Juice Feast – Week 1 Review

The first week is behind me. Whew. That was hard.  And it was boring as heck. Did I mention how boring it is? The juices are tasty enough, but there is no other sensory appeal. There is no real variety in texture, eye interest or even taste, really. There are only variations on a theme.

As a true food lover, I enjoy the look, the feel, the aroma and the complexity of a truly omnivorous diet. Food, to me, is much more than the intake of massive amounts of calories (although I’m pretty good at that part), it is a cultural, sensual, almost spiritual event. The preparation, the combination of artistry and science that makes up a meal, is part of the excitement. With the juices, it’s, what green will we mix with what fruit?  Hmmm. Or, celery or no celery? Yawn.

The juicer clean up is a bore as well.  If you don’t do it right away and the food bits dry, then you have a marathon on your hands. I find that it takes away from the experience a little bit.

The positives: first, I lost 11 pounds in 7 days. That’s a winner.  It’s incredibly encouraging to see that kind of early success.  It really helpt the motivation.

Also, as alluded to already, the juices taste good.  I make sure there is some fruit in every juice. That really helps. Carrots add sweetness as well.  In fact, the only thing Brittan and I didn’t like were beets. We found that odd, because we both love eating beets. Oh, well.

The boredom has led us to transition to juicing until evening and having a meal that includes protein and vegetables. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Conclusion: Juicing is a great way to cleanse and kick start a healthy eating or weight loss program. It is a terrible way to try an liven up a party.

 

Advertisements

Compromise – Wisdom or Weakness?

You think this is about Congress, but it’s not.  I don’t have much time to waste on them.  Although, all that hot air is pretty useful on a cold December morning.  Hmm…I think I may have just stumbled on the primary cause of global warming….

No, I’m talking about my juice fast.  I’ve had to make some compromises to phase this thing in and it’s quite frustrating to me.

I was warned. Doctors, dieticians, nutritionists and even Joe from “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” all said not to go cold turkey into this, but ease your way. They warned that cutting off all caffeine, carbs and proteins at the same time could be too big a shock to the system. The recommendation was to take a week, ten days or even two weeks to ease into it and minimize the damage.

Bah! Humbug! says I. I am a man. I jump into the deep end. I lead, I don’t follow.  I’m a seller, not a buyer.  Well, sometimes I’m also, what’s that word again? Ah, I remember…stupid.

Two days into my juice fast, I’m either proud or ashamed to say, I’ve had to backtrack and follow that earlier advice. I don’t know if it’s wisdom or weakness, but it’s real. Let me tell you what happened.

Day one was gosh awful, mostly because of caffeine detox. The headaches were pretty special. Nevertheless, I forged ahead. Day two started out pretty well, but by 9 a.m. the headache was so bad I couldn’t function. To make matters worse, I was in a mission critical meeting at work and I couldn’t focus because of the pain.

I made an executive decision to have a cup of coffee. I went to the Keurig in the executive break room and fixed a single cup of Colombian coffee.  Within a matter of minutes the headache was gone. I mean no trace. I was relieved and repulsed. I was happy and heartbroken. I was fine and I was furious. I am addicted to caffeine and I am not happy about it.

Those who know me well, know I am the poster child for control freaks.  I need to own my own destiny. I’m independent as heck. It’s what drives the entrepreneur in me and it’s what drives other people crazy. 

For example, I rarely drink alcohol and never in public. Alcohol makes people lose inhibitions and causes them to say and do things they would not do if in control of their faculties. I get in enough trouble sober, I can’t imagine what mischief I’d create for myself and those I care about if I had a blood alcohol count.

I don’t take drugs. I’ve never sampled an illegal substance. I’ve never even had a tobacco product in my mouth. Partly, that’s all because my Faith and my core values tell me that those things a stupid. Partly, though, it’s because I’m a control freak.

