Diary of a pregnant yogi…

This post is a little late considering I only have 42 days until my due date! We are expecting a baby BOY in February 2017!

Now that I’m in my third trimester I’m really feeling the effects of a growing body. My body is expanding all over to accommodate and provide for the baby and It’s weird and amazing all at the same time. My yoga practice has changed and become more slow. I am practicing a lot of patience with myself and my practice lately; I’m sure I’ll learn even more about myself and the need to surrender to my ego as my baby and body continue to grow.

The yoga… So the name of the game is “whatever feels good.” Here are a few poses that feel good to me at this moment. I am currently still doing about 5 rounds of modified surya namaskar A (sun salutations) to warm up before I practice these poses.

  • Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  • Baddha Konasana (butterfly pose)
  • Cat/Cow stretch
  •   
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog)
  • Balasana (child’s pose) use a block or stack of pillows under your forehead if it does not reach your mat
  • Virasana (heroes pose)
  • Virabhadrasana II (warrior II)
  •  Trikonasana (triangle pose)
  • Uttanasana (standing forward fold-modified)
  • Pigeon pose
  • Meditation

I know you thoroughly enjoyed my pregnant stick figure yogis… But here are a few action shots of my prenatal yoga practice in the (work in progress) nursery (with dogs, of course):

balasana {childs pose}

 

my personal favorite… virasana {heros pose}

 

 

my husband is especially proud of himself for catching Emma in her down dog! {pigeon pose}

Helpful references for prenatal yoga…

The food… I also did a little research on vegetarian pregnancies to make sure I’m getting everything the baby needs. Here are a few really helpful articles on what your body needs during pregnancy and how to accommodate to a vegetarian diet.

The birth… We are planning a natural/unmedicated birth in the hospital. We attended an unmedicated birthing class at the hospital recently and there were about 8 other couples in the class with us. It was reassuring to know that we’re not the only ones that want the natural experience in the hospital! So far we feel very supported by the hospital with our plan which was a worry of mine. I have watched lots of videos and documentaries on natural birth (I very highly recommend The business of being born) and my feelings range from scared to empowered. It’s scary to know that it is going to be painful, but reassuring to know that my body was made for this. And along with my yoga practice, I have all the relaxation, breathing, and visualization tools that I need for my body to cope with the experience.

Love & Light,

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‘Tis the season… 

Stuffy noses, coughs, and sneezes, oh my! I am very aware of cold season because the snot factor in my classroom increases exponentially. Sorry for that visual. So, I am being proactive this year! Yogi tea, healing soup, and neti-potting have already started at my house and I’m very hopeful that this year I won’t catch the kindergarten crud. Here are a few recipes to help warm your soul.

Step 1… 

Yogi tea. This homemade tea straight from Yogi Bhajan himself will help boost your immune system and fight the winter crud. (Original recipe found on the Birmingham Yoga website.)

Ingredients… 

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 30 cloves
  • 30 black peppercorns
  • 30 cardamom pods
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 inch of ginger (or more) thinly sliced
  • 1 tea bag of black tea (leave out if you are sensitive to caffeine or planning to drink at night)
  • *Milk/almond milk or honey to add taste — Milk helps to ease the shock of the spices on the stomach and intestines so drink with milk if you’re sensitive.

Directions… 

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Add all spices except the black tea bag. Boil 30-45 minutes. If you want a stronger brew boil longer and add more water as needed.
  3. At the end, add black tea bag and boil another 5 minutes. **The black tea is added last because it amalgamates the spices and seals them. Also the tannins help assimilate the spices into the body.
  4. Add milk and sweetener to an individual cup as you desire. This will allow you to store the raw tea in the fridge and prepare with milk and sweeteners as you like.
  5. If you go cup by cup, you can leave the raw tea on the stove on the lowest flame to enjoy all day.

Step 2… 

Jala neti. Jala Neti is a nasal cleansing technique that rinses the sinuses with warm saline with the aid of a teapot-like vessel called a neti pot. It helps to lubricate and cleanse your nasal passages.

