It’s been one week! And Meatless Monday: sprouted bean burritos with tofu sour cream

Wow, so the past week came and went and I haven’t even been on here to post and say what’s going on with life. Especially after I just stated my commitment to it! Gah! But now I’m back, and the past week has been good in a lot of ways. I’ve spent some time hanging with some good friends, worked on some sprouting stuff (a separate post later), got some good recipes tested (included in this post), gotten good exercise, and started gaining serious motivation. So, I’ve just been working on myself. Now it’s time to catch up here and record the ups and downs of the past week to continue moving forward.

I’ll just recap my week with whatever I can remember according to the photos I took…

This was a big meal for dinner, I know. It was last Monday, after my crazy productive/busy day and I went without eating the whole day. So I loaded up for dinner. I prepared the tofu just with some Bragg’s, rice vinegar, and garlic, then pan grilled it. The veggies were just sauteed with some herbs and butter. The soup was made from potatoes and other veggies that I had boiled during my juice fast and then froze. I defrosted them, added some fresh parsley and almond milk, and then blended in the Vitamix to make soup.

image

The wrap: grilled sprouted tofu wrap with heirloom tomatoes, spinach, and hummus.

On the side: sauteed shiitake and zucchini.

In the bowl: homemade cream of potato soup.

I’m regretful that I don’t have photos of the process just to illuminate the description but it’s very very easy to make homemade broth AND cream of veggie soup at the same time, reusing the ingredients for the broth for the soup. For the quantity you make of both things, you bet you’ll be saving money. And both of these are typically high sodium items in the market, and in this recipe, there’s NO salt added. Yay! You can store both of these items in the fridge for 3-4 days and they also can be packaged into individual serving sizes and frozen to extend shelf life.

When making the soup, you will need a Vitamix or other blender (an immersion blender would work well too.) This will fill the Vitamix pretty much to the top, or as safely as you want to get to the top. Feel free to split into two batches for a smaller blender or to avoid creamy soup explosions. πŸ™‚

Homemade vegetable broth and cream of potato soup (made with one set of ingredients)

Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1 yellow onions
  • 2 1/2 cups broccoli
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (to taste)
  • handful of chopped fresh herbs of choice
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Method:

Part One: Vegetable broth

  • Chop vegetables. Add to pot and cover with filtered water. Add enough water so there is approximately 2″ of water above the veggie line.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  • Lower to a simmer, cover. Allow to simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Remove from heat. Let cool completely. (To speed up cooling time, I would stop by the stove every few minutes between doing other things and give the broth a good stir to release heat.)
  • Once cool, strain broth away from vegetables. Save veggies!

Part Two: Cream of potato soup

  • Combine vegetables and almond milk in blender or large pot, if using immersion blender.
  • Blend on low to medium speed until mostly smooth with some small lumps.

_________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, I worked on my sprouting setup because my new half gallon mason jars came in. I love them! Jars are my lifeline now in the kitchen, for drinking out of and for food storage. I got this little crate from Benny’s and rigged it with some duct tape tied to create a “ridge” for the lip of the jar to rest on so it wouldn’t slide. It fits 3 of the half-gallon sizes on bottom and 4 of the regular quart size jars on top. I put a thin towel underneath to collect water drainage. A pan or something else would work nicely too. You wouldn’t want a fluffy towel to prevent air flow to the opening of the lids on the bottom level.

This picture still has some of the sprouts in the soaking stage, but you get the idea. (Garbanzo beans, split green peas, wheatberries, quinoa, kidney beans, brown rice, and sunflower seeds.)

image

I’ll go into more separately with sprouting details in another post as I begin to write recipes for each type of sprout and the entire process including soaking and sprouting times and details.

We had chili for dinner that night. I used onion, garlic, celery, butternut squash, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, spices, and fresh parsley and cilantro (added towards the end to preserve dinner.) I absolutely LOVE butternut squash in chili.

image

And then, instead of cheese or sour cream, top with 1/2 an avocado and some toasted sesame seeds. This chili is vegan, gluten-free, and free of refined oils and sugars.

image

Wednesday and Thursday I deemed my “days off” and didn’t honestly do too much except keep an eye on the sprouts, go bowling, and… well I’m sure I did other stuff around the house and regular errands and such, but nothing important to remember.

Friday I went with Bryan and our friend Hal to play disc golf in Easton, MA. (On a side note, Bryan’s mono seems to have just about fully subsided after a miserable 2 months. So happy to have him back and feeling healthy and himself again!) This is great exercise, it’s an 18-hole course plotted in the woods, so there’s a fair amount of tromping around. If you’ve never played before, it’s basically just golf with a frisbee like disc. It’s a bit more sturdy than a frisbee though. Anyway, it’s a very fun, active day out. About halfway in, I ran and chucked the disc at the opening of a field and totally threw my right shoulder out of socket. It was close to the worst pain I’ve ever felt, up there with dry socket and broken tailbone. I barely – BARELY – held my tears in and then made the guys go ahead so I could try to pop it back in, if that’s what needed to be done. A little stretching and it was too sore to move, so it must have been inflamed. I didn’t play a hole or two, and then attempted some left handed. Honestly, I was kind of better with my left hand, surprisingly. I gotta look into that more. Over the past few days, I’ve been taking care of the shoulder including heat compresses and gentle stretching and now it’s almost back to normal. It does feel slightly pushed forward, but I expect it to slide back during a good yoga session.

