Happy Birthday to Me!!

I’m up early this morning to get my birthday presents from the hubby (and also because this baby boy kicks me in the bladder consistently starting around 5 a.m.). It’s a big day planned today (I’m off work)…with the delivery of some new furniture and a dishwasher. I’ve also got meetings with Cook’s Pest Control and Travis (painter extraordinaire).

Wouldn’t you know last night we were sitting upstairs watching Big Brother when I turned to Hubs and said, “Do you smell something burning?” He said, “Yes, did you forget to turn the stove off?” Not having used the stove, I said no, but we went downstairs anyway. The burning smell was coming from the dishwasher! I had run one last load, but it turns out, all of that will make it’s way to the sink this morning to be washed again. Not sure if it was food or plastic or what, but the heating coils were a-smoking! Thankfully, that horrible dishwasher will make it’s way to appliance heaven today as we welcome a new team member to the kitchen!

It should be a very (exciting day).

Looking back through old social media (TimeHop App), I have to laugh to look at what was posted. I was ecstatic to get a pair of Tory Burch and Coach shoes (still in the closet rotation today), and now I’m thrilled about a new dishwasher and the fact that I ordered some decor for the baby’s nursery.🙂 Times have certainly changed, as it’s hard to get too excited about clothing when everything has an elastic waistband! Just kidding, I still love clothes and want to be an adorable pregnant person, but finding the cute stuff is like looking for a needle in a haystack when all the local haystacks are 45 minutes apart or online!

What hasn’t changed this year is how aware I am of my blessings. We are in a new home that is soon to be filled with the squeals of a baby boy who will carry the heavy names of two of the most important men in mine and Hubby’s lives. We are surrounded and lifted up by love and support from friends and family (more important now than ever as we have no idea what we are doing).

I read an old birthday blog this morning and this was posted in it:

Like I said, I am so blessed and couldn’t be more aware of it as I turn 25. I know Pop would be proud of the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with. This would be his 82nd birthday (if I’ve done my math correctly…and don’t assume that I have).

On our last birthday of the 20th century, Pop wrote me a letter. (Yes. A pen and ink letter on wide-ruled paper.) I’ve carried this letter with me since the day he gave it to me and I’ve used it, like a Bible, when I have needed words of wisdom or advice.

At 13 he said to me, in this letter, “The next eight years will be tough ones for you as you will make decisions during this time that will affect you for the rest of your life.” Boy was he right, but the other words he provided helped me in dealing with that. Here are some of the things he said:

– Hold fast to your faith in God, no matter what. That faith will get you through some very rough waters and God will always be there to help if you ask.
– Your mom is a great lady…It takes real love to be able to guide children in the right path.
– Although popularity and acceptance are desirable, you must maintain your own style and adhere to your own standards.
– Keep a positive attitude toward learning. Maintain a high level of curiosity and purpose. Question things that strike you wrong and use the vast resources you have (internet) to verify what you think.
– Stand up for what you believe is right, but if you find you are wrong, don’t be afraid to change.
– Family is important.

Possibly, the most important lesson he gave me in this letter, though I go back to a lot of them often, is this: “Remember where you come from. It will help you immeasurably in deciding where you want to go.”

What a bright and knowledgeable man my Pop was. It was as if he knew, at the end of the 20th century, that I would need these words long after he was gone and that, at 13, I might not be patient enough to hear them. He gave them to me long hand so that I can carry them with me always. As I said, he wrote this letter to me on September 18th, 1999. He died February 21, 2001…just one year, four months and a few days after he wrote this.

I feel so incredibly blessed (and I know I say that a lot) to share my birthday with him and hope that he is always proud of the things I am doing. He may have an urge to nag once in a while, but, in the end, hopefully sees that I’m getting where I should be based on the heartfelt advice he gave me over 12 year ago.

Happy Birthday, Pop.

All these words still ring happily in my heart, but more so now as I close the first year without my Nana on this earth. Since I wasn’t blogging at the time, you may not know she passed away very close to my birthday last year, but I was extremely lucky to spend an unusual afternoon with her in her last few weeks where she was incredibly (comparatively) lucid and present. It was such a blessing, one I’ll always cherish. At one point during our visit she said to a nurse, “Thanks for being patient with me.” Though the quote is out of context here and wasn’t spoken to me, the words ring in my ears often as patience isn’t a strong virtue of mine. And when I feel myself growing frustrated, I sometimes say replay them.

Going back to Pop’s letter, two pieces of advice stick out now more than ever.

