Monday, March 31, 2008

The Afterglow - Day 31

After reading Jenny Nelson's blog summary of our weekend in New York, I'm not sure what's left to be said. However, I will try to put into my own words what I came away with and how the experiences of the weekend deeply impacted me. I've been into the raw food "scene" for just under three years now, but this was my first real exposure to "raw community." It was also my first significant raw event of this kind.

Friday started with my arrival at Newark Airport and as I was dashing to catch the train to Manhattan I literally ran into Ann Curry. I mean we smacked right into each other and exchanged excuse me's and went about our ways. That buzz happily fueled me as rode the train into Penn Station, which, by the way, is a smart, affordable ($15) and efficient way to get into the city if you don't have too much luggage. Once into Manhattan, I dropped my bags at the hotel, and darted down into the subway for a quick ride to Union Square, which put me only a couple of blocks from my ultimate mission - Pure Juice and Takeaway. I ordered Sarma's pick of the day and I couldn't tell you now what it had in it but I grabbed it guzzled it down as I ran back off into the city. I meandered my way over to Bonobo's, which was just a brisk walk away, and there I ordered their famous Gingerade, which is alkalized water, lemon, lime, agave nectar and fresh grated ginger....really great stuff! I got enough to stock my hotel frig for the duration of my stay. Once back at my hotel, it was time to change and get ready to go dinner with the We Like It Raw Crew and the lovely Ms. Karen Knowler, Successfully Raw's keynote speaker. Meeting everyone in person for the first time at Pure Food & Wine was like a dream come true for me. In attendance were Dhrumil, Philip, Karen, Dawn, and DJ Kim - owner of Washington D.C.'s Java Green Organic Eco Cafe. It was such a memorable evening....one of the best ever.

I awoke on Saturday to a beautiful, crisp, sunny day. How I love waking to the sounds of New York! Once ready, I downed some Gingerade and headed up the few blocks to the West Side Loft for the main event, Successfully Raw! Once inside I met Britanie of Raw Faith and her mother. What sweethearts! I have been following Britanie's raw journey for sometime and it was a pleasure to finally meet her in person. I ended up sitting next to the most lovely woman, Michelle. We exchanged conversation throughout the breaks and, Michelle.....if you happen to be reading this, please stay in contact with me! I want to keep in touch and know what happens in your life! I suspect big things are coming for you!! Anyway....the first speaker was the delightful Karen Knowler...England's first lady of raw food. Karen captivated the audience with her wisdom and grace and she spoke seamlessly for about 2 hours regarding the importance of understanding that being raw is a whole person journey. She shared that going raw and staying raw (at whatever level is right for the individual) is about balancing mind, body, spirit and emotions. Eating raw is not a magic bullet and she detailed the steps to going raw and staying raw, the 7 circles of raw support and the 5 stages of raw transformation. Karen's lecture, along with the others, will soon be available through the We Like It Raw website. My favorite thing Karen said was this, "What you are seeking is also seeking you."

Then Joel Odhner, personal chef to Oprah's medical comrade, Dr. Mehmet Oz, took the stage and created some fantastically simple recipes that he so generously shared with the audience. He believes that having an arsenal of simple to prepare recipes is the key to successfully staying raw and I couldn't agree more. Joel did a beautiful massaged kale salad, a great green smoothie and he showed how to create a base for raw burgers that can be put into your frig that will keep for days. I learned something from Joel I didn't know.....he said besides being the highest on the chain of super food antioxidants, goji berries are a complete protein. That's good news for vegetarians and vegans looking for ways to increase their protein.

At this point there was a break for lunch which was catered by Jill Pettijohn of Jill's Cafe in Brooklyn. Everyone was oooing and ahhing and I must say it looked incredible. I, however, slipped into the back where the sweet Philip and Dhrumil had juice specially brought in for me. By this point I was really ready for something and the freshly pressed apple hit the spot! There was also a sampling table set up by the gorgeous Vanessa of Gnosis Chocolates. I so wanted a bit of her glorious indulgence, but I simply lived vicariously through my seat mates who were in cacao heaven, Michelle and DJ.

The last portion of the day was devoted to the magnificent three; Philip McCluskey, Anthony Anderson and Dhrumil Purohit. Each of them had something unique and meaningful to bring to the audience and although the event was starting to run a bit over, no one minded as everyone seemed to hang on every word that was spoken by each. Philip recounted his journey which ultimately brought him to raw foods, his loss of nearly 200 pounds and the connection between food and emotion. Anthony, the raw model, hilariously shared his own personal journey with raw foods and his coming to terms with what works and what doesn't and then finally, Dhrumil brought everything together as he spoke regarding the spiritual importance of taking the time to fall still throughout the day and to truly understand what it means to be present and consciously connected to every moment we have and how eating raw foods helps to create a clarity which makes being present more tangible.

Once the event came to a close, about 20 of us journeyed back to Pure Food & Wine for a VIP after party dinner. Another extraordinary dining experience and I must admit that my devotion to this juice feast was certainly tested as one raw dish being served was more spectacular than the next. I have to tell you that the company was also at it's finest. You can view all my photographs from the weekend and dinners here. Once finished with dining, we all traveled over to 17th & 10th to hot night club called The Park to dance the night away. It's been a long time since I came home from a night out at 3:30 pm, but the fun I had with this hip entourage was certainly worth missing a few hours of sleep!

My final day in Manhattan was a perfect ending to a magical trip. Around noon, Karen and I took the subway back to Pure Juice & Takeaway for more coconut water and a Thai Green juice. Spending time with her was the greatest gift to me. She is almost angelic in her appearance and she certainly lives the life she so splendidly teaches. From there, we walked to meet up with Dhrumil at Jubb's Longevity. I can't really put into words how much of a trippy place this is, but the "chef" made a special broth for me that he said would be ideal for a juice feaster. I know they were putting some serious juju in their creations, but I drank it down and was happy to have had experienced it. When in New York you must go and check it out.

And that was it. Dhrumil was most kind to volunteer to drop me off at the airport before he returned back home. Being in his presence isn't something I can really articulate. He has the most special spirit of anyone I've ever been around. There is a wisdom that goes way beyond that of a 25 year old and his genuine love, transparency and authenticity is highly rare. The inspiration and subtle passion he stirs in people is contagious and he is a master at the art of facilitating community. Although he doesn't think this of himself, because his ego is always in check, but take my word for it....he's a really big deal. I know he has and will continue to do great things.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bon Voyage - Day Twenty Seven


This is going to be short and sweet since I'm getting up at 4 am in the morning to fly to my home away from home, New York City. The weekend is shaping up to be an amazing time indeed. There are a number of people with whom I have become friends through the raw food community online that I will FINALLY get to meet face to face. I have been communicating with Dhrumil of We Like It Raw for a couple of years now and he has become a trusted friend, not to mention a completely brilliant fellow. Then there is Philip McCluskey of Loving Raw...what a total inspiration and a huge sweetheart. I deeply respect Philip and Dhru and both of these guys are savvy entrepreneurs and hip spiritual players. Then there are a handful of lovely ladies whom I've "met" through various avenues like Twitter....Jenny, Victoria and Britanie are three that will also be attending Saturday's event. I am so delighted to finally meet them in person.

By now, I am packed and ready to go as I'm traveling light and only taking a carry on. I am praying for traveling and juice mercies while I'm away. During this trip, I'm totally going to be winging it since I can't take a blender or any other juicing paraphernalia on the plane. But somehow I just have a feeling everything is going to be alright. I won't be blogging again until Monday since I get back so late on Sunday. I'll have my cell phone, so I'll be able to send out Twitter updates. I'll miss you all while I'm gone!

Thursday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
2 qt. honeydew, parsley, lime & Spirulina
sweet rose tea
1.5 qt. celery, cilantro, cucumber, garlic, carrot, jalapeño, tomatoes, lime, salt & pepper

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pin Up Girl - Day Twenty Six

Ever since I was young, I've had a fascination with pin up girls. My first introduction to tasteful pin up art was from my artistically talented mother who used to effortlessly sketch pin up girls in flawless detail as she appeared to be just mindlessly doodling while on the phone. Over the years I've collected a number of prints and I have a large folder of pin up art on my computer. I ran across this particular redhead today while I was going through a file and I thought I'd share her with you. One of my best friends is an amazing photographer, Western Doughty of Haftone Photography, and he and I have talked of a photo shoot in which he would take some retro pinup pictures of me once I am finished with my juice feast. I'd love to find a dress like the one in this picture and try to recreate a photograph fashioned after this drawing.

So.....today was another amazing day. My day started off with a phone call from Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health. Kevin is a mover and shaker within the field of natural health and he has many amazing accomplishments under his belt. He has virtually interviewed every who's who in the raw food and vegan community and the list only begins there. Kevin has some really incredible things planned in upcoming months I am am going to be eager to watch the excitement unfold. We even touched on the potential of working together on a couple of projects, which would be fantastic. If you don't already follow his daily blog or watch his Renegade Health Show, you'll want to bookmark his page or better yet, add your email to his mailing list. I find I am always learning interesting and helpful facts and tidbits from him.

I can't believe it's been 26 days since I began living on just juice. I can honestly say I feel amazing and my energy just keeps getting stronger each day. If I were to change anything it would probably be to get more consistent with drinking water throughout the day. Sometimes I get busy and forget. Although my skin looks better all the time, I think I could use a bit more hydration. And about my skin....and hair and nails....I could pimp MSM all day long as a supplement. My finger nails have gotten so strong and are growing faster than I ever remember. Back in the day, when I worked in the salon, women asked me daily, "What can I do to make my nails stronger and not peel?" I never had a great answer back then, but now I'd tell them to pop about 6 -10 MSM capsules/day and watch the magic happen!

Wednesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
vanilla creme tea
2 qt. watermelon, blood orange and Spirulina
rooibos tea
1 qt. celery, purple kale, apple, lemon, lime
1 qt. celery, red swiss chard, cucumber, onion sprouts, tomatoes, garlic, lime, jalapeño, sea salt

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sunshine - Day Twenty Five

Today was one of those days when I just felt completely alive. Our weather in Tulsa couldn't have been anymore gorgeous and I think that set the tone and mood for the entire day. I am currently in a study group that meets Tuesday mornings throughout the school year. This year we are working through the Gospel of Matthew. I have been learning so much and enjoying my time with this group. I was never able to get plugged in to opportunities like this before when I worked full time, so this sabbatical has afforded me this great change of pace.

After lunch, or after my mid afternoon juice, I slipped away to meet some new friends at the Coffeehouse on Cherry Street. I was delighted and blown away that they had Rooibos tea on their impressive loose organic tea menu. This may be a new place for me to hang out and meet friends while I'm not in the dining out mode. Anyway, I was invited to meet up with the stunningly beautiful Jolanthe, Michelle and Sarah to talk about health, raw food, juicing, enemas, wheat grass implants (eek!), etc. I met Jolanthe at Whole Foods just before embarking on my juice feast. These three ladies are good friends and have been following my journey through my blog and we all thought it would fun to actually meet up and get to know one another a little better. I enjoyed my time with them so much and we plan to get together again soon to continue our "natural health chat." Who knew Tulsa had these very cool, health conscious super hero glamor girls?!

Then my final perk of the day was to come home to find that I was mentioned on We Like It Raw this afternoon! The article is about the event that I will be attending in Manhattan this weekend and I got billed as a VIP that will be in attendance along with Parashakti and author of Crazy Sexy Cancer's, Kris Carr. If you haven't been exposed to Kris Carr, please check her out. Whether cancer has ever touched your life or not, you will find her an amazing inspiration. This weekend will be nothing less than magical and I will be sure to post pictures and share details when I return. Once in the city, one of my first stops will be Pure Juice & Takeaway, which is the takeout location of my favorite restaurant Pure Food & Wine. I had the best meal of my life there on my 40th birthday and it's also where I met and was interviewed by Carol Alt for her most recent book, The Raw 50. Sarma, the proprietor of PF&W, is the epitome of beauty and raw food hip. If you're in NYC....a visit to her raw vegan eatery has to be atop your MUST do list!

Tuesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
1.5 qt. grapefruit & Spirulina
Rooibos tea
1.5 qt. pineapple, parsley, blueberry, lime & Spirulina (I juiced this then blended it with crushed ice and the Spirulina.....what a treat!)
1 qt. celery, cucumber, carrot, tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic, lime

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weigh In - Day Twenty Four

I guess the time has come to throw my poor old bathroom scales into the trash. I had been feeling like they weren't all that accurate, but at least they were giving me some idea that I was losing weight steadily since I've been juice feasting. Once I dropped my daughter at school this morning, I went into the locker room at my gym and weighed myself on their very professional doctor style scale. Ohhhh, oops, ouch.....I weighed more than I thought. Honestly, it wasn't that bad, but I promptly went home to calibrate my home scale to that of the correct weight on the gym scale. So for the sake of my own personal records I am going to repost my actual start weight and my correct current weight at the end of today's post. I will now post that every Monday for those of you who are into knowing what the weight loss is looking like.

I also went to my dental appointment today for the usual 6 month cleaning and for them to take a peek at pitiful old #17, aka Nub, my partially in/partially under wisdom tooth that had been causing me grief last week. As I expected, I have a hint of infection still left in the gum area and my dentist says it really needs to come out. I explained my current "cleansing program" to him in simple terms and he was pretty understanding. He felt that I could wait until after I am done with the juice feast, but if it starts giving me severe problems again, he will put me on antibiotics and send me straight to the oral surgeon. So, one day at a time and lots of sea salt water and wheat grass rinses for the Nub!

Monday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
1.5 qt. grapefruit, orange & spirulina
1.5 qt. celery, arugula, cilantro, radish, red bell pepper, alfalfa sprouts, garlic, lime, onion, carrot, cayenne, Celtic sea salt.

Beginning Weight (3-1-08) 171
Current Weight (3-24-08) 157 total loss - 14 lbs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter - Day Twenty Three

I had the most marvelous Easter Sunday. From start to finish the day was a gift and a blessing, just as is should be. We began the day at church....a glorious atmosphere in which to worship and give thanks. Easter lilies filled the sanctuary and the stained glass windows seemed to illuminate the sunlight in a magical way that I'd never noticed before. It was a beautiful and meaningful time for our family.

The mid part of our day was restful and totally low key. About 3 o'clock, my brother and sister-in-law stopped by for a brief visit and it was so good to see them. We marveled at the fact that we hadn't seen one another in almost three months...where does the time go? After their visit, we were off to join my husband's two grown daughters and their significant others for a Easter afternoon dinner on the Riverwalk at a Mexican restaurant, Los Cabos. I was quietly apprehensive about this outing for obvious reasons. Being on a juice feast and then being surrounded with sizzling platters of fajitas and margaritas was a true test of my commitment and endurance to this program. The whole family has been so great about what I'm doing. Not one person made fun of my situation or were they critical in any way. As a matter of fact, they were so complimentary and quite encouraging. I am pretty sure they don't really understand why I would want to drink only juice for 92 days, but nonetheless, they were most understanding regarding my decision to have San Pelligrino and lime today.

My husband and I rented a movie that I had been wanting to see, No Reservations. What a tender and touching movie. I thought is was a perfect ending to a wonderful day. I always think of Easter as a time of new life and of a time for fresh beginnings. Nature is already starting to sing of a new season, my favorite season, and it just feels like something new begins inside of me each spring. This year the feeling seems even more profound and most likely it is due to the state I am in physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Living on freshly extracted juices for this length of time now seems to have raised my frequency, if you will. It is a state of being that I do not want to leave. I also recognize that everything ebbs and flows, and this juice feast will come to an end at the appointed time. For now, I am simply going to try to stay aware of what is going on in the present moment, recognizing and cherishing what is. I hope each of you had a blissful day.

Sunday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
1 qt. celery, arugula, apple, lemon, ginger
.5 qt. strawberry juice
1.5 qt. celery, boston lettuce, radish, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, asparagus, onion sprouts, jalapeño, garlic, lime, Celtic sea salt
I also drank nearly a gallon of water today as well.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Parasite Saturday - Day Twenty Two

After water fasting all day yesterday, I woke up and felt really strong and clear this morning. I had my usual water with lemon and as the morning progressed, I realized I was still feeling like not having any juice again today. Honestly, it concerned me because I know the guidelines of juice feasting are important to follow for a reason. After doing some light work around the house, I decided I should probably try to do an enema since there had been no real activity in that department for over 48 hours. (Now is probably a good time to quit reading if discussion of bathroom issues is offensive to you.) I thought that doing a coffee enema would be the ticket, so I did one bag with organic brewed coffee and a second with warm clear water. During the "rinse cycle" I felt a weird sensation. When I looked into the toilet bowl, there it was.....a long strand that reminded me of the frog eggs that used to be found in my husbands coy pond. As sick as it sounds, I fished it out so I could figure out what in the heck it was. I realized after a discussion with my colon hydro-therapist, this silly string of sorts was in fact a habitat in which parasites dwelt. Tamara, the bowel expert, explained that these parasites live within these strands and adhere to the lining of our intestinal walls. They are in competition for our body's nutrition, with their primary goal that of staying alive, they basically suck our valuable nutritional resources as it passes through our small and large intestines for absorption. Most likely my water fasting caused them to start to release as their food source was suddenly drying up. In this atmosphere, a coffee enema can stimulate enough peristaltic action to expel them. She says there are probably more where this initial batch came from. Although the attached photograph of Dr. Oz and Oprah holding strands of parasites is an exaggerated version of my own personal harvest, you get the idea.

I can't help but wonder if my body knew something I didn't. The really amazing thing was that once I got that slime out, I felt a subtle mood of euphoria, really light and almost giddy. This feeling of marvelous clarity and energy lasted throughout most of the day. I still didn't want juice and drank lots of lemon water. Finally at around 7:30 pm, I made a gallon and a half of cantaloupe/romaine juice and that tasted really refreshing and delicious. I could have just as easily not drank anything, but I felt that I should try and I'm glad I did. Tomorrow is Easter and I want to be feeling good and full of vitality since we have a day full of activities and family fun planned. Earlier in the day I had to chuckle when I thought to myself.....lots of people are hunting eggs this weekend and I feel like I just laid some. I am planning to have a breakfast of carrot juice in honor of the old Easter bunny tomorrow morning. Happy Easter Eve to all!

Saturday's Daily Juice:
probably a gallon of water
1.5 qt. cantaloupe/romaine juice

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday - Day Twenty One

Today was a curious day for me. I had shared that I had a very low energy day yesterday, and it was interesting because I awoke at some point in the night with this feeling that my body was engaging in some really serious matters of housekeeping. I didn't feel bad, just an awareness that things were happening, shifting and cleansing. When I awoke, I was happy and my energy level was back to normal. I still had the feeling something had shifted inside during the night. As the morning progressed, I kept looking at the clock and thinking....I should really be having my first juice now....but my first juice never came.

My body simply went on juice strike today. No matter what, every time I thought of juicing, the body said, "Nope, no juice. Not right now." That internal dialog went on all day and here I sit at 9:30 pm and nothing but lemon water has gone into the tank. Do I feel hunger? Not a bit. Do I feel weak or tired? I feel completely normal and chilled out. I know that the "rules" say to drink the 4 quarts of juice everyday, and overall I have been following the rules very well, until today.

I have tried to ask myself, what's the deal? Believe me, I am not the water fasting type. I mean in the past, when I've been sick with a flu or something, I can still eat like a man. I don't lose my appetite unless something major is going on, and nothing appears to be major today. One thought I have is that today is Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified. I wonder if on a spiritual level I am very somber about the work He did on this day over 2,000 years ago. It could be. My conscious mind doesn't have an answer, but I'm trusting my gut right now and it says, put nothing in today, please. So instead of drinking juice, I have just tried to commit myself to a prayerful, contemplative day of going deeper.

So.....that said, I have no daily juice for you today on this Good Friday, just blessings and love to all!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Howling at the Moon - Day Twenty

I am convinced that the moon's cycle has an effect on me. Not only is today the first official day of Spring, but tonight is full moon eve and it is also the first full day of my monthly cycle. I was blessed to not have any PMS this month and I am quite sure it has to do with the balance coming into my body through juice feasting. My symptoms today have been different than any other day since I started juicing, so I am guessing they have to do with my cycle and that of the moon. My mood has been perfectly stable but my energy levels have been very low all day. I had intended to get out into this absolutely gorgeous day and go for a long walk and unfortunately, that never happened. My hunger/thirst was surprisingly low all day and it was a fight to get 3 quarts of juice down. I am not an afternoon napper....never have been.....but today a siesta would have really hit the spot. I also had a dull headache off and on through out the afternoon and even now it lingers ever so slightly in my forehead and behind my eyes. I also have a feeling that an enema would help to alleviate my symptoms, but I honestly don't have the energy to do one tonight.

I did spend some time in my yard and I was able to get a nice dose of Vitamin D, as the weather was simply perfect. I also took a little time to play with my new digital camera and I think I've just about figured out all of the cool features it has. I gave my digital to my husband a couple of years ago for his real estate work and he's bought two new ones since then. I have also bought my daughter a couple of digitals in the last few years, so it was time that mother finally got a camera! Since I'm headed to the Big Apple by myself next Friday, I felt it was important to have a great camera to capture all the excitement. I looked at the extended forecast for NYC and next weekend looks like rain the whole time. I can handle that-at least it shouldn't be freezing. I am stoked because I'm flying into New Jersey (Newark) and I'm going to take the train from the airport to Penn Station. I refuse to pay around a $150 for a cab ride into Manhattan when I can ride the train for $14 (more $ to spend in Chinatown, right?!) The train experience will make the trip even more fun and unique for me anyway. I'll have the majority of the day Friday to shop and then I'll spend Saturday at the Successfully Raw seminar. And who knows what I'll do Saturday night.....maybe shake my booty with the raw entourage til 4 am??!! Sorry, but right now I can't imagine that. For tonight, I'll just go howl at the moon.

Thursday's Daily Juice:
water-lemon (out of MSM, it's on it's way!)
vanilla creme herbal tea
passion berry herbal tea
1 qt. Parsley, celery, kiwi, green grapes, coconut water, crystal manna flakes
rooibos tea
1 qt. collard greens, celery, fennel, yellow bell pepper, carrots, radish, lemon w/ 1 heaping Tbsp. Vita-Mineral Green (this just arrived today - Yippee!)
1 qt. pure watermelon juice - this last juice of the day made this howling wolf very happy.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Swiss Miss - Day Nineteen

What?? Were you expecting a picture of that saucy little instant pudding lassie? Well, as cute as she is, I have to say my favorite swiss Miss is Rainbow Swiss Chard! Isn't she lovely? And don't let her pretty face fool you. If this vegetable could get grades for traditional nutrients alone, Swiss Chard would be one vegetable valedictorian. The vitamin and mineral profile of this leafy green vegetable contains enough "excellents" to ensure its place at the head of the vegetable Dean's List. Swiss chard receives excellent marks for its concentrations of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. Swiss chard also emerges as a very good or good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, protein, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Another impressive stat is that Swiss chard promotes lung health. If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-rich foods, such as Swiss Chard, part of your healthy way of eating may save your life, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.

Swiss Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile: it has the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavor of spinach leaves. Both the leaves and stalk of chard are edible, although the stems vary in texture with the white ones being the most tender. The stalk, which can measure almost two feet in length, comes in a variety of colors including white, red, yellow and orange. Sometimes, in the market, different colored varieties will be bunched together and labeled "rainbow chard." I especially enjoy using Chard as a base for my green juices. It has a milder flavor than some of the other more bitter greens. To continue reading more of the amazing benefits of this leafy green super food, rich in so many nutrients, including anti-oxidants, go here.

Wednesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
1 qt. grapefruits, clementines, crystal manna flakes
1 qt. pineapple, spinach, lime, apple
1.5 qt. kale, celery, carrot, asparagus, green beans, orange bell pepper, jalepeno, radish, garlic, clover sprouts, green onions, Celtic sea salt.

