Archive | June, 2013

2 weeks after my juice fast

27 Jun

So the last day of my juice fast was 2 weeks ago and I’m feeling a bit bummed because I’ve gained 7lbs…and I haven’t had any gluten or processed sugar! It is a bit discouraging…although my new clothes don’t feel tighter so that is a good thing. I know it’s normal to gain this amount of weight post-juice fast but it kind of scares me and almost makes me feel like I’m back to where I started…even though i know that is not true.

Regular exercise never really became part of my routine and I know that would help. I haven’t added a whole lot of fats like coconut oil or olive oil to my diet, but maybe what I have added is not working in my favor. I have had some nuts but not a whole lot. I like to have some nuts when I have fruit to avoid spikes in my blood sugar. The combo worked well in my pre-fast 21 day raw reset and I was losing weight then.

I am still starting each day with about a quart of lemon water and I am having a juice and a smoothie. Last night I oven roasted some eggplant, onions and green beans (all from my local farmers market) with fresh pressed garlic, fresh grated turmeric and ginger, a touch of olive oil and powdered curry, cardamom and cumin with a dash of cinnamon. I also cut a cabbage into wedges and roasted it with a honey-mustard dill sauce…it was a delicious dinner! The unfortunate thing that happened is that I broke my glass tea pitcher when I pulled my stone pan out of the oven and the corner touched the glass. It was a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and I loved it. And because of all of the commotion and clean up I totally forgot to take pictures!

My next food adventure will be making kale chips in the dehydrator (another item I got I expensively off of Craig’s List). Kale chips are super expensive when you buy them but they look pretty easy to make. I also want to try making “hummus” out of zucchini using this recipe.

I had lunch with a new friend this week. I was introduced to a new restaurant and had a fabulous Greek salad sans the feta, topped with roasted veggies and hummus. It was delicious. And I’m so glad for the opportunity to get to know Danielle…I’m only sorry we are meeting so close to my departure from NC. She grew up in a holistic household with parents who grew much of their own organic food and bartered with other farmers and ranchers in their community for organic & pasture raised foods that they didn’t grow themselves. She did not grow up eating processed food regularly at all. She has an educational background in holistic health as well as more holistic life experience then anyone I’ve met. Because I followed a “paleo” diet for 2 years before doing my juice fast (also sometimes referred to as the caveman diet), the subject came up during our conversation. Danielle brought up a really interesting point. Back in the days when we were hunter/gatherers, we didn’t eat meat 3 times a day, every single day of the year. Plus there weren’t any pesticides for the animal or their food to come in contact with. There were also seasons that meat wasn’t eaten much at all as both animals and people were in a “hibernation” mode. With the access we have to these foods now, there is no hibernation mode. And “gatherers” referred to people who were gathering plant based foods…which were much easier to obtain then an animal that had to be hunted and slaughtered. So when we examine it, the actual lifestyle of the “cavemen”, while it included healthy meats, included way more fruits and vegetables too-most likely more plant based foods then meat.

I can definitely see how following a paleo diet has been a step in better health for me as it did teach me how to eliminate processed foods, eat more local, grass fed, pasture raised and whole foods and it made me change the contents of my pantry completely. I’m glad for the various stages of transition from my old fast food and SAD (Standard American Diet) ways of eating to my juice fast. Before I started my paleo journey I eliminated soda and MSG from my diet as my sister in law made me aware of the dangers of MSG and all of the other hidden names it has. It is hidden in many different ingredients in processed foods. As a diabetic, this ingredient is particularly dangerous as it really messes with insulin production and proper insulin utilization.

I’m thankful for all of my stages of transition in this journey. I am so glad for learning about eating a plant based diet. Many of the things I am now loving like vegetable soup and raw collard green wraps would never have made their way onto my plate, even if offered…I would have been convinced they wouldn’t be enough to sustain me. The roasted veggies I am so enjoying would have been considered a side dish. I do expect to add some animal products back into my diet at some point but not nearly to the extent as they were before my juice fast.

