Intention Challenge – Days 1-2

Hey everyone! Here is my day 1 and 2 update. I had to study for a gastroenterology midterm last night and so my update was pushed back a bit. ūüė¶


Veggie soup for the cold dark days of sugar cleanse… tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, homemade chicken broth, garlic, salt/pepper

Day 1 – 1 out of the 3 complete

Intention: Sugar Cleanse – Complete

I was able to go the whole first day on the complete sugar cleanse without cheating. I forgot to write down what I ate for you guys to peruse over, but I will try to keep a log of it in the future! Below is the foods that are “allowed” and foods that are “allowed in certain amounts”.

  • Meat, fish, eggs (any kinds as much as you like)
  • Veggies (pretty much all)
    • Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage
    • Carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, cucumber
    • Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Green beans, Horseradish
    • Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce (all leafy greens), Mushrooms
    • Onions, Parsnips, Peppers (all), Radicchio, Radishes
    • Rutabaga, Snow/Snap peas, Spaghetti squash, Spinach
    • Tomato, Turnips, Yellow squash, Zucchini
    • 1 cup serving per day of 1 of the following:
      • Acorn squash, Beets, Butternut squash, Green peas
      • Pumpkin, Winter squash
    • 1/2 Sweet Potato if you work out for 60 minutes
  • Fruit
    • Lemon, Lime – as much as you like
    • 1 piece per day of… green/granny smith apple, green tipped banana, grapefruit
  • Nuts/Seeds (whole, flour, or butters)
    • Almonds, brazil nuts, Cocoa/Cacao (100%, nibs), Chia seeds
    • Coconut (unsweetened, NO coconut sugar)
    • Filberts/Hazelnuts, Flaxseed, Hemp seeds, Macadamia nuts
    • Pecans, Pistachios, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds
    • Sesame seeds, Tahini, Walnuts
  • Fats & Oils
    • Animal fats, Butter, Ghee, Clarified butter
    • Avocados (and oil), Coconut oil, Flax oil, Olives (olive oil)
    • Sesame oil
  • Beverages
    • Almond milk (unsweetened), Coconut milk/cream (full fat)
    • Coffee, Espresso¬†(thank goodness)
    • Mineral water, Seltzer, Club Soda, Water
    • Teas: herbal, green, black, white, etc. (unsweetened)
    • 1 cup per day of… coconut juice/water OR kombucha
  • Condiments, Etc.
    • Broth (homemade), Coconut aminos
    • Ketchup (homemade, sweetener free)
    • Extracts: vanilla, almond, vanilla bean, etc.
    • Hummus (cauliflower)
    • Mayonnaise (homemade, but I don’t like it so I won’t make it)
    • Mustard (GF), Nutritional/Brewer’s yeast
    • Salad dressing (homemade, if store bought check ingredients list)
    • All spices and herbs (check blends for hidden things)
    • Vinegars: apple cider, balsamic, distilled, red wine, rice sherry, whtie

Intention: Exercise 30 minutes/day –¬†kinda sorta

My only time for exercise was before my lab and I did not go to the gym. I did work a shift in the ED (emergency department) where I stood for almost 8 hours, so I will count that as partially complete

Intention: Journal/Reflect/Meditate 10 minutes/day – negatory :-/

I will admit I completely dropped the ball on this one. Slowing down for me is like asking a fish to not swim… not in my nature. After this day I realize this will be the most difficult intention for me to implement consistently.

Day 2 Р3 for 3!

Intention: Sugar Cleanse – Complete

This one was pretty simple for me to do day 2, partially because I am not having sugar withdrawal symptoms yet. It was easy until I got to last night, after my second midterm of the day, when I got home from class at 9 PM and realized I needed to START studying for my midterm on Friday… dun dun dun. Luckily I had exercised today so I was able to have 1/2 a sweet potato (in the form of sweet potato chips), carrots w/salsa, and kale chips to munch on.

Intention: Exercise 30 minutes/day – mission accomplished

I had a great workout yesterday at the gym for 60 minutes! I incorporated core strength, weight training (legs day), and a track and field warm-up workout for cardio.

Intention: Journal/Reflect/Meditate 10 minutes/day –¬†yes but guided

I did meditate for 10 minutes yesterday, but it was a guided meditation by one of my professors I work with. It still counts, but I am going to push myself to do it on my own today!

All in all…

I think day one and two displayed that I am human like everyone else and it is hard to start and commit to a behavior change. I will keep pushing onward today and I will give you all an update tomorrow morning! ‚̧


If you are cleansing, detoxing, or just want a tea that is overall tonifying and helpful for the body try nettle and/or red clover tea. Either get the dry herbs or tea bags. Drink daily!



40 Day Intention Challenge

You may or may not know that yesterday was Ash Wednesday! In the Catholic faith that marks the beginning of Lent, a time for reflection and re-focus for those who are of the religious constitution or those who enjoy the practice. Typically during the 40 days of Lent, you choose something to give up or something to focus on, an intention of sorts.

This year I have chosen intentions that are focused around my health and will be difficult to complete, but doable. You do not have to be Catholic or even religious to participate in this practice, but I encourage you to chose an intention or two¬†(a behavior change you are trying to make, a healthy practice you want to add to your life, or something you have been wanting to accomplish). Once you have your intentions, then set a start and finish time that is at least 21 days¬†(it takes 21 consecutive days to make a behavior a habit). If you want your timeline to be Lent then you will be doing this intention for 40 days¬†(well 39 now). Lastly, write down your intentions and/or tell a friend so that you can remain accountable. Make sure you know the “why” for your intentions

Emma’s Intentions:

  • Sugar Cleanse x 21 days¬†(followed by no added sugar or dairy for the remaining 19 days of Lent)
    • Sugar and dairy are my two guilty pleasure foods. I feel better and I am healthier when I limit my consumption of them.
  • Exercise daily¬†(at least 30 minutes, 3.5 hours per week)
    • I am happier and more productive when I participate in daily exercise.
  • Reflect, journal, and/or meditate¬†(at least 10 minutes per day)
    • This is the most difficult for me, but the MOST important. I have a tendency to not slow down and allow myself to rest. Whenever I meditate I am much more at peace.

Put my $$ where my mouth is…¬†(or so to speak)

I chose these intentions, because they are¬†lifestyle changes I would like to be more consistent about implementing daily! BUT… behavior change is hard and I would be lying to all of you if I pretended like I stuck to all these changes consistently for 40 days, so to keep myself accountable and so you can see what it is like to implement behavior changes, I will post up here my daily progress/lack there of. If you have an intention(s) that you would like to share or keep yourself accountable for,¬†feel free to comment on my daily posts and we can support each other! ‚̧


The ashes signify the beginning of a contemplative time in my faith, a time of suffering, but I am choosing to make this a time for self improvement and growth! If you have questions regarding Ash Wednesday or Catholicism, this is probably not the place to ask them¬†(I am not an expert), but feel free and I’ll do my best to answer!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Words from a Naturopathic Doctor…

I am sitting in class this evening, listening to a Naturopathic oncologist (cancer doctor) and she has some insightful things to share. One that stuck with me the most is below…

“You inherit your genes, your environment turns them on or off.”

We cannot change our genetics (thanks parents), but we are able to adjust our environment. Not just where we live and environmental exposures (although that is important too), but food, sleep, stress reduction, exercise, mental health, social health, etc. can all be changed and modified to optimize health!

Just a thought for the day… Happy February!


My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.