Archive for March, 2012
Trying New Things
comments

The Santa Monica Farmers Market is lousy with “broccoli sprouts” right now. It seems like every third booth has a huge cardboard box of these things. I had never tried them before, but they looked pretty healthy so I decided to go for it. A little internet research revealed that all of these people are liars. What they are selling is something called sprouting broccoli. It’s rich in vitamin C and harvested January-April. It is pretty similar to chinese broccoli, in the sense that the stems are pretty long. I picked some up for a dish, and I was pretty satisfied. The stems were a little tough towards the end, and next time I would probably trim off the bottom 2 inches from each piece. Otherwise, they were perfect with some spinach and basil gnocchi that’s been hanging out in my freezer for a few months. This is an oil-free recipe. Ever since my juice fast, I’ve been on a real healthy eating kick, so I should have some good recipes for you guys in the coming weeks and months. Check out this one after the jump.

Ritual Cleanse Day 3
comments

Day 3 started off with me losing another pound and a half, and my skinny jeans finally buttoning in an attractive manner. I woke up clear-headed for the first time during the fast, and I quelled my early morning hunger by finishing the second half of my cashew-vanilla shake from last night. I’ll admit, it was a little heavy on my stomach, so maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.  I guess That I’m very much undedcided about whether it’s better to stack your calories in the morning or wait until the afternoon. The Skinny Bitch girls say that you should start your breakfast with fruit and only fruit, which gives your bodies natural garbage collectors some extra time to do their work. Other books say that you should stack your calories early in the day so that your smallest meal is dinner, which gives your body time to digest everything before it slows down for sleepy time. I guess it comes down to doing what works for you, and I’m going to sincerely try to do a light breakfast post-cleanse and see how I feel.

9 am

Since I downed the cashew drink as soon as I woke up, 9 am was time for breakfast. I’m actually getting used to the green drink, and I can even taste the subtle differences between the different blends. The morning juice has lemon in it, which nicely compliments the hot water with lemon that I have at the beginning of every day.

11:00 am

I’ve decided that the seasonal juice is really awesome. I’ve also decided that while the cleanse gives me a lot of physical energy, I wish that it did more for me in the mental energy department. I have a lot of work to get through this week, and I really do need to be on my game. Maybe it’s the lack of caffeine?

1:00 pm

I decided on another quarter avocado for lunch today, because I was absolutely craving avocado. It was delicious and it got me thinking that when I finally get back on bread, I’m going to experiment with using avocado instead of earth balance. It’s all healthy fat, so it’s got to be better for me than empty calories, amirite?

3:30 pm

I realized that I completely forgot my third juice of the day, and I was a little late in drinking it. But it was a good sign that I forgot my juice, because it meant I was caught up in work. I actually do that a lot these days.

4:30

I also moved up the drinking of my lemonade, mostly because it tastes gross and I wanted to get it over with. Cayenne in lemonade? Not a good idea. Lavender or mint in lemonade? Awesomesauce.

6:30 pm

My last green juice of the fast. OK, I have an extra one in my fridge from yesterday, and I plan on drinking it tomorrow, but it’s still just a little sad to see one baby juice, forsaken by his juice friends.

*Thursday Morning Update*

I did my post cleanse weigh in and I can happily report that I lost 4.7 pounds total over the three day cleanse. Most of it was probably water, because I estimated that my calories deficit without working out was 1,200 a day on the fast.

Ritual Cleanse: Day 2
comments

Most online reviewers claimed that I would get the best sleep of my life on the cleanse, but they forgot one tiny problem. Since I’m drinking nothing but fluids and I have a bladder the size of a walnut, I woke up two or three times last night to pee. It wasn’t a problem, and I slept really well aside from that, but it was far from the best night of my life.

8am

I woke up and weighed myself first thing. In my first day I lost 2.5 pounds, which I’m guessing was mostly water weight.  My green juice tasted much better the second time around, but my stomach was a little upset from not having enough food in it.

10am

I had juice #2 in a meeting. I tried to start my program earlier in the day because I planed to work out, which meant I would need to add in the pre and post-workout juice as well. My stomach was definitely a little off.

