Day 156: Ultra Detox Bath Soak

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Today’s first is something I’ve been wanting to try for months, but the opportunity just hadn’t shown up yet. Tonight, after a busy day, it seemed the perfect time. My first was to experience Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra Detox Bath.

This relaxing bath is part of Dr. Hyman’s daily practices during the 10 Day Detox Diet. During my 10 days, I followed the other practices but didn’t get to do this one. Here is the recipe:

Fill a tub with hot water

Add 2 cups Epsom salts, ½ cup baking soda, and 10 – 20 drops of lavender oil.

Light candles, play soothing music, dim the lights

Add one stressed human

Soak for 20 – 30 minutes

The Ultra Detox Bath combines Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), baking soda (alkalinizing), and lavender oil (cortisol and stress reducing aromatherapy). This delicious ritual creates profound relaxation and detoxification. Soaking in the steaming water gives one the triple benefit of mind and muscle relaxation and whole body detoxification.

One of the reasons I’ve not done this yet is that I don’t have a bathtub. I have a large, step in shower, which is great for getting ready in the mornings. My daughter, Adriel, lives a block away from me. I can see the back of her house from the front of mine. I haven’t wanted to intrude or be there using her bathtub when she or Kelly are home. But tonight, I knew no one would be home, and Adriel not only offered the use of a tub, she graciously offered the use of her deep soaking tub in the master bathroom.

I have to say, I was excited! I gathered up the necessary ingredients, except I lacked Epsom salts, and bagged up several white candles. I just needed to pick up Epsom salts. A quick stop at Walgreens and I was ready to detox in the bathtub! Arriving at the house, I found Adriel had left the tv in the master bedroom tuned in to a music channel. I lit candles and started the hot water pouring into the deep tub. I added the baking soda and the Epsom salts. I paused, inhaling deeply. Was Epsom salts supposed to smell so good?

Checking the label, I discovered I’d purchased Epsom salts with Eucalyptus. Since I don’t believe anything happens by mistake, I considered this a happy occurrence. Adding 20 drops of lavender oil made the bath water and indeed, the whole room, smell wonderful. Sinking into that tub of fragrant, hot water was bliss. Eyes closed as I sank back, I took several slow, deep breaths and allowed my muscles to relax, and my mind to clear of chatter.

The next 30 minutes were wonderful. I sipped cold water. I listened to music. I meditated. And finally, I just allowed myself to be.  I was Cindy, soaking quietly in a tub of hot water, happy to be. Nothing more was needed in that moment. At the end of my bath I was deeply relaxed, content, and I trust, detoxed!

I appreciate Adriel allowing me to use her home and tub tonight. I might want to offer her a monthly fee in exchange for use of that marvelous tub. And it just might be possible that in the future I could be seen padding across the street and vacant lot that separates our houses, hair up, wearing a bathrobe and flipflops, on my way to soak!

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Day 109: Chocolate Nut Cake Recipe from Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

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I’ve been on Dr. Hyman’s Detox Diet for 54 days now. I’ve eliminated sugar, gluten, flour and dairy from my diet during this time. I continue to feel great! I have more and more energy and stamina, sleep better, and joint pain in my knees and fingers is almost entirely gone with flexibility continuing to improve weekly. I don’t have headaches, except an occasional sinus headache, and haven’t had indigestion or acid reflux since I eliminated sugar. And, I’m now 20 pounds lighter than when I started this change in eating.

I’ve discovered what I can eat, and haven’t found it difficult to eat healthily and well. I purchased Dr. Hyman’s Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, which contains 175 great recipes. At this point, I’m beginning to transition. I’ll rarely include sugar or processed white flour in my diet from this point forward. I’ve become a believer in the harm both do to the body and the inflammation that they cause leads to most of the diseases that plague us. The same with gluten. I used to love bread. Now it will be something I have as a rare treat, if at all. I’ll also continue to limit dairy products, which can cause the body to create too much mucus. (Ewww!) Dr. Hyman suggests trying gluten or dairy sparingly, one at a time, and see how your body reacts. If there is a return of inflammation in the body, continue to avoid it or limit its use. This is a lifestyle change for me, not just a diet.

This time of year, candy is everywhere! I haven’t eaten a lot of candy, in the past, but around Easter time, I  would enjoy a marshmallow Peep or two! Or perhaps a peanut butter chocolate egg. I’m happy that I bought treats for the kids and grandkids, without indulging in the goodies myself. For my first today, I decided to try one of the dessert recipes in my new cookbook, Chocolate Nut Cake. This treat does not contain any sugar, flour, gluten or dairy products. It was simple and quick to make and doesn’t require baking.

Mix together in a blender or food processor (I think a food processor works best), 10 pitted dates, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ¼ cup almond butter, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Spread mixture into a greased mini loaf pan and place in freezer for 30 minutes. When cold, slice into 6 pieces.