Ingredients…

  • Distilled or previously boiled water
  • non-iodized salt or over the counter mixtures (I use Neil-Med)
  • Neti pot

Directions… 

  1. Pour a cup of warm water (sterilized by boiling the water or purchasing distilled water)into a neti pot.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt (kosher or sea salt or I use over-the-counter mixtures that can be found in the pharmacy section of your grocery store), stirring until it dissolves.
  3. Insert the spout into your left nostril, lean over the sink, and tilt your head slightly to the right so the water flows through the sinus passages and out of the right nostril.
  4. Gently blow your nose and repeat on the other side.

Step 3… 

Healing soup. Adapted from The Clean Eating Mama.

Ingredients… 

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups sweet potato or russet potato (about 1 large potato)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • handfuls of herbs on hand: basil, parsley, thyme (if using fresh, chop and add towards the end). I added dried herbs at the beginning and tasted throughout.
  • any fresh vegetables on hand – I used the last little harvest of tomatoes and okra from our garden. What’s more healing than veggies grown in your own back yard?!

Directions… 

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot (or dutch oven), heat on medium and add oil. Let the oil heat for a few minutes. Add copped onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Let cook down for a few minutes until onion is soft. Add remaining vegetables, dried herbs, salt and pepper and let cook down for about 10 minutes or so.
  2. Add liquid of choice (water or vegetable stock) and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium/low and cover with lid. Stir occasionally. Let cook for an hour or so. You can always add more water if it becomes too thick. For this vegetable soup you want it to be rather brothy because this is where the where the healing magic is!

Happy Fall y’all!

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Winter health tips…

I have a problem with my sinuses every Fall/Winter and this year it hit me and it hit me fast. I’m going to be honest with you… I believe in a mixture of western medications and holistic remedies. I’m not going to tell you that all I do for my health is take Wellness Formula, use my neti pot twice daily, and sleep with a humidifier. When my head feels like it’s about to explode I take over the counter congestion relief and it works amazingly well. But here’s my deal… I pair it with holistic and Ayurvedic remedies and try not to take the medication for more than a few days. If I need a round of antibiotics to fight off a bad sickness I do it because it works. And when I’m done I pump myself full of Kombucha and healthy fats to get my digestive balance back. Just because you claim to be a natural healthy person doesn’t mean you have to swear off western meds all together (just my little soap box).

So I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite holistic remedies to help you feel well and balanced all through the colder months… (recipes curtsy of Birmingham Yoga)

Winter Kitchadi – Moong Beans and Rice… Kitchadi (Kitcheree) is known in Ayurveda as the food that many turn to when illness calls and we need something warm, light, and restorative. Using a range of herbs and spices, Ayurveda devises kitchadi can heal various diseases. This recipe is used as an Ayurvedic cleansing therapy because of its ease of digestion and assimilation. Kitchadi is especially helpful in the winter to bring balance to our bodies as the season changes from warm to cold.

Kitchadi

I added zuchinni and sweet potato to my kitchadi. Yum.

  • 2 Tbs – Ghee (clarified butter) or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1  Inch – Ginger Sliced
  • 3/5 Cloves – Garlic Chopped
  • Mustard Seeds 10-20
  • 1/2 tsp – Turmeric
  • 1 tsp – Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp – Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp  – Masala (optional) and or chili’s or hot sauce (optional) *Adds a lot of flavor*
  • 2 – Bay Leaves
  • 1 Cup – Green Mung Daal (soaked overnight) *Use sprouted mung beans for quicker prep (no pre-soaking)*
  • 1 Cup or 2 Cups (if you have gas)- Rice (I recommend brown basmati)
  • 2 Cups or 4 Cups – Water
  • Veggies(carrots,beets and beet greens, zucchini,celery, kale sweet potato whatever you like)
  • Pepper
  • Rock salt or Sea Salt/Braggs Amino Acids add as you like.

