January 30, 2012

Azure Day!

I have several tricks up my sleeve when it comes to feeding my family without blowing my (very) tight budget. One of them involves indexing the prices of massive amounts of items in my head so I know which ones are cheaper at what location. Yeah I know, it's a little weird. I think I thrive on getting the best possible deals.

But another one is Azure Standard. They're an Oregon based company that specializes in healthy, natural and organic foods, which they deliver by semi-truck all over the country. When I first discovered them, I assumed there was NO WAY they delivered to anywhere even close to here. But a couple weeks later while talking with a fellow foodie at church, I discovered she'd been ordering from Azure for years and they have a drop point right by Brookings!

I can get a lot of items from Azure that I can't get around here, and several items are just significantly cheaper than what I can get here. And there are a few things I use frequently that I can buy in bulk to save money.

Today's delivery included:
5 lbs organic cheese
1 lb butter (from grass-fed, hormone free cows)
2 - 32 oz containers of yogurt
1 - 16 oz coconut milk yogurt (never had this before, but thought it deserved a try!)
20 lbs unbleached organic white flour
2 lbs sliced almonds
1 pkg organic dried black beans
1 gallon raw clover honey
5 lbs organic steel cut oats
5 lbs organic rolled oats
1 lb rosemary
1 container organic chocolate syrup
5 lbs organic raisins
32 oz. Dr. Bronner's Castille soap
5 lbs organic russet potatoes
5 lbs organic yukon gold potatoes
25 lbs organic juicing carrots

The main reason for purchasing MOST of these items, is that the price I can buy (what I feel to be) a higher quality item from Azure, is usually about the same price I'd pay for the regular, big-box label item at the grocery store.

For example, my organic yogurt was about $3 for 32 ounces, which is roughly (maybe a few cents more) what 32 ounces of Yoplait costs and about half the price of organic yogurt I can buy in my hometown. And I know it's coming from cows that aren't given hormones, antibiotics, or stuffed full of genetically modified grain. Same story with the butter, although it's still expensive, I can get it for about $4 a pound through Azure instead of $5.59 at my local grocery store.

The carrots are Jon's purchase. They're juice grade carrots, which just means they're a little too crooked to be sold as eating carrots, although these look really straight so I'm not sure why they're classified as "juice carrots." It's just much more economical to buy them in bulk when you go through as many as he does.

And...Dr. Bronners Baby Mild Castille soap. I get this from Azure simply because it's hard to find the unscented soap in the larger size. I use Castille for everything from hand soap to shampoo to floor cleaner. It's extremely versatile, works extraordinarily well and is completely non-toxic. Ever heard the saying "if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin?" You could totally eat this. Not that you'd want to. It would taste horrible. But it does make me feel better about using it on my little sensitive-skin princesses. We've tried the peppermint and it smells great, but it actually irritated Jon's skin just a little, so we stick with the unscented.

If you're ever interested in ordering from Azure, just check out their website. All you have to do is get a username and password and you can see all their prices and products, but it does NOT require you to purchase anything. They deliver once a month, and I'd love to coordinate pick-ups and take turns with anyone from the Brookings area who is interested!

January 26, 2012

Second Home Study Visit - √ CHECK!

Now we've got two down, one to go!

Today's visit from our social worker for part two of the home study consisted mainly of individual interviews. I have to admit I was a little worried about this. Not because I actually HAVE anything to be worried about, but just because it seems sort of sneaky to interview you back to back with no time to discuss in between. That, and we had to actually leave the house completely while the other person was being interviewed.

Of course, it turned out there was nothing to worry about. Mostly they just 'job interview' type questions like "what are your strengths?", "what are your weaknesses?", etc. And we had to describe each other. This time, Jon did not call me "rigid." :) We were asked if we did illegal drugs, were ever arrested for anything, ever had a previous failed home study, if anything in our past affected our parenting abilities now and how we plan to teach our kids about sex, drugs and alcohol. I guess THAT one did make me think a little!

