Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Still doing the juice

I've successfully added green juice to my daily regimen, including today. My following food choices I've tried to keep veg-heavy, for the most part. The bronchitis is still here, and I didn't get much sleep last night from the coughing. Hopefully by continuing the juice regimen, my body will have all it needs to heal.

On the good side, the roofers are here fixing the kitchen roof. Whoot!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Juice Fast: Days 3 and 4

I woke up very weak on the third day of my Juice Fast, so, given I'm still dealing with Bronchitis, I figured that I needed to adjust my plan. I ate food.

I cooked up a delicious dish: sauteed onion & celery with extra firm tofu, topped with a bit of Jamaican Jerk sauce. It was a tad hotter than expected, so I followed it up with frosted mini-wheat cereal and soy milk.

After that, well, I had another bowl of cereal and soy milk, then 4 biscuits. Somehow, I managed to find room for dinner. I cooked up the last of our ground beef with onion, then cut up some lettuce, cilantro, & tomato. We lined each burrito with cream cheese, me with Tofuti brand imitation cream cheese, then topped them off with salsa. I had 1 1/2 burritos, and I was soooo full.

Then James decided to make Chocolate Pudding from scratch... omg... I had a small bowl, but I still don't know how I found room.

That night, I decided what was a more reasonable plan: do juice for breakfast, then possibly for lunch too. Shoot for one reasonable vegetable-heavy meal each day, and maybe one snack. Although, this is more of a caloric restrictive diet than a true "fast". But, sometimes plans need to change.

Today, I did pretty good. I made my juice, and then proceeded to make homemade chicken noodle soup with loads of veggies and a lean broth. It was sooo goood. I did eat 3 bowls, but that was my only meal, besides juice. I'm still very full. Oh, and for desert, I ate two "fun sized" snickers bars, the little ones you give out on Halloween.

Reasonable goals that lead to building healthy habits. This is the way to go.

I do have to say, though, the juice does good things to my "belly". I feel better for doing it. My problem is that, well, I'm still not well. This stupid Bronchitis is hard to beat. So, adequate calories, protein, and nutrient-dense juice seems a smart choice. Once I feel strong enough, I may revisit the "fasting". Till then, I'm just calling it a "juice diet".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2nd Day of Juice Fast

Today is day 2 of my juice fast. My recipe today was the traditional Mean Green plus a carrot. Last night my legs were cramping something  fierce. I guess I need to research how much potassium is in this juice, maybe all the nutrients per recipe.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Juice Batch is "Burly"

So I played with the Mean Green recipe and made my first batch. Here's what I put in it:

- 1 bunch of Kale
- 2-3 Mustard Green leaves
- 1/2 head of Leaf Lettuce
- 1 large Carrot
- 1 whole Lemon
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of Ginger
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Granny Smith Apple (small)
- 1 Yellow Delicious Apple (small)
- 5 stalks of Celery
- 1 handful of Baby Carrots and a couple florets of Broccoli (leftovers in the fridge)

It ended up making around 50oz of juice. It could have used more apple for sweetness. I guess the extra bite from the Mustard Greens kinda overshadowed the apples. But, I've drank about 16oz so far, and will drink the rest tonight.

James the roommate tried it, and said "Whew! This is burly." He advised at least 2 more apples next time.

Juice Fast: Shopping

After shopping at Aldi and Kroger this afternoon, I purchased the following for $31.69:
- 23 small apples (12 granny smiths, 11 yellow delicious on the green side)
- 2 large heads of Celery
- 1 large bag of Carrots
- 7 bunches of Kale
- 4 bags of Spinach leaf
- 1 head Red Leaf Lettuce
- 1 bunch Mustard Greens
- 1 bunch Collard Greens
- 1 bunch Cilantro (I've parsley in my back yard)
- 6 lemons
- quite a bit of Ginger
- 7 cucumbers

My goal is to try a variety of juices, experiment with what tastes good and has the most goodness in it. This should last me a few days. If I ate out 1-2 meals a day for 3 days I'd easily spend $30 or more. The juicing is cheaper. Now factor in that, with the right conditions this winter, I could grow Kale, Collards, Mustard Greens and Spinach at home or at the Huntington Community Gardens. Then it would be lots cheaper. This spring I'll be able to also grow cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and cilantro. The only time my ingredients list will be expensive is the heat of summer and the dead of winter. So, I will look to do some dedicated "reboot" juice fasting from March through June, then September through December. The other times I can have some juice added to a Fruit and Veg dominated diet. I'm uncertain about how much meat I will incorporate back into my regimen. We shall see what the tummy tells me, after at least 8 days of fasting, then after at least 2 months of Juice+Fruit&Veg. I will also need to figure out how to incorporate proteins into this diet. Do I throw nuts into the juicer? Maybe do soymilk & almondmilk fruit smoothies? All I know is that my stomach is upset all the time and I need to find a good combination that heals and tastes good enough for me to keep doing.