There are a few ways to cook this recipe…

  1. In dutch oven or large pot cover pre-soaked beans with water and salt, bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  While the beans are cooking you can begin to heat your spices.  Take a saute pan heat ghee or coconut oil, add onions & ginger saute until onions are clear. Add garlic, mustard seeds and wait until seeds pop then add next five ingredients, saute for a couple of minutes and set aside.  When the beans are soft you can add onion mixture, uncooked rice (for every cup of rice add double the amount of water) water and bring back to a boil, cover and lower heat and cook for another 20 minutes until rice is done. Add chopped vegetables to your liking and cook until vegetable are Al Dente about 5-10 minutes add pepper, salt or Braggs and chili’s/hot sauce.
  2. You could do the above recipe in the same manner except cook the rice separately while the beans are simmering.
  3. You could cook in a pressure cooker.   Take pressure cooker and heat ghee or coconut oil, add onions & ginger saute until onions until clear. Add garlic, mustard seeds and wait until seeds pop then add next five ingredients, saute for a couple of minutes then add water, beans, rice and veggies.  Pressure cooker takes about 20-25 minutes.

If you want to make it a little more hearty you could also add cheese, cottage cheese or yogurt and a few tortillas.  Along with a nice salad.

I personally like to top my Kitchadi with nutritional yeast, a splash of sesame oil, and a little clarified butter (ghee).

Tea! I love tea. This was my first time to make this amazing recipe of Yogi Tea from my teacher, Akasha Ellis at Birmingham Yoga. Since I made it at night for the first time at night I didn’t add the black tea and it was very tasty! I don’t know if it was because of the tea, but I had the best night of sleep. For the past few days I have had this tea twice daily; in the morning with the black tea for a little pick-me-up and without the black tea at night. I hope you enjoy this yummy tea!

Yogi Tea ingredients

Homemade Yogi Tea!

“When Yogi Bhajan was a military commander in India there was an epidemic among the troops. He ordered all of his men to fill their canteens with yogi tea and drink nothing else, not even water. His Battalion was the only unit that didn’t get sick! Yogi tea purifies the blood, lungs and circulatory system. It cleans the liver and has many more unseen benefits. It’s good to drink this tea every day.” ~ Birmingham Yoga website

  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 30 Cloves
  • 30 whole Green Cardamon pods
  • 30 whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 inch or more of fresh Ginger, thinly sliced
  • 5 sticks Cinnamon
  • 1 teabag, Black Tea (leave out if sensitive to caffeine or planning to drink at night)
  • *Milk and Honey/Maple syrup to taste or Almond Milk.
  1. Bring water to boil.
  2. Add all spices except black tea bag. Boil 30 -45 min. If you want to make it stronger boil longer and add more water as needed.
  3. At the end add black tea bag and boil another 5 min.
    **The black tea is added last because it amalgamates the spices and sort of seals them. Also the tannins help assimilate the spices into the body.
  4. Add milk & sweetener to an individual cup as you require.  This will allow you to store the raw tea in the fridge and prepare with milk and sweeteners as you like.
  5. If you go cup by cup, you can leave the raw tea on the stove on the lowest flame to enjoy all day.

**Milk helps to ease the shock of the spices on the stomach and intestines so drink with milk if you’re sensitive.

**Note: for a stronger tea you can let the spices sit and sink to the bottom.

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Last year’s post on winter wellness: When this yogi gets sick… 

Happy Fall y’all,

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When this yogi gets sick…

The combination of the weather changing, stress from grad-school midterms, and working with children brought my immune system down. Quick. It would be nice to say that I have an immune system of steel with being a teacher and you know, all the yoga. But I don’t. So here are a few things that help me bounce back almost as quickly as I went down…

FOOD…

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup…

When you’re sick what’s the first thing you think of to eat? Soup. What kind? Chicken noodle soup. But when you’re a vegetarian the thought of chicken noodle soup without the chicken (aka. noodle water) doesn’t sound too appealing. I’ve been making this soup for a few years and it’s definitely my favorite homemade soup. This time of year butternut squash is in season and all over the place! I always buy some as soon as I see it in the store. There’s also just something about making homemade soup that instantly soothes your soul.

creamy vegan butternut squash soup

Ingredients…

  • 1 teaspoon organic expeller pressed canola oil (preferred) or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced (about 1 large onion)
  • 4 cups butternut squash, skin removed, roughly diced into 3/4 inch cubes (about 3/4 large squash)
  • 2 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cup organic apple cider (also easy to find this time of year!)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 star anise (whole)
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill whole grain rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Directions…

