Health & Fitness

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On January 13th, I started a juice “fast” after weeks of contemplation.  I put the word “Fast” in quotes because my idea of fasting and most everyone elses idea of fasting are undoubtedly different.  I researched different types of juicers, watched videos, read blogs, you name it.  One of the things that really pushed me to do this though was watching the movie on YouTube called, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.”  And, by January 13th of this year, I thought I was ready to start a juice fast.  I was ready in my head and heart anyway.

I started this blog with a detailed account of Day 2 of my juice fast.  Day 1 was uneventful and well, basically, I was unfamiliar with my juicer and didn’t schedule my “meals” so I ended up at the end of the day having only had half of my intended meals.  As long as I have something in my stomach, I don’t think about eating all that much.  Or so I thought.

Day 2

I started the day with 2 glasses of warm water with the juice from half a lemon and ginger.  I started drinking hot lemon water several weeks ago in place of my usual 2-4 cups of coffee and now, I actually look forward to my lemon water in the mornings!  This was the best part about today.

juice fast

Carrot, Apple, Lemon Juice

Breakfast: Carrot, Apple, Lemon Juice

For breakfast, I had a Carrot, apple, lemon juice.  It tasted awesome & I will definitely have this again!  It was very refreshing and I LOVE the kick from the ginger.  This juice consists of 4 carrots, 2 granny smith apples, and a whole lemon.  I zest the lemon to remove the most bitter parts of the skin and keep all the health “pith” which is the white skin under the peel.  Best part is…I save the lemon zest for Jon to use in a yummy recipe later!

I woke up with a headache and no energy at all.  In fact, I felt like crap all day…drained of energy and totally in a fog in my brain.  My concentration issues were multiplied 10-fold today as my body is adjusting and clearly detoxifying.

juice fast

O.N.E. Coconut Water

Mid-Morning – Coconut Water

I’ve tasted coconut water once before and just about gagged.  The one I bought before was horrible and I couldn’t even get the whole serving down the hatch without fear of it coming back up.  I was hesitant to try it again but for the sake of my juice fast, I was willing to give it another shot.  I wanted to go by the book and follow all the rules.  I just picked the brand that our local grocery had on sale and wow…what a difference!  This brand was actually very tasty…not like milk-chocolate-tasty, but it was pretty good and I had no trouble drinking it.  It actually tasted like it may have come straight from the coconut.  The ingredients list is one thing: Coconut Water.  Yay!

I felt dizzy, very emotional, depressed, tired, lethargic & had a dull achy headache all day.

juice fast

Green Lemonade-Before

LunchGreen Lemonade

This one was very tasty too, and a little tart taste which gives it the name “lemonade!” This recipe made two glasses of juice which was nice.  I really felt like I needed it.  This recipe calls for: Eight kale leaves, 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 granny smith apple, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks, and a whole lemon.

If I didn’t have so much to get done, I would have gone back to bed half way through the day.

 

juice fast

Green Lemonade-After

 

juice fast

Joe’s Mean Green

Snack ~ Joe’s Mean Green Juice

Another really tasty drink.  This one consisted of: Eight kale leaves, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 1 apple, 1//2 a lemon, and a piece of ginger root.

Still feeling awful and just wanting to go to bed, but I had a busy office day, felt determined and was pushing myself to get through the day.  I kept telling myself, it’s only 10 days.  You can do ANYTHING for 10 days, right?

Juice fast

Garden Variety

The Garden Variety juice has: 2 Apples, 2 Cucumbers, 8 Kale leaves, and a handful of parsley.

I wasn’t even really hungry for dinner but I was determined and wanted to at least get ONE full day of going by the book in.

 

juice fast

Purple Passion

Dessert – Purple Passion

30 purple, red or black grapes, 1 basket of blueberries, and a handful of mint leaves.

I pushed through it though and actually stayed up watching TV until after midnight!  In fact, I had a burst of energy around 10pm and vacuumed the master bedroom, living room rug and the tile throughout the rest of the living room/kitchen/dining areas.  How cool that was!!

Hopefully, the energy stays & the lethargy, moodiness, and headache go soon.