Day 666 - Bronchitis and Mean Green Juice

Ok, so it's been a bit of a battle, and I've had to fall back, regroup, and try again several times. The key is to keep trying, even though I'm well past day 365. I want to reach a healthy 140lbs, but it is going to take me far longer than I hoped.

Since loosing the 50 lbs last year, along with us finally buying a car that September, I've gained back roughly 13-15 lbs, and I am having real trouble loosing weight again. After a series of illnesses, and an increase in Asthma and Fibromyalgia symptoms, I've been weaker, both physically and mentally. I sit and watch tv, hulu and netflix more often, I barely walk anywhere. Even when pet sitting for a friend just 5 blocks away, I still drive. I'm battling Bronchitis at this moment, and have been ill for over two weeks. My stomach is always upset, even on the good days in between. But with this last cold/flu, it still hasn't settled down.

I'm very concerned about the health of my digestive system. My Rheumatologist has had me on a 50,000 unit vitamin D supplement once a week for 6 months, as I'm still below normal. I'm taking a hair/skin/nail supplement due to hairloss. And I can't seem to get enough potassium, C, or B complexes. My worry is that my digestive system is not doing it's job because it's swollen and irritated all the time. This does not bode well for either my ability to ever get healthy, or for my longevity.

So, last night I watched a movie titled "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." This guy Joe Cross, a wealthy overweight Australian business man with a pile of medicines and serious chronic illness, made a documentary about his 60 day juice fast and the following months of maintenance. He managed to loose 90 lbs in 6 months, I think 50+ of which was in the first 60 days. Joe was not the amazing part of the film. After traveling across America, Joe managed to bump into a truck driver by the name of Phil Staples, who had the same exact diseases, and weighed 435 lbs. Joe asked Phil to call if he ever decided to try the juice. A few months later, after Joe had completed his 60 days and returned with vigor to managing his many businesses in Australia, Phil called Joe for help, taking him up on the offer. Joe dropped what he was doing, flew out and walked Phil through what he'd need to do to start a 10-day fast, then left Phil to do it. Phil did great. He lost 30 lbs in 10 days, then decided to go for another 20, then another 30, and after a very successful 60 day fast then decided to keep going till he'd lost all the weight, over 230 lbs by the end of the film. He may have lost more by now, but his filmed transformation was trilling to see. Phil went from "a cheeseburger away from dead", slow, sad, and waiting for the inevitable, to energetic, happy, and running every day, sharing his success with everyone, inspiring hundreds in his community.

Anyway, Joe's idea was to heal himself from the inside by drinking and eating only micro-nutrient dense foods, and to get off all his medicines. Both Joe and Phil accomplished this and are in complete remission of their illnesses.

So you can see why I'm intrigued.

James has a juicer here in the house, and I'm real hungry. I think I might go out and buy some veg and fruit to make some Mean Green Juice. Here are some other recipes from the film: http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/about-the-film/learn-more/recipies/.

If today is day 1 for me, then the dinner I'm to attend on Nov 5th will be interesting. Maybe I'll let myself eat veg and fruit that day, instead of just drinking juice, but I'm totally missing out on the Fried Chicken. Maybe I'll let myself eat veg and fruit once a day. I've not quite made up my mind, but I'm determined to try adding the juice to my regimen. What am I saying... I'm planning on Building a New Regimen, as I've totally stopped all my healthy ones from last year. Sweetie has been quite displeased with the lack of "walkies".

I need to do this for myself, so that I can be there for my family and my community. The Huntington Community Gardens, the Cabell County Master Gardeners, and Create Huntington are all groups I'm active in, but my chronic illnesses have lost me my job in June and kept me from participating the way I'd like to in the healing of our city. My house is a wreck, my yard is a wreck, I'm a wreck. So, I must focus on healing myself first, then my family, then my home, then my friends, then my community.

Time to be a bit selfish, in the best way possible.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sushi Doesn't Count

So I made a decision based on my serious love of Sushi: it is allowed during Vegetarian month. Quite a few sushi varieties do not include fish, so those are freebees anyway. However, the meaty ones are the issue here. This one allowance will makeup for the fact that I simply should not eat dairy, which represents half of the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. Although I love them all, milk products do bad things to me.

posted from Bloggeroid

850 Calories Burned Yesterday

Thursday was the first day since Saturday that I felt well enough to exercise, so I made it count. After 42 min on the Elliptical (level 12/20, 3.15 miles) and 42 min on the Upright Bike (level 10/20, 10 miles), I'd burned over 850 calories. Whew, that was a tough set, but I "got it done".

