Juice Cleanse Recap

A week later, I’ve gotten some clarity. The short synopsis: Juice cleanse is awesome! It was hard. Sometimes really hard. But definitely worth it. It did everything it was supposed to do. I feel healthier, cleaner, and back on track. Also, it’s weirdly addicting and I kind of want to do it again.

green juice

It’s such a strange experience. After my last post, I took a turn for the worse. I did the juice cleanse from Sunday morning to Thursday afternoon and my reaction got progressively worse. I’d read more than once that the first day is the hardest, but that wasn’t my experience at all. I felt really good the first day, but pretty normal. The second day, which I’ve already written about, I went a little crazy. Felt real weird. Almost cried in public. Slept a million hours. The third day was similar to the second. I was less crazy maybe, but I felt more lightheaded. I couldn’t focus on anything at all. The fourth day, the headache arrived. It was terrible. Also, I slept a million hours again. I barely even got out of bed that fourth day. I ended up eating a modified version of my clean southwest salad because I was feeling so weak. The fifth day was a half day, which was my intention. And, it was for the best because I was legitimately sick by that point. Maybe the sickness meant that I should have kept going to get past the detoxing, but it was time to stop. I was so nauseous and my headache was even worse.

So, my description probably makes it sound really terrible. But somehow, it really seriously wasn’t. Like, the bad parts were bad. But overall I could tell it was working, which is what’s important.

And all weekend, after the cleanse was over, I felt amazing. I still do! I’ve been having a 16 ounce of green juice everyday for breakfast, which is good for two reasons. First, it’s really the best way to consume as many greens as possible, and it’s a nice way to ease your metabolism into the day. Second, it’s a really good way to remind me to keep up the clean eating for the day. If I have kale-pear juice for breakfast and feel really fresh after, I don’t want to ruin it later.

So for anyone who might be interested, I thought I’d post my juicing schedule. Juice Cleanse

A few of the recipes are on the last couple of blog posts I’ve made. It would take a long time to post the full recipes of every single juice, so I’m not gonna do that unless I get some requests. But in the meantime I have some basic rules for how much to use of each ingredient.

    • Kale: 6-8 leaves. (If you buy Cal-Organic, it’s one bunch.)
    • Spinach: 1 cup.
    • Romaine: 4-6 leaves.
    • Cucumber: 1 cuke.
    • Celery: 5 stalks
    • Carrots: 4-5 carrots
    • Beet: 1 large beet or 2 small
    • Apple: 1-2, depending on taste preference or how many other ingredients are involved
    • Lemon: 1 fruit.
    • Ginger: 1 inch chunk.
    • Grapefruit: 1 or 2 depending on how many additional ingredients you have.
    • Mint: Handful of leaves
    • Parsley: 1/4 cup
    • Pineapple: 1 cup

Obviously, I just included the first three days, because that is how long I prepped. The fourth day I recommend taking your favorites of each category and having those. You can also experiment with combos that use these basic ingredients. I made choices partially based on what I had left from my big shopping trip. For the fifth day, do one green, one citrus, and one root, then eat produce and seeds/nuts for dinner. Avoid animal products and sugar especially. You should also stick with vegan for a couple of days after, too.

Hopefully if you try it out you find it as rewarding as I did. Please let me know if you have questions!

-lj

Restaurant Review: Seasons 52

Maybe this isn’t true everywhere, but in Indianapolis, where I live, there is a strong green/clean living movement that continues to grow and new restaurants are really reflecting that attitude change. That’s not such a new phenomenon, I guess. Businesses always want to accomodate the current needs of their customers and restaurants are the same. When I worked at TGI Fridays during the summers in college, I remember we had a “diet menu” that was Atkins certified. Have I mentioned I don’t believe in fad diets? I’m sorry but you’ll never convince me it is thebun that is the problem with your bacon cheeseburger.

