Well, we DID IT, at least the hard part!

I'm excited, proud, and somewhat shocked by the ending to the juice cleanse.  I'm anxious to hear how some of you are feeling. What Casey and experienced is somewhat unexpected. 

Yesterday I began feeling good, really good, enough to ask Casey if he would like to continue for a few days.  I'm sure you could guess his reply.  But in the few short days of doing this, by day three I was energized, felt clean, un-inflammed which is something I struggle with constantly begin celiac and my skin, oh my skin, it was beginning a transformation-soft, like my 1 year old's, glowing, and the bags under my eyes were slowly fading. All these things physical but my husband had somewhat of a psychological transformation. Casey struggles with moodiness, chronically, and this is exacerbated when he is hungry. I like to utilize the medical term "hangry," so you can imagine my fear going into a juice fast. The only other thing that dramatically affects his mood is not having coffee. I can safely say he is a full blown caffeine addict.  The night before he began telling me he would do everything except cut coffee out.  Needless to say he did, and probably for the first time in his adult life. I'm not sure what did it, the potent nutrient intake, the lack of caffeine or all of the above, but he was more patient and less irritable than I have ever known him to be.  Frustrating situations would come and go without so much as a huff.  

We decided to stay up last night until midnight and eat a European style dinner and planned our breakfast this morning.  Dinner was delicious but we both noticed we have lost our desire for much meat.  When we awoke this morning, instead of making eggs and bacon like we had planned and prepared for, we opted for more juice and skipped it.  Not out of any form of will, just intrinsic desire.  

This juice fast has affected the way we live, and what we naturally want to put in our bodies. We are hoping to incorporate it into our lifestyle from here out but are unsure of the best way for us. 

I'm so anxious to hear about your experiences and what the final outcome are. And welcome into the Whole30! I have made a meal plan for this week mainly using recipes from Against the Grain.  I will post it if anyone is interested. 

Be well,

T-minus 1-day

We have one day until our ny2 begins and let me tell you, I have been preparing.  Not in the sense of making shopping lists and meal plans for each day but more in the format of eating-everything-I-possibly-can.  Otherwise known as having no self control.  I'm certain this will make my venture towards better health increasingly more difficult but I'm telling you, those gluten free donuts were worth it.  

Tomorrow is two things: prep day for the increased amount of work required to get the nutrients you need and also the last day you can eat terrible, bad, unhealthy things.  Not that I am promoting your doing so, because I'm not, and I most certain did not eat (GF) pizza tonight.  Getting back on topic, tomorrow, you'll want to have food available so you're able to hit the ground running.  Below is a list of necessities.  Feel free to expand from there. Again, during this time, everything must be organic.

General Info:

1. Juice base: This gives the bulk of the water content and make up a large portion of the juice itself.
Buy plenty of these products, they will go fast and you will need more than you anticipate. 
    - Good examples are cucumber, romaine lettuce, and celery.

2. Nutrient dense foods:  These are the foods that potently affect your body.  
A variety of these are ideal and this list is by no means, all inclusive.  If it looks good, (and of       course has a low sugar content) juice away!
    - Examples of these are kale,  spinach (I use baby), collard greens, swiss chard, bell peppers of all colors, tomatoes, zucchini/squash, and sprouts of all types.  Use as much of these as you can handle, taste-wise.  Spinach is very mild in taste and you can use a significant amount before it dominates the taste. 

    - If you struggle with a chronic inflammatory condition of some form, use fresh turmeric and ginger consistently. 

3. The taste factor: What makes your juice delicious. (I mean that, I love my juice!)
    -This is what will add sweet or spice to your juice, altering the taste and making it (more) tasty. 
    -These are used in moderation. For example, I only use about 1/2 of a green apple for 2-3 people per (large) serving of juice.  
    -These include green apples, lemon, sweet potatoes, ginger. I think an occasional 1/2 orange is fine as well. Jalapenos can keep things interesting if you begin to bored. 

Tips and Tidbits:

 Juicing can loosen up toxins that may have lied dormant in fat cells for years.  While this is good for your body, it's also important that your body has the ability to mobilize these toxins and flush them out.  Drink water and drink plenty.  Try to keep this separate from your "meal time," allowing the nutrients from the juice to be potently available for absorption. 

Juice fresh.  Unless you have a masticating juicer you need to be juicing for each meal.  Obviously this is more complex for those of you who will be working during the fast.  Juicing during lunch at the office is (semi) impossible.  Can you imagine the memo's you'd be getting??? In those cases I suggest picking up a cold-pressed juice from a local distributor or worse case scenario, you miss out on some the nutrients during lunch and drink one from a centrifugal juicer that you had made that morning. Worse things have happened. 

Ultimately, don't stress yourself out trying to determine the hard, fast rules of juicing. Relax and think of it as more of an art with one underlying component: what is the most amount of nutrients that I can pack into this juice I'm about to drink.  When I started juicing years ago, I began with quite a simple recipe and added from there. It was this one from Joe Cross:

For links to some more tasty juicing recipes, head over to my Pinterest account by clicking the link at the very bottom of this page.

Please feel free to share any insights, questions or comments you come across on your juice journey.

Most importantly-you CAN do this.