Juicing Q and A with Williams-Sonoma

So pumped for a fun Q&A sesh about JUICING with Williams-Sonoma!

*****

1. What was my experience with a juice cleanse like?

About a year and half ago I started hearing about this new food phenomenon. Juicing.

Tons of different health blogs and documentaries all preached the newest superfood that was the actual elixir of life. If you drink it, you’ll get super skinny while simultaneously becoming healthy and strong and full of vitamins.

Count me in.

Then I heard that some people even do this crazy thing where they only drink juice instead of eating for days at a time. But of course you don’t even get that hungry because your stomach is full of juice…

I had worked up enough gall to take on the experiment in full force. Once I set my mind to it that I was going to do a juice cleanse, I became a stubborn juicing warrior. I was going to do this thing and I was going to do it right.

I started with a juice cleanse grocery list and the local farmers’ market.

juicecleansegrocerylistredo


2013-06-01 13.11.18-1

New food sparked learning about different vegetables and herbs and about what they looked like.

greenjuice3

Trying something totally new (beets!) blew my mind and made me feel proud of my formerly-picky self.

CAB1

Terrifying mishaps (TOO MUCH ginger) clouded the end of the cleanse and I struggled with the idea of – gasp – quitting. What kind of a person would I be now, eating solid food? Who had I become?

CAB4

There was definitely a sense of clearing out all the crap from your body and starting fresh.  I had become knowledgeable about what I was putting in my body was going to be  totally renewed on this awesome foundation of nutrients and health.

PAM3

PAM1

But…

I was hungry. And kind of lightheaded.

After a few more juice cleanse cycles and attempts, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion about how juicing best works for me. I like supplementing my diet with juice because it makes me feel good about myself, like I’m doing my body a favor.

I never would have thought that picky old me would consume 8 ounces of green juice daily.

2. For someone who is starting their juicing journey, what are some tips and tricks for beginners trying a homemade juice cleanse? 

  • Buy organic.

When your body is experiencing the initial shock of nutrients during a juice cleanse, it’s really important to make sure to watch the quality of those nutrients. Since your whole system is feeling a little on the fritz, you want to make sure you’re not using poor quality produce with possible bacteria and pesticides.

fridge1

  • Use produce bags from the grocery store as a “trash bag” in the pulp canister

Makes pulp cleanup amazingly simple and you are so earth-conscious with recycling.

pulpbag1

  • Add some apple

Any juice that needs to be sweetened will immediately taste way better if you add APPLES. Nature’s best packet of sugar for sure. Pretty much every juice has apple in it: green juice, root juices, and fruit juices!

apples1

3. Which is better? Store bought juice or homemade juice?

Hands down, homemade. Homemade juice is fresh. You know exactly what is going into it. It has way less sugar and added ingredients than store bought juices.

I am guilty of purchasing store-bought juice though, but in moderation it is definitely better than the non-juice alternative! One good note: do not a cleanse with store bought juices, because pasteurized juice does have a higher sugar content and isn’t meant for complete meal substitution.

**

Become your own juice barista!

Not only does Willams-Sonoma have the dreamiest juicers ever to drool over, they have a great juicer resource page that even includes different ways to juice and TONS of delicious looking recipes.

Happy juicing!

Advertisements

I’m Going to Be a FitFluential Ambassador!

Ahhhhhhhh!

I was BEYOND excited to open up my e-mail on Friday and see this:

fitfluentialambassador

When I first started blogging almost two years ago, I kept seeing this hashtag everywhere – it would pop up on Twitter and Instagram, and all of my favorite bloggers would reference it. #FitFluential #fitfam #FFcheckin

I wasn’t fluent in fitness speak at the time.

So…what is FitFluential?

FitFluential is a “nationwide network of highly influential fitness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and offline through multiple social media platforms….FitFluential was designed to connect health and wellness brands with their ideal target market through customized, long-term experiential and contextual marketing campaigns.”

Not only is it a network for bloggers, FitFluential is an inspiring community that encourages everyone to live a balanced lifestyle to the best of their ability.

Here’s a few stats from their website:

fitfluentialambassador1

I started to realize how much of an influence FitFluential has on on the fitness and healthy living blogging community and that I wanted to be a part of it.

fitfluentialambassador

I am so honored to be part of the FitFluential team and can’t wait to be participate in such an amazing program.

