Daniel Detox: Days #11-20

We already made it to the halfway mark and I have some exciting news to share!!! For the first 16 days of the diet, I did feel that I had increased energy levels and more clarity in thinking but there really wasn’t anything measurable except how I felt. I did not notice a change in my blood pressure levels at all. However, on Day 17… my blood pressure taken throughout the day was 128/84, 109/79, 123/80, 108/72! (My lowest reading was 103/69 on Day 19!)

For just a little bit of background, with my first child, I had preeclampsia during pregnancy and was sent for emergency C-section because my blood pressure levels were through the roof. The doctors told me that after my daughter’s birth, my blood pressure levels should return to normal levels within about 6 months… but I have been on medication ever since.

Before my second pregnancy, I was weaning off my medication, but after pregnancy, my blood pressure levels started going back up and my doctor increased my dosage twice! The second time she increased it, I did not take the increased dosage and was determined to do something drastic in my lifestyle to try and reverse it! Some of my blood pressure readings while on medication were: 148/99, 146/104, 135/95! I still refused to increase my dosage and this was my main motivation to try the Daniel Plan Detox!

Although I am still on medication, I am SO excited to be able to SEE real measurable change as a result of our lifestyle change! Now, my blood pressure levels are in the normal range and hopefully, the longer we keep up with this lifestyle, the lower they will go and I will be able to wean off my medication completely!!!

Some people asked me if I knew which food group was the culprit of my high blood pressure and I really don’t think it was any one thing. I don’t think I have food sensitivity issues (I could be wrong, but this is just my own diagnosis) and in reflecting on our new lifestyle, I think it was  a number of different things that worked together to reduce it. Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals!!!
  2. I think that because I eliminated gluten, I didn’t have fillers at our meals like pasta or bread and this forced me to fill up on other more wholesome things like vegetables and protein.
  3. Also, since we learned about portions and servings, we were eating more often throughout the day and this probably regulated my blood sugar levels and in turn helped restore balance to the rest of my body. I have heard the blood sugar can be related to blood pressure too and I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes in both my pregnancies.
  4. Eliminating dairy helped eliminate salt from cheese and butter, which is detrimental to blood pressure.
  5. I started focusing on fitness activities in Days 11-20 and walked to my mailbox twice, did some baby aerobics, worked in the garden, and took a walk with my family while pushing my babies in a stroller.
  6. I tried out a healing drink from Trim Healthy Mama called the Singing Canary and it had turmeric as one of the main ingredients which is one of the natural remedies to high blood pressure that I discovered in the article below.
  7. I read this article about Natural Remedies to reduce High Blood Pressure and found that I’ve already been having 5 out of 6 things on that list!!! (all except for cacao)
  8. I read a few pages from a book on the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and many of the food they recommend to add are ON my detox meal plan! Some foods listed were dark green vegetables, raw nuts, olives, coconut, good oils, and also a variety of herbs and spices.
  9. We cut out anything with MSG or sugar and that cut out almost all processed or prepackaged foods and we were eating almost everything made from scratch, including dressings and marinades!

If we’re ONLY putting good things into our body, how can we not expect to see results! I am really excited to continue the second half of our detox and am praying that through our lifestyle change and also through a dependency on God for strength to continue, we will be able to reverse the effects of our previous bad habits!

A few highlights on what we ate…

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I finally bought some Stevia sweetener and I only used twice the amount of what is pictured to sweeten my entire mug of tea!

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Tempeh ~ traditional whole soy food. Soy apparently is a complete protein with all 16 amino acids.

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Thai Inspired Coconut Fried Rice ~ Mmmm…this was yummy. Rice boiled in coconut milk and stir fried with a variety of veggies including the tempeh for protein.

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Coconut Sandwich Bread ~ After I made some delicious coconut butter, I found a recipe that said you could make “sandwich bread” with coconut butter. I happened to have all the ingredients and so I thought, “why not?” Ingredients: eggs, coconut butter, coconut oil, baking soda, vanilla — that’s it!

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It looked and SMELLED really good…

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Evie wanted a photo with the bread

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Looks good huh? Tasted TERRIBLE! LOL At first bite, it seemed alright — tasted kind of like meringue because of how many eggs were in it but… there was a terrible aftertaste, maybe a baking soda aftertaste.

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I tried to FIX it by adding nut butter and it was better… but you couldn’t eat more than 1-2 pieces before feeling sick. We did eat about 3/4 of it before I gave up and threw the rest out!!! I hate throwing out expensive experiments!!!

