Sunday, March 22, 2009

Final Day of Cleanse and its Immediate Gratification

The Master Cleanse Ingredients, my best friends for 5 days

Theoretically the Master Cleanse is designed for ten days. However, this being our first cleanse, Dani and I elected to begin with a five day detox. The continuous consumption of syrup-tasting lemonade with a spicy kick has run its course of purifying the body. On the fifth day of the cleanse, my energy level had increased immensely since the second and third day. My agenda on Saturday wasn't necessarily for emotional stability.

I made a nice two hour drive up the coast to Santa Ana to attend the funeral services of my Uncle Clifford Stanley Olof. I found great joy in witnessing what I had previously not known of a life lived in good faith and honor by Uncle Cliff. He loved to fly airplanes, fix cars in the backyard and shop at thrift stores and swap meets for the best deal. On his last day of life, he flew an airplane and passed away right in front of a thrift store, doing what he loved to do. I wish the rest of the Olof family and friends the best in finding peace at this time.

On the drive back from the funeral services, I noticed my energy level had remained relatively high even after a morning filled with sorrow. By the time night came, I went with some buddies to watch live Muay Thai fights, which gave me a greater appreciation for the sport. By the time 9pm arrived, my energy level was still surprisingly high. My body had adjusted to the new diet and I realized why it was designed for ten days. However, my taste buds and palette were ready for something other than lemonade. Additionally, my renewed energy yielded a renewed anticipation to resume physical activity.

We began easing out of the cleanse this morning by consuming 2 glasses of orange juice to bring up our glucose levels and prepare our body to consume foods. Though we started light with blueberries, yogurt and granola. The yogurt is especially beneficial in providing the body with probiotic bacteria which is the good bacteria to help the stomach prepare for more digestion of solid foods. Lunch comprised of a light salad and bread with olive oil. Then I consumed an apple, yerba mate and gatorade before I played a game of soccer with some Brazilian and Mexican friends. It felt great to play again, reminding me of being back in Argentina hearing the constant chatter of 'trash talk' in espanol. My flexibility has noticeably increased since the cleanse. Though, I tired out quickly, it has been a long time since my body felt that light and elastic performing any exercise. Dinner tonight consisted of creamy tomato soup with basil and bread. My consumption of H2O was equivelant to each day on the cleanse, 160 oz. Another interesting observation is that my body has absolutely no soreness after the 45 minute game of futbol, hmmm.. how does that cleanse sound now athletes?

Choosing between my tomato soup w/bread and the lemonade wasn't too difficult, no more lemonade for quite some time...

What is/was the best part of the cleanse?

My favorite part of this was not eating solid foods.... Sense the sarcasm. Really, my favorite part was/is the feeling of a renewed energy in the body. Additionally, my nasal cavity has never felt this clear, it really feels like a system reset in all facets of my inner workings. My favorite ingredient was the wheat grass capsule, provided noticeable energy increase. Alternatively, detoxifying through the skin by soaking in eucalyptus bath salts was a great excuse to treat the body to a realxing bath, this can be useful even after a long or stressful day.

What is/was the worse part of the cleanse?

Getting whiffs of food, any kind, while continuously searching for some justification of doing this while slurping down the syrupy lemonade with a kick. The salt water cleanse was gag-worthy as well. For good reason I've never met anyone who fancies chugging lukewarm salt water, mmm.

What was learned from the Master Cleanse?

I learned a significant amount about the mechanics of my body. My consciousness has greatly shifted to my body as well, as I noticed myself slowly consuming my meals today and really enjoying the taste and process of eating.

Do I recommend the Master Cleanse?

Absolutely! Save your health, cleanse yourself.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 4: Master Cleanse

Feeling light like a butterfly today, I made a trip to Trader Joe's to pick up some more grade B syrup when the checkout lady inquired if I was doing 'the cleanse'. She, along with all of the other emperical evidence, claimed I got over the hump (first 3 days).

