Saturday, January 28, 2012
Alternative Title: I will never be a Vegan.
Today is day 14 of my juice/veggie fast. I planned on doing 15, but I am done. Really. It has been an interesting run, and a few minutes ago I relished my last "meal" on this adventure, a large, scrumptious salad with cucumbers, peppers, parsley, and, taa daa...avocados. I don't know what I would have done without bananas & avocados during this time, they were my "I am STARVING, and need FOOD...NOW" go to food.
I bounced around 140-132lbs during this time, and measured between 34 and 30.5 inches in my waist. I tracked this for fun, and it was interesting to see how my body reacted to certain foods/juices. If you want to see the details, you can go to my short & sweet journal here.
I started all this in the hopes to rid myself of chronic nerve pain, and to give my body a chance to "detox" a bit. I certainly got to deal with my pain, not in a good way. Around day four I got terrible pains in my legs, unassociated with those I was trying to get rid of. It was hell, and I ended up taking Ibuprofen that day. My body was releasing muscle toxins for about two days. I also realized the importance of hydrating. I have always been a bad hydrator. Yep. I just don't get thirsty, and may go all day just drinking a cup of coffee and and cup of tea. I eat lots of fruit, but that is just not the same. Now, there are some people who say it is not necessary to drink more than you "need", but I found once I upped my intake of water & coconut water (for electrolytes), I definitely felt better. Lesson learned. I now have a reminder telling me to DRINK.
I did not have coffee, or wine, or beer for 16 days, as I started to eliminate them before my fast. Things brings me to the ritual part.
I have learned that most of my food is tied to a ritual. I LIKE to eat, I LIKE to drink coffee, wine, & beer. Yes, I can live without them, but I don't think I want to.
Ah, and the food....Yesterday, my family asked if I can finally make "my" bread again. The whole time I purchased bread, to avoid baking. You see, bread is my nemesis. I LOVE bread. Slathered in butter, plain, soaked in salad sauce, soaked in soup, covered with brie.....I baked bread yesterday, and knew I was done. I need to eat bread.
The whole time I cooked for my family. The other day I made a sumptious grass fed beef stew...mmm...it was dark, spicy, warm...just delicious smelling. My family was ooing and ahing all over it. Did I cave? No. Though I like meat, I don't crave it.
Baked goods....they were calling me in my sleep :).
This gives me a new appreciation for food. It also changes my mind about something I stated when I first watched "Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead". I said:"If it is that easy to loose so much weight, why doesn't everyone juice instead of trying these whacky diets & programs?". Well, it is not easy. I cannot imagine juicing for 30 or 60 days, unless I was a retreat where there were no people asking me to feed them, and no ovens. My hat off to anyone who accomplishes 30 or 60 days.
So, what did I gain from this?
I will never be vegan (unless my life depends on it). I am sure my body is feeling better. I actually feel a bit weaker than normally, but that could be psychological. I will slowly re-introduce grains & dairy, and have decided to convert this kitchen to completely whole grain. I will make it a point to serve/buy more plant based foods, less meat (still looking for recipes for my meat & potato man), and less carbs. I am a carb queen. I am going to learn to cook more vegan foods to supplement my cheese based dishes :). I realize how much I love food, the social aspect of it, and I know that it would not make me a Happy Heike if I chose to live without the things I savor to eat. I don't think restricting myself from grains & dairy would make me feel better. I will seek alternatives where I can, but am looking forward to homemade joghurt, raw milk, cheese, and did I mention, BREAD? I will continue to make green juices for more protein, as I continue to train.
I can recommend this adventure highly, and the REBOOT program (www.jointhereboot.com) was a huge support.
Looking forward to breakfast.....
A few years ago, I went to county composting class and picked up a free composting bin. Fabulous little thing. I put it up in my back yard, and started throwing in our food scraps. Then, one day in the summer I opened up the lid to feed the compost, and EWWWWWWWW. It was moving and "broodling". Yes, it was making sounds :(.