I’m going to be a FitFluential Ambassador! 🙂

How to sit at your desk

This had made all the difference for me lately, so I wanted to share with you! Our bodies aren’t built for sittin’ on our behinds all day, but a correct desk setup and good posture can help with some of the negative effects that constantly working at a computer can have on our bodies.

*****

A few weeks ago I slowly started feeling an ache down the right side of my back.

It felt like a strained or pulled muscle.

When I would wake up in the morning it was fine, but then throughout the day the pain would set in…and seemed to be just getting worse and worse! One night when Tuna was out and about he came home to find me lying on the floor (typical) because it hurt to sit, stand, etc (not typical). Something was definitely wrong. But what the heck was causing it?

I was still in winter/hibernation-against-exercise mode, so I didn’t do anything working-out wise to throw out my back.

The next day at work, I figured it out.

The onset of the pain correlated with the amount of time spent hunching at my desk all day at work (and at night, when fiddling around on the blog). Every minuscule movement of the mouse confirmed it.

A little bit of research told me I was sitting with my desk way too high (so that I would reach up to type) and basically doing ALL THE WRONG THINGS. i.e. sitting on my feet, crossing my legs, putting the chair up too high, having the mouse extremely far out from the side of the keyboard, etc.

THIS is a great article about posture in the workplace:

Here’s how you SHOULD be set up to sit at your desk.

The department of labor suggests:

osha sitting rec

Luckily, I realized the legs on my desk are adjustable and I lowered that, along with my chair (I’m tall, 5’9”). Now I try to stretch my arms and back throughout the day, and am really trying to be constantly aware of how I’m sitting.

Since taking all of these factors into account my back is feeling almost back to normal. Hopefully with a lot of practice, good posture will come more naturally!

Tell me:

How is your desk set up at work?

If you’re a blogger, where do you blog from? The couch? A table? How do you sit?

Do you ever get back pain from your mouse/computer?

PRR Training Week 7: The Treadmill Sucks

For some reason last week was a lil’ rough in the running department due to lack of motivation.

On Tuesday night I could not bring myself to go on my run until it was already dark outside. When I finally got around to putting on my running clothes, I wandered down to my gross apartment gym (instead of my fancy gym I to drive to). The one working treadmill was taken so I felt like it was a sign to skip my run.

aptgym

Great photo.

welpitried

*****

Since I was going out of town on the weekend, I knew I had to do my long run during the week or it wouldn’t happen.

I usually run at night because I am not the biggest morning person (HA) but the fall sunset time has already started. Now it is getting dark around 6:45pm = no trails. Also, it was hurricane-ing outside.

So that meant: the treadmill.

9 long, miserable miles on the treadmill.

2013-10-10 18.48.34

They were pretty darn ugly and slow, but I got through it. Though I kind of felt silly downing my fuel right from the cup holder on the treadmill. I alternated listening to music and reading my Nook every other mile (and finished the last book in The Maze Runner trilogy!)

My evening with the treadmill got worse when I went home and was super nauseous and cold. I got wise and googled “nausea after a long run” while laying on the bathroom floor and found out from HERE that it means you are dehydrated and your electrolytes need to be replenished with fuel or a sports drink. I guess the jelly sports beans either weren’t enough or I should try sports drinks instead. Luckily, I had some Cucumber Mint Nuun in the cabinet and slowly sipped a glass of it. All in all it took almost an hour and a half after the run to feel better.

Damn the treadmill.

Week #7 Recap

Monday: yoga, 8 – minute abs

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 3 mile run

Thursday: 9 mile run

Friday: rest

Saturday: rest

Sunday: rest

Do you ever lose motivation to run during a training cycle? 

What is your favorite form of fuel? GUs and gummies or sports drinks?

Have you felt sick after a run before?

PRR Training Week 5: The Week That I Only Did My Long Run

I came down with a gross sinus infection early last week and spent most of my time blowing my nose with 1 ply.

Unfortunately, running took a backseat to getting healthy. I debated doing some yoga but decided downward dog wouldn’t be the best thing for my aching head.

I felt a little guilty for not getting off of the couch, but I thought I was okay with the whole not running thing. Then later in the week I ended up stomping my feet at life while sobbing “I don’t know why I’m getting so upset, I haven’t been running, wahhh.” Embarr.

