Why I didn’t take pictures of my first (legit) juice cleanse.

As I embarked on my first detox/cleanse I was not sure what lie ahead. The only intentions for doing this:  #1 it was a new calendar year, #2 I’ve always wanted to try, and #3 I’ve been doing a lot of research in toxins found within our bodies from all sorts of foods/personal care products, so I thought it would be a good idea to release as many as I could.

I shared with A-man that I intended to begin on a week day. He reminded me that if we wanted to stock up on organic veggies it may be a good idea to wait until Saturday to hit up the farmers market for the best selection and prices. Good thinking so we (yes he embarked on the journey with me) decided on Saturday – Monday. 3 days. A popular question that comes up when talking about juicing/cleansing/detoxying is “How long?” For me, I think 3 days is a nice chunk of time to rid the body of toxins. However I can now see the value in taking part in a longer program. And I realize a ‘program’ doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. I know of people that participate in a 30 day detox that involves a slow start by consuming broth soups & cooked veggies with a transition into only juice & tea with a finish that looks similar to the start before introducing grains and high glycemic fruits that one may consume during a non-cleansing time. I also know of people that think 5-7 days is best.

TIP #1: choose your time wisely. look for a chunk of time in which you are able to give in to whatever comes up & out. Example: my 1st day, i needed a nap. 2nd day, i needed a nap AND alone time. by day 3 i felt great. you want to be able to honor your needs.

I tried Dr. Junger’s CLEAN program a few years ago. And it is a good one. Yet I ¾ my way through it because the emotional issues were not yet dealt with properly so there wasn’t room to give it my fullest potential. I even wrangled up my mom to do it with me because I knew then I would take it more seriously. You see, there is so much more to a cleanse than ridding the cells of toxins we only think are in the foods, drinks, medications, toiletries, etc we choose. What about the thoughts we create? They are just as toxic to our cells. And the thoughts surrounding our actions have to be addressed in order for REAL, LASTING change to occur.

TIP #2: TRY THIS for at least a one full day: throughout your entire day, pay attention to your thoughts. write them down word for word (no editing to make them seem less harsh or more intelligent, etc). you know when you catch yourself day-dreaming at the office, in the car, on the yoga mat. those thoughts that just happen to creep in day in and day out. get real with yourself and be honest. a bit before bed look over what has been written down. how do your thoughts make you feel as you read them? do you cringe at the negativity felt? we have to start using our own capacity to contact positive energy. REMEMBER: Your inner mindset decides whether or not you invite happiness & abundance into your life.

So this time around shit had been dealt with and momma was ready to do this! I thought about taking pictures and honestly it just didn’t feel right. You know those moments when you think the “I shoulds” but “I’m REALLY not feeling it!”. I wondered why it didn’t feel right and sat with the wonderment for a good bit. I found by honoring the resistance to not take pictures, I was guided into a more internal process. Part of that was saying “talk to the hand” to being plugged in to the external. Isn’t the point of cleansing & detoxifying an internal thing?

TIP #3: It’s important to understand that cleansing/detoxifying is unique to the individual. So before you dive in, honor your unique experience and be ready because it may not turn out how you thought it would.

To share openly, there is NO WAY I could have prepared for what happened as my cleanse was coming to an end. AND there was NO WAY I could have prepared for what happened the couple of days following. Ready for this, I WAS SURGED WITH ENERGY. No joke. I functioned on less sleep and my functioning was shockingly productive. And not only productive, I’m talking insanely creative & intuitive work! Below is a bit of what I accomplished the last day of the cleanse & the couple of days after:

  1. The stuff that came up and out (emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually) was awesome to say good bye to. A-man and I were able to talk through a couple hot-button issues and my fiery nature was more calm, cool, and collected! I came to the decision it is time to sell my dad’s car. I’ve had it since he passed and felt attached to it because it was a part of him. All-the-while we are outgrowing it. I participated in Our Naked Life challenges with gusto (www.ournakedlife.com)!
  2. I functioned more productively on less sleep and literally had more energy that carried into 2 days after the cleanse. Ready for this… the first day off the cleanse I had so much energy and mental/creative stimulation I woke at 2:30am and worked on misc. things (yoga playlists, dance classes, future articles, etc) until about 4am. At which I tried to fall back asleep and couldn’t because of the natural energy pulsing through my veins. So I hopped up again and faced the fact that I was truly awake so why not be productive. For those that do not know, I am a sleeper. Always have been. The 1st the fall asleep at a slumber party. The 1st or close 2nd to call it a night at a party or out on the town. So this was hugely strange yet exciting and so productive.
  3. My taste buds changed drastically. Because of this I was able to identify with my body’s messages on what it did (sautéed & steamed greens) & did not want/need (chocolate covered almonds). The 2nd day off cleanse I took a bit of oatmeal and had to spit it out. The moment my teeth chomped on the first bite, I knew my body didn’t want grains in that moment. Below is what I cooked up instead.
My first meal after cleansing. Sauted greens with coconut oil, lightly steamed with raisins, topped with pumpkin seeds. SO GOOD!

My first meal after cleansing. Sauted greens with coconut oil, lightly steamed with raisins, topped with pumpkin seeds. SO GOOD!

Some great resources for juicing/cleansing/detoxifying:

  • http://www.nourishandbalance.com Malissa Schwartz is one of a kind. She is a health coach as well as a cleansing specialist and a super cool lovely! Full of knowledge, passion, and spunk she is a great source of support when considering a detox/cleanse or whatevs you’d like to call it.
  • http://www.cleanprogram.com I think this program is well done however it does cost a pretty penny. Website is very informational so check it out if you like.
  • Use local resources. Juice bars are opening up all over the place so research your area. Making juice at home is 1st best but juice bars are always a great way to help out during busy days! In Sarasota, Whole Foods juice bar is always a great option. Earth Origins (both locations) also serves up delicious fresh juices. SRQ is also lucky to have a couple newbie juice: Sarafresh Juice seen at the downtown Farmers Market as well as on Facebook. Two Girls Food is also a newer addition, check out on Facebook.

CHEERS to moving on up!


Free-styling it! How having few restrictions can be a valuable lesson in transformation. PLUS a couple yummy recipes

FREE-STYLE. In other words, few restrictions. I like the sound of that. During Operation Transformation there have been many restrictions. And so it is nice to take a break and open up the boundaries. Speaking of boundaries, let me begin with my personal experience of how having few restrictions scared the shit out of me.

I grew up with the idea of free-style although was never really comfortable with it. Free-style rap was emerging. Improvisational dance was being shared with the dance community and spreading like wildfire. 80’s fashion. HA! Despite all this freely roaming creativity, I liked having someone (besides myself) tell me what to do next. In ballet class, in school, chores at home. I was shy and timid and often had little to voice. One of the most prominent memories comes from my experience at an incredible performing arts high school (Booker High School in Sarasota, FL). I was a ‘bunhead’ ballerina. I loved ballet and all its technique and discipline. Even my beginning years of modern dance was based in Graham & Horton techniques. The teacher or choreographer called out vocabulary or demonstrated what they wanted to see and the dancer followed. Since the age of 5 this is what I was use to. Welcome junior & senior year at Booker and man was I in store for change. IMPROVISATION. That’s right. I had to learn to improvise. It did not go so well. Let me just say this, week after week I chose to sit out…not participate…and get a ZERO for the day! I was so scared. Lacking confidence. I couldn’t let go. Until I graduated high school and attended the American Dance Festival at Duke University. A world renowned 6 week dance festival. There was no choice but to dive in head first to improv. I cannot explain how it transformed my dance world. I didn’t want to stop. Literally. By the time I got to college I shouted out to anyone that would listen about the greatness of improvising art. Some listened and some sat scared like I once was.

Yet when the opportunity presents itself (like in cooking) I tend to still freak a little and not feel capable of winging it. Cooking without a recipe has not always been my cup of tea. This means there is more digging to do. More transforming. Slowly but surely…free-styling is proving a super valuable lesson. Learning to free-style a few areas in my life has only deepened the experience of turning negative self-talk into true body-love and living an authentic/happy/healthy life.