It was the desire for control that drove me to the juice fast to begin with. I’m stinking tired of being fat.  My obesity is a public display of my own hypocricy. I talk about control. I write about money management and self discipline. I preach about Faith and moderation. And yet I can’t lay down my fork. Poppycock I say. I will not be mastered by my appetites. I will master THEM.

Then within a few hours of beginning my juice diet I discover an addiction. I am embarrassed and angry, but I refuse to be defeated. In a perfect world, I would go somewhere remote for a week or so and just cold turkey it. Unfortunately, my day job and my farm don’t permit me to do that. So I must create a plan B.

First, going back to eating like I was before is not an option. 100% juice fast is not an immediate option, either. So, what to do?  Brittan and I talked it over and in the end decided that I will have coffee in the morning for the rest of this calendar year. All other drinks will be caffeine free.  Beginning in the new year I will drink half caffeine and half decaf  coffee. We grind our own beans so that will be easy.  By the end of January I will be all decaf or just forget coffee altogether. 

I will juice breakfast and lunch and add some whole veggies and a little protein at supper and reduce that over the same period as the coffee.  This way, I’m going cold turkey with the simple carbs and processed foods while cutting back on the caffeine and protein rather than cutting them all out at once and throwing my body into shock.

It feels like it’s a wise course of action. It’s a plan that exercises control and moves in a forward direction.  It looks, on paper, like wisdom. It may, however, be cowardice and weakness. It is what it is, but I remain an open book.

Juice Fast Day 1 – End of Day Update

Well, the first day is almost over.  And…it…sucked.

The juice part wasn’t so bad.  I had 4 different juices. All were drinkable.  Some were tasty.  But as a meal replacement they were all terribly boring. 

Caffeine withdrawal started about 10 a.m.  I’ve had a massive headache since then.  I took some Ibuprofen but it didn’t touch it.  My brain feels foggy, too.  It’s like having a hangover. Not that I would know about such things, mind you.

I didn’t expect the DTs until tomorrow, so that’s a little disconcerting. If days 2 and 3 are the worst, then I’m in for a heap o hurt.

On the positive side, I wasn’t grumpy at all.   I didn’t suffer from a lot of hunger, either, which was a pretty big surprise.  We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

 

Juice Fast – Day 1

It’s Judgement Day. The Apocalypse. Armageddon. I’ll miss you all. Farewell.

 Oh, stop whining, you’ve been on this juice fast for two hours. How bad can it be? What a sissy. Put on your big boy pants and get on with it.  It’s not like anyone put a gun to your head and forced you to do this. Geez.

 Such was the conversation I just had with myself.  Stimulating, wasn’t it?

 Today really is day one of the rest of my nightmare.  Here are the gruesome details.

 Age: 55 (why did I say that out loud?)

Height: 6’ 11” in my dreams. During waking hours, 5’ 9” and shrinking.

Weight: 276,5.  Highest weight ever recorded – 305

Misc. ailments: High blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.  Acid reflux. Sleep apnea. Male pattern baldness.

Trouser size: Marquee (46 relaxed fit)

Shirt size: 2XL (but pushing the boundaries)

 In all seriousness, it’s time to take control of my health.  After all, my wife and I raise organic vegetables, free range chickens, grass fed meats of different kinds and have begun raising fish and vegetables aquaponically. There is a kind of irony, maybe even hypocrisy in promoting such healthy living while being nearly 100 lbs overweight with a catalogue of weight related health issues.

 It’s time to do something about it, so here I am. Here WE are really, because Brittan is doing this, too. In many ways she’s the driver of this bus.  She is determined to finish losing the weight she’s been struggling with.  She’s lost a ton, but has plateaued.  She wants to break free.

 My first juice was 3 apples, 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrots. My lunch is something called, Mean Green.  I’ll update again before I go to bed tonight.

Juice Fast – Am I Man Enough?

Everyone who knows me, knows that I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life.  Struggle is maybe an over statement, because I’m not sure how much of a fight I’ve really put up.  Except for a seven year period in the 90s, I’ve been obese since I was 20 years old.  That’s a long time.

I’ve been on most every diet you can think of.  Most have worked for a while; until I get bored or until a vacation, a Holiday, a special event or a day of the week that ends in Y.  I was successful on Weight Watchers and the South Beach Diet was kickin’.  Every time, though, I gave up before I reached my goal.

Frankly, I’m quite tired of it. I’m 55 years old.  I figure I’ve got 20 really productive years left and an additional 5 moderately useful ones before dotage really kicks in.  Yes, I believe I can be productive until I’m 80.  After that, I intend to become a pest.

In order for me to make the most of these late summer and autumn years, I need to be as healthy as possible.  I’m working on it.  Brittan and I raise pasture based meats, including beef, pork, goat, rabbit, chicken and turkey.  We’ve begun raising our own fish and shellfish.  We grow our own vegetables and milk our own animals.  Brittan will be asking, “who is WE”, as it relates to the milking part. 

We eat nutritious, healthy foods.  It’s just that I eat mass quantities of the stuff and I was as big as Texas to begin with.  It’s time to change.  I believe South Beach is the best diet choice for me.  Generally, it fits my lifestyle and I like the choices.  I’m a true omnivore with carnivorous tendencies and South Beach allows for that.

I do, however, need a dramatic kick start to help me reboot, cleanse my system of toxins and simple processed carbs and other sundry junk that’s in my body. But what to do?

Last week, Brittan and I watched the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”.  We were inspired.  The film follows two chubbies as they turned their lives around using a juice fast to reboot and kick start.  You should watch the film even if you’re skinny and fit. 

These guys did nothing but drink juice and water for 60 days.  Yikes.  Of course, there was something called, ‘exercise’ also involved.  I had to look it up.  I’d heard of it, but am not a practitioner.

After the movie, Brittan ordered a juicer and “The Big Book of Juices”. We went to the film’s website and looked at the testimonials.  We googled everything we could find about juice fasts.  We made our plan.  We will reboot with juice then transition to The South Beach Diet. 

Brittan’s ready to start NOW.  But she’s not normal.  Christmas is only one week away.  Then New Year.  After that is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, followed by Ground Hog Day and President’s Day.  I’ve assured her that we really need to think this through. There are feasts calling to us.  Do we really want to disappoint Jesus by skipping His Birthday celebrations?

Apparently we do.  Fasting is my destiny.  The goals are: A. Survive day 1. B. Not become suicidal or homicidal on days 2-4. C. Complete a 15 day reboot and reassess. If all goes well, HA, we will go to 30 days.  Assuming the Apocalypes does not consume us during that time, we will move on to 60 days.  At the end of 60 days, if we are not dead, dying or divorced, we will transition to Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet.  Or got to Cracker Barrel for a plate full of Heart Attack; whichever strikes my fancy at the time.

I realize I sound over confident, but that’s just my nature.

Seriously, though, I’m ready for this.  I need it.  Brittan is really fired up.  I’m scared, though.  I barely tolerate vegetables at the best of times.  I’m a meat, potatoes, cheese, bread, butter, rinse and repeat kind of guy and I like to wash it all down with a variety of caffeine laced fluids.  This is going to be hard.  I’m afraid of the detox period.  Really afraid.  And I’m afraid of the boredom if we go for the 60 days.  I don’t know if I’ve got what it takes.  But I have to try.  My conscience, my waistline and my blood pressure are screaming at me.  I hate nagging.  My stupid doctor thinks that my health is at risk if I continue my present lifestyle.  But what does she know?  It’s not like she’s a scientist or anything.

So, this weekend or next weekend, B and I will begin a new adventure. I intend to chronicle it here.  I hope you’ll join us and read along.  Don’t be afraid, all my firearms and ammo, along with any sharp objects have been safely locked away for everyone’s protection.  In the meantime, I need a snack.