26 Day Detox – Getting Rid Of The Clutter


Here I am on day 21 and into PHASE 4 of the 26 day detox. Still going strong and feeling pretty good even after the liver and gallbladder flush, which I will tell you about in more detail below. I just wanted to point out that doing this detox is not only clearing toxins from my body, but I am also getting rid of clutter around the house. I have been feeling an urge to get rid of the clutter, throw away stuff, and get rid of the crap I have been holding onto for years in my house.

It started with my spice cupboard. I pulled everything off the shelves, wiped them down and sorted through it all. I filled up half of the garbage can with stuff I have had for years, old spices, stale herbs and I also threw out all the stuff that wasn’t healthy and had chemicals or food coloring in them. Ahhhh, it feels so refreshing every time I open the cabinet door to get something out.  STILL NO SALT though! Ha, ha. I WANT SALT!

The next thing I attacked was my herb, supplement and medication stash. This took a lot longer. I got out all my containers from all over the house and put it ALL on the counter top. It was amazing how many duplicates I had of things, and items that had expired like 10 years ago. SERIOUS! I kept those things I know I will use, but the other stuff I just pitched.

Ya, I have spent a lot of money on supplements over the years, and it was hard to throw some things away because I had spent a lot of money on them, and have held onto them thinking “what if I need this someday”. Does this sound familiar? But the fact is, if I don’t plan on using them, or they react adversely to my body, why keep them. It’s all good, a learning experience and part of the journey, but time to say goodbye to the crap I’ve been holding onto, and for WHAT? Isn’t it like that with everything? I love this detox. SO…….WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ONTO?

Bye, bye. I combined duplicate herbs into one container, which freed up a lot of room in my containers.

I wrote down on a 3 x 5 card all the items in that bin. So when I need something, I can pull out the card and check to see if  I have it already before going to buy new. I do that all the time because I cannot clearly see what I have. I intend to continue on with the decluttering process with other areas of my home. On on a roll.

Now back to the detox details. For two days I had to drink 1 quart of apple juice throughout the day and  2 quarts of green smoothie. Doesn’t sound too bad, but for someone who has not had ANYTHING with sugar for 18 days, it was extremely sweet and almost nauseating. The apple juice is a gallstone, kidney stone, and crystalline solvent. The day of the flush I couldn’t eat anything after 2:00 p.m and then drank 1/2 cup of olive oil with the juice of one lemon right before going to sleep. I think this was one of the hardest days for me. I was soooooooo hungry and so tired of green smoothies. I really did dread drinking this concoction, but it wasn’t all that bad. Kind of like drinking a cup of salad dressing. I have had to drink worse.

I shot it down and hopped into bed and prepared for the worst. I was told you may be quite nauseated and may even throw up. I was to lay on my right side all night. This step forces contraction of the gallbladder’s duct with an excess of fat and helps the body get rid of gallstones. I did not see any stones the next day in my urine or stool. In previous cleanses I have done, I did see some stones.

I was a little nauseated that night in bed, but nothing unbearable or to cause me to throw up. The next morning I felt a little achy and tired and VERY READY TO EAT SOMETHING. How about a green smoothie?

From here on out I will be adding foods slowly to see if I have any sensitivities while continuing to drink green smoothies twice a day. Before I started this detox I knew I didn’t do well drinking green smoothies everyday. So I have tried to start juicing once a day to replace one of the smoothies.  Seem to do better with that.

I did make some nice corn chips from non GMO corn tortillas and had some lovely guacamole and salsa with my lunch. So nice to crunch something! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. YEA! By the way, I have lost 14 pounds. This wasn’t my main focus, but I sure feel so much better in my clothes!




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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26 Day Detox – Phase Three

I am currently in the middle of PHASE THREE of the 26 day detox. I made it through 2 days of nothing but watermelon (barely). This was the kidney cleanse part. It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought, but last night I was pretty dang hungry! My husband and I usually go out to eat on Friday’s for our date night, and it sounded so good and FUN to go out to eat. We went to the mineral hot springs instead. I took a big glass of lemon ice water and munched on the ice. Instead of stopping for a bite to eat on our way home from the hot springs, we came home and had a nice bowl of watermelon, sprinkled with some lime juice. A juicy hamburger sounded REALLY good.

