Friday, August 17, 2012

The Day After The Cleanse - Fail. Epic Fail.

So, today was the long-awaited (well, three-days-awaited) day to return to "real" food. The BPC authors made a point to stress that, just as it was important to prepare for the cleanse, it's important  to ease out of it. And that's pretty much what I didn't do.

I was sooooooo excited to eat real food. And I kind of let that carry me away. I started out ok, green juice then smoothie with yogurt. I know they said fruits and veggies, but I really missed yogurt and it had to return. Then blended soup and grilled zucchini for lunch. And then the rails came off. Trail mix, cereal and milk, peanut butter. God, I was so hungry!

Of course, I feel awful now. Not just physically, but my stomach is strained. I feel foggy, my head just isn't clear. And I don't want to undo all the good results and hard work I put into this.

So tomorrow I plan on going back to more juice. I don't have this balance thing down (let's be honest, I never have). On the juice, I felt in control, like I knew what I was doing. Yea, I know, I can't do this for a long time, but I feel terrible right now. I'm thinking the "Juice til Dinner" plan to ease back into food.

What I'm saying is, they're serious about having an exit plan. I wasn't, and now I'm paying the price, mentally and physically.

Blue Print Juice Cleanse - Complete: Final Results

Yay, I made it through! And the final verdict is: down 2.5 lbs. Sweet! But, more importantly, I feel pretty good. And I have a new tool to add to my regime. I feel like I could go on (if I had to), but thankfully I don't. I'm excited and nervous to go back to real food. Excited because, obviously, real food is awesome, but nervous because I don't want to slip and go back to my old ways. And I suppose I could have lost more weight if I had worked out harder, but I wasn't sure how the cleanse would affect me and I didn't want to be super hungry (or even hungrier, as it was).

Last night was definitely tough though. I went out with friends and really struggled not to eat something, anything. We were at a Mexican place and, god, it smelled good. I had about 5 chips before I started getting a little queasy. They were so salty and greasy; it was a shock to the system.

I woke up this morning and made a green juice. I do actually like the way it tastes. And there's no way I'm eating that much kale on a regular basis. But I had some soup for lunch, and man, that was good. So many flavors! And so savory. I'm pretty happy. The cleanse authors warn about jumping back into real food too quickly, so I think I'll make some juices later.

While I, um enjoyed might not be the right word, but you get the idea, I don't think I'm going to take this as far as the authors do. Raw, vegan, food combining is not going to fly with me. I like hot food, and dairy, and lots of things all together. I do think I can come back to juice when I need to. And next time, because I'm sure there will be, I'm going to do more green juices.

I'm not really sure I "felt" any cleansing though. I did have a bit of a break out on my cheek, so maybe that's all there is. I certainly don't feel any awesome energy burst or great clarity. Maybe because it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be? I don't know. Maybe next time...

Just one last thought, and this goes back to the beginning, I think one thing that helped me was taking the preparation phase fairly seriously. I was nervous that this would be unbearably hard, and the authors cautioned that jumping right into the cleanse could be a shock to the system, making it all the more difficult to stick to. Even though I was at a wedding over the weekend, on Sunday and Monday I made an effort to stick to the pre-cleanse plans. I think doing that made it easier to transition to the cleanse. And I felt really ready for it to start.

But, now I'm ready to get back to real life. We'll check in later and see if this really sticks!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blue Print Cleanse - Day Two: A Cashew Allergy?

There's less to add today. I felt pretty good when I woke up, not starving, but as the day progressed, I got hungrier. Today was scheduled to be all juices, no smoothies, but I had to make something more substantial, so I blended up an avocado-banana-rice milk smoothie. Um, gross. Talk about an appetite suppressant, haha. I got about a third of it down before I gave up. It was pretty satisfying though.

Also, I may have cheated  - just a bit! I had a spoonful of almond butter. And it was awesome. I don't even feel bad.

Most importantly, I think I'm allergic to cashews. Last night, after I drank the cashew milk, I had a bit of an itchy feeling in the back of my throat and nausea. It wasn't a big deal, and I chalked it up to "cleansing" (and possibly drinking the beverage too fast). But tonight I had the same feeling. Almost as soon as I felt it, I knew it was an allergic reaction. I had the drink about an hour ago and even after taking an allergy med, I still feel bad. This is a total bummer because I love cashews.

The weird thing is, I eat a fair amount of nuts, and I've never had a reaction like this. I'm wondering if it's due to the large quantity of cashews. I almost never eat this many nuts in one sitting. And I've never had a reaction to walnuts, almonds or pistachios. I'll have to do a bit more research about this.

I was able to get more out of my leafy greens today. I left them a bit damp after washing, balled them up and put them in the chute with a juicer fruit. I think they got better traction going down today, so that was nice. There definitely seems to be a lot of waste with juicing. I wish I could compost or something, but I can't while living in my urban jungle. I suppose if I weren't cleansing, I could save the pulp and do... something with it. Any ideas?

I'm excited tomorrow is the last day. This hasn't been as hard as I thought, but it is cramping my social life. I skipped out on happy hour with friends because I knew I'd be too tempted by food and drinks.

I'm pretty excited for the third day. I feel like I'm in a groove and can really make it, but I'm also pretty excited for it to be over. I've been craving sushi, of all things, and I think I can see that in my plans for this weekend. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Blue Print Cleanse - Day One Complete

I have so many thoughts swirling around right now, so I'll try to be clear and concise. I was hoping to get this done earlier in the day, but I didn't have time.

I know, the first things you want to know is - did I cheat? And the answer is: No! I definitely thought I'd be tempted, but I really (surprisingly) wasn't. Yea, I'm kind of hungry (we'll get to that in a minute), but it's important to me to succeed at this as intended. I don't want to have an asterisk next to the fact that I completed this three day cleanse. I know, the authors don't stress perfection, so I don't feel any pressure from the design. It's mostly for me.

I would say that I feel good. Not great, but not terrible either. I went for a long walk this evening, but I don't think I would feel up to a long run or a CrossFit class.

As for the hunger thing, well, it is what it is. I went out to run some errands today, but they took longer than planned (as usual), and let me tell you, by the time I got home, I was STARVING. I was ready to eat anything. The funny thing is I didn't want to eat just anything. I really just wanted my next juice. The good thing about the Renovation cleanse is that there are smoothies. Thank God! That smoothie really held me.

Overall, the juices are pretty good. I'm wishing I had a masticating juicer to get more out of the leafy greens because it seems like they're just passing through the juicer, but the green ones are definitely still green. All the juices are actually pretty sweet/tangy, even the green juices. I'm a person that tends to crave salty food, so I feel like I might need to make a more savory juice. Either that or I'm going to eat that pureed mushroom soup (drink the soup?). Well, it's only a few days, I'm pretty sure I can make it.

Also, I wish I had know that you have to peel bananas before freezing them. That was a gross mess that I didn't plan on dealing with.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Juice Cleanse - Day One, Drink One

Has anyone else jumped on this bandwagon and done a juice cleanse? Well, I finally have and today is my first day. I've just been feeling so awful lately. I was traveling and got sick, gained some weight, and just haven't been able to stick to my workout routine. I also watched the movie Fat, Sick, And Nearly Dead, in which people take control of their health through juicing. So, I decided to go for it, and here I am on the first day of a three day cleanse.

I did some research and decided on two things. First, I decided to purchase a juicer and make the juices myself. There are companies that will ship you the juices every day, but wow, those are expense. Plus, I feel like I can continue to use my juicer in the future, even when I'm not cleansing. Second, I decided to use the plan set out in the book The 3-Day Cleanse: Drink Fresh Juice, Eat Real Food, and Get Back into Your Skinny Jeans. This book is written by the founders of The Blue Print Cleanse, and there's a good amount of information on preparing to cleanse, after the cleanse, answers to the questions you might have along the way.

I was pretty excited to start today. I went out an bought all my supplies (except the parsley, which I forgot and need to get later). I got up this morning and went to make my juice... and realized I bought zucchini instead of cucumbers. This is so me. I don't pay close attention at the store and end up with random foods. Luckily there is a new farmer's market near my place this afternoon, so I hope to get my cukes there. The book doesn't talk about substitutions, but I threw some carrots in there instead. And let me tell you -

That juice is pretty freakin' good. I was dreading it, thinking it would taste like dirt, but it was really good. Maybe this is due to using the wrong ingredients, but hey, I feel like I'm off to a good start!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Hate Running, So Why Do I Run?

I hate running. I'll be the first person to admit it. I feel like every step I take is torture, and I constantly think to myself "I cannot go on." I signed up for the 2011 Cherry Blossom 10 miler because I thought maybe it would make me learn to love running. Wrong. I got to 6.5 miles in the training and I was like "not another step."

So why have I gone running twice in the past two days?

I can't explain it, but sometimes I just feel like I need to run. Admittedly, yesterday I was procrastinating. Even so, a walk would have sufficed. Today I was so frustrated over this mess that has become my tuition and the GI Bill that I felt like I would go crazy if I spent one more second in my apartment.

It was like Forest Gump, and I just needed to take off running.

I just felt like I had so much energy and frustration pent up that I needed to get it out. There's something about living in a small apartment that can make you go stir crazy. Luckily the weather's been nice enough (not too humid) so I can run without succumbing to heat stroke in 10 seconds.

But, there's also something about running for yourself. When I was training ("training") for the race, I felt a lot of pressure to follow the exact schedule. And I felt like a failure if I didn't. Now I'm just running when the mood strikes and it's actually kind of fun. Kind of.

I do like the idea of exercising without so much of a regimen. I think a lot of people probably feel the way I did and quit when they feel like they've fallen behind or gotten too far off their over-ambitious training plan. Now I just plan to exercise most days per week and I'm happy with that. Although my quads, not so happy right now...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down

My friend's husband sucks. Even though I only met him last night, I'm confident in my assessment of him. Of the many reasons why he sucks (his need to be the center of attention, his dismissal of her friends, the fact that he's a party pooper) there is one reason why he really sucks is this: he thinks it's ok to judge other people for what they eat. Out loud. Well, more specifically, he thinks it's ok to criticize the food choices of women.

Not cool, bro.

First off, let me say, I know we all judge what other people eat. We all inspect who's eating what when. But it takes a special person to actually say something out loud to someone they don't actually know.

Let me set the scene: Sitting outside at a lovely Greek restaurant on a very nice night in DC. A third friend and I are first to arrive (by at least 20 minutes, and we know this), so we order drinks. I also order hummus because a) it's delicious and b) I'm hungry. Also, last time I checked, hummus was not a food that generally garnered disapproving comments. So I thought...

People start to arrive. Above-mentioned d-bag arrives. Other people order food and drinks. Hummus is offered to the table. Here's where things go wrong. I am eating my hummus with the bread provided and there's approximately 1/2 a pita left in the basket. Out of two originally brought. I am, I think, minding my own business when friend's husband says snidely "Do you want us to get you more bread or are you done eating."


I say "Do you have a problem with what I'm eating?" Then, trying to lighten the mood I add "I do love carbs, haha."

He goes "Yea, that is a lot of carbs." And then casts that side-long judgmental glance at my plate. Then, and this is where it gets good, I say "Well, that sangria has a lot of carbs. Are you saying that's better?" And he simply says "Yes, yes I am."

WTF dude. I don't even know you. And you're going to (stupidly) tell me that booze (not just booze, sangria) is better for me than hummus. Who is this guy??!! Anyone who's ever thought about dieting knows that alcohol is worse for your your diet than almost any food.

But, more importantly, what man, no, what person, thinks it's ok to judge someone else's food choices to their face. I'm not training to be an elite athlete or trying to be a movie star. This guy isn't anyone to me. So why would he think this is ok?

I'm mad just thinking about it. But it also makes me think about whether I judge people's food choices. Now, what this guy didn't know was that I hadn't eaten dinner. I'd been on a semi-awkward date where we split an ahi tuna appetizer. So, considering what I'd already eaten in the day, a nice hummus dish was perfect. That guy had just come from a steak dinner, so maybe my dish didn't appeal to him, but I certainly wasn't asking his input on it.

There's always extenuating circumstances. I didn't feel compelled to explain mine to him, but maybe before I judge other people, I'll think about what I don't know. And keep my opinions to myself.

And, yea, I finished the hummus.