My journey planting a completely chemical-free organic vegetable garden from seeds that were mostly propagated from the food we eat. I also discuss the importance of leading a natural, organic, healthy lifestyle with everything food, cruelty free and health related in between.
I did a juice feast this weekend, with a clear calendar and temps in the hundreds for the last few days I figured it would be a perfect time to attempt my first juice feast. For those of you that are not familiar with the term juice feast this is when you do what can be considered a fast except you drink lots of fresh juice, instead of fasting you feast - get it. Here's the blow by blow:
Saturday 7:30am I finally saw the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Thursday. My good friend Nicole fromPioneer Valley Veganhighly recommended it. It was moving, so much so that it inspired me to do my own juice fast - feast really since I plan to drink approximately 5 32oz juices and one turmeric tonic. Here's the cache of veggies for the 2 days
I know I'm not fat, sick or nearly dead but a juice feast can be very beneficial to all of us. Even if it's just a day or two. Personally I think more than 10 days is putting you at risk for problems with your teeth, especially if there are fruits in your juices.However, having seen quite a few morbidly obese people come down to a healthy weight and stay there by continuing to eat a healthy diet makes the case that for someone in that condition this can be life-saving.In addition to the health benefits I want to lose 2 or 3 pounds. Those of you that know me know I'm vain. I'm turning 40 at the end of this year and the plan is to look fantabulous. So this means going from a BMI of 22.6 down to 21.9 which is where I want to be, right in the middle of the healthy range of 18 - 25.
So in 10 min I plan on getting out of bed and making the first juice of the day. Here's the menu of juices I plan to drink: Juice #1: Green Juice (based on Organic Avenue's Green Love juice): Watercress Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Romaine, Beet Greens, Collard Greens, Pear, Lemon, Parsley Juice #2: Veggie Juice (based on Organic Avenue's Veggie Vibe juice): Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Beet Greens, Lemon, Parsley, Carrot, Beet, Ginger Juice #3: Green Lemonade (based on Organic Avenue's Green Lemonade juice): Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Lemon, Ginger, Water, Salt Juice #4: Mild Green Juice (based on Organic Avenue's Mellow Love juice): Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Romaine, Parsley, Salt Juice #5: Berry Juice: Cucumber, Celery, Carrot, Beet, Ginger, Strawberries, Blueberries Juice #6: Turmeric Tonic (based on Organic Avenue's Turmeric Tonic): Lemon, Carrot, Ginger, Water, Salt, Turmeric, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper 12:30pm On to Juice #2. I did my morning workout and had my wrist adjusted - too much sudoku while commuting. I was going to get a massage but at about 11:30 I was feeling hungry. Now this is interesting because I usually have a banana, watermelon and an orange for breakfast and am hungry by 11am so Juice #1 is a keeper. I do think I'll need to have a juice every 3 - 4 hours to keep hunger at bay. Juice #1 was at 8am so it makes sense to be hungry by 11:30am. Energy is good and no detox effects so far. Once I finish this one I'm off to my massage.
8pm About to have Juice #4. I'm hungry. Energy level is fine. I think it's definitely psychological. Jared was eating peanut butter and it took all of my will not to rip it out of his hands. Also the romaine in Juice #4 was giving me a craving for a sandwich. Not sure if I will be able to hold out until Monday morning. Not because of hunger but because of wanting to give in to cravings. Hopefully the next juice will satisfy some of that - it's a berry one so should be really really good.
11pm I only made it to Juice #5, the berry one. It was delicious. I felt like I was having a real treat. I'm off to bed now. Hopefully I can get a good night's rest and do this all again tomorrow. I have to admit I am craving real food, a collard wrap would hit the spot... Good night Sunday 8am I feel OK. I slept pretty well. Only got up once to pee. I woke up hungry, nothing special though, the same as any other day. I'm hoping to kick the food fantasies. I keep thinking about stuffed grape leaves. I'm also down 1.5 pounds which is nice. If I lose the same today I'll be at the 3 pound goal and only 3.5 away from my ultimate goal weight, yippee!!
