Today I just wanted to write a quick blog and elaborate on what I said in yesterday’s post about not having my typical cravings for sweets or overeating.
Prior to doing the full-blown challenge – we had eaten a “Primal-ly based” diet … but by no means was it full-blown primal. Like I said before, we were eating a lot of non-primal foods such as condiments (full of sugar and unhealthy fats); gluten free pastas and breads; candy; tortilla chips and margs; etc. We had convinced ourselves that since we ate a lot of primal food – that it was OK to go ahead and eat these other “foods”. Of course, it is “OK” in the sense that we have the freedom to do whatever we want. However, it wasn’t benefiting our bodies at all.
Adding on to this (still Pre-primal) – every night after dinner, I would crave something sweet. Or I would just crave eating in general – despite being quite full. I could NEVER figure this out and figured it was something “mental”. I never felt good after doing this, but the craving was always extremely intense! I would try to use sheer willpower to NOT give in to my cravings…..and sometimes that would work….but mostly I would give in to these intense cravings! I tried to figure out what could be going on mentally or emotionally that was causing these intense cravings, but I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t even stop to think that these cravings and the desire to overeat could be caused by a PHYSICAL imbalance!!
So – we have been full blown primal for 6 days now – no cheating. And I am not kidding when I say that my night-time cravings for sweets and overeating – have gone away!! What does this mean??? It means that it is HIGHLY likely that these cravings were caused NOT by a mental problem – but by the fluctuations in my blood sugar and body chemistry caused by eating foods that didn’t work well with my body. It’s like a light bulb went off in my brain and I am understanding now how much damage I was causing my poor body by eating these foods! Add on to that equation the FODMAPs – and it’s no wonder I wasn’t feeling well!!
So – it wasn’t that I had mental problems haha. My body was just trying to do the best it could do to balance my blood sugar and body chemistry. If you are someone that “eats well all day, just to come home and overeat” or “craves sweets” (and I have heard from many people having these same issues) – doing the Primal Challenge may be an eye opener for you!! I have learned A LOT about my body in this short period of time, which is much more than I expected to gain from this challenge.
So – go ahead and give it a try! It’s only 21 days! Seriously – it’s worth it!! And we are here to help!!
**please note – this is not medical advice. if you have serious concerns about your health…use your own intuition and see a doctor if necessary.
So here we are on the Primal Challenge – Day 5. Energetically I am feeling MUCH better!! I also feel better mentally (less anxious). My cravings for sweets and overeating in general have gone away! It’s really quite awesome and leads me to believe that many of my “bad” eating habits could be attributed to an imbalanced blood sugar. Yay for Primal!!
However, with going FULL primal – I have also noticed an increase in digestive disturbances. I have struggled with digestion problems for quite some time now and could never fully figure out the cause. I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2005 and have been gluten free since – but I STILL have problems! Mainly I struggle with bloating, abdominal pain/discomfort, strange bowel patterns (diarrhea/constipation – sorry if that is TMI), etc. When we decided to go full primal – I thought that would solve all my “problems” – so when my bloating and discomfort INCREASED I felt SO sad! However, I know that the other positive changes that I have experienced so far is all that I need to know that Primal is a step in the right direction. SO I refused to give up and decided to consult my medical practitioner – aka GOOGLE! (*Note – this is a joke. Do not depend on google for medical advice…) When I told google my concerns (increased bloating and stomach pain on primal) – I found a very useful blog about FODMAPS!
What the heck are FODMAPS you say??? Well here is the blog I found with all the detailed information…but long story short is that they are a group of sugars found in certain foods that some people have trouble digesting. The symptoms are – all of the symptoms I have been experiencing. Ha! Even some primal foods (like certain fruits and veggies) contain these FODMAPS which could be the missing piece to my digestive disturbance puzzle! Since I am already going Primal, I figured why the heck not avoid these certain foods as well?! (This blog also contains a downloadable PDF file explaining which foods to avoid if you are interested). So all day yesterday I avoided these high FODMAP foods – and guess what??? For the first time in a very long time – I went to bed without looking pregnant and without pain (no kidding this happens almost every night…) You have no idea how much better life is when you feel good!! SO – could this be a “fluke”?? Of course it could be! But for right now…I am going to avoid/limit these high FODMAP foods and continue to eat PRIMALLY and see if I can get myself to feeling better!! My “gut” says – I can!!
Here is a recipe we came up with last night that is Primal and low FODMAP:
Red, Yellow, and Orange bell peppers sautéed in coconut oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper
Salsa (no added sugar – read the ingredients!)