The weather was beautiful again on Saturday (love it!) I drank pretty late on Friday night, so I did wake up a little hungover, but I knew that I wasn’t going to waste that sunshine. I drank some water and wandered off for what I goaled to be a 6 hour walk around Providence. It was going to be like a “city hike” since I don’t have a car. There are some good hills here! Providence is kind of tiny and boring to walk for 6 hours though, you’d be surprised at how quickly you’ll get from end to end. I hadn’t been over to India Point Park, so I ventured that way and then walked up and down the water for a while, there was great sun exposure here. Then I decided to walk the East Bay Bike Path! Brilliant! It’s close enough to get out of the city, it’s sunny for your Vitamin D, and it feels a little more secluded. Unfortunately, not too far into the actual path, it’s under construction and closed for a 3 mile strip. So I had to turn around and head back to Providence. If it had been open, I would have easily reached the 6 hour mark, but after heading back over the bridge again and back into the city, I just felt exhausted. It gets hard to breathe for a while with the stuffy heat and car exhaust of the city, at least on the bike path there are some trees and fresh air. I think that’s the real main reason I want it so badly! I got a teeny bit of a sunburn just on the very tops of my shoulders and an overall tan. Why does being tan make me feel so much more motivated and healthy?? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I know being tan means I’ve been outside in the sun soaking it in. I feel miles better in the sunshine. I’m an addict.

And I was in for more sunshine on Sunday! I started the day early, getting to the grocery store at 8 a.m. right when they opened. I did my shopping, and per usual, bought more than I intended. But I strapped the heavy stuff on my back and divided the rest into two reusable bags and got ready for the trek home. It’s not far, less than a mile, but there’s a pretty big hill to climb. I definitely felt the burn in my back and shoulders carrying all the weight. When I got home – 42 pounds! (Jeez that’s a lot of groceries, haha. The more raw and really healthy foods, you get to eat a LOT.)

I started the day with an open-faced tofu egg sandwich. This is a recipe I’m working on perfecting because it’s something I crave quite often and I know it can be made very healthy. It’s also one of the foods that I long for when I’m hungover. They serve it vegan at two places in Providence, but I can make it for cheaper and healthier. πŸ™‚ I tried out a cashew hollandaise sauce this time, and I actually liked it. It was the first one I’ve made without vegan mayonnaise or Earth Balance, so it didn’t have any refined oils, and of course, is way less processed and nutritious. It had a ‘brightness’ to the flavor. The thing with Hollandaise is that I never had it traditionally made, only the vegan version. So I don’t really know what it ACTUALLY tastes like. But whatever, it was good, and the brightness of the lemon came through nicely which I read is how it’s supposed to taste, so. We’ll see.

Then I kicked my backyard’s ASS! I spent about 5 1/2-6 hours doing yardwork (weeding and raking leaves) and then fiercely pressure washing the whole backyard. There are two separate patio areas, a side cement lot where the garden bed is set up, and two brick pathways. It was a big, muddy, wet mess. I had to keep unplugging the pressure washer (very heavy!) and carrying it to plug in near the other area while one side dried and then returning to continue with all the dirt and mud. I couldn’t believe it. This is a dangerous job for someone like me with a touch of OCD. Once I started one area, everything had to get done. This is the wall, and the difference one stroke over with the pressure washer made. It didn’t LOOK dirty for some reason before hand, but when you see it like that, whoa.

image

I figure I burned about 300 calories an hour. I felt so tired after but I felt so accomplished. I remembered it was Sunday and booked it to the liquor store with just 3 minutes to spare. The one closest to me was closed and I had to hustle up Hope St to make it to a different one, haha. Cracking open that beer when I got home was such a reward, and I got takeout veggie nime chow when I was out too. My roommates and I sat outside that night and it was glorious. I felt sore, tired, exhausted, accomplished, and everything smelled fresh and clean and watered down and the weather was perfect.

I drunkenly ate popcorn and almonds kind of late and very close to the time I actually fell asleep last night, and this morning my stomach was very mad at me from the late food and alcohol. I drank a bunch of water and ate a mango and was going to get my day started but I decided to just sit for a little and drink more water. I did some internet work. Then I finally felt right and got walking around 10:45. I did some errands on foot and then went to Old Navy to use a coupon and return a couple of things. I also specifically wanted to get a strapless dress for tanning purposes. I needed something that I could wear without a bra in my backyard without looking ridiculous and that was short so my legs could tan too. Trying on clothes at Old Navy was a mixed back. There were a few things on sale that I really loved that just didn’t fit. Specifically, there were two dresses with buttons. I can’t do anything button up and fitted, and it’s a look that I absolutely love. It’s all about the hips. Two pairs of jeans I tried on were bloody ridiculous. Oh well. I found a few nice things after a good hunt. Ended up with pants, yoga pants, belt, t-shirt, 2 dresses, sunglasses… for $42! Not so bad. I am going to build my wardrobe back up by watching for sales and shopping smart. I’ve also gotten better at keeping receipts and staying organized. Oh, and I started entering those customer service surveys that print on the bottom of receipts. I figure if the paper is already wasted, and someone’s gotta win, why not me? Come on, baby!

I ended up finding a cute polka dot dress at Forever 21, of all places. I can’t believe I can fit into their clothes. I worked there when I was at my heaviest, and when you’re fat like that, you view clothing stores completely different. I forget that I can just walk into most stores and find clothes! Granted, I’m on the edge still, depending on how the clothes run. I can usually do okay with tops and dresses. Pants are still at a 16 but it’s a bulbous butt 16 so that makes it much more tricky. My waist is easily a 12 or 14 but my hips and thighs will have none of that.

