Jan 27, 2006

Debuting Summer 2006 - Joshua Michael Morgan

I just had to share this shot of my Nephew Joshua Michael Morgan. He's still baking in mommy Allison's tummy, and is due to greet us in June 2006 - but I had to start his photo portfolio from now! Can't wait to meet you little one! Aunty is knitting/crocheting up a storm in preparation for your arrival :-)

Project Pics

Here is my latest completed project:

It's called the umbilical hat from the Stitch 'n Bi*** book - too cute to pass up!
A HUGE thank you to Nancy for posting this picture so that I could get it on here - I'll work out this digital picture thing one day! This was Classic Elite Yarn - Bubbles in Orange and Purple, SO yummy to work with. I intend to give it to my neice - my sister in law Tenika is due the 1st week of March. Phew! So many darling babies, so little time...Life is good.

Jan 21, 2006

Picture This...

I had some photos from late 2005 I wanted share:

The Tummy Twins - Tenika (L) is my sister-in-law, carrying a baby girl due in March; Allison (R) is my one and only little sister, carrying a baby boy due in June. Oh the pink and blue yarns abound!!

This shot shows a view from the balcony of our room. Drew stayed with me at the Residence Inn Deerfield (northern suburb of Chicago) during my first week on the new job. Watching the snow pile up from the warmth of our room was so cozy!

This next shot shows two of my favorite folks (hahaha!) and two of my recent practical projects. I crocheted the hat from some very funky acrylic yarn - started and finished it on the flights to Chicago, then wore it for the first time when I came off the plane. The scarf Drew's wearing - I knit that horizontally with some Baby Alpaca yarn on circular needles. I at least had the decency to finish it for him the night before the trip.

This last one is just a nice hazy shot of Drew on a pier in Glencoe, a very quiet, but wealthy area in the northern suburbs. We drove through here on one of our first explorations when we thought we might be moving to Chicago. The $1million price tags were enough to make you...well, stare forlornly out at the water. Thankfully...I no longer have to move. I can create lots of cold weather clothing, but I get to keep coming back to sunny south Florida.

Show & Tell

I've discovered that the camera on my phone actually takes 1/2 decent photos. So until I can convince Drew to take out another mortgage and by me the Canon Rebel digital camera I'm drooling over, I'll use what I've got for some show and tell...

This past weekend, I visited a couple of great yarn shops in New York City. It felt downright "nifty" to be in another city, and taking subways and buses only to end up in the small, cozy, oh so trendy big city yarn store. My favorite was a shop/cafe called Knit New York, which I have since found out is quite popular with other knitters even here in Florida. My flight home on Wednesday was delayed by a heavy rainstorm, so I asked my cabbie to make a U-turn from the airport trip and take me back to Knit New York. I spent a blissful 3 hours there winding yarn I had bought, and collecting some goodies like a T-shirt and a super cool "Knit on the Go" pouch that you clip to your belt or purse and tote your latest WIP everywhere! (Which I have). Here's a shot of the hospitable crew at the store: Melinda (L), Josh (center; the first male I have ever seen knit and boy does that yarn FLY over his needles), Chachy (R):

I really look forward to going back and exploring more of this creative hobby as it makes it's comeback in America's great cities.

Jan 19, 2006

Petite Pics

I finally have photos to share of things that actually came off of my needles (THANKS NANCY!) This baby hat and bootie set were made for my friend's niece Ivy Grace. You can read all about her on Nancy's blog. We decided to trade gifts for our niece's-to-be. She is a spectacular seamstress with great skill in making baby sets. She sent me a beautiful baby sling/diaper bag/changing pad set recently, and I made this set for her to give to her sister. I felt the hat and booties were too big for a newborn size, and then I read the Ivy Grace was born 9lbs, 10oz! Whew! It all works out...Congratulations to Monica and her growing family! :-)

The hat is crocheted from an SLK Baby hat pattern in ggh yellow cotton yarn with some Pink cotton trim yarn from my favorite NYS. The booties were knit from the Beginner Booties pattern in the book Knitting for Baby. I added the pink crochet ruffle trim to the booties on my own (trying to be adventurous). This project was a real exercise in patience for me because I wanted them to be just right. I regained a love of the way knitted yarn works up too. My WIP now is a shrug for myself. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll still be in style by the time I finish.