I felt rather sluggish around 6pm today but survived the severe urge to just chomp on an apple. This is the conclusion of day 4 and I feel pretty good, my energy level is higher than it had been this time of night the first three evenings. I almost feel as if my body is glowing on the inside, yet a sensation of weakness kicks in from time to time. The cleanse is working being evidenced by a rejuvinated look and feel in the skin. My joints feel more flexible and loose as well. Day 5 approaches tomorrow and I will be attending my Uncle's funeral. Some emotional stress is expected and may very well end the cleanse but my efforts and attention will be in comforting my Aunt Marilyn and the rest of the family.

Do I recommend the Master Cleanse? Absolutely, my body feels amazing!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 3: Master Cleanse

Last night, day 2, was very difficult. An intense hunger set in and I began to feel lightheaded when I was in a communications course with my girlfriend. I immediately drank the last of my daily lemonade along with 2 wheat grass capsules and a hoodia extract capsule. Interestingly, my hunger and lightheaded feelings disappeared and I felt an energy increase. This is an example of this master cleanse bringing a more conscious awareness to the body's inner workings. Discomfort set in last night around 11pm so I knew toxins were being stirred around in my body.

I woke up six times to urinate during the night, yes 6 times. This didn't frustrate me too much since I knew it was the toxins leaving the body. Today our lemonade drink was detoured for several hours since I realized I had purchased Grade A maple syrup for our mix today so I had to make a run to Henry's market to buy the hard-to-find organic Grade B maple syrup. Low and behold they didn't have any but the lady helping me knew I was on the master cleanse and suggested a lower-priced Agave Nectar. It supposedly has the same nutrients as Grade B maple syrup. It does have a different taste however it is a good economic replacement for the syrup. The reason why the diet can't contain Grade A syrup is because of the sugar content is much higher in Grade A.

Today I feel pretty good as my energy level is somewhat higher than yesterday. I increased my detoxification by soaking in the bath tub with Eucalyptus bath salts for 20 minutes. Eucalyptus bath salts or even epsom salts ease physical discomfort and draw toxins through the pores. It was a pretty neat experience to see the skin prespire so much of the toxins out, you may call me crazy but it really was interesting.

Supposedly the first 3 days are the most difficult on the master clease so I'm looking forward to how my body has adjusted by tomorrow. I'm considering pressing for 7 days depending on how I feel day 5. For now, I'll take it step-by-step...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Master Cleanse: Day 2 of 5/ Pics of San Diego

Who said this cleanse was going to be a piece of cake? No pun intended. It truly is a struggle, I feel a little lightheaded, yet very fluid... literally very full of fluids. A friend of mine told me last night that they had done this same master cleanse and they do it once a year. Their description is that the body feels euphoric by the 4th or 5th day, my patience is truly being tested in anticipation of this physical euphoria.

Yesterday, my exercise level was about the same as usual. I did an hour of muay thai training in the morning and hiked Cowles mountain with my buddy Josh in the evening. A strong sense of hunger hit me when we finished the nearly 3 mile round trip hike. I immediately drank some of the syrup-tasting lemonade with a spicy kick upon the return home. Along with it I drank tons more water, wheat grass capsules and hoodia extract to curb the hunger. I woke up this morning feeling pretty weak yet my body's energy level kicked in once I sipped some of the lemonade supplemented by the psyllium husk, hoodia extract and wheat grass capsules. My hunger soon disappeared. This afternoon, I took a stroll up, down and all around Balboa Park which never ceases to amaze me with its beauty. I've found that being outside and in nature helps keep my attention off the constant discomfort. It has also given me an opportunity to capture some San Diego beauty, view pics at bottom!

Referenced again from the Master Cleanse book, here is what a typical day is like as far as consumption:

1. It’s best to start your day with one of 3 laxatives (psyllium husk, sea salt, or laxative tea) because they’re more effective on a empty stomach. I personally take the psyllium husk in the morning.

