Detox Time

I just finished a 7-day detox. At the beginning, I thought it would be a cake walk, without the cake. But, it turned out to be more challenging than I initially thought it would be. Yes, this was my first ever detox and so I was being a bit naive. I would compare it to running a marathon (which I did many years ago). You are first excited about it. You even load on carbs the night before. For the detox, I had a fabulous breakfast at my favorite coffee shop the day before (see pic below). You go shopping for what you will need … for the marathon, these are energy gels to get you going during the run, for the detox, the groceries list consists of all greens on the face of the earth plus fruits and more greens. Did I mention greens? Maybe I should be a bit more specific since they are the stars of the detox (in my opinion), so, here we go kale, cabbage, romaine, arugula, spinach, bok Choy, broccoli, green beans, snap peas, cucumbers, celery, cilantro, parsley, … and their vegetable cousins beets, carrots, fennel, zucchini, … what a feast!


Breakfast the day before. Yummy!

When the marathon starts, you are excited and try to pass everyone else around. You think: “These losers should have trained more!” Then by mile 12, you start feeling a loser yourself and think: “What did I get myself into?” By mile 16 you are sure you should have trained more and pretty much feel like crap. At mile 20, you start getting excited again since there are only 6 more miles to go. You devour all the energy gels you find in your pockets and eventually, you reach the finish line. At that point, you are in awe of the world, your body, your mind and soul. You feel tired, but also, renewed.

I started the detox feeling very excited. I was happy I had taken the time to take care of me and to clean up my body of any gunk I had inside – the byproduct of any non-healthy stuff I consumed over the years. My liver deserved a cleanse and I knew it. I joined the detox facebook support group (yes, we were a total of 20 brave souls) and initially thought: “Who needs support for a detox? Give me a break!”. But, as the days went by, and as in mile 12 of a marathon, I realized the support group was actually essential for me to get going since I was really wondering what I got myself into. I was hungry and cranky. At day 4 of the detox, as in mile 16, I felt like crap, even because crap seemed to be getting out of all holes in my body. Again, the support group was there for me. One of my fellow detox friends (who shall remain unnamed) crapped on her sheets during the night without noticing it. Yes, stuff was coming out and I decided to skip yoga class for a few days. Couldn’t bare the thought of doing something inappropriate in a downward dog pose. I decided I would also start sleeping with double pajamas, just in case. Finally, I realized sneezing was a dangerous activity – the trick to do it without accidents is to clench your butt while you sneeze.

As day 6 arrived, I felt green was just pouring out of me.Painted in Waterlogue

I had a headache all day. But, as the night approached, I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel since day 7 was about to arrive. Woohoo!

Today is the day after. I feel great and grateful for this amazing opportunity that literally made me crap my pants (on one occasion, I admit – luckily I was home). And if you are wondering, yes, I lost a few pounds. 6 in total. That is great too … and went back to yoga today. Om.

I want to thank all the people that supported me during the detox, including my boyfriend, who I am glad to report is still my boyfriend … my fellow awesome detoxers (you rock!), Gail and ROBIN LEE for organizing and putting it together. Robin Lee is amazing and I feel extremely fortunate to have met her a few years back. She is an outstanding medical intuitive and has helped me immensely. Her website is I hope my blog does not scare you away from trying a detox yourself. I know you can do it! The next one is this Summer. I was debating if I would join or not, but I ended up winning a free entry – THANKS, ROBIN! Come and join us. It will be fun, I promise!

Check below some of the awesome salads I came up with. Lots of steamed vegetables will keep you warm and cozy.

For some laughs on some of the consequences associated with a detox. I highly recommend the sketch below from Margaret Cho from one of her comedy shows. Hope you crap your pants laughing!

Life and Health

It is pretty amazing how life and health go together. If you are healthy and pain-free, life is good. If not, life can be pretty miserable (unless you are an enlightened being).