This week taught me that I truly NEED the endorphins my body gets from moving in order to function. I’m not saying I need to run every day or that I should run when I’m sick, but that I’m personally much less of a basket case when I exercise. Maaaybe I should have taken a walk or done some sitting-down yoga to go along with my Vitamin C binge.

Going from working out several times a week and then NOT AT ALL really affected my mood for the worse and made me realize that running is a stress reliever and my way to decompress from the day. It lets my brain wander and relax into an almost meditative state that helps me stay sane.

Not running for even a few days showed me how important it is to me and that I want to keep my body healthy so that I can run for the rest of my life.

Thank gawd I felt almost 100% better on Saturday and could spend the whole afternoon on the trails!

For some reason I got it in my head that I wanted to run all of the miles in under 12 minutes, which is hard for me to do on a long run (I am slow).

8miler

Damn that last mile. It felt good to push myself though, and I was very proud of myself for putting in the effort on my one run for the week.

Miles 4 and 5 were very exciting because I ran them on a part of the trail that the PRR Half Marathon will be on. I can’t wait to get more practice trail runs in because the actual trail (and not asphalt) was throwing me off a little bit…

pebbles

Week #5 Recap

Monday: sick

Tuesday: sick

Wednesday: sick

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest

Saturday: 8 mile run

Sunday: rest

Tell me: 

Does exercising make your mood better? Do you ever run when you’re sick? 

PRR Training Week 2: The Week of the Tight Hammie

Last week was Week 2 of the PRR half marathon training cycle.

Just when I said my legs were in perf shape for Week 1, after a super sweaty and hilly run on Monday – my hammies were toast.

Nothing too bad, just the typical re-introduction of my leg muscles to four days of running that I thought I would affect me in Week 1.

I cut down one of the three short runs to almost nothing and in true running-hypochondriac fashion, foam rolled and iced my right hamstring in hopes it would heal me for Saturday’s long run [5 miles].

Luckily, I was able to demand advice from chat up my personal trainer friend on Friday night on whether or not I should bag the long run.

When I explained that nothing felt strained, just that my hamstring felt really tight, he gave me the go-ahead. He told me that running slowly on it would actually loosen it up and help with the soreness.

The result?

The best long run I’ve had like…ever.

Maybe it’s because I ran even slower than usual, but I was having a blast zoning out to my music and running an out and back tree-covered section of the trail a bunch of times.

trees

(old pic from the winter)

My PT friend also suggested I start doing track-type [dynamic] warm ups and then stretch before the run. He said that static stretches (just being down and touching your toes, etc) don’t do anything for your muscles pre-run. I’m pretty good about doing cool downs after a run and stretching then – but not before!

So next week, for the sake of training smarter, I shall be good and look like a fool doing karaoke warm-ups before starting my Garmin.

Week 2

Monday: 3 mile run

Tuesday: yoga and 8-minute abs

Wednesday: 2 mile run, under goal pace

Thursday: 1 mile run, 1 mile walk

Friday: rest

Saturday: 5 mile run

Sunday: rest

Do you warm-up before you run? What do you do?

Back to the Grind

Now that my summer vacations are over, my body will surely be thanking me. This is because when I was on my multiple getaways this summer I cared to shovel my face with delicious food.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s fine on occasion and in moderation, but unfortunately – I go big or go home.

So as I return home, I am refocusing and getting serious about eating clean again and working out on the reg. I’m sick of feeling shitty when I eat like shit or bad about myself when I skip my run with the  excuse that it’s miserably hot out. I’m promising myself that I’ll try my best to get back on the healthy train. All you can do is try your best, right?

For me, the healthy train means eating clean 95% of the time with one big free meal a week and a few chocolate and/or alcohol dalliances here and there.

A friend asked me recently if I count my macros.

I had no idea what macros were! luckily she explained it to me – and little did I know I had all the info in my Eat-Clean Diet book.

east-clean diet macros1

The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged, page 28.

eatcleandiet3She also told me about My Fitness Pal, an iPhone app that I had heard about but never tried. She said she used it to count her daily macros and it’s helped her a lot.

myfitnesspalI’ll do a full review of the app once I’ve used it for awhile and can really tell you about it. But it is already proving helpful with portion sizes – one of the main issues I need to work on! I am floored at some of the actual serving sizes it’s showing me in comparison to what I previously assumed appropriate serving sizes were.

