Monday, January 28, 2013

Coffee and a Pastry?

I don't know if you are anything like me, but I just happen to have a small portion of Scandinavian in my blood.  If you've ever spent a day with a Scandinavian  you will notice that sugar, pastries and cream is a regular part of their morning diet.

I remember spending a weekend at Grandma's and waking up to the smell of fresh coffee.  I'd stumble up from the pull-out couch in the basement guest room to see 'the ladies' enjoying dainty cups of coffee with an elaborate display of pastries, breads, cheeses and jellies.  Grandma's eclectic china plates, ornate silver spoons and hand-painted coffee cups created such a nostalgia around what a happy breakfast was.

I carried this notion of a happy breakfast on through my life, always wanting coffee, cream and sugar, with something sweet on the side.

Now that I juice for breakfast, I've realized just how horrible sweets made me feel in the morning.  Having an apple danish would sit like a rock in my stomach until I'd try and cover it up with a sandwich at lunch and snacks throughout the day.  It was a slippery slope that would leave me feeling bloated with a sour stomach and a fuzzy head.

Starting my day with a giant glass of micro-nutrients and water set me up for a day of successful eating!  I not only felt amazing after a juicing breakfast, I felt clear in the head and less hungry than when I was eating sweets.  My body was telling me that I was more satisfied drinking juice than I was eating sweet foods for breakfast.  My body was telling me that I had everything I needed and therefore did not need more.

Now I wake up, chugging a mixture of greens and reds while racing out the door... rearing to take on the day!

My craving for a sweet pastry every time I smell fresh coffee brewing hasn't completely gone away.  As I've stated in previous posts, I don't deprive myself of this luxury either.  I've just realized that breakfast has a HUGE impact on how the rest of my day goes.

So I choose juice more and sweets less... that is what makes me feel amazing and what keeps me juicing every day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do You Ever "Cheat?"

While I was traveling for business this past week (hence my gap in posts... sorry!) I was asked, "Do you ever cheat?"

What a GREAT question!

First, I wanted to address the use of the word "cheat."  The very meaning of the word equates to an act of dishonesty or unfair/immoral behavior in order to gain advantage.  I thought it was so interesting that we use this word in conversations to describe our eating behaviors and trends.  

For instance, after a weekend vacation I may say to a friend, "I cheated this weekend and had a huge piece of chocolate fudge cake for desert!"

After really understanding the meaning of the word "cheat" I thought it was time to change the way I use that word in regards to my own eating regimen.  In fact, I don't engage in any dishonest or immoral behavior in order to gain unfair advantage when I reach for that piece of chocolate fudge cake.  The reality of my story is that I am an exact result of the decisions I make each and every day.  Each day I am making decisions to enhance, deplete or maintain my life... and not with ill-willed intentions.

Instead, I am making the conscious decision to act according to the juicing program that I have set before myself.  I am doing it for one reason and one reason only... it is in my best interest and serves my higher purpose.  There are very few things more powerful than your higher purpose!

So now that I've re-defined and categorized the word "cheat" I can address the real questions, "Do I stray from my juicing program?"  My answer will be and will always be, "No."  

How is that possible you ask?!

This is simple stuff!  I have a simple story with a simple message.  I have created, and follow, a juicing plan that not only works for me but that I can manage.  It fits into my lifestyle, it is able to be customized, changed last minute... it even has a back up plan for the back up plan!  Trust me, I've thought of everything.  No matter what juice or food events come my way, I have a program and a plan to handle it.  Not avoid it, not deprive myself of anything and not to "cheat" it.  I simply have a plan that fits me... all of me, including my life, my spirit and my family.

