Author: Kristin Meador

Heart bent towards God, lover of stories, rusty writer, square peg, traveller

Day Two of Green Smoothie Cleanse, Coconut Peanut Butter, and How to Drink Mag Citrate

First, let me tell you the most important thing: My new favorite product – Earth Balance Creamy Coconut and Peanut Spread. It is non-GMO, vegan, and no trans fat. No added sugar, but there are 2 grams of sugars per serving (2 tablespoons). It is the best nut butter I’ve ever had that isn’t Nutella. So if you are looking for something delicious with no added sugar, give it a try. Unsweetened peanut butter is an allowed snack during the smoothie cleanse, you just need to watch quantities. I had a tablespoon with an apple today.

nut butter

*Disclaimer – this information is not intended to be taken as medical advice, I am simply sharing my personal experience. Please consult with your physician before doing a cleanse or choosing a laxative.

Don’t worry – I am not going to post an update of every single day of this cleanse, but I thought I would answer the messages I’ve been getting asking me how today is going. If you want to read about my rough start to the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, click here. I will post again on days 5 and 10.

And now onto the progress of the day. Long story short, I stuck with the plan all day today, and barely drank all 3 liters of my water.

  • Woke up late but weighed on time – lost 1.4 lbs which is not unexpected due to the amount of water I drank yesterday. So lost 20 ounces of water weight.
  • Started to make my smoothie but it started snowing big, white, beautiful flake so had to run outside and take pictures.
  • Slow start getting ready this morning, but made my smoothie for the day and put my water for the day in a pitcher.
  • Had an eye appointment so didn’t want to drink too much water first thing this morning.
  • Had my eyes dilated, and I’m very sensitive to the eye dilation. After I came home I got a horrible headache and became nauseated. I’m not sure if this was due only to the dilation or if it was also still caffeine withdrawal, so I took an Excedrin migraine and took a nap, which helped a bit.
  • Since I wasn’t feeling that great anyway, and I knew I wasn’t going to be getting that much done today, I decided to really make myself miserable, and add another tool that you can use when doing a cleanse: a laxative. I chose to take a bottle of magnesium citrate, which is sometimes used as part of a prep for a colonoscopy. Magnesium citrate is a saline laxative, and it works by pulling water into the colon to help empty its contents. If you don’t want to hear about the tips and results of taking a laxative (and who wouldn’t?) just skip the next paragraph. Here are my best tips if you ever have to take mag citrate:
  • DRINKING MAGNESIUM CITRATE: Chill the bottle of magnesium citrate. I chose one with a lemon flavor. Make sure it is well-chilled, and drink it quickly. It doesn’t seem to taste that bad at first, but the aftertaste is horrible. I try to drink one bottle in two swallows, and chase it with something that has good flavor, like juice. In my experience, mag citrate makes me a bit nauseated, so I try to make sure that I don’t have anywhere to go (you don’t want to be far from a bathroom anyway, because LAXATIVE), and not too much in my stomach. I also don’t like taking it on an empty stomach. I find that I feel better if I don’t lay down after taking it. I am less nauseated if I am partly sitting up. I also find that I can get chilled after drinking chilled solution quickly, so I will sit on with extra blankets until the chill passes. That can also contribute to the nausea. I drank the mag citrate at about 3:30 pm and it started working in about 90 minutes, and the effects lasted about 4-5 hours. If you have food in your stomach, it will go slower. If you have been on clear liquids, your colon will clean out faster. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4-5 hours to start working, depending upon the person. When it starts working, you will want to be near a bathroom, because you will start having multiple stools. To protect your skin, you may want to use soft wipes and protective cream like Desitin. (This is particularly important when you are prepping for a colonoscopy, which is much more involved than just one bottle of mag citrate). Click here for more info on magnesium citrate.

  • The rest of the day was spent trying to rid myself of nausea and a headache, and taking trips to the bathroom.
  • I have to say, I was not hungry at all today. I ate a few snacks, and I followed the book’s suggestion of ‘chewing’ your smoothie, which helped trick my brain and satisfied my desire for solid food.
  • Tomorrow my day is going to get back to normal – I have a house to clean and projects to work on. The challenge will be drinking all the water and peeing often.

