Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rewards - Day 8

Can you believe it? You’ve already finished the first week of cleansing! Maybe you’re thinking about giving yourself a treat – and you deserve one because you’ve done a great job so far!

But the reward system we’ve grown accustomed to is probably one of the most dangerous landmines we face in our dietary lives. From the time we smeared our first birthday cake across our faces we’ve been taught to celebrate through our mouths.

Special dinners, holiday meals, even funeral buffets find us hunched over our plates, fork or spoon in constant motion, prospecting for that one bite that will bring us a culinary version of comfort or joy. Some of us seek solace or celebration in liquid form, tossing back glass after glass of beer or booze in an effort to rejoice or relax. But in either case the satisfaction is only temporary and we wind up with an overstuffed belly, a pounding head, and an empty soul.

This cleanse gives us time to rethink and redefine our relationships with food and alcohol – it’s the perfect time to consider a more sophisticated way of rewarding ourselves when we deserve a little something special. Some of you have already experienced challenges and victories during the course of this cleanse. And some of you have probably felt like you deserved a reward simply because of the sacrifices you’re making. But you can’t have a cookie, you can’t have a glass of wine – hell, you can’t even have a Wheat Thin!

So what do you do? Here are some ideas:

1) Get a mani/pedi - not express; the spa kind that gives you get the full royal treatment
2) Get your hair done - a new cut or color, highlights, straighting, deep conditioning
3) Take a Yoga class - Bikram for sweating out toxins; restorative is almost better than a massage
4) Buy those cute red (or whatever color your covet) shoes you’ve been eyeing
5) Make a date with your vibrator (very healthy!)
6) See a foreign movie
7) Spend an undisturbed hour with a good book
8) Take a walk
9) Get a makeover - fall is the perfect time to bring new colors into your makeup palette
10) Try a new perfume
11) Take a dance class - tap, salsa, pole; whatever gets your juices flowing
12) Get a wax - brows, upper lip, Brazillian, arms
13) See a concert
14) Get a massage
15) Go to the zoo
16) Tackle a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle
17) Watch an old movie
18) See a psychic
19) Paint a room a new color
20) Get a cushy pair of slippers

We’re making all sorts of changes during these 21 days. This is the chance to shift your perspective and find other ways to reward yourself. What do you like to do? What gives you joy? What makes you feel safe, secure and well tended to? Whatever the answer, remember that you're already taking great care of your body - now is the time to feed your soul? You deserve it!

Here's to a great Day 8!


  1. Hey,

    I love the ideas!!! I think I'll take on the zoo, the yoga, and the hour with a good book over the next few weeks. :)

    Hey, is anyone else REALLY tired still? What's with me? I'm exhausted when I wake up. I have been allowing myself more sleep...funny, I can go to sleep earlier when I've not had any caffeine! And then when I wake up I'm still sluggish for a good few hours before I am awake. Then in the afternoons I feel like I need a big nap! Is this just my body adjusting? I remember reading Sugar Blues a long time ago and the guy that kicked sugar was horrifically sick the first 48 hours, but after that, he woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on day three. Where's my day three? :) I am still all-in. I have lost two pounds in the past week. I have worked out consistently and felt good about what I'm putting into my body.

    Also, if I may add...my sugar cravings have been almost non-existent. I think this is because I haven't been eating gluten. I've read this in several places over the years, that gluten triggers sugar cravings. I'd never experienced that phenomenon. Now I have. I am starting to feel the freedom! Yeah!


  2. I have been sleeping great and have been waking up refreshed this time but I do remember the last time I did it being tired for the first week. Keep up the good work!

  3. Hey, Maggie, keep in mind that the seasons are changing too. That can make you drowsy. You are so well-versed in nutrition! Thanks so much for sharing these little nuggets of wisdom - like gluten triggering sugar cravings. I had no idea. And I'm glad you're feeling freer than when you started this journey. That's what it's all about!

    And good memory,Kathleen - there were a lot of us who were pretty sluggish for a while at the beginning of the last cleanse.

    So I guess it depends on a lot of factors. But it does get better!

  4. Hi all… sorry I haven’t posted or remarked since we started. I should have plenty time because I’m not working a job; but, solo sailing has its foibles and one is Internet connection the other is really bad weather. I’m in port at Sister Bay WI following today’s suggestion and gifting myself a whisker pole (it’s a boat thing) and repairing a torn mainsail.