I really do have an awesome husband who supports me and keeps me going with this detox. If he would have said, “ahhh one meal won’t kill you,” I may  have cheated. But he didn’t, he just joined me.  So, my kids dropped off the detox, not a good time for them with their work schedules. They definitely have stepped upped their eating habits though. My husband, had to take a week trip to Brazil for work, so he did the best he could there and jumped back in when he got home. Me, I am still doing it 100%.

Today I started the second part of phase three, which is the liver & gall bladder cleanse. Today I was able to have a berry green smoothie for breakfast and a yummy green salad with kidney beans. Oh, those kidney beans tasted good! Between meals on an empty stomach I am supposed to drink apple juice. (1 quart a day)

Dinner will be another green smoothie. The 3rd day of this part, I will eat very little and do a gall bladder flush at night by drinking a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Then it’s to bed and sleeping on my right side. Should be interesting.I will let you know how it goes.






26 Day Detox – Half Way There


It has been a few days since I last reported on the detox. I am on day 14, half way there and still going strong. Perhaps you thought I had given up and fell off the wagon. I just wanted to give you a little break from all the minute details, after all, not everyone is interested in this detox anyway. For those of you who are, read on.

What have I been eating?

So, the last seven days have been interesting. I was able to add some foods to the menu like: sweet potatoes, millet porridge, raw sprouted almonds, cabbage, avocado, and some fruits, introducing them one at a time to see if there are any sensitivities. I knew already, that eating porridge of any kind in the morning, is not the best thing for my body system. We were allowed to add a little maple syrup and fruit if we wanted, but opted out of that. I ate the millet porridge in the evening and just had a smoothie for breakfast.

Several of the recipes for this part of the detox were very good. This “purple heaven” recipe was a nice change and something I will make and eat after the detox as well.


  • 2 C shredded green cabbage
  • 2 C shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 C golden raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 C raw pumpkin seeds


  • 2 T real maple syrup
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T raw red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. Blend dressing ingredients and add to cabbage mixture.

My pallet is changing and I am really starting to taste food, especially when you don’t add any salt. For me, I think that has been one of the hardest things of the detox so far. NO SALT whatsoever. Oh, how I would love something salty and crunchy.

This soup was good, a little bland, but filled my belly. A little salt sprinkled on the top, would have made it so much more savory. I found that if I sat and focused on the cravings it would really start shutting me down. So what I am trying to do is, eat and move on to something else. Keeping busy has really helped me stay on track.

The first few days of this phase I attended a 3 day seminar and stayed on the plan 100%. That meant not going to lunch with my friends (which I was really looking forward to), and snacking on cucumber slices (which by the way do not fare well in a zip baggy in your purse).  I did take a little smoothie in a thermos, which kept my energy up. I will admit the concession stand did smell divine. The nachos with cheese and jalapenos, ohhhh. BUT I REFRAINED!

How have I been feeling physically?

I have actually been feeling pretty good.

  • No more headaches.
  • Acid reflux is gone.
  • I an not achy.
  • I have lost 10 lbs.
  • I stopped taking the blood pressure medicine because it wasn’t doing anything but causing yucky side effects. My blood pressure without medication is staying where it has been. Hopefully that will continue to drop.
  • I don’t have the puffiness in my hands or feet and am feeling my belly starting to shrink, yea! I have an overall better sense of well being and my head seems to be more clear.
  • I feel a little tired and fatigued at times,

Not so bad for just 14 days of eating clean. Looking forward to some more healthy changes.

How have I been feeling emotionally?

This is big stuff for me, to go without. One thing this detox has taught me is that I CAN DO HARD THINGS, and THAT FOOD IS VERY ADDICTIVE! We are talking 14 days without bread, cheese, processed foods, and SALT and a few other things, and I am surviving. Amazing!

Ya, I have had a few emotional moments, when I thought “I can’t do this”, or found myself getting overwhelmed and down right depressed. I had a night where I was feeling quite overwhelmed with all the changes going on in my world right now, family, faith, business etc., and I cried. I cried like a baby. You know those moments when things just seem so bad, (when in perspective they really aren’t) and you have a little pity party.  Well, I had a little party that night. I am sure this detox is bringing it all up, but it is a good thing.

I went into my office and got out my notepad and started writing. I wrote it all out. Not anything legible, just words and phrases of how I was feeling. I wrote sideways, up and down, and even a few doodles on the page as I put my feelings out on paper. I find this is a great way to see what is really going on in your head, what your beliefs, fears and worries are.

