Once Upon Our Life 3-31-14

logo2Once a month.  No iphone.  Every hour.  Real pictures.  Making memories.

9:30 am – play time

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10:30 – headed to Kindermusik (J. would NOT look at the camera…wasn’t in the mood for picture taking)

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1:30 – playing outside…loving all the nice weather we’re finally having

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2:30 – we’re back outside

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3:30 – coming inside because someone had a bike crash

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4:30 – back outside

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5:30 – Daddy grabbed the camera and captured this image because mommy went walking and didn’t take her big camera ;)

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6:00 – headed to small group

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7:00 (or later ?) – all that playing outside worn them slap out

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Cycle 2

You’ve read all about the plan and the detox (if you missed it, the plan/detox post is HERE).  Now I want to share Cycle 2.

cycle 2

Cycle 2 is the reintroduction of the 7 foods that were detoxed in Cycle 1.  It’s a month (or 28 days) of tailoring a diet fit for YOUR body’s chemistry….remember, our bodies aren’t bank accounts, they’re chemistry labs, thus making Cycle 2 a ‘science experiment’.  ;)   In Cycle 2, each food is reintroduced one week at a time.  The way the food effects you is supposed to be journaled but I never did that.  I never really had the chance because I knew RIGHT away which foods I still could not tolerate.  That doesn’t mean I may never tolerate them…it may just mean my gut needs to heal a little longer.  The book gives you precise instructions on how to conduct Cycle 2 and she strongly suggests keeping a journal to track your symptoms in order to find out what foods you can/can’t tolerate.

Week 1 – Test the Gluten
I skipped this week.  She didn’t specify a reason why it was important to add gluten *first*, so I figured it would be ok to skip it.  I did this because I felt in my gut (ha, get what I did there? ;)) that gluten was a big problem for me all along.  So, no gluten for me in Week 1.
(side note: I did try to reintroduce gluten later, but had a horrible headache, felt extreme fatigue, and felt very irritable only hours after eating it.  I knew it was the gluten because I had not felt this way in so long…it was obvious!)

Week 2 – Test the Soy
I did ok with soy!  I tried steamed soy beans (Edemame) and they didn’t effect me in a negative way.

Week 3 – Test the Eggs
I will admit, I still have not added these back either.  Not because I thought they were a problem for me, but simply because I’m not a big egg person anyway.  I have eaten a couple of things that the ingredients say “contains eggs”, but it has not effected me negatively.

Week 4 – Test the Dairy
I could not tolerate dairy either.  It’s still a problem for me.  It made me feel bloated.  I had horrible upset stomach.  Tired, etc. etc. etc.  I really am not a big fan or dairy either, except I did eat cheese.  I didn’t drink milk before and my children have never had cow’s milk either.  I plan to do a whole post on cow’s milk/dairy very soon!

The 3 things left are corn, peanuts, and sugar.  Dr. Virgin suggests these foods stay out of your diet 95% of the time.  They are the worst to wreak havoc on your body and it’s not worth it.  I have to say I sort-of agree.  I haven’t felt this good in so long, I don’t want to do anything to risk going back.  If I crave sugar or I want to sweeten something, I use honey, xylitol, or stevia.

It’s very  important to remember to NOT add back the foods you can tolerate during the “test” weeks.  Only test one food at a time.  I really wanted to know exactly what was effecting me in what ways, so this part was easy for me.

“Now, let’s look at what happens once you stop eating a food that used to give you trouble.  Before, your body was full of antibodies that your immune system created over time to protect you from those specific foods.  But when you stop eating those foods, those antibodies gradually disappear.  So even one small bit might be enough to give you a powerful reaction.”  - Dr. JJ Virgin

Questions & Answers:

Did you loose more weight in Cycle 2?
Yes, I did.  I’ve lost 16 pounds total since I started the plan.  But, consuming a food that you can’t tolerate at all during this phase of the plan can stall your weight loss journey.  I wouldn’t worry too much.  As long as you’re finding out what you can tolerate, your weight will even back out after Cycle 2.

How did you know which foods you could tolerate?
Believe me.  You just know.  At the start of Cycle 1, I felt horrible.  The first couple of weeks of the detox were horrible for  me.  By the end of the detox, I felt 20 years old again (if not better) and I could tell immediately when something reentered my body that my body could not tolerate.  If you follow the plan exact, and do not cheat, this part is very easy.

Since you reacted bad to the food when you reintroduced it, does that mean you can never eat that food again?
No.  It just means you need to heal longer and try again.  (Dr. Virgin suggests 3 months).  Or, you could let that food go forever, which is what I’m thinking about doing with gluten.

Kitchen Staples During Detox

The most common response I’ve gotten when asked about the JJ Virigin plan is “What in the world CAN you/I eat?!”  I had the same exact reaction when my doctor told me about it.  I had to change the way I thought of meals and food.  And cooking.  Y’all know I don’t cook.  And I’m not just saying that like I cook and I think I can’t cook good.  Like, I. Don’t. Cook.  Ever.  My husband loves to cook and cooks every night.  It’s a “creative” outlet for him.  He has all sorts of cool kitchen gadgets.  Anyway, I really don’t cook ever.  Thankfully, he was all about me doing this plan and has really loved all the things we’ve tried and cooked.  We were getting to a place where we were pretty much eating the same meals over and over each week, so we were ready for a change!  So, my point is….if I can do this, ANYONE can do this.

