Saturday, December 07, 2013
Last night I broke my fast, deciding that my body was telling it had bigger nutritional needs. I ate quinoa and cashews with no regret. Before I did the 17-day fast, most of Day 18, too, I had done a 21-day Reboot fast, which was juice, veggies, and fruit. That meant that my body wasn't getting much of a break.
By breaking the fast last night, I am going to be able to give my body at least 40 days to recharge before I do any fasting again, whether it is short or long. The quinoa was the most important thing I needed last night, packed with protein and other nutrition. I am continuing on a strict vegan diet, mostly raw, with plenty of green juice, some carrot juice, lots of salads filled with leafy greens. Quinoa will definitely be a mainstay for me, too, as it really works for me. I just love it. (I also have been fond of chickpeas for various dishes and love the healthy fat virtues of avocados.)
No regrets on fasting for 17-18 days. I benefited greatly, and I definitely detoxed a lot from my system that needed to be released. I got down that 20 pounds I so wanted gone when I began the Reboot. And I've proven myself to be very good at maintaining the weight I've lost. I will never be heavier than I am right now. I will make sure of it.
My plan today and tomorrow is to do a lot of walking for exercise, to eat more the way it is recommended in "Eat To Live," and to include at least four green juices per day, if not five. I continue to benefit so much from green juice that I will continue with it as a mainstay.
One thing that has shifted for me through fasting throughout this entire year, starting in early February, is that I no longer graze or mindlessly get into the cashews the way I once did. I don't view food as entertainment any more, although I am certainly looking forward to trying out some different food combinations and recipes. I am much more mindful about what I eat and how much I eat. It comes naturally now. And I crave green juice and big salads, not pizza and other cheesy offerings.
I used to have trouble saying no to cheese just this once. Now I know that I would rather go hungry, that cheese has no appeal for me. Cheese (dairy) and other acidic foods like it increase mucus production. Especially for someone like me that has experienced severe allergies, allergic asthma, sometimes sinus problems and ear infections in the past, thankfully no time recently, I don't want to go there any more.
Cheese (and other dairy) can leave me so congested and clog my sinuses so much that I can barely sleep. I feel all choked up and awful. But cheese has casein in it which has an addictive opiate effect. That is one reason for so many cheese calls them by name.
After detoxing cheese so many times before, I definitely am not detoxing that again. For me, cheese doesn't work. A 17/18-day detox definitely has me mindful about what I consume. I am just staying away from dairy. Plus dairy makes me look puffy. I once read from a nutritionist that she could tell when people ate dairy because they had puffy faces and deep dark circles under their eyes.
What works for one person doesn't work for another. For me, what works is a plant-based vegan diet with periodic fasting. I'm actually looking forward to my next fast and hope to go for longer next time. And I will check with my doctor before I begin.
It is hard to describe how I feel after more than 17 days of fasting except to say that I know I've released and detoxed something I really needed out of my body and out of my life. I feel lighter, better, and I have a wider perspective in some ways than before I began this fast. I also am very sure that my body did indeed do some needed repair work that it didn't get to do before, which is what the body does on a green juice fast. It uses the 30 percent of energy it no longer needs for digestion to repairs it needs to do.
One thing I noticed today was that I don't have the knee aches that I had earlier and other people noticed that my skin had more of that glow. I love that glow and I want to keep it, enhance it. To me, it is a sign of health radiating from the inside out. That is better than any skin cream a person could buy.
I'm really happy to be going more the way of "Eat To Live" plant-based vegan meal planning today. Or it might be another version of the Reboot as I will be doing so much juicing throughout my weekend. My fridge is nearly completely full of kale and I plan to go to a farmer's market soon for more organic produce. Organic is so important to me. I ended up rebooting with some produce that wasn't organic. What a difference it made to be able to go on a fast with organic produce instead. It doesn't make sense to detox while putting in more pesticides, etc.