I am on quite a journey to reverse my diabetes and I am so glad that my journey is helping others along the way!

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A week and a half after ending the juice fast

25 Jun

The last few days have been quite busy-today especially. Today I spent the entire day in the kitchen making new recipes I had never attempted before. Not everything turned out as planned, but in the end, it all worked out great. I’ll go into detail in a minute. First, I have to admit something that I’m not crazy about, even though according to what I’ve read, this is totally normal…but I’ve put on 5lbs…I realize its pretty normal to put on between 5 & 8lbs in the days following the end of a juice fast but I’m still bummed…however, my clothes aren’t fitting any different so that is a good thing. I also didn’t return to my previous meat-eating habits so I thought I might have been able to avoid the weight gain. If it continues to rise, I may have to drink more juice and green smoothies. At the moment I am having one juice and one smoothie, some fruit and some sort of plant-based meal daily. My sugars have gone up slightly but not significantly.

One of the things I missed a lot while juicing is curry…so last night I roasted some cauliflower, summer squash, onions and a couple of jalapeños tossed in a very small amount of olive oil and curry powder, cumin, turmeric with a touch of cinnamon…it hit the spot! Sorry, I totally forgot to take a pic…but I promise it was delicious 🙂

I read an article about the importance of soaking and dehydrating raw nuts before eating them. I had a bunch of nuts in the pantry so before I went to bed, I soaked my hazel nuts, almonds and cashews. This morning when I got up I rinsed them and put them in the dehydrator. However, not all my almonds or cashews would fit…so I decided to try some recipes I have pinned to my raw boards on Pinterest.

The first thing I made is something that I can’t believe I’ve never made before…as a matter if fact, I feel a little silly for it taking me this long to do…homemade almond milk! Sooo super easy! I used this recipe except I didn’t add the cinnamon. Hubby liked it though and has requested I make some more for him to bring into work and keep in the fridge there for his cereal. I’m glad cause I would way rather him have almond milk then organic cow’s milk. The added benefit to making almond milk is that I can also make almond meal from what was left in my nut milk bag and since I had the dehydrator going anyway, the timing was perfect! It was nice to use my nut milk bag for the purpose it was created 😉

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Then I went out and picked a whole bunch of basil…there were 2 recipes I wanted to make that used basil and I have 2 different plants..a regular green sweet basil plant and a purple basil plant. I wanted to use the purple basil to make a pesto for this zucchini roll up recipe. I made the sauces for it and then went to slice one of the zucchinis from my garden for the roll-up “noodle”. However, I realized that my mandolin would not slice the entire length of the zucchini so I figured I would cut it super thin with a knife…that didn’t work either…so I scrapped that idea and then put a green and a yellow zucchini through my spiralizer and made a creamy pesto sauce by mixing the purple pesto and the cashew “cream cheese” I originally planned on spreading on my zucchini roll. I topped it off with puréed sun dried tomatoes and fire roasted red pepper (from a jar) and some chopped green basil and cherry tomatoes from my garden…even though it wasn’t what I had planned on making, it tasted great. And hubby even liked it 🙂

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I still had enough soaked cashews for 2 more recipes…my birthday is coming up so I decided to try a vegan “cheesecake“. It was Freaking Delicious! (I realize I complained about gaining weight but this is the first time I actually had a dessert and I don’t plan on having it every day) I’ve never made a dish like this before and I wanted to make sure I would actually enjoy it on my birthday. I believe I will 🙂

The last thing I made has to set in the fridge overnight so I won’t try it till tomorrow but I tasted the “goat cheese” layer of this Vegan “goat cheese” appetizer and holy freakin’ moly! I’m totally going to put this out next time I have guests. The recipe made enough for me to freeze some-so I’m ready for company 🙂 This is the recipe I needed the green basil for. I made a layer of pesto (and mine was oil free-I subbed some veggie broth for the olive oil the recipe called for). I’m sorry my dairy free friend Alisa isn’t here to try this one cause I bet she would like it and it won’t make her son break out in a horrible rash!

