Two Ingredient Colon Cleanse

This is a repost from my other blog, This Pretty Nest. I'm posting it here because it's important information and well worth another share....

I know the title doesn't do much for the appetite, but this is important stuff. So even though I'm going a little off-road with this post, please take note because colon health is essential to your overall health. It's directly linked to your body's ability to rid itself of waste as well as absorb the vital nutrients in your food.

So my ears perked up when I came across this super simple way of aiding your body in getting rid of the junk that builds up in the colon. I headed right to the store to stock up on plain kefir and flax seeds. And I've gotta say, this is something we're gonna keep up, for sure.

Now, if you're not familiar with kefir, it tastes similar to yogurt; a little bit tangy and smooth. "It is a fermented, enzyme-rich food resembling yogurt filled with friendly bacteria, known as probiotics... Kefir grains are packed with good micro-organisms, micro- and macro-nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals like proteins, vitamin B, vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, among others." (source) It's good stuff.

And flax seeds are a stellar source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other goodies. There's so much to say about these rich little seeds, so if you're interested check out the Flax Council of Canada's site and read up!

What you'll need:

• Flax seeds. I find that golden flax seeds have a milder taste, so that's my preference. But the Flax Council of Canada (...can I just pause for a sec to say how much I love that Canada has an official flax council?) assures me that all varieties of flax contains the same nutritional value.

• Plain kefir (there are so many yummy kinds, but for this particular cleanse I recommend plain).

Okay, here's the drill. This cleanse is so easy. Every morning you mix flaxseed flour and kefir and eat it for breakfast. Not to worry, it has a pleasant taste. As the weeks progress, the amounts change a bit, as follows:

  • Week 1: 1 tablespoon of flaxseed flour and 100 ml (7ish tablespoons) of kefir
  • Week 2: 2 tablespoons of flaxseed flour and 100 ml (7ish tablespoons) of kefir
  • Week 3: 3 tablespoons of flaxseed flour and 150 ml (10 tablespoons) of kefir 

Important notes:

• Store your flaxseed/flour in the fridge!

• I grind my own flaxseed flour - so easy! You just toss the seeds in your blender and grind until it's fine. Won't take longer than a minute or two for a few tablespoons.

• The source article says only to grind as much flaxseed flour as you need for that day or it will go rancid. I haven't found this to be true. I grind enough for a few days and keep it in the fridge and it was just fine.

• The source also displays it made with whole flaxseeds. Definitely don't do that. Your bod can't absorb the nutrients in the flaxseeds if they're not ground up.

• If you let it sit for too long before eating, the flaxseed flour begins to absorb the kefir and it gets thick. Unappealingly thick. So eat after you make it, and only mix what you need for that morning.

• I want to stress that, as with any cleanse, you need to drink LOTS of water with this! Shoot for eight glasses a day. You want your body to be able to flush the junk out properly, so you need to give it the water necessary to do that.

• Update: I've been using Trader Joe's whole ground flaxseed meal (storing it in the fridge), and it works wonderfully. It stores well, without going rancid, and it makes this part of our morning routine a snap. Just scoop, pour, and stir :).

More about maintaing a healthy colon, if you're interested.

I hope you find this info helpful! I did :)

Holiday Aftermath: Choosing Grace

A gentle reminder to those of us struggling after holiday feasting...

Oh my GOSH. We’re home from our Christmas trip, on which I ate… everything. Really. All the things. In my tummy. And it was both grand and nauseating. But I did it, it was intentional and I mostly enjoyed it. 

So now what. My body feels different than it did a mere 6 weeks ago. And more impactful, I’m faced with the decision of what to do about it. I’m not just talking about making different food choices, but more foundationally: How am I going to respond to myself in the cold light of these post-dessert-nomming-bliss-vacation January days? Am I going to be gentle or severe? Am I going to make vows about chicken broth and discipline? Or am I going to nourish my body and self with real food and grace?

I’ll be honest, this is new territory for me. Usually by now I’m neck-deep into food/body-guilt, making awful rules and food plans, and then resenting myself for “failing.” Unhealthy. That damn temptation to crash diet after the holidays is SO STRONG. I totally feel it. And stir in the idea of a new year being a clean slate, and 2016 is practically begging me to whip myself into shape. 

NO. No no no, I can't do it. I have to be better to myself than that. So, although my panic is shouting at me to “GIVE UP ALL THE YUMS!” I want to choose the gentle, sustainable way. I’m choosing to choose the gentle, sustainable way. Because by now I know that crash diets don’t work. On all levels. Body and self are deprived, and although weight may come off quickly at first, it doesn’t stay off and the process only makes me angry. As it should.

Deprivation isn’t kind. 

So what am I going to do? Be kind to myself with my thoughts and words. And when I start being unkind and judgmental, I’ll stop. And purpose to be kind again. And I will listen to my body, and when I'm hungry I'll eat real, satisfying food. 

In practical terms, this means:

  • Paying attention to when I’m hungry and when I’m not, and letting those signals be the reasons I eat or don't (not the clock)
  • Lots of veggies, healthy fats and some protein
  • Lots of water
  • Doing without (or cutting back on) refined sugar/grains
  • Keeping evenings for tea and light fare, and leaving heavier foods for midday and earlier
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Remembering that holidays/post-holidays can be tricky times, emotionally. If I find myself needing comfort, I'll do my best to seek out a moment of quiet time, a hug, some slow, deep breaths, self-affirmation... instead of comfort food. And if I turn to food first, I'll do my best to be gracious with myself afterwards.

This is not a mandate, it's self-care. So if I step outside it, okay. It's just helpful to have a way of organizing my thoughts around food so I don’t fall into the deep end of unreasonable rules. And it’s a plan that’s centered around being attentive to myself. So for what it’s worth, I hope this helps to center you too, friends.

Be kind to yourselves.