Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 5: And she lived happily ever after. The end.

Well, almost everyone!  So I'm stopping my Juice Fast. It is time to get back to my "regular" life if you know what I mean.  I've accomplished a full 5+ days and learned A LOT!  Tomorrow I go back to eating solid foods and hopefully begin a much healthier lifestyle.  My "Reboot" is complete. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 4: Looks can be deceiving

Hey friends, 

Today was a rough day.  I'm to the point where all drinks no matter how creative the mix of vegetables and fruit have lost all appeal.  The thought of a well balanced cooked meal is beginning to be too good to resist (or for that matter a Papa John's pizza covered in cheese & sausage with garlic dipping sauce-mmmmm).  The health benefits to this diet may have run their course for me.  The chronic upper back pain that I have dealt with off and on for years has flared up over the last two weeks or so but has been manageable. So combine neck/shoulder pain with the discomfort of being without "real" food and honestly I'm not sure it's really worth it.  I think tomorrow may be my last day.  If I can make it through 5 full days I will know I have accomplished something great!  5 days is the recommended "first time" quick "reboot"anyway.  I don't regret this week I just think I may have been a little over ambitious shooting for 7 days. 

Here's a pic of a Beet mixture I tried today.  The beets were free thanks to an over abundance of beets in our friends' farm share this week.  The color of the beet juice is beautiful (though it's hard to tell from the picture) but looks really can be deceiving and the taste was just...ok. 

Thanks for reading and sticking with me this week! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 3: What I've learned from my Juice Fast

Not much to report.  I'm happy to say that day 3 of the juice fast was pretty uneventful.  So I thought I would share with you some things I've learned over the past 3+ days about what has worked best for me.

1. Stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% veggies & 20% fruit...swapping the two will have nasty results!

2. Drink slowly throughout the day rather than at set aside "meal" times.  That way you are less likely to get hungry.

3.  Use a straw!  It help you to slowly sip throughout the day and really cuts back on the weird textures that sometimes come from juicing.

4.  Realize sooo much of fasting is mental & do whatever you can to psych yourself up NOT out.  Ex. Use a colored cup/glass so that you can't actually see the disgusting color of what you are actually drinking! OR if the drink isn't very tasty watch a cooking show while you drink it.  That way even if you are drinking green mush you'll be imagining a Rachael Rae masterpiece! Worked for me! 

5.  Don't eat to0 close to bedtime! Seriously, you'll be up all night running back and forth to the bathroom, after all your meal is straight liquid. 

6.  Recognize that like anything else in life trying to attempt a fast can't be done by your own willpower alone!

Number 6 didn't come to me easily. Honestly yesterday was much worse than I blogged about. I was doubting my sanity for starting this whole thing.  I was tempted by every TV commercial filled with food and I had a horrible time falling asleep last night. I was becoming as my church likes to call it, "Hangry"...that's hungry/angry.

At the end of the day I sat down & reached for a few short devotional books I keep handy. And by handy I mean next to the toilet.  Too much information?  Oh well you've already heard all about my colon so I can assume I do a lot of bathroom reading. Anyway,  I was reading Out of Solitude by Henry Nouwen as he spoke about the need to find a lonely place to connect with God.  He quoted Jesus' words: "If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one whom you say 'He is our God,' although you do not know him." Nouwen goes on to talk about how God meets Jesus in a lonely place and gives him hope.  I was definitely doing this fast for my own glory, in my own power, and I was on the brink of quitting! It really got me thinking about the many fasts mentioned in the Bible and what the heck the purpose of those were...I mean 40 days!?! Really!?  Fasting is ultimately about giving up something we think we are dependent upon and finding the power to move on without it.  I recognize that while I may think I am able to find that power from within all on my own, any ability I have to resist temptation comes from really I'm better off putting my trust in God rather than myself.  It was a good short and sweet reminder.

I reached for the second book, The Tender Words of God by Ann Spangler, and bam there it was again! She talked about the grumbling that went on from stubborn Israelites who thought God had abandoned them.  The prayer, "Lord you have never failed or abandoned me even though 'stiff necked' and 'stubborn' are words that sometimes apply to me just as they have sometimes applied to your people." Yep that was me stiff necked and stubborn trying to push through foodless hours all on my own to fulfill fairly selfish goals of losing weight and proving to myself I could "clean up" my body.  

The third book I reached for...OK sidebar, you must know I don't always read three devotions in one night. Truthfully I turn to these when I am most down and in need of a word from God...again after I've hit a wall and realized I need help. Sound familiar?  Anyway, the third book My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers really sealed the deal!  The words based on Matthew 3:11 from the August 23 devotional that jumped off the page and hit me upside the head were, "I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do more, but God begins right here, God does things that no one else can do."  In that moment it was very clear to me what God was saying...I cannot do this, but God can in and through me.  I can finish this fast if I turn my attention away from myself and what I am about to accomplish and instead focus on what God wants to accomplish in and through me during this time.  As Chambers said, "Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing, but where God does everything." 