5:30pm I did my 90 min Yoga X DVD this morning I also took a nap that ended up me missing Juice #3. I'm now on Juice #4. I'm a bit surprised that I was out of commission for so long. Is it the fast? Is it the heat? Yoga or my body making up for lousy sleep earlier in the week? Probably all of the above. I've decided to break the fast tonight, something light with the berry juice. Some veggies in a collard wrap, nothing fancy. 7:30pm Break of the fast. I had 2 brazil nuts and a collard leaf wrap it consisted of zucchini, carrot, basil, tomato and sauerkraut. I seasoned it with a little extra virgin olive oil, Herbamare, kelp granules and cayenne... As soon as I finished I ran to the bathroom, I'll leave it at that. 11:30pm In bed, I never had the last berry juice, ate a small bowl of blueberries with raw cacao nibs instead. I also had 3 tortilla chips with Jared's spice peanut butter concoction, that was good, good enough to maybe have when entertaining... My tummy feels a little off, looks like I should have had even milder snacks. Hopefully tomorrow it will be back to normal. Signing off and good night. The Results: Total weightloss: 2.5 lbs Energy Levels: OK, I did nap on both days and slept the full night, so even though my energy was OK I did need rest Mood: I was on the verge of cranky but I think it had to do with the heat and boredom, I didn't go anywhere since I had to juice every few hours. And there's only so many Korean horror movie you can watch in one weekend Sleep: Good, I took naps and slept in the evening Skin: Looks good, can't say I notice much of a difference though Bathroom: Pee a lot, the first day I drank the equivalent of 20 cups of juice. Day 2 I drank 12 cups, nothing to sneeze at. As for #2, it was more like #1 - ewwww TMI!
The Verdict: Would I do this again. Probably for a day or so, I don't think I would hack it for than that since I love to eat but I can see where you want to "reboot" every once in a while. Also, another option is to be a juicer before 6pm and then eat whatever you want for dinner. Kind of like a juicing version of Mark Bittman. That way no matter what damage you do - and I know you are all eating right all of the time - you are getting your fruits and veggies in.
OK, OK - so I really don't know if the following is really the secret to a long and healthy life BUT I have a really good feeling about this so bear with me...
#1 Eat Well
I know I don't have to tell you to eat you 5 - 9 fruits and veggies a day, you already know that. I'm gonna say it anyway - EAT YOUR FRUITS & VEGGIES. Eat the ones that you love and try something different at least once a week. Hell even once a month can work. Eat a variety of things of every color of the rainbow:
RED: Tomatoes, Strawberries*, Raspberries, Red Peppers*, Beets, Red Apples*, Watermelon, Red Grapes*, Red Onions, Cherries, Cranberries, Pink Grapefruit ORANGE: Oranges, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Orange Peppers*, Sweet Potatoes, Mangoes, Carrots, Apricots YELLOW: Lemons, Grapefruit, Yellow Squash, Yellow Peppers*, Yellow Apples, Yellow Tomatoes, Pineapple GREEN: Kale*, Lettuce (all varieties)*, Limes, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, Leeks, Scallions, Brussels Sprouts, Artichokes, Zucchini, Acorn Squash, Avocados, Collard Greens*, Spinach*, Watercress, Green Peppers* BLUE & INDIGO: Blueberries*, Blackberries VIOLET: Eggplant, Plums, Grapes*, Purple Cabbage, Purple Peppers, Purple Carrots, Elderberries, Currants, Raisins, Prunes
For a lot more colorful options please check out this out. And don't forget your legumes, nuts and seeds too! For those of you that still eat animal products, consider the source and how it was raised. Try for organically fed and ethically raised meats. For seafood, eat low on the food chain and always wild.
#2 Get Outside Nothing beats the great outdoors, even the sun in moderate amounts is good for you. All you need is about 15 min a day out in the sunshine to reap the benefits. Use a safe sunscreen if you plan on spending an extended amount of time in the sun. Not only is the sun good for you, just being surrounded by green is good for you mind. Studies have shown that being in a park or green space can help with depression. If you go on a hike you're doing double duty by getting exercise AND communing with nature. Which brings me to #3.
#3 Move Your Body
Again and again exercise has been shown to have lots of benefits even into old age, it helps keep everything working properly. It helps keep you limber, keep you at a healthy weight and improves your mood. While training for a marathon is great for you all you need is about 30 min every day. This could easily be a walk thought your town, dancing in your living room or an afternoon gardening... hmm, sun, outdoors, exercise, mood enhancer - can't be beat!
#4 Be a Social Butterfly Having a social network has also shown improve mood and health. Studies have shown people that had a support system actually get better faster than people who don't. Also, having a confidant can help during those difficult times. Even pets have shown to improve the health of their people. No one should go it alone
#5 Get Enough Rest
This goes without saying, getting plenty of rest is very important. For those of you that think you can make it up on the weekend, guess again. Inadequate sleep can literally take years off of your life. Your best range is generally between 6 - 8 hours of sleep. So cut the late night TV and caffeine if it interferes with your beauty sleep.
#6 Be Happy
Remember, you only have one life - don't spend it moping around. Eating right, staying active and having friends can work wonders on helping you stay happy. 2010 was a terrible year for me but I somehow managed to stay positive. I attribute it to all of the above. Being grateful and meditating can also help you stay grounded and happy.