Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 1 - Never On A Sunday?

It's the first day of my annual spring cleanse! The sun is shining. The birds are singing.  And I could really use a drink. ;) Ha!!

Actually, so far so good. Though it's only been about five conscious hours. I've already had the first of many ginger/milk thistle herbal teas I'll have this month. Not to mention water. I'll have to pop out for some supplies - i.e. non-boring non-alcoholic beverage options. They're out there, I promise, but you have to root for them.

I've never started a cleanse on a Sunday before. Or any day of the weekend. I usually start midweek so that I can end midweek, giving myself enough padding between the end of the cleanse and the weekend. Because you really have to go easy when you come off a cleanse - as I've said many times. And since I've always associated weekends with ... well ... not going easy, I usually stay away from them to begin or end a cleanse. But because of the hubs' birthday and everything else this month, Sunday it is.

Again, I'm amazed at how easily cleansing can adjust to whatever your needs or schedule. I'm just wondering how things will feel in terms of weekends. The four different weekends of a cleanse all have very different feelings. The first one is always the longest by far. But now, the first weekend is already half over. And then, the last one will be half over when the cleanse finishes on May 25th. Of course, there are a lot of days between now and then. Twenty-eight to be precise. And it still feels like a long ways off.

But that's always the case. No matter how many cleanses I've done. When you start - six months or a month, it doesn't matter - a cleanse always seems to yawn impossibly long in front of you. It's like the last week of school.

When you're in Grade 6.

And have a cute date to the 'prom.'

And the perfect dress (or in my memory, orange bell-bottom pants that exactly match your best friend Tracey's orange bell bottom pants).

It's like that.

Times ten.

But I'm in good spirits so far. Will keep you posted!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Deciding Factors

OK, so today was supposed to be the first day of my cleanse. It was always a little loose and definitely slightly later in the year because of the trip, but I thought today made sense. Gave me a little time to wind down from the trip - and then start to detox midweek. ;)

However, the hubs's brother is coming in to town tomorrow. We missed his birthday while we were away, so we're going to take him to dinner and have a little prezzie-opening thing here. Then we're going to the in-laws place on Saturday to see the kids and dole out souvenirs. Again, this was a last minute decision, not anything I planned when I was timing my cleanse.

I was really on the fence about when to start. I've definitely done lots of socializing while I'm cleansing, no problem, but not often during the first few days. Because my energy is sometimes a bit low.  This isn't just psychological either. A recent Yale Study has found that heavier drinkers (and I'd qualify as that - especially after two weeks in London!! ;)) get an extra boost of acetate which energizes their brains when they drink.

I always wondered why the first few days of my cleanse sometimes leave me feeling tired. It doesn't last long - only a couple days - and it's not constant, but when it happen, this acetate connection is probably why. No booze = less acetate energy for the brain.

Anyway, it was a real dilemma. I didn't want to push my cleanse too late because I want to be finished in time for the hubs's birthday in May, but I also didn't want to be yawning or tired when there was so much visiting and catching up about the trip to do. So - sigh - I bit the bullet and moved my cleanse to Sunday. Which means three extra days of drinking. Tough decision, I know, but somebody's gotta do it. ;)

This is the first time I've cleansed through most of May. I'm usually finished by now because it's sort of a party month for me. Practically every important person in my family has a birthday in May: my hubs, my mom (both born on the same day actually!), my beloved nephew, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, even my estranged father. Throw in a couple of Mother's Days and May is always a month full of celebrations - and wine. ;) So this is going to be strange ... so many birthdays without drinking. I can't wait to see how it goes.

Well, actually, I can wait. Until Sunday, anyway. ;)

Again, the plan is adaptable. Your first cleanse day doesn't have to be carved in stone.  Don't hassle yourself too much if you've got to shift a cleanse by a few days to work it into your life. Being able to do this gives you the sense of freedom and choice - both of which are really important when it comes to feeling good about yourself. So as long as you're not postponing your cleanse indefinitely - which sort of defeats the purpose - feel free to free free. ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Lady of Notting Hill

Hey! I'm home from two weeks in London. Will post some more pics soon!!

I have jet lag right now. I've been up since about 5:30 a.m. doing laundry and talking to my mom (who's also an early riser) about a mile a minute.  It was such an amazing trip. All the flowers and trees are in bloom - and I mean, full bloom. The whole city seems to be bursting with lilacs and cherry blossoms. It was so depressing to come back to poor Toronto, still gray and yellow after this long winter.

Anyway - lots of stories (no shortage of drinking connections in the U.K. btw), but there's one I have to share asap.

So we rented a flat from a place called Home From Home. Totally recommend their service btw. They had a driver come to pick us up so there were no worries there. Very professional booking with them. They rent the empty flats of Londoners while they're away. We booked the trip pretty late so there wasn't much choice, but somehow or other we ended up with this awesome one-bedroom in Notting Hill.

The place was a fourth-floor flat in a row of pale limestone townhouses dating back to at least the 1830s. It was fashionably decorated, if a little on the girly side (i.e. the Turkish carpet was faded to pink). There were also lots of framed pics of the owner and her girlfriends on the walls. Lovely, slim 20-something women sunning on beaches, smiling at weddings, dressed up at costume parties or trekking through exotic countries. And nothing in the place was Ikea, if you know what I mean. Literally every stick of furniture was a unique and artful antique. Including the bed -- which was a little short for the hubs, btw.

There was real art on the walls too - not Monet exactly - but also not framed prints from the local poster shop. Lovely dishes. Lots of great books on the shelves. The hubs was poking through them and pulled out a slim volume written in the 1950s. When he mentioned the name of the writer, I perked up. "Wait a second," I said. "There are some paintings here by that fellow. She must know him."

After some researching and Googling, comparing painter's names and writer's names against the litter of mail on the floor in the hallway downstairs, turns out the owner of our flat is a baroness!! She comes from a long line of English barons and parliamentarians. It made me laugh. I guess if the too-short bed is good enough for Lady Lucy (I think I can divulge that much info without sacrificing her privacy!), then it's good enough for us.

Anyway, there were two copies of another book on the shelf. More than one copy of a book usually means some kind of personal connection. Again, I'm not sure I should mention the title without Lady Lucy's consent. But - believe it or not - it was about alcohol addiction and was written by Lady Lucy's father. It talked about how, despite his lineage, he ended up penniless in the 90s with everything he owned fitting into a single car. He's sober now, btw. Or at least was when the book was published.

I couldn't believe it. Of all the thousands of flats we could've rented in London, naturally I'd end up with an owner who had an alcoholic dad. I looked at Lady Lucy's lovely pictures differently after that, wondering what sort of sadness she might be hiding behind that pretty smile of hers. Because it doesn't matter if you're poor from a mining town like me - or a titled noble from London like Lady Lucy - alcoholism can affect anyone's life.

btw ... my cleanse starts this week!! Um ... after two weeks in the pub capital of the world, I could use it. ;)

And here's the OTHER lady from Notting Hill. The movie that is. ;) Miss Julia Roberts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Cheers from sunny (but chilly!) London!!

"If I didn't drink, how would my friends know I loved them at 3am?"

So many pubs - so little time!! Will write more later!! Suffice to say, I've seen Charles Dickens's wine cellar. My life is now complete. ;) xoxoxo!!

Yep, the wine cellar at The Charles Dickens Museum.