Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Blame Game.

Why being unsatisfied with my weight was everybody else's fault except my own:

Let's blame...

1. My parents. Sorry mom and dad, but growing up on food that was sugar-free, fat-free and taste-free has left it's mark. I remember a Christmas video of my sister and I decorating the tree, and I excitedly informed my younger sis that as soon as we were finished we would be rewarded with a piece of sugar-free Extra gum.

Really, guys?

I definitely, definitely took advantage of the foods I had missed out on growing up, but to the extreme. See? Not my fault.

2. Sydney. I love you, but having a child has screwed up my metabolism. Not my fault.

3. Weston. I love you, too. You are my enabler. I can cry "food addiction" and beg for help until I'm blue in the face, then turn around and convince you that YES, pizza is definitely the best option for dinner because yaddah yaddah yaddah, excuse excuse excuse. So, YOUR fault.

4. My friends and family. If I were a drug addict, would you still offer me drugs after I've complained about how miserable they make me? When I recieve an invite for a girl's wine and cheese night, or a family breakfast that is bound to include bacon, sausage, eggs and cheese, do you really think I would say no? See? It's your fault.

5. Myself. I have aches and pains and health issues and (ALTOGETHER NOW!) yaddah yaddah yaddah. I can't exercise like everybody else. I can't diet because I have to eat certain foods at certain times. Not my fault.

Wow. That sounded a bit more snarky than I intended it to be, but for the sake of fairness I've written this like TWICE and my computer keeps freezing and deleting my posts.

I guess my point is that YES, you are responsible for your health, but I truly believe you have to hit some sort of "bottom" to get the motivation that changes your life.

NO, I am not saying that every overweight person is just lazy and making excuses, this is just MY experience and I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I've been doing it for so long, I actually have to change my ENTIRE mindset to get back on track.

And, mom? I really did enjoy those fat-free Entenmann's pastries you used to buy. But not the Snackwell's. Gross.

This would have been a miracle in my childhood.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shopping Cart Workout.

A good friend of mine (who used to manage the daycare at my gym) now works at the market down the street from our house. I bumped into her while it was pouring rain and she was bringing in the carts. I commented on how much exercise she must be getting (trying not to make it obvious that she must be MISERABLE lugging shopping carts in while it was freezing and raining. And dark.). Her eyes lit up and she told me that she had lost TWO pants sizes since starting this job.

Well, hello!

Thus, I began my SCAW (shopping cart and workout) research.

1. Park as far away from the entrance as you can (unless, of course, it's night and you have kids with you... obviously).

2. If you don't have kids with you (and it's daylight), DON'T park near a cart return. That way, you still have to push the darn thing back. And if you don't, then you deserve that guilty feeling of leaving your cart in the empty space next to you. I've never done that, of course...

3. Grab a cart from the parking lot, preferably one with a wonky wheel (hey, working ONE side of your abs is better than nothing!), so you have to push it all the way to the store.

4. Use a cart, even if you only have a few items on your list. If I remember correctly, a grocery cart weighs about 50lbs (sound heavy? My toddler weighs 26lbs!).

5. Don't follow your list in order. For example, I usually write my grocery list as things run out. By the end of the week, I have a big messy list that runs me all over the store. Granted, it may cause problems if you keep passing the chip or cookie aisles, but if you stick on some running shoes (because, HEY, this is a workout), you may be able to stay a bit more focused!

6. Ditch the running shoes, wear heels. I know it sounds REALLY stupid (and I don't even like that word), but I can speak from experience. I lived in Virginia for a few years, and right down the street was a Wegmans.


Why does it look like a church? Because it's meant for people who take food just as seriously as religion. Well, that's what I like to think. :-)

The pictures may not do it justice. It's like Disneyland for foodies, seriously.

Anyway, people treated this place like you were showing up for the red carpet. I would only buy groceries on the days I had actually tried to get ready, and I was almost always wearing heeled boots or high heels (no, not stipper heels, just NORMAL heels). I would leave Wegmans with a full cart and burning calves. Win-win.



Emma Stone...

I probably won't EVER do this, but if it works, IT WORKS.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Housewife, I am not.

Yikes. Why do my posts keep beginning with "imperfect" and "not". Way to be a Debbie Downer, Kristen!

But seriously, I'm a stay-at-home mom, NOT a housewife. If I were the latter, I would have dinner planned and cooked in the evening. My laundry would be done and not in piles (albeit clean piles, but piles nonetheless). My kid would be dressed every day, instead of being in jammies about 2-3 days a week... ALL DAY.

Picture the sun setting. It's about 6pm, and it's family time. You're playing on the floor with your tots, and your spouse is relaxing. Then, the question. The Question. "What should we do for dinner?". We look at each other and say in unison "Pizza? Pizza.".

