90 Day Juice Feast. Day 69. The Sweet Spot and a Sweet Treat.

I’ve found a sweet spot. I’m over the hump of getting through the days on sheer willpower and am floating again on lightness and gratitude. Today. We’ll see what tomorrow holds. I think I really got caught up in the swiftness of the first couple of months. So many changes happened internally and externally and I had fun playing with juice recipes and supplements. Now I’m sort of over it all, I’ve gone back to basics with my juices only doing what I really love (simple variations on carrot, jicama, and orange based juices) and have finished up any supplementation without any plans of continuing. My focus now is slowing down, appreciating all the changes, continuing to solidify meditation as a daily practice, and, as always, trying not to wish away these last few weeks.

rande_and_wellah

I spent last Friday and Saturday in Oregon at Wellah’s place! We were both on days 66-67 and needing the motivation and inspiration to continue. I think the timing for the trip was perfect as I left with confidence that I’d finish and excitement to do so. We spent 24 hours talking non-stop (alright, we did sleep), taking a walk in the sunshine, juicing on her gorgeous Norwalk, and flipping through recipe books, fantasizing about future dinners together. We did sit down at the table with exquisite bowls of tomato, pepper, cilantro, onion, garlic, carrot juice that was spiced up with a little Tabasco sauce. Not quite a feast but satisfying nonetheless.

Wellah's Tomato Soup

A fun addition to these last three weeks is that Britney has decided to go vegan until I finish juicing! Around here, we do vegan without highly processed soy products and junk food- It’s all simple, whole, and well-combined but not without treats! This week I decided to make an attempt at re-creating one of Brit’s favorite breakfast bars (the Cappuccino Lara Bar) and was met with success! I haven’t tried these myself of course but my wife reports that they are better than the original :)

Coffee Spiked Breakfast Truffles

Coffee Spiked Breakfast Truffles

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups dates, pitted
1/2 a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 Tbsp ground coffee

Pulse nuts in food processor until coarsely ground. Add dates, vanilla, and coffee and grind until it all starts to stick together. Form into truffles.

 

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Winter Juice Feast. Day 60-something. Inside my Head.

I’ve really lost track. I don’t know what day I’m on. I suppose I could make an effort to figure it out but it’s so interesting not knowing. Not blogging has also been interesting…in passing, the days since my previous update have included:

Waking up in the middle of the night with my thoughts just raging. Every negative thing I could think about myself just pouring out of my brain. It was agonizing. Suddenly this thought popped in: These are the stories you tell yourself. They are just stories. Maybe you need to tell yourself some new ones. I fell asleep peacefully shortly after that. I woke up in the morning having recently re-committed to a meditation practice (I’ve been incredibly lazy about it) and the first guided recording to come up was all about letting go of or re-creating your old stories. It was surprisingly un-cheesy and I really appreciated it.

A little stint with some caffeinated tea. I had a cup one morning and loved it- I got all buzzy, nearly lost my appetite for juice and therefore didn’t need to spend all day wishing for a bathroom which is the most agonizing part of my job. Of course, I had another (bigger) cup the next day. It picked me up to an uncomfortable, jittery high and dropped me to a barely functioning heap by evening. I literally felt hungover the next day. 

Today…oh today…I’ve never felt so much conflict in my mind about continuing with this juice feast. If I could have recorded my brain over the course of the day it would have sounded something like this: I am so DONE with this juice feast, why didn’t I stop at day 60 when I really wanted to??…I really feel fine, I don’t know what else I’m possibly looking to accomplish…Well, maybe I’ll just hang on through the weekend (which I’m spending with Wellah) and then break…but I hate weird numbers, I should probably stop at 75 or something like that…oh my GOD I don’t think I can last beyond today, let alone through the weekend, let alone to DAY 90!!!…ok I’m feeling better, 90 is probably alright…no, no way, why did I every say I’d do this? Why did I blog about it? Why does everyone keep saying “I know you can do it!!” when all I want to do is scream at them, “Let me quit!!! (…and don’t be disappointed in me)”…ugh this whole thing is so pointless, am I just going to spend the next 4 weeks in utter misery, fighting with myself? Am I going to quit and be devastated over it?…

One of the things that makes juice feasting so difficult is that it makes everything so glaringly obvious. Everything I don’t want to look at, every area I’m unhappy with, everything I’m afraid of…it’s right there in front of me. When I’m eating, it’s easy to ignore things or let things continue long after I could have put a stop to them. It’s easy to tune out. I really can’t do that right now and I think I’m wondering if I can handle it.

A friend posted this to Facebook tonight from Martha Beck:

“Lately I’ve become thoroughly exasperated with the part of my tiny brain that insists on continuously creating fear. Fear of dying soon. Fear of living too long. Fear of being alone. Fear of being spread out too thin between loved ones. Fear of drought. Fear of flooding. Fear of change. Fear of things staying the same.

ENOUGH, ALREADY!

I’ve tried suppressing my fear. It gets stronger. I’ve tried looking for the bright side, which simply focuses my mind on the inevitable dark side. I’ve tried medication, meditation, mediation, and a host of other ations. None of them worked. But recently, I’ve discovered something that does.

Here’s the thing: we can’t save ourselves from fear by seeking safety, because safety always means there’s something to be safe from—in other words, something to fear. The way out of fear isn’t safety. It’s freedom.

For a few weeks, I’ve been replacing every fearful thought in my head with a loving-kindness wish to be free from that specific fear.
When I’m scared that all the polar bears will die, I don’t say “Keep the polar bears alive!” until I’ve said, “May I be free from my fear for the polar bears.”
When I’m sure I have some dire illness, I don’t think “I must be healthy forever!” I think, “May I be free from my fear of illness.”
When I miss someone, I don’t pester the person with needy phone calls. I think, “May I be free from my fear of separation.”
Etcetera.

This request for freedom has been granted with subtle but remarkable power. I’ve had one of the calmest months on record. Freedom is landing me in peace, a state from which I function far more effectively—and safely—than anxiety. So feel free to try it. Really. Feel free.”

May I be free from the fear of continuing (or not continuing) this juice feast. May I be free from the fears of other people’s opinions and judgements either way.

Interestingly, just those thoughts loosened something up in me. Without my fears I don’t have a problem continuing. Let’s do this.

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90 Day Juice Feast. Day 58. Unusual Juiceables: Rhubarb.

 

I’m coming up on day 60! I was reading Wellah’s blog the other day (she’s also on day 58) and she mentioned her intense cravings for heavy food (braised chicken!)  and said “I’m ready to eat when the thought of chewing on celery sticks makes me flip out with excitement and joy, “I can’t imagine anything else more delicious than some celery sticks right now!! Gimme, gimme, gimme!!”- and I realized…this is how I’ve been feeling for awhile. I have the occasional craving for cheese or a burrito but mostly what I’ve been thinking about is crispy lettuce, sprouts, figs, and yes, celery. I mentioned to her in the comments section that I feel like if I stopped at day 60 I would have accomplished enough. Emotionally, the way I feel about food and life, made such a swift shift. During the last fast, I lived in fear of eating again. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I saw myself eating things that wouldn’t make me feel good in quantities that weighed me down. I’m going to write more about this later but I’ll just say for now that I don’t have that fear anymore. Not that I think I’m going to be the perfect model of healthy eating, I’m just not afraid.

I doubt I’ll actually stop at day 60- I’m too curious about what another month could hold. And Wellah would be going on without me and I just know I’d regret missing out on finishing 90 days with her! It’s been so fun sharing this experience, even when we haven’t caught up for awhile, its amazing knowing that she’s always on the same day I am.

My sleep patterns are still way off which is frustrating. I’m used to being such a good sleeper but it’s rare to get a full night these days. I’m still playing with weekly water fasts and I’m just so intrigued by the experience that I wonder if it’s something I’ll continue even after the juice feast. We’ll see, at the end of the last one I’d considered a weekly juice feast but eating was just way too much fun for that :D

I came across a pile of bright, crisp, fresh rhubarb at Whole Foods last week and instantly knew I had to try juicing it! It’s a bit tart and I don’t overuse it but I always love a little variety and the combo below is my favorite so far.

Sweet Tart Juice

Rhubarb Sweet Tart

2 stalks rhubarb

2 apples

1 lb carrots

1 jicama

Juice.

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90 Day Juice Feast. Day 54. Juicing Herbs and “The Fires of Transformation”

The days currently seem to be just creeping by. The other day I posted something on Instagram with the hashtag “day 56″…It was day 52. Oops. I’m not trying to rush it by, really! Although I often think about how 60 days would be a lovely stopping point. But then I get curious…what might I miss if I stopped that soon? I think about days 60-90 on my last juice feast and some of the biggest breakthroughs (and toughest days…) happened then. So I’ll probably get to 90 but there’s a part of me that’s not going without a fight ;)

There was a yoga class on Youtube recently where the teacher said something that has really stuck with me. We were moving through some tough poses and she reminded her “at home viewers” that the heat and discomfort and (potentially) resistance building in our bodies were just the “fires of transformation”. That shift in perspective made the discomfort more bearable and I’ve found myself using that thought a lot. Moments where I want to tense up and resist where I’m at or eat a bottle of spirulina or guzzle juice until my stomach aches because I’m frustrated or stressed…these uncomfortable feelings are the fires of transformation. I find myself breathing more and tuning out (a little) less. I think it might be a life-long practice but it’s an idea that’s helping me enjoy the current journey more.

***

Juicing Herbs. My little Breville juicer does not take to it well. We had a stash of rosemary that was bordering going bad but I’d never had luck throwing it in the juicer so I thought, why I can’t I use the same trick I use for bananas and dates? So I juiced up my produce and threw it in the blender with a sprig of rosemary, strained out the pulp and had an incredibly fragrant mid-morning treat!

Red Rosemary Citrus Juice

Red Rosemary Citrus

5 oranges

4 beets

1 sprig rosemary

Juice produce and pour into blender with rosemary. Blend thoroughly and strain fiber through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

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90 Day Juice Feast. Day 52. Spicy Vanilla Ginger Coconut Water.

It’s beet quite a week here in juice feasting land! I mentioned on my last post that I was in the middle of an 11 day stretch of work days- thankfully that’s now coming to an end! I did start to go a little crazy this week and my body wasn’t feeling so good. I backed off on the super cleansing/awakening stuff (beet and wheatgrass juice) and had a little spirulina and chlorella. The “treat” unfortunately did not help me feel any better and I was in pretty bad shape the day before yesterday. Soooo yesterday I had a short shift in the morning and took the day to water fast. I was pretty miserable and slept as much as I possibly could. This morning I woke up feeling sparkly and rejuvenated! I broke 36 hours on water with a diluted carrot juice spiced up with some DoTERRA ginger essential oil and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Carrot Juice with Ginger Essential Oil and Cinnamon

I’m not sure why I keep trying all these pills and potions- I never really feel anything when I take them. Today I finished a jar of Healthforce Nutritionals SCRAM parasite cleanse. I’ve heard from people who have taken this before that it was intense. You’re supposed to take 10 pills a day so I was braced for something crazy! I felt nothing. Maybe I don’t have parasites or maybe since my system is so calm with no food going in there wasn’t a lot for the SCRAM to run in to. Alas, I can be a sucker for marketing. As the jar says: IT’S YOU OR THEM! Move them out!!- how could I resist?? I’ve heard a million times that we all have undesirable parasites in our bodies so why not take the chance to get them out? Well, I have no idea if I had them or if it did anything but I currently feel no better or worse off.

SCRAM parasite cleanse

I’ll leave this little update with the most delectable coconut water concoction I’ve had yet:

Spicy Vanilla Ginger Coconut Water

Spicy Vanilla Ginger Coconut Water

32 oz coconut water

pinch of vanilla bean

pinch of cayenne

2 drops DoTERRA ginger essential oil

Stir.

Attempting some pre-work relaxation in the sunshine on day 50.

Attempting some pre-work relaxation in the sunshine on day 50.

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90 Day Juice Feast. Day 48. Lazy Blogger.

So I’ve noticed that the less I blog, the less I feel a need to blog. During my first juice feast I felt like I really needed it to keep myself accountable. This time I’m not really worried about that. I do have a variety of topics I want to address and a stash of recipes I’d like to post but the daily “I’m feeling this way or that” doesn’t feel as necessary.

I will give a quick update as to the last few days and probably continue on from here with updates a few times a week. The last couple of days were really wonderful, I felt intensely relaxed and content and was really enjoying just about everything. Today I feel tight and tired and a little bit sad. I’ve gone from “90 days won’t be nearly enough!!!” to “90 days can’t come fast enough…how about 60?” I’m allowing myself to feel this way, trying not to escape it, just feeling it, asking myself questions to figure out why I might be feeling this way etc. I kind of feel like it might just be because I’m in the middle of an eleven day stretch of working with no days off and it just feels kind of depressing. I love time to myself, I love quiet, and I am truly an introvert extraordinaire. I’m feeling a pretty strong need to just crawl into my shell and stay there but it’s not an option at the moment. The really good news is I will soon be going from two jobs to just one and the thought of more than one day off a week with lots of time for long walks, sunshine, books, baths and some more water fasting sounds unbelievably appealing.

Cravings and cleansing. I’ve been releasing just heaps and heaps of mucus and at the same time craving cheese like crazy. I’m looking forward to the upswing of this low time for sure, it’s definitely feeling challenging. Rainbow Juices

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2014 Winter Juice Feast. Days 44 and 45. CinnaBeet Love Juice and How to “Juice” a Banana.

Today marks the HALF WAY point in this juice feast. Someone asked me the other day what day I was on and when I said 43 they were like “whoah, not even halfway yet!”…and I was sitting there thinking “it’s all going too fast!”.  It actually feels a little bittersweet to be halfway through. I’m just enjoying this process so much. High days, low days, and everything in between. Yesterday was a mish mash, I didn’t sleep well the night before (my one major complaint on this juice fast) and had some work stress on top of that. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the highlight of my day was pure vanity. A dress that I bought last Fall that never really fit slipped on easily. Also a jacket that I’ve owned for years but never been able to shut buttoned up with no problems. I was asked recently if I knew how much weight I’d lost and I had to admit that I have no idea! It doesn’t feel like a ton, just like things have tightened up and my clothes fit differently.

Today was lovely, lovely, lovely. I went for a walk in the park afterwork and it was completely dreamy…I kind of just wanted to hug everyone…and I’m not really much of a hugger! I haven’t talked a lot about colon cleansing on this fast but I’d really be nowhere without all the waste that’s leaving my body. The past couple of days it has truly just smelled awful for the first time that I can recall. Yesterday I also had a really horrible taste in my mouth. Thank goodness for tongue scrapers! Alright. Enough of the gross. Here is a vibrant pink juice in honor of Valentines day (which I have to admit, we don’t actually celebrate) that includes the sweetness of fresh banana! The trick to “juicing” a banana is just to blend it with your juice and strain the pulp through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. I don’t do it often but it’s a great treat!

CinnaBeet Love Juice

CinnaBeet Love Juice

4 oranges, peeled

4 beets

1 very ripe banana, peeled

cinnamon

Juice oranges and beets and pour juice into a blender with the banana. Blend until completely smooth and strain through a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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