I thought I’d post a favorite smoothie of mine while it’s still fall and pumpkins rule the day. The green part of the name comes from the handful of spinach used, not the actual color of the pumpkin. I can’ imagine green pumpkins would taste too good. This smoothie is so great in so many ways. It has healthy fats from the almond butter, antioxidants from the spinach, and skin regenerating vitamins A, C, & E from the pumpkin. The coconut water helps to hydrate and replace electrolytes. The cinnamon helps to amp up the metabolism, and turns this smoothie from something good to something truly decadent tasting. This smoothie is very thick and filling and I usually only make it after an intense workout (so, like once every 3 months ) since it helps to replace electrolytes and get some protein so my body can repair. It’s also a great meal replacement, though. If you don’t like it thick, add a little extra coconut water. Enjoy!
Here we are! Day 10! Can I be honest with you? I wasn’t sure I would make it to day 10. The longest Feast/Fast I’ve ever done was 5 days. And that wasn’t easy for me. But with the encouragement of friends, I did it and I feel healthier than I have in a long time. If you are considering doing a Feast, here are some tips I learned while doing mine that will hopefully help you along your journey: 1. Know why you are doing it. This may sound stupid. You’re doing it to lose weight, right? But consider other benefits you’ll receive such as mental clarity, better complexion, an overall healthier body that had time to repair and rejuvenate, and if you’re lucky, an excuse to not cook for 10 days. 2. Be accountable to someone There’s no better way to stay on the plan than if you have to confess how you’re doing to someone. I had a lot of someones. I had the group I was doing the Feast with, family, and you all. And don’t be afraid to be honest! No one will think less of you. They’ll only offer you words of encouragement that you might very well need at the moment. 3. Stay distracted There will be times when you’ll be hungry and bored. Boredom is one of the number one reasons Americans overeat. And that’s not even when we are hungry! Imagine how hard it will be if you’re sitting around bored AND your stomach and mind are telling you to get a snack. This is the perfect time to try something new or pick up an old hobby you let stay dormant. Here are some suggestions: Any kind of craft. When I was trying to stop drinking wine, I painted. It kept me occupied for hours. Here’s Halloween Kitties (those darn cats are always up to something! I’ve caught them water skiing, decorating Christmas cookies, and coloring Easter Eggs.) For this Feast, it was sewing (see Spike’s new outfits here!). It doesn’t matter what you do. Scrap booking, crocheting, repurposing furniture (see a great example of that here!), or bringing back macrame (don’t we all need a yarn owl hanging on the wall). It doesn’t matter. Just pick something and have fun with it. Before you know, you’ll have killed hours and have something to show for it afterwards. Walk. How much do you know about the neighborhood you live in? If you only get in your car and drive to places, you may be missing out on some cool stuff. Having a dog helps. Sometimes I’ll let him dictate where we go and he goes places I would have never gone, like alleys and that scary looking house concealed by all those trees in front (what are they hiding in there?) But he also led me to a fountain I’d never seen and a really cool greenhouse I never knew was there. Not only will you get fresh air and exercise, but discovering new things releases dopamine into your brain. Dopamine makes you feel good and and creates a sense of peace. Win-win! Get rid of the old. Doing a Feast is way more than just a way to lose weight. It about getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. Getting rid of old, damaging habits and starting new beneficial ones. It’s about breaking dependencies and strongholds in your life. Take this opportunity to clean up any other unfinished business you may have. Got clothes that no long fit or are out of style? (parachute pants will never be back in style). Donate them. That pile of random socks you think you’ll eventually find the match for? That prodigal sock is gone. Let it go and throw it’s mate away! Mounds of paper in your office? Go through it and organize. Getting tons of emails from companies you don’t care for? Don’t just delete them, take time to unsubscribe (it’s amazing how good that feels. I mean, how did I get on the email list for taxidermy?) Whatever you’ve been letting pile up in your life is only crowding out good things. Now is the time to purge both weight and what’s weighing you down! Rearrange your house. When you first hang up a new picture, you probably look at it often. You admire how cool it looks there. But after a while, you don’t even notice it anymore. Same thing with furniture. Have fun with moving things that have always been in the family room to the bedroom. Hang up new pictures, buy a new houseplant, move rugs, anything to create a new environment. And if there are things you discover your don’t need, donate or give to friends. Remember, new experiences release dopamine. Pamper yourself. Take a bath (with products from Rafa Natural of course!), get a massage, pedicure, facial, whatever. Don’t want to spend any money? You can easily create your own face mask at home or just even take 10 minutes to sit in the quiet with a lit candle. Whatever pampering means to you is fine. If pampering means sorting your recycling bin, then you’re weird, but that’s ok! Do it! It’s all about you. Volunteer. There’s no better way to spend time then helping someone else. It doesn’t have to been some grand effort. It can be as small as volunteering to watch someone’s kids for a couple of hours or mowing your neighbor’s lawn when they are out of town. And did you know that helping others is the number one dopamine releaser? (I can see know I really need to write a post on dopamine!) You’ll feel good and you’ll help someone out. These are just a few ideas. The only thing I wouldn’t suggest doing is watching TV. I tried that one night. There were so many food commercials it was pure torture! I had to turn it off. I switched over to a documentary on...