PS....For Girls Only.....I knew it was getting close to being "that time of the month," however, I have had ZERO premenstrual symptoms. I was taken by surprise just now as I went to the powder room to find that Aunt Flo had arrived late this evening with no warning. It will be interesting to see how this cycle differs from my norm....so far so good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Herbally Yours - Day Eighteen

Yesterday afternoon I found some beautiful little herb starters during my daily trip to Whole Foods. To my delight, they also had bags of organic soil, compost and all natural cottonseed meal fertilizer. So today I mixed my soil and used last years pots to create my very own herb garden. Not only am I wanting herbs, but I am currently looking at my other options for growing vegetables and greens. I receive several seed catalogs and I really enjoy looking over all the varieties available. Since my current space is going to be limited to only having a container garden, I will have to chose my favorites and plant accordingly. I will no doubt try my green thumb with tomatoes and peppers and I plan to do a long container which will be perfect for my little bed of fresh salad greens. And did I mention that juice feasters create the best compost?

Later in the afternoon I decided to contact the very cool Mike and Emily of one of my favorite local, sustainable and organic farms, Three Springs Farms. Ever since I read Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko, I have wanted to get my hands on some Lamsquarters, Purslane, Stinging Nettle and other super nutritious greens and herbs. Many people haven't ever heard of these or if they have they consider them to be worthless weeds. Hopefully I will be able to have the respected folks at Three Springs Farms get me the hook up so I can have an abundance of these underrated garden gems this spring and summer.

So.....what's in my herb garden so far? Basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, Italian flat leaf parsley, sage, spearmint, peppermint, chives and oregano.

Tuesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
vanilla creme tea
2 qt. watermelon, orange, crystal manna flakes
1 qt. rainbow chard, celery, carrots, yellow bell peper, garlic, jalepeno, clover sprouts, watercress, lime
1 qt. spinach, cucumber, onion, basil, garlic, jalepeno, tomatoes, red bell pepper, Celtic sea salt

I almost forgot to mention....my husband got his juice on right along side me today for the first time since I've been on this extravaganza! He is committing to doing one day a week (Tuesdays) for the remainder of my time on the feast). When I just asked him what he thought about today, he said it was no big deal....well, good for him!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just Dandy - Day Seventeen

Since the first week of my juice feast I've been enjoying dandelion greens in my juices. Until recent years, I had no idea that dandelion greens and their roots were edible. I always loved them as a child but I also remember them being a pesky addition to my parent's expertly manicured lawn. For those of you who may not realize, dandelion greens pack a powerful punch of nutrition. They are high in Vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid and vitamin C. They contain good amounts of calcium and potassium and they may be useful in treating jaundice, cirrhosis, edema due to high blood pressure, gout, eczema and acne. Dandelion is also used to treat and prevent breast and lung tumors as well as premenstrual bloating. Adding dandelion to ones diet is beneficial to digestion and is an antiviral that may be useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes. And finally, dandelion root contains inulin, which lowers blood sugar in diabetics.

Personally, dandelions greens are somewhat tough to stomach alone due to their bitterness, but thrown into a mixture of other veggies or fruit-especially citrus, they are a welcome addition. If you are lucky enough to have dandelions coming up in your yard, don't become irritated this year, just go out and harvest them, then begin juicing them or mixing them into your salads. If you don't have luck finding any patches of this common weed around your area, most Whole Foods carry them in their produce section, which is where I've been getting mine.

So now before I drink my dandelion juice, I have started making a wish. Just like the good old days, only better!

Monday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
vanilla creme herbal tea
2 qt. celery, dandelion, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, apple, lime, ginger
1 qt. blackberries, lemon, orange, coconut water
1 qt. romaine, carrot, asparagus, red bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, jalepeno, lime, garlic, salt
1 tbsp. hemp oil
1 tbsp. bee pollen

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Successfully Sunday - Day Sixteen

I awoke refreshed and clear this morning and earlier than usual for a Sunday morning. Because everyone else was still sleeping, I had the whole house to myself for about an hour, so I took that time to simply enjoy the silence, read and create a plan for my day. Later, we went to church and enjoyed the beautiful service they had prepared for Palm Sunday. The choir, waving palm branches, marched through the sanctuary and sang Hosanna. The young children sang too and their sweet, clear voices elevated my spirit to heaven. It was good to be there today and hear the inspirational message which was about service towards others. I prayed that God would continue to show me how I can reach out to help and serve those around me. It was a beautiful morning.

Once home, I excitedly made my reservations to travel to New York at the end of the month to join up with Dhrumil and the We Like It Raw team's big event, Successfully Raw! From the minute I heard about the event, I desired to go, but I've waited. When I finally spoke with Gordon, my husband, about it last night, he was quick to tell me to book it! I have such a dear supportive mate in him. So I am totally stoked about my upcoming trip.....in less than two weeks I'll be in my favorite city! So, this was another moment that made my heart sing today!

It should be an interesting experience to be traveling as a juice feaster. There are plenty of others who have done it before me, so I will study a bit about what worked well for them and what didn't. I know that NYC should be a breeze with all of it's organic juice bars and health food restaurants. My hotel is two blocks from Bonobo's and another 8 or so to Pure Juice & Takeaway, so I should be able to stay fully juiced up while there. I am fortunate enough to have been able to book non-stop flights both there and back. I will be sure to blog all about my experiences!

Sunday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
rooibos tea
1 qt. grapefruit, orange, Crystal Manna
1.5 qt. celery, carrot, dandelion, beet root w/ tops, green onion, alfalfa sprouts, cayenne, lime
1.5 qt. honeydew melon
1 Tbsp. hemp oil
vanilla tea w/ bee pollen & spirulina

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Apples of My Eye - Day Fifteen

My day started at 4 am today. It was the first day of Spring Break 2008 for us and that meant we were on our way to Tulsa International Airport to put Taylor, our eleven year old, on a plane with 30+ other fifth graders to fly to our nation's capital, Washington D.C.! It was all very exciting for the kids and this 4 day excursion will be action packed from start to finish. Many of you may not know this but Taylor is actually not my daughter. Taylor is my husband's granddaughter, but we are helping to co-raise her, as Gordon's ex-wife has legal custody of "The Tay." I love her as much as if she were my own and she has been such a gift in my life. Although we're a blended family, it works beautifully and we know that God brought us together because we all needed one another. Paraphrasing from Dr. Evil to Mini Me, "They complete me!"

Once Taylor was safety in the air, Gordon started working and I was off and running with the rest of my day. I went on a produce shopping extravaganza, visiting Whole Foods, Akin's-our local health food store, and Center One Market-a "she she" boutique market that showcases local growers and local chef's.....it's cool, maybe too cool for this town, and it is pricey. With those three stops, I scored big on beautiful organic greens and vibrant fruits that are now beautifying my kitchen island. When in my kitchen, sometimes I just stand and admire the bounty laid out before me in awe, almost as if it were a shrine. Does being with fresh, organic, ripe produce ever cause you to well up a bit? I've noticed I can get moved this way when I am at an open air farmer's market or at my dad's house, in his organic garden. It is just a passion for me. I have propped up my un-cook book from Cafe Gratitude to be displayed right next to the spread because I love the name and it says it all, I Am Grateful. True that.

Then in the late afternoon, I spent some time chauffeuring my daughter and her friends to and from the mall, movies and dinner. Gabrielle will be 15 in May. Hard to believe my baby is now a lovely young lady. She is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and I am very proud of her. However, her diet is polar opposite of mine. If it's raw or green, forget about it. I hold to the belief that her opinions and tastes will evolve and develop as she matures. I, too, despised healthy food when I was young, and over time, my body simply stopped allowing the dietary abuse and here I am today, working towards undoing all I can from the damage caused by years of poor choices. Anyway, coming back to the present...we have a house full of giggling and shrieking teen girls running around the house and I am enjoying this time of finally winding down to rest and count my many blessings. And since tomorrow is Palm Sunday, a spirit of thanksgiving seems to fit perfectly.

PS....Nub, the wisdom tooth, seems to have stopped hurting today. Thanks to everyone for your holistic dental suggestions....they appear to be working!!

