Juicing Day 10: Checking In

My, how time flies when you spend it all handling produce. We are on Day 10 and I can hardly believe we are one third of the way done! I thought I would check in after a really good weekend and give a quick update on the state of the union (between juice and human).

Weight

Andy: -11 lbs

Debbie: -11.5 lbs

Amazing, right? Even more interesting is that we’re both down such similar amounts, even though A) My metabolism is much slower than Andy’s, and B) I have a bunch of junk to lose, as opposed to Andy’s non-existent excess. He is already at his goal weight and from here on out will be working on not losing any more. I suspect the nearly equal weight loss is due in large part to water weight and the initial spike in loss you see at the beginning of most weight loss programs.

I feel much lighter. I walk and sit taller. It has made a big difference.

Skin

On Friday (Day 7), our beach volleyball team said we were “glowing,” and I’ve heard it a few times since. Given that I have pale, sensitive skin (and rosacea, which gives me a nice reddish hue that can flare up at the drop of a hat), that says a lot. Indeed, my skin is better than it has been in years. I never really had that “breakout” phase I’ve read so much about with these cleanses, although when I was dehydrated, I did notice my face was less smooth. This cleanse has been a huge win for skin.

Hunger

Today was the first day I didn’t wake up ready to eat. I wasn’t full by any means, but there was no rumbling tummy going on. Halfway through my juice (“Apple Beet Pear”), I felt full. I feel completely satiated when I have juice, and when I need it, I need it or I’ll crash fast. We’re still eating three large (16 oz) juices a day, and usually about two 4-6 oz snacks outside of that.

The cravings can be tough. If I get a whiff of bbq, forget about anything else, it’s all I can think of for the next minute. Aside from meat, my other biggest craving is for CRUNCH. For example, kale chips or almonds easily sound more appetizing than fries right now (that could change if said fries were fresh and placed directly in front of my face).

R&R

I am getting some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten, which feels unreal to type because I have been an extremely light sleeper and regular insomniac since I can remember. This might be the biggest boon to the cleanse so far. Sometimes I have too much energy to fall asleep right away, but once I’m out, I am OUT. What’s amazing is I wake up feeling rested and ready to go after a good stretch.

My muscles are so much more relaxed, and this was a hugely unexpected benefit. I feel like this is what I am supposed to feel like.

Energy

Super high. LSJefpoaiecn;alknd;lvjd;ojuvlne;lkawnSEEICAN’TTURNITOFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For real, though. It’s up there.

Oddities

  • Our tongues are white on top. I’ve read these are toxins leaving the body, but I don’t buy it. It’s not gross, doesn’t taste bad, nor give us bad breath, but it does look weird, and it does not go away with brushing.
  • My sister asked me if I had whitened my teeth. When I told her I hadn’t she and then everyone else in the room began oggling my chompers, saying they looked ridiculously white. I have no idea if it is or even could be a result of the juice, but when I looked in a mirror, I will admit: They looked pretty dang white.
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Juicing Day 6: We’re Doing It Wrong

First of all, we’re juicing for 30 days. That’s doing something wrong, obviously. And we have started watching Dr. Who (not the original series), which might be some of the worst/best post-new-millenium British television ever produced. It’s like the original camera crew and special effects team from The Power Rangers reunited to produce a combination of The Twilight Zone and Goosebumps young adult fiction and I LOVE IT.

Besides all of that, there are juicing purists out there who would tsk-tsk some of our methods and and stances on juicing.

1.Our produce isn’t entirely organic. This comes down to cost and convenience. Juicing gets expensive real fast, and we save a ton of money by buying a lot of it in bulk at Costco. They have some organic produce, and we get that if it’s there. Because a lot of the produce we buy was grown with pesticides, we have to be extra sure it’s clean. Some recommend going so far as to peel any non-organic produce and not eat the skins at all. We don’t do that, which may be added risk, but I’m sorry – you couldn’t pay me to spend any more time at the kitchen sink than I’m already spending. Call me lazy.

2.We don’t consume produce within 2-3 days of purchase. Produce loses nutrients the longer it is detached from the plant. And I lose sanity when I have to go to the grocery store that many times in a week.

3.We aren’t moving enough. This one is debatable. Some say a juice diet shouldn’t have any impact on a regular exercise routine because you should have more than enough fuel to push through a good workout. Others believe juicing is a time of rest, not just for your digestive system, but for your entire body. Relax, they say, go get a massage and sip your caffeine-free herb tea like you’re riding top deck on the Queen Mary. They would likely correct me by adding that movement is good during a juice fast, and would suggest a simple walk or light yoga and stretching. I like those people. Oh, I do. But I also do feel extra energy that could easily be burned off with a run around the block.  The truth is we have held back on this because we’ve both been a bit afraid of how our bodies will respond. The further I get into this cleanse, the more confident I am that a jog and pilates would feel great. I’m actually craving it, which is something that hasn’t happened for me in literally over a year.

4. On rare occasions, we use bottled pure juice, like this stuff from Bolthouse Farms. It’s pasteurized, so nutrients have been lost in that process, but it’s still super healthy, pure, with no additives, and most importantly, it is juice, not “juice smoothie” (which is just blended fruits and still has all the fiber and roughage). We do use this sparingly, although I’m not sure it would do harm to use it more. In one week, we’ve used one 32 oz bottle between the two of us.

5. Our juice is centrifugally expunged. What the what? I know, who knew that the type of juicer you use matters? Juice is juice, right? If I had hulk hands I would squeeze the shiz out of all this produce and not even bother with a cumbersome, messy machine. But all juices are not created equal. There are two types of juicer: masticating and centrifugal. (Note that this is not about juicer vs. blender. Blenders are not juicers, they are smoothie- and margarita-makers, and those are very different things than juice. Although I wish they weren’t.) Centrifugal juicers use small blades surrounded by a fine metal mesh basket. The blades grind produce down and the centrifugal force from all that spinning forces it to the sides of the mesh, allowing juice to escape, and eventually flinging too-dry produce remnants into a separate catch. Masticating juicers use twisting or churning “teeth” or bars (I have no idea what to call them) that chew and super-squish the juice right out.

One of these is better than the other. Go ‘head, take a stab at it. I’ll wait.

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And the winner is … the masticating juicer! These are considered superior because they keep the juice more contained, thus preventing oxidation, which causes significant (goes the argument) loss of nutrients in a live product. Air is bad for fresh juice, and a centrifugal juicer literally whips and spins the juice, widening its surface area and exposing it to lots of oxygen. Our juicer, the Bullet Express*, is of the lesser variety, but it still kicks ass.

Speaking of mastication …

6. We don’t chew. Our juice, that is. Again, the hell? According to experts, chewing gets your saliva flowing. Ewww but yaaaay! because saliva contains something-or-other that helps digest food, which makes it even easier on your digestive tract. I try to do this, but there is only so much savoring of kale, celery, cucumber concoctions one can manage. I don’t know how much easier we could possibly be making it on our dear digestive tracts than we already are. This is like today’s tee-ball leagues that don’t allow scorekeeping or striking out. There is no way you can’t be a winner, digestive tract. We’ve eliminated all possible excuses and given you a free pass and now we are CHEWING JUICE FOR YOU, TOO. I am totally the “umpire” at those games murmuring “not!” after every RBI.

Feelings and Things

  • Still having trouble falling asleep earlier than 11:30-12, which is back to what I did pre-juicing. Once I’m out, my quality of sleep is undeniably improved.
  • Dry skin. I’m dehydrated, so I’m downing water like it’s no one’s business.
  • Tonight Andy said the cats’ food smelled good.

*I don’t get paid to say that. I should, though, right? They need the ratings boost – that thing gets horrible reviews on Amazon. Watch here for some quality infommercial madness!

Juicing Day 5: Meal Photos and The Relativity of Cravings

I thought I’d share a couple photos of our meals these days.

These are two-person meals and each produce 32 oz of juice (16 oz for each of us). Our juicer is a beauty to behold, and each juice comes out frothy and yum. Because we wish not to die, we wash our produce by letting it soak in some water with organic apple cider vinegar and baking soda, and then we scrub and rinse them. For unscrubbable produce, we gently rub them clean by hand, then cross our fingers and hope the soak and rinse was enough. So far, we are not dead.

Feelings and Things

  • I felt great today! It’s really weird how much the cravings dissipate over time. But understand the relative nature of that statement: Two days ago I would have eaten the cats if I didn’t have to clean up the mess. Yesterday I would have literally stolen candy from a baby. Today we walked by half-eaten pieces of stale baguette soaking in a puddle on the asphalt, in an alley, next to a dumpster, and I looked at Andy with accepted defeat and said “I could eat that.” See the gradual line of improvement there? Like I said, it’s relative.
  • Still no breaking out or havoc wreaked on my body. What gives? I’d like to get the ugly part over with, please.

Juicing Day 4: Bacon Dreams

I dreamed I followed a trail of bacon and ate it as I went along. Nope, not missing food at all.

In other news, we are so over beets. We still have a giant stockpile, but luckily those babies are hearty. Get outta my life, beets. Or shall I say “Beet it!”? Today was another good day and the cravings for fatty foods are getting less excruciating. I don’t even cry anymore when I think of a Carm’s home-cured prosciutto sub, so … progress?

In the coming days I plan to cover more of the logistics and photos of this venture, but please bear with me as I fumble around, trying to figure the whole thing out. Thanks!

Feelings and Things

  • Woke up in the middle of the night feeling like the long winter had set in. Achy bones, chest cold symptoms, rumbling tummy and feeling weak in general. Once I was up, I felt just fine. Relaxed, even, as though I had just gotten a massage. I think my body has stopped holding tension where it used to as overcompensation for other muscles, or when I was feeling stressed. It feels pretty awesome.
  • I crash real hard around 7-8p.m.  Last night I could barely keep my eyes open, then drank some juice around 8:30, and couldn’t fall asleep until 12:30. Is there caffeine in beets?

Juicing Day 3: Overabundance or Underindulgence?

Today we realized we bought double the produce we are likely to consume in the next week. Just another happy accident along the happy accident-laden road to juicing enlightenment.

We calculated our produce based on some blog I’d seen somewhere that mentioned six juices a day. So, we carefully selected three recipes from ye olde juicing bible to try each day and simply doubled that twice since there are two of us.

As it turns out, I’m having trouble keeping up with even half that much (Andy is not), and we have collectively decided the only solution is to build a juice bong and get those suckers down in 6 seconds flat. Or we could re-assess our recipe strategy to consume the produce likely to go bad earlier in the week, which would involve going through all the ingredients of all the 20-some recipes we have slated out, and reconfiguring our awesome spreadsheet and blah blah blah. Which sounds more fun? (Hint: get a life, Excel nerds*).

This whole overabundance of life-giving fruit thing is actually a good thing, looking at it from a cost perspective. However, the view is decidedly different from right in front of the refrigerator:

So … who needs beets?

Feelings and Things

  • Felt fine all day
  • Too. many. beets.
  • Trivia tonight at a pub – surrounded by friends with beer and food – proved to be agonizing.
  • I’ve been sleeping like a baby! That is so abnormal for me.

 

*I am one such nerd.

Juicing Day 2: DJ Spin Me Some Sick Hot Beets!

We went to see The Dark Knight Rises today and I stowed a jar of “Deep Red Heart” juice in my purse. It tastes like liquid Sweet Tarts and thus is the perfect substitute for a movie-going-sized box of actual candy.

On the way out, a very pregnant Kristen Cavallari was standing next to me waiting for an elevator and then happened to have parked near us in the garage, so I took this completely non-creepy, totally identifiable photo:

Photo is available to select news affiliates. Price upon request.

She is the white blur in the middle. Like I said, not creepy. And do not tell me Jay Cutler’s unborn baby doesn’t count!

Today’s menu had some nice variety, but what I want to highlight is BEETS, or more specifically, their color:

Gorgeous, no? Or at the very least, distracting enough to guzzle down 16 oz without wanting to vom?

The Juicing Bible recipe naming conventions range far and wide, but are almost always creative. Take, for example, concoction sobriquets like “Autumn Refresher” (delightful!), “Allium Antioxident,” and “Rust Proofer #1” (and #2). But for the lovely beet, perhaps in testament to its own creative nature, the best they could come up with was “Beets.” Just “Beets.”

Beets are … beets are earthy. They aren’t bad, per se, but they are lacking in that “Pass the sugar, please” kind of way. If you should venture to drink beet juice, remember that beets are used as very effective dye agents. Meaning they will dye any and everything that beautiful shade of dark fuscia. Meaning they will … you know what, just go drink some beet juice and know that adventure awaits.

Feelings and Things
I woke up this morning expecting to be broken out in disgusting boils and hives, my immune system having been so rudely awoken from its hum-drum “oops-there-goes-the-e-coli-virus-oh-well-we’ll-get-the-next-one” mentality by the force of a gazillion enzymes. I expected to be seeping with toxins and all kinds of nasty, and the truth of the matter is, I feel just fine, albeit disappointed that I’m not being reborn from within yet.

Other notables:

  • Some nausea in the evening
  • Nearly clawed our t.v. screen when any food was shown, ever

Juicing Day 1: The Hunger Games Have Begun

“Welcome! We salute your courage and your sacrifice and we wish you Happy Hunger Games!” -President Snow

Did I Just Say “Juicing”?! I did, yes.

We are juicing. That would have been “I am juicing,” but my sweet husband, upon my saying “I’m going to consume nothing but raw juice for 30 days,” came back a short while later (unprompted, I’ll add!) with “Hey, I’ll do it with you.” I’d like to think he knew what he was signing up for when he said that, but let’s be honest: Andy doesn’t read fine print.

It sounds very extreme, I know. I know, I know, I know. It is extreme. That’s kind of the point, but not in the crash-diet sense of the word. I’ll probably get into the long list of “why this” in the coming days (or maybe I won’t, I don’t know, I’m only typing here), but the gist of it is that I wish to reset and see what comes of it. Worsening allergies, a sucky immune system, and cravings and addictions to bad-for-me-foods are the primary culprits fueling this and I’ll leave it at that for now.

And now for the Day 1 rundown:
I am hungry.

That’s pretty much it.

May the odds be ever in my favor.