Category Archives: Guest Post

Interview with Kathryn Hansen – Author of Brain Over Binge

As I mentioned last week, this is a book that has changed my life. I was about a quarter of the way through when I realized I hadn’t been this excited about a book since Natalia’s. I emailed the books author, Kathryn Hansen, and she was kind enough to agree to an interview. If you have struggled with bulimia or binge eating disorder, I have no higher recommendations than Brain Over Binge. More thoughts to come but until then…

1. How long were you a binge eater, how did it start, and what methods were you attempting to heal with before you were actually cured?

My eating disorder started when I was 15 like most eating disorders do – with a diet. The more I cut back on my food intake, the more I wanted to eat, until one day when I was 17 I binged for the first time. My binge eating (and purging to compensate for the binge eating, which in my case was extreme exercise) increased gradually until it became a life-consuming habit, and it continued for 6 years.
I didn’t feel I could stop my behavior on my own, so I sought therapy a little over a year after my binge eating began. In therapy, I learned the common theme of most conventional eating disorder treatment: eating disorders are not about food. I learned that my binge eating was instead a symptom of psychological problems and underlying issues like depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and family conflicts. I learned that my destructive eating behavior signaled an inner emotional crisis, just as fever signals an underlying infection. I learned that my bulimia was a coping mechanism that I used to deal with difficult issues and feelings, and that my eating disorder filled an important need or void in my life—a need that was much more than physical.
My attempts to recover were a combination of psychodynamic therapy (addressing those supposed underlying issues, and trying to uncover the theoretical root causes of my binge eating); cognitive behavioral therapy (trying to change harmful thoughts about food/weight and attempting to deal with the “triggers” of my binge episodes); nutritional counseling; and to a much lesser extent – addiction treatment (avoiding foods I believed I was addicted to).

2. What did you learn that lead you to stop bingeing for good?

The most important thing I had to learn to recover was that there was nothing wrong with me. I was not diseased, or psychologically or emotionally unwell. I’d simply become a temporary become a victim of my own healthy brain—a brain that was only doing its job through all the years I was bulimic. I had to dismiss the belief that I binged to cope with problems and emotions, and instead learn how my brain worked to drive my destructive behavior.
My brain drove my binge eating by sending out strong urges to binge—which included all the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and cravings that led me to the refrigerator, pantry, or the nearest fast food restaurant. These urges to binge were the one and only cause of each and every binge, from my first binge to my last. If I’d never had urges to binge, I never would have binged. It was that simple. My urges to binge were not symptoms of anything; they were the problem, the only reason I was bulimic.
My urges to binge were generated in the more primitive regions of my brain—that is, in lower brain regions—the regions responsible for survival and automatic behavior. The urges first appeared when I was dieting because of survival instincts, and the urges continued because my repeated binge eating conditioned a habit into my brain. Binge eating is highly habit forming because it is rewarding and reinforcing to the lower brain centers; and furthermore, the highly palatable foods I typically binged on (foods high in sugar, carbohydrates, and fat) changed my brain chemistry to create temporary pleasurable effects that I became dependent on.
Through all the years I was bulimic, I knew binge eating was not what I truly wanted to do. The urges to binge felt like a terrible intrusion in my life, ruining any hope I had for normal college and young adult years, and driving me to do shameful and disgusting things. Even though I wanted to quit, I couldn’t just say, OK, brain, I don’t want to binge anymore, so turn off those irresistible urges. It didn’t work that way. Once my habit was established, there was no way to turn off my urges except to re-train my brain so that it stopped producing those urges in the first place. To do this was straightforward: I had to stop following my urges to binge. That was the simple truth that often eluded me in therapy as I was focusing on the deeper emotional meaning of my binge eating.
The good news for me was, when it comes to the brain, what you no longer use, you lose—not in a metaphorical sense, but in a real, physical way. The brain is an extremely efficient organ. It builds and fuels the neural connections and pathways that are frequently used, and it weakens and prunes the ones that aren’t. From the first time I had an urge to binge and didn’t act on it, I began teaching my brain that my habit was no longer necessary. In turn, my brain began to weaken the neural connections and pathways that supported the habit, and gradually shut off my urges to binge.
But, how did I stop acting on my urges?
There were five things I did that allowed me to refrain from following urges to binge:
1.) I viewed my urges to binge as neurological junk. (This means I quit believing the urges signaled a real need—physical or emotional—and stopped assigning the urges any value whatsoever. I viewed them as automatic brain messages—generated in my lower brain—that had absolutely no significance.)
2.) I separated my highest human brain from my urges. (This means I realized the urges weren’t really me, but instead were generated in brain regions inferior to my true self. My true self resided in my prefrontal cortex—my highest human brain—and it gave me the ability to say “no” to binge eating. I had to know my urges were powerless to make me binge, and my true self had ultimate control over my voluntary actions.)
3.) I stopped reacting to my urges. (This means I stopped letting my urges to binge affect me emotionally. I simply let them come and go without getting wrapped up in them. This made the urges tolerable and actually easy to resist.)
4.) I stopped acting on my urges. (This was the cure for my bulimia, made possible by the three steps above. I didn’t have to substitute any other behavior or emotionally satisfying activity for binge eating. I only had to refrain from binge eating.)
5.) I got excited. (This was a bonus. By rejoicing in my success, I sped along the brain changes that erased my bulimia.)

