Fully Juiced!

Fully Juiced!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Miraculous Juicing Results for a Friend

I just had to share this amazing email I received from a friend who read this blog, watched. " Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and was motivated to take back his life and health as a result!! Jack's story is so inspiring to me, and I'm sure it will be to you too.  Read, reflect, and take back your health and life today! 
Carpe Diem......

Here is the email.....

"Hi Karen,

Here's a letter that I just sent out to family that I knew that you might enjoy also, as I have you to thank so much for my new life.

I thought that I would share this with you as we all have been undergoing all kinds of health concerns over the past several years and more.  As you probably heard, Lynn and I have gone through a bit of a major lifestyle change as I had been ill with Type II Diabetes for over 4 years, have had terrible foot pain due to diabetic neuropathy, high cholesterol, blood pressure that was going to be treated as high blood pressure probably sooner than later with more pills to add to my regimen, and, oh yeah, I have had sleep apnea for a little over 4 years now and have slept with a CPAP machine and a mask on my face to keep me breathing through the night.  Also, they were concerned about the fatty liver condition I have developed due to the medications I have been on.

I have felt just plain badly during this period of time and also, the depression came back extra hard a few months ago and I was ready to get put back on the anti-depressant medications that I was put on after Mom & Dad had passed (54 days apart).  By the way, at my worst, my weight was at 199.8 lbs.  You have to remember, I am the runt of the litter.

Fifty three days ago after watching the movie the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Lynn went out and bought organic fruits and vegetables the next morning after the movie and we went on a 5 day juice only detox.  At this point I had managed to get my weight down to 187.7 lbs. Right now, I'm at 172.0 lbs.  After our 5 day juice only detox, we have been on a plant based way of eating, just organic vegetables and fruits, and organic raw nuts, seeds, and our green juice(juice-1 to 2x per day).  I quit my 3/4 of a pot of way to strong coffee per day when we started the detox.  I now drink green tea, water with lemon, organic soy milk, and all of our foods are non GMO.

I had quit taking all of my medications once I felt good - day #6 (I was feeling good at day 4 - after 3 days of feeling terrible), 1 day after our 5 day juice only detox had ended.  I quit my 2000 mg. per day of Metformin for my Diabetes as my blood sugar levels were looking good, I was on 800 - 1600 mg. of ibuprofen and also 1 to 2 chronic pain medication pills daily for the foot pain and neuropathy.  I was taking 1200 mg. of red yeast rice as a way to keep the cholesterol down enough to keep me off having to start taking the cholesterol medication, and the high blood pressure medication was just around the corner for me.  We made a decision to leave meat and dairy out of our diet after watching various documentaries.  Let me know if you are interested in more information, and if not, okay.

Here's some #'s I got today from my blood work done at the beginning of the week:  My blood sugar levels are defined by what they call A1C.  My A1C last read 6.1 after 4 plus years of 2000 mg Metformin daily.  With no Metformin for 53 days, my level was at 6.2.  My doctor was completely amazed and said it will only keep getting better.

My Cholesterol # of 181was reduced to 123 (range: 135 -240) lower than the normal range. My Triglyceride level from 244 to 119.  My HDL Cholesterol at 36.  My LDL went from 97 to 68.

Numbers relating to PSA: AST (SGOT) went from 57 to 30 and
                                               ALT (SGPT) went from 116 to 66

My blood pressure is great and my fatty liver has recovered and the numbers are extremely good.  The depression went away on day 4.

Anyway, that's what the past 53 days have done for me.  I have more energy than I know what to do with.  I'm squeezing in 30-35 minutes 5x per week of aerobic activity, and am doing sit ups and pushups again.  At 57 -1/2 years of age I'm feeling better than I have ever felt in my life.  Even the few nights a week where I'm only getting 3-5 hours of sleep, I don't even notice any difference.  The foot pain has been reduced to only 1 ibuprofen or 1 chronic pain pill per WEEK.  The numbness is still on the outside of my feet and I don't know if that part will ever recover, but it's a good reminder to me to remember the kind of damage that can happen with what I put into my body.  It will also serve as a slight reminder of where I was and keep me from going back there again.

Our good friends Pat & Chris back in Portland started the detox after hearing what we did and are doing.  He lost 15 lbs. after 11 days and is continuing on just juice for awhile.  He can't believe how great he feels and the years of rosacea on his face cleared up at 11 days. He now takes the stairs at work - 11 flights and is continuing the juicing for every meal and snacks for awhile.  He said he thought his wife was his daughter the other day as she has really changed.

A young co-worker who had Type II Diabetes no longer has it as she started the week after me.  Two other friends have bought their juicers just this week.

I hope the rest of you are feeling alright and if you do want any info on what I did, just let me know as I have a letter that I keep adding to.  


Well, Karen, That's my latest progress report.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  God bless you and your family!


Friday, April 13, 2012

My Husband Asked, "So are we officially Hippies now?"