First, he said “Hold fast to your faith in God, no matter what. That faith will get you through some very rough waters and God will always be there to help if you ask.” Y’all, I prayed so much for the safety of this baby I’m carrying in the month leading up to us discovering we were bringing a baby into the world. I still pray now, but at that time I was praying for guidance on buying a house and for knowing where we should settle. When I found out I was pregnant, I prayed to know how to nurture the baby and that it would grow and be safe. We were terrified in the beginning something would happen–because we were so shocked it happened so quickly. When the contract on the sale of our house fell through after we’d bought the new one, I prayed that it would sell quickly and to someone who would enjoy it as much as we had. I prayed every morning in my car that it would all work out. I asked for a lot of help and while the results weren’t always what I wanted or caused a little stress, it has all worked out. All that’s a little heavy, I know, but it’s a strange feeling to be responsible for growing another life. It’s not at all like the movies!

Pop also wrote in his letter, after telling me what a great lady my own mother is, “It takes real love to be able to guide children in the right path.” I believe at the time this advice was meant more as a suggestion to a teenage me to go easy on my mother and to understand how difficult it can be to, first, raise children, and second, raise them on your own. But, who knows, he might have been providing insight to me about how to be a good mother myself…like don’t try too hard or be too tough. He put a lot of thought into the letter he wrote and it is one of my most prized possessions. I am always in awe of how timeless the advice is and how each and every word resonates in a new way each time I read it.

I have no idea what kind of mother I will be and, according to Pop, I won’t learn everything I need to know until I have grandchildren of my own, but know that I already love this baby and that it doesn’t stand a chance against all the love everyone else already feels for it too.

This has already been such an amazing week and it’s going to be a great birthday. Hubby says the theme is “comfort” and he couldn’t be more right. Not only did he get me some very relaxing gifts (a bath pillow, a hammock pillow, new North Face pants, and a massage Giftcard), we are nesting and I have two days off from work (a four day weekend). Plus, we are having a big family dinner at my Mom’s on Sunday.

Y’all I really couldn’t be more thankful.

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Boy, oh BOY!

Ps. How strange is it that my last post is about a juice cleanse and now I’m posting about baby gender. What a time warp!

Ok, for reals this time…

I was completely shocked. T and I both really thought it would be a girl. Only a few people said, late in the game, that it would be a boy. But the doc and ultrasound tech said there was no question. So funny!

I am thrilled though. We are thrilled! We are naming the baby after both of our grandfathers (my Pop’s first name and carrying on middle name lineage of the men in Tanner’s family). And, especially this week of our shared birthday, it just seemed such a fitting tribute. We’ve had the name picked out forever in case of a boy and it was no question when we found out today. It will be a big name for a little boy, but I know he already deserves it.🙂

Time to get planning!

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It’s a…

Just kidding! We don’t know yet! Welcome back to the blog!🙂

I’m sitting here in my car waiting to go into the doctor’s office as I chug water to ensure I will be prepared to offer a “sample” to the doctor. I swear, that the most stressful part of every appointment.🙂

I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, in over a year, I think because I have draft blogs sitting in the queue that outline our Aruba trip we took last summer. I usually do that when we travel so I can keep an accurate account of what we did on vacation, but hold them to post until we return so Facebook robbers don’t know we are out of town. It’s a goo idea in theory until you realize a year later you haven’t posted them, or anything else (and you spend hours on social media ranting about how horrible air travel is on your way home).

Anyway, those of you who know me, know we have a lot going on. We went to Europe, sold our house, bought a new one, moved and got pregnant all in just a few short months. Okay, so it wasn’t as simple as portrayed there–except the getting pregnant part–but I’ll spare you the stressful details.

I’m waiting to go into the doctor now to find out what Baby Harris will be. T and I, and almost everyone else we know, think the baby is a girl. I think this so much that I’ll be shocked if they say it is a boy. Old wives tales are pretty evenly split on what the gender will be. I mean, practically 50/50 on all the ones that aren’t totally insane. I don’t care one iota either way, but am ready to know. (Hear that Baby H?! Cooperate today, please!) I have to get this nursery underway already, it literally is a completely empty room. We found out we were pregnant before I had time to fill it with stuff (a blessing I guess).

Glad this is happening this week as my birthday is Thursday and we are closing in on the end of the first year since we lost Nana. This week, now more than ever, binds my memories to those two people I loved so much. I carry them both with me always, but it is with a little bit of longing that (I know) will never go away. This is a happy activity to alleviate some of that longing. I’m nervous because I feel like I’m meeting our kid for the first time today. I know it’s in there, but today it gets a bit of an identity beyond just “baby.” That’s pretty exciting.