3. What do you think your life would be like if you had never come across this information?

At the time I recovered, I was on my way from being bulimic (binge eating and purging through extreme exercise) to having binge eating disorder (binge eating without purging), because my exercise routines were becoming too exhausting to keep up. I believe I would have continued to gain an unhealthy amount of weight, and I would have surely experienced many physiological and psychological consequences – likely including an increase in depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, fatigue, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Today, I have 3 children and another one on the way, and I don’t think that would have been a possibility if I would have continued binge eating. It does make me sad to think about what my life may have been like had I not some across some useful information; however, I do want to mention that I do not believe what worked for me is the only way to recover. I’d like to hope that I would have eventually found a way to overcome my urges before my binge eating wasted too much more of my life.

4. How do you feel traditional forms of therapy failed you?
Let me start by saying that traditional therapy does help some people, and I’m not trying to take away what works for others. I am only explaining why it didn’t work for me, and offering an alternative voice for those like me who are not healed by traditional forms of therapy, and for those who are unable or unwilling to receive it.
Therapy failed me because it did not target my problem directly. Instead, my therapists tried to cure me in round-about way, addressing all sorts of issues that didn’t have much to do with my real problem—binge eating. No one told me I had the power to quit binge eating anytime I chose. Instead, I learned I didn’t have much control over my own behavior; that is, until I addressed the underlying emotional issues. So, I set out on a path of self-discovery, hoping to find some answers to why I binged, hoping that if I made some changes in my life, healed past hurts, or built new relationships, the incredible urges to binge would go away. I learned ways to deal with depression, reduce anxiety, and build healthy self-esteem. I worked on my nutrition, battled my perfectionism, and learned to cope with the events and feelings that supposedly triggered my binge eating episodes. I tried to figure out what purpose the bulimia served in my life. But all the while, I continued to binge and purge.
The view of my bulimia as a complicated problem that helped me fill some sort of emotional need gave me countless excuses to indulge my habit and countless reasons to avoid responsibility for my own actions. When I believed I was binge eating to deal with depression, cope with anxiety, avoid feelings and problems,ease pain from the past, or because I had a disease; it gave me all the more reason to go ahead and binge. In this way, I think therapy actually prolonged my recovery and made the recovery process much more complex than it needed to be in my case.

5. What sort of advice do you give to someone who resonates with your approach but is still struggling? After so many people have read your book, are there any common questions readers have?
I have heard from many readers who have followed the same approach and recovered for good, and I have also heard from some who have had trouble putting it into practice. I recently wrote a blog post titled “Tips for Beginners” to help those who resonate with the approach but are still struggling. Three of the common issues that hinder people are: 1.) They are still depriving the body of necessary calories, which can cause urges to be more difficult to resist, 2.) They aren’t sure they truly want to quit, and 3.) They are having trouble detaching/separating the true self from the lower brain.
The most common questions I get from readers are: how do I eat normally again after binge eating stops? and how do I address weight gain from binge eating? I’ve tried to address these common questions in my blog, specifically through the following posts: “Weight After Recovery”, “Non-Hungry Cravings” , and a blog post about my own diet when I recovered.

