Tag Archives: Weight loss

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.

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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?

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

100 Calories- Vegetable Edition!

100 Calorie packs are everywhere, but have you ever wondered how many vegetables would equal the same amount? You might be surprised by how much more you could be eating if you choose these options instead.  Check out my findings below…

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*20 Baby Bella Mushrooms = 100 Calories

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*30 Baby Carrots = 100 Calories

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*4 Medium Green Peppers = 100 Calories

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* 3 1/2- 5 oz. packages of Baby Spinach = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Onions = 100 Calories

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* 14 Brussels Sprouts = 100 Calories

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*3 Medium Summer Squash = 100 Calories

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*3- 5 oz. containers of Baby Kale = 100 Calories

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*45 Grape Tomatoes = 100 Calories

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*30 Asparagus Spears = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Cucumbers = 100 Calories

cucumber

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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!

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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.

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**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!

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What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like??

This definitely puts some things into perspective…

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The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

stop obesity

Currently, approximately one in three kids and teens in the United States is overweight or obese (that’s THREE TIMES the amount found thirty years ago)  In today’s society, children are being diagnosed with chronic diseases which we use to associate with aging (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol,  etc). Overweight and obese children not only suffer from these debilitating diseases, but they are also more susceptible to poor body image, self esteem issues, and even depression (If i remember correctly, kids can be quite the brutal bullies during those middle school years).

childhood obesity

While there have been some strides in improving the school-wellness atmosphere, studies show that kids who eat lunch at school are more unhealthy and have a lower academic performance than those who do not.

Here are some scary statistics related to childhood obesity:

  • The avg. dollar amount allocated for food cost per school lunch nationwide is barely $1 and 25 cents of that is spent on milk.
  • The beef and poultry used in schools are held to lower standards than the standards used in fast-food chains like McDonald’s.
  • Many schools no longer have access to free drinking water.
  • The average American child eats less than one serving of fruit a day and anywhere from 30 to 160 pounds of sugar per year.
  • 12% of American kids already have Type 2 Diabetes. The CDC predicts that 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes.
  • 1 in 4 children take prescription medication daily for a chronic illness.
  • The majority of the calories  in the avg child’s diet come from sodas, sweets, salty snacks, and fast food.

apple slice

It seems that as funding shortages continue to occur, the most important areas are being undermined. Food and physical education funding has been one of the first things to go.  Luckily, in the past few years more and more healthy school initiatives are showing up in our districts. But, in my opinion these so called “healthy foods” that are now being served are nothing more than a processed couterpart. How hard would it be to have fresh local ingredients show up in all of our schools?

Here are some tips that you as a parent can use to steer clear of the childhood obesity epidemic:

  •  WATER!  Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with WATER.
  • 5210.  Advocate the 5210 goal mentioned in my previous post. (Daily goal: 5 fruits/veggies, Limit screen time to 2 hours, 1 hour physical activity,   0 sugar sweetened beverages)
  •  Fruits and veggies! The more fruits and veggies you can get your child to eat, the better! Substituting unhealthy breakfast foods and snacks with a green smoothie is a great start! Also, making fresh veg/fruit juices works wonders…Try making Spinach-Orange juice or Carrot-Apple.
  • Re-vamp your pantry.  If you are eating optimally then your refrigerator (NOT your pantry) will hold the majority of your foods (Fruits, vegetables, maybe organic meats, etc)  Throwing out the processed foods in your pantry will prevent your child from snacking on chips, cookies, etc.
  •  Be a role model.  For the most part, kids look up to you as parents and want to mimic your actions. Thus, eating healthy and exercising will help encourage your child to do the same.
  •  Eat slowly.  Teach your child to eat slowly and thoroughly chew their food.  This will help them realize when they are truly full and not overeat.
  • Reinforce.   Sometimes kids reject new foods, but if you continue to introduce these foods they are more likely to try them.  Also, presenting them in creative ways will help.  Make a creative snack using fruits and vegetables or create a fun healthy cooking class for them to get involved.
  • Never reward you child with food.  This is never a good idea.  This causes them to expect foods anytime they do something good and may also lead to cravings of these foods as adults
  • Moderation is key.  You do not want to completely restrict bad foods from your kids as it will most likely cause them to want them more. (Everyone wants what they can’t have) So, moderation. moderation. moderation!
  • Increase physical activity.  When I was a kid, we would be outside playing until our parents forced us to come inside. Unfortunately, today kids seem to be plastered to their video games, TVs, and computers.  Encourage your child to get outside and play. At least 60 minutes of physical activity each day is clutch.
  • Make it fun!  Think of creative ways to encourage your child to eat healthy and exercise.  You do not want to scold them on the topic.  Just encourage and educate them on why adopting these habits will benefit their life overall. Pedometers are also a fun way for your child to keep up with how many steps they walk in a day. Make it a game where each child strives to get 12,000-15,000 steps in a day.
  • Education. Providing your kids with the knowledge and skill set necessary for them to make their own positive choices is vital. I think if I had known the truth about what I was putting in my body at a young age, I would’ve made much wiser food choices.  You want to trust that your child has the ability to fend for themselves in a world bombarded with junk food and unnatural ingredients!
  • Get involved.  Help initiate school wellness programs at your child’s school and demand changes for more healthy foods.

healthy kid

If these ads don’t get the point across, I don’t know what does:

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Filed under Health, Tips/Tricks, Weight loss

Food vs. Pharmacy

Is this illustration something that you guys have noticed? 

I know I have!!  Choose healthy foods to prevent ending up like the left side of this cartoon!

health vs pharmacy

 

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Taste the Rainbow!

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Always strive to get every color of the rainbow at each meal. Phytochemicals typically differ based on the color of the fruits and vegetables that you’re eating, thus consuming each color will greatly benefit your health!

Healthy and Happy Friday!

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