Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 2 and 3 Done!

Day 2 was pretty easy. I had plenty of juice and water and didn't feel abnormally hungry. That night, I did experience some cramping in my feet. It was weird, because I wasn't doing anything, just sitting on the couch, feet up, watching TV. All of a sudden, my left foot and ankle got a cramp. Ouch! I got it to stop by standing up and stretching it out. Later, in bed, my right foot and ankle did the same thing. I did some research and couldn't come up with anything concrete as a cause. I'm pretty sure I took in enough liquids as well. We'll see.

Day 3 was good too, no more cramps. Sometimes, I think Day 3 can be a tough one. Your mind starts playing with your resolve. After drinking only juice for a couple of days, you still aren't really used to that and you miss the act of eating the food. I've heard others say that they chew on ice when this happens. I didn't want to do that....too darned cold for me. I had a plan for the day, and I just stuck to it. I was kind of sleepy when I got home, but had my DDP Yoga workout I needed to do. Again, it was still difficult for me. I felt much better after I finished it and got busy in the kitchen.

Organization is key for me, as I've said before. So, last Sunday, I had gotten 3 days worth of breakfasts and lunches ready to be juice. That meant that Wed. night, I had to get ready for the rest of the week and make my dinner juice too. Having worked out before, gave me a boost of energy that helped me. One mistake I made was that I made my "Miss Scarlett" dinner juice too late in the evening. It was harder to fall asleep because of the energy that I get after I drink a juice. Lesson learned!

My "Miss Scarlett" was this:
2 medium tomatoes
1 small golden beet
1.5 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 yellow pepper

For some reason, this juice made lots of foam. I just let it sit and kept stirring it, because I wanted all of it. It didn't make a BIG glass of juice, but it was enough for me. I like the way it tastes and that it's a simple one. Keeping things simple helps too. No one wants to drag 10 bags out of the fridge to make a juice at the end of the day. On to day 4!

Juice On!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day One in the books

Yesterday went very well. I made one small mistake. I made too much juice for breakfast, but I drank it all anyway. I was full, to be sure. I made about 26 oz. of juice, with watermelon pieces, 1 apple and 2 carrots. It was kind of sweeter than I prefer, but very tasty.

When I did this before, I was often asked, "do you get hungry?" Naturally I get hungry. Everyone gets hungry! People are hungry before lunch, dinner, and in between, so getting hungry is to be expected. Now, what you do about that, especially if it's in the afternoon "snack time," is a different matter. What I do, is reach for the water. I keep a glass of ice water near me all the time. Another tip, is that I tend to think of my juices as meals. I get full, so why not?

Lunch was my version of Joe Cross' Mean Green Juice. Boy have I missed having that. It tasted so good. I hardly got sleepy at all in the afternoon. After a few more days, I won't get sleepy anymore during the day. Dinner was what I like to call VGR8. You can vary it in many ways, but since I'm just starting out, I kept it simple. I had 3 small-medium tomatoes, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 3 hands-full of spinach, a small hand-full of Italian parsley, and one smallish golden beet. I think that was it! There was plenty of juice and, though it wasn't very pretty, it tasted good. Here are some tips about this.
1. I get the spinach in a bag, already washed. It's just easier. To juice it, grab a handful and kind of ball it up, before stuffing it in the juicer.
2. Make sure to rinse off that parsley. Mine was sandy.
3. Peel the beet. If you don't, the juice might have an essence of dirt in the flavor.

Before I made my dinner juice, I did my DDP Yoga workout. I haven't done any of it in a very long time and I could tell. The workout I did is called "Energy" and it's the entry level one. Well, I could barely do it. It was pathetic. I did the best I could, remembering how I used to be able to breeze through it at one time. I will again. It still felt good to be working out again.

This is a brief description from of his yoga:
"DDP Yoga is not traditional yoga, it’s a hybrid workout that incorporates
some traditional yoga movements and adds dynamic resistance, active breathing techniques and power movements to make for a more challenging and results oriented workout."

