Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 17: On The Verge

Holy crap. Day 17. Which means only 3 days to go. (Well, possibly 4, but at this point I'm kind of abandoning the 21 day goal and sticking with 20). My weight this morning was 150.2.... did you read that? 150.2!!! So. Freaking. CLOSE! I had doubts at the beginning of this week that I would reach my goal of 148 by the end of the fast but now I have no doubt. It's totally gonna happen! I could very well wake up tomorrow morning in the 140's for the first time in, well, I don't know. It's been so long. I think for the first time since I was in culinary school, maybe 2002? Outside of the weight, the physical changes I'm seeing in my body are drastic. The changes I'm feeling, most importantly, are fantastic. Mental clarity, energy, peacefulness, and a strong motivation to conquer my goals, no matter what they are.

As more of my friends are becoming interested and inspired by my changes, I'm getting lots of questions. Some are adding juice to their diet and cleaning up their food when they do eat, like Stephanie and Lindsay. Some will soon be embarking on juice fasts of their own like Kathy and Derek. The 2 biggest questions I've been getting are: 1) what are your 5 favorite juices and 2) what does a day of juicing look like?

Starting with my 5 favorite juices. One of these, at minimum, is in my rotation at all times. Usually 2 or 3 will make my list when I pick 5 juices for the week and shop for ingredients. They are:

#1 Favorite Dinner Juice: Tabbouleh Juice. I add a clove or two of garlic. As Lindsay discovered this week you may prefer the flavor from a sweet Vidalia onion over a red onion.

#1 Favorite Breakfast Juice: Peachy Green Juice. This juice just makes me happy, from my taste buds to my toes. I get giddy when I drink this. Local peaches are coming in to season and I promise it makes all the difference! The "green" gives you tons of energy to start the day.

And the remaining 3, in no particular order:

Gazpacho Juice: tastes just like the chilled soup, and perfectly refreshing during hot weather!
Great Green Fruity Mix: perfect for breakfast or as a post-workout drink- the coconut water means extra hydration, the sweetness of the strawberries is a good pick-me-up!
Green Lemonade: this is an all around good juice to fall back on any time, morning, noon, or night

When I began, as I mentioned in a prior post, I was juicing 3 times a day and drinking approximately 3 quarts of juice on top of my other methods of liquid hydration. Since about day 8 or 9 I've cut back to 2 quarts of juice a day. You'll find what feels right to your body, I promise!

In the morning I begin my day with an herbal tea. Yogi Teas makes a DeTox tea that I really enjoy- it's spicy and bold and said to help support your liver, kidneys, and digestive system during a detox. I also have a spearmint and lemongrass tea that is delish. Shortly after finishing my mug of tea I'll take my first juice- usually a juice containing some type of fruit to get a bit of sugar going through my bloodstream and give me energy to start the rest of my day. Usually 1 juice will make enough to fill a 1 quart mason jar, and I'll pour half into my handy insulated cup, cut with some water or coconut water, and save the rest of the juice for an hour or two later. I usually add 1 TB of Chia Seeds into my first juice which helps create a lasting fullness as well as aids in detox. In between juices I'm drinking tons of water. It's easy to say I drink 8 glasses of water per day, and I'm pretty sure my cup is about 20oz.

Mid-afternoon (I get a later start to the day than most people!) I make my 2nd juice. Yes, you can totally make all of your juice for the day at the same time, put them in mason jars, water bottles, soda bottles, whatever you have handy, and save for later. That definitely cuts down on cleanup and time spent in the kitchen, but I don't mind doing it twice a day, so I make mine fresh. In the afternoon I focus on having a juice that's slammed full of veggies. Drinking one of the many variations of green juice every day can get boring which is why I love my tomato based juices like Tabbouleh and Gazpacho, and my carrot based juices like the ABC Juice or Sunset Juice. A good goal is to get 5 different colors of fruit and veg in your body every day, whether you're eating, juicing, or doing a combo of the two. Your afternoon juice is a great place to take stock of what you've had so far and make sure you get to the 5.

I drink my first glass of afternoon juice, have about 4 or 5 glasses of water, and drink my second glass of that juice in the evening. You could definitely drink both glasses of juice in the afternoon, and make a 3rd juice to take you through the evening time. When I cut back from 3 to 2 juices, I changed my dinner routine and I prefer it much more over 3 juices a day. Now when I get home from work I will make myself a small pot of veggie broth using a couple carrots, celery, onion, parsley, and garlic, along with whole peppercorns, dried herbs, and sea salt. Cut the veggies small, bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, and strain out into a mug. Drinking the hot and nourishing broth has been so fantastic in the evenings and really helps me wind down. I follow this with an herbal tea of mint, chamomile, and Valerian to take me to bed.

The 3rd biggest question I get, usually after answering "what do you eat in a day", is "aren't you hungry!?" and the answer is a resounding NO! Think about it- some of us eat and eat and eat all day long, and still feel hungry soon after the feeling of being OVERfull passes. Why is this? Most of the time it's because we just ate something fatty and delicious and full of calories, but not full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. When our body is starved for the vitamins and minerals it needs to function, it sends a message to our brain that it's depleted, which is translated by us as hunger! When we fill our bodies with a variety of fruit and vegetable juices, ensuring we're receiving the full load of vitamins and nutrients our bodies need, and drink plenty of water on top of that, our brains never receive that signal saying they're lacking something. It sounds crazy, I know. You might not believe me, and that's ok. That is the science behind why a juice fast not only works, but can leave you feeling full, and why it teaches your body to re-learn the true meaning of full.

I couldn't help myself the other night and began planning my menu for my first full week back to eating, which will begin on Monday. I easily spent a few hours doing it, but there's a method to my madness, which I will share in the next blog post. On Sunday or Monday I will also have my final "after" juice fast pictures to share, which I am actually really excited about! I'll also speak more on my plans to keep this weight off and in fact continue to lose weight to get down to my next goal of 145. Along the way I will surely enjoy some of  the "cheat meals" I so desperately planned out on Day 10. Thanks for reading and we're still looking for recruits to the June Salad Challenge!

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