Wednesday, April 25, 2012

7 Days of Juice... Was it worth it?

This morning I broke my juice feast/fast.  I made it 7 days, and I am SO glad I did! I will say, yesterday was my hardest day. I was tired of juice, I wanted food - badly. Not that I was hungry, I just missed the texture and taste of food. And the more I tried not to think about food, the more I thought about it. I'm going to take it easy with foods, probably just stick with a raw diet for the next few days and then ease back in to cooked food. But I'm resolved to stay vegan now that I've hopefully flushed most dairy residue out of my system.

From the way I feel and look, I would say that the last 7 days was well worth the effort. My allergies are vastly improved. I know I didn't get to completely detox, I think that would take 60 days of juicing, but I do feel I did a lot of good for my body. And I've lost 10 pounds! But what I really notice is how slimmed down my body is. A lot of my 'squish' is gone!  Which makes me VERY happy.

Through this process, my husband was pretty understanding and helpful but a bit skeptical. But now that's he's seen my results for himself, he's decided he'd like to do a juice cleanse! We'll need to modify it some because he's a chronic pain patient, but I think he'll get good results. So I'll probably start this process again in about a month along with him, and hopefully it will be a bit easier because I'll know what to expect and how to cope with detox symptoms.

OK, I'll keep you guys posted on how I'm feeling over the next few weeks as I resume normal life!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Still Juicing...

So when I started juicing last Wednesday, I truly only committed myself to 5 days. That's it. So with that goal in mind I started the process with determination to make it through Sunday. And I did! And I'm STILL JUICING.

Friday morning, my third day, I woke up feeling SO much better than the 2nd day. The horrible headache I had the afternoon and evening before was pretty much gone. I had a lot more energy. So the 3rd day was pretty easy for me. I was convinced the 5 day goal was not going to be problem. And for the most part, it hasn't been. What REALLY spurred me on was the improvement in my allergies and the physical changes I started seeing with my body.

One of the first things I noticed was that my neck looked thinner. Once I noticed that, I started seeing other changes. My stomach was flatter, my face a bit thinner, my rings were looser, as was my clothing. So I am happy to say that as of this morning, I am down almost 10 LBS! Yes, in 5 days of juicing, I have broken that weight barrier that has been frustrating me for the past two years. And now that the ball is rolling, I decided I can do AT LEAST two more days of juicing.

One thing I did battle with over the weekend was the desire to eat. I love food, I really do. I watch cooking shows, read cookbooks and I really enjoy cooking. And eating. Because... I love food. So this weekend was kind of empty for me. After working all week, I look forward to preparing and enjoying a few good meals that I don't have time for during the week. So I had to keep my mind off food the best I could but it was tough. And being around people who were eating was tough. But I pushed through and I am SO glad I did.

So with the exciting results I've already seen and with maybe a few more to come, I'm going to stick with juicing at least two more days. That way it's a full 7 days of detox and healing for my body and maybe a few more lbs shed. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Juicing, Day 2 - Why did I want to do this again?

As I drink my lunch of green juice, I am thinking of why I wanted to start a juice fast/feast. There are a lot of opinions of whether this is a healthy or safe process. Some people think you're crazy, some join in and support you. But why did I decide on and commit to this process?

One of the main reasons I wanted to do a juice feast/fast was to jump-start my weight loss again. I will say I think my diet is fairly healthy, vegetarian/borderline vegan with doses of raw. When my husband and I made this change from the SAD in 2009, I expected and hoped to lose a decent amount of weight. To be fair, I did lose 13# a few years ago, and my weight has only fluctuated a few pounds up and down from that point. But since I work (sit) in an office and have a very full schedule like most, exercise usually takes a back-burner to other matters. And I will admit, it gets discouraging when you try your best to eat healthy and lose weight and don't see results as you'd hoped to see. So I hope this process will help my body decide to lose some weight and then give me the motivation to make other positive changes to keep the ball rolling. Of course, my scale decided to quit working a week ago so I can't give any weight loss numbers yet, but I'll try to get a weigh-in by the end of this process to give you all an idea of how successful this was for me.

Another reason is my nose. It seems to always be sniffing, sneezing, running or blocked up. It's not my favorite body part by any stretch. Now I've dealt with allergies pretty much my whole life. Not that makes it any better of course, it's just part of my life. When I've been driven to the point of insanity by it and desperately want relief I've asked Kendra for help, she's always told me it's because my liver is backed up with toxins and I need to do a detox. But even after hearing that several times, I've continued to turn to my trusty allergy meds because they suppress the symptoms and get me through the day... until the spring of 2012. My allergies have been SO bad this year I decided I need to give my poor body some help. A detox via green juice seemed like a fairly straight-forward way to accomplish this. Unfortunately, it has to get worse before it gets better. So here I am, day 2 of the process and my poor abused nose is red and raw from many a Kleenex. But I will say it has improved from yesterday to today.