My kitchen has been cleaned up, hubby’s smoothie is in the fridge for his early morning departure for work and the dehydrator is quietly dehydrating. It’s time for me to go to bed!

Day 7 post juice fast….loving food that is loving me back & what my doctor said

21 Jun

My doctor is very pleased with my results from the juice fast. my total cholesterol went from 209 to 186 which is great but the big news is that my Hemoglobin A1c went from 8.1 (in February) to 6.7. This is huge! This increases our chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy (all prayers in that area are welcome…we’ve been struggling with “unexplained infertility” for years). And what’s even better about reaching that number, I’ve done that on 85% less insulin then originally prescribed! My doctor also suggested I become a nutritionist because she feels that my results can really inspire others. That is something worth looking into. Anyone that has any info, I’m open:)

As fate would have it, (btw i don’t believe in coincidence…Devine appointments, however, are another story;) I am having lunch this week with a woman who I met in the private Facebook group for the 21 day raw food reset who happens to live less then an hour away. I’m looking forward to hanging out with someone of like mind when it comes to health…and I believe in our fb conversation she mentioned studying to become a nutritionist. I’m looking forward to finding out more:)

Yesterday afternoon I finally felt better after having eaten that pinto bean hummus that did not agree with me 24 hours before…yesterday started with juice and fruit and a smoothie and I snacked on some berries, dehydrated kale chips and nori snacks. I also had some kombucha and some home made, fermented sauerkraut. Probiotics can only help in such a situation. Then for dinner I had a most awesome raw meal-all with ingredients from my local farmers market (except 2 of the ingredients in the sauce). This came from the recipe section of my 21 day raw food reset cleanse guide. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and have some leftovers which is excellent cause I’ll be eating them again today and hubby will have them too. Btw, don’t be afraid to substitute if you don’t have a particular ingredient…I was able to get collards last week from the farmers market but romaine or green leaf lettuce would work too. I’m also going to grate some radish for tonight’s version since hubby and i will get to eat together and he doesn’t like beets. Also, since their recipe isn’t posted online, I’m just sharing what I did – which was too much for a single serving…I don’t want to violate any copy-write laws or anything.

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savory wraps with miso sauce:
collard greens (for the wraps…I used 3)
1/2 an avocado sliced or diced
1 beet grated
2 large yellow carrots grated (totally optional…I had them so I used them)
3 small to medium orange carrots grated
A handful of sprouts (I used broccoli sprouts)

Miso sauce:
2 Tbs of chickpea miso (here is the brand I use…I was able to get it from the refrigerated section of my local health food store…whole foods carries it too)
1 inch of freshly grated ginger
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 green onion, finely chopped
Juice of about 1/2 an orange (just squeezed it with my hand…just enough to thin out the sauce-can use other citrus if desired)
I mixed all the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork
The sauce can be used as a salad dressing if it is thinned out even more using extra ACV or the citrus of your choosing

I laid out the collard leaf, broke off the extra stem (and fed it to my pup Layla who loves crunchy greens), put some grated beet down the length of the leaf, topped it with both of the grated carrots and then the sprouts with the avocado on top…I then drizzled about 2 tsp of the delicious miso sauce and rolled up my wrap. I enjoyed every single bite!

I’m seriously loving all of the new foods I get to eat! I don’t at all feel deprived by not having milk chocolate or steak and chicken…I might feel differently at summer BBQ’s but at the moment, all is well.

Days 4, 5 & 6 post juice fast

20 Jun

The last few days have been nuts! Today is no exception but I want to make sure to post because I’m finally eating food-more then just fruit.

Day 4 of the break-fast started out with a smoothie and was the first day I planned on adding salad to my diet…my day didn’t unfold as planned. Hubby had an unexpected day off and we did some running around which included lunch at a Korean buffet. Hubby had all kinds of chicken & beef dishes on fried rice…however there were a whole bunch of absolutely delicious raw veggie options with some noodles made from sweet potatoes. There was Kim Chee (a spicy, fermented napa cabbage dish), cucumber Kim Chee, a zucchini & onion salad, pickled radishes, seasoned shredded radish, & pickled radish greens. There was also romaine lettuce to use as a wrap. That unexpected meal was absolutely delicious and I felt great after eating it. I ate to the point of feeling totally full. That is a feeling I had not had in a while! I may need to eat a bit slower…I did, however, enjoy each bite. It was also really nice to be able to enjoy a meal with my husband in a restaurant. It had been over 2 months since we had done that!

