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I’m shocked!

shockedI don’t know where that voice came from, but it clearly said “I’m going to eat!”  It was Day 5 of the 7-day cleanse, and I was headed to a party.   I wasn’t feeling hungry and I wasn’t feeling particularly deprived or desparate.  I was getting plenty of nutrition from the broth and green juices.  I think I got bored.  When I heard that voice I didn’t know if it was my head or my body speaking to me but I listened, I acted, and I survived.

I don’t know what there is about a long cleanse – but I tend to peter out faster than some.  I don’t feel too guilty about it so that’s a good sign, I think.  Maybe my body has a set point for how many days I can successfully cleanse?  Dunno.

The most interesting piece is how I will move forward from here.  I’ve made a list of eating rules.  Here are several items I’m planning to include or minimize in my daily healthy eating plan:

  1. tons of vegetables and fruits
  2. green juice
  3. raw foods
  4. organic, free-range, hormone-free, cage-free
  5. minimize processed foods
  6. green superfoods
  7. food-based supplements
  8. minimize sugar and white flour
  9. minimize coffee and alcohol

This will definitely take planning and determination.  I’ll shoot for 100% but follow the 80/20 rule.  Eat at least 80% whole foods.

If you quit a nutritional cleanse before it was officially over, how would you feel about it?

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Why on earth are you doing this?

Why are you doing this?Day 11 – Nutritional Cleanse

I received query from a  subscriber today:   Why do you put yourself through all this misery?  

Actually, I’m not miserable.  I’m just riding the wave of this cleanse and learning a lot about my body, my eating habits, and my coping mechanisms.  It’s a body, mind, spirit journey and it’s going well, right on schedule.  There are ups and downs but that’s part of change and growth.

Why do we do anything that’s difficult?  Why do we go to college, birth and raise a family, get married, get divorced, move to another country, get certified, live in a yurt, go to Haiti to help earthquake victims?  We do the difficult things because they help us grow.  They give us meaning.  Difficult experiences help us be better servants.

This nutritional cleanse hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been hard either.  It’s easy enough that I continue to stick with it day after day.  And it’s hard enough that it provides me with opportunities to really pay attention to my body–are you tired, are you hungry, are you feeling a lightness of being, are you thirsty, are you desiring food because of your stomach or your head?  I’m learning a lot about myself and it’s all good. 

As I reported earlier, many of the benefits I expect to reap include the following:

  • awareness of how I use food to manage my moods
  • better balance and function of my body organs
  • awareness of how my body feels when I eat (or don’t eat) certain foods
  • more energy, less congestion
  • healthier cells
  • fewer toxins as they’re sluffed off during this clean food regimine
  • weight loss
  • clearer eyes
  • healthier, smoother skin
  • new food routines as I reset my daily food choices and put healthier ones in place
  • smarter as I learn new things (I’m sprouting seeds now!)

That’s just a partial list.  I’ve always been a bit permissive with myself and lazy, so this process is strengthening my discipline muscles.  And finally, as a wellness practitioner, I want to walk the talk and be the best role model I can be.  That’s why I air my dirty laundry and let people know I’m not perfect.  I’m on the same journey everyone else is on.  I just may have more wellness tools to work with.  And my goal is to use as many of them as I can every day.

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When’s It Over?

Day 2 of the Cleanse… but day 9 of the bigger nutritional cleanse program. 

Ho humOK so I’m getting a little….cranky?  Bored? Non-plussed?  Today (day 2 of 7) I started counting on my fingers when I’d be finished with this portion of the cleanse – the part of the cleanse where we just drink fluids (vegetable broth, hot lemon water, green juice and take supplements).  Mid-day Thursday is really hump day so I have 1.5 days left to the midway point.  Are we there yet?!  When are we going to get there, huh, huh!?

I know my body is getting a good clean out and rest, but my head is bored.    I’m on to me and how I frequently walk into the kitchen for a little entertainment.  When I’m not doing that today, there doesn’t seem to be much of interest to do. 

I have one foot in both world–the world of eating and the world of cleansing.  It hasn’t been long enough to “forget” the world of eating, and it hasn’t happened yet that I have the dazzling energy of the cleanse.

I know many people around the planet get to eat even less than I do on this cleanse, so that puts a new spin on this emotional state.  So I’ll go to bed and see what tomorrow brings.

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It’s Working

Day 1 of nutritional cleanse (cleanse phase)

Green JuiceI’m finished with the 7 days of pre-cleanse (I actually did only 3 days it).  Now I’m on Day 1 of the cleanse which includes vegetable broth, green juice, a spicy lemonade, herbal tea, and green supplements.  I’m pretty proud of myself for doing so well.  The broth was delicious and satisfying.  Cravings weren’t too bad–even though I went to two grocery stores and saw food everywhere I looked.  I walked right past all the free samples.  So virtuous!

Here’s what’s at the heart of my discipline….

My purpose is motivating me.  My theme for this year is Younger Next Year meaning that by this time next year I will look and feel younger because of all the lifestyle changes I’m making this year.   I’m shaking up my life – including how I eat.  This cleanse is part of that shakeup and it’s working.  I’m getting really clear about how I use food to manage my moods and to punctuate the day with pleasure.   

My cells are thanking me as they’re bathed in pure nutrition–they’re getting younger.  I don’t have any detox symptoms yet and hopefully won’t.  That’s why we all did the pre-cleanse – to make the cleanse easier.

If you think I’m nuts and want to know why I’m doing this, here’s a post written by one of the women guiding us in this nutritional cleanse.  She’s an M.D.

I’m definitely living more mindfully on this cleanse.  When I’m not numbing and pacifying myself with food and drink, I see that there’s a big world out there to observe and it’s lookin’ good!

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.  it’s a journey.

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Spotlight on Bad Habits

Day 6 – Nutritional Cleanse (pre-cleanse phase)

SpotlightOne thing about shaking up my eating habits and sticking to a list of rules is that there’s a bright spotlight shining on my less-than-healthy eating habits like night eating.  The longer I stay up, the hungrier I get.   I think this is true for a lot of us.  You?

And if I turn on the TV to watch a DVD, I get especially hungry.   I’m like a trained rat!

This morning as I lazed in bed thinking about getting up, I thought “gee, coffee would give me something to get up for. ”  But I’m not drinking coffee now, so does that mean there’s nothing to get up for?  That’s what it feels like, even if it isn’t true. 

Funny that when I’m focusing on cleaning up my diet my focus turns from what I can eat and drink to what I can’t eat and drink–until I catch myself and recommit to cleaning up my eating habits.

That spotlight’s getting awfully bright.  Now it’s spotlightsshining on my habit of being too lazy to make a salad or prepare dinner.  If I open the refrigerator and don’t see a  #1 (think fun, tasty meal),  or something else that’s easy to pull together, I’m tempted to run for takeout.  This habit harkens back to childhood because my mother rarely cooked and my dad was on the road.  For the most part it was “fend for yourself” at our house.  Childhood habits are hard to break, but they are breakable.  And that’s part of my goal with this cleanse–to reset my eating habits. 

Today is an all fruits and veggies day.  And if you read my post from yesterday, you know how I feel about vegetables.  I had hot spicy “lemonade” for breakfast and a hearty soup for brunch.  It was satisfying but then I prowled the kitchen for something “fun.”  Dinner was a great salad, but then I was on the prowl again.  Soon I’ll watch be watching a movie, so watch out! 

There’s an endless series of triggers to eat when I’m not hungry.  Mind you I’m not triggered to eat carrots and celery or even an apple or a pear.  I want rich, salty, sweet, smooth and crunchy–now the spotlight is on our junk food snack addiction in this culture–a food culture I’m working to break free from, hence this nutritional cleanse.  I do not want to be a slave to unhealthy food cravings.  So I’m hanging in there, reframing, consoling, and comforting myself with a hot cup of tea, a good movie, and soon a warm bed.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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I Hate Vegetables

Day 5 – Nutritional Cleanse (pre-cleanse phase)

Red PepperHave you ever noticed that vegetable lovers always call them veggies and vegetable haters always call them vegetables?  I usually call them vegetables, occasionally veggies.  So you see my challenge–I’m on the fence about veggie-tables.  I know I should love them, but I don’t.  I still eat them because I know they’re very good for me.  I also eat them because I’m a wellness practitioner and it just wouldn’t look good not to eat them :)Carrots

I’ve spent a couple of decades learning to make vegetables taste better–healthy sauces, stir fries, and flavorful brothy soups.  I own several high-flavor cookbooks and tend to favor ethnic cuisines that are heavy on the spices. 

SaladFor lunch I had a fantastic salad with balsamic vinaigrette–the dressing made it.  For dinner I had a cauliflower, kale, potato soup that was also fantastic (seasoned with Indian spices).  The sauteed green beans and garlic tasted good too–no fancy spices.  I don’t know what I’m whining about.  Everything tasted fantastic.  Maybe I don’t really hate veggies :)  Maybe I just think I do.

Is anybody else conflicted about vegetables?

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Failing Forward

Failure QuoteEverybody else is on Day 4 of the 21-Day nutritional cleanse.  I’m on day 1, and an imperfect 1 at that.

Still, I’m doing it.  Yay for imperfect me.  I’m Failing Forward according to John Maxwell.

An earlier version of me would have wrung her hands and worried about being behind.  I would have tried to figure out who was to blame for my not knowing that the cleanse did not start on Feb. 1.  I would have searched all my emails looking for the one I missed that told me when the cleanse started.  But I didn’t.   And that’s something! 

I also would have wrung my hands while shopping at the whole foods store for my supplies wanting to get the exact stuff that they recommended – no matter the cost and availability.  But I didn’t.  I tuned in to my inner wisdom and shopped with comfort and peace.  That’s something!Failure Quote #2

And I would have chided myself for eating something today that is not on the “yes” list.  But I didn’t.  I know that I’m committed to doing a great nutritional cleanse so I’m not sweating the small stuff.  And I’m giving myself time to ramp up.

Even though I’m “behind,” here’s what I have done so far to take care of myself … I’ve completed my grocery shopping, cleaned out the fridge, opened myself up to whatever gifts are in store for me,  had a chiropractic adjustment, I’ve done the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and slept as long as I wanted this morning.  I also walked Toby on the levee for over an hour.  And after I finish this post, I’m going to watch season 8 of Little House on the Prairie.  That’s a good bit of self-care and I’m pleased I have the time (and am taking the time) to “show myself some love.”

How are you with accepting failure, reframing failure, and using it as a stepping stone in your life?    I’m still learning to do this better, but I’m nipping at the heels of compassion for myself and others.  And that’s something!

Great quotes from Failing Forward:  Write a few on your bathroom mirror with a Sharpie or post them in your car or by your computer as reminders…..that failures can move us forward when we just keep going!

I have committed to writing a post every day as I progress through the 21-day cleanse.  Please stop by frequently or subscribe in the upper right column to receive notification when I post.

Please share your comments and failure/success experiences below at the comment link.

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New Year’s Evolution: Evolve Instead of Resolve! (New Date/Time)

Join me for this FREE teleclass:

New Year’s Evolution:
Evolve Instead of Resolve!

New Year's 2012
This year how about making it about you?  Put yourself first for once.

You won’t be alone if you’ve already forgotten your New Year’s Resolution.  And you won’t be alone if you feel a twinge of guilt about that.

Are you afraid that another year will go by without reaching your goal to get organized, stick with an exercise plan, drop the weight, or better manage your stress?

Like many people, I failed for years to stick with my New Year’s resosutions until I got smart and tried something different.  And it worked!  For the past decade, I’ve used what I call a “New Year’s Theme” instead of a resolution to keep me on track with my dreams.  This may sound like a small shift, but it has made a huge difference for me.  Every year now I’m confident that my theme will get me where I want to go.

A theme is a lot more energizing than a vague wish to get thin or get fit.  It pulls you forward instead of you having to push yourself to stick with your plan.  It’s more holistic.  

Your personal theme is like a clarion call—it announces your intention and sets your energy.  When you have a powerful, personal theme, it’s a beacon that will light your way in 2012.  And it will help you evolve as a person.

In this inspiring, content-rich session you’ll learn:
  • The 5-step process to choose a theme for 2012 to guide you throughout the year.
  • Personal strategies to keep your theme top of mind.
  • How to use your theme to evolve in 2012…and every year thereafter.
Bonus: Experience the transformation as I coach a few lucky participants in choosing their
theme.  See how the 5-step process works, firsthand.
Day/Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 10-11am PT | 11-12pm MT | 12-1pm CT | 1-2pm ET

Cheryl and TobyCheryl Miller is a wellness strategist, life coach and Mayor of
She has an M.S. in Exercise Physiology & Community Health and extensive training as a coach.
As former director of an award-winning wellness program for 80,000 members, Cheryl implemented programs to help employees live healthy, happy, productive lives…in this lifetime.
In 2003, Cheryl founded the online wellness portal  She has written multiple ebooks and e-courses and has been called “one of the most innovative wellness coaches in the industry.”  Cheryl recently became the Official Guide to Wellness at (the #1 self-improvement site with more than one million visitors a month).
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Soup – A Perfect Food

Chicken Veggie StewI have made a different kind of soup twice a week for the past 6 weeks and I never get tired of it.  That is, I don’t get tired of making it, and I don’t get tired of eating it.  I make enough for about 4 servings–sometimes 6 servings.

Soup is one of the easiest (and fastest) things to make.  In my basic recipe I start by sauteeing onions and garic.  Next I add a box of broth, toss in some veggies and meat or other protein.  In a quick 30 minutes you have dinne!  It’s so much faster than driving to McDonalds or any other restaurant.

You can add any veggies you like (fresh or frozen).  I highly recommend that you use up whatever’s in your refrigerator (or freezer).  When the carrots and celery start to wilt, make a pot of soup.  Carrots, celery and onions are considered the soup trio (they make any soup taste great).  They also make a great broth if you want to boil ’em up before they get too limp to salvage.

Here’s a “recipe” for the Chicken Veggie Stew I made for dinner tonight.  It was done in 30 minutes….and so was the cornbread.

  1. Sautee a whole onion (chopped) (Note:  I sauteed it in a small amount of the chicken broth)
  2. Add a box of broth (chicken or vegetable)
  3. Add a small potato or two (I peel them if they get a green tinge and dice them in large chunks)
  4. Add a bag of frozen veggies (mine included carrots, green beans, peas, and corn)
  5. Rough chop some greens (I used curly kale)

For Variety

I’ve made so many brothy soups recently I wanted this one to seem different so I thickened it a bit to make it more like a stew.  To thicken the broth, use a small jar with a tight fitting lid.  Add about 1/2 – 3/4 cup liquid (broth, water, or milk, etc.) and about two tablespoons of flour or corn starch (I used whole wheat pastry flour because that’s what I had on hand).  Shake the jar to fully mix the flour and water and pour it into the bubbling soup.  Let it cook another 5 minutes or so. 

That’s just one kind of soup.  Change up the protein and veggies to make endless modifications.

Bonuses:  Your house will smell fantastic as this cooks, you’ll use up produce in your fridge, you’ll eat a light but satisfying meal, and you’ll be loaded to the brim with nutrients to help you stay healthy.  Not only is soup incredibly fast to make, but it’s incredibly satisfying and nutrient dense.  It’s also great for weight loss. 

Cheryl’s Soup Kitchen Cheryl's Soup Kitchen

For more soup ideas, check out my ebook Cheryl’s Soup Kitchen.  I include recipes not only for many kinds of soups, but I also give recipes for side dishes to fill out the meal.  And I provide tips on ways to streamline your kitchen for fast food preparation.  Check it out here:

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Blue Zones: Live Longer, Better

I attended the Working Well Conference in Wichita, KS this week and was blown away by Dan Buettner’s presentation on Blue ZonesWikipedia defines blue zones as “a region of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Scientists and demographers have classified these longevity hot-spots by having common healthy traits and life practices that result in higher-than-normal longevity.”

Here’s how describes what they’re up to:

Live Longer

The average American could live an extra 12 years and be 40% happier by optimizing their lifestyle and environment.

Backed by Research

Working with National Geographic, the National Institutes on Aging and AARP, we found parts of the world where people live the longest, happiest lives. Our three-step process helps you learn their secrets, measure your own happiness or longevity and get the tools to help you change your lifestyle and environment to live the longest, best life you can.

You can find out more about these longevity secrets in Dan Buettner’s book The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

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