  1. Warm oil in a large heavy bottom sauce pot or dutch oven over low-medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, making sure not to brown.
  2. Add squash, stock, 1 1/4 cup cider, star anise, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover, remove star anise, add oats, spices, and continue to simmer, covered for another 10 minutes. Or until squash softens and begins to fully dissolve.
  4. Turn off heat. Add water and remaining apple cider and immediately transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Transfer to a strong blender, and blend until creamy smooth. Blend in batches if necessary. Transfer back into sauce pot, add remaining salt (optional) and warm again as desired. Ladle into your favorite bowl and enjoy!
  6. Find the original recipe posting here: Holiday Menu 2011

HOLISTIC HEALTH ROUTINES…

Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins… In pill form my choices are Source Naturals Wellness Formula (2 or 3 a day) and Rainbow Light Women’s One. In powder form I like the Almased Synergy Diet Powder. This powder is packed with protein, and all your essential vitamins: A, C, E, B6, Calcium & iron. This can also be used as a meal replacement shake, but for the purposes of building my immune system, I only use it as a big kick of protein and vitamins.

Jala Neti… Break out your Neti Pot. It’s that time of year. Jala Neti is a nasal cleansing technique that rinses the sinuses with warm saline with the aid of a teapot-like vessel called a neti pot. According to yoga tradition, it equalizes the flow of breath between the nostrils and balances the ida and pingala nadis – the two energy channels that pave the way for inner exploration.

Pour a cup of warm water (sterilized by boiling the water or purchasing distilled water) into a neti pot. Add 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt (kosher or sea salt or I use over-the-counter mixtures that can be found in the pharmacy section of your grocery store), stirring until it dissolves. Insert the spout into your left nostril, lean over the sink, and tilt your head slightly to the right so the water flows through the sinus passages and out of the right nostril. Gently blow your nose and repeat on the other side.

Humidify your home… It’s no wonder we get sick in the more often in the winter. When the temperature goes down outdoors so does the moisture level (especially in Sweet Home Alabama), so what do we do? Pump our homes with dry heat. Our sinuses need moisture in the air to keep lubricated and stay healthy. The first thing I try to do is to resist turning on the heat until the last minute. This year, I caved when my little apartment hit 62 degrees. So I turned on my humidifier to keep moisture in the air. Of course, it probably would have helped if I started this before I got sick. Lesson learned.

Hot showers… Same concept as the humidifier. Hot showers generate steam which moisturizes your sinuses and allows you to breathe. They also just feel awesome.

Warm water with lemon… Before you brush your teeth, eat, or drink coffee, mix the juice of half a lemon in a cup of warm water (with an optional pinch of rock salt and 1/2 teaspoon of local honey), and drink up. This drink flushes the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract and stimulates your agni (digestive fire) so you’re ready to metabolize breakfast.

Herbal tea… When my throat hurts all I want are warm liquids. I have a pretty large stockpile of Yogi Tea & Tazo teas. Some with caffeine and some not. Some of my favorites are Awake English Breakfast made by Tazo (I add 1/2 teaspoon of local honey, yum) and Bedtime made by Yogi Tea.

Yogi Tea

Light yoga… And I mean light! No all out, sweaty, twisty, inverted yoga here. Take it easy, your body needs restorative poses when you’re sick. For my spine I lay on my back and do gentle twists and let my legs drop side to side, for my hamstrings I sit up and stretch forward over my legs in paschimottonasana (seated forward bend), for my legs and side-body I put the soles of my feet together in baddha konasana (butterfly) and stretch side to side and forward, and I’ll sit in virasana (hero pose) just because it’s my favorite pose and feels so good on my quads and knees. Think any pose that you could do from your bed… which is where I do all of the above poses! No yoga mat needed.

