Chelsea and I just started week two of the PLAYdetox at the Glenn Dale Community Center. We checked in with our awesome detoxers after week 1 which was all about getting mentally and physically prepared. To be honest, week 1 is no joke. And, if you ask the beautiful women we are working with this month, they will confirm! Each participant had a different way of approaching their prep week to get their bodies and minds in the right place for the adventure that was about to start.
So what does prep week look like?
Well, before you even decide to take the plunge, take a look at your schedule and see if this program is even feasible for you at this time. If you have a family vacation coming up or a business trip, it’s not that it can’t be done, it just makes life more difficult. Personally, I like to cleanse when I know I can cook in my own kitchen for the most part. Also, I find it challenging to eat slightly steamed veggies and legumes when my family is chowing down on crab cakes and sweet potato fries while enjoying a microbrew. Actually, I get downright cranky.
Also, detoxing is not for everyone. If someone is deficient and experiencing illness or burned out adrenals, their body needs to be built up before it can muster the energy to cleanse efficiently. Generally, it’s best to just put these folks on a whole foods diet that isn’t terribly restrictive. Pump ’em with organic veggies, legumes and high quality animal proteins and fats. Dump the sugar and flour.
The next important step is to start to prepare the mind and the body for day 1. Now some people go with the “let’s go crazy before we have to give up everything” approach, but unfortunately, for those addicted to caffeine and or sugar, it can make day 1 seem like a near death experience. Use this week to add more vegetables into the diet and reduce or even cut out poor foods such as sugar, refined carbs and coffee. It’s also a great time to try out detox recipes and channel Goldilocks to perfect your gluten-free breakfast porridge. During the experimentation phase, the porridge can look and taste like mushy gruel until you get it JUST RIGHT. Sometimes people find combinations that blow their minds. This is the goal of week 1. You gotta have something fun in the morning to get you going (literally and figuratively). And of course, you need to make time to shop for your food and supplements.
Now food is only one part of the detox experience. Our lymphatic system, which is basically the sewer system of the body, often gets bogged down by rancid fats, undigested proteins, dead blood cells, toxins, opportunistic bacteria and other pathogens. It’s an integral part of our immune system that needs to be cleaned and moved. Unlike our circulatory system which is always pumping due to our amazing hearts, the lymphatic system can only be stimulated by muscle movement. So what are you supposed to do? Figure out how you’re going to get your butt moving during the detox! Exercise, massage, foam rolling and dry brushing are great techniques for moving lymph.
Because PLAYdetox is a holistic approach to cleansing the body, we also have to consider the mind. Often we allow our thoughts to be hijacked by Negative Nancy. You know who I’m talkin’ ’bout! Nancy says things like, “I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, coordinated enough, strong enough, disciplined enough, creative enough, yadda, yadda, yadda. We doubt ourselves and never feel like we are good enough which is ridiculous. This kind of stress is more toxic to the body than a McFlurry.
So, just like you give your body tons of yummy, energizing veggies during a detox, you also need to pump that mind full of playful, sexy, super thoughts about you and your fabulous life. Chelsea and I enjoy creating affirmations and intention statements with our our participants, weekly. We also incorporate deep breathing and introduce a play menu in week 1 to relax the mind and soothe the soul. It’s a great time to internalize those powerful affirmations.
So let’s hear from you! If you were to detox, when would be a good time to start this spring, and what kind of intention statement would you create for yourself?
The big day is tomorrow and then the Holiday Season officially begins. When it comes to taking care of ourselves, this time of year can be a struggle. Often we are shuffling from one engagement to the next without thinking twice about the toll it’s taking on our bodies and spirits. So what can you do stay vigilant about your physical and emotional health this Holiday Season?
Here are five simple tips you can incorporate NOW to help you stay healthy during the Holiday bustle.
Tip#1: Eat breakfast every morning.
Yes. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you energy for the rest of the day and stabilizes your blood sugar levels. If you currently don’t consider yourself a breakfast person, start out with something simple like a hardboiled egg, oatmeal or a piece of fruit or sprouted, whole grain toast with your favorite nut butter. Just make sure your breakfast contains protein or complex carbs and fat. Avoid simple, refined carbs like cold cereal.
Tip#2: Have at least one alkaline drink every day.
During the Holidays, it’s easy to get caught up eating foods and drinking beverages that have an acidifying effect on the body. When your cells become acidic, they can’t hold oxygen and essentially suffocate. Tissues in the body become inflamed and begin to degenerate. Many experts say that cancer cells can’t survive in an alkaline environment. In addition to incorporating a lot of veggies into your daily menu plans, mix any of the following in 8 oz of water and drink at least once a day to help balance the pH of your blood and cells:
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 TBSP of raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBSP of chlorophyll
- 1-2 TBSP of greens powder
Consider making a green smoothie and if you have a juicer, juice some of your favorite veggie combinations. One of my favorite recipes contains apple, carrot and ginger. Yum!