    A few quick comments about first time cleansing. First and foremost is that all has been going very well. No major body upsets and I’m finding that this is mostly a personal challenge to the way I perceived diet and food pleasure. I’m hoping that many of the better diet decisions will remain lifetime residuals and emerge as normal eating behavior. As an insulin dependent diabetic, I’ve lowered my insulin use by 15% in this first week and the blood glucose numbers have been following a tighter range. This alone is reason to incorporate my new knowledge into a future lifestyle decision.

    Being a restaurant centric eater from San Francisco, the biggest challenge has been developing new and exciting recipes. At first, I was concerned that one could only go so far with fruit, greens, and nuts. Compounded by few and far between ports of call and food stores. However, that has not been true for the great part. By using oatmeal, rice, potato lefsa and corn tortilla wraps as the base for my carbohydrates and adding two or three additional ingredients; one or two for flavor (garlic, ginger, various prepared forms of shallots) and one for texture (celery, nuts, hard fruits) I’m able to create multiple concoctions that are tasty and interesting. In the process, I am learning several cooking techniques to carry flavors into my foods, which will be useful after the 21 day period. Who would have know that my culinary skills would improve.

    I need to start using whey protein; but have been unable to locate any in the ports I’ve been to on the Green Bay and Lake MI waters. Soon I hope.

    Sleeping on the boat has never been better (it was never bad) and quick naps have been immensely rejuvenating. I love being rocked to sleep in the water.

    On a spiritual level, I’ve been reflecting on a couple of mantra’s. The first has been a big part of my life for many years and it’s simply… Let go, let God. Whenever I’m challenged by the cleansing regime I fall back on this mantra by putting the burden on God. The second is that for everything you let go, you are able to replace it with something else. When I feel like I am denying myself of a staple good (like a tumbler of 18yo McCallin’s scotch) I remind myself that I can fill that spot with reading from Rumi or a good historic novel (I’ve been reading Viking historic fiction).

    Biggest issues confronting me are/were:

    Weakness. During days 3-5 I did not have the strength I needed to carry on the way I normally do, which puts me at risk in some sailing conditions. This seems to have subsided but I also greatly reduced the effort I put into daily strength training and slightly increase calorie intake.

    Hunger. Starting about day 6, I began to feel hungrier that I had previously. I’m increasing the calorie amount and that seems to be doing the trick.

    Discipline. Boy do I want someone to cook one of my meals. However, I am in deep fried country and limited food types so I need to stay out of the restaurants until I find one that is not a gastronomic disaster. Since turning 18, I don’t believe that 21 days has ever gone past where I didn’t imbibe in some fashion. I bartered the last remaining IPA beers to a camper that had run dry in the middle of her trip. I’m holding on to the bottle of Bakers bourbon for day 22.

    Hope all is going well for the rest of the cleansers. God Bless…


  5. Chris's post was really motivating for me today! I'm in a bit of a menu slump and liked his perspective. I laughed at the reference to being in "deep-fried country" - so accurate! I think many folks around here feel like cheese is one tier of the food pyramid all on its own!

    Have a question - are we allowed the whey protein, because I thought that had gluten so using the soy isolate. It's harder to find around here so if we can use the whey...somebody might be able to clear that up for me.

    BTW last night I made the quinoa-cannelini burgers with a few changes. I added shitake mushrooms, spinach and onions and shaped them into meatballs instead of patties. I served them with a fresh marinara sauce over quinoa pasta for the kids, but since that's a lot of carbs I ate mine over a bed of spinach. Not bad!
    Also hauled out the "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" cookbook and will try out a few new recipes this week. If anyone has anything new and fabulous they've recently tried I'd love to hear it.
    I love reading all of these from everyone. It feels like we have our own little health brigade marching on. Hang in there troops!

  6. Hey, Gang! What an incredible day we're having! And I agree with Jenny - we are really turning into a great team! Thanks to everyone for adding their valuable insights!

    Wanna clear the whey thing up right now - whey is a dairy derivative so it's out. The best alternative I can find is Rainbow Light Protein Energizer in vanilla. On top of being a rice protein,it's got the lowest sugar content of any powders I've researched.

    I want to speak to some of Christopher's thoughtful observations and will do so later today.

