Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hardest days yet day 4 was super tough! I felt pretty good physically, but mentally I was on the verge of a breakdown! Work was really busy and I got fatigued around mid-afternoon, so the cravings for solid food went through the roof. It didn't help that my husband (and medic partner) ate his BBQ lunch right in front of smelled soooo good and I haven't even eaten that kind of food since who knows when. I don't think it mattered what type of food it was, just that any solid food was all I could think about. Well, I got home from work and drank some warm lemon water, which helped. I decided that being so strict with just the juice was not as necessary as all that, a lot of juice fasts include eating raw fruits and veggies. So I ate 1 raw organic carrot before bed, finished my juice and water, and felt pretty good about it.

Woke up this morning, day 5, after sleeping in for a total of about 10 hours of sleep. No hunger, and feeling pretty good! I started off this morning with some herbal tea with lemon and had a glass of juice for lunch. This is the first day off of work I have had on the fast, and I knew I would struggle with cravings more when at home. The main reasons for this I think are: 1. I like to watch cooking shows on the weekend, which is difficult when you aren't eating solid food! lol 2. I like to eat when I'm relaxing on the couch, typical American habit I would like to break 3. I still have duties in the kitchen-cleaning and cooking for my husband, which exposes me to food almost all day. To try and head off the cravings this weekend before they start, I went ahead and ate a small raw salad after lunch. I ate so incredibly slowly, it took me almost an hour to finish it, chewing every tiny bite until it was completely liquified. For dinner I am planning a large glass of veggie juice and more herbal tea! My detox symptoms have also subsided today, making me such a happy lady :)

Well I'm off to tinker in my garden before making my dinner, I hope everyone is doing okay with their reboot! Since I'm halfway through now, it should be downhill from here, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Update on Day 3

Well today was my birthday and I successfully stuck with just my juice and water! So I had originally planned on including a small fruit meal every day of my fast, but yesterday and today I passed on the fruit! Day 1 I only ate half of a mango and then was full lol. I am very satisfied with the juice: that doesn't mean I don't get hungry, but all I have to do is grab the juice and the hunger goes away. I am also drinking more than the recommended minimum 64-72oz a day of liquid. My average has been 85oz of juice (half veggie half fruit) and between 16-32oz of water a day. Today work was pretty busy and I did struggle a bit to keep up with drinking enough but I did make it-my only real issue at work is having to pee every 45 minutes....when you work on an ambulance it can be a challenge to find a bathroom that often. Other than that the fasting is going well. My cravings are tolerable-I've decided its best that I do not expose myself to food (especially junk food) as much as possible during the 10 days, so when my husband gets in the truck with chips and such I try to go sit outside with my juice and enjoy the sun or read my book.
This morning I was still experiencing some detox symptoms, mainly congestion and runny nose. However I was thrilled to notice that my eyes have never been so clear and blue and my lips were pinker than ever! It looked like I had makeup on when I didn't-amazing. This afternoon I did experience a rather "uncomfortable" teeth and tongue spent the day coated. If you don't know what this is then look it up, its pretty strange. But that tells me that my body is ridding itself of bacteria and toxins, so when I got home from work I immediately brushed my teeth and all is well. I will gladly ride out these symptoms knowing what wondrous health lies ahead!
I'm looking forward to day 4, I bought 10lbs of carrots tonight to last me the next few days (yes, 10lbs lol) as well as more apples, oranges, and some beets :) For my friends fasting I hope things are going well for you! Above all remember to not put yourself through torture, if you are miserable then you probably aren't ready for a full-blown juice fast. This is a time to rejoice and enjoy yourself! I look at this process as a gift to myself because I know I'm worth it and I deserve the best health possible!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank Goodness for Detox Symptoms!

