Garden of Life mind/body rejuvenation challenge: update No. 1

About three weeks ago, I decided to embark on a 12-day cleanse as the starting point in a mind/body overhaul. It’s not just about losing some weight.

I need to get back to me.

For those 12 days, the only thing I changed was my diet — to conform with the restrictions set out in the Wild Rose D-Tox. I didn’t work out, watch any less TV, spend any less time in front of my computer screen tap-tap-tapping away. Perhaps it was because the first three days of the cleanse coincided with a monthly visitor, but they were hard. I was nauseous and had one of the worst migraines of my life.

But then I woke up on day No. 4 and felt like a million bucks. I immediately noticed an increase in energy. (And I’m a pretty energetic person to begin with.)

For the rest of the cleanse, I followed the rules to the letter. Herbal teas, heaps of almonds, no tropical fruits or wine (gasp!) and enough water to fill the Grand Canyon. I didn’t find the diet nearly as tough as I was expecting; I could still indulge in free-range eggs, grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish and fill my belly with oatmeal, quinoa and lentils. I found this site really helpful for creative recipes using ingredients permitted during the Wild Rose cleanse.

Rent frock Repeat Anna Sui dress (post-cleanse)

On day No. 12 of my Wild Rose D-Tox. Feeling great and fitting into this fab dress with ease.

One of my favourite snacks was kale chips, and this recipe fit the bill beautifully.

By the end of the 12 days, I fit into three pairs of jeans I haven’t worn in years; the skin on my face looked more supple and clear; and the general fog in my brain was starting to lift. I got into a fabulous dress for an event and walked with more confidence than usual.

I gave myself a day of guilt-free eating (and drinking) and hopped back onto the wagon last week with the Garden of Life RAW Fit five-day kick-start program. It consists of replacing two meals each day with a protein shake.

Here’s my favourite shake recipe so far:

I blend the crap out of this because the more you can chop down those kale leaves, the better your teeth will fare after drinking it. I made the mistake of taking this out for lunch one day without floss on-hand. My teeth were a green disaster. It also tastes much better cold and fresh.

I also watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and decided to add some juices to my detox diet. I buy as much organic fruit and veg as I can find (which is no easy feat in the ‘burbs), and make lovely juices that every single member of my family drank gleefully. Our Breville Juice Fountain Plus has seen a lot of use in the past three weeks!

It really wasn’t too hard to follow the five-day program because after a 12-day cleanse, five days seems like nothing. This program had me increase my physical activity. Trust me; going from zero to something is a breeze. I resumed my yoga practice because, after all, this is a MIND/body cleanse. And there’s nothing like yoga to cleanse the mind. I personally find Bikram (hot) yoga one of the most challenging and satisfying, and I really enjoy the classes at Yoga Temple.

I also started power walking. I have a bum ankle, so running is out. Plus, I figured if I strapped all 33 pounds of Miss Q to my back, walking would be a killer workout. Not to mention some fun bonding time with my lady.

I again gave myself permission to eat yummies like chicken wings and nachos and imbibe at least three-quarters of a bottle of delish Cabernet Sauvignon yesterday, but I think it’s important to treat yourself.

I’m back on the wagon again, and after starting the day off with a fresh juice, I decided that I wasn’t going to waste any more of the pulp. It kills me to toss several cups of fibre into the green bin after a juice binge. So I found a couple of great recipes (this one and this one) to use up juice pulp and threw caution to the wind and created my own recipe so we could enjoy “muffins” for dessert:

Mommy Gearest's juice pulp tea cakesMommy Gearest’s Juice Pulp Biscuits

  • Two cups of juice pulp (any combination should work; we used kale, apple, orange, ginger and pear pulp in our batch)
  • One cup of whole grain flour
  • ½ cup of coconut flour
  • ¼ cup of almond flour
  • ¼ cup of coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Organic Green Super Food powder
  • 2 tbsp. wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp. sprouted ground chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. ground golden flax seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 – ¼ cups of milk of your choice (almond, cow, rice, etc.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

OPTIONAL: add raisins (or other dried fruit) and/or cacao nibs.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (or 350°F convection), and grease a 12-cup muffin tin or a 24 mini-muffin tin.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl using a whisk.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients (except pulp) using a whisk. HUGE TIP: Be sure to work fast here, because your coconut oil is going to start to solidify once it mixes with the cold milk. So, whisk and move to step 4 as fast as you can!
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently combine; don’t over-mix.
  5. Fold in the pulp.
  6. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 18 minutes to start. If still soft to the touch, continue cooking in five-minute increments. This will involve some monitoring and is hard to predict because every juicer removes a different amount of moisture from the pulp.
  7. Once harder to the touch, remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, before removing biscuits to a cooling rack. Don’t worry if they still look/feel a bit “soggy” in the middle; they will firm up during the cooling process.
  8. Enjoy on their own or spread a natural nut butter like almond or cashew on top for extra protein, flavour and texture.

My kids loved them. And I loved being able to put all that juice pulp to good use.

This is it. I’m doing it. So can you.


DISCLAIMER: Garden of Life is providing me with the products I’m using for my challenge, but my results are reported honestly like all of my other posts. Writing this post also qualifies me for an entry into Garden of Life’s Vitamix Giveaway. I love the idea of pulverizing avocado pits in a blender. Almond Fresh is providing eight weeks’ worth of my favourite almond milk on the planet. And while President’s Choice is a client of the firm for whom I work, I don’t even think they know I’m using their products during this challenge. We are overstocked with PC products in this house, so kind of hard to avoid.

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  1. Cristy Doris says

    Well Done! I’ve been looking into the Paleo diet. Thinking of starting it…or the GAPS diet. They’re the rave now apparently…and my doctor recommended them to me because I have insulin resistance.

  2. Elizabeth says

    You look GREAT! After a week of candy buffet eating styles, I feel like enough is enough and it is TIME to get back on track. I’ll be looking into the 12 day cleanse for sure but first – the candy has to get out of the house!

  3. says

    Good for you! And thanks for this… it’s inspiring. :) I really need to get off my butt and do more, eat better and all that. I may just take some of your tips and try them. Maybe we can have a social media support group and all do it together? #JustAThought


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