Stay tuned if you’re interested!

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Juice Cleanse: The Day After

So today is the first day off the juice cleanse and I’d like to thank my hubby and my mom for being so supportive through it. I’d also like to thank my friend Laura for making it possible for me I get the juices. And Juice Nashville for pressing them!

It was a great learning experience for sure. I’d say I’m down about 3lbs, but I’m not really keeping my hopes up for that to stay off. It’d be great if it did, but I’m not going to focus on that. Moreso I’m going to focus on maintaining some realty eating habits.

For breakfast I am having a smoothie to ease my way back in. It’s got one cup frozen strawberries, one cup frozen blueberries, a teaspoon of vanilla, a tablespoon of flax (for fiber), and two scoops of vanilla protein powder (probably should have left that out) and a cup of almond milk. It’s THICK and made about 16 ounces (maybe more if you factor in consistency).

I feel great today and am pumped about tonight for Avett. I’ve planned my meals for the whole day (even looked at the menu at the bar an picked out three potential items), so I’m confident I can stick with it!

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Juice Cleanse: The End is Near (Day 3)

This is the last day of my juice cleanse.

I woke up this morning to the sound of two trains passing in my back yard. I got up and started my day, but didn’t start my first juice until a little after 8a.

I chugged some water before I left the house and opened my juice in the car. These things are FULL so I almost always have a little overflow when I open them. No different this morning when I opened the green juice. Luckily only a sip went into the cup holder, some dribbled on the seat, and some on my herringbone skirt. Hope the car doesn’t stink this afternoon.

Green juice is sweet again this morning. Did require a VIGOROUS shake though, as they all will I’m sure. Maybe I should have started with the beet juice to get it out of the way.

I’m sipping this one, like a normal juice…for now. I think I’ll drink carrot next. I left the grapefruit one at home to be my last one today since its my favorite.

10:15a: My alarm went off at 10a for my second juice, but I had forgotten to change the alarms around to account for starting my first juice around 8a. I’m sipping water now. Juice 2 is at 10:30a.

I’m gonna drink the almond milk next (mainly because I’m worried about its viability this late in the game). I noticed this morning I had the Day 2 almond milk today, so I must’ve had Day 3 almond milk yesterday. I’m not sure their days mean anything other than to help the juicer determine how many of each someone needs. Who knows though, Day 3 might’ve been the most recently pressed. Anyway, I’m drinking Day 2 almond milk today (Day 3).

I’m gonna so beet right before I go to the gym again. As I said before, I’m finishing the day with “c ya.” so that puts the two carrot ones back to back again.

10:30a: Almond juice is getting a little frothy, but it still tastes fine. This is the first time I’ve had it plain so far. It tastes like watered down almond milk (unsweetened and not vanilla flavored, of course). No real flavor other than almond milk. No big deal.

Haven’t been hungry yet today. Still just moving through the juices, but I do think yesterday really was “the hump.” I’m much more centered and focused today. I think packing my lunch for tomorrow might’ve helped with that because I know now it is already taken care of and ready for me to just grab and go.

Barre3 might’ve also helped with the centering. If you haven’t tried Barre3, go there. NOW! And try it. It is so centering and balancing. It’s all about the mind-body connection. I used to think that stuff was mumbo jumbo, but I swear by it now. I always feel so much better after a class.

My body feels lighter and I feel good. I haven’t had much in the way of stomach trouble or “emergencies” beyond a super FULL bladder all day. So besides the mental combat involved with the juice cleanse, it hasn’t been that bad. Mindless and monotonous, but not bad.

Eating healthy can be exhausting, especially when you’re planning meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) to eat every four hours (to regulate blood sugar). It’s overwhelming and stressful, but worth it. I’m hoping this kickstart will be a strong jumping off point. I’m going to stick with fruits and veggies for a couple more days (mostly, we will have to see about dinner Thursday and Friday) and try to really focus on clean healthy meals.

11:08a: Finished the almond milk. It was a little thick towards the bottom due I settling. Had an “urge” come on pretty quick and made a dash for the bathroom. First time for that the whole cleanse. If that continues, I see why you’d introduce solids slowly. (TMI? Hey, you’re the one still reading about the cleanse, jack!)

12:30p: Had been fine up to now with no cravings and was in a totally positive headspace until I got some particularly frustrating news after a work call. I’m so mad I could spit. Now the only thing I can think about is a big ole greasy cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake.