Mix all of the above and add to a lettuce wrap – roll up like a burrito.
I decided to take pics of some of my eats from yesterday – so you could see some of what we’ve been eating!! I didn’t include my snacks and wasn’t particularly hungry yesterday – so the eats are pretty basic haha! But I really enjoy eating this way and feel really good!! For breakfast, I sliced a banana and an apple and mixed it with almond butter. Then I microwaved it for about a minute – which made it nice and warm and gooey (which I like). Then I topped it with some cinnamon! This was really tasty and left me satisfied until 2 pm!! I probably could have even skipped lunch but had already made my salad haha!! I also had some black coffee on the side.
After breakfast, I had some lemon water. I love the taste of lemon and lemons are really great for your body!! They help your liver and have a alkalizing effect on your system!!
For lunch, I had a big green salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, celery, and tuna. I used olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt for the “dressing”. This was really fresh and delicious! Like I said before, my breakfast kept me satisfied and it was 2pm before I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch yet! I wasn’t terribly hungry, but since I had already made the salad – I decided to eat it! YUM!!
I got a little hungry again (or maybe I just wanted to munch…) so I had some blueberries!
For dinner, I wasn’t as hungry again. But still felt like eating (haha!). So I made some scrambled eggs! I cooked the eggs in REAL butter and used some sea salt as a seasoning. The butter made the eggs so tasty and so satisfying!!! That’s one of the great things about PRIMAL is that you learn that certain fats have been unfairly demonized!! Not all fats are bad – in fact – you NEED fats!! I also had another apple on the side with some cinnamon.
So that gives you a little “taste” (pun intended) of the primal foods we have been eating! Like I said, there were some foods that I forgot to snap a photo of, but this gives you a basic idea. Like I said, I love this way of eating because you just eat. There isn’t any over-thinking about meal timing, portion control, calorie counting etc. It’s simple, basic food that works well for your body.
Let us know if you have any question! And thanks for reading!!!!
You may have noticed on our Facebook page that we have decided to do the Primal Challenge!! And here we are at Day 2 of the “21 Day Primal Challenge” and I am already feeling better. The main difference that I have felt so far (even though it is so early into the challenge) is that I feel good about eating again. My appetite has picked up and I don’t feel sick to my stomach (especially in the mornings) like I used to. Like I said – I just feel excited about eating again – which is huge for me!
Why did we decide to do the challenge?? Well for one – we are BIG supporters of the Primal Lifestyle, but we have never actually gone full-blown primal. Even in the past when we have done primal challenges, we were still using condiments (like ketchup and mayonnaise) that are certainly not primal (because they contain sugar, unhealthy oils, etc). We justified it to ourselves saying things like “oh it’s just a little bit” or “it’s not THAT bad”. These little justifications were starting to increase lately and we were starting to eat more and more non-primal foods (gluten free pastas, gluten free breads, gluten free donuts, candy, etc). Now, I am not saying that this is “wrong” by any means – but for us it was a slippery slope into weight gain and just generally not feeling well. I know that lately, I had not been feeling the best (tired all the time, joint pain, etc.). I had also started gaining weight – which was not noticeable in my clothes – but it was definitely creeping up on me. Again – I am not saying this is BAD …it’s just something that was not working for ME. SO – we decided to make a change. I know that almost everything that I have been experiencing lately, both physically and mentally – can be attributed to our gradually worsening eating habits. Lucky for me – I can control this! Hooray!!
So – I pulled out my Primal Book and cleared out the fridge and cabinets. I got rid of all the non-primal food (spices and condiments that contained sugar/non-primal oils; gluten free bread; gluten free pasta; 7up (how did that get in there?!); juices; sweeteners, etc.) I donated what I could and threw out the rest. Drastic?? Maybe…but for me it was necessary. And let me tell you it felt SO good to clear out this stuff! Then we went to the store and stocked up on some primal fare:
Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil; nuts and nut butters (but not peanuts or peanut butter!)
What I love most about primal is that you just eat. There isn’t any calorie counting, meal timing, food combining, etc. You just eat when you’re hungry. That’s it. And that’s what works for me! When I try to do a highly specific plan – it makes me crazy and just does not work for me! (remember – you have to find what works for YOU!) Also – those urges of “Oh My GOD I need to eat NOW” feelings have gone away. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely get hungry – but it’s a gentle hunger. It isn’t urgent. And I like that.
