Monday, October 22, 2012

Life after the Fast

After focusing on slowly starting to wake up my digestive track all weekend; I am still ingesting green juice and eating only fruits and veggies.  I started with watermelon like I had planned.  The first bites of food were absolutely delicious!  I nearly lost my mind over red seedless grapes on Thursday! They were so juicy they made my eyes water.

Everyone in the juice fast world warns that you may gain a little weight when you return to eating. Of course, purely given the amount of food your digestive track can hold!  It was completely empty until now. I have yet to experience weight gain since beginning to eat again.  In fact, I lost 1.6 pounds since I started eating.  I also returned to calorie counting to ensure my new eating plan is focused on a caloric intake that will continue to support weight loss.  In the beginning it has been more tough to take in enough calories rather than too many.  The green juice has helped here as well.
I made a huge pot of vegetable soup that has been amazing to eat whenever I desire all weekend.  It is basically a minestrone soup minus the beans and pasta.  In 1 teaspoon of olive oil I sauteed onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic.  Then I added a 28 ounce can of Trader Joe's Toscano Marinara Sauce and a 32 ounce carton of their Low Sodium, Organic Vegetable broth and fresh Rosemary and Basil and simmered for about 30 minutes.  This soup has sustained me for days.  There are about 58 calories per cup.
I am planning on avoiding meats, seafood, and dairy as long as possible since my system is so clean and happy now.  So I came up with a DELICIOUS vegetarian stuffed zucchini recipe that you must try!
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Cashew "Parmesan" Topping
1 Zucchini
1/2 cup mushroom chopped fine
1/2 cup onion chopped fine
2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil
2 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 Sausage Trader Joe's Italian Sausageless
1 tbsp. tahini
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and halve (long ways) zucchini.  With a spoon dig out seeds to make a hollow shell to stuff.  Rub with a few drops of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  In the meantime in a skillet saute mushroom, onions, "sausage", garlic, and 1/2 the fresh herbs.  Saute until they begin to caramelize.  In a food processor blend the cashews and the other 1/2 of fresh herbs until it resembles Parmesan cheese. In a separate mixing bowl mix sauteed vegetable/ "Sausage" mixture with tahini and 1/2 of the cashew herb "Parmesan".  Gently stuff zucchini shells with the mixture and top with the remaining cashew/herb "Parmesan" mixture.  Return to a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Try the new healthy recipes and let me know what you think! Where are you at in your Juice Fasts?  How is it going?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fast complete! Full Fast Report


Yesterday was the last day of my 60 day juice fast. This morning I enjoyed about a cup of crisp, cool watermelon! It was delicious! I have to say it felt strange chewing and swallowing it; like I was doing something naughty. I still drank my green juice throughout the day and had some red grapes for a snack.

It's funny, I was so excited for this day and really focused on the end of the fast, yet today I am feeling a little nervous about transitioning to regular food. The juice was so safe, and reliable, and effective. Everyone gets bored towards the end but if you have juice you're good. There are so many blogs out there about the results of coming off a fast incorrectly. My plan is to progress as slowly as necessary so that I don't experience the gas and bloating and indigestion everyone else has experienced.

And for the grand total of weight loss on the juice fast: I lost 32.6 pounds! I think Mother Nature is teaching me patience; my goal for the 60 days was 33 pounds. I consider my proximity to my goal a huge success. My reason for that strange goal is that amount of weight loss would put me below a weight I was (and haven't returned to) since college.

This is simply the beginning of my journey; a launching point for my lifelong health efforts. I am astonished how not a single area of my life was left untouched by this process. I know myself better today for completing this journey. Everyone considers giving up and just eating. I thought of it often. Yet I am grateful I stuck it out and made through; again...I am tougher than I think.

Thank you to all who have cheered me on and encouraged me daily. The positivity was my motivation to keep going. I plan to keep juice fasting as a part of my life and Reboot regularly. To sit in a position of craving health food (a sweet potato to be exact!). And that is really astounding given the carnivore I was. I am excited to get to the point where I can have some Thai soup!!!

I will keep you all posted on how my transition goes and any lessons I learn along the way.

The next adventure is structuring a menu that will support my desire to continue to increase my health and reduce my weight.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Doctor's Opinion

This time next week I will be enjoying my last juice only day on the Juice Fast!  After struggling through the first few weeks of the fast and feeling like the end would never come; it is an amazing feeling seeing the finish line approaching.

I chose to have blood work done in the middle of the fast to see how it impacted my body and if it was indeed safe.  I finally got a chance to see my doctor yesterday and review the results.  Everything looked fantastic! An interesting area on my results was that my protein levels were in a healthy range.  One of the major concerns I hear from people is, "Where do you get your protein?"  Obviously I consume much less protein than if I were eating regularly but not too little to survive on.

Overall, my doctor said that I was cleared to juice as long as I like.  Infact he said, "Why stop?"  My body had responded to it very well and my blood work is proof of it's safety.  My doctor recommends focusing on the Asian Food Pyramid rather than the American Food Pyramid.  He always says to eat like an Asian farmer.  Heavy on the fruits and veggies and grains.

