Purple Sea Moss

I’ve always heard of Irish moss, specifically in reference to the Irish moss drink that is popular in Caribbean countries, and its health benefits. But I’ve never heard of purple sea moss until some friends mentioned they were using it.

I’m learning among a number of things that this purple version is a lot healthier compared to most of the conventional tan colored moss that is being sold on the market.

So eager to try this purple version, I ordered and just received the other day my first batch of purple moss.

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When I opened the package it has a pleasant salt water smell. It literally smells like the sea, which indicates to me this is really natural. It’s my first time working with this moss or any form of Irish moss. I’m reading about people making gels, teas, mixing it with smoothies, etc. I’m in the middle of soaking my first batch right now.

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Having watched a bunch of videos with folks instructing you to rinse the moss multiple times to remove the salt its been preserved with. I’m glad to see I don’t have to take that step with this batch, as it has been dried naturally with no salt preservatives. I really hope this batch retains much of the purple color, but let’s see what happens.

Full body detox days 8-present

I realized I haven’t updated the progress of my detox in over a week.

Well for one, I still don’t have cravings for sweet foods, though I do occasionally snack on a few chips here and there. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m no longer strictly raw, I’m more focused on eating cleaner. Like today, I had a slice of salmon fillet with homemade vegetable fried rice I made from scratch using short grain brown sushi rice. Added some sliced mushrooms, green pepper, water chestnuts, and threw in a few pineapple chunks.

The last time I weighed myself a couple of days ago, I had lost close to 10 lbs. For me, that’s pretty good for primarily just watching my diet. I only imagine how much more I might have lost if I had also incorporated a regular exercise routine in my schedule. I’ve heard & seen videos of folks losing as much as 60 lbs on this program. As exciting as that sounds, I don’t think I could take that drastic of a change in 3 weeks.

I have about 4-5 days left on this program. Would I do this again, maybe. I didn’t want to detox then end up going back to what I was doing before so I’m more focused on maintenance. I’m still making up my mind about buying a dehydrator. If making kale chips and the like will keep me from buying potato chips, I may go ahead and take the plunge, lol

Full body detox, days 5-7

The last few days I can say I’ve noticed a decline in my cravings for sweets. During the beginning of the detox I bought 2 pints of Talenti brand ice cream, which I love, (’cause it was on sale at a great price) I haven’t had the temptation to break them open. Maybe I’ve broken my addiction to sugar, I’m not sure.

I also know that I’m not cut out for living a 100% raw foods diet. Dedication to living the raw food lifestyle also involves quite a lot of time spent prepping meals. I just don’t have that kind of time to spend in the kitchen every day. But I’m dedicated to eating a cleaner diet. I added brown rice back into my diet, though it’s cooked food. I was getting bored with eating nothing but raw rood recipes and I was concerned about eating too few calories and messing up my metabolism.

I’ve also been debating back and forth about possibly buying a dehydrator. I like chips, (banana, potato, kale, plantain) but going back to buying potato chips off the shelf I feel is no longer an option for me. I’ll know by the end of the detox if I’m willing to make that investment.

Full body detox days 3-4

In a nutshell, after two days of little activity, things started to pick up detox wise on the third day. Without being too graphic, let’s just say it was a pretty “moving” experience.

Tuesday I had the day off from work, so I started off the day with a workout at the gym. Decided to try a mango and avocado salad recipe that I found online for a post workout lunch. It combines two ingredients I really like and adding a bit of lime for dressing, it turned out well taste wise. Except that both the mango and avocado were a little overripe.

One thing I realized about this raw dieting…

It seems that a dehydrator is essential if raw foods are going to be a significant part of your diet. It’s kinda frustrating that most of the raw recipes I’ve found online require use of a dehydrator, which I don’t have. I wasn’t prepared for that reality, since the recipes are for things I love like chips & breads. Over the past couple of days, I’ve also developed an addiction to kale chips. I made a trip to a local market and found these two brands of chips on sale.