I’m excited to see if eating strict primal will help with my joint issues. I will keep you all posted!! If any of you are interested – I highly recommend this book! Or check out Mark Sisson’s (author of the book) website – Marks Daily Apple. Both are very informative about what it means to “Eat/Live Primal”!! Check it out! And feel free to ask questions in the comment section or on our Facebook page!!!
Hope you all are staying healthy!! And thanks for reading!!!
What does it mean to live a certain “lifestyle”? You know…you hear it all the time: “It’s not a diet, it’s lifestyle.” But what does that mean?? Essentially there are MANY different lifestyles that you can choose to live, and the only thing that makes it “right” is if it works for YOU! So what if you are trying to get healthy or want to get your body in “optimal” shape?? Then what?? There seems to be a variety of different people with a variety of different opinions, all claiming their way to be “THE WAY”. We have found here at PerformancEDU, through personal experience, that we are happiest (in terms of the way we eat) when we focus mainly on natural, whole, REAL, foods. You may hear or see us throw around the term “primal” and we believe the primal “diet” to be a very effective tool! Initially you can use “PRIMAL” as a “technique”, but it’s not meant to be the end-all-be-all of diets. It’s not dogma. It’s not “the way”. It’s just a tool that can help you to get more in tune with the way you eat. It can help you to realize and FEEL how certain foods affect you. It can also help to bring emotional eating habits to your awareness. That’s why we are such big fans of the primal “diet”. It really is an effective tool! But if you find yourself stressing/feeling guilty over every morsel of food that passes your lips, or if after a while you are still trying to remember the “rules” – maybe it’s time to take a step back and see primal for what it really is. As I said before, the way we eat and feel the best is when we focus mostly on natural, REAL foods. The more natural the better in our eyes. But does that mean we eat that way ALL of the time! No – we are human and live in a society filled with other stuff that is pleasurable to our taste buds! We know that these types of “foods” aren’t really going to benefit our bodies, but they do benefit our minds and it’s ok (and GOOD) to loosen up and have fun from time to time.The great thing about getting in touch with YOUR body is that you will start to realize what makes you FEEL really good – both short term and long term. You will learn that sometimes the short term gratification (sour patch kids?!) is not worth the long term effect (stomach ache) – so really you will start figuring these things out and just naturally choose the foods that make you feel the best! I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, but honestly I don’t even use most of the knowledge that I acquired from this. Gaining health and feeling/looking amazing doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Focus on real WHOLE foods.
Focus on feeling good.
Worry less about the details.
Stop over-analyzing and focus on the big picture.
It really is that simple.
* disclaimer: if you have a medical condition affecting your nutritional status, you will need to speak with a registered dietitian – this advice is for your average healthy person looking to get in shape and feel great
We here at PerformancEDU believe in the power of thoughts. Your mindset can LITERALLY make or break you and our guest blogger, Dr. Taylor Donovan, has written an amazing post on this very subject. Dr. Donovan is an excellent Chiropractor and Nutrition Consultant – practicing out of The Meridian in Reno and he brings over 20 years of dedication and research into the workings of the human body. We hold his knowledge and opinions in very high regard because he really knows his stuff!! If you like what you read below and desire to schedule an appointment with Dr. Donovan (or would just like to chat with him) please see the end of this post for his contact information. He is a delightful man and would love to hear from you!!
“‘In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?’ — Siddhārtha Gautama
I am convinced that chocolate was healthy for my grandmother. She had a particular affection for the chocolates created by See’s candies. When I saw her excitement in peeling open the white box, the ceremony around choosing her indulgence, and the savoring of these chocolates, she impressed upon me a powerful insight. If you are going to indulge, do so with reckless abandon free from guilt or restraint. To this day I believe that if you indulge anything with a positive mindset and complete enthusiasm then the negative side effects will be minimized no matter what. This phenomena can also account for some of the incredible results that the placebo effect is capable of eliciting.
Have you ever heard of someone that drank alcohol and smoked cigarettes and lived a long and healthy life? Have you ever been troubled by hearing about a friend or relative that seemed extremely healthy but died suddenly from a heart attack or was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer? As a health care professional I hear these sorts of stories on a somewhat regular basis. I believe the topic of psycho bioenergetics can assist in explaining these occurrences.
Years ago I began my scientific studies while undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at a UC school. I was fascinated by the elaborate communication that occurred at the cellular level. I have continued to study and research this field for the last fifteen years. I have since applied my focus to the nervous system and the brain. I feel this system of the body is the most powerful area that I am capable of impacting. This is also why I became a chiropractor. While my treatments and knowledge are effective at relieving pain and soreness my true forte is in insuring long-term health through functional and dynamic gains in movement, thought, and nutrition. Lately I have been studying the effects of mental attitude on our physiology. The fields of positive psychology and trendy books on creating happiness have shown how important attitude is in creating optimal health. One of the simplest ways to better yourself is to truly believe that what you are doing is making an incredible difference and to do these things with great commitment and discipline.