Here are a few examples of how I am challenging myself to get comfortable & confident about free-styling in the kitchen:


  • Make your own oatmeal. Buy rolled or cut oats and put your own additions in. The packages all say to cook the oats in water. I have replaced 1/2 the water with non-dairy milk (usually almond) and the flavor instantly changes. Then I look to see what is around in the form of nuts, seeds, and dried or fresh fruit (the other day we were out of fresh so I added frozen blueberries which defrosted quickly). But do not stop there! Look at your spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, etc. Vanilla beans or extract. Many options. An alternative to oats is leftover brown rice. Also I’d like to share something I just came across from a well trusted source, FoodMatters.tv. “Grains such as oats should be cut or rolled and then soaked overnight in a warm, acidic medium to neutralize the many anti-nutrients naturally occurring in grains, such as irritating tannins, digestion-blocking enzyme inhibitors and mineral-blocking phytic acid. This treatment can also gently break down complex proteins in grains.” To read more visit the link http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry. But let me warn you, there is frightening information to ponder.
  • If you eat eggs, experiment with omelet ingredients. The most recent surprisingly delicious ingredient we have added to omelets is frozen green peas. If you like green peas, you must try! I can’t really give all the credit to trying to free-style. After all, when we were in NYC last spring we ordered an omelet with green peas and were pleasantly surprised. So get creative with veggies, and herbs. An alternative to eggs would be tofu or tempeh scramble.
  • Pancakes. Look into from a sweet OR savory perspective. I’ve mentioned before a favorite in our house, Jessica Seinfeld’s Pink Pancakes. She uses beet puree to give the pink color and a step up in nutrition value. Why can’t shredded zucchini or squash be added to pancake batter with some fresh herbs?


  • Get comfortable with left-overs. And then re-invent them. Use the left over grilled veggies from Sunday’s football party for a wrap (whole grain of course OR gluten free) with hummus or pesto.
  • Use left-over rice for a quick and fried rice https://awholesomeapproach.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/a-recipe-using-up-left-overs-vegetable-fried-rice/.
  • Salads have endless opportunities. Work with simplifying the dressing part. Switch between creamy & vinegar based dressings. Remember that adding avocado to homemade creamy style dressings is a great alternative to using actual cream. Once in a while try just good quality olive oil and lemon or lime. Chop up fresh herbs and add the salad.

DINNER (inspired by Vegetarian Times Sept. 2013 issue)

  • Soups. Start with a good quality oil or butter (ghee can be used as well). Sauté what you have – onions, leeks or shallots; carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc. Then add garlic, herbs & spices. Doing this second will prevent these little bits from burning. Toss in the vegetables that make cook slower like potatoes, large squash, parsnips, etc. Now the delicate veggies and if using beans – zucchini, broccoli, corn, peas, green beans, and beans. Towards the end of cooking time add more fresh herbs. For a really cool trick, stir in juice from a citrus source (lemon or lime).
  • Stir-frys. CHOP – garlic, ginger, onion, broccoli/raab, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, celery, bok choy, mushrooms, bell peppers, snow peas etc. Also prep your protein – tempeh, tofu, edamame, or meat. Also think about nuts to add – cashews, almonds, peanuts, etc. SAUCE – soy (soy sauce or tamari), sweet (honey, jam, brown sugar, maple syrup), acid (vinegar or citrus juice), spice if you like (chile sauce, chile flakes, fresh chiles). SAUTE – over high heat. Start with onion to caramelize, then add the hard “vegetables”, add “soft” veggies & protein. Toss in the ginger & garlic, add the sauce.


  • Granola. One of my most favorite things to make at home. Leaves the house smelling divine for hours, is easy to pack for on-the-go, and ok on its own or mixed in. So many options out there so experiment and find what works for you.
  • Snack mixes. Get creative with pulling from nuts, dried fruits, puffed rice cereal, brown rice syrup for a sweeter snack or nuts, roasted chickpeas, wasabi peas, and spices for a savory/salty snack. Make at home!

Here at A Wholesome Approach, we are all about getting back to the roots of living. Today its all about cooking. It’s important to use your senses and taste what you are creating as you go.
Please comment below and share your favorite ways to let go in the kitchen. Or your free-style recipes.

Breakfast Breads – Quick, Nutritious, Delicious

Hello out there! This blog post I’d like to share a breakfast option when you don’t have much time but want a great source of protein, fiber, and vits/minerals.

