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:
- 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
- Kale is now my friend.
- 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!
- 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...)
- 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.
- 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.
- Purchase/consume only organic from the dirty dozen list. Always.
- 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.
- 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 :).
- 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.
- 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.
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!