10 Day Cleanse: Day 3

8AM: A client cancelled so I got to sleep in!! I finally wake up and the thought of lemon water makes me nauseous, one sip and I throw it out. I make myself a coffee. That’s much better!

830AM:  Out the door and off to a Pilates Reformer class! I am excited because I love the reformer.

930AM: Time for a big stretch after workout. I usually stretch when I get up in the morning and before and after I teach classes and I’ll stretch with every client I train. Flexibility is paramount to injury prevention and great for achieving long, lean, and lengthened muscles. Stretching is also super important during a cleanse because even if you aren’t working out or you are too tired to workout, you should stretch your muscles and get the blood flowing. Sometimes during a cleanse your body will release toxins that have been building up in different organs and so that is why it is recommended that during a cleanse even if you aren’t working out, you are moving your body. When you move your body your blood flow increases and therefore the toxins are flushed out of your body quicker and more efficiently. Stretching is also great because it feels amazing! The more flexible you are, the better you feel. Stretching will also prevent back pain that results from sitting at a desk all day and it will open up tight chest muscles so that you can strengthen lengthened and weakened back muscles (which is the cause of the pain in the first place). For more information about this please Contact me.

1015AM: Off to see a client who is also one of my best friends. My morning honestly couldn’t get any better! I grab another coffee (second and last one of the day) from Pusateris. I am looking forward to my green juice, which is coming soon. I have also been drinking a lot of water.

1130AM: Grabbing a Lean Green with Apple from Rawlicious.  It’s kale, celery, cucumber, spinach, and I add apple for some liver cleansing. I should be making this at home but I’m in the area and lazy so I get the juice from here. Now, I am off the grocery store.

12PM: I got some healthy foods for later on from the grocery store. I got in a bit of trouble today because I apparently wasn’t supposed to eat tomatoes on this cleanse. Oops! I am no longer allowed nightshades.  Because this is also a learning cleanse here is some info about nightshades that I wrote on my former blog Urban Zen Down Under, when I was living in New Zealand.

First of all, what are nightshades anyways? Well, tomatoes, white potatoes, red and green bell peppers, the “hot” peppers such as chili and paprika, as well as eggplant and petunias belong to the Nightshade Family, which is a botanical genus called the Solanaceae species. This species also includes tobacco, poisonous belladonna, and the toxic plants herbane, mandrake, and jimson weeds.

“Used in shamanism, witchcraft, and even poisonous murder, nightshades have a history of both mystical danger and scientific caution. Some nightshade plants are ingredients in potent narcotic medicine and sleeping pills. It is reported that nightshades contain high levels of alkaloids which cause the bones to excrete calcium, other minerals, and trace elements from the body. Many enlightened doctors and nutritionists recommend that those suffering from arthritis symptoms eliminate nightshades.” – New Life Journal

Tomatoes, when initially introduced in to society in Europe, were thought to be a deadly poison. This still semi rings true, the vines, leaves, and roots of the tomato plants are toxic and even fatal to animals if consumed. Some people also get horrible rashes from touching these parts of the tomato plant. Regardless, in Spain and Italy tomatoes became a very popular vegetable and in modern day America, ketchup, tomato sauce, etc. is consumed daily, sometimes more than once.

“Potatoes have a similar story to tomatoes. When white potatoes, also called “Earth’s Apples,” made their journey from Peru to Europe, they were also thought to be poisonous. Yet, this popular tuber has become a staple throughout Europe and the United States. White potatoes contain solanine, which has been shown to cause a very toxic effect in susceptible people, contributing to arthritis, calcium depletion, and stiff joints, as well as painful wrists, ankles, and knees. In his book Poisonous Plants of the United States and Canada, John Kingsbury documented that when solanine was eaten in large amounts by either humans or livestock, death was the outcome. When calcium is depleted from the body by potatoes, nervousness and sleeplessness may result because calcium is our natural tranquilizer. Solanine from potatoes accumulates in the body and the harmful effects may take years to appear in those who have sensitivity.” – New Life Journal

The problem? Tomatoes and potatoes work by expanding and weakening the bones, joints, teeth, gums, and all body organs, especially for those who are sensitive and allergic to them.

Holistic practitioners often recommend avoiding nightshades in the diet, especially to patients suffering from arthritis or other types of pain and inflammation. In a study published in the Journal of the International Academy of Preventive medicine, of the 5000 arthritis sufferers who eliminated Nightshade, seventy percent reported relief from aches, pains, and disfigurement. The nightshades most often warned against are tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes and eggplant. Avoiding tobacco, another nightshade, goes without saying in health-conscious circles.

How and why do nightshades contribute to inflammation and pain? Nightshade plants are known for producing a range of alkaloid chemicals, which may be toxic – from irritating to lethal. These chemicals can also contribute to allergic reactions.

Basically, if you have a problem with inflammation (like myself) or any type of auto immune problem, which causes inflammation (allergies), or joint pain, arthritis, bursitis, etc. then try to eliminate nightshade vegetables from your diet and see if there is in fact a difference.

If you have any more thoughts, comments, or questions on nightshade plants I recommend speaking to a holistic nutritionist, doing some of your own research either at the library or on the net, or even at your local bookstore (chapters, whitcoulls, etc.) or talk to your doctor. Here is a quick article about nightshades and alkaloids. If you have any questions or comments for me about nightshades in your diet visit my Contact page.

1230PM: I am having another big bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and raspberries. I put a dollop of maple syrup and some cinnamon for an immune system boost. Sipping on water. Almost time for another client. I am checking out Women’s Health Magazine website and I come across this article. This is kind of similar to what I am doing minus the nuts, dairy, and eggs. Regardless, I am happy they are promoting a cleanse that encourages you to continue eating.

1PM: I’m actually feeling quite good. My boyfriend said that he is feeling a lot lighter and doesn’t feel like he’s “sweating grease” when he goes to the gym anymore. That sounds pretty gross but I get where he is coming from. A lot of my clients who don’t eat properly constantly complain that they feel like “blobs” and one even said “I’m so sick of food!” I guess it just depends on what you are eating, I’m definitely not sick of oatmeal and blueberries that’s for sure. Time to train a client!

230PM: Take a long steam room. My muscles are feeling last nights class (especially my adductors!) and I have to teach another two hours tonight at 5 so this steam helped a lot! Followed by a long shower.

3PM: I have some carrots, about 4 blueberries, and a cup of lemon green tea with honey. I take a look in the mirror for the first time and my stomach looks a lot less bloated than when I began and I feel lighter. This doesn’t take away from the fact that I really want some hummus right now to dip the carrots in, but this green tea is really hitting the spot, its delicious!

4PM: I have a craving for chili. The type my mother makes with lots of beans and beef and spicy sauce.

430PM: I head to the Pilates studio to get a workout in before my class. It’s pretty great, I love working on the reformer. I am hungry but I fight through it. I have a good dinner to look forward to.

630PM: Home and cooking. I am making an incredible salad that I have been looking forward to all day with beets, cucumber, celery, carrots, lettuces, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil. We are also having chicken again and brown rice. I got some asparagus from the market today but I don’t have an extra pot to make it in! I’ll have it for lunch tomorrow.

7PM: Eating and loving it. The beets are incredible, is it beet season? I have no idea. They are amazing.

845PM: On the couch, watching tv. Today was actually pretty great. Tomorrow is a no meat day but I think I’ll be okay because we are going to Fresh, a really great restaurant, with lots of protein options that aren’t meat!

1030PM: Sad to say I’m already off to bed, I am exhausted!