Though I am not ready to share the plans yet (testing and time!), I will give you some pointers to help you start/excel in your own juicing journey...
  1. Listen.  Listen to your body, listen to your mind and listen to your spirit.  The very act of listening will tell you what your holistic self wants, needs and can handle.  
  2. Course correct.  If something doesn't work, change it.  If something works, keep it.
  3. Allow yourself to eat what you love.  I enjoy food in a way that goes beyond the taste buds.  It is one of the many ways I love to experience different cultures and places.  So, I build that into my plan.  An example would be that I love the sweet and spicy flavors of curry.  So instead of making my curry with the heavy coconut milk, cream and sugar that most traditional sauces use, I thin that down by using light coconut milk and juices (ex: pineapple) for sweetness.  The richness of the other ingredients shine through and I've come to like my version so much more!
  4. Give yourself realistic boundaries.  I threw the idea of "I can't have" or "No" out the window.  I reclaimed control over my life and took the attitude of "Not now but maybe later," "I choose this instead," or "Yes please!"  What that did was when a friend invited me out for coffee and a pastry.  I would say "Yes please!"  I would then eat every ounce of that pastry and would know that I needed to add and extra green juice to my next meal or needed to give myself a day without white sugar later that week.  The balance became key to me not depriving myself but making choices that were good for me... and quite frankly that I felt good about.
  5. Make time for what is important.  YOU are important.  Your health is important.  So take an extra 15 of each day and devote it to YOU!
Try some things out and let me know what you thoughts on this post!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finishing-up the Week

Day three through five were easier than the first two days.  I was finally in-the-groove.  It helped to have people starting to notice a change in me.  They would say things like, "Did you change your hair?"  Or, "Have you lost weight?"  I knew I was on the right path.

I did a preliminary weigh-in on day five just because I was curious!  I had lost 5 pounds in five days.  I had already felt my jeans getting bigger and my waist getting smaller.  My face was clear of blemishes.  My hair never looked better.  People actually started to comment on the color of my eyes, which told me that they were bright and clear.

By day five, I also felt the need for solid food.  Not because I was hungry, but because I was missing the act of actually eating.  I kept reminding myself that I was just fine and that my body had everything it needed.  That was the best mantra to help get me through... I am fine and I have everything I need.

I've continued to say this throughout my juicing journey.  The reality is that we are so trained to revolve our lives around food that we forget about what the actual purpose of that food is.

Think about it... we plan our days, we plan our evenings, we plan our vacations around When and Where we will eat.  Now, don't get me wrong... I LOVE FOOD.  I love to experience life through food.  I am inclined to even reward myself through food.  These were the hard-coded ways of thinking that I needed to change.

Instead of looking at food as a focus point of my day, I began to open my mind to the things that I was actually 'doing' that day.  Doing vs. eating.  I was drinking juice all day long, so I no longer was waiting for lunch or for my afternoon snack time.  If I wanted juice, I drank it while repeating my mantra.  If I started to think about eating, I did something... anything!

Changing this way of thinking has changed my life forever.  These types of small changes in they way we think can have such a profound impact on they way we live.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day Two

I rolled out of bed on day two to find that I was not as hungry as I was when I went to bed.  Oddly enough, I felt great and I was craving water more than anything else.

I marched into the kitchen to face the juicer once more... ready for the yummy goodness it has in store for me.

That day's regimen was to try and fit in six glasses of juice.  All of which consisted of dark green vegetables, lemon and ginger.  The act of throwing the produce into the juicer and hearing it 'wiz' through the process was becoming therapeutic and I quickly learned that the smells emitted were cutting down on my 'wake-up' time.  I'm energized and excited to juice today.

I honestly thought that I would have a more sullen view on this and that I might even have given up by day two.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find that I continued to be motivated and actually enjoyed this experience.

The morning and mid-morning juices were easy to chug.  This combined with a busy morning at work helped me get to my mid-day tea outing in no time!

My sister and I decided to check out some mountain bike paths down in River Falls, WI.  They were amazing... the sun just peaking through the trees, the late summer air smelled fantastic and for the first time in what seemed like forever, my mind was open, clear and not focused on food.

That night, I felt like I was breaking through brick walls of past eating habits and I began to feel a little emotional.  I realized I had held so much emotion within the pounds that I had gained and held onto.

It was time to let go and release this weight.  It no longer served me or my life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My First Day

For the first three days of my initial fast, I felt as if I was having an out of body experience.  As if I was on the outside looking in, watching this 'juicing thing' happen to me.