I slapped that lid closed, and did not open it again until 3 days later. I am just too City Girl to deal with teaming maggots :(. What I did find out in that time (I was on a destroyer mission) is that my maggots were "good", and that people actually BUY them to eat the compost. Ew. I also read that chicken farmers love them. I sent a call out via FB and said they were free to whomever came and got them out themselves.
Then I covered them with newspaper & straw, and it all eventually stopped moving.
So, I am supposed to TURN the compost??? :)...Yes, girls, the compost needs to be taken care of. Fed, watered, turned.
Yesterday, on a warm & balmy 60 degree California winter day, my son and I decided it was time to turn over the compost, as our bin was filled to the max.
Ah....look what I found!
Beautiful, rich, dark compost, filled with happy worms. Enough compost to fill up 5 of my boxes in preparation for spring planting. Not only is this compost 'clean', it is FREE. Yes, FREE. As my husband will attest, we spends lots of mula in the spring on dirt & compost to refill those boxes.
Thanks to my fabulous girls, our compost is now getting even better with their contribution of chicken poo. And look, they are now enjoying the smorgesbord of critters that come up to dive around in it :). It's a wonderful cycle.
I keep a large coffee can on my kitchen counter and throw everything in there. No need for an expensive "kitchen composter". Break up the eggshells! I found eggshells that were whole on the bottom, so eggshells down break down easily. With that said, I put my eggshells in a mason jar on the counter, filled with water. Every other day, I water the flowers with it, then put them in compost. Break 'em first, nothing like putting your hands in stinky eggshell water.....
Did I mention it was free? I am now a compost ninja. I may even measure its' temperature....
And now...a little video for your enjoyment :).
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
...until I woke up!
I was having the most fabulous dream! I was having a discussion with Angelina over the "fall of our school system" over a bottle of sweet, red wine, while feasting on scrumptious, crusty bread slathered with butter.
I am on day 11 of my juice fast :)...
Actually, I am feeling good. Yes, every once in a while, I crave my favorites, but that is my head, not my body, calling. Without counting calories, or staying on the Reboot schedule, I have lost 8lbs sofar, 3.5 inches off my waist. I eat or juice when I am hungry, which is getting less and less.
I had a day lapse in journal (which prompted emails from my concerned friends, to make sure I was still standing. Love ya!), but am trying to keep track of both the intake of food, as well as the thoughts this food adventure is triggering. You can view it here if you wish.
My family seems to suffer more than me. My kids, as we LOVE to eat together. I keep hearing: "Mama, I am sorry you can't eat!", or "I can't wait until you are off this juice fast so we can eat!". You would think I am making them juice! But, it is a switch for the family, and I think I will dedicate a post to that alone. Our experiences, what I cooked, etc.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I am on day 5 of my juicing/eating adventure, and so far, so good. I had some pain issues, but you can read all about that at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KO6PY7YTvP-dSq4SO9ShMeRzTg50hruhnrRd2FQNHlc/edit .
I am finding some things I really like to eat, and am not feeling "deprived" at all. Not drinking coffee is not such a big deal....not eating pasta & bread is. My daughter, whom I love, seems to be on a baking spree too, which does not make things easier.
I just made humus for the first time in my life :). Amazing, since it is so simple. It was delicious.
Here you go:
1 can of garbanzo beans (I am sure dry beans will be even better. I will start cooking more to put some aside for hummus).
1 clove of garlic
Lemon juice (I squeezed a half a lemon)
Olive Oil (about 3-4 tblsp, or more, to keep it creamy)
Turmeric & Paprika to taste
Whir it UP! Enjoy!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I decided to start juicing today instead of tomorrow. Today was a quiet, lazy day for us, so it seemed perfect to test how my body would react :).
Even though I feel that I read & prepared myself, I really am not. The Reboot gives GREAT guidelines & daily menus, but many of the items are not in season now, so I have to alternate.
That brings me to something I did not consider. The cost of juicing. Now, we eat lots of fruit & veggies anyways, and I usually buy organic or receive it from friends & neighbors. With the amount of fruit & veggies you need for one juice, this is just not going to do it. So I have gone through the recipes and found things that will incorporate what is in season here now. Mainly: Kale, carrots, apples (not really in season, but readily available), oranges & other citrus, greens, salad, parsley, beets, kiwi. I was able to get lots of kale & carrots at the farmer's market for a $1 a bunch/bag. So I stocked up, came home and washed and prepped them in Tupperware or bags.