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vegetarian Month - Day 5

Breakfast:
Saturday's often provide Jim and I time together, so this morning we decided to eat French Toast for breakfast. I had a loaf of my homemade Artisan bread that had become brick-stale, so we softened it by microwave/steaming for about a minute. This allowed us to saw it into slices. After whisking 4 eggs and a bit of milk with some vanilla and cinnamon, we then soaked these slices in the mixture to soften before placing in a heated cast iron pan with a bit of butter and olive oil. I chose to add a bit more cinnamon to the top of each slice for added flavor.

This was not a lean breakfast, but it did not use "Meat". However, it did use Milk and Egg, two items which make it totally non-Vegan, but do not prevent it from being Vegetarian.

With what did we top this delicious dish? Why, we used High-Fructose ladened Pancake Syrup, of course :(
Next time, we will use real Maple Syrup, for certain.

Dinner:
After a good swim at the YMCA, Jim and I headed for Applebee's for dinner. I found 2 dishes besides Salads that could be made Vegetarian by eliminating the meat. I chose their Ravioli Florentine and it was good. My desert was two coffees with a shot of Kahula in each.

I ended the day at 2100+ calories, which killed the 300+ calories I burned swimming. But, Jim and I had fun, and this is very important for a Saturday together. 

Triathlon Swimming - 1/2 mile

In a Triathlon, or at least the one we have at Beech Fork State Park the first Sunday in August each year, participants begin with a half-mile swim, followed by a 15 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run. This week I have focused on practicing the biking, with the Elliptical helping to build the muscles needed for the 3 mile run without the impact on my knees just yet. Today, I practiced the swimming.

To put it succinctly, I suck at swimming. Mine is akin to flailing or drowning than proper laps, or at least this has been the case for quite a while. My husband's brother found a great guide to improve his swimming in preparation for Triathlons last year: the Perpetual Motion method taught by Terry Laughlin. Knowing my goal for 2011, he let me borrow the tutorial DVD and book.

A few hours before heading to the YMCA, I set aside time to watch the first set of swimming lessons. It helped me to visualize the movement I needed to achieve. But, when I attempted lesson 1.1, I failed. It was to push off and let yourself glide in a "superman" style with arms outstretched and head down, holding your breath till momentum slowed enough for your feet to touch bottom "in an average shallow pool". However, I simply could not hold my breath for those few seconds. Trying again, lesson 1.2 added a new step: to pull your arms back after the initial glide and gently kick with head down. Unfortunately, I still could not hold my breath for more than 5-6 seconds without gasping when I stood, most likely the result of my Asthma. Given that I am a stubborn person, it wasn't until the end of lap two and after my lungs sputtered their substantial unhappiness that I changed my practice.

Starting with lap three, I glided instead on my side, which allowed me to breathe continuously and to find out naturally when best to inhale and exhale. This vantage point allowed me to watch and adjust my arm stroke posture, raising the elbow but keeping the hand relaxed until it pierced the water. In addition, my underwater arm found an opposite complementary rhythm. I practiced the gentle kicking, but with muscles tensed just enough to prevent my knee, ankle, foot and toe joints from painfully "popping", an effort meant to overcome a poor swimming bad habit of "flinging" my legs, which would result in joint strain. This controlled "gentle kicking" was much more possible today than it had been last year, given in large part to my repeated use of the Elliptical machine, which has helped to strengthen muscles all over my body.

By the end of 30 minutes, not including the occasional stopping to adjust my ear plugs or to talk with husband Jim  who was swimming in the lane next to me, I had completed 18 laps, a full half-mile. This translated to around 350 calories burned. And, at the end, I was not exhausted, another improvement over last year.

Next session, I will again use this side glide posture, practicing the breathing, stroke, gentle kick rhythm, and shoot for a slightly better time, with a goal of reaching 20 minutes by May.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Woops! I ate meat :(

When I'm tired, there's no telling what I'll forget. Yesterday Jim and I went to Arby's for dinner. In my hunger haze I ordered their Turkey Bacon Ranch sandwich. Although nutritious, with its whole grains and some veg, it did contain meat. I'm not too worried, though. The goal for me for vegetarian month was to increase my veg consumption, which I have. But, I'd wrather not slip up again.

posted from Bloggeroid

600 cal at Y, 4 min mile

I burned 600 calories today, and I had a biking success. My goal was a faster pace and more distance, which was accomplished with an average mile biked at 4 minutes and a total distance of 11.25 miles in 47 minutes. Eventually I would like to reach 15 miles in 60 minutes.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 3, 2011

7am Exercise

Since I had a morning meeting, I was forced to get up early in order to have time to exercise. After much grumbling, I managed to rise by 6:20am, leave the house by 6:50am, and get to the YMCA by 7:05am. Whew!

