The Juice

A summary of the three day juice cleanse:

On Thursday after work I giddily skipped into Pressed Juicery to pick up my cleanse. In case you are interested in the specifics here is what it consists of:

Five Juices: 2 Green, 2 Citrus, 1 Root

One Almond Milk Blend

One Chlorophyll Water

One Aloe Vera Water

Starting one hour after you wake up you have your first juice (a green). Throughout the day sip on the Chlorophyll Water. Consume a juice about every two hours (green, citrus, root, citrus, green). For dinner you get your almond milk blend which has 8 grams of protein, and 1 hour before bed drink the aloe vera water to “flush everything” out.

I am doing my cleanse through Pressed Juicery (as opposed to others) for three very good reasons.

I like their juices. I tried a Blue Print juice once and almost hurled. I am not willing to subject myself to something for three days that is absolutely disgusting. Thankfully Pressed juices are pretty good. Some of them are even delicious (citrus #2!). The almond milk blends are also really tasty!

They have a store location one town over from where I live. They let you sample the juice before buying it. They have multiple blends for each “type” of juice (like 5 different green juice blends) so you can find something you like, and don’t have to have the same juice over and over again if you don’t want to.

They were running a really good special! My entire cleanse was $117. I opted for the extra waters (chlorophyll and aloe vera) so It actually could have been even less. Also due to the location I didn’t have to pay for shipping which can really add on to the price of a cleanse.

Day One:

I was strategic to only have one work day while cleansing at the beginning. Because I prepared my body all week, and started each day drinking green juice I figured that the first half of the day would feel totally normal, which was true. My energy was great all day and I really didn’t feel hungry at all. Actually when I picked up my cleanse the girl helping me told me it would take about two hours to drink each juice and I thought she was crazy! I figured I would be done in 30 minutes. In reality it took me longer than 2 hours to finish each bottle (even my favorite ones!). To keep on schedule with a juice every two hours I should have started #4 at 2pm, but I was only 2/3 the way through #3!. I finally started #4 around 4pm. I was also advised to drink lots of lemon water throughout the day. That has been harder than I imagined just because it’s been taking so long to just drink the bottle of juice. I am also allowed herbal tea. By the end of the day I was feeling pretty good. I sort of had imagined myself getting a lot of sleep while I was doing this, but I babysat for a friend’s 8 month old baby on Friday night and didn’t end up being able to get to bed until after 11. I also slept horribly, which was likely more because my husband was gone and I always have trouble sleeping when he is away.

Day Two:

I woke up around 8 on Saturday and started the day with some hot water and lemon. I am going to try to make this part of my routine going forward. I spent the first few hours of the morning doing various chores around the house and then did a deep clean of our bedroom. I had plenty of energy but around 2 my back started to hurt so I decide to lay down and relax for a while on a heating pad, which ended up turning into a nap! I got up around 4:30 to go to my step son’s basketball game, and then came home and finally put away all of our Christmas decorations and did a clean out of our pantry, reorganized our freezers, and cleaned the fridge. I felt great and never had a craving for food.

Day Three:

Usually after the first night that my husband is gone I adjust and can sleep normally, but I actually slept worse on Saturday night. I ended up not waking up until 9, which not only made me behind on starting my juices for the day but I also had to rush to get to church on time. It was my week to work in the nursery and I try to be extra early on those days. After church I went to the store to stock up on food for the week. This was the part I was reallllly afraid of in the whole thing. Going through the store when you are hungry is NEVER a good idea. I probably bought more food than I needed for the week (since its just me at home this week) but I mostly over did it on the produce. It will be interesting to see what is left at the end of the week after I juice every day. I was lazy and bought my green juice while I was out for Monday (and also Whole Foods had no cucumber which is a vital ingredient in my homemade green juice). When I got home from the store I had to spend like 5 hours in the kitchen prepping veggies and cooking for the first few days of the week which was not fun. I was not tempted to eat during the time, but mostly just tired of standing! I ended up getting in bed at 9 just because my back hurt from standing on the tile all that time! Thankfully I finally slept well on Sunday night!

A Few Random Thoughts:

They only craving I had during the whole thing was for Pizza. This is sort of odd because Pizza would not be my first choice in food ever, but I saw a commercial showing greasy cheesy pizza and I wanted it super bad! I didn’t want a lot of TV over the weekend thankfully, but after that I tried to change the channel when a food commercial came on.

My very back teeth felt super weird during the cleanse and I found myself brushing more often and for twice as long as normal in the back area.

The Chlorophyll water was not very good, but it was mild enough that I could handle it. Thankfully I only had to take small sips throughout the day.

By the last day the Root based juice (which tasted a lot like carrot) was the only one that was hard to get down. I was just sick of the flavor.

I had a different almond milk blend every day. Chocolate was my least favorite, vanilla was pretty good, and the coconut cinnamon was AMAZING.

Transitioning to food:

Monday morning brought on the surprise of Aunt Flow showing up 3 days earlier than “normal” and horrific cramps. Honestly I thought I was going to have to call in sick to work because I could barely move. I first used my go-to peppermint oil to try to manage the pain but it was just too much and I had to take Advil. It made me so mad because I just spent three days trying to detox my body of things like that and I really didn’t want to take a pill, but there was no way I was making it to work without it unfortunately. Even after the Advil I was still hurting but I could at least function.

I started the day with some hot water with lemon, which I am starting to really like, and then had some herbal tea (peppermint of course!). I followed that with a green juice when I got to work. Around 11:30 I started to feel hungry so I had two hardboiled egg whites.  My stomach did a few turns but then I was totally fine.  I am going to have lunch soon which will consist of some ground pork and cabbage with curry spice.

The outcome:

First I want to say I did NOT do a three day juice cleanse to lose “fast weight”. I did a juice cleanse to help detox my body of toxic build up and help with the process of sugar withdrawal. I only weighed myself before and after because I was curious and I do not expect the weight I lost to be “permanent”. I truly believe to lose real weight that will stay off takes months of clean eating and exercising and it is not a quick fix.

With that said, I weighed myself last Monday before I did my Pre-Tox, and then again on Friday morning before I started the cleanse. In that time the scale said I had lost 3 lbs. I weighted again this morning and I was down 2 more pounds.

I probably could have done the full 5 day cleanse, but I am excited to start the Whole30. The cleanse is literally less than 1200 calories per day, which is not sustainable for more than a few days for a normal person not monitored by a doctor.

I plan to continue juicing once a day (probably for breakfast) as much as possible. It is the best way I can get in nutrients from leafy veggies like spinach and kale because I just don’t enjoy them very much any other way. Even covered in the most delicious (unhealthy) dressing I cannot eat all that much. I also get a great boost of energy from juicing which is great in the morning. I could see myself doing this again in 3 months or so (especially if they run a special again!).

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The Pre-Tox

In my last post I detailed my plan for refocusing my health over the next few months and hopefully lose some weight in the process. What I failed to mention was how I am/have been preparing for this very drastic change. Since I am a dork I am calling it the Pre-Tox (Pre-Detox).

Step one: Indulge

The week of Christmas I literally consumed anything and everything I wanted. This included unlimited beverages (lattes, soda, cocktails/beer/wine) and treats. For me that was a lot of chocolate, cheesecake, and rice krispy treats! I initially took this approach because I wanted to get a “last taste” of some things that I wouldn’t be having for a while, but it actually was great because after a few days I was totally sick of junk food and I was actually craving to be healthy.

Step Two: Cut back

The week after Christmas was kind of weird because I was traveling for most of it, but I made a conscious effort to scale back (significantly) junk food and caffeine. I limited myself to only one serving of caffeine per day. I would say before I was having 3-4 servings per day so this was a big improvement. I also drank a lot of water and Gatorade because we were at a higher elevation and it was definitely having an effect on me.   Thankfully my husband’s parents were up for cooking most of our meals but we did go out to eat a few times on the trip. When we went out to eat I ordered what I wanted from the menu (I was on vacation after all!). The drive home is pretty brutal as far as food choices go because the only choices are fast food. Even in times of my worst eating I am not big on most fast food. Occasionally I will have In-and-Out Burger or Chick-fil-a but that is a very infrequent splurge. The only choices on our drive back were Taco Bell, McDonalds, or Burger King. I will tell you the Tacos I had only made me want to eat heathier that much more. Sunday I started my day with a really wonderful vanilla latte from Starbucks, and I relished every moment because I knew it was my last one for a long time.

Step Three: The Real Preparation

Monday I officially cut out all caffeine, dairy, and gluten. I’ve actually done a good job of being like 85% already on Whole30. Actually all I have had in the last four days that doesn’t qualify for Whole30 is some gluten free multi-seed almond and brown rice crackers, quinoa, soy sauce, and Worchester sauce. I have also started to cut back on meat in preparation for my juice cleanse, and today I am not eating meat at all. Also in preparation I started having 1-2 juices per day. I’ve started every day with a green juice and had something a little fruitier in the afternoon for a pick-me-up.

I won’t lie….the first two days were not fun. Day two was the worst. My headache came on around 10 am and stuck with me all day, despite how much peppermint essential oil I slathered on. I was cranky and had zero energy. I seriously could have gone to bed at 7. Even though I felt full after meals I had this feeling that something was missing. My brain was trying to trick my body into thinking it was hungry even though I had just had a meal!

Day three I expected to suffer just as much as day two. Actually sort of figured I would be pretty miserable until the end of next week when my body adjusted. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt great all day yesterday! No headache all day! And I had a good amount of energy, which was a blessing because I needed to do quite a bit of work in the kitchen last night to prepare for today.

Today I woke up feeling awesome! I was actually kind of giddy this morning and had way more energy! This is so encouraging for what is ahead and I am totally shocked that I feel so great right now.

A few things that really have helped me through these few days in case you are interested:

Sleep- There have been plenty of times in my life I have gone to bed with a headache only to wake up with next morning with a migraine. I was very afraid of this happening this week, but I made sure to get 8 hours every night, and even on my worst day I at least woke up feeling good.

A warm/hot bath with essential oils- Never underestimate the power of a good soak. It really helped me relax and I think even release some toxins. On Tuesday after work it was a lifesaver. I soaked in a combo of Eucalyptus and peppermint oil.

Oranges-A few orange slices after a meal has been a great way to keep my body from craving sugar. I figured that the extra vitamin C during cold and flu season can’t hurt either!

Peppermint Essential Oil- Admittedly I am obsessed with this stuff anyway, but since I will absolutely not take a pill while I’m doing this (unless I actually get a migraine then I cannot hold to that promise), this is all I have for headache relief. It made my headaches on Monday and Tuesday manageable which was so appreciated.

Lemon water- On Sunday I thinly sliced a lemon and each morning I throw a few slices in my water bottle. I have a hard time chugging straight up water in the morning and this has helped a ton! I am managing to get down about 64 oz just at work (and of course peeing every 10 minutes!)

Peppermint Tea- I drink peppermint tea pretty regularly, but usually with raw honey. This week I tried it without honey, and while it’s not as good I can still drink it and it gives me that sensation of having something warm in the morning. It also helps with the #2s (which is a huge issue for me to begin with) and sans coffee in my life I can use all the help I can get in that department!

A few things I am going to have to get a handle on for this to work for the next month:

The dishes- OH EM GEE! I don’t like dishes to begin with, but this style of cooking is pretty intense with the dishes. Last night I made fresh juice, hardboiled eggs, veggie stir fry, sweet potato hash, and dinner (which was ground bison to have Mexican food style). I ran my dishwasher twice from the time I got home from work until I went to bed. And I washed like 4 pans, some of them more than once! It was a lot of dishes. Also packing food to work every day creates its own set of overwhelming dishes to do!

The prep- I actually did a pretty decent job of prepping stuff on Sunday but there are just some things you can’t do ahead of time. I have a feeling ill be using my food processor a lot more but that just creates more dishes! I’m sure I will get a system down eventually to cut back on dishes and simplify/shorten the prep!

Meal planning- I have had the best intentions to meal plan a head of time for the last like…5 years…and its happened probably four times. Now it is a must! Shopping for and prepping for the Whole30 will require planning. A friend who has done Whole30 recommended Nom Nom Paleo’s app, which I can say is worth every penny of the $6 it cost. I am very impressed that it actually has a category for just Whole30 recipes. Love that! And they look really good!

Tonight I am going to Pressed Juicery to pick up my cleanse. I am actually excited. My husband will be gone for the weekend so I will mostly get to relax and keep it low key. I am supposed to work in the nursery on Sunday morning at church and I am a little worried about that. I also need to do some shopping and prepping on Sunday. Hopefully I’ve got the energy!

Recommended Read (Blog)- Stillness Amidst the Chaos

God has plans for our lives we just cannot fathom.  I highly recommend you read this post.  It is a truly remarkable story of infertility and adoption, and the perfect example of God’s ultimate plan for us.

The person who wrote this post (about her life) is someone from my hometown.  I came across it last night when her sister posted it in Facebook.  It is such an amazing story I had to share.

http://stillnessamidstthechaos.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-prelude_6.html

Refocus 2015- Health

Today was the day……that I got on the scale. I avoided it for months. I knew it was bad but I wanted to remain naive to how bad. I wanted to eat whatever sounded good not what was good for me. Today I faced the music…..and my expectations were met. It is so so so bad.

Before I stepped on, actually days before, I resolved to do something about it. Its far more than the number. It’s how I feel. How my clothes fit. My energy level (or lack thereof). It is everything. And it has to change.

The weight I am at now is probably close to what I should weigh very pregnant. To really put it in perspective I weigh 40 pounds more than I did at 22….and 30 pounds more than I did at 27. And 18 pounds more than I weighed at 30. Almost every one of those 18 pounds in the last 2 years have been due to infertility. Emotional eating. Fertility drugs. All of it. And I’m done with it.

So here is phase 1 of my plan.

Caffeine.

The likelihood that I would ever completely stop drinking caffeine is small because honestly I LOVE coffee. More specifically I love a latte. It’s probably one of my favorite things in the entire world to consume and considering I love it that much I am not going to completely stop having it. However for phase 1 of my plan I won’t be having it at all for about 2 months. I started cutting back about a week ago and honestly its gone better than expected. I have not had caffeine at all today and I’ve felt okay. I want to get to the point that having a latte is a special treat and not something I need to start the day. I actually managed to cut out all caffeine a few years ago and it make my mornings a trillion times easier.

Juice.

A few years ago my husband bought me a juicer and I loved it.  I juiced pretty often actually.  I found it a great way to get in some nutrients from greens like spinach and kale which I have a hard time eating a lot of in leaf form.  I have decided to do a 3 day cleanse starting either Thursday or Friday.  My husband is going out of town on Friday so it seems like a perfect time.  I am back and forth about what day to start because I know it’s going to be hard, and I’m going to be cranky and probably really tired.  I am sure I could survive one day of work like this but I’m not sure about 2 days.  The downside is that I really need Sunday to do food prep for the following week and I can’t imagine cooking a bunch of make-ahead food and not being able to eat it.  I’ve never done a cleanse before and I know it can be controversial, but I am actually excited to see how I like it.

The Whole30.

Immediately after my cleanse I plan to go into the Whole30.  If you haven’t heard of this particular plan it is basically a much more intense version of paleo.  After doing this I would imagine that doing paleo would be really easy.  The Whole30 is a much stricter version which rules out all sugar except for fruit (including honey or pure maple syrup), no dairy (except for clarified butter), no pseudo grains (like quinoa), and no alcohol.  It’s really just meat, veggies, fruit, and some healthy oils.  Most spices are allowed as long as they do not contain sugar.  I am going to try to do a green juice everyday also.

Paleo (ish)

As my friend asked “why so extreme?”  Well, first because I want a very aggressive start to kick off some big changes.  For fertility/endometriosis reasons I want to cut out gluten.  This means that after the whole 30 I will be basically doing paleo.  I also want to cut back on dairy significantly as well as caffeine and paleo seems to be the most fitting lifestyle to meet those goals.  There are a few things that I will have that paleo and I don’t 100% agree on that I will be having now and then (such as beans), but for the most part I plan to be pretty strict about it for the 3 months following the Whole30.

Exercise

It starts with food, but nothing big happens without exercise. I am going to try to do some walking or walking/jogging combos this week. After my juice cleanse I am going to start the C25K running program and get back to Crossfit (I hope). I actually really like Crossfit. There is something about lifting that just makes me feel powerful. My gym has cut a lot of the class times that work for me so hopefully I can make it work with my work schedule!

We should find out how our bonuses by March 6th. I am usually very proactive about doing our taxes as soon as possible but our accountant retired (and left his clients to another practice) so I am not sure how quick the new firm will be in turning things around. I hope to have our refund back by April 1st. That will give us a good idea of where we are with money for IVF. My husband has a huge conference in May and his parents will be staying with me while he is gone (because my stepson’s mother will also be gone and I work too far away from his school to take him and pick him up.) This will be far too stressful to try and plan IVF so if finances line up I am hoping to start the process (with BCP) in June. My goal before starting BCP is to be down 20 lbs. That is 1lb a week from now until June 1st.

I know that this is going to be really hard. I am also thinking ahead to the benefits, mostly in the way I feel overall. As I’ve gained weight I’ve developed back problems which have caused both headaches and poor sleep. My energy has been extremely low which leads to a lot more laying around (and then feeling overwhelmed because I have so much to do) and excessive consumption of caffeine.  I could go on and on. I really owe it to my body to do everything I can to improve things before taking another round of fertility drugs and hopefully go into pregnancy.