Day #1:
I felt anxious and scared, actually.  The idea of not eating anything solid created an unrealistic sense of scarcity within me.  I remember periodically reaching for my 'snack drawer' at work, not even comprehending what I was doing... as if it was a normal as breathing.  I would have the wrapper off of a granola bar before I realized my actions.  Quickly I threw it in the garbage before I had time to smell it's chocolaty goodness.

Noon rolled around and I felt as though my stomach was going to literally implode.  I had drank four glasses of water and 3 glasses of juice.  Logically speaking, I had enough calories built up in body for at least a week, plus I had consumed enough calories to support myself for days with the juice I had just drank.  There was no grounded fear for what I was feeling.  I kept reminding myself that the mind is powerful and that I am literally breaking a habit... my food routine.

Mid-afternoon snack time, or as others might call it, 3:00 pm, rolled around and there was nothing I wanted more than one, salty corn chip.  Even a small nibble of one of the corners would do.  I tried all the techniques, drinking more water, drinking more juice and going for a walk.  Nothing could take my mind off of salt.

I noted that my body was going through the flavors.  First sugar cravings, then salt cravings... the next was fat.  I wanted meat... bacon actually.  I felt nauseous and my head felt fuzzy.  I almost felt as though I had drank a huge glass of wine without the fun part of actually drinking it!

What got me through?  It was actually going back to my sports days when I would train my body for athletic performance.  I learned early on that you can work through difficult physical exercises with the goal that 'it will get easier.'  

I kept that in mind and began to think of ways for me to cheat without actually cheating.  Time to trick the mind!  So, I decided that during my lunch hour every day, I would go into town and 'buy lunch.'  This included the trip to one of my favorite caf├ęs, waiting in line, and physically purchasing and selecting a really yummy cup of tea.  I would go through the process of steeping the tea and then my sister and I would explore walking paths in the area.  We would seek out a new one every day.

This technique worked!  I had something to look forward to and a 'yummy surprise' that helped get me through the latter half of my day.

By the end of Day #1, I was completely exhausted.  How was I going to make it through six days?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why do I Juice?

So, now that we're getting things started, I thought I'd let you all know the why behind Juice Up Life.

A year ago, my brother recommended a documentary to me, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.  He claimed that this documentary changed the way he thought about his body and his life.  Though I am a health nut at heart, I was still skeptical of the thought that juice alone can heal, maintain and nourish a body.  In a society where meat, milk and grains are the stable of our existence... not to mention white foods (sugar, flour and other processed foods), I had a hard time buying the concept.

Needless to say, I gave in and watched the documentary.  It was an impressive video and being a knowledge hound, I soaked up the statistics and references like a sponge.  I took the information, processed and researched until late hours of the night.  If you were looking for me the weekend I watched this, you could find me on my iPhone, curled up in a blanket, holding the screen to my face and reading... reading... reading.

My brother asked that each of us family members go with him on a 6 day juice cleanse to reboot the system.  I figured, anyone can do this for 6 days.  What is the worst that will happen...nothing?

He invested in a juicer for my household and that Monday, I went to work with four jars of homemade juice.  I still remember the looks I got when I unscrewed the first jar and chugged it right before going into a presentation I had with my team.  My team knows my views on health, but even this was out there for me.

Little did I know that morning would change my life forever.  My journey is to be continued...

I have come to the conclusion that juicing has come into my life for a distinct purpose.  The past six months have had such a profound impact that I can't help but share this experience.  Through my story, I can only hope that you will come to know the health, joy and vitality that has flourished in my life.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Lemon's Zesty Benefits

The lemon, such a simple, bright and beautiful fruit.  Just the visual of a lemon brings thoughts of summertime, warmth and sunshine.  The nostrils perk up and our salivary glands start to anticipate the sour tang of its goodness.

Lemon is another staple in our juice programs.  Not just because it makes us all feel 'happy,' but this miraculous fruit adds a nutrient rich punch with just drops of its juice.

In ancient times the lemon was thought to protect individuals against sickness and infection.  Both drinking the juice and using the juice as a topical treatment was a regular practice in fighting off some of the basic diseases that plagued our planet at that time.

