Friday, February 22, 2013

I See You

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine that I hadn't had a chance to talk with for a while. We go way back -- to the carefree days before being married with kids. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much in one sitting. At one point during our conversation, though, she stopped and said, "You're such a hoot! Do you remember when you..." Then she proceeded to recount various wacky things I'd said in the past. I'd completely forgotten, but she remembered.

Most of the time in my house, I feel my husband is the one with a sense of humor. I'm just the nudge who makes you eat vegetables, take baths, and who grunts like Marge Simpson in disapproval. It's nice, though, to have someone remember who you are inside. Who remembers that you can also be droll and unconventional and even downright silly.

And the great thing is that I remember all kinds of wonderful things about her, too. Sometimes I think that's the essence of a really great friendship. Knowing and being known -- and being able to laugh like a couple of lunatics.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Juiced! Week 1

A couple years ago, I streamed a documentary via Netflix called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Basically, it follows an Aussie named Joe Cross, who is "100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease" called urticaria. In a literal and figurative quest for healing, Joe throws a juicer in his car and travels across America during his 60-day juice fast, discussing diet and health with people he meets along the way.

During his conversations, he finds a truck driver, Phil, with the same rare condition he has. At over 400 lbs, Phil is morbidly obese, but the two men connect, and it's heartwarming to see the relationship that develops. It's also inspiring to see how they work their way to health.

Anyway, I was pumped after the video and thought I'd try my own juice fast. I ran out and got the same brand juicer he had, and began concocting fabulous juices. Unfortunately, after about 3 days, the whole experiment ended. The juicer was a total pain in the rear. It was huge and loud and difficult to clean. In the end, I think dessert broke me. Happily, a friend of mine borrowed the juicer for a couple weeks and loved it, so it found a good home with her.

Fast forward to present day, I've decided to give juicing another go. For the past couple of months, I've been really fatigued. I wake up at my normal time about 5 am, but by 10 or 11 in the morning, I'm totally wiped out, and feel tired the rest of the day. I don't drink caffeine, so I know it's not a slump. I'm more concerned about my thyroid.

Even though I eats lots of veggies, I also eat a lot of garbage (I'm a sucker for sweets and cheese, which is stupid since I suspect I'm allergic to it) and need to lose weight. Even worse, I've noticed a spider vein behind a knee. If nothing else, my vanity has spurred me to action.

This time, I took more time researching juicers, and I got one that meets my needs better. It was more expensive, but I definitely enjoy using it, so it will have a permanent home on my counter.

 I'm not planning 60 days like Joe, but I'd like to shoot for at least 2 weeks. And because I'll be doing some traveling, I'm including raw fruit and veggies, too, since Joe's Reboot program allows them. I already have to pack all the accoutrements that go along with three kids; I refuse to travel with a juicer, too.

Just for kicks, though, I thought I'd record my progress. Maybe if I'm online, I'll be more disciplined! So here are the notes from Week 1.

Day 1
Went pretty well. Was not really that hungry. Also, I had feared headaches, which I usually get when I skip meals. However, that didn't happen either. So far so good.

Day 2
During the evening, something I've never experienced before happened. I got my period a whole week early. What the hey! I did a search online and found out that other women have experienced the same thing on a fast. I apologize if this is TMI, but in the interest of recording my experience truthfully, I figured this was worth noting.

Anyway, this is not cool. Not cool at all.

Day 3
I've heard that the first three days of a juice fast are the worst because people usually get a bunch of withdrawal symptoms when they give up caffeine, cigs, and alcohol. They also tend to get acne, greasy hair, etc., from detoxing. Happily, I'm not a smoker or coffee drinker, and I decided years ago that I just didn't need booze calories, so I haven't experienced any ill effects like headaches, nausea, shakiness, or insomnia. However, a weird, stipply rash has appeared on the front of my thighs.

Other than that, I feel great. Normally, I don't have any arthritic pain except for when I overload on sugar (like the day after Halloween), but I've noticed that my joints feel really, really good. Also, I'm not wiped out by mid-morning. In fact, by 10 pm, I'm still going strong.