Tip #3: Keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily.
Counting your blessings can keep you focused on the reason for the season. Our problems seem less dramatic when we focus on what’s going right in our lives. Then when things do go wrong, it’s not as big of a deal, allowing us to keep our stress levels in check.
Tip#4: Set a timer on the hour for breaks.
When the timer goes off, take five minutes to stretch, do breathing exercises, sit-ups, squats or close your eyes and meditate. Mix it up! In fact, decorate a box or other container and write about ten different activities on separate slips of paper. Keep this box near your timer or hourglass in your office, and pull out one slip of paper on the hour and do that activity. When you’re on the go, set several alarms listing different activities on your smartphone. You may not be in a place where you can plop on the ground and do sit-ups, but you could balance on one foot, close your eyes for a few minutes and take three deep breaths or do a gratitude check.
Tip#5: Take several deep slow breaths through the nose and smile between events.
Be intentional and playful about your schedule. If you have one (or ten plus) of those days that’s booked solid, be sure to take a few moments to acknowledge the present moment in between activities. Smiling lets your body and brain know that life is good and you can relax and enjoy the ride! Also, feel empowered, not guilty, about canceling if you do overbook and need to retreat.
Be sure to review my Healthy Holidays tips from last year to give you a few more ideas on how to live the next month more mindfully and playfully. In addition, Chelsea Calhoun of Groove Dance Fitness and I are hosting a Healthy Holidays Open House at the Glenn Dale Community Center on December 1st. Visit PLAY for more information. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing how these tips work for you and other playful ways that you create healthy habits during the Holiday Season!
If you missed our debut PLAY Ladies Night Out! event, not to worry. I am posting a couple of the seasonal cocktail and mocktail recipes in this post for your enjoyment! We had a grand time with 18 lively women ready to PLAY! Chelsea kicked-off the fun with the thought-provoking, yet amusing game, “If I Were Queen of the World…” While sipping a glass of fresh, seasonal vanilla infused peach sangria, participants shared their wishes for the world which included everything from a world where everyone was kind to men relinquishing ownership of the remote control.
Other games included a fast-moving game of “PLAY charades” with a variety of food and movement related subjects and “Pass the Cucumber” which was a great thigh workout and team building exercise. I considered posting photos of the cucumber game, but decided to spare the participants from embarrassment. As one of our pregnant participants said, “It’s a good thing I’m not further along as I would have had the baby from laughing so hard!”
In addition to Chelsea’s delish peach sangria, we served a fabulous Fizzy Basil Watermelon Caipirinha and a Cucumber Lemonade Chiller with fresh rosemary from my garden. We used local fruits, veggies and herbs when possible and it made for outstanding drinks! The mocktail versions were served with extra sparkling water instead of booze. I also made a thirst-quenching herb water that included sliced limes, lemons, cucumbers, ginger and mint. This concoction can be served in still or sparking water and is a great alternative to plain water – tasty, refreshing and alkalizing!
Here is the recipe for the favorite drink, the Fizzy Basil Watermelon Caipirinha.
Inspired by Marc of norecipes.com
- 1.5 cups Cachaça (liquor optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut crystals (make into a simple syrup, can also used whole cane sugar)
- ½ cup basil leaves finely chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 sweet lime juiced (optional)
- 1 small seedless watermelon peeled and cubed (from a 3-4 pound melon)
- 2 cups ice
- mineral water
- Muddle together Cachaca, coconut crystals, basil, and lime juice.
- Peel and chop watermelon; transfer to a food processor/blender and puree.
- Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. (Repeat if necessary.)
- Add watermelon juice and Cachaca mixture into a blender, add 2 cups of ice and blend.
- Divide among 4 glasses. Add a splash or two of mineral water to taste.
Equally, delicious and refreshing, here is the Cucumber-Lemonade Chiller recipe inspired by Delish.com:
- 3 large cucumbers
- 1 TBSP of chopped fresh rosemary
- ¾ cup gin optional
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBSP of agave syrup (you could also use raw honey or coconut crystal syrup
- Cut 12 thin slices of cucumber for garnish (optional).
- Peel and chop the rest of the cucumber; transfer to a food processor, add water and rosemary, and puree.
- Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. (Repeat if necessary.)
- Add gin, lemon juice, and agave syrup to the cucumber juice; stir or blend until the agave is dissolved.
- Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.
Finally, the evenings menu included a Summer Quinoa Salad, Tarragon Chicken Salad, green salad, crudite, hummus and cheese and crackers.