It's been nine months since my husband and I started juicing after watching the inspiring documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" (watch it here in the US for FREE, by the way: www.jointhereboot.com    :D ), but it seems like we have always juiced and embraced the lifestyle we have now.  It's hard to believe that a year ago we were eating NOTHING organic, drinking diet sodas daily, imbibing in a meat-focused diet, and shopping for the cheapest deals at the supermarket rather than the most healthful choices.

We thought we were doing well by most American standards (and we probably were, sadly, since the typical American eating standard is so low), but we were not.  With cancer rates rising (statistically every 1 in 8 Americans will get it these days, I just read online), autism and ADD sky-rocketing in our children, Diabetes out of control in the US, you MUST see now that the chemicals/genetic modifications and treatment of commercial foods and meats in America HAS to be the cause of all of this madness.

So, nine months ago we started juicing thinking that it couldn't hurt to drink our vegetables once a day and do a juice fast "reboot" every few months.  We underestimated the truth that knowledge is power, and didn't realize that once we knew better we would be compelled to DO BETTER in every area of our lives not just our eating habits.

Basically, the way it's gone down is that juicing eventually led to shopping 100% organically and locally-as much as possible, shunning commercial products, reading all food labels like an inspector, raising our own organically-fed chickens for healthful eggs, purchasing local organic long-horn beef and limiting our meat consumption to maybe 2 times a week!  We have also expanded our 20' x 30' in-ground vegetable garden to include "gutter gardens" on our deck, sprouts/wheat grass/ celery growing on our window sills and more in our greenhouse...just recently my husband has been looking into hydroponics to raise tilapia in our old hot tub !!   We are considering solar energy conversion, and use electricity and gas "consciously" now.  Our ultimate goal is to get off the grid so to speak, and be totally self-sustainable one day.  And to think, only a year ago we were...well, the exact opposite.  I'm embarrassed to say that there were times we dismissed people like we are now, as radical, or just someone trying to be "trendy". Wow, how wrong we were.  Humility is the beginning of wisdom, and humbled were we!

Survivalists? Nope :)  Hippies? I'm not sure about that; but what I do know is that eating/living as close to how God created us to- by being good stewards of our bodies and the earth at the same time- just feels right.  But not only does it "feel" right, the proof that it IS right is that our bodies have healed themselves through healthful food choices of all the maladies we had a year ago.  If making good choices makes us hippies, then bring it on!!

My Jack LaLanne juicer is used every single day, and has been for 9 months.  It is still plugging along, and for under $100 it is definitely sufficient.  We are saving our pennies for a masticating juicer when this one dies, however.  They say that masticating juicers last forever and are a lot more efficient in extracting all available juice and micronutrients from produce.  Apparently, even livestock will not eat the pulp left after it has gone through a masticating juicer because there are relatively no nutrients left...just the fiber remains. Hmmm...no wonder they cost so much !!

My "hippie" breakfast this morning consisted of a slice of Julian Bakery's organic lo-carb/protein-rich toast with FAGE nonfat Greek yogurt on top (sweetened just a little with stevia and sprinkled with cinnamon), organic decaf coffee with a splash of organic milk, and of course my GREEN JUICE :) Yum.  Protein= 22 gms (I'm guessing since the kale and collards in my juice have at least 2 gms, probably more!)...the bread has 12 gms, and the 1/2 c. yogurt has 8 gms.
                                                  Hippie Breakfast of Champions

That's wheat grass on the side there.  Sometimes I put it in my juice, other times I just cut off a handful and chew it up to get the juice out.  Note: don't swallow the fiber left after chewing, just spit it out when you are done.
In my Green Juice today:
3 Kale leaves
4 Stalks of celery
3 Carrots
1  Handful of cilantro
5 Small leaves of Collard Greens
1 Lemon
1 Thumbnail size piece of ginger
2 Apples
1/2 c. Chilled herb tea (run through the juicer at the end to "gather up" any trace nutrients left behind and to add fluid/volume)
* this makes 48 ounces that my husband and I share throughout the day

Some last thoughts:

I love my husband's sense of humor.  He uses it to quell the naysayers at work who look at his quinoa salad, organic peanut butter sandwich and apple in his lunch and say, "You know that organic crap will bankrupt you!"   He retorts, "Well, maybe so, but colon cancer is just a bit more expensive (*wink)."  Usually later, in secret back by the water cooler, one of his co-workers nudges him and asks what he puts in "that salad" anyway?  He loves that he is inspiring others, even if it is a bit clandestine.

There is a sweeping culture-shift starting to swell in America...finally!  It's gaining momentum as many in their late teens and 20's are shunning the eating patterns they were raised with in favor of healthy choices, whole foods, and clean living.  Those of us older than that are choosing better options because we see how they make a difference in our health and stamina. Whatever the reason, it's time...time to choose health over marketing, well-being over commercialism, and clean foods over chemically-sprayed genetically modified versions that are designed for shelf life, not human life.

