Archive | January, 2012

Raw Update & Juice Cleanse Challenge

27 Jan

First, an update on my “raw resolution”.  I conveniently forgot how long I was planning on eating raw (please don’t remind me), but I can report that I ate only raw foods for almost two weeks! Twelve days to be exact. This included an out-of-town baseball tournament.  I lost about five pounds during the first week and felt great.  I noticed that I started eating too many avocados and almond butter to lose any more weight.  Then we had a birthday party and a formal dinner and I lost it!

I have to confess that I have had a really difficult time getting back to my healthy eating habits since the holidays.  I’ve been off the raw diet for almost two weeks now and have had such a sweet tooth.  Hormones have definitely played a role in my cravings, but I think it’s mostly just been bad habits from the holidays and lack of self-control.  I put on a few of the pounds I lost, so I still have 5-10 pounds to lose and I am struggling.

So….I’m going to try a juice cleanse.

Our store is showing a film called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead tonight and then we are having a kick-off meeting/class at our store on Saturday for anyone interested in starting a seven-day juice fast.  Some people are doing a three-day fast and others just want to incorporate more juicing into their life.

I’m going for it!  But I don’t have a juicer.  Mine is being used by my sweet hubby at the store.  Besides, I am super busy running kids from one end of San Diego to the other all week.  So what’s a girl to do?

RITUAL CLEANSE TO THE RESCUE!

I found a company that delivers fresh-pressed 100% raw organic juices to your door!  Now that sounds right up this busy mama’s alley!  My first delivery is expected to arrive around 5:30am tomorrow and I am so excited!

A cleanse can have various effects on people.  Among them are:

  • Mental clarity
  • Abundance of energy
  • Happier Mood
  • Better digestion
  • Decreased desire for salt and sugar
  • Craving for fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Glowing skin
  • More restful sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Increased sex drive
  • Strong desire to “reset” regularly

Sounds good to me!

What doesn’t sound good to me is not having my coffee.  Ahhhhhhh!  In preparation, I hid all of my favorite mugs, my little espresso maker, and anything that will trigger a coffee craving during the day.  Hope that works!

Since I eat pretty healthy (compared to the average Joe), I am not expecting any crazy detox symptoms during the first few days except for a headache from lack of caffeine.

One of my blogging friends, Cheeseslave, blogged about taking Phenylalanine  to help her quit coffee without any side effects.  I may give that a try.

According to the folks at Ritual Cleanse, their cleanse floods the cells with vitamins and minerals that gently cleanse and heal your body without the harsh “detox” symptoms associated with other cleanses.  (We’ll see)

They have another juice that I’m totally excited about, too.  It’s called Shed.  The Shred component provides extra nutrition to fuel workouts.  I would like to say that I have been working out, but I would be lying.  I just like to know that I can if I want to.

Another blogger, at My Favorite Everything, tried the three-day cleanse and said it was “like having a clogged bathroom drain, pouring down a jug of Liquid Plumber and having the pipes function perfectly after wards.”  Hmm, I like the part about the pipes working, but I’m going to try to get the Liquid Plumber out of my mind.  She said she felt great after the cleanse and will try five days next time.

My high school friend-turned-blogger, Kathleen of Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice, also had a great experience and said she will do five days next time too.

If they can do it, I can do it!

Besides, look at the ladies behind this company…they are gorgeous!

Sign me up!

Well, I’m off the bed so I can get started bright and early.  Pray for me as you sip your morning coffee.  Weep for me.

I’ll check-in soon with an update…promise.

My Raw Resolution

5 Jan

The holidays are over.  The cookies are gone.  The desserts have been devoured.  All that remains is one muffin top…mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely holiday.  I visited with friends and family, and I didn’t go crazy with my eating.  But…by Christmas day, I felt terrible.  In fact, was tired most of December.  My energy level was way down from normal and I had the blues a bit, especially after Christmas.  Maybe some of that was just normal post-holiday emotions, but I think a majority of it was from my diet that was consisting of more starches and sugars than what I am used to eating.

Also, about a year ago, I noticed a small lump along my bikini line which scared the daylights out of me until I did some research and saw a doctor and found out I have a femoral hernia.  It’s a rare type of hernia that occurs mostly in women and can be caused by pregnancy.  I was relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious.