2. Next you can make yourself a glass of lemonade using fresh lemons, cayenne pepper, and grade B maple syrup. You can use flavored herbal tea (decaffeinated) for taste and hoodia gordonii to help subdue your hunger if you choose, but it’s optional. You might also want to make a whole days worth of lemonade at this time rather than making it glass by glass. We've made our lemonade the night before for a whole day's supply: 60 oz. of filtered water, 3 squeezed organic lemons, 12 tbsp of the grade B syrup, 1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper.

3. I like to alternate between a glass of water and lemonade. Remember the goal is to flush out your system so be sure to get plenty of fresh filtered water. Try and drink my body weight in ounces of water, but the more the better.

4. You can take the wheat grass anytime after the first glass of lemonade. I take 5 grams a day, broken up into 2 doses. I personally take 2 capsules 3x a day; morning, afternoon, evening.

5. Throughout the day continue drinking lemonade and water

6. Before bed take another laxative (psyllium husk, sea salt, or laxative tea). This is when I usually take 1/2 tbsp of sea salt and 20 oz. of warm water or the laxative tea.

Once my body fully adjusts in day 3 or 4, the discomfort is supposed to subside, we'll see how it goes, as it is different with all body types.

Here are some pics that I was able to snap last night at Cowles Mtn. and today at Balboa Park:

Trail going up Cowles Mt.

Sunset from Cowles, waiting for Green Flash on St. Patty's Day

Not quite a green flash

Balboa Park, Cathedral in backdrop

Flower's view on 163 and Balboa Park Bridge

Spring Bloom in San Diego

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Master Cleanse: Day 1 of 5

I agreed to begin the Master Cleanse or body detox with my girlfriend. What constitutes of the Master Cleanse is a very simple recipe and excludes and solid foods, however provides the ample amount of nutrition for the body. This is my personal first fasting experience however lately I've read several articles that proclaim several long-term health benefits of cleansing the body. The true Master Cleanse is scheduled for 10 days however it recommends to start with anywhere between 3-10 days. Due to the fact that I'm beginning a new job next Monday I'll start slow, thus my girlfriend and I chose a 5 day cleanse. Many may question why it's necessary for the body to be detoxified. Sourced from the Master Cleanse book, here is an excerpt explaining outlining the benefits of the detox.

The Master Cleanse helps dissolve and eliminate toxins and congestion that have formed in any part of the body
• It helps cleanse the kidneys
• It eliminates hardened fecal material, and phlegm that has accumulated in your colon and digestive tract
• It helps purify the glands and cells in your body
• It helps eliminate unusable waste and hardened material in the joints and muscles
• The Master Cleanse helps build a healthy blood stream
• It can relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries and blood vessels
• The Master Cleanse diet contains high levels of important vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper. Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, nicotinic acid and pantothenic acid are also present.

The Master Cleanse is also recommended to those who are sluggish, have bloating, joint pains, stomach cramps, gallstones, indigestion, excess fat, kidney problems, infections, gout, arthritis, boils, ulcers, have no appetite, seem sick but don't have a cold or the flu, or those who've tried a balanced diet and your doctor can't figure out what is ailing them.

So there you have it, this is why I chose to accept this agreement. I am a huge advocate of treating the body right so I'd like to reset my body's systems with a nice big detox flush.

What ingredients do you need for the Master Cleanse??

Pretty simple, the most important ingredient is water of course. Not just any water or tap water, filtered or microfiltered water is recommended. Take your body weight in pounds and drink the corresponding amount of water in ounces. For example, I weigh 160 pounds, therefore I should drink a minimum of 160 ounces of water.
Organic lemons, cayenne pepper, unrefined sea salt and organic grade B syrup are the other primary ingredients that make up the lemonade to flush the system.

The secondary ingredients may include laxative herbal teas, psyllum husk, wheatgrass capsules and hoodia extract. The three forms of laxative in the master cleanse are the sea salt mixed with water, laxative tea and psyllum husk which acts as a great laxative due to its concentrated amount of fiber. The hoodia extract that comes in either liquid or capsules helps manage the appetite. The wheatgrass capsules provide ample amount of protein for the body.

