Taking a Clean Break

27 Feb

This morning, for the 35th consecutive day, I made and drank a green smoothie for breakfast.  Today’s smoothie defied the laws of physics for concentration of swiss chard in an unusually tasty beverage!  For 35 days in a row I’ve had a green smoothie for breakfast; and for about 30 of those 35 days, I’ve eaten ‘clean’ (no dairy, wheat, soy, corn, sugar or processed food)

In those 35 days I’ve had the initial challenges of: what do I eat, how do I shop, how do I hang-out with friends.  I’ve experienced incredible highs in feeling good.  I’ve witnessed my body systems improving in their functioning. I’ve enjoyed a remarkably easy pollen allergy season.  I’ve eliminated most of my sugar and carb cravings.  I’ve learned some amazing new recipes and have re-friended my kitchen.

But now I need a break.  As I was riding my bike around the waterfront this morning, and in spite of the breathtaking natural beauty all around me, I could not quit obsessing over the idea of melted cheese over a burger and sweet potato fries.   I’ve been on the program long enough that I’ve started to take for granted how good I feel while following the clean program; and it no longer feels like a triumph to eat clean or make the smoothies or snack on kale chips.

So I’m going off the program for a while.  I don’t know how long a while will be; probably long enough to feel really lousy from eating cheese and ice cream, pizza and beer.  But I need a break; I’ll be back when it’s time…  For now I have to get to lunch with my bff at my favorite local greasy spoon; I’m going to have a veggie burger covered in cheese, sweet potato fries and beer!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and (erstwhile) Devotee of The Clean Program.  Visit her websites at: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or www.Structural-Healing.com.


Easy-Peasy Avocado Bowl

20 Feb


Top 10 Signs You’ve Been on The Clean Program Too Long

20 Feb

Day 28 on The Clean Program, and I’m wondering what all these signs mean:

1.  It’s not even 9 a.m. yet and you’ve already made two recipes featuring  kale.

2. You talk to friends, family, complete strangers, anyone who reads your blog about how great your ‘digestion’ is on Clean.

3.  Trip planning involves seriously contemplating packing a blender and a cooler full of veggies. (does anyone know how to get a blender through security in your carry-on?)

4.  Dinner out with friends on Saturday featured you ordering 3 sides of veggies for your meal.

5.  Every night about 10 p.m. you check the fridge to make sure there are enough greens to make morning smoothies. (and if there aren’t, panic ensues)

6.  You’ve already burned out the motor on one blender and give some thought to splurging for the $400 Vitamix.

7.  Chocolate cake recipes that include avocados seem reasonable; and actually sound tasty.

8.  You ponder the merits of making happy hour martinis from celery, kale, cucumbers and vodka.

9.  Eating two pieces of red pepper with hummus before breakfast feels like a ‘splurge’.

10.  You know that your ‘Clean’ behavior makes you even more freakish than ever, but you feel so good on the program you decide to keep going.

So here’s to another day, week or month on the Clean Program!

(and an update on the allergies; my spring/oak/pollen allergies have not been bad so far this year. Even when others around me have been sneezing and congested, I’ve been feeling pretty good.  I’m getting a much smaller array and weaker forms of the symptoms.  I chalk this success up to Clean; not eating dairy, wheat, soy, corn, sugar are seeming to make my body less reactionary to whatever allergens come along!)

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and  Devotee of The Clean Program.  Visit her websites at: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or www.Structural-Healing.com.


17 Feb

Without a doubt, the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself since beginning the Clean Program has been my food cravings.  During the first week or so, my cravings were pretty much as they’ve always been; chocolate, sugar, sweets, carbs.  But a remarkable change has developed over the last 2-3 weeks; I’m no longer craving the chocolate and sweets.  I have to believe it is because I’m nourishing myself so much better while following the clean eating plan.

By eliminating all dairy, corn, wheat, sugar, soy and processed foods (plus I’ve been vegetarian for nearly a decade); my entire diet is basically vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and a few grains.  And I hypothesize that by eating all these simple, whole foods and not polluting my system with any empty calories, I am finally getting the nourishment my body needs so I don’t have random, chronic, insidious cravings.  Now when I’m hungry, I have a pretty good idea of what will best fill the gap; and my cravings are varied.  Sometimes I crave the heaviness of beans, sometimes the sweetness of dates; yes, I’ve even craved kale!

This article echoes the lessons I’m learning with my own cravings; chronic cravings for things like sugar, carbs, chocolates may just be my body asking for some specific nourishment it isn’t getting.


So the next time you find yourself obsessively wanting pancakes or brownies or a martini; stop and check to see if maybe your body really needs something else. Then the trick is to not just add in the needed nutrient, but to free up enough space for that nutrient to do its job; but more on that in a future post.

Here’s to another few days of Clean!


Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and  Devotee of The Clean Program.  Visit her websites at: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or www.Structural-Healing.com.


16 Feb

I had a smoothie this morning:

Coconut water
2 scoops chocolate Vega powder
Dab of almond milk
Chocolate hemp milk
Almond butter.


I am not stopping. You can’t make me… 😀

Clean Start 2012 round two.

Roasted Butternut Squash in Lard | Nom Nom Paleo

15 Feb

If lard freaks you out…. Coconut Oil…


21 Days of Clean

14 Feb

The Clean Program has helped me feel better than I’ve ever before felt in my life!  Really,  no exaggeration; I’ve felt better while following the Clean Program than I’ve even imagined in the past.

