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.


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