Monday, February 25, 2013

Plateau Obliteration – Day Three!

When “obliterating a plateau” it’s hard to stay motivated.  Progress isn't as fast, my internal engine has slowed down to accommodate for the pace it wants to follow and it is just plain hard work.

Day three is always the day that I seem to hit my slump.  Today I left the gym feeling tired and sore and a little bloated from the weekend.  The scale has not moved an inch and this is about the time when I start to feel a bit defeated.

Time for a little self-talk and some motivation boosting!  Luckily, I have been here before and I know how to push through. 

Step 1:  Stick to the plan.  Make sure that you are juicing each day in accordance with the plan you've created for yourself.  
  • For my “plateau obliteration plan” I am making a commitment to incorporate no more than 25% fruit juice into my routine.  This forces me to seek vegetable alternatives which add less sugar and less calories.

Step 2:  Increase intensity and duration.  For your movement or exercise routine, it’s time to pick up the pace and increase intensity and duration.  That means you want to increase your heart-rate for a longer period of time.  
  • My current goal during this time is to increase my cardio to 30 min instead of 20 at an intensity of 6-7 vs. my previous 5.  I’m sweating bullets!

Step 3:  Check the negative attitude.  This is about the time when I start the negative talk in my head, “I’m just too tired… I am not making any headway… there’s no point, I might as well take the day off… I think I’m looking fatter… this is just too hard… I've made a lot of progress recently, I don’t’ need to work that hard.”  Do any of these sound familiar?  These are the types of negative thoughts that work against you and against your best interest.  
  • I, personally, “fake it till I make it.”  I start talking to myself in the exact opposite manner, reversing those statements.  Even though I don’t quite believe them at first, I keep going until I start to feel the lift in my spirit.

Step 4:  Take a step back.  Look at how far you've already come!  What a feat!  Whether it’s weight loss, better health, more energy… take a moment to recognize and build yourself up for the progress you've already made.  Remember what it felt like to start your new juicing routine.  Remember how hard that first week was.  Now look at the positive progress!  
  • I figure... I've already made it through the first phase... nothing is going to stop me from making it through the next!  I deserve this... and I can't wait to look back and remember what this phase was like.

Try this extra green recipe to kick-start your system!

Uber Green (just chug it)
½ bunch kale
½ bunch rainbow chard
1 large bag of spinach
½ cucumber
½in ginger root
¼ lemon
1 apple

Friday, February 22, 2013

Plateau Obliteration - Day One!

So I am the kind of person who hits the ground running.  Once I have analyzed the situation and made my decision... I'm doing it!  Day one of my "Plateau Obliteration Plan"... Change my workout routine!

With that said, I brushed off the dust on my cross trainers yesterday.  I threw a fresh pair of workout clothes in the back of my car and got myself to the gym.  As I walked into the free-weight section, the smell of rubber and the clanking of weights brought back a nostalgic excitement that I had long forgot.

Eight pairs of eyes perked up as I strolled down the middle of "their territory."  You see, I belong to a no-name, hole-in-the-wall, local gym.  I joined by choice, as I like the simplicity of the place, the focus of the atmosphere and their genuine support and demeanor   No pressure and usually no eyes staring at you while you work out (one of my pet-peeves... getting hit on at the gym... a story for another time perhaps).

This time, however, the gym seemed "packed" and of course, they were all... men.

In these situations, I usually lift my head a little higher and stroll a little more confidently than usual.  Just to offset the fact that I felt completely vulnerable and out of place in my purple tank-top.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself, "You have been here before, you are just fine and in a couple days, this will feel completely normal."

My hand knew what to reach for... a 20 pound dumbbell.  I slowly brought it to my side and started a whole new core workout.

Moral of my story... even though I am not speaking directly to juice today... it is just as important to focus on the entire well-being of your body during this transition.  Your muscles and joints were built to be challenge and to move.  Your body was made to adapt and change.  That is why changing up your workout or movement routine is so important.  If you let your body become too complacent, you will get results to match... stagnation.

So why not grab a big glass of juiced greens, your cross trainers and head to the gym!  Try these moves to help "break the ice."  I have to admit... I am a HUGE Jillian Michaels fan... so do what you can and alter the workouts to your experience/performance level.  Just be prepared to "feel it" the next day!

Jillian Michaels - 20 minute workout -

Note that by changing any workout routine, you should be cognizant of your current physical health and should determine if you need to consult a medical professional.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Infamous "Plateau"

Oh that dreaded moment when you step on the scale and it hasn't moved... in fact it has gone up by one pound!

I know that feeling well.  It is known as the "plateau" of weight-loss.  The moment when you realize that what you've been doing will only take you this far.  The moment you realize that something needs to change in order for the forward moving trend to continue.

Let's put this in terms of a workout.  When you go to the gym, diligently, three times a week... incorporating the right mix of cardio, weights, resistance and stretching.  You're feeling good, the endorphins are flowing, the weight is starting to come off and your pants are fitting just a little looser.  You go through the same routine for a couple months and continue to see improvement!

The start of the next month rolls around and you notice that the workouts are easier and that your body is not reacting as much... it is used to the routine and the effort needed.  Your body has become "bored" with the workout and therefore has realized that it doesn't need to exert more effort... so it doesn't!  Your body basically sits back and says, "Ha!  That's a piece of cake... I'm sitting this one out at half effort."

This is the start of the "plateau."

Let's get back to juicing... This same "plateau" can happen when you are on a juicing regimen.  For instance, I noticed that lately, I've been falling into a routine of drinking the same juice in the morning and the same routine of bike cardio at the gym with stretching afterwards.

This routine is what helped me lose 30 pounds!  A fantastic feat that I am very proud of.  Yet now, this routine is not enough to take me past that 30 pound marker.  I have 15 pounds to my goal weight and I am stuck... staring at the scale... feeling a bit defeated.

You know what?  It's time for change... that is what this experience is telling me!  Over the next week I will be researching, posting and coming up with some plateau boosting juice recipes and regimens to help guide myself and you through this phase of the process.

The most important thing is to not get caught up in the halt in your progress.  Recognize how far you have come.  Be proud of the hard work you have put in thus far.  Own and celebrate the positive results you've already accomplished!  If you are just beginning, know that these results are waiting for you!

Reaching your "plateau" is actually a good thing (I know, I'm an eternal optimist)... it indicates that you have passed the first phase and are ready for the next step in juicing!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Business Travel Approach

Being a working mom who travels quite a bit, I am constantly plagued with opportunities to veer from my juicing path.

When I was newer to the regimen, I would find myself running to my airport gate, grabbing anything with bread, meat and cheese and then eating it ravenously at 35,000 feet.  What I realized was that the affects of travel alone have adverse affects on the body.  When combined with poor eating and stress, I was doomed to gain weight, feel bloated and feel drained.

So... what changed?

I found a way to maintain while I traveled!  I realized that I was not going to be able to make much progress while traveling, especially on those trips longer than two days.  What I was willing to face, and eventually accept, was that maintaining weight and health is sometimes just as effective when trying times emerge.

Once I was able to wrap my head around the concept of maintenance, I could then let go of the guilt and stress that I felt and really focus on the trip I needed to take.

My true secret though is putting in a little research ahead of time.  I found that if I mapped out an organic health food store... ahead of time... I could then find fresh juice and produce that fit into my juicing regimen.

Try this approach next time you have business travel!

  1. Pack your food for the trip out.  You won't be able to pack juice, so pack fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts.  This will prevent the last minute junk-food buys.  
  2. Buy or refill a LARGE container of water and drink it constantly.  Yes it may cause you to have to get up a couple times on the plane, but it is well worth the hydration and satisfied feeling that comes with it.
  3. Do your research and find an organic health food store that is either near or on-the-way to your hotel/residence.  Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts.  Also, if available, find fresh juice that you can buy in bulk.  Note: some hotels offer complimentary refrigerators... just ask, or build this into your travel budget.
  4. Stick to the basics if you have to go out and eat.  Remember to keep things fresh and simple.  The less cooking means the less sauce, the less heavy food and the closer you are to key nutrients.  Example: Choose the seared ahi tuna and quinoa instead of the breaded chicken sandwich or the steak and garlic mashed potatoes.  Note: another trick I like is to order your food in smaller orders, example I have the server bring me a small salad, then soup and then a side order of their vegetables .. by the end of it I am stuffed!
  5. Sleep and Move... get your butt to bed and get up 30 minutes earlier the next morning to take a walk or simply stretch before your meetings.
  6. Do a 1-3 day juice cleanse when you get home.
I feel like I'm an avid "traveling juicer" now and it feels amazing to be able to embrace a lifestyle that fosters health.

Happy travels!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Juicing the Reds - Happy Valentine's Day!

Be good to your heart today and embrace the power of REDS!

Red fruits and vegetables are unique in their health benefits.  The integrity of your cells and circulatory system are directly affected by these beautiful foods.

Red produce contains some of the top antioxidant flavanoids responsible for the health of these systems.  To name a few...

  • Lycopene: build those healthy cells and prevent "heart-ache" through this amazing antioxidant
  • Ellegic Acid: keep that "ticker" ticking with this phytochemical
  • Quercetin: reduce inflammation and ease "the pain" through natures Aspirin
  • Hesperidin: increase that blood-flow and look younger with this citrus flavanoid
Overall rich, red fruits and vegetables help to...
  • Reduce evidence and chances of cancer
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce tumor growth
  • Lower negative cholesterol levels
  • Cleanse harmful free-radicals from the body
  • Support joint tissues
  • Prevent heart disease
On a day like, Valentine's Day, why not try incorporating deep, rich red fruits and vegetables into your day.  Here is one of my favorite red juice recipes...

Red Drink
  • 1/4 papaya
  • 1-2in slice of watermelon
  • 1/2 pomagranite (peeled)
  • 1c blackberries
  • 1c raspberries
  • 1 blood red orange (peeled)
If you really want to spice things up, try adding 1/4 of a hot-red chili pepper and see what happens!  Just be careful when incorporating spicy foods.  

Happy Valentine's Day juicing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Skin - Clear, Smooth & Bright!

I live in the land of 10,000 lakes... A.K.A. Minnesota.  What that means is that from November through April, my skin is severely neglected.

When I would travel to California for business, I stuck out like a sore-thumb.  My pale,white skin looked ashen and my eyes dull.  It was obvious that my poor skin hadn't seen the sun for months.

To help give my skin a healthy "glow" I tried everything from exfoliating, natural oils, tanning lotions and bronzing powders.  These would give me a temporary boost, but that would wear off within 24 hours.  Doing more isn't always better and I felt like my skin was rubbed raw and then caked full of glittery powders and oils.

So what changed?

I started juicing.  I began to let the micronutrients and live enzymes of fresh juice work through my clogged-up organs.  The juice was literally cleansing me from the inside out.  After only one week of juicing, I started to get comments from friends, and even strangers, on how bright blue my eyes looked and how vibrant my face was.  I was "glowing."  The more I heard these compliments, the more I was motivated to keep going.

After months of experimenting, I have found some key ingredient combinations that will help boost, clear and smooth the skin.  When you heal the body at the molecular level, your peripheral organs and tissues will follow suit.  It is the natural progression of targeting health within our vital organs... including our skin!

Skin boosting:

  • One cup of each
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
  • One cucumber
Skin clearing:
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 pinch of fresh mint
Skin smoothing:
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
So, whether you live in the tundra or on the beaches of Australia, our skin can always use some extra attention.  Why not try to incorporate some of the above ingredients into your regular juicing.  Be proactive  with your juicing and start GLOWING!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Everyone talks about staying hydrated.  The whole concept is "preached" and now water is thought of as boring...

Yet the proof is in the pudding... or juice in this matter.  When I am dehydrated, I do not feel my best.  I'm not just talking about a little fatigue.  I'm speaking to the mid-morning crashes, the creaking in my joints, the burning in my stomach and the dull headaches mid-afternoon.  To finally falling face-first on my bed too early in the evening to enjoy it.

Depending upon the studies you read, 75-80% of most individuals are chronically dehydrated.  This is mainly made up of the US population.  Studies show that a mere 2% drop in body water/fluids can result in some of (not limited to) the following symptoms:

  1. Lack of focus/attention; "fuzzy head"
  2. Fatigue
  3. Constipation
  4. Digestive troubles
  5. Blood pressure irregularities and issues (both rise and fall)
  6. Respiratory issues
  7. Excess weight gain
  8. Skin and hair dryness and/or irritations
  9. Joint pain
  10. Ulcers
Good thing there is juice!  A juicing regimen, heavy in vegetables, greatly reduces your chances of being chronically dehydrated.  In most cases, incorporating 2-3 glasses of juice into your day decreases or almost eliminates the above mentioned list of ailments.  How fantastic is that?!  

To add even more to the mix, I have found a few tips to fit more water into my day as well:  
  1. After you brush your teeth (morning and night) slam a glass of water.  By "slam" I mean just drink it without thinking about it.  There's two extra glasses right there!
  2. While juicing, make sure that you match your glasses of juice with an equal glass of water.  For me, that means 3 glasses at work.
  3. Keep a BPA-free bottle of water in your bag or purse.  Every time you reach into your bag/purse, take a gulp of water.  This way you are never stranded and don't feel the urge to go through the drive-through or stop at the gas station for a soda, pop or other sugary drink.
  4. Make a jug of lemon, cucumber, mint water at home.  It is so refreshing and takes no time at all.  I use a large glass jug with a seal-able top.  Then I peel and slice a whole cucumber, slice a whole lemon, squeeze another lemon and add a small bunch of crushed, fresh mint.  I fill it with distilled or filtered water and put in the fridge. The smell is invigorating and I actually look forward to having a glass when I get home. *If you like a little sweet with it, try 2 drops of Lemon Stevia in your glass.  Yum!
Moral of my post... make hydration something you actually want to do and not something you have to force yourself into.  Start juicing and feeling the full affects.  Hydration through juice adds a little taste into your day.  

The amazing part is that you will notice a change within the first day.  Grab a glass of juice and a glass of water and feel the affects today!

Friday, February 8, 2013

If I can do it... You can!

I'm not a small woman... 5ft 10in, larger frame, definitely "big-boned."

Keeping my weight in-check has been a challenge since my "high school metabolism" slowed down.

I was a fierce athlete in high school and on into my early years of college. Always training, always exercising and always eating whatever I wanted! So when I packed my car and drove out West, I left my athletic obligations behind.

As you can imagine I slowly started to pack on the pounds. I was finally on my own, becoming financially independent and in the mind-set of indulgence!

Rich coffee drinks and flaky pastries... Burgers and fries... Chicken burritos with all the fixings... And of course beer!

Add that up and take into account my lack of activity and you have a pudgy, large boned woman pushing 200lbs.

Thank goodness for my body-conscious roommate at the time. She was able to rein me in, teaching me about good cooking habits and regular activity. Yet even with the added help, keeping my weight down was a challenge. At a minimum it took 2+ hours per day of running, lifting weights, swimming and/or yoga.

Once out of college, there was no way to maintain that lifestyle without sacrificing sleep... Of which I can not do without.

I yo-yo dieted, had my ups and downs of incorporating 45 min power workouts and cardio into my days. What I found was that my weight would maybe go down a bit but it never fully broke the plateau. I always bottomed out right around 190.

After having a child, it was especially hard to drop the pounds. I felt defeated and at a loss.

Until... My brother, Brian, introduced me to juicing. Now I am down 32 lbs from my post baby weight... I am weighing in at 178! I feel and look amazing (I feel confident enough that I can say that now)!

I'm turning heads again... And it feels damn good! So... If a woman like me can do it... SO CAN YOU!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Morning Juice - Wake up!

You are rolling out of bed, it's cold outside and all you want to do is pretend the baby isn't crying and that the dog could open the back door by herself.

Well... if your life is anything like mine, my alarm promptly reminds me that I am both a parent, a dog owner and a corporate woman.  That means that there is no sleeping in and there is no pressing snooze.  Time to wake up!

One of my favorite ingredients in my morning juice is grapefruit.  I thoroughly enjoy the bright smells and the not-too-sweet citrus flavor.  I can remember being a child and picking fresh grapefruits from my Gramma's backyard.  I would take the warm fruit and bring it right to my nose, taking in that aroma.  I would peel and eat it like an orange... juice running down my face and hands.

This fruit is a perfect wake-me-up ingredient and it's natural health benefits give you a boost right away in the morning.  Some include...
  • High dose of vitamin C which helps to not only reduce inflammation but strengthen the immune system.
  • Skin health through high levels of vitamin A.
  • Weight loss through fat burning enzymes, apatite suppressants and metabolism boosters.
Tomorrow, why not try this simple morning juice recipe... and make sure to let me know how you feel.

1 grapefruit (peeled)
1 granny smith apple
3 carrots
Handfull of spinnach
1 in cube of ginger
1/2 lemon
*Juice and drink!

Hope you have a fantastic morning!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ginger - The World Traveler

Ginger... the smell, the taste and the feeling of ginger as it awakens those senses!

This amazing root is well known across cultures, weaving it's zingy flavor through centuries of food and herbal remedies.  From the mountains of China to the beaches of Greece, across the oceans to the US and the Caribbean, this root has just about hit every continent.

It has been a well loved spice not only in my stove-top cooking but in my juicing regimen as well.  A cube of ginger adds immense flavor and even greater health benefits to my daily routine.  I have grown to almost crave it's bite and the invigorating affect it has on my system.

What are some of these benefits?  How can a simple root have such a profound affect?

First off, ginger is in one of the top antioxidant groups.  It's volatile oils (an essential oil having the odor and flavor of the plant from which it comes) are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic which makes this a "gut's" best friend!

To name just a few digestive benefits related to this root, ginger:

  • Reduces inflammation within the digestive system
  • Reduces gas
  • Increases nutrient absorption
  • Soothes the digestive tract
  • Induces mobility of the gut
  • Helps digest fats by increasing bile production
Other benefits include:
  • Fever reduction
  • Reduced feelings of nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness
  • Mood enhancing aroma therapy 
  • Energizing aroma therapy
What more can I say... Ginger root detoxifies, rebuilds and stimulates all at the same time!  Hence my daily use.  

So why not give this zingy root a try in your next batch of juice?  Flavor and health all in one place... Go Ginger!