Monday, April 30, 2012

Day #10: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.  ~ Buddha

OK, so if you are counting, YES, I missed Day #9.  What happened, you wonder?  Having started down the road to truth, I got a little distracted - the activities of the day overtook me!  I emptied my refrigerator of all the odds and ends of the week, and sliced and diced whatever I could (bell peppers, celery, etc. etc.)  Then I drew up a quick recipe plan for the week, made my shopping list, and went to Whole Foods - after which I came home, unpacked the groceries and did NOT cook (for reasons I won't go into) - and did not wrap up my day until well past my regular bedtime - which has me scrambling a bit now for meals.
However, this week's aspirations are:
Island Butternut Squash Soup
Carrot and Beet Salad
Yams and Steamed Broccoli
Salmon and Wild Rice
and lots of protein shakes, veggies and fruit.  I'll share recipes as the week progresses.

It's getting easier and easier to trust that I won't go hungry, even as a temporary non-lacto non-ovo vegetarian (if there is such a thing) - that I will find food when I need it (and NOT at a drive-thru window!) - and that I will be, quite simply,  happy.
Who could ask for more?
Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC
TRU Integrative Health & Wellness

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day #8: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

"There are moments when I glimpse another self swimming as if in a great watery world beneath all the definitions I have been given.  It may be in movement, or meditation, wakefulness, or near sleep, and suddenly a door has opened as if into a vast room.  I discover dimensions in myself I had not known before and yet recognize with some sorrow as if I had been separated from an old friend for too long."
~ Susan Griffin, "Being," The Eros of Everyday Life

I am amazed at the ease with which I've taken up this return to physical health.  For years, I've been postponing a commitment to losing weight and being healthy again.  There were always too many distractions, or too many demands, or too many temptations - in short, an army arrayed against my best intentions.

Now I am sensing a shift back to the health-conscious girl I was, once upon a time.  Believe it or not, I was a vegetarian who wore birkenstocks, lived in North Oakland, and shopped religiously at the Berkeley Bowl!  Fast-forward to the present: it is not as though I'm forcing myself to eat well, or missing the things I can't eat.  I am happy with the many moments of fruits and vegetables that punctuate my days.  I am delighted by the bright splash of an orange or the dense, tangled garden of a salad.  It is satisfying, beyond simple nutrition.  It is enough.

I got some very good news this morning: (without reference to the original numbers) in the first seven days of the cleanse I lost 7 lbs. and 4 inches overall (chest, waist, hips).  Best of all, I still feel great - better every day, in fact!

I also got to experience the cleanse in the Real World for the first time: I went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner with friends, carrying a purse full of bell pepper strips, apple slices, and orange wedges - and hoping against hope for pure guacamole.  I was able to sit in front of a bowl of chips without a single craving - without a thought about how I could maybe, maybe eat just one.  It didn't even occur to me.  I ate some guacamole with my bell pepper strips and then I ordered a salad with fajita veggies on it - and that was it!

Tomorrow, it's back to Whole Foods for re-stocking.  I'm branching out to yams with coconut oil, and who knows what else?  Stay tuned - more recipes to follow!
Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC
TRU Integrative Health & Wellness

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day #7: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

Tomorrow, two things happen: (1) I switch from the Standard Process Cleanse capsules to the SP Green capsules; and (2) I do my first weigh-in.

If you want to see some impressive progress on the cleanse, you should check out my colleague Carolyn Tucker's blog over at the Buckhead Patch!  She's an inspiration to me.

Not much to report from today except that it's really important (at least for me) to add flaxseed oil to my breakfast shake.  Today I forgot - and it was the first day I had to manage hunger since I've started the cleanse.

Something else I noticed: the refrigerator is getting empty.  How did I EAT all those vegetables?  Amazing.


Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC
TRU Integrative Health & Wellness

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day #6: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

It's a little hard to believe I've arrived at Day #6 of the cleanse, almost 1/3 of the way through.

It's also a little hard to believe I'm still awake.  In fact, I am so sleepy tonight that I almost forgot to write a blog entry.

Here's how I remembered: I was leafing through Psychology Today, thinking to myself, "Hmmmm, I really need to be sleeping - but at least this is better than watching 7 episodes of Smash on Hulu" when I ran across an article on asparagus. 

I was reflecting on the coincidence that I had just tried a new asparagus recipe a few hours earlier and thinking how interesting it was that Louis XIV of France had special greenhouses built to cultivate asparagus (white or green?) when I realized, "Oops, I haven't blogged tonight - and I meant to tell everyone about just how good broiled asparagus can be!" - whether or not it comes from a greenhouse built for a king.

Asparagus Fries

Asparagus, however much you like
1 tablespoon of olive oil per pound of asparagus
Celtic Sea Salt

Cut off woody end of asparagus.  Line a pan with foil and preheat broiler.  Lay out the asparagus in a line on the lined pan and sprinkle with olive oil first, then sea salt.  Broil for 7-9 minutes, very close to the broiler coil, then turn the asparagus over and broil for another 3-5 minutes (time depends on thickness of the stalks).

(And the Psychology Today article suggests storing freshly-bought asparagus in the refrigerator EITHER in a damp paper towel OR (having cut the bottoms off the stems) standing in a small amount of water.


Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day #5: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

Wednesday, Day #5, was a breeze. 

I woke up, got all my food ready, and went through the day without a hitch.

My second soup recipe enjoyed some acclaim in the kitchen at work today - and if you are a fan of mushrooms (and chopping vegetables!), you'll like it too:

Three Mushroom Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed and chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 pound white button mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and sliced
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups organic low-sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons snipped chives

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the leek, shallots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until softened.  Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms soften.  Add the broth, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.

When the soup is finished cooking, remove it from the heat and cool slightly.  Puree the soup in batches in a blender, returning the batches to a large saucepan.  Stir in the parsley and gently heat the soup through.  Serve garnished with the chives.

Recipe adapted from The Ultra-Metabolism Cookbook by Mark Hyman, M.D.



Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day #4: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

"There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are alive, and those who are afraid."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

And now I've made it through Tuesday, aka Day #4!  There are long stretches where I don't even think to myself, "I can do it" or "Don't eat that!" or "How many days are left?"

In fact, I was so busy today that I had to remind myself to eat, and having the right food on hand made such a difference.  Most of the time I wasn't thinking about food, and when I did think about food, a good choice was close at hand.  Preparation and staying occupied are good deterrents for temptation. 

(OK, so there was a moment when I was in dangerous proximity to a Chik-Fil-A and a banana pudding milkshake - but then I remembered, "Oh, right - I can't do that today" and went on filling my car with gas and revising my route home.)

Here is my current formula for success:
  • Get up in the morning and fix two protein shakes - a fruit shake for breakfast (which I drink at home) and a veggie shake for an afternoon snack (which I pack in a LARGE lunch bag) 
  • Pack a lunch and a dinner in that same large lunch bag
  • Pack a fruit snack (like berries) and a veggie snack (like carrots and artichoke dip)
It works!


Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day #3: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

Well, I made it through Monday, thanks to that massive food organization project I undertook Sunday night.  I am now convinced that Tuesday through Friday will work out just fine.  In just three days, I've gone from a fear of constant hunger through a fog of laborious details to believing that this program is actually possible.  While my mind was doing three days of the aforementioned gymnastics, my body was just taking in its new routines.

In fact, my energy level and focus - for a Monday in particular - has been impressive.  I got more done today and was happier in the process than I've been in a while.

And, for those who are interested (like the three people in the kitchen at work who saw my lunch and wanted the recipe for my curried cauliflower soup) the mushroom soup is now ready to go.  I need just one more entree to make it through the week - and may use my 1/2 cup daily brown rice as the fall back, along with a pile 'o vegetables.

Three days down - 18 to go!



Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day #2: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

Getting healthy kept me busy today!

At 9PM I still had cooking to do for the week (one lentil salad down, one mushroom soup to go) - but I'm not complaining, because all the food is delicious AND my evening in the kitchen was preceded by a visit to JeJu Sauna near Gwinnett Place Mall for a salt sauna, steam and an exfoliating scrub.  A return visit is in the works already.

Tomorrow, the work week begins, which will be the real test of my staying power with the cleanse.

Stay tuned!


Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day #1: TRU 21-day detox/weight loss program

Want is a thing that unfurls unbidden, like fungus, opening large upon itself, stopless, filling the sky.  But needs, from one day to the next, are few enough to fit in a bucket, with room enough to rattle like brittlebush in a dry wind.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson

 Welcome to my world: I’m on this 21-day cleanse designed to detoxify the body and support weight loss.  For the first 10 days, we eat only Standard Process protein shakes, fiber capsules, cleanse capsules, and unlimited fruits and vegetables (maintaining a 2-1 ratio of veggies to fruit).

 I won’t share any more statistics, like how much I weigh or my body fat percentage.  This is, after all, a blog, and disclosing that kind of information seems akin to standing naked in front of a bathroom mirror in a very public and dressed-up place, like the symphony on a Saturday night.  Suffice it to say that thanks to a demanding schedule and a delightfully permissive diet, I could stand to shed more than a few inches.

Initially, the list of foods allowed on this cleanse worried me.  It's not that it seemed too short - it just seemed to be missing a few items.  I’m no stranger to elimination diets, but I’ve never been without meat or nuts or tofu or something that seemed filling, in a pinch.  Now, unless I cheat, I am going to have to forsake all those familiar safety nets.  However, when I open my refrigerator, I see a formidable garden!  I think I may have gotten a bit carried away at the store.  Asparagus spears are elbowing the bell peppers for space on the bottom shelf, crowding in front of three bowls of baby greens.  The top shelf is arrayed with seemingly every variety of melon known to humankind.  It’s becoming abundantly clear to me that I'm not going to starve, or be hungry, or even feel deprived.  Every time I turn around, it’s time to eat more vegetables!

I did feel a bit foggy today, unmoored from my habit of morning tea and whatever at all I want to eat, whether a virtuous bowl of oatmeal or a big Southern breakfast.  I spent the morning running errands and mentally cataloging every eating establishment on my route, fast and slow and in-between; I never realized just how many restaurants lie in wait, like sirens in a rocky cove.  However, I made it home safely in time for lunch, and this is what I made:

East Indian Curried Cauliflower Soup

½ small onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 lb. cauliflower
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional garnish)

Cook the onion in the oil in a saucepot over medium-high heat until soft.  Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute.  Add the cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool; Puree.  Put the coriander seeds in a small cast-iron skillet on medium-high, stirring occasionally until they brown.

Serve chilled or warm with coriander seeds as garnish; makes 3-4 portions.
~ Recipe adapted from Pulse it up!  Your guide to unlock the power of food

Delicious, if I do say so myself.  Whew.  20 days to go.

Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC is a psychotherapist at TRU Integrative Health & Wellness in Atlanta, GA.  Ruth works with individuals and couples; her therapeutic focus involves helping clients gain insight into limiting self-perceptions and behavior patterns to manage stress, create new meaning, and achieve the clarity, balance and interpersonal effectiveness they are seeking. Ruth approaches therapy collaboratively, using mindfulness and meditation as central tools for awareness-building and transforming moment-to-moment experience.

Ruth practices under the direction of Kathryn Truax, LPC and the clinical supervision of Annie Kelahan, ATR, LPC.