Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dreams - Day 61

Since I've been juice feasting, I've noticed that my dream recall is more heightened. Perhaps I've always dreamed in color and so vividly, but most of the time now, when I awake, I'm aware of a grand saga of dreaming that has taken place during my slumber. Lately I have been dreaming about my first true love. My dreams are not at all sexual in nature, but they are very tender, sweet and innocent. It's also interesting that they seem to be set in the current time. In these dreams, he and I are close friends, exchanging dialog and enjoying one another's company. My husband is generally there in the background and his children are there, running and playing in the distance. This remembrance has felt quite healing and there remains a certain peace when I recall these dreams in the light of day.

In the material on the juice feasting website, they discuss the theory that one goes back approximately 120 days for each day of juice feasting. If that is true, it would put me back around the time of my 22nd year.....the very time that I was in this particular love affair. Only tonight, did I put this together and now I find it rather curious and heart warming at the same time. With the issues my daughter has been dealing with, (see yesterday's post), it seems even more meaningful suddenly. I don't have any regrets at this point. I find that I'm feeling a real sense of gratitude for the experiences and people who have helped mold me into who I have become today. It has been good to revisit and to pay my respects to my past over the last 20+ years. But perhaps I should warn you now, as I go back even further, it can only get more interesting from here!

Wednesday's Daily Juice:
1.5 qt. strawberry, blood orange juice, coconut water, spirulina, maca juice
1.5 qt. celery, kale, beet, carrot, onion, garlic, lemon, sea salt
I wasn't able to drink anything until mid afternoon because my emotions were still exaggerated from yesterday's drama. I drank plenty of water and I felt really well into this evening. Things are settling down, so tomorrow I should be back on track with the juice intake.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Releasing - Day 60

I am feeling pretty excited to have made it to Day 60. I have to admit that I am generally pretty upbeat in my blogs, but tonight it is a struggle to even submit an entry. It is a fact that we all have days when we get tried or pulled to the breaking point and today was one of those days for me. Without going into too much detail, my challenge happened this evening with my daughter, Gabby, almost 15 years old. She has had a lot of the normal drama that happens when one is in the 9th grade and it is really hard for her, as she is a kind, dear, introverted soul. All of this has to do with a boy, heartbreak and lots of tears....shed by us both. I remember how tough these years were, and now I am wondering if it's just as hard for me to watch her going through it all, not being able to do much more than just love her unconditionally. I do believe the saying that there is no love like a mother's love. It just hurts so much to see your baby grow up and watch as they begin to experience the realities and injustices of this life. If I could I'd trade places with her, but I know she has to walk this path herself.

So, for Day 60 I get a lesson in letting go. Releasing my control and releasing my daughter to live her life, holding on to the faith that I have in God to lead, guide and direct her along her way. Also a lesson in letting go of my own emotions and just trusting. Believing that I have taught her as best I can and allowing her to make her own choices now, learning as she goes the lessons we all have to learn. She is not my possession, she is just my beloved gift, in my care for just a short while now. Today I pray for peace in her heart and for angels to surround her with protection and guidance.

Tuesday's Daily Juice:
1.5 qt. strawberry, coconut water, blood orange juice & spirulina
2 qts. celery, kale, dandelion greens, red bell pepper, asparagus, onion sprouts, garlic, carrots, lime, sea salt.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Insights - Day 59

I thought I'd take the time tonight to answer a question that I received today from a friend on Give It To Me Raw, Sheryl. She has asked if I have any insight, challenges, inspirations to share at this point in my juice feasting experience. I thought tonight would be a great time to reflect on this since tomorrow is day 60 and the beginning of the third and final month of my feast.

The first insight struck me this evening while I was at Whole Foods. I ran into a friend who I haven't seen since I began the feast and she asked if was still juicing (obviously she saw the article in the Tulsa World). When I told her yes and that tomorrow would be day 60, she was flabbergasted. She really couldn't believe or fathom that a person could drink juice for 60 days (and still be alive, I guess). We exchanged a few more pleasantries and then we went on our way. My realization was this: although it sounds impressive, 60 days on juice, it suddenly doesn't feel that overwhelming or like such a big deal to me anymore. Just as one eats food several times a day and thinks little of it, I drink juice....that's just what I do. I have grown so used to my routine and my lifestyle that it doesn't feel odd or really like anything about which to boast. I think in the beginning it felt novel and perhaps, if I'm honest, I felt a little superior on occasion. Looking back, I understand where I was, but I totally don't feel any of that now. (Thank God.)

Taking this time away from food has been like a breath of fresh air to me. Of course I'll be ready to enjoy solids again, but I feel like food holds no emotional power over me as it once so strongly did. I have also learned how efficient and light my body can feel. I used to suffer daily from indigestion, gas, flatulence and chronic drainage and chest congestion/asthma, now I am totally clear of all of that. The fatigue I felt at the beginning of this feast has lifted and I have a renewed sense of wonder and enthusiasm towards things that once I took for granted. It feels good to want to go out in public, meet people and make social plans, when before I felt like I wanted to hide and not let anyone see how big I had gotten. Losing 25 pounds has brought me back to life.

One of my challenges has been what I spend on organic produce and supplements. I have learned to get resourceful with my finances and juggle my food budget. I am on first name basis with everyone at Whole Foods. I think they should give me a 10% courtesy discount because I have to be one of their best customers and I mention their store everyday on Twitter or on this blog. But we don't eat out at all anymore, so that seems to have balanced out our overall expenses, which leads me to my next challenge. My friends get together and go out to lunch, dinner or for cocktails and I feel like I just don't really fit into their groove right now. I have gone a few times but it feels awkward to just sit there while everyone is diving into platters of steaming fajitas and knocking back margaritas. Right now, during this feast, I feel more comfortable with my big ole' Mason jar, full of juice, at home. We don't have any health friendly restaurants to speak of that serve freshly pressed juice here in Tulsa. So, if I can do a juice feast in Oklahoma, anyone, anywhere, can too. I also am very fortunate that I work from home, so I am able to extract my juices fresh, right before I drink them. I think working full time outside of the home would make it much more challenging for me personally.

Now for my inspirations.....besides my overall sense of well being and simply being in love with the healing that I feel is taking place within my inspirations are all of you. Each person who has ever read my blog, offered comments or wishes me well on this journey, are inspirational to me. Those who have blazed this trail so successfully before me, The Rainoshek's, Angela Stokes, Philip McCluskey, Michelle, Terilynn, Lisa, Hanlie and Ben. There are many others who are my current juicing companions....Dea, LouLou, Linda and all my other friends at Global Juice Feasting. Matt Gleason of the Tulsa World has been an inspiration for publishing an article that has my whole city keeping tabs on my juicy progress (inspiration and real accountability). And then the people who have touched my life by finding me along this raw food/juice journey....Angela, Jolanthe, Michelle, Sarah, Paula, and Joey Mechelle, to name just a few. You all have created such beautiful inspiration to me. Thank you and I hope you'll all stick around with me as I move into month three on juice....I may need you more now than ever.

Monday's Daily Juice:
1 qt. grapefruit & spirulina
1.5 qt. spinach, apple, strawberry, celery, VitaMineral Green
2 qt. celery, dandelion, spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper, tomatoes, radish, asparagus, jalapeño, onion sprouts, lime, sea salt.
I also had 2 oz. wheat grass mid afternoon, a tbsp. hemp oil, and my B12. I still take MSM & a probiotic religiously every morning, but I always forget to mention that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Goodbye Pile - Day 58

In yesterday's post I told about our trip to Norman, OK to visit my husband's brother and sister-in-law. I wanted to also post this great photo of my hubby, Gordon, on the left and his brother, Jim. Gordon is the oldest of four boys and Jim is the next brother, just two years younger. I think Gordon looks really amazing for his age. He is 58. Yes, I married a man that's 16+ years older, but if I had to do it all over again, believe me, I would! He is totally a keeper and I feel so blessed to have him as my lover and best friend.