Toast has been a popular foodie novelty for many years and its style and toppings transform throughout different cultures. As a kid, I remember toast with honey or cinnamon & sugar was the only thing that sick Keely could swallow. In college years, a quick bowl of cereal or toast topped with nut butter was the perfect nibble as I ran to early morning class (and the occasional smoothie with my very own blender as a 21st birthday present :). Unfortunately, breads are not made like they were years ago. If you have the time try making your own bread! That way you know exactly what is in it and don’t have to play the guessing game.

Like most of us, time is of the essence. So become a label detective and research before going to the store to save yourself the frustration. Commercialized breads are extremely processed and reading labels brand after brand may feel overwhelming. KNOW THIS:

  1. Most breads contain some form of corn or soy. So if you are not interested in consuming Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), then stay clear of conventional breads. 
  2. Commercialized breads want you to think they are ok to eat. They place things like no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) on the label and WHOLE GRAIN but this is not the whole truth. Most breads use enriched flour. Ask yourself, “Why does this bread need to be improved or enhanced?”. Because  when the flour is processed, the good stuff (bran & germ) is removed. 


  1. Artificial stuff. If you can’t pronounce it, it was made in a lab and therefore is artificial. And stay away from colorings! I’ve seen caramel color in bread! Why does bread need color added to it!?!?
  2. Preservatives. Calcium propionate, aka cultured wheat starch/cultured whey, is a popular and may be tough to escape. This preservative is used to prevent mold and bacteria in food. Don’t know about you but I grew up thinking mold in bread was a natural occurrence and am more concerned about my shelf life than breads. Over time, it has been associated with stomach ulcers, headaches, and behavioral changes.
  3. Trans fats = HYDROGENATED ANYTHING!!! Steer clear!

I have tried a grain-free life and it has not served well with my body’s needs. But is an option you may want to try. Rice and I do very well. Quinoa too. So find what works for you! I will say that I eat a lot less grains than ever before and feel a huge difference.

Toast options : Recent years too much gluten has shown to upset my insides so I watch consumption carefully. I can do the occasional whole grain, rye or pumpernickel. Sprouted grain breads (Ezekiel, etc) are a great option but if you do better gluten free you may need to limit consumption. The main thing here is choosing fresh bread, that has only pure ingredients. SARASOTA PEEPS, check out Whole Foods Market, Detweiler’s, Island Gluten Free Bakery for clean options. Publix also stocks a decent selection of sprouted/gluten-free options, usually found in the freezer isle. (*There are many more bakeries around town that I did not mention because I have not looked at ingredients lists)

Whichever toast you choose, there is a WIDE VARIETY of toppings!

  • Nut butters of all kinds (peanut, almond, sunflower, cashew, hazelnut/homemade nutella, etc). A close friend of mine introduced me to a sort-of nut butter that I would have NEVER thought to put on toast…tahini (see below for pics of my tahini topped toast that was delicious!)
  • Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
  • Veggies – avocado toast is HUGE in our house. Scoop it out, mash it with lemon juice and a little salt & pepp. Sliced tomatoes with sprouts. All sorts of options here!
  • Natural sweeteners like honey.
  • Spices like cinammon.
  • Fruit – fresh & dried.
Gluten-free rosemary biscuits *CLICK PIC FOR RECIPE

Gluten-free rosemary biscuits *CLICK PIC FOR RECIPE

Gluten-free toast with homemade nutella!

Gluten-free toast with homemade nutella!

Gluten-free toast with tahini, blueberries and cinnamon

Gluten-free toast with tahini, blueberries and cinnamon

Gluten-free toast with almond butter, chopped dates, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon

Gluten-free toast with almond butter, chopped dates, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon


So being super busy in the morning is no longer an excuse to grab the nutrient sucking bar or bowl over preparing a quick nourishing bite!!! Let’s commit to begin each day with gratitude for waking and take that a step further and commit to breaking-that-fast (BREAK-FAST…get it!?) with nourishment in mind.

