Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Side Effects of Juicing

Okay, I had heard that your energy goes through the roof when juicing (Day 29), but this is ridiculous. I can barely sit down and write a blog post I have so much energy. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it and felt it for myself. Trust me on this one, you guys.

This past Sunday I literally felt like I was vibrating. I got together with some girlfriends and had such an amazing time with them that I had to come home and start another whole blog to talk about what happened. (Curious? You can read about it here.) And I swear I've even woken up in the middle of the night feeling like I'm swirling in a vortex. I promise you I am not being dramatic. It's crazy!

Other side effects of juicing? I am sleeping like the dead. Unless I have too much energy and just can't shut my body or mind off. I still have Fibromyalgia and it still gives me insomnia sometimes, even when I'm completely exhausted. But baby steps is all I'm asking for at this point.

Plus, joint pain is disappearing! Woo-hoo!!!! Ankles aren't causing me issues. Knees are feeling more stable. And the shoulders are feeling better (depending on what side I am sleeping on and how hard I'm sleeping). My left hip still hurts when I sleep on that side, but I have a feeling that's going to be the last thing to go. And my wrists haven't hurt since I stopped working full-time, so I guess I can't say juicing solved that. But it's still nice not to have that pain.

Headaches are greatly reduced, too! I woke up with one a few days ago, but that's the first one I remember since the beginning of juicing. Headaches have been third on my list of autoimmune symptoms only after joint pain and fatigue, so that's huge news.  Woo-hoo!

I was telling my girlfriends on Sunday that I think I could get addicted to this. I totally get people who can't stop. Why in the world would you want to stop feeling this amazing???

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Best Green Juice Ever!

So by Day 22 of a juice fast, you'd think I would have a TON of juices in my repertoire, right?! Wrong. I am pretty much sticking to two different juices....the mean green and carrot-apple. The mean green is my go-to because I just keep thinking the greener the better. The carrot-apple is my second fave because I had a nutritionist a few years ago who told me that if I did nothing else for my health every day, to at least have a carrot-apple juice. (I usually add some spinach, too.) Apparently, there are some amazing cancer-fighting properties in the carrot-apple combination, so who am I to argue?!

Anyway, I made THE BEST green juice today. I do not know what I did different, but it was SOOO yummy. Sucked it right down and can't wait to have more when I'm hungry. And you know what else? When I came back home this afternoon, my whole house smelled fresh and green and delicious. Bonus!

I am also really getting a kick out of my 6-year-old son asking -- no, begging -- for green juice! Eeeeee! How awesome is that?! My 10-year-old daughter likes them, too...but doesn't beg for them like my little Bubba does. (His name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

Now, my third step? Adding in the exercise? I hopped on my seated elliptical yesterday (nothing like a little House Hunters to make the time go by), and did 45 minutes, no sweat. Okay, there was some sweat, but I prefer to call it sparkles. But then, for the rest of the day...pinching every time I got up from a seated position for the rest of the day. It was killing me! I don't know what the deal was, but I think the next workout will be a walk until I figure out what's going on. I usually prefer a walk anyway. So there, pain-in-the-knee.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 17 - The Energy Kicks In

Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would feel this good at Day 17...or that it would feel this easy! That's the really crazy part. I tried to start a juice fast twice last year and both times I quit before I barely even got started. I'm not sure what the difference is this time. Seeing my brother in the hospital? Feeling horrible after all of the holiday indulging? I don't know.

I will tell you one thing, though. As healthy as it is for you, I cannot stomach the ginger. That's made a big difference for me. If a juice recipe I'm using has ginger in it (which I would say the majority of them do), I just leave it out. Blechhh. So here's the beautiful Mean Green Juice I had for breakfast this morning -- minus the ginger. was DEE-lish!

So I mentioned previously that starting the fast was my first step, and then I started getting hyper-vigilant about the water I drink. I'm doing so much better this week than in the beginning...which may have something to do with my energy levels. Guys, there is a CRAZY difference. I have been starting the day with a cup of herbal tea (to replace the grande nonfat latte I was drinking constantly over the holidays). Then I've been taking a water bottle with me when I take the kiddos to school, so I can get a whole bottle in as the day starts. When I get home, I make my first juice of the day. I try and drink another bottle of water (25 ounce bottles) after the first juice. And then I try and get another water in as I'm picking up the kids from school. I should probably get another one in late in the day, but I'm still working on being consistent with that. But it's about progress, not perfection, right? That sure is a phrase I need to repeat to myself over and over and over again!