In summary, Day Two was a success, and I’m on my way. I just have to think about one day at a time, because if I think of TEN DAYS, it’s too overwhelming.

Confessions of a Food Addict Starting the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

THE DAY BEFORE: Prepping for the 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse:

  • Go grocery shopping and buy ingredients for smoothies and snacks as suggested in the book (Click on the book title for more info on the book 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith)
  • Also buy lasagna and bread and ice cream for ‘one last good meal’
  • Eat lasagna for dinner and put away left-overs.
  • Realize that tomorrow you will be in the house alone with leftovers.
  • At 10:30 pm remember that you have a pint of your favorite ice cream in the freezer, and eat it quickly so it won’t tempt you tomorrow.
  • Get nauseated by eating ice cream too fast, put the last 1/4 of the pint in the freezer.
  • Consider wrapping up leftovers and taking them to the neighbors to ask them to guard them from you while you do your cleanse.
  • Too embarrassed to reveal your weakness to the neighbors, devise a plan for the morning to take all food that might be tempting and wrap it in plastic bags, tying it tight, and putting it in the freezer.
  • Consider taking the two partial pints of ice cream and freezing them in a block of ice so they will be that much more difficult to access.
  • Realize the block of ice plan is ridiculous, so back to plan A of wrapping and freezing food items.
  • Set reminders for tomorrow morning to weigh yourself and take a ‘before’ pic of your face so you can see how much less blotchy and bloated you look after the miraculous 10 day cleanse.
  • Decide to spend tomorrow eating all of the food in the house that could be tempting, and then start smoothie cleanse the day after tomorrow.


  • Wake up early and lay in bed for one hour, pondering your existence.
  • 0730: Decide that all groceries are here, and if you don’t start today it will be that much harder another day. Decide to go downstairs and put all tempting food into freezer when you make your smoothie.
  • 0745: Step on scale. Go to the bathroom. Step on scale again. Wash face, then step on scale again. Take average of three weights (which are all within ounces of each other).
  • Take mirror selfie as ‘before’ picture, resisting temptation to put on any makeup.
  • Go to the kitchen and gather all ingredients. Arrange them just-so and take picture for Instagram. Blend ingredients per instructions for day one. Take more pics as you go.

smoothie 3 smoothie 2

  • Fill 3 liter pitcher with water for the day.
  • Pour smoothie into glass. Slowly drink. It tastes good.
  • Feel very proud of yourself. You can do this. Don’t worry about putting the food in the freezer, you can do it later.
  • Feel a caffeine headache coming on. Take Excedrin migraine to wean yourself off the caffeine and hopefully avoid the headache. (It contains caffeine but you can avoid the habit of drinking coffee).
  • Boil eggs for snacks, almost burn them (yes, you can burn hard-boiled eggs if you really try).
  • Set out other items for allowed snacks – fruit, unsalted nuts, unsweetened peanut butter.
  • Spend morning drinking lots of water and having an occasional snack. Cut the small brown spots off the egg whites to avoid the charred taste.
  • Record all calories on Fitbit app.
  • Spend much of the morning peeing because of all of the water you’re drinking.
  • Take a nap.
  • Wake up and realize you are hungry. That lasagna in the fridge sure sounds good. Imagine how the lasagna will taste in your mouth.
  • Think about putting food in the freezer, but instead decide to just eat it and then it won’t tempt you anymore.
  • Eat the rest of the lasagna. Remember that there are two partial pints of ice cream in the freezer. You might as well get rid of them, too.