6. Before your book I read in many eating-disorder style books that we should never restrict anything, or omit any food from our diets or we’re guaranteed to binge on it. On some level I believed this so yes, it lead to bingeing. What are your thoughts on someone who wants to take on a healthy diet/lifestyle that may omit certain foods (processed foods, etc)?

I certainly don’t believe that omitting something from your diet guarantees that you will binge on it. There seems to be a divide in the eating disorder community with the majority of eating disorder experts saying that we should not omit any foods, but other treatment groups – like Food Addicts Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous – saying that eliminating problematic foods is necessary for recovery. Quite simply, I don’t believe that the types of food you eat or don’t eat cause binge eating – the urges to binge cause binge eating.
Might eliminating a certain food – or on the flip side, eating a certain food – lead to an urge to binge? Absolutely. But, we always remain in control of what we do when we experience an urge to binge. So, whether you chose to eliminate certain foods for health reasons or not, it doesn’t have to affect recovery. I personally believe that, when recovering from binge eating, it’s most helpful to allow all types of foods in moderation so that you can de-condition associations between eating certain foods and binge eating. The good news is: when you feel you can control yourself around any food, you are free to make any dietary changes you see fit.
I am trying to keep a narrow focus on using my own experience to help people stop binge eating, not necessarily to have a perfect diet or maintain a perfect weight, because I am not an expert in those areas. However, I will mention a few things I personally believe are important to remember if someone wants to implement healthy dietary changes. First, I think it’s very important to make sure to eat enough. It’s easy to become overzealous about a healthy diet, and in so doing, deprive the body of necessary calories, which can lead to strong survival-driven cravings and even urges to binge. Second, I think it’s helpful to remember that the body and brain will likely protest even a healthy change in diet. We become accustomed to eating certain types of food, and even though avoiding them might be beneficial, the body/brain may still react with strong cravings for the foods we are used to. However, if we can stick with it, healthier eating habits will become the norm, and cravings for the unhealthy habits will subside.
The third thing I think is important to remember is that maintaining an extremely healthy diet is difficult, so I think it’s important to cut yourself some slack if you can’t always eat perfectly. I think having the mindset that you can never “break” your healthy diet can cause some people unwanted stress, and it can also lead to a tendency to overindulge when they do eat something that’s not healthy. Sure, you might chose to have some processed food now and then even while trying to lead a healthy lifestyle; but it doesn’t have to lead to overeating or binge eating.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Guest Post

An Interview with the Blogger Behind Jen’s Food Challenge

When I was in New York recently one of the biggest treats of the week was getting to meet Jen of Jen’s Food Challenge who was also there to take Natalia Rose’s Advanced Training. We got along so well and I loved hearing all about her transition into a detox lifestyle. I hoped I wouldn’t scare her off by asking her to share with us here, thankfully she was glad to do so! If you enjoy getting to know Jen here, go check out her delicious blog and her most recent recipe for Faux-jitos!

Tell us who you are and a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in NY with one side of the family being from an Italian background so this way of life is still a bit of a shock to them. I love art and always drew and painted since I was young, but I also loved science. This way of life works so well for me because I love reading about different nutrition philosophies and then I get creative in the kitchen (including re-working Italian dishes).
I’ll let you in on a couple of silly little things I do. So in order to relax sometimes without dragging out all the art supplies, I color with crayons in a coloring book. No kidding – it’s fun, try it out. A couple of month ago, I walked into a store and a box of hula hoops were next to the counter. I bought a bright pink one – sometimes you want to feel like a kid. I don’t use it very often because it confusing the poor dog, but for $5 and something that takes up no room – why not?

Jen and her animal friend Bella

What brought you into a detox lifestyle and how long ago did it first catch your eye?
My husband brought home Natalia Rose’s book years ago. I read it, and although it made so much sense to me, I didn’t understand how I could manage the lifestyle at the time and the book went onto the shelf. When I was told I had to do a yeast free diet a few years later with a lot of supplements, the yes/no list of food and other things that didn’t seem to feel right, I decided there had to be a better way. I began researching candida, picked up the dusty book on the shelf which made sense years before, read more and more books and my journey began. I was already a vegetarian, so my next step was figuring out how I could go further and part of that was getting creative in the kitchen re-working old favorite comfort foods.