Exercise is a big part of my plan for the weekend. I definitely plan to continue the weight loss journey. I am almost down another size in jeans and I am looking forward to getting into those jeans soon. So happy that my winter coat that was tight last year will fit so well now.
Note: If you are on prescription drugs or have other medical concerns, you should check with your doctor before fasting. Also pregnant women, teenagers, and diabetics should not fast, according to medical experts.
Helpful references I used included "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" info, plus Cherie Calbom's amazing book on fasting and detoxing. I am still re-reading Calbom's book and will next re-read "Eat To Live"--another excellent reference.
Cherie Calbom, a nutritionist, healed her health and her life, through juicing. She once had such severe Chronic Fatigue symptoms that she had to leave her job and move in with her father. Short juice fasts didn't seem to have much impact, but months later she suddenly felt like running. She realized that the juice fasts had helped heal her body after medical science was at a loss. Later she was brutally attacked and healed injuries that doctors did not think could be healed. She credited juicing.
I use her fasting and detoxing book for reference. Her earliest juice books are famous, but they have a lot of fruit in them. She now advises eating your fruit and juicing your veggies. When fruit is juiced, it becomes a sugar rush. Eating fruit includes fiber that slows down the sugar. (Green juice with dark green leafy veggies like kale or spinach is very healing and detoxifying.)
Here is the link to the Juice Lady:
Friday, December 06, 2013
Today I changed to a reboot fast so that I could have organic fruits and veggies if I felt my body was calling out for it. I made it through 17 days of green juice fasting, nearly 100 percent of the time. Occasionally I ate a bit of tomato or prunes.
On this rainy, gray day just before the weekend snow arrives, I decided to make it a reboot fast so that I had the freedom to put in some fresh organic fruits and veggies. That does slow the detox process a bit, but more importantly to me, it will add some nutritional variety I think I now need.
No regrets at all about doing a 17-day green juice fast. I really feel the benefits and got down in weight when nothing else was working. And I will continue to lose weight at a good pace on this reboot as well, which is actually likely to be 90-95 percent green juice, with some veggies added in.
In addition, Cherie Calbom, a nutritionist who wrote a great book on detoxing and fasting, recommends eating the fruit, not juicing it, because it otherwise provides a huge sugar rush. For someone like me, the sugar rush is not what I need. I juice a small green apple and have juiced carrots daily. (Carrots and beets have natural sugar in them.)
In honor of my reboot decision, I ate a small handful of organic dinosaur kale It tasted delicious and for some reason hadn't juiced up in my Breville with the rest of the kale. I put a megabunch of kale every green juice because it is such a nutritional powerhouse. I count on it for the protein and calcium. In fact, kale provides more calcium than milk and other dairy.
I do plan to do a longer green juice fast early next year. But for now, I am very happy with my decision to go on a 17-day green juice fast. That was the longest one I had ever done. My very first fast was 12 days, and I often did short fasts during the year, but none longer than that. Often the fasts were for about six days.
And as far as I am concerned, this is still the same kind of fast. I'm still doing nearly all green juice. I'm just giving myself the flexibility of munching on a bit of tomato or kale or even have a small green salad, organic veggies only, no dressing.
This fast has helped me to push to the lowest weight I have been in nearly eight years and helped me to take inches off my waist that didn't come off before. I definitely feel a shift from the first 17 days and am looking forward to what comes next. Since it is nearly 100 percent green juice, I still am putting a lot of energy in that direction, to ensure I get plenty of green juice, especially heavy on dino kale and celery, along with ginger. Cucumbers also go into every juice and often a small green apple, also known as a Granny apple. Each day this time around I have done a carrot-ginger-kale juice as well, although I haven't done that one today.
I did feel the need to have two bananas for extra potassium very early this morning, which is why I decided to call it a Reboot Juice Fast instead. Now I'm good to go. This weekend we are expecting our first real snow, even if it is just flurries. And I'm ready for it!