Saturday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
ginger tea w/ raw honey & lemon
1.5 qt. celery, kale, dandelion greens, apples, & lime.
1 qt. spinach, tangerine, blueberry
Tulsi vanilla tea
1 qt. cucumber, orange bell pepper, onion sprouts, yellow onion, asparagus, broccoli, cilantro, parsley, carrot, tomato, garlic, jalepeno, & Celtic sea salt. (sounds strong...it was and I loved it!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fun Friday - Day Fourteen

DAY 14!!! It's been two blissful weeks of juicy juicing and I am loving it. I feel so blessed because other than an occasional race of the cha-chas, I haven't had any real struggles with detox symptoms, physical or emotional. The only bother, as I wrote yesterday, is the nub of a wisdom tooth that has suddenly decided to rear it's wee little head and act out. At this point I am a bit concerned that it's abscessed. I even broke down and took an Advil this afternoon because the pain was so strong and distracting. I am on this feast to cleanse and detoxify, so my intention was to take NO medications of any kind. Could this tooth issue be related to detoxing? I've not heard of such a symptom, but it might be like me to get a weird one just to spice things up a bit. I moved my dental appointment up to this coming Monday, so I'll have it investigated. That's all I know to do at this point.

On a pleasant note....I had the most marvelous afternoon to celebrate two weeks. I had a colonic, which was pretty uneventful. It made me think of the old movie, Road To Wellville, a story of Will Lightbody (Matthew Broderick) and his wife, Eleanor (Bridget Fonda) who are guests at the health spa of cereal mogul Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins). In the words of Dr. Kellogg, " My stools are perfect! And, have no more odor than a hot biscuit." Hopefully readership didn't just go down with that quote. Time to elevate....

After the afore mentioned appointment, I went to Aquarian Age to have a sauna, steam and marvelous massage by Gena. Gena pummeled me like a grape. I may even end up slightly bruised by tomorrow, but I am pretty sure she schmushed most of my cellulite up and out of my eye sockets. As my husband commented, a good masseuse will do that for you. Rigorous as it was, it was an hour and a half well spent and a great way to celebrate Day 14!

Friday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
olive leaf tea
1 qt. celery, kale, broccoli, cucumber, radish, carrots, purple cabbage, basil, tomatoes, garlic, Celtic sea salt.
1 qt. grapefruit, tangerine, Crystal Manna
1 qt. carrot apple, lemon, ginger
1 qt. (see green juice above)
olive leaf tea

Thursday, March 13, 2008

NY Frame of Mind - Day Thirteen

I'm not sure what got me started, but today I've been obsessing with thoughts of being in New York. The picture to the left was taken about 18 months ago while I was visiting the Union Square Green Market. It seems like my creative energies have started flowing and I am full of passion & ideas. This kind of energy, adrenaline rush or whatever it is, is something I haven't felt in a long while. I have been knocking an idea around in my head for sometime about wanting to maintain my home here in Tulsa, but also keep an apartment in Manhattan. No, I'm not uber wealthy nor do I have a job/career that causes me to travel there on business.....yet. That's right, one of my top five goals that I wrote down on January 1st of this year was about this very plan. Suddenly, thoughts are starting to materialize and I am seeing this desire/dream/goal/vision start to seem like it really can materialize. We'll see how the days ahead progress.

Moving on....I have been feeling great overall, but I did awake this morning with a weird symptom. I have a wisdom tooth that is only partially in and it has never been a bother, ever. My dentist always inquires about it, but never a pain or sensation comes from the poor little nub of a tooth. Well, this morning, Little Nub was my first awareness of the day. A throbbing soreness that radiates down into my jaw bone...did I brush too hard? I AM brushing my teeth much more frequently these days, due to juice feaster's furry teeth syndrome. Whatever the cause, I am perplexed by this odd pain and fortunately I do have a routine dental appointment scheduled in just over a week. Again, we'll just have to see about Nub.

Thursday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
Passionberry Tea
1 qt. parsley, dandelion greens, spinach, english cucumber, apples, pear, lemons
1.5 qt. cantaloupe, broccoli sprouts
1.5 qt. pineapple, spinach, cilantro, apple, lime
I also drank a ton of water today.
(Tragedy occurred....I ran out of organic celery. Guess I'll have to double up tomorrow)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Borscht For Breakfast - Day Twelve

This morning I awoke with fresh juice inspiration. I don't think I have ever dreamed of eating borscht before and to be honest, I don't think I've ever made it in the traditional style either. But today it was borscht for breakfast sans the shot of Russian vodka that I was shooting back in my Kremlin-esque dream. I pulled out a few old cookbooks and what I came up with in the way of a recipe is detailed in today's daily juice at the bottom of this posting. This nourishing vegetable cocktail is a rich and opulent treat for a juice feaster. My only suggestion is that one might prefer it as an evening drink as opposed to the first juice of the day, but it seemed to be just what my inner dreamer ordered!

Now onto an important matter at hand. the lovely Miss Charissa of Raw Royalty has chosen to tag me. What this means is that I am to tell five little known facts about myself. I have thought about this for a couple of days and this is what I have come up with.....
1.) When I was elementary school, my family and I attended a county fair where I won first place in the watermelon seed spitting contest. (I remain quite proud of this achievement ;- )
2.) During my Sophomore year in high school, I was voted Miss Congeniality in the Bixby Green Corn Pageant. This was after I forgot the words to my song and hummed a few bars of Matchmaker from Fiddler On The Roof.
3.) When I was 16, my brother and I formed a new wave band, of which I was the lead singer. I got into all kinds of clubs to perform even though I was underage....thus our name, Circus Circus.
4.) When I was in college I was so poor that I remember watching a guy eat a partial package of Dolly Madison crumb cakes and then dispose the half eaten package in the trash. After I made sure the coast was clear, I dumpster dived, grabbed the crumb cakes and gobbled them down.
5.) My mother died at the age of 57 from a metastasized malignant melanoma. I was only 22 and that was one of the defining moments that I attribute to setting me onto this winding road towards natural health, eventually raw foods and most recently juice feasting.

So that is just a few small tidbits from my personal story and now I would like to tag my dears - Dea, Michelle, LouLou, Blaqberry, and Linda. If any of you lovelies have already been tagged to tell 5 interesting or little known facts, please disregard my tagging. These are just a few of the special ladies who make an impact in my raw and juicy life!

Wednesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
ginger tea w/ raw honey & lemon
1 qt. Borscht for Breakfast! 2 beets w/ tops, 1 head celery, 6 medium carrots, 2 lemons, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 head purple cabbage, 1/2 red onion, hand full of fresh dill, 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt.
1 qt. watercress, red chard, cucumber, apples, lemons
1 qt. grapefruit, tangerine, water w/ Crystal Manna flakes
1 qt. kale, dandelion greens, cilantro, clover sprouts, asparagus, broccol, red bell pepper, tomato, carrot, onion, garlic, lime, Celtic sea salt.

I have been doing much better this week at getting my full gallon of juice in a day. I feel really balanced and emotionally stable. I still am experiencing really runny loose stools and with borscht for breakfast.....well, you can imagine. Scheesh.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pico De Gallo - Day Eleven

First of all, I had a really busy schedule today. I decided that this morning would be a good time to mix up a couple of quarts of the master cleanser since I wouldn't be near home, juicer or a refrigerator for a large part of the day. By 2:30 pm, when I finally made it back home I was shaky, cranky and jonesin' for juice. It was the first time since probably Day 2 that I actually started to think I wanted food...I'm talking food in my mouth, chewing and tasting something like ruffles potato chips and french onion dip. OH Boy...Help Me Jesus! So I quickly squeezed a couple of grapefruits, diluted it with pure water and added some crystal manna. Within 5 minutes I was completely satisfied and I haven't had a weird moment since. So this just proves that I can't count on the Master Cleanse to carry me through a pinch.

But what I ended up juicing a little later was really awesome. I am telling you it tasted very much like pico de gallo and for a girl who has a fondness for Mexican food, this juice is a very good alternative. I'll post the ingredients below. I had my husband take a sip and he was really impressed. Even my non-juice drinking neighbor, cute Candace, took a sip and said she really liked it. I will have to keep this on my top 5 list of satisfying savory juice combos. I've kind of gotten into being a mixologist lately. I want to find ways to get creative so that I don't get burnt out or tire of the same juice everyday. I'm trying to get a good variety of greens into my juices because they each have their own unique nutritional properties and I've read that if you rotate your greens, you won't get bored or tired of juicing. So far so good!