What positive changes have you noticed in yourself since you started (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc)?

When I follow a more candida conscious diet, my face is clear from breakouts. I also have been able to maintain weight in a healthy manor verses previously when I would drink sugary chocolate shakes and eat tons of pasta and breads. I also have tons of energy. I now crave things like tomatoes and avocados and not cookies – WOW.
My taste buds definitely changed as well. Ripe strawberries are an amazing treat. I now like olives, which I never did before.
I feel much calmer in stressful situations – which is awesome!
One of the coolest change is I used to suffer terrible cat allergies leaving me sneezing, teary eyes, and congested with breathing issues. I recently discovered this to not be the case anymore. I was around a couple of cats for hours and had a minor stuffy nose – much improvement.

What have been the hardest parts of living this way and do you have any tips to share?

The hardest thing at first for me was when I did an initial Candida cleanse. I had no idea how severely addicted to sugars and breads I was. The cravings for pasta, bread, cake, and cookies were so strong and really put my will power to the test. If you are doing a Candida cleanse, just hang in there because the pay off is worth it! I now can sit in a restaurant and have no desire to have a piece of bread – amazing. And if you slip up a little, it’s ok, just keep going.

When I first began, eating out was a bit of a challenge for me more on a social level. One time we were going to a buffet style private party at a bar where I knew there would be nothing for me to have. I prepared by eating ahead of time. I knew I would want a little something when I smelled and saw food, so I threw carrot sticks and a dark chocolate bar in my bag. When I wanted something, I grabbed a plate from the buffet, added a bit of salsa that was available, pulled my carrot sticks out of my purse and put them on the plate. I didn’t feel left out and I had something healthy. When dessert time came, I had a piece of my chocolate bar. So my tip is be prepared and don’t be afraid to get a little creative.

What inspired you to start your blog?

I wanted other people to realize that healthy meals are colorful, delicious, full of flavor and can be as simple or complicated as you want. I hope my blog will inspire people to experiment with vegetarian and properly combined dishes, even if they don’t follow that path on a regular basis. People ask me all the time what I eat and are always surprised about the huge variety in my diet. I am never bored with meals, even salads. I wanted to showcase healthy eating is fabulous with endless possibilities. I applaud you and your blog for showing people this as well.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with the Veggie-Centric Kitchen readers?

My favorite recipe at the moment, which is on my blog is definitely Avocado Salad. It’s my husbands favorite as well and he does not follow a detox lifestyle. I think I’ve made it 3 times in the last week! I love this recipe because it is so versatile, takes no time to make, and you can change it up depending what you have on hand. Here’s the basic recipe and some options you can do with it. The quantities below make enough for 2.

3 Avocados
1 cucumber
1 red pepper (or any color)
Handful Orange cherry tomatoes (or any kind you have)
1 lime (or lemon)
1/2 small red onion (optional, made it before with and without)
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
Sea salt to taste

Open avocados and add large chunks to a bowl. Chop cucumber, pepper and onion and add to bowl. Zest garlic and add tomatoes. Squeeze juice of one lime and add sea salt to taste. Give a gentle toss to combine all ingredients. Feel free to omit or add any ingredients you want. I change this up all the time.

Some options: eat avocado salad alone, add to kale (yummy, makes creamy kale salad), add to your favorite greens and sprouts, add to buckwheat soba noodles, have it in a cabbage or lettuce leaf with your favorite salsa, and my husband’s favorite is with corn chips. So many possibilities! I hope you enjoy this one.

Jen is also joining us on the Sugar-Free Challenge this month, hope it’s going well for you all!

6 Comments

Filed under Avocado Based, Guest Post, Other People's Recipes, Recipes

Adventures in Healthy Eating Transitions- An Interview with Britney

As you may recall, over the last few weeks I’ve been helping Britney transition to a healthier diet and have been so impressed with her willingness to experiment and try new things, even if they are challenging. I was thrilled when she offered to answer some questions here, if you have any tips for her or any stories to share from changing diets in your home, we’d love to hear them!

Q1: So you’ve lived with a health-nut for a girlfriend for several years now-did she ever come close to scaring you off?