Today was my day to clear out clutter. I first cleaned out the dresser in my bedroom. I have a bag for the Goodwill and another load to take into a consignment shop. Whew, getting that done felt good. Then I tackled "The Pile." I keep a pile of clippings, recipes, information, articles, magazines, etc. by my red chair (the red chair is my spot in our home and it's also where my computer is), and today was the day to weed through this pile. I made tremendous progress in sorting and throwing out. I compiled all of my recipes, as I'm creating a book to categorize and keep everything in order. By tomorrow afternoon, I should be basically clutter free! Although I pride myself on keeping a relatively clean home, juice feasting has really been helping my ADD because this detailed organization is big progress for me!

It has alsos been on my mind that I haven't posted my current weight in a while. I forgot to weigh the last time I was at the gym, but according to my screwed up home scales, I haven't lost more than a pound in the last three weeks. I am not concerned at all, but I would love to see those scales budge a little. I'll be going in for a workout in the morning, so perhaps I'll have a weight report for you tomorrow evening.

Sunday's Daily Juice:
1.5 qts. strawberry, orange, coconut water, goji berry, & spirulina
1 qt. water w/ lemon and mint
1.5 qts. celery, dandelion, romaine, green onion, carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, basil, garlic, lemon, sea salt.

I didn't really want anymore juice than this today, so I just went with it. In this evening's juice I picked fresh parsley, cilantro and basil from my garden and WOW! The flavor was so much more intense and alive! I love having homegrown goodness in my juice!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Whoopee Girls - Day 57

No entry yesterday because I took a little road trip over to Norman, Oklahoma (home of the OU Sooners) to visit my brother and Sister-in-law. Jim & Debbye have recently renovated the old 1917 Shelton family bungalow. Their elegantly appointed cottage sits just paces away from the heart of campus corner. Gordon and I love to make the 2 hour drive over for a little getaway whenever we can. This is the first opportunity we've had to visit since I've been juice feasting, so I packed up my citrus juicer and a big bad of oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, blood oranges, thai coconuts and spirulina. We were only there for 24 hours, so staying juicy on citrus seemed like the easiest way to go while away from home. It was great to see our family and as always, we had a marvelous time. My husband has three brothers and the boys have labeled their wives "The Whoopee Girls." I guess when we all get together, we have a pretty good time. In my old days, when I was still quite fond of the vino, we'd really whoop it up. All of the girls have different color hair, so I'm known as Red Whoopee. One great thing I've learned is that I can still have just as good of time even when I'm not whooping it up on booze! In today's picture, you get to see Blond Whoopee as well!

Once back home today, I had a relaxing afternoon. I took the girls to Utica Square for shopping and my almost 15 year old wanted to go straight to Saks Fifth Avenue to buy a pair of True Religion jeans. Gabby has gotten a part-time job recently at Brookside Cleaners and she has been saving up for this major purchase. I can honestly say that I don't even own a pair of jeans that cost $175.00. They look great on her, but I am glad it was her money and not mine! I remember how I was at her age though....totally obsessed with fashion, makeup and all things hip and trendy. I am glad she was able to get them for herself. It gave her quite a feeling of accomplishment I could tell. I am really proud of her.

After dinner we all snuggled in and watched The Water Horse - Legend of the Deep. What a grand movie it was. Totally a family flick, and I even got choked up a couple of times. It's an enchanting tale of friendship and the legend of the Loch Ness Monster. Do see it if you get the chance!

Saturday's Daily Juice:
1 qt. grapefruit, tangerine w/ spirulina
1 qt. blood orange, tangerine, coconut water, maca, Vita Mineral Green
1 qt. celery, parsley, cucumber, spinach, carrot, garlic
1 qt. celery, cucumber, kale, green onion, red bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, lime, sea salt.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thirsty Thursday - Day 55

My sweet hubby is out of town, so my friends talked me into having a big night out. This photo is of me and Michelle, my best friend's angelic girlfriend. I'm still not sure how he landed this precious peach, but she's so lovely, just like a wee angel. Tonight we went to El Guapo, a hip Mexican restaurant downtown in the warehouse district. Really good atmosphere, really poor service. BUT....I got lucky because tonight they had freshly squeezed blood orange juice in the bar! We ended up on a rooftop patio overlooking Tulsa's breathtaking downtown skyline. Between the fresh juice, the company and the ambiance, it was a great night.

Earlier today I met up with my friend Stephanie from Edmond, OK. We were able to get caught up and have a juice break at Whole Foods. Stephanie and I first made contact on Twitter, but then we inadvertently met a short time later in the check out line at WF's! In February, Stephanie and I attended a raw food class near her home in Edmond by Chef Mandy Canistelle. Today, Stephanie shared with me about her recent experience of 10 days on the Master Cleanse. Mixed reviews, but over all she lost about 10 lbs. We tried to get a good picture, but my camera lost power and my phone took a really sorry shot. Believe me, Stephanie is a true beauty, both inside and out. I'll be sure to have my camera ready with fresh batteries next time she and I get together.

Thursday's Daily Juice:
2 qts. watermelon & spirulina
double shot of wheat grass
16 oz. green juice from Whole Foods Juice Bar (it's a mystery but I know there was parsley, celery, spinach and cuke w/ a dab of carrot)
16 oz. straight blood orange juice
I came home late tonight and drank a concoction of 32 oz. pure water mixed with ice and VitaMineral Green in the Vita Mix....just felt like I needed the extra shot of green goodness.
Took my B12 again today and I'm now certain that's what's making me feel super charged!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being Healthy - Day 54

The Early Show on CBS did a feature story this morning on "Detox Diets - Do They Work?" Although the segment had a predictably negative slant, I felt like they brought out some good points, suggestions and perhaps even spurred interest in considering a more cleansing diet. You can read the piece in its entirety here. Keri Glassman, the registered dietitian who CBS interviewed, states that she isn't completely against detox diets. She often puts her own clients on detox for two or three days -- not so much to rid their bodies of toxins as to give them a mental jump start to eating better and losing weight. One upside of cleansing diets, she says, is that they make you think differently about the food you put into your body, and so they have the potential to permanently improve your eating habits. Although Ms. Glassman and I disagree on a number of points, I can't argue with the theory of cleansing to help you think differently about food and that brings me to my featured personality of the day......

My first exposure to health educator, Emily Shaules, was at the online community of Give It To Me Raw. I recently heard about Emily's story and her warm presence from a friend who attended a raw food retreat in the Poconos last month. It was at that point when her ability to share so openly about her personal journey created a space for others to embrace her message and since that time she has been gaining exposure and quite a following. Emily's most recent essay was featured as a lead story on WLIR, and that is where I found her journey to be so touching and inspirational. I know you too will want read about her past struggle with Fibromyalgia, among other health challenges, and how she overcame it and what she learned about the mind's relationship to dis-ease. I hope you'll take a moment to read about her life changing and triumphant journey here.

I also had the opportunity to talk with both Kevin Gianni and Joel Odhner today. What fantastic guys....I'm a big fan of both. It looks like Kevin will be interviewing Joel, Dr. Oz's personal chef, in the very near future. I'll be sure to keep you posted on that. Joel called me tonight while he was at Home Depot and I was at the grocery store (such glamorous lives we super heroes lead), to tell me that he and a couple of his buddies are getting ready to start juice feasting. How cool! I am going to forward a few of my favorite juice recipes to help him get a kick start. I am not sure how long he's intending on feasting, nor is he, but most likely 30 days or more. It is so encouraging that more and more people are catching the excitement and the benefits of juicing as a way to bring their body into perfect balance. Tonight, I lift my juice glass to you, Joel - you super hero you.....CHEERS!

Wednesday's Daily Juice:
1 qt. grapefruit, tangerine, coconut water & spirulina
2 qt. watermelon juice & crystal manna flakes
1.5 qt. celery, romaine, carrot, onion sprouts, orange bell pepper, garlic, radish, cilantro, jalapeño, lime & sea salt.
I have been taking my B12 sublingual supplement for 2 days and I already feel more balanced and more energy. I have had a head ache off and on today, but I don't think it's detox. We've had intermittent thunderstorms all day and about 15 -30 minutes before it starts to rain, I get a pain in my head and then when the rain stops for awhile my head ache is gone. I think it's a barometric pressure deal. Has anyone else ever experienced or heard of such a thing?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Acres - Day 53

My Dad has been reading my blog (no telling what this dear ol' ex-Marine thinks as he reads of my juice feasting tales), so he knows that I've been composting all of my pulp from juicing. He also knows that I have a serious imbalance in my current pile of scraps. I had to call him last night to report that I have a tasmanian devil tornado of fruit flies that have taken over my backyard compost and kitchen in great numbers. Being the old time organic gardener that he is, he came riding up on his white horse this afternoon (aka in his white chevy pickup) to save the day! First of all, he brought a new composter that is really impressive. This one is an extra that he had and he swears he is never going to use it, so now it's mine. It is built up on a metal frame and it is one that can be turned easily every few days. He also brought books for me to read (having all that information registered into his long term memory banks by now) on all aspects of organic gardening, canning and correct composting. He says my ratios have been off and that's why the fruit fly population is increasing by the day. I have way too much wet pulp and not enough dry yard clippings and leaves. Also everything has just been sitting in that round composter stagnating. The acid/alkaline balance is off. (Is all of this starting to sound strangely like something that can happen in our digestive systems from time to time?) Anyway, I'll have to get out there with a pitch fork and stir that nasty pot, adding leaves and even some newspaper to dry it out. I have to tell you I am starting to feel a little "Green Acres" right now. You should see my finger nails :-( I am totally a big city girl at heart but my love of working in the soil gets me rolling up my girly girl sleeves every time! Three cheers for the world's greatest dad! Hip Hip Hooray!

Another exciting tidbit.....looks like I will be going to Raw Spirit Fest this September! I've made a reservation at a nearby hotel in Sedona. Oh and heads up, the Radisson, where the event is taking place, is already sold out. There is no doubt that this annual event is going to be substantially bigger and more impressive than last year. I wasn't able to make the pilgrimage last year, but my friend Angela and I are planning on making the trek this year. I also think it would be cool if I could find a big house to rent in Sedona and have a bunch of my raw friends join up and we could take it over for a few days! Who knows what might end up happening before September arrives?!

I also had a chance to talk to my friend, Paula, tonight. I recently met with her to discuss her health and how she might start incorporating more raw foods into her diet. She called to report that she is doing great! She bought a Breville juicer this weekend and has been making some green drinks, specifically, Natalia Rose's Green Lemonade. This is the first time she has had freshly extracted, organic juice in her life! I was so excited to hear that Paula has been feeling a real increase in energy in just a short amount of time. She is the friend who I mentioned ordered "the box" from Matt Amsden's RAWvolution and she gave the food rave reviews. Man, am I'm going to be ready for some fabulous raw meals in about a month and a half!! So, Paula....I am so proud of your dedication and inspired by your passion and great results so far! Keep up the fantastic work!

Tuesday's Daily Juice:
1 qt. grapefruit & Crystal Manna
1 qt. strawberry, goji berry, blood orange and spirulina
2 qt. carrots, celery, romaine, asparagus, red bell pepper, dandelion greens, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, lime
I have also started taking a B12 sublingual supplement today.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trust Your Gut - Day 52

Today's inspiration comes from health advocate, Jordan Rubin, author of the Maker's Diet. In a recent newsletter he discusses the digestive tract and what's really going on with your gut. Have you ever experienced butterflies before a major presentation or had a stomachache after making a big decision? Jordan shares that this is your body's way of responding to stressful situations. Notice that the feelings aren't happening between your ears. There's scientific evidence that the body has two emotional centers — in the brain and also in the gut. Next time your body talks, pay careful attention to what it's saying.

We are all taught from childhood to believe that our brain is essentially the "boss" of our body. While it is true that our brain is the centerpiece of our mental capacity and nervous system, it is also a fact that there are nearly one hundred million nerve cells in our digestive system alone — about the same number found in our spinal cord!

Because of the multitude of nerve cells that are located in the gut, your capacity for feeling and for emotional expression is in large part dependent upon the condition of this sensitive area. By the time you add together the number of nerve cells in the esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines, there are more nerve cells in the overall digestive system than there are in the peripheral nervous system. Pretty staggering, huh?

Most people would say the brain alone determines whether you are happy or sad, but they have their facts skewed. It seems the gut is more responsible than we ever imagined for how we feel. So doesn't it make sense that we should treat this part of our bodies with utmost care and attention? When people come to me asking for advise or for direction with their health, I very often tell them to first begin educating themselves, but along the way, go with their own gut instinct. Although I have always believed in following these instincts, I now have a better understanding of why following your gut really is sound advise. What steps are you taking to nourish, cleanse and purify your digestive tract? What is one thing that you can do today that will move you one step closer to better health and a stronger, more efficient digestive system?

Before signing out, I have to give a shot out to my sweet friend, Angela, from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I wrote about my visit with Angela last week and she and I were able to get together again this morning and spend some time, sharing thoughts, ideas and just enjoying one another's company. Angela brought a gift of the most gorgeous flowers and they are gracing our living room in such splendor. Thank you, Angela, for the flowers, but even more so for your friendship. You're awesome!

Monday's Daily Juice:
1 qt. strawberry, goji berry, blood orange, young coconut, spirulina
1 qt. master cleanse
1.5 qt. pineapple, parsley, VitaMineral Green
1.5 qt. celery, asparagus, cucumber, kale, jalapeño, cilantro, orange bell pepper, radish, tomatoes, garlic, lime

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Embracing Our Glory - Day 51

I am snatching today's blog message from the lesson my husband delivered at church this morning. Yes, my hubby is now a Sunday school teacher (awwwww!). He and I are living proof that God is the master recycler......having taken our lives, which were at one point doomed for a trip to the dump, and turned us into something new and much better.

The heart of Gordon message was from this quote from Marianne Williamson....."Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us....And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

This quote really spoke to me this morning and it has stayed with me throughout the day as I happily worked in my yard and tended my sweet little potted garden, which is growing larger by the day! When I first heard this quote, I wondered if what she was saying was true. I am receiving letters from people all over the world daily now and in many of these notes, I am hearing something different. It seems that many don't appear to be fearing their glory, but in fact, are fearful that they are not glorious at all. Many openly state their fear of being a disappointment or a failure, mainly to themselves. Many have told me that they are fearful to start a raw foods diet or try a juicing regime because they think they won't succeed. How fascinating yet sad this is to me. People who are willing to stay stuck because of the fear that they will fail. The more I pondered this quote the more it began to resonate within me. I believe that we are created in the image of God and it seems that we run the risk of being displeasing to our Creator if we don't embrace the truth that we are made in His likeness. So, perhaps it is that we fear our glory. Do we fear heading in this direction because it seems prideful? My thought is that to be truly pleasing to God and to be at peace within our lives we must open ourselves to the reality that we are made to reflect that Divine glory. We are made to Shine. On this Sunday, I hope you too will allow this truth to settle into your heart and mind. Let us not stand in the way of the miracle that is just waiting to take place in our own little corner of the world when we radiate the light that is longing to shine out from within us. My prayer and hope for each of us is that we can let go of the fears that so easily entangle us and truly live lives that are full of glory and that are fully alive with the same creative energy that fuels our entire universe. Now get out there and start shining!

