Springing Forward!

Hi Friends,

Can you believe it's already Sunday and the first week of March is behind us?  I was pleasantly surprised this morning when a notification popped up on my phone reminding me of daylight savings time.  I really didn't mind getting up either because it's been such wonderful weather.  I had a great 1st week at Lake Theater & Cafe and the weather this weekend has been amazing too; in the high 60's-low 70's!  I'm looking forward to more weeks like this.

Before I get into what I've been up to, I wanted to follow-up on our progress toward mindful meal planning.  We did really well during the trial-run week.  We made lots of home-cooked meals and watched our spending.   That being said, WEEK 1 has taken a bit of an unexpected turn.  I was listening to the Balanced Bites podcast this past week and learned about Christa Orecchio's The Whole Journey candida cleanse program.  It sounded very intriguing and stirred my interest, based on my background in nutrition.   After doing some research, I decided to try it.  (my version)  A little internal spring cleaning!   

Here's what we bought WEEK 1 Groceries:  

  • Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii+MOS
  • Traditional Medicinals Organic (OG) dandelion leaf & root herbal tea
  • The Republic of Tea Decaf Ginger Peach Green Tea (this is my daily green tea)
  • Great Plains bentonite clay (liquid dietary supplement)
  • Gaia Olive Leaf (vegetarian liquid phyto-caps dietary supplement)
  • Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (ordered online, fresh water type, Amorphous Silica)
  • Traditional Medicinals Pau d’Arco tea (ordered online, have not yet received)
  • Evolution essential greens with lemon
  • California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • Dr. Bronner's OG coconut oil
  • OG large brown eggs
  • OG Grass fed ground beef
  • 2 OG whole chickens
  • Whole black pepper
  • Fennel seed
  • OG Sprouted corn tortillas (refrigerated)
  • OG Raw cashews
  • A bunch of OG sweet basil
  • Roasted garlic hummus
  • A bunch of OG spinach
  • A head of OG Romaine lettuce
  • 3 Lg OG avocado
  • 2 OG sweet potato (have not yet eaten)
  • 1 OG butternut squash (roasted it, not even 1/2 eaten)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (have not yet eaten)
  • 2 Med OG tomato
  • Ginger root
  • 4 Sm OG zucchini1 head OG red leaf lettuce
  • 1 head OG green leaf lettuce
  • 1 container OG mixed baby greens
  • 2 Med OG cucumber
  • 1 OG fennel bulb
  • 2 bunches OG carrots
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 bunches OG kale
  • 1 OG onion
  • 1 bunch OG celery
  • 4 Sm bulbs OG garlic
  • 5 Sm OG limes
  • 3 Lg OG lemons
  • 2 OG Granny Smith apples
  • Stout beer (Justin's)
  • Frontera blue corn tortilla chips (New Seasons)
  • Echo Falls Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon (New Seasons)
  • New Season's guacamole (New Seasons)
  • Mary's Gone Crackers super seed crackers (New Seasons)
  • Brunswick boneless herring fillet (kippered snacks, Market of Choice )
  • Amy's vegetarian OG refried beans with mild green chilies (Market of Choice)

We shopped at Whole Foods Market except where otherwise indicated in the list.  The WEEK 1 Cost was $274.63.  (ouch, the supplements are expensive!)  Hopefully spending the money now to do some internal spring cleaning will save us money in healthcare costs in the future.  I won't go into every little detail of Christa's program here but want to share what I've experienced with you.  For an overview, I would suggest listening to the Balanced Bite podcast #180 and checking out The Whole Journey website.  Also, a quick online search could turn-up a pdf version of the program protocol (62 pgs).   After a week of pH testing, checking my saliva spit tests, drinking the "sludgy" cocktail, popping probiotics, waiting for gelatin to bloom and riding the antifungal rotation roller-coaster, I actually feel great, have not cheated once and am not having any food cravings.   The only side effects I experienced, cold sweats and headache, appeared on Tuesday the 3rd. I diligently followed the program protocol but, because of my size, reduced the dosage of probiotics and antifungal supplements recommended in the materials.  Unfortunately, it took a couple of days to get the diatomaceous earth so I started taking it a few days into the program.  And, I still haven't received the Pau d' Arco tea I ordered online.  Because it was the first antifungal on the 4-day rotation, I filled that gap with Dandelion leaf & root herbal tea.  For the past 4 days, I've been taking an olive leaf extract supplement, tomorrow will be the first day of 4 days on the grapefruit seed extract, followed by 4 days of oregano oil and by then, the Pau d'Arco tea should be here and I'll be able to start the 2nd 4 day rotation on-track.