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Today marks Day 17 of my green juice fast. I started out the morning by noting my weight was down by a pound and also remembering that Siong from Iowa also juiced for 17 days in "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." Her 17-day green juice fast eliminated the migraine headaches that had such a devastating effect on her life and made her feel like a teenager again.
I must admit I don't yet feel like a teenager again, but I certainly was amazed when I decided to check my waist measurements. I last checked them in late November. Since then my waist measurements suddenly reduced by two inches! That is news to me because I have spent so long on this weight loss journey with my waist measurements staying the same, never varying more than an inch. Now suddenly I discover that losing 50-60 pounds comes with its privileges. My waist measurements are finally going down.
Since I last measured, my waist wasn't the only thing down two inches. My bra band size was, too. My hips may also be down an inch, as well as my bust measurements. I didn't take all my measurements again. i was too amazed at my waist measurements.
The weight loss has slowed down during this fast but maybe that is so my body can catch up. This certainly encourages me onward as I continue to juice and not look too closely at al the tantalizing holiday food offerings.
I have a long way to go, but now I finally know that my waist measurements will go down if I lose weight. This encourages me to try the smaller jeans now, of course. Just for fun. Mostly losing two inches off my waist just gives me a lot of hope. My waist is now four inches less than it was during a previous phase.
Perhaps the Kundalini yoga from dvds is part of the waist reduction, too. In any event, I am so grateful to see this kind of progress and so happy that I resisted the urge to stop the fast on Day 15.
Now Mean Green juice (kale, celery, cucumber, ginger, apple, and some add lemon) looks a whole lot more exciting. I'll be wearing smaller jeans for the holiday and perhaps feel like a teenager again.
I should note that my allergies seemed to have gotten a bit worse while fasting, enough so that I took Allegra for several days. I'm trying not to do that today.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Today I bumped into someone by accident who told me that I looked radiant, glowing, amazing. When I went on a long-term juice fast, those were the kinds of words I was hoping to hear. It was wonderful to hear those words, and it definitely made me that much stronger in my commitment to keep juicing for the next many days.
This morning, I probably felt less glowing after hiking to and from one of the last farmer's market weekends of the year perhaps. At a grocery store, the cashier told me I looked really great.
This afternoon, my husband and I hiked what seemed to be an hour to get to a museum. I'm on Day 13 of a green juice fast and didn't have juice with me. Plus I couldn't bring it inside even if I did know to bring it. So we had to leave the exhibit area to get me an orange mango drink next door. And I felt like I had to take restroom breaks a little more often. Plus I was burning up a lot of calories with hours of walking and felt a bit drifty. My body was begging for green juice I couldn't provide.
That got me secretly wondering if I needed to seriously modify my fast plans. Until I suddenly bumped into someone who told me I looked amazing, radiant, and could tell I had lost 50-60 pounds. She told me I was just glowing. And I learned she also juices and does juice fasts. And even dances while on juice fasts.
So I'm in! I got the prune juice in case I have need in the future. Usually I don't. I have plenty of kale and other ingredients, thanks to my very cold walk to the farmer's market. Now i just need to find the energy to make a green juice or two to refuel.
I'm really grateful to the people who said such kind things to me today. It dawned on me that up until recently I have too often heard about how I need to lose weight and even experienced skepticism from those who couldn't see the weight loss.
And yes, I know with or without the green juice fast, I probably would have been tired after walking that many hours and standing to look at exhibits. I saw a lot of beautiful exhibits, even one on yoga. I found out that vegan wraps containing winter squash, chickpeas, dried tomatoes, argula (in spinach wrap) are on sale as well. Good to know.
I'm closing in on a 60-pound weight loss since the beginning of the year. That is my next target. Since starting with Spark People some time ago, I have already reached the 60-pound weight loss. That is a goal I have been trying to reach for some time.
And now, if my knees can handle some really wonderful Latin American dancing, I hope to be able to dance the Samba early next year. I can hope. Certainly getting more and more weight off my feet, ankles,and knees will be a big help.