Sunday's Daily Juice:
1.5 qt young coconut water, strawberries, blood oranges, spirulina
1 qt. lemons, raw honey, cayenne pepper, pure water (master cleanse)
2 qt. celery, asparagus, carrots, green onions, orange bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño, cucumber, lime, sea salt

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Celebration Earth - Day 50

In most cities of our nation, there was a celebration taking place honoring next week's official holiday, Earth Day. Where I live was no exception. Tulsa had multiple events taking place, but I chose to attend my old favorite, the Sand Springs Herbal Affair & Festival, which is always held on or around Earth Day. It couldn't have been a more perfect day, as Spring was in the air and thousands of visitors were on hand for the occasion. More than 90 vendors bring herbs, native plants and heirlooms, along with their herbal and locally produced products, gardening supplies and folk art to the heart of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Only a short 10 minute drive west of Tulsa, Sand Springs wets the appetite of those with spring fever with a celebration that began nearly 20 years ago. Each year this festival attracts some 30,000 people. Many surrounding communities now host similar events because of this festival's ongoing popularity. What once began as a small downtown street sale, now remains the "queen" of all Earth Day festivals, as it is the largest and most respected in my state.

I scored big on some heirloom tomato varieties when I ran into Lisa Merrell, the tomato lady. Lisa is my favorite vendor from which to do business because her dad has been growing heirlooms in this area for many years and I trust anything that comes from their farm. Lisa also co-owns, The Living Kitchen, which is a sustainable farm, in progress, with Lisa (bibi) Becklund, formerly a gourmet chef from Seattle. They raise chickens, milk goats, hair sheep, and a variety of vegetables and heirloom garlic and tomatoes. They sell their fresh goat's milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs from their farm. Now, that's the kind of lifestyle I can get excited about. I met Lisa Merrell when she managed the Wednesday market, back in the day when I used to sell my raw food creations at the Tulsa Farmer's Market.

Besides today being a day to celebrate and honor our precious earth, it is also Day 50 of my juice feast! I'd love to tell you that I drank a marvelous, spectacular concoction as a tribute to this day, but I actually drank the master cleanse up until dinner time due to my busy schedule. I did stay focused on hydration today because it was about 80 degrees and I felt like I was loosing fluids rapidly. This evening I had a beautiful green lemonade, heavy on the green, which made it me feel completely alive once again. Happy Earth Day to All!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Feeling Synergy - Day 48

Although it was a dreary day outside with lots of clouds, rain and thunderstorms, it's been bright and sunny here on the inside. It was just one of those days everyone enjoys so much....the kind where you don't take a shower until about 6 pm. That's right, I stayed in my lounge wear all day and worked on the computer, did laundry, dishes, ran the vacuum, dusted, listened to music and basically puttered. No place to go at any certain time.....don't you love days like that? And especially with the weather being as such, I just hibernated and got my groove on. Awesomeness!

I just got a message from my friend Peter Cervoni and he's in Oklahoma this week! He lives in Hollywood, Florida and he's the amazing raw chef that collaborates/works with Chad Sarno and Mandy Canistelle. When he was here in February, I took this fabulous raw Italian cuisine class from he and Mandy that you can read about here. Since then we have stayed in contact and I think he is so cool, both personally and professionally. He is the raw community's best kept secret. I'm not kidding. I am going to work on him and see if he'll allow me to pimp him a bit. I could totally see him hanging with the boys from WLIR and being the guest chef at some of the upcoming GI2MR events. Today's picture is one I snatched from Peter's online photo album, in it is the beautiful Mandy, woolly Paul Nison and the Italian stallion, Peter.

I also had a bit of dialog with Matt Monarch today. He has to be the hardest working guy in raw food, I swear. Well, maybe he and Paul Nison are running neck in neck for that award! Matt and Angela Stokes are the sweetest couple and what a match made in heaven they are. They have some really cool things in the works and I can't wait to follow along as their plans unfold. If you haven't visited Raw Food World, their online store (see the link on the left side of this page), you should check totally it out. I bought some of my juice feasting supplements from them and my new Anastasia book, which I can't wait to read!

Thursday's Daily Juice (back by popular demand)....
1.5 qt. blackberry, strawberry and romaine w/ raw honey and spirulina
1.5 qt. honeydew and romaine w/ Crystal Manna Flakes
1 qt. mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, basil, onion sprouts, garlic, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, lime juice, sea salt.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Like It Raw - Day 47

Earlier this week I was asked to write an article for Women's Week, this week's feature segment on We Like It Raw. It was a real honor to be included in such a grouping of contributors, women who are truly amazing personalities within the health and raw food world. I've been a follower of Dhrumil, the creator of WLIR, for several years now and he never ceases to amaze me. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Dhru at the end of last month in New York. The above photograph was taken of he and I at Sarma Melngalis' Pure Food & Wine in Manhattan. Meeting him in person was everything I knew it would be. He has this presence that is unlike anyone I've ever been around. That's saying a lot because I've lived awhile and I'm a people person. I study people, their mannerisms, their body language and I look at the their aura and into their spirit. I'll can tell you that spending time with Dhrumil is like being with a great spiritual teacher and he leaves you with a feeling like....butter. I have every confidence that he is going to do big things. And I mean really big.

If you would like to read my article, you can do so here. I hope you'll tune in to We Like It Raw each day this week, as new essays and podcasts will continue to be posted. I would also like to invite you to join our online community at Give It To Me Raw. Think Myspace or Facebook, but it's all health conscious, like-minded individuals that are caring, sharing and supporting one another along this journey. I am blown away by the people I've encountered through this website. Do check it out!

This morning I had a really tasty juice....I blended raspberries, strawberries, coconut water, orange juice and spirulina. I strained any pulp and the seeds out and then re-blended with a bit of ice to make it almost like a smoothie. What a delicious treat! Midday I had to mix up a quick quart of master cleanse (lemon juice, raw honey, pure water and cayenne pepper) because I was rushed for time. This evening I had my usual spicy salsa juice and I drank about 2 quarts. I had another episode with bathroom drama :-( I guess I am going to have to give up the jalapeños at some point. The burn factor is hot on the way down, but it's almost too much on the way out. YOWZA!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Half Way There - Day 46

April 15th can often have a negative vibe for many of us tax paying Americans, but this year the day took on a whole new feeling for me. Day 46 of juice feasting is the half way point for those of us who are planning to go the distance and complete the entire Global Juice Feasting program that began on March 1st, as designed by David Rainoshek. When I began this adventure a month and a half ago, I couldn't have foreseen the transformations that have already taken place in such a short amount of time. Issues with my skin have cleared up. A case of chronic bronchitis that had lingered for over six months after a bout with pneumonia last totally clear. Fatigue and mood swings, gone. Paper thin and peeling finger nails are now strong, healthy and growing like a weed. My hair is regaining a lustre and softness after several years of feeling dull and lifeless, not to mention new growth and fullness where I was beginning to see thinning. No bloating, gas or bathroom drama (except when I juice jalapeños, which I do anyway, because I love it hot!) And a weight loss of nearly 25 pounds. I am sure there are other improvements that I am forgetting at the moment, but with results such as these, how could I not move forward and complete my goal?

Today is good time to say a thing or two about gratitude. First of all, I am so grateful for my family, especially my dear husband, Gordon. Gordon has put no demands on me during this time. He has allowed me the space I need to accomplish my goals on a daily basis. I spend much more time on the computer now, between studying, communicating with others who are either juicing or who are in the raw food community, or my own writing...such as maintaining this blog. Never a cross word or a moment of negativity. I realize how blessed I am to have a partner who gives such support...Gordon, I love you and and I love my flowers! As seen in my photo of the day, he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers this morning to congratulate me on the accomplishment of making it to the half way mark. And to the girls, Gabby and Taylor, I want to thank you for loving me and for being so understanding about my wild decision to drink juice for three months. You are both so special to me and we'll always remember this time when I always had a big jug of juice with me everywhere we went!

I also want to thank all of you who read my blog everyday. Knowing that I have family & friends, both old and new, who are following my adventure, gives me a great deal of encouragement and motivation. Your comments and personal emails have been a source of delight and inspiration to me. And a big thank you to Matt Gleason of the Tulsa World for thinking enough of my story to cover it in our local paper. There have been so many people who have contacted me or who I have ran into that saw the article and who speak kind words of encouragement. A genuine thank you to David & Katrina Rainoshek, my juice feasting mentors. And finally to Philip McCluskey and Heidi Ohlander, these two were blazing the trail and are who really got me to see the vision and jump on the band wagon to make that final commitment to go for it. All of these people and factors play a role in my own personal success thus far and and I know that this support structure is a big part of what will keep me going strong in the next month and a half. So everyone join me in lifting your juice glass (or quart jar) and toast with me to another epic and exciting 46 days!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Special Connections - Day 45

I can remember a time in my past when I used to get the Monday blues. Now it's almost hard to recall the last time I felt that sense of dread when Monday rolled around, but now I find myself so thankful at the beginning of each week. I have started viewing Mondays as a new opportunity to create new experiences and to be open to what God wants to bring into my life every week. Today was a perfect example of what I know Mondays can be. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Angela first thing this morning. Angela and I have been online friends for over a year and why we haven't found the time to get together before now is a mystery, but at the same time, it was well worth the wait. She drove in from her home in Bartlesville and we met up at the Cherry Street Coffee House for great conversation and a cup of tea.

Angela and I have plenty in common. We are both moms, raw foodies, information and education junkies and we share a vision and desire to help others and better our own lives while doing so. Angela is both bright and beautiful. She is one of those people that you meet and you immediately feel like you've known them for a long time. After a wonderful time of sharing, we parted with an understanding that today was just the first of many, many more such conversations. Thank you, Angela!

I am also delighted to share that I've been asked to write an article/essay for this week's feature segment on We Like It Raw, Women's Week. Dhrumil has a fantastic line up of essays and podcasts planned from women who work in the world of health and raw food. Check out who and what is on the agenda:
  • Bell Chung on the female period and myths about the menstruation cycle

  • Natalia Rose on growing up with an eating disorder and finding balance within raw foods [podcast]

  • Sarma Melngailis on getting a few products to help you get the glow

  • Stacey & Susan on female body image issues, how they found raw food and coaching others [podcast]

  • Penni Shelton on her motivation behind Juice Feating and how the experience has been so far (OMG....that's me!!)

  • Ani Phyo on her raw food journey and becoming a successful raw chef [podcast]

  • Emily Shaules on rising above fibromyalgia and finding purpose in her life
Please try to log each day for inspiring stories and for a wealth of progressive health related

I also had the opportunity to have a great phone conversation with Margo Jakobi, raw food coach and public speaker, from St. Joseph, Missouri. Margo has an infectious passion for health, raw and vegan foods and for reaching out, helping and inspiring others. She has some really amazing things in the works and her energy really poured fueled on some of my own personal desires, like actually doing the ebook, that so far, has just been rattling around on the MC Word of my mind. So, brainstorming with her was another spectacular treat and a great motivator in the middle of my day.

Tomorrow is my half way mark!! That's right I'll have been juicing for 46 days which is half way to my goal of 92 days. This time has really gone by quickly and it's hard to believe I'm looking at the road ahead and it's all down hill from here on out. Tomorrow will be a real milestone on this journey and I hope to have something wonderful and meaningful to share with you for my 46th day ;- )

My juices were pretty simple today....before noon was a couple of quarts of orange/carrot/spirulina and then afternoon and evening another two quarts of celery/spinach/green onion/cherry tomatoes/cilantro/ jalapeño/garlic/lime/sea salt/freshly cracked pepper to taste. I drink some variation of this juice every evening and it basically tastes like salsa.....I am addicted.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle - Day 44

Every year it happens. I always get so zealous about spring planting, herbs, tender young greens, tomatoes and peppers. For some odd reason I thought this year would be different and that we wouldn't get that odd freeze this late in the season. But apparently its coming tonight.....temperatures are expected to get around 30 degrees or below and I just couldn't bear risking the livelihood of my sweet young potted garden to the chilling night temperatures. So, this afternoon, I brought them all into our kitchen for a climate controlled night at the Shelton Inn. My kitchen island and cabinet tops are overflowing with happy, cozy plants. I can almost sense their gratefulness and if I didn't know better, I'd think they were humming a little tune.

Other than rescuing the garden, today has been relatively calm and very much a day of rest. I have enjoyed some exceptionally good juices today. Before church I had a quart of refreshing grapefruit, blood orange and Crystal Manna. Then for lunch, it was pineapple, parsley, apple & VitaMineral Green. Mid afternoon and evening was my daily favorite....celery, kale, romaine, green onion, cucumber, sprouts, red bell pepper, carrots, asparagus, garlic, lime, sea salt and jalapeño. This smörgåsbord of veggies all marry very well together creating a deliciously savory juice that is a pleasure to my palate. It ends up making around 2 quarts. I usually chase this with a tbsp. of hemp or coconut oil. I keep trying to enjoy chewing bee pollen, but I have yet to feel the love. I choke it down a few times a week, but maybe I just have a funky brand or something. I know it is a spectacularly good addition to any diet, esecially when juice feasting, so I'll keep working on it.

I've got some really exciting things cooking (pardon the pun) this week. Tomorrow morning I am finally meeting with an online friend that I have been corresponding with for close to a year. She is driving in from Bartlesville, OK and we are meeting at my latest haunt, the Cherry Street Coffee House, for a pseudo raw meet up! I feel like I already know Angela and just like it was when I finally met Dhrumil and Philip, it will seem like we've know each other for a long time. There are other very cool things in the works as well, but I'll save those details for later.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Farmer's Market Fresh - Day 43

I awoke this cool, crisp day with a twinge of was opening day of the Cherry Street Farmer's Market! Gordon and I got up, dressed and rushed out to see what prizes we might find waiting for us. As expected, it was a somewhat light turn out by vendors due to the earliness of the season, yet we found some great items. My friends who own The Spice Market, Tracy Evans and Rick Boyles, were there all bright eyed and bushy tailed, with all their amazing mixtures. I bought some cayenne pepper, which I have been out of recently, and I really like adding this into my more savory juices for a kick. We then we were lucky enough to find some tomato plants in several heirloom varieties. In a previous blog, I spoke of my good friend Geoff, the chef at Lava. Geoff was there representing with some of his amazing gourmet takeout fare. Gordon happily bought a marinated bean salad and some hummus, which I have so say, smells divine. So, that was about the extent of our purchases today. Each week that goes by will get even better.

About 11:00 am, I had another new friend come over to talk about raw food. "PJ" found me through my page on myspace and now follows my juice feast through my blog. She is a beautiful woman and it sounds like a diet of more raw foods could end up being a perfect fit into her life. She and I are about the same age and it was fun to give her my kitchen tour, make some nut milk, crack into a Thai coconut, etc. Before leaving, I sent her with my extra copy of Raw Food Real World and The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. I am also going to be eager to hear back from her next week because she has ordered "the Box" from Matt Amsden of Rawvolution. I have always wanted to get "the box" and experience his food.....I guess I'll just have live vicariously through my new friend's rawvolution review for now.

Once finished with our consultation, I went down the street to the Herbal Fair on Brookside. WOW, was it ever windy!! But while there I ran into some old friends and found some great additions for my potted herb garden, a big planter filled with salad greens and a couple of more tomato plants. Come mid summer we'll have so many tomatoes growing....won't that be marvelous? I also bought lovage plants. Has anyone eaten lovage before? This very nice woman who was a grower said she though it would be phenomenal juiced because it is a bit like celery! WHAT? Did she say juiced?! She must have had my number because I ended up buying four plants because of that comment. Let me know if anybody has any scoop on lovage or sorrel, ok? Is sorrel like a leafy green for salads, etc.? Anyway, what a nice event and I love the energy of the crowds that attend such an affair. Just good people.

So my day has been a pleasure. Taylor, our eleven year old is here tonight with a friend. We just finished watching Enchanted....I loved that movie! Gabby is at one of her friends homes for a sleep over. And Gordon and I are ready to turn in and have some down time! Oh, I wanted to share that I drank the most juice today ever. I had 6 quarts total! I drank the juice of one whole watermelon, which yielded 4+ quarts and then I made a pico de gallo flavored juice this evening with just enough cayenne added to make me do the cha cha slide with the girls tonight! So, until tomorrow.....sweet dreams!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fabulous Friday - Day 42

This is a picture of me and my precious Daddy. He is 78 and still going strong and fabulous! (Lou Lou, you are right, this shot was taken a couple of years ago :-)

What is it about Fridays? I mean, does anybody else seem to change gears when you look at the calendar and realize it's Friday? Sure you do. Something just resonates....WEEKEND. Yeah.

There is so much I look forward to sharing with you, but I can't seem to encapsulate it at the current moment. Don't you love it when life hums like know, so much energy, you just can't confine it, define it or articulate it. Isn't that when life is at it's best?

I struggled to finish my blog tonight because I felt so distracted by all that is swirling around me.....but suddenly an angel appeared to remind me....""In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer

You know who you are. Thanks to those who inspire me so. Here's to you kid.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Strawberry Nirvana - Day 41

Today was a nice day. I got a lot of computer work accomplished at home this morning and then I met up with a new friend to discuss the possibilities of her starting either a juice feast or a raw foods diet. This lovely woman is a friend of a few of my friends and she's been following my journey with juice since it began. She's no stranger to the concept of a raw food diet, but she just hasn't made that leap yet. We talked a lot about the pros and cons of starting a juice feast and she decided that it might be good to work towards eating raw first for a few weeks and see how that goes before committing to starting a juice feast. I think she is wise, considering her level of responsibility as a single mom, full time career person, and being involved in a long distance relationship. She really doesn't need to have a major detox scenario or a really complex regime with which to begin. Easing into raw would also give her time to re-learn food prep, make some adjustments to her kitchen as well as give her time to make a quality decision on which juicer to buy. Anyway, meeting with "JM" today was a treat and I look forward to hearing more from her as her story starts to unfold!

I also should mention that I was a juice princess for the day! That's right...I only ended up making one quart of juice today because the rest of what I drank came from my "fairy juice princess"....aka Cynthia Beavers of Pure Raw Cafe (soon to be opening at 37th & Harvard in Tulsa). Cynthia made the most delicious mixtures for me that were delivered right to my door last evening. It was a special gift to myself to celebrate 40 days in the juice wilderness and believe me, drinking her juices was like entering into the Promised Land! There was one that was a blend of spinach, cilantro, coconut water, green curry, lime and I think a dab of jalapeño, which won my top billing. She delivered another that she calls Tantric Thai that is somewhat similar but carrot juice is a bit more predominant. And finally, the Strawberry Nirvana.....coconut water, blended and strained strawberries and freshly squeezed orange juice, to which I added some spirulina and it was to die for. I have felt so spoiled for the past 24 hours, but I felt I deserved a special juice treat!

Other than that, today was otherwise a pretty mellow Thursday. I am looking forward to my yoga class in the morning and another call with Kevin Gianni. This guy has done so much to promote the raw food industry and he really is a great guy. Hopefully I will be able to help him behind the scenes on one or more of his upcoming projects. I know I can learn a great deal from his experience and wisdom in the health industry. Is anybody else looking forward to the weekend like me?!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Out of Probation - Day 40

Who can deny that 40 is significant? As I was researching the meaning of the number 40 today, I found that this number is generally understood as the “number of probation or trial.” For example, in biblical texts, the Israelites wandered for 40 years, Moses was on the mount for 40 days, 40 days were involved in the story of Jonah and Nineveh, Jesus was in the desert fasting for 40 days and there were 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. And I can't forget that 40 is one of my favorite songs by U2! So how does all of that translate to today, to the now of my last 40 days of juice feasting? Well, I suppose that this has been my time of testing, trial or probation. Although it has hardly felt that daunting, it has been a time of separateness and deep personal awareness. It has been a test of my commitment to my own health and a trial to see if I can go the distance. This juice feast has never been something I take lightly and I believe that it is so much more powerful than just the mere fact that I drink juice exclusively everyday.

The more that time goes by, the more I realize that there is much deeper work going on inside me. Each day it seems as though there is another piece of my puzzle that is beginning to fit into place. That which was uncertain in my psyche before now seems more clear and well defined. Professional questions and areas in which I've vacillated without clear direction are now becoming less abstract and a definitive plan is starting to emerge with no forcing or conflict. Opportunities, synchronicities and what I believe to be Divine interventions are starting to become almost commonplace as opposed to a rare supernatural occurrence. Daily life has beautiful little burst of magical chemistry that both delight and humble me beyond words.

Today I had one of those happenings. It was a story I won't recount at this time, but it moved me to tears. I felt an overwhelming sense that God's hand was upon my life and that He was moving things in ways that I had not recognized or felt before. On the inside, I fell to my knees in a spirit of gratitude and awe. Where there was uncertainty, there is now peace, where there was once fear there is now hope and where there were doubts, confusions and insecurities......there is just the feeling of love and acceptance of what is.

This first 40 days for me has been a very special time. A bold journey deep into myself and now back out again with new perspectives and with a new sense of joy. If I were to end my feast today, I would feel like I have experienced far more than I could have expected, but I have a deep knowing that my time is not yet complete. My strong intention is to complete the full 92 days, yet I am choosing to simply take it one day at a time. And for those of you who have been following my journey...I want to deeply and sincerely thank you. Your support has meant everything. I hope you'll stretch your legs and move around a bit because there is more of a ride ahead!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Melting - Day 39

We were able to find the time this evening to take some pictures. It seems fitting that we did a little photo shoot on the eve of my 40th day of juice feasting. The number 40 has always had significance to me and even though I'm far from being finished with my juice feast, the number 40 represents completion of a cycle. So, tonight...we celebrate with photos. I decided to wear the same shirt I had on in my before photographs so you can see exactly how it is now fitting differently.

Yes, my hair is lighter (much closer to my natural color now) and I have had to buy new jeans. In the initial photo I am in a very tight size 14 (can you say camel toe?) and the new shot is a comfortable size 10.

I have been challenged on getting the pictures positioned correctly and my eyes are feeling a bit blurry, so this is all you get tonight. You can tell which shots are from today. I'll add more photos throughout this week as I figure out how to post multiple photographs in one blog. I think you can get the overall idea of how things are progressing from these two. I still have a good amount of poundage to release, but I feel so accomplished to already have a good deal of the work behind me. More importantly than the weight loss is how I am feeling and that is the most amazing and blessed part of it all. That is the reason I started all of this to begin with and this slimming is just the raw icing on the cacao cake!

Beginning Weight (3-1-08) 171
Weight on (3-24-08) 157
Weight on (4-2-08) 153
Today's Weight 149
Total Loss - 22 lbs.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Real Progress - Day 38

I've been holding on to this dandy photograph, keeping it under lock and key, but since today was an uneventful day with little to share but the excitement of finally weighing less than I have in over 5 years, I thought I'd unleash this classic fat photo of me for your viewing entertainment. No....I'm not pregnant here. This picture was taken at my mother-in-law's funeral, just last August. I'm not sure which one of my naughty brother-in-law's snapped it but.....there I am graveside, looking like I'm expecting a toddler. I suspect I weighed about 180 pounds at the time this was taken. Today I weighed in at 149....Can I get an AMEN?

I think seeing this photograph was my own personal AHA moment. I mean look at how bloated I am, not just in my stomach, but in my face as well. I seriously look like I swallowed a beach ball. Looking at it makes me laugh out loud now, but I promise you that when this picture was sent out over the internet to all my relatives in the funeral photos, I was horrified.

When I first went raw, almost three years ago, I lost a nice amount of weight. I think I lost about 20 pounds in the first three months of being totally raw. From my memory, the lowest I ever got down to was 151. I am just over 5'7, so that's not a weight that would be considered out of the normal range. However, I am extremely small boned, so the "experts" have always suggested that I shoot for somewhere around 125 - 135, which is my current weight goal. So how did I get from 151 back up to 180 late last summer? I did the whole yo-yo thing that so many raw foodists do....have great success and feel great eating raw and then get lazy or go back to emotional eating and the addiction of certain cooked, savory foods during times of stress. Nana Shelton's funeral was the last of four funerals last year.....we lost 4 close family members from February through August and I just let myself go to food as my comfort. I am not embarrassed anymore, those were just the facts and that's how I chose to deal with it.

The only other time in my adult life that I weighed under 151 was during the "dark years." I refer to the dark years as the time when I was a newly divorced single parent, a salon/spa owner and I was addicted to diet pills and diuretics. I hardly ate anything all day and then at night I'd have a bowl of Campbell's soup and a half bottle of red wine. I looked good but I was chronically exhausted and in a constant state of crankiness and stress. There wasn't anything healthy going on in my life during those years, so I only share it now as a point of reference of how far I've managed to come.

I have had a request from one of my regular readers for more pictures of me on the blog. I doubt that this was the picture they had in mind but it tells a story. I have asked my sweet husband if he would take some new shots of me tomorrow so we can compare and get a visual of the progress. Remember....I am just over a third of the way through this juice feast, so of course I am still "under construction." I am hoping that the new photos will show the changes in my skin and features as well as some recognizable weight loss. It is so exciting that I can actually see my bone structure surfacing now. I said hello to my ribs a few weeks ago.....I hadn't seen those old friends in a long time :- )

Enough with all of this for today....tune back in tomorrow for pictures, part 2!

Things I juiced today....
apples, pears, celery, bok choy, pineapple, cilantro, limes, romaine, cucumber, radishes, onion sprouts, jalapeno, red bell pepper, parsley, green onion, garlic, lemon, carrots, asparagus.
4 Quarts in total.
I also had some Spirulina, Hemp Oil, Probiotics, MSM, VitaMineral Green and I had a colonic.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Unplugged - Day 37

Another marvelous spring day in Tulsa, Oklahoma! We went to church this morning and once the family was back home and putting their lunch together, I slipped out to meet up with a big group of my friends for brunch at Lava. One of my good friends, Geoff van Glabbeek, is the head chef at this hip Brookside noshery and today was the first Sunday they have been open for brunch. Fortunately for me, they had fresh squeezed orange juice, so I wasn't a total party pooper with this gregarious group of mimosa drinking diners. It feels good to be able to go out and be with people in a social setting, especially a restaurant, and have a good time and survive even though I don't eat food. My friends have gotten used to me by now on this juice feast and they are visually starting to recognize the impact that it is having on me. Not to be prideful, but it's rewarding to get compliments about my weight loss and my skin. The main comment I keep getting is that I look as if I'm glowing. I haven't heard that since I was about 6 months pregnant. But, I've always wanted the proverbial glow that is said to come with being on a 100% raw diet, so I have to say it feels great to finally have gotten a glimpse of it!

After brunch, I decided that it was far too lovely of a day to stay inside, so I changed clothes and put on my hiking shoes and hit the trail. I probably went about 4 miles and the weather was simply perfect. So many people were out on the trail could feel everyone's upbeat energy and joyfulness. All those poor folks who had been suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder were out kicking up their heels today and loving life!

Once back home, Gordon's buddy, Terry Moses, came by for a visit. Terry and Gordon go way back and have a great friendship. Terry shared that he's been keeping up with my juice feast by reading my blog everyday. So here's a shout out.....HI TERRY....thank you for taking the time to read my juicy musings! We talked about juicers and VitaMixers and all kinds of cleansing regimes and such. It sounds like he is seriously considering doing a juice feast of his own this summer. I can see why summer would be an excellent time to start with all of the farmer's markets in full swing and when the abundance of affordable produce abounds. In the meantime, I gave him my copy of Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko to read. I swear that book is a must read for everybody. Since he already has a Vita Mix, he can start getting jiggy with the green smoothies and lay some good ground work before starting a full on juice feast. By the way, if you live in Tulsa, you should seriously consider getting hooked up with Mr. Moses if you're in need of having your carpet or upholstery flawlessly cleaned. You can get the master's touch by calling Terry @ CarpetMaster at 838-1181.

So, Sunday was a wonderful day. It felt so good to unplug from my computer and cell phone and just enjoyed the day and each moment as it came. Hopefully the way this day flowed will be the tone and mood for the entire week ahead.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Soulshine Saturday - Day 36

I love Saturdays. I love the energy in places like the market or grocery store and the sounds in the neighborhood of children playing and the sights of people out walking their dogs or working in their yards. I love walking down Brookside, a bustling street by where I live, and seeing people out dining at sidewalk cafes and coffee shops. Saturdays in Spring, oh how I love thee!

I got all of my shopping done today so my kitchen and refrigerator is back to being fully stocked for another 4 or 5 days of juice feasting. I also made one of my famous batches of Cranberry Maple Granola (from Raw Food Real World). I add a few different ingredients....I add thick rolled oats (the girls ask for that) and ground & whole golden flax seeds. I also add two additional chopped apples for a sweeter flavor. This is one raw treat my 14 year old will actually eat and my husband has it every morning for his breakfast with raw goat's milk yogurt and berries. It is pretty much a staple around here and it was fun to be busy in the kitchen doing something other than making juice. I think will send my brother & sister-in-law who live in Salt Lake City a care package of grawnola. Uncle Larry & Aunt Debbie like the grawnola during our family get togethers and they marvel at the effect it has on their eliminatory organs :- ) I suppose it is the flax seeds and other fiber in the mix that create this side effect for some people. Is it a sign that we're becoming like old people when we get so excited about being regular? Hey, no matter what your age, it's important to keep things moving through the system, right?

Time to elevate onto a higher subject matter.....I have become acquainted with a fellow juice feaster online named Hanlie who has a great blog that I've been following. She is on Day 66 of her feast and she's an intriguing woman for a number of reasons. I found what she shared today really powerful and feel that it is worth repeating so I am sharing a bit of it here on my blog. Hanlie says, ..."I’m still enjoying juice feasting, but the same thing that is preventing me from exercising is also preventing me from “experiencing” my juice feast. I am in effect still not allowing my old, toxic emotions to surface and with it I’m holding on to a lot of physical toxins. Everything has slowed down - releasing toxins, weight and emotional garbage. While my body is obviously benefiting from the juicing, I’m not even scratching the surface of what can be… And I have to overcome that fear! I have to start letting go…the scene is set, I just need to make an entrance into my own life and juice feast."