    I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' everyone's positive energy and loving every minute of this! Thank you all so much!

  7. So I just talked to Maggie about my lunch situation. My husband and I got our flu shots at noon today. He asked me to lunch but it had to be to go. He thinks this no caffiene no sugar etc etc is crazy. So I order a turkey sand on wheat and brought it back to the office threw it away and heated up brown rice and tofu. I'm so bad but sooo good at the same time. I really don't think God finished men. Just my opinion

  8. Trish, that's too funny! I think you are the embodiment of the phrase, "Pick your battles!" Nicely done. What your husband doesn't know won't hurt him! And he's probably saying this stuff is crazy because he doesn't think he could do it. That's usually the case, particularly in the food arena. You hear it all the time about dieting - one spouse decides to lose some weight and the other one is so insecure that he or she keeps sabotaging the dieter. It's classic. But you've figured out how to get around it! Here's to female ingenuity!

    Sorry, Christopher. But I think I'm safe in saying that all of us at SkinnyPlus would probably agree that you are the advanced and evolved version of the masculine of the species!

  9. Yes Christopher I speaking of my personal man person

  10. Ahoy, Christopher! First let me say I’m amazed that you have taken on this cleanse while sailing solo on Lake Michigan! You’re showing that it can be done anywhere so no excuses, gang! If Christopher can do it on the high seas, we can do it on dry land!

    I think you’ve got a little McGyver vibe going –you have to be resourceful to sail alone and you’ve got to be creative to come up with new recipes on this cleanse. But it sounds like you’ve been enjoying the climb up the culinary learning curve.

    And it’s so encouraging to hear that your health has improved already – and you’re learning that you play the most important role in the management of your diabetes. How empowering that has to be! It’s that kind of result that affirms to me that nutrition really does have a huge impact on our health, and that by making a few modifications we can transform our bodies and their chemistry.

    As for the spiritual side of things, I’ve been told that cleansing is the portal to the spiritual. And I believe it. And since the theme of this cleanse is Clean Up Your Act and we’re talking about eliminating excess and clutter, “let go” is utterly appropriate. Think about it, as long as you cling to something – a thing, a person, an idea - your hand will be clenched in a fist. But when you let go, your hand opens. Then it's able to receive. Nice, huh? I think your mantra is perfect!

    On top of that, you’re filling the voids left by a single malt or an IPA with some fantastic reading material. Sufi love poems, eh? Between that and the cleansing and sailing, you’re beginning to sound like a too-good-to-be-true personals ad! But, seriously, it’s cool as hell that you’re finding a way to replace old behaviors with more productive ones. And after all this time, isn’t it nice to know that you don’t need a drink every day?

    Glad to hear that the feeling of weakness has ebbed. There were probably a lot of factors contributing to it. You may have read Maggie’s various posts about coming off caffeine and how she’s continued to feel tired. I suggested to her that part of it could be due to the change of seasons. And Kathleen remembered that a number of us felt the same way during the last cleanse in the spring. So you might be reacting to the seasonal change and you’re probably reacting to a fairly drastic change in your diet. To top it off, you mentioned having the need for more protein – and you do need protein, particularly for strength training – you may have been deficient in those first few days.

    About protein powder – I know you’re in territory that might not be too accommodating to your current diet, but if you can get a soy- or rice-based protein powder, please give that a try. Whey is derived from dairy so it’s not on the cleanse. But I think we can give you a pass if you can’t find anything else.

    And a thought about protein while away from home – last weekend I discovered that extra firm tofu right out of the package will work in a pinch. I was dying for protein so I got a block of tofu, dried it, then sliced it and topped it with salsa. It wasn’t a gourmet treat, but it did exactly what it was supposed to do - it took about 3 minutes to prepare and made me feel like a million bucks. So you might want to consider getting some tofu to have on hand for quick, easy protein fixes.

    As for the restaurants you’re encountering, you’re wise to keep a wary eye on them. But you never know – there may be some little co-op in one of those ports that could style you out with some great food. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    Thanks for the inspiring message, Christopher! Yours is a compelling story – I’m sure we’d all like to hear more when you have the time!

    Continued smooth sailing to you!

  11. Great posts today, all! Thanks for being here!


  12. Isn't that the truth, Maggie?! This is been a killer day! Thanks everybody for your wisdom and enthusiasm! Sleep - and wake - well!