Tag Archives: Exercise

10 Day Juice Fast- Complete!

I did it! I completed the 10 day juice cleanse on Friday. How I made it through Thanksgiving still baffles me, but I did it! The last five days of the juice fast were much easier than the beginning. I will say that there were two days that I did not drink enough juice and I noticed that my energy level was down. That being said, make sure you are drinking 5 to 6 juices a day to keep your energy at an all time high. You can read about the beginning of my fast here: 10 Day Juice Fast

green juice

Tips for transitioning off of a juice fast/cleanse:

-Continue to drink LOTS of water
-Slowly transition back into eating foods
-Start by drinking 2 or 3 juices a day with one meal being fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.
-Try to keep other foods to soups, smoothies, and salads to ease your digestive system back into motion.
-Don’t overeat. Eat smaller amounts of food throughout the day.
-Avoid dairy, meat, sugary foods, and whole grains the first week.
-Keep exercising.
-The more plant-based foods you can eat, the better!
-Keep drinking juice on a daily basis for optimal health!

I loved doing the 10 day juice cleanse! I now have more energy than I did before starting the fast. I have much better sleep patterns, waking up feeling rejuvenated and ready to go. I feel better overall and have noticed improvements in all facets of myself. I would definitely recommend a juice cleanse to anyone wanting to reboot their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It can enhance your life in more ways than you would imagine.

10 Comments

Filed under Juicing, Tips/Tricks

10 Day Juice Fast/Cleanse

Juice fasting.

I know, when you hear the word “fasting” negative thoughts such as starvation and impossible come to mind. But I’m talking about a JUICE fast. Juice fasting is about obtaining optimal health, boosting nutrition, detoxing, increasing energy, clearing your mind, and freeing yourself of stress and toxins. Juice fasting rejuvenates your body from the inside out. It completely detoxifies your body at the cellular and metabolic level. Think about how many times you eat during a day (I’m typically snacking every 3 hours), now imagine how much energy and time your body utilizes to digest that food. When you give your digestive tract a rest by only consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices packed with nutrients and live enzymes, your body has massive amounts of energy to focus on detoxifying and healing itself. The body has an innate ability to heal itself, we just have to allow it to do so. For those of you that may not know, a juice fast consists of drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices (notably green juices) and water for a set period of time (typically lasting 3-10 days, but many people have gone much longer).

Completing a juice cleanse will provide you with a wide array of health benefits, including:
-More energy
-Toxin removal
-Increases mental clarity
-Regulates digestive system
-Aids in Weight loss
-Improves sleep patterns
-Glowing complexion/clearer skin
-Stops food addictions and cravings
-Improves immune function

I am currently on day five of a ten day juice cleanse. I embarked on a juice fast over a year ago and feel it’s time to conquer another one. I did not blog about the first one so this time I figured I could give you guys some insight into my 10 day juice fast/cleanse. For me, juice fasting is about improving my mental, physical, and spiritual state. I am so passionate about incorporating fresh fruit and vegetable juices into your life. The rewards and benefits are undeniable. I drink at least one or two per day as it is so drinking only juice for 10 days actually excites me. I know it may seem like an impossible task to not chew anything for 10 days, but trust me you can do it! It is a difficult task, but a doable one.

The juice I made for the first few days:
juice fast

Here’s some insight into my fast thus far:

Day 1:

Today I was super stoked about starting the fast so it was easier than I thought. I have a cold press juicer and made enough juices to last me for the first three days which made it super convenient for me to grab a juice when I needed one. I’m drinking at least five- 16 oz. juices a day. Days 1-3 are typically the worst and hardest days of the fast. If you can get through those, the following days should get easier as your body welcomes the fast. I walked outside for an hour today. Mild exercise is okay, but anything too strenuous would be an overload. Walking outdoors is my  tranquil, spiritual, “me” time which I love and need. It allows me to reflect on things, clear my head, and focus on what is important. Overall, today was a great first day of fasting!

Day 2:

My energy level was a bit low today. I had a few headaches today, which is normal. Fatigue, irritability, insomnia, hunger pangs, and headaches are common in the first few days as the detoxification process begins and your body weans itself off food cravings and addictions. I craved food a few times throughout the day but drank tons of water anytime this occurred which helped! I did get a burst of energy late at night. Overall, I’d say today was a bit rough but not too horrible.

Day 3:

Today was much like day 2, still craved food a few times and had a headache at one point. My energy level seems to be higher today than it was yesterday. I have found that I have highs and lows when it comes to my energy level. Sometimes I feel run down and then there are times I will get random spurts of energy where I feel like Wonder Woman! I also felt a bit achy today.

photo (4)

Day 4:

I didn’t really think about food at all today. I almost have the mentality of being “too good” for food which helps in this process haha. I went for a walk in the morning and at night and found my energy level was quite high today. The fast has definitely become much easier today. I feel like I’m on top of the world and am excited about completing the ten days (crazy, right?!)

Day 5:

The past two days I have woken up at 5am on the dot without an alarm aka my sleep patterns are starting to regulate themselves and I sleep like a baby at night. My skin is clearing up and I feel super light and full of energy. Added bonus, I’m down five pounds. I have noticed an increase in mental clarity as well. I’d say the hardest part thus far is the cold weather. I allow myself a hot non-caffeinated herbal tea from time to time (which is allowed on a fast) to warm me up. I am pumped to see where the next five days take me and feel so much better than I did before starting this fast. Don’t let me fool you though, it does take mad willpower to stick to this. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Tips for Fasting/Cleansing:

-Drink at least 5 juices per day
-Drink TONS of water to help flush out toxins
-Experiment with juice recipes and find ones that you love. Creating a variety of tasty ones will make it much more appealing to drink.
-Don’t over exert yourself, especially the first few days when your energy level is low
-Know that symptoms of fatigue, irritability, headache, joint aches, hunger pangs, food cravings, and insomnia are normal during the first several days and should not be an excuse to give up.
-Drink non-caffeinated herbal teas from time to time to add some heat to your week
-Devote some time to yourself, whether it be through meditation, walking, prayer, etc.
-The first 3 days are rough…don’t let them get you down.
-Avoid watching TV- food commercials are torturous and hey, who needs TV anyways?!
-Get a juice fasting partner- It’s so much easier to complete with someone who is in the same boat as you and that provides encouragement.
-Make enough juices to last you several days for added convenience.
-If you need some juice recipes, I have lots on my blog!

I’ll keep you guys updated on my 10 day fast. I am most worried about Thanksgiving, Yes I will be that crazy girl juicing on Thanksgiving. I didn’t think that one through, but I know I can do it! If you have any questions about juice fasting, please feel free to ask!

**If you live in the Greenville, SC area and would like to order a cold-pressed juice cleanse, check out www.kukajuice.com

Have any of you completed a juice fast? What are your thoughts or experiences with juice fasting?

23 Comments

Filed under Energy, GO RAW, Health, Juicing, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

7 Reasons to Eat and Love Pumpkin!

Pumpkins: they are not just for carving anymore! One of my favorite things about Fall is pumpkins.  I love decorating them, but eating them ranks pretty high on my list of fall musts. This is the time of year where you see pumpkin flavored things everywhere.  Let me give you some reasons why you should be eating this vibrant fruit.

Image (12)

  1. High Fiber-Low Cal.  One cup of pumpkin has 5 grams of fiber and only 30 calories!  Thus, eating pumpkin will work wonders for your digestion while making you feel full faster. Studies also link diets high in dietary fiber to increased weight loss.
  2. Disease Fighting.  It’s rich orange color tells you that pumpkin is high in carotenoids.  Carotenoids are known to protect you from cancers, heart disease, lower your cholesterol, and even diminish signs of aging.
  3. Electrolytes.  Pumpkin actually contains more potassium than a banana  (560 mg compared to 420 mg). So, snacking on some pumpkin after a workout can be a great electrolyte booster!
  4. Vision Improver. Pumpkin contains large amounts of Vitamin A and Zeaxanthin which enhance your eye health. One serving of pumpkin will provide you with twice your daily needs for vitamin A.
  5. Mood Booster.  Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of tryptophan, the amino acid necessary for serotonin production.  Thus, snacking on pumpkin seeds will keep you happy for the holidays.
  6. Immunity.  The large amounts of carotenoids, zinc, and vitamin C found in pumpkin will improve your immune system and reduce your chances of getting sick.
  7. Detox.   Pumpkins are natural diuretics, which aid in flushing out toxins from the body, keeping you feeling refreshed and snazzy.

Fun Fact of the day: Pumpkins were once used for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Hmm….

Try avoiding pumpkin sweets.  Pureed pumpkin can be added to almost any of your favorite recipes.  Try roasting pumpkin with some of your favorite vegetables, Add pumpkin cubes to soups and chili,  Toss pumpkin seeds into your salads, or even try pumpkin juice and smoothies!

Image (11)

Fights diseases, aids in weight loss, and boosts mood? No wonder that pumpkin has a huge grin on its face!

6 Comments

Filed under Health, Tips/Tricks

How To Stop Emotional Eating

Thought I’d give this one a re-post today as emotional eating can creep up on us at any given moment.

 

Could stress be sabotaging your health and your waistline?

Ever find yourself drowning your sorrows into a pint of ice cream or mindlessly eating half a bag of potato chips out of sheer boredom? Ever been stressed or upset one second and munching on something the next, unable to recall why you started eating or how long you had spent binging? If so, then you have entered the realm of emotional eating.  But don’t feel too guilty because you are not alone.  Recent studies suggest that over 75% of overeating is caused by our emotions. “Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships, and low self-esteem can result in overeating and weight gain.”

stressed_is_desserts_spelled_backwards

Emotional eating is defined as eating for reasons other than hunger. It is one of the most prominent weight loss obstacles and can strike any one of us at any given moment.  Instead of eating due to physical cues from our bodies, such as a growling stomach, emotional eating is when our feelings trigger us to indulge and typically cause us to eat unhealthy foods.

Comfort foods are a huge part of emotional eating.  People often eat to get something off their minds or alleviate stress. The kicker is that stress is accompanied by a spike in insulin, which may actually cause you to crave unhealthy foods (foods that pack on the pounds, causing you even more stress) . For example, women- we tend to crave foods such as ice cream, cookies, and chocolate (anything sweet) when we’re feeling stressed or unhappy, while men tend to crave foods such as meat and pizza.  For many of us, there are foods from our childhood which trigger thoughts of reward and happiness.  We use these foods to fill a void in our life, masking our feelings of negativity and stress. These foods tend to take us to our happy place. But in reality, these foods create feelings of guilt and unhappiness in the long run.

When we ignore our body’s physical cues and eat anytime we feel bored, emotional, or stressed, our body receives unwanted extra calories which are then stored as excess fat leading to increased weight gain and health risks.  Even when you feel full, if you are eating to fulfill an emotional need, you are more likely to continue binge eating. If you eat because you are physically hungry, you are more likely to stop when you are full.

Rather than reaching for those comfort foods, we must develop new skills for dealing with boredom, stress, and self-esteem issues.

Here are some suggestions to help you battle emotional eating:

  • Get to the root of your feelings instead of drowning your thoughts with unhealthy comfort foods. You must address your issues head on and accept them instead of hiding from them. What is the root cause for your stress or your negative thoughts and how can you change them?
  • Keep a FOOD journal.  Write down everything you eat while noting your hunger level on a scale from 1-10 to help bring to light if you are eating when you are truly hungry or for other reasons.  Also address your feelings for that day in your journal.
  • Keep a GRATITUDE journal. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, keeping a gratitude journal for even just ONE week can boost your mood for up to 6 months. A gratitude journal is simply writing down what you are thankful for every day, highlighting the positive moments of that day. It’s something simple you can add to your routine that can have significant impact on your mood.
  • EXERCISE.  As the movie Legally Blonde so gloriously highlighted, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you HAPPY” 🙂  This will help combat stress, poor body image, and feelings of negativity, diminishing the urge to superfluously eat.
  • Drink water.  You’d be surprised how drinking a big glass of water can curb your cravings and we all know our bodies need water, so it’s a win-win!
  • Find something more productive and rewarding to do instead of eating. Go on a walk, call a friend, start a new hobby, go to the gym, meditate, read a book, enjoy the outdoors, do a devotional, etc..  Replacing the eating with a more positive action will give you a greater sense of self-worth and happiness while eradicating the bad habit of emotional eating.
  • Stay busy!  The more free time you have on your hands, the more time you have to get lost in negative thoughts or even boredom which will lead to more eating.
  • Replace the unhealthy foods with healthy ones.  I will be the first to say that the more healthy fruits and vegetables you eat, the more your body will crave them instead of the high-fat, high-sugar ones.  It may seem difficult at first, but once you can eradicate the addictive sugary foods- you will be amazed by how much you do not think about them. The more you can adopt a plant-strong diet, the better you will feel!
  • Moderation, Moderation, Moderation!  I know for many of us, eliminating our comfort food is out of the question and realistically telling you that you can never have that food will actually cause you to crave it more, leading to a possible binge.  That being said, allow yourself a SMALL amount of the food. For example, create your own 100-calorie portions so you are not tempted to eat the entire bag of potato chips in one sitting or buy the bite-sized Ben & Jerry’s portions so you don’t find yourself eating an entire pint. Or even better, find a healthy version of your unhealthy food..the possibilities are endless!
  • Surround yourself with positive people and thoughts.  Feelings of stress and inadequacy are triggers for emotional eating, therefore the more you can feel great about yourself and have happy thoughts, the less you will be tempted to eat. The more you eat healthy and have a positive body-image, the more you can enjoy life and eliminate negativity.
  • Relax. If you are super stressed, take a load off! Get a massage, take a nap, take a weekend vacation, do some yoga, meditate, or pray. You want to diminish the stress instead of piling it on.
  • Don’t give up!  Setbacks are bound to happen. Think of a setback as a minor detour on a long journey. Do not feel as though you have failed if you have a day where you give into your emotional temptations. Jump right back in and stay positive!
  • Stay in tune with your thoughts.  We live such fast paced and hectic lives that many times we cannot stop to realize that we are having feelings of stress and anxiety. Try to stop and cope with these feelings before they have passed you by and you’ve eaten your way through it.
  • Parents–Do NOT reward your kids with junk food.  This could haunt your child all the way to adulthood. Rewarding your kids with treats, such as ice cream and cookies will  make your child expect a food treat when they do something good, causing them to subconsciously reach for these junk food items later in life as well.
  • Eat for FUEL.  Remember to listen to your body. Is your body physically telling you to eat or are you eating just because you want to? Eat to live instead of living to eat 🙂

8 Comments

Filed under Exercise, Health, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

8 Natural Laws of a Healthy Life

I came across this today and fell in love.  The Weimar Institute’s approach (listed below) to a healthy life and curing disease is to have a NEW START.  This is a great approach to healthy living and the best part is, everything on the list is free…besides the food of course! But hey, we can always grow our own organic food, can’t we?!  Here are the 8 natural laws of health that we should all abide by when adopting a  N.E.W. S.T.A.R.T:     

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health and recovery. Adopting a plant based diet, especially one rich in fresh vegetable juices, will ensure that you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Exercise

Action is a law of life. Muscle tone and strength are lost without exertion, but exercise improves the health of body, mind, and spirit multiplying vitality and health.

Water

Because the body is 70% water, keeping well hydrated and knowing what and when to drink are essential to health.
So DRINK WATER! DRINK WATER! DRINK WATER!

Sunlight

The sun is the established energy source ordained by God to sustain the cycle of life for plants and animals. Humans need ample amounts of sunlight to live. Most of us aren’t obtaining optimal amounts of sunlight due to our jobs and so forth.

Temperance

Using good things moderately and avoiding the bad is obviously wise, yet often hard to practice. Temperance can be neither bought nor earned, but is rather an important gift of God, a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Moderation is key.

Air

The body’s most essential resource is air. More important than food or water, proper breathing and pure air are fundamental to good health.  Outside air is much better for us than inside air, so GO OUTSIDE as much as possible.

Rest

Restoration requires rest because sleep allows the body to renew itself. Healing hormones are most active between 10pm and 2 am but we have to be sleeping for these to really be working within us. Make sure you are getting some good shut-eye, especially at decent hours of the night.

Trust In Divine Power

Directly linked to physical health (Proverbs 3:5-6), trust in God is a gift leading to right choices. At the end of the day we must put faith in God to guide us down the right path, heal us, and allow us to continue leading healthy lives.

 

8 Comments

Filed under Health, Tips/Tricks

Eat Your Veggies!

This made me laugh. But on a serious note, in my experiences, I have found this to be so true.  Mainstream doctors do not typically come out and encourage healthy eating, vitamins, etc.  They are usually backing the pharmaceutical industry. It’s all about the  money these days so eat your veggies and prove them wrong! Imagine a world where EVERYONE eats healthy…talk about Utopia! I love the quote by Andrew Saul:  “Good Health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars”

veggies

good health

5 Comments

Filed under Tips/Tricks

Green Smoothie Recipe

This is by far my favorite green smoothie recipe. I think the more simple you keep the recipe, the better! Green smoothies are a great way to start your day. They make great snacks or meal replacements and kids even love them!

photo(8)

What you need:

-1 1/2- 2 cups organic spinach (I just pack as much as I can in there)

-3/4 cup frozen organic strawberries

-1/2-3/4 cup fresh squeezed organic orange juice (fresh squeezing your orange juice is much better than the commercial ones)

*Blend thoroughly, add more juice or frozen strawberries depending on the consistency you prefer.

photo(10)

**I have a NutriBullet and LOVE it. It pulverizes any fruit or vegetable and results in an ideal consistency smoothie!

I also alternate adding boosts such as wheatgrass, tsp of spirulina, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc!

photo(9)

9 Comments

Filed under Healthy Recipes, Smoothies