I then took those scribbles and processed it a little deeper with EFT. I tapped for some time until I felt the energy shift, and it did.  Then I went to the mirror and looked into my eyes and talked to the little girl inside. I love mirror work! (I will chat about that in another post). I was able to process all that crap inside and felt much better. I then went and soaked my feet, diffused some yummy essential oils and went to bed. So glad I have these tools. Now I know why I CAN DO THIS now and couldn’t before, I have tools.

This detox is not only going without certain foods for 26 days, I am purging old beliefs, extra weight, emotions and cleaning house. Cleaning house?…….Stay tuned and I will chat about what is going on in with that next time.

THE NEXT TWO DAYS………..watermelon.

Until next time,


Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Rebounding Demo

It’s not every day that I take JUST ANYONE into my closet, or be on film first thing in the morning. But as I was enjoying the beautiful sun shining into this space, and was feeling good, I thought I would film a spontaneous rebounding demo.  This is just a quick demonstration of how easy it is and some different things you can do on this little miniature trampoline that is SO HEALTHY FOR YOU!

Why is it so good for you?

  • Weight Loss
  • Strengthen & Tone Muscle
  • Healthy Joints & Bones
  • Balance & Agility
  • Improved Circulation
  • Stress Management
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Increased Endurance
  • Decreased Fat & Cellulite
  • Toxin Elimination
  • Boost Immune Health
  • Reduced Back Pain
  • Heart Health
  • Firm Sagging Skin
  • Massages Internal Organs
  • Stimulate the Lymphatic System
  • Digestion & Elimination

Some of you may be thinking, there is no way I could get on a trampoline, let alone jump on one. Most of the rebounder brands have a support bar that you can attach to the rebounder that allows you to have something to hold onto. You don’t even have to jump, just little bounces will be effective. You can even sit and bounce, like I show in the video.

Now this isn’t just a mini trampoline that you buy for kids to play on, it is called a REBOUNDER. A rebounder is more firm and supports the joints a lot better than a flimsy mini tramp. There are several models out there to choose from. I prefer the Cellerciser, Neekak, Bellicon. Here is a link that you can go to for reviews on the different kinds that are out there.

I know it may sound like a lot of money to spend, but when you think about your health and well being, isn’t it worth it? Shoot, you may be spending that much on medications, gym memberships, or other stuff that is not doing anything to improve your health. This is worth the investment, believe me!

I have more information on a previous post, that you can check out here. You may also be interested in a few other things that you can implement into your daily routine for health.

Here is the demo.

Seriously, I love rebounding and hope you will too!

If you already rebound, tell us what it does for you or any other tips you want to share. Would love to hear them!

If you have questions, comment below.

Bouncy, Bounce!





26 Day Detox: Phase 2 Green Smoothies

green smoothies

I am into day 3 of Phase 2, which is the SEVENTH day of the detox. For THREE DAYS it has pretty much green smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yep, so excited. So glad to have what I usually have for breakfast, minus the almond butter. (Which I do miss). I’m not a big fan of protein powders even if the Green Smoothie Girls brand is super clean with no animal products or grains. I think it is the stevia that is used to sweeten it. I prefer to have the protein drink by itself and not added to the smoothie. I have felt like my body needs more protein as I have been a little weak at times and tired. Before I started the detox I would have some Brazil nuts or nut butter with my smoothies and did great. I am sure my body is wondering what the heck I am doing!

The first day of phase 2, we could add mixed berries. The next day we added banana, and the next day apples. Today I feel a little bloated and not quite as good. Wondering if the fruit is not so great for me. I ate a 1/2 of banana, and did not add it to my smoothie. Would rather chew it than drink it.

This is arugula from my garden. I added that to my lunch smoothie. Interesting flavor it added. I usually eat it in my salads, but what the heck, I’ll drink my salad.

Took some ME time and applied a castor oil pack to my belly and tried to relax. Just a little concerned about the blood pressure not really coming down, even after starting the new medication. What is causing it??? So frustrating! The other night we took a nice evening bike ride, my husband and I.  It felt good to get outside and move my body. I could tell, though that I was not totally up to par. Sleeping has been a little challenging. Can’t seem to relax and go to sleep at night, and have not felt rested in the morning.