Another benefit has been introducing my daughter to veg juices. She loves cramming stuff in the juicer and generally tries everything we make -- even kale & apple juice.

Day 4
The weird rash is still there, but it appears to be resolving.

Sadly, I cheated today. I baked a brown sugar cake for a potluck lunch, and I tasted a small crumb -- literally, just a crumb -- to make sure it was good. It was.

Day 5
The rash is pretty much gone. Also, the skin on my face seems really nice today -- softer and smoother. Actually, people have commented on it. :-)

So far, I'd say that I've been consuming about 99.9% juice, water, herbal teas, and veg broths. Sometimes, I end up chewing the odd lemon slice or picking at some blueberries. I can't say that I'm hungry, but I'm dying for a plate of pasta. All I can think about is noodles.

Day 6
Last night, after endless, desperate longing for carbs, I had a banana, and that got rid of the craving. All is well again today.

Another nice thing is that my husband is now requesting juice for himself, too.

Day 7
According to the scale this morning, I've lost 7 lbs this past week.

For breafast, I had juice made with spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, bosc pears, and pineapple. It's interesting to think that I've had four cups of dark leafy greens before most people have had their coffee. I feel healthier already.

Read about Week 2.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Can't Hardly Wait!

Maybe it's because I'm an early bird that I'm always so relieved once January is over and the days start getting longer again. But this year, it seems that warm weather just can't come fast enough. And I know the reason why. This spring, I'm getting beehives!!!

Meanwhile, today, I had a wonderful time taking the New Beekeepers class with the CT Beekeeper's Association. Doesn't it look like a perfect day to indulge daydreams of summer?

I can't explain why I want a hive, but I've always liked bees. Of course, honey is a very special thing all on its own. My first honey memory is from about kindergarten or the first grade. (I can't remember the year, but I remember crying about being forced to wear an "ugly" black velvet dress with a white satin collar instead of the crazy color combo I wanted.)

Anyway, midway through December, my Uncle Neal sent us a package wrapped in brown paper for Christmas, and we were all trying to guess what it contained. Then on the big day, it was one of the very last gifts we opened. My sister and I watched my parents carefully pull the paper away from the box, which only seemed to contain even more paper, lots and lots of paper. But nestled inside all this wadding was a jar of honey that he'd harvested from his own bees. I remember feeling a kind of wonderment and awe at this amber liquid. At the time, I don't think I could have explained what made it so special, how it represented the best of summer in a bottle. But between the scrummyumptious butter and honey sandwiches, a light bulb went on in my tiny brain. I realized that someone could actually keep bees.

My desire for a hive goes deeper than just honey, though. I just like bees. When I was about 8 or 9, I used to sit on the walkway to our front door during the summer and wait for honeybees to collect nectar from my dad's garden. Then I'd very gently, very softly stroke their fuzzy backs. I knew they weren't tame or pets -- but I still considered them like good friends come to visit.

Several years ago, my dear friend Jodi at Curious Acorn started keeping hives, and I've been completely jealous vicariously enjoying them ever since. However, with all the bear traffic through our yard (and periodically garage) in Jersey, I never dared keep bees there. In the new house, though, the biggest animals I've seen have been foxes, and I don't think they like honey. So this is it. I'm starting an apiary.

In the meantime, nothing is getting done at home because I spend day and night researching all about bees. My family rolls their eyes every time I say, "Do you want to hear something cool?" because they know some factoid about Apis mellifera is coming up next. If only that could be a Jeopardy category...

My DH has been co-opted graciously offered to build my hives. (Instead of Langstroth hives, I want Kenyan  top bar hives, but that will be a post for another day, I think.) To keep him focused, I've been sorting through the garage, which hasn't really been touched since the movers dumped a bazillion boxes in it last August. I also keep "reminding" him of his deadline like a little kid that really wants a toy. Truly, this is becoming worse than waiting for Christmas ever was.

How many weeks is it until May? Fingers crossed that I don't burst before then.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...