November 2, 2013

Juice Fast #2: DAY FIVE + exercise + what NOT to do

One thing you realize on a juice fast is how much "social" eating you really do. While neither one of us seem to miss actually eating at all, we are definitely missing the social aspect that comes along with sharing meals together. It's hard to turn down invitations for lunch with co-workers or supper with extended family when you really would love to spend time with those people. It's almost harder to accept them and then watch everyone else eat; not because we want food, but because it makes you feel excluded.

We are still feeling great and enjoying the fast, but we are ready to get back to the enjoyment part of eating. As far as our physical health, while we both still felt great today, we are definitely functioning and slightly less-than-optimal energy level. The interesting thing is, when we are eating normally, I don't always have a lot of energy. Life in general can just wear you out - healthy eating or not. But the reduced energy level on a juice fast is different. You still feel good and can function well, but it's just not quite the same. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it. It's a different kind of energy.

We juiced for breakfast the same thing we did yesterday. Pretty much just random greens we threw together.

We then had some special events scheduled today. Tyler had planned to run a 5K to support a cause that he had fundraised for, and Jon planned to run with him. I took the other three kids to an event with their grandma.

Several people have asked about exercising on a juice fast. I obviously don't have any professional training, and would certainly advocate that any individual listen to their body, but both Jon and I are able to do light to moderate cardio while fasting. Jon ran the 5K at a less-than-optimal-but-still-good energy level and finished at a time just slightly higher than he probably would have otherwise. Tyler, on the other hand, beat Jon by over 3 minutes with a time of 26:01!! We were super-proud of him, so I just had to brag a little :)

Re-introducing food:
I had decided last night to begin to re-introduce food today, even though we had planned to spend the afternoon & evening at Jon's parents. I had a few little things to eat yesterday, including some seeds (which really aren't the best choice) and raw fruit. Today I hoped to add a little more raw fruit and a very simple vegetable salad. A very small apple worked well for lunch, in addition to lots of water.

Then, while we were at my in-laws, I noticed they had a large bowl of Halloween candy leftover. Of course, it sat on the counter and taunted me. I truly think it's easier to not eat anything at all than it is to be selective about what you eat. "One little peanut M&M won't hurt" I thought, "after all, I am adding food back in today." Resisting candy is not a problem for me at ALL unless it's Twix or peanut M&M's. I opened the package and discovered there were only 5 in there. Well, you can't just leave four little peanut M&M's in an open bag so I just ate them all. This is what you do NOT want to do when coming off a juice fast.

It took about 3 minutes before I started to regret that decision and I ended up with a decent stomach ache for about half an hour. Granted, a little tummy ache isn't the worst thing that can happen to you, but it's definitely not how you want to feel coming off a fast. It just kind of makes you feel defeated. Disgusted with myself, I had my simple salad for supper and hid the rest of the M&M's.

Since we really have nothing interesting to report physically, I will probably combine the next few days updates. Jon is still going strong - much stronger than me since he resisted the M&M's completely. Hopefully his will-power will last as I start to eat a more normal diet!

November 1, 2013

Juice Fast #2: DAY FOUR (and our juicer)

Still going strong into day four! I know I've already said it, but I can't believe how easy this fast has been. Honestly, I feel really pathetic even trying to blog about it! With our last fast, we noticed SO MANY changes and differences with each day as we went along. This time it's just really different, although we've both lost weight, but that's to be expected. I've joked that it's the coffee, but in reality, we still both think it has been our (modified) paleo diet. When we're done, I'll try to analyze why this could be the case.

Tonight I ate three grapes and a few raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds. They were leftover from my kids snack and since I want to take it slow re-introducing food this time, I thought that tiny bit would be a good start. I still plan to juice most of the day tomorrow, but may add a couple apple slices and a some plain leafy greens. Jon is still on all juice.

I wanted to use up some greens so we made our own concoction.
1/2 bunch of kale
3 big handfuls of spinach
1 bunch of parsley
3 small cucumbers
2 apples

I was totally prepared for it to be disgusting (as they often are when I try to make up my own) but it was actually one of the better green juices we've ever had! I would totally make this one again. It was a great, energizing morning drink.

I wasn't really planning on lunch again today, but Jon showed up with a treat for me.

He had whipped up some apple orange mango juice. Even if you're NOT on a juice fast, a juice like that is a TREAT. Pure fruit juices made with fresh fruit are amazing all.the.time. When you are on a juice fast, it's like candy.

Supper was a little chaotic because Jon was helping our oldest finish a school/volunteer project and Meili, who had been under the weather all day, spiked a 103 degree fever. She was NOT a happy camper. I had made some soup for the kids, so rather than add to the craziness and make another mess in the kitchen, we just had a little broth. It was a nourishing homemade bone broth, so we figured those extra nutrients wouldn't hurt, especially when there's extra germs in our house.

Several people have asked about our juicer. We have an Omega 8006. (See THIS post for the original info). To keep it short, there two main kinds of juicers. Masticating and centrifugal. They both operate very differently.

Masticating juicers typically use an auger which turns very slowly (I think ours is 8 rpm) and pushes the juice out. Centrifugal juicers spin at high speeds and "pull" the juice out. Both have positives and negatives, so someone who is looking to purchase a juicer really needs to decide what feature is most important to them. Since centrifugal juicers operate at high speeds, there is heat involved and heating the juice causes it to oxidize. This diminishes nutrient content. But, they are fast. So if you are a person who is on-the-go and needs their juice quick, you might want a centrifugal one. They also work better than masticating juicers with juices made from soft fruits, like oranges or mangoes.

Masticating juicers turn slowly, the juice stays cool and maximum nutrient content is preserved. But, they take a lot longer to produce juice. Since nutrient content was our main concern, we went with a masticating version. Ours works really well juicing harder things, like carrots and apples. If we want to do softer fruits, we usually need to do a hard fruit or vegetable with it to push the soft things through. This isn't a problem for us, but it might be for someone else. Unfortunately, to get a GOOD quality masticating or centrifugal juicer, you will have to shell out a pretty decent chunk of $$.

They do make good Christmas presents :)