I shared in THIS POST the 7 food groups to fast during the 21 day detox.  So what’s left?  Just about everything we eat has at least one of those things in it.  But here’s the problem — just about everything we eat has one of those things in it.  That’s the whole point of the detox and the plan.

I’ve had so many friends say they are starting the plan and I’m so excited to have friends doing it along with me.  I’ve also told countless people about it, about my symptoms and problems I was having, and about how I haven’t felt this good since I was in college and they are always so interested because of the countless symptoms they are having.  I’m blown away at how many women out there are struggling with some or one of the same  things I was struggling with.

Below you’ll find my staple items during the detox.  I of course had meat in my diet, but I didn’t show that on the diagram because honestly…it didn’t look pretty.  :)  I did eat beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, and bacon during the detox.  As far as my produce, I tired to get organic, but if it wasn’t possible one week it didn’t make or break me.  I also bought sandwich turkey/ham meat for lunch.  I made sure that none of the meat I consumed had any added antibiotics, etc.  READ ALL LABELS!  You’ll be surprised what has corn, eggs, and soy in it.  Just about everything!  You have to think “get back to the basics” which is how God intended it anyway.  He gave us everything we need in the earth.  I ask myself “is this a food that is in it’s most natural form?”  If the answer is “yes”, then it’s a good thing!  :)

staples during detox2

1. Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk – I used this in my milkshakes every morning during the detox.

2. Plant Fusion Shake Mix – I used this in my shake every morning.  It’s soy, dairy, gluten, GMO free!  And it’s good.

3.  lots and lots of FRESH ORGANIC PRODUCE – fruits and veggies such as grapes, apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, celery, tomatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, peppers, mushrooms, oranges, sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes aren’t as starchy as regular ones, so I ate a lot of sweet potatoes….I still eat them almost every day!)  I used fresh produce in just about every meal — my morning milkshakes, my lunch sandwiches, wraps or salads, my after dinner “desert”.

4.  Pure Coconut Oil – There are ENDLESS uses for coconut oil and that deserves a whole post, but in the kitchen we used it for cooking.  Instead of cooking in butter or oil, we used coconut oil.  It tastes amazing.  My favorite way to use it is rubbing it on a baking sheet and baking sliced sweet potatoes with cinnamon sprinkled on them!  Yum!  I will post about several other uses for coconut oil soon!

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – We used this to cook too and to make salad dressing.

6. Balsamic Vinegar – I mainly used this to make salad dressing.

7. Raw Honey – I used this on my fruit at night after dinner if I was craving something sweet.  I also mixed it with organic Dijon Mustard to make my own honey mustard for dipping and sandwiches.  I also put it in my green tea.

8. Ground Flaxseed – I put this in my milkshake every morning. I use the kind with mixed ground in it, too.

9. Brown Rice Noodles – This is the pasta we’d use for spaghetti dishes or any dish that we’d pasta in.

10.  Quinoa – some people think this is a grain, but it’s not.  It’s a seed.  It is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant.  Its frequently called a grain because it is used and cooked like one, and is often called an “Ancient Grain” and a “Wholegrain”. These terms can make it confusing, but trust me folks, it is not a grain. It is a gluten free super-seed, Pseudo-cereal.  I love this stuff!  It gives me the satisfaction of eating like a pasta and it tastes so good with so many other foods.  I bake apple slices and put them on Quinoa.  We put cooked veggies on Quinoa.  We do lots with this stuff!

11. Amy’s Organic Sandwich Rounds – These I used for sandwiches when I didn’t eat a salad for lunch or chicken.  I used organic turkey/ham sandwich meat or bacon and added lettuce, etc.  I used my “honey mustard” (see above) on these too!  They are a little pricey, but they taste good and hey…sometimes you just need bread!  :)  This bread is soy, dairy, gluten free and is also free of everything else in the detox cycle.   I was thrilled when my mom found this!

12. Sweet Potato Chips – Ok, so these are technically a “staple” item, but in my house they are!  They are soooo good with sea salt.  And, my kids love them.  They are only made up of a few ingredients and are so healthy.  I am trying to learn to make my own sweet potato chips and will share that when I get it down.

13.  Green Tea – I drank this daily.  I gave up coffee and caffeine, so this was my fix when I was tired of water.  I put honey it in.  Some may consider that cheating on the detox, but hey….I know I was going to add sugar back to my diet at some degree.  ;)

One thing I did not show is WATER!  LOTS and LOTS of water!  I tried to drink a gallon a day, but never could.  I was in the bathroom a lot!  But, this will help flush out your system and detox your body and heal your gut faster!  I used Lemon essential oil in my water every morning (one drop is plenty!)

I hope this helps for those of you that are on the plan now and have asked!  I have been working so hard on recipe posts and will be posting them this week and next, just wanted to give you MY staple items first.

If you’re doing the JJ Virgin plan (or a similar plan) and want me to email you the JJ Virgin recipe PDF for Cycle 1 (21 day detox), send me an email at [email protected] and I will email you a copy of it!  There are some great recipes in there!