If you’re interested in joining us for our next PLAY Ladies Night Out! event, follow us on Facebook or sign up for Juicy News and be sure to select PLAY. Learn more about the PLAY Program at www.letsPLAYhealthy.com.
Chelsea and I are excited to debut the first event in the PLAY – Ladies Night Out Series: Games, Cocktails & Mocktails!
We designed this event to provide women in our community an unconventional opportunity to unwind, have fun, and experience new ways to create vibrant health in their busy lives.
Chelsea and I will inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to being “fit and healthy”. During the night you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ playing fun and sexy games and sipping on several delicious cocktails and mocktails made from fresh organic seasonal fruits and herbs.
Dress cute, and come ready to move and lift your “spirits”!
The night includes games, drinks and a light dinner. Checks are accepted, please contact us at 202-596-PLAY before Friday to make payment arrangements.
Date: Friday, July 27, 2012
Time: 7:00 to 9:00pm
Location: Greenbelt, MD
Not to worry, if you can’t join in the fun this Friday. We plan to make PLAY Ladies Night Out a regular event. So many games, cocktails and mocktails and so little time! Chelsea and I have begun to explore healthier versions of cocktails and their mocktail counterparts. We’ll share a few drink ideas with you for your next occasion or just to celebrate YOU and your fabulousness after a long day. The drinks will focus on natural sweeteners such as fruit, stevia, raw honey and coconut crystals instead of heavy mixers with high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors.
We’ll show you how to use seasonal fresh fruits, veggies and herbs to infuse healthful nutrients into your adult beverage. They give the drink much more depth and flavor than their artificially sweetened counterparts. If the idea of fresh herbs in a cocktail throws you for a loop, consider them as sexy sprigs of flavor that jazz up any beverage. By themselves, they are quite potent, but when used in a cocktail, they are subtle and flavorful. Some of our favorite fresh herbs include spearmint, rosemary and basil.
One of my personal summer gems is a mojito made with fresh lime, sparkling water and muddled spearmint and stevia for sweetness. Of course the rum is always a nice touch, too!
There are a several organic spirits distilled from organic grains on the market. I’ve included a few to get your started:
There are also some mixers on the market that are made without the use of artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors. I’ve only tried a few of these, so I can’t vouch for all of them. Try them and let me know!
More refreshing drink ideas coming your way…
Baby got backed up?
With my upcoming PLAYdetox with Chelsea Calhoun of Groove Dance Fitness, I thought I’d use a few blog posts to highlight the process of detoxification and its importance to vibrant health. If you’re new to detoxing, you may wonder why you should consider it. Well, if you think about it, you cleanse many things including your home, car (unless you’re my husband…sorry, Cutie), garden and even the outside of your body (at least we hope so). Now, how often do you clean out your insides? Food poisoning, the flu and colonoscopies DO NOT count!
First, your organs need a break just like everything else, and the best way to rest your organs is to take pressure off of the digestive system. This can be accomplished by consuming 1)less food and 2)nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest, nurture the body and support detoxification pathways. When you overuse the body, it starts to break down because it becomes overloaded and gunked up with toxins which create imbalances in the body’s organ systems. So think of detoxification as a way to reboot, renew and rejuvenate. We’ll talk more about supportive nutrient-dense foods in upcoming posts.
Secondly, we most likely need to detox because of either nutritional deficiencies or dietary excesses. We eat too many processed foods, yet we don’t consume enough nutrients. On top of it, the body has to steal nutrients from itself to deal with the “food-like” substances that we consume and other stressors such as pollution, pesticide exposure and a screaming boss or child. Finally, we over-consume food in general, particularly congesting foods such as sugar, refined flours, coffee, rancid fats and alcohol. These excessive foods cause inflammation, pain, sickness and excess acid in the body.
Thirdly, stress, negative thinking, food allergens, toxins, a sedentary lifestyle or too much exercise, dehydration and a poor diet contribute to excess acid in the body, thus disturbing its delicate pH balance. If you’ve been following the holistic health community, you probably have heard about the importance of alkalizing the body. This is because the body likes to keep the blood’s pH between 7.3 and 7.4. In particular, stress, negative thinking and refined foods cause the blood to become too acidic which depletes our cells of oxygen and damages cell membranes and tissues. Remember, we live and die at the cellular level so it’s important to take care of those cells! A sedentary lifestyle and dehydration further exacerbate the problem. This acidity and stagnation of wastes can cause a host of problems including weight gain, joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, headaches, migraines, brain fog, gout, acne, frequent colds and other illnesses, food allergies, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances, infertility, yeast overgrowth, constipation and other bowel disorders, low energy, depression, kidney stones and diabetes.