These same testimonials reign true to this day!  We are just now able to scientifically prove out the claims this bundle of sunshine brings.  To start:
  • It has both antibacterial and antiviral properties... very rare to find both in one source.  
  • It is an immune boosting fruit.
  • It promotes weight loss through its digestive aid and liver cleansing properties.
  • It is an alkaline food and contrary to popular belief it neutralizes the acidic affects within the body.  Thus reducing inflammation and reducing most pain caused by inflammation.
Besides flavor, this zesty fruit packs a nutrient punch as well!  A few of these nutrients are:
  • Citric Acid
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Pectin
  • Limonene
As if this fruit couldn't do anything more... it comes through to help with:
  • Aroma therapy to lift the mood, reduce anxiety and energize the body, mind and spirit!
  • A general skin tonic that can help heal almost anything from acne and bug bites to Eczema and other rashes.
This bright, juicy 'power fruit' is a must-have when juicing.  It not only helps to brighten up the flavor of our juice, it has many very important jobs to perform.  Joy and health through juice... is there a better way to accomplish that?  We think not!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Greens - Greens - Greens!

Green... it's not just a color anymore.  It's a way of life.  

People are living, breathing and being Green.  If you look at a green lifestyle, individuals are working to align their lives with nature.  Embracing the aspects of nature that enhance and support our world.  Individuals are choosing to be more Eco-conscious when it comes to the buying of products, utilizing of certain brands and in general, within their everyday practices.  Entire companies, families and communities are Going Green!

Green is not just in how we live, though.  Greens have become the building blocks for our most successful juicing programs.  Greens are now recognized as super-foods in their own right, taking on a shape and personality all their own.  Think about it... a food group that detoxifies, promotes digestive and organ health, cleanses, increases blood health and supports the nervous system.  Talk about powerful!

What are these magical greens I speak of?

They are the dark green, rich and sometimes leafy vegetables, grasses and algae found throughout the globe.  A short list of my top pics are below.  But mind you, there are many, many, many more to be found and had!
  • Kale
  • Chards
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Okra
  • Spirulina
  • Wheat grass
  • Herbs (mint, basil, sage, rosemary...) 
  • And so many more!
So what happens when you juice these greens?

When you juice, you are basically injecting the nutrients directly into the digestive system.  Juicing allows for seamless and easy absorption of the nutrients that are sometimes overshadowed by other foods and the 'ruffage' that goes along with them.  I'm all for 'ruffage,' trust me!  Whole foods and healthy, alive produce is an important part of my diet.  Juicing, though, brings things to a whole new level.  It is a core way of life (for me anyways) that allows these nutrients to hit the system at a micro-level. 

The power of these greens comes through in the nutrients they bring to the table:
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, C, K, B6
  • Folic Acid
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Chlorophyll
  • Phytonutrients
  • And the list goes on!
Moral of the story... GREENS - GREENS - GREENS!  They are the building block of our program and philosophy   We can't wait to share more!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bringing Juice to the Mid-West!

It's time to get started!

Juicing... a word that is flying around faster than you can down a shot of wheat-grass.  It's a concept that became popular early in the 20th century.  Small, local pockets of juicers started to reap the benefits of squeezing the micro-nutrient rich liquid from produce.  Nutrition, refrigeration and juicing 'tools' were the driving forces of this small-scale movement.

Fast forward to the early 21st century... Juicing has a very different vibe.  It's a buzzword, an avenue for meal replacement, a way to cleanse the body, lose weight, increase vitality and energy.  Juicing isn't just for the local hippies anymore, it is bottled up in easy-to-buy, easy-to-drink trendy packages that you can seamlessly integrate into the most urban-chic of lifestyles.

This is taking off on both coasts, spreading like wildfire through New York City and California.  The celebs are talking, the streets are buying and the local markets are reaping the benefits.

It is time to bring this to the Mid-West!  Why should the coasts have all the fun?  That is why my brother, Brian, and myself, Shannon Rose, are starting the ball rolling.  It's time to bring simple, clean and tasty juicing programs to those near and dear.

It starts here!