Though my 60 Day Juice Fast is ending, I plan to continue to juice and incorporate raw and whole foods.  Because this program is working so well for me and my doctor gave me the green light to continue; I believe I will juice two meals per day and eat one meal. (As outlined in the "Plus Dinner" Reboot)  This will allow my digestion to reawaken and provide a more normal (in the eyes of society) eating pattern.  If I need to attend a business lunch, I can.  If I want to join my boyfriend for dinner, I will.

So many friends of mine have begun juicing and I have promised a few of you I would put up a few new recipes. So, for Laura and Jessica, here is my absolute favorite fruit juice!!!

Honeydew Heaven
1 Honeydew melon
1 Pineapple
3 packages Organic Green Grapes
1 lemon

This makes a gallon and can pick you up and satisfy your hunger any time of the day. I normally save a few ounces as an evening treat.

Better than Koolaid Fruit PUNCH
1 Pineapple
10 Peeled Oranges (Leave the white fights cancer)
4-6 Honeycrisp Apples
1-2 pounds of Organic Strawberry
1/2-1 Cantaloupe
1 Lemon

This juice will knock your pants off! (Rather than socks!) It was so flavorful it made me yell OOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEE at the top of my lungs!

I am so excited for those of you just starting your journeys.  This fast forces you to get to know yourself better.  It identifies what we can and cannot handle.  It forces you to set boundaries to make yourself successful and helps you put you and your health first.  Though challenging and painful at times; the enlightenment attained through the process is priceless.

Always remember my mantra:
"You're tougher than you think."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Almost there!

So today is day 51 of my 60 day Reboot Juice Fast.  I am finally in single digits for days left.  I am currently down 29.3 pounds so far on the cleanse.

Here is a picture of me a year ago exactly.  I have to share my whole story, my effort to lose weight began back in May, 2012.  I had reached a desperate point in my journey to find a way to loose weight.  I had tried Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, low-carb, and protein shake fasts in the past.  I always regained the weight plus some.  I was blessed with a supportive family that bolstered my self esteem as a child.  As I gained weight in adulthood my self esteem was never impacted.  I marched through life feeling strong and powerful and beautiful.  I always said if I had poor self esteem I may have tried harder to loose weight in the past!  After regaining weight and hitting my highest weight AGAIN, I started to research the Lap Band surgery. I attended a local seminar with my sister put on by a surgeon.  There I heard from women who said they couldn't imagine living without their Lap Band now.  So many inspiring before and after pictures were shown that by the end of the session I was scheduling my appointment to meet with the surgeon and move forward.  Again I took my sister and went in for a preliminary evaluation.  By the time I left the office I had all of my pre-surgery appointments scheduled and would be slotted for surgery within 8 weeks.  My sister and I left with our heads spinning.  I never saw the doctor, I was briefed by his nurse practitioner.  It was so simple, I was in and out and approved for the procedure before I knew it.

Over the next few days my sister and I took a few long walks and talked about it. There was never a mention of risks. As we started to research risks we became overwhelmed.  After our experience of being shuttled speedily through the approval and evaluation process like it was no big deal; comparing that to the  risks and complications people experienced, we determined this option wasn't for me.

I felt even more discouraged than before now!  The solution, though risky, was no longer going to ensure I did this thing...and loose the weight for good this time.  I experienced a sense of loss and bewilderment.  What was I going to do now?!  Rather than focus on the negative I started to empower myself to fight through this challenge.  I didn't know exactly how I would do it I just had to start.  I quietly and steadily started to focus on eating more fresh vegetables, less meat, and moving more.  This weight wasn't going to change my opinion of myself. I AM strong, powerful, and beautiful!  I have my youth and my health...for now, and I am going to beat this thing this time!

Focusing on calorie counting and moving more helped me lose 16.5 pounds in the three months leading up to the Juice Fast. I was slowly coming down from my highest weight with long road ahead of me.  This is when I had lunch with my best friend and her father and learned about the Juice Fast.  Now I am down a combined 45.8 pounds from my highest weight and over halfway to my overall goal of loosing a total of 80 pounds. 

Not all of us have such a significant amount of weight to lose or have traveled the journey of trying what feels like EVERYTHING to lose it.  At least most of us can admit that our eating habits and our relationship with food is something we aren't exactly proud of.  Maybe you feel like your immune system is lacking and you don't want to get your annual cold or flu.  Whatever motivates you to seek a higher level of health; know there is a community of supporters here to depend on.  No one stands alone in this effort.  I have been incredibly inspired by all of your encouragement.  I felt like these 60 days would never end but that I couldn't let you all down.  On the more challenging days it was stubbornness alone that kept me going.  Some people called it determination but to me I felt a stubborn drive to not be disappointed again.

As my first 60 Juice Fast is coming close to it's close; I am more motivated than ever to strive for my ultimate goal.  Let's keep it moving and continue to share in this community of positivity rather than letting the world outside distract us from our goals.