I assist many of my patients in defining exactly what they need to change in order to better refine their health choices. While this is an important process it’s also integral to go a step deeper and look at how an individual mentally relates to these changes. I have patients that change to organic tobacco with great enthusiasm and others that fixate anxiously on which detox diet to try. In the end it may depend less on what we are doing and more so on how we are doing it. If you are indulging the vice squad be sure to do so with an enjoyable mindset. If you are purifying yourself do so with an upbeat demeanor. Everything you do will be enhanced by a sense of optimism and acceptance.”
Read more about Dr. Donovan here: http://www.themeridianreno.com/team/taylor-donovan/
Email Dr. Donovan here! email@example.com He really does LOVE hearing from you!!
Right on Dr. Donovan! We couldn’t agree with you more!!
Now … for everyone getting excited – please don’t misinterpret this as us promoting a lifestyle of smoking, drinking, and eating a lot of junk. Because that is not what we are saying at all. ALL of us KNOW what is right for our own lives and our own bodies. We each intuitively possess that knowledge. Do what feels RIGHT to you and don’t worry obsessively and fixate over your choices.
Make a choice.
And move on.
Everybody has different philosophies on how to live a healthy life. The difference between those that actually make progress and those that stagnate is simple.
The people who make progress – BELIEVE in what they are doing, leaving little room for doubt and questioning.
The people who stagnate – doubt and question what they are doing, leaving little room for progress.
See the difference?
If you feel that you have a pattern of procrastinating or stagnating – come see us at PerformancEDU or Dr. Donovan at The Meridian! As someone who has personally experienced both stagnation and progression, I can say MINDSET is EVERYTHING! And we are committed to helping you get there! Despite what you may think – you’re not a “loser” – your mind just has a pattern of believing that you’re a loser. A loser can quickly turn into a winner with a change in mindset! It really is that simple! Think about it!
And let us know what you think in the comments section!
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While you’re at it…”like” us on Facebook! We appreciate you!!
Most of us know that NUTRITION is an important aspect of achieving and maintaining a healthy body. But all the information available is confusing, and often it’s conflicting! You can keep things really simple, make small changes in your diet, and still make MAJOR improvements in your health. You don’t have to count calories. You don’t need to balance macro/micro nutrients. You don’t even need to go full-blown PRIMAL. You CAN – but it’s not the ONLY way to do it. Quite simply, if you focus on eating more REAL food, and less FAKE/PROCESSED food – you will be doing your body a HUGE favor!! But what do I mean by REAL and FAKE food. Well let me give you some examples:
REAL FOOD (Eat more of this):
Fresh Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, kale, TONS more)
Fresh Fruits (apples, oranges, grapes, nectarines, TONS more)
Fresh protein (beef, chicken, eggs, pork, fish, freshly prepared beans, organic fresh dairy etc.)
Healthy Fats (avocado, almond butter, sunflower seeds, olive oil, omega 3’s, REAL butter etc.)
Whole Grains (whole grain rice, corn tortillas, whole grain pasta, real oatmeal)
Fresh Beverages (water, organic milk, coconut water, unsweetened tea/coffee)
Wine (in moderation – meaning a glass at night)
PROCESSED FOOD (Eat less of this):
Hydrogenated oils (sweetened peanut butters, many salad dressings, margarine, etc.)
Baked goods (cakes, cookies, brownies, etc.)
Sugar (soda, coffee creamers, candy, etc.)
Fake sugar (diet soda, diet anything – sucralose, splenda, equal, nutrasweet, saccharin, etc.)
Ingredients that look like chemicals
Breakfast cereals (including sugar sweetened oatmeal)
Sugary alcoholic beverages
This is just to give you an idea. Basically the more “natural” a food is (meaning, the closer it is to its most natural state), the better it is likely to be for your body. Maintaining a healthy body is more than just calories in vs. calories out. It’s about how different foods affect your body chemistry (hormones, metabolism, etc.). Processed foods tend to contain ingredients that screw with your body chemistry. So take an honest look at what you are eating each day. Start reading the INGREDIENTS. If it looks like a chemical, it probably is. And chemicals aren’t good for a healthy body chemistry.