If you haven't already, join us : jump on the bandwagon and begin today!  To read about my juice fast, and resulting blood and medical tests that revealed a total-health-transformation...click on the archive links at the right, or use this link and scroll to "Day 1" in August:     My Juice Fast/ Reboot

Here are some great movie suggestions for you if you are serious about understanding and becoming inspired to be healthy : starting now :)  Most, if not all, are on Netflix:
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
The Vanishing Bees
Forks Over Knives
Food Matters
Food, Inc.
King Corn

As Joe Cross says, "Juice on!"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Juicing Every Day, Joining the National Express Reboot Feb. 5th!

People ask me all the time, "So, are you still juicing?" (or in some cases, "Are you still doing that juice thing?") :)

The answer is YES!

I was talking with my dear friend, Wanda, yesterday about how once you reboot (commit to and complete a juice fast of at least 5-10 days), you are instantly converted....permanently.  Your palate changes so that you no longer crave processed foods, and you feel SO GOOD, and see so many personal health miracles, that you have no desire to ever go back.  Seriously.  It's an all or nothing journey: if you just "flirt" with juicing by buying a juicer, trying it once, juicing 1-2 times a month, it's just like all of those 1/2-hearted changes you've tried to make in the past (work out more, keep your closets organized, take more time for yourself, lose a few pounds), and it won't last.  Nor will it produce permanent changes, because soon you will slip back to the old American diet :(, and feeling lousy again. It's a rut that I know all too well about personally.

So, I just had my CRP levels tested for the first time again since last May.  C-Reactive Protein measures the amount of systemic inflammation in your body (the bad stuff).  It can indicate high risk for heart disease, autoimmune diseases, even the existence of pre-cancerous  activity brewing.

My CRP level has consistently been between 12-14 each time it had been  measured in the past 5 years. This is what Web MD says about CRP levels:

According to the hs-CRP blood test, accepted level is 1-3 mg of C-Reactive protein per L of blood

According to the hs-CRP blood test, accepted level is 1-3 mg of C-Reactive protein per L of blood
* Low risk: less than 1.0 mg/L
* Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
* High risk: above 3.0 mg/L
C-reactive protein measures general levels of inflammation in your body. The more means that somewhere in the body, there is an inflammation.
Again, mine always measured between 12-14 in the past! My doctors have always said, "Wow, now that's high...we need to keep an eye on this and retest you in a few months to see if maybe the test was invalid ?!".  One doctor actually asked me if I had Lupus!!!

Scary stuff, but no one had any answers except, "Let's watch it and see."  Geez. The problem with traditional medicine here in the states is that if a doctor doesn't know the exact reason for something showing up in blood tests (or whatever), and they can't think of a drug to prescribe to change it, they just "wait and see" what happens. Not good.

Now the amazing news:  My CRP levels, after juicing for a full 6 months every day and eating a clean diet of mostly organic, wholesome foods (less meat, but still some ;D)..... drum roll please........measured at .4.
Yes, that's right, there is a decimal point in front of that 4 !!!  I am in the absolute lowest range for inflammation (autoimmune disruption) in my body.  It is nothing short of miraculous.  NO WONDER I FEEL SO AMAZING !!!

You can't deny the results of a blood test.  From 12 down to .4....yep, I'd say juicing is worth the time, effort, the little bit of extra $$ for organic foods at the outset (although, my grocery bill is actually lower now than it was when I bought processed crap!).

What my doctors should have said was, "Why not try a juice fast, and changing over to an organic, plant-based diet for a month, and see if this alters things for you".

How sad...it makes me wonder how many millions of us Americans are out there not knowing how truly sick we are? And our doctors aren't telling us, until it's too late. :(  Even though I had an active lifestyle and seemed healthier than most my age, I was sick.

Thank goodness I was inspired to take a look at a movie that opened my eyes and shifted my paradigm. If you haven't already watched "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", get on your Netflix cue and do it tonight...you have so much to gain. **(And...Jake and I own a copy of the movie that we lend out to people who want to see it.  Wanna borrow it?  Just facebook me and you got it!)

You can do it ....I'm nothing special.  I didn't have tons of extra will-power or understanding of how to do this before I just did it.  Make the choice today, for YOU!

There is a National Express Reboot planned to start Feb. 5th...why not join in and give it a shot? Read about my first Juice Fast back in August here:
Karen's Juice-Fast, Reboot Journey.....
or,  here's the link to the official rebooters site for more info...you will be SO glad you jumped on this band wagon:
Juicing/Reboot facts...join in today!

Carpe Diem!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lab Results Are In : I'm Now a Die-Hard Flexitarian :D !!