A1: LOL! Early on when we were dating, I used to eat out A LOT and quickly realized that Rande wasn’t as interested in that and that the way she ate made eating out more challenging. So at first I think I was really nervous about not being able to share that activity with her, but then I realized how amazing of a chef she is and what a treat it was to stay at home with her. I also recall thinking it was so strange to drink veggie juice for lunch and to often not eat solid foods until dinner, I was sure she would starve! But clearly she is alive and well 😉

Q2: What made you decide you wanted to start changing your diet?

A2: I would say it was a combination of wanting to cure some digestive issues I had been dealing with for a long time and wanting to be more conscientious about what I was putting into my body. And certainly being inspired by seeing how Rande positively glows with energy and life when she is immersed in her healthy living habits.

Q3: What symptoms have you been experiencing that you’re hoping a diet and lifestyle change will benefit?

A3: Digestion and heartburn issues, as well as a general sense of sluggishness and lack of motivation. In addition to the changes in my diet, I am making an effort to be more physically active and spend time outside in nature in hopes that it improves my general well-being and mental health. This summer I plan on doing more yoga, lots of hiking, and trying-out stand-up paddle boarding in Puget Sound!

Q4: What have been the hardest and easiest parts of the transition?

A4:The hardest adjustments have been (1) the realization of how much planning and prep goes into eating a healthier diet (especially since I was a major consumer of Trader Joe’s quick and easy pre-made foods), and (2) my attempts at learning and implementing food combining. Being a scientist, I tend to approach life with a very inquisitive nature and have grown comfortable discussing Rande’s diet with her and having great discussions about how and why she lives/eats the way she does. I think my inquisitiveness has only increased since starting to make changes to my own diet (poor Rande is fielding questions left and right!!) and I tend to think of it as a big “experiment” testing different variables in my diet and trying to control for different confounding factors…sorry for the geek moment 😉 All that to say, there are some difficult parts of this transition but I am making an effort to understand and test the reasoning behind these changes and am hoping to find something that works well for my own body.

The easiest part of the transition is having Rande there at every step of the process to encourage and guide me, and to make me tons of delicious things to eat. This transition would have been a million times more difficult without her! Thank you, sweetie 🙂

Q5: Do you have any favorite new dishes or things that you really miss?

A5: I’ve become a big fan of wraps, something I really did not used to enjoy! My new favorite lunch is a sprouted grain tortilla with avocado and arugula, enhanced with a little spicy salsa or mustard and paired with some raw veggies for munching or some crispy veggie chips. The thing I miss most: a grilled cheese! It was a staple item in my diet and I was always in search of the best new grilled cheese recipes. I will probably still indulge occasionally (especially since Rande concocts some of the best home-made grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever eaten!), but I am working my way towards proper food combining (good-bye bread with cheese…) in hopes that it improves my digestive and energy issues.

Q6: Do you have any tips or questions for the readers?

A6: One thing that has helped me lately is to forgive myself if I don’t get my combos just right or indulge in something a bit more processed than I would like to eat (especially when going out to eat with friends), but at the same time to make sure I don’t gorge even though I fell off the wagon. I think this is really helping me transition more smoothly, but I welcome any and all other suggestions and ideas from Rande’s wonderful readers!!

8 Comments

Filed under Guest Post

Traveling With The Detoxinista- A Guest Post

Hello, veggie-centric readers! My name is Megan, over from Detoxinista.com, and I am honored to be guest posting here today. Rande actually had perfect timing when requesting this post, because I happened to be traveling for work at the time, myself!

While I don’t have to travel too often for my job, when I do, I am usually gone for a week or more, making it necessary to maintain my healthy habits, if I want to feel any sense of normalcy. Sticking to a detox-friendly lifestyle may sound daunting at first, but it definitely gets easier with practice, and keeps me feeling great while I’m on the road.

Here are some of my favorite tips to keep your trip detox-friendly:

1. Bring whatever essentials you can. My carry-on bag is always a treat for the TSA security agents. I typically bring a stash of shelf-stable produce, including cucumbers, lemons, and not-too-soft avocados. In my experience, avocados are a bit of a gamble on flights— usually one or two of them will be affected by the altitude, and will turn to total mush! But, most of them will survive just fine. Also in my bag? A bottle of liquid stevia, raw almonds, herbal teas, plenty of dark chocolate, and my trusty enema kit.