You can see the remnants of my sunburn if you look closely for the ghost white imprint of a tank top.

image

The sun felt great again today, but I was smart about exposure and kept my shoulders hidden. Well at least until I got home and settled into my backyard. I did put on the “tanning” dress for back there. The sun isn’t quite as hot as it is walking around the city because the trees and all the brick really cool it down. In fact, today it was kind of not very hot at all. It was the last time it was 80 degrees, but there were just a few too many clouds this afternoon to really get the sun in on you back there. But I sat outside for a few hours and did some research and planning and ate some lunch. I made a smoothie with fresh almond milk (I’ll be writing a post all about this soon – value in both nutrition and cost), banana, blueberry, vanilla protein, and kale. Then I cut up a bunch of veggies and gobbled those up with a sprouted chickpea hummus (again, I’ll write all about the sprouts soon! Promise!) The hummus is just sprouted chickpeas, lemon juice, water, cayenne, cumin, and boatloads of garlic. It took me about 2 hours to get through the whole meal and the whole smoothie, and as I was eating it, I really took my time to taste the different veggies and chew them and think about how they were nourishing me. I felt very full and satisfied after all of it. I also felt very hydrated and refreshed after having been out in the sun. My body LOVES the sun and loves the heat, but it hates to feel fatigued and gross during the summer. I gravitate towards raw when I’m outside. Last summer especially, I found myself eating entire days full of raw food just by chance. The rehydrating properties of fresh foods, my gosh! Plus, your body doesn’t have to expend energy and heat digesting food and can save that energy for crazy hikes and climbing mountains. omg.

image

Every time I eat something that’s really healthy, I try to consciously focus on how I feel connected to that food and to engage with it and understand why I’m eating it. It’s not mindless eating. I’m eating to live. That’s what they say right? Sure, the meal above may not appear appetizing to a lot of people. But that’s the trick. Don’t take out the junk or processed foods you love. Begin your transition by adding a meal like this in. Maybe once a week? Three times a week? Every day? Because what will happen is you will end up filling up on the good stuff and the nourishment you receive will outweigh the appeal of that junk food. Everywhere I read, the change to a clean, more organic plant-based diet is recommended to be attacked in the same way. Don’t give up everything all at once! It’s about what you add in, not what you take out. And pretty soon, the good will crowd out the bad. You will lose hunger for these foods and they will even begin to look foreign to you. Did you ever notice the most beautiful foods are fresh fruits and vegetables? Look at all the color. There’s a reason they look beautiful to us: your body is screaming, “EAT ME!”

So it’s true that not every bite of those fresh veggies or smoothie tasted amazing and I didn’t want to scarf it down like an insatiable vulture. But the more I ate it, the more I realized that I was making a good decision and that the more I choose these foods, the more my body really will crave them. I try to think about things like cucumbers being good for skin health, and as I eat the cucumber, picture my skin feeling smooth and hydrated and blemish free. Visualization can be a powerful tool, ya know.

And then it was happy Monday to me when my new knives and cutting board came in! For someone who cooks, and prepares a LOT of vegetables and fruits every. single. day, I’ve never owned a nice knife set. This is a Ginsu set, I guess like medium range? At least they cut awesome right out of the box. Preparing dinner was a treat!

image

Tonight’s dinner was excellent. I’m excited to share the recipe for two reasons: 1) it’s my first time cooking sprouted kidney beans and they were awesome! 2) the tofu sour cream is also a new recipe that I’m trying.

 

Sprouted Red Bean Burritos with Tofu Sour Cream

Ingredients:

For the bean filling:

  • 2 cups sprouted kidney beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • hot sauce to taste

For the tofu sour cream:

  • 1/2 pound sprouted extra firm tofu (any firm or extra firm will work, start with less water if using a softer tofu)
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice,
  • 3 Tbsp chives

For the burrito:

  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Mixed leafy greens
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • …anything else you want!

 

Method:

  1. Sprout kidney beans (soak for 8 hours, rinse and drain every 8-12 hours for 2-3 days).

image

2. Add kidney beans to sauce pan with filtered water going 1-2″ past bean line.

3. Bring beans to a boil.

4. Beans will produce a white foam from excess gas being released. Skim this foam off.

image

5. Cover and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes, checking softness after 30 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and drain.

7. Preheat a separate pan over medium-high heat until warm enough to make water droplets dance.

8. Add onion. Make sure to keep onion moving to prevent burning. Don’t use oil! Motion and heat are all you need.

image

(Beautiful caramelized onions – NO OIL!)

9. Add garlic after cooking onions 4-5 minutes and sautee with constant motion for 1-2 more minutes. Finish when golden brown.

10. Add caramelized onions and all spices to the pot with the beans in it.

11. Heat over medium heat, stirring and mashing with a wooden spoon. Add a little vegetable broth if beans are sticking to pot or burning, or are not mushy enough to create a refried beans like texture.

image

12. To prepare tofu sour cream, add all ingredients into blender and puree until very smooth.

image

I doubled the chives because I was craving that flavor and the sour cream came out with a nice mint green hue, haha.

image

When I went vegan, I stopped eating sour cream, of course, but I never adapted into the substitute. It was the same with cream cheese and shredded cheeses – until Daiya. I love the originals, but since the flavor and texture in the vegan substitutes was never quite right and honestly I really never liked it. I have dabbled with some nut based replacements for sour cream, but with no success really. But here! This is the winner by far. Creamy, tangy, sour. If you taste it on its own, it tastes like exactly what it is – sour cream made from tofu. You can taste the tofu. But once wrapped in the burrito, it blends in AWESOME and just tastes creamy sour creamy deliciousness.

image

After dinner, I took a fireball shot to wash it all down. That’s fresh squeezed lemon juice, with cayenne pepper and ginger. I’m working on incorporating 2 of these every day as well as 2 “shots” of straight up cherry juice to help work on inflammation while I drastically up my exercise routine. They both have a ton of antiflammatory and cleansing properties. Yay!

image

image

This shot kicks you in the sinuses, the stomach, the forehead, the muscles, and you feel totally energized and amazing in literally 3 seconds!