 I just received my blood test results in the mail, and I am ECSTATIC to report that after only a 12-Day Juice Fast my health stats are remarkable !!  I expected to see some improvement overall, but these results are over the top.... great. (Note:  to read my daily blog with tips and insights during my juice fast from Day 1, click here: Karen's Juice Fast Reboot )

          Tested 6 months ago at:         Now:                            Comments:
Cholesterol...........220.......................114 (optimal is <180)....220 was with Meds
Triglycerides........180.......................121 (optimal is 30-150)...with Niacin regimen
LDL.....................98...........................57 (optimal is <100)..this is the BAD cholesterol
HDL.......................36................................38 (Optimal is > 40)...this is the GOOD cholesterol 
VLDL.................................................24 (Optimal is 4-40)
Chol/HDL..........................................3.5 (Optimal is <4.4)
Non-HDL Chol...................................81 (optimal is <130)

My Thyroid Results are:
TSH, 3rd Gen. ..........1.30 (optimal is 0.3-5.0) 
FREE T4...................1.24 (optimal is 0.71-1.76) 

I am in the optimal range of every single category, except my HDL!!! But, my HDL did go up (a good thing), and I didn't exercise as hard as I usually do during the fast (and I know exercise raises HDL).... so I'm ok with that result.  

Basically, I am in optimal health in these areas after only 12 days on the Juice Fast....amazing.  I'm so happy.  I just KNEW that the way I felt had to be measurable and scientifically/physiologically supportable, and here it is: undisputed lab result truth. The juice fast WORKS! I plan to cut my cholesterol meds in half and retest in about 4 months to see if I've maintained these great levels.  I am waiting to hear back from the doctor about my thyroid meds...I know that the results above are great, but I don't know exactly what the numbers mean by way of being able to reduce my medication or not. You don't want to play around with your thyroid.

Now, I simply have to maintain this healthy lifestyle and way of eating: include 24-32 oz of juice every day (and going on a once-a-month 2-5 day juice fast to reboot)...and eat mostly plant based, organic, clean foods, with occasional meat, fish (high quality without hormones, etc.), and even a treat once in a while (like holiday meals, etc.) !

Easy...since I'm already doing that:  it's habit now, and I actually prefer this to "the old" way of eating.

 PRASAD Health bar in Portland

Jake and I went to Powell's bookstore in Portland on our little trip last weekend, and I perused the Healthy Eating section while he was wandering around the Welding/Blacksmithing aisle :). 

I found several guides and cookbooks on a whole new genre of people that embrace a lifestyle of eating exactly the way that I eat now:  FLEXITARIANS.  Maybe this isn't a new term (I guess it was coined about 15 years ago!), but I've never heard it before. 

Anyway, I'm a flexitarian by definition! I think of it simply as "the way we were created to eat"...but hey, it's fun having a categorical name for it so when people ask.....
Here are some things I gleaned from the internet to define and explain the term. 

Flexitarian Defined
Being a vegetarian can now have many names. According to vegetarian information site Veggie Visitors, true vegans do not eat animal products whatsoever, while lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy, and pesce-vegetarians eat fish. Flexitarian is a term for those who eat vegetarian food most of the time but occasionally add meat to their diets. Flexitarians are considered semi-vegetarians (or, part time vegetarians! :D)


The main benefit of following a flexitarian plan instead of eating only vegetarian is that you have more options. You won't get bored from eating only beans or tofu as your main source of protein and you won't have to give up your favorite meat dishes. According to green-living website The Daily Green, focusing your diet on fruits and vegetables can help you ward off stroke, heart disease and prostate cancer. Being a vegetarian is also kinder to the environment since it reduces greenhouse gas emissions created in the production of meat products.

I Like This Point The Best:

It's a guideline, not a religion: Your friends are in town, and want to meet at Texas Jack's House of Steak for lunch. Go for it, but just eat just a reasonable amount—about the size of a deck of cards, and switch to vegetarian fare for dinner. Eat as realistically vegetarian as you can at least 2 meals a day, eat small amounts of (really good, organic!) meat at night or only 2-3 times a week, and you'll eventually adapt to eating smaller portions. You could eat nothing but Snickers bars all day and technically be eating vegetarian, but that's not the point—use your meatless meals to inspire your eating lifestyle, not constrain it.

Expert Insight

According to Medical News Today, becoming a flexitarian and reducing your meat intake will in turn increase your lifespan. In fact, vegetarians live an average of 3.6 years longer than meat eaters. A flexitarian diet will also help reduce your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Medical News Today points out that vegetarians tend to weigh less than meat eaters, which keeps them healthier and stronger.

I wish you rich blessings as you move forward with your quest for good health and well being for yourself and your family...
Carpe Diem!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

After the Juice Fast...Notes and Reflextions

My husband and I had a wonderful 3 days in Portland last weekend...and it was grand to be able to chew (and swallow ;D) beautiful, clean food again!

The mistake I made with my first day of reintroducing "solid" foods was:  eating too much (quantity and diversity) too soon!

Once again, if I had taken the time to read the rebooter's expert advice section I would have known that you need to ease back in to real foods.  Duh.  But, I was so anxious to have my Alaskan Wild Salmon, salad and veggies (plus a slice of my homemade organic whole wheat bread) that I ate it all at my first meal off the fast....and then I spent the whole rest of the night, and a large part of the next day, feeling like I had just eaten an entire bucket of food!!  In actuality, it wasn't much by normal standard...and it was all clean, good choices, but my body was not used to having to digest in the normal way.  So, I assume that all of the natural (good) fiber, and substance, etc. was too much too soon.

