Monday, September 22, 2008
I stopped doing so much juice and was eating more raw. I was feeling pretty tired and I was getting REALLY haggard looking. I was looking like I was 50 (about to turn 40).
The whites of my eyes were not bright, more of a gray. My skin was looking pretty saggy and dull. The glow was absolutely gone.
I've been reading "Beautiful on Raw" by Tonya Zavasta. In that book she has testimonials from women who have seen huge changes in their appearance. All of them juiced and one of them said she felt green juice was her beauty secret.
So I decided I would try to juice daily. I would either make myself juice or I would go down to Robek's juice bar and buy some juice. I have figured it costs me up to 6-7 dollars to make a quart of juice from 1 English cucumber ($1.99), 1 bunch of celery (up to $2.50), and a head of dark leafy greens (up to $2.50) - unless I can find good organic bargains. I can go to Robek's and get a Large green juice with 2 oz shot of wheatgrass on the side for 7.99. So I've been doing either or.
I know I would save more if I bought regular produce...but in the long run I end up saving with organic. I don't think people realize how much nutrition our food has lost over the years with modern farming methods and soil that has been depleted of nutrients. I think there was a study done in the 50's that showed commercial produce had already lost 20-30% of it's nutrition and it was estimated to get worse. Don't quote me, I can't find the book that was in. I think it was one of Dr. Norman Walker's books. I can eat less organic food and get more nutrition. I can get away with a juice and a salad along with some nuts and seeds and seaweed for the day.
The people at Robek's think I'm crazy. The "greenest" drink they offer is called a Green-V, and it has tons of carrots with celery and some spinach. It comes out orange from the carrots and very sweet. Not very good for diabetics. I don't think they realize what little options they offer for diabetics.
I ask for a large juice with 1/2 of one carrot, regular celery, and tons of spinach. I used to deplete their spinach supply, so now I bring in my own cucumber for them to add. They are really nice and try to give me what I ask, and they add the cucumber I bring in. Although it does feel a little funny walking past everyone at Starbucks and the people sitting at the tables outside the juice bar holding a long cucumber lol.
I go in and get my green juice, and have done it pretty regularly. Because I bring in the cucumber, there is often extra and they'll give it to me in a little cup. One day I saw the extra, but they didn't give it to me. I just figured they didn't feel generous that day and left. The next day I was there bright and early with my cucumber and the same two girls where at the counter from the day before. I ordered my juice and then they went about making it. Then one of the girls kind of timidly asks...do you really like this juice? I said, "Huh?" and she said, "Well do you order it because you like it or for health reasons?" I said, I guess health reasons and also I can't have all the sweet stuff because I have diabetes. They go, "OH." Then went on to explain that they had tried the extra juice from the day before and they thought it tasted horrible, haha. Oh well, hehe.
ANYWAY, long story short, within a couple days of starting up the green juice regularly, the glow was back and my skin was feeling more elastic again. I feel so much better too. Happier. The whites of my eyes are white again and little spots I was starting to get on my face are gone.
Juicing is a pain in the arse. There I said it. And it's expensive. But actually if I'm really only drinking a quart of juice (celery, cucumber, lettuce) and then having a big salad (avocado, greens, sprouts, tomato, onions, lemon, garlic, ginger, peppers, and something extra like beets, broccoli, corn, cabbage, carrots, etc.) along with an apple a day and some nuts/seeds...and pretty much skipping dinner then it's not THAT BAD. I think the problem is the three diets going on in our house - hubby vegetarian (who doesn't really like veggies), son a "normal" diet, and then me mostly raw. If it were just me, that'd be a different story. And it's a pain because I don't want to eat dinner but I gotta make dinner for them.
I'll say it again, juicing is apain in the ARSE. I hate having to buy fresh veggies every couple days. I hate all the looks from people who see my cart full of veggies. I hate when the supermarket cashiers seem to pray that I don't go into their lines with my cart full of produce - half of it they can't identify let alone remember the codes and prices for. I hate having a fridge CRAMMED with veggies. Literally, I open the door and something falls out. I hate constantly having to clean out the fridge. I hate how dealing with fresh live foods means your kitchen looks like youve been sacrificing it to the Gods for eons, with little bits of veggies here and there. I hate how it attracts all the little no-see-ums and flies. I hate prepping the veggies and juicing them. I hate straining the stuff. I hate cleaning up afterwards. I hate all the veggie garbage and pulp I have to be either creative or wasteful with. (I recently began raising earthworms to eat some of that stuff) BUT....it's worth it! REALLY!
(I don't hate the taste though. I did at first, but now I crave it. )
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Right now I'm in a holding pattern. I still have another 20 to go for my goal weight.
I just try to make sure the majority of what I eat is raw veggies. If I go out or find myself short on time or having to buy something in a rush, I stick with a modified basic food combining law which means if I eat bread/grains/carbs or meat, I don't eat them together. So it's carbs with green leafy or lightly steamed veggies or meat with green leafy or lightly steamed veggies. If I ate the starchy carb and meat together it would sit in my gut longer and make toxins and may decide to stay on my hips lol. So I want stuff I can move in and out quicky. :)
Also, instead of tracking calories or writing things down, I just try to be mindful of the last time I wasn't 100% raw. So if yesterday I had a salad from Jack-in-the-Box with some chicken, I try to remember that and be more faithful to raw foods for a while. If I have a family party coming up and I know they are going to have some of my favorite foods, I try to be good beforehand and after. I also take plenty of raw veggies and dip to munch on. Eating this way really makes you enjoy your food more. I can remember the little bite of hamburger I had last week. Before all my hamburgers were a blur. I could barely remember what I ate the day before.
I've been watching a lot of the old Jack LaLaine shows on YouTube - he was basically a raw foodie but he did cook them somtimes, making sure they were undercooked and he did eat meat (usually fish) once in a while and dairy. Not sure if his diet is the same now. I sure would like to have the dvd copies of his shows and some of his books. He is a great inspiration.
The only "bad" issue I've had is that a lot of my hair is falling out. I have NOT had a gastic bypass, but I've reduced my calorie intake just the same. I've been reading that this usually happens with gastic bypass patients because of the sharp reduction in calories, it shocks the body. The hair loss will start about 4 months into it and continue for about 8 months. My hair started to come out right on target. I'm using some special shampoo that has slowed it down. My hubby and sis say they can't tell, so hopefully it stays that way lol cause I didn't have that much to begin with!
The first day of the juice feast I had taken my cholesterol numbers, I should redo them soon to see where they are at. My blood sugars still aren't down to where I want them, but better than with medications. I have to get more strict more of the time to get them down to perfect.
I would post a pic...but I'm on a different computer and my camera's software is on my broken one. I'll post one as soon as I can.
Anyway, since I'm diabetic, this meant at least 4 quarts of green juice a day. Sometimes it tasted pretty damn good, sometimes it tasted like pond scum. I really liked the experience.
I didn't have many withdrawal symptoms. On the very first day for a couple hours I was really nauseated, but that was it.
It was a time-consuming, messy experience, but it got faster and cleaner as I got a routine down.
I drank at least 4 quarts a day. Each quart usually contained the following:
1/2 pound of dark leafy greens (2 pounds total for the day)
1 bunch of celery
1-2 big cucumbers
Dark leafy greens meant spinach, collard, kale, shard, dark green lettuce, etc. For the day I tried to juice a pound of the really dark stuff (spinach, collard, kale, or shard) and then a pound of the lighter lettuces.
Keep in mind the above would usually make enough to make a quart....but if there was low water content or the celery or cucumbers were smaller, I'd end up having to throw more stuff in. If it was just like 1/2 a cup short, I'd put in 1/2 a cup of water.
The extra stuff I would throw in would be - 1/2 an apple, a carrot, bell peppers, squash, jalepeno, cilantro, parsely, jicama, ginger, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, prickly pear cactus pads (dethorned), etc. - whatever was on sale or I got given to me.
So I would buy for three days. My 3-day list looked like this:
3 pounds of dark leafy greens
3 pounds of lighter leafy greens (but not too light, no iceburg lettuce)
12 celery bunches
12 large cumbers or more smaller ones
A bag of apples
A bag of carrots
Then I'd cruise the veggie section, looking for what was on sale and try to buy a bunch of it.
At first I used a Juiceman juicer, but it died. Then I used a Breville juicer, but it died. Then I used a Breville blender and would strain it through a paint strainer bag (not sure how safe this is, don't copy me, nut milk bags are safe). Then I used my grandma's old Oster meat grinder from the 50's that she used to make tamale masa and strained that. Out of everything, her old meat grinder shows no signs of stopping - they sure don't make things the same do they. The Breville blender still works, but I don't want to break it, so I don't overuse it.
I would start the day with cleaning up my juicing area. I would get out the juicer, 4 jars, 4 lids, a peeler, a knife and cutting board and three huge bowls. I would fill one bowl up with the lettuces. The other with the rest of what I was using. I cleaned and rinsed the lettuce and threw it into the third bowl and put it by the juicer and rinsed out the dirty bowl. Then I peeled the cucumbers if they weren't organic and threw them into the rinsed bowl, cut them up if I had to. Then I cleaned and cut the celery and threw it in with the cucumber. Rinsed out that bowl and put the cleaned extras in. I kept my cutting board right by the sink so I could just scoop the scraps into it, I tried to have a strainer in the sink. I made a LOT of scraps. At least 1-2 plastic grocery bags full, including the pulp. I had my 4 jars ready with their lids and also had a small saucer to fill the jar on to catch spillage.
Then I juiced or blended/strained or grinded/strained. If I strained, I poured everything into a paint strainer bag and then would massage it to get all the juice out.
I would pour the juice into a quart jar with a canning lid, making sure it was overflowing a little. I pressed the canning lid on (some of the juice would squeeze out making an air-tight lid) and screwed the ring on. I kept them cold and drank them through the day. If I had to go somewhere, I stuck them in a lunchbox with an ice pack or cooler with ice.
Then the fun of cleaning up started lol.
If I used a juicer, my dogs loved eating the pulp. They didn't like the strained stuff so much. I live in Tucson and it's HOT (I did it in June) so I would scatter the pulp outside on the ground and it would dry up and I would stomp it into the soil. Sometimes I saved it in baggies and used it in soup. I used the scraps for broth when I could. Next time I'll have a compost pile and maybe even a little earthworm farm (much easier and cleaner and unsmelly than you think - and you get great fertilizer from it for your plants or to give away, this stuff is black gold believe me).
Anyway, I juiced for 30 days. At the beginning I put in supplements - spirulina, bee pollen (later found out I shouldn't have added yet as a diabetic), green powders. But I found I didn't *need* them. I also would drink some water with lemon juice and MSN. At first I did this every morning, then I tapered off.
I felt AMAZING.
About halfway through I allowed myself a little veggie broth, I would cook veggies lightly and drink the broth. It was sooooo good. Towards the end I let myself drink any broth, even if it was a meat broth, but not often. Then I started to have avocado halves once in a while.
I was bad and didn't do the "breaking of the fast" like it is suggested by so many others. I didn't want to shock myself with the sugar from soaked prunes. I just started adding more avocado, more broth, then had lightly cooked veggies. Remember I'm not 100% raw vegan.
I was doing 100% raw for a couple weeks but had to stop, I was losing weight too fast and my skin wasn't keeping up, so I put myself into a holding pattern so it could catch up. And it is.
Juicing wasn't cheap. Sometimes I could spend $60 - $100 dollars for three days - more expensive when I added the supplements and bought all organic.
I couldn't afford all organic and I figured something was better than nothing so I started to go to more discount groceries. I got some really good bargains at the local Mexican and Chinese groceries. At these places sometimes my bill got down to around $38.
I worried about the pesticides, but I read an old book, can't remember by who - Dr. Jensen or Dr. Walker...can't remember, but he mentioned that pesticides reside in the fiber of plants and have an opposite attraction to the juice - so when you juice and remove the pulp the pesticides are repelled by the juice and stay in the pulp. True? I don't know, but it made me feel better about not getting all organic. But made me feel bad for my dogs, haha.
Recently I've been sprouting alfalfa, sunflower greens, microgreens, and growing wheatgrass. Next time I do a juice fast, I'm going to do a lot of sprouting and try to have a ton of lettuce growing.
Another thing I will be more faithful about, I need to be more faithful with the techniques to help move more toxins out - like skin brushing, hot/cold showers, massages, and making sure my intestinal tract is moving thing out. When you juice feast or eat raw, your body is de-toxing big time and will do so through the skin, colon, etc. If the toxins aren't removed in a timely manner, then your body may re-absorb them.
I don't know if I will do another 30 day fast again though. I may do shorter ones through the year. Maybe even once a month or once a week, not sure yet.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I do what I'm told - follow a diabetes diet, take my medications, check my levels, and try to keep my blood sugar values in the accepted range. I have had diabetes for 15 years and for 15 years have had no serious complications from diabetes (knock on wood).
However, as I've been getting closer to 40, it seems like I've been really feeling my age (feeling OLDER actually) and new health issues are popping up. I know I have to get my weight down and optimally reduce or eliminate my medications, but that has been easier said than done. I've tried all sorts of diets - Adkins, South Beach, grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet, zone diet, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, diet pills, hypnotism, nutritionists, etc. I've done all sorts of exercise - gym memberships, personal training, jogging, training for and completing a 5K, training for a half-marathon (halted by injury), etc.I usually notice health improvements. And my body composition changes. However, I don't really lose a lot of weight - especially none of my visceral intra-abdominal fat.
I have no doubt that I have willpower - because I have always given these things a really good try and have been very good. However, I stop out of frustration when months pass and I see no results on the scale at all. Or I get injured or sick from overdoing it, and have to stop with a loss of motivation.
The past few years, I have been in a cycle - I try really hard but when nothing happens, I give up and figure why try at all. This year, I had pretty much given up. I drive a carpool, and the father of the girls I drive home often tries to give me diabetes advice. If you are a diabetic, you know how this is. Often the advice you get from non-diabetics is cockamamie. Or they will say things like, "You know, you JUST gotta lose weight and your diabetes will go away." I won't go into that now.
Basically a type 2 diabetes body has been modified into a fat-storing machine, it is streamlined for times of famine. We can make due on less. Well, I can't remember the last time we had a good famine here, but my body is busy storing away. Our hormonal system sends out chemical messages to the rest of the body - Don't release the fat! I want carbs! It's the same as if we took a pill, we are drugged by our own bodies.
ANYWAY....my friend kept giving me advice, and I'd smile and say, I'll look into that, and drive away. One day he came out with a flyer for a talk about diabetes. He told me he knew the speaker personally, and that he has "cured diabetes by giving people a bunch of green juices - made diabetics lose weight and all beautiful and everything." I asked myself, "Is he not only saying I'm fat but ugly too?" I smiled and said thanks, I'll check it out.
Not too long after, my online gaming friend Kurt decided to do some research for me after hearing me complain about diabetes. He's not a doctor, but he's a smart guy. He told me he read that I should be eating vegan, and mostly raw, and cut out cheese. Hmmmm, was it a sign to at least give it a try?
So I looked at that ad again. It was for a seminar by Gabriel Cousens, M.D., and it looked like he was promoting his book "There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+Program
I looked up that book online. I discovered the book explained how diabetics could "cure" diabetes with a raw vegan diet...WHAT? Raw Vegan diet - F THAT! So I forgot about it for a couple days.
I also didn't like that they used the word "cure." To me "cure" means that it's gone and you don't have to worry about it anymore. This program is more about gaining control - and managing with diet and exercise. To it's credit, it's not easy at all to control diabetes with diet and exercise, and often you aren't successful and then have to add in medications, but this is a way of life that almost guarantees you will get control.
In spite of my doubts, I began to wonder if I might benefit from just a vegetarian diet. So I started to surf around the net and somehow ended up watching some videos by Philip McCluskey of LovingRaw.com.
For some reason I really related to him in this video. He had lost a lot of weight, was happy and healthy. He was eating a raw vegan diet and was loving it. I wanted to be there too.
So I surfed around some more and was amazed and flabbergasted by some of the blogs, testimonials, and before/after pics I was coming across. Everyone seemed so happy, so energized. It was like you see in movies and read in books when someone becomes a vampire - they are transformed into an extraordinarily beautiful person. I'm serious, many of the blogs I found showed pictures like that. Google "raw food before and after" or "juice feast before and after."
I bought a couple books - Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes by Ani Phyo and Raw Food Life Force Energy: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health by Natalia Rose. These were great books and got me excited about raw/living foods. I tried a couple recipes from Ani's book - and even got my son to eat one of her oatmeal recipes - very willingly.
Since then I've bought a LOT more books and will share my favorites later.
Anyway, this inspired me to at least give it a try. I never intended, and will never force myself to go 100% raw, but I try to aim for around 80% - so I still get to have my favorites once in a while.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I am currently Juice Feasting...and am on my 11th day now. I'll post later about the details and WHY the hec I'm doing this .
Right now I want to go ahead and get to the kewl stuff - pics! I'm already feeling and seeing huge differences. I've lost 10 pounds. It's not really apparent on my body, and I don't hear lots of people saying they think I've lost weight, but I really see the difference in my face right now.
Here are some of the changes I've noticed:
- Clearer skin
- Liver spots going away
- Some long-time facial bumps going away
- Inflammation and puffiness going away
- Whiter teeth, plaque going away
- Softer skin
- Fresh breath, fresh body smell
- Increased energy, feeling lighter
- Arthritic aches and pains are mostly gone
- Better mood - happier, clearer thinking processes
- I also have had these yellowed/scarred areas in the inner part of my eyes. I've been told that's from sun damage because I live in the desert and often don't wear sunglasses - that's going away too!
- Oh yea, and I got a pair of denim shorts I wear all the time. I gotta hold them up now. If I jump up and down, they fall down!
- Another kewl thing is that I notice the color of my eyes changing. I have hazel, mostly brown eyes, but lately the green is really coming out.
Okay, here are some BEFORE pics...you can really see the inflammation going. These pics weren't taken on day 1 of the juice feast, but the first one was within the year. The second one a couple months before. I didn't like taking my pics. :( I'm trying to recall if I have an even more recent one, and searching. But I can tell you, on day 1 of the juice feast, I looked the same, if not WORSE and I weighed the same. I started this way of eating because I was so fed up:
Hopefully I can keep this up for a bit. I would LOVE to do this for 60 days - which symbolically would represent the time I've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. (It is said each day of a juice feast is worth about 80-120 days of healing - and I was diagnosed about 15 years ago).
ANYWAY, as much as I would love to keep it up for 60 days - I doubt I will be able to afford that. So now my new goal is to continue juice feasting until my fasting blood sugar hits 85 without medications or I run out of money - whichever comes first. I may run out of money here pretty soon, so I hope it goes down soon!
When I stop juice feasting, I am going to switch to an at least 80% raw vegan diet.
DIABETES...oh yea, I should mention how that's doing.
First of all, I want to say I am doing this on my own and taking my own risks. I try to learn all I can about diabetes. I'm the editor of DiabeticMommy.com. And my own doctor tends to let me do what I want - literally stating, "Go ahead, you seem to know what your doing."
I personally don't feel "juice feasting" is harmful for me. I don't have serious complications. Plus juice feasting is not starving or fasting. I have figured I'm still getting at least 1600 calories a day in the form of 4 quarts of special homemade green vegetable juice, 2 tbsp hemp oil, 1 tbsp bee pollen, 1 tsp powdered kelp, 1 tbsp powdered super green formula, and 1 tbsp spirulina.
Before the juice feast I was taking 2500 mg of Metformin/Glucophage (500 mg over the max recommended dosage), 40 units of Lantus at night, and 15 units of Humalog with meals.
My blood sugar levels had quite a range. In a day I could register a low of 11 (yes, 11, and I didn't pass out either) and then skyrocket to 250. On "average" my fastings were usualy between 90-120 and two hours after meals I was around 180.
When I started the juice feast, I stopped everything. The first day my levels hoovered around 250. Each day my levels went down about 10 points and they didn't fluctuate through the day. As of today my levels are pretty steady around 150 and they get lower everyday. After a juice "meal" it goes up about 10 points.
I think the missing ingredient is more exercise. I've been pretty casual with my exercise lately, and gotta do something more regular. So I'll be starting to add that in - man, if I can find time.
I'm also going to try to drink a cup of cinnamon tea with dinner from now on - just boiled water with a cinnamon stick. Yummy.