I might go have another one right now….

 

Sorry for the very long post. It’s taken me over 2 hours to recap all this! I will definitely start doing a better job keeping up with my daily postings as I throw myself into food and exercise in the best way possible. Here’s to a happy and healthy week!


Juice feast day 7: breaking the fast, recap, and what’s next

Day 7 of my juice fast saw me still at 192 pounds, down 8 pounds from the beginning. Like I mentioned in my Day 6 post, I was feeling like today might be the day that I started to incorporate solid foods back into my diet. I really want to get back at the gym and get a lot more exercise into my routine starting Monday, and for me, this isn’t accomplishable on a juice fast. The energy isn’t there to raise your heart rate and sweat off fat. And if you do try to exercise on a juice fast, fat can be very difficult to burn because our bodies start to panic that not only is fat and protein intake gone (due to juicing), but now you’re energy output is increased as well. So our bodies hold on to fat as dearly as it can. It’s what our bodies are trained to do.

I also believe that with any change in our diets or lifestyles, we should listen to how our body responds. At first, I could feel my body working like a Hazmat team, clearing out toxins and literally flushing out and healing an overworked digestive system. As someone who normally maintains a pretty clean low-oil vegan diet, does not smoke cigarettes, and has significantly cut back on caffeine and alcohol, the process of detoxing was able to cycle through in those 5-6 days. I felt a boost in motivation, energy, mental clarity, and a cleanse of my cravings. But then I started to feel fatigue as I tried to increase my energy level to match what I was feeling like I could and wanted to accomplish. So I listened to my body, and decided it was time to break the fast gently.

If you decide to break a juice fast early, make sure to remember a few things. Don’t break the fast because you were running late for work and a coffee and donut sounded more tasty than your morning juice! Don’t break the fast because you got invited out to dinner and that was easier than juice! Don’t break the fast because you can’t pay for your gasoline without grabbing a chocolate bar or potato chips. Break the fast with healthy, whole raw foods when your cravings are FOR healthy, whole raw foods. When you can think about eating a huge salad and your mouth drools. That’s a good sign! That shows us that we’ve gotten past the point of needing that processed food fix. And after the juice fast, remember to continue incorporating fresh juice into your diet on a daily basis whenever possible to maximize nutrient intake and healing potential.

When you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle, a juice fast is a great way to start. I learned when watching “Hungry for Change” that our bodies have difficulty losing fat when we are toxic, because the toxins would then be released into our body making us feel worse unless we’re doing something to detox as well. A juice fast can be the right way to get started on a healthy lifestyle as it helps us release both toxins which make us physically dependent on unhealthy foods but emotions and cravings that go along with this processed food, chemically-laden lifestyle as well. And now that the juice fast has served its purpose, I’m ready to move onto the next phase of clean eating and an increase in healthy exercise to burn fat and gain muscle! My body wants to move!

 

image

Day 7 started with a juice made from bokchoy, celery, asparagus, radish, zucchini, pear, kiwi, and apple. I then speed walked 3 miles to my boyfriend’s house to meet up with him to see “Hunger Games” – which I really liked by the way.

image

My first solid meal in a week! We went to a local restaurant, The Garden Grille in Pawtucket. I got the Reggie’s Raw Heaven salad, which was arugula, avocado, mango, beet-infused jicama, and ground cashews. I think there was some kind of oil on the salad, but it was fairly light regardless. Every bite of this salad was freaking amazing, but particularly the avocado and mango were incredibly bright and full of flavor. I also had a nice hot cup of green tea, which was to die for. I struggled back and forth between getting a regular meal and something raw, but was happy I made the right decision. The salad was huge, I even had leftovers to take home.

For dinner, we had brown rice sushi with cucumber and avocado, I had about 5 pieces I think. I also had 2 squares of Raw Matcha Green Tea and Peppermint Chocolate from Fearless Chocolate. I think it was the perfect ease back into eating…

Except for the gin drinks! Haha. We hung out with a friend we hadn’t seen in a while and wanted to show him the cool Hurom Slow Juicer. We did up some honey dew melon and fennel and mixed it with some gin. Look how pretty in these glasses! I only had maybe 3 drinks over a couple hours and remembered to drink plenty of water to help flush it out. I will admit that I wish I had waited a few days to have alcohol, not a great idea the first day breaking a fast. But we can’t be perfect all the time! πŸ˜‰

image

So Friday, I had whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and a juice. For physical activity, I got in a 3 mile walk and probably about an hour total of stretching/light yoga. I did the 10 minute segment for thighs on Target Toning on Netflix Watch Instantly, I’m trying to build up to do the whole video 3x a week. I’ve been having a significant amount of numbness and nerve spasms in my right thigh though, and have felt it’s been bothering me more since I’ve increased my walking so much. I’m just concentrating on hip openers and lower back stretches to try and release it through there. Maybe its a pinched nerve.