I am the only one who has not went off the diet at all. My husband just had the cereal and nuts that one morning, and the kids are doing the best they can. Allie has been working 12 hour shifts and has been sick. Sam is a trooper and hanging in there and doing quite well. I am not sure if he sticks to it and lunch or not, but at home he joins in with us. I don’t push it all, just excited they would even consider it. I love that they have a desire to eat better.

Getting ready to go shopping again for the next SEVEN DAYS.

Until next time my friends,


Lavender Harvesting Time

It’s lavender harvesting time. Love this plant! There truly isn’t anything better than the aroma of fresh lavender! Well, rosemary comes real close!

Lavender Harvesting Time

Benny, my border collie, was having a great time chasing the bees. (Just another one of his compulsive behaviors).

Lavender Harvesting Time

It was a nice morning to be out in the garden. The garden has been a little neglected, the past few years with our remodel project, but we are slowly getting things back in control.

There is just something about getting your hands in the dirt that rejuvenates the spirit. Gardening can be very enjoyable and uplifting if you don’t let it overwhelm you. I am learning to let some things go, put the gloves in the bucket and go inside when it becomes too much.

Lavender Harvesting Time

When is the best time to harvest lavender?

I like to cut the lavender before the buds fully blossom, then you have the tight buds that are great for filling sachets and things. If you wait too long, the flowers start to fade and even turn brown. You don’t want faded blossoms if you are planning on using them for flower arrangements or lavender crafts.

Speaking of lavender crafts. One of my most favorite summer activities is to sit out under a tree and weave lavender wands. It has been a few years since I have made any. I hope to get with a friend next week and do a little chill time, chatting and relaxing while we make some lavender sachet wands.

Learn how to make these fun lavender wands here.

Here it is the middle of June already. Get yourself out in the garden. If you don’t have a garden, find a lovely park or find somewhere out in nature to be in. Before we know it, the snow will be falling.


DIY Lavender Eye Pillow


Lavender Shortbread Cookie Recipe


Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme: A must for every garden

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

26 Day Detox: Day 4

Day 4

Whew! I am almost at the end of detox day 4 and so ready to move on to the next 3 days which will be green smoothies.  I could hardly get down my lunch today. Things are tasting so bland. We tried to switch things up a bit and mashed the potatoes and topped them Hippo soup  gravy. I must say, it didn’t taste like the mashed potatoes and gravy that we usually eat.

My son is a genius when it comes to preparing food. He sliced the potatoes and added a little onion then fried them in a little avocado oil. Not sure if that was legal, but close enough. We were all thinking a little Cholula hot sauce would have been good on the potatoes to add a little flavor, but we refrained.

Instead of the usual cucumbers and tomatoes, we sliced the cucumbers, added some red onion and drenched them in lemon juice. This was tasty.

I have come to realize how much I eat emotionally, and how much I eat just out of habit. Like today, it is Sunday and we usually have a big meal for lunch and in the evening have a light meal and then a snack of POPCORN. (Oh, that sounds so dang good)! Sunday is also the day that my husband will often make up a batch of his yummy brownies. Not today.

To distract us and do something different, we filled up a glass with “GOOD ICE”, and added a bunch of lemon juice, and went for a ride. We found a little park and went and sat in the shade and talked. It was nice. Our deep conversation got a little intense, as emotions started to surface and I had a good cry.  A good cry is believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body. I am detoxing all over the place.

The park we were at is a place we had never been to and this was not the usual activity for a Sunday.

CHANGE IS GOOD! If we keep doing the SAME THINGS, we will continue to get the same results.

This detox is so good in so many ways. I am changing things up, cleaning house baby! Speaking of cleaning house, it is amazing how I have been wanting to purge the clutter from my house. The other day I took another load of stuff to the Deseret Industries (thrift store), and today cleaned out my spice cupboard and threw spices out I have have not used for years. It felt great! So amazing the crap we hold onto, physically and emotionally and don’t even realize it.

By the way, just have to mention that I have lost 3 lbs. I am excited!






26 Day Detox: Emotional Reactions

I went to bed last night feeling like crap physically and emotionally. I was thinking to myself “what the heck have I done?” It’s one thing to choose into something like this, but another to make it public and have to be accountable, and who wants to screw up, right? Who would have thought that changing the way you eat could create such intense emotional reactions! Well, I have been doing pretty good until last night. We were counseled that is expected and almost inevitable that we may have an emotional reaction at some point during this program. After all it is pretty much like going through food addiction rehab. I have always thought to do something like this I would need to go to some place and live for 3 weeks while they prepared my food, monitored my blood, had massages, and had a support group.