One of the main differences I continue to notice on this feast is the state of peace and tranquility I feel. I am very steady and my disposition is really patient and compassionate. I am usually very loving, but there seems to be an intensification of that. David Rainoshek says that if we get enough greens (around 2 pounds/day), we greatly increase the alkalinity of our bodies. One of the many positive side effects of having a Ph balance that is more alkaline is a sense of peace and well being. So, that must mean I'm getting less and less acidic because all anxiety or agitation appears to have been removed from my psyche. Don't you know the husband and kids are high fiving themselves! I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am to have made the decision to commit to this extreme sport of juice feasting. Although it sounds radical to many, now that I am in the groove, it feels so good and perfectly natural. Juicing, it's what I do.

Tuesday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
2 qts. Master Cleanser
1 qt. grapefruits, tangerine, water & Crystal Manna flakes
2 qts. Pico De Gallo! 1 head celery, carton of grape tomatoes, 1 yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1 red bell pepper, 1 lime, few big handfulls of spinach, 1 english cucumber, 6 stalks of asparagus, 1 jalepeno, celtic sea salt

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keeping It Juicy - Day Ten

I was so excited to find a nice big watermelon during my recent trip to Sam's Wholesale. I have never been a big Sam's shopper, but since I've started this feast, I've found that I can get some of my bulk produce there for a considerable savings. I would rather support local growers, which I look forward to doing as the season progresses. And my next choice is Whole Foods, which as getting a nice chunk of change from me every few days. But as I have mentioned in an earlier post, Sam's is good for bulk spinach and some greens, as well as thick skinned fruits.

The watermelon from Sam's did not disappoint. I did as Katrina Rainoshek suggested, and juiced the melon along with citrus (tangerine and lime) for a watermelon-aide that was deliciously satisfying. The color of the juice was simply glorious. I was able to extract 2 quarts from only half of the melon. The kids feasted on the remains and were quite happy to have melon so early in the season. It made for happy times in the kitchen this afternoon.

Day 10 has been pretty uneventful, but I am still receiving calls from yesterday's article in the Tulsa World. I have felt a support and interest from others that I didn't anticipate. The nice side benefit of the article is that it has eliminated the need for me to explain to others why I am unable to go do lunch or why we are turning down dinner party invitations for the spring. A couple of friends want to meet up at the juice bar to just get caught up and hang out, which is so thoughtful. Who would have thought this former "let's meet for happy hour girl" would be where I am today? Juice.....it does a body good!

Monday's Daily Juice:
water-MSM-lemon
olive leaf tea
1 qt. spinach, parsley, lime, carrot
2 qt. watermelon, tangerine, lime
a 2 oz. shot of wheat grass
1 qt. celery, romaine, scallion, radish, red bell pepper, cherry tomato, asparagus, carrot, cilantro, garlic, jalepeno, lime, Himalayan sea salt. (This was really good and tasted a lot like Pico De Gallo!)

PS....I lost another pound! I haven't been doing much exercise and I am starting to feel ready to get this body moving. The weather is going to be spring like so I plan to hit the river trail tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Deep Thoughts - Day Nine

As many of you already know, my local paper, The Tulsa World, featured an article in the Scene section of this morning's paper about yours truly and juice feasting. I have had many calls, texts and emails, most of which have been genuinely supportive and encouraging. When I was contacted about being interviewed, I had a bit of hesitation, yet I also felt that it might raise awareness and help people consider ways of taking charge of their health that they perhaps hadn't considered. I also hoped that my story could be of encouragement to some who were once proactive in caring for their bodies and maybe have forgotten or lost momentum. I've already heard from a few that they are knocking the dust off their juicer and planning to get back to drinking more fresh juice. YEAH! If you didn't get a paper or if you are outside of Tulsa, you can read the article here.

Now for the heart of today's entry. As I said yesterday, I wanted to share my thoughts regarding the spiritual aspect of fasting. I know, what I'm doing is considered a feast, but I personally look at it as a fast due to the absence of the ritual of dining and enjoying meals as a daily activity. Therefore I am technically in a fasted state of being. As a Christian, the concept of fasting is not new or foreign to me at all. Regardless of your spiritual background, most religious communities consider fasting and prayer/meditation to be a sacred part of their faith practice.

I believe that when we fast for spiritual reasons, we are to be solidly committed by arranging special time each day to be alone with God. This precious time is absolutely crucial in attaining intimate communion with our Creator. During a fast, just as the physical body releases toxins, so it's true of our spirit and emotions because there will be times in which you can feel weak, small, confused, uncertain or irritable. During these times, it is so helpful to just be open and vunerable with God. Allow those doubts, outdated or dysfunctional thought processes and old emotional wounds to surface and receive healing. Meditating on the Divine Presence, reading sacred scriptures or spiritually edifying books, listening to music that is filled with words of grace, gratitude and thanksgiving, these are all ways we can focus on the transformative power of God's Holy Spirit within us.

Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, has a very informative website that is all about the spiritual discipline of fasting. Bill Bright states that his major reason for fasting (and he has done a number of long term, 40+ day fasts) is for personal restoration, and for that of our nation and world. He believes that by prayers of humility, as you fast, you will help bring God's perfect will into this earth and into your own personal situations. He adds that a renewed closeness with God and a greater sensitivity to spiritual things are usually the results of a fast. Although one is not to be disappointed if there is no "mountaintop experience," as some have. Many people who have successfully completed extended fasts tell of feeling a nearness to God that they have never before known, but others who have honestly sought His presence report no particular outward results at all. But in either case, people typically report that God honored their commitment, often times in ways they wouldn't have expected.

So, for me, this time of juice feasting is multi-faceted. It is not just to have a physical cleansing and renewal. It is not just to attain an emotional makeover or simply a means of attaining personal happiness. It goes much deeper.

Sunday's daily juice:
water-MSM-lemon
Passionfruit tea
1 qt. carrot, tangerine, celery & 1 Tbsp. hemp oil
1qt. celery, spinach, purple cabbage, cucumber, garlic, onion, oregano, red bell pepper, basil, radish, lime, cayenne pepper, Himalayan sea salt.
1qt. grapefruit, water, Crystal Manna flakes
1qt. pineapple, cilantro, lime

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My Journal - Day Eight

I really enjoy keeping a journal. Although I do record a lot here on my blog, I also keep a little book that is just for me. My latest subject matter has been about the real reason I chose to accept the call to this juice feast. Being clear about the why of it all is important to me. If, in future days, I start to waver or become discouraged for some unforeseen reason, I want to have a resource to go for encouragement and strength. In other words, I don't want to forget why I am doing this.

I've been a believer in the power of fresh juice for many years. I was around 20 years old when I purchased my first Champion juicer. I've gone through multiple periods of juicing and then I lose my thunder and forget about it for long stretches of time. Since I started a raw food diet a couple of years ago, I have been back in a love affair with juicing. After all, freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juice is the richest available food source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. I believe juicing is especially helpful in today's world, when a person desperately needs extra nutrients to help the body detoxify the large amount of environmental and dietary toxins to which we've all been exposed. Unfortunately, most people are unable to eat enough raw fruits and vegetables in a day to nourish the body properly. That's why juicing offers a concentration of nutritional power packaged in the best proportions so that you can get benefit from the synergistic effect of all the nutrients working together to deeply nourish your body and enhance your health.

So, back to my original point....I am on this juice feast as a personal journey of healing, regenerating, nourishing, and educating. In just eight days I've seen that participating in the global juice feast is helping to create a better me. And no, I don't see it as restrictive, but rather as an indulgence, in that I am flooding my body with revitalizing and rich nutrients. In just this short time, I'm seeing the benefits when I wake up and look in the mirror every morning and when I step onto the scale. I am also taking this time to pamper myself in a deeply internal way. And these are just the physical reasons. Emotionally, I am aware of a shift and my family can even see a difference in my overall demeanor, which is helpful as it causes them to be even more supportive of my efforts. Spiritually, there are a number of important factors why this feast is meaningful to me, but I shall save that topic for tomorrow, since that will be my Sunday post, it just seems fitting. So before I sign off on day 8...