11am

I decided to drink 1/3rd of the post-workout juice, since it’s made out of almond milk. The one thing I don’t like about this cleanse is that it stacks your calories towards the end of the day, which is the exact opposite of how my body wants things to work. I continued to feel just a little foggy, much like I was on morning 1.

12pm

At this point, I broke down and busted out my emergency avocado (which is allowed on the cleanse, as well as lettuce, lemon juice, and vegetable broth). I had a quarter of it and it not only helped my stomach, but about an hour later I started to feel completely clear-headed.

2pm

The avocado filled me to such an extent that I didn’t even start my next green juice until about 2 oclock. By that point, my head had started to clear and I felt a huge burst of energy. It was a little weird, but I actually found myself wanting to leave work and go work out, which is usually something I dread.

4pm

Cayenne-lemonade time. This is by far the weirdest juice, and I can’t get past the little cayenne flakes that are floating around in it. My burst of physical energy started to subside, but my mental energy and ability to focus and concentrate was higher than it has been on the entire cleanse, which was a bonus. I got in a nice burst of productivity and got some serious work done.  I looked in the mirror, and I think that my skin might be getting a little oily, which is a perfectly natural side effect of a cleanse, as your body starts to release all the crap it’s been holding on to. At least I’m not getting weird BO, at least I hope I’m not. Someone would tell me, right?

6pm

I was winding down for the day, so I broke out the pre-workout drink. This meant skipping my third green juice of the day, but I’ve decided to save it for Thursday morning.  They call the workout juice  pre-shred and it consists of carrots, beets, celery, apple, and pear. I HATE raw carrots. I really have tried to like them in the past, but it’s never worked out for me. I get a nice hint of pear with this juice, but I can’t get over the carrot-y grossness. I’ve noticed that if I like a juice, it takes me longer to get through it. The pre-workout drink was finished in about 3 minutes, if that’s any indication of how quickly I wanted to get the experience over with.

Working Out

After work, I hit the 24 hour fitness for a little gym sess. That’s bro for session. While lifting weights, I noticed that my muscles were a little weaker than usual, so I lifted less weight than I usually do. This could be the juice or it could be that I am woefully out of shape. It makes me long for my gymnastics days when my body was a well-oiled machine. I’d love to go back, but I’m a little spooked after the tailbone injury that kept me in constant discomfort for almost a year. Maybe trapeze class? There’s a net to fall into there, so it’s probably much less dangerous. Anyway, in my current state I doubt that I would even be able to hold myself on the bar for any prolonged period of time. Oh how far I have fallen from the day that I actually climbed a rope to the top of the gym. After weights, I did a quick abs session which went the same as it always does. Then I ran on the elliptical. Again, I took it kind of easy but I did push myself to finish half an hour.

Post-Workout

In the car on the way home I enjoyed my almond post-workout drink. I already drank a third of it in the morning, so it wasn’t anything new. It’s a blend of almonds, water, cinnamon, and vanilla. I think there’s a little agave action up in there as well. I downed it pretty fast and followed with a full bottle of water to rehydrate.

8:30

I was torn on whether I even wanted the last drink of the day, a cashew vanilla drink that’s actually really creamy. I decided to have half of it, saving the other half for breakfast on Wednesday. I’m going to try to stave off the mid-morning fuzziness and stomach pains by stacking that high-calorie drink earlier in the day. Towards the end of the night, I started to really crave and look forward to solid food. It’s a good think I didn’t order that 4th day after all.

Wednesday Morning Update

I woke up this morning to weigh myself first thing and I’m down another point and a half, for a total of 4 pounds lost since starting the fast. Goal pants not only successfully button, but there is nothing spilling out over them. Other than that, I don’t see much difference in my face or the rest of my body.

Ritual Cleanse: Day 1 Review
comments

I went to Paris in January for a week, and when I came back I came down with a cold that knocked me out for almost 2 more weeks. As a result, I was pretty run down and started to see myself trapped in a downward spiral. I felt terrible, so I ate terrible, which just made me feel more terrible. I was craving things like sugar and white flour. When I read a review about a girl’s experience with Ritual Cleanse, I decided to give it a go. Almost all of the online feedback was positive, and pre-packaged, fresh, organic juices seemed like a healthy and convenient way to fast. I’m on a three day reset cleanse, which I’m hoping will be just enough time to reset my appetite and palette, so that I can once again fit into my goal pants.