I seriously did not think I could do this by myself. I mean I have days that I get so overwhelmed and feel so wiped out that to think of only eating cucumbers, tomatoes and green smoothies all day and having to prepare it all, seemed WAY too overwhelming. I will have to admit that having 23 days left kinda freaks me out a little bit. I try not to focus on that, and like my husband said this morning, “lets just do one day at a time”. So nice to have encouragement like that!

So, back to my night last night. I went to bed with a throbbing headache. My head felt a lot of pressure and my face felt flushed, but the bottom part of my body was cold. Here I am in Utah where the temperature has been in the 90’s the past week and I was cold. Oh, but that didn’t last long, because an hour later I was sweating hot. It felt like I was getting the flu, achy and my stomach did not feel just right. It is not uncommon for me to feel this way occasionally, but I haven’t for a while.

Not only did I feel yucky physically, but my mind started going crazy on me with a bunch of negative chatter. So I started tapping. EFT tapping that is. I was having thoughts like “you have failed as a mother”, “why did I sign up for this thing”, “who am I to be posting about this”, “no one cares about this”, “I have wasted my money”, “SHOULD NOT BE DOING THIS”, “it’s not safe”, ………………………..I continued to tap and express how I felt, softly in my head of course, because my husband was sleeping next to me. He is used to it. After getting it all out, the thoughts quickly began to change to more hopeful thoughts and I felt more at peace and was able to go to sleep. I LOVE EFT!

I had to get up a few times to go to the bathroom, (dumping a lot of water) but slept pretty good, once I fell asleep. My husband woke up this morning so weak. He had lost another 3 lbs. CRAZY. He is not a big guy. I was a little worried about him. He had worked hard yesterday out in the sun while doing this detox. WE ARE FINALLY PUTTING THE BACK PORCH ON OUR HOME ADDITION, YEA.  I had a thought to put a particular essential oil blend on his feet to BALANCE him. Seemed to be quite effective. He felt he needed to eat a normal breakfast (bowl of grain cereal). After he ate breakfast he was fine, and up and running.

I laid in bed a little longer this morning, but popped out of bed and got going. I didn’t feel too bad. Drank my usual lemon water and did a little meditation then jumped on the rebounder for a bit. That thing seriously does wonders. If you haven’t tried jumping on a mini tramp or don’t know what the heck I am talking about, check out my post about it here. Another thing I do, that I think is really helping, is SKIN BRUSHING.

I have been diffusing essential oils that help with letting things go, and applying some motivating blends to my adrenal glands. Doing good so far today. Still craving something salty and crunchy!

It has helped to stay busy, and also to have a nap sometime during the day. Oddly enough, I feel I have a little more energy in a different way, and feel more hopeful and empowered.

We got this!

Until tomorrow,


26 Day Detox: Food Elimination

The first phase of the detox is food elimination. This is what we will be eating for the next FOUR days. Beautiful isn’t it.  I don’t think I have ever purchased so many veggies. Fitting them in my fridge was interesting. Too bad the garden isn’t producing quite yet.

I forgot to mention on the last post what the benefits of this detox are supposed to be.

  • Mental Clarity
  • Increased Energy
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Digestion
  • Boosted Immunity
  • Craving Elimination
  • Toxin Removal

From what I know about Robyn Openshaw is that she does her homework. She researches stuff like crazy and shares what she finds out. I wouldn’t just trust 26 of my days doing something so radical with just anyone. This detox program has 4 phases to it.

Food elimination

I am in the middle of my second day of FOOD ELIMINATION.

Here is what we have eaten for two days and will continue to eat for 2 more days.



Food elimination

Oatmeal with a little cinnamon, and a GREEN smoothie is what we have for breakfast. The smoothie is just greens, water, lemon juice and protein powder. It’s not bad and kept me sustained until lunch.


Food elimination

For lunch we have a baked potato with a little green onion and drizzle of olive oil. A salad made with cut up tomatoes, cucumber, and sliced onion. Hippo soup, which is a combination of veggies that are boiled and pureed. We found that it was better eaten mixed in with the salad. Not bad at all.  Oh the potato tasted so good, even without any salt.

It’s interesting how we think we need the cheese, butter, salt and other unnecessary stuff. Ya, it taste good, but we don’t NEED it. I would love something salty and crunchy right now.

