Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Half Way There

A number of months ago I wrote a blog post commiserating about my seemingly overnight weight gain. I was determined to combat this weight gain as it crept steadily up from one week to the next. At one point it got to be a bit hilarious, as I would step on the scale only to see that yes, I had indeed gained another pound. Is Candid Camera in the house? I had never been over 145 and now I was nearing 160 with no slow down in sight. What the heck???

My friend Mireille suggested that I visit her doctor, Homeopath Dr. Salzarulo. Well that began a journey and an exploration that I hadn’t expected. What doctor Salzarulo’s plan for me made me realize, was that I had moved so far away from my original “clean” diet that it was no wonder that things were changing for the worse. I asked him, “Is it normal to gain weight in mid-life, during peri-menopause stage in life"? His answer was that if gaining weight during this stage in life were universal, then he could say yes. But in many places in the world this mid-life weight gain does not occur. He informed me that it was a matter of the body being very much out of balance, full of toxins and adjusting in the way that it could.

So here is some of what I had to eliminate from my diet, wheat (which many people are allergic to due to over consumption and like corn it’s in most processed food), sugar, including all alcohol, fruit juices, dried fruit, cheese, shell-fish and anything with cow’s milk. Thank goodness I can still have goat’s milk (its composition is closer to human milk) because I love yogurt as a quickie breakfast fix. Most processed (white, bleached food) bread, gluten, and corn and potatoes (that included my favorite, potato chips) and soy, believe it or not. I hadn’t realized how much cheese I had started consuming or sugar for that matter, a glass of wine here a glass of wine there… It all adds up!

What is allowed on this anti-inflammatory diet are most fruits, vegetables (except nightshades) whole grains (except the ones that are glutenous), fish and free range or organic meats.

I recently checked in with Dr. Salzarulo and since March, I have made many adjustments to my diet. I’ll tell you straight, it hasn’t been easy to refrain from all of the above each and everyday but I gave it the ole Girl Scout try. I have lost eleven pounds and I have about that much more to go to reach my target. My cloths are fitting me much better now and I feel better. I was shocked at how the pain of my monthly cycles decreased considerably.

Now he wants me to take it to the next level, which means cleansing in a myriad number of ways. First thing is green juice every day, half my weight in ounces of water consumed daily, body brushing before bathing, three baths a week to sweat and release toxins, of course exercise and if I could fit it in, jumping on a trampoline twenty minutes a day to help cleanse the lymph system. Whew! And that’s not all of it.

What is amazing to me is how we, resist what’s best for us on subtle levels. Like one of his requirements is that you write down everything you eat each day. I hated that! After two weeks of that, it became old, real fast. Enough already. But his theory is that it makes you present to what you’re consuming.

All this to say, I am headed in the direction I wanted to go in, but like with anything worth having it hasn’t been a breeze. But it has given me insight into things like discipline, perseverance, commitment, and rewards that can follow. I must admit, I am grateful for this experience as it has allowed me to see the course that I was on was not just something that was happening to me. Is that ever the case? I think not. Our choices determine our lives. I’m choosing to be at a weight that helps me feel in touch with my center. Let me know how you’re feeling.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A New York Treasure- 14th Street Farmer's Market

Despite the very strange weather that we’ve been having, the gardening season is officially here. A couple of weeks ago on Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I braved the Brooklyn Terminal market (and its pushy patrons) on a sunny and bright Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful that weekend. The kind of weather you expect in NY during the late spring. We were laser as we focused in on what we needed to fill our window boxes and planters.

We finally gathered all we needed and loaded up my little Prius with flats of flowers galore. You see, the terminal market is great for your basics and your fillers, petunia, impatients, marigolds, hibiscus, dahlias, evergreens etc. However, my plan had always been to get to the Union Square Market to scout the exotic and heirloom selections that they always have. But we've had so much rain, that I couldn't get to 14th Street until today. I admit it, I am a fair weather gardener and I make no bones about it.

Today the sun came out and so I finally made my way to that most hip happening in NY, Union Square a.k.a. the 14th Street Farmers Market. Being there is a festival for the senses, as all of your senses are engaged on a major level. I was so inspired that I pulled out my iPhone and started acting like I was a photojournalist. I noticed I wasn’t the only one that impressed. Other photographers there had “real” cameras and were taking it all in. It gave me one of those rare thoughts of “this is why New York is so great”.

Normally when I go to the Farmers Market, I try to get there early, around 8:00 or at the latest 9:00. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with the throngs of people. I arrived late today, around 11:00 so when I jokingly complained to the guy snatching up all the best roses, he politely said to me, “It's the early bird”… Still, I’m impressed with the photos I took because I managed to take these images without showing the hundreds of folks who were out there. When I say hundreds, I’m not exaggerating.

There all kinds of folks out there, like the preppie looking peeps who you imagined must have driven down from Connecticut or the Upper East Side, or the brother with two strand twist extensions (I would notice that) or the old guy who looked like he didn’t have a dime, but bought up all the best rose bushes, before I could even bat an eye. There were couples with babies in strollers, many dog owners with their pooches, and some folk who looked as though they lived right around the corner. I’ve heard that some of the best restaurants in NY, shop for their produce at the 14th Street Farmers Market, and it’s no wonder. Everything looks so fresh and vibrant. The colors don’t seem real; they’re so bright and amazing. But then again, who else but Mother Nature could create such color and abundance?

There were vendors selling everything from rare flowers and herbs, to exotic goat cheeses, organic wool, free range poultry, fresh fish, fresh bake breads, preserves, mushrooms and on and on. Then on the other side of the park are artist with their paintings and other hand made works, like Himalayan Crystal salt candle holders, vintage repros, hand painted tees etc. But one thing that stood out for me was an Obama tee shirt that had the look of “The Matrix” in the background with Obama in the foreground and a caption that read, “He’s the One”. New York, you don’t have to love it, but I must admit that some of what NY offers, will make even a “down on New York critic”, like myself appreciate NY, seeing it from perspective of the fabulous 14th Street Farmers Market.

Check it out!

14th Street Farmers Market