But this time it feels different. Just like people are becoming more aware of what they put into their bodies, restaurants are becoming more aware of what they are serving. Granted I live in the most hippy-friendly neighborhood in town, but there are at least four restaurants within three blocks that serve food using local ingredients.

Seasons 52 is kind of like that. I say “kind of” because it is a chain, and it’s a little swanky, and I had no indication that anyone on staff smelled like patchouli. But, the menu has a similar appeal.

I went there for dinner last night with my mom who is in town visiting. She does Weight Watchers and is impressively skilled staying on point. So we both wanted somewhere that we could enjoy a nice meal out without any splurging or guilt. I had heard this place was good so we gave it a try.

It was amazing. Their schtick is that everything is seasonal, so the entire menu changes every few months. Additionally every plate on the menu is under 500 calories. My mom, who got a filet mignon with mashed potatoes, thought maybe they were cheating and really meant every piece of food, but the server said it really was per plate. That theory is corroborated by the nutritional chart.

I was so excited by what I was eating that I really wanted to share it on this blog. The whole meal seemed so decadent, but in terms of nutrition it really wasn’t. I was a little bit worried when we went that I would be happy with the healthy quality but sad about how bland and dull all the food was. I was really pleasantly surprised by the rich flavors in all the different things I got. Nothing tasted like “diet food,” which is big for me, because the disappointment of a bad cheat meal seriously bums me out! That was not a problem last night though because this was neither disappointing nor really even a cheat meal, though we certainly tried our best.

As I said, we wanted a nice night out, so we helped ourselves to all the courses. Yep, a four course meal. Generally not super diet-friendly! To start we had a tomato flatbread, which was basically like a margherita pizza with a really thin crust. Then I had a spinach salad with raspberries. I’d recommend getting the dressing on the side because there was too much on it, and in my mind that is just wasted calories. For my entree I had a kind of fish called cobia. I had never heard of it before, and since my animal protein almost always comes from fish I was surprised. Turns out it is a really delicious saltwater based whitefish, but not too flaky or fishy. I wish it was more readily available. It was prepared with a curry sauce, basmati rice and steamed carrots and green beans. And a grilled lemon that smelled so good I wish it was a candle. Then they had little single-serving desserts and I had raspberry-mango cheesecake.

Single-serving mini desserts…I really wanted two.

So, this whole thing sounds really indulgent, right? Well, it felt indulgent. But according to the nutritional chart my whole four course meal was only 1160 calories. Granted, that is way more than I normally eat in one sitting, but still way less than normal restaurants. Last weekend I went out to the old brewery where I used to work and in four hours ate (and drank) 2600 calories. So 1160 is really not so bad, considering.

I know this is different from my normal kind of blog post but I really recommend this place as a healthy alternative if you don’t feel like cooking and do feel like a nice meal out. I love the idea of clean living becoming mainstream enough to garner a chain restaurant. Seasons 52 is on the pricey side but not crazy outrageous. Considering how much organic groceries are, I think it’s okay. I read through the list of locations and they appear to be mostly in neighborhoods that cater wealthy old people. But if you live in Indy or happen to be somewhere near a different location I think it’s worth checking out.

Docu Review: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”

I decided to take a break from my normal sort of post. I’ve been trying to take in as much information as I can about clean living and getting healthy. At the recommendation of several people I have watched a couple of documentaries this week. First, I watched Food, Inc. which I thought was very informative (and DISTURBING) but the one that really spoke to me was Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I related so well to this movie. I actually watched it twice. It was much more relevant to me than I’d like. So here are my thoughts on it.

The film follows Joe, who also co-wrote/co-directed the film (and I think probably financed it). Joe was 310 lb. and had a terrible auto-immune skin disease that required he take a heavy dose of Prednisone, a really nasty steroid. It doesn’t really get into where he got the idea (or maybe I’ve forgotten), but he decides to go on a 60 day juice fast, in an effort to see if he can clean his body of not only fat but also disease. The movie chronicles those 60 days, (which he spends making juice from a juicer run by a generator in the trunk of his SUV) and interviewing strangers on the streets of New York City and then around the US. While on the road he interviews a lot of really fantastic, mostly unhealthy people, and convinces two people to join him in the fasting and document their progress.