Jan 14, 2006

Drum Roll Please

Day 10 / 10:37PM GOAL ATTAINED
Me - 149lbs (-11 from starting)
Drew - 175lbs (-15 from starting)

Here we are!! Day 10. Hard to even express what it feels like to be here. I hear The Count from Sesame Street in my head saying (10! 10 vunderful days..ah ah ah ahhhhhhh! ). Today was a pretty eventful day overall. I did the decor and ran the games at my sister-in-law Tenika's baby shower. Let me tell you, to be at a family function and do everything BUT partake of the food - whew!! Not easy. But we extricated ourselves early. I even managed to make it through packing up food for Adachi and Mizan without too much temptation. Drew is definitely going to start breaking the fast tomorrow. And I said I would too; I even told him in the car that my final decision was that we should continue doing all parts of this together right up until the end ("regular food day" 4 days from now). But even now, I'm on the fence. We have only 1 lemon left, and my flight leaves at 8am. I unpacked the maple syrup and juice toting stuff from my bags too, so I really haven't left myself much choice but to break the fast tomorrow.

So, with that decided...I want to list here some of our new eating plans and changes post-fast:

  • Drew - no more bread or cereal ("no inherent nutrients, no point")
  • Drew - no more dairy (except clarified butter, which doesn't have milk fat)
  • Drew - 10-day fast a minimum of 3 times per year
  • Marce - no gluten (wheat, oats, barley, rye, etc)
  • Marce - no products containing yeast
  • Marce - 10-day fast a minimum of 3 times per year

That should show us some significant health improvements. I'm really very proud of what we've accomplished. I know that our bodies are better for it. And now when I get that "gotta have it" feeling for something junky, I'll try to remind myself about this experience. I believe I would have quit early if it hadn't been for #1 partner. You rock baby! And for those of you who have been tracking this all along and adding your silent support - Thanks!!

Who would have thought that I'd be looking forward to a full day's worth of plain old fresh-squeezed orange juice tomorrow...but if/when you try this cleanse for yourself...you'll understand.

Too Close for Comfort

Day 9 [written on Day 10 at 1:17pm]
Me - 150lbs (-10 from starting)
Sleep last night - 7 hours'ish; very sound

"Thin Mint" - 179lbs (his weigh in was late at night, so that's likely the cause of this anomaly)

I've heard strories about people running marathons, and falling out of the 26.2 mile race in the last 3 miles. Inconceivable...to be so close and not finish! Well, we got a taste of this yesterday. Drew's energy and mood was up for most of the day, but he had to take an unplanned nap late in the afternoon after a very sudden bout of exhaustion. After he woke up, he talked about starting to break the fast a day early. As for me, suffice to say that I was so on the edge of...I don't know what...that I was weeping during storytime for the girls. Not a good image for them surely. But I just kept feeling so..."ick"...without any good explanation. Except of course if one believes in the influence of the lunar cycle as I do. So I chalk it up to that. I drank the lemonade everytime the lethargy came on, and I would feel fine for a while, then hit a low again. It started to seem like some sinister internal plot to get us to quit early.

I've been fretting over this trip to NY coming up on Sunday. I've never been to a trade show before, and so I don't know what it would be like to be swigging my umpteenth bottle of lemonade for the day without drawing attention, or trying to keep my energy up so that I make good first impressions for the company. "Oh my gosh!!! Some girl just fainted over in booth 166!!" Yeah...that wouldn't go over well. But on the other hand, I really think that some extenuating circumstances are in play, and that I really should be breaking the fast in the comfort of my own home, when I get back from the trip. That would work out to about 16 days of fasting over all if you include the "orange juice only" days. We shall see...

Jan 12, 2006

8 Straight

Day 8 / Late afternoon
Me - 150lbs (-10 from starting); let's just say that I figured out why I might still be carrying some "water" weight...curse those womanly ways!! Sigh - love fasting, LOVE it...
Measurements holding steady
Sleep last night - 6 hours (but with good reason)

The skinny man formerly known as Drew - 179lbs (-11 from starting)
Sleep last night 7 hours

Today was a pretty solid day...Nothing too terrible on the symptom side. Definitely starting to notice some of the main benefits now:

  • More time in your day
  • More energy in the morning
  • A pronounced feeling of lightness (not to be confused with light headedness)
  • Sounder sleep
  • Clearer Skin

The high notes for today - YOGA. We got in a full hour of yoga, nearly all of which was done before the girls woke up with breakfast demands. It felt amazing, and just shows how committed hubster is to doing this whole thing together. Some of those poses will truly test your will. Later in the day I took the girls to the doc. Adachi had her 4-year old wellness check and did excellent! Whoo weee that girl can ace an eye chart. She also braved 3 shots for immunization that mommy intentionally did not forewarn her about. Her bravery humbled me.

