It wasn’t just the vastness of the garage project that bothered me. It wasn’t the act of moving items from one shelf to another or dismantling boxes that made the task so daunting. My garage had become pathological and taking it on has been a major source of anxiety for me. The garage had witnessed and survived too many breakups and held the leftovers of too many losses. Last winter’s ski poles, the star-covered journal my daughter never wrote in, fabric scraps from a decade-old Halloween costume, an unidentifiable metal contraption I think belonged to the camper I once shared with an ex. Perhaps you can relate to that feeling. Procrastination was the safe choice; just toss Dad’s leftover oxygen meter in a random box and shut the door. I sometimes treat health problems or family conflict the same way. I shut the door on the issues, but they gather dust and multiply until I find the tenacity to tackle them. Forgetting doesn’t eliminate the problem. The boxes just grow heavier and the emotional burden does too. Each decision meant a look at the past, and it takes energy and fortitude to endure this. Filtering through my clutter feels like sorting through my soul. Eventually, I was going to run out of room: in my storage space, and in my psyche. I needed “clean the garage” wiped from my to do list, before the summer ended.

In 1989, I began my sophomore year at Baylor University. My best friend, Kevin, had been hired to be a resident assistant (RA) in the dorms that year and had left our shared state of South Carolina a few weeks prior to attend RA camp and receive his training for the job. I soon followed, arriving at school a week before classes began, so that I could settle into my dorm room early and hang out with my friend.
And this debate, as Foroutan and others concede, still is ongoing, as researchers evaluate how particular foods may speed up the detoxification process and test specific clinical detoxification protocols in clinical trials. There still are many unknowns, but that isn’t stopping integrative nutrition and other health experts from perusing what Foroutan says is promising research to date and translating it into nutrition counseling advice that could help many clients dealing with the myriad toxins they’re exposed to every day.

"The front is all advertising," says Michelle K. Berman, R.D., of Fairfax, Virginia. Flip it around for the real story. The more ingredients, the more likely it has visited a few processing plants where something artificial was mixed in, says Lydia Zepeda, Ph.D., professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Plus, checking the label is a great way to find out if there are unnecessary ingredients in something seemingly healthy. Because, no, bread does not need added sugar.
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My garage was beyond do-it-myself help. It was going to require a professional. Just the thought of standing on the cold cement floor amidst the mayhem was enough to cause heart palpitations. Luckily, I know a stellar resource – Lauren at Casual Uncluttering. I’d found her awhile back through thumbtack.com, which was suggested to me by a coworker when I was looking for a handyman. I didn’t even know professional organizers existed until then.
So many things can be improved by having a clean work or living space. Just ten minutes a day can make a lot of difference in a room, no matter what that room might be. Even if the area is a disaster, doing little bits will make an impact over the coming days. Plus, it will improve your mood to be somewhere tidy, as clutter can really mess with your thinking and emotions.
But Lauren’s qualifications go much further than utilitarian tools and sensible words of advice. She has a special magic that alleviates pressure and pain that can come with these jobs. Her compassionate, yet no-nonsense demeanor settles my nerves and fills me with confidence. The garage I had deemed untouchable became manageable as we moved through it together.
And Brinkmann does offer some advice that seems immediately worth taking. Go for a walk in the woods, he says, and think about the vastness of the cosmos. Go to a museum and look at art, secure in the knowledge that it will not improve you in any measurable way. Things don’t need to be of concrete use in order to have value. Put away your self-help guides, and read a novel instead. Don’t mind if I do. ♦

Oftentimes, when we think about it, we dwell on things that we’re unhappy about. Until we lose something that we took for granted, such as a person, health, freedom, job, or anything else, we don’t realize just how good we had it. But you can change that. Thank the universe every single day for all that you have every single day. Put it out there in the world. Make it a habit.

As we emptied boxes, she shared resources such as who I might call for art restoration, which companies are best at custom shelving, and what animal shelter takes old dog beds (Homeward Pet in Woodinville, WA). Her toolkit includes painter’s tape, sturdy cardboard boxes, fat sharpie markers, a portable garbage can gadget (that I totally covet), and a vehicle to haul away most of the  “To Go” pile that inevitably mounds up as the hours go by. Lauren has a keen eye for space, and a vision for what arrangement might work best, as it relates to a client’s routine and customs.

Her new eating plan Instead of detoxing to get more produce, Kelly needed to consume more whole fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., in Chicago, tells SELF. "Dawn taught me ways to work them in, like adding lots of zucchini to pasta sauce," Kelly says. Kelly planned for treats, such as a small cup of ice cream, that she could enjoy without overdoing it. And she cut back on takeout by cooking big meals and saving half for later.

