I have only good things to say about week three, really. My sleep and digestion are the best they have been since…the last time I did the program. So, while I don’t have much to say about myself this week (I can hear you sighing with relief), here are some challenges that can start in the third week.
Cutting it short: I have this app on my iPad called the seven minute workout. It takes you through different exercises in thirty second intervals and I am often tempted to fudge the last five seconds of an interval instead of pushing through the last seconds and doing an extra push up or holding that plank pose for five more seconds. The third week of the SPPP can be like that. You might think, “I feel so great, I’ve made it this far” and reward yourself with tortilla chips or ice cream but try to remember what the real reward is your health. By the third week those cravings for sweets or salt or carbs are probably long gone and you are really just craving the idea of those foods. I find that I try to talk myself into cravings instead of checking in with how I actually feel. If you also do this, try talking yourself into craving the feeling of how good you feel when you don’t have those foods. And there are plenty of foods that you will learn to appreciate. Right now there are so many delicious and satisfying foods in season here in Northern California: persimmons, apples, squashes, pumpkins.
Going hungry: Many people are afraid of doing this program because they fear they will be hungry all the time. Not so. In Chinese medicine, not eating tends to slow and shut down your Spleen, making assimilation of nutrients slower and more difficult. I would never advocate the kind of “cleanses” where you only drink lemon juice with cayenne pepper for exactly this reason. This program can be modified for any season and any schedule. I also want to point out that it’s perfectly okay to feel hungry once in a while! This shows that your appetite is returning back to a more natural state, like when you were a kid. You don’t want your blood sugar to bottom out, and almost everyone I know who has done the program has had an episode or two of feeling hangry so planning your meals and having some fresh snacks on hand is key. Try sliced cucumber and dressing, a spoonful of coconut manna, or a handful of sprouted pumpkin seeds if you need a quick blood sugar stabilizer.
Shopping for the program can be challenging, but most people find it fun trying new fruits or vegetables. I recently discovered some great organic foods that are program-friendly at Costco. If you or a friend have a card, it’s worth it to stock up on these organic staples:
Earthbound Farms Organic Broccolette
Romain Hearts, Six pack
Sunrise Growers Organic Sweet Mango Chunks (to throw in smoothies)
Nature’s Intent Organic Chia Seeds
Kirkland Signature Organic Soup Stock, Chicken
C&F Nature’s Wild Grains Premium Organic Quinoa, 4 lbs
Avocados, Organic, 6ct
Organic ginger root, fresh
Organic Hemp Seeds (great on salads or thrown into a smoothie for extra fat)
Pure Nature Organic Rustic Roots (frozen – great to add texture to soups)
Nature’s Earthly Choice Organic Lentil Trio – see the first week’s blog about sprouting
It’s worth mentioning again how much I love Christopher Ranch Organic Grated Ginger. It comes in a jar and you can easily scoop it out into your smoothies, soups, roasted vegetables for some extra digestive fire.
Everyone has their own unique experience of how the SPPP affects them. Call our office if you’d like to talk about whether this program would be right for you.