Posts tagged ‘health’

April 12, 2013

Life Altering Change

Jim and I have been making some major changes over the past month. I told you a little bit about our juice reboot, but it’s gone beyond that. We’ve decided we need to overhaul our entire attitude toward food and change what we put into our bodies while we still have the chance to make a difference in our own lives.

It all started on St. Patrick’s Day as we sat down to feast on processed food and plenty of beer. I was scrolling through Pinterest during a commercial on tv and the following image popped into my screen.

fat sick and nearly dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. “Interesting,” I thought, and checked Netflix to see if they had it. They did. And we watched (you can watch on Netflix if you have it, or through Amazon, free with prime or a $2.99 rental).

It’s about Joe Cross, an Australian who suddenly realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. He goes on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the USA promoting healthy living. For whatever reason, this film struck a chord with us and we embarked on our own 4-day juice fast the very next day.

But somehow that wasn’t enough and through the “Reboot with Joe” website, I learned about a new documentary, Hungry for Change, that was showing for free for a limited time that week (also available for rental through Amazon).

hungry for change

This one was huge for us. Not only did it tell us a lot of stuff we already knew was bad for us, but it explained why, and that’s huge when you’re talking about stuff like diet soda, which I knew was bad for me (sadly, other people think it’s good for them), and I already stay away from, but did you know that it causes blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss and seizures and for those reasons pilots are not allowed to drink it while or prior to flying? Holy Cow! I won’t go into all of the details of the movie, but I highly recommend it. It features many prominent figures in the health/wellness world and Jim and I both found it to be insightful and eye-opening.

Along with these two videos, I read a book.

crazy sexy dietThe word “diet” turned my head the other way when I first saw this one. I didn’t want to read a diet book, but after reading the first few sections of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, a book devoted mostly to recipes whereas Crazy Sexy Diet is mostly information, I decided I needed to read Crazy Sexy Diet too. Carr never thought she was going to be a diet guru. She was an actress and photographer and when she learned she had cancer, her entire life changed. Doctors gave her a prognosis and she said screw that! From there, she transformed her life, started following a plant-based diet and claims she’s never felt better, cancer and all. But that’s her story, and you should get her books and let her tell it. Check out her website too. It is an amazing source for information, recipes and community support.

But back to Jim and I, because we don’t have a book and if you want our story, you’re going to find it here. Granted, our story isn’t that long yet, and you’ll have to keep coming back if you want to learn more, but here it is so far.

As I mentioned, we did a 4-day juice fast just after St. Patrick’s Day. I felt more energy after the second day of that fast than I have in so long. But then we had a crazy Napa 30th birthday party to go to, and we needed to quit the fast so we could have some fun (also, we weren’t so sure about fasting for longer than that at a time. We want to be healthy, not crazy and dangerous with our bodies). Having fun, by the way, is okay. We also went to the Food Trucks event in Roseville last night and had Po’Boy sandwiches from the Cajun truck. It’s okay.

We did another juice fast last week and we plan on doing one next week. The weeks between, we’ve been replacing one meal with juice and eating healthfully the other. We have smoothies for breakfast (usually filled with fruit, spinach or kale, protein powder, chia seeds and spirulina…it’s a seaweed) when we’re on the fast and when we’re not, and sometimes a little snack like a handful of walnuts and raspberries if we need it. We’ve also been kicking up our workouts, and by kicking up I mean doing them. We take Katie for long walks or go to the school down the street and play basketball. We both kind of hate working out, so we try to make it fun.

We’ve had very few desserts in the past month. We cut our added sugar down to almost nothing (okay, sometimes I have a few chocolate chips with my walnuts, but again, its okay!), and in the month we’ve been doing this, I think we’ve had caffeine twice. We’ve almost completely cut out dairy products and eggs and started eating more quinoa, wild rice and tons and tons of vegetables!