Saturday's daily juice:
water-MSM-lemon
olive leaf tea & passionfruit tea
1.5 qt. romaine & cantaloupe (this was a real treat!)
1.5 qt. celery, carrot, purple cabbage, cucumber, beet, garlic, radish, onion, spinach, oregano, basil, lemon & a pinch of Celtic sea salt.
2 oz. shot of wheat grass
.5 qt. apple, pear, cucumber, lemon, spinach
1 qt. grapefruit, tangerine, Crystal Manna Flakes

Weekly Weigh In:
Day 1 - 165
Day 8 - 159 (6 lbs. lost)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Week One - Day Seven

This photo was taken by my cell phone today after I came home from grocery shopping. The counter top in my kitchen is overflowing with vibrant, organic goodness and I am trying to keep it all displayed in such a way that would invite a photo shoot at any time. I'm anal like that. Anyway...as much as I generally dislike and become anxious over the Sam's Wholesale Club shopping experience, I decided to go anyway today to see what I could find in the way of organics and I was happy to find a big bag of spinach and a big container of mixed greens, which I happily snatched up at a very good price. I also bought some conventional items like thick skinned fruits....tangerines, grapefruits, cantaloupe and watermelon. Then I looped back around to Whole Foods, which has become my equivalent of Cheers - the place where everyone knows my name, and grabbed more celery, cucumbers and apples.

Today marked a week of juice feasting. I am really marveling at how much easier it is for me than I had anticipated. I am so thankful and I'm just taking each day as it comes and I am choosing to not get too freaked out about anything. So far so good. Within myself, I have become aware of new sense of calm that has settled in. I feel really clear and tranquil. I'm feeling more compassionate and I find that I am slowing down and taking time to be in the present moment much more than ever before. There's no doubt that the inflow of teachings that I have been studying are part of this shift, but I think that the juicing has opening my heart and awareness up so everything feels heightened. If I didn't lose a pound, this clarity and joy would be reason enough to stay the course and complete the full 92 days.

Here's the Daily Juice.....
water-MSM-lemon
Roobios tea
dry brush-shower
colonic
1 qt. cucumber, lemon, sunchoke, apple, beet, beet greens, dandelion greens, swiss chard
4 oz. wheat grass
1.5 qt. celery, radish, green onion, carrot, tomatoes, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, parsley, romaine, mixed greens, garlic, lemon, basil w/ 1 T hemp oil
2 cups Tulsi Passionfruit tea w/ raw wild honey
1.5 qt. grapefruit, tangerine, water, Crystal Manna flakes
1 tsp. coconut butter w/ 1 T bee pollen

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Full Disclosure - Day Six

This is how I started out 2008. I haven't posted this picture before because I felt so embarrassed by how I looked in tight fitting clothing (and believe me, this is one of the most flattering shots). On January 1st, when this photo was taken, I weighed in at 176 pounds. I am 5'7 and have a small frame, so this put me at approximately 50 pounds overweight. Hard to believe that a person who was actively embracing a raw food lifestyle could be carrying that load around, but I know I am not alone in this category. 2007 was a difficult year. We lost both of my husbands parents along with 2 other close relatives and there was lots of travel and regular bouts of eating cooked food which included meat, dairy and bread. Food of all kinds have always been a passion for me and in this picture, it shows.

So as the year began, I made the commitment to change several aspects of my life. Having left my profession of 15 years in late December, I was ready and positioned to embark on a journey that would take me in the direction of truly following my heart. There are many areas in which I have charted plans for change and growth, but needless to say, weight loss was a very real goal for me as I started 2008. With my newly empowered mindset, I tweaked my diet nicely and I went to the gym 4 - 5 days/week throughout January and February. Through those two factors alone, I was able to shed 11 pounds by March 1st.

Throughout this time, I started hearing about the global juice feast online, but I hardly gave it any attention. Something that radical wouldn't be anything that would work for me, not with my life and family, I thought. But then some of my closer online acquaintances started talking about it and the next thing I know I am starting to follow a few people's daily juice feasting blogs with fascination. Heidi at Raw Food Real World and Philip of Loving Raw were two of my biggest inspirations. Their juice feasts got me thinking...why not me? If they can embark on this journey and be successful why can't I? Then I downloaded Angela Stokes ebook, A Juice Feaster's Guide, and as I began reading of her experience with a successfully completed 92 day juice feast, something resonated inside me. I think I could really do this.

So, I made my decision on February 20th that I, too, would join in on the global juice feast. I began reading everything I could find. I researched and I educated myself about the pros and cons and I looked at every reason why I should not do it and I found the only thing that could possibly hold me back would be any limitations that I might try to put on myself. And at this season in my life, there are no REAL limitations that would keep me from moving forward with gusto and in full force! Now, here I am, six days in and I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude because I believe that this is the very thing that I need to be doing at this exact time in my life. It's a feeling of deep peace and contentment, like all is right with the world. What more could one ask for?

Before I finish up, here is what my day entailed:
water-MSM-lemon
Rooibos Tea
enema-dry skin brush-manicure-shower
1.5 qt. - cucumber, celery, dandelion greens, kale, red bell pepper, apple, pear, lemon, ginger
1 qt. - carrot, orange (diluted a bit w/ water)
1.5 qt. Liquid Salad (this was a really delicious savory juice & the name says it all)
- green leafy lettuce, purple romaine, radish, celery, carrot, green onion, cucumber,
cherry tomatoes, garlic, lemon, 1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt.

Until tomorrow.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Grateful for Grapefruit - Day Five

This hump day was unusually pleasant and relaxed. After my usual morning water and tea, I did my dry skin brushing and took a shower. I also took the time to do an exfoliation treatment for my face, neck and hands. That felt great and all day I have been marveling at the look and feel of my complexion. Usually, by this time in the winter, things are starting to get a bit alligator-ish. I can tell the juicing and daily hemp and/or coconut oil is beginning to make a subtle difference in just 5 days.

Once the kids were off to school, I finally found the time to settle in with the video podcast from Oprah's Monday night study with Eckhart Tolle. It truly was a momentous occasion. There is just something about Eckhart and Oprah together that really works. It's almost like she is an interpreter of sorts for him. Oprah can take some of his ethereal and difficult to understand concepts and bring them into an understanding for the common man. I found her insights and expansions really helpful in breaking it down. I also thought the Skype for viewers brought a really cool element to the workshop. It really was just what I hoped it would be and I won't miss a week.

Here's what I had today:
1 qt. water w/ MSM & lemon
1 cup nettle leaf tea
1 qt. swiss chard, carrot, cucumber, radish, burdock root, beet, sunchoke, lemon
1 qt. celery, oranges, fennel, basil over ice w/ hemp oil
1 qt. GRAPEFRUITS & oranges w/ Crystal Manna (1 Tbsp.)
1 qt. celery, mint, cucumber, broccoli sprouts, apple, lime

I'm not sure what's up with the grapefruit craving but it seems like nothing satisfies me more completely than grapefruit juice in the early evening. My body is just crying out for it and it has since day 1 of this feast. Perhaps I will research the properties of grapefruit a bit more and see what it is that I might be trying to fulfill with my daily squeeze of this luscious citrus superstar. The thing I wanted to point out is that I am not taking much in the way of supplements. I am going for the tried and true blue green algae buzz with Crystal Manna, but I do intend to order VitaMineral Green as my flakes begin to dwindle. I also have bee pollen in my frig but have forgotten about that important player for the past two days. I'll try to remember to crack that out tomorrow.

I find that I am having a struggle pouring 4 quarts of juice into this body everyday. By the time I've had 3 quarts, it seems like my body is so well nourished and I feel really full. I am honestly not hungry at all. I even flipped through a Bon Appetite today and those perfectly stylized photographs didn't phase my taste buds a bit. I am so happy and relieved that I am not constantly jonesin' for solid food all the time......like I usually am when I am not juice feasting. I am pretty sure this 30 extra pounds I've been carrying is due to the snack and taste factor. It has been so good to have just made up my mind that I am simply not doing that right now. Food is just not an issue and I love it. No distractions and no nagging cravings to satisfy. Viva La Juice!

Again, I want to thank those of you who take the time to read my juicy journal and leave your encouraging comments. It really helps me to stay inspired and gives additional motivation towards my goal. You, dear reader, are appreciated!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spinach Respect - Day Four

I learned something I didn't know about spinach today. This is only a hunch, but I've decided that juicing two pounds of spinach, along with a selection of other items, may not be the smartest thing to do if you are planning on taking a road trip or anything else that may require you to be any distance from the porcelain throne. Those of us that are juice feasting are working towards a much cleaner system, well.....today, it feels like I got just that. So, other than a wee bit worn out from repeated trips to the smallest room in my house and a rather tender tush, I feel really great. Who needs Cascara Sagrada around here?