 

Where am I now and how am I doing you ask?  Well, today is February 4th and I’ve been juicing ALMOST daily since I started this.  Not a full day of juices, although I did make it through the first 5-6 days doing nothing but juices.  I lost 8 lbs. during that time and have since lost another 2-3 lbs.  I have problems with retaining water when I sit for long periods of time and as a writer, that’s what I do.  Every day.  So, depending on my activity levels, my weight can fluctuate 2-4 pounds in either direction on any given day so I don’t rely on my scale like some people do.

I’m feeling better overall and don’t feel bloated in my belly like I did.  If I drink my juice too fast, however, it tends to sit hard on my belly for about a half hour.  I try to drink plenty of extra water when this happens and it seems to help.  I have learned to sip my juice though and enjoy the flavors.  My Irritable Bowel Syndrome and digestive issues have gone away completely as long as I’m juicing.  There’s nothing I’ve juiced that bothers me and the only time I have any flare-ups now is when I do eat something solid that I know will bother me.  Things high in fiber (roughage) and anything with pulp or skin on it.  Apples, tomatoes, peppers, oranges, grapefruit, spinach, kale, lettuce, pears, you name it.  I can now eat/drink all of this stuff with no after effects!

I’ll put together my 6 day menu next and share with you guys some other recipes.  This post was just for day two to give you an idea of what it was like starting out.  There’s several other recipes I’m dying to share with you.

I’ve had people ask me what juicer I’m using…that my photos look great and that the juicer looks to be doing an excellent job.  I will say, the juicer I’m using is awesome.  I’m using the Breville Juice Fountain – Multi Speed. I don’t get ANY pulp in my juice at all.  It’s nothing but pure juice.  Cleaning it is a breeze and it’s all dishwasher safe.  During the day, I just rinse it and wipe it with a washcloth but at the end of the day I’ll wash it with soap and water or run it through a dishwasher cycle.

So, talk to me.  Have you been considering a juice fast or adding juicing to your day somehow?  Tell me your thoughts.  If you have any questions about my own experience, I’m happy to answer those too.

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nurtureAt the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, do you set goals? Make resolutions? Do nothing?

The year 2013 is now behind us and a new year has begun.  It’s typical for people to take this opportunity to set new goals or more commonly make “New Year’s Resolutions.” These goals or resolutions are good and bad. Good because they give us something to look forward to and to strive for in the new year. Maybe it’s to lose weight or to eat better or to be a better person. But, the bad thing about this is that these goals aren’t measurable and therefore aren’t attainable. If I set out to lose 15 lbs. that’s measurable and attainable. If I set a goal to make “X” amount of dollars per month freelance writing, that’s measurable and attainable. But, to just say I want to lose weight or make money writing…I’m setting myself up to fail already. How will I know when I’ve attained my goal if there’s no end in sight?

This year, I’m doing something completely different. Something I’ve never done before. I’m going to apply a THEME to the year and incorporate that theme into everything I do. My goals will be based on this theme and my objectives to reach my goals will include that theme.

My theme for 2014 is… Nurture.

  • Nurture my career as a writer.
  • Nurture my relationship with my son who lives half way across the country.
  • Nurture my body.
  • Nurture my self-esteem.
  • Nurture strangers.

As a writer, I plan to take a few courses that will help me learn to be a better writer and to schedule time into my calendar to actually sit and write.  Not plan, not organize, not tinkering with websites, not research…but actual writing!  As I writer, I gotta WRITE!

As a mother, I find myself putting off calling my son worrying that I might be interrupting him, or thinking he’s probably at work or busy doing something around the house or driving in his car.  Because of this, I don’t get to talk to him nearly as often as I want to and I find that weeks can go by when I don’t hear his voice and this makes me sad.  I plan to call him regularly and if I don’t reach him, at least he’ll know he’s been on my mind and he’ll have a voice reminder that his mama loves him dearly and misses him terribly!

My body is the only one I get and in the last few months, I haven’t been taking very good care of it.  I’ve put on several pounds that I had previously lost and had been successful at keeping off, until now.  I’m going to get back to the routine I had set for myself when I had lost the weight and change-up some of my eating habits as well.  I suffer from IBS and my flare-ups are severe.  I’m not satisfied with my doctors telling me there’s not much I can do to “fix it” so I’m on a mission to fix it myself.  I’m going to do a ten-day juice fast and then plan on juicing at least one meal a day, maybe two.