Happy Fall y’all,

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Birmingham Juice Project…

I just finished another juice fast and this time my juicer took a rest! I purchased a 5-day juice fast from a high school friend of mine that started the Birmingham Juice Project. Let me tell you, this juice fast was so easy! I’ve been wanting to do a juice fast but thought it was impossible while working. (Who has enough time to juice every morning for the whole day?) So let me count the ways that I love the BJP…

  • Juice prepared for you, no need for a juicer
  • Vegan Nut Mylk (aka. NoMu/Cashew Mylk). This stuff is good! It has your essential fatty acids and keeps you full
  • Fresh, cold-pressed juice
  • Eco friendly packaging
  • You get 5, 16 oz. juices per day plus the NoMu! That’s 96 oz. per day!
  • Home delivery
Fridge is stocked for days 1-3!

Fridge is stocked for days 1-3!

Meet the Juices…

  • #1 (Popeye+) is for kidneys and intestines (kale,spinach, parsley, green apples, lemons)
  • #2 (Yogi) is for lungs (kale, d’anjou pear, cucumber, green apple, mint)
  • #3 (La Flaca) is for metabolism (graperfruit, fennel, green apple, ginger)
  • #4 (Spicy Sangria) is for metabolism and mucous (catarrh) buildup (kale, green grapes, green apples, jalapeno, cucumber, spinach)
  • #5 (Postgame) is for liver, blood, energy, and digestion (beets, carrots, green apple, ginger, lemon)
  • Cashew mylk is for holding you over and replenishing magnesium stores, protein, and fatty acids (water, organic cashews, medjool dates, celtic sea salt)

My favorites are #2 – Yogi (go figure) and #3 – La Flaca. I also really like the #4 – Spicy Sangria, I would have never thought to put jalapeno in my juice but it gives it a subtle kick.

A daily journal…

Day 1… Since I work with kids I was worried about bathroom breaks. I can’t just leave the room whenever I want… but it was no problem at all! Actually, I think the fast was easier while working. It kept my mind off food and I had virtually no cravings. I did have to take an extra bathroom break, but no bathroom emergencies!

p.s. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and my school is overloaded with sweets! It was easier than you would think to resist the chocolate, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and donuts!

Day 2… I realized this morning that I forgot to drink Juice #4 yesterday. Yes, I am so satisfied from the juices that I completely forgot one! I got off work around 3:30pm, came home and took Bailey for a walk then finished my nut milk then went straight for #3. Around 8pm I reached straight for #5 and didn’t even realize! Whoops!

Teacher Appreciation Week continues and I continue juicing. I feel so good. At first I thought doing the fast this week was a mistake but it turns out that I’m actually glad that I’m not able to eat the sweets. I feel good at the end of the day instead of regretting eating a brownie (or three). I’m still going strong and not hungry AT ALL! I taught my yoga class tonight and I felt really strong. No lack of energy here!

Day 3… It is so easy just to pack my lunch box with 2 bottles of juice and head out the door! I love that the work has been done for me and all I have to do is enjoy the cleansing feeling! I am still surprised that I am not craving the Teacher Appreciation Week foods… I am so full from the amount (and nutritional quality) of the juices that it is easy to resist.

Freshly juiced and delivered for days 4-5!

Freshly juiced and delivered for days 4-5!

Day 4… I’m not hungry and not having any specific cravings… but I just want to put a piece of food in my mouth! Lunch was provided for us today at work and I really wanted some of the cut fruit.  So I grabbed my juice and left the kitchen! I think the first thing I’m doing Saturday morning is having a cup of fruit! There were also some really yummy looking chocolate chip cookies in my classroom staring at me all day. However, I think it is easier to resist sweets because after successfully juice fasting for 3 days the first thing I am going to eat is definitely NOT going to be a cookie.

Day 5… Today there were some pretty tempting sweets but it was easier to resist. People kept telling me, “Just take one and eat it tomorrow!” And my thought was, “That voids the point!” So I refrained and I feel good. This afternoon I moved apartaments and had great energy (even though I wasn’t the one carrying the heavy stuff thanks to my brother, D, and Dad :)) I felt great at the end of the day that I completed my juice fast without cheating!

Day 6… I’m finished! This morning I drank juice and got some fresh cut fruit from the grocery. We had a wedding out of town to attend so I took some juice for the road (#4 that I accidentally skipped on day 1) and we ate a light lunch on the way. I had spinach salad, cucumber/tomato/feta salad, and water with lemon and it was yummy! My stomach took it well. At the wedding I had one glass of red wine, and more spinach salad, and yes, a little wedding cake.

