Reflections on 25 days of detox

Since March 5, Dan and I have been doing the Elimination Diet.  The concept is that you eliminate all common allergens out of your diet, let your body detox, then you introduce allergens in high doses, one by one, until you can pin point which foods cause your body a reaction.

Here’s how it goes: You start with 2 days of green smoothies – essentially greens, water, and some fruit (berries, apples, and pears are OK).  No citrus, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple for a while. Your body detoxes itself of chemicals, allergens, etc.

That part was not fun – headaches, fatigue, etc.

Then commences “Phase 1”, days 3-10, where the menu gets a bit more complex. Repeat green smoothies daily, but also eat things like garbanzo beans and brown rice, herbs, olive oil, quinoa, pine nuts, sweet potatoes, squash, dried figs and currants, cranberries, beets…..the list of  things you cannot eat outnumber the list of things you can have.  On the list of things to stay away from include: caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, yeast, gluten, oats, dairy, eggs, corn.

We both felt a tremendous surge of energy as soon as we began eating solid foods. Overall, we felt great on Phase One.  I’m not going to lie, though.  We missed our coffee, chocolate, eggs, and corn (popcorn, specifically!).

Phase one required a lot of culinary creativity, coming up with appetizing options from a very limited list of foods. It also required a LOT of time – soaking and cooking all the beans and grains from scratch, making everything from its raw and organic form.

Towards the end of days 3-10 we began introduce some wild alaskan salmon – Yummy!

Phase Two: introducing lemons and limes. We did fine here, no major changes in symptoms.

Phase Three: In three day increments, and one at a time, we introduced the following: all tree nuts (except peanuts), tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, bananas, all beans, and then citrus like pineapple, oranges and grapefruit.  I did just fine with everything – except oranges and grapefruit. I’ll be taking it easy with those two foods. Dan did great with everything except almonds. He had a minor reaction in his mouth.

Then there is a challenge phase where you introduce the major allergens: kiwi, strawberries, corn, (gluten free) oats, corn, eggs, dairy, gluten, yeast.  We are wrapping up the challenge phase.  Dan has introduced everything back in. I have done all but yeast and gluten.

Sound extreme? Well, I suppose you could say that.  On the contrary, if you don’t isolate allergens, you will get mixed signals from your body on what irritates it.

To learn more about this Elimination Diet, visit Whole Life Nutrition.

2011, what will become of you?

2011: Upcoming News!
We have intentionally chosen to begin the year calmly, and we’ve learned to appreciate the quieter things in life – cooking meals, bike commuting, sleeping in on Saturday, praying together, making fires, playing Wii, having friends over, snowshoeing.

Much of our energy in the past four months has been spent in preparation for an important trip we will be taking this summer to Zambia. Our focus will be supporting the continued work of a Zambian-run school and economic development project that Dan helped start when he lived in Zambia for the year of 2008. He has not had the opportunity to return in over two years, and Dominique has not yet had the chance to meet his Zambian friends! Our trip will be an important time to assess the needs of the community and our role in partnering with them.
If you are interested in supporting our trip by prayer or financially, please let us know!  Details to come!

2010, where did you go?…

Here’s a brief update on some highlights from last year for me and my (now) husband….

Finishing School . . .
Dominique was awarded a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution at Portland State in June, culminated by a moving presentation regarding the Human Sex Trafficking problem in the Northwest and her work with a local non-profit organization.
Dan completed his Masters in Business Administration with a specialty in Entrepreneurship in June from Ashford University.

Engagement . . .
The same week that we finished our Masters degrees, Dan went to one knee and asked Dominique to marry him, June 18th. Over Labor Day weekend, we traveled to Texas where for two engagement parties and a bridal shower, thrown in our honor by Dominique’s family and friends! We were so grateful for the love and support bestowed upon us by all!

Summer Travels – Highlights from our summer included….
Hiking to the peak of Dog Mountain, the trail where we first got to know one another the year before!
Dominique traveled the Mediterranean on a family cruise to celebrate her father’s 60th birthday.
We spent the 4th of July in Colorado for the Rastrelli Family Reunion where Dan was able to connect with Dom’s extended family in the great outdoors!
Dan spent a bachelor weekend away with 12 of his closest friends from Portland and Seattle for a time of sports, games, prayer, and encouraging words.

Transition to Marriage
Dominique moved into the couple’s new home in August, and Dan after the wedding in October. We live in Sullivan’s Gulch, a historic neighborhood in Northeast Portland, and only a 15 minute bike commute away from our downtown offices.

In mid-October, we celebrated the greatest weekend of our lives as family and friends joined us from near and far to celebrate our union! It began Friday afternoon with a family lunch, and leading all the way up to the wedding celebration on Sunday evening, October 17th.

We spent the first week of marriage in Kauai, soaking up the sunshine, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and growing even more in love.

We finished the year by sharing holiday feasts and festivities with the Glanville/Kirchner family here in Portland and the Rastrelli/Austin family in San Antonio and Dallas. We feel truly blessed to have each gained such amazing families through marriage!


last post on a life changing day

I just pulled up my blog to face the music….”when was the last time I posted on SmoothingTheStones?”

While I was abhorred to see that it was in June of last year, I also was relieved to see that it was a day that my life changed forever….and I began a new blog as a result.  June 18, 2010…the date of my last post, was also the date upon which Dan asked me to marry him!

I then created for our wedding website and began feverishly working on it – much to the demise of this wonderful blog! will now be our blog as a couple, but I will still keep this one and post my own thoughts and meanderings.

So…if anyone is reading this…I am still alive…now marreid after a 4-month insane engagement season and a whirlwind holiday season…and back to blogging.  :)

Stay tuned for 2010: A Year in Review.  :)

a prayer poem for the day

I like to pray from Guerillas of Grace, a book of poem prayers by Ted Loder.  Here’s a new one to share with you.

Try praying as you read it.

Pry Me Off Dead Center

O persistent God,

deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.

Pressure me that I may grow more human,

not through the lessening of my struggles,

but through an expansion of them

that will undamn me

and unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt

until I learn to share it

and myself . . . openly,

and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears

until I name them

and release the power I have locked in them

and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion

until I shed those grandiose expectations

that divert me from the small, glad gifts

of the now and here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,

crouched behind the curtains of propriety,

until I can laugh at last

through my common frailties and failures,

laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me from just going through the motions

from wasting everything I have

which is today, a chance, a choice,

my creativity, your call.

O persistent GOd,

let how much it all matters

pry me off dead center

so if I am moved inside

to tears, or sighs, or screams, or smiles, or dreams

they will be real

and I will be in touch with who I am

and who you are

and who my brothers and sisters are.

June 17th

It is June 17th…2010.  It is 53 degrees, raining, and I’m a little confused.  Summer, where are you?  I wore boots, tights, a scarf, a jacket, etc. to work yesterday.  I had something else in mind for the second half of June!

My kitchen calendar says that next Tuesday is the official first day of summer.  I’m holding out hope…