This is a key problem with my eating habits. Everything was totally fine and I was super on track, and now, because I’m pissed off, I’m ready to self-sabotage. I FEEL like a big junky lunch would make me feel better. I FEEL like eating a crappy meal would calm my anxiety and annoyance. When really I KNOW it will just make me feel worse and more pissed off that another person sent me down this negative mental path. I’m sad I’m having juice for lunch. Ready to emotionally eat? Yeah. Pissed? You bet. Next juice in a half hour. Yeah beets! Not! Grr.

1:00p: Having my second favorite juice in order to try to lift my spirits a bit. Apple, carrot, ginger instead of beet.

I was getting over the previous annoyance I was coping with when another one came up. I had my water, now I’m drinking my juice. My mood is sour though. Still want a jar of marshmallow fluff!

3:30p: I’m in a better headspace now and it’s time for juice number 4. I took an office poll based on color (orange or purple–carrot or beet) and got one of each and my assistant who loves purple was the tie breaker, so beet it is. I drank eight more ounces of water and gave the beet juice a good shake. Bottoms up.

It’s not that bad really. It’s just a unique flavor that I’m not used too. It’s been kind of cool to have these water based drinks without sugar. I haven’t really been super hungry at all and my cravings have been minimal (with the exception of the emotional ones). There really have been no averse health side effects and I am surprised that I haven’t been just absolutely miserable the whole time. I thought I would be, but was going to push through anyway, and that hasn’t been the case at all.

Side effects so far: bad breath (gum fixed that), FULL bladder (duh, I’m
consuming a minimum of 146.7 ounces of liquid daily), one “emergency” (no big deal), huge introspection.

I’ll be drinking the carrot one right after I finish at the gym (6p). I’m going to do some elliptical time.

4:16p: Second “emergency” today and I just turned down a free chocolate milkshake (well my assistant director turned it down for me). Thank goodness I’m almost there.

6:00p: Just got home from the gym. I did 30 sweaty minutes on the elliptical. Go me! I also walked into the wrong locker room as I was leaving. I was at the Merchants gym and walked right into the locker room…straight ahead I saw a body in the shower and thought to myself, “Huh, I thought that was a hot tub.” My thoughts then proceeded as follows, “Wow, that’s a naked person, oh my god, that’s a man, OH MY GAWD THOSE ARE….” Luckily, no one (inside the locker room) saw me, but a guy outside had run on to tell me. He grabbed my arm and was like, “Hey, totally not trying to scare you, but this is the guys locker room.” I thanked him, but said, “I know. It’s too late, I’ve seen too much.” Totally red faced, I skulked out of the gym with my sunglasses on.

Now I’m sitting at my kitchen table blogging and drinking carrot juice. Once I get this one down, I’ll shower up and wait until the alarm sounds for my final juice. Yeah! Tomorrow will be like Christmas morning. Have you ever met a person more excited about broccoli soup?!?!?!

8:30p: Just got back from Old Navy where we picked up some new swimmies for the hubs. Now it’s time for MY.LAST.JUICE. I saved my favorite until last today. See ya later, juice!

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Juice Cleanse: Getting Over the Hump (Day 2)

I slept a little late today, about 30 minutes, and decided to have my first juice as soon as I got out of the shower. I didn’t wake up starving, not full or bloated either, just normal. Last night, right before bed (around 9:45p), I ate two cherry tomatoes. I was getting hungry because I finished my milk about two hours before and the cleanse allows raw fruits and vegetables if you feel you might crack. It was either that or a piece of cheese.

This morning I just wanted to get one of the kale juices out of the way. I started with “oh yeah.” Kale, collard, apple, lemon. I chugged 8oz water before opening it, but started the juice right around 7:30a.

I don’t know why, but it is a little more tolerable this morning. (My juices do look like they will require a good shake before drinking as they all have settled quite a bit. I’m sure that’s because they aren’t only three days old.) I was able to drink it down in about 15 minutes without much face scrunching. It tasted sweeter today too. A good start I think.

9:55a: My assistant director brought in Krispy Kreme donuts for security and maintenance today…and sweet Roger brought one in to me that I had to turn down. So hard.

After he left I immediately got hungry. I chugged 8oz water and waited for my Juice 2 alarm to go off at 10a.

10a: I’m having the carrot one. I’m going to knock out the three I don’t love first today and I’m drinking from the bottle (easier to chug). The juice is well settled and needs a good shake.

I’m still calling this one carrot milk as that’s the flavor profile. It’s very basic as opposed to acidic. I am shaking between each sip due to settling, but again, I think that’s because my juices were frozen. They were pressed in Nashville on Thursday, frozen Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and began to dethaw on Sunday. They were first opened Monday. So, completely against the advice of the juicer, but I had no choice. The flavor is fine.