I really was uncomfortable:  not nauseous or anything, but you know how you feel after eating too much at Thanksgiving Dinner?  That's about how I felt... for about 24 hours afterwards!

So, the second, third and 4th days after the fast I stuck with juice-only for two meals, and then one light -mostly plant based meal.  I STILL felt like I was eating too much...crazy how quickly your body shifts to a set point that is WAY less than typical on the fast.  I'm trying to listen to that message and realize that, seriously, I don't have to eat quantities -even of stellar food- that I have in the past to be healthy and vibrant.  Also...and here's a shocker for me:  I'm feeling like I don't "need" animal protein every single day!  I can't believe I even wrote that, but it's true.  My cravings are more for a wide variety of fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds now!!  I've discovered amazing versions of hummus, tahini, edamame, nut butters, cashew cheese, pestos, veggie pates, etc., and I'm never turning back :D

One other phenomenon that I wonder if others experience is a slight feeling of "loss" now that I'm done with the fast.  I know that sounds totally weird, and I can't explain it any other way than as a sense of loss.  It's like I miss the fast and the ease of it all...the guess work about how much/what exactly your body needs is totally taken out of the equation when you are on the fast, so you always KNOW you are doing everything just right automatically.  I find myself wishing I were back on the fast so that I have no decisions to make about food...crazy maybe, but it makes sense.  I felt so darn great on the fast that I don't want to have to deal with choices right now.  I'm sure that will fade with time; but I'm GLAD I feel this way because it is ingrained in me now how easy it is to do the fast and be succesful.  I'm sure I will incorporate a regular 5-day fast at least once a month now just to reboot regularly.

In Portland, Day 2 after the fast, I had juice for breakfast and wanted real food for lunch.  But, I wanted only organic beautiful food (actually, my body was strongly telling me that nothing other than that would be suitable), and so did Jake.  As we meandered around downtown, we came upon a Yoga studio.  We saw people walking out with what looked like green juice in to-go cups, and I got excited!  "Let's go in there...maybe they have a juice bar and other good things we can try".

It was more than we could have ever hoped for, actually.  The cafe part of the studio was called "Prasad", and the menu was incredible.  They featured all organic, with many raw food selections  including a full lunch menu...and of course, juice :)  I felt like a kid in a candy store:  I wanted to try everything!   But Jake and I settled on 3 items that we shared..plus I got some agave-ginger juice.:
PHOENIX WRAP:  (raw)  yam rice, cilantro garlic pate, walnut taco crumbles, cucumber,
spinach, avocado and pickled beets rolled in collard greens with garlic tahini sauce on the side
QUINOA STEW: (cooked) Quinoa, tomato, sweet potato, zucchini, onion, cilantro, black beans....with gluten free bread
BLISS SALAD: Dried currants, calimyrna figs, walnuts, quinoa, beets, carrots and mixed greens with lemon ginger dressing.

The biggest surprise was that the wrap was not in a tortilla or pita like we expected....but in a huge collard green leaf!!  And, it was FANTASTIC...so yummy.  As a matter of fact I pretty much could not take a bite (or sip) of anything we got there without proclaiming (in quiet, yoga-inspired reverent sort of way):  "This is incredible..."

The best part?  Jake felt the same way exactly.  So, it wasn't just my "deprived" taste buds that were overreacting to the plethora of flavors they were now being allowed...it just literally tasted wonderful.  At our stop at Trader Joes the next day on the way home we did our best to purchase ingredients that were close to ( or exactly like) the ingredients in our lunch at Prasad.  I looked up some recipes online for carrot ginger dressings and hummus's, and made a version of the BLISS salad last night for my whole family.  Both of my sons LOVED it.  Wow, now that makes me happy, and just goes to show that good healthy food will make it's way into the hearts of the ones you love as long as you offer it :)

About the taste bud thingy:  I am still amazed at how everything I eat tastes like it's the first time I ever ate it. The buds were definitely cleansed and rebooted too! I'm savoring, and enjoying each bite, and loving that.  I know that this has a lot to offer in my new lifestyle and way of eating, and I'm thankful for it.

Today, so far (day 6 after my fast ended), I've had green juice for breakfast....for lunch: an open faced avocado, cuke, tomato, hummus sandwich on my Bavarian bread, iced cinnamon tea, and a cup of the cloned Bliss salad from last night.  I feel totally satisfied and happy.  It's 3pm, and I am not obsessing on what to have at the next meal, feeling deprived, or craving crap at all.  That alone is worth all of the effort it took to do the juice fast.

Other things Jake and I have done in the past week:
  • cleaned out our pantry and donated foods that we will not ever buy again
  • ordered (sharing with my brother in law's family) a 1/2 of a grass feed, natural, hormone free Beef
  • joined a CSA and will receive our first box of organic produce from them tomorrow!
  • talked endlessly about opening a juice bar locally!  We've decided that we would seriously consider it and jump in if all of the "cards" lined up according to the main stipulations we need to make it happen (proximity to my dance studio, low cost start up, etc.).  We are open...if it is meant to be, it will happen and be a joy to create :)
I will post an epilogue once I get my blood work results back.  Until then, I am still taking my thyroid and cholesterol medications.  I am also still
  • sleeping through the night and waking up with the sun!
  • feeling energy like I haven't since my 20's
  • proselytizing whenever I get the opportunity ;)
  • feeling that joyous, everything is all right with life, attitude
I couldn't be happier with the immediately measurable and noticeable results I have seen since the fast.  Would I do it all again?