Being a vegetarian for nearly a decade now, and then having also given up dairy and caffeine 8 months ago; I thought I ate a pretty healthy diet.  I had been eating healthier than most people I know and much better than the standard american diet; however, the clean program, with its morning smoothies, raw salad lunches and soupish dinners has completely transformed my cravings, my digestion and my energy levels.

As mentioned on this blog before, I was concerned that eating only a green smoothie in the morning wouldn’t provide me with the energy needed to do hours of  Thai Yoga Massage with my clients.  Prior to Clean, breakfasts were usually protein-loading affairs filled with eggs and Ezekial tortillas, avocados and nuts.  Amazingly, the green smoothies give me more energy through the morning than the protein loaded breakfasts do.  Further, I’ve learned that eating just 1/2 handful of nuts if I get hungry between meals provides me with all the energy needed to make it another hour or two.

I love the feelings of lightness and energy in my digestive system when eating Clean!  On Clean, there is no post-meal bloating or indigestion.  There’s no heaviness in the intestines; and freeing up all that energy the body normally uses to digest food means feeling more vibrant, awake and excited through the days.  This extra energy has meant I wake up feeling refreshed, feel excited and engaged most of the time through long work days, and I can work or play much longer into the night.  Also, I’ve not been getting the mid-afternoon slumps which used to trigger a desire to eat.

Who knew I’d end up craving smoothies?  To celebrate my successful completion of the 21 day ‘cleansing’ period on Clean and to celebrate the chocolate and food-laden holiday of Valentine’s Day; I indulged every craving.  I ate spinach pie, a big chocolate muffin, chocolate candy, hot chocolate and pizza & tiramisu for dinner.  Woke up this morning craving a green smoothie with some lovely kale and chia seeds!

My first 21 days of Clean have been a superlative experience: I’ve felt better than I expected to feel, the program is easier to follow than anticipated, the recipes taste better than expected, my body has transformed faster than I’d dreamed.  I want this to be the way I eat now. Period.  I love feeling this good and want to live my life going forward feeling like I’ve felt the last 21 days.

So onward!


Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and  Devotee of The Clean Program.  Visit her websites at: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or www.Structural-Healing.com.

Recap of Clean Start 2012 Part I

13 Feb

As we wrap up our first series of Clean Start 2012 I can honestly say the following things have occurred:

1.  I have eaten things I never even heard of:  Star Fruit, Tatsoi.

2.  I learned how to use my juicer.

3.  I bought a food processor and used it.


5.  I ate more fruit in 21 days than I had in 43 years.  This is not a lie.

6.  I pretty much ate spinach every day.

7.  I felt better.

8.  I started a new exercise program – CrossFit.

9.  With the exception of dinners out, I didn’t eat much if any processed food.

10.  I became a member of a CSA to get organic veggies every two weeks

11.  I am madly, truly, deeply in love with parsnips, spaghetti squash and ginger root.  Not together!

12.  Bean is sitting here sniffing with allergies….I am not.  Hmmm.  The raw honey?  The gluten free diet? Non-processed food?

I think that’s probably enough to make me realize that even if I didn’t function perfectly on this plan, that I did one heck of a job for me.  I have never had fruit every day.  I have rarely had veggies every day.  Now I have organic baby spinach in my daily smoothie.  There have been so many profound effects on my daily diet.   I like the way this feels.  On the TMI front, my digestion has improved, I don’t feel as inflammed and I feel much better and stronger all the way around.

I used to come home at night and eat my face off.  Right before bed.  It was a habit.  I never do that now.  Mostly I don’t like to eat after 6 regardless of the day.  The only reason really, is when we go out to dinner for socialization purposes.  But you have seen that post from Suz.  Goes for me too.  Food, Friends, Entertainment.

This Program, even in my tweaking paleo in it, has opened up a whole new world for me.  Great new habits and I am now open to trying new things.  And as I just said to Suz, “What a great gift we gave ourselves.”

Tomorrow will be Suz’s Star Fruit Smoothie and I will continue to eat REAL FOOD.

So, who is up for Clean Start 2012 Round II?


13 Feb

That’s the best word for the last few days.  I’ve been kinda good, kinda not.   The lifestyle changes are definitely taking hold.  I did well most of the weekend.  I got my booty kicked on Friday at CrossFit, followed by a 55 mile bike ride on Saturday which had my back less than happy.  “Cheat” meal is usually after our bike ride and this was no exception.  I ordered a margarita as much for pain relief as scrumptiousness.  Really.  My friend and cycling bud, Kat upped the ante and ordered a pitcher.  Yeah.  Needless to say there was a long tequila induced nap afterward.  Write Saturday off as BFF dinner at the Columbia in Ybor meant cuban bread and Sangria.   AA here I come.  Today I was back on track with the exception of two oreo truffles that I was making for valentine’s gifts….


Big Food

10 Feb

I lived off the land a bit yesterday since we had a really big dinner for IronDude’s birthday, complete with dessert.  Yeah, I know.  I went to CrossFit this morning and totally had my butt kicked.  This stuff amazes me.  Fast Forward to 7:30 am and I would eat Buddy Love if he would stand still.  So this morning I am having leftover Chocolate Chili (courtesy of Well Fed cookbook) over some spaghetti squash.  I will have my smoothie in the afternoon with the star fruit that Suz so kindly brought me.  Can’t wait to try that one!

This is a paleo lifestyle book

Well Fed

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