That was before the juice cleanse. Today, my caveman hubster is happy with a little piece of steak and garlic bread, or a burger. Or hot dogs. Or anything else containing meat. Or PIZZA.

My Achilles' heel.

If you are reading this blog, you are either considering a juice cleanse, being judgemental about other's cleanses, ON a juice cleanse, or you like reading about healthy experiences and REALLY like pictures (I admit, I like blogs better when they have photos... really!).

Changing your life is HARD. Especially when you are an addict. It can be drugs, alcohol, sex, caffine... or food. My way of thinking after completing this cleanse has changed for the better, and I HATE it sometimes. I don't crave junk food, but I don't necessarily like the taste of healthy dishes. I have spent many sleepless nights thinking about recipes I used to enjoy and tweaking them significantly so they are healthy.

I thought juicing was tough, but the aftermath is a bit tougher.

One good thing (besides GREAT health!) to come of my recipe experimentation? THIS recipe! Enjoy hot, tasty bruschetta? This recipe is the bees knees! The only thing I change is the rosemary. I don't like spices I can feel with my tongue (ever watch Shallow Hal? I'm the best friend, but instead of being picky with women, I'm THAT picky with food). I use dried rosemary, put it in a zip-loc bag and smash it into powder with a hammer. Then I cut the amount in half and voilĂ ! Delicious hot tomato goodness!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gym Tunage.

I have a pretty extensive playlist for my gym time, but these songs make me want to fist pump on the treadmill with no shame.

Open up your iTunes, and sample these ditties.

1. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora (great warm up song while you walk on the treadmill).

2. Africa (Claudio Tignanello Club Mix).

3. Bulletproof (Manhattan Clique Remix Radio).

4. Let It Be (Beatles cover), album is "Hits of the Beatles (Non-Stop Mix for Cardio Workouts, Treadmill, Walking, Jogging, Elliptical and Stair Climber)".

5. Don't Stop Believing (Workout Remix).

Yeah, save that Journey song for last, it is SUCH a pump-you-up song!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm SO [im]perfect, It's not even funny.

I'm not skinny, and I'm not going to pretend to be.

Yes, when you look at my before and after pictures, the difference seems VERY dramatic, but would you like to know how much I weigh?

140lbs. I am still curvy, and I will probably ALWAYS be proportioned this way... but I love it.

My goal for the juice cleanse was not JUST to lose weight, but to get my body healthy from the inside as well. It sounds cliché, but it's the truth. What kind of life can you live when you don't want your own husband to touch you, especially when he's a ruggedly handsome dude?

I've also never let the scale rule my life. Ever since I hit puberty, I've had some va-va-voom hips and a booty to match. In 8th grade, I won "Biggest Appetite" in the yearbook. My jeans size would always surprise my friends, because I carry my weight pretty well.

These classic lyrics define my body shape to a T: Baby Got Back. Ha.

Anyway, I think the main point I am trying to get people to realize is that I still look like a normal woman, and I have not suddenly transformed into some kind of Super-Healthinator. I still juice daily and eat WAY better than I ever have in my life, but I have my moments of weakness. My battle with food will be an ongoing conflict that I will probably have to deal with for the rest of my life.

So, for the readers who keep asking me "How much weight did you gain back?" and "What do you eat when you end the cleanse?", here are some additional Questions Answered, Part Deux.

1. Don't you just gain all of the weight back? Um, NO! 60 days gave me quite a long time to learn how to listen to my body. Going through this cleanse was like having an epiphany about eating. It didn't matter how many hours I spent at the gym, or how hard or how long I ran, because my diet stayed the same so my BODY stayed the same. My weight fluctuates about 5lbs both ways (which I think is the norm, right?). I am happy to say that I have a closet full of new jeans and I am lovin' the way they fit. :-)

2. What did you eat after the cleanse ended? Like you may have seen in a previous post, I had a fish taco as my first meal. I wish I could say I weaned myself back into solid foods by eating fruits, veggies and smoothies (as recommended by the Reboot team), but like I said... I am totally addicted to food. Once I knew my juice cleanse was almost over, my brain became FIXATED on fish tacos. The only other time I remember craving something that bad was

A. When I worked at Hooters (yeah, yeah, I know.) and I couldn't get enough of the hot buffalo shrimp. Those things are NO JOKE. Thank God I had a high metabolism.

B. When I was pregnant and I seriously could not get enough Pepsi into my system. I don't even DRINK soda (or coffee!), but if I could have safely absorbed Pepsi intravenously, I would have.