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The garlic & cheese kale chips were particularly good. A huge drawback though is these raw snacks and other packaged raw foods are EXPENSIVE!! Not sure yet, but a dehydrator may or may not be in my future. I could see myself making all kinds of chips; potato, plantain, banana, sweet potato, veggie chips, not to mention breads and crackers. Maybe, just maybe. Still thinking on that though.

I also came across this product in the vegetable section. It’s sea kelp noodles, which I’ve never seen, nor heard of before.

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I’m looking at the package and envisioning a way to have “raw” pasta, ’cause frankly I’m not feeling the thought of raw spaghetti squash and zucchini pasta. I opened the package and tasted one of the noodles. It’s bland with a crunchy texture. But, I did some googling online and found a post where someone was able to soften the noodles before prepping. Glory!!! Can’t wait to work with this and see how this turns out.

And because my sweet tooth kicked in, on a whim I blended some frozen peaches and coconut milk in my vitamix and made up this quick ice cream recipe.

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It’s as good as any store brand, without all the additives.

Full body detox day 2

I woke up with a little more energy this morning. Coincidental with starting this detox? Maybe, but then it’s only been one day.

Today’s breakfast was a random smoothie I blended together with peaches, strawberries and bananas. I do notice my appetite has declined a bit, I wasn’t able to finish the smoothie completely.

For lunch I decided to order a custom made salad from the cafeteria. Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers and almonds with vinaigrette dressing. One thing I’m learning is that it’s very easy to mess up on this program if you don’t prepare all your meals yourself. I wanted baby spinach as my base greens which they didn’t have. And I later realized that the almonds in my salad were toasted. Not beating myself up over it, but it would’ve been preferable to have them raw.

I worried about how I was gonna cope with a raw salad while one coworker brought chicken & rice and another a hamburger with sweet potato fries followed with custard pie for dessert. Halfway through the salad, I started to feel full, I followed up with some watermelon later.

Because I have a big sweet tooth, I found some easy to make recipes for raw desserts for those times when I would normally crave something like ice cream or a piece of cake. Yesterday I made a recipe that I found online for raw vegan brownies.

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and then I decided to be really adventurous and try out a raw pecan pie.

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the brownie and pecan pie crusts are nut based and both recipes use dates to replace the sugar as sweeteners. Flavor wise, they are both intense despite not using any flour, sugar, eggs or butter. Small pieces at a time are more than sufficient to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Dinner was simple and light. Some kale chips and a bowl of cherries. Two days down, didn’t think I’d make it this long, but so far so good.

Detox part 2

Since the first colonic a week ago, I’m starting to see a slow improvement. The therapist told me after my first session my colon was a little dehydrated and recommended I drink more water, use food combining techniques and start using 2 herbal treatment from Sundial herbs that I’ve heard of and even sampled before, but have never used in the past.

The first is a woodroot tonic which is a combination of various herbs used for energy. I drink 2 oz of that every morning. The taste is an acquired one to say the least, but I’ve gotten used to it. The second is Koromantee, a stomach and intestinal cleanser used at night. That stuff tastes horrid. Again I’ve gotten used to it. I get over it by just knocking back the tonic quickly like I’m drinking shots but still the taste…..leaves a lot to be desired. The combination after a couple of days got things moving to say the least, lol.

The food combining regimen is so far working out OK. Last time I tried it, I struggled terribly trying to keep from mixing proteins & starches. I’ve got it down to a routine of eating fruits or smoothies in the morning. I may have something light about an hour later if I still feel hungry. Lunchtime I alternate between having a protein meal or a starchy meal depending on how I’m feeling. As long as I bring my own lunch I’m fine. It’s when I have to depend on the cafeteria menu like I did the last couple of days is when I run into trouble. Fortunately yesterday I tried their portabello mushroom panini which I was surprised to find pretty delicious. I’ve been slacking on the exercise though, but lucky I haven’t gained any weight.