Mostly, I feel amazing. I have energy (except when I can’t sleep at night, like last night…argh!), I have a positive attitude toward the world. I want to get outside and do things. I want to cook. When I find myself craving something, it’s not tater tots or ice cream, it’s walnuts or carrots or oatmeal (oatmeal, people!). I was on such a tater tot kick before I started this and they don’t even sound good anymore!

As I mentioned before, though, this doesn’t mean we won’t partake in foods we’ve enjoyed in the past. Jim fully intends to continue eating meat when we’re out with family or friends or on special occasions. And I don’t see myself passing up roasted figs with goat cheese and honey come fig season. But we’re no longer okay with putting so much crap into our bodies. There’s increasing research that concludes that filling up on fats, simple white foods like pastas, breads and sugars and the plethora of lab created, chemical “food” products on grocery store shelves these days causes cancer and chronic diseases, and we just don’t want to risk it. It’s like stepping into a fire and just hoping you don’t get burned. We’ve seen too many people we care about…and so many people those people care about get diagnoses of cancer and heart problems that it seems stupid to us not to do something to stay off that increasingly long list.

So stay tuned for more tidbits and tales of our journey to health. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it won’t always be easy, but we’re going to make the trek and hopefully come out on top as a result.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy my “lunch.” I’ve got carrots, oranges, fennel, red cabbage, baby kale, spinach and sweet potatoes today all wrapped up in a pretty purple juice. As Tucker would say, “Aaaaahhhh.”

If you find yourself intrigued, please ask me about our experience. I have tons of information, recipes, opinions, and advise if you’re interested in making a change like this in your life.

December 17, 2011

Holiday parties and half-asleep days

I just checked my last post. It was ten days ago.

And in those last ten days, I thought about posting, even opened up a new post and stared at the screen for sometimes hours (between other things of course), but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write.

For starters, I had no idea where to start, what to write about. I stared at the screen and nothing came to mind.

The other, probably more prominent reason, is that I’ve been walking through life only half awake. I feel like all I want to do is sleep all the time. Everything feels hard. Cooking dinner feels hard. Putting up our Christmas tree felt hard. And writing a post just seemed too hard. Every time I went to write, I stared at this screen and almost cried. If I can’t even come up with the energy to do the thing I love most, how am I going to get through…life?

So I did what any normal person would do: I called my doctor. A prick in the arm and vial full of blood later and I’ve got myself low T3 thyroid hormone uptake. Another visit to the doc’s office and I’ve got a possible referral to a specialist, potentially more pricks in the arm (I hate those!!) and still no answers as to why I’ve been so tired.

That being said, life goes on and there’s still fun to be had in the world, so while it took me ten days to find the energy to write on my own, when there are other people involved, there aren’t many other options besides sucking it up and putting on a pretty face.

Fortunately, I was able to find a small amount of extra energy at the end of the week and even managed to bake three different types of cupcakes for our annual holiday party at work.

Gingerbread with eggnog frosting, Maple walnut, and Peppermint hot chocolate. They were quite the hit!

And the whole evening was a lot of fun. Despite a beyond-crazy day wrapping 40 prizes for our casino-themed party as well as a gift for every employee, rebaking chocolate cupcakes (I tried a new recipe and it turned out SOOOO dry!), frosting all the cupcakes, decorating the room where the party was held, and squeezing in six sporadic hours of work, I had an amazing time and didn’t once count down the hours until my bed and I met again.

We also decided this year that we would invite more than just our employees to the party. We invited everyone who was important to us, to our family, and we ended up with a room full of people we love and care about. I don’t think it could have been a better evening.

My brother, Matt, teaching my little nephew to play poker.

Our employee’s daughter playing with her winnings.

 Christie married Jim and I. Her husband, Nic, is to her left and our employee, Mark is to her right.

My sister-in-law’s camera had all the photos of me and Jim on it. Obviously, I can’t take photos of myself so well. I’ll have to post a few of those when I get them from her.

But the party really was the perfect holiday celelbration. Filled with good food, amazing friends and family and all the laughter you could ask for! I hope everyone’s holiday season is exactly that!