Today I made 2+ quarts of spinach, celery, radish, fennel, sunchoke, beet, cucumber, ginger, lime juice. I drank it like a champ and about 30 - 45 minutes later, that's when the action started.

I spent the next few hours questioning myself and trying to figure out what I did wrong, what should I do next, who should I call (yada yada). I then began the thoughts like.....what in the world am I doing? Why am I doing this whole feasting nonsense anyway?? Whoa, slow down, sister! I realized I was starting to get freaky, so I sat down and got centered, meditated, prayed and did some deep breathing. Within a few minutes I began to feel a wave of peace. I could almost feel my stomach muscles relaxing. Once calm and regrouped, I went in and brewed myself a nice cup of Rooibos tea. That seemed to set all things right once again.

Around 7 pm, our neighbor, Candace, and her son, Trey, came over to watch American Idol with us. I tried not to discuss too much about my bathroom drama, but I think I looked extra pale, so she got a nutshell version. I am still not sure what she thinks about me and my whole raw foodist turned into juice feaster persona, but she keeps coming over so I guess it hasn't seemed too bizarre to her. It's not boring over here at least. As everyone settled in with a big salad and macaroni and cheese, I juiced grapefruits and oranges, diluted it with water and added a heaping Tbsp. of Crystal Manna flakes. My tummy seemed to absorb that with extreme contentment and everything has been perfectly normal since.

Who knew juice feasting would be such a ride? For the record, I have NO intention of quiting this. I am fully committed and I'm loving the results that I can already see and feel. I am just really honest and I decided to share my moment because I think that others may have a similar moment at some point along the way too. So today's lesson....next time, light on the the spinach, please.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pineapple Pleasures - Day Three

I thought for sure that the Live Web Event with Eckhart Tolle and Oprah would be the final highlight to my most marvelous day, but alas, my computer connection proved to be a bit too slow and I was unable to watch the live event this evening. Although temporarily disappointed, I chose not to be too upset and decided to look at it as Eckhart would suggest by simply saying, "It is what it is." I was pleased to read that I will be able to go to her website tomorrow for a complete viewing and it can also be downloaded into my IPod from ITunes. So, it wasn't a loss, just a delay.

The inability to watch the class affords me this time to do the daily blog update and give the highlights of Day 3. As you can tell by the photo of pineapples, I have found new pleasure in this juicy, tropical delight. This morning I juiced a whole pineapple (peeled first and sliced), 2 bunches of cilantro, 1/2 head of celery, 4 limes, 2 apples and I added the water from one baby coconut. It was a Hawaiian luau party in my mouth! The reporter and photographer from the Tulsa World were also here this morning, putting the finishing touches on the upcoming article, so they both got to enjoy a bit of the sweet, green goodness, as well. It is a real joy to share the vibrancy, colors and life of freshly juiced organic fruits and vegetables with others.

Then this afternoon I put together a loaded pitcher full of juiced carrots, celery, cucumber, beet, lemons, kale, apple, burdock root, ginger and jerusalem artichoke. Sounds like it would be too much going on but it was really good. The color was a beautiful poinsettia color. I had about 2 quarts of this and it completely satisfied my palate and any bit of hunger that might have been starting to surface.

Everything else is going so smoothly. I awoke this morning in the the most pleasant mood and that has carried on throughout the day. Even though our weather was cold, sleeting, then snowing, then just plain dreary, I felt great and have experienced tremendous energy and clarity. My eliminations have been consistent but I have a colonic scheduled for tomorrow for good measure. I would like to try to schedule one each week throughout the entirety of the juice feast if finances allow.

So far I haven't been squeezing in much exercise but I know that will change. I have a gym membership, great yoga tapes by Rainbeau Mars, and a rebounder. It is a matter of just gearing up and doing it. I certainly have the strength and energy to move and get my blood flowing and it would be helpful to get some healthy, detoxifying perspiration going. I also love getting outside and briskly walking or hiking on days when the weather is a bit more cooperative.

My sleep has been good, filled with dreams and I awake very rested and ready for the day. I try to be asleep by 11 pm or earlier so I can get those important hours in before 2 am. I read somewhere that the sleep we get from 10 pm - 2 pm are the most crucial rest hours. Since I think of winter as being in hibernation mode, it's not a big challenge for me to get horizontal by a decent time. And with my husband's snoring, I like to be sound asleep before the chain saw starts sawing logs.

Until tomorrow....love to people and thanks to those who are reading!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rhythm Nation - Day Two

Juicing and dreams.....I've heard there is something that happens when one is juicing that creates a change in dream patterns. I experienced this phenomenon last night. Janet Jackson was the starring role throughout the majority of my slumber. She and I were good friends and I was helping her to come up with a title for her upcoming album. We hung out, danced together and I convinced her to run a 9K race with me. She agreed. All I remember was that I would run like the wind and then there would be intervals when it was like my feet were so heavily weighted that I could hardly lift them. Although I felt rested when I awoke, I was aware that I had been dreaming for what seemed like all night. I usually don't have much memory of my dreams, so I think this must be directly related to my juice feasting.

I've decided that the significance of Janet Jackson as a key figure was because I remember a report some years back that she gave herself coffee enemas everyday for health reasons. She said it was one of her best kept beauty secrets. I guess I've been a little freakish about the whole enema a day thing. Although I do get colonics from time to time, I'm not a fan of enemas, not that anyone I know is. I totally understand why we are encouraged to do them because there's no denying the benefits of keeping things moving efficiently through the system. So that said, allow me to move on. As far as the weights on my legs in the dream....it could be the obvious...my spirit soars but the extra weight is holding me back. Maybe one of you dream interpreters can take a guess at what it means.

So far, today has been very much like yesterday. Good overall and my energy is fine. I am still having to stay near by the powder room, but things aren't all that bad. My headache from yesterday vanished as soon as it came, thankfully. It is nearing 6 pm and I've already had just over 3 quarts of juice, mainly green based. Tonight is my best friends birthday party at an Irish Pub here in town. I plan to take some tea bags and ask for hot water. I am also thinking that being the designated photographer will help me not feel weird about not eating. Most of those who will be in attendance haven't a clue about what I'm up to, and I'd just as soon keep it that way.

I hope all my other friends who are juicing their little hearts out are having positive experiences. They say the first three days are the worst on cravings. I haven't been having too hard of time, but we'll see if those digestive juices start flowing when I smell the Irish food tonight!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just Juice - Day One

Today was such a marvelous day here in Tulsa.....it was around 70 degrees, sunny, birds singing, people out walking themselves and their dogs....I love days like this. The weather set the tone for my first day on just juice perfectly. I think I did everything the way a good little juice feaster should. I had my water with lemon and MSM to start the day off. Enema, dry skin brush, and hot/cold shower - check. I can honestly say that I have never juiced that much green produce in one setting in my life. I was able to extract 3 quarts of lovely shamrock green juice in the first part of the day (which I sipped on about every 2 1/2 hours) and then ended up having the juice of one thai coconut with green powder added in around happy hour. When dinner time came, I enjoyed a delicious concoction of diluted grapefruit, lemon, and orange juice with a heaping Tbsp. of Crystal Manna Flakes. I also swallowed down a tbsp. of Hemp oil earlier in the day when I started to feel cold...it went to work almost instantly.

My friend, Dea, is also juice feasting right now and she lives in Italy. Last week she was commenting that she was hoping not to have any "bathroom drama" like when she had first gone 100% raw and was juicing. I haven't read the update on her day 1 report yet, but I can speak for myself on the subject......I have spent more time than usual in the loo. I came into this feast wanting to experience cleansing and it looks like I'm getting the desired results. Nothing unbearable and I was glad that I was able to stay fairly close to home. OK...that's enough detail about that.

No doubt about it, today felt like a success. I had a headache later in the day that hasn't completely left, but I expected as much. There will be plenty of other symptoms that will bubble up before it's over but I'm hoping to just roll with the flow and take each day as it comes. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the weight question. I weighed in at 165 pounds first thing this morning. I had been a few pounds less last time I weighed, so I don't know where these pesky ones came from, but it's no matter, they'll be gone again soon enough. I plan to weigh myself about once a week, and when I do, I'll share it here. I can tell you that I already feel less puffy and feel really hydrated.

Until tomorrow......