ice cream

  • Justify eating it all now because you’ve heard it’s not good to overeat close to bedtime.
  • Think about how delicious the lasagna and ice cream were. Start to feel bad that you actually ate them, every bite.
  • Sit and wonder what to do next.
  • Consider just starting Day 1 again tomorrow.
  • Feel another headache starting, take another Excedrin.
  • Decide that since there is still 2/3 of a pitcher of green smoothie in the refrigerator, and the tempting food is out of the house, you can just start over RIGHT NOW.
  • Decide not to record all calories eaten today, because the is just too depressing.
  • For the rest of the night, drink the remainder of the green smoothie and drink the rest of the water early so you won’t be peeing all night.
  • Tell your husband about your day of eating, just to keep it real. Be thankful that he loves and supports you no matter what.
  • Write about your shaky start to the 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Write to let others know that you don’t have to be perfect, and to keep yourself accountable for tomorrow, which is a new day.
  • Disable comments on blog to avoid hearing everyone’s opinions and solutions to your weight loss woes. (And don’t message me, either. Thanks. #SorryNotSorry)

Click here to read about Day Two

And here to see what happens during the rest of the cleanse (and what happens when you take food away from a food addict)

Lies. Truth. Gratefulness. This Exercise Can Help You Put Anxiety in Its Place

“Mom, I got in a car wreck.”

No one ever wants to get those phone calls or text messages.

My college-aged son was in a wreck last week, and his car was totaled. Thankfully he was not injured. He was rear-ended, but the car is older, and the repairs are going to exceed the worth of the car. The other driver was insured, so he gets money to buy a replacement car, and the other driver’s insurance has supplied him with a rental car. So between work and starting school next week, he is tasked with looking for and buying a car for the first time in his life, and he lives almost 1,000 miles from us. My first instinct is to fly or drive down there to help him – I’m great at research and negotiating. But I also want him empower him to do this on his own. It is stressful, both for us as parents and for him as the one looking for a car. His anxiety is ramping up with each obstacle – the ‘perfect car’ that was already sold when he called to schedule a test drive, issues with getting the check from the insurance money, issues with the bank, and trying to search for a car that is comparable to what he had within his limited price range.

He tends to be an all or nothing type of guy – it’s the best day ever, or the worst day ever. (I have NO IDEA where he learned that. I blame his father.)

Last week I was thinking about all of the exciting changes that have happened over the past year, and of all of the wonderful opportunities ahead of me. I am trying to practice starting my day with mindfulness and focus, but there were just too many thoughts swirling in my head. As the anxiety mounted, I wondered, “What in the heck is wrong with me? Each of these things I’m thinking about are GOOD things: new beginnings, open doors, a chance to start over, amazing opportunities to grow and change. WHY are they causing me such great anxiety?

We are almost a two weeks into the New Year. Maybe you’re the kind of person who sets a list of ten New Year’s resolutions, checks your progress each month, and at the end of the year checks off all that you have accomplished. New Year, New Me, and you mean it. Each year you set goals and at the end of the year you feel a great sense of accomplishment at your success and growth.

Good for you. *Cue slow clap.

I am more along the lines of New Year, Same Me. I used to be big on resolutions, but I have downgraded to just choosing one word for the year as a theme.This year I haven’t even thought of a word.

This past year has been full of new beginnings and great change. Our three adult sons are all living on their own, and one has moved to India. We moved from the Pacific Northwest, where I was born and raised, to Louisville, Kentucky for my husband’s job. My husband went from being a state employee to running a nonprofit. I quit my job as a hospice nurse when we moved, and after a short stint as a night shift nurse (I quickly found out I’m no longer cut out for night shift), I am currently unemployed, by choice. And I am finding that sometimes a blank slate is disconcerting. So after about a week of this anxiety slowing building and finally causing a slight freak out and melt down, I did something I should have done from the beginning.

I spent the morning journaling and praying. Why is it that in the midst of anxiety and chaos, we often forget to start at the basics? If you’re a praying person, why do we wait before we consult with the God of the universe? It seems like a no-brainer, but we just trudge along, on our own, and wonder why we feel so disconnected. 

Until we remember to connect. 

Writing in a journal has always helped me to process, I just need to commit to sitting down and doing it. 

There is truly something magical about writing down your thoughts and seeing them in black and white, on paper. 

I was so perplexed that how all of these things that should be causing me joy and peace could actually be causing me so much anxiety. So I wrote down each thing that was distressing me: not having to work, exercising and getting healthy, setting boundaries, my friend making healthy choices in different areas of her life, opportunities to travel, change in finances with my husband’s new job, writing, our new home, my husband’s new job, etc. You get the idea.