I’m taking a different approach on the juice today as I am chugging more so than savoring.

Some side effects so far: bad breath and FULL bladder.

Really with this, you aren’t hungry, there just isn’t any emotional satisfaction with what you’ve had. It’s not like, “Wow! That was an amazingly tasty meal!” It’s more like, “Oh, there’s my alarm…better have another juice…oh, ok. Just two and a half hours to the next one.” Which, I guess, is good. I’m not sure food should be as emotional as it is. That may be part of the problem.

In a Women’s Health and Fitness article called Emotional Eating, psychologist Louise Adams is quoted as saying, “In our modern world, where food is everywhere, where snacking is encouraged and where advertising promotes emotional eating, we all eat emotionally.” The article continues, “While emotional eating may be an occasional and temporary way of seeking short-term relief, it can become troublesome both psychologically and nutritionally if left to become a habitual way of dealing with emotional turmoil. Emotional eating occurs in the absence of physical hunger and according to psychologists, can be categorized as an ‘avoidance coping’ strategy. Emotional eaters typically eat food they enjoyed in childhood as well as high-fat or high-sugar snacks, which trigger a serotonin response in the brain, causing the emotional eater to experience pleasure while eating.”

BINGO! See Oreo binge, Peeps consumption in previous blog. Not to mention cake for breakfast last week and eating when bored just because a tasty treat is available or eating a whole bag of gummy worms because I need to get rid of them so I won’t be tempted all week!

I also suffer from self-sabotage. Sure, I’d like to lose seven to 10 pounds. So I work out (most weeks I do three days of barre3, work with my trainer once, and do a cardio session by myself once) and try to eat healthy. But when I have a good week where I work out a lot or am down a few pounds, I subconsciously agree to “reward” myself with a bad day–sodas, cookies, mall samples, milk shake, pretzels, candy–just because I can and then I not only feel horrible physically, but emotionally too. My “reward” turns into a psychological punishment. I’m conquering that some with this cleanse because I am battling the demon saying, “You stayed on cleanse all day yesterday. That donut couldn’t hurt THAT bad!” But I know it will hurt my psyche. I’ll know I didn’t succeed and I’ll know I HAD to cheat. It would probably taste good. REALLY GOOD because its all hot and warm and gooey and sweet, but right after I ate it, I’d feel bad and think, “I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t THAT good. Was it worth it just for one? Well I already messed up, so I can have another or two.” It’s exhausting!

This cleanse definitely eliminates that. There isn’t much emotion but there is disappointment that you aren’t eating what you want, it is just accompanied with the realization that you also aren’t deprived or starving. It’s a crazy thing to experience.

11:45a: It’s about 45 minutes to my next juice and I’m experiencing a low level headache (like my eyes feel tired) and I’m a teeny bit hungry (tiny hunger pangs). I’m sipping some water now, but may move my next juice up some. I’m just trying to stretch right outside of the two hour mark. I think the hunger is coming on more quickly because I chugged the last juice. Maybe I should drink them a bit more slowly so they stay with me a little longer.

12:30p: Sipping my 8oz water helped and I walked around the office some. It’s time for my third juice today. I’m gonna have apple, carrot, ginger (even though that will be two carrot ones back to back) since I want to sip it a bit more. I’m gonna drink the beet one right before barre3 since I’m probably going to drink that one faster. That leaves the grapefruit one for the afternoon and the almond for the end of the day.

When I finish this juice, I’ll be exactly halfway through the cleanse.

I think all these juices would taste great with vodka or rum in them (except the almond might need Bailey’s).

2:25p: Its about 35 minutes to my afternoon juice. I am getting hungry again. I’d say my pangs are about a 4. My stomach just gurgled (not a full growl, but a definite rumble). I’m also feeling a subtle pressure above my right eye. I took about 30 minutes to drink my last juice…I tried to take it a little slower hoping to stave off any hunger until right before my next juice. (Another belly gurgle.)

Eight more ounces of water might help some. I’ll start sipping that some now.

Normally, I’d grab a couple bucks and head into the mall to grab something to satisfy that hunger immediately…a pretzel or a cinnamon roll. Those are what I really want and I’m feeling a little blue about more juice. Like I said, no satisfaction with food during this, just matter of fact consumption of liquid.

I just closed my office neighbor’s door with my eyes closed to quell the temptation of Reece’s Cups.

3pm: The water didn’t help much with hunger. It helped for a minute then I got busy with work to distract me until now. My stomach growled.