OK, I have to admit something about myself. I like the idea of flushing all the 'ick' out of my system. Once I know there is something gross or weird going on, I have to get it taken care of. I don't tolerate zits, ingrown hairs, stray eyebrows or any mysterious bumps or blemishes. I'm a picker, and I pick until it's gone. Usually I end up with a bloody spot on my body but at least the offender is pretty much gone by then. And I'm the "Eww, gross, let me see that" kind of person. My poor husband has suffered many preening sessions - against his will - because I just have to remove any unacceptable blemishes. So the idea of getting rid of toxic build-up in my liver and intestines and wherever else it may be lurking holds a strange fascination for me. So there, now you know I'm kinda weird.

So how am I feeling on day 2? Surprisingly, not hungry. I've been satisfied, but not full on green juice and lots of water, so I'm OK there. But as stated above, the nose continues to run, I've also experienced draining in my ears (gross, wonder what's in there?), itchy mouth, and itching on various parts of my body. As expected, I also have a decent headache which I am attributing to my abrupt end of daily coffee drinking. Doing OK overall and feeling good about the next few days!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adventures in Juicing

Wow, my first official post to the Veggie2Raw website. Although I have faithfully read all posts and even added a comment here or there, I have not felt the need to 'blog' until this morning. Today I started my first (big day for me with all these firsts) official juice feast/fast. I will for sure make it through 3 days but I'm hoping to hold out for 5, longer if possible... I have Kendra on speed dial for encouragement (she's like a drill sergeant) and advice, and I have Marti's beautiful Champion juicer on my kitchen counter. I have a good feeling about this, despite the rocky start I had this morning.

Last night I purchased lots of lovely organic produce in preparation for today. As a working woman, I only have so much time in the morning and I wanted to have everything on hand. This morning I walked towards the kitchen with 20 minutes for juicing and clean-up, feeling confident and sure. Now in my defense, I have used the Champion juice before, while at Marti's house with her right beside me. So I felt I could juice away with ease - big mistake. I wrestled with the juicer for about 10 minutes, trying to get all the parts in place to begin juicing. I began to panic as I watched the time tick away. After one last attempt and watching the little juicing screen spring across the kitchen, I quickly turned to my back-up plan - VitaMix. I have made juice with it in the past with the help of my husband, so I thought I still had time to get some delicious green juice to go. I quickly pulled my produce from the fridge, frantically began washing and some VERY rough chopping. I filled it up, turned it on and continued my prep work, confident that the VitaMix was happily making juice for me. Until I noticed it wasn't. The combination of too little liquid and big chunks of cucumber and romaine lettuce was going nowhere. So I made several attempts to shake the stuff loose and finally got 'the plunger' out to assist in the process. While I know the VitaMix was doing its best, my poor planning and bad chopping failed. I took the lid off (turned off, of course) and began hacking at those poor vegetables like a mad woman. I stabbed and hacked until I felt nothing could have survived, then switched it on again. SUCESS! The blending was beautiful. But by this time I had 2 minutes until I was supposed to be at my desk and I hadn't even strained the juice. I quickly got a mesh bag over a large container, secured it with a produce rubber band so it wouldn’t hang in the juice and started pouring. I quickly went back to more blending (with better chopping) as I was taking breakfast and lunch to work and needed 2 quarts of the green goodness. I was able to strain and squeeze the first quart out and get it into a jar without too much of a mess. I quickly re-secured my mesh bag for quart 2 and started pouring, feeling good, but I was already 5 minutes late by this point. A quick but not totally thorough clean-up was accomplished while I waited for the juice. But once that was done I had to speed up the process to get on the road. Doing my best to carefully remove the rubber band that precariously held a very full mesh bag over the hard won juice; I held my hands on the edge of the container to secure the mesh bag. And of course the rubber flew across the kitchen, creating a beautiful green rainbow of pulverized vegetable and fruit froth in its wake. Now I will say, my husband is tolerant of a lot of my food adventures but if he came home to find that, my juice feast/fast would quickly lose support. I squeezed and mushed that mesh bag with all my might, getting every bit of juice I could to fill that second quart jar. I closed it up and turned to the mess... 12 minutes late for work, by the way. I wiped up what green I could see in the wake of the rubber band, rinsed that wretched mesh bag and all other utensils and ran for the door. So not the ideal start to my day, or days of juicing, but I did eventually get to work with two quarts of juice and green cuticles. I am hoping for a much better start to tomorrow. I will keep you posted!