Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Getting Juicy

I've decided I hate the word juicy.  
It's ridiculous, I know.  
But it sounds so gross.  

You may remember that last week I did a sort of juice fast.  I stopped drinking caffeine, juiced fresh fruits and vegetables every morning and drank one juice for breakfast, ate a small lunch of fruits and vegetables, and drank a juice in the afternoon.  Then I ate a small dinner of vegetables.  I also tried to drink at least 80 ounces of water daily.  

I expected the week to be really difficult.  I don't even really like juice.  Prior to last week, I may have had juice to drink (and by juice, I mean out of a bottle that is purchased at the store) approximately two times a year.  I'm just not a juice drinker.  I also, while drastically changing the way I was eating, stopped drinking any caffeine.  At all.  My two main sources of liquid before last week?

I pretty much drank a caffeinated beverage all day long.  I was probably more nervous about not drinking diet coke and coffee than I was about essentially not eating!  Monday was rough - I had a killer headache all day long.  Tuesday was better and I had a headache only in the morning.  By Wednesday, my headache was gone entirely!  I replaced the diet coke and coffee throughout the day with bottled water, either plain, with fresh squeezed lemon, or fruit splash water.  I did have a couple of Crystal Light single serve packets mixed in water, but I tried to avoid artificial sweeteners.  

The bad parts about juicing for a week?  There really weren't any "bad" parts.  Cleaning the juicer is a pain, but I had to do it once a day.  It took me about 15 minutes in the morning to make my juices for the day.  I would take one to work in a cup with lots of ice, and I would take the other in a blender bottle like this:

However, that 15 minutes of juicing and ten minutes of cleaning up was essentially all of my food prep for the day.  I would have a few minutes of steaming some veggies or cutting them up in the evening, but that was it!  Obviously I still had to pack lunches for the kids, make breakfast for them, cook dinner, etc., but I would have to do that anyway.  Juicing did not add anything in terms of "work" to my day.  

The worst part - the absolute worst - was Sunday.  We had Chris' birthday party on Sunday, and I make everyone a special birthday dinner for their party.  The birthday person gets to pick whatever he or she wants for dinner.  Chris' selection?

Turkey dinner.  I had not eaten anything other than fruits and vegetables in a week.  I had some butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and a small (like, 1/4 cup) serving of cornbread stuffing.  And I paid for it dearly.  My stomach was a wreck.  And by a wreck, I mean every single person in our house was probably wishing we had more than one bathroom.  And by wishing we had more than one bathroom, I mean I forced my four year old to leave the bathroom while he was brushing his teeth because "Mama has to go potty, and I have to go NOW."  The way I felt on Sunday was enough to make me realize that I need to continue juicing, if I had any doubts.  I. felt. horrid.

The positives, for me, of the week of juicing FAR outweighed anything else.  I never - not one time - felt hungry during the week.  In fact, I felt far more full than I do eating "normally".  I felt absolutely fantastic. I had more energy than I have had in a long, long time.  I slept really well and, more importantly for me, woke up feeling very rested.  That is something I have not felt in a LONG time.  And I got up at 4:00 a.m. and had no coffee all day long!  I noticed a difference in my skin by the end of the week.  Chris and all of the kids were drinking some juice in the morning by the end of the week.  David wants it every morning now, and Jack wants to help make them.  

And by the end of the week I had lost 9.2 pounds.  
In one week.  
Yes, I'm serious.  

So I told myself that I would juice for a week and see how it went.  Guess what I brought to work yesterday morning?  Two juices and some squash for lunch.  And Chris started his first week of juicing yesterday! 

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