I noticed that when I eat too much, my gut really bothers me.  I had an episode just after Thanksgiving that almost sent me to the hospital.  If you have ever had intestinal pain, you will know what I’m talking about.  I almost passed-out, was throwing-up, and then broke-out into hives, all from pain in my gut.

I did some research on hernia surgery and thought I was going to have to have surgery right away to avoid another emergency situation.  Then I stumbled upon some websites that examined healing a hernia without surgery.   Being the crunchy girl that I am, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  General anesthesia scares me to death!  If I’m going to have surgery, I would rather it be for a tummy tuck than to fix a hernia! But I’m probably too chicken for that, too.

I also read that, contrary to common medical advice, moderate exercise, including abdominal strengthening, can actually help to heal a hernia (depending of the type and severity).

I was training for a sprint triathlon last year and stopped my training, in part, because I was afraid I was going to make it worse.  I plan to start Pilates and yoga from home and I am going to resume walking/jogging and swimming.

The best site I found so far is the  Hernia Bible.  It’s filled with information about diet and exercises to heal a hernia naturally.  Here are the basics:

The principles of the hernia diet

  • Reduce the overall quantity of food you eat.
  • Eat mostly foods which are easily digested and pass quickly through your digestive system. These help to reduce the amount of time food stays in your intestines (‘transit’ time), and make bowel motions soft and easy.
  • Eat foods which help to reduce gas and lubricate your intestines.
  • Eat foods rich in nutrients which help to maintain the integrity of collagen and elastin in your abdominal wall.
  • Consider eating only two meals a day instead of three. Skipping breakfast means your intestines should only contain one meal’s worth of food by lunchtime. This greatly reduces the volume of your abdomen and the pressure on your inguinal gap.

After reading this, I thought, raw food fits the bill here for sure.  I knew I needed to get flour and sugar back out of my diet, and I needed to cut-out meats and cheeses for a while because they are digested too slowly.

“A diet that is high in fibre, wholegrains, vegetables and fruit and low in dairy products, meat, white flour and sugary foods will assist in reducing your transit time to 12 hours or so and in reducing your overall appetite. In turn this reduces the volume of your abdominal contents.”  The Hernia Bible

Recommended Supplements:

The strength and integrity of your abdominal wall depends on the strength and integrity of the collagen and elastin proteins which are its main structural components. For optimal collagen integrity, your body needs an ample daily supply of the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C
  • Calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sulphur,
  • The amino acid arginine found in most protein foods but especially nuts

I try to get my vitamins and minerals from food sources whenever possible, and the best Vitamin C source I have found is a 100% food concentrate from Acerola Berry.  I use Healthforce Nutritionals Truly Natural Vitamin C.  I just add a tablespoon to a green smoothie.

Since I’m not eating meat, I have included nuts and seeds in my diet as well as an L-Arginine supplement.  Nuts, together with sunflower and sesame seeds, are the best all-round sources of zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and arginine–nutrients which your body needs to make collagen for strong connective tissue.  I am adding sunflower and pumpkin seeds to my salads and am snacking on Go Raw’s Super Cookies, which are made with coconut, sesame seeds, and dates.  That’s it.

They have other flavors too, but I have only tried the original so far.  My kids love them too.  When I have some time, I’m going to make some myself.  I have a super recipe for raw cookies with sprouted oat groats, raisins, and cinnamon.

I admit, it sure helps owning a health food store. I am able to try things, often for free from companies and see if they taste good and test how they work.  I will be trying lots of new products and let you know what I think.

So, where to start?  I started with green smoothies.  Today I used frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, coconut water or spring water, and TONS of spinach.

The BlendTec sure helps.  My regular BlendTec is at the store, so I ordered this refurbished Starbucks blender on Ebay.  I prefer mine over this one.

Here are my kids enjoying their smoothies.  As a mom, I can’t do anything on my own.  Everyone wants to join in.  I guess that’s a good thing!

RawFamily.com has some great green smoothie video demonstrations if you are not sure how to make a green smoothie that actually tastes good.

I’m getting ready to make some videos of my own, so keep checking back.

So far, I’m down almost 6 pounds in 3 days.  My energy level is WAY up, and everything is moving well, if you know what I mean. My only cheat has been coffee in the morning with a bit of organic half and half.  I haven’t had any coffee in the afternoon, though.  That’s progress for me:)

I’ll keep you posted about my raw food resolution.  My plan is to continue eating raw for about three weeks.  At that point, I will re-evaluate my progress.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,