Detox N & Taming the Cortisol

springImproved endurance, sharp alertness, clear mind, sky high energy levels, emotional flow, better sleep…

Who doesn’t want that?

There were times in my past when all my systems were humming in harmonious synch. There were likewise many times when I lost access to that lovely state, I like to call my inner spa, my tired body crumbling under pressure, fatigued from stress and malnutrition, i.e. too little goodness, too much badness. I would have to work hard and remain disciplined to regain, working harder each time, the process getting more strenuous with each birthday.

Recently I went through a dark period. Have you ever risen to the highest high where the choirs sing and life is pure bliss and you feel more than human? It’s like cresting a wave but if you’re not alert enough or watchful, you forget about the falling part. Yah. Especially the feeling “more than human” part can be dangerous because this is where we stop paying attention. Okay, enough abstractions. It was a dark time, Period.

I like to measure the state of my life by evaluating its three components, otherwise it gets too overwhelming. Each is like a concentric circle that nests inside the other. The first one over which I have most control is the state of my heath, the second – wider – is the state of my relationships and the third – widest – is the state of my career, creativity and expression, like – what do I bring to this world? If all three areas are dancing to the same beat, life is good. If one falls, well, it’s not the end of the world. But if all three do – welcome to the ER of personal survival. It’s impossible to ignore. It just all out hurts. Digestion literally stops, I swell like a balloon, thick fog enters the spaces between thoughts, eventually obliterating clear thinking. I isolate. I self-flaggellate. Forget productivity. In my case, cracks appeared in all three areas, but especially the first one, which is the most damaging as it sends shockwaves across the other three. I stemmed from me getting so caught up that I ignored my self-nourishing patters compromising my vigilance over my diet and sleep patterns. I ran too fast, now I need to pay.

Enter Detox #N (n in math stands for variable quantity. Indeed this is not the first one!) – the one thing that ALWAYS works and brings me to balance. It addresses the first circle, which when working optimally, nourishes the others and makes life seem so much easier. Today is my Day 9 and since some of my friends are inquiring what it is I’m on again, I decided to share as much as possible in the shortest amount of space and leave you with some practical info before you all drift off to sleep… which wouldn’t be the worst thing as most of us are sleep deprived.

OK, here goes:

Day 1 (Thursday last week) – Call to action! I felt so sick I could barely come to the office. My brain was moving at the speed of a water mill and everything took an inordinate amount of effort. My whole body was swollen, especially my tummy and I got a bad night’s sleep so I was very tired. My first step was to cut off my second coffee to work on bringing my cortisol levels down, which were out of control (read more about that here: Needless to say, hard day.

Day 2 (Friday) – Little improvement in the swelling part but better night’s sleep. I ditched melatonin in lieu of coming to work late. No alarm. Eight hours? All in. Nine and a half, actually. Worth it! Skipped that second coffee again. Hurray!

Day 3 (Saturday) – Intense training at the gym followed by relaxing in the steam room. Lovely thing to do to calm down fried nerves. Afterwards, instead of getting my usual turkey salad (I was starving!) I floated to a juice bar and ordered 64 oz of fresh, organic veggie juice. Took off my flops and walked the barefoot in the park. I laid on the grass under a sunbathed tree. I stopped thinking and focused on breathing more fully. Few times at least.  Good choices. All of the above. Started taking L-Thenine for adrenal support. Topped the day with dinner with friends. Had a glass of wine, knowing that this would have to go tomorrow…

Day 4 (Sunday) – Face looks tired from the wine drinking and the headache is back. Adding alcohol to my detox list of don’ts… Upped my raw fiber intake in form of fresh fruits and salads. Took a walk, got a facial and a massage. Chilled doing nothing. Felt good but it is still hard just to BE and not just run…

Day 5 (Monday) – Good night’s sleep, face looks slimmer and my cravings for afternoon snacks are almost null. Went on a long walk with a friend. Got a new batch of ground coffee at Peet’s for my single morning cup that gets weaker each day – half caf, all organic and fair trade beans. Had a delicious drink before bed – hot almond milk with stevia, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg with half a spoon of raw, unfiltered honey. Yummy yellow gold!

Day 6 (Tuesday) – My complexion looks so much better! My skin is getting its luster back. My energy levels are still low but it is easier to just chill and not obsess about my to do lists. Drinking a ton of mint water (sprigs of mint floating in my glass water bottle). My tummy is feeling less fiery each day. I am very present to my thoughts making sure my mind doesn’t aggravate my body. Oh and I’m adding the spices to my morning cup of coffee too. It is delicious and helps with inflammation.

Day 7 (Wednesday) – Got the Vitamix. Nuff said. It was years overdue. I’m all serious now.

Day 8 (Thursday) – Since I’ve been going to bed at 10 pm each night, or slightly before, I was up at 5:50 am this morning so I went on a 3 mile sunrise walk to honor the passing of the winter and to welcome newness. Very touching moment watching the sunrise. No wonder Ra was so popular. On the body front, I’m seeing noticeable weight loss, almost all swelling is gone! I’m drinking green smoothies all day, had egg white omelet with sautéed chard and asparagus for lunch, gazpacho for dinner with an egg from pasture raised chickens (I am not forgoing animal protein. I just keep it clean and minimal). Life is good. I am sleeping better too, each night. My mind is clearer and my inspiration is on the rise in form of new stories and ideas for my website…

Today I’ve been sipping on a green smoothie I made this morning, for five hours now. And drinking my mint infused water. No cravings. Nada. Digestion is humming and my energy levels are steady. Hallelujah! It takes some discipline and effort and few days, but the benefits are staggering. My next goal is to free myself from coffee altogether, but that will have to wait until my vacation in the tropics next week. Who cares about headaches when you are in paradise?

smoothieWhat’s in my green smoothie?

In case you were wondering..

2 small apple bananas
2 stalks of celery
3 handfuls of sunflower sprouts
8 dino kale leaves
1/2 avocado
2 cups of coconut water
1 cup of water

+Supps: 1 TSP Maca, 2 scoops Vega vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp Camu Camu, 1 TSP freshly ground flax…

It’s intense and very concentrated. It may make you feel like dropping what you’re doing and dancing silly. Why not?

Have a great weekend everyone : )

Stay healthy, stay happy.


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