Today I ordered in brown rice noodle bee bong. I had some chickpeas earlier too. For exercise, I did 7 hours of heavy duty housecleaning! I know, crazy right?? I started by emptying all my kitchen cabinets (well I have a few more to do) and cleaning them inside and out. Then I did all the window frames and inside windows. Then I moved all the furniture out to clean and mop every corner of both the front parlor and regular living room. On average, the consensus is that cleaning burns about 150-250 calories an hours, so it was a good day for slow steady calorie burning! Tonight I remembered just in time to watch “Hungry for Change” before the free online premiere ended tonight at midnight. It was a great introductory film to health and wellness through nutrition and I think it has a lot of accessible information. It makes it seem like a nobrainer! I learned a few things too. I liked their comparison of white sugar and white flour to cocaine – ha. Pretty clever. When they started talking about juicing, I realized I hadn’t had a juice today! GAH! what was I thinking. I had to pause the movie to go make one quick. I threw one together with red cabbage, celery, parsley, carrot, pear, and lemon.

image

I am going to turn Sunday into my juice day of the week and will be juicing entirely to begin the week off right. A lot of people think to gorge Friday-Sunday and then try to start Monday off restrictive. However, if our stomachs are stretched and overworked from eating heavy meals and processed foods, it won’t be as easy to turn that off cold turkey. So, I will give myself Friday and Saturday nights as leniency nights (note I say ‘lenient’ and not ‘cheat’). I won’t go completely crazy but I may have a couple drinks or go out to eat. Then Sunday reboots to get back on track first thing Monday morning. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to use ZERO fruits, carrots, or beets in my juice and turn it into an entirely GREEN juice day.

Then on Monday, I officially get started on my journey to (attempt to) write a cookbook, “Sprout Out Loud!” It’s going to be all about sprouted foods, including how-to’s, nutritional info, and duh – lots of delicious recipes. The first stage is going to involve a lot of research and recipe testing, and I’ll be blogging the whole way. It should be fun!

Now off to do some relaxing yoga before bed…

 


Juice feast day 6

I was down another pound this morning, 8 pounds total after the first 5 days. I now weigh 192. My lowest weight has been 185 so I’m very quickly creeping back up on that. This juice fast has really done the trick to get me back and motivated. I took some photos before hand so I could see just how much the belly bloat went down over the juice fast, as I’ve seen some pretty impressive pictures out there before. And even with my knowledge that a juice fast is cleansing and de-bloats, I still get skeptical that these people slim down so quickly.

But alas – here are my before and afters after just 5 days of juicing. In the first photo, I literally look like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man, and my skin seems to be slightly overinflated like a balloon (so bloated.) Even my arms are kind of fatter and won’t sit down flat by my sides! Haha, ridiculous in perspective. Notice around the muffin top area the difference in the bulge. Obviously I still have a long way to go, and I think my new weight loss goal for 2012 will be to reach 160 pounds. That’s 32 pounds down from where I am now. I think this could be possible in 3 months if I hunker down. That’ll put me at a grand total weight loss of 105 pounds.

PS – Does anyone else think that BMI measurements are very ridiculous? According to the scale, my BMI is just over 30 which makes me obese. And I definitely will admit to being overweight still, but obese??? Come on now…

image

Juice #1:

  • 1/4 head green cabbage
  • 1 each yellow, red, orange, green bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 large pineapple

image

This juice was peculiar. I liked it but didn’t love it. It left a weird, clean, airy flavor on my tongue after each sip. I think it’s the green cabbage and I don’t think I’ll be juicing it again (after I finish up what I have.) Red cabbage and bok choy have similar nutrients so I’ll stick with those.

I drank this juice while I did about an hour of yardwork and moving cinder blocks for my raised garden bed. I definitely did some bad lifting, my left hip and lower back has been all ‘snap, crackle, pop’ since then.

image

Juice #2:

  • 2 celery
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • large handful green beans
  • 8 asparagus
  • cucumber
  • 3 bokchoy stalks
  • 2 green apples

image

I absolutely love a sour juice, so doing all greens with a couple granny smith apples is a dream come true for my taste buds. I drank this juice before I sat down to do some stretching and yoga to attempt to help my hip. Unfortunately, it just became more aggravated, so I realized it’s just time to let it rest for the day.

image

Juice #3:

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 pear
  • 2 kiwi
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • 10 asparagus stalks

image

Even though I know my juices need to be more vegetable heavy, I decided to make this fruit heavy juice with just a few greens. I had a sweet tooth, and haven’t had many sweet juices the past couple days. Strawberry juice is so yummy!! And the color so pretty. πŸ™‚

image

Juice #4:

  • 5 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 5 asparagus
  • handful parsley
  • 6 brussel sprouts
  • chunk of ginger
  • 2 oranges

image

Ahhh, the classic combo of carrot ginger. Since carrots and beets are almost as high in sugar as fruit, this juice was also a little fruit heavy. Tomorrow I need to go to the store to buy more greens as I went through them way too quickly over the past 3 days. I have so much fruit left! I definitely tipped the scale wrong on that one (fruits vs. vegetables.) Oh well, at least that’s not a bad thing!

Tomorrow starts day 7. I do feel like my body maybe has made the most it can out of a juice feast and I might be ready to start getting back to food on day 8, instead of day 11. This is simply because my muscles and even heart and lungs are dying to be pumped and I really want to go for a hard bike ride or jog and get to the gym to lift weights. But on a juice fast, that’s just too tiring and you can’t recover your muscle correctly. I think my “reset” is just about finished and I can take it slow on a mostly raw food diet with plenty of fresh juice for a couple weeks to continue the detox and nutrient influx.

