felt amazing. And clothes that were feeling a little tight right after the holidays now fit much better. So pfffbbbttt to you, scale. The changes aren’t entirely seen on you, but I’m seeing them elsewhere no matter what you say!

50746162) Like Tony the Tiger, I feel grrrrrreat!!  I love that whenever people ask me how I am feeling, I can honestly say that I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time! The quality of my sleep is better. I have more energy during the day than I used to. That afternoon slump that used to come along is no longer. I feel hyper focused and less distracted. I feel like I have more control and am at peace and less moody. I’m energetic and overall just feeling more alive!

3) Awareness and education I am a true nerd in that whenever I commit to something, I must read and learn about as much about the topic as possible in my free time.  So I am learning oodles and oodles about clean eating and nutrition. I’m not perfect and of course will make mistakes, but habits are improving and I feel like I’m growing in this aspect of my life.  Being in a situation where you are limited in your choices makes you resourceful. It’s eye opening really! Here’s an example. My grocery store trips are taking a little longer than normal because my nose is stuck in the labels! :) I used to take for granted what I put in my cart before and now everything that gets picked is deliberate. (There’s my favorite theme again… slowing down and being mindful!) You’d be surprised at how many ingredients and chemicals can hide in the food that you buy, even if it is marked “organic”.  Stuff gets hidden, people! Some organic foods will show “yeast extract” in their ingredients which is just a clever way to say “MSG”. Thanks to personal trainer, Kate, for this tip!

4) I have a lot of support. My husband said to me that he was actually pretty proud of me doing this cleanse. And no, I didn’t have a gun to his head. It came unsolicited. :) And I was able to go out on two separate occasions with two different sets of friends and everyone was supportive of my choice to do this program and didn’t make fun of me for eating like a rabbit. It also goes without saying that the WF ladies have been all around amazing and always there when I need them. They are constant role models and wonderful teachers and advisers when it comes to nutrition and health. So thank you to everyone for the encouragement. It is the highest of highs. You know why? Because it really makes me feel like I will be able to maintain these lifestyle changes after I’m done with the third week. My closest friends and family understand how important it is to me and won’t let me sabotage myself. That support network will be my rock for achieving long term goals.

Here we go… one last leg to go. Hopefully the end of this will feel as good as the end of a race! And as with all the races I do, I’m not competing against anyone else other than myself and just going for my own personal best. Does the purification kit come with a finisher medal? ;)

See you all at the finish line!
-Aud

Here are a couple of the recipes from Week 2! We didn’t get to try many new ones since these made large batches. Sorry for the so many soup recipes, but they are perfect for cold winter nights!

Vegetable Soup
Courtesy of the great Martha Stewart veggie soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes, and zucchini (cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add vegetables to pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool before storing.

For this recipe, I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in my soup. This recipe was perfect for the snowy night that we had it. It was hearty and had the warmth that we needed!

Butternut Squash Soup
(from Cooking Light)0811p170-butternut-soup-l

Ingredients
4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons (1-inch) slices fresh chives
Cracked black pepper (optional) 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 10 minutes. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.
For this recipe, I left out the ginger because I often find even just a little bit to be too strong for me. I loved the flavor of this soup and it had a rich velvety texture.

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
(modified from Skinny Taste)Turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps

Ingredients: 

1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey 
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp cumin 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp paprika 
1/2 tsp oregano 
1/2 small onion, minced 
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced 
3/4 cup water 
4 oz can tomato sauce 
8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce

Directions: 
Brown turkey in a large skillet. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of leaf and top with tomatoes, cheese and salsa or whatever you prefer.

I really, really enjoyed this recipe and was so happy there were leftovers! I put guacamole and tomatoes on top of my lettuce wraps. And non-Cleansers in your household could also throw on some sour cream and cheese! Win win all around.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(Adapted from Rachael Ray)Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.34.25 AM

Ingredients
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 stick butter
1 banana, sliced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and reserve. Return the pot to the stove top over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot. Cook bananas 5 minutes and add the juice of 1 orange to the pot, reserve the zest. Allow the juice to cook out, 1 minute. Add potatoes to the pot and the stock and sugar. Mash potatoes, banana, and stock together until well combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest, to your taste. Mash to combine spices and serve.

I made this as a little side dish or also had it as a mid-afternoon snack to get a few carbs in me. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar, but I left that out and didn’t miss the sweetness. The banana was enough to sweeten the recipe up just fine, in fact it probably didn’t even need that.

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