I’m going to try to sip this one too. It’s the “c ya.” So it tastes like grapefruit and is really juicy. And isn’t grapefruit a natural hunger combatant?

After this, my next juice is beet (right before barre3 class) and that will be a quick one.

Are you seeing I’m struggling to stay in the “now” today? I’ve barely taken a sip from this juice and I’m already thinking about the next one. I’ve also already started figuring out what I’m going to eat on Thursday. I’m going to do a clean smoothie with protein in it for breakfast and an avocado-cucumber soup for lunch. (I’m supposed to gradually introduce foods back into my diet being careful of lean meats right away.) I’m still figuring out snacks, but I know I’ll be eating out Thursday night because we are seeing Avett Brothers that night.

I will say that the “c ya.” juice is GOOD. It is 100% my favorite.

4:33p: It’s an hour until my next juice. I drank “c ya” very slowly. And I’m not hungry yet, but my mouth feels fuzzy…especially the back of my front teeth. I got some gum from a coworker to help with that. Hopefully it will stay fresh from now through my class tonight.

I’m interested to see how hungry I’ll be after my class since it can be a pretty intense workout. I think the calorie burn is between 350-400 at least. I’ll drink the almond to end the day again around 8p, about an hour after my class ends.

Beet is next.:/

5:30p: Chugged 8oz water and opened the beet juice. I basically guzzled it down in about three minutes as I walked into my barre3 class. I’m a little nervous about potty breaks evoked by this one. I chose a space by the door in case I needed an emergency exit! The hubs says these classes are basically an hour exercise in not farting. Sometimes I think he’s right. Fingers crossed.

I’m pretty much ready to be done with this! Not that it’s been super hard, just monotonous.

7p: Made it through barre3 with no “slips.” Off to the grocery for Thursday’s meals and then home.

7:30p: The grocery store was a bit of a temptation; especially because I was at EarthFare where all the food is just out and open. Got some soups, some fruit, some vegetables and some almond crackers and hummus.

I packed my lunch for Thursday so it would be ready and I can visualize it tomorrow.

I’m starting the day off with a protein smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, protein powder, almond milk and vanilla). For lunch, creamy broccoli soup with broccoli from my garden chopped up in there topped with some cheddar cheese and served with cherry tomatoes. For a snack, some garlic hummus with a Fuji apple and almond crackers. As I said, for dinner, we will be heading to Avett, but I think that’s a pretty good start after the cleanse.

After I did that, I mixed up my almond milk. I put it in the blender with some honey and some mint leaves from my garden. I also heated it up a bit. The additions didn’t do much, but it made me feel better.

I have a little bit of a headache, but I’m actually quite full right now.

I’m watching the So You Think You Can Dance audition show right now being super excited about my food on Thursday–I don’t know if thinking ahead will turn out to be a good thing or not.

Here’s to finishing day two staying on cleanse. I hope my juices are still good tomorrow and I can make it through the whole day! Thanks for sticking with me!

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Juice Cleanse: An Experiment in Willpower (Day 1)

I know it’s been a terribly long time since I blogged. I think that’s how my last five entries have started. For that, I apologize.

This blog and two others to follow will be about a new three-day challenge I’ve taken on. I’m doing a juice cleanse. Yea, I know, it’s a total fad and yes, I’m jumping on board. The stars aligned last week and I was able to get my hands on some juice and I have three low-key days without much on the calendar before a big couple of weekends, so I thought I would give it a shot.

So…if you’re thinking about commenting how dumb it is, don’t. It’s a personal thing. Sometimes I find myself slipping into a negative headspace about food. I also eat A LOT of junk (a small colony of Peeps Chicks and Bunnies made their Easter home in my belly). This cleanse is sort of a chance for me to take a hard look at my eating habits/desires and the feelings attached AND clean out my inner systems. This blog will outline the first day. Don’t read on if you’re not interested in the intricacies.🙂

The cleanse: juice Nashville 3-day cleanse

Got up for work and started my day as normal, except opted not to wear make up. Not because of the juicing or because I was running late, but because sometimes it can be very zen to be a natural face. Also I may be working in a “clean foods, natural face” headspace. I am prepared, though, to be asked if I’m alright or told I look tired.

First juice at a few minutes before 8am. I am sitting outside the bank waiting to make a deposit. I open “c ya” and take a sip. It’s good. I was expecting more smoothie than juice, but it is definitely juice. I try to determine all the tastes first, and definitely taste the grapefruit and a hint of ginger, but nothing overpowering. The juice is comprised of orange, grapefruit, apple and ginger. Bub and I talked last night and determined this to be the best option for breakfast and the easiest intro. (Note: he is not cleansing.)

