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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 50 - Reset Button


Are you getting the picture yet??  Today is DAY 50!!  It seems like DAY 50 would be a great day to celebrate! Instead, I find myself needing to push the reset button. As I've mentioned in recent posts, I've been recently plagued with temptations that sadly, I've succumbed to.  Before you lose all respect for me, you should know that I have not stopped juicing!  I'm still juicing daily and consuming 1 to 1.5 gallons of fresh, wonderful juice each day!  BUT... to that, I've added food (when tempted) - which is really not acceptable on a juice feast.

I knew that 92 days was a huge goal.  I knew that it would not be easy.  But I have felt very strong from the beginning that it is an achievable goal.  I still believe that it is!  I'm super disappointed in my lack of stick-to-it-ness recently.  On top of this disappointment, I've finally come to terms with the sad fact that I cannot run in the 1/2 marathon next weekend.  I've been training since December - but after messing up my back 2 months ago, I just can't get it back to normal.  I've continued to try to run, but then end up back at the Chiro.  I'm very sad about this as well.  So Day 50 is truly a disappointing day for me. :(

But God is SO good!  He sent me a perfectly timed message today via a blog that I subscribe to:  Here is what it had to say today:

There is this funny concept out there that many have somehow internalized. The notion that we have to do things perfectly, or they aren't worth doing. The idea that if we make one mistake, we've messed up so badly we should just throw in the towel.

How we ever arrived at this silly idea is beyond me. Particularly when you are doing something that is new and different. You have to approach new things being willing to learn from mistakes because even people who have been doing it forever make mistakes. This is the learning process. This is how we learn and internalize something new. Mistakes are how we learn. Don't try to skip over the mistakes because if you do, you are definitely doomed to fail. Consider approaching mistakes from a different angle, and success will eventually follow.

What a wonderful lift for my spirit today, when I'm feeling so down about my tumble from the wagon.  
 On Tuesday of this week I began a new job.  It's made for a busy, (exciting) week.  But it's a life change - and one life change can cause other life practices to get off balance.  In addition, tomorrow I'm heading to a conference for 3 days.  I am signed up for vegan meals at the conference and I'm leaving my vitamix at home for my daughter to use.  (My hotel does not have a kitchenette - so juicing would be very nearly impossible for me).  If I hadn't already fallen off the wagon, I would certainly find a way to make it work.  But since I need to reset anyway, I'm going just give myself a three day break from juicing.  When I return, I am not starting over with day one.  But I will be adding a few weeks to the length of my feast.  From the moment I hit THE BUTTON, (Thursday), I plan to do 60 more days of rock solid, detoxifying, focused juice feasting!  This will result in a total of 111 days of juicing.  My end date will now be June 30th. 
I hope that those of you who don’t stop reading this imperfect woman’s blog will, instead, be even more inspired to try juicing.  OR, any other health related goal that you have in mind.  Knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to still be successful should be liberating!  (That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway! )

So – I’ll be back at the end of the week, recommitted and ready to share!

Be blessed this week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Juice Feast - Day 40! 53 days to go!

YEAH!!! DAY 40 today!  It feels great to be at this point in the feast.  But I have a confession to make before I go any further....(yes... another one!)

I've had some cheatin' moments!  I don't know why!!!  Ever since my little detour in Chicago, I've been struggling to be perfect.  (YES!  It IS ok to strive for perfection!)  A handful of popcorn here... a taste of the dinner I'm making for the family there...  I'm very frustrated with myself for not having rock solid discipline.  Especially since I truly don't want to put anything in my body except for juice right now.  And yet...  indiscretions keep finding me!

In the beginning (first 4 weeks) I was going strong on sheer excitement and passion!  I've read that in the last 1/3 of the journey, I'll be a rock star - knowing the end is near!  But this middle section of the journey... TOUGH!  So I guess this is where I reach out for some help.  HELP!  Pray for me! Shoot me an accountability message once in a while if you think of it! I sincerely, desperately want my final 53 days to be wholly successful!  Help me tame my cheatin' heart! 