It will help me  with losing weight, getting stronger and more flexible. I wish I'd known about it when I did my first fast, 4 years ago. Ah well, I'm looking forward, not back!!

Until next time......Juice on!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A New Beginning

I'm excited!! I've been looking forward to the chance to reformat myself for quite awhile. The time has finally come. But....what happened? I was doing so well, I know! Let me tell you, briefly. What it boils down to, is that I wasn't strong enough to keep from getting derailed.

October 10, 2011....that's when I started my first juice fast. It lasted 60 days and I documented it every day (which helped immensely). I lost a good 40 pounds, was feeling Great, had found DDP Yoga (in early 2012) and was getting more fit everyday.

But, Dec. 31, 2011, at my request, my life totally changed. My daughter, her boyfriend, 2 cats, and a dog moved in with me. I thought it would be for a short while. It became almost 4 years. At first, they were supportive of me, but that faded. Things weren't as organized as I liked. They were in charge of cooking, and would often ask me what I wanted. I always said, "meat and vegetables." I got spaghetti, baked potatoes, sometimes salad, beans, more pasta, rice, was all tasty and I was hungry, so I ate it. I became increasingly unhappy about the situation, but I'd brought it on myself and would again, to help my children. However, I wasn't strong enough. I stopped doing my yoga. I started having a cocktail or 3 after work, to make me feel better. Not a good thing to do! Not a good thing at all.

Things weren't all bad. I found a great new hobby, Geocaching. Google it, that's what I did. Through that, I started getting out and making friends. I attended geocaching events, many held at restaurants. From there, I also got into Dutch Oven cooking, even winning several awards in contests. It was all good fun and good food! I traveled to many places, seeing many wonderful sights, but I wasn't getting any thinner for it.

Now I find myself right back where I was 4 years ago. I don't want to go anywhere or see anyone, because I'm too FAT!! I cringe when someone wants to take a picture of me. My flexibility isn't good. I'm on blood pressure meds, and I hate taking medicine. Just leaning over to tie my shoes is a pain and a half. Everything I do is more difficult because I am not in shape and overweight. It's time to change all of it.

Last weekend, my daughter, BF, and pets, moved into their new home, that she bought. I'm very proud of her for the progress she made and being able to do that. I gave myself a week to get things organized. It's kind of funny to me, but I also began saying "Good-bye" to food, about 2 weeks ago. Call me crazy if you want. I had many of my favorites, including some fast food items. I cleared out my fridges.

Today was the "launch" day, if you will. It was the day that I spent getting prepared. You see, at least for me, the success of a juice fast, is being prepared and organized. I still had my shopping lists from way back when, so I went to Sprouts and Kroger to get all I needed. I spent about $75, but some of that was for my pets. I make their dog food and they eat better than I have been. Normally, I would spend about $50 a week on my juicing ingredients. That took me a couple of hours. Once home, I started getting things ready. I wanted 3 days of breakfast juices and lunches ready to go. I bought enough produce for a whole week. Preparing everything and putting the rest away, took maybe another 2 hours or so. It's important to me, to be able to get up in the morning and make my breakfast and lunch juices and clean up the juicer in about 10 minutes. I hate getting up, so that is why I do this. The dinner juices aren't such a big deal. I don't mind getting those ready as needed.

Here are some pics. The 2 big bowls are full of kale and turnip greens. Those leaves are full of sand or something. After I soak them, while I am taking care of the other produce, I rinse them off and put them into these great 2.5 gallon Hefty zip-top bags I found. It keeps them very fresh and crispy.

And here is my inside fridge with 3 days of breakfast and lunch. As you can see, there really isn't room for anything else, and the outside fridge is full of the rest, pretty much.
In conclusion, here are some of my top tips to get you started:
1. Buy limes or lemons with smooth skin. They are easier to peel.
2. Watch the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, free on Netflix.
3. Organize everything, making it as easy for yourself as possible. Trust me on this!