So this past sunday I went back for my second colonic. This time things went better and I was a lot more “productive”, lol The therapist said a rule of thumb is to subtract 5 from your current age and that’s how many sessions it takes to return your colon to it’s “normal” state. I’m not an old woman, but I’ll say for me, that’s a lot of colonics. I notice less of a desire for junk and processed foods. I still have a sweet tooth though, that I’m sure will never go away. Finished off the day with a couple of soy patties from the local Watkins health food store and a slice of vegan carrot cake that was to die for. As time goes on I slowly feel more energetic, maybe the spring weather and warming temperatures have something to do with it too.

The Detox

Has your body ever felt tired & sluggish? Like it’s not functioning optimally the way it should be? Or maybe even “toxic”? Well that’s how I was feeling the last couple of weeks. My stomach felt bloated & gassy and my energy levels were low.

Then one day while reading my twitter account, someone on my timeline inquired about colon hydrotherapy. After a brief exchange recounting my previous experiences with colonics, I decided to revisit the idea to give my body a jumpstart to better health.

The previous spa I went to was nice, but I wanted something closer to home so after some research online, I found a place called Siva Rose in Harlem. Most places are usually booked well in advanced, so I was pleased to have called on a friday and was able to book an appt. for the following sunday.

I followed her instructions for preparation, last meal 2 hours before appt and no water within 1 hour. I arrived and met with Mary-Rose, the woman who would be my colon hydrotherapist. We have a brief chat, going over the assessment form I filled out prior to coming; and about my goals and expectations from the procedure. I wanted to alleviate the constant bloating, constipation & gas I was having. To rid myself of accumulated waste & toxins, and if weight loss results from all of that, I’ll accept it as well, LOL

From there, we headed into the treatment room. The therapist explained she uses the Woods Gravity Method for the procedure, which is explained in detail on other sites. But basically, it uses gravity to allow water to flow into the colon, stimulating it to release accumulated waste matter via the body’s own peristalsis. Other methods of colon hydrotherapy exist that use machines to do the work of the colon, but the Woods method is considered by many colon hydrotherapists to be superior. Between the series of fills and releases of water, Mary-Rose did lots of abdominal massaging to further stimulate the colon to release waste. Initially, while I was lying on my side, then while on my back. Having had colonics before, I knew there wouldn’t be any pain associated with the procedure. The only discomfort was insertion of the speculum, which was quite brief.

After the 1 hour session, Mary-Rose served me a glass of coconut water to replenish any electrolytes lost during the colonic. She advised me to drink more water, and recommended 2 herbal supplements from Sundial to begin using to further assist in waste elimination. Then she discussed the principles of food combining as a way of eating. That’s gonna be the hard part. Based on it’s rules a lot of my favorite comfort foods are not allowed. Mary-Rose also recommended I schedule another colonic in 1-2 weeks.

It’s the day after & so far I feel good. I have almost no gas, and I no longer feel bloated. It’ll be several sessions though, before I see the full effect of colon hydrotherapy. I look forward to having more energy, clearer skin, feeling and looking a lot better.

How hard is hard enough?

Starting off another week at the gym. It was crowded today which irritates me, ’cause I like to be able to use a machine when I’m ready to use it without waiting, but at the same time motivating, I get to see what other folks do in their routines. My groin injury has healed and I’m back to exercising normally. I try to vary my workouts in terms of cardio & strength training, but sometimes I wonder if I’m putting in enough work. I always feel like I could’ve walked faster on the treadmill, jogged a little bit longer, or pulled a heavier weight.

Today I did an hour of cardio. Sometimes I’ll do an hour on the treadmill or elliptical or I may break it up between one or two activities depending on my mood and how my body is feeling at the time. Lucky I have access to an employee gym which has a good selection of machines for strength training. I’ve been working it out on the chest presses, deltoids & leg presses, and of course the abductor & adductor machines. There are some free weights, but their dumbbells only go up to a max of 10lbs. If I want to do any heavier weights I have to do those exercises at home.