I’m beginning to feel the rumbling of the Happy Dance in my legs. I can eat again in only 2 days! I miss eating. The juices have been wonderful, but mama wants to chew on something! My husband has been watching me closely to make sure I’m not about to fall over from weakness (and not get the laundry done.) But I feel amazing. Strong. Light. (Can you feel strong and light at the same time? Yes you can!) I actually told Whitney, the sadistic instigator of said Feast, that I was considering extending the Feast for a couple of days. Nevermind, Whitney. I was obviously in some kind of food-deprived delirium when I said that. I WILL be ending this in 2 days (I know you’re thinking, “It’s Day 9, don’t you mean 1 day.” No, cause today is 1 day and tomorrow is 1 day, so it actually ends the day after tomorrow – got it?) Results I’ve focused some on weight loss success on this journey, but I wanted to list some of the other things I’ve noticed since cleansing out those ugly toxins from my body: Incredible sleep – the kind where you wake up drooling and can’t remember your name for a couple of minutes Allergies diminished – not completely gone, but before the Feast I had on some kind of world-record sneezing going on Clearer thought processes - am I smarter or just think I am? Don’t answer that. Lots of energy – enough to work all day, walk the dog for an hour, do laundry, clean the house and write a blog. Wait, I’m starting to see why I was sleeping so well…. Better attitude – not perfect. Eye rolls per day are still extremely high, but now sometime I do them just out of habit. Colors seem brighter – ok, this one I may just have made up in my head. But it’s true! Clothes fitting so much better – the shorts I could barely button last week are loose on me today. Can I get a what-what? The Downside With me, there’s never purely an upside. Here’s the ugly truth no one else will tell you when you’re on a Juice Feast. You think every medical problem can be solved with a Feast. And you tell everyone. Got arthritis? Juice Feast will clear that right up! Acne? Carrot juice will cure it! Splinter? Soak it in beet juice! (that’s not a true solution by the way) You become judgmental about what people are eating. You throw disgusted glances at the cars lined up at McDonalds (as if you weren’t there a week ago). You feel superior to someone who complains that they are “full.” You tell everyone how good they would feel if they would just have one juice a day and then hate them when they won’t do it. You feel the need to make excuses for pathetic performance. That 35 minute 3-mile run? Yeah, well it was slow cause I’m on a fast..blah, blah, blah. To poo or not to poo. You’re not taking in a lot, so not a lot comes out. Until it does. And then, hold the phone. You’ll wonder what in the world died. Oh, that’s right. Toxins. Irrational anger at the scale. You’ve been really hungry for 3 days and the scale hasn’t moved. You kicked it, call it names, accuse it of plotting against you. These are just a few thoughts that come to mind. Hopefully they’ll help you in your decision on whether to do a Juice Feast or not. (You really should! It cures everything!! No? Loser) Results Date Weight % Body Fat % Water % Muscle % Bone 10/21/13 123.2 20.0% 54.8% 35.2% 4.4% 10/22/13 122.6 19.6% 55.1% 35.5% 4.4% 10/23/13 120.4 19.3% 55.6% 35.0% 4.4% 10/24/13 119.8 19.2% 55.8% 35.0% 4.4% 10/25/13 120.2 19.1% 55.8% 35.1% 4.4% 10/26/13 119.2 19.1% 55.9% 34.9% 4.4% 10/27/13 118.6 19.0% 56.2% 34.7% 4.4% 10/28/13 118.4 18.8% 56.2% 34.9% 4.4% 10/29/13 118.6 18.6% 56.4% 34.9% 4.4% No one has pointed this out to me, but the percentages when added up equal more than 100%. Not sure what that means. Even with my exceptionally clear thinking can’t I explain that. Maybe Yogi Berra made this scale. Day 9: DONE!