Food elimination

Our yummy lunch together. My husband is such a good sport. Wasn’t sure he was going to want to join me on this endeavor, but he is. My kids are doing great so far, even with their long hour jobs, They take their smoothies and everything. Sam did eat something different for lunch today. He is a welder and started feeling a little weak. It didn’t help that they guys went out for lunch at FIREHOUSE. (His favorite). Really, though I think he needs to eat a little more with such a physical taxing job. But was back on schedule for dinner tonight.

Allie even passed up her favorite grilled cheese at Warren’s yesterday when everyone else went out for lunch. It’s fun. We group text each other with our cravings and thoughts. Allie was sending pictures of fries and saying how she was imagining the cold baked potato she was eating was fries. It’s so nice to be doing this together.


The snack is a cup of steamed broccoli. Yum, Yum? Not sure I call that a snack, but it did fill me up. We can also put 1-2 teaspoons of chia seeds in water and drink it. I did that as a snack after dinner, and helped with the snaky cravings.


For dinner it was cucumber salad again and green smoothie. I added a little apple cider vinegar on the salad to give it a little twist. Not bad, but I will admit some crunchy croutons would have been nice. I skipped the green smoothie and will have a little Hippo soup with my evening does of hydocortisone. Not supposed to have any food after dinner, but I can’t have this med without food.

It was recommended to prepare and cook the food the night before, to not be so stressful. So I baked the potatoes in my Instant Pot, and cooked the soup in a big kettle. (I needed to make enough for 4 people).  Cut up veggies for the salad and juiced about 14 lemons. I used the Instant Pot again to steam the broccoli. This was enough for two days. Everyone makes their own smoothies.

As far as “healing crisis” symptoms go, every night I have had a pretty intense headache and feel quite tired in the afternoon. Tonight my head almost feels like I have a fever. Head feels hot inside.

The cool thing is……. my husband has already lost 3 lbs. Hope that doesn’t continue at that rate, he doesn’t have that much to lose.  I on the other hand have lost 1 lb. Not bad.

Another great thing about this is that I don’t have to decide what we are having for dinner.

Well, my head is really starting to hurt so I am going to go outside and get some fresh air and another drink of water, maybe even soak my feet in a some Epson salts and a little lavender oil.

Good Night!


26 Day Detox: My REAL Experience

I am embarking on a 26 day detox and I thought I would take you along for the ride. Instead of just giving you the technical details of what I will be eating and NOT eating for 21 days, I am going to be a little vulnerable here and share some REAL stuff.  I am not doing this cleanse just to rid my body of toxins and some weight, I am READY to clean house emotionally as well. Now I have tried several cleanses and elimination diets in the past, and with the things that I experience with my body, I have had to stop or not do them full out. Quite discouraging.

Just a little background, I was diagnosed with ITP (an autoimmune disease where your own immune system kills your platelets), 20 years ago and diagnosed two years ago with Lupus. I have gone the alternative route as much as possible, but am still required to be on medication to back off the immune system and now to lower blood pressure. I have been taking hydrocortisone in high doses for over 18 years, which keeps my platelet count stable but no where near normal. I I still have my spleen, thank goodness, as splenectomy is pretty much a standard procedure for those with the disease. I never felt right about it. Anyway, I have spent many years searching and trying all kinds of alternative modalities and have learned a ton. I still experience low platelets and a several other symptoms that I would LOVE to be free of.

Recently my blood pressure has been quite elevated to the point that I need to be on medication again. DANG! I know a majority of all this is due to emotional stuff, so I continue to process and release emotional stuff. You can read a little bit more about my journey with that here. After trying so many things like herbs, supplements, diet, even medications, I did not start to get well until I started doing emotional and energy work. So doing this detox is not only to rid my body of toxins, which I am sure I am loaded with after taking steroids for so long, I am excited to, hopefully, let go of some emotional issues as well. I am sure it is going to push some buttons, but I am so done with feeling like crap and READY to do something about it.

The detox I am doing is a 26 day detox through the GREEN SMOOTHIE GIRL. She has offered cleanses like this before where you sign up, opt in for on-line support if you want, and do it. I have never felt compelled to do it before, but I am now.  Her name is Robyn Openshaw and she is quite amazing and so full of knowledge. She hasn’t steered me wrong so far. I found her many years ago when I was searching the web on how to sprout seeds. I became fascinated with the smoothie thing, bought a blender and the rest is history.