Then I did an exercise that totally changed my perspective.

Lies. Truth. Gratefulness.

After I wrote down each situation, one by one, I wrote this:

The lie I believe is:  A lie often includes words like Always, Never, Everyone. “This always happens to me.” “I will never get this solved.” “Everyone always treats me like this.”

The truth is: The truth is the REALITY of the situation. Step outside of your situation and try to be objective.

I am grateful because: In every situation, there is SOMETHING to be grateful for.

If you are too overwhelmed and can’t discern the lies and truth of the situation, ask a friend to help. Sometimes someone else’s perspective will see thing that we can’t because we’re so close.

Here is how the exercise works, I’ll share some examples, straight from my journal, my heart to yours:

LIE: My worth/value are in my job as a nurse. If I’m not contributing to income, I am worth less than my spouse.
TRUTH: My value is in who I am, not what I do as a job. I am complete in Christ. 
GRATEFULNESS: I am grateful for a partner who is supportive of my not working at this time. 

LIE: I can’t do it. I’ve tried and failed over and over. I will never succeed. I will always be lazy. 
TRUTH: I have been lazy but I can make different choices. Never before have I had the time and resources to focus solely on getting healthy. 
GRATEFULNESS: I am grateful for a supportive and understanding spouse who does not shame me. 

LIE: When I set boundaries, I am mean. I shouldn’t rock the boat. I should try to keep the peace, and if I have upset it, I should try to fix it even if it means not keeping the boundaries I set. 
TRUTH: It is not wrong to set healthy boundaries. I am not mean to set boundaries. Setting boundaries is a loving thing to do for myself and for others. To have healthy relationships, one must have healthy boundaries. Unhealthy people are made uncomfortable by healthy boundaries, but that is their issue. 
GRATEFULNESS: I am grateful for a partner who understands and supports me, and for friends and family members who are working at being healthy in their relationships.

LIE: My friend’s growth threatens our relationship. If she grows then she will judge where I am at and no longer accept me. 
TRUTH: I am happy for my friend’s growth and healing. Becoming physically, emotionally, and spiritual healthy is a good thing. My friend loves me and won’t judge me. As my friend becomes more healthy, it will also serve to make our friendship more healthy. 
GRATEFULNESS: I love my friend and am grateful to have someone with whom I can share my heart, who inspires me by her brave spirit and willingness to do the hard work of change and growth. 

Here is how this exercise might look for my son as he is stressed about having to buy a car:

LIE: I’ll never find a car. There are no options. I can’t do this on my own. This is the most horrible thing that has happened.
TRUTH:It sucks that I don’t have access to the money right this second,  but I will have the money available Monday so I can buy a car. I can look at cars now and explain my situation. If I find a car, I can ask if they will hold it until the insurance check goes through.
GRATEFULNESS: I am grateful that I have had a car to drive the past couple of years. I am thankful that I was not injured. I am grateful that the accident was not my fault and that I will have money to get a replacement. I am grateful that I am learning survival tools that will help me later in life.

I hope you found this helpful. If you decide to try this exercise, I would love to hear from you! Please send me your examples by using the form below, or email me at with the subject line LIES TRUTH GRATEFULNESS

When Love Is a Foreign Language

Once there was a teenage girl who sought love by giving herself away, only to have a man respect her and simply ask, “Would you like a hand to hold?” rather than just taking, like so many others. She had not seen pure, innocent love for so long. She felt awkward, unsure of how to respond.

This type of selfless love that had no agenda  was unfamiliar to her.

Sometimes love is a foreign language.

This is true for many of us. If one has not seen pure love demonstrated, one might find it hard to recognize, and even more difficult to openly and freely accept.

As we seek to love others (and allow ourselves to be loved), we need to learn the language of love. I’m not talking about the Five Love Languages as written about by Dr. Gary Chapman, which outlines five ways to give and experience love as gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy). Those have validity, but I’m talking about language that allows us to practically give and receive love, and the boundaries that we have that prevent us from accepting love. And this differs from person to person.