Fourthly, we are inundated with environmental toxins. These chemicals can be found in our food, water supply, body care products, the air we breathe, carpets, furniture fabrics, mattresses, clothing, cars, household and gardening products, medications, plastics, paints, electronic devices and packaging. Here is a comprehensive list of the most common toxins found in our bodies. Not only do these toxins wreak havoc on the digestive system, but they often disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems and may eventually cause cancer. Symptoms of toxic exposure include fatigue, headache, allergies, illness, twitching eyelids, muscle aches, joint pain, vision loss, memory issues, brain fog, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, sinusitis, loss of libido, impotence, sleep disturbances and skin eruptions. I bet you’re starting to see a pattern!
Fifthly, stress and negative thinking are the BIGGEST toxins out there. Some experts say that negative thoughts and emotions cause two to three more times acid build-up in the body then from the ingestion of acidic foods. Now, that is profound. So if you’re eating poorly and stressed out most of the time (hello, America), you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Regularly cleansing of the mind and the incorporation of affirmations, positive thoughts and/or prayers is imperative to maintaining good health and keeping serious illnesses at bay.
In a nutshell, stress, processed foods and toxic exposure causes our elimination systems to become overwhelmed and backed up. Think of your car filter or HEPA filter in your vacuum or house ventilation system. They get gunked up and don’t work as well after awhile and require cleaning or replacement. Well, it’s difficult to replace your liver, kidneys, skin, blood, bowels, lungs and lymphatic system so you’re only option is to find a lifestyle and cleansing program that supports your body’s natural detoxification processes.
Now detoxification isn’t as scary as you think. Stay tuned and consider cleansing the body, decluttering the mind and lifting your spirits with the PLAYdetox!
If there is one thing all of us could use a little more of, it’s time for play. Sometimes incorporating more fun and play into our lives seems like a daunting (perhaps even stressful) task. Who has the time between work, family, friends and keeping up with housework and cooking meals? Although it might seem like another thing on our “to do” lists, play is very important to our happiness, health and spiritual growth. On a physical level, it calms the nervous system and keeps our cortisol levels in check. When our cortisol levels are elevated, the immune system is suppressed. In addition, there is a correlation between high cortisol levels, increased blood sugar levels and extra abdominal body fat. On a spiritual level, play is a way of connecting to our inner child and our real selves that we often forget as we go about our busy adult lives. Play helps us find our center. It brings a smile to our faces and what’s the point of living if we don’t enjoy it?
So you’re convinced you need to play more, but aren’t sure how to make it happen. Well, Chelsea Calhoun of Groove Dance Fitness and I have partnered together to bring you PLAY – Play. Love. Achieve Youthfulness. PLAY is an innovative program designed to help you transition into a healthier lifestyle that is carefree and effortless. Our interactive approach and informal group setting provides an opportunity for maximum support and growth. You’ll find enjoyment in discovering new foods, experiencing alternative forms of traditional physical activity and practicing self-nourishment.
We’ll show you how to PLAY spontaneously, how to schedule in PLAYtime and how to incorporate PLAY into life’s seemingly mundane tasks. If you’re interested in learning a few powerful tools to bring more PLAY and joy into your daily routine, please join us for a FREE orientation on February 6th at 7pm at Signature Blue Events. Chelsea and I will give you a taste of how PLAY can help you create a vibrant, joyful life. This winter’s program at Signature Blue Events will focus on mindful eating, cravings, hydration and how to make movement an integral part of your day.
Looking ahead, we’ll be offering PLAY Detox in March. This program will give you the tools needed to incorporate a gentle, yet effective cleansing program into your spring cleaning routine. By detoxing your body with the help of an experienced Health Coach and Nutritional Consultant and Fitness Professional, you will have more energy, clearer thinking and better digestion. You will spend one week easing into and planning for the detox, two weeks detoxing and one week re-introducing foods and preparing the body for a healthy new routine. For more information, visit PLAY Detox. There is a special discount for participants who sign up for both PLAY and PLAY detox.
In the meantime, stay tuned here for PLAYtips…
Play. Love. Achieve Youthfulness.
Are you looking to connect with your best self? Play. Love. Achieve Youthfulness (P.L.AY.) is about having fun and staying young at heart! Health Coach and Nutritional Consultant, Kim Rush Lynch, and Fitness Professional, Chelsea Calhoun will use food and movement to show you how to create vibrant health and fun in your busy life. This three-month program is designed to help you transition into a healthier lifestyle. Their interactive approach and informal group setting provides an opportunity for maximum support and growth. You’ll find enjoyment in discovering what foods and exercises work best for your beautiful body. P.L.AY. members will receive up to 15% off select Cultivating Health and Groove Dance Fitness services. Program begins this October! For more information, visit www.greenbeltplay.com.