Categories
Health Musings Juicing

Juicing back to happiness

When the sun is out my desire to start juicing kicks in. My daughter calls me a sunflower because my whole mood depends on whether the sunshine is around.

Just another reason why I should spend the winters some place hot.

Today I went out and stocked up on my juicing faves.

The first is my green juice

  • Green apples (Granny Smiths are great for health)
  • Celery (including the leaves)
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber

The second one in the photo is

  • Carrots
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Oranges

I still have a few carrots, ginger and oranges left so will mix them with the beetroot (beets) that I bought.

Should give me enough juice for a couple of days if I drink nothing but juice. If I eat a light meal in the evening it will last longer.

Didn’t plan a juice fast. Just woke up and decided to go with it.

Juicing for weight loss

Back in March 2014 I spent 18 months juicing all day and eating a light meal in the evening.

I managed to shed 70lbs (5 stones) in weight and have kept that off.

What I haven’t managed is to lose anymore. I have lost and gained the same 10-20lbs over and over during 2017 and 2018.

Now, I have decided to go back to my juicing as it worked before. Eating a plant-based diet has helped me work on my relationship with food, so the past couple of years haven’t been wasted.

I am hoping that my new tastebuds will get me through a longer juice fast.

30 days of juicing in March

I have only managed to go 48 hours on juicing only. Juicing then eating in the evening is great but just juicing alone I struggled with and so I am hoping this challenge will help.

30 days of nothing but juice.

I will build up to it between now and the end of February by juicing for 2-3 days at a time. Hopefully, that will help me avoid any ‘lack of food’ crashes.

I will have to take regular shifts at work so I can pay for it.

Juicing really does make me happy. It makes my whole body feel like its singing with health.

I know dietitians and many nutritionists are not always a fan of it but I am choosing to listen to myself and do what brings me joy.

Categories
Health Musings

Developing new habits in 254 days

I have been reading up on forming new habits. I think I never really give something long enough to become a habit, which is why I stop and start different things all the time.

There are all these books that outline 21 days or 30 days to a new habit but I couldn’t find any scientific research that outlines why those numbers in particular.

Research I have found from 2009 outlines that it took participants anything from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. It was different for each individual and that seems more realistic.

254 days is a little over 8 months. For the habit to become a routine it must be performed daily. It has to be 254 consecutive days.

I like the idea of forming habits by doing something small each day. These tiny actions add up until the habit becomes easy to perform without any conscious thought.

Now I know it can take 254 consecutive days I can apply that to exercise.

Even if I don’t exercise daily I can commit to moving. A short walk, dancing to music for 10 minutes – that type of thing. At least that way if it means I am moving regularly and have at least 3 days where I do the regular 30-60 minutes of solid exercise it may just help exercise stick.

I am thinking about a trip abroad soon so hopefully that will help add to my motivation.

 

Categories
Health Musings

My next 10 year challenge

The #10yearchallenge hashtag has reminded me how far I have come in terms of my health and weight loss.

It is also a reminder of how long it has taken. I have started and stopped a number of times. Losing weight and then gaining it again.

The photo above shows me in 2009 on the left.

My weight has remained the same for the last couple of years. I keep losing and gaining the same 20 pounds, which has been frustrating.

Until December 2018 when I found the Shangri-La Diet, which is as simple as taking a tablespoon of Flaxseed oil an hour before eating. I will write more about that another time.

That helped me lose 9lbs during December and my weight has been going down ever since.

In January I spent my time on a detox eating potatoes all day of all things. I will write more about that too.

I tend to get to 17 stones 2 lbs (242 lbs). I stop. I put it all back on again until I get to 18 stones 7 lbs (262 lbs).

2019 Health Goals

In 2019 I am aiming to break the weight loss plateau cycle and finally get below 17 stones (240 lbs) and get on with this weight loss thing.

On 1st December my weight stood at 18 stones 2lbs (257 lbs)

Today my weight is 17 stones 2lbs (242 lbs) – it has been like that for the last three days despite being on a detox and losing a pound a day for the first 4 days.

VERY frustrating.

2019 Fitness Goals

I also want to take my fitness more seriously and make an effort to gain muscle through strength training. I am not sure about joining a gym.

Been walking mainly and doing a few strength exercises at home but I know I need to do more than this to get fit.

My relationship with yoga is an on and off again one but I have been thinking about callanetics – for those who remember that from the 90s!

Here’s to the next 10 years.

Categories
Health Musings

Undo Inflammation

I have spent months trying to figure out what it was I was trying to say/focus on in regards to my health.

The weight loss journey that it started out to be turned into a love of juicing and juice cleanses before looking into bringing zest back into my life.

Ultimately, all of this work has been for one common cause. To help me live a life free of medication and pain. Right now I am free of them both.

The pain I discovered was due to something called inflammation.

I thought there were some serious things wrong with me and was so surprised when a change of eating less meat/dairy and more vegetables removed the pain.

In fact my first experience back in 2014 really shocked me. My stiff knees, my sore elbows and my lower back pain all disappeared. My flexibility improved and I felt so much better.

The only thing I had done at that point was give up meat/dairy and started juicing/drinking green juices on a regular basis.

Since that time I have gone back to old habits. Back to eating what’s known as the Standard American Diet or meat & potatoes to us Brits. I have returned to milk, cheese, yoghurt, and butter. Every time, within weeks, the pain returned.

I am not sure why it takes me so long to learn my lesson lol

Meat doesn’t have as bad an effect I noticed. It makes me feel heavy and not as bright and light as I feel when I don’t eat it – so I have reduced it but not given it up.

I have stopped saying “I eat Vegan food but am not a vegan” – now I simply say I am a Flexitarian.