In the evening I went to my first "Knit Night" at my FAVORITE Yarn shop called Great Balls of Yarn (chuckle). Six of us ladies, projects in hand, sat around a table for some stichin' and bitc***. I am hooked!! And I assure you that none of these puns were intended. I took pictures of a WIP that I finally finished tonight too. Whew! Another scarf rolls off my needles, and awaits the pleasure of being wrapped lovingly around the neck of some relative or friend. I also finished a set of booties and a hat for my friend Nancy. I'll ask her to kindly send me digital pics of them once they arrive at her house so I can post them here. My picture posting is inherently slowed by the waiting period to get my CD back from Sam's Club. More on the 'morrow....

Jan 11, 2006

Seven, Nine, Eleven

Day 7 / 10:23AM
Me - 151lbs (-9 from starting) - I'm gaining on him! :-p
Waist - 31 1/4"

"My Man Slim" - 179lbs (-11 from starting)

Ok...I just have to get this one gross tidbit out to the way. We are coughing up some serious...ummm...toxins. At first we both thought we caught this never ending chest things the girls have, but now we're convinced this is just another manifestation of the cleanse. Whoo Wee!! I just really marvel at what we carry around inside our bodies on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Seems like my slow weight loss has picked up a little, and I feel really good and energetic for the majority of the day - still tiring out by 8/9pm though. The tiredness has its own benefits though because now we're forming a habit we've been pursuing for some time...early to bed early to rise.

I was comforted when Drew told me yesterday that he too was thinking more and more about food yesterday than any other day on the fast. Neither of us felt hungry so to speak, but just missed the old habit and comfort I think. We staying strong though. He's decided that Saturday (Day 10) will be it for him. I'm not so sure for me. Right now I feel strong enough to keep going, but there is a baby shower and NY trip for work that stand between me and the other side of 14 days fasting. I know that a strong will can carry you through many things, and this will be one of those times where I'll have to call on mine in a big way. Imagine...going to my first trade show and having no booze, no rich NY restaurant foods. *Sigh* Maybe I'll find a good yarn shop and just stay in my hotel room knitting...that thought actually makes me giddy ;-)

Jan 10, 2006

Shaken...But Not Detered

Day 5 / 5:01PM
Marce - 153.5 (-6.5 from starting)
All other measurements holding steady (stubborn little *****)

"6-Day Slim" - 180lbs
Sleep Last night - 6.5 hours
(We just can't keep our eyes closed past 6AM - so weird! But a good weird)

I am typing this post very quickly because I want it to be recorded that today I thought about food more than ANY other day that I've been on this fast. I have an assignment I've been working on, and I kept having thoughts of just getting up and going to prepare something to eat. The irony is that I've also been thinking alot about how good this must be for the body. One less major task to do all day while we busy ourselves. And hubster is looking like a STICK! Not that he was el-jumbo before, but my oh my...Resilience has it's benefits. ;-) So anyway, I can only attribute the hunger and food fantasies to the fact that I wanted some distraction from using my brain to any great length today..Sad...but true.

Another really noticeable thing - I'm COLD. The temperature has really dropped around here recently so that' s part of it (the other morning we had frost on the lawn and ice on the roof!! Unheard of in Sunny South Florida). But other than that, I'm just not holding in any heat, which gives great support to the idea of using food for "fuel" (ba dump bum ching!).

Anyhoo, once again it only took typing a couple paragraphs for me to be remotivated. I'm going to make an essential oil mix and get some aromatherapy going (another Whole Foods find). Who knows, I may just stay on this while I'm in New York next week and do the additional four days...I've done crazier things!

Jan 9, 2006

Gimme Five!

Day 5 / 10:59pm
Marce - 155lbs (-5 from starting)
Waist measurement - holding steady

Not So Chubby Hubby - 180lbs (-10 from starting)
I just told him that I wrote that and he said "I don't know why you're so happy, I don' t wanna lose weight" - with a very obvious smirk of secret satisfaction. We did a pH test today though, and it shows that we're both pretty acidic, and he's still got the fuzzy white tongue, whereas mine is half clear. Yes I'm gloating!! It's all I've got over him right now...this man mowed the lawn yesterday! Sheesh. Love him like mad, and he knows it. :-)

On the fasting front things were pretty smooth, but today was an especially tough work day. Very busy even by Monday standards, and alot of shifiting and adjustments that remind me I still have a long way to go to feel settled in my new role. At points it was downright emotional, and I didn't think about eating once, not once! Any other emotional eaters out there can truly appreciate the magnitude of that. In my hay day, it would have been Ice Cream Pints and death by chocolate to recover from a day like today. But it was hot and cold Master Cleanser lemonade as far as the eye could see...just the way it ought to be. Both the girls have colds too, and I think we're each getting a touch of it, but not with the usual symptoms we'd expect. Drew lost his voice and I have some chest congestion, but it really feels like no virus could overtake these leaner cleaner pipes.

