Posts Tagged ‘cleanse’

  1. Want To Try Going Raw?

    April 10, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    I never imagined being able to do a month of eating only raw food. If you asked me a year or two ago to do a raw cleanse, there’s no way I would have. I was so focused on eating protein with every meal that I couldn’t imagine completely eliminating meat and dairy from my diet. It’s not like my diet was bad before, it just most certainly was not raw. I remember a couple years ago when I first got into body building. I was at the gym 6 days a week lifting heavy weights. My lowest weight was 108 lbs (I was tiny), but I sure was mighty. I was able to squat more than some of the boys (or at least I thought so, hehe). I took pride in my muscles and would look forward to my workouts at the gym.

    For those of you interested, I am at around 120lbs now, give or a take a few. I am still exercising and lifting weights on a regular basis (around 4 times/week), but I decided not to make my life about how I look anymore, but how I feel…


    My Past Diet


    In all honesty, my outer appearance always mattered more to me than anything else. I used to carry my phone around and keep track of my macronutrients (proteins, carbs & fats) with every meal I ate. I had it down to every gram that I consumed. With all the effort I put into my eating and workout routine, I certainly earned the body I had attained through my dedication. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was not what I would call healthy now.

    Ring, ring, ring. The alarm clock goes off and I have already preplanned my breakfast lying in bed the night before. I need to incorporate around 20 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat and less than 5 grams of sugar into my breakfast. I mastered egg whites with all of my recipes – the Mother of protein sources. I could make scrambled egg whites with cottage cheese, a slice of ezekiel toast and a handful of berries. I also could have oatmeal with egg whites and protein powder stirred in at the end. Oh – how could I forget…egg white PANCAKES with oatmeal, cottage cheese and applesauce. Yum! The possibilities were endless….or not. Guess what I was eating for my bedtime meal?….egg whites. I would hard boil another 5 eggs and toss out the yokes when they were cooked. I was so concerned about my protein that it didn’t matter about the micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) anymore. I was way more concerned about growing muscle, leaning out and eating within my calorie and macronutrient range. I can’t believe I lived this way. I was like a slave.

    I guess I started to slow down with my crazy workouts and calorie/macronutrient counting when I decided to go off the pill (read about my experience here). I realized my internal health was more important than my external appearance. I was now willing to do anything to get my body balanced again. My face was turning into the rocky mountains and I realized my body was not happy with the torture I was putting it through. I went to see a homeopathic doctor about my problem and I did an allergy/food sensitivity test. Guess what came up? Eggs. I was eating 10 eggs a day. This is not good. I had caused my own intolerance to eggs by eating SO MANY. Did you know you need variety in your diet? Don’t eat too much of the same thing  every day because you just might end up intolerant to it – especially high allergenic foods. I decided to stop eating eggs and give my body a rest. Unfortunately, the rocky mountains on my face decided to stay a while, regardless of my decision to stop eating eggs. To this day my body is still recovering from all that I put it through.



    As you probably know from following my journey thus far, I have come a long way since then. I decided to stop focusing on counting macronutrients and calories and switched my focus to my health. I am resetting my body (so to speak) by doing a raw 30 day journey (see here for the start of my journey). I went into this raw 30 days thinking that it was a cleanse – AKA, it has a start and finish (heavy emphasis on the finish!!). Starting out, I missed eating my regular breakfast. I missed my lunch. I missed my dinner. I missed FOOD. I was looking forward to the end. It wasn’t until the first week was over that I realized this isn’t just a cleanse, this is a current lifestyle. This is a journey. This is fun! I was beginning to see my options in front of me instead of everything I couldn’t have. I had an “AHA!” moment:

    It all comes down to your perspective.

    The key to success in a raw diet is your mindset going into it…if you see it as a cleanse, you will most certainly be excited for the end when you get to eat “real food” again. If you see it as a different lifestyle (for a short while) and focus on enjoying each meal/food you consume, it is so enjoyable! It does take work to train your brain to think this way, but once you get over the first week, it is smooth sailing from there.