I also did not consider the quandary this would put me in. I am proponent of buying local, but may have to go to Costco to buy apples, spinach, etc in bulk, otherwise I will have to starve. I also don't eat soy products, but will have to eat some tofu occasionally to bulk up my salads. The tofu may only be for the first few days while I get used to not eating my yummy bread, cheese, cheese, cheese...did I say cheese? No animal products, which also takes away my raw milk, joghurt, and butter. I don't mind not eating meat, but the bread & dairy...they are a huge part of my normal diet.
I will post occasionally while I wander the road of better health. If you want to see what I am doing daily, with weight, MOODS, :), etc, you can view my doc journal at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KO6PY7YTvP-dSq4SO9ShMeRzTg50hruhnrRd2FQNHlc/edit (this is on Google, you will have to have a Google account to view it. If you don't, just send me note and I can email you.).
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
After seeing the film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” a few weeks ago, I was inspired. The film is a documentary of the 60 day juicing journey of Joe Cross, in which we see a drastic loss of weight (under doctor’s care), a road to better health, and the story of a man who changes people's lives with this experiment. What grabbed me most is the fact that he, and two others in the film, healed a chronic illness by juicing.
He hooked me. I am juicing.
I have never fasted before in my life. I am an eater. I love food, and since I am still on the scale of “thin” even with my weight gain from the two kids & last 10 years of eating, I have never felt the pressure to diet.
I do have a pretty nasty neurological problem that seems to get worse instead of better. Over the last 3 years I have not slept more than 3 hours at a time, I have tried any alternative medicines that were offered: herbs, acupuncture, massage, weed. When none of those worked, I went to the hospital and tried allopathic treatment. The heavy duty medicine worked for about 2 weeks, then my body said: “Hell no!”, I began having adverse reactions. My body is a mystery of its’ own. Even as a child, if I did get sick, I got REALLY sick in a matter of hours, then a few hours later is was completely gone. This cycle baffled doctors all the way into my adulthood. With that said, treatments can have immediate success, or horrendous adverse reactions.
I did lots of juicer research, and ended up purchasing the Breville Fountain on Amazon (had a coupon and free shipping). There are far more intense models out there that are just amazing. The Champion is made in the USA and owners love it, but it was out of my “spontaneous budget”, so I found the best I could afford.
The possibility of “cleansing” my body with juices intrigues me. The website of Joe Cross offers a REBOOT program as a support, and I will be following their 15 day REBOOT. I will be eating raw foods along with my juice, which makes me happy and calms the snacker deep inside.
My juicer arrived 2 days ago, and we have been experimenting with juice. My kid's favorite so far is the beet, orange, mint, carrot juice - before I add the carrots :). I like them all, but I also LOVE any vegetable and drink weird stuff that makes other people cringe. That brings me to the point of food. People are asking me if I will be able to STAND just having juice. Those that know me are concerned, as they know my love of pasta, bread, a good cheeseburger, CHEESE, raw milk, joghurt...ah...the list goes on, is deep. I don’t drink soda, only eat fast food occasionally, and pretty much eat a healthy, mostly organic diet. The transition will not be drastic for my body. The lack of coffee will be. I have been cutting down my coffee consume over the last week. Coffee is my ritual, and I love the taste. I have found some alternatives for the taste, will try to keep the ritual, and hope the lack of caffiene will not turn me into a bitch.
I have warned friends & family :). I am ready, making my shopping list, and will start officially on Monday morning. As excited as "I" am, I will not post every day of my progress (there are lots of "Juicer Blogs" out there!), but will check in every couple of days. If you are curious how things are going, I will post a public Google doc address where I will journal daily with weight, recipes, yippees & gripes.
If you have any yummy juicing or raw salad recipes for me, please share now. Going to the farmer’s market on Sunday!