1 hour from Day 6 now - that will officially break Drew's previous Fasting Feat (that time he did distilled water only, the man is a machine!). I'm SO grateful to have him as a hunger buddy. Still waiting on some of that somberness and clarity I remember from last time too, but that's the beauty of this process...you just never know what each day will bring. Who knows, we may even hit the Fair on Friday...if I don't chicken out. Ugh. I said chicken.


Jan 8, 2006

The Fantastic Four

Day 4 / 10:30AM
Marce - 155lbs (-5 from starting)
Waist - (-1 2/2" from starting); no change
Sleep last night - 7.5 hours

Hubb-enator - 184lbs (-6 from starting); no change

Day 4 - feeling great! Woke up feeling very strong today. I didn't sleep the best last night, but there was no hunger feeling and no lightheadedness. I don't feel weak either, as one might expect after 3 full days with no food. Last night was pretty tough. After I posted, we settled in to watch a movie and the munchies hit me bad. I actually had to drink the lemonade 2 more times before bed to keep from feeling hungry and miserable. This detox is pretty real though, I'm already starting to feel the energy lift that I read about. Having some good ideas about where I'd like to take my business this year, and I could use real motivation on that score.

More from the Fasting Furious later...

[Adding this from Day 5]
This evening was a pretty tough one. I felt so sluggish at one point that I couldn't hold up for one of my favorite activities, bathing the girls. Earlier in the day, we spent some time outside, even went riding on the neighbors golf cart up and down the road. The real treat was though that all day the Adachi & Mizan were offering us food, but I think Adachi finally got it. After a certain time, when Mizan asked if Daddy wanted some of her dinner, Adachi called out "Naaah - he's fasting Meezee!" Too cute. I was plenty tired too, so I slept quite well. And as hubby put it - Day 4 is on the books!
Heading for five and still alive!

Jan 7, 2006

3rd Day's the Charm

Day 3 / 7:50pm
Me - 157lbs (-3 from starting)
Waist - down 1 1/2" from starting
Sleep Last night - 8 hours (for both of us - we woke up at 6 unsure of what to do with our giddy selves)

Drew "Lite" - 184lbs (-6 from starting!!!) Now tell me, is that fair? I'm going to start saying "this isn't about the weight loss" like he does and see if the ticker on the scale moves down faster.

As I said a couple of days ago, Day 3 is usally a milestone in any fast I've done. So I decided I should make this entry during one of the many "why am I doing this again?" moments of today. I'm not exactly hungry, and I don't feel nearly as sick as I did on Day #3 of my first fast, but I am exhausted! And at this time of day, we're usually getting the girls ready for bed so we can settle down to a movie and a yummy snack (read: late night junk food fest). Not so tonight dear friends...*sigh*

Today was not as bad as I anticipated at all though. Hubby had a headache for a good portion of the afternoon, and he's quite convinced that he's more toxic that I am (his tongue is more white and fuzzy, and the pH strip says he's acidic). I won't lord it over him...for long. About 2 weeks ago I did commit to doing 6 weeks gluten-free to see if I could clear up some recent eczema thing - gross I know; the word itself makes me shudder to type. Anyway, that may explain why my symptoms don't seem to be as pronounced this time around, but I never underestimate the body's oddities when it comes to detoxifying. Now I've got my eye on Day 5 to see what hits the fan on the 1/2 way mark.

So, in the time it has taken me to type this, I'm back on board mentally and I know that this is something to be proud of. We have given our bodies 3 days of rest and opportunity to heal. I look forward to the coming days, I expect them to bring clarity and real mental shifting about how and why I eat. And if I don't end up with any earth shattering revelations, at least I'll have a clean internal slate to start from.

Be well!