2. Avoid eating anything dense during your flight, if possible. I try to book early morning flights, to avoid eating before flying altogether, but if I find myself in a situation where I must eat something, I’ll stick to hydrating fruits and veggies. Baby carrots are my favorite travel snack! Otherwise, I stick to sipping pure water and try to get as much rest as I can on the plane.

3. Hit the ground running… to a local grocery store. Before I even settle down, I always make a grocery store run to pick up my perishable essentials, like boxed salad greens (instant bowl!), cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, Dijon mustard and a few blocks of raw, or soft, goat cheese. Already, you have everything you need to make a delicious dinner! Simply dress your greens with fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard and a few drops of stevia, then toss with your favorite toppings!

4. Take advantage of the opportunities in your new area. Being in a new place means there are fun and different things to be enjoyed! When I’m in Kansas, the local Whole Foods carries a smoked raw goat cheese that I can’t find when I’m back in Los Angeles, so I really savor it while I’m there! And New York offers some of the best colonics around, so I make sure to book an appointment when I know I’ll be in that area. If you have time to do some online-research, I highly recommend checking out the local resources before you go. This is especially helpful for finding good juice bars!

The Roasted Vegetable Salad from California Pizza Kitchen is one of my favorite meals on the road!

5. Enjoy dining out. If you find yourself dining out often while traveling, don’t stress! When I meet up with friends or family, I happily bring along my own salad toppings and dressing, so I can enjoy my very favorite goat cheese salad at whatever restaurant we happen to be dining at. I’ve never come across a restaurant that isn’t happy to serve me a simple green salad and a glass of wine! If I’m meeting with co-workers or clients, I’ll usually try to stick to something on the menu, like a salad topped with grilled salmon, or a green salad with an extra side of roasted vegetables. As long as you look comfortable and happy with your choice, I’ve noticed that no one really cares what you eat, anyway. Make sure you bring plenty of dark chocolate to share for dessert, too!

6. Keep moving! Whether you’re stuck on a plane, or sitting in a meeting, it’s easy to end up sitting in a chair all day long while traveling. Make sure to squeeze some movement into your day when you can! I actually bring along my favorite Physique 57 DVDs, so I can get my heart pumping in the most efficient amount of time. The 30-minute Total Body Workout doesn’t require the use of hand weights, so the only equipment you need is an (optional) inflatable playground ball—which easily fits into a suitcase, too!

After a challenging workout like this, you’ll sleep like a baby. Bonus!

I find that sticking to a detox-friendly lifestyle makes traveling more enjoyable than ever, so I hope these tips prove to be helpful the next time you find yourself on the road, too!

__

Thanks so much to Megan for all the inspiring tips- go check her out at The Detoxinista and fall in love with her detox-friendly treats and always-enjoyable blog posts!

4 Comments

Filed under Guest Post, Travel

Life for a Jet-Setting Juice-Lover: a Guest Post by Hollie McKay

Hello, veggie-lovers! Today I am delighted to introduce Hollie McKay: Entertainment/Media Columnist for Fox News and friend through the internet’s detox circles. I immensely enjoyed reading her thoughts and I’m confident you will too. If you’ve ever traveled with stevia in your bag or used the word “cherish” in reference to salads, you’re gonna love this:

Leaving on a Jet Plane… Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again

John Denver’s eponymous song just about sums up my life. One minute I’m enjoying life
in my shoebox apartment by the beach in Santa Monica, the next I’m barking at a cab
driver to hurry up en route to LAX to fly somewhere for something for some unknown
amount of time.

I work in the media/entertainment industry, so while most of what goes on does happen
in the hub of Hollywood, I do travel quite frequently for business purposes to other parts
of the country or if it’s an extra adventurous day, the world. Sometimes it is somewhere
bustling like New York City or Las Vegas, but often I found myself in the middle of
nowhere where the closest I can get to a juice is the so-called cranberry they serve
behind the bar at the local dive.And more often than not, I don’t have the luxury of
preparing snacks to take or stocking up on frozen green juices. Everything happens
so last minute (I keep a suitcase filled with clothes, underwear, running shoes and my
toiletries in the trunk of the car) so I can be prepared for breaking news or an off-the-cuff
trip.