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Grilled Lamb with Mint Sauce ~ Ok, this was WAY better and one of the best meals! See below for a link to the recipe. I had to replace a few ingredients to make it “approved” but it was DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to make it again!

Recipe: Grilled Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

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Coconut Chia Quinoa Breakfast ~ I actually really liked this. You can use brown rice or quinoa and you cook it and add chia seeds and some stevia and then cover it all with coconut milk and put it in the fridge. After about an hour, the little chia seeds expand and the coconut milk is absorbed into the little grains, tasting kind of like a Malaysian dessert with sago!

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Singing Canary ~ I tried making this recipe from Trim Healthy Mama and it was actually a pretty good beverage since we have mainly been drinking water. These were some of the ingredients. See below for a link to the recipe and it also explains all the health benefits of the drink. It is a healing drink for “Adrenal Fatigue”.

Recipe: Singing Canary for Adrenal Fatigue

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Singing Canary ~ cold and refreshing!

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Grilled Fish with Spicy Raw Slaw ~ It was purple cabbage with carrots and the dressing was made of almond butter, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and I threw in some garam masala! I loved the Indian flavors. Can’t wait to make that again!

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Glenwood foods shopping trip ~ Ok, I think I love that store maybe a little too much!

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Here we are super excited to make some homemade protein bars! However, AFTER I made it, I tasted the mix and it was SO sweet and then discovered that my coconut cream was SWEETENED. SO disappointed!

Recipe: Homemade no-bake Protein Bars

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Since I had to make coconut butter for the protein bar recipe, I made sure to make some coconut milk with the scraps left in my blender. It feels like free milk!

 

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Homemade No-bake protein bars ~ I used coconut butter in place of almond butter (because they said you could) BUT it made it SO HARD to cut after it was refrigerated. Coconut butter becomes ROCK hard when it cools, so next time i will probably mix coconut and almond butter for this recipe. So, all of this is now sitting in my freezer for us to eat as candy after our detox. I cut them into little bite sized pieces instead of in bars because it was SO sweet!

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Protein Pancakes ~ Here’s another recipe from Neila Rey that I think has become one of our favorite go-to recipes! It’s SO easy and SO yummy and packed with protein! I used gluten free Rolled oats and milled it into flour and it also has eggs, almond/coconut milk, protein powder, vanilla, and I used almond butter in place of yogurt.

Recipe: Protein Pancakes

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Protein Pancakes ~ Don’t they look delicious? Some people say if you are gluten intolerant, something in oats may also affect your system similarly. My husband thought that the oats seemed to make him feel a little bloated but I didn’t feel any ill effects but I think we will eat it in moderation — as with anything!

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Protein Pancakes with Almond butter and mixed berries for Breakfast! Oh my, I could eat this everyday!

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Egg/Avocado/Spinach Lettuce Wraps with Hummus ~ Instead of turkey meat wrapped with hummus and lettuce, I prefer this combination.

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“Sampan” Wraps!!! ~ A sampan is a traditional malay boat (See image link below)

Image: Malaysian sampan

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This is probably what you call a “Pinterest FAIL”!!! Zucchini Chips. This recipe said that you bake them at 450’F for 20 minutes and this is what I got! I looked it up online and other recipes said to bake it at the lowest temperature on your oven for 2-3hours!!! I will try that next time! Compare my image with the image link below!!!

Image: Original zucchini chips recipe

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Protein Pancake Burgers! My husband had a bright idea to use the protein pancakes as the buns for our burgers! Let me tell you, this was one of the best ideas ever! You’re not eating empty calories in the bun that overwhelms your burger but instead you are getting a protein packed “bun” with great taste! I’m still not 100% sure where oats stand on being beneficial to our bodies but so far, we are using it occasionally.

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Protein Pancake Burgers ~ Mmmm…that’s making me hungry! :)

 

Reflection for Days #11-20…

It has been getting easier to figure out what to make. I’m starting to understand the science behind the makeup of our meals on the meal plan and I’m able to adapt it to personalize it or to work with whatever ingredients I have in the house.

It has not come without challenges. The hardest parts are when we are with friends. We had a church Fellowship Meal and it was laden with delicious desserts and casseroles, all homemade! It was hard to sit at a table with others who were enjoying their sweet treats! It has also been a challenge when we are off our routine. For example, when we’re out shopping or when we are visiting with friends, when I’m tired, or when the babies are sick, it is harder to stick to the plan. But praising the Lord, that so far, we have stuck to it almost 100% (except for the times where we made mistakes!).

And now after seeing my blood pressure numbers come down, I have renewed motivation to finish the second half strong!

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