The Cleanse…It was time!

I have tried it all. Every single diet. I swear. not lying. It took me a long time to realize that “dieting” wasn’t the answer. Why? Because every time I dieted, I lost the weight (awesome) but it always crept back up in months time. When I did P90x, I was in the best shape I had ever been in my life. Although I was working out 6 days a week, it was the nutrition plan that changed my body. Eating clean. No sugar,  no preservatives, no added anything…eating everything nature intended us to eat. Mentally I knew that eating this way was healthy and body changing but life went on and I had a really bad 2 years in 2012-2013. When things go bad, I eat. I let myself go but I was still working out like a lunatic so I never went back to the place I was before I started P90x.

Fast forward January 2014. I turn 39. One year before 40 and I know I have to do something for good. I am a mental mess because food takes over my thoughts and I can’t seem to decipher when I am hungry or eating emotionally. I find I am innocently snacking on pretzels and realize twenty minutes later I ate half of the bag! The guilt I feel from that is overwhelming. I have a breakdown.  A friend of mine recommends I see a holistic health coach who she knows very well. But she said to me, IF you are going to see her, there is NO SCREWING AROUND. She is the real deal. All she had to say was the “real deal” and I called the holistic health coach and we set a date.

2 words – LIFE CHANGING. The holistic health coach who some of you may know, Pam Yudko, is one of those people who you make room for in your life and never ever want to let her go. So why a holistic health coach over a nutritionist? A holistic coach strives to bring all aspects of your lifestyle into balance. It is the integration of mind, body and spirit.  I knew that I could change the way I am eating but until I fix WHY I am eating emotionally, my eating habits will never change. EVER.

I met Pam in her home office and the second we sat down and talked I knew I was signing up. Pam is like a therapist and a nutritionist rolled into one. There is no judging only examining.  I added a picture of her below (even though she will probably kill me) but I think it is so nice to have a picture of someone in their mind when you are reading about them. Meet Pam!



The first few sessions were about crowding out the bad things (latte’s) and adding more of the good things (veggies, fruits, etc). Pam gave me a slew of great recipes that my family loved. After 3 weeks, Pam said it was time. I was like time for what??? She said it was time for the Pam’s Wholefully Aware Clean Program.

Ok what is that???!!! She told me it is a detox that will have everlasting effects on your life. Okay why? Basically I had been overloading my system with toxic foods, drinks and thoughts. These toxins were the root cause of my body’s ability to maintain balance. Pam’s Wholefully Aware Clean Program is meant to remove these toxins and feel better. In turn this will help set up the perfect scenario for eating healthy and living a “clean” life. After listening to me for 3 weeks and delving into WHY I turn to food for comfort, Pam decided her clean program was the tool to pull out of the toolbox. Pam has several programs she utilizes but her clean program was the right fit for me. The only glitch was the workout part. I could not workout for 21 days EXCEPT yoga. AHHHHHH. I thought about that part. Long and hard. Truth was I wasn’t getting anywhere working out the way I was so I decided I was IN. I was going for it! WOOFUCKINGHOO!

She sent me this little youtube video to watch:

I am a HUGE TEXTER. I HATE the phone. I never ever talk on it. I asked Pam in a quiet voice – “if I need help, can I text you?”  She laughed and said “NOT ONLY CAN YOU TEXT ME, YOU CAN SKYPE ME!!!” She told me she has clients in California, Florida, New York, etc who she doesn’t see, she skype’s! Crazy the way business works nowadays. Anywhooo I was psyched I could text her at 8pm if I was craving something and didn’t know what to do!!

Below are the first 4 days of my cleanse. I thought I would share some recipes, thoughts and feelings since, hey,  maybe you want to rid the toxins and become anew and call Pam. I am devoting the entire month of March (except for a few articles) to health and wellness. I thought this would be the perfect start.

Monday was Day 1 and I got my period. Can you believe it? Day 1 of a cleanse and I get my period. Only me.

It is a good thing I got that Vitamix for my Birthday!!! The Cleanse is 21 days. It is built around 3 simple things

  1. Shake for Breakfast. Blend 1 packet of Shake packet with unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk. You can add in a serving of avocado or almond butter plus some organic berries and a dash of stevia. Lastly a probiotic and supplement packet.
  2. Meal for Lunch. Prepare a hearty sold meal from the cleanse diet. This is your main meal. Also take probiotic and supplement packet. As I am writing this I realized on the first 3 days I only took the probiotic and supplements with breakfast and dinner (whoops)
  3. Shake for Dinner. Same deal. I made my own.

Day 1 was off to a good start. I made my shake and added kale and hemp hearts. For lunch I made Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers. I posted these suckers on Facebook and got a ton of feedback. So here they are with the recipe:


 I could not have the sauce but I made it for Greg since he is not doing the cleanse. I also made Butternut Squash fries! YUM!!!

Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers + SP Fries


  • 1/2 Cup of roughly chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-1.5 pounds of extra lean ground turkey

In a food processor chop the shallots, oregano, garlic, basil, spinach, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until finely chopped. Put the turkey in a large bowl and stir in the mixture from the food processor, little by little.  I only used about half of the mixture.  Mold the turkey into small patties.  I had 1.25 pounds and made 5 quarter-pound burgers.  Heat up the grill {or some olive oil on a frying pan} and throw the burgers on for about 7-8 minutes each side {until firm and nicely browned}.


{Mix all of the following in a bowl}:

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt sheep’s or goat’s milk {I used non-fat Greek yogurt because I couldn’t find either of these two}
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and finely diced
  • 2 scallions, white and light green part thinly sliced
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of mint, finely slices
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
For dinner I decided to make this shake called “The Almond Butter and Jelly Shake”. Let me tell you this, If I could have this for dinner every night I would be happy as a clam. I guess I will be since I have to make a shake for the next 21 days. It tastes exactly like a Milkshake!
Here is the recipe. I didn’t add cherries because I didn’t have them:

Almond Butter and Jelly Shake



  • 1-1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond butter (or cashew butter)
  • Handful of ice
  • 1 packet Cleanse Shake Chocolate
  • 1 small handful of cherries, pitted (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)


Blend until creamy and delicious!

Day 2. I slept well but woke up  HUNGRY! I also woke up to my son sick. No yoga for me. oh well. I made my morning shake and got a TON of work done. At 11am I decided to prepare my lunch. At the beginning of the cleanse Pam sent me the BEST tool ever! She sent me these sheets (example below) where I planned out EVERYTHING I would make for the next 21 days so there was no guess work or freaking out the minute lunch rolled around. Plus it made food shopping for the week simple.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 3.59.32 PM

I found this mango chicken recipe and thought I would give it a whirl. I can tell you now after making it, this dish could be one of the best meals I have ever made!!!!




  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice
  • coconut oil
  • 2 small boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 mango, diced ( I watched a youtube video on how to cut a mango because I had no idea how, lol)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • generous pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I didn’t use this because I am not a fan of parsley)


Soak the wild rice in cold water for an hour prior to cooking. Rinse wild rice and basmati rice, add to saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes or until all water has evaporated. Meanwhile coat a skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium-heat high heat. When pan is hot, add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, then turn each piece to cook the other side. Add onion, cook 2-3 minutes, until golden, then add mango, lemon juice, vinegar, hot pepper flakes and coconut nectar. Toss in rice and parsley. Stir and serve immediately. I actually doubled the recipe so I could eat another day during the week and I could serve to Greg for dinner.

Dinner – I made my amazing shake from Day 1, drank it ever so slowly, watched 2 episodes of House of Cards and called it a night! (BTW – House of Cards – love and hate Netflix… I am going to be done  with the series in a week! UGH! I don’t want it to end)


Day 3 (Wednesday)

I had my morning shake and was ready for a yoga class. I couldn’t handle hot yoga on my 3rd day of detoxing so I skipped Power Flow and went to Ignite. I have been practicing yoga on and off for a few years. I would say I am not a beginner but I am in no way shape or form advanced. The schedule did not say “advanced”. It just said “Daniele”. I love Ignite. It is the kind of studio you walk into and you can feel the stress start to come off your body. It exudes calm. I need calm. I am anything BUT calm. So I went to the 9:30 class. I looked around the room and did not recognize one face however everyone else seemed to know each other. SHIT. Daniele, the owner of the studio, I just found out that piece of info, began the practice. Have you been to a yoga class when the entire class goes into Handstand from chaturanga? Um, yeah that would be this class. I know yoga is not about competition but more about being present, mindful and doing your thing HOWEVER, I am not going to lie. It was WAY intimidating. The guy in front of me was like super yoga man. This was him (but not really)

EVERY CHATURANGA went into hand stand. He was doing things I could not do EVER. Talk about STRONG CORE, JESUS! I wanted to scream out in the middle of the class… Am I being punked? Everybody was in unisom but me. Daniele led the whole class in yoga language. For example…instead of warrior 1, she would say Virabhadra 1. I only knew what to do because a) she said the NUMBER 1 and b) it made sense from the flow of the last vinyasa where she was going. Every single pose was spoke in yoga terms. I had to follow the people upside down around me. I wanted to crawl into a hole. LOL. What did I take from this class? 1) I need to educate myself with a yoga dictionary 2) I need to practice A LOT MORE 3) Instead of never going back I will go back every week until I can fricking do that handstand from chaturanga even if it takes me until I am 80. I WILL DO IT. (this is how I get…I know, I am psycho..)

