i t s . t h e . l i t t l e . t h i n g s . a n d . t a c o s
Some people start cleanses to loose weight. Some people start cleanses to break habits. Some people start cleanses right after the holidays, due to one to many slices of pumpkin pie.
I have been all of those some people at one time or another. I’ve done a couple cleanses in my 30 years. And a whole lot of food phases: Raw food, vegan, vegetarian, the current: no dairy or wheat. The last cleanse I did was the Master cleanse, and the all time classic juice cleanse that I tried to do last year while I was in the studio recording. I’ll never forget my producer, Greg Wells, at about 6pm on Day 1, looking at me and saying, “No way. Nope. You are no way in hell doing this right now.” Ha! I was grumpy, and hungry. Nothing sounded right, or good, everything was blah…” The juice was good though…
I’ve been on the road since June 2012. Promoting my latest release Cedar + Gold, which was released October 2012. Airplanes, trains, cars…sometimes little sleep, non stop use of my voice, and it always seems like eating is the one thing no one thinks to schedule anytime in for, which always leaves me in a panic, and googling the nearest Whole Foods or local natural market. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I can find you the healthiest option within a 20 mile radius of wherever I am. And sadly, sometimes that is resorting to eating an english muffin, with bacon and cheese on it, and the avocado I have smuggled through airport security, without getting smooshed in my purse to at least make me feel like whatever it is I am eating is kind of healthy, and has something green on it. Im probably one of the few artists out there who has kale, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and lemon on her rider. I can whip up a salad in minutes! I once made a kale salad in a red solo cup, I was that determined.
If i had it my way, I would live on avocados, bananas, coconuts, super foods, tons of kale and other dark leafy greens, lemon, olive oil, water based veggies, pineapple, and chocolate. And when I am home, I tend to. But I forgot how being on the road can quickly throw things off. Plus, I am such a foodie, so if someone says, “OMG! You have got to go to Green House Tavern in Cincinnati and get the bacon wrapped dates and chicken wings!” I am so there.
So I have come to the conclusion that, as with all things in life, its best to just go with the flow. I am an “opportunivore” at heart. But, I can become so stressed about what I am going to eat/ am eating/ have been eating, etc… On the road, all I can ever think about is how much it sucks to play music in pants that feel like they don’t fit. Damn chicken wings.
I post a lot of food stuff, so its no secret I love food. I love green juice, I love avocados, I love tacos, and I avoid wheat + dairy for the most part. It took a long time for me to figure out what my body likes and doesn’t like. Its important to focus on what is right for you, and really listen to your body. Im no nutritionist, but I know for me, as much as I love raw food. I also have a hard time digesting it, and often times am left feeling bloated and full of air. Ayurvedically speaking I am mostly Vata with a little Pitta. Vata translates to air, and Pitta to fire. To make a long story short, I already have a lot of air going on over here, and I get unbalanced because I overdose on air when I try to do a raw food diet…But some of you out there, may flourish on a raw food diet! My body, does however love raw juice, coconut water and massaged kale salad with olive oil and lemon. I love meals that are simple, with not a whole lot of things going on. Im a grazer. If I never left home, and never ate out, I would probably eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with some fish. I learned a couple years ago, when I had my vocal surgery, that wheat and dairy are not good for my Adrenal system, they produce too much mucus. But I do good with goats milk yogurt, girls gotta get her probiotics in! I also like to make my own almond milk when I am home. And if I am craving bread, I love the gluten free bread from our local bakery here in town called: 2good2B. Im not saying I will never eat a regular piece of bread or have milk again, but you get the idea.
Anyhow, so I’ve been out on the road, and I have been being naughty!! First off, I have developed an insatiable craving for BEER! WTF? Beer is full of wheat, so I don’t know how beer even snuck its way back onto the table. But craft beer, IPAS, rich, tasty, yummy, limited edition, seasonal, local brews…. I want to swim in ‘em. And the Stone Brew 12.12.12 Vertical Epic HAS NOT BEEN HELPING AT ALL. I’ve also developed a love affair with maple bacon. Sooo good. Maybe it was all that time I was spending in Iowa, which also did not help my affair with beer…So bacon and beer, and then from there, I pretty much just fell off the wagon. I got really into chicken wings there for a moment, and cold brew coffee, which makes you bounce off the walls for hours if its done right. Bourbon, was also another one…I can thank my band men for that one… And then you know, the next thing, there I was ordering cheeseburgers, pizza and gnocchi, and having taco tuesdays everyday!! I came home, it was the holidays, and thats a horrible time to try and make any drastic changes…Plus, my Gramma Memo’s makes a mean onion dip, its my favorite. And for some reason, I was really into ham, and the croissant rolls, AND the pumpkin pie… Why not?! Then I went back to Iowa and there was no point in trying to kick start any healthy habits there, even with some good runs, a yoga and a pilate class…My body, mind and soul was begging for a major overhaul.
I was sleeping like shit, feeling like crap, and wondering what the hell happened. I needed to get home. Get back on my program. Get back into yoga, and pilates and my long walks. Get outside, and start taking care of my body the way it deserves to be taken care of. Starting from the inside out.
Enter the BeBeaming cleanse. I had heard about this amazing place opening near my house called The Beaming Superfood Vitality Bar. Sounds like a dream to me. Every city needs one. Its got a menu of amazing superfood smoothies, juices, and elixirs. Plus some raw food options, amazing teas, chocolates, supplements and cookbooks. Brain food baby!! Clean, organic, pure energy, ba-beaming awesomeness!
I read up on it, (http://www.bebeaming.com/) and decided this was the cleanse for me. Plus, Lisa the owner is amazing!!!
What I love about it, is that its not a fast, its not just juice, its not just raw. Its a juice, a superfood smoothie, a cold soup, a yummy elixir, and a raw SALAD! with nuts and raw dressing for dinner! Its also low glycemic, which is my main problem with juice cleanses (most tend to have a ton of sugar, spiking your insulin and leaving you feeling depleted energy wise later). Yes it seems steep: $350 for 4 days. Yes I thought it was a little nuts, but then I took a minute to look at the other shit I spend $$ on and realized this was an investment of my health and hopefully would get me back on track. And, after completing the cleanse and reflecting on it a week later, I can honestly say, it was worth every penny.
Day 1 - The first day was rough, I had a pounding headache, and it probably didn’t help that I ate as much Aunt Annie’s gluten free mac and cheese as I could the night before… Day 1, was probably the first day I hadn’t had coffee in months. I never felt hungry, but I definitely felt headachy and dizzy. I still managed to make it to a gentle hot yoga class that night. Take that mind over matter! That night I slept better than I had slept in MONTHS! Probably, also because it was the first time in months, I hadn’t had any wine or booze at night. Oh wait, I just remembered I slept really great, but I did dream that someone stole my Day 2 cleanse and I got caught eating a plate of bacon! Ha.
Day 2 - I woke up with a little it of a headache, but it was much better. I had my hot water with lemon and yep…no coffee needed. I took my green juice to go and headed to meet my trainer. I felt good. Clear. Energized. I also brought my smoothie with me so I could have it after the gym. I definitely would start to get hungry if I didn’t eat every 2 hours or so. Training was awesome. I never once felt weak, or low on energy, so that made me stoked. I train for an hour, doing an array of strength training moves, mostly using my body weight, so I can take my moves on the road with me. I had my smoothie after and headed home to work on music. I felt clear, and focused, and balanced. And realized, it was the first time in a long time I had felt this good. And it was only Day 2! One of things I loved about this cleanse, is the menu changes everyday, so you never really have anything twice. And you pick up the day before, so everything is fresh! (They also can deliver). Towards the end of the day, I started feeling pretty emotional. I am not sure if it was because my period was coming in a week, or what. But one minute I was crying, the next I was laughing. I also started to clean my house and closet out. I was cleansing in every which way, one could!
Day 3 - Still pretty emotional. More cleaning. I gathered books to donate to the library, and clothes/sheets/bags/plates/glasses to donate to Goodwill. I also started writing in my journal. Its been forever, I don’t know about you, but I have journals strewn about the house with an entry here and an entry there, nothing in order. Kind of confusing, but I guess it will be fun to read back through all the randomness one day! Overall, this day was freaking awesome. I felt great by the 3rd day. I was flying high. Light and free. Just the way you wanna be. I opted for a walk with my dear friend Leah, who was also doing a cleanse at this time, but she was doing the master cleanse, and she hated me when I pulled out my salad for dinner. She seriously looked like she wanted to kill me. Haha. With this cleanse also came a free “Skinny Shot” from Bloom in Encinitas. From Blooms website: (http://www.bloomnaturalhealth.com) -The Skinny shot is a special formula of liver-supporting nutrients that can help with energy, fat metabolism, and hormone balance, which are all key liver functions. Leah had been to this place before, but I had not. And holy cow. This place is the bomb! They even have a happy hour on Wednesdays, where skinny shots are half price ($15) from 2-4pm. I don’t know what it was, the cleanse doing its magic, or the Skinny Shot, but we got back to Leah’s house and I felt like I may have to number 2 and ended up writing a short story in a series of text messages to the guy I was dating. Venting, venting and more venting about my hear feeling unsettled, my wanting for a family, to settle down, for security. To know a relationship that is not a long distance one. To be able to drive to someones house and surprise them, to take a walk on the beach, or go for a surf. To make dinner. I thought, “I have got to get off this toilet and call him on the phone!” I said, “I swear, I didn’t know all that was come out just now…I just went to go try and poop!” Luckily he laughed. I was told this is all normal. Everything gets shook up on a cleanse, things come up. Patterns get recognized, habits get broken. Everything returns to square 1. I never did a cleanse for these reasons, but I am so glad that is what this cleanse did for me. I could see how everything is connected. Food, thoughts, emotions, health, well being, spirit, sleep, skin, relationships, and goals. Its all in there, like a marriage. Like a dance. Our bodies can only make the most of what we give them.
Day 4- The last day! I was told this would be the beams of all beams! And it was so true! I woke up feeling straight up amaze-balls. Even lighter, cleaner and faster than the day before! My skin looked better, my mind felt better, my outlook was brighter. I was inspired. I felt like I could take on anything. So I tried my first Studio Barre class! I had bought a Groupon, back who knows how many months ago, and hadn’t used it yet. I was too scared I would look like a ding dong, but I thought now is the time!! OK, so maybe I was not quite ready for all that air humping and my thighs burning in places I had never felt burn before, but even through the burn, the challenge, and the way it kind of totally made me feel out of shape, even still, I kept thinking: Bring it on! NOW is the NOW! Lets do this. I was pumped Day 4. I was on fire. And I felt back to my self, like how I feel when I am really feeling in alignment with everything in my life and my being. A dream come true. And it only took 4 days to get me back to that place!
I don’t think anyone has ever been sad that their cleanse is ending, but I was. I was truly sad. I kept thinking, “Well what now?” Like I had just graduated and had to go figure out how to do this all on my own! I felt like I could keep going. Eating this way, that I had been eating, I lost 5 lbs. And I felt great. I am 5’9 and weigh 130 lbs. Thats pretty healthy for a girl my height. I have been super skinny at times, once I got home from a tour and I weighed 118, I looked emaciated. I was stoked cause i was skinny, but I looked terribly unhealthy. I have been heavier than this as well, and thats really when I let myself go, drink a lot and eat whatever the F I want. I prefer to be where I am now, which is wherever my pants fit and wherever I feel healthy and strong. And I don’t really care what the number on the scale reads.
These days, especially with touring, but also with getting older. I feel like it becomes more important for us to be kind to our bodies, and take extra amazing care of ourselves. As women, especially… from the inside out. To nourish ourselves for the babies that may comes one day, to strengthen our bones as we grow, to take care of our skin as the air is not as clean as it once was, and the ozone layer is not as thick. Its sad, but its also the reality. But by caring about what you eat, were it comes from: is it local? Is it seasonal? Is it supporting your immediate community? Are you growing it? By caring about the products you buy: Is your sunscreen paraben free? Are your cleaners natural? All these things contribute to your future and the worlds future. Sometimes it’s exhausting to think about these things, I know i get overwhelmed from time to time and wanna say fuck it, and sometimes I do. But most of the time, I don’t. I do the best I can, and thats all I can do. A lot of the way I live my life, has been building these habits for a very long time. You have to want to change, you have to want to care. You have to want to be the best you can be, and you have to believe that you deserve that! And most importantly, you have to listen to your body, and do what you are capable of. Only you know your limits, only you create your excuses, your challenges, only you know how how truly far you can really push yourself and if you are pushing yourself to the limit!
Most of my Friday, post cleanse, was spent making juice, and a smoothie and some raw tacos, out of kale, and avocado…I missed that weeks taco tuesday, so I had to make it up of course;) That night I headed to a friends house for a going away party for one of our friends. I had a little cheese, I had a little wine. But what I noticed, is where normally, I would probably over indulge, I didn’t. Surely, my stomach had shrunk from the cleanse, but my appetite was very mild, even with an array of goodies in front of me. And, what was really strange, was for the first time in a long time, I didn’t really have any desire to drink alcohol.
I didn’t want to blog immediately about my experience, because I wanted to watch what happened as i transitioned back into the “norm”. The norm with no rules, but the ones we make for ourselves. A week later, I still feel really good. Today was the first day I had coffee, it was delicious, and warm. I didn’t even finish the whole thing, I was satisfied with just a couple sips. I am still starting my day with hot water and lemon, and then a green juice, and then I go from there. I have to say, the biggest things I have noticed is my sleeping. I have been able to get to bed early, and wake up early. I forget how the early morning, in this area where I live, is my favorite time to be here. Its so peaceful and fresh out. My energy is stable and I am feeling good and strong. I know it wont be long till I am back out on the road, the West Coast tour starts in 1 week!!! I cant wait. When I can go into tour feeling this good, I know I can do anything I put my mind to.
Taking care of my health, is also my promise to you, my fans, to show up and rock, to be at my very best each and every night.
So thanks for letting me share all this. I share because I care.
Cause, who knows, maybe I will inspire someone out there to finally get off their buns and make that change they have been wanting to make. To google some recipes, or buy a juicer, or check out that farmers market. We all deserver to be healthy, and feel like a million bucks. You don’t need a $350 cleanse to do it. You don’t need any cleanse to do it. You can start slow and take it day by day, this isn’t an overnight thing. Its a commitment to being the best you that you can be. It’s researching and experimenting, and being adventurous!
Ok, and maybe I also blogged this, cause I know one day in the future (hopefully, not the near future) I will realize my train got derailed again, and i will need this little reminder of how to get myself back on track.
Nudge, nudge and lots of love,