I will say that I’m absolutely psyched at how my skin is glowing right now. Even the skin on my body, not just the skin on my face seems radiant. And this is a big deal for me, as I’ve struggled with acne problems for most of my teenage and adult life so far. It seems that I don’t really have oily skin that causes the breakouts, it’s just an excess in toxins leeching out my pores. Toxins be gone!


Juice feast day 5: feeling AMAZING!

As I was just writing the subject for the post, I realized that I’ve completed five full days of juicing! Huzzah!

Now here’s the crazy part…

For the past few days, the posts have talked about a bit of fatigue, crankiness, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, etc. My breath has stunk and my pee has stunk and the trips to the bathroom have been less than ideal. Detox symptoms. So if you’ve been reading along and wondering why anyone would “starve” themselves for days just to feel like crap… I’m happy to report that TODAY was the reason why.

I feel energized, uplifted, clean, light. My mental focus is extremely clear. I haven’t had one single hunger pain or craving today at all. I even watched my roommate cook a veggie burger and it didn’t phase me one small bit. I’ve had no headaches, no pains, no aches. I had a regular bathroom trip this morning. (Yes, there’s still solids to come out after 5 days of juicing!)Β The white detox “fuzz” that comes out on the tongue during the first few days has lessened. I never wear deodorant, and the sweat from today’s walk was significantly less toxic smelling than previous days. I had the energy to walk about 5 miles today too and didn’t feel incredibly wiped or exhausted afterwards. I will even have enough energy to do yoga tonight which I haven’t felt like doing in a few days. I’ll probably do the “Crunch: Candlelight Yoga” from Netflix Watch Instantly. It’s a very easy, relaxing 45 minute routine that just helps stretch out the kinks from the day, nothing too intense.

And these are the feelings that make the effort worth it.

Beyond the physical changes that I’ve experience over the past few days, a juice fast or other cleansing program can prove to be emotionally lifting as well. It’s a reaffirmation to your will power and allows you to feel a great sense of accomplishment that you’re doing something for yourself. It makes you feel like you can do anything. (And right now, I definitely feel like I could do anything that I set my mind to… and I’m only halfway through!) And more over, focusing on all of these good feelings and the reasons behind why I feel them will help me stay motivated after the fast is through. I’ve been literally flooding every inch of my body, every cell, with this insanely nourishing substance. The thought of taking away this nourishment makes me sad! The idea of refined oils or refined sugars or a huge meal just doesn’t interest me right now. The detox symptoms proved that there was some icky stuff I was holding on to, which would only contribute to a sluggish, fatigued, unhappy existence. Moving forward, I’ll be able to feel clean and ready to stay on track with healthy eating and that renewed energy will help me with my physical fitness goals too. It’s so hard to move off the couch when you’re being plagued with aches and pains and tiredness. Don’t get me wrong, this sense of renewal and re-invigoration is something you have to work to maintain, and eventually everyone starts to slip on their diet and lifestyle. I know I’ll do it. But that is why a “reset” or “reboot” is so necessary, at least for me. It helps start fresh and helps you get rid of cravings. A palette cleanser. A mind cleanser. And pretty soon you find yourself noticing that you honestly do not want those foods that contribute to that overall decrease in health, and you’ll automatically have adapted this healthier diet. Over the past 3 years since I’ve begun my journey to wellness, I’ve had dozens of time where I considered the foods I was eating to be very unhealthy and I was “off the wagon.” Juice fasting has proved to be the best way for me to get back on track, and I’m finding now that the periods of time when I’m “off the wagon” are growing fewer and far between as my body grows a distaste for the foods that harm and craves the nourishment of fresh organic whole foods. The juice fast also creates awareness about the amount of food our body really needs to maintain, and helps shrink our stomachs back to their intended size. In the long run, this helps with natural portion control too.

Today also marked the 7 pound down mark. (From 200 pounds to 193 pounds.)

image

Juice #1:

  • 1 pear
  • 1 orange
  • 6 strawberries
  • 15 asparagus stalks
  • 1 cucumber

image

Clean, light, refreshing. Not too sweet.

image

Juice #2:

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • large handful bean sprouts
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 lemon

image

Mmm.. I loved the color and taste of this juice. As the days of juicing goes on, I’m definitely finding myself being more satiated by the heavy vegetable juices and less fruit juice.

image

Juice #3:

  • large handful green beans
  • approx 2 cups broccoli
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 radishes
  • 5 asparagus
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • apple
  • pear
  • chunk of ginger
  • 4 turmeric root nubs

image

This juice was insane. I can only describe the flavor as ‘deep’. I guess maybe it was a bit earthy too. The turmeric root is definitely a nice way to add a different flavor into juicing. I also like adding a tomato or two because that adds a different bite. I do think that I liked the apple and pear in this to add a little contrast to the flavor overall, but instead, could maybe just do a couple extra carrots instead to nix the fruit. I bought so much fruit to finish out the fast and now I’m not even craving it! I’ll probably end up cutting a bunch of it up and freezing it for smoothies instead and as the days go on, beginning to filter on over to more entirely vegetable juices.

In case you were wondering, I am definitely MISSING some things from my juicing regiment. I wish I could incorporate more kale, spinach, watercress, romaine, etc. However, my juicer is a cheap juicer (I don’t even think it has a brand to be honest – ha!) and it does a good job for anything except leafy greens. For some reason it spits juice everywhere when it tries to process leafy greens. This is why you’ll find me using broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, and asparagus as my main sources of greens. With a better juicer, I would have at least a good handful or two of leafy greens in each juice, and would definitely recommend it as part of a juice cleanse.

image

Needed a new shot to use on my blog, etc – and just got a new apron at Target (my first real apron as an adult, on sale for $7 – score!) This was before I started prepping for the first juice of the day.

image

It was nice to see some sunshine and flowers on the trees even though the weather was a bit chillier today.

image

And then I found this pie, with the strangest set of leftovers I’ve seen in a while. It reminded me of the Cookie Monster’s chocolate chip cookie. “C” is for… pie???