These two people made my whole day with those wonderful comments. One of my aims is to look radiant, glowing, and amazing. More than that, I want to feel radiant, glowing, and amazing.
So I'm on Day 13 of my green juice fast and definitely continuing, amazed to learn that someone I admire, someone filled with energy who expends huge amounts of it daily, often does juice fasts. I haven't gotten to the part in juice fasting where I get to feel that boundless energy, but I'm looking forward to it.
Note: I have a substantial amount of weight still to lose.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
When I think of prunes, I think of my paternal grandmother and many other elderly ladies I knew who wouldn't go a day without their prune juice. They swore by it to keep them regular and also assured me that they loved the taste of it. Prune juice or prunes, along with mince meat pie that so many senior citizens loved, mystified me.
But today I ate 14 pitted prunes from a nearby store when I couldn't find prune juice. The store stopped carrying it. And the truth was that I might have been a bit embarrassed buying it as most people seem to associate prune juice with constipation and old age.
But I am on Day 13 of a green juice and realized my digestive system needed urging. I don't drink green tea, a staple of some green juicers, and prune juice suddenly came to mind. I was freezing cold, just having returned from the farmer's market with over $50 worth of organic kale and celery. So I bought the pitted prunes.
I ate 14 and voila. Within two hours, my problems were solved and I felt right as rain. That got me to looking online to learn more about prunes. I was amazed at all the incredible health benefits they have to offer. And I couldn't help thinking that the pharmacies wouldn't have entire aisles of laxative products for constipation if more Americans once again fell in love with prunes, prune juice, and huge leafy green salads.
For me, using any kind of chemical, even the caffeine from green tea, is not desirable. I drank coffee by the pot full and was one of those serious coffee drinkers who knew all the different types of beans. i realized finally I was getting a toxic dose of caffeine and had to quit coffee. When I did, I had more than six days of very severe migraines and such eye pain that I had to see an eye specialist on an emergency basis. Even my optic nerves had swollen as my body rapidly tried to detox.
The experts say that the body will take any chance it can to heal. My body grabbed the chance to go from many huge cups of coffee to zero. None. I couldn't even tolerate green tea. My plan had been to go to green tea, but I ended up going with water. The Excedrin Migraine pills I once took had caffeine in them and a rebound effect. So I had to turn to Advil, warm blankets, and sitting in a chair reading day and night to get through the pain. I would never want to go through it again. For a week, I felt just awful, and I still felt the effects a week later.
I also learned that serious coffee drinkers who rely on coffee to keep them regular are using a chemical laxative, just like people who use laxative pills. It could take six months for my system to learn that it had to move on its own. I don't think I can tolerate green tea even now, and I don't want to rely on chemicals to do the work if there is another food in nature that can do it.
Prunes have incredible nutritional value, including unique antioxidant qualities. They actually are very tasty in many dishes I have tried, including tagines and even desserts. Figs figure a lot into some vegan and raw vegan diets. I'm now singing the ode of the prunes.
Just like that, problem solved. And I got a lot of nutritional punch with it. Here is a link to one site talking about the many health benefits of prunes.
My grandmother used to have her little glass of prune juice every day, along with her wheat toast, her tea, her fruit, possibly an egg, and several other ingredients. I've already learned she was right about wearing long sleeved shirts and big hats to cover up from the sun. Now I think I have all new respect for prunes and their many health qualities.
I am on a green juice fast and nearly every day has been 100 percent juice. There were a few days where I had just a few bites of a fruit or vegetable. That is still okay on a reboot. I am going back to the 100 percent juice but am looking forward to finding out how prunes can fit into my meals when I return from the land of juice.
(One reason I am going 100 percent juice is that apparently this frees my body to use something like 30 percent of its energy for healing, detox, and needed repairs. Also I am hoping for maximum weight loss in a healthy way. Green juice is incredibly healthy. And I try to use 100 percent organic everything that I possibly can.)
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