Our kitchen is quiet, our juicers are off and in peace, I reflect on what an amazing year it has been! CAN CAN's first year of operation has been such a joy! We've touched so many lives by introducing hundreds to juicing and the power of short, seasonal cleansing. Fortunate to love what I do and fortunate for the clients who appreciate our work, I'm thankful as we wrap up the year early to take time to spend with our families for the holidays.
I want to give a giant THANK YOU! to all of our clients, CAN CAN supporters, fans, family and friends for making 2011 a year of fulfillment, inspiration and humble reward.
I look forward to sharing an equally prosperous, happy and most importantly, healthy New Year with you!
Looking for a thoughtful gift for the holidays? I'm always big on giving experiences vs. material goods. A cleanse may be just the experience your friends and loved ones need after all the holiday indulgences. Help them start out the New Year in health!
Can you believe one more month until 2012 arrives?! My goodness, my grandmother was right; time keeps going by faster and faster.
All the more reason to not only start resolving now, but acting on your top-of-the list resolution: To Live a Healthier 2012. Yes, you CAN do it!
Living healthier means taking small steps and large strides in those areas that you can control in your life. I encourage you to put your health first, but changing your lifestyle entirely may not be realistic. Understandable, however, don't let lack of time be an excuse. Make time to exercise and put down your phone and/or turn off the TV or computer next time you sit down for a meal and look at your plate. Surely you can identify room for improvement. I'll give you a hint, more greens!
Just in time to help you meet and exceed your goal or to simply keep your already polished regime in check, CAN CAN Cleanse is happy to announce our All-Seasons Pass for 2012.
We look forward to having you, friends and family CAN CAN with us in 2012! Save time (and money) and commit to feeling good in the New Year!
And so it goes; we wait for a holiday, a special time of year, a tragedy or victory to be humbled by the importance of our health. Everyday is a gift. Take care of you! Promote your physical well-being and be good to your body (easy on the mash potatoes and gravy!). Boost your mental and emotional health by reminding those you love that you love them or by smiling at a stranger. We don't need a lot in this world...and you likely have more than you give thanks for already.
The practice of a short, seasonal cleanse such as CAN CAN is very much about the mental benefits vs the physical. To me, powering through the highs and lows only furthers your understanding of yourself, your eating habits, moods, cravings and at times gives you pause to experience hunger. When was the last time you truly experienced hunger?
After my clients successfully complete the cleanse, many share thoughtful, personal feedback with me about their unique experiences. While many clients don't feel hungry at all while on the cleanse, others do and in these cases willpower, self-restraint and discipline are put to the test.
I'd like to share a recent email I received from a first time cleanser; a client who embraced her maiden CAN CAN voyage, did it and came away with a new perspective on her eating habits.
"You are so right about not knowing what hunger feels like! I can definitely say now that in the past, most of the time that I've been "hungry", I was looking for a mental break or excuse to change tasks. Thanks for your guidance over the past few days..."
The juices have been delicious. I've especially enjoyed the green juice and the hazelnut almond milk -- yum!
However, I have been so hungry during the cleanse! Most noticeably in the mornings so I've listened to my body and/or my tummy by eating an apple (which i do normally on most mornings as part of my breakfast) and then a snack of almonds or avocado later in the afternoon. I drink some water when I notice that I'm hungrier and that normally helps with the hunger but then it comes back after 10 minutes or so (I notice distraction also helps, like moving around or taking a short break to walk outside).
I think I'm following the cleanse but every body is different. I don't feel tired or lethargic, just an empty stomach. And I haven't turned cranky or moody which normally happens when my blood sugar is low and I haven't eaten so that's a good sign! I don't think I eat very much on most days but come to think of it, I do eat lots of veggies and fruits (with some carbs and a little bit of protein added in with some guilty indulgences) so I think I'm missing the fiber component that normally keeps me feeling full.
I also like the accountability of being on this cleanse. Normally if I'm "hungry", I'll grab a snack -- potato chips, fruit, nuts, veggies, protein bar, etc. but most of the time, I'm actually not hungry-hungry, just bored-hungry. The past 2 days I've stopped to think if I'm really hungry and want to eat something or just that I'm bored with whatever current task I'm working on and need a food-break. :) I practice a lot of yoga where being grounded and self-reflective is so important but sometimes I don't carry that thinking off the mat and into my kitchen (or snack pantry). It's a nice reminder to stop and think.
This has been a great learning experience and I really enjoyed it (despite feeling hungry)! I will definitely keep this in mind for a spring cleanse in 6 months.