Let me preface this by saying that Ritual Cleanse is not cheap. However, going to the farmers market and then spending my entire Sunday juicing would not have been cheap either, especially since I don’t own a juicer. I found a 20% off coupon which made $80 a day seem more reasonable, and I put in my order. I woke up at 6am on Monday morning to pick up my juice bag at a gym in Brentwood. You can have it delivered, but the company is in Irvine and their local delivery option comes between midnight and 6am, and I had no way to let them into my building except to wake up between midnight and 6am, and that just wasn’t going to happen. My 20 juices (6 per day and one set of the pre/post workout drinks) came in a stylish green cooler bag which was incredibly heavy.

9am

I brought my bag home and put my juices in the fridge. The instructions indicated that I should drink one juice every 2 hours, so I held out until 9AM to start. This was the hardest part because I like to have breakfast as soon as I wake up, and I tend to get an upset stomach if I don’t. The first juice of the day is a green juice with spinach, kale, romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, and lemon. It’s like drinking a salad and was not a great introduction to the cleanse. The lemon was a nice kick, though. I managed to drink it, mostly by chugging, on my drive in to work. It settled my stomach’s demand for something to be put into it and I was off and cleansing!

11am

I brought my second juice to a meeting, and there is something really cool about carrying the bottle. It’s very interesting looking and they are all numbered 1-6. My second juice was a seasonal orange, blackberry, apple juice that is a pleasant pink color. It was a little tart for my tastes. At this point I had started to feel a little light headed, but the drink helped with that problem.  I was very surprised that I didn’t feel hungry. This juice I sipped, and I wasn’t done with it until 11:30.

1pm

At this point in the day, I had peed about 7 times. In addition to the juice, you’re supposed to drink a lot of water, and I’m shooting for a gallon every day. However, I’ve noticed that my senses of taste and smell are heightened, and I’ve developed a distaste for the filtered water we have at work. So, I walked down to Mrs. Winston’s and grabbed a liter of pellegrino. The bubbles tasted downright decadent. It was probably 1:30 before I started my next juice, and 2:15 when  finally finished it. Juice #3 is exactly like juice#1, except with ginger instead of lemon. I’ll admit that it was starting to go down easier.

4pm

Because it was taking me so long to drink the juices, it took me until 4 to be ready for my lemonade. It’s a blend of filtered water, lemon, cayenne pepper, and agave that reminds me of the master cleanse formula. It was ok, even though a lot of reviewers said that they loved it. The cayenne was a little weird in my lemonade, I’m not going to lie. At this point I was still feeling a little light-headed and just not very focused, but those are common side effects of fasting and it wasn’t that bad. I was able to get some work done at least.

6:00 pm

Juice #4 is another green juice, which I grabbed as I was finishing up work for the day. I still didn’t feel hungry, but this juice went down faster and easier than the first 2. Mostly I was feeling really proud of myself for sticking to the cleanse, and I could already feel my jeans loosening.

9:00 pm

The cleanse instructions encourage you to steam, so I just had to use one of my Christmas Burke Williams day passes. I went with a friend from work who is a very important member (she gets her own members-only dressing room!), and we steamed and soaked for about an hour. I also did half an hour in the hot tub while she got a massage. By the end of the night, I was starting to feel a little dizzy, despite drinking lots of water at the spa. It could have been the steam, but it also could have been the fact that I was late with juice #6. The final juice of the day has about three times as many calories as the others, and it’s a blend of cashews, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. They even leave chunks of cashew in it to make it creamier and the whole thing feels very substantial. Compared to the rest of my day, it felt like I had just finished a 6-course dinner and that I was too stuffed to move. I zoned out with some tv for a few hours and went to sleep around 11.

Sleep

Many reviewers promised that I would get an amazing night’s sleep on the cleanse. However, I woke up two or three times just to pee. Those episodes aside, it was an extremely restful night of sleep.

The Results

I woke up this morning and I was down two and a half pounds. Most of it was probably water weight that my body had been carrying due to the crap I’ve been eating since I got sick, but I feel incredibly light and energized. Two more days to go.