Over the past 26 years I have tried just about every diet, fast and health kick there is out there. Most of the time it was in an attempt to lose weight either for a vacation or I would reach a point that I felt so terrible that drinking lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days was better than feeling fat and miserable. With any of the cleanses or diets I had done before, my thoughts were usually occupied by “when this is over then I can have something delicious that makes me happy” but it turns out, it never really did make me happy. From all of the research I had done on juice fasting, fresh, organic juice was supposed to be one of the most nutritionally dense foods you could consume. I think the more nutrients the food you consume has, the less hungry you are and the more energy you have. It was time for me to put the theory to the test. I just had to convince as many people as I could to join me in the fast because I believe there is strength in numbers and the more people I convince to go on a health kick with me, the better my chance for success. I’m selfish like that. I told Allison it was part of her hazing for becoming a full partner in a health food store. She didn’t buy it. Then I told her I would do all of the cutting, chopping, juicing and cleaning. She was SOLD!
Kristen was on board right away with the new manager hazing of a 12-day juice fast and Wild Rose cleanse. Since she had done a juice fast before, she had inside knowledge of how amazing she would feel, so it wasn’t really a hazing at all. Luckily Kristen had a Hurom juicer that she kindly let us use. Now I am a Hurom Juicer fanatic!
The first day started without a good plan. Sometimes it's better for me to learn as I go and my first juice was certainly a learning experience. 6 Carrots, including the top, a few apples, 2 large beets, including the top, cucumber, and celery and let's just say it was um, gross. Allison was ready to quit after the first glass and I don't blame her. The other 3 juices on first day didn't get much better. Then I found a good recipe online and then I was off to the races. For Allison it was a lot of fruits mixed with some veggies. Green juice with pineapple, basil and mint or quadruple berry with mint will change your life.
I go all veggies at night and then take it home to blend in the VitaMix with an avocado. I usually use tomatoes, red peppers, broccoli, celery, orange peppers, parsley, spinach, beet, tomato, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini and Love.
Tips: use beet to make your juice a beautiful red color. Bonus: Beets are great for your liver, blood pressure, inflammation and they are rich in nutrients and fiber.
And if you want to ruin an entire glass of juice throw in some beet tops…they are beneficial for a wide variety of health issues but I like you too much to tell you to use them.
This entire juice had to be thrown out because of those disgusting beet tops in right of the picture.
Also, Kristen and I both learned from one of my experiments that it is NOT advisable to put an entire jalapeno in your juice!
We ended up going 13 days. We were feeling so good and there was no meal that sounded better than juice. I know that seems crazy.
What I learned over the next 13 days was that juicing was everything I had been looking for in a "magic pill"...energy (tons), weight loss (lost 12 lbs!), great sleep (other than getting up to pee from drinking soooo much liquid), boost in sex drive (who doesn't want that?), easy digestion (food is a lot easier to digest when the juicer breaks it down for you), and finally I found the secret super magic pill for appetite control (my need to constantly snack is gone). What I discovered at the bottom of every glass of juice was the happiness, satisfaction and fullness that I longed to find at the bottom of every bag of Doritos.
Day -1 Preparation Begins...
Making a HUGE veggie frittata to eat for breakfast over the next several days and drinking hard apple cider. Makes sense to me.
The frittata has broccoli, green, red, orange, yellow and jalapeño peppers, baby zucchini, patty pan squash, asparagus (sautéed in coconut oil),12 eggs, lots of spicy seasonings and lots of Himalayan salt then baked on 350 for 30 minutes. Did you know you can tell the sex of green peppers? 3 bumps on the bottom = boy and 4 bumps on the bottom = girl. I only buy the girl green peppers.
My first cup of coffee without stevia. This is what I am looking the least forward to because I LOVE stevia and am sad to give it up!
Well, not only did my scale weigh 4 lbs heavier than when I decided to go on the 21, I used a new tape measure the measured me 1” bigger than my previous. Stupid liar.
Top O’ the muffin to ya Day 2!
Well, for someone that doesn’t really eat sugar, this is harder than I thought it would be. The fruit and other sugars I consume every day are calling my name. My mouth tastes like shit (ketosis?) and my coffee tastes like shit without stevia. My belly is hungry and I want to drink a yummy vanilla protein shake to make it happy. But it’s not on the list.
I want sugar so bad I am willing to eat shit that looks like baby food. Sweet potatoes mixed with coconut milk and chia seeds with some cinnamon. Yeah, you may be thinking “gross!” And you’re right. I scarfed down my big breakfast in like 2 seconds and my belly still feels like a bottomless pit. Day 3 pretty much sucks. I quit smoking cigarettes 8 years ago and detoxing from sugar feels almost as bad. Why isn’t it this hard to stop doing things that are actually good for you?
Hello Day 4...
I am going to put Day 3 behind me and say that Day 4 will be so much better. Apparently I am moody without anything sweet in my life. Duh.
Day 5, I love you...
Other than gaining half of the pound that I lost yesterday emotionally devastating me (slight exaggeration), I am finally starting to feel somewhat normal. The coffee is starting to taste better and I feel like I’m not going to starve to death. Watch out, now that I am feeling better I am going to start telling you that you NEED to do this detox.
It was a planned cheat day but we canceled our party so I stuck with the detox and didn’t take the cheat day anyway. This is new for me. “Old Kristine” would have been so excited about a cheat day! No, I don’t want to lose the progress that I have made. This really should be metaphor for my life. Why cheat your great progress?
Day 7 = week 1 in the books!
Wow! Who knew that quitting sugar would be so hard for someone that doesn’t really eat sugar.
I gained 4 lbs and I don’t want to talk about it.
I lost 3 of the 4 lbs that I gained so I’m feeling a little better. I’m still really missing my stevia in my coffee.
I lost 1 more pound and my NEED for sugar seems to be going away. Maybe it’s because I’ve added apples back to my diet this week. After the tough first week I am now trying to figure out what I’m going to detox next. Coffee? That scares me more than sugar. So I probably should do that.
I gained some weight back. I hate you, scale!
I spent the day imaginary carbo loading for my 10K.
I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 10K, which the 21 Day Sugar Detox advises against, but I felt great! And the big, huge green beer at the end was delicious. And made me feel like shit. And triggered cravings for sugar and more alcohol. Starting my 365 day green beer detox right now!
I AM READY TO BE DONE!!!!! Stupid beer.
Not a bad day. Weight stayed the same despite running a 10K over the weekend. I must have to run a 10K to counteract a big green beer.
I gained 1 lb. Ready to quit! STILL missing my stevia. BAD!!
I gained 2 lbs. I am now sure that my body needs some sweet. It makes us happy and probably lowers cortisol, at least to a point. I’ll have to research this further when my brain is full of sweet happiness.
I made it through the morning and then talked to my nutritional advisor and decided to stop the detox a few days early. I’m not sure if it is because I don’t normally eat sugar that this was so hard but it was. My blood sugar felt like it was around 50 for 17 days. I constantly felt tired and my brain felt like it was in an Idaho January inversion.
I didn’t go off and go crazy. I put some stevia in my coffee and had 1 glass of wine.
Reflection and Advice:
If you are going to go on a sugar detox or hcg or any other cleanse or diet, be sure to get a group of supporters (suckers) to join you. The pain seems less if you have friends or family by your side to encourage you.
People let me know often that they feel I judge them for what they eat or if they don't exercise. I do not. I am just a fat girl trying to figure out my own shit. It has taken me more than 7 years to go from being a fast food eating, cigarette smoking, coke drinker to being someone that makes my health, both physical and mental my number 1 priority. My concern with others is how I can help them to be healthier. Not to judge. I know how hard it is. All I want is for everyone to know that has battled his or her weight such as I have how to figure out how to fix it. I want to help you. I want you to help me. We can figure this stuff out together. I wish someone had told me that one of my biggest food addictions; corn was what was causing my skin to break out on a daily basis. Or even the more obvious allergens like dairy causing my sinuses to feel constantly stuffy. I want to share these experiences with you. I do not think anyone should expect to completely overhaul his or her health overnight. I feel the only way you can be successful is if you make small changes. You cannot start on day 1 running a marathon. It takes months if not years of training. Getting your body accustomed to eating less toxins and incorporating exercise into your daily schedule has to be a daily effort until it becomes a new habit.
This came in my mailbox last night and it got me thinking about my niece, Kayleigh and my journey together for the past 2 1/2 years. We have both made major changes to our health. Kayleigh has stopped smoking, taken care of endometriosis and gall bladder issues with diet, exercise and supplements, not surgery and drugs. I have overcome my food addiction and my tendency to be a lazy ass. Oh, and I have lost 75ish lbs.
We both inspire each other. We are ready to inspire you.
Seven years in the making my health is finally my number #1 priority, as it should have always been but I guess it's better to figure that out at 41 instead of continuing to gain 10 lbs a year and having a heart attack at 50. My life could have taken a very different path had I not changed the course. I feel I now have a true understanding of what being in good health feels like and it feels amazing! Now all I want to do is to help all of you feel this way. It has taken me 7 years to dump almost every toxin I ingest or put on my body (ok, so I’m not a natural blond so you’ll have to forgive me for that). I am convinced the closer you live to nature the better you feel and the happier you will be. Now if I could just stop throwing away plastic. The steps should be small and almost unconscious. I started with quitting smoking. However, without cigarettes, I needed something and that something was beer. I gained, lost, gained, and lost 40ish pounds over the 5 years after quitting. Beer's fault…not mine. Along the way, I realized that my body felt better by cutting out soda, fast food, boxed food, hormone-laden meat and dairy, sugar and finally alcohol. Most of this was done with great ease and not consciously. Quitting smoking and sugar were the hardest. Had I ever done meth I would compare the addiction to sugar and cigarettes to that, only without the face picking. They are fucking hard to quit. And the excuses on why you can't or won't are endless. Smoking calms my nerves. I have to have a cigarette when I drive or I would wreck my car and die so I might as well smoke. My coffee would NOT taste good without a mouth full of tobacco smoke!
And sugar is even harder. It is EVERYWHERE! It is in EVERYTHING! And it is a helluva lot more socially acceptable than smoking. You don't even really have to make excuses about why you can't quit sugar because it takes a lot of work to get it out of your life. A lot. And then there is the physical addiction and withdrawals and severe cravings. Can you imagine someone that keeps a jar of cream cheese frosting in his or her nightstand drawer? Me either. The more you use the more you need. Sugar is no longer a flavor enhancer. It is the primary flavor of the American diet. We wake up to a cup of coffee filled with coffeemate, mocha or a milkshake with coffee from Starbucks. And a donut because they are so good and you just can't help yourself. And the you wonder why you are dragging ass and starving at 10 am. It is a viscous cycle and so hard to break. It took me over 2 years.
To be continued...
Ever since we put Maggie, our 14-year-old black lab down, Tupper (the most awesome cat on the planet) has been working on being able to love on Deuce (the 8 year old chocolate lab that contains more nuts than chocolate). It is a daily process. Starting out Tupper would just try to lay within a couple of feet of Deuce and Deuce would growl at let him know to not get closer. Tupper came back at least once every day inching a little closer every day. D still growls at him but not as much and Tupper just ignores the growls anyway. My cat has a basic understanding of what it takes to reach his goals. Just a little time and effort every day really pay off. After just a few short months, here is what Tupper now gets to enjoy on almost a daily basis while his head remains intact.
That was me 2 years ago on vacation in Mexico in my "miracle suit" that supposedly makes you look 15 lbs. lighter. I guess looking like 225 is somehow better than looking like 240. When people would try to pay me a compliment and ask if I had lost weight I would always think to myself "how fat did you think I was!?" While this was not the most I have ever weighed, it certainly was the most uncomfortable and unhappiest I had ever been. As I was approaching my 40th birthday the following July, I made a decision that I did not want to spend the next 40 years (if I would have even lived that long) of my life obese. The thing is that I ate what I felt was a good diet. No fast food. No partially hydrogenated oils. No high fructose corn syrup. Organic meat. Organic sugar. Organic flour. And organic anything else that could justify eating a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet. Lets just say that most of my fat was organic.
Over the years, I would exercise for a few months, quit for a few years and then start all over again. I could never understand why I had such a love/hate relationship with exercise. It would always make me feel so good but it is very hard to exercise carrying around the weight equivalent to a couple of large bags of dog food. Being obese is hard, physically, emotionally and psychologically. You can only imagine how hard it was for me to tell strangers when they asked what I do for a living that I own a health food store. I would always get a look as if they had just met a Mormon bishop in a bar.
I had tried every diet plan from slimming patches to the Master Cleanse which is a 10 day fast drinking nothing but maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper that I would usually end with hot wings and beer. I would stay on other diets for a few days or a week, say it did not work and then quit. I lived on the "I'll start Monday" diet of gorging on the weekend, dieting on Monday and maybe lasting until Tuesday wing special at Buffalo Wild Wings. I always had a good excuse. It was time to make drastic changes. After doing some research, I decided to go on homeopathic HCG drops we sell at the store. Going on a 500-calorie diet for 3 or even 6 weeks was not going to kill me. I figured that feeling hungry for a few weeks was a lot better than my clothes cutting off my circulation and my back hurting all of the time. It is a big daily commitment to lose weight. You have to have tremendous willpower. You have to learn to say no to the people that want you to eat and drink with them. Your belly will feel hungry. Your mind will tell you that you must eat chips! You have to make yourself and your health your number one priority.
I lost 8 lbs the first 4 days of my hcg. I was so excited! I was going to lose 90 pounds in only 6 weeks! Reality quickly set in, setting off a roller coaster of emotions that I would experience over the next 6 weeks. There were many days (especially the days I didn't lose) that my hunger and emotional need to eat would have a continuous power struggle with my desire to become healthy. By the second week, I had lost 20 pounds and my clothes were not cutting off my circulation anymore. Riding those, positive highs were just as important to my success as having my mom and my niece doing the diet along with me. Having someone or a group of people to share your daily experience with is very important. It is probably what got me through my 4th week of only a 2-pound loss.
I ended up losing 34 lbs. in 6 weeks and another 10 in the following 3 weeks of maintenance. That seemed to be the catalyst to start me on the road to healthy habits and a new lifestyle. I have since done several rounds of hcg, some successful and some not so much. The rounds of hcg were certainly a sacrifice in my life but well worth every second of pain. I am now down to my last 20ish pounds. To be completely honest, it feels weird. I have carried around all of this extra weight almost my entire life and I am hoping to be done with it for good by next month. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am living the life I want to live. I am happy to offer any help and support if going on hcg is something you feel is right for you.
Wishing you health and happiness in 2013,