And like I said – if you start to feel overwhelmed. Focus on one or two SMALL changes that you can make. Maybe swap out water for soda. Or try black coffee instead of your usual caramel macchiato. Remember to keep it simple. Focus on REAL food. Avoid processed food. Listen to your body (eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full). Stop obsessing over the details and just start somewhere!! You can do it!! And we are here to help! So please – ask us any questions!!!
Better yet – tell us in the comments section:
What are one or two small changes YOU can make in your diet????
PerformancEDU is proud to announce Jenny Digesti as our Director of Customer Service and Community Outreach. Here is a little background of Jenny’s background and passions: Jenny’s passion for health began with a focus on nutrition, life experience has proven that nutrition is only one piece of the puzzle. “True health is difficult to define as it is different for each individual. However, finding balance seems to be the key ingredient.” Jenny enjoys finding this balance for herself, as well as helping other to achieve this balance. In addition to health/wellness, Jenny enjoys creating and building customer and community relationships. Her ideal vision of the world is creating close, “family-style” bonds within PerformancEDU, and branching out into the Reno/Tahoe community and beyond. Jenny wholeheartedly believes that this CAN be achieved and it starts on the individual level. EDU is proud to say, we are so fortunate to have such a gifted and passionate person apart of our TEAM!
So, this juice cleanse was a really interesting experience – with many ups AND downs! (If you missed part 1 of our juice re-cap, you can check it out here!) And if you’re in the mood to shake things up a bit…food challenges are a really good way to do that!! And it doesn’t have to be a juice cleanse…it can be giving up coffee for a week. Or giving up sugar for 21 days. Or packing your lunch for a week. Etc. Keep it simple!! We all tend to hold attachments to the foods we eat and temporarily taking away those attachments can really make some hidden thoughts and feelings apparent. I definitely learned a lot on this cleanse.
First off, let’s talk about mindless eating. When I was prepping the juices by chopping up fruits and veggies, I was surprised at how many times (pretty much every time haha!) I would go to put a piece of food in my mouth! I stopped myself before I actually ate anything…but still – it made me think. You might be thinking “Popping some pieces of fruit in your mouth isn’t a big deal – heck it’s good for you right?!” Well, technically yes. You’re right. But it really made me wonder how many other times I mindlessly eat and don’t even realize it….just popping food in my mouth because it’s there and not even because I really want it! (hello – candy jar at work!) The cleanse also made me realize how much food I THINK I need vs. how much food I ACTUALLY need. Many times when I eat, I will only have half of my plate finished and feel full. However, my brain pops in and starts saying things like “you only finished HALF! You definitely need to eat more. You’re thin so it doesn’t matter! It’s so good! What if you get hungry later?!” Etc. So I end up eating more than I actually need! I justify it in my head because “I’m thin so I can get away with it” – but do I really get away with it?? I’ve been plagued with digestion issues for years and I could never quite attribute it to any certain food. Perhaps the answer to my problem is the fact that I am “disobeying” my body so frequently! Hmm…interesting right?!
I also noticed during the cleanse that I would feel hungry, but not in an “oh my god, I need food NOW” type of way. It would just be a mild stomach grumble and then I’d be fine. As soon as I started eating again….those “I need to eat or I will DIE!” sensations came back. That’s interesting to me as well. I’m wondering if it is due to the fact that during the cleanse – I KNEW I wasn’t going to be eating, so the desire wasn’t there. I love food and will often make excuses to eat and if I DO get hungry I start to get a mild “panic-y” feeling – like I NEED TO EAT!!! I am wondering how much of that is all in my head….after cleansing, I am thinking most of it! Just something more to be conscious of…
A third interesting “revelation” was the guilt I experienced after eating again. Where did this come from? I thought my days of “feeling guilty because I ate something” were OVER!! Hmm….perhaps it was my inner perfectionist?? Or perhaps a small part of me still holds on to the “thin is better” mentality. Hmm…that’s even more interesting! I honestly thought I didn’t hold on to even a shred of this belief!! I stand corrected…it’s still there – but usually only when I am thinking of myself. I can see beauty in a variety of body shapes and sizes, but for whatever reason I sometimes feel like thin is better on me. Does this make me a bad person? Not at all! Is it a faulty belief…for me – DEFINITELY! Because I AM thin..and I still manage to find things about my physical appearance that I would like to “change”. Must be deeper than weight… At any point, I’m glad it came up because now I can work on releasing that belief and flipping it. You see it’s NORMAL for our brains to have preferences (like for me…”thin” is a preference. “Clear skin” is a preference. “Humor” is a preference). Preferences are completely fine as long as you understand that they are just PREFERENCES and you don’t CLING to them. For example, if I was to cling to my preference of being “thin” – I might be led to engage in behaviors that are counterproductive to my health – just to achieve that preference. It would be like saying “My mind knows what’s best and I am going to ignore my body’s wisdom.” If you find yourself going down this path (and I HAVE gone down this path myself)…it is a slippery slope!! So if it is HEALTH you truly desire, you have to be willing to see through your preferences. Does this mean my preference for being thin will go away…maybe or maybe not. I just won’t be giving much attention to these thoughts and instead I will focus on the desire to be healthy. Does this mean I will give up caring about my appearance – nope! I just won’t be SOLELY focusing on my appearance. Does this mean I will gain weight – possibly..if it benefits my health. Does it mean I will LOSE weight…possibly – if it benefits my health. See where I am going with this? Focus on what you WANT – not what you DON’T want. For me…yes I prefer “thin”, but not if that means it’s to the detriment of my health. So I will acknowledge my preference. Focus on my health, focus on the enjoyment of food (and life!) and let the rest go..allow it to be…This means that sometimes – my body will require A LOT of food. Sometimes it will require very little. I am working on honoring what it is my body is telling me…without focusing on the input of my brain. Because honestly, most of the stuff in my brain (and yours too) is not actually mine. It’s from conditioning. The media. Your friends. Your family. OUTSIDE sources. YOU always know what is best for YOU – you just need to get back in the habit of listening to yourself.
Anyways, I am glad this all came up into my consciousness, because like I said, now I can release it! Otherwise, I would have just continued to hold onto this unconscious (and silly!) belief about life that would hold me back a big way! Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D., a Cincinnati psychologist who was quoted for the article, said, “Neuroscience has shown that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, that neural pathway becomes stronger—and those thoughts become habitual,” she explains. So what does that mean?? Well thoughts LITERALLY create. Science has proven this. So if you’re always thinking BAD things about yourself, what do you think you will create? More BAD!! Does this mean you are BAD or somehow defective for having negative thoughts?? NO! We ALL have them!! It’s a result of SO many things outside of our control. But we CAN be aware of them and we CAN choose NOT to believe in them. What are you hiding from yourself? From others? In order to make yourself appear more “perfect” or more “in control”?? This isn’t a BAD thing – we ALL do it!! But if you continue to live in denial…it just holds you back from your goals-dreams-life! Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t EASY stuff and it’s not any easier for me than it is for you. The reason why I “know” half of this stuff is because of my own trials and tribulations. So take it a day at a time and practice being truly authentic with yourself.
All-in-all I am really glad we did this cleanse! It brought to my awareness some things that I never really thought about before. PLUS I kicked my caffeine addiction and learned some yummy juice recipes! I plan to continue juicing on a frequent basis!
And just as a side note: For anyone partaking in your own juice cleanse or planning to partake – PLEASE listen to your bodies. This is supposed to be an overall enjoyable experience. Yes – there are some “uncomfortable” detox symptoms that you may experience, but it’s not supposed to be UNBEARABLE. If at any time it does become too much to handle…just break the fast! Try to eat a fresh, raw vegetable or fruit salad. And then maybe you will feel like you can continue with the juice cleanse…or maybe not. Your call! Listen to your bodies!!!! And try to remember that it really isn’t that serious!
What do you guys think? What negative thoughts do you hold on to? What would happen if you would let them go (“good” and “bad”)?? What food (or other) challenge can you do today to shake things up a bit?!
Let us know!!
Until next time…
So we decided to break the juice cleanse after 3 days! Wow – what an experience! The “perfectionist” part of myself is disappointed that we didn’t go the full 5 days (even though I said it was only going to be 3-5 days haha), but when I put her aside – I was actually pretty pumped! A 3-day extended juice cleanse is no small feat (especially for food lovers such as ourselves!) and it was a great teaching tool! We learned a lot and gained some valuable insights! This post is going to talk primarily about the experience. Then I will write a second post talking more about the insights we received!
As for the recipes, we pretty much stuck with the same 2 primary juices (complements of HealthyCrush.com), give or take a few fruits/veggies (for example, sometimes we would throw in a few slices of pineapple, or an extra apple, etc.). Plus, an almond milk recipe (which was a GODSEND!) I really enjoyed the taste of BOTH of these juices and the almond milk!!! But I am someone who enjoys the way healthy foods taste …. so you may not think they taste as delicious as I do. But I can tell you – if you commit to a healthier lifestyle, you WILL eventually (likely) acquire a taste for freshly made fruit/veggie juices and other “good-for-you” foods too! It’s all about finding what you like!