After 5 days of juice fasting and winning giant jinga against D!

After 5 days of juice fasting and winning giant jinga against D!

How the BJP is better… 

When I did my own 5-day cleanse I was starving! The BJP juices are carefully crafted to give your body all the nutrients it needs to stay sustained while cleansing your body. The juices take you through a round of cleansing and nourishing. Each juice is targeted to cleanse a body system in the proper order to achieve maximum benefits. The juices are cold-pressed with a Norwalk Press Juicer. BJP does not use a centrifugal juicer that destroys the enzymes and nutrients of the juice.

Happy cleansing,

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Juice fast, day 5…

I’ve decided that I will not break my juice-fast until tomorrow at lunch. I’ve read that you have to be careful with how you break a juice fast. If you go crazy and eat anything you want you could make your stomach upset. I’m eating out for a celebratory graduation lunch so I’ve already scoped out the menu and know what I’m going to order. Light, fresh & yummy.

Juice fast rules…

  • Drink at least 32 oz. juice a day (to keep your body from going into starvation mode)
  • No smoking or drinking alcohol, caffeine, or dairy
  • When you are hungry, drink juice. When you are thirsty, drink juice. There is no limit to the amount of juice allowed.
  • If you are juicing for weight-loss, try not to juice too many fruits (because of natural sugars)
  • Juice only raw foods
  • Drink your freshly prepared juice right away (nutrients and enzymes deplete after sitting due to being exposed to oxygen)
  • The length of your fast can be as long or short as you wish. 1 day, 2 days, 8 days, 60 days. Just make sure you listen to your body.

*If you don’t think you’re quite ready for a full juice fast, see my post on Juice Fasting for Beginners.

How to break a juice fast… Keep juicing while adding these foods:

  • Day 1… Raw fruit in the morning and afternoon
  • Day 2… Lightly steamed non-starchy vegetables (such as spinach, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers)
  • Day 3… Brown rice, fresh salad
  • Day 4… Organic yogurt, unflavored and unsweetened. Eggs.
  • Day 5… Meat, chicken, fish, tofu (if eaten)
  • Day 6… Beans and other grains
  • Day 7… Other foods, as desired
  • Tips on no-processed diet rules: Fuel your life

What I juiced today…

I started my day with warm water & lemon (8 oz.) followed by:

Detox Filler: I had this one on day two. Since the banana gives a feeling of satiety I decided to have this one for breakfast to keep me full for the morning. Juice the carrots, apples, and celery first and then put the juice in a blender with the banana. (recipe makes approx. 16 oz. juice)

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 banana

Green giant: Fave. (makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 2 kale leaves
  • 2 swiss chard leaves
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium cucumber (with skin) 
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger
  • Several hand-fulls of spinach

Best Broccoli (with pears): I substituted the apple with pears today. (makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 small pears
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 lemon

Veggie detox: I made this juice for the first time a couple of days ago. Yay for purple juice! (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 small beet
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger

Total liquid consumed today: 50 oz.

Hunger review… On days 1, 2 & 3 I just simply missed food. I felt satiated due to the rich nutritional quality of the juice but I really missed food. The funny thing was that I craved healthy foods. An egg for breakfast, fresh veggies, brown rice, peanut butter, hummus, fresh salad, a veggie burger, taco night with black beans, avocado, fresh tomatoes, veggie crumbles… I felt like folding. But on day 4 it was totally different; no cravings. Day 5 has been the same; calm, happy, peaceful.

Positive results… One of the results on the positive list from yesterday is “spiritual journey: sense of peace and calm within.” I saw that one and said to myself, “Nope, that hasn’t happened.” But I think it has. No, I’m not seeing aura’s or anything like that. But I do have a sense of peace with myself. Yesterday when I had no want to eat, no cravings, and no overwhelming feeling that I was missing out on something, there was an ease in my mind. I tend to have an unhealthy mental dialogue going on inside my head. I know… the yogi side of me tells me that it’s unnecessary and that I need to love myself, but that’s just the thing about an irrational inner dialogue, it is indeed very irrational. So I found myself eating something “bad” and beating myself up about it. But all that eased yesterday, I feel like I have given myself the power to know that I can resist those foods that make me feel bad, and maybe if I do eat them, I know that it is not an everyday occurrence and it is okay.