About a week ago I started using an iphone app called My Fitness Pal to keep track of my food intake and exercise. It’s good having all your activities documented to see exactly what you’re doing and what impact it’s having. You start with a daily target calorie consumption. By documenting your meals & exercise, the app keep tabs of your calories consumed vs. calories burned. The only complaint I have with it is that the food calculations & exercise calorie counts are not always the most accurate. It’s definitely making me more aware of what I’m eating, especially when I document it in the app and I see the calorie count calculated. I also can see when I need to increase the exercise. Over time the app keeps track of your progress and you can even invite friends to install the app on their smartphones and form a buddy system.

Down for the count, but not out.

I had a bit of a monkey wrench thrown into my exercise routine this week. The past thursday night I experienced a strain in one of my groin muscles that I suspect I got from the yoga class the day before. I probably overstretched it doing a pose. To make things worse, I spent much of friday at work on my feet, walking around when I should have been resting, aggravating it more. Plus after work I had to travel to my mom’s house. By the time I got there I was in a bit of pain. I’m not one who usually gets sick or comes down with any kind of disability so my leg being stiff from the groin muscle being strained made me feel like a complete invalid. My plans to do my yoga DVDs over the weekend were derailed.

You know that saying, you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone? I had no idea how important those little groin muscles are until this weekend. The simplest moves like turning over in bed, turning around, stepping down steps and standing gave me pain. Even getting in & out of the car was an exercise of mind over matter. It seemed like every move I made, I felt the muscle tighten. Believe me, I will be focusing on strengthening those adductor muscles when I get back into the gym.

It’s now 3 days later and I can say things have improved significantly since friday. Though I can still feel the groin muscle is still slightly strained, depending on how I move, I can walk around with less difficulty and don’t feel as much of that bad stiffness that had me pretty much confined to the couch last week. This week starts my early shifts at work, which means I have time to go to the employee gym afterwards. Spending the weekend at my mom means most meals were take out, so between that and not being able to exercise I’m praying I didn’t gain too much weight back.

Wednesday weigh-in

Like countless other folks, I’ve been on the quest to lose weight for the better part of forever. I have a strong family hstory of diabetes & hypertension on both sides of my family, much of it due to poor diet & sedentary habits so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate a healthier lifestyle.

But what really got the fire under my feet was during my last physical when after my vitals have been taken, the doctor asked if I would consider having gastric bypass surgery. After being taken aback for a second, I answer no, and then she replies, “well how can we get you to lose 60 lbs?” Hell, I’d lose twice that if I could. I feel like I’ve been skirting on the borderline between being healthy and developing a chronic disease, so while I’ve already made some moves towards eating healthier & being more active, I need to kick it up a notch.

Some changes I’ve made include:

1. Drink more water. I’ve been increasing my water intake for the better part of a year and now it’s to the point that it’s my primary liquid source. I carry one of those aluminum refillable water bottles at work and keep another at home for when I use the gym. I’m never without water regardless of where I am.

2. Eliminate HFCS. My biggest source was sodas & sweetened ice teas, which I’ve just about eliminated completely from my diet. Since doing so, my taste buds have changed, I believe for the better. I will still have a soda or snapple on occasion but now I find the taste so sweet sometimes I cannot finish the bottle. I was shocked when I realized how many foods contain HFCS. I now scrutinize labels and if it contains it, I don’t buy it.

3. Exercise. Because of my work schedule, it’s difficult to adhere to any formal routine, so I resolve to get in some exercise whenever I can as much as possible. Walking is one of my favorite exercises so I will often walk instead of take the bus when I can, particularly when the weather is nice. Lucky I have a small gym in my building and have access to an employee gym at work so I don’t have to pay for a membership. I’ve also started incorporating yoga into my routine, thanks to a couple of DVDs I bought & an instructor who teaches a weekly yoga class on Wednesdays.

So I get on the scale this morning as has been my weekly ritual for the past several weeks. Absent of a regular exercise routine, I’ve so far lost 10lbs averaging weight loss of about 1lb a week. I don’t see the changes physically yet, but I do feel more energy and I don’t feel as drained when I leave work.

Starting next week I’ll be working an early shift which will give me time to use the employee gym after work. Looking forward to some significant changes on the scale in the next couple of weeks.

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