Here are the recipes we used:
Green Juice: (makes 16-20 oz)
A few leaves of Kale
4 stalks of celery
2 green apples
½ of a lemon
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
Beet Juice: (makes 16-20 oz)
1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots
½ a green apple
3 celery stalks
1 small piece of ginger
Almond Milk: (makes 2 cups)
1 cup almonds
3 cups water
1 tsp REAL vanilla extract (not imitation or vanilla flavoring)
1 tsp cinnamon
Soak almonds in water for 8 hours (or overnight). Add almonds, water, vanilla, cinnamon and dates to blender and blend until smooth. Strain milk through a nut milk bag/cheese cloth (or a new clean sock). We used a sock for lack of anything else. Took me a few go rounds to figure out how to do this right…but eventually I just took the whole sock…held it over a large measuring cup (you could use a bowl too), poured all the blended ingredients into the sock and wrung out the “juice” into the measuring cup. Then I poured it in the cup! If you can get over the fact that you just used a sock to make milk, this is SO good! And you can Google some ideas for what to do with the leftover pulp if you want to save it! (I’m thinking some gluten-free/sugar-free cookies?!).
Ok – on to the juice cleanse recap:
Day 1: Today was the first official day without ANY caffeine!! Got up, worked out, made/drank my green juice and went off to my day job. I started to feel a bit hungry around mid-morning, but I am used to that since we usually fast on Mondays anyways. I made a cup of Lemon Ginger Yogi tea (since I didn’t bring any extra juice with me – doh!) and felt better. At lunch time, I made another green juice. I felt AMAZING when I went outside in the fresh air and sun, but felt a bit tired once back at my desk. I am sure that the tiredness was more from working in a cubicle than being on a cleanse. To keep me “on-point”, I stayed hydrated with a lot of water and herbal teas. After work, I came home and had a beet juice! At this point, I had a headache. It wasn’t terrible, but didn’t feel great either. I believe this was due to the lack of caffeine (and I really missed my Yerba Mate). After drinking our beet juice, we went off to the infrared sauna for extra “detoxing”. On the drive to the sauna, we noticed a “spacey” feeling. Almost like a drug induced state…very strange and out-of-body. Once at the sauna, we got our alkaline water, and began to sweat. While in the sauna, my headache felt better. However, afterwards it was even MORE intense!! Also, the beet juice ran straight through me (yes, my bowels were “cleansed” and it was a little frightening haha – sorry if that’s TMI but I want to be honest here!) I came home and honestly felt pretty sick at this point. Did a little dry skin brushing to complement the “detoxing”, and took a shower. Went to bed at 8 pm. Felt nauseous…mainly due to the intense headache…and kept reminding myself “Pain is only temporary!!” and “This too shall pass!” I slept HARD.
Day 2: I woke up feeling better, but still had the headache. I didn’t feel particularly hungry at this point, but did feel a bit “woozy”. I decided not to work out today, so I could make the juices and almond milk for us, but I felt like I had the energy to work out. Made myself a nice cup of almond milk first – and pretty much SLAMMED it down. WOW!! This stuff was a game changer!! Headache almost completely went away, and I felt full of energy and in a great mood! Made the other juices and the almond milk for Marc, delivered them and went off to my day job. Felt great at work, but honestly I didn’t have the crazy, focus that a lot of people say they experience. I felt spacey and almost euphoric…again it was almost like I was on drugs! (which would probably be fun if I was at home…but not so much at work!) So I decided to go home early – I needed to make some more juices for us anyways. I really wanted to come home and relax a bit, but came home to ants in the house instead!! Apparently rinsing the juicer between uses is not good enough – you need to scrub and soak it…and mop up any remnants of juice that spills on the floor…especially if there are ants outside. And if you are not saving the pulp from the juice (we saved most, but threw some away), it’s a good idea to take out the trash immediately too! (classic rookie mistakes! Haha). So, due to the uninvited ant guests, I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning and juicing – cleaning and juicing. My mental status at this point was NOT good. I was very cranky and on edge. Something like this wouldn’t usually bother me, but today it WAS! I realized after having a beet juice and calming down that my “inner perfectionist” was really taking a hold of me! I really wanted to complete this cleanse “perfectly” (whatever that means) and in my eyes…that just wasn’t happening!! Plus, I blamed my current job for not being able to do it “right” (hmm….blame is a classic sign that you need to look within and see what’s REALLY going on). So, I acknowledged my inner perfectionist and tried to let her go. Did some yoga, and felt even better. At this point, I didn’t really feel hungry at all. Which was odd to me, but I went with it. Had some almond milk for dinner and relaxed. Went to bed feeling peaceful.