Here’s to saying goodbye to an indulgent, relaxing summer and kickin’ my ass into gear for the end of the year. Who’s with me?

Looking Back: Juice Cleanse

Soooo, the juice cleanse taught me a lot of stuff.

greenjuice3A whole lot of shit happened during those three days: some good, some bad, and a little ridiculous thrown in.

Would I do it again?

Meh. I feel the same way about a juice cleanse as I do skydiving – once is enough.

PROS

  • The physical effects

I had a much easier time waking up in the morning, which we all know is a huge issue for me. I swear on my life that my hair got longer (useful when you’re growing out your bangs) and I definitely felt lighter and less bloated.

  • Getting to know more about food

That’s what my whole “journey” is about, right? I found it hilarious that beets look soggy and juicy when they’re raw. I thought all along that when they got that droopy look, they were cooked. I also never thought about peeling a lemon like an orange before. I’m so smart.

  • Tasting ingredients now

I would never have thought I would be able to take a bite of something and taste the parsley or agave nectar in it. Oh yeah, and the ginger. Unfortunately, I realize now that Kung Pao has lots of ginger.

CAB4CONS

  • Staying strong

Juice cleanses are depressing. At least they are for me. I like thinking about what I’m going to eat for my next meal. It’s what part of the fun in life is about. Placing extreme limits on yourself surprisingly is not very much fun.

  • Low energy

I took my resting heart the first night of the cleanse and it was 66 beats per minute. That is super duper slow for me, which was almost a little alarming!

  •  Fogginess

I kept getting caught saying the wrong words in sentences. For example there was a lot of:  “I put the fridge in the juice.”

fridge1WHAT WORKED

  • Avoiding Instagram and all of the blogosphere

Dealing with the glorious pictures of everyone’s delicious-looking food was most definitely going to be too much for me.

  • Mixing it up

Playing with temperature worked. The variety of hot (nut milk) and cold (frozen lemonade) tricked my mind into thinking it was having exotic meals.

frozenspicylemonade

  • Double duty

I made and packed the juices in twos, threes, and fours. On the first night, I prepped my green juice for Day 2 and Day 3 at the same time. Four juices took me an hour and a half to make. All that washing and peeling and chopping and cleaning takes a while. However, it was nice to have it all done in one go.

  • 2013-06-03 09.18.57-2In person food avoidance

I didn’t eat with office people at lunch, and Tuna was a saint and tried not to eat or even talk about food in front of me.

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE

  • More prep

I wish I had eaten a little bit healthier during the week or two leading up to the cleanse, though I didn’t do too bad on that front. But weaning myself off of caffeine? That is a must.

  • Distraction

Distraction seems to be the key when it comes to surviving a cleanse. It was hard to watch sports because of the commercials for Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Even people eating in Game of Thrones made me jealous. So – I guess I mean distraction that doesn’t involve food.

  • Following up

I just missed food so much, which made me over-indulge after the cleanse.

*******

I have a whole new appreciation for kale.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Post Juice Cleanse

This is comical to me.

“The idea is to break the..cleanse primarily with fruit (day one).” [NUH UH.]

“Then add salads and steamed veggies (day two).” [NO WAY.]

I wasn’t about to have freakin’ only fruit the very first day I could actually HAVE FOOD again.

I had been dreaming about food for three whole days and could not wait to EAT. At least I had some restraint the first day post cleanse and planned some light meals in advance to hesitantly nibble down.

My post cleanse breakfast:

a simple strawberry banana smoothie with chia seeds.

firstmealEven though it was liquid, I was so glad to finally have something with a little substance to it.

That settled in my stomach okay, so I made a cool smorgasbord salad for lunch.

2013-06-05 13.05.57-2It was definitely different biting into my food again! The shrimp was so flavorful and the crunchy bean sprouts tasted like the freshest things I’ve eaten in my entire life.

My stomach sure grumbled a lot that first day post cleanse, but I was just so happy again to be eating, that’s pretty much all I cared about. I had a greater appreciation for food’s vibrancy. It was depressing not being able to eat.

I thought about my first dinner pretty much the whole time during the cleanse. I kept adding and subtracting ingredients in my mind.