I know, you're thinking "why should I be happy to experience terrible detox symptoms?" Well, because thats the only way to know your body is healing itself!! Be prepared if you are doing the 10-day detox with me, you may experience the following in the first few days or more:
Sore throat
Runny nose
Clogged sinuses
Coated tongue
Irregular bowel habits
Mental fog
Bad breath
Body odor
Canker sores

Sounds horrible right? These symptoms indicate a wonderful process taking place when the body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. White blood cell and immune system activity increases, releasing all of these different toxins through every means available to the body. The good news? On around day 7 the symptoms usually dissipate and then you should expect to experience the following:
Mental clarity
Increase in energy
Need for less sleep
Clear skin
Stronger nails
Shiny hair
Emotional balance
Lack of body odor

Keep in mind I am not a doctor, just a humble medic ;). If you have any medical conditions or are on medication, you should probably check with your doc before doing a juice fast. That being said, if you experience horrible detox symptoms and just can't take it anymore, simply break your fast and the symptoms will go away. If your body has been used to the Standard American Diet up until now, I bet your detox symptoms will be pretty bad. If you have been following a whole foods diet it shouldn't be that big of a deal. Listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard. You can always do another detox and change bad habits in baby steps!

My personal experiences with any detox are sore throat, runny nose, and general flu-like symptoms. However mine usually only last a few days then I get to experience the list of positive side effects of the detox! And let me tell you, I feel its worth it. Today I finished day 1 of my juice detox, and it was a really good day. I drank a total of around 72 oz of juice and spring water. My energy was a little low for most of the day, but I'm not sure if its from the fast or the fact that I didn't get a good sleep the night before. My throat did start getting sore on the right side today, other than that I felt happy and satiated. When I got hungry I just grabbed for the juice! My plan for day 2 is to take more juice with me to work. Even though I have to pee every hour or so I'm going to slam the juice all day! I would love to know how day one goes for those of you starting tomorrow! Good luck and happy juicing!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recipe Prep

Here are some of the juicing recipes I will be prepping for Monday!

When shopping for juicing produce I always try to get organic when possible. It not only tastes better but when you juice the last thing you want floating around in all the micronutrients is pesticide residue! If I can't find organic then I peel and wash the veggies well. I also look for fruit and veg that are nice and ripe. If only unripe produce is available, I have a spot in my kitchen specifically for a ripening station.

Ready to Juice? Me too! These are the basic recipes I'm going to be using beginning Monday. In addition to these I will be juicing mono (glasses of only 1 type fruit/veg).

Breakfast Delight:
1/2 grapefruit
1-2 oranges
1 cup strawberries

Tropical Breakfast:
1/4 peeled pineapple
1 mango
1 teaspoon lime juice

Tangy Berry:
1 apple
1/4 peeled pineapple
1 cup strawberries

Daily Bread:
1/4 of a small watermelon
Serve over ice!

Warm Blanket:
3 apples
1 inch piece ginger
squeeze lemon

Basic 4:
8 carrots
1 celery stalk
1/4 cucumber
1 apple

Green Monster:
8 carrots
2-3 cups kale, any variety
1 celery stalk
1/4 cucumber

Veggie Grass:
2 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 handful parsley
1 handful romaine
1/2 beet root
1/2 fennel bulb
squeeze of lemon

Peppery Treat:
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
3 celery stalks
1/3 cucumber
1 handful romaine

Sunset Blend:
1 sweet potato
1 carrot
1 red bell pepper
2 beets
2 apples
1 orange

1 tomato
1/4 cucumber
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 handful spinach
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 cup kale
1 green onion

5 handfuls spinach
1 cucumber
4 carrots

Smoothies!! My favorite smoothie recipes....
*When I use berries in my smoothies I puree them first, strain through mesh, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. My tummy can't handle the seeds!

Basic Green Smoothie:
1 ripe banana
1 handful spinach
1 cup water

Fruit Monster:
1 ripe banana
1 mango
5 strawberries
1 cup water

Sunrise Smoothie:
1 ripe banana
2 oranges, freshly squeezed (1/2-1 cup juice)
5 strawberries

Simple Green:
1 mango
1 handful kale
1 cup water

Fruity Green:
1 mango
2 ripe bananas
1 handful romaine
1 handful spinach
1 cup water

Berry Smoothie:
1 ripe banana
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup water

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Juice Reboot!