Happy News!!  I've been talking with a co-worker of mine (and precious friend!) about my juice feast.  She is really struggling with her own health.  Scopes... tests... pain....and no understanding of why.  I encouraged her to try juicing for 30 days - to give her digestive system a chance to rest and heal.  Today she told me that she is ready!  And she is EXCITED!  Tomorrow I'm taking all of my supplies to work, along with bunch of produce, to teach her how to juice.  I have no doubt that she is going to feel like a new woman 30 days from now!  So, while I'm clearly not perfect, I  feel great that others are seeing the benefits of this whole foods lifestyle!

More good news... My darling daughter is back on the wagon!  If you recall, she did the first week full on with me. At the end, she transitioned back to whole foods. (sort of!)  And now, she wants back in on juicing.  Her plan is to juice all day, and then enjoy a whole foods dinner.  She's on day 4 and doing great.   I think this is a VERY DOABLE plan for many people!  How convenient to drink a quick juice before work, and then enjoy a juice lunch during a busy day!  All that goodness, knowing that a lovely dinner awaits.  Smart girl!

SUMMER is fast approaching!  (On the calendar, anyway)  I am longing for my garden!  We're moving it to a new spot in the yard this year because we're also putting in a pool.  I'm anxious to see how it all pans out!  Did you know that Swiss Chard is a perennial plant?  Its growing in my garden right now - and I haven't planted any since last spring!  I'm learning so much... :)

So - as I close for the day, one more plea for your support!  I covet your prayers and encouragement!  NO MORE TASTING!  Juice power!!


Monday, April 8, 2013

DAY 32 of 92! One Third of the Way There!

Last week was a challenging week on the Feast!  That 2 day break in Chicago lent itself to many cravings this week.  It took a great deal of focus to make it through!  But here I am - on day 32!  It feels good to be 1/3 of the way done.  But it feels even better to know that I still have 60 days worth of exciting body/life changes still ahead of me!  I feel a great sense of resolve to continue to the end!

Here are some things I'm noticing so far:

My skin looks more alive - less dull! (Others have noticed this too and mentioned it!)
I've lost 12 lbs this month.  (I won't weigh in again until day 60)
My stomach feels flat and light When I ate last weekend, I immediately felt bloated!  I also woke up Monday morning with a huge headache and puffy fingers.

As I've been studying about detoxification, I've come to realize that our bodies are completely inundated with toxins all day long.  Before we even leave the house in the morning, women apply approximately 300 toxic chemicals to our bodies/hair through our personal care routines.  I know that there is no way to completely eliminate toxic intake in our current environment, but I'm working really hard to remove toxins via juicing, dry body brushing, enemas, etc...  And then - I turn around and use shampoo and conditioner, make up, and acrylic nails!  Yikes!  So I've decided that phase 2 of this feast I'm going to focus on eliminating "those" types of toxins.  I've already removed my acrylic nails.  What a mess!  I am certain that restoring their health is going to take many months! But that's ok -- it will just be one more measuring stick for healing!

Now you're wondering... "how is she planning to eliminate shampoo and conditioner!?"  Great question!  More and more  people are going "poo-free"!  The substitution is baking soda (instead of shampoo) and Apple Cider Vinegar (instead of conditioner).  **Side note**  About 2 months ago, after reading an article about the hazards of hair care products, I decided to reduce my wash/condition routine to about 2 times per week.  The result is that my hair is noticeably shinier and very soft and silky.  Not oily!  Not smelly!  So In my mind, ditching the products is the next logical step for me.  Here are a few additional reasons you might consider it for yourself:

1. Chemicals in shampoo are simply hazardous to your health.
2. Chemicals in shampoo can irritate and dry out your scalp and hair.
3. Your body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Using shampoo daily upsets the natural balance and causes you to produce more oil than necessary to compensate.
4. Hair care products are expensive!

I've read that when you stop using shampoo and begin using BS and ACV, you will probably experience a transitional period while your body gradually adjusts to produce just enough oil to keep your hair healthy. During this time, which can range from a few days to a month or so, you may have some extra oil than you're use to.  Although, many people report that they see immediate positive changes with zero negative side effects.

For more information, including "how to" details, check out this great blog:
OR, just google "Baking soda, ACV for hair".

I would be remiss if I didn't also take a minute to tell you about a wonderful documentary that I watched on Friday.  I found it on Netflix and it's called "Hungry for Change".  This is a very practical documentary which outlines WHY it's difficult for us to lose weight; what effect sugar has on our bodies; how food is manufactured specifically with addictive chemicals so that we'll keep eating it; and most importantly, what to do about it. 
I was so pleased with it's down to earth, easy to follow format that Sunday, I begged my family to watch it with me.  Reluctantly, they did.  They (Ryan!) made sarcastic jokes and comments all the way through it.  But about an hour later, he told me he is on board.  No more processed food or sugar.  No more fast food!  My daughter and son (though teenagers, and still prone to enjoy junky treats on occassion) have been on board for a while.  When I told Sophie what dad said, she responded "Good!  It'll be so much easier if we're all on board!"  FOR SURE!  Only my college student refuses to comply.  Good think he's only home on the weekends.

Over the course of my 18 month journey, I've watched a number of excellent documentaries on this subject.  Following is a list, for your reference.  I was able to watch all of these on either Netflix or Amazon.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Food Inc.
The Gerson Miracle
Food Matters
Forks over Knives
King Corn
The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue  (Presented by Forks over Knives)

I feel like I'm forgetting one... I'll keep thinking!  These are ALL worth your time!

I can't believe how many recipes are out there for juice concoctions!  Yes, many of them are similar.  Nonetheless, I'm finding no shortage of variety!  I have discovered that I LOVE pineapple in my green drinks!  I'm trying to really focus on drinking mostly green (with just a tad of fruit to sweeten it up) every day - allowing just one totally fruity drink. 

My Daily Routine:  Generally, I start my day with 1 quart of warm lemon water.  This causes the liver to force out toxins!  Then, within the same hour, I have my green juice made up of a pound of dark leafy greens, 1 bunch of celery, 1 cucumber, 1/3 pineapple.  I also like to add some parsley or cilantro, as they are especially good for detoxing.  I take 3 quarts of juice to work with me.  One fruity juice (the possibilities are limitless!).  I drink it mid morning.  In the early afternoon, I drink a quart of green juice.  It's just recently that I've started taking a thrid quart of juice to work.  Actually, it's my dinner juice.  But I take it to work so that I can drink it on my way home. I follow it with at least a liter of water.  This is a strategy I've developed to help me come home and prepare dinner for my family without feeling so tempted to nibble.  (Yes, I have to stop cooking and pee repeatedly!!)  I feel very full by the time I get home, AND I've fed my body the nutrients it needs to ward off cravings.  Very useful strategy! There is one exception with when I drink my fruity juice.  If I'm going to run, I wait and drink it about 15 minutes prior.  It provides a surge of energy with helps fuel my body for running!

Tonight at Barnes and Noble I picked up a little treasure called 100 Foods to Stay Young.  Guess what!?  You don't need to buy it, because I'm going to start featuring one food in each blog post!  Our special guest today is...... CUCUMBER!

Cucumber is actually a squash, long used for it's cooling effects, inside and outside the body, reducing inflammation and speeding repair for young-looking skin! 
As well as drinking fluids directly, we need to receive water from the plant foods we eat.  The high water content of cucumber makes it a hydrating food that prevents dryness and wrinkling of the skin, as well as helping to remove the toxins that can age us.

Cucumber is rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber, so works to  reduce high blood pressure by balancing the fluid in the body. 

* Source of silica, a trace mineral needed for a healthy complexion.  (I'm in!)
* Cucumber juice is known to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatic conditions and keep joints healthy and young.
* Contains the trace mineral molybdenum, which is needed to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.  (That's right - you don't need the body secretions of another species to accomplish this!)

Cucumber Juice Recipe
1/2 cucumber
2 apples
1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

If you don't have a juicer yet, just throw these in a blender and drink it as a smoothie instead!

I realize this was a long post!  Thanks for hanging in there! 

Sweet dreams, friends!