Juice feast day 4 (including a “V17” juice!)

Down another pound today, 6 pounds total in the first 3 days.

I woke up with a bit of a headache today, and I think it’s due to the fact that I really didn’t drink enough juice yesterday (only 3 juices). I also didn’t drink enough water overall, although I tried to make up for it before bed. That led to me getting up a lot to pee, so the headache could also have been from a lack of good rest. However, despite the slight headache, I am starting to feel that boost in clarity and mental energy that I remember comes after the detox symptoms start to subside.

image

Juice #1:

  • 5 small apples
  • 3 kiwis
  • 1/2 large bulb fennel

image

I had this juice after an hour massage and it was crisp, clean, light and refreshing. It was very sweet and almost a little sour. I normally wouldn’t have made a juice like this without any greens but I didn’t have anything on hang today and I was meeting someone to go grocery shopping later on.

The massage, by the way, was fantastic. I felt very invigorated, loose, and refreshed after. I took a guess at timing the massage on day 4 because I figured the initial release of toxins is usually done during a juice fast by day 3. Massage helps stimulate further detoxification of our body tissues, so this would help get some deeper toxins out which the juicing can help continue flush through. I might try acupuncture later this week or next as I heard its also supposed to be very cleansing. I just need to remember to be drinking a WAY lot more water. Gah! I’m usually so good at this.

image

Juice #2:

“V17”

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1 red pepper
  • 5 small brussel sprouts
  • 2 radishes
  • jalapeno pepper
  • serrano pepper
  • large handful green beans
  • handful parsley
  • approx 1 1/2 cups broccoli
  • handful bean sprouts
  • 2 bokchoy stalks
  • 2 celery stalks
  • chunk of horseradish (approx 3/4″ x 2″)
  • chunk of ginger (approx 1/2″ x 1″)

image

Okay, let me explain the massive quantity of this juice. After not juicing all day, except for one small one this afternoon, I was feeling very very hungry. The temperature also dropped quite a bit today from the unseasonably warm summerlike weather we had last week. It’s only about 32 degrees out now. As I’ve been juicing for the past few days, my body temperature has also been on the low side. This happens because one of the ways our body heats up is due to toxins and the digestive process. Digestion takes energy, energy is heat. Without heavy digestion, our body temperature remains on the low side.

Anyway, I was feeling hungry and was even doubting I’d make it, so I figured a HUGE juice with some spice and substance was the way to go for dinner. This produced about 64 oz, which would be the equivalent of about 3 juices I should have had by now. This huge serving plus the one from earlier brings me to a good solid 4 juices for the day. Granted, it’ll take me an hour or two to actually get all this juice down but it’s worth it!

NOTE: This juice, as my Dad would have said, WILL put hair on your chest. Not for the meak stomached or sweet tongued. It’s a very heavy, dense flavor with a lot of spice from the hot peppers. Follow this recipe and divide into 2 or 3 for normal size servings during a juice fast, or this recipe could make about 6-8 cups of juice if used to supplement a meal.

It cost me about $110 to stock up for the next 5 days for just me, but I’m pretty sure I bought too much and will end up with a huge pot of vegetable soup and probably some frozen fruit after. I just wanted to ensure that IΒ  had enough variety to keep me interested in juicing until the end. Like I mentioned yesterday, I find that one of the most difficult parts of juicing is that eventually they all either taste sweet like fruit or earthy like vegetables. The challenge is to find nice blends that offer variety. With a fully stocked fridge and pantry of fruit, I’ll be able to cater to my tastes and then use the leftovers for regular cooking after. Again, it sounds like a lot to spend, $20 a day on juicing. But the benefits are worth it!


Juice feast day 3

Day 3 today. Still going pretty strong although I had a few significant hunger pains throughout the day. My guy is still feeling pretty store and stiff. I woke up actually pretty cranky and lethargic today, with some aches and pains myself. My throat was the biggest, very sore with a bit of congestion. I think most of these things will be feeling better by tomorrow.

My weight today was 195, down 5 pounds since starting. Hurrah!

image

Juice #1:

  • 2 kiwi
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 honeydew melon
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb and greens
  • 3 bokchoy stalks

image

Fennel is a crazy ingredient in juice. I was so skeptical at first, I’m not a big anise or licorice flavor fan and the thought of drinking it in juice is even less appealing. But it does something crazy when blended with fruits, it makes this crisp refreshing flavor which I’ve never had before. My boyfriend really liked it too.

Juice #2:

  • 1/4 large red cabbage
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 2 celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 3 brussel sprouts

image

Red cabbage juice is very intriguing to me, one of those flavors that I don’t necessarily like or dislike and it intrigues me the more I drink it. (Salt and vinegar potato chips is another food that does it!) This juice though, blended with the other veggies, didn’t have that strong red cabbage flavor in it really. I downed this juice very quickly because I was super hungry and I felt extremely bloated and full after. I realized at this point I hadn’t had any water yet today even after 2 large juices. I keep bugging Bryan to drink more water to help flush out his joint and muscle pains, and here I am doing the same thing. I had about 16 oz of water and planned to drink a lot more after my dinner time juice.