Last night I dreamt I was eating bread. Lots of it. Tons of it. I couldn’t stop myself. I was mortified at what I was doing, but I was out of control and literally couldn’t stop myself! Welcome to my world of paranoia. (I also had a dream that I was being chased by a Yeti in my old home in Illinois. Not making this up. If you know me at all, I love to watch any show about Yetis and one of my dreams is to go one a Yeti hunt in Bhutan – yes there is really is such a trip. So, this dream is not that weird. For me.) The point is, I’m scared to death that I’m going to undo all of the progress I’ve made over the past week. And I’m thankful I had this “awakening” (get it?) now rather than on Day 10. So I can prepare for Life after the Feast. Preparations (AKA THE BIG PURGE) Today I decided to purge & plan. It started with the idea of cleaning out the refrigerator of all foods that I don’t want to include in my future. If they are there, I might be tempted in a moment of weakness to eat a spoonful of chocolate syrup (it’s been known to happen). I threw out an alarming amount of expired foods (how many containers of cottage cheese are in here?), cleaned the shelves and made room for my new healthier lifestyle. You know how women are. We start cleaning one thing and it leads to 10 more. For me, that meant cleaning out the closet in the laundry room, the drawers in the dining room and finally purging books we don’t need from the office. 4 large garbage bags and several trips to Lighthouse Ministries to donate items and I felt better. There’s still more to do, but that’ll have to wait for another day. I then moved on to thinking about what I’m going to eat after the Feast is over. As I mentioned above, I’m so nervous about messing up all of the hard work I’ve put in. So planning will help me to stay on track. Here’s a look at what I plan on doing. Day 1 after Feast Breakfast Happy Mood Juice Steamed Broccoli if I’m hungry Lunch Mixed greens, lots of veggies, walnuts with Flaxseed Oil Dressing Dressing Recipe if you’re interested 2 Tbsp. Flaxseed Oil 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar 1 Tsp. Honey Sea Salt & Pepper to taste Snack Raw Almonds Juice if I’m hungry Dinner Vegetable Soup I really want to keep it light and mostly vegetarian for a few days. I’ll ease some fish and chicken back into my diet after several days of eating a diet similar to this. My friend did a 5 day Feast and then drank 3 cups of coffee the next morning! Needless to say, he felt terrible. It’s very important to ease back into eating after not for so long. Results Here are the weigh loss results up through today. Even though I’m disappointed I haven’t lost more, it’s encouraging to see my body fat down and water is up. Being hydrated is very important. Muscle is down a little, but one workout will put that back. Date Weight % Body Fat % Water % Muscle % Bone 10/21/13 123.2 20.0% 54.8% 35.2% 4.4% 10/22/13 122.6 19.6% 55.1% 35.5% 4.4% 10/23/13 120.4 19.3% 55.6% 35.0% 4.4% 10/24/13 119.8 19.2% 55.8% 35.0% 4.4% 10/25/13 120.2 19.1% 55.8% 35.1% 4.4% 10/26/13 119.2 19.1% 55.9% 34.9% 4.4% 10/27/13 118.6 19.0% 56.2% 34.7% 4.4% 10/28/13 118.4 18.8% 56.2% 34.9% 4.4% Day 8: DONE!
A week ago I was at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Today, I’m on Day 7 of a Juice Feast. What a difference a week can make! I thought it’d be fun to compare the 2 days. Last Sunday This Sunday Weighed 123.2 Weighed 118.6 Ran 3 miles to “bank” extra calories I knew I’d be eating at Epcot. It was tiring. Walked 3 miles with my dog and watched the sunset. It was relaxing and therapeutic. Very negative attitude. Frustrated with many things in my life. Situations haven’t changed, but my outlook is much more positive. Thinking more constructively about solutions rather than feeling like a victim. Skin looked ok. Skin much clearer looking. Lines have softened some. Bags under my eyes look better. Not gone, but better. Leaving Epcot, felt full and disgusting. No energy. Great energy. Feel light and healthy. It wasn’t an easy week (read Days 1-6 for further evidence of how “not easy” it was), but 100% worth it. If you choose to do a 10 day Feast, I would highly recommend tracking each day. Track how you’re feeling, what your body is doing, struggles, & victories. That way you can look back and see progress. I’ve been documenting everything (well not everything. You don’t need to know every part of my dysfunction), and it’s been so helpful to look back and see that while I’m still struggling with hunger, it’s not nearly as bad as Day 2 when I felt like I was on the verge of dying (I tend to be melodramatic when I’m hungry). Tracking my weight in a chart is great because if I didn’t, I would just see a number every morning. But when it’s in a chart, I see progress. So speaking for weight tracking charts, here’s the latest: Date Weight % Body Fat % Water % Muscle % Bone 10/21/13 123.2 20.0% 54.8% 35.2% 4.4% 10/22/13 122.6 19.6% 55.1% 35.5% 4.4% 10/23/13 120.4 19.3% 55.6% 35.0% 4.4% 10/24/13 119.8 19.2% 55.8% 35.0% 4.4% 10/25/13 120.2 19.1% 55.8% 35.1% 4.4% 10/26/13 119.2 19.1% 55.9% 34.9% 4.4% 10/27/13 118.6 19.0% 56.2% 34.7% 4.4% Day 7 DONE!