Carpe Diem!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 12 of 12... Juice On !

Well, here it is....day 12 of my 12-day juice fast.  I made it to 10 pounds lost this morning too, so that was fun :)  I picked up the ten pound bag of organic juicing carrots in my frig just to imprint in my mind exactly how heavy 10 pounds feels...and to realize the fact that I can now set that 10 pound bag down and walk away from it, rather than have it attached to me like it was 12 days ago!

Ten pounds is not much compared to the thousands of people who have stayed on the fast for 60 days because they had a significant amount of weight to lose ... but it is good for me :)  Speaking of the longer juice fasts... "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" follows two people for 60 days, and, since I don't want to give it all away I'll just say that both lose significant amounts of weight; actually, the amounts are comparable to what you'd lose with bypass surgery in the first 60 days...yet there are no hospital costs, recovery time, feeling horrible after surgery, etc.

So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I am flagrantly plugging the film and it's inspirational educational benefits to random people.  It's true...Today I saw a sign for a garage sale and just had to stop.  As I was browsing I overheard two women talking.  One was about 36, the other in her 70's.  They were lamenting about their health issues including high blood pressure, hypo-thyroid, insomnia, auto immune skin rashes, and extra weight.  One is on the HCG diet, and had lost some weight by severely limiting her calorie intake using the special drops of growth hormone.  The other is on daily doses of prednisone, and hates what it's doing to her (interjection:  that stuff is poison!  Read about it here) :  Prednisone...27 major side effects...

I felt like I couldn't keep my mouth shut since I have discovered something that will improve their health dramatically, help them lose weight, etc.  I literally had an ethical conflict while considering just walking away because I did not want to seem nosey or like I was butting in.  But...I butted in :/

I asked for a pen, and then wrote down the title of the movie. Apologized for  butting in (which they graciously excused me for), and told them about my 12 day fast, the movie, the fact that I had had thyroid and insomnia issues for years, and that I've lost 10 pounds as of today. I also told them that I had gone on the HCG diet and lost some weight last year... but because you are not eating amounts that you can sustain for a lifetime once you go off the diet, you most usually gain it back and resume your bad habits.  The difference is that with Juice, you are getting healthier WHILE you lose weight...and it's something easy, fun and delicious enough to maintain the rest of your life after the fast.

They were intrigued (thankfully, or I would have just looked like some fanatic), and the younger woman said she was going to watch the movie on Netflix tonight!  Her mom said that she would watch it too. Yay.  Maybe it will inspire and help them like it has helped me and so many others.

Got my blood drawn this morning...I will post the results once I get them in a few weeks.

So, what are my thoughts today, the last day of the fast?  I have quite a few as I reflect back.  Most of them have to do with being excited about the changes in my body and health in so little time...others have to do with the things I learned, both practical and educational, about juicing...and a few have to do with what to do with all of that knowledge from here.  Obviously, I will be preparing fresh organic juice for myself and my family every day from here forward...that's the no-brainer.  But I've also been thinking about ways to help others in my sphere of friends, family and community.  I plan to lug all of my juicing produce and juicer to a dance rehearsal one night so that my girls can all try it and hear about how they can drink their fruits and veggies to stay strong... I will share with anyone, any time they ask, and continue to direct them to the movie, the rebooting website, and even this blog if they are really interested.  And...I still can't shake that thought of wanting to open an organic juice bar in town (close to the studio so my dancers can get good stuff in them before and after they train).

Just to break it down in a organized list (since I am of German heritage, and an educator..) here are some things I've learned, discovered, or encourage you to do too:
  1.  Eat Organic as much as possible: it is the only way to know exactly what's in, on or all over your food...and it's worth every penny for peace of mind alone
  2. Kale is now my friend.
  3. Do not juice in work clothes, or going out clothes...as a matter of fact, not even in pj's that you like.  What you are wearing will most likely get stained at some point during the process!
  4. Juicing is not just for really old people, or tree- huggers, or vegans or hippies....juicing is for everyone: toddlers on up!  Everyone benefits from whole, clean food and being able to drink their 5-8 servings of veggies a day in one tall chilled glass of green (or brown, red, burgandy...)
  5. It's important to stay near a bathroom at the beginning of your juice fast/reboot... and to carry juice with you in a thermos or something if you plan to be away from your frig. for more than about 2 hours.
  6. Drink lots of filtered water or herb tea on the fast...and brush your teeth twice a day (lots of vitamin C - ascorbic ACID...lemons, limes, etc....are flooding your enamel every day as you drink your juice)...at the minimum, swish with water and swallow after every serving of juice you consume.
  7. Purchase/consume only organic from the dirty dozen list.  Always.
  8. Support your local organic farmer by buying his stuff and encouraging/thanking him/her!  Join a CSA...tell your grocer that you want more organic selections in their store....vote for cleaner more healthful food choices for your family with your grocery dollar.  Don't scrimp when it comes to the health of your family, children or yourself.
  9. Kids (of all ages) WILL drink the juice...as a matter of fact, the feedback I've gotten from people reading this blog (and from the rebooter's website) is that kids as young as 18 months on up LOVE the fruit juices.  And, if you are smart, you "hide" a piece of kale, or celery, carrot, etc. in their "fruit" juice, and they'll never know differently!  Sneakiness works when it comes to juicing :).
  10. If you feed your chickens organic feed plus the organic pulp from your juicer once you are done with it, their egg shells will get miraculously thicker and stronger (the sign that they are healthier).  We saw this phenomenon with our chickens..and I think of it now as a metaphor for how when we drink our juice, our cell walls get stronger, and healthier to fend off disease, etc.
  11. The philosophy of most governmental food regulatory commissions in European countries is "Precautionary" (they look at something their people consume and evaluate it and rule  on the side of caution....if a certain chemical or additive may be harmful at all, they pull it/ban it)....in America, the FDA follows an "Assessed Risk" model (they look at the same substance, ask for studies from the very companies that manufacture the substance, and then determine if the risk is small enough to allow it to be used for human consumption).  The major problem with the American model is that it errs on the side of profits for companies, rather than caution for it's people :(.  And, maybe this one pesticide is not toxic when used according to the directions on apples....but what cumulative effect do all of the other 13 chemicals (all approved) combined on that same apple (fertilizers to grow it, sprays to prevent pests and viruses, mold, wax to make it look shiny, etc.)  have on us ... especially over time?

12.  Babies in America born after about 1965 (that includes my kids) have lived their whole life consuming contaminated food :( ; this is because beginning in the late 50's and early 60's pesticides were embraced/sprayed/and introduced systemically into fruits and veggies completely by the mega farms who grow 95% of what is in our typical grocery stores. No wonder there has been astronomical increases in learning disabilities, auto immune disorders, allergies, even cancers in younger and younger people. 

13.  When I eat out I will make good choices and support those businesses that serve clean, fresh, and as organic as possible, foods.  Pita Pit is a good option for "fast food" in our community..they even support and buy from local farms!  No more Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonalds and the like.

14. Vegetarians, although we often think of them as the most healthy in our communities, can actually be less healthy than a steak and potatoes guy if they are not eating organically and well balanced from all of the veggie, fruit, nut and grain families .  They still get cancer... Why?  Consuming larger quantities of pesticide-ridden produce, and processed soy products, etc. compromises the immune system.  So, if you practice a vegetarian lifestyle, it is very important to eat clean and organic!

15.  The "fruit smoothies" that you buy at your favorite coffee house or in the freezer section of the grocery store are NOT healthful...usually loaded with sweeteners, etc,. they are still loaded with empty calories and processed ingredients that negate the beauty of the fruit that is in them.  You'd be better off making your own at home with plain greek yogurt, honey or stevia, and the organic fruits of your choice!

16.  Be careful with your juicer blade and paring knives (I wore bandaids on both hands for the first 3-4 days)

17.  Check on Ebay for gently used juicers cheap if budgeting is an issue.

18.  Even small changes can  add up to HUGE health rewards: stop buying soda and substitute iced tea you make at home (save money and your health!),  purchase only organic from the dirty dozen list, juice once a day rather than go on a full-blown fast, etc.  And remember, there is no Juice-nazi waiting to stomp on you if you have some chocolate, or a donut, or a beer once in a while... it's ok to have a treat or not become a die-hard juice convert (like I did).  Incorporate what you can and you feel good about for you and your family, and you will still see great rewards.

I fell in love with the German sandwiches that you can buy for $2-3 Euros at every bakery, or deli, or stand in the airports, train stations, down town centers and grocery stores... They use incredible rolls/bread, covered with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and filled with great ingredients like yogurt-cream cheese, tomato, spinach, amazing greens,  cheeses, cucumber, etc. 

When I got home I wanted to duplicate those sandwiches... I found and tweaked a freakishly easy whole grain bread recipe online, and now make it a couple times a week. There is no yeast or Kneading/rising required.  It takes me about 10 minutes to make this and get it in the oven!  It's great for sandwiches, or just to eat with dinner.  Here's a picture of the loaf I made today (remember, I get to break my fast tomorrow!!), and the recipe:

 Bavarian Style Organic Whole Grain & Seed Bread
Oven:  375 degrees/ Bake 55 minutes
Makes one large loaf
 4  1/2 cups of organic whole wheat flour (or 4 c. of whole wheat + 1/2 c reg. for fluffier bread)
 1  1/2  Tbs  Honey
 1  1/2  tsp  Salt 
 1  1/2  Tbs  Baking Powder
 21 oz.  Organic Beer  (drink the leftover swig :) )
No yeast or kneading required!
Mix flour, salt, baking powder...slowly add beer and honey and mix well, just until combined.  Spray or rub organic olive oil on all sides of your bread pan...then dump in a handful of your favorite unsalted seeds or nuts or oats and tilt pan around so that seeds stick to the bottom and are spread out.  (suggestions:  pumpkin seeds, sunflower, walnuts, oatmeal, flax seeds, sesame seeds)
Pour in bread dough, and dump another handful of nuts on top of the loaf...spread evenly  and smooth with your hand.

So, I'm still not a hippie, and I'm not planning on munching on wheat grass when I go to the movies...I will still eat chocolate (I could never give that up!), beef, and other yummy stuff as long as it is clean and eaten in moderation.  I will even indulge a bit now and then if I want to , just because I can and there's no rule against that!

But, now, after several weeks drinking juice, and finishing my juice fast, I am resolved to not be a victim of bad, polluted food any more...nor subject my family to it. I will support local farmers and thank them for their contribution to the health of my family and our community...I will have a garden of my own (container gardens work well if you live in an apt., etc.) , and vote with my $$ every time I shop for food.  

I'm responsible for my health, and the quality of the food I serve to family and friends... I will continue to make small changes that pay off in a large way down the road (changing out the Jif in my cupboard once it's gone with organic peanut butter...not eating or making MSG-laden Ranch dressing any more, but using natural dressings made with amazing ingredients like mango and peach with Gorgonzola!).

I choose to live and eat healthfully... just the way God intended us to.
Thanks so much  to Susan R., Bill, Robin D., Kat, Lori, Mark, Vicky, Robin S., Cindy, Diane, Ashley, Susan D, and all of the others who have taken the time to read this lengthy blog and tell me so on facebook, the phone, email or in person.  Love and Blessings to you all.

And of course,   Carpe Diem!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 11 of 12...One More Day to Go!

I can hardly believe that it's been nearly two weeks since I started this journey toward a better, healthy lifestyle by "rebooting" my body via a juice fast.  It has been mostly a great experience....certainly not like other "eating plans" I've been on for various reasons during my life where I've felt deprived, less healthy, STARVED, bored, or basically just waited to be done with it.

I was thinking today about my family, and the unfortunate health issues they have dealt with over the years... My beloved mother passed away at only 68 from a heart attack.  She had smoked for many years but stopped when she was 48 and had a triple bypass. Although she only had good foods in the house for us all, they were not organic (that word wasn't even coined then, I don't believe)... the  cigarettes and, I believe, other environmental issues finally took their toll on her health permanently.

My oldest brother, Richard was a stellar example of health: he ran several miles every day to keep in shape for his duties as a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserves.  He wasn't overweight, and led a healthy lifestyle; yet at only 50 years of age, he was struck with leukemia.  It was a heartbreak for our family to lose such an amazing man, father, brother and friend.

My father has had Type II diabetes for 40 years, even though he remained active his entire life until just this past year at 80 when he decided to hang up his golf clubs and retire his tennis racket.  He had bypass surgery several years ago, and a run-in with colon cancer.

My younger brother, although also active and a relatively healthy eater, was diagnosed with colon cancer a couple of years ago as well.

I've had thyroid issues, and others.

Where did all of this disease come from in a family that was healthy and led active lifestyles by most American standards?  I can only speculate, but I truly believe that our immune systems as we've aged, have been compromised and beaten down by all of the chemicals accumulated in our bodies from ingesting pesticides, BPA's, and other junk...without even realizing it!

This is the main reason I am going to juice on, and continue the conversion to mostly organic food for the rest of my life:

My precious granddaughter...I want to be here for her and hold HER children in my arms!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to the Lab to have blood drawn to check my lipid and thyroid levels to see how this juice fast has affected them.  Obviously, it will take several days until the results are back, but I will post an Epilogue on this blog to let you know how it all went.

I'm not too sure if the change will be dramatic, since it was only a 12 day fast, but I expect to see improvement for sure. I'll let you know :)

My husband and I have decided to buy a grass-fed, organic, hormone-free 1/2 beef, and hope to share the meat and cost with friends or family.  I've researched a great CSA in our region, and got the farm contact from them.  We are EXCITED...but now we have to buy a refrigerator for the garage (2nd hand, of course).  Making changes one step at a time!

I wanted to note that my appetite has actually decreased in the last 3-4 days.  I'm only needing about 64oz of juice per day (plus herd tea and water) to feel completely satiated.  I'm sure my stomach has "shrunk", and my blood sugar levels are all balanced out by now so that I don't have the cravings to eat as much as at the beginning.  I can TOTALLY see how, if I had 50+ pounds to lose, this would be EASY to maintain for 30 + days or so (as the guys did in the film). Do-able.

I'm holding at 9 pounds lost...but I am on the cusp (just a couple of ounces) of 10 pounds.  I'm pretty sure I will make that mark by tomorrow, the last day.  Ten pounds in 12 days....not bad at all.

Carpe Diem!