I am already feeling the discomfort that comes naturally with any fasting. It's natural for the body to feel discomfort when ridding its toxins.

I will be updating the blog daily with my personal results of how the Master Cleanse is affecting me physically, mentally and spiritually.

Happy cleansing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Integrating Your Mind and Body

The concept of mind and body integration has been around for centuries and has longly been debated widely by philosophers and scholars alike. The 17th Century philosopher, Rene DesCartes, regarded as the father of modern philosophy boldly claimed "I think, therefore I am." Thus thinking (mind) was equated with being (body). Three centuries passed with this philosophy until another famous philosopher Jean Paul Sartre analyzed DesCarte's statement and dug deeper. "The consciousness that says 'I am' is not the consciousnes that thinks," stated Sartre. Thus began a new dimension of consciousness. If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn't even know you were thinking. This new dimension of consciousness and awareness has been proven to reduce stress, increase the immune system, fight disease, and thus slow or even reverse biological aging.

The human mind can be used as our greatest tool and it can also use us to it's disposal if the underlying consciousness provides no awareness of the mind's tricks and manifestations. Considering the mind and body as seperate entities, the body is a molecular field while the mind is a thought field. The interdependent relationship between the two happens constantly for example when a thought arises it precipitates a molecule in the nervous system which then influences the other molecules thoughout the body. When the human awareness is brought brought back to the underlying consciousness, meditation is taking place. How do most human beings attain this dimension? It usually begins with respiration, breathing is the bridge between mind and body, thus productive mind and body integration is usually dependent upon respiration. That's why if you've ever been to a yoga, tai chi or meditation course the instructor will always stress the consistent focus on respiration.

There are many disciplines to practice mind and body integration such as yoga, quigong, akaido and tai chi among others which stress conscious breathing and body movement to bring the attention to the inner energy field. Deepak Chopra M.D., who is author of Grow Younger, Live Longer and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and pioneer in mind/body medicine scientifically proves mind/body integration is one of ten steps to reverse the aging process. You probably won't become the next curious case of Benjamin Button through meditation and yoga alone but it surely helps slow aging. Should you decide to give meditation a go, remember several things that may help. Focus on respiration constantly and relax when thoughts arise, be aware of the thought and let it pass with each exhalation. The understanding that thoughts pass constantly through the mind is crucial to realize complete awareness of the moment. Listening the the inner energy field of the body is equally, if not more, important as tuning into the exterior environment. You might be surprised how the body reacts when it is listened to. Another way to daily exercise the unique mind/body relationship is when eating or drinking. If you slowly ingest your food and listen to the body instead of the mind, you'll notice you're fulfilled much sooner than usually thought.

The only way any of this will make sense is if you personally try simple mind/body intergration on a daily basis and observe its effect, if any. Remember to focus on breathing, feel your body as a field of energy while listening to it often and realize that your being is not dependent upon your thinking. Happy Discoveries!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Muay Thai and its Revelations

Muay thai, or Thai kickboxing, has become my new physical discipline. It has been over six years since I've endured this form of physical training when I wrestled which required continuous mental and physical discipline. Soccer, futbol, was the most recent sport that tested my athleticism which taught me the importance of strong, versatile and agile legs. Muay thai is proving to be a great complement or follow-up sport to futbol. Both sports test core balance and hip flexibility. Suddenly, I am realizing that learning new sports or physical arts greatly interests me. Muay Thai is also known as the Art of Eight Limbs where each fighter can strike with both hands, shins, knees and elbows.

It may be known as one of the toughest of all the martial arts, from my two months of training and learning the 'ropes' of this sport I can only attest. Muay thai is quite a fat and calorie burner as well. While maintaining a steady and consistent diet of vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, salmon, egg, tea and mate dishes the weeks where I do more muay thai training, my weight is respectively lower. Since my first class, I've already lost 8 pounds. Let it be known that I was also carrying some left-over holiday pounds at the beginning of the training and my metabolism has alway sky-rocketed during times of consistent cross-training. My increased hip flexibility from muay thai has increased my running stride and apparently has less hip strain from the past. My right hip used to be sore after long runs dating back to high-school cross country. Kickboxing gave my hips the WD-40 effect, no feelings of friction or tension after long runs What comes of this experiment? I look forward to only improving my muay thai skills as I feel it is truly an art form that tests multiple dimensions of mind and body.