Tomorrow, I'll share my starting out recipe for "breakfast" and how the first day went. More on the DDP Yoga to come, as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to me! 2 month update

It's been a long time since I wrote. I know, I know, I should have at least made an appearance, some small effort to keep up my good work. No excuses, but lots of reasons. I been busy man!

Ok, so how have I done so far after 2 months? I came off the fast right before Christmas and was afraid to eat much of anything for a long time. Actually, I only wanted to eat vegetables and drink juice. But by Christmas, I was ready to have all my traditional favorites and make a big meal. I made too many kinds of veggies, but that turned out to be fine. I froze some of the turkey for later use and made some turkey vegetable soup that lasted a while. I had too much meat in my freezer, from taking advantage of sales and such, so needed to use that up. Fortunately, my daughter and her boyfriend came to stay with me, arriving on New Year's Eve. She is a good cook and has helped to use up things and keep them from being wasted. She has dinner waiting for me every night. I would often skip dinner, or just make a sandwich and that is not good.

So, with the holidays and having regular meals all the time, I am happy to say that in 2 months, I have only gained 10 pounds back. Oh, and I am just getting over a rotten cold that took about 2 weeks and I didn't feel like doing much during most of that time. Before I got sick, we would go on a long walk almost every night, or do some other type of exercise. We will start doing that again. I expected to gain 5-7 pounds, so am not unhappy with the ten pounds, considering all the changes lately. I still drink lots of juice, mostly the Mean Green. It just makes me feel better in general, not that I feel bad. I still have plenty of energy and do not get sleepy at work like I used to.

Other good news.....I gave my other daughter a juicer for Christmas, not a Breville, but an ok one. I told her it was so she could make juice for the kids, because they like it and also hoped that she might give it a try. Without saying too much, she decided to go on a fast like I did. She has been on it for at least 2 weeks, I am not exactly sure when her first day was, but she has lost over 20 pounds, even though she was cheating almost every day. I told her not to eat and that it might eventually make her sick. It did. Besides, one of the reasons to do a fast, is to give your digestive system a break. Sometimes, ya gotta learn things the hard way. Other times, you should listen to your Mom!! I saw her this weekend and she looked great! People noticed it in my face first and it's the same with her. Also, she used to get headaches quite often and has not had one since she started juicing. She used to get heartburn all the time too, and that has gone away. I used to have that too, and mine went away and has not returned. It's been much harder for her with a family to feed, but she is doing well and I am very proud of her.

And, more good news.........daughter, who is staying with me, has said that she will do a fast with me. I still have 30 pounds to lose and she does too. We are going to do a 30 day one, and see how it goes. She says she is in for however long I want to go and she is looking forward to it. We plan to start on Sunday, Feb. 12th. I kind of forced them to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with me one night. They liked it. I wish the other one would watch it. That was the 5th time I watched it and it still gets to me and inspires me. Joe Cross did a really good thing by making that and continues to help people and promote a healthier lifestyle.

I have enjoyed eating a variety of things and lots of vegetables. I always liked vegetables, but didn't always make the effort to eat them. The only fast food I've had are some little weird tacos from Jack in the Box, because it was a special treat for my daughter, who could not get them in Florida. She doesn't eat fast food either, except for those things. Anyway, I am looking forward to the simplicity of a juice fast again. People say that it's so hard. I know that it is at first, but once you get used to it, at least for me, it wasn't hard at all. I still think that a juice is an amazingly easy way to get the nutrients from fresh vegetables into your system with the least amount of work. I know what to expect and how to handle it and I know what I will miss. Funny, I still haven't had the lasagna I used to think about all the time. But guess what? That is what I will be having for my birthday dinner, and.........with Homemade Pasta!! It will be soooooooo good. At least, I think it will be. Sometimes, things aren't like I remembered them, even after 2 months.

I do plan to blog again while on the next fast. It helps me keep on track....makes me accountable. This time, I am going to measure myself more and take better pictures. I'll let you know how things are going.

Sure I will!!! Juice on!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Fast.....into week Three

Ah, time to relax! The main part of the holidays is over. I cooked too many kinds of veggies and had fresh ones too. I think I could have fed 20 people! I was so happy to be cooking again. Everything turned out well and everyone enjoyed the feast, more than once.

I thought I did well with eating too. I just took a very small portion of everything and didn't over eat at all. Of course I had had juice everyday too. That is just part of life now. I did not have any ill effects, either. Here's something interesting, maybe. My dinner was on Christmas Eve, and the next day, I spent over at my daughter's house. In the middle of the afternoon, her husband made a fresh pot of coffee. They have a coffee pot that grinds the beans fresh for each pot and it makes great coffee. I decided to have a cup. It's been at least 3 months since I have had any. It was tasty all right. A little while later, I had to visit the little girls' room. Here's what I found on the 'wiki", "The stimulative effect of coffee consumption on the colon is found in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee." It's for sure true. So if you are feeling kind of full in general, you might try a cup of coffee. Just don't go out for a run for awhile after!

In a few days, or maybe next week, I will be making a vegetable turkey soup that I have been making for years. We all love it. This year, it will be even better because I will be using as many fresh ingredients as I can. I said that I would post it and I have found it, so will do. Just wanted to mention, that I cut all of the meat I wanted, off the turkey the night it was served and put the rest of it, (bones and stuff) in a 2.5 zip top bag. Stuck it in the freezer that night, because I knew it would be a little while before I could make the soup.Warning: This makes a LOT and you can't freeze it, well you can,  but it will be yucky, so give some away if you can't eat it all in a few days.

Victoria’s Turkey Vegetable Soup
Adapted from a recipe from Theresa Randall

Leftover turkey carcass….with most of turkey cut off, legs and wings whole, all stuffing well cleaned out
2/3 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned salt
½ -1 tsp. black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large can tomatoes (diced is nice)
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
2-3 large cans of Swanson’s chicken broth, or 2 boxes
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
10 oz. frozen green beans, regular or French cut
1 lb. small peeled baby carrots or 6 medium, peeled and cut
½ medium sized head of cabbage, chopped
4-5 medium-small potatoes, cubed about 1 inch in size
3-4 stalks celery, cut into small pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce, adjust to taste, but Do Not leave out!
2 tsp. sugar

In a LARGE pot, boil turkey in 8-10 cups of water, along with garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, and onion, lowering the heat to a simmer for about an hour until the meat is falling off the bones.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the turkey, being sure to get all of the bones out and set aside to cool, saving the stock.

Add all the rest of the ingredients to the stock and bring to a boil. Add enough chicken broth to cover all the ingredients with a little bit more, as this will reduce during cooking time. Turn heat to low and simmer 2-3 hours until potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

Pick all the meat off the turkey and add to soup. No need to stir, but break up tomatoes, if using whole.

Good served with sweet cornbread! (I will probably not be making the cornbread this time)

I so love having the energy to do things again. I got plenty of exercise yesterday, too. Santa brought the g-kids and family an X-box Kinnect. It was Crazy. There was a dance game too, not easy. It's all a ton of fun and I don't even know how long we played. It takes pictures of you while you play. It was nice not to cringe when I saw myself. Really nice. 

Juice on!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Post Fast, Day 13

Almost 2 weeks since I finished the fast. Time sure goes by quickly. Going to really busy the next couple of days, so thought I'd write a little bit now while I can.