I felt like her clear and concise thoughts are so true of many of us in our daily lives. Are we really entering in and playing the starring role in our own lives? Are we even remotely in touch with that superhero that we all know we are created to be (even if we only remember it in our wildest dreams)? What about you? Have you begun to scratch the surface of what can be in your life? Do you feel the call? Will you answer? Last weekend in New York at Successfully Raw, Karen Knowler shared this meaningful but simple sentence with the audience...."That which you seek is also seeking you." That really spoke to me and I believe it to be true. Is there anything you are seeking? The good news is that something is most likely seeking you. Allow yourself the time to to think and meditate upon that. Tomorrow, Sunday, is a perfect day to allow that question to rattle around within yourself. Until & peace to all!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Jonesin' for Juice - Day 35

I just finished reading the most recent newsletter from Raw Spirit's Matt Monarch in which he has a wonderfully informative article titled Juicing vs. Blending. There is so much excellent information within the article and I hope you will go to his web page and sign up for his regular newsletter and read it in its entirely, but in the meanwhile, I would like to outline some key points for you here in this entry. I know that many of you who are reading my daily blog have either juiced in the past, are juicing currently or are considering making juicing part of your dietary future and I think these facts will provide you the motivation and inspiration that will encourage you, whatever your current position on juicing may be.

In the article Matt shares that he is alarmed to meet Raw Foodists with nutritional deficiencies. He says, "Tooth decay, hair loss, reduced life span, and other unfortunate consequences have been experienced by many of us with this supposedly "ideal" lifestyle. In his opinion, a 100% raw food diet without getting assimilable nutrients by either juicing or blending vegetables is a deficient diet." Matt quotes Dr. Norman Walker from his book, Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices..."when we drink raw vegetable juices, these juices are digested and assimilated within 10 to 15 minutes after we drink them and they are used almost entirely in the nourishment and regeneration of the cells and tissues, glands and organs of the body. The results are obvious as the entire process of digestion and assimilation is completed with a maximum degree of speed and efficiency but with a minimum amout of effort on the part of the digestive system."

Now...for someone like me, with a life history of debilitating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, this is wonderful news. I believe it's the reason why I have felt so great on this juice feast and why I have NO IBS symptoms. Once I got past the initial adjustment phase of living on liquids, I've had no bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, etc. All I can say is, Hallelujah!

Matt goes on to share that he has seen example after example of raw foodists that have marginal deficiencies on their raw food diet. He states, ...."you can get away deficiency free by consuming blended vegetables, yet...(in his opinion)....juicing a wide variety of vegetables is the optimal way to supply the vitamins and minerals our bodies are craving. The liquid flows straight into our small intestines and there is no fiber to slow down absorption. Juicing is the best, most natural way to get vitamins and minerals in their most easily absorbed form".....Matt suggests drinking a minimum of two 16 oz. glasses of vegetable juice every day. "All of the raw food healing centers use vegetable juicing or wheat grass juice in order to help people heal from degenerative diseases because it is the most efficient way to nourish the body. Drinking vegetable juice is so powerful that it can give you the vitality to create a cleansing reaction within the body on a cellular level. The health pioneers taught us that vegetables are the "nourishers" of the body and fruits are the "cleansers." Ideally, we want the nourishing aspects of food in the most absorbable form to rebuild and regenerate the body."

In the article Matt also covers the big, What about the fiber??? question and then he quotes again from Norman Walker regarding this matter. Norman writes, "Juices from which the fiber has been removed furnish, without interference, every particle of the nourishment contained in the vegetable for immediate and quick assimilation by the body."

I believe that a person with any kind of dis-ease should educate themselves regarding juicing and its multitude of benefits. I have yet to talk with anyone that has a background or even some education in the natural health field who would argue the fact that the body WILL begin to heal itself if given the correct atmosphere in which to do so. And this is true for anything as small as skin problems to cancer, migraine headaches to diabetes, allergies to heart disease. I believe that getting a juicer is one of the most important purchases you can make for your longevity and for your overall health. I have used my Omega for about three years and have been completely happy with its performance and craftsmanship. I also know many people who swear by their twin gear, more expensive Green Star and then there are those who've tried other brands but adore their Breville.

Some people have commented that they can't possible imagine doing a full on juice feast, as I am. The good news I share with them is that it's not imperative to live on juices exclusively to reap short and lonterm benefits. The reality is that tangible improvements in one's health can be attained by adding 32 oz. of freshly extracted juice into one's current daily diet. In a world with so much processed, denatured foods, juicing organic vegetables and fruits may very well be the single most healthful thing you can do for yourself. Go on....try'll like it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In the Cocoon - Day 33

Wikipedia defines the word metamorphosis as the biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's form or structure through cell growth and differentiation. The word is derived from the Latin words meta, meaning change, and morph, meaning form. The definition also goes on to say that some living creatures undergo metamorphosis, which usually, but not always, is accompanied by a change of habitat or behavior.

I sent a message out this morning to my friends on Twitter saying that I have become keenly aware that this process of juice feasting is very much a metamorphosis on all levels....mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When I started this "project," I had the understanding that it could very well be a life changing experience, much like one intellectually knows when pregnant that ultimately their growing baby will be born and he/she will change the parents' life as they know it. This impending change is understood, yet it is not a true reality until the actual birth occurs, especially for the father. David Rainoshek shares that juice feasting is a "hero's journey." He bases his theory for this on the work of Joesph Campbell's, The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Within this concept, Rainoshek outlines the vision quest in four points:

  • To separate from one's daily routine and go into the wilderness
  • To embark on an epic journey, whether metaphorical or real.
  • To allow for a ceremonial death and rebirth....a death of ideas, actions or beliefs no longer appropriate for one's new world.
  • To integrate one's reborn self back into the community, many times to teach what one has learned on the hero's journey.
Before beginning my juice feast and even a week or so into the process, I only had a concept of these ideas. Honestly, it wasn't real to ME. I actually thought there might be a bit of hype regarding such claims.....I mean how can just drinking juice be that big of a deal? I am just now beginning to understand the reality of the meaning of what it is to be on a hero's journey. On Day 33, I am becoming much lighter in not only my physical body but in my mind, emotions and spirit as well. Having no heavy, sedative or stimulating foods to digest really does make a significant impact in one's overall essence. I am not deliberately changing my thought processes but through this experience I find they are changing and evolving. I am also specifically aware of my gut instincts and how I am intuitively much more receptive to my surroundings. I feel an elevation in my spirit that allows me to flow in a continual state of peace and gratitude for this opportunity in my life. And my body is melting slowly into the person I know I've been all along....a more slim, healthy and vibrant me.

What really gets me is this.....we were created to live and resonate on this level of existence, yet unfortunately, it is not the norm. The brain fogged over, dulled, harden hearted, slugged out, addicted, overweight person is not what God intends for us, yet how many people are settling for that as their reality on a daily basis? How many people live life this way and don't even think about it. They don't entertain the thought that life could be and SHOULD be different and better. I suppose that's where I've always been a trailblazer. I have always known and believed that we were created for greatness, wholeness and to live lives fully alive. I am not content to settle. I want those possibilities that I've dreamed of and that I know exist. Do I think a person needs to do a juice feast to go there? Absolutely not. This path is a really efficient way to find that magical place, but there are other paths too. I think making changes as simple as removing heavily cooked foods, stimulants and processed foods is a way of bringing more balance and wholeness to your system. Also, making the commitment to choose organic and locally grown produce whenever possible has an impact. And stepping away from the computer and going outside to breathe in fresh air, get sunshine and take a walk are also ways to reconnect ourselves to that person we were created to be.

So, I am safely in my juicy cocoon, aware of the metamorphosis that is taking place within and with out. I don't know what I will become by the end of this incubation period, but for now, I delight in the process and I am thoroughly enjoying the ride so far.

Beginning Weight (3-1-08) 171
Weight on (3-24-08) 157
Today's Weight (4-2-08) 153 (total loss 18 lbs.)