Day 3: We decided this was going to be our last day of juicing. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the “my life is revolving around juicing” feeling and it was very challenging to keep it up while still trying to work. If you are thinking of doing a cleanse yourself, try to plan it around a time when you aren’t that busy – OR consider doing one of the “mail order” juice cleanses (you can see some suggestions here) because the time commitment to make your own is significant. We made a HUGE batch of juice with our leftover fruits and veggies the night before so we didn’t have to juice all day long. Some people suggest drinking the juices immediately after you make them (the theory being that they lose some of their enzymes otherwise). But I was willing to risk it for my sanity – haha! I had a juice for breakfast and was still hungry. I should have had more, but for some reason I didn’t (maybe I was sick of juices?) and I didn’t bring any with me to work – MISTAKE!! I was really “woozy” come lunchtime. Couldn’t concentrate on my work and felt nauseous. If you decide to do a juice cleanse, make sure you have extra juices with you. The point is not to starve yourself here, but to CLEANSE. If you are hungry…you are supposed to drink more juice! (PLEASE use wisdom and listen to your bodies. No need to put yourself out of commission for the sake of a juice cleanse!) Because I was pretty out of it by lunchtime, I decided to have a nice almond milk smoothie. I drank 3 sips and felt full. Continued sipping on it for the next THREE hours and this kept me satisfied until dinner. We decided to break our fast at dinnertime (and since our last solid food meal was on Sunday evening, that would make our cleanse a complete 3 days). For our meal, we chose rice and sautéed kale. We wanted something that would be relatively easy to digest to reduce the risk of a stomach ache. I ate a very small portion and was still hungry, but honestly I was scared to eat more! I really didn’t want to feel sick. So I took a hot shower and went to bed hungry – tomorrow is a new day.
Day 4: Woke up, felt good. Worked out. Came home and decided to have another juice! Made a beet juice with beets, apples, kale, pineapple, and ginger. Felt satisfied until about mid morning and then I felt nauseous (maybe something about the combination of fruits/veggies I used for this juice? Or maybe I am just sick of juice right now?). Drank some tea and some water and felt a bit better. Came home for lunch and had another bowl of rice and kale – this time a larger bowl. I felt a bit “guilty” after eating this time. Hmm…that’s interesting. Not really sure where the guilt came from, but I tried not to over analyze it…realized it was just a thought…and moved on. Breaking the fast is interesting and it’s a strange feeling to go from only drinking your meals, to now having to chew! I was a little concerned, after what I read, that I would feel sick once I went back to solid food, but overall I felt pretty good! So there you have it!! Our experience of the cleanse in a nutshell….
Here are some “pros” and “cons” from the cleanse:
- Nasal congestion – gone
- Dry skin – gone (weird …??)
- Caffeine addiction – beat!
- Brain fog – gone!
- Consciousness about food habits – increased!
- No body odor (seriously…I didn’t even think I needed to wear deodorant! But I did anyways…)
- Able to “eat” MUCH more fruits and veggies than I normally would WITHOUT the stomach ache that would NORMALLY come from consuming that much roughage
- Adding a new healthy habit to my routine (juices!)
- Interesting revelations about the negative thought patterns I hold on to
- New appreciation for food (it’s pretty amazing that I am blessed enough to be able to A) do a juice cleanse and B) be able to EAT when I am starving…not everyone is that fortunate. New appreciation for that alone and compassion for the hungry)
- Constantly making the juices and cleaning the juicer (that really got old..)
- Rough detox symptoms the first night (especially the headache!)
- Interesting bowel “happenings” (but maybe that’s a pro…detox??)
- 7 pound weight loss (yes I put that in the “cons” because I don’t NEED to lose any weight, but a small part of me wanted to put it in the “pros” – social conditioning…sigh)
- Missed the comfort that food and mealtime brings
- Strange breath
- Still had the joint pain
- Still had some skin issues aka blemishes *GASP* (I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t make some MIRACULOUS change….I wonder why I had such high expectations?? Perfectionist?)
- Edgier than usual
- Difficulty concentrating a my day job
Phew! Looks like the Pros and Cons are pretty even! All-in-all, we are both really glad that we did this. We learned a lot and gained some clarity about certain things in our lives. But since this post is already pretty lengthy, I will save these insights for Part 2…stay tuned!!
So tell us –
Have you ever done a juice cleanse?
If yes…what were your experiences?
If no…would you ever consider doing one?
Until next time…