Folks, listen to the experts. If I could do it over again, I would have eaten raw foods. Unfortunately, I am impatient and imperfect, so I went as healthy as I could while still making something that would make my mouth happy. My stomach didn't hurt or bloat or anything similar (until I ate cheese), but I may have just been lucky...

3. I can't find the 60-Day program on the site...?? They don't actually have the 60-day cleanse that Joe Cross completed in the documentary as a program option on the Reboot website. It is a potentially risky, VERY difficult fast, and they probably want to play it safe by offering shorter versions. AGAIN, before diving headfirst into the full 60 days...


4. So, wait, you STILL aren't a doctor? Erm, no. As I said before, I am not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist. All I can do is explain what worked for me, and back up my information with some linkage.

I don't know how to end this, so I just want all of you to know...


...I bought a Shake Weight.

Let the judgments begin. :-)

At my most miserable. No, Kristen! Don't eat the cake!

At my most memorable. Just a reminder that thin ≠ healthy.

My most recent pictures are in the "Boudoir" post (that's all you get, ladies and gents)... healthy and working on myself. :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Comments Now Welcome!

I never thought I would have very many followers on this blog, and the only reason I had the old layout is because I thought it was lovely, but the catch was that no one could leave any comments!

Anybody should now be able to comment on posts, but let me know if it STILL isn't working!

Oh, and I made THIS and THIS and THISSSSSSS for my sister-in-law this evening, and once I perfect them I'll snap some pics and post the recipes (I always tweak them to my liking). The stuffed tomatoes were DIVINE, and the chip-filled raspberries were delicious AND a great little treat without overdoing it on sweets!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Questions, Questions Everywhere...

... and just no time to think!

Since posting my pictures on, I have been FLOODED (yay!) with questions, comments and concerns about my experience with juice fasting.

I would like to answer some of the most frequent ones, and hopefully this will get a few more people headed in a healthy direction!

1. You aren't a physician, so why are you giving dietary advice? I absolutely recommend speaking with your doctor before changing your diet, especially if you have underlying health issues (diabetes, hypoglycemia, etc.). I am only giving information that has worked for me, and I actually DID have mysterious health issues that MANY doctors could not figure out. I felt I needed to take my health into my own hands and solve what was wrong. I truly believe I would not have it figured out had I not discovered juicing.

2. So, you just drink juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Yes, yes and yes. I cannot stress enough how motivating it is to watch the documentary "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead". They explain the juice cleanse FAR better than I will ever be able to! I watched it on Netflix (you can usually sign up for a one month free trial, then cancel if you don't want that kind of service), or you can find it on eBay for about $15, OR you can support the Reboot team and buy it directly from the website!

3. I'm on day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... and I want to quit. How did you stay motivated? Wow! There are SO many factors to this one. First and foremost, I was MISERABLE with myself. My low self-esteem was affecting my marriage and friendships. I didn't even want anybody taking pictures of me. I knew I had to do something drastic to get a change in my life.

I also had some stomach problems that nobody could figure out. Once I watched the film, a light went off in my head and I decided to try and heal my body with fruits and veggies!

Once the decisioin was made that this was the right choice for me, I had small motivators. The minute I began the cleanse, I sold all of my jeans on eBay (I have a thing for denim, so even though the sizes were large, they were expensive), so I either had to succeed or I would have NO PANTS!

I am a stay-at-home mom, and dinner was tough to get through. I would make a tasty meal for my family, then go upstairs, light some candles, and read books. I also went to bed early for the first few weeks. Being around food eventually gets better, I promise! :-)

Taking progress pictures helped as well, no matter how discouraging they may seem at the time. I would also track my weight on the calendar, and every ten days that went by I would treat myself with a little gift of something I'd had my eye on as a reward.

4. Can I just use a blender or food processor? If you are trying to emulate this cleanse, a juicer is the only thing that will work. Juicing allows your body to use the energy that would otherwise go towards digestion and give you tons of vitality to do other things!

5. Why not just eat the vegetables? You could, but your jaw would be exhausted because of the large amounts of produce you are ingesting, and you would probably give up quicker! Also see #4.

6. I work during the day. How do I cope with group lunch outings and easy office snacks? Obviously, I can't say 100% how to deal with this issue. I thought staying at home was tough because the kitchen was right there, taunting me, but working would be a challenge as well. I think at the end of a long day, putting on lounge wear and eating comfort food would be almost impossible to resist! Juicing can be very isolating, especially when you realize you should probably just skip lunch and drink juice, or take a walk alone until the cravings subside. It is all about willpower! One positive is that many of your co-workers will be inspired and excited that you are taking such "crazy" steps to make yourself healthy!