So I have a new focus.  No longer is this fast about simply "rebooting" myself physically.  It is also about allowing God to "reboot" me spiritually in whatever way deemed necessary.  The pressure is off...I am not doing this in my own weak power but rather in God's perfect and unfailing power. What a relief that is!

Taste of Heaven
(The Yam juice from yesterday's blog post)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 2 & 1/3

You better believe I am officially counting Saturday evening in my count now that things are finally getting difficult. 

The day started off well with an incredibly tasty breakfast...

Purple Power Juice
6 cups Concord Grapes,
1 Red Delicious Apple
1/2 cup Blackberries

Apparently it was a little too tasty.  I'm not sure you know what happens when you eat too much fruit...let's just say it isn't pretty. It wasn't pretty! Honestly I've been consuming waayyy too many fruits & not enough vegetables. The fast is supposed to be 80% veggies & only 20% fruit...I've definitely been doing it backwards for the sake of taste.  So pushing through despite not feeling so great I followed it up with a Tomato, Celery, Romaine combo for lacked taste, so I added onion, garlic powder, and a few sprinkles of basil...still lacked taste...but I managed.  

Honestly I was doing ok, all things considered. I decided to be brave and go out for our weekly cookout with neighbors. I steered clear of the food and played with the babies until everyone was finished eating. It was so good to fellowship with's amazing how much you realize you'll miss out on when you alienate yourself from the social practice of eating!  

The really bad part came when we returned to our apartment and for the first time REAL hunger set in. I have to admit I had a mini-melt down when absolutely nothing I juiced tasted good! My loving husband didn't even laugh at my ridiculousness (which I am sure we will later together-and when I say later I mean loooong after this week is over!). He just simply hugged me and took my shopping list to the grocery for me, knowing I wouldn't be able to handle a grocery store (too much prepared food!).  

The good news is I finally found a tasty veggie combo!  Thank you God for Yams and a Canadian guy, RMiller, who not only posted the recipe A Taste of Heaven (which I altered slightly) but also included an encouraging bible passage! 

Ahhhh, I feel full again. So I'm still pushing through, but the thought is crossing my mind...3-5 days may be long enough to feel like I accomplished my goal!? Right?  I guess it will all depend on that amazing colon of mine I know you love reading about! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 1: Nutmeg-good, Ginger-bad

Day 1: Check! So I did it, I made it through the first full day (yesterday doesn't really count-since I had a normal lunch). Honestly, it went well. The day began with a drink I juiced last night which consisted of Apples, Peaches, and Ginger.  It was a recipe I found on the Fat Sick & Nearly Dead website but I substituted peaches for pears. Not sure if that was a mistake, it tasted good, but it burnt my throat like crazy! That might also be because I downed it quickly as I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get ready for church...we have a tendency to oversleep on Sundays lately. 

For lunch I had: Apple-Beet-Carrot
1 Apple
 2 Beets 
3 Large Carrots 
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)
& Spinach 

Not horrible, but certainly not good, not good at all! The ginger was so strong...thumb sized was definitely too much of a kick for me! Lesson learned. 
So in the afternoon I decided to do a really short workout with the Wii Fit. I was nervous I would get light headed so I kept it short...but instead of getting woozy I got hungry, really really hungry. So after a little internet searching for "Juicing recipes that actually taste good" I found "Apple Pie Juice."
I don't even like apple pie but it sounded amazing, amazing that is in terms of juicing. Here's what the recipe said...
You can have your apple pie and drink it, too.
* First sprinkle ½ tsp of cinnamon and ½ tsp of nutmeg into your home juicing machine. 
* Then make apple juice with 4 large sweet apples and carrot juice with 1 large carrot 

After texting my husband to pick up some of my favorite apples (Red Delicious) and then borrowing nutmeg from a neighbor/friend...I finally found a juice snack that I really like. Sorry no photos, I was too hungry waste time snappy pics.
Dinner on the other hand...absolutely gross! Green Lemonade sounded like an enticing was not! So I poured it into a wine glass to keep it classy and try to psych myself into thinking it was actually A-MAZING. It was not, but I still did it, with a whole lot of water to chase it with! 

I realize it's only been a little over 24 hours since I started but I feel pretty good. Let's hope those good feelings continue! Right now the only thing getting me down is constantly having to clean that darn juicer-uggh. Oh and if you're wondering about my IBS (because of course I know you can't stop thinking about my spastic colon)-all is well in that department. 
ps. It's ok if you think I'm a little crazy for giving up solid foods...I know my dog does! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

7-Day Juice Fast: Let the impulsive adventure begin!

Last night Jonny and I watched a documentary on Netflix titled, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.  The film was made by and focuses on an Australian guy named Joe who got tired of being, well you know the title, and decided to take his health into his own hands and begin the adventure of a 60 day Juice Fast! For two months he ate only fruits and vegetables in the form of juice. He called it a detox for his system, a "reboot." Normally I don't get hooked in by gimmick diets and health experiments but for some reason this sounded really appealing to me. The thought of cleaning out my system from all the fast food and over processed foods we eat in order to then begin eating a truly healthy and balanced diet once and for all sparked my interest.  Yes, the idea of losing weight is the real drive for me, after all I've gained at least 20 pounds over the last several months, basically due to inactivity and overeating in the midst of travel and stress.  However, I realize without proper follow up this could definitely have the yo-you effect. This could be the kickstart my immune system needs to get back in shape.

The challenge was extended to audience members to try it for just 10-15 days.  Jonny & I started talking and talking turned to planning and by the time we went to bed we were fully on board! We had plans to hit the farmers markets in the morning and stock up.  Jonny even searched online for the best Juicer. Well morning came and Jonny had decided he was a no go!  You see we normally aren't super spontaneous people and with more research Jonny decided even though it wasn't dangerous and did seem to be helpful it just wasn't for him. He's been on a great track of losing weight for sometime now and has really amped up his workouts...working out is something that during the fast can be a bit difficult because it can make you lethargic at first. But for me, it still sounds good. I'm a little concerned about doing it with IBS (yes I have IBS-possibly more information than you wanted) but other than that I'm ready. It's a slow week for me I'll be finishing work for my summer internship from home, so it seems like a good time.

So we did it, today we went to Terhune Orchard and stocked up on fruits and veggies followed by a trip to Whole Foods. We bought a juicer, and tonight for dinner I began with "Big Green" (the recipe is on the website).  Jonny "drank" dinner with me...I'm guessing that kindness won't last too long but it was sweet for him to try for tonight. It wasn't the greatest tasting thing, but it did fill me up.  I've heard the first couple of days can be rough and then it gets great leaving you feeling full of energy. I mean really the people who have such a tough time are typically the coffee & caffeine addicts-which I am not, so I should be fine, right!?!  I guess we'll see! 7 days of veggies & fruit in the form of juice. Am I crazy?  Probably. You'll have to read my daily updates to find out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good Grief-enough already!

Society teaches us that having feelings and crying is bad and wrong. Well, that's baloney, because grief isn't wrong. There's such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown. 
- Michael Scott, The Office 

I did it again, I stopped writing. I haven't known how to express what I've been feeling, so for those of you who, whoever you are out there reading this, I'm back, at least for now. We had months and really years to prepare for my Dad's death.  I was ready so ready for his suffering to end and ours as well. I really thought after being on the bungee cord of being pulled close to death so many times over the last 16 years and then bouncing back to "normal" life, that when the time came for my Dad to finally pass, I'd be ready.  Psssshhhawww right! About a week after Dad's memorial service I realized this wasn't going to be over after a few days of crying and then I'd move on. After all was said and done and I was no longer checking on Dad's nursing home care or making funeral plans, after all was stripped away, all I was left with was grief.  Grief over losing my Dad.  

I really thought I'd suffered all the loss possible. When I was 16 I lost my Dad as my pastor because he was suffering through radiation/chemo/and brain surgeries no longer able to pastor a church. There are so many other losses after that, the physical stability of Dad (and for the sake of his dignity I'll spare you the details of him losing motivation for physical therapy), then over time we lost so much of his "real" personality-as we now know was the early stages of dementia, eventually the hardest loss came as he was no longer able to clearly communicate with us in distinguishable words.  A whole heck of a lot of you can imagine, I thought I was prepared for the final loss of life. But I wasn't and I realize now how foolish that thought was.  

Truth be told I am finally able to grieve.  I didn't feel like the world was giving me permission to grieve all those other losses because after all in some shape or form I still had my Dad. Now I am able to grieve freely. I have a lot of catching up to do. 16 years worth! I'd love for it to be a 12-step process that I could work through in a weekend retreat and be done with, unfortunately it doesn't work like that. But in some odd way it doesn't always feel so bad, it does kind of feel good.  Like in the Chronicles of Narnia when C.S. Lewis describes Aslan the lion as literally ripping off the old flesh so that new skin can grow.  I know that pain is being stripped away, years and years of pain, and for that I am grateful.  I am grateful to let go.  It's letting go of my Dad that's hard. No longer do I remember him as an "ill" man but rather simply as my father.  

Don't get me wrong I've moved on with my life.  I'm working daily in my very busy summer internship and spending time with friends/my husband in the evenings.  I'm enjoying life. However, many nights I do find myself overwhelmed with sadness over the dumbest and smallest things-yesterday-the Cosby Show...don't ask!  A few weeks ago I spoke with my Mom and I couldn't believe how much better than me she seemed to be dealing with all of it.  I said, "I feel like I'm dealing with this the worst out of everyone." She hesitated and said with what sounded like a smile, "Well you kind of are." As laughter mingled with my crying she said, "We all knew you'd take it the hardest, after all, you always were Daddy's little girl." Still laughing and crying I said, "If everyone knew I wish they would have told me!"  I had no idea it would be this hard! I guess no matter what turmoil I felt toward my relationship with my father years ago or how prepared I was in recent months to see my Father's suffering end, I always was and always will be, Daddy's little girl. I miss him, a lot. Good grief!