Celebrating Earth Day in our homes. A few tips to a more conscious way of living…

On the night of what is represented on a calendar as Earth Day, my family and I evaluate what this means and how we can better cherish this ground that holds so much. In prehistoric times, goddesses were often worshipped for their association with fertility and agricultural bounty. Images are often drawn from the root terms of “mother”, “nature”, and “earth”; displaying the life-giving and nurturing aspects of motherhood. As we continue to tread, let us keep these nurturing images in our minds, thoughts, and actions. See below for a few of the adaptations we have made in our home that are simple AND accessible AND in the long run save $:


The #1 thing that comes up with this topic is the cost of eating mostly an organic, plant based diet. It is a commitment and one must come to to terms that if shopping in a grocery store setting, organic will most likely be a bit more. HOWEVER, it is more than possible to make conscious purchases that don’t require a box, bag, or plastic sleeve (although bagged frozen fruit and vegetables are a great alternative). Not only will Mother Earth thank you, your body will too! As much as this blog entry is not about the debate of organic vs. conventional, I felt compelled to share this image to urge those who are the least bit curious to do their own research.


  1. Shop at local farms or farmers markets. Produce is not only found in mainstream grocery stores. Think of where it all comes from. Start there and see the $ signs for your own eyes! (HINT-buying from local farms saves mucho dinero because there are less things to factor in. Like transportation to start!) For those of us in Sarasota, we are blessed with more than a handful of options. To start: http://www.kingfamilyfarmandmarket.com, http://www.wordenfarm.com, www.detwilermarket.com, www.jessicasorganicfarm.com.
  2. Grow your own herbs. Herbs are expensive in the store. Period. When I planted my first basil plant a few years back, I was amazed at how much $ I threw away buying it from the store. And it is so nice to just walk outside, pick a few leaves and flavor a meal. No one can deny the enhancement in flavor by adding herbs to a dish. It is a trial and error process so try not to get discouraged and give up completely. We have been able to keep alive basil, rosemary (SUPER EASY), and mint.
  3. For the big kicker, start a garden! If you know yourself and yourself likes tomatoes in a variety of forms and dishes…why not try growing your own? If carrots are the only vegetable your picky child will eat…why not look into growing your own? And if you are scared out of your mind to start this project, talk with neighbors or friends and maybe start up a community garden! I get it, growing a garden is incredibly time consuming. So only attempt this step if you are ready and willing!



Jack Johnson says it well in his song Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Another ”r” I like to add to the bunch is replace. As you begin to think about this more, you will be amazed at the amount of daily “stuff” that can be reused, refurbished, etc.

  1. Glass jars. If and when we have to buy pasta sauce because we don’t have time to whip up our own, the sauce most likely comes in a large glass jar. Well…this jar can be cleaned and reused as a water bottle, vase, storage container, etc! For those of you that like to snack on pickles, think about saving the glass jar for another use or recycling it! Reusing and/or recycling glass is a very simple and effective way to reduce the amount of waste going into our landfills. Other examples of glass jars we have in our cupboards that were once one thing and now being used for another: spice bottles, marinated artichokes, juice or tea bottles, nut butters, jelly. Another great use for the handy dandy jars is in the garage. Throw nails, screws, drill bits into individual jars for an organized garage space. 
  2. Replace plastic bags with reusable, washable bags. There are certain needs for plastic bags- lunches, school projects, storage, travel, etc. However, what if I told you the last time I purchased a box of bags was over a year ago? Would you believe me? Well, it’s true. As a family, we made a conscious decision to reduce our garbage contribution. It is so possible to replace those costly plastic bags. BUT if you must, when applicable, wash/air dry and reuse them. Although I am sure there are more companies that provide reusable bags, I have personally used dillybaby. http://www.dillybaby.com/products/butterful-snack-bag
  3. Replace paper with cloth. This idea began with my love to old things that can be used over and over again. I came across cloth napkins that were my grandmothers and soon discovered cloth napkins being sold at antique stores. So family mealtime is now wiped away (or stained) with cloth. For large parties we try to use up the collection of cloth yet have probably purchased paper once or twice over a year, just in case. Another way to do this is to replace sponges (or any other scrubbers) with cloth rags. I purchased from Target over a year ago, a pack of 4 cloths (www.fullcirclehome.com) and have not had to buy sponges since. We go through about 2 cloths a week. Washing them with a load of towels or sheets. But if you must, this company also carries walnut scrubber sponges. The plant-based cellulose sponge is absorbent and durable, while the abrasive side is made from – you guessed it- walnut shells!

So take this week to pay attention to the ins and outs of your household. Can one of the above tips come to life in your home? Do you have some to share? And may we remember: