10 Day Detox

When people hear DETOX, the first thing that comes to mind is the person is trying to lose weight, or that crazy cayenne pepper, honey, lemon juice thing Beyoncé swears by, or nothing but water, kale, & cucumber.

Well my detox is nothing like those & it is not for the purpose of losing weight (I mean I still have baby weight to lose but that didn’t even come to mind till I wrote the first paragraph). My detox stems from a place of just feeling bad.

For the last few days, I have had a cough that won’t go away. A cough that clearly tells me my body is trying hard to fight off something. For a week or so, I have had ZERO energy, haven’t been sleeping well (a 5 month old that is transitioning to sleeping unswaddled isn’t helping); I just haven’t felt very well in general. Those factors tell me my body is wore down. Which also tells me that is a build up of bad food & bad habits.

As I started to look at the last few weeks/months & my habits, here’s what I found: too much refined/processed sugar, too much caffeine, a lot of wheat, too much eating out/convenience food, not enough exercise, sleep, or raw food. One thing I have also noticed is my head & even my vision just feel foggy- which I know if a symptom of gluten intolerance. I am not gluten intolerant, but I am wondering if I’m consuming too much.

So I am going to start with a 10-Day, gentle detox. The focus is to clean out my body & allow it to function better. When doing a detox the focus is on clean food, lots of water, & sweating with the intention of ridding the body of toxins….not weight loss (at least that is a proper detox). So here’s my plan:
– diet heavy in fresh, raw fruits & vegetables
– eliminate as much processed/refined sugar & caffeine as possible
– limit diary, meat, & gluten to 1x per day
– 32oz of water before every meal
– sweat at least once a day (this will be in the form of running to catch back up on my 10k training plan)
– yoga everyday with focus on twists & inversions

I will be keeping a daily journal to track how I’m feeling & any progress I have noticed. While I probably won’t write here everyday, I do hope to write a few times in the next 10 days. Here we go…..


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Absent but still here

Please excuse my absence, I’m still here. Still blogging….well thinking about blogging! This summer has been a crazy one for me. I’ve been trying to figure out the blog/writing/cooking, while running business 1 & business 2, still having a toddler (who will only be a toddler for a few more weeks….we are about to have a preschooler) that has started potty training & a new baby that is now 5 months old & probably not all that far from being mobile. Oh boy! I think I need to go back to bed!
But with the toddler going into Mother’s Day out 3 times a week, my hope is to be a little more consistent in my blogging attempts. My desire is to write a few blogs a week, but hope is the wire I cling to & often fall from.
Anyway, on to other things…..
Meals around here have been pretty standard, today’s breakfast was still “normal” nothing ground breaking. Gluten-free Flax waffle with Sunbutter & Wildflower honey with apple juice (our apple juice is about 3/4 water cut by 1/4 organic apple juice) for the toddler & 2 waffles for me with earth balance no-soy buttery spread & iced almond milk coffee.
I have been trying to shake up dinners a little but (with mild luck). Last week we had fish tacos which where good but still need some tweaking before I officially write the recipe. I am working on a recipe for something my mom used to call Yakisobi which is an Asian inspired beef & noodle dish.
As summer whinds down (yay….summer is not my favorite…from the sticky hot southern weather- which has been oddly mild this year- to the break in routine, I’m ready for it to be over) I will cook more & have more recipes to share. As weather turns cooler, I am much more motivated to cook & create, so for me there is lots to look forward to on the food front.
So for now…hang in there! Whether that message is for you or me, I don’t know!




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Food Allergy Kid- MDO Lunch & Snacks

I forgot to post on Wednesday, sorry! I had a few work engagements last week & got a little distracted, but I did remember to take the pictures, so here is Wednesday’s post, via Monday!

One thing that took me a little while to figure out, was how to pack lunch for my son when he had MDO (Mother’s Day Out). It took some trial & error, but eventually I figured it out. You just feed him like you do at home. I feel like it has also gotten easier as he has gotten a little older. Sometimes he gets left over pasta from the night before & sometimes he gets a more traditional school lunch. Here’s what he took last week:

Food Allergy Kid- School Lunches & Snacks www.marissa-dodgen.com

1 Slice of Rudi’s Honey Wheat bread sliced in half with Mara Narth Sunbutter (Sunflower seed Butter) & Cascadian Farms Organic Strawberry Jelly, Kind Vanilla Blueberry Bar (which has become one of his new favorite things), Lundberg Seaweed & Sesame Rice Chips (these are soooooo good!), & 4 washed, sliced strawberries. I always give him Organic Apple Juice cut with water. I know I have scored when his lunch box comes home empty…this lunch was for sure a winner.

For snacks he has discovered what he refers to as “crackers”. A cracker to him is a Lundberg Rice Cake with sunbutter & today a small drizzle of honey. I have noticed with him, like me, he really thrives on a varied diet. He will rebel if he gets the same thing over & over. So I try to continually introduce new foods, textures. & flavors. Plus i really don’t want him to become a picky eater. 



So hopefusnacks2

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Convenient vs Fast Food

One of the things that is the most difficult about clean eating is giving up fast food for its convenience purposes. That has certainly been one of the biggest struggles for our family. But recently we have made the decision to cut back, way back, on fast food (which really isn’t that much compared to a lot of people). Mainly for financial reasons, because it really is a HUGE waste of money, but also for health reasons. I purposely don’t think about the absolute awful quality of fast food because I would probably yack on my shoes. It really does make me nauseated some times to eat out.

So what do you do for convenience when you rule out fast food. Here’s the answer…. The grocery store. If you keep a stocked fridge & panty it is easy to make a meal quickly, almost quicker than you could pick up fast food. Even if you have to run to the grocery store to pick up dinner (like I did this afternoon) it is still just as quick as going to pick up something & a lot cheaper.

So this is how I chose convenience over fast….


I picked up an Amy’s Meat Lasagna & for the sides I steamed some asparagus (add a little water & salt to a skillet with asparagus. Turn the heat up all the way until the asparagus is hot but still bright green) & roasted the broccoli (drizzle olive oil over broccoli & sprinkle with salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Toss & roast at 425 until the edges start to char) . For dessert, the strawberries that will be used in a smoothie with bananas & whatever else is left over in the freezer.

What I love is that I have a ton of asparagus left over & a little lasagna for lunch tomorrow & the strawberries will be a good breakfast, so it was a far better investment than a quick, nasty meal & so so so much better for our bodies.

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Food Allergy Kid- what does he eat?

By far the question I am asked the most is “what does he eat?”. Which makes me want to ask “well what do you eat?”, but I digress.

Let me back up slightly. My 2 year old was diagnosed with food allergies to eggs, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, & tree nuts at 13 months. This fall we will be coming up on the 2 year mark for this diagnosis & I can say with all certainty that we have learned to handle it. It has taken multiple ER visits, doctors appointments, tests, & trials to learn how to handle it & what is tolerated verses what is dangerous, but we can handle it.

Through our own food trials (encouraged & monitored by an allergist) we have figured out he can tolerate wheat & tree nuts just fine. I do, however, try to limit his wheat consumption to once a day & only from reliable, organic sources.

So what does he eat? Well what do you eat? Do you eat cardboard boxes, grass, or hay? Neither does he. His diet consists largely of ancient grains, fruit, vegetables, coconut & almond sources of dairy, & meat. think of it like this, if it weren’t for the meat & the honey, he would be a vegan.

I keep a lot of plant-based food sources in his diet, but am very much against soy-based products. I have my own personal issues with the consumption of soy, but for him it is an issue of comfort. His skin reacts heavily & quickly to soy, so we keep it out of his diet. This also means that he & our house are on a very limited amount of processed food.

Thankfully for him, and us, he only has one allergy severe enough to be life threatening & that is eggs. We have watched him have anaphylactic reactions to eggs & it is terrifying, so we don’t even allow eggs in our house. I would rather our house be a safe zone, so I just stopped buying them.

So what does he eat? That’s why I am starting this weekly column; because I get asked that every single time I talk about his food allergies. This was today’s breakfast:

Non-dairy coconut yogurt (vanilla) & Kind coconut granola. He really likes yogurt & I hated having to take it away from him after his tree nut diagnosis, but thankfully he is handling tree-nuts just fine & we have found some good sources for yogurt.


Another frequent breakfast is a Vans GF Waffle with almond or Sunflower butter & local, organic, or raw honey & fruit:


Then there’s also the organic Whole wheat bread with a seed or nut butter & honey & almond milk or organic apple juice:


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