I don’t know how to convey this without sounding cliche, but not for a second do I take my continued employment for granted. I’ve done the hard work of recovery, but the support of the organization has been priceless. I can only hope to show this by being accountable and maintaining my integrity and professionalism. Choosing to live “Sober out loud” and advocating to end stigma is a part of my amends as well.


It's time to stop sabotaging ourselves! SELF paired five cleanse fans with registered dietitians for 30 days to create eating plans that provide everything they hoped for from a detox but without the deprivation or danger. Here's what they learned when their eating habits got a healthy makeover—their tips can help you closer to your health and weight-loss goals, one bite at a time.
Getting off nights is a big part of this transformation. So is the redemption my soul is experiencing, finding I didn’t completely destroy my career. I’m happy to have a job that challenges me intellectually. I’m happy for the opportunity to make amends to the organization, my coworkers, my patients, and the nursing profession. It’s not a privilege I’m taking lightly. I know the rate of relapse. I know this could be my last chance at a blemish free nursing license.
Her new eating plan Dietitian Sandon calculated that Johnson was eating only 800 calories a day—so few that she was slowing her metabolism and unable to build muscle. She created a plan to raise Johnson to 1,500 calories a day, enough to get nutrients without causing weight gain. Working with Sandon, Johnson began eating three meals a day, including a breakfast of eggs, fruit, and whole-grain toast, which is high in fiber, to keep foods moving through the body. At each meal, Johnson added a nutritious bonus, such as a yogurt smoothie for calcium. Finally, Sandon urged Johnson to share in the meals she cooked for her family to make eating a positive experience for her and to set a good example for her daughters.
Days turned into weeks, and before I knew it, I’d been smoking steadily for a month. I was disgusted with myself. Smoking made me lazy and nauseated. Addiction is dishonest, isolating, depressing, and anxiety inducing; smoking re-awakened all of that, along with the clinging, craving monster inside. Instead of going to the gym – I smoked. Instead of writing – I smoked. I wasted hours lighting them up and putting them out. And yet, a part of me relished every single drag. My dirty little secret made me feel self-righteous, cool and aloof. Emotionally, I was wrecked and seeking relief. I’d found a solution that both soothed and fueled the addiction monster. Returning to this behavior was like slipping back under the mud after a period of living in the sun. I was sober, but acting very much like my non-sober self. Literally playing with fire.
Foroutan says that eating detoxifying foods, beverages, and spices almost always is beneficial, but because of the lack of evidence-based, peer-reviewed clinical trials evaluating specific detoxification protocols, she says certain patient populations, such as pregnant and breast-feeding women, shouldn’t follow any vigorous detox program due to the potential for toxins to be released to the fetus or through breast milk.
Bone broth, a liquid made from the water left over after simmering bones for up to a day at a time, has been associated with a number of incredible benefits. Perhaps most impressive, however, is its potent effects on detoxification. Studies suggest that bone broth may help improve immune health by reducing inflammation, allowing your body to work more effectively at removing harmful toxins, bacteria and pathogens from the body. (10) Because it’s rich in collagen and an assortment of amino acids, it’s also believed to help seal the gut and protect against leaky gut syndrome, a condition that allows toxins and particles to seep from the gut into the bloodstream.
The results At the end of the month, Johnson was shocked to find that, even after eating nearly twice as much, she felt less bloated and her clothes fit better. She had also lost eight pounds. "I couldn't believe how great I felt. I no longer had that midday drag. I realized I hadn't been kind to my body by eating as little as possible," Johnson says. "I've felt better in the past 30 days than I have in a long time. I get out of the shower and look at myself in the mirror and feel so great. I'm getting off the roller coaster."
I believed I should be able work full time, parent full time, maintain a clean house, keep a man happy, and pursue my dreams – all without chipping a nail. Anything less was failure. Even though I ended my relationship with the ex-military man, I hung on to the shameful belief that I wasn’t “enough” for a long time. I’ve even carried judgmental and jealous feelings towards others that hired help for themselves. I know better now: these distorted beliefs are false and toxic. No one should feel that asking for help from a friend or a professional is anything other than a wise choice.
Many of the tasks that Cederström and Spicer assign themselves have a double-dare quality whose cost-benefit value seems questionable, like memorizing the first thousand digits of pi during Brain Month in order to improve mental acuity. But others inspire the same niggling whisper of self-doubt as Instagram posts of green juice: Should I be doing that, too? I confess to feeling a pang of jealousy when Cederström produces a complete book manuscript in a euphoric amphetamine rush induced by study drugs during Productivity Month—and a surge of Schadenfreude when it’s rejected by his baffled publisher.
I’m sure you’re so sick of hearing that you should “totally try meditation,” especially from your (recently) yoga-crazed mother. But mindfulness is a lot more realistic to achieve than the kind of meditation you hear about because it doesn’t require years of practice and a yoga mat. And, it only takes 30 minutes (or less!) sitting right at your desk.
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