What is a flexitarian? The definition is a person who eats a mainly plant-based diet but still includes some meat/fish and eggs.

So that’s me now. Miss Flexitarian. This is where my journey has taken me from weight loss to learning about how nutrition affects my body.

Categories
Health Musings

Fit Fabulous & Over 60

These are the women who inspire me to continue on with my challenge to be fit and eat well.

They are over 60 and are proof that the mid-life spread is mainly down to lifestyle for many of us. With some effort, probably a lot of effort, we can remain strong and not saggy, fit in body.

Working with the elderly has been a great example of just what happens when we don’t use our muscles and build strength.

Anyway, here are some fit, fabulous and over 60 people that I think are amazing – look them up and decide for yourself.

Johanna Quaas, age 92, Germany

The world’s oldest gymnast- her parallel bars routine video can be found on YouTube. According to Wikipedia Johanna still competes.

 

Lew Hollander, age 87, USA

Lew has completed the Ironman competition more than 58 times and is in his 80s. He is always challenging himself to be the best that he can be,

Ernestine Shepherd, age 82, USA

Starting her fitness journey at age 56 with her sister Ernestine at one point became the oldest competitive female bodybuilder.

 

Jane Fonda, age 80, USA

Known for her 80s fitness routines Jane promotes what she calls “the third age” and believes exercise is great for the brain and the body – which many of us know.

Edwina Brockesly, age 75, UK

Another woman who started her fitness journey in her 50s to get over the death of her husband. She has completed six Ironmans and seven marathons to date.

Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr, age 70, USA

Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr. is a 70-year-old natural bodybuilder who started working out when he was 44 years old.  His physique and strength are amazing.

Wendy Ida, age 64, USA

Wendy started her fitness regime in her early 40s and works as a personal trainer.

There are many other women of course. Between the ages of 40-50 many women are recognising the importance of staying strong. It’s such an exciting time in the world of health and I look forward to learning more and keeping myself in as great condition as I can.

 

Categories
Health Musings

1lb a week challenge

The 1lb A Week Challenge sounds like it should be easy. After all, who can’t manage to lose just one pound a week?

You may be surprised at what it takes and on this page I wanted to provide some tips and information to help you focus on what you need to do.

What follows is for information only. Please consult a medical professional before embarking on any new exercise or nutrition changes.

The key is to have a plan. I find when I plan my meals and I know exactly what I am eating I tend to stick to it and have a great week. Planning works for me. Maybe something else will work for you and the more you are on this path the more chances of you finding exactly what it is.

Drink plenty of water. Water is so very important because it keeps us hydrated. In fact sometimes our hunger signals can actually be our body saying it needs more water. I am in the habit now of drinking a glass of water when I am first hungry and giving that 20 minutes before making myself something to eat. Remember juicing gives you water too.

Using ingredients like cucumber will mean you get the health affirming juice/water from the cucumber.

Be patient and be in this for the long-term. Some weeks you may not lose your 1lb and you need to be okay with that. This isn’t a straight path from A to B. Regaining health after years of unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise really does take something. Make a promise to yourself to do whatever it takes for however long it takes. Refuse to ever give up.

1lb A Week Weight Loss Tips

Lower calorie intake. To lose 1lb per week your daily calorie intake needs to be reduced by 500 calories. I love this article which recommends cutting 250 calories from your eating and doing 250 calories worth of exercise. HERE

Eating high fibre and foods that are close to their natural source as possible. Baking, steaming and raw rather than frying. Staying away from most foods that come in a packet, box or tin will also help.

Basically if it contains ingredients you can’t pronounce or contains more than 5 ingredients to make it then it should not be eaten.

Watch portions – eat half of what you would naturally eat and WEIGHING will help you get a clear LOOK at what a normal food portion should look like. I wanted to avoid this but I am now in a place where I have to do it if I want to continue losing weight.

I think I over-estimate how much “half” is and when I weigh ingredients or food I can see the actual amount with my own eyes.

I used to just pour and guess when it came to eating porridge in the morning. My thinking was that porridge it healthy so what does it matter. The thing is it really does because all those extras add up. So I got myself a cheap pair of tiny scales from the One Pound Shop and it let me weigh out very small amounts.

30g of porridge is basically three tablespoons of porridge. I had been eating more than 15 tablespoons of porridge! Now, I have SEEN how much 30g of porridge actually is I can’t cheat because I know when I am eating more.

Plan out what you will eat. I work part-time so I am lucky that I get the time and space to consider what I want to eat. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to plan because I do – if I find myself hungry with nothing good to eat I know what will happen!

When you work all day and get home in the evening tired you want to make sure you know exactly what you will be eating that day so you don’t have to think about it.

On days when I have no clue what to eat I usually end up eating unhealthy foods, so if you are like me plan out each day and each week. Be clear on what you will eat and how many calories it contains.

I tend to eat the same thing two or three days in a row. I really don’t need to eat something different every day and I am happy to eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner three days or more in a row. If it helps to keep you focused why not try it. It means you only need to buy one set of ingredients for several days and you can cook one big meal and just eat it over three days.

This is particularly useful when it comes to vegetable juicing. You really don’t have to keep coming up with different recipes.

Find recipes that you like, choose one, and then make the same one for 3 days. That way you can buy a ton of the same vegetables and know it will all be used on your juicing days and it won’t be wasted.

Exercise at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week and include high intensity training (HIIT) and strength training/weight lifting. The more muscle we have the faster we burn fat so using weight training is essential rather than just cardio. Walking 10,000 steps a day also works.

I have an on again off again relationship with exercise and am working towards consistency but I know just three times a week would make a massive difference to helping me.

According to an article I read on Jillian Michael’s site it helps to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week (30 minutes over 5 days) and you will burn 250 calories. You can read it here : tips to lose one pound a week