Next step...creating a CONSISTENT exercise habit. (That consistent part is the key thing for me.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Juice Fast Day 10 - So Far, So Good

Well, I have to say that I am more than a bit amazed at how easy the juice fast has been going so far. Full disclosure, I DID have a salad on Saturday last gathering at a restaurant and didn't want to answer a lot of questions. But it was a perfectly clean salad and felt like the sacrifice was worth it. I also had a bit of a girls' night on Monday night. Cheese, crackers, wine, chocolate...the whole deal. One of my best friend's marriage was falling apart and we had to rally the troops. Did I have to partake? No. But I did. And it was dee-licious. But I also felt like complete and total crap all night and the next morning. I mean horrible. Like I could feel the acid churning in my stomach all night. Ugh. Horrible! On the upside, it was a fantastic reminder of why I am doing this for myself. A little negative reinforcement, right?!

Since then, I've been on the straight and narrow and really feeling terrific. Maybe a headache or two, but that's about it. As far as what I'm doing exactly, it's really easy: if I'm hungry, I make a 16 ounce juice that's mostly veggies and just a little fruit. I try and do a green juice every day, packed with kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, green apple & lemon. I also try to do a carrot-apple juice every day. Beyond that I make it up. The more green, the better. I also drink a large bottle of water in between juices. I've never been great about drinking water, so that's my second baby step. Woot woot!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And so it begins. Juice Fast Day 1? Piece of Cake.

Yep, Day 1 of my juice fast was no sweat. I can't even believe it! Of course, it doesn't hurt that I slept until 11:00 this morning! (11:11 to be exact...LOVE that!) And I didn't even overindulge last night for New Year's Eve, as I'm sure you might think when someone sleeps until 11:00. We had a nice quiet evening at home. We invited some family friends over for fondue and games and they left close to 11:30pm. I stayed up to enjoy my last glass of wine by the light of the Christmas tree, and was asleep by 12:30am.

But first, a brief background for you on why I am doing this. And why it's only Step 1.

Five years ago, I started feeling horrible. I had the overwhelming fatigue that only a pregnant woman knows. But I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant, so why did I just want to nap all the time? I have never been a napper. I have 500 other things I'd rather do than nap. But in the Fall of 2008, I couldn't make myself get off the couch. My whole body felt like lead. I also started having pain in my joints. More than regular arthritis, one day it would be the right ankle and the next it would be the left. One knee one day and my shoulder another. It was all very overwhelming...I had never felt this way in my life. After a few months, I decided it was time to go to the doctor. Almost immediately, my doctor referred me to a Rheumatologist.

I was diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, Hypothyroidism and Spondyloarthropathy (say THAT one five times fast). And everything changed. Nothing like being handed multiple autoimmune diseases at 39 years old to make you realize that health is about so much more than a number on a scale. Especially when you have a 6-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son at home. (Note: There is a form of autoimmune Hypothyroidism, but I have your standard garden variety.)

I started learning about nutrition in a way that governmental agencies would never teach you. First and foremost, that wheat and dairy are inflammatory foods -- and I have an epic wildfire of inflammation going on inside my body. I had no idea what those foods were doing to me! I've never been a huge meat-eater, but I also learned that it needed to be completely eliminated from my diet as well. I've had some big and little successes in the past five years...but in the past year, I've done a complete backslide into the standard American diet.

Enter the Universe and all of its gentle whispers and nudges. One sibling is diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. A good friend of mine is diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. My uncle goes in for a triple or quadruple bypass. Another sibling who already has gout goes to the ER by ambulance 3 times and is ultimately diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. And my own mom, only 65 years old, has become almost completely disabled and immobile due to her own psoriatic arthritis, gout, and who knows what else.

It's time to take control and become the sassy veggie I am on the inside.

Step 1: a juice fast.

Bring it.