After I deposit my checks I start calculating how to space these juices out today–every 2-3 hours equates to 2.5 hours to me. I set alarms in my phone and immediately realize my last juice will be at 8:30p on this schedule. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

Also, before each juice I need to drink approximately 8oz of water too. I’m stocked up with three bottles of water to chug half of before each juice.

So far, so good minus the anxiety of whether I can do this or not and being obsessed with what comes next. How do I eat after Wednesday? Is this really a kick start? Can I stick with it?

10:20a: Alarm will sound in about 10 minutes for juice 2, so I sip-chug 8oz more of water. As I finish up, my alarm sounds.

10:30a: I decide to go with “oh yeah.” It’s the one I’m most scared of…kale, collard, apple and lemon. I give it a good shake and pour it into my cup (I’ve decided a cup is a better approach to the bottle with lid). It’s got some leafy bits hanging out at the bottom of the bottle and I’m hoping its not mold since I waited longer than three days to start the cleanse. (My friend picked up my juices on Thursday. I immediately froze them and started the cleanse on Monday. Not ideal, but I had no choice). This one is GREEN! I mean GREEN. It tastes green, like a salad. I can taste the apple a bit and know it is citrusy, but I CAN taste the kale. This one is not my favorite (out of the two), but its not bad at all. I’m having a mental block a bit about it and I’m not sure why. I love Naked Green Machine, but probably because its loaded with sugar and calories. Also probably because thinking of Green Machine makes me think of Starbucks, which makes me think of Birthday Cake Pops. Hence the cleanse.

The green juice is earthy, the spinach I’m sure, but sweet…kind of like a fine wine, it has layers. Swirl it in your cup, ignore the dregs, breathe it in (smells like a spinach salad), take a sip, swish in your mouth, feel the smoothness of the flavor and the sweet, earthy lingering.

***A side note on freezing, if you do freeze, these juices take a long time to dethaw. I mean some were rock solid after two days in the fridge after being frozen. Probably best to just drink immediately as they suggest so you don’t have to fool with all that.***

No burping with the first juice, burps with this one are salad-y. Those may be caused by how quickly I’m trying to drink this one. I don’t think I want to let it get warm…or let it settle. It is good, just different.

I’m not hungry for sure, but my bladder is FULL. TMI, I know, but legit, it’s going to be a long day!

1pm: My alarm sounds for juice three as I wrap up a meeting. My bladder is full and I’m starting to get hungry, so as we tie things up, I chug 8oz water and end the meeting.

As I move the extra chair out of my office, I see the candy bowl on my office neighbor’s desk has been refilled (Reese’s Cups) and my brain begins to wage an internal war.

I make my way to the restroom an come back to pick my juice. I settle on “i heart carrots.” Surprise y’all, it’s ORANGE! Orange. It looks like a paint brush rinsing cup. It smells like a bag of petite diced carrots and tastes like carrots. No layers, no aftertaste, it tastes like carrots. Like carrot milk…it’s a little thicker than the last two and still smooth, but different.

I’m not hating this, but I am battling the desire to have JUST ONE piece of chocolate peanut buttery goodness. I’m sure a sense of accomplishment will develop at some point when I don’t give in. I’ve got a slight headache, slight, slight, slight and am just feeling a little bored even though I’m at work–lethargic I would say. My trainer canceled, and I’m kind of glad about it. I’m debating signing up for a barre class, but think I might just walk the dog after work. We will see.

Halfway through the carrot juice and I’ve decided the first juice today was my favorite so far. I’m not mixing anything and only tasting them one at a time as to fully try each one to see what I do and don’t like.

2:40p: I’m a bit consumed with deciding what to eat when the cleanse is over and trying not to let myself get into a negative headspace about not actually eating for the next three days. I’m not really hungry, just lusting. I put all the drinks into myfitnesspal.com. All in at the end of the day, its 1350 calories consumed (roughly) – a total of 146.7 ounces of liquid consumed. It’s a bit discouraging that the “if every day were like this” feature on my fitness app says, “You’d weigh 3.2 pounds less than you do now,” but I’m reminding myself that this cleanse isn’t about weight loss, it’s about cleansing. It’s about giving my body a break from the processed and bad-for-me foods I love to consume. (I may or may not have eaten two sleeves of double-stuffed Oreos on Saturday. They were delicious, but all the while I knew all that processed cream was going to make me pay!)

