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me in Sonoma

Friday, February 5, 2010


Andy and I fell off the wagon...hard. After 13 days on phase 1 of our cleanse, we decided to "treat ourselves" last Friday night. We went to a dance performance downtown, then to a little Italian restaurant for pizza and wine...and dessert. It was amazing. Seriously I felt like my tastebuds had been reborn. I was tasting things and enjoying them so much better than before. It's been downhill from there. All week long we have been eating whatever we want. Wine, desserts, cheese....you name it. The only good thing is that I have been keeping up with exercise.

Although I had a real sense of guilt all week, I also felt like there are bigger and more important things in life to stress over. Our diet wasn't really that bad before the cleanse. Aside from the usual holiday indulgences, we eat really well. Life is too short to obsess over how many ounces of low-fat plain yogurt I eat a day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Days 3-6

Almost done with phase 1 of the cleanse. The first couple days were tough because I felt hungry at times and still had thoughts of brownies and crusty bread, but things are a little different now. Don't get me wrong there is always a chance of falling off the wagon, but I feel like I am in more and more control of my cravings with every day.

We have actually been eating a lot of food, but it is all very low calorie, low fat and low carb. A typical day of food for me looks like this....

Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal made w/ a combo of water and light soymilk
Mid morning snack: banana
Lunch: salad made of lettuce, spinach, cucumber and lemon juice salt and pepper
Mid afternoon snack: low fat plain yogurt w/ blueberries, and hard boiled egg whites
Dinner: usually a vegan soup or veggie stir fry over 1 cup of brown rice
Dessert: low fat plain yogurt w/ blueberries

Not sure how many calories that amounts to, but it is much less than usual. A few more days on phase 1, then we will begin phase 2 which includes some lean protein, more choices of cereal, and coffee. I am feeling great, I have substantial energy throughout the day, and am starting to feel lighter. I have and will continue to recommend this cleanse to friends and family. It makes the most sense out of any cleanse I have ever done. It is actually teaching you about eating habits and addictions, portion sizes, metabolism, and moderation. All good things.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cleansing Day 1 and 2...done

So far it has been interesting.....

Day 1: Tough day because I felt hungry in the afternoon. I was eating a lot of food during the day, but unfortunately fruit and veggies only last an hour or two in my stomach. Andy came home from work looking like he got hit by a truck. No coffee, no usual sandwich for lunch, and no prospect of dessert after dinner had him down and out. I felt pretty good all day considering I haven't missed a cup of coffee in the morning since the last time I cleansed which was over 2 years ago. I am keeping a food journal and that helps me stay on track and see exactly what I ate all day. After day 1 I came to the conclusion that I wasn't eating enough.

Day 2: I felt pretty good all day. I tried to eat more throughout the day so I could keep my energy up. My lunchtime salad sucked. It took me almost an hour to put that down. I think it's the lack of olive oil in my dressing. I was feeling a little sluggish my 4pm, but I ate another 1/2 cup of oatmeal w/ soy milk and that helped. Andy and I were sitting on the couch after dinner watching American Idol, when all of a sudden I got a headache and felt really sick to my stomach. I tried drinking some more water and laying down, but nothing seemed to help. I ended up taking a couple advil and going to bed at 8:30pm. It felt really good to sleep for 10 hours, and I think my body needed it.

Feeling pretty good so far. This isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I think having a partner to do it with makes all the difference. I don't know if my will power would have held up if I was eating carrot sticks and Andy was munching on pizza.

Monday, January 18, 2010

10 things I love

I got tagged by my friend Mark to do a "10 things I love" list. So here goes...

10. Going for weekend hikes with Andy and Paisley. Especially now that my dog is using the "gentle leader". Whoever created that is a genius.

9. Getting directly into my pajamas after a long day at work. Even if it's 5pm.

8. The perfect pizza. Crispy crust is the key.

7. Talking on the phone to old friends on the weekends, and feeling like no time has passed at all.

6. Having a day off in the middle of the week.

5. Treating myself to a spa treatment. Facials are especially nice.

4. Camping.

3. A newly cleaned house.

2. A whole day at the beach with friends. Starting early before a lot of people get there, and ending late after the sunset.

1. Singing and playing air instruments with Andy. I'm really good at air piano and flute, and he is awesome at air guitar, bass, and drums. We rock!


