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Sunday Afternoon Observations

Fall has come to Islamabad. You hardy East-Coasters and Midwesterners will scoff, but after spending 18 months in Pakistan including monsoon summers, the low 60’s feel chilly and yesterday I hauled all of my boots and sweaters out of the closet. I met the Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan and she is HOT. How does Sweden do it? A large strip of my lawn has been removed to extend the vegetable garden; there are now 20 different items planted, getting me one step closer to my goal of turning the house into a commune where we can all live off the land. The snow peas are already 5 inches tall after their first week. I made my debut on Friday night in local Islamabad band “Gigistan.” I sang an ’80s classic, “Time After Time” and got a lot of kind comments both on my singing and on my rhinestone-studded True Religion jeans. Sometimes I think the most important thing is looking the part. My vacation to Vietnam starts in two weeks. I still need a visa, but luckily I can see the Vietnam Embassy from the terrace of my house, and will be popping over there tomorrow. I am most looking forward to the food and have heard that Saigon is a foodie paradise. I love the green smoothies from my detox so much I am continuing to have one every morning for breakfast. I am also, however, eating pizza on the weekends. Here’s to everything in moderation! […] Read More

Summer-2010-070

Detox

I am one week into a three-week detox. That’s 21 days of no caffeine, no alcohol, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no wheat. And a few other random no-no’s, like tomatoes, citrus, and soy sauce. No, I have not gone insane and no, I am not hungry all the time, to answer 99% of the questions you will immediately be asking about this process. I got inspired to do the cleanse after months of feeling tired, stressed out, heavy, and headache-y. Would surviving on a liquid meal for breakfast and dinner and a small, wheat, dairy, and sugar-free lunch do the trick? That was the experiment. I have to say so far it has been fantastic. I miss coming home to a yummy dinner (cold carrot ginger soup, anyone?), but I have twice the energy, none of the headaches, and am almost completely relaxed even though work continues to be hectic, stressful, and speed-of-light fast. So it may not be crazy to do a detox, but what about doing one in a country without salad bars, health food, or the concept of eating dinner before 9pm? A breakdown: HURDLE: My detox book (“Clean” by Alejandro Junger) includes 21 recipes at the end for all the smoothies, cold soups, and healthy lunches you will need to make on the cleanse. The recipes are full of ingredients like quinoa, buckwheat noodles, sprouted chia seeds, and blueberries. Yeah, right. ADVANTAGE: The recipes are also full of ingredients like mango, coconut water, and nut milk. Instead of spending lots of cash on packaged, stale versions of the last two, I turn the bounty and resources of Pakistan to […] Read More