Because we are human and we live in an imperfect world, many of us find the language of unconditional love foreign and difficult to understand. We can be defensive and suspicious, which creates walls that make it difficult to experience true love, whether in giving or receiving.

When we are truly interested in loving others extravagantly, we accept the challenge of becoming a Love Interpreter. An Anthropologist. An Investigator.

We must be creative, so that we can love people in a language that they can understand and easily accept. With a gracious heart and without judgement, the eyes of our heart need to be able to see what is hidden beneath the surface. We need to investigate – what is the felt need? How can we best meet that need? And what might hinder the receiver from openly accepting the act of love?

I know that some people think of the Christmas story as just that, a made-up story. But it makes so much sense to me – if indeed there is a God of the universe (and I believe there is), why he would send his Son to earth to become a man.

"Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

“Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

He came to love us in a language we could understand. He became a Love Investigator, Anthropologist, Interpreter from God to the people of the world.

John 1:14 The Message (MSG)

14 The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

Philippians 2:7 MSG

When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges.

Hebrews 4:15-16 The Message (MSG)
 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

As we strive to learn what it means to love one another in a language they can understand, I’m reminded of Paul’s words.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 The Message (MSG)

19-23 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

How can we be in on it? How can we show pure, unconditional love to those around us? How can we love extravagantly, with reckless abandon? How can we be Jesus with skin on?

Here are some examples where love might be a foreign language. What is the best way to show love in a language they will understand?

The autistic child, who can’t look you in the eyes, and is overwhelmed by outside stimuli. 

The overwhelmed single mother suffering from postpartum depression.

The bipolar middle-schooler who overheard his teacher say he might be a psychopath.

The new bride who is having flashbacks of her childhood sexual abuse.

The twenty-something atheist who has nothing but contempt for organized religion. 

The teen who was adopted from a home of origin full of violence and abuse. 

The WWII veteran who has never talked about the war. 

The refugee who fled their home after the rest of their family was brutally murdered. 

The divorced woman who feels she will never have a healthy relationship. 

The empty-nester in a dead marriage. 

The mentally ill homeless man you pass on the corner each morning as you head to work. 

The curmudgeonly senior citizen who has spent years alienating their family and is now terminally ill and dying alone.

The sex trade worker to whom touch means something other than love and respect. 

That annoying co-worker who you’re sure is out to get you. 

The cancer patient who cannot answer one more “How are you doing?” query, and just wants to be ‘one of the girls’ again. 

The recently divorced empty nester, who longs for love but can only see the ways that she has pushed it away. 

The single dad, who was a player in high school, who now has a young daughter and must learn to treat women with respect.


When we look beyond the surface and discover ways to love – creatively, extravagantly, purposefully, unconditionally – it will be a foreign language to many. Key points to remember:

LOVE WITHOUT AN AGENDA: Don’t expect a thank-you note. Pure acts of love are not so other people can see how awesome you are. Pure acts are not so you can post about how loving you are on social media. We are all tainted by mixed motives, but as much as possible, check your ego and expectations at the door.

LOVE IS PERFECTLY IMPERFECT: Pure love is not finding the perfect gift, or always knowing the right words to say. Acts of love that seek to meet felt needs are often imperfectly perfect. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable. Love anyway.

LOVE DOESN’T ALWAYS MAKE SENSE: It is likely you will feel or even look foolish to outsiders. Love doesn’t always make sense.

LOVE MIGHT COST YOU SOMETHING: It takes time and effort to be a Love Investigator, to discern how to love in a language that can be understood and received. It might mean giving your time, your attention, or even spending some money or giving your material goods.

LOVE MIGHT NOT BE WELL-RECEIVED: Your efforts might not be well received. There might be so much brokenness or the walls might be so high that each act of love might just plant a small seed that needs to be nurtured until it can grow. Don’t give up. Just keep watering and letting the sun shine in.

LOVE JUST SHOWS UP: Listen to your intuition. If that little voice is prompting you, MOVE. If you don’t know what to do or what to say, just show up and be present. Often that is just enough.

LOVE WINS: If it’s awkward, imperfect, poorly received, that doesn’t matter. Just keep practicing love.

1 Corinthians 13:13b The Message (MSG)

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.