Saturday, March 22, 2014

sick day.

i never call in sick. ever. but i did.. it was.. interesting. yay fever...

so here's what happened. everyone at work was getting sick. i just had to go and say it.. "i'm not worried, i never get sick!". and that has been mostly true. i believe that it has a lot to do with the fact that i have been juicing and consuming 3-4 quarts of freshly juiced vegetables and citrus every day for a few weeks. i had started juicing daily at the beginning of the year, but as soon as all the flu bugs started going around, i doubled up. i had made it through my entire team at work [and my boyfriend] getting sick twice so far this year. i thought i had it beat.

til early thursday morning... the power went out. i couldn't make my juice, or my power packed mean green breakfast smoothie. i ate a banana, which is about all the solid food i can stomach that early in the morning, and walked to work in the dark. i did my best not to panic, but i knew i was walking into a battlefield unshielded. i'm positive i had already picked up the bug, but had remained unaffected because of the daily bombardment of pro-healthy goodness.

i made it through my workday somehow, i was tired within the first couple hours. i usually would have had plenty of energy from my daily breakfast smoothie.. and of course, i felt very hungry. my joints were swelling already. i had learned from various sources that fresh celery juice was good for joint pain. i guess i hadn't realized how well it was working until i suddenly didn't have it in me. i was in slow motion all day. i couldn't concentrate, and all i wanted to do was faceplant into my bed.

as soon as i got home [and the power was finally restored] i made an emergency batch of fresh orange and apple juice with a double dose of ginger. i slammed it. i was already horribly exhausted, so in an attempt to beat the bug i went to bed early so that my body might have a fighting chance against it. 1am rolled around, and i was awoken by the heat of my own fever. dang. i tried to go back to sleep, but it was no use. by 4am i was calling work, pounding head, fever, aches and chills... the sick finally got me.

i really, really hate getting sick. and i hate missing work.. but knowing that i was already compromised and now weakened, i felt it best to stay home and deal with it right away rather than prolong the suffering. it's not all bad though, i learned a very important lesson; patience.

what does patience have to do with anything?? well..


i've been spending the past fifteen months learning everything i can about having an autoimmune disease, and what i should be doing to overcome it. and sometimes it's hard to see any progress, especially when it comes to the weight loss and my overall energy. it wasn't until i suddenly lost access to the abundant nourishment that i've been using to help my body heal, that i realized it was doing anything at all. and having to spend a day without these wonderful nectars of life reminded me that changes don't just happen over night, and that i am doing so much to support my body's healing system. giving up at this point is not an option.

that being said... there is progress.

first of all, i did end up quitting smoking last year, which i believe is helping immensely. for everything overall. overcoming addictions isn't easy for anyone, and i have a history with addiction. i'm still amazed that i no longer have cravings, and am even most usually repulsed at the idea of smoking a cigarette. and then, there's my weight. having hashimoto's has made losing weight pretty well impossible my whole life. it was more subtle when i spent the majority of my time living, wandering and generally being outside, but the weight gain had hastened since becoming a full-time domesticated human. i went from gaining on average two pounds a year at that point in my life, to a whopping ten pounds a year. so in the past five years that i have been living a 'standard north american lifestyle', i'd put on fifty pounds. Fifty. Pounds.

by the time i had finally purchased a scale so that i could keep track of my progress, i was over two hundred. since i started paying exceptional attention to what i put into my body, i have lost ten of those pounds in the past ten weeks. it seems to me like a slow start, and it's hard to stay positive when i'm not seeing the difference so much yet, but it's happening. the numbers on the scale are no longer going in the direction of extreme obesity. yay me!

so about that sick day.. yeah, i'm still sick. but! not to the point of absolute bed ridden horror that Matt seems to go through when he gets sick. not so sick that i can't move for days like i used to get. i have the aches and my chest is on fire for the first couple hours that i'm awake, but i feel much better already than the day it hit me [yesterday]. i'm taming the fever, and i'm still able to get out for fresh air, and as long as i keep up with the juicing and lots of greens i should be ready to go back to work again on monday. but for now... relaxation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

back to the juicer

yea, i haven't posted in a while. i just wanted to put it out there.. i haven't given up. i do however have to take a break from checking the scale. again. it's certainly not as productive right now as keeping up with the numbers on my fitbit. after a few weeks of keeping tabs on my sleep and activity levels, it's given me some perspective on how to better sort my time.

for instance, i can track my sleep patterns. on overage, i'm 'restless' around 4am. it's pretty well pointless for me to try and go back to sleep once i've woken up, so i'm beginning to accept that is just simply my wake up time. so instead of staying up til eleven and setting an alarm for five, i've shifted my sleep schedule back an hour to get the most out of my energy. now instead of preparing all of my juice for the next day before bed, i can do so in the morning before i go to work. thankfully i work a steady shift which has really helped me to begin to get my health on track. and juice is better the day it's made anyway.

speaking of juice.. juicing is something that's really easy to be lazy about. the preparations, the clean up, not to mention the walk every second day to the grocery to get another load of produce.. but i've been managing to keep up with it. i have noticed that my tastes are beginning to change; celery isn't as bitter as it once was, and parsley isn't as weird in a juice as the first time i tried it. i'm finally adjusting to the sudden influx of raw veggie juice.

to make the whole process easier, i've kind of turned it into a ritual. one that is adaptable whenever i discover an easier or faster way to do something. it's taken me a couple months to figure out what works for me and what are the best things to include in my juice, so here's a basic outline.

first of all, i invested in a slow juicer. i had an 'express' juicer at first, but i find i get way more juice out of the cold press, and there's more options as to what i can put through it. that being said, my finished product makes about 4-4.5 pints [8 or 9 cups] which lasts me a whole day. i'm currently not juice fasting, but i'm still consuming mostly plant based whole foods in only necessary amounts to get enough fat and other nutrients that i can't get from the juice. otherwise, that amount of juice keeps me feeling full most of the day.

i have an hour and a half to get ready for work in the morning, and i have to leave my house around 6am to get there on time. by quarter to five, i'm gathering my juicer. the whole process- setup, prep, juicing and cleanup takes about 45 minutes.

first i juice the green 'base' veggies, celery and cucumber. one bunch and two whole ones respectively. this alone makes up almost a third of the juice. then i juice the lemon and ginger into that, and collect in a juice pitcher. i then juice a whole pineapple and add that to the pitcher. next a couple of apples/or asian pears, oranges, a lime, carrots, depending on what i have on hand and what is freshest at the market. i give it one good stir and then pour it out into four pint sized mason jars, leaving a little space in a couple of them for the 'boosts'. for these i use beet root as one, and dark leafy greens such as spinach or parsley as another. these and other sorts of things that have many health benefits but a strong/bitter taste i spare the rest of the batch from and keep them as a 'meal' of their own.

cleanup gets easier every time, once a 'ritual' is formed and refined it doesn't seem so daunting of a task. some may say that it's a lot of effort for some juice, but really i think quite the opposite. it's minimal 'effort' to absorb lots of nutrients and enzymes from raw, 'living' plant based foods that i'd certainly not be able to eat all in one day. in fact, my entire day would be steady munching to pack all of that goodness in! i didn't start out with this amount, maybe half and worked my way up.

some things that i have noticed: i started with roughly two quarts of juice a day at the beginning of the year, and i am telling you i haven't had so much as a sniffle since. i have seen my entire team at work, most of my friends, and my boyfriend [who i live with] through some nasty cold and flu viruses and i remain completely unaffected. this may be due to the outrageous amounts of actual, real true vitamin C [and everything else!] that i'm juicing from fresh produce. i would at least have one quart if i had to spread my supply, as a day without juice is a day without energy. i have recently upped my intake to double [so 4 quarts total per day], and in turn my insatiable appetite for all things horrible for me is easing off. food cravings aren't nearly as bad, and in fact processed foods taste different [not as good] to me now that i have had such an elevated intake of raw, real food.

so here's hoping that the next leg of this journey i'm on involves some real weight loss. i think my body is starting to realize that no, i'm not starving her.. and yeah, it's okay to let go of those extra pounds that were protecting my precious organs from all the 'dead food' i've been bombarding my body with over the years. you take what you can get, right? well now that i'm not living out of a backpack and have a steady income i have no excuses not to take better care of myself. here's to my health..