So really, it wasn't a big deal. Next up is the home inspection and I'm not worried about this at all. Clearly, since we already have three kids living here, I think it's safe. Unless you're Keira and learn how to climb like monkey when you're 15 months old - but even she is still surviving so I think we're good.

However, our kids and our resident teenager will also be interviewed that day as well and I imagine she could get some pretty interesting answers from all of them. This might call for some extra cookie-making and ice cream in the next week... ;)

January 23, 2012

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Why would you want to make your own laundry detergent you ask?

I can tell you why I wanted to...I'm sure others have different reasons...

A little more than six years ago, when our second daughter was just a few months old, she began breaking out in hives for no apparent reason. Huge, raised, red hives. They were horrible, and we couldn't figure out why she was having them. We spent significant amounts of time and money going to doctors, getting tests done, filling prescriptions and seeing allergy specialists. And in the end, guess what they told us? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Well, not true...they told us she was allergic to peanut butter and shellfish and we should start avoiding both like the plague. I knew, from doing my own elimination diets with her, that she was absolutely NOT allergic to either of those. Ugh.

I did, however, figure out that she was very possibly allergic to Red 40, the artificial food dye. Eliminating that took care of a good chunk of the problem. The rest, I was finally able to attribute to chemicals in laundry detergent. (This whole experience is what originally prompted me to start researching food and chemical use in the first place).

Ok, so that's the main reason. There are others; we'll get to them.

Here's what you'll need for this little project:
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 bar Fels-Naptha laundry soap

All these can be purchased at either Wal-Mart or HyVee.
Honestly, Fels-Naptha is not the MOST "eco-conscious" option because it does contain some fragrance additives. The BEST option would probably be a bar of castille soap, but it's more expensive, and the Fels-Naptha doesn't seem to harm my girls' skin, so for now we'll stick with it.

I probably should have added "food processor" to things you need.
Put the shredding disc on the food processor and shred up the bar of Fels-Naptha.
Yes, it's OK to put soap in something that will eventually have food in it.
Yes, I know it looks like cheese.

This is what it looks like after it's shredded.

Next Step: Remove the shredded soap to a different bowl (I use the ice cream bucket that I keep my finished soap in). Then fit the food processor with the slicing blade and add 1 Cup of Borax and 1 Cup of washing soda. Process for a few seconds just to make sure all the lumps are broken up.

 Add the shredded soap back to the food processor with the powders.

Process all of this together until it reaches a fairly fine powder.

The soap will not process quite as fine as the white powders, but that's OK.

It should look like this when finished.

One of the best things about this detergent is you only need 1 tablespoon per load. Maybe 2 if you're stuff is REALLY dirty. Does it really get clothes clean? Yes, absolutely! I've been using it for about 6 years now and have never had a load come out still dirty. 

I usually make a triple batch. This fills up an ice cream bucket about 3/4 full and last me several months.

Now for the second reason that I continue to make my own detergent: PRICE!
When we were teaching Financial Peace several years ago, I actually calculated it all out and used it as an illustration for class. I'll copy it below (but keep in mind this was almost 3 years ago so the prices may be off).
Borax: $3.36
Washing Soda: $2.38
Fels Naptha Laundry soap: $.98

Total spent on initial ingredients: $6.72
I estimated that I used 1/15 of the box of borax and about 1/10 the box of soda. You only use 1 tablespoon per load (unless it's really dirty), so that measured out to be 30 loads for my doubled recipe. Add the costs together and it came out to 1.57 cents per load.

In contrast, my previous laundry detergent, HyVee brand perfume & dye free, costs $3.00 for a 32 load container (which is still significantly cheaper than most other brands), and that calculates out to 9.37 cents per load. So, 1.57 vs. 9.37 is a pretty significant savings over time.

1. Easy on skin. 2. Easy on the wallet. 3. Easy on the environment. And it cleans well. A win in my book!

First Home Study Visit - √ CHECK!

One down, two to go! We were able to keep our second appointment for the first home study visit and we completed it last week. Several weeks prior, we filled out an 11 page questionnaire about our childhoods, our relationship with each other, our siblings, our parents, etc. This visit was mostly a review and discussion of our answers to those questions. Sounds simple, but it was about three hours long!

Comparison of our answers to the same questions is one of the things they focus on; trying to determine if discrepancies might be indicative of problems now, or lead to frustrations down the road.

Just as an example, I'll share one of the more humorous (for us anyway!) question/answer segments. On the questionnaire, we were given a list of roughly 25 personality traits and asked to check the ones that described our spouse. The discussion about that question went something like this:

Social Worker: "Now we're going to discuss how you see each others personalities. This could be a difficult conversation, so please bear with me."

(We laugh, certain there's nothing that will surprise us)

Social Worker: "Virginia, you indicated that you think Jon is caring, spontaneous and outgoing. Those are definitely positive characteristics, wouldn't you say?"

Virginia: "Yes, all of those are very accurate descriptions of him."

Social Worker: "Now Jon, you indicated a very different set of characteristics for Virginia, and frankly I'm a little worried about bringing this up. I hope you can explain this so we really understand what's going on here. You marked that Virginia is rigid and argumentative. This really doesn't sound very good!"
I can definitely see how those types of answers could indicate problems in a marriage (the office director even expressed concern!). For us though, those answers make perfect sense. I knew exactly what he meant by marking those and he explained it exactly as I thought he would. He was referring to me being a very structured, thorough person (rigid) who spends a significant amount of time researching before forming an opinion that I will not stray from and am happy to defend (argumentative). She seemed quite relieved with this answer and assured us she was positive we had the perfect explanation the whole time.

Just to be clear, he marked other very positive things too :)

It's required that there be at least 1 week between each home study visit, and we were lucky to be able to schedule the next two exactly one week, and no more, apart from each other. The next visit involves our social worker interviewing us each separately for about an hour. SO separately, that the other person must leave the house completely. I'm quite curious about this one! And our third interview will be an actual inspection of the house.

After all the interviews are finished, they'll take a week or so to review and write the home study document. Then it's approved by the Bethany Global office and once that's done, we'll receive a finished copy. So we're looking at having a completed home study by the end of February! This is great news, because once we have a completed home study, we can start several things:
1. The I800A - this is permission from the government saying we can adopt, and bring a child into the US.
2. The Dossier - the enormous file containing ALL our information that is sent to the country we'll adopt from.
3. Adoption Grants. Most adoption grants require submission of a completed home study. It's a good thing we can start soon, because once the home study is completed, our first MAJOR payment to Bethany is due, and about two weeks after that, another MAJOR payment is due. We're confident God will provide for both those expenses.

In the meantime, we have training to finish and are attempting to get a jumpstart on the I800A. We're thankful that it feels like we're really moving now! And yet, this is just the beginning...

January 17, 2012

Home Study Rescheduled

Unfortunately, it seems like everyone we know has been coming down with some sort of illness, including our girls, and our social worker. This means we were unable to complete our first home study visit last week. But, it's been rescheduled for this Thursday, so barring any more nasty colds, hopefully we'll get back on track soon!

We completed four hours of training last Saturday at the Bethany office. Although it was fairly basic as far as material goes, we were able to connect with another couple who was there. We know there are other people going through the same process we are, with the same agency, so it was nice to meet a few of them and hear a little bit about their stories. We were surprised we were the only ones at this training session who were pursuing international adoption. The rest were hoping to adopt an infant domestically.

In visiting with the office coordinator afterward, we learned that they placed so many babies last year, that there were times when they almost didn't have enough families to take them. Praise God that these moms chose adoption and Bethany was able to provide homes for those children!

January 12, 2012

Juice Fast - Day 10 & BREAK - FAST!

DAY 10
I have to admit, yesterday was a struggle. Not because I didn't feel well or had a lack of energy, but just because I wanted to EAT. To chew and swallow. Just consume real food. I think it was a mental thing. My energy level was still high and I felt great, but by the end of the day, I was just so ready for food (and tired of answering 1 million questions from my 4 year old) that crankiness took over. Jon told me maybe I should take a nap while they were all at church. I resisted and got some of my online adoption training finished instead.

We played it pretty safe all day and used up whatever was left in the fridge for juice. In the evening, my brother (who's visiting from Dallas) came over and we introduced him to juicing. He was brave enough to try a "salad" - spinach, tomato, carrot, celery, radish, and a garlic clove. Even though the garlic smell permeated throughout the entire house, he drank it and delcared it wasn't too bad. I stuck with a safe apple/carrot combo.

All that said, I was thrilled to wake up this morning and be able to eat solid food again. As I said before, it's pretty important how you come out of the fast, so here's what I had:

A small glass of fresh orange/pear juice, a banana and turkish fig. I just had to have something at least a *little* sweet, and turkish figs are the perfect little sweet-tooth satisfier. Plus they're still a fruit so I'm not cheating on my "raw fruit & veggie" day. I think it was the best banana and fig I've ever had! An apple was my snack and lunch will be a green salad with veggies.

I did have a very slight stomach ache about 10-15 minutes after eating as the digestion process started working again, but it went away quickly. A rule of thumb I read was to eat half as much, twice as often when coming off the fast. That way your body can slowly work it's way back into rhythm.

Thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged us through the fast! All in all, it really was a good experience, and I would definitely do it again. When it was all said and done, Jon and I both felt better, slept well, learned that we had some serious willpower, and lost 17 &13 pounds, respectively. But I think the greatest lesson learned from the experience was just a renewed sense of the importance of consuming nutrient-dense foods. I feel like in the coming weeks, I'll have a much easier time resisting junk food because it just seems so unappealing right now.

I had wanted to take some time in this post to talk about the way we''ll eat when we're done with the break-in period; Real Food vs. Standard American Diet. We've actually been moving toward 'real food' for several years, and are pretty much fully integrated now. But it's such a long story with so much information, I think it deserves it's own post.

I'll leave you a couple of tips for beginner juicers that we found helpful:

1. To get the widest array of nutrients during a fast, include varying types of fruits and vegetables.  However, try to keep an 80/20 ratio of vegetables to fruits and include lots of greens to get maximum nutrient content and keep sugars at a minimum.

2. Lemons, apples, and cranberries make good additions to veggie juices to add a little sweetness or flavor.

3. Keep the peel on carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, cucumber, ginger, etc., but ONLY if they are organic. You'll save lots of time and won't have to worry about pesticide residue.

4. Serve juices over ice. It just tastes better and seems fresher, especially veggie juices.

5. Serve with a straw. Personal preference, but just seemed like it made the experience more enjoyable.

Happy Juicing!

January 9, 2012

Juice Fast - Days 8 & 9

I suppose it's time I talk about the "weight question." I think it's common knowledge that many people who go on a juice fast do so to get a jumpstart on weight loss. Dropping pounds is pretty much inevitable when you're not consuming ANY fats, protein, sugars or carbs (other than what's naturally in fruit). But I want to be clear that I did NOT do this for weight loss. I was pretty happy with my weight, aside from a pound or two leftover from the Christmas season. OK. Got it? Did NOT do this for weight loss.

As of the morning of day 9, I had lost 12 pounds. Jon had lost 13.

I am not sure where it all came from, because although my jeans are fitting more loosely, they aren't fitting -12 pounds loosely. That leads me to believe that at least of a few pounds of it was water weight. It will be interesting to see what happens to the scale after we begin eating real food again. We have a plan to 'ease' back into real food on the days following Day 10. As with any long fast, it's just as important to consider how you come out of it as it is the fast itself. Starting back up with regular food will completely shock your system. Your body will come out of "starvation" mode and move immediately to "hoard" mode and store everything you eat as FAT. We plan to do a couple days of raw fruits and vegetables, probably adding nuts and eggs on the end of the second day, then carbs, dairy, meats, etc.

We started out today with another cranberry combo:
2 apples
6-8 carrots
1 cup cranberries
Delicious as usual!

For lunch, we decided to give the beets another shot. A friend who's a juicing pro, assured us that you just need to use half a beet or so at a time, and mix with a fair amount of carrot juice. We wanted to like them because they're a powerhouse of nutrients. So.....

1 sweet potato
1" piece of ginger
1 beet, peeled
1/4 of an onion
4 carrots (I think we ended up making it 8)

Don't they look pretty? Therefore, they should taste good, right?

It even looks pretty in the glasses.
Was it good? Well.....it was BETTER. But I wouldn't call it 'good.' It was drinkable, and at least we got the nutrients.

I felt really great all day again on day 8; had lots of energy and felt wide awake and alert all day. I also still had symptoms of detoxing, so drank water or herbal tea almost continuously all day. By the end of the day, although completely fine physically, I really began to mentally feel a need for real food.

Yep, the desire for food is definitely here. I'm not necessarily craving anything, just miss the feeling of chewing, swallowing and tasting REAL food. Because of that, we weren't feeling too creative with the juice today. Although we did make a 'treat' for breakfast because I thought maybe it would help me get through the day:
1/2 pineapple
2 oranges
1 mango
Purely fruit, so of course, it was delicious.

Lunch was the cabbage concoction from Day 4, and supper was our fallback carrot/apple/ginger.

Overall, I felt good again today, although slightly weak in the afternoon. I laid down for 10 minutes and afterward felt great. I'm taking it as another sign I'm ready real food again ;)

As I mentioned in the last post, one interesting article I read suggested your body goes in super-healing mode around day 8 or 9 and even works to repair very old injuries. During that time, those muscles may become dull & achy as the body works to repair the damage. I wasn't sure I believed that the healing of old injuries was possible. My mom (a massage therapist) will tell you I have a horrible spot in my middle back; she has worked on it many times without being able to loosen it much. It was an injury from labor during the birth of one of my children, I can't even remember which one. Beginning last night and into today, that spot became VERY achy. I'm not convinced it's healing, but I would be thrilled if it was! So, the jury's still out on that one.

That's it for today! Just one more day to go. All in all, this has been a great experience but I am definitely happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

January 8, 2012

Juice Fast - Day 6 & 7

Only three days to go! And I have to admit, it'd been overall a pretty positive experience thus far. We've basically been repeating most of the same juices that we've had before, resorting to the carrot/apple/ginger combo when we aren't feeling creative.

Day 6:
Saturday was an awesome day. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go and had a more than enough energy the entire day. Really, I felt wonderful - all day. I can't even remember the last time that happened.

We discovered cranberries today as well. What a great little addition to juices! Their tartness adds the perfect punch to carrot/apple or carrot/orange.

I also discovered an interesting physical side effect today. For as long as I can remember, I've had "puffy" lower legs and ankles. Not so much that anyone but Jon and I would notice, but just sort of disproportionate to the rest of my body. I looked down yesterday and the puffiness was completely gone! I had to ask to Jon to verify that I wasn't imagining things and he agreed right away that they definitely looked better. I've never known the cause of it, so I don't know what the solution was either. It could have been the absence of salt in my diet. Or maybe my body is just getting around to healing itself right there. Whatever it is, I love my new ankles!

Day 7
I really started to notice some symptoms of detoxing today. They actually began yesterday, but I didn't put two and two together until I did a little research. At this point in the fast, it's typical for your body to start pushing out toxins any way it can; basically through any of your openings. This includes the usual familiar ones and also skin, tongue, throat, etc. My skin has been more oily, my tongue and teeth are seem to be coated with white, sticky feeling junk, and my sinuses seem to be clearing and causing me to cough up goo. (Sorry, I know it's gross, but I thought I'd paint an accurate picture.) It's not a lot and not noticeable to anyone but me (I don't think!). Jon started to notice the tongue/teeth in himself as well, so we must be hitting the same stage. Honestly, I'm glad it seems to be working and we're having the symptoms we SHOULD be having.

Aside from that, it's really been another great day. I feel as good as I've felt in a long time, if not better, and am definitely sleeping more solidly at night.

I've been reading that beginning on about day 8, the body pushes itself into full-healing-mode. This can mean it begins to work on old scars, injured bones or muscles, etc. And during this time, many people experience extreme amounts of energy and clear-mindedness and feel better than they've felt in years. I don't know if this is true, but I'm hoping to find out. I can always use more clear-mindedness!

January 7, 2012

Home Study Scheduled!

I've heard that as you progress through the stages of the adoption process, it's wise to continually keep checking on your status, even if you think things are going exactly as planned.

Apparently, those who suggested that are correct. I emailed our agency last week just to make sure I understood the current timeline. Our social worker confirmed that I had, and as soon as they received the fingerprints and two other documents, we'd be set to start the home study. As far as I knew, we were only waiting on the fingerprints.

We discovered that the company that did the drug screen had not sent the results (we did the screening in November) and that we were missing a reference (our reference had never received the form). Two quick phone calls and those forms were both sent back by the end of the day. The next day, our social worker contacted us, assured us she believed we weren't felons and the fingerprints would come back clean, and asked to schedule the home study. We're thrilled to be moving along again!

Our first meeting consists of a 2 1/2 hour interview in our home. It's scheduled for next Friday, January 13th. We fully expect the home study to go smoothly, but we'd appreciate prayer as we start to move through this next phase, if you're willing. We'll be making some big decisions in this part of the process; finalizing the country, age of the child, etc., so there should be more to report soon!

January 6, 2012

Juice Fast - Days 4 & 5

We're halfway done! And I have to say, after this evening, the end couldn't come fast enough. But, we'll start with yesterday...

Day 4:
I had massive amounts of energy and felt great the entire day. I had a jam packed schedule from sunrise until about 10:00pm when I finished nearly 6 straight hours of meetings. Upon arriving home from that, I was ready for bed, but the entire day prior to it, I felt fabulous.

We juiced the cabbage yesterday and I was extremely skeptical. It surprised me completely and proved itself to be wonderfully tasty! We did half of it and lunch and the other half in the evening because we enjoyed it so much. Apparently, cabbage is really good for upset stomachs, hence the name:

"Tummy Saver"
1/2 a cabbage
4 carrots
3 apples
2 stalks celery

Day 5:
Today was a slightly different story. I didn't sleep as well last night and felt a tiny bit lightheaded when I got up, but it went away after a few minutes. My morning and afternoon was great, similar to Day 4. I have no idea what happened this evening though. The headache started coming back, I have NO energy whatsoever and I'm super irritable. But the worst part, is that I have the most HORRIBLE food cravings right now! Pizza, veggies, cake, fruit, pb&j, a hamburger.....ANYTHING. One of the food blogs I follow showcased a Quinoa Salad today and I literally started drooling at the pictures.

There was a bright note to the day however. To preface, there are actually 6 of us doing this 10 day fast; Jon and I, my brother and three friends. This afternoon, one of the friends brought over some pomegranates to try juicing and let me tell you, they were well worth the effort it took to de-seed them!

We added a couple handfuls of blueberries, and orange and a carrot. It was divine...like the candy of the juicing world. Plus, it's a powerhouse of antioxidants! Definitely one of the best juices we've made.

I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow because it's the start of the downward slope. Here's to Day 6!

January 4, 2012

Juice Fast - Day 3

Today started out significantly better than yesterday. The headache was about 90 percent gone, and as the day went on, it disappeared completely. That was a relief! All in all, I actually felt REALLY good today. I *think* I even had slightly more energy than usual. Definitely a good thing!

We began the morning with a new concoction: Sweet Broccoli juice.
2 heads broccoli
2 celery stalks
1 lemon
1 apple

This was REALLY good. I enjoyed it more than Jon did, but I'd definitely make it again. The broccoli comes out slightly sweet, and the added lemon flavor is perfect.

Here's the juicer in action:

The juice comes out the little circular area on the bottom and "pulp" (which is basically the leftover fiber) comes out the end. When we juice apples, carrots, or pears the pulp is great in breads and muffins. I haven't discovered a good use for the green pulp yet, so right now it goes out to my compost pile. I'm sure there are things you can do with it, but I haven't had the time to delve into that yet.

Lunch was "Green Carrot" juice:
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large handful of spinach
1 apple
1/2 lemon
1 bunch of parsley

We've definitely decided that parsley is a wonderful additive to green juice. It seems to cover less desireable flavors well and yields a nice, consistent taste.

However, after work we tried another beet concotion:
1 beet
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1/2 potato
1 radish
(and Jon added parsley for good measure)

There's just no way around it. Beets taste like DIRT! They're supposed to be crazy good for you, but I think the rest of my beets are going to get chucked in the trash unless Google shows me a way to make them avoid tasting like the ground from which they came.

Later in the evening, some friends came over for a little juicing party and we introduced them to the carrot/apple/ginger combo and also the "Green Carrot" juice. I don't know if we'll make juicers out of them, but I think they enjoyed the experience. Afterward, our resident teenager that we're hosting for the school year asked us to do apple/grape, which she loved. I admit, 100% fruit juices are AMAZING. But for her to drink it and ENJOY it....it must've been good. She pretty much thinks we're crazy, but it's OK...at least she's drinking pure, fresh fruit juice. A small 'win' for me ;) 

We did lots of veggies today, so I'm not sure what the focus will be tomorrow. But we do have have a cabbage in the fridge just waiting for it's time. We'll see what happens!

January 3, 2012

Juice Fast - Days 1 & 2

It finally arrived over Christmas.
The Omega 8006 juicer. This is the one my hubby has been wanting for several months now, so he was pretty excited when he opened this gift from his parents. We chose this one for several reasons, but mainly because it is a masticating juicer - one characteristic being that it runs at a very low RPM, thus avoiding any temperature increase. This preserves the nutrient and enzyme content giving you the healthiest possible juice.

When we first started talking about getting a juicer, I was all pumped up to do a 10 day juice fast. That was several months ago. I gradually lost interest and mostly forgot about it. But in the mean time, apparently Jon had been contemplating the idea and getting serious about it. So, he declared that starting January 2nd, the 10 day fast would begin! And of course, it's a lot easier to do these types of things together.

That makes yesterday Day 1. Breakfast consisted of carrot/apple juice. We've had that one several times so it wasn't a big deal. We worked up a little more courage for lunch:

One bunch of kale, 2 chunks broccoli, 1 carrots, 1 apple. It wasn't horrible. Jon loved it.
Supper was called "Heart Beet" - 2 beets with tops, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 apples and half an onion.

I started getting a headache last night and it continued throughout the day today. This is apparently pretty normal when detoxing. After some pretty rough veggie juices yesterday, we started today out a little easier:

Breakfast: 3 apples, 1 pound grapes (delicious!!)
Lunch: "Parsley Energy" - 1 bunch parsley, 2 carrots, 1 apple, 1 celery stalk (also delicious!)
Supper: Apple/carrot/orange
Snack: kiwi/orange

Tomorrow we'll focus more on veggies again.

My reasons for attempting a juice fast are twofold; mainly experimentation and detoxification. When juicing fresh fruits and veggies, the nutrients are absorbed into the body within 15 minutes. Without the work of digestion, the body can concentrate on detoxifying and healing.

That just intrigued me. The idea of getting rid of the remnants of all the junk I've eaten (especially over Christmas) sounded a good plan. And as far as experimenting goes, I really wanted to see if only ingesting pure, unadulterated juices would result in clearer skin and a better night's sleep. The jury's still out on those!

Currently, hunger hasn't really been an issue, but I'm really struggling with headaches, which I've discovered is extremely common. My limited research seems to suggest that when the body is able to focus solely on ridding toxins, in begins to pull them out at a much faster rate than normal, often causing headaches, muscle and body aches, and general flu-like symptoms. The body SHOULD adjust itself to this massive toxin reduction by day 3. I am hoping so!

When it's all said and done, Jon and I will have consumed the nutrients in these fruits & veggies (and probably a few more):

Even if I gain nothing else from the experience, the massive amount of nutrients and live enzymes will definitely be a good thing. Day three, coming up!