Thursday, December 12, 2019

Red Holiday Sweaters

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and will benefit from actions taken on the links. 

I recently added two sweaters to my wardrobe that I really like. Both are red and add a festive vibe to any outfit.

The first red sweater is thinner made from a very soft material that falls very nicely. Plus, it's the perfect red. I tried it on with a white blouse underneath first, and it looked great that way. It's on major sale right now, and I'm thinking of getting another one in another color.

The second red sweater is a junky, cable-knit turtleneck sweater, and I've been wanting one just like it forever. I know I'll have both sweaters for years to come and will enjoy wearing them, especially during the holidays.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

How a Conscious Cleanse Improved my Eating (and my Life) Forever

Disclosure: I am a Conscious Cleanse ambassador, and if you decide to sign up for the program via one of my links, I will earn a commission. As always, all opinions are my own, and I only recommend products and services I truly believe in.

I just finished two rounds of the Conscious Cleanse, and I feel better than ever. I eat pretty healthy all year round, but this year has been tough because of numerous health issues and injuries, and too many indulgences had made their way into my diet. And, unfortunately, all these indulgences replaced whole foods and greens. I also drank way too much coffee, which added to my being on edge and feeling overwhelmed every day. I won't lie, getting off coffee was incredibly hard this time around. But once it was done, I felt so much calmer right away. And all the greens I ate and drank in my smoothies, helped me get over food cravings. I'm very thankful that I'm finishing this year feeling my best. It's especially meaningful to me as I was dealing with so many health issues all year long and wasn't feeling well most of the time. So feeling so good after feeling not well at all for most of the year, is especially wonderful and something I'm very thankful for. 

What I Learned by Doing My First Conscious Cleanse 

I did my first Conscious Cleanse in January 2013, and it was truly life changing. During that cleanse I found out that I was highly sensitive to gluten, and taking gluten out of my diet made a huge difference in how I felt. Gone are feeling bloated, gas, joint pain and brain fog. Since a cleanse is in essence an elimination diet where you eliminate common allergens (gluten, eggs, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee and some vegetables many are sensitive to), I was also able to pin point some other foods that don't make me feel my best. I discovered for example that I am able to tolerate one egg a few times per week but anymore leave me feel bloated and gassy. I also don't do too well with too much dairy. 

All these seemingly "little" discoveries have helped me feel better than ever. I hardly ever feel bloated anymore (and when I do I usually know why...), my joint pain is gone, and I don't have a foggy brain. 

Here are my thoughts after finishing the November cleanse:

What I Eat all Year Long 

After you finish a Conscious Cleanse, you first reintroduce the foods you eliminated one by one to see if you react to any of them. And then you are encouraged to live according to the Conscious Cleanse guidelines 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent are for "fun" foods and drinks: a cup of coffee once in a while, or a glass of wine, dairy, eggs, chocolate, sweets, etc. Whenever I follow the 80/20 rule,  I truly feel my best. There is no feeling of deprivation as I get to incorporate my favorite foods (that may not make me feel my best) into my diet, but I also fuel my body with lots of very nutritious (and delicious!) foods. 

I start most days with some warm lemon water and a green smoothie. Lunch is often a big salad and some protein. And dinner may be chicken lettuce wraps. There is room for treats like dark chocolate, delicious date almond butter balls, a to-die-for raw blueberry tart (I have brought this to many gathering and everyone loves it), a glass of wine, and steak and mashed potatoes, ice cream or cake once in a while. 

The important part is that foods that nourish my body and make me feel my best far outweigh the "indulgences" that don't make me feel all that good. 

The Conscious Cleanse On Demand

The Conscious Cleanse recently introduced a new online platform that has made cleansing easy and even more enjoyable. Everything you need for a successful cleanse is in one place: the cleanse manual, daily videos by Jo and Jules that guide and encourage you, videos five days before the cleanse starts to get you ready, a huge recipe library, a place to journal and keep track of the food you ate and how it made you feel. In addition, there is a very easy button that lets you email a health coach at any time. I had an unexpected issue during my last cleanse and was able to email one of my food journals to a coach and got a response within an hour. Over the next couple days, the health coaches worked with me and helped me figure out what was going on. That support is truly priceless. In addition there is a huge community of online cleansers that support each other. You truly never feel alone. I have done the Conscious Cleanse on my own before, and I truly think all the support makes all the difference. 

Once the cleanse is over, you can choose to continue your membership, which comes with continued support. You can also start another round of the cleanse at any time. There are also numerous group cleanses throughout the year which you can join. If you decide you don't need the support, you can cancel at any time. 

Group Cleanse Starts on January 8, 2020

When you sign up for the Conscious Cleanse on Demand, you have the option to choose your own start date or join a group cleanse. I think there are advantages to both ways. If you choose your own start date, you can choose a date that's most convenient for you. You may also want to start prior to January 8! On the other hand, it can be very helpful to have encouragement from other cleansers who are cleansing at exactly the same time because you often have very similar issues and concerns like withdrawal symptoms (mainly from giving up caffeine and sugar), etc. I suggest giving yourself some time before starting the cleanse to read through the cleanse manual, watch the prep videos, browse the huge recipe library (and make a few recipes - you'll love them!), and get your mind ready for what's ahead. So don't wait but sign up now!

Information about the January 8, 2020 Cleanse and Cleanse on Demand (start anytime)