I have a little less than an hour to my next juice. I’m a two on the hunger scale…not starving by any means, but want to eat. It may just be the fact that I am thinking about food right now (and that those Reece’s Cups are calling out to me LIKE A BULLHORN).

3:20p: I chugged another 8oz water. It is about time for Juice 4. At this point it’s a process of elimination. I think I want the almond milk as my last drink of the day. So that leaves “snap.” and “whoa.” They have apple, carrot, ginger and beets, apple, kale, ginger–respectively. Since I just had carrot, I think I’m gonna do “whoa.” I’m a little nervous about the flavor because when I ordered the cleanse the owner asked if I wanted to do any substitutions. I said no since I wasn’t sure what any of them tasted like and asked what she thought. She said, “If you don’t like beets, you probably won’t like the beet one.” I don’t know if I like beets, so we will see.

3:30p: Just poured my beet juice. This one smells like a salad too, and it is beet colored…definitely don’t want to spill this on yourself. After the smell, I’m having to pump myself up to taste because I know the kale flavor is there.

It’s a smooth flavor, but my face subconsciously wrinkled after the first sip. There don’t appear to be any residual floating kale pieces in it, and like I said it is smooth in the mouth, but earthily layered like the other kale one. I don’t think I taste beets, but that’s probably because I don’t know what beets taste like right off.

I’ve been storing these in a cooler so its not as cold as it could be, and that might help some. A good note for tomorrow.

I’m doing ok staying in a positive head space, I did just walk the mall and walk past an Auntie Anne’s Pretzels sample…one of my favorite things. That’s another thing this cleanse is about for me…will power…and showing myself that I can put my mind to something and stick with it. Three days isn’t that long–18 juices and 9 bottles of water–I just have 14 unopened juices (plus this one in my cup) and seven bottles of water to go. No problem…

Just finished the beet. I don’t NOT like it, it just makes my face wrinkle. You can certainly tell there is no sugar in these. The flavor IS sweet, but not in a “normal” juice way. You know you’re drinking your vegetables.

There were some dregs at the bottom of my glass on this one, like the last kale one, but I’m pretty sure they were beet pieces. My next juice is at 6p when I’m home. Then the last one at 8:30p. Maybe I should start earlier tomorrow or shorten the schedule to every two hours. I haven’t felt starved all day. I’m also not bloated. My pants are loose (but that’s because they’re a size too big). I’ll make a better effort to put myself together tomorrow🙂.

5:30p: Time for juice number five. If you’ve been following along, you know it’s apple, carrot, ginger.

This one is orange and you can certainly smell the ginger. You can taste the carrot, but the apple is a subtle aftertaste.

As I suspected, this is my second favorite juice so far today. After this is gone, I just have the almond milk and I’m through day one.

Again, I haven’t been hungry all day, it just hasn’t been super enjoyable. The juices taste fine overall, but I’ve been keenly aware that I’m not eating things I normally would. As I drink this juice (I like this one), I’m aware that Bub will start his scavenging challenge today for dinner since I won’t be cooking.

I’m also stockpiling things to do after I walk the dog around the neighborhood: unload and load the dishwasher, hang my laundry, upload this blog, maybe paint my nails…to help pass the time that I would normally spend munching in front of the tv.

Should I be “savoring” the juices more? I drank two today pretty normally, but the rest I’ve sort of chugged. Is that right? I’m also wondering if the residuals in my glass are because I froze the juice and then thawed and drank it or if that’s the general nature of fresh pressed juice. Any insight there would be appreciated.

Juice number five finished and I’m off to walk the dog. I moved my alarm for my last juice to 7:30p so I can have some time to “digest” before bed so I’m not getting up 100 more times than I normally do.

6:30p: It’s dinner time for the hubs. I walked the dog, put away my laundry and watched an episode of Real Housewives (OC). I tried to stay upstairs while he was cooking but the sweet smell of toast lured me downstairs. While I’m cleansing, he’s on a three-day scavenger challenge. I have my next juice in a little less than a hour.

7:30p: Time for the last juice, which is actually an almond milk. Had my last 8oz water then tried the milk. It’s good…think thinner version of BlueDiamond unsweetened almond milk. I heated mine in the microwave for about a minute and added a little bit of honey and cinnamon. I know that’s “off cleanse,” but I feel like it’s ok.

I’m finished with today and feel ok. I’m not hungry, actually kind of full. I don’t feel tired or anything, but also not super energetic.

I know this was a long post, tomorrow will probably be a little shorter, but thanks for checking in. Stay tuned for day two!

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