It was perfect. 2 eggs and 1 egg white, yellow corn, salsa, guacamole, and shredded spinach.

firstdinnerI mixed it all up like a Chipotle bowl.

eggbowlAh-mazing.

I went a teensy bit overboard on the first day, but I did eat a little slowly and everything turned out just fine.

Until I woke up the next morning.

I was putting in my contacts and notice that my right eye looked extremely red. Being sent home for pink eye (even though it was just allergies) multiple times in the third grade made me realize immediately: I had pink eye.

doctorpinkeye1Coincidence?

I think so. I don’t think there’s any medical way doing a juice cleanse gave me pink eye. Actually, when I first googled [ummm]: “Does a juice cleanse give you pink eye?” the first items that popped up were about how juice cleansing is a good way to treat pink eye. LOL.

I do think, however, the juice cleanse messed with my body a lot. Mentally, it made me stronger for sure. But physically, it kind of sucked.

For a total weight-loss of 5 lbs in three-days, I immediately gained half of it back in one day, and all of it within a week at the beach.

2013-06-08 12.01.29-2And I’m not feelin’ that a 5 lb weight loss and re-gain is worth caffeine withdrawal headaches, digestive issues, and getting a possible bacteria infection afterwards gave me the drive to do another juice cleanse in the future. It totally takes a toll on your body in different ways, even if it can be slightly coincidental.

It’s starting to seem like my experiments end in Urgent Care attendance.

No matter how I loathed the juice cleanse, I did see and feel some positive health benefits (clearer mind, better sleep, hair and skin effects) that will encourage me to continue to add nutrient rich juice as a meal supplement – whenever I can.

Juice Cleanse, Day 3

After Day 2, I knew I was in the clear. I knew I was going to be able to finish the juice cleanse.

The other problem with Ginger-Gate was that I made the C.A.B. juice for night 2 and 3 at the same time, which means I needed to remake it. That wouldn’t have been an issue except I used my last apple! Ah!

Luckily I was able to improvise with some applesauce I already had in the fridge. I checked the ingredients and saw that the only ingredient was organic apples, and cheered! I think my juicer was happy that it had less work to do.

applesaucebeetjuiceDay 3 was probably the biggest mental challenge for me. I kept comparing the mental challenge of the juice cleanse to that of running the half marathon. In both cases, I went from doubting myself to gritting my teeth and just getting through it. The only difference is that the half marathon took me around 2 1/2 hours and the juice cleanse was for 72.

As I went on, I starting learning the tricks of the trade and testing out ideas. A new approach was needed for Juice 4, the Spicy Lemonade.

The Spicy Lemonade is:

  • 1-2 lemons
  • a few squirts of raw agave nectar
  • a dash of cayenne pepper

Day 1 I drank the Spicy Lemonade as is and it was pretty darn sour and hard to get down. I knew I would dread juice 4 of the day if I didn’t come up with some kind of solution.

My big idea: to freeze it!

frozenspicylemonadeAnd it worked!

I microwaved it for about 45 seconds to make it a little softer, and it was just like a lemon Italian Ice. It still tasted like sour-ass cayenne, but I was so happy to be using a spoon and chewing that it made the experience that much more pleasurable.

Afternoon of Day 3: the stomach problems set in.

I can’t bring myself to discuss bodily functions in depth on here for fear of scarring you for life, so just warning you: you might want to do some research on what a cleanse does to your digestive system before you do it. Unlike me.

Let’s just say it like Tuna said it, I was, “supa’ blown.”

Somehow, I was able to muster the strength to:

1. Prep my food for Day 1 post cleanse.

2. Enter Whole Foods, purchase a few food items, and leave without breaking in to the hot bar and shoving cartons of crab dip into my purse.

wholefoodsday3wholefoodsday3..I passed the test.

It was finally time for my last “juice,” the Nut Milk.

The real BluePrint juice for this is some fancy cashew milk, but I was pretty content with the vanilla almond milk I bought for $1.99 and dumped some cinnamon into. I drank 1/3 of the carton each night. Day 1 I sipped it and thought it was kind of blah, but by Day 3 I was a whole new person with juice cleanse wisdom and remembering that I could use a microwave.

Microwave it for 2 minutes and you’ve got deliciousness.

vanillaalmondmilkGoing to bed the night of Day 3 was pretty much like going to bed on Christmas Eve.

But hey – I did it!