Weight-loss… I have dropped a few of those pesky pounds that came around this summer due to stress (I’m sure). I plan to keep them off by keeping up with my no-processed/clean eating lifestyle.

Exercise… When juice fasting it’s important to remember that you’re not eating enough carbohydrates for rigorous exercise. Fruit has some carbs, but not enough. When you exercise without enough carb intake your body uses the protein from your muscles for energy and that is not ideal. So exercising is not completely out when juice fasting, but it shouldn’t be near as rigorous. I haven’t exercised as much as I planned this week, but it’s probably for the best. I went on walks with Bailey (dog) and did some light yoga at home.

More info on juice fasting: Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

Juice fast, day 4…

Let’s talk about the positive results you should see from a juice fast… (Let me know if I’m glowing.)

  • “Glowing” skin (due to new healthier tissue emerging)
  • Weight-loss
  • Cleanses your body of toxins
  • Ease digestive issues
  • Cure diseases
  • Sound sleep (wake up feeling refreshed)
  • Previous injuries begin to heal
  • Mind, memory, and eyesight experience precision and clarity
  • Spiritual journey: sense of peace and calm within

Now, let’s talk about negative side effects… I personally haven’t had any of these but I do like to think of myself as a pretty “clean” eater so my body didn’t have to cleanse my body of anything crazy (coffee, fast food, chips, junk food, etc.). I promise I don’t have super-human control. I love my dark chocolate and can’t resist a good Mexican night. (Chips and queso? Yes, please!) I just try to keep those nights to a minimum. One night at week at the most.

  • Bad breath
  • Acne
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches (often from giving up coffee or alcohol)
  • Lethargy
  • Hunger
  • Constipation
  • Body odor

Don’t let this list keep you from trying a juice fast if you want to try. Remember that oftentimes the most common side effects of juice fasting aren’t due to the incredibly healthy veggies and fruits you’re putting into your body. It’s the lack of “junk” your body has grown accustomed to over the years. If you’ve been drinking coffee every morning since you were in college, you’re body isn’t having an adverse reaction to the celery/apple/wheatgrass drink you’re now consuming. It’s just going to take some time for your body to stop craving those unhealthy substances you’ve been feeding it all these years.

*This is one of those disclaimers: Let it be known that I am not a RD (registered dietitian) and you should always check with your doctor before conducting a juice fast. Of course, you should not juice fast if you are pregnant or nursing. Check with your doctor if you are diabetic or have any other health ailments.

What I juiced today… 

Fruity Breakfast juice: I made this one up out of the contents of my fridge. Feel free to add your favorite fruit! I think mango and/or blackberries would be a good addition. When making fruit juice, I always hide a green veggie or two in there, you can’t taste them and it packs on the nutrients! (recipe makes approx. 8 oz. juice)

  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 green apple
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • 1 cup of blueberries

Green Lemonade: The cucumber overwhelms a little bit on this one. I’ll probably take it down to a half cucumber next time. Other than that, it’s good and refreshing. (Recipe makes approx 12. oz. juice)

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (Fresh, not packaged. I used just shy of a whole head.)
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber (with skin)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 lemon (you don’t have to peel it)
  • 1 thumb-size of ginger

Best Broccoli: Same as yesterday. Really, this one is so good that I wanted it two days in a row!  (recipe makes approx. 10 oz. juice)

  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 lemon

I also had a coconut water (16.2 oz.) taking my total liquid consumed to a total of 46.2 oz.

Hungry?… Days 2 & 3 were definitely the worst for hunger cravings. Today I’ve been pretty satisfied today with no specific cravings. It took less will-power than I thought not to grab a dark chocolate kiss out of the basket at my hair salon.

Energy?… I had a training today from 1-6pm and I had a normal level of energy throughout.