    I have to say, what I have been doing is totally my own thing and not an official plan or program. I made the decision to go into this on my own and figure it out as I go. That is my personality. I research everything and get a ton of different information to form my own “plan.” I know that the cleanse/raw plans out there are quite expensive, especially if you are signing up for a cleanse where the food is already prepared for you. BUT, I’ll have you know, it doesn’t need to be expensive if you have the will power and focus to do it on your own. I know first hand that it is not easy cutting out what seems like EVERYTHING from your diet and switching to a plant based diet. With my own experience, I found that once you get into the groove of it, you become creative and discover a whole new world you have been missing out on for so long! It is invigorating to be able to make the decision at a restaurant to eat a salad with olive oil and lemon instead of digging into a huge piece of beef (I had to do this at a family dinner at Milestones when I first began this journey). It is not always easy, and you will have to make difficult decisions…”Do I have just one bite of the appetizers on the table? It wont kill me…” Your brain will make you believe whatever you want. You need to have willpower and push through the difficult times and keep persevering. Before long, it won’t even be a thought in your mind.

    What next?


    I am thinking of creating a very affordable 5 day plan for those interested in trying a week of the raw lifestyle. I would love to be able to put together recipes, tips and a grocery list for those interested in trying this out. Day by day you would know exactly what to do. I want everyone to have access to an affordable “guide” to help you through this – if you are serious about trying the raw lifestyle. It is only 5 days, and I know you can do it! You can continue on after the 5 days or you can stop and go right back to however you were eating before. My hope is that you will feel refreshed, confident and invigorated by this challenge. Maybe you will decide to eat more raw food after feeling the difference for yourself! If there is enough interest, I will need to do some digging to see how I can put this together (without putting myself at risk). Keep in mind, I am not a certified nutritionist and am definitely not a doctor. This would be a “try at your own risk”…but in my opinion, diets like the Atkins and South Beach Diet have far far FAR greater risk. We were created to eat the food from the earth, and it would be my pleasure to help more people do JUST that.

    Please comment below, email or Facebook me if this sounds like something you would be interested in. If there is enough interest, I will begin planning as soon as possible.

    Bye for now!


  2. 10 Days Raw

    April 2, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It has been 10 days, and I have to admit, this lifestyle is growing on me. I never imaged enjoying this as much as I am. I find that I’m not thinking about food as much anymore (besides when I am cooking for clients). If I am thinking about food, it’s fun and delicious raw food that I can experiment with! Mind you, I have had some moments where I am ready to pack it in and dive into Thomas’ dinner (that moment may have been tonight).

    The Rawlicious restaurant has really helped me for the past week, especially with adding variety to my diet lately. I have eaten salads and the same avocado wraps for days (and still enjoying them), but a change is always nice, especially without having to prepare it myself. I had their Caesar wrap today, and boy was it delicious! I think the new scent lingering with me wherever I go is garlic. Poor Thomas has to put up with my breath, but I have been sneaking garlic in his meals too so I’m not the only one with the bad breath – hehe.

    This whole experience has been amazing so far. I always thought my energy only came from carbs, but now I am beginning to see that I have MORE energy without carbs. I’m not saying, “go cut your carbs!” I’m simply realizing that I don’t need starchy or processed carbohydrates to give me energy. In fact, carbs and coffee cannot compete with the energy fresh green vegetables have given me. My focus and attention to detail has grown, and my overall feeling of well-being is amazing. I am continuing with fresh green juice every morning and still eating only greens all day. I want to make it to the 2 week mark before introducing any form of sugar (including fruits and certain vegetables) into my diet. I may continue longer than 2 weeks with greens to fully detox and give my body a break from sugar entirely. I will keep you posted!

    In my free time, I have been watching tons of documentaries and reading books on raw and/or vegan diets. It is fascinating. I love to learn and lately my brain has been getting crammed with new information non-stop. I am amazed that society has practically shunned this lifestyle, when in reality, this is possibly the most healthful way to live (in my opinion it is). There are many many opinions on this subject, and I’m not trying to start a debate. I don’t judge anyone’s way of living and I’m not against eating meat. I have just opened my eyes to see another way of living and have found great enjoyment from it so far. I don’t plan on staying raw after the 30 days, but I may venture on and try life as a vegan, or at least 80% since I love eggs for breakfast some mornings and sushi on occasion…I’m a cheater, but that’s okay.

