Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, even with winter looming in the distance. The trees show off their beautiful colors and apples are getting ready to pick. The kids are back at school, so we're starting to fall into a different rhythm. I tend to get so busy that I forget to stop and open my eyes to the world around me. To enjoy the sunlight on my face, the wind in my hair and the sound of the ocean, river or even pond that is nearby.

Now is the time to enjoy the rewards of the summer's work. Of course, it may not be OUR work, but we can join in by going to the farmers market and eat some of the fresh locally grown food that is so delicious because it is full of the earth's energy. Time to prepare for Mabon and another turn of the wheel of the year.

I'm starting to take this time to learn about herbal healing and nurturing your bodies with plants and "weeds" that grow everywhere around us. I plan on making salves, tinctures, infusions, and dried herbs for teas, and other things to keep me going through the winter when the earth is resting for spring. I'm eager to get out and connect with Mother Nature and gain more knowledge about her many gifts.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kaeng Raeng Cleanse

It hardly seems possible but Gwen and I took the veg plege a year ago next month! Time has flown and I don't miss eggs or dairy at all (I had been vegetarian for fifteen years and I never missed meat once I decided to stop eating it).

I had seen info on the Kaeng Raeng vegan cleanse on Alicia Silverstone's blog ( and then forgotten all about it for a while. But recently I decided to do it. I thought a cleanse would be a nice "reset button" for my body as I celebrate one year vegan. Hopefully it will help me clean out the old toxins and junk still left in my system and start fresh eating even more whole foods and good stuff. Oh, I used to be known for my coffee bingeing and I've also been coffee free since Februrary! I did it out of concern for my blood pressure. Sometimes I miss the coffee but not much. Too bad most of the people who know me still give me bags of gourmet coffee anytime a present is called for. ;0)

Anyhow, I took the Kaeng Raeng quiz and they suggested I do the six day master cleanse. Of course I wondered if they tell everyone to take that one, or at least everyone who is vegan, but a friend took the quiz and got a three day answer. I wound up getting the 6 day master cleanse and I'm in the afternoon of day four.

Bottom line: it's great. The cleanse is not a "fast" or anything. You drink three very filling shakes a day, which are filled with nutrients. Between the fiber and the nutrients you really aren't physically hungry at all. You are also "allowed" to eat as much fresh, raw, fruit and veg as you wish. So it isn't deprivation. Any sense of that is primarily psychological and perhaps to do with some food addictions. So breaking that cycle is exactly what I signed on for.

There are some detox symptoms, which kaeng raeng explains and tries to prepare us for. I had gone off caffienated tea three days before the cleanse to get that withdrawal out of the way. But I did have some headaches and cramping in the first three days. It wasn't bad...mostly it was psychological because I was at work and afraid that withdrawal would affect my ability to get things done but that wasn't the case. I did meditations on my lunchbreaks and those helped with any headaches or fatique.

Day three was the hardest so far. It wasn't bad, mind you. Just the hardest. Part of this may have been that I was at a very intense, draining day-long work meeting so that may have given me a headache anyway! But I did have a bad one and overall flushed face, shaky felt like drinking too much coffee and then suddenly stopping. Also not being able to eat lunch with my peers bothered me more that day but I went out to my car and did a meditation, which totally turned it around. Then that evening I was meeting a friend for a walk and I felt a little run down so I regretted setting myself up for a lot of running around. Also I felt bad about the social aspect of not eating with her, but bless her heart she showed up toting her own green juice. Solidarity! :0)

Today I have had no symptoms, no hunger, and despite a pretty busy workday I feel really good. Maybe I've rounded the detox corner? We'll see. Two more days to go! 

-- Addition: Here I am the following week. I successfully completed the cleanse! Yay! Days four and five were fairly easy but day six was a bit tough. I think part of it was psychological because I felt I had to do some meal planning for the next week to get off to a good start, and thinking about food made me hungry. Plus I think I was entering a deeper level of detox on day 6 - I had another bad headache that actually lingered for a couple days, tho meditating helped. I also had a really bad aftertaste in my mouth all day (which I have heard may be due to detox). But I got thru it and I was so proud afterwards!

The next day I only had vegetable soups and a salad to try to bring my system back to regular food easily. Since the cleanse I am eating better, don't crave sweets or fat (as much), and get full much faster. I lost 3 1/2 pounds on the cleanse, which sounds about average from other testimonials. My blood pressure is still pre-hypertensive but a tad lower. I hope to keep the good improvements up now! I definitely recommend kaeng raeng and plan to do it again...probably a three day cleanse after New Year's.