A dear friend of mine recently brought up the topic of making space. For her, physically she was purging her closet of old memories to make space, emotionally, for fresh, enlivening thoughts and experiences.
It's a theme and exercise that we all could benefit from. The goal is to make space for greater happiness, more productivity and positivity in our lives as well as to remind us not to get bogged down, to be empowered, move forward and feel good!
Nutritionally speaking, when was the last time you cleaned out your cupboards? Purged your refrigerator of expired goods, wiped out the pantry of caloric-rich foods, with little, if any, nutritional value, or dusted off your juicer and made space on the kitchen counter?
Make time to make space.
Convenience clutters our lives and too many choices have invaded our space. Stocking your refrigerator with the honest, basics - fruits and vegetables - is a great start to working more fresh produce into your diet and don't stop at simply filling the bottom crisper drawers. Think of your frig like your plate and dominate the shelves with produce too.
An abundance of produce is both inspiring and frightening, but now that it's there, time to find ways to work it into your diet. Vegetables for breakfast, yes! Make space on your plate, make veggies your breakfast, or juice your greens. Cast away the sugary fruit flavored yogurt with granola and welcome in eggs with a side of spinach, or a salad in the morning, why not?
Working in a vegetable (or two) for breakfast and you're feeling good! Packing fruit or veggies for mid-morning or afternoon snack and yes, no excuse for the office junk and move over coffee shop snacks.
Perhaps a trip to the farmers' market this weekend and an hour or two cleaning out the kitchen crannies? It's invigorating when you start making space.
Sunshine's got you happy, yay!, but can you believe calendar is turning to Fall? Seasons change...why don't we? Seems many fall into ruts - same exercise routine, same grocery list, same eating patterns, same TV programs. Check yourself and give way to change. It's healthy! A cleanse may be just the path to the change you've been looking for.
Welcome CAN CAN Fall!
When I'm not in the kitchen juicing, I'm cooking. When I'm not in the kitchen cooking, I'm crafting, but I'm still in the kitchen. While many women dream of having their own walk-in (closet), I too dream of my walk-in...refrigerator :)
Joking aside, the past two days have been spent doing as I call kitchen crafts; a hobby, a love, and a form of relaxation for me. This week, the artistry of salt and pepper.
Castaway the classics, and welcome herbed sea salt and red chili flakes - my colorful salt and pepper essentials. Plucking thyme is about as mundane as it comes. A chore to many, but I find nothing more demanding of my attention. Something so easily lost in today's world of rapid communication and transfer of information.
I hope you will stop and try it. An excellent accent to almost any dish as well as a fabulous gift.
Herbed Sea Salt
1/2 bunch Fresh Thyme
1-2 branches Fresh Rosemary
2 cup Sea Salt (French Grey is my favorite)
Directions: Pluck thyme, discard branches and set aside. Repeat with the rosemary. Very finely chop rosemary. Mix herbs in salt. Salt is ready to use immediately and best used within a year.
Nutritional note: Unlike table salt, sea salt is low in iodine. We need iodine for our bodies to perform thyroid hormone synthesis, but most Americans over consume iodine. Too much iodine can inhibit thyroid gland synthesis.
Red Chili Flakes
1-2 lbs of Fresh, Cayenne (Red) Chili Peppers
Directions: Turn oven on to the lowest temperature or warm setting. Place peppers on baking sheet or foil, covering the bottom entirely, but not heaping. Use additional baking sheets, if necessary. Dry the peppers in the oven for 12-18 hours until deep red in color and brittle to the touch.
Cool well. Discard the stems and reserve the rest of the chili, including seeds. Using a spice or coffee grinder, grind into flakes or fine powder depending on preference.
Cayenne chilies are HOT so use with caution, or welcome the spice!
Storing notes: Your chili flakes should be kept in a well-sealed glass jar, away from direct sunlight. Chili flakes will keep for up to one year.
Nutritional note: Cayenne pepper is known for its high levels of capsaicin, which is shown to be an effective pain reliever; as a digestive and antiulcer aid; and for its cardiovascular benefits. Additionally, capsaicin is the component responsible for cayenne's ability to increase basal metabolic rate and stimulate the burning of fat for energy.
I'm like a Pop-Tart out of bed most of the time. That first wake-up is a reminder of a new day. Mornings are my favorite time of day for a number of reasons. Fresh, honest thoughts, settled emotions and a soothing sense of calm greet me. Followed by two more most favorite morning gifts, exercise and breakfast.
If you're like me, you tackle the a.m. workout as if it's your job. The voice in your head may as well be your boss telling you to hop to it. Or, some other persuasive, timely voice of reason (where does she come from?!). You may crave a good sweat, be spurred on by guilt, while others find motivation from chasing the addiction - that hormonal high you get post-workout.
Why exercise in the morning? As I tell my 8am water aerobics participants on Monday mornings, "No matter what happens the rest of the day, you've accomplished something great." One hour of your day dedicated (and done by 9am!) to better yourself. Tend to your health with regular exercise and the physical and mental rewards are tangible.
Control those aspects of life you have control of rather than allowing schedules, work, errands, excuses, excuses, excuses dictate you. We may not control whether or not a new morning will come, but when it does, make sure you accomplish something great. Squeeze in a little exercise to ensure an accomplishment for the day...it will make you feel better about you!
And then, may you enjoy breakfast!
"The past is a history. The future is a mystery. Today is a gift that's why we call it a present."
Introducing more green juice! The Green cleanse includes 48 oz of green juice per day to help keep you healthy the all-organic, natural way. CAN CAN's next level of cleansing, this deeper (and yes, more challenging) liquid cleanse takes you one step closer to fasting. Similar to the classic CAN CAN Cleanse, but a full departure from food. Perfect for my experienced cleansers who are looking to feel superhero - green from the inside, outside.
"A point or place of crossing from one side to the other." This definition sums up the grand purpose of CAN CAN. It's a bridge, if you will, from the bad side of the tracks to the good (or better) side of the tracks. It's a smooth, transitionary exercise, a gentle reminder, a wake-up, or for some, a fierce kick in the pants. It's a practice, a tool, a 3-day escape from the monotonous routine and a helping hand to pull you out of the rut. It's a valiant step in articulating your thoughts and putting them into action.
I'm of course talking in terms of what we eat, how we think about nutrition, our health and how easy it is to forget and neglect, totally derail.
I'm often told, CAN CAN isn't like other juices cleanses, my answer, "You're right! It's not a juice cleanse, it's a crossover cleanse." It's uniting the body and mind and reconnecting you with what you eat. It's asking you to take 3 days off from the comforts, the treats, the binges, and the vices to rediscover the other side.
It's amazing how awake and so alive you can feel after a short, seasonal 3-day cleanse. Such reward in knowing you can survive without the comforts, say no to the treats, stop the binges, and function without the vices.
Makes you wonder why you crossed over in the first place.
I'm happy to help you back!
Summer wedding season is in full swing! I have been fortunate to meet some amazing couples over the past few months. Beautiful brides-to-be and their handsome grooms - all hoping to look and feel a little more svelte before the big day. And they do!
The anxiety of the last minute to-dos, excitement of family and old friends coming to celebrate you and the overall oh-my-goodness "I'm getting married!" thrill are only a few of the emotions busying the mind before the much anticipated day arrives.
Cleansing a week (or so) before your wedding is a great idea! In fact, the practice will bring you peace and offer a time of reflection. A time to feel good from the inside and out, breathe deeper, easier and think more clearly. Not to mention enhance the wedding "glow" though vitality in a jar - fresh vegetable and fruit juices.
Congratulation to all our Summer 2011 Brides & Grooms!
What happened to the glass of milk with dinner ritual? Somewhere along the road, we grow up. Wine becomes the new drink with dinner and milk takes its place at breakfast. Styled into a latte or cereal bowl leftovers, milk is not what it use to be. Moreover, the drinking milk fad has been replaced with an uprise of lactose intolerance, which commands its own campaign, "Got no more milk."
What is lactose intolerance?
The bodies inability to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and milk products. The body does not produce sufficient lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the sugar into usable fuel or energy.
No more glass of milk. Ok, most can live without, but what about the cheese?
Understanding which types of dairy foods the body responds to takes time, patience and often trial and error. For instance, aged cheddar - don't cross it off the list. Lactose levels decrease as the cheeses are aged and can often be tolerated in small amounts. Sheep and goat's milk cheeses are also of a less threat.
And for breakfast?
Remember, nut milks, rice milk and coconut milk do not contain dairy (animal milk or milk-based product). Soy milk and eggs also make the list, but soy and eggs too have become common allergens and for this reason, please be cautious. Goat milk debuts on top. A solid (yes, animal milk) alternative to avoiding the tummy troubles of cow's milk as it is more easily digestible.
If you think a bowl of your favorite dessert is out of the question forever, not to worry. You may still be able to share in the love of ice cream (small bowl, please).
A basket of raspberries for breakfast, carrots and radishes with a dusting of dirt for snack, egg salad with fennel fronds and celery over a bed of lettuce served for dinner. Yesterday's strategic eating day from my CSA box. The whites of my eyes glow extra bright today!
Twice a month it feels like Christmas. The excitement of picking-up my Oak Hill Farm of Sonoma CSA box at Blue Barn Gourmet (from The Farm to The Barn) never disappoints, especially this time of year. It's like the gift everyone wants - a box of local, sustainably grown, seasonal vegetables and fruits that out shine grocery store pickings in flavor, color and varietal.
This Week's Share:
Red Beets, Carrots, Celery, Rainbow Chard, Fennel, Lettuce, Zucchini, French Breakfast Radishes and Raspberries
David Cooper, Oak Hill's young and jovial farmer, is keeping up with Mother Nature. She seems to have lost her weather agenda or opted to improv through 2011.
The glory of being a member of a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) is that you learn an important, universal message, "You can't have everything you want, when you want it." So true when speaking of local produce - as non-materialistic as such a want may seem.
As the seasons change (or forget to change), so do the contents of a CSA box. From winter roots and squash, to summer berries, peppers and my favorite, tomatoes, let Mother Nature decide what you eat and when you eat it. What I love about my CSA box is that it invokes creativity in the kitchen or equally gratifying, it promotes eating more raw vegetables because well, they simply taste worlds better when fresh out of the ground.
Like candies on Christmas.
For more information about Oak Hill Farm, please visit their website. To find a CSA close to your home, please visit Local Harvest.
It's a new season and time for our next cleanse. Yay!
A whole lot of sunshine in jars to give you a healthy glow!
CAN CAN Summer is here!
My motto use to be, "You can sleep when you're dead," but these days I set small goals that help me slow down, relax and be reminded what it feels like to feel good.
Like remembering to breathe. It may sound fundamental, but it takes consciousness to breathe deep. I start in the morning. First breath, be reminded that you're alive. Second breath, think about the day you're embarking on - a new day.
Add a goal to the day's to-do list. A goal that helps you to slow down and breathe.
Currently, I'm working on posture. Try sitting up a little taller or stand up straighter. If it does not come naturally to you, work on it. Tighten up and lengthen your abdominal core, shoulders back - yet relaxed, chin up. Now a deep breath in. Feel the positivity in the body's alignment. A feeling of empowerment and a look of confidence. Most of us could use more confidence.
Yoga is all about posture. At a recent class at International Orange, I fully-realized the importance of my goals - breath and posture. The first gives energy; the second power. The 90-minute practice felt amazing! I was reminded to slow down, stop and focus on my breath. Albeit it's like a long-distant friend that I don't see too often, I crave to practice yoga. It's a discipline of consciousness.
During a cleanse, you're more present in your actions and thoughts making it a complimentary time to practice yoga.
Be reminded that stretching, breathing a little more deeply and properly aligning the body feels so good.
We exercise, we sleep, we eat, but do we ever stop?
Turn off your phone.
Chew your food.
Call an old friend.
Practice meditation (if only for 10 mins).
It's all part of slowing down.
Slow down, stop, breathe.
After reading a recent article about the effects quinoa exporting has had on the price Bolivian people have to pay for their staple table grain, I was encouraged to diversify my pantry with alternative whole grains.
I've always adored the bulk sections at grocery stores - albeit as a child it was the bulk candy aisles - today, my local San Francisco co-op, Rainbow Grocery, has the best bulk selections around.
Buying bulk has wonderful benefits:
- Purchase precise quantities for recipes, large quantities for storage, or small quantities for sampling
- Offers variety
- Fresh. Less time on the shelves and no added preservatives
- Cost effective
- Less packaging
I stocked up on the following gluten-free grains:
- Rice: Brown, Basmati and Arborio
Hearty, comforting and honestly just as easy to cook as pasta, these grains lend themselves to sweet or savory breakfast, lunch or dinner sides or mains. Welcoming to your body's digestive system and extra satisfying when the table's mundane bread and white rice are starving for a little diversity.
For reference, the following whole grains are not gluten free:
- Oats (gluten free are available)
Unless we're talking about changing dirty diapers or recovering from Montezuma's revenge, we don't talk about one of our bodies most important detoxification processes - Pooping!
There, I said it and you too should get comfortable with talking about poop. We all do it, but what do you know about your poop cycles (or lack of), the size of, shape, smell? Don't squirm, it's quite frankly a vital part of our overall health and worth talking about.
I opt for the fancier terminology - elimination - when talking about pooping, but generally end up saying the p-word, "you know, when was the last time you pooped?"
Don't poop everyday? Think sitting on the toilet for 10 minutes is a short visit to the bathroom? Plunkers? Floaters? Stinkers? Whatever the stools, they have their own story to tell about our bodies digestion of food.
The story begins and ends the same; we eat, therefore we must poop.
The time in which is takes for the body's digestion process to cross the finish line is called transit time. A healthy process takes approximately 18 hours. In that time, you've ingested more food, which means more waste must eventually come out. Pooping 3 times per day sounds like a lot, but it's the 3 times per week routine that should come as a shock.
Poop everyday. 2-3 times per day is optimal. Poop should come out with ease. Soft, but formed.
Size and Shape
Some say "S" shaped others say B for "banana" shaped. The general rule is that it has a distinct shape - roughly 10-12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Think about the shape of the large intestine. No loose piles, skinny ribbons, or round pebbles. These formations suggest poor digestion, inflammation, or constipation.
If it smells stinky, think about your diet in the past 24 hours. If you keep a clean diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables than your poop should have minimal odor. Crap food = crap smell.
Poop should be varying shades of brunette (medium brown). Green suggests food may be moving too quickly through the large intestine and absorption is not happening properly. Pale or white may suggest lack of bile, a trouble linked to liver function. Black or bright red (not from eating beets) should seek medical attention as there may be blood in your stools.
Need to Poop More?
Add more whole fruits and vegetables to your diet. Think apples and dark leafy greens!
Hydrate the body. Drink lots of water. Lots meaning 64oz per day, plus an extra glass when you wake-up and one before bed.
Get everything moving! Regular exercise aids in the body's digestion and elimination processes. Walk, run, bike, hike, swim, climb stairs.
Do you buy brown eggs because you think they are healthier than white eggs? Free-range? Or cage-free? How many of you buy omega-3 eggs because well, they contain omega-3?
The egg. The most perfect food. It has shape, style, versatility not to mention it is an excellent source of vitamin K, B vitamins, including biotin, thiamine, and vitamin B12, protein, selenium and vitamin D. The egg garners a food category all of its own, in my opinion, yet why have we complicated such a simple, honest food?
As the saying goes, no two eggs are the same, but there was a time not so long ago when I could grab a carton of eggs and didn't have to stop the cart. Today, I walk by the dairy section and I have to not only stop, but stand back in order to inspect the multitude of egg cartons as if I was deciding upon which hen to take home as my own.
Where do I begin?
Wouldn't it be nice to have fresh eggs everyday? No stress over the vernacular of free-range, cage-free, soy free, Grade A, AA, all-natural, no hormones or antibodies, vegetarian fed, fertile, etc. I feel both helpless and hopeful at the same time.
Until I embark on the exciting thought of having my own chickens and fresh eggs, I'll be sourcing my eggs from the Oak Hill Farm CSA in which I participate. Eggs from pasture-raised hens ($7 per doz, $3.50 per 1/2 doz). Eatwell Farms CSA also offers eggs ($8 per doz, $4 per 1/2 doz).
Faberge in price, but well worth the stress-savings of mulling over the somber meaning of cage-free while staring at the 13 dozen egg options.
Stress is a huge barrier to living a healthy life - mentally, emotionally and physically. Don't let your taxes get you down. Whether you received a tax refund or not, take advantage of CAN CAN's April Special Offer and feel good!
Think about the fascinations of our fruits and vegetables. I marvel over the intricacies of an apple's "star" core when cut horizontally, or the politely compartmentalized sections of a grapefruit. Why do avocado pits yield a red, milky substance and bananas turn brown (and not blue) when greeted by oxygen? These whims of Mother Nature fascinate me. Today's man-made, mass-marketed Baby Cut Carrots do not.
Manicured 2 inches long, rounded tips, water-bathed, and blemish-free, the Baby Carrots we think of are a plant-altered novelty. A cleaver way to satisfy California farmers in the 1980's who were "unhappy at having to discard carrots because of slight rotting or imperfections, and looking for a way to reclaim what would otherwise be wasted product." - Wikipedia
Packaged Baby Cut Carrots, as vain as they are in my opinion, do offer convenience that cannot be dismissed - especially when the marketing goal is to increase consumption of vegetables in our diets. At the end of 2010, nearly 50 carrot growers united to roll out an "Eat More Baby Carrots" campaign rivaling junk food.
A commendable effort, but $25 million to encourage people to eat more carrots? I wonder what Mother Nature could do with all those carats?
Spaghetti was a once-a-week dinner growing up in a family of six. A second meal of leftovers was typical and welcomed. The high-carb phobia did not set in until my late high school years and into college. Once an Italian favorite, spaghetti became a nostalgic nightmare.
I've since reacquainted myself with noodles. My own noodle theory leads me to believe in and feel good eating rice and soba noodles and the occasional freshly made Italian versions. The whole wheat boxed pasta does not agree with me and the adventurous quinoa, kamut, spelt do a fair job as substitutes, but leave me mentally puzzled by the process of making such "noodles".
Good news for gluten-free'ers, my favorite rice and soba noodles do not contain wheat (be sure the soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat). These plant-based pastas satisfy and are less hindering on the digestive track. Not to mention, rice and soba noodles are versatile - lending themselves as stand-ins for white pasta dishes as well as their own vast array of Asian recipes.
I encourage you to embrace cooking and eating rice and soba noodles when you're looking to curb carb cravings for pasta. And, think out of the norm. Although my Mom never made us eat spaghetti as the first meal of the day (I would have thrown a tantrum), these days I happily eat noodles at any mealtime. Vietnamese pho breakfast? Yes, please!
When was the last time you looked at the ingredients of a loaf of bread? The ingredients have changed over the past 50 years. I pulled a bag of bread from my parents' cupboard tonight. 12 Grain bread from our local, Northwest small-chain grocer. An admiral looking loaf; brown in color and topped with seeds and whole grain oats.
The ingredients are as follows:
Enriched unbleached wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey. Contains 2% or less of yeast, rolled wheat, sunflower seed, whole wheat flour, soybean oil, salt, vital wheat gluten, raisin juice concentrate, wheat bran, rolled oats, sesame seed, rye meal, degermed yellow corn grits, barley flakes, triticale flakes, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides, calcium sulfate, enzymes, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide), brown rice meal, flax seed, millet, buckwheat flour, calcium propionate (preservative), soy flour, nonfat milk. Distributed from Cincinnati, Ohio
The 12 grains are in there, if you can sift through the 40+ ingredients in this list; 10 of which remain spell-checked.
Then, I pulled my Mom's 1961 copy of Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book and looked up bread.
"To make good breads, you will need enriched all-purpose flour, fresh yeast, salt, liquid, sugar and usually fat."
White Bread Recipe
Ingredients: active dry yeast, warm water, lukewarm milk, flour, sugar, salt, shortening
What use to be a 7 basic ingredient household staple has risen to a new level of processed food. I'll continue to eat fresh baguettes from my local baker before buying the "whole grain bread" of our 21st century.
The first time I saw a roadside gas station in Bali, I mistook the gasoline for bottled water. Reborn to fool the haggard traveler on a hot day, the gas was being sold in Absolut Vodka bottles.
I later found out that our driver's son suffered severe, permanent brain damage from drinking gasoline out of such a bottle when he was 5 years old. Granted at 5 years old, such an incident is a tragic accident not an intended action, however, how many adults would ingest poison if they read it on a label?
We do it everyday. Take a look at the "food" on the shelves of our favorite grocery stores. Junk labeled as such litters the aisles and in particular, the roadside checkout stands. Impulse leads to injury. If we are illiterate, then we may be pardoned, but few of us read labels and instead fall for the deceptive packaging selectively marketed by the Earth undertone grocery stores of which we stand.
This perspective article admits fault, but at the end of the day, it's up to us the consumers. Just as we should never judge a book by its cover, so goes we should never view food from a grocery store as food. You must read labels. Whether the brand name alludes to being healthy or the clever packaging looks healthy, the truth is that very few packaged items are healthy.
If you intend to eat with consciousness, do not generalize about good vs. bad food based on the grocery store you're shopping at. Look beyond. Read the ingredients, read them thoroughly, but if you have to read any ingredient twice, chances are you're safer driving down the produce aisle for your fuel.
We're all guilty of overindulging in sweets. I can't remember the last time I only ate half of the dessert set in front of me. It's a weakness of mine and quite frankly, a pleasure.
Michael Pollan lays down the law in simple text, "Treat Treats as Treats." A recipe even a toddler can follow. My words of advice are to think about the worth of a treat. Not everyday is a holiday or special occasion. I agree, we have much to be thankful for here in the United States. Our accessibility to food, which includes no less than three meals per day, is worth celebrating, but a dessert (or two) everyday? Now that's gluttony.
I promote what the dietitian of my youth once told me, "If you're going to eat dessert, make sure it's the best of it's kind." Go out and eat the best piece of apple pie in the city you live in; don't bake or buy the whole pie that will sit on your kitchen counter and serve as meal replacement for the next three days.
Alternatively, explore vegan desserts and low-sugar options such as fresh fruit or yogurt. This recipe is one I share because Valentine's Day = treats. I'm a glutton for dark chocolate and also for avocados. Who would have guessed these two loves would collide?
Eight years ago, I read my first and only finance book by author David Bach. The title, Smart Women Finish Rich. The take away from that book is one that I've carried with me, one we could all benefit from, "It's not how much you make, it's how much you save."
Bach trademarks The Latte Factor: a fundamental reality that if we cut back our spending on little amenities such as lattes, we'd be richer. If we consumed fewer lattes we'd be cutting back on the $2.70+ expense a day or $13.50 a week. That's roughly $675 a year or $6,750 over the course of 10 years.
We'd also slim down our daily and weekly caloric intake (190 calories in a grande cafe latte equals 950 calories per work week) and likely boost our health. Doesn't seem like too tall of an order and a darn good return, wouldn't you agree?
Following Bach's practice of looking at the little ways we spend money (ie: the morning coffee to-go ritual), let's parlay this into the little ways we consume calories. The Latte Factor, nutritionally speaking, results in the overconsumption of nutrient poor calories. Our morning latte, a packaged snack from the gas station, a bag of chips while we wait for lunch, and the chocolate goodie impulse buy while standing in the grocery store checkout line - these all add unnecessary calories to our days and to our waistlines.
Too many of us eat food just to eat. We stop short of really focusing on what we put in our bodies. We've become frivolous. Whether we're spending money or putting food in our bodies, we've become by definition, 'self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.'
Think about how many calories you can save next time you're in line for your latte unwilling to give up the morning ritual. Consider the 12oz vs. the 20oz. It's more than just your money, it's how much health you can save.
For further reading, the Starbucks website has a dedicated page for their Drinks and Food Nutritional Information. I'd recommend familiarizing yourself with the information provided as it may help you be more conscious during your next order.
I drink coffee and eat croissants. I enjoy wine and eat cheese. I also love sardines straight out of the can and eat sauerkraut as a meal vs. an accoutrement.
For the greater majority of my life, my diet comes in at an A-. While I have tightened-up my health game since the inception of CAN CAN, you'll see me eating dessert and I won't feel like I've just been caught by the paparazzi.
The picture of health is an aspiration that keeps us motivated and conscientious. It also stresses us out, which I believe to be the biggest health evil. I think of myself like you or like that person you're striving to become. I'm balanced. I practice a balanced lifestyle and I continue to openly evolved as my body adapts to outside influences (environment) and inside influences (age).
My Current Balance:
- Supportive, Nutritious Whole Foods
- Tons of Seasonal Vegetables
- A Little Fruit
- Lots of Lemon
- Water, Water, Water
- Tea, occasional Coffee, Wine or Beer
- Absolutely NO Soda Pop, Energy Drinks, or Pasteurized Juices
- Sea Salt & Cayenne Pepper
- Olive & Coconut Oils
- Moderate to Heavy Exercise 5-6 Days a Week
- Water Aerobics
- Travel / Vacation as often as possible
- Rest & Relaxation
- Relationships (family, friends, colleagues, mentors, community)
I believe the right balance is happiness. Some days you waiver in a yoga posture; other days you nail it. Be patient with yourself. Practice and commit to making improvements - health, work, relationship-related everyday and do not be discouraged if you have a bad day...because you will.
Have a cup of coffee, but don't have two. Eat the croissant, but make sure it's the best croissant. Drink wine, but have a glass or two, not the whole bottle. Eat cheese and don't feel guilty. Moderation is king. Even the picture of health gets caught in the act...or opts to tell a lie.
These colorful pyramids are from our friends the Fruitarians. I'm especially drawn to the Drinks pyramid in the upper right hand corner. Drink to your health!
How did you come to discover this was what you were meant to do? The question was posed to me in an interview with career coach Suzannah Scully. Here is my response.
I fully realized CAN CAN Cleanse after years of stocking my toolbox, per say. All of my past experiences built up to my aha moment, but at the time I was living each one, I had no idea. I’ve been helping girlfriends for years talk through and act on weight loss goals. The boost in self-esteem that I was able to give to friends was so rewarding I found inspiration, but never saw it as a career.
I studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College. My reasoning for going back to school was for personal enrichment. Three years later, I’m finally putting my education into practice. I did not dream of owning my own business, but I did dream of doing what makes me happy.
I believe in CAN CAN Cleanse as a personal practice that benefits my overall health. As I started to share this practice with others their happiness reaffirmed my belief in the importance of preventative health through honest food and specifically through seasonal produce and cleansing. It was that feel-good high of helping others with their health and happiness that made me take the leap.
If you are still looking for your aha moment, please read my answers to the other questions from the interview. You may want to ask yourself these same questions to help you find happiness and fulfillment in your work. Please visit Suzannah’s blog.
I can bottle the fresh, nutrient-rich beverages for you, but I can't bottle the willpower for you to succeed on a cleanse. That, my friends, is a big part of the practice of cleansing. Be mindful, be disciplined, be committed. There's a first time for everything. Practice and you will discover inner strength and a boost of self-esteem. I'm here to support you along the way and answer your questions ("I'm having dreams about cheesecake, is that normal?"), but the real inspiration comes from my CAN CAN'ers. Encouraging responses from a few of my first cleansers of 2011.
"Overall I have found myself slowing down around food. It feels really good. And even with little sleep due to my daughter being up in the night, I did not automatically turn to caffeine. I definitely feel more proactive and aware. I do miss the Green Juice!" - Kory
"I made it! Feeling great, but ready to chew again :) Strangely, I had a dream about cheesecake last night (that I ate it to break my cleanse and then was furious with myself....weird, huh?!) I was glad to wake up from that one!! Thanks again for all your help and encouragement in making my first cleanse such a positive experience!" - Jill
"As for the CAN CAN Cleanse, I'm so so so glad that I did it. It ended up being easier to complete than I expected, yet delivered stronger results than I expected. I couldn't be happier by my decision to do this. I've followed the Post-Cleanse guidance, and still feel exceptional. In addition, it helps you evaluate the rest of your life and how you are living. It is amazing how much processed "everything" we put into our bodies, so it was great to give it a much deserved break. I'm sleeping better, have more energy, and believe I look better. I know this sounds crazy, but I've had dark circles under my eyes for 10-12 years, and while they didn't go completely away, I feel like they are much less dark." - Marty
"I had to add 1/4c almonds and 1/2 avocado per day, because I need to chew on something, and I got hungry. But, I have to tell you that Saturday morning I woke up feeling the best I have in years. I felt sort of high! It was awesome. And, I've only had one coffee since the cleanse. I was drinking at least one every day. Also, I'm not craving sugar, which is just short of being as amazing as the second coming of Jesus. Anyway, all your stuff is so tasty and wholesome. It really restarted my system and made me want to eat healthy." - Kimberly
Fruit juice has its place in cultures throughout the world. Hot on juice, the warm climate in southeast Asia made me crave fresh pressed juices. Available in every tropical color and flavor, as a morning ritual or for an afternoon time-out, the juices rivaled the weasel coffee, Thai tea and Bintang.
The CAN CAN Cleanse knock-off in Bangkok, Thailand
Orange Julius! Full-time orange juicer at a farmers market in Taipei, Taiwan
“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” I wholeheartedly agree with Michael Pollan’s mantra from Food Rules. It’s disturbing to stop and think what food in packages really is or isn’t. Dismal truth is that processed food is not just processed once, but often processed-processed. I’d add a third layer of processed only to drive home the point that that there’s no more room for the food – it’s simply processed, packaged, pretend.
Food is: material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy…definition by Merriam Webster
I do however recognize the processing of food by calling out my two favorite “processed” foods:
Sauerkraut: directly translated from German: "sour herb" or "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. (Wiki definition)
Yogurt: a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. Fermentation of lactose produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and its characteristic tang. (Wiki definition)
The ever-popular Kombucha is also made through fermentation adding it to the cast of good things made from a process.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is often drunk for medicinal purposes. There are scientific studies that support the health benefits of Kombucha that show it to be antimicrobial, to have hepatoprotective qualities, and to be antioxidative among other benefits. Kombucha can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture which is often referred to as the "mushroom" or the "mother". (Wiki definition)
Fermentation can be done at home (no plant required), so do add fermented foods and drink to your diet to enhance your body’s process.