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My friend Emily came over and i made her a juice which matched her shirt:) (the juice is pink, her shirt is pink…but the pic doesn’t do them justice). I was glad to be able to share a delicious juice with a friend!

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Day 5 included 2 smoothies and some spikes in my blood sugar 😦 however it was normal by the time I went to bed. I ended up not having any juice which was not a good thing. I also had a bunch of pinto bean hummus on cucumbers which tasted great but is not agreeing with me. I am taking some digestive enzymes to help, but I forgot to take them when I had the hummus…I bet I wouldn’t be feeling so lousy if I had remembered. I’m still not feeling great on day 6…I also defrosted the healthy chocolate chip pie that my friend Teena brought over to a gathering at my house earlier in the month..I have another friend who is cutting out gluten & processed sugar and wanted to share it with her. Even though this is the time of month I traditionally love to eat chocolate, it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. The pie was great but I was surprised I didn’t delight in the chocolate part (it is dairy free chocolate chips) like I expected to. So my day 5 food choices did not agree with me.

Today is the beginning of day 6 which I am starting with my routine lemon water and will be making some juice and smoothies to take with me on this busy day. I also picked up some fresh-picked blackberries so those will come in my cooler too:) I have my doctor’s appointment today to get the results of my lab work that I took last week at the end of my juice fast. I’m looking forward to good news!

Day 3 post juice fast smoothie deliciousness & Juicers

16 Jun

Day 3 and I’m still feeling fabulous! Today hubby and I went for a hike with the pups. We had a blast! My day started with a delicious juice and continued with a pint and a half of one of the best smoothies I’ve ever had!

First the juice:

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Smooth Pear Detox Juice
1 bulb of fennel
3 pears
1 cucumber
10 leaves kale
Makes 1 quart

Next, a modification of a smoothie called Healthy Girl’s Chai Green Smoothie. This is something else I completely expect to be drinking in heaven when I get there! I was feeling like I wasn’t ready for almond milk and I was making enough for both hubby and myself so here is what I did:
Green Chai Goodness:
2-3 cups of water
2 teaspoons of chai spice blend (from Healthy Girl’s website)
2T hemp hearts (blend these 3 ingredients together first)
A hand full or 2 of ice cubes
2 frozen bananas
3 medjool dates (pits removed)
3 handfuls of spinach
3 leaves of lacinato (dinosaur) kale stems removed
Makes 3 pints

I’m getting a number of questions about juicers. I am no expert but am happy to pass along some of the info that I have benefited from. Below is some info from Young and Raw‘s Facebook page

How To Select A Juicer

Many of you have asked us about which juicers we recommend, and why. There are a few things to consider when looking at juicers, and we are here to clear up any confusion!

There are two basic types of juicers: the masticating juicer and the
centrifugal juicer.

The centrifugal juicer uses a spinning blade of some sort, which spins at a very high speed. This will basically grate whatever produce you are feeding through it into tiny pieces. The machine will then strain the finely grated pieces through a strainer, which will be separating the pulp from the juice. Juicers of this type do better with heartier fruits and veggies. Some can do greens moderately well, and some not well at all. The juice that comes from these machines will start to break down and oxidize within 15-60 minutes, so they are best consumed in a timely fashion.