7. What about protein? Protein is important for our muscles, immune and blood cells. Many vegetables contain some of the essential amino acids, or building blocks of protein – for example beet greens, broccoli, avocado, kale, just to name a few. So you won’t be missing out completely on this important macronutrient. Also, it is highly unlikely that you could develop a nutrient deficiency in 60 days.

8. I can't afford a juicer, or buying massive amounts of produce, soooo...? Try Craigslist for a gently used juicer! My Jack Lalanne was found on sale at Big Lots for $70, so keep checking your local Sunday paper! Also, try adding up the cost of your meals for just ONE week. The produce came to about ten bucks per day for me (a bit more if you buy organic). I spent WAY more on processed food than I ever did on fruits and veggies!

9. Did you exercise during the cleanse? Yes.... EVENTUALLY. Since the first week was the hardest, I just wanted to stay in bed. After my body got used to the HEALTHY food being pumped into it, I started out with short walks. After a bit, I was able to walk-jog-walk. By the end of the fast, I was jogging the entire route (which got longer and longer!). My advice is to go with what your body can do. I wasn't exactly obese when I started this journey, but when I first began walking my heart would beat out of my chest and I fell short of breath.... from walking! You really just need to listen to your body and stop when it becomes too much. I think ANY exercise is great exercise!

10. How did you navigate social functions? What about naysayers? If your family is anything like mine (in-laws included!), food is the staple to any get-together. My friends are also big on tasty food and wine. As I mentioned before, this cleanse can feel VERY isolating. At first you will get comments similar to "Aren't you just starving yourself?", or "I don't really go for the fad diets, since you'll gain the weight back", and "Don't you need meat to survive?". After you tell them that you are "eating" a normal amount of calories, it isn't a fad OR a diet because it is literally just produce, and you DON'T need meat to survive (you're just a temporary vegetarian, unless you decide to become one!), that is when the motivational compliments begin to pop up! I had many friends and relatives say they WISH they had my willpower, or how great my skin looked! Trust me, you can't cave on your cleanse just because your mom makes you feel guilty for refusing her slow-cooker cheesy potato soup. :-)

11. I feel sick, how can I keep going when I feel so awful? Trust me, the icky feeling does not last! The first week (or two) is the hardest. I personally had headaches, nausea, sore throat (from drinking so many liquids) and I was SUPER cranky. Your poor body is literally withdrawing from salt, sugar and fat, and it is NOT FUN. Don't be tempted to pop aspirin or drink coffee, you CAN get through it and you will wake up one morning and feel amazing! About a week prior to your fast, begin to cut out processed foods and start eating more fruits and veggies, the symptoms will be less severe if your body gets used to the healthy intake!

12. How much juice should I drink per day? What if I get tired of just drinking juice? The Reboot website suggests drinking about 4-5, 16 ounce juices and add approximately 16-24 ounces of additional fluids. Besides drinking LOTS of water, you can also drink herbal tea, lemon water and plain coconut water.

Phew! That's all I can do for now, but maybe I'll post a "FAQs Round Two" sometime. :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Boudoir! Ooh la la!

What is one of the best gifts you can give yourself after juicing (besides great health)?

A photoshoot!

I was lucky enough to book a session with a friend who is expanding her studio to include boudoir packages. It was such a boost of confidence, and it is worth every penny (because confidence is PRICELESS)!

Plus, it makes a great gift for a significant other, especially with Valentine's Day just around the corner. :-)

Juice on!

Photos by Essence Photography

Sunday, January 8, 2012

So Juicy.

Day five, and I'm dreading having to experiment with cooking again. I almost feel more comfortable when I'm juicing (easy grocery shopping, set routine, etc.). Crazy, right? This coming from the girl who used to eat WHATEVER I wanted.

No, seriously.

I remember after I had the Burnin' Love Burger at Red Robin, I think I actually fell in love with it. I soon discovered that I could get a delicious hamburger from Jack in the Box, then drive across the street to Del Taco for the fried jalapenos. The I would stuff the burger full of jalapenos, trying to emulate my precious.

Sad, I know.

Now, I actually don't even CRAVE fast food, which is a first for me! I figure if the cravings for bad food have been eliminated, maybe the craving for good food will begin to pop up!

I really can't get my mind off of fish tacos. They are just SO dern good! I do need to expand my tastes, but in the same way I've always hated veggies, I hate weird spices and flavors (onions, bell peppers, garlic chunks, oregano, etc.).

I may just have to wait until I get older and my tastebuds die...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Cleanse - Day One!

Cheers to everybody beginning a juice fast at the start of this new year!

6am juicing queen!

This is how much liquid is produced from two bunches of spinach, 2 CUPS!