Physical training has its effects on seratonin levels as well, increasing that natural state of well-being. It's always amusing for me to observe my energy levels before and after workouts. The personal state of energy is always more positive and steady coming out of strenuous exercise than it was entering that particular workout. Physical exercise has always been my preferred form of body-mind integration or alternate form of meditation. Interestingly, when performing any physical exercise, letting go of the thoughts and allowing the body to perform its intended action naturally always yields better and more effective technique.

I'm not recommending that you all register in a kickboxing class, but I always recommend some form of mind-body integration exercise, whether it be tai chi, yoga, kickboxing, running, swimming, or even simple walking. Try feeling the body's energy field from head to toe by first focusing on your respiration. Once your attention is on your inhale/exhale, let your surrounding environment feed you energy. It's no wonder why many people enjoy exercising near the beach. The waves and sun act as great human battery chargers, only if you allow your body to feed off of it. Perception is reality and there's no question why I usually run faster and longer when allowing my body to feed of the environmental energy. Please experiment for yourselves the next time you're in the gym or just taking a stroll, see if your energy level has shifted from before to after the particular exercise.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Once Upon a Time, I was a blogger

Wait, correct me if I'm wrong, the calendar already is showing March 2009?

It's official, I've become just another once-upon-a-time blogger as we now pass time three months into the year 2009. What's new? Everything... really, things change so quickly and my life has become californiacated (not a word).

The last two months have been filled with doing random sales gigs. I was a door-to-door salesmen for about six weeks working 60 hour weeks learning how to convince residential homeowners that they need monitored security on their home. I was an independent contractor for Pinnacle Securities during this time, however I was working for the middleman, a company known as Cydcor which is a marketing firm that does face to face sales for companies such as Pinnacle, AT&T, etc. This was a short-lived career for me as I was putting in many hours and energy and would receive my commission checks days, sometimes weeks, after they were scheduled to arrive. Not very convenient for a young man in debt who needs money for rent when its commission-only.

Great learning experience!

In two weeks since, I've been interviewing for other sales positions and have done pretty well. Looks like I'll begin working for Agent Advantage selling digital advertising and paperclip ad campaigns for real estate agents and brokers next week. I was supposedly going to be offered a position with CBeyond doing business to business sales but was basically not offered the position because I mentioned the book "Four Hour Workweek" at some point in the initial interview for the position that requires 60 hours a week.... time is money Robin, didn't ya know?

Great learning experience!

Life has been quite amusing nonetheless in the first several months of this year as I'm learning the ropes of the U.S. job market on the shoestrings of sales positions. The most recent book that I have to rave about and recommend to anyone who hasn't already read it is "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. The subtitle of this book states A book that changes lives. True statement. I realized after reading this book that I don't really need that much in life, I'm pretty content with simplicity. Financial independence is still something that I strive for but I believe a more frugal lifestyle can only help me achieve this. I also realized that I would just love to wake up everyday and be a Spanish teacher and an athletic coach (wrestling, football, baseball). I can just hear my Dad saying at home, ''I told you so!" He always claimed he saw me as a coach or teacher, well that is really what would make me happy. However I feel like I have things to accomplish and places to see before I settle into this lifestyle.

Thanks for reading, I put no minutes of planning into this blog post, more of a journal entry for me, getting my thoughts out in the open on the public forum. I promise my coming posts will have more value for you. This was more of a personal blog entry to rid the thoughts, now that I've done that, time for a little meditation, which is always more attainable with a clear mind... or is it the other way? A clear mind is more attainable via meditation, ahh yes what a beautiful cycle, more on this later...