Yesterday was odd. I had juice for breakfast and lunch as usual, but all day there was a whisper in the back of my mind, "I want "real" food." I thought about this and couldn't figure out what it was that I really wanted. Before the fast ended, I used to think one of the things I would want would be some pasta. Lasagne, mmmmm. But, I haven't had any and don't seem to want it right now. I was trying to figure out what "real" food is to me these days. I started thinking of different restaurants I liked. Crossed all off the list as having nothing that I wanted. Still, the whispering continued. I wasn't even hungry.  Pizza seemed out too, because I like mine with plenty of things on it. That would still be too much for me. I have only been eating vegetables, hummus and crackers. Did have 2 scrambled eggs one day and they tasted ok. On top of all this, I didn't have time to cook much of anything last night. Finally, since I had to stop at the grocery anyway, I decided to get a California Pizza that I used to like and it doesn't have much on it, the BBQ chicken one. I added extra Mozzarella, of course. It was tasty, but, surprisingly, not as much as I remembered. I only ate 2 pieces of it. No ill effects, but the whispering went away. Now, I do not think pizza is "real" food, unless I make it myself and I plan to do so. But, I had to do something for my own peace of mind yesterday. From now on, I will need to think about making some healthy "real" food for myself, so no more whispers hit me.

One other thing. Today, I am wearing a Christmas shirt that I bought to wear last year. I never tried it on at the store, but when I got home, it was obvious to me that I would not be wearing it. I kept it anyway, left the tag on, and stuck it in the closet. I pulled it out this morning, and not only does it fit, it's actually loose!! I am happy! Since I have started wearing clothes that fit better, more and more people have noticed that I am not the woman I used to be. It feels good to wear things that fit, too. So, don't hide in those baggy jeans. Show off a little. It's fun. Not only that, finding my old favorite things I used to wear and being able to wear them,  makes me feel more like "me" again, which was the main point of my quest, originally.

So, enjoy the holidays, be smart, and remember to......................

Juice on!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Post Fast Update, 12/20/11

Wow, almost Christmas. I can't believe this year has gone by so quickly. Sure did end up good for me. I hope it does for everyone!

I am cooking the traditional dinner on Christmas Eve. At this rate, that may be the first time that I eat any amount of meat. I am still craving veggies. I caved and made some more butternut squash, roasted and turned into thick soup, to have for dinner the next few nights. I also decided to go back to juicing for breakfast and lunch, but with a few additions. Hey, Kroger had Kale on sale again for .59 for a big lovely bunch! It was a sign, what could I do?

But for breakfast, the rest of the week, I am having a third of a pineapple, 2 oranges, and then blend that with a banana in the blender for a smoothie. (Hey, pineapples and oranges were on sale too!) It is so good, except odd to have the small chunks of banana in there. 

I am writing this at lunch. The addition to my Mean Green is the black olive hummus and wheat crackers. (Hey, they had the hummus, buy one get one free! I had to do it.) The Mean Green still tastes better to me all the time.

So why am I still doing so much juice when I don't have to? One reason, especially for breakfast, is that I think I would fall back into my old habits of skipping it altogether or eating crapola. The juice is good for me, tastes good and takes hardly any time in the morning. I still get cold after my Mean Green, but I like it and I still think it gives me a good boost of energy to get through the afternoon. Once I run out of the "on sale Kale", I may go to some of the other juices I like for awhile. Eventually, I am sure that for lunches, in the winter, I will move on to some yummy soups that I make. The first one will be turkey vegetable that I have been making for years. I plan to change it just a tad, and use as many fresh ingredients as I can, instead of frozen vegetables. It's a family favorite and I will put the recipe on here in a couple of days. Great for leftover turkey and the bones. Makes a ton, also.

Today, I am wearing a favorite shirt I found in my closet. Haven't worn it in a very long time. It fits just like it should. Also, pulled out a smaller pair of Levi's. I thought, "no way", but guess what? They fit too. I haven't lost any more weight but I think I might still be changing. Fine with me.

I haven't gained more than 3-4 pounds either, it varies a bit from day to day. I have been eating, really I have. Last night I ate too much of the butternut squash and was too full. Another night, I did the same thing with the steamed veggies/rice/sausage. Things are moving along as well, though the watermelon/apple/pear juice I had yesterday helped and sent me to the ladies room, 3 times, just in the morning!! I was about to take a laptop in there with me, if that kept up. Have to work sometimes!!

Ok, out of time and have to play a little bit, before lunch is over.

Be Strong!