Jan 6, 2006

99 Bottles of Lemonade on the Wall

Day 2 / 10:05 AM
Me - 159 lbs (-1 from starting)
Waist - down 1/2"
Sleep last night - 7.5 hours

Drew - 189 lbs (-1 from starting)
Sleep Last night - 7 hours

Master Cleanse Day 2 and all is well. You know, this process forces you to be really in tune with how you feel physically and mentally - I'm sure the emotional effects will show up soon enough. We had a great time yesterday going to Whole Foods Market to get our organic ingredients (lemon & maple syrup). The cashier was ringing up the items and he says "Hey! Are you on that lemonade thing?" "Why yes!" I say. "What gave it away? The 3 dozen lemons? tee hee" Then it was a mad dash to the doc to get Adachi some antibiotics for an ear infection - the irony! We don't think it's wise to put the girls on the fast with us right now, they're too little to understand the benefits...although the book tells you that it can work for everyone. At least we'll be experienced with it if it's something they want to cleanse with when they're older.

More later as day 2 rolls on...

Day 2 / 10:27 PM
Me - 157 lbs (-3 from starting)

It's hard to believe that number, but yes, I'm down 2 more pounds since 12 hours ago. Now, I take that with a grain of salt (pun intended) because as a woman, I know that I carry around my share of water weight, so that's got to be some of it. Plus, thanks to our Gentle Mover tea and the Internal Salt Bath, we're flushing...literally.
Today's signs/symptoms of detox - mostly hunger pains and lethargy for me. I knew I was in bad shape when the Ana Banana shampoo Aunty Kelli gave us inspired some craving twinges while I washed the girls' hair - sheesh.
Emotional/Mental status - It might be too early into this to have an epiphany, but I have confirmed a long-time suspicion. I am an emotional eater! I had some mentally stressful calls for work today, and after all 3 of them, I had the urge to eat. It's amazing how physicallthat feeling is too; on any other day, my body would have just carried me to the pantry for something - and I'm certain it would not have been healthy. I hope I shed that snack reflex and learn to stop seeing food as a reward. Hubby dearest didn't suffer the hunger pangs today, good for him! (grumble, grumble).

My reading tells me that Day 3 is a marquis day in any fast. I think it's because your body starts to realize that you're not kidding around with this no food thing, this is for real! "All purifiers on deck! We finally have the go ahead to clean this puppy out!" So we shall see what that brings....I'm very grateful to be closing out another day though. 8 days to go now!

P.S. I'm feeling really cold!

Jan 5, 2006

Out With the OLD

Day 1 / 11:50am / 160 lbs - I'll spare you my current measurements.
Last night 5.5 hours sleep

My darling husband and I are starting the Master Cleanser today - commonly known as the Lemonade Diet. It's a 10-day detox program from a book written by Dr. Stanley Burroughs in 1976. The short of it - you drink a detox lemonade (lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper), herbal tea and a laxative tea for 10 days. That's it. Sounds crazy I know, but back in 2003 I did it for 14 days and I was convinced! I lost 22 pounds (which I kept off for 7 months), and I slept better and had more clarity that I could ever remember. Fasting from food emptied my stomach (and pantry), but it filled my day with all this found time, and filled me with this renewed energy and awareness. I did it twice more since then for shorter periods and had great results each time.

Trust me, it's not all bliss and roses. I've been through what I can only guess is some of the worst sugar withdrawl and detoxifying symptoms. At one point a rash broke out all over my face; at another, I thought I was coming down with some kind of fatal flu...But then I felt better - better than better, I felt new. So here we are again...This time hubby's in on it so I feel great about the odds that I won't quit. I prefer to avoid his evil drill sargeant alter ego, so I'm going to do this right. I'll post some before (yikes!) and after (yay!) photos for those interested, and blog about how we feel and the things we notice day-to-day as the fast progresses.

Today's biggest challenge was the morning's Internal Salt Bath. Here's how that works:
Each morning on an empty stomach, add two teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt to a full quart of water. Do not use ordinary iodized salt as it will not work properly. Drink the entire quart of salt water first thing in the morning. "Chug" this — drink it as fast as possible. This sums it up: "You'll need to be by a toilet for half an hour to an hour."If you've heard about this cleanse then it won't seem so strange to you that I've chosen to chronicle it here. If you want to learn more about it, check out the book "The Master Cleanser" by Stanley Burroughs on your favorite discount book site, or go to www.therawfoodsite.com/mastercleanse for a great preview, including the recipe and helpful hints. What I like most about this cleanse is that you don't have to focus on the weight loss, if you need to lose weight you will, and if you don't, you won't (most of pounds dropping are nasty toxins anyway). I also love that Dr. Burroughs wasn't pushing a product...simple natural ingredients to clean out and give your self another shot at treating your body right.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU! I send out a toast to having 365 more chances to live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.