Low self-esteem is dreadful.  My entire life has been a constant battle of that inner-voice telling me one thing and my arguing with that voice to convince it otherwise.  I’m learning how to talk myself into doing things that I would normally avoid due to that voice speaking louder than my own.  Learning and practicing these techniques have been nothing short of awesome and I’m hoping 2014 will be the year that my low self-esteem becomes HIGH and powerful.  Starting with surrounding myself with people who respect me and treat me how I should be treated.  I’m going to stay off the scale and learn to love my body the way it is and as I mentioned before, make it healthy, not skinny.

Strangers are people just like me and they have their ups and downs just like I do.  This year, I’m going to go out of my way to be friendlier and more engaging with strangers.  Hopefully, I can make someone smile that was having a bad day or lift someone’s spirit by a kind word or deed.  I’m going to head into my days, treating strangers as if we’ve been friends for years.

What are you doing different (if anything) in 2014 that you didn’t do in 2013?

Drop me a quick note and answer the first question I posed in this post.  Comments are the new “high-five!”

Come on…make my day and give me a high-five.

zumba_8“A body in motion stays in motion.”

Just in case you’re wondering…no, that’s not me in the picture.  I can wish, hope, dream, whatever, and I’ll never look like that but the picture IS relevant to my post today.

Jon and I have made a conscious effort to get in better shape by eating better foods, more fruits & veggies and lean meats & more fish rather than packaged foods and burgers & fries as often as we had been.  No, this wasn’t a New Year’s resolution for us, we actually started focusing on better eating habits back in November, not long before Thanksgiving.  Yes, I know, it wasn’t a very good time to start a “diet” but we did.  We made changes slowly and are still making changes today.

We bought a treadmill and fixed up our son’s room as our “fitness room” so we would have  a place to go when the weather was bad outside and we’d have no more excuses.  We already had a weight bench and plenty of free weights, a big balance ball complete with CD’s for a total body workout and a smaller “Bender” ball with similar CD’s.  Next, we purchased a CD player and TV for the room and we were ready to hit it!

Things happened slowly.  The holidays did make it harder to stick with our new plan but even with office party’s and gatherings here and there, we managed to hang in there and get serious about working out regularly and eating better.

It’s nearing the end of February and we’re on a pretty good roll.  I think Jon has more self-discipline than I do…wait…let me rephrase that.  Jon HAS more self-discipline than I do in that he works out in the gym at the hotel when he’s out-of-town and often times I don’t work out at all if he’s not in town.  I don’t know why this is or how to explain it but it’s just my observation.

So, anyway…I just finished my very first Zumba workout!  I bought the CD’s a couple of weeks ago & have spent a few workout sessions on the treadmill watching them so I know what to expect and today tried it for the first time.  Since I love to dance, I think I’ll really enjoy it once I get the steps down.  I worked up a really good sweat & feel like I muddled through it pretty well.  I’m just glad there was no one else in the room with me…pretty funny stuff while you’re learning.  If you don’t know what Zumba is, it’s a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends up-tempo music with jazzy dance steps for a fantastic workout.  They claim you can burn anywhere from 400-1000 calories an hour depending on several factors of course.

My question is this though…why is it so much easier for men to lose weight than women?  Jon has lost over 15 lbs. since November and me?  I’ve lost a whopping FOUR lbs.!  What’s up with that?!  Ok, before you start yelling at me, yes, I know, 4 lbs. is SOMETHING and I should be happy about that but when you compare 4 to over 15…don’t you have to wonder what the deal is?!   He works out one or two times more than I do per week but I know I eat better than he does when he’s out of town…he’s eating at restaurants and I’m at home.  I would think it would even out somehow.   I bust my butt on the treadmill, running/jogging for 50-60 minutes at a pop (at least 3, if not 4 times a week) and I’m eating healthier.  I would think, something should give here.

Either way, this body is determined to “stay in motion” at all costs!  I feel better about myself, even if my weight doesn’t appreciate my efforts.

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