We went to Target in between this juice and being in the food aisles was definitely tricky and I had significant hunger again at the store. But it didn’t feel like real hunger, just psychological hunger. There was some discussion about rice crispy treats, and I’ll definitely be working on a vegan version when this juice fast is done.

image

Juice #3:

  • approx 1 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 5 asparagus stalks
  • 3 apples
  • handful parsley
  • lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 celery stalks

image

This juice came out extremely tasty and I was surprised at how prevalent the lime flavor was with just half a lime throughout the whole juice! Once I stated sipping in on it, my psychological hunger was gone. By this time of night, my crankiness has dissipated as has my sore throat and congestion. Now it’s time to get some serious water consumption going.

image

The broth is cooking as I write this… made from chopped celery, carrots, potato and onion, with some sprigs of fresh parsley. Added thyme, salt, and pepper, and of course garlic. Used the greens pulp from last night and the juice from tonight. It smells, like, heaven in here, and I can’t wait to get down on some broth.

As of right now, I feel that I will have zero problems carrying on until day 10. I feel tired but I am really not craving food all that much. The juice has been keeping me satisfied enough. I do think its important to point out that this is the first juice fast that I’ve done that I had this kind of complete confidence and lack of cravings (I’ve done about 5-6 juice fasts plus 3 Master Cleanse). I definitely am not craving any junk food, and the kinds of things I am craving are fresh salads or vegetable soup. I don’t think it’ll be too hard to maintain a really nice healthy diet when this is done. I managed to drink 2 jars full of water tonight (that’s equal to 8 cups, pounded it down) and definitely feel a lot better and less weighed down. I think the sugars in the juice combined with the toxins releasing do that unless you wash them out. I also had 2 cups of some herbal red tea with some ginger spice flavor that was fantastic and increased my mood and feeling of clean/lightness.

Spring cleaning for your body. Super score.


Juice feast day 2 with recipes

image

Juice #1:

  • 5 small juicing oranges
  • 3 bokchoy stalks with greens
  • 1 carrot

image

This juice was a fantastic start to the day. The oranges are a great thing to wake up to and a good dose of Vitamin C of course (which helps because I’m also fighting a slight case of mono). I chased it with 32 oz of water again, and felt sooo full after. At this point, even if I had been craving food, I don’t think I could have fit any! I went for a walk after this juice (about 3.5 miles.) I had to stop at the mall to pee (about halfway home, I just couldn’t make it the whole way). I made a quick detour to Old Navy to grab a new pair of workout pants, and by the time I was done had to pee again. Breaking the seal works the same way with juicing as it does with alcohol for me, ha! By the time I got home, I felt extremely hungry with a little hunger pain. I normally grab a handful of raw cashews and a big jug of water after getting back from a long walk, and I almost did this again, out of habit. But I stopped myself and made a juice instead. It was pretty tricky to not bite into one of these ripe organic strawberries, but I held fast still… even with a little regret.

image

Juice #2:

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 8 stalks celery

image

I drank this afternoon juice while helping my brother move a few boxes and go through a few things. I felt extremely fatigued as I was doing this, and sipping the juice was all I could do to keep from falling over to be honest. I do think walking as far as I did while on a juice fast and also fighting mono was a bad idea today. Day 2 traditionally has been the most fatigue, muscle cramp, detox symptom filled day every time I do a detox of any kind. This is when a lot of the toxins have really begun to start stirring up, causing these symptoms. I should have taken it extra easy today, but I pushed through.

image

Juice #3:

  • 1/4 large beet (these beets were HUGE and local – yay! but substitute 2 small beets if you have the small tennis ball sized beets)
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 5 brussel sprouts
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 lemon with peel
  • 1 apple
  • chunk of ginger according to taste

I must have forgot to photo the end result of this juice, I think it made about 3 cups also. I downed it so quickly, I was feeling so hungry and fatigued after my walk and helping my brother move stuff. I remember thinking how filling it is when you put beets and carrots together. Although, overall, I have to admit I’m not a very big fan of beet juice. During a cleanse, I do consume a lot of it because it’s great for cleansing. PS- Beet juice is ridiculously red. It’s one of the most potent dyes and it dyes… everything. Remember when you use the bathroom next, ha.

 

After our 3rd juice, we made broth again using the leftover vegetable pulp from the previous juice, plus celery, onions, potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. I didn’t like the broth made with the beet pulp as much as without. I will leave it out next time. It was still very satisfying and filling for a ‘dinner soup’ and helped break up the juice monotony. I find that to be one of the biggest challenges with juicing, crafting completely different flavors. So I’m challenging myself to do so. We made the next one kind of late, around 11pm.

 

image

Juice #4:

  • 1/2 canteloupe
  • 10 asparagus stalks
  • 3 brussel sprouts
  • approx 2 cups broccoli
  • 3 bokchoy stalks

image

This juice produced the most magnificent green color! It tasted amazing too. All of the different greens blended together make for a very good combination, I forgot how much I like juices like that. I really like all these greens combined with lime and green apple for a sour flavor too… I have to get some green apples next time I go to the store. My pee after I had this juice was very very dark and smelled toxic. It definitely was working. I did have a couple cleansing trips to the bathroom, and a bit of muscle fatigue and sore throat. My guy also said he had a bunch of muscle soreness. This happens usually between the second and third day of juicing as the living detoxifying juice particles work their way into your joints and muscles and begin to release toxins. This is one of the reasons why its so important to keep drinking water! Drink lots of water on a juice fast! Besides helping to clear you out, it will also keep you satiated and feeling fuller longer.