Here are my notes after the first week:  

  • Continued the saliva spit test all week and all appeared positive for candida.  Note to self: plan to research the validity of this test online as time allows.
  • My new homemade "dressing": I mix it into salad greens, eat spread on my sprouted corn tortilla or spread over shredded organic chicken in a cast iron skillet and bake.  Ok, maybe I put this on just about anything!  To make, put equal parts cilantro, parsley and sweet basil into the small bowl of a food processor.  The bowl should be almost full of loose leaves (do not pack).  Add the juice from 1/2 a lime, salt, black pepper and process until the leaves have reduce significantly in size (similar to pesto).  Next, add 1/2 an avocado and 2 heaping spoons full of hummus and process again.  While it's processing, slowly pour olive oil into the processor to emulsify until it's the texture of a loose dip.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator  to keep fresh. 
  • For bone broth: I frequently add Great Lakes unflavored gelatin and shredded, roasted chicken meat to mine.  To make 1 cup:
    • heat a small sauce pan, add ghee and heat to melt
    • add roasted, shredded chicken meat (amount to taste) until it begins to brown
    • add Christa's Homemade immunity Spice Mixture to coat the chicken and continue to heat about 30 seconds to a minute longer (to bloom spices, approx. 1 tsp per cup of broth)
    • Pour 3/4 Cup of broth to the sauce pan and bring to a boil
    • Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of broth into a small glass bowl and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp  gelatin (I stir it).  Let the gelatin sit for about 5 minutes to allow it time to fully bloom
    • Add the bloomed gelatin to the sauce pan, stir to dissolve completely and reduce heat to simmer
  • Good snack: Frontera brand blue corn tortilla chips (organic indigo blue corn, corn oil, sea salt and trace of lime)  I realize this is made with corn oil but am only consuming in moderation (per the protocol) with New Season's guacamole (avocados, onions, cilantro, chilies, garlic, lime juice, salt & spices)
  • I like: Echo Falls Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon (salmon, hickory smoke)  This comes packaged ready to eat lox-style.
  • I soaked quinoa (had on-hand) in water for 3 hours, cooked it in bone broth and stored it in the refrigerator.
  • Try making blueberry almond milk - blend 1/4 cup frozen blueberries into 1 cup almond milk.

  • For a snack spread to eat on Mary's Gone Crackers crackers, heat a Tbsp of coconut oil in a small cast iron skillet, add mashed butternut squash and a tsp of Christa's Homemade Immunity Spice Mixture.  Next add a small pour of bone broth, a Tbsp of cashew butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat until the bone broth has evaporated and the mixture is heated through and well combined.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Spread on crackers, add a piece of Echo Falls Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon and top with a round of cucumber.

hile we spent a lot getting started on this interesting program, our grocery expense should be quite a bit less in WEEK 2.  I should mention that I didn't follow the recipes provided in the program but instead, created my own meals based on the program guidelines (a good exercise).

In the midst of being pretty consumed by the girls, all this meal planning stuff and work this week, I managed to stumble on a pretty cool spanish terracotta dish during one of our outings to New Seasons Market.  This is very exciting for me.  I have a single set of 6 glazed terracotta muffin cups, a random purchase I made years and years ago, that produce the most fabulous baked muffins.  I've since tried to find more just like them with no luck.  The dish isn't a muffin cup but if it produces the same quality baked items, I can't wait to put it to use.  I have to wait though because it has to soak for 6 hours prior to use.