The elliptical provided my usual low-impact workout, totalling 400+ calories burned after 42 minutes. My hope is to have enough stamina to do an evening round of 400-600 calories.

posted from Bloggeroid

posted from Bloggeroid

2 Days into Vegetarian Month

My second day was a success. However, I did find out after the fact that I'm allergic to something in a yummy wasabi spiced nut mix. Yeay Benadryl.

I'm looking forward to roasting some Tempeh and marinating some Tofu on Friday. My goal is to plan out and cook for my week on Friday and Saturday, as I've little free time on workdays.

Calorically, Monday and Tuesday went well, staying under 1800. However, Wednesday ended with me having eaten over 2500. I hope to have better control today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Exercise today - 800 calories burned

At the YMCA today I did 40 min on the Elliptical machine, set on difficulty 12/20, set on Fat Burner (varies the difficulty within range), for a total of over 3 miles distance and 445 calories burned. I followed this up with 40 minutes on the upright bike (most like a regular biking experience), set on difficulty 10 flat, for a total of over 9 miles biked and 362 calories burned.

My goal is to hit 1000 calories burned each day as my average for the month of February.

Goals for 2011 - 67 lbs to loose, Vegetarian Month and a Triathlon to finish

Here are my Goals for 2011:
  • Yes, I've got 67-72 more lbs to loose to reach 140 lbs, but I think I can do it in 2011.
  • As of Today, February 1st, I'm embarking on a month long adventure into Vegetarianism. This will help me to get back into the swing of tracking my calories, my nutrition choices, and my of course my exercise per day. Plus, I want to get into the habit of making my meals in advance.
  • I plan on getting to the YMCA for a piece of time every day. Now, there may come a HCG Weekend Warrior Work Day Sunday that I just don't have it in me to get to the YMCA afterwards, but if I can at least try to do it every day, that'll be a great habit to build. I figure I can go to the YMCA to shower and then swim after working out in the garden. March 1st is when we start officially working every Sunday, but we've a few things to get started in February.
  • The first Sunday in August is the Huntington Triathlon at Beach Fork State Park. I plan on doing all three parts myself: 0.5 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run. My plan is just to finish it, but hey, if I can finish it within the time limit, then great. If, however, I finish somewhere in the middle, I'll die happy.
  • Although my doctor said I should get down to 140 lbs, if I finish 2011 around 150 and feel like I'm healthiest at that weight, then I'll let it be. The goal is really about health, not a number, but 140 is an excellent goal. Since I started this endeavor back on Jan. 4th 2010, I have met several women who are my height of 5'6'', weight around 140, and look healthy and great. So, 140 may be a perfect goal for optimum health. We shall see.

Way too long since last I posted, much success to report, 45-50 lbs lost in 2010!

Ok, so I got a job and then it was planting season at the Huntington Community Gardens, so my Blobbing fell by the way side. The good news is that my weightloss goals did not :)

By July I had lost about 45 lbs, by October it was at 50 lbs lost. Then I plateaued till now, staying between 45-50 lbs lost. This is in large part to my slacking off with the counting of calories and not staying around 1800 as I should have been. But, all spring, summer, and fall I was quite active, and my stamina improved drastically. Even in 100 degree weather I still managed to get hours of HCG gardening done.

The three biggest activities for me were YMCA exercise, HCG gardening (often lots of mulch and dirt shoveling), and biking everywhere. We didn't have a car from Nov. 2009 till Sept. 2010. This addition of a car in the fall also contributed to my plateau, as I was no longer biking everywhere, but it was just in time for the cold bad weather, so really I've no excuse, I could have stepped up the YMCA time, but I didn't.

I want to encapsulate the huge difference in my health and stamina these days. I was not able to keep working in 2009, because my health would bottom out for weeks at a time, due in large part to my Fibromyalgia. In 2010, however, I was able to sustain a 20hr a week part-time job, still volunteer about 800-1000 hours on various community projects including the HCG, and still find time to be at the YMCA a few times a month. Yes, I still had bad days, yes I missed work or a volunteer gig here and there, but I came back faster and was able to jump back in to things so much quicker than in 2009. And, the amazing thing is that I was better in 2009 that in 2008, due to my increased activity with the HCG gardening labors, which was why I even tried to work in 2009.

Health and stamina is a beautiful thing. Given how tremendous my improvement was in 2010 with the first 50 lbs, I'm excited to see what happens with the next 50 in 2011.