Welcome to my 10-Day Juice Fast!

I am so glad you have decided to join me in this “spring cleaning” of the body. Lately I’ve been eating some things I know I shouldn’t, feeling tired, fatigued, and all around BLAH! My allergies have returned along with joint pains and occasional headaches, my sleeping patterns are off, and my food cravings are getting ridiculous. Enough is enough! I want to feel clean, energized, bright-eyed, well rested, and all around FABULOUS! The best way for me to recharge my system is to give my metabolism a boost with this 10-day fast. Some people do juice fasts for longer or shorter periods, but I feel 10 days is just right to transition back to a healthy and clean eating pattern. Feel free to choose the length of your fast for yourself, no one knows your body like you do, and what is right for me may not be right for you. Just be sure that you are truly listening to your body, not just giving in to old habits. I have found that the first 3 days of any new regimen are the most difficult, so know this and be prepared!

I’ve done smoothie fasts, raw food detoxes, and short juice fasts, but this will be the longest juice fast I have completed to date and I am very excited about it. Smoothie fasts are essentially the same concept, but will lack the micronutrients provided by fresh veggie juices. If you do not have a juicer but would like to do a smoothie fast, I would suggest including some store bought veggie juices such as Bolthouse Farms, found in the produce section, to supplement. They have carrot, 1/2 fruit 1/2 veggie, and a green juice that are as close to fresh as bottled gets. During a smoothie fast the majority of your smoothies should be green, and here is a great website with recipes and tips on green smoothies by the wonderful Victoria Boutenko.

In the days leading up to my juice fast, I will be eliminating anything from my diet that contains animal products, salt, refined sugar, and processed foods. Dairy and meat clog your digestive system, salt causes water retention, and sugar/processed foods are highly addictive. It will benefit me to get rid of these things prior to the fast so that my cravings are eliminated and my digestive system gets a clean-out. Think about it-you can’t flush out any system without first stopping the thing that is causing the back-up! The goal from now until the fast is to focus on whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, cooked veggies, and lots of raw fruits and veggies. By the way, fruit is God’s perfect food....just FYI.  If you are prepping with me, here are a few links to some great recipes and information.....

I also highly recommend viewing this film if you need some motivation! Its free on Netflix if you have an account.

Here is a link to Joe’s website that has some great juicing guidelines for those new to juicing!

I hope this is a good start to getting you excited about cleaning up your body just in time for summer! I am thrilled to be doing this fast just before the farmer’s market opens for the will prepare me for all the delicious organic produce I hope to be stuffing my face with for the next 5 months!!
Tomorrow I will begin posting recipes and grocery lists, until then, get excited!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pure Indulgence

Well I am 1 month Vegan and going strong!!! I am still in love with this way of eating. It really does renew my soul every time I eat, knowing that this is such a kind and peaceful way of nourishing my body. My body also appreciates it....I feel absolutely wonderful! My hair is silky soft, my skin is clear, and my nails have grown out strong and durable (I've never successfully grown out my nails until this). And an important side note ladies- my PMS symptoms, including cramps, are non-existent! No headaches, cramping, moodiness, or back pain. I would say its a miracle, but really it just makes good sense that God never intended women to be in such pain every month, but we cause the symptoms by mistreating ourselves. It is a well-known fact that caffeine, sugar, and processed foods aggravate the PMS why would we do that to ourselves??? Plain and simple, God did not intend us to eat the Standard American Diet.
I am also still enjoying the variety of wholesome food that I am discovering. My tastebuds seemed to have adjusted to the clean way of eating, because I now enjoy and crave plain spinach salads with no oil or dressing necessary. I can actually taste my food now, and the different textures and flavors are just delightful (not tasting only salty and sweet). I recently discovered a recipe that turned out to be the most delicious thing I've tasted all month. This pie is so good, even FOUR skeptical carnivores tried it and LOVED it. It is so simple to make, too.

Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

1/2 cup dried cherries
1 12-ounce box light silken tofu (or extra-firm silken tofu)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Cacao Chips)
1 prepared Graham cracker crust

Cover the dried cherries with 1/2 cup of boiling water and soak them until soft. Drain (and reserve) the water, and put the cherries into the food processor. Pulse to chop. Drain the tofu and add it to the food processor along with the agave nectar and vanilla. Process until smooth.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour it into the food processor and puree, scraping down the sides as needed to make sure it’s well blended. Pour into a prepared crust and chill for several hours.

I sincerely hope you all try this recipe and enjoy its richness and healthfulness! Happy eating!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 20!!

Well I have successfully been a vegan for the past 20 days! Although my 21-day vegan kickstart program is almost over, my journey has just begun. Many thanks to for initiating this wonderful experience for me. I can honestly report that I have had ZERO cravings for any of the foods I used to "enjoy". I put that word in quotations because frankly, I was kidding myself when I thought I liked meat, dairy, and especially cheese. Now I look back and remember feeling so disgustingly full, bloated, tired, and all around crappy after eating things on the Standard American Diet. Now after filling myself with a vegan meal I feel light as a feather, ready to take on the world, and always satisfied. The recipes I have learned through PCRM and other helpful sources have been just a delight to prepare. I feel like I am a new inspired chef in the kitchen with an abundance of ingredients to work with!
Spices have also become a new fun part of my way of eating. They truly make things fun and interesting to eat, instead of everything just tasting of salt and sugar. It is amazing to me how different my taste buds have become. I now actually TASTE my food! I also am accustomed now to seeing such vibrant colors on my plate that the thought of a red bell pepper, purple cabbage, or bright green apple make me salivate! The food that I have eaten the past 20 days has been absolutely gorgeous.
I thought it would be interesting to put together a list of new pantry staples I have discovered I cannot live without. So here goes:

Agave Nectar- so much more delicious than I imagined, and doesn't give me heart palpitations or crashes like sugar! A must have for topping cereal and adding to smoothies.

Cinnamon- seriously delicious on oatmeal, added to smoothies, and mixed into cashew butter for toast!

Raw Nuts- not only great for a snack, but good on whole grain cereal. And I have discovered that raw cashews finely ground make an excellent topping for pasta (tastes like parmesan!)

Fresh Fruit- duh....its nature's original fast food! Satsuma oranges are my fav.

Nutritional Yeast- its been my go-to for sprinkling on anything savory. Gives dishes a cheese-like flavor and provides me with all the B-12 I need!

Freshly Ground Flax Seed- perfect to sprinkle on fruit, in smoothies, and on cereal.

Those are a few things that I had never considered a staple until this experience. I am just so excited to continue this journey and keep feeling as wonderful as I have. Thank you to everyone for their support, especially my sweet husband who has been so great and loving. I will leave you with a few recipes I made this evening-the lasagna is courtesy Rip Esselstyn and the PB Balls are from Home-Made Health, both the links are posted. YUMMY dinner and dessert is all I have to say.

Engine 2 Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Vegetarian Lasagna

1 onion , chopped
1 garlic clove , chopped
8 ounces oz mushrooms , sliced
1 head broccoli , chopped
2 carrots , chopped
2 red bell peppers , seeded and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can corn , rinsed and drained
1 (12 ounce) package tofu
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 (25 ounce) jars pasta sauce
2 (14 ounce) boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
16 ounces frozen spinach , thawed and drained
2 sweet potatoes , cooked and mashed
6 roma tomatoes , sliced thin
1 cup raw cashews , ground
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.
Drain the tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
To Assemble:.
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Raw Food Peanut Butter Balls
1 1/3 C. oats
1/2 C. (heaping) peanut butter
1/2 C. coconut butter
1/2 C. Grade A Maple Syrup
1/2 C. dried coconut
1 t. vanilla
Chocolate Sauce for dipping (equal parts of agave and cacoa powder)
In a double broiler, slowly melt coconut butter and and peanut butter. Once melted add to a mixing bowl with all other ingredients. Use cookie scooper to scoop out of cookie sheet and dip or drizzle with chocolate if you want. Freeze and enjoy...and if you are like me...enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy!