Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Juicer Recipes: Green and Otherwise

This week I am trying out my new juicer: a Breville Compact Juice Fountain. So far, I love it! It is so much easier to clean and simpler to put together than my (very) old juicer, and I get more juice out of my produce. I haven't had time to go to the grocery store yet, so I just juiced the produce I had in the fridge.

This morning I made two juices and I really enjoyed both. They are simple "recipes" that you can modify to suit your tastes.

Green juice: 1 package baby kale + 1 head of Romaine + 1/2 Granny Smith apple + 1/2 sweet red apple + a dash of lemon juice (if I had an actual lemon, I'd have used 1/3 or 1/2 of that instead)

Carrot juice: 1 1/2 pound of organic carrots + 1/2 Granny Smith apple + 1/2 sweet red apple

I started by soaking everything in water and a bit of white vinegar for 10 minutes and scrubbing the carrots and apples with a brush. Then I trimmed the produce and started juicing. I did the carrot juice first and then the green juice, without emptying the juicer in between. The new juicer has a little pitcher with a special lid that separates the foam from the juice when you pour it. I poured each juice into a quart mason jar to store in the fridge.

I am not doing a juice fast, but using juicing to supplement my diet and see if it helps me have more energy and feel better overall. I had black coffee in the early morning, half of the green juice for breakfast, an ounce of walnuts for a snack. Then I was very hungry and had a whey protein shake. In the afternoon, I had half the carrot juice and 2 hard boiled eggs mashed with cultured butter. Around 4, I had the rest of the carrot juice and a bit more green juice. I haven't made dinner yet but will have the rest of the green juice with some protein and vegetables for dinner.

Here is a list of sites I have saved that are about juicing or have delicious sounding juicing recipes. I think it can be tricky to make a tasty green juice (with kale, spinach, collards, or other greens) and I am also trying to limit my fruit consumption to about 2 servings per day. If you have a favorite juicer recipe or website, please leave it in the comments. I will update which juices I think are tasty as I try them.

Top Ten Favorite Juice Recipes

13 Refreshing Smoothie and Green Juice Recipes

Juice Bar Menu (combination ideas)

Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes (I do have smoothies instead of juice sometimes)

Reboot With Joe Juice Recipes (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead)

Blender Babes Juice Recipes

Just on Juice

Going shopping tonight so I can make my juices tomorrow morning. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where'd the Time Go?

Has it been almost a week already since I last posted?? I don't know where the time went! I have been out of town on a trip this week, and am actually still in a hotel right now! So there won't be a weigh in today (nor was I near a scale this week). My eating's been nothing great, for sure... but when I get home I an planning to do a partial juicing... not a juice fast... and not a carb festival either. I am planning to get some extra greens and other veggies in by making juice once or twice a day and also eating lean proteins, healthy fats and whole vegetables. Still want to stay off the grains, and will limit the fruit to 2 servings a day (in the juice, to make the green stuff palatable). Depending on how I feel doing this, I may continue it for more than a few days or might just stop if it makes me feel bad.

My other decision this week is to be completely off soy. I cut way back on soy a long time ago by not choosing bars and shakes that are soy based; however, with my new sampling of Wonderslim and Bariwise meals I have been eating more and more soy because their bars are SO good. I am going to give the rest of my soy meals away or trade them for whey based meals, and just use whey shakes when I need a quick protein boost. Whole foods the rest of the time. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal but it is for me. I have, frankly, been dependent on packets and bars most of the time since I started Medifast in 2010. I guess I got used to the convenience and simplicity of it. So much easier (for me) to have a shake or a bar rather than trying to think of something to eat with the right ratios of protein, fat, and carbs. The farmer's markets will be opening soon, making it easier for me to get back to a produce-based diet... whether that includes juicing or not.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Juice Fasting. Good Idea?

Last year sometime I watched the movie "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" (streaming free on Amazon if you have Prime) and was inspired by the whole "wow juicing changed my life and saved me" thing. I even dug out my old, crappy juicer and made myself fresh juices for awhile. I liked how I felt (I was not fasting, just having juices while also eating some regular healthy meals) but decided it was just too many carbs for me. After all, I've been low carbing in one form or another most of the time since early 2010, ranging anywhere from 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day. Juicing gives a lot more carbs... although I am not sure how many more... even if you use a lot more veggies than fruits. Higher carbs have, in the past, made me feel unwell and headachey. So, I pretty much ruled out juice fasting due to the carb content and effect on blood sugar.

However, lately I am just feeling so much of the "fat, sick" part and my mind has gone back to options like doing a Whole 30 or a juice fast. From what I've read online, most people doing an exclusive juice fast will still get about 40 grams of protein per day just from the juices. But I just don't know. Have any of you tried a juice fast? Had success or difficulty? I am in research mode but I am just so tired of feeling like crap and I wonder if this is something that might help me dig out of my rut of eating protein/veggies/protein bars and shakes for several days or a couple of weeks and then falling apart and eating a standard American diet for a couple of days, undoing any weight loss I had from the low carbing. I feel like I have been eating chemicals, at least for some meals on some days almost every month for the past 4 years. In fact on super busy days I have fallen back on eating almost everything from packets. I could try 'just' going back to eating whole natural foods, but I have even struggled with that in the past... sticking to it, getting weight loss results from it. I am not even sure if I could stick to a juice fast if I feel even crappier while doing it. But I dream of better energy, better sleep, feeling lighter, having less pain. Nothing I have tried so far has given me these results. Maybe the nutrients of a juice fast would.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Another Week Gone By...

... and another weigh in at 229. No loss no gain this week, but my effort in the weight loss direction was pretty much zero aside from mindlessly keeping calories in check by using Medifast and Wonderslim shakes for some meals and snacks. I hardly ate a vegetable this week though and that's a step in the wrong direction. No exercise aside from being busy and a few necessary walks, either.

I believe things will be slowing back down after tomorrow, or at the latest, next Monday. Maybe then I will actually have time to pay more attention to my own health and needs, which are:

eat more produce
get some solid sleep
start biking again

Actually, sleep is my top priority right now. Getting so little sleep lately is affecting everything in a negative way. If I could just get a good 4 hour stretch every night I would feel so much better. So... this week: earlier to bed, and a shift in the time I take my last blood pressure medication dose to take advantage of its side effect of drowsiness. I find it so hard to sleep when I am stressed and exhausted... when I need it the most!

I am very thankful for all the kind support. I apologize that I have answered almost no emails in the past few weeks... just have not had the time but please know I appreciate the kind words and I do hope to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and relax and write you back!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Stupid Gain

Yep, March didn't go so well diet wise, no big shocker there. I had some weeks where I was totally on plan (low carb, high protein, off sugar and grains, small portions) and then I had a couple of rough patches too. It got hectic around here a couple of weeks ago and I stopped writing anything down whatsoever. I have this little book where I take notes on my diet, calories, exercise, pain level, activity level, and anything else about my health that I feel is relevant. The whole last 2 weeks is a blank. I know this, even though I don't know where the book is (and haven't looked for it) because I was absorbed in other things. I am still absorbed in other things, which is why I didn't blog earlier.

On March 1 I weighed 228 pounds. The lowest number I saw in March was 226. And today I weigh 229... a one pound GAIN. Not pleased with that as it ruins my goal of losing weight every month in 2014, BUT... it is also a push to get me working harder on this. Or at least giving it *some* of my attention.

My activity level *feels* like a lot more. Heck, it IS a lot more because I spent months sitting with my feet elevated and/or in night splints for the majority of my days. Now I am not sitting nearly as much, and thankfully my pain level is a lot lower than it used to be. I think the PT and medication really did work. I was scared when PT ended and my pain level inched back up, but after a few days with continued stretching and splinting and a new orthotic, the pain level went back down again. I feel I am now completely recovered from my October injury, and I am also better (meaning less pain and more ability to function) than I have been over most of the past 2 years, except for when I had cortisone shots. So I am happy about that. I think my pain is more along the lines of your standard, run of the mill plantar fasciitis now: sharp pain when I first get up or for the first few steps, and then it eases up and I can walk. I can walk to the park and I can shop. I still do get more sore and painful by the end of the day and if I overdo it. I can't walk miles yet, but I am on my way. No biking, no gyms or anything, but I do work in the yard, walk the dogs, and stay very busy all day.

It is probably going to be this way for awhile. I am doing okay and I think April will be better on the eating front, as I work to not use food as a coping mechanism and cut back on my calories by staying grain free and sugar free and subbing protein shakes for breakfast and sometimes lunch. Hoping for a lower weight soon.

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