A healthy, anti-inflammatory dessert will be an occasional treat for me, rather than a daily snack. I love Dr. Hyman’s philosophy concerning desserts. He says, “The most important advice I can give you is this: stay present in the act of enjoying your treats when you have them. Savor them in small amounts. After all, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, holidays and rituals are the traditions that make life truly sweet! I want you to live to eat, not the other way around.” I love that. Stay present with your food and the act of enjoying what you eat. I’ve been a mindless consumer of food for far too long. I love the ritual of preparing something healthy and eating it in a very mindful way. Food then, and the preparation of it, becomes an art and a spiritual practice.

And the chocolate nut cake? Rich, velvety and luscious. I savored every bite.

Day 64: 10 Day Detox Diet

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My first for today is that I have completed the 10 Day Detox Diet, as created by Dr. Mark Hyman. My body has been telling me for quite some time that I needed to eat differently. With the wonderful energy surrounding me as I do my year of moving beyond, I felt drawn to listen inward, to what my body was saying.

She was telling me she was sluggish, stiff and in pain! I have headaches quite often and several of my joints were painful. I’ve lost some mobility. I also have had high blood pressure and a blood sugar reading that was borderline. It truly was time to take back my health! I wanted to combat these ailments with good nutrition rather than medication. So I put the desire out there, “I want to be healthy!”

Standing in line at the supermarket, a woman’s magazine caught my eye. Featured on the front cover was a headline that proclaimed: 10 Day TOTAL BODY MAKEOVER! Heal imflammation, reverse diabetes, allergies and high blood pressure, end junk food cravings. Perfect! I bought the magazine, and armed with that single article and later Dr. Hyman’s book, 10 Day Detox Diet, I began a 10 day adventure.

I’ve known that inflammation is a THE cause for most illnesses, aging, weight gain and joint pain. I didn’t realize that sugar, gluten, flour and dairy products create inflammation and that they are extremely addictive. Sugar is 8 TIMES more addictive than cocaine. Wow. I went cold turkey, giving up these four substances. Dr. Hyman suggests we can do anything for 10 days. I was willing to give this diet a try and see how I felt on day 10.

And, I feel great! The first couple of days, as my body purged itself of toxins, I had a headache and itchy skin. By day 4 I was feeling higher energy, less pain, less stiffness, and no hunger. I’m sleeping better and deeper at night and wake feeling refreshed. Normal blood pressure. No headaches. No cravings. I feel clear headed, optimistic and lighter. I AM lighter. Six plus pounds melted away in 10 days. My desire is to be at optimal health. If I weigh less as a result, that’s a bonus!

Today, I’ve decided to continue with this program for another 90 days. I’m deeply grateful that I listened to my body and that I discovered Dr. Hyman’s plan. I feel like I’m contributing in a positive way to my health and wellness. I’m eating lean proteins, berries, nuts and fresh vegetables. Drinking lots of water. A month ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be enjoying such simple fare, but I am, and my body thanks me for it, every day.

You can check out this program here: http://www.10daydetox.com/

Day 62: Create a Health Bubble

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During this cold winter, I’ve created ice bubbles and icy winter globes as firsts. Today was another cold day with yesterday’s ice and snow covering the ground. It was the perfect day to stay in and create another first, a health bubble!

I recently decided to take back my health, using a detox diet designed by Dr. Mark Hyman. More about that in a few days, as I complete the 10 day detox. One of the things I’ve appreciated about Dr. Hyman’s book is that he has a section for daily use, full of encouraging tips and ideas. Today’s section was called Design. And it fit in perfectly with my day. The action plan was to make sure my environment is supportive of my desires and intentions for my health. Dr. Hyman says, “We need to create our own “health bubble”. I want you to discover how to sync up your motivation, your ability, and the environmental triggers to make doing the right thing automatic.” My strategies for today that I focused on: Organize my kitchen for healthy meal preparation and make my bedroom a sanctuary.

Eight days ago, I emptied out my refrigerator and stocked it with fresh produce and healthy proteins such as eggs, chicken, turkey and fish. Today, I tackled the cabinets, where unhealthy processed snacks still lurked. It is difficult for me to throw away food. I had to override that voice in my head telling me I was wasting perfectly good food. I did attempt to give some of it away, but found that created a conflict as well! If I don’t consider it healthy for me to eat, how can I foist it on someone else? Once I threw a few things in the trash and silenced any sense of guilt about it, I made great progress! I felt very good about cleaning out the junk food. I now have a refrigerator AND pantry stocked with healthy food choices.  I have a great food prep area ready to go as well.

In his book, Dr. Hyman asks the question, “Is your bedroom designed to be a peaceful, stress-free environment that promotes rest?” I took a critical look at my bedroom with that question in mind, and decided it could use some tweaking. The TV that I had moved to my bedroom when my young granddaughter spent the night was still present. Back it went to the spare bedroom. After a bit of tidying up, I decided to add a bistro table set that I had bought last weekend at a junk show. I love this set and it will eventually end up in my backyard garden, but for now, it has a home in my bedroom. I think I’ve created my new morning spot for breakfast, tea and reading.

I have a quote that I attach to the bathroom mirror occasionally. It reads, My entire living space is an affirmation, reflecting the energy I wish to utilize in fulfilling my personal destiny. I am being intentional about creating an environment that not only supports who I am, but who I am becoming!