So here I am, signed up and ready to roll. I am quite nervous about it and have some fears as to how my body will respond, but feel confident and trust that good things will come of it. I even have the o.k. from my nurse practitioner and had some blood work done the day before I started to make sure all is well and to give me a base line of where I am at. I am going to list the symptoms I am experiencing now to give you a little glimpse of where I am at and to help me remember how I USED TO FEEL. So many times when we get better and heal, we forget how we used to feel. There have been many times over the years when I start feeling discouraged and overwhelmed with not feeling good, and my husband will kindly bring to my attention how much worse I USED TO BE. It helps bring things into perspective and gives me hope. 

So, here is the list.

  • low platelets – hover around 30,000 (normal is 150,000-250,000)
  • acid reflux
  • stiff and achy feet in the morning
  • joint stiffness and aches
  • sacroiliac joint pain
  • low back pain
  • mildly swollen hands, face & feet
  • brain fog and sick head feeling
  • depression
  • easily angered
  • belly fat and 15-20 lbs overweight (bigger than I have ever been, except while pregnant)
  • abdominal fullness
  • bruising
  • hypertension (lately averaging around 145/98-160/110) I know crazy Hugh even with medication. It just all of a sudden will get elevated and then go down for a time. Sometimes after doing emotional release work or meditations, it will go down to normal. But the next day will be elevated again. Another strange thing is that when I roll on my right side, it goes down to normal. Strange stuff.
  • sinus congestion
  • fatigue
  • liver spots on face and arms
  • neck and shoulder tension
  • sore stomach in the mornings

It is going to be fun to see how many of these symptoms DISAPPEAR. Hopefully a lot of them.

Two of my kids and even my husband are on board and are going to do it with me. How cool is that? I am excited because we can help support each other. This is not going to be a walk in the park.

I love on one of Robyn’s support emails she quoted,

“Success is on the other side of your comfort zone” –Orrin Woodward

This will definitely be out of my comfort zone, but I am ready for change and SUCCESS!

My hope in sharing this 26 day journey, is to hopefully help someone else out who may be dealing with similar things, and to add a little more commitment on my part. So for 26 days I will be sharing with you this experience. If you have opted in to follow me and are not interested in the journey, I totally understand, and hope you will join me again. I still hope to squeeze in some other interesting posts that may suit you more.

If you have questions or want to chat, comment below or send a more personal note to jannihowell@youmakeitsimple.com

Here we go,







The Best Tasting Hummus Ever


This is the best tasting hummus ever! Simple, flavorful and creamy. You are going to love this healthy dipping snack. Eat is as a dip or on a sandwich. Yummy, yum! What I love about this hummus recipe is that it is super easy to make and seriously taste so good. It makes approximately 1 cup.


Dip veggies, crackes, pita bread or whatever else you can think of.


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. Tahini
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Chives (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. In a small sauce pan bring the water to a boil, add in the garlic and boil uncovered for 3 minutes.
  2. Take garlic out of water and set aside to cool. Reserve water.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, lemon zest, Tahini, salt, cumin, paprika and olive oil.
  4. If you want the herbs blended in so you can’t see them, add them now and puree.
  5. Process until smooth by adding 3-4 Tbsp. of the reserved garlic water, until you get the desired consistency. (It doesn’t take much, so pour slowly).
  6. If you want the herbs to be seen, add them now and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a small serving dish and sprinkle with additional paprika if desired.


The Best Tasting Hummus Ever


This is the best tasting hummus ever! Simple, flavorful and creamy. You are going to love this healthy dipping snack.

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time3 min
  • Total Time13 min
  • Course
    • Appetizer


    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    • Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)
    • 2 Tbsp. Tahini
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
    • ½ tsp. paprika
    • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp. Chives (optional)
    • 1-2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley (optional)
    • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional)



In a small sauce pan bring the water to a boil, add in the garlic and boil uncovered for 3 minutes.


Take garlic out of water and set aside to cool. Reserve water.


In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, lemon zest, Tahini, salt, cumin, paprika and olive oil.


If you want the herbs blended in so you can’t see them, add them now and puree.


Process until smooth by adding 3-4 Tbsp. of the reserved garlic water, until you get the desired consistency. (It doesn’t take much, so pour slowly).


If you want the herbs to be seen, add them now and mix well.


Transfer to a small serving dish and sprinkle with additional paprika if desired.






Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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