Our favourite Centrifugal juicers are:

The champion or the Green Star – these juicers use “gears” to grate the produce,
and can do a pretty good job with leafy greens. You can also use these
juicers to create frozen fruit ice creams! You can look at the Champion Juicer and the Green Star Juicer

The Breville Juice Fountain – This juicer uses a spinning grater, and does well
with heartier veggies. If you want to use this juicer to juice greens,
the best technique is to bunch your greens up into tight balls before you pass
them through. This juicer is one of the best if you are new to juicing
and are not ready to spend a large amount of money. You can look at the Breville Juice Fountain

The Masticating juicer presses the produce, rather than grating it finely with a spinning blade. This means that the process is generally called ”cold juicing” or “slow juicing” because it is much slower! This way of juicing introduces far less oxygen into your juice than a centrifugal juicer, thus allowing much less heat and oxidative damage. The juice made using these juicers will last much longer before it starts to degrade. These are also the juicers you need if you want to get the most juice out of your leafy green veggies.

Our Favorite Masticating Juicers:

We really like the Hurom Slow Juicer, and the Omega Slow Juicer. Both are excellent
quality. – You can look up the Hurom And the Omega Juicer
——————-

The only juicer they don’t mention is the “Rolls Royce ” of juicers which is the Norwalk juicer. This juicer grinds the produce and then uses a hydraulic press to press out the juice. This is by far the best method that keeps the nutrients in your juice alive the longest. However it is $2,500. I guess when talking about a Porsche, BMW or a Toyota, Rolls Royce doesn’t necessarily make it into the conversation. Hopefully this info helps!

Day 2 post juice fast

16 Jun

Day 2 of breaking my fast and I’m still feeling great! I had juice this morning and had some more of that delicious tropical green smoothie I made last night. I probably had about a pint’s worth of smoothie today although not all at once…and today, my sugar did not spike at all. My plan was to have juice in the morning and alternate between juice and smoothie for the rest of the day. That went over well.

I feel like I’m slowly waking up my digestive system and my body is responding well to it. I was chatting with my friend Mara earlier and she shared a story she had heard of someone breaking a long term fast with fast food! Can u guess what happened? Yeah…he was super sick and couldn’t keep the food down…bright move, brain surgeon. That’s like holding a gun up to your sleeping digestive system and saying “work super hard RIGHT NOW!” Even eating solid food can make a person sick the first day. For me, this journey is about seeing my body healed. I want to continue to do the best I can for it, not make it sick in favor of eating a particular food. Now, THAT is a very different outlook for me. In the past, my cravings and desire for food dictated what went in my mouth.

I will leave you to think on this:

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Day 1 post juice fast-I almost kept going

15 Jun

Post fast day 1…ended up being a wonderful and completely nutso day. I had an appointment at noon and brought juice with me-thankfully I followed my own advice and brought enough juice for the rest of my day…cause I planned on being home by 3pm the latest and didn’t make it home till after 6. I thought I was gonna blow actually breaking my fast….as in just juice for the day.

I thought I read all of the instructions in Young and Raw’s guide about breaking the fast in a healthy way which means 3 days of juices & smoothies before introducing solid foods…apparently I missed the part that said on day 1 I should juice all day and do a smoothie for dinner…which is exactly what I did because that’s how my day unfolded…as opposed to me actually planning it out that way. I only knew I wanted to make sure that I was home when I broke my fast….just in case. After cooking for my wonderful husband and our friend Christie, I had a delicious tropical smoothie with kale and fruits that I love but couldn’t use during the juice fast because when juiced, those fruits spike my blood sugar.

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Tropical Kale Smoothie
1 banana (frozen)
1 cup pineapple
1 cup mango
3-5 leaves kale
1-2 cups filtered water

It made a big smoothie….I only drank bout 10 or so ounces…I’ll have the rest tomorrow 🙂 the good news is that I still feel great! I didn’t have to run to the bathroom like I was afraid of and I’m excited to have more tomorrow:) My blood sugar did become elevated though (to 177 2 hours after consumption) which did not excite me….we will see how tomorrow goes…I may have to switch to a berry smoothie. So I didn’t break the fast with a carrot as intended but I’m closer to being able to have one 😉

Tomorrow is another busy day so I need to get to bed but I wanted to make sure to post that I successfully broke the fast and am still feeling great! I’m so thankful for all of the positive and supportive comments!