OKAY MOVING ON…. (sorry for the diversion but I had to vent because I felt so incompetent the rest of the day). Lunch I ate out (I had to make sure the grilled chicken on top of my salad was cooked in “olive oil”, not canola…a little embarrassing to ask for that but I did it! )  and dinner I had my famous Shake from Day 1. I am starting to feel LIGHTER!!!

Day 4. Thursday

I went to Corefire in Montclair for the 9:15 class. I probably should not have only because it was SUPER hard and I think I pushed myself a little too much. Your body is supposed to be detoxing not recovering. The class though was awesome and I am saving to write about them in a few weeks when I can go back and really give it my all.

After class I met with Pam and we discussed my progress thus far. My takeaways after 4 days are these

  1. I am starting to feel thinner
  2. My skin is bright (but I also owe this in part to a new beauty regimen which I am writing about next week, not letting the cat out of the bag yet!)
  3. I am NOT starving or thinking about food the way I was just 4 days ago. This is THE MOST important factor for me and I cannot believe it is working!

I am excited  to see what next week brings. I promised I would not weigh myself until Day 7 which is Monday. VERY EXCITED to jump on that thing.

This is the deal….

I am leaving the rest  up to you. IF you want to follow me on this journey, like this article or comment below. I do not want to take up everybody’s inbox everyday for the next 21 days if you could give two shits about my cleanse, what I am eating, and how I am feeling. BUT if  you want some more recipes, daily dish on the cleanse, interested to see if  I dropped weight and most of all how my mental process has changed…like this on Facebook and I will write away and hopefully wither away as well (just kidding).

Until maybe tomorrow Happy Friday! For those on the east coast – it looks like we are going to have a 3 day weekend. Yup, the snow gods are not ready to back down, just yet.


Wholefully Aware, pa[email protected]

Share Your Thoughts

  1. Comments are open again! Sorry for the gap.

    February 28, 2014 • 2:35 pm •
  2. This is me “Daniele”….the one leading the crazy amped up yoga class! Please! Please! know it is not about doing a perfect handstand. No one is looking… No one is judging…. we are all there to breathe and share energy. Yes I get a lot of teachers in my classes….but it is an Open Level Class. All are welcome. And there are a ton of Beg/ Int Classes at Every flow is an option so is a ton of child’s poses. So glad you are doing the cleanse I just finished and feel amazing. See you on your mat!

    February 28, 2014 • 6:22 pm •
  3. Amy

    Hi Daniele! I am laughing out loud! I know class is not about doing a perfect handstand :). I just felt like I walked into the most advanced class ever, lol. If anything it only inspires me to get better! Thanks for commenting!! Your class was amazing. See you Wednesday!

    February 28, 2014 • 7:33 pm •
  4. Hi Daniele! I am laughing out loud! I know class is not about doing a perfect handstand :). I just felt like I walked into the most advanced class ever, lol. If anything it only inspires me to get better! Thanks for commenting!! Your class was amazing. See you Wednesday!

    March 1, 2014 • 7:01 am •
  5. […] is the best I have felt since I started the cleanse. I woke up, turned on some tunes and started dancing in my kids room. My kids already think I am […]

    March 1, 2014 • 7:42 am •
  6. […] went home to make my Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers  (recipe from first cleanse post) for the week. They are soooo good! Have you made them yet? I put […]

    March 2, 2014 • 6:39 pm •
  7. […] The other part of me is not sure how in the world I can ever eat a piece of pizza again. After eating clean for almost 3 weeks, no dairy or bread, I fear my body may go into shock. I know I have to ease my […]

    March 9, 2014 • 9:37 am •
  8. […] three weeks on the clean cleanse, changing my skin care, my doctors and my household cleaners, I looked into a way I could bring […]

    March 20, 2014 • 1:45 pm •
  9. […] your healthy cookies! One last thing about Pam, I asked her if there was something I could give to my readers since I feel like everyone […]

    March 21, 2014 • 8:51 pm •