One is a woman who does not appear to even be overweight let alone obese, but has health problems like migraines and sleeping issues, both with which I am all too familiar. She does not enjoy the fast but at the end of her 10 days, she is overjoyed with how great she feels. For her, the biggest challenge is balancing her lifestyle with a social life. Another thing I can relate to very well.

The other person who joins Joe is a man named Phil. Phil weighs about 430 pounds and is heartbreaking. He can’t walk for more than five or ten minutes at a time. He is obviously severely depressed. He is embarrassed to let anyone see him, including his kids. He is a 42 year old truck driver, which is not a very healthy lifestyle in the first place. Joe meets him on the road, and later on Phil calls him to say he needs a change and is ready to fast.

His transformation is incredible. I’m sorry to ruin the movie for everybody, but the end is really the point! Joe loses over 200 pounds, and starts a community-wide fast to get his whole Iowa town into shape. He honestly is a new person both in appearance and personality. I was so inspired.

The movie really made me think about the place I’m at right now, as opposed to who I’ve been in the past and who I want to be. It’s not always obvious in my day to day routine how much my physical state affects my mental one. I’ve always been friendly, out-going and up for a challenge, but looking at the past year or so, I probably haven’t been as lively as I imagine. My mind still feels pretty peppy, but in reality there are a lot of days where I don’t leave my house. (I work from home.) I feel better now than I did a month ago, but still. Looking at this movie showed me a lot about my own personal fears. I definitely don’t want to let things ever get any worse.

Unfortunately, my cleanse is on pause. Or maybe it’s over and I will start fresh in a couple of weeks. I think I mentioned in my last post that I sprained my wrist. Annoyingly, though, it is my right wrist, and of course I’m right-handed, so frankly it’s really a pain (literally!) to try to chop all my veggies. (I do it by hand.) So I’ve been eating a lot more convenience food than I like. Nothing too insane for the most part, but like, sushi or a prepared salad from the Fresh Market instead roasted salmon and veggies I cut up myself.

The film, however, really made me miss my standard breakfast juice, which I’d grown so fond of and accustomed to over the past couple of weeks. I was surprised, both of these men had physician approval to do the 60-day juice fast, where they lost an insane amount of weight. Far more than the standard 2 lb per week normally recommended. That is encouraging also. I’m not sure I want to do a pure juice fast, but maybe I will make sure to include as much as possible.

I did make a really good soup recently, which is the same as juice except warmer, really.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 3/4 Butternut Squash (4 cups chopped)
  • 1 Apple
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Garlic Cloves and a teaspoon minced Ginger
  • Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmeg to Taste
  • And some water.
  • That’s it!! **

Then you just roast everything until it’s all pretty soft–maybe 25 mins– and then mix it together in a blender with some water. I used about 1 Cup I think. I just sort of added it in til I liked the consistency.

**I just checked the recipe which I got from the Whole Living Action Plan I’ve been following, and apparently you’re also supposed to add a whole onion, but I totally forgot it. It tasted fine without it. Made it sweeter.

I added some cinnamon mixed with a packet of Truvía on top. (This was kind of a cheat but def worth it!)

Here was the result:

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was great! It took a lot of time to prepare, I’m not gonna lie to you, but if you have a food processor or are better at chopping things than I am, it should go pretty fast.

And I definitely recommend watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It’s on Netflix Instant. Also from the website it looks like they have a lot of associated materials, which I’m going to check out. Hopefully they have some juice and smoothie recipes I can add to my collection!

It’s a great movie to watch if you are just on the edge of thinking it’s time to really start making some changes, but since if you’re reading this you’re probably past that point, it’s also great for people like me. People who have been doing well with clean living and detoxing, but sometimes just need a motivational nudge when things get hard.

Wow this one was long. Hope you have a great weekend!

-lj