Around six years ago, I had a major problem in my lower back (coccyx). I couldn’t sit anymore. I even bought a special chair for work that allowed me to put most of my weight on the knees. I also went to a few doctors and eventually ended up at the office of a back surgeon at Scripps (one of the best hospitals/clinics in the US). After a series of x-rays and other exams, the doctor basically offered me two “pills”: a red and a green. The “red pill” was surgery and removal of the coccyx, something he said was not guaranteed to work. The “green pill” was the name of a Doctor of Osteopathy he told me could work miracles. Her name is Aline Fournier. I decided on the green pill and “woke up” in Dr. Fournier’s office.

Yes, she cured me of my coccyx pain. But, there was more. I had been sick since I can remember. As a kid, I was always sick with throat infections and tonsillitis. It was so bad that I had to be hospitalized a number of times and went through a series of prescribed injections to boost my immune system. There was a nurse who came to our house every week to give me injections. Her name was D. Marieta. She dressed in white to make a point that she was a nurse. She carried with her a bag full of glass syringes (this is in the 70s). She would then proceed to pick one and boil it in water to sterilize it. All the while tension was building up inside me. Those injections were super painful and so once, I locked myself in the bathroom. It took a lot of persuasion from my parents for me to unlock the door. I believe they had to bribe me. In any case, when I finally opened the door, there was D. Marieta with her huge glass syringe waiting to poke me. There was no escape.

But, all the immune booster shots didn’t really quite work. In the year before I met Dr. Fournier I was prescribed antibiotics four times and was told I needed to have my tonsils removed. Dr. Fournier was the first person to tell me that I might be gluten intolerant. As a matter of fact, she believes I may have a problem with grains in general. She told me to stay away from gluten for a month and I did. A month is now almost six years. And guess what, not only didn’t I get sick that month, but I never had tonsillitis again. I have also been antibiotics free every since. Antibiotics are great, but they also kill the good bacteria, which opens you up to all kinds of other problems (have you heard of candida?). Science is just now beginning to understand the importance of our community of bacteria. We all have an individual bacterial biota and the good bacteria are essential for our good health.

It turns out gluten was weakening my immune system and the biggest immune booster I could have had was to stop eating it. Mind you that my family is originally from Italy and I grew up around my nona who masterly made the best tasting pasta from scratch.

Dr. Fournier has also cured me from other issues and she advices staying away from sugar. It is bad for the liver, promotes inflammation (and arthritis) and feeds cancer cells (and the list goes on). Since carbs (such as rice and pasta) metabolize almost instantly into sugar, it is prudent to also stay alway from those. It was very hard for me to be gluten-free and almost carb-free in one fell swoop. I lost a lot of weight in the beginning but gained most of it back once I learned how to navigate my way around food choices that were healthier.

Dr. Fournier is an expert D.O. and a master of prolotherapy which she uses to threat many ailments. I just saw her yesterday for a general alignment. My left foot has also been a problem. It goes out sometimes, mostly whenever I walk barefoot or wear sandals. It is then painful for a number of days, before going back into place. It happened a few days before my hiking down the Grand Canyon and I almost had to cancel the hike. Luckily it stopped hurting just two days before. Dr. Fournier believes my ligaments are weakened and so I went through a painful prolotherapy session on my foot. Prolotherapy, also known as regenerative injection therapy, is a nonsurgical treatment which stimulates healing. Now, these are injections in ligaments and tendons. Remember D. Marieta? I did feel like hiding in the clinic’s bathroom.

The interesting thing about Dr. Fournier is that she is also an energy healer. Her healing hands are a blessing (in fact the whole clinic seems to be immersed in this amazing healing energy). Because of her hands, she reminds me of my dad who has the same gift, but never really advanced it much. People would come long distances to see him (and still do). Once we were fishing by this beautiful river in Brazil and I happened to stand on top of a stone which sat on top of a colony of fire ants. When I realized it, the ants were all over my legs and seemed to bite me at the same time. I was probably 7 years old and in a lot of pain. My dad made me lay down and proceeded to heal me through his hands (by hovering them over my legs). As soon as he did that, the pain was gone. I was surprised and happy but mostly, I was proud to have a super dad.

Anyway, I wanted to write this entry about health and the person who changed my life for the better. I am very happy I took the green pill and grateful for all the health I got out of it.

Cheers to doctors that treat the causes of sickness, not their consequences!