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Darren Rowse – Build a Better Blog Challenge – Lