My Journey Continues to Detoxville

Just in case you have missed my last 5 million posts, tweets or instagram pics … I am on a massive journey of personal transformation.  God that sounds wanky… but it’s true! I said I will always be honest and transparent on my blog and I meant it! For some background on my journey so far see my last post here but in short I am renovating my life and removing everything I don’t need: bad food, thoughts, people and practices. If it doesn’t serve me well I don’t want it in my life. It feels so good to finally be walking my talk. It has been (and continues to be) surprising, confronting, empowering, consuming and energising. There have been setbacks and touchdowns. In fact this past fortnight I have hit my fair share of speed bumps…

What the pHuck?

What the pHuck?

I have been eating around 80% organic. I have been drinking plenty of water. I have been moving my body. I have been eating a largely plant-based diet. No grains. So I bought myself some pH sticks** and was not-so-quietly confident about the bright purple result I was about to witness.  You should have seen me approaching the counter – I had swagger (which is particularly impressive considering I was pushing a pram). So, imagine my surprise when my pH reading came up as fairly bright orange 5.5. How on earth was I so acidic? Where could I have gone wrong? I have been a saint, dangnammit!!! Or had I?

** I spoke about pH in this post about Wellness and Green Smoothies but to summarise; an acidic body is a breeding ground for illness and disease, the goal is to stay alkaline.

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Time to get real

The great thing about paring every part of your soul back is that you tend to reveal some overlooked home truths. Things that you may not have wanted to admit or habits that were so ingrained that you were truly unaware you were even doing them. So I looked hard in the mirror and realised there were some hurdles I needed to hurdle before I see the purple.

Acidic Behavior #1: Stress and Alcohol

The Real Deal: Even though I have been working hard on overcoming my anxiety it still rears its ugly head. If I am going to conquer it I need to pull out all stops and work a bit harder. And while the Cortisol (stress hormone) pulsing through my veins is enough to send me into the red I then self-medicate with a glass of red which is extremely counterproductive.

Action Step: Time to count anxiety butt-kicking as my full time profession and shelf the wine for special occasions only. And no Em… Thursday is not a special occasion.

Acidic Behavior #2: Too Much Superstuff

The Real Deal: I have realised that I a woman of excess. I tend to overload myself in virtually every aspect of my life (which includes the good bits). So when I discover a Superfood I tend to assume the more the better. Not so. Nuts are great… in moderation. Raw treats are fun to make… not every day. Coconuts are great… but it is possible to have a meal without one… put the goddamn coconut down woman!!!

Action Step: I am on the right track… I just need a little fine tuning. I have all the right ingredients I just need to get the proportions right to make this cake rise!

Raw Caramel Slice - NOT a healthy breakfast foodFollow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Raw Caramel Slice – NOT a healthy breakfast food
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Time For A Cleanse

Master Cleanse goodness!Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Master Cleanse goodness!
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

So I decided to approach my life detox differently. I have been slowly removing all the bad elements of my life which is a great introduction to healthy changes but it seems I have stagnated.  Time to splash some cold water on me and kick this thing up a notch. So I have embarked on a juice cleanse. Now this is midday of Day 2 and considering I have so far written a page of semi-lucid thoughts and have not started hallucinating I must be doing alright. Pineapple Zanzibar.

Body

I have created my own tailored detox which is a mishmash of the many I have read about. I have combined ideas from The Blue Print Cleanse (which I heard about from ex-pat blogger Willy B Mum) with the Master Cleanse and a few cheeky recipes from Vegie Head. After I finish the cleanse I will write a whole post about it and include exactly what I did and include the recipes and results. I may even be brave enough to post pictures – Eeep. Well nothing like a bit of pressure to motivate you.

Even hubby is getting in on the cleanse action. What an easy packed lunch!Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Even hubby is getting in on the cleanse action. What an easy packed lunch!
Follow me on Instagram @oliveonblonde

Mind

On top of the juice cleanse I am also mentally detoxing… considering this is a large contributor to my acidic reading. I have started myself on a magnesium supplement as well as taking Australian Bushflower Essences morning and night. I am halfway through the Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21-day Meditation Challenge and my goodness is this making a difference! Throw in the good bits like journalling, sleeping,Vitamin D and letting my feet touch the ocean every day.

Action Steps

So while my post at the end of this will be more detailed this is what I am doing to cleanse myself…

  • 3 days of 70% juice then 7 days of 100% juice
  • Oil pulling every morning
  • Dry brushing every morning
  • Apple Cider Vinegar every morning
  • Australia Bush Flower Essences and Magnesium Supplement every night
  • Regular exercise and sunshine
  • More sleep (if my 4 month old little goose allows!)
  • No alcohol!

Oh yeah… and I got rid of my microwave!!!

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A Final Word

When I have told a few of my loved ones that I am doing a juice cleanse they had a bit of a chuckle at me. They mentioned that I have just about tried everything health fad under the sun and getting rid of my microwave is proof that I am insane! I think it was meant as a snipe but surely there can’t be a better compliment? It shows that instead of accepting a body and mind that I am unhappy with, I will never stop working towards my perfect self. People always say that you should never quit but then sometimes when you put that into practice you are met with skepticism. I say that as long as you never quit quitting you are on the right track. As long as you never stop striving to be the best person you can then you are always improving. Even if every day I only move one step forward it is better than just standing still.

So if you are one of those people too – that is working towards that ultimate goal and trying everything that you can… bloody good on ya! I think you are amazing.

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My Journey to Wellness

illustration by Olive on Blonde

illustration by Olive on Blonde

I have been on a truly amazing journey of self discovery over the past year. About this time last year I was working full time, partying a lot (code for “drinking too much”) and while I has really good intentions about health I wasn’t really walking the walk. Skip forward I am now a mother to an absolutely gorgeous 3 month old girl and she has given me such motivation to be truly healthy. And now that I am actually doing it right it is amazing how good I am feeling. I heard a quote once that said something along the lines of “most of us go through lives unaware of how amazing our bodies are designed to feel”. I am starting to realise this is true. My new interest in wellness is changing my life and, therefore, also changing my blog and career path! I thought I would share some of the discoveries and decisions I have made…

New Career Path

I am a jack of all trades, master of none. It is actually an in-joke that my close friends and family direct at me at virtually every meet up. I have started studies in Journalism, Architecture, Graphic Design and Sustainable Development but not completed any of those degrees. But… I don’t regret any of it! I have learnt a lot and loved every bit of those studies but they have not made my heart sing and grabbed my passion by the proverbial balls. It was then I realised that there has been one recurring interest and challenge since I was a teenager – Nutrition. Since my teenage years I have had a completely tortured relationship with my body and confidence: I have spoken previously on this blog about my struggles with anxiety (see here). And while I am still wading through a lot of those issues (with the help of the Wellness Warrior… read on) I am getting better every day. So the bizarre little cocktail of my past experiences, how I used to feel, how I feel now and the people that have helped me have motivated me to change my course… and I ended up here.

I will be commencing studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to start my career as a health and wellness coach! This is a college that boasts such luminaries as Jessica Ainscough (The Wellness Warrior), Sarah Wilson (of I Quit Sugar fame among other things) and OF COURSE raw food guru David Wolfe. Beyond that one of my all time favorite bloggers and friends Vegan Sparkles will be completing the course also. I am so excited about this new direction and for once feel completely confident that it is the right choice for me. As I move along with my studies and keep going with my own journey I will blog about all the new things I learn. I am still going to be very focused on sustainability and DIY but with the added focus of wellness… in all seriousness they go hand in hand anyway!

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The Lifestyle Transformation Guide

This has been the vehicle I have used to change my life. I always talk about Jess (she was one of my Wonderful Women of Wellness in this last post) and the amazing work she does on her website The Wellness Warrior and have also mentioned that I was lucky enough to win a Lifestyle Transformation Health Scholarship. The Lifestyle Transformation Guide is a 12 step course that leads you to your dream life. There are no deadlines and you work your way through at your own pace – though an end date is recommended. My end date is April 13 (not so coincidentally my 27th birthday)!

Photo courtesy of www.wellnesswarrior.com.au

I will go into this in more detail in another blog post but the crux of it is practicing a serious amount of self-love as shifting your priorities so that your health sits above everything else. I have learnt the power of affirmations, believing in myself, setting your day up to achieve your goals and truly healthy eating. Before starting the LTG I used to eat well but still had unbelievably unhealthy habits. For example, I would still think of bad food as a treat, I still grappled with a bit of an eating disorder which I have never been able to quite crush and if I had a stressful day I would drown it in wine. I never really thought I could get rid of these down right shitty habits but slowly and surely they are melting away. It is feeling amazing. As part of the course you are also granted access to a private Facebook group where all of Jess’ scholars can share ideas, milestones, setbacks and everything else in between – it is an amazing support network. Not to mention the coaching calls from Jess. If you are struggling with anything in your life or even if you are not but just want to feel better then I sincerely recommend signing up for the course!

Next stop is conquering stillness and this is bound to be my biggest hurdle yet. Can’t wait.

It's all about visualising your perfect self!illustration by Olive on Blonde

It’s all about visualising your perfect self!
illustration by Olive on Blonde

New Diet

As part of the course I am not only retraining my mind but also my taste buds  I have adapted to a life free of gluten, most grains (I very occasionally have a bit of rice or Quinoa), refined sugar, caffeine (apart from the amount found in raw cacao) and anything packaged at all. My big challenge started yesterday and that is cutting out my 2 glasses of wine every evening. I realised that I have been eating this amazing alkaline diet that is free of preservatives and additives and then dosing up on an acidic glass of nasties every evening. It is going to be difficult as wine is my way of coping with my anxiety (not so healthy) so I am under no illusion that this will be my hardest task yet.

I have switched to an all organic diet. I previously would incorporate a lot of organic foods but not entirely: I always found the cost prohibitive (especially now on a single income). But having a baby changed it all because I want to ensure that she only ever consumes organic food (within reason – I will let her experience the wonder that is a choc-dipped soft serve icecream one day!). I seem to managed to get the formula down for how to live organically within fairly tight budgetary constraints. (I will blog about this this week!).

Exercise

illustration by Olive on Blonde

illustration by Olive on Blonde

Starting to exercise again after a year off and with a new post baby body to get used to was terrifying. But if I didn’t throw myself in the deep end it was going to keep getting scarier. So I have signed up for a 2 month intense training program which ends in a 10km obstacle race. *GULP*. Throw in some calming yoga and I am definitely moving again.

New Health Habits

It is funny that embracing organic produce and raw foods is considered an ‘alternative lifestyle’. You often hear it in the media being described as ‘extreme’ but could anything make more sense? Ancient practices are often scoffed at these days – remember this Pete Evans fiasco regarding activating his almonds? I would have been one of those people a year or two again. Eating clay in the morning? Pull the other one. But I guess I should not have judged it before trying. I will blog about these new habits in further details but some of the quirky new habits I incorporate in my life include;

  • Dry Body Brushing – every morning I use this Ayurvedic cleansing method to kickstart my bodies system from the outside.
  • Oil Pulling – borrowing from Ayurveda again I also practice this cleansing method every morning.
  • Activating my food – Nuts, seeds and the occasional grain gets activated. (See my post about activating foods here).
  • Meditation – I am still practicing this… it is very hard. Who would have thought that just concentrating on your breath could be so difficult?
  • Affirmations – sometimes if you say something enough (even if you don’t believe it at first) you can change your own mind. Case in point saying into the mirror “You are beautiful and I love you”. Sounds insane… but try it first.
  • Gratitude journal – Write something that you are grateful for every day. This can turn your worst day around when you realise how lucky you are. I have a Gratitude Jar and I also write one on behalf of my daughter (its a nice way to remember her milestones i.e. “I am grateful that I learned how to laugh today!”)

More on those ‘crazy’ ideas later.

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Onward and Upward!

So I hope that wasn’t too boring or self-indulgent. I just wanted to share my revelations and also mention where I am going with my life. I am so excited and can’t wait to blog all the way along.

What about you? Have you made any major changes in your life? Any crazy, quirky health habits?