So how do I keep up this awesome detox-inspired lifestyle while dashing abroad in a
moments notice?

I’m not going to lie. I still stress a little, there’s work to coordinate and things to do on top
of everything else, and I find myself wired with adrenalin, stress and excitement to see a
new part of the world and get out of my comfort zone. While you probably won’t see me
jumping out of a plane or bouncing down some hideously high cliff in the jungle, I seek
my own “rush” in my spontaneous travels and having everything fall into place.

I’ve learned that I don’t have to surrender my detox lifestyle (green juice, uber amounts
of organic vegetables, cleansing practices) while skipping from state to state, but what I
have had to do is carve my own plan. I take the words of wisdom offered by the likes of
Natalia Rose, and I make them my own. I know myself and my body well, I know what
works and what doesn’t. That never changes when I travel.

First things first, I follow a “(high green) vegetable-centric” (yo, Rande!) regime when
home in Los Angeles, and that does not change no matter where I am in the world. I
always make vegetables/salads the bulk of what I consume. Luckily I have a simple
palate, and I cherish steamed veggies and garden salads. I also consume lean protein
such as wild fish is small amounts too, but veggies are my love affair.

Tip two, I never step out of the house without a health food store supply of NuNaturals

liquid stevia in my handbag, and I use it for everything! Literally. Salad dressing, to
sweeten my juice, my coffee (yup, I heart my cuppa joe and have no desire to do way
with it even as I delve deeper into this lifestyle) and although I very rarely drink, when I
do,I fascinate those around me with a clean vodka soda, squeeze of lemon, and stevia
drops to sweeten.

Everything is cool so long as I have my stevia. Hi, I’m Hollie and I am a stevia addict. If
worse comes to worse, I’ll order a bunch of garden salads and sweeten them with this
magical plant derivative and I feel satisfied.

Another thing that is incredibly important to me is my fitness and exercise routine. This
never ever dissipates when I travel either. Since my early teenage years, I have loved
waking up at the crack of dawn and getting my sweat on. I enjoy running (hence why I
chose to live right on the beach) and also indulged in an elliptical machine for rainy days
or days when it’s too dark to hit the sand. So when I’m away from home, I continue my
early morning jog. If the weather or terrain doesn’t permit this, I look for a fitness center
or swimming pool. Often the hotel will have something in this realm, but if not, the front
desk (or google!) is usually helpful in pointing me in right direction.

Worst case scenario: I always travel with a jump rope and resistance band, and if need
be, I will bounce around, stretch and do some strengthening exercises of my own
creation. Working out is sacred to me, and I feel my best when I have moved my body
and purged some toxins while listening to Britney Spears at the same time.

Another key factor in leading this kick-ass detox way of life is green juice. Thankfully, it’s
becoming easier and easier to access fresh-pressed kale and cucumber even in remote
parts of America, but when this is not an option, I always have packets of raw green-
powder in my suitcase. I like Healthforce Vitamin Mineral Greens, which is available
at Wholefoods and most health stores or online. Sure, the powder isn’t as ideal as the
freshly-squeezed, but it gives me energy and nourishment when I travel and that is key!

But above all, I understand and accept that this detox lifestyle is really a journey, as
is my travels. The type A inside me relishes in the ideals of perfectionism, but the
realist component of my brain knows it’s okay if I don’t eat as many greens as I would
normally, or of I miss a day or two or three of juicing, or even if I have a slice of pizza
in an effort to willingly share a culinary experience with my friends or co-workers. I am
blessed to live an existence in which I know I will never have to starve, and that when I
eat food – whether it be food I prepared myself, or the goodies that were served to me at
a restaurant or a dinner party – it was served with a desire to make me feel good. And I
am grateful.

My first love in this life is learning, and everywhere I go no matter how busy I am, I take
a few minutes to appreciate my surroundings and learn something new about its history.

And each day when I wake up, irrespective of the city I wake up in, I tell myself out loud
that I am going to do the best I can do in whatever circumstance I am in- in my field of
work, my personal life and in my food choices. I work with what I have, and I make the
best of it.

So as John Denver also says, “I want to live, I want to grow. I want to see, I want to
know.” Word.

3 Comments

Filed under Guest Post