    Life is about learning, growing and discovering the best you that you can be. For the past 2 years (at least), my focus has been eating animal protein 5 times a day. I was trying to gain muscle and look my best. I did look my best physically, but internally my body was screaming. I thought I was perfectly healthy then, but now I see that I was not as healthy as I thought. My snacks consisted of yogurt or cottage cheese instead of vegetables, and my meals always had to have a big piece of meat. I love meat, I really do. You may still catch me at The Keg on occasion digging into a juicy steak – I’ll be real with you on that. But, take it from the carnivore, I feel way better without the meat at every meal. I don’t feel hungry all the time and I certainly am not as “addicted” to eating as I was before. I feel better. Period. Your quality and quantity of life increases when you cut out processed and cooked foods. If you don’t believe me, try it for 21 days (to break your habit of eating cooked foods), and feel the difference for yourself.

    Well, that’s all I have to say on my progress so far. As for tonight, I’m off to grab an avocado and sit on the couch with my husband. Besides all the food and health talk, he really is my favourite one to focus my attention on. Chow for now and chat with you soon!



  3. 6 Days Raw and counting

    March 29, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Well, I’ve made it to day 6! Only 24 days to go. That sounds like a long time, but I’m quite surprised by how I feel so far…

    Day 5


    I woke up this morning not feeling so great. No headache, but I really wanted food. By food, I mean over easy eggs, two thick slices of rye bread and a side of fruit. It wasn’t happening though. I pulled out my juicer and began making a green juice to start my day. I was feeling a bit dizzy and not “normal” so I decided to lie down for a bit. Around 15 minutes or so, the juice must have digested because I felt energized and ready to take on the day! I guess I didn’t eat enough the night before so I was in need of nutrition to get me going again…

    I had another large green drink for lunch from Natures Emporium and headed off to “work”, although cooking never feels like work at all. I had a ton of energy and focus the entire day. With a big list of things to cook, I often get a bit flustered and can’t seem to time things properly. Well today – I was on the ball! I couldn’t believe it. I was able to think clearly and get everything done in perfect timing without feeling flustered or stressed at all. Coincidence? I think not.

    You might be wondering if cooking is difficult for me on the Raw Diet. Surprisingly…no! Although certain things I need to have a taste of, but I haven’t had any cravings or strong desire to eat the food I am cooking. I had WAY more cravings when I wasn’t eating raw compared to now. I think it comes down to mind over matter – since I know I’m not allowed cooked foods, I automatically don’t make it an option for myself. Since coffee isn’t an option for me in the morning, I don’t even think about it anymore. Although, now that I mention it, a nice cup of hot coffee would be pretty good right now – Hehe, but I’m totally fine without it! This morning’s craving for eggs went away right after my fresh juice. I may think about a food I want to eat that’s not raw, but it’s not a desire that controls my body. I simply say no and the craving goes away. I also don’t have the urge to “sneak” bites here and there because I just don’t want to. That right there is a miracle.

    Day 6


    I’ll keep this short because I don’t have much to say besides:

    I feel gggggrrrrrreat

    without the frosted flakes…

    Today I have the most energy yet. I woke up at 4:30 am for personal training, pulled out my greens and started juicing. Although going back to bed was tempting because it is warm and cozy, and who doesn’t like sleep?!…But I certainly had tons of energy, and it just kept on comin’! I had one juice for breakfast, a raw green wrap for snack with avocado, and a delicious Green & Glowing Salad (recipe posted below) for lunch. I am going out for dinner with the family tonight and plan on making a green drink before. I will order a salad for dinner and bring my own dressing with me (weird? maybe, but I’m ok with it). Check out the juicer I use and salad recipe below!


    Omega NC800


    nc800hds_1 <—–There is my new baby. The Omega NC800. I have to say, she purrs like a kitten. Thomas stays snoozing even when I am juicing at 4:30 am! It is incredible how quiet it is. I also love how easy it is to clean. It is not a “big ordeal” to juice anymore, which is why I think most juicers stay in cupboards…this baby is sitting on my counter, and she is there to stay. This is one of the best investments I have made for my health yet. If you could preserve years of your life and relieve any sickness, pain and disease from your body for only a small cost under $400 would you not do it?! I think I spent almost that on my prom dress, which I wore once and is still hanging in my closet…hmph.


     Green and Glowing Salad

    with Creamy Ginger Dressing



    green and glowing


    Click Here for the Printable Recipe


    Recipe By: Melanie Faris

    Servings: I eat this all to myself, but it is probably big enough to share!

    Preparation: 5-10 minutes


    1 big handful of dark green lettuce mix (I like spring mix)

    3-4 purple kale leaves, chopped (hard stems removed)

    1 handful of sprouts (I like to use a mix – sunflower, broccoli, radish…etc)

    Fresh parsley and cilantro leaves picked off the stem (however much you desire)

    ½ ripe avocado

    ¼ large cucumber

    Slice of lime

    *Optional – pinch of dulse flakes



    Rinse all lettuce and vegetables. Chop, cut and place salad in a large bowl or plate. Sprinkle with dulse flakes and squeeze lime to add a burst of citrus. Top with creamy ginger dressing and enjoy.


    Creamy Ginger Dressing


    DSC_0135 (1)  


    ¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil

    ½ of each lemon & lime (juice only)

    2 tbl raw tahini paste

    1 tbl raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

    ½ inch of fresh ginger, peeled

    1 clove of garlic

    pinch of sea salt and pepper

    1-2 tablespoons of water



    Place all ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and combine until smooth. Add water until it reaches desired consistency (you may want to add more or less than suggested). Keep leftover dressing in a sealed container in the fridge. The dressing will thicken as it sits so you will need to add a bit more water again.


    Fill your body with greens that nourish your cells and give you glowing skin!



  4. Going Raw After Jamaica, Yeah Mon!

    March 27, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    After visiting Jamaica last week and seeing the people live off the earth, I was struck with a realization – their lifestyle is so calming, relaxing, and brings you to a whole new place mentally…Yeah Mon! If you have ever been to Jamaica, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I still can’t believe how many pool boys or maintenance workers asked, “You good? Need anything? I got some good stuff if you want…” Oh, how they sincerely cared about our well-being…Teehee. If you have never been to Jamaica and are completely lost, ignore that joke and continue on…

    Jamaica – March 2014


    Thomas and I having a blast!


    Fresh Coconut Water. So delicious!


    This Filet Mignon was so good. I ate it all.



    I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I wished I had enough courage to go raw. I always admired those with glowing skin, incredible energy and piercing clear eyes from their healthy lifestyle. Some of you reading this probably think that is the most absurd thing you have ever heard, and you may not even know what “going raw” is or why I am giving it a try. Let me explain…

    What is RAW?


    Unplug your oven, forget about dumping your veggies in boiling water or frying them up on the stove top. Raw foodism is eating completely uncooked, unprocessed, and entirely plant-based food. Think: all vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds & only sprouted grains/legumes. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?!

    I know you are probably thinking: Who would put themselves through eating only plant-based foods? What about meat and dairy? Are you nuts? Why?

    I’m definitely one who LOVES food. All kinds of food. In Jamaica, I had desert with every meal. I’m not kidding. I enjoyed pasta AND pizza for lunch (along with many other things from the amazing buffet…). I also was not shy on drinking pina coladas, “dirty bananas” & beer. Oh – and the cappuccinos were heavenly! I had 2 or 3 a day…oops?


    Desert and specialty coffees daily. Yum! I’m going to miss this…

    The point is – I’m a foodie! I have nothing against cooked food. I love meat, dairy and every kind of food you can think of. The fact is, I know that there are many benefits to eating only raw foods. I know eating all the junk I could manage on vacation had something to do with the 10 lbs I happened to gain over the past little while. I also know as much as my taste buds were satisfied, every cell in my body was lacking proper nutrients. I could eat a whole heap of food and not feel satisfied simply because my body was not receiving the nutrients it was expecting from the food I was eating. I was starving “nutritionally” on the inside but not showing any signs of this on the outside. When trying to squeeze my caboose into my jeans, I finally realized…

    “Houston, we have a problem!”

    As weird as some of it seems, I am attracted to the beauty of the raw food lifestyle. So simple, so healthy and completely…freeing. You may think this lifestyle is the exact opposite of freeing – it does kind of feel that way at first, but I’m beginning to see that by having the strength to say “no” to certain foods, the chains that have been holding me back from true nutrition are being cut free (sorry, I’m getting deep on you here). I’m free to have the choice to eat what I want, but I am deciding not to.

    I have always been interested in raw foodism, but could never muster up the will to do it. Who really wants to eat greens for breakfast lunch and dinner? That does not sound overly appetizing. But, I decided to take a challenge and do 30 days raw (primarily greens). I’m going to document my journey and take some pictures along the way to be living proof of a raw lifestyle and the transformation that takes place in my own life.

    I also want to clear something up – as much as weight loss is an awesome benefit to a raw food diet, I am not doing it for this purpose. I am simply doing it to cleanse my body of toxins and to feel the difference! If I fit into my jeans comfortably by my 30 days – Bonus!! hehe.

     My Raw Experience So Far


    I am currently on day 4 of my raw experience. I have to say, I wasn’t planning on doing a blog on this, especially after the first few days of agony. I was expecting to feel energized and healthy…I wasn’t feelin it. Not one bit. I thought I would have felt amazing from the start. To my surprise, I felt like crap. I honestly had a raging headache for 2-3 days and wanted to sleep. I was having green juice in the morning (kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, dandelion, wheat grass, parsley, lemon, lime & ginger) and eating salads, veggies, avocado, and some nuts/seeds throughout the day. Surprisingly, I felt pretty satisfied and I didn’t feel hungry. My body was going through the detoxifying process, and I was praying that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel…

    On day 2, I decided to go to the gym and sweat a bit. That didn’t last long. I wasn’t feeling overly great and my head was pounding, so I decided to leave after only 30 minutes. Darn you toxins! (Also, no coffee is definitely contributing to the head pounding…).

    Yesterday (day 3), I was beginning to feel better. I had more energy and was starting to enjoy the lifestyle a bit. I attempting a workout once again and to my surprise it went well! I had energy and only a slight headache. Things were improving.

    The most difficult thing has been planning food when I am not home. I was so thankful to find some amazing raw wraps at the health food store that are a total life saver. I spread some raw tahini paste, avocado and a sprinkle of sprouts and away I go. Yum! I can’t find the wraps online, but here is the company who makes them: Live Organic Raw. The ingredients are all greens, and surprisingly the wrap actually wraps well! I hate when you buy healthy wraps and they just fall apart. What’s the point?! Mine as well call it a crumble instead of wrap since there is no wrapping involved. I don’t mind the flavour of these raw wraps, although it does taste a bit “green”. There is another kind they sell (not green), maybe I will try that in the future. For now, green is where it’s at!

    Today (day 4) has been the first day where I feel darn fantastic. I feel energized, healthy and cleansed. It is amazing how quickly your body can detoxify and reboot. It really is a wonderful feeling knowing that your health is in your own hands! I am beginning to realize my addiction to food and how I used to eat out of emotion, or boredom and not out of real hunger. Now, I am actually eating when my body tells me to and feeling satisfied with foods I never imaged would fill me up. It’s awesome! There is something about this experience that I can’t explain. Although difficult at times, I am beginning to embrace this lifestyle and see food in a new way. Trust me, get passed those first few days and then you start to see why people live this way.

    Tonight I am off to the movies to see Divergent with my hubby. I know the smell of popcorn will bring on the cravings, but I won’t give in. 26 days to go and I’m not slowing down any time soon.

    Check back for more updates on my raw experience…

    Check out some of the links and documentaries below that helped me make my decision on trying a raw food diet:

    Cancer Cure: Gerson Therapy

    Diabetes Cure: Simply Raw

    Improved Health and Healing: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead & Hungry for Change