I have convinced Andy to do a detox/cleanse with me. I have done several cleanses in the past, some turned out good, some not so good, but this one is different than any other one I have tried. I heard about it through a friend who is in the middle of doing it with her husband.

For the first 9 days you cut out everything but fruits, veggies, and a small amount of grains and milk. No caffine, no alcohol, no sugar, no fats, no dairy or grains (aside from amount and kind allowed)....and basically no other man-made products. After the initial 9 day intensive stage, you begin slowly adding foods back in to your diet until 90 days later you are eating a healthy diet with everything in moderation. You have to omit all the crap first, and go through withdrawl before you can add some of it (the healthy stuff) back into your life.

I have tried to cut out alcohol and sugar this week so my body didn't go into total shock on Monday, but then Andy and I realized that we had to clean out the fridge and cupboards so that we weren't tempted to eat stuff on the "not allowed" list. So we really applied ourselves and ate cheese, chocolate, pita chips, potatoes, tortilla chips, and drank the last bottle of wine this weekend. We did a great job. Now the withdrawl will be that much harder, but at least I don't have wine and cheese staring me in the face this week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Taking a Brillo Pad to my Liver

I feel toxic. Andy and I just returned from our honeymoon in California's beautiful wine country and it's time to detox. Literally, all we did for 10 days was eat and drink. We ate the most wonderful cuisine, and drank the best wines we had ever tasted for 10 straight days. Where we were going for our next meal, and which wine we should drink with it were the only questions on our minds the whole time. It was wonderful. No working, no cleaning, no grocery shopping, no dog walking/watching/cleaning up after, no responsibilities to attend to....just relaxing. Exercise? If you call walking from one winery to the next exercise, we did a lot....otherwise the word never entered our minds.

So.....back to reality. I am going to take this week to get back in to the swing of working, and next week starts a major cleanse. I am going to try not to shock my system, so this week I am cutting out sugar and alcohol. I am back to walking the dog twice a day, so there is the beginning of my exercise routine. Then slowly adding in more exercise, and less artery clogging foods should do the trick. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I'll be dreaming of a huge glass of Zinfandel to wash down my creamy polenta, spicy red prawns, crusty sourdough bread and lavender creme brulee.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Difficult People

I think everyone at one time or another has encountered a difficult person at work. Dealing with a demanding boss or an ornery co-worker is one thing, but what if the difficult person is your client. The person paying you money for your services. How do you go about establishing "who's boss" (I'm not talking about Tony Danza:) without coming across as overbearing, too bossy, or arrogant? And, how do you deal with those difficult clients and keep them happy without becoming a pushover? Do you "suck it up" and deal with them because they are paying you, or do you fire them as clients?

This is a question that thankfully I don't have to deal with that often. 99% of the clients I have worked with in my 5 years of teaching Pilates have been a joy to work with. We smile and laugh a lot, we work hard and reap the benefits, we keep ourselves open to learning new things, and most of all we stay humble. I use "we" because I have a deep investment and committment to my clients health. I really have a fantastic job.

But.....every once in a while a client comes along who pushes every one of my buttons, pushes my boundries as a teacher and business owner, and feels like he or she has nothing to learn from me. I get so annoyed with their arrogance or difficult personality that I am tempted to ask them why they are paying me to teach them in the first place. At the moment where I am about to lose my cool, I remember something. I only have to deal with them for this one hour. Their families and people close to them have to deal with them ALL the time. Their poor attitude probably has nothing to do with me. This is the way they live their lives and relate to the world.

I had a client like that recently. No matter what I said or asked of her, it didn't work for her. She had an answer, or rather, complaint for EVERYTHING. About half way through the hour long session, the longest hour of the day, I addressed the issue. I didn't get upset, or thrown off my game by her negativity, nor did I take her complaints personally. I simply said, "ya know, there are more ways than one to skin a cat. I am just trying to teach you something new here, and that is what you are paying me for, right?" Right away she changed her attitude and the rest of the session went relatively well.

I think I did the right thing by addressing it and maintaining my composure, but by the next session she was at it again. Oh well, I am not going to bang my head against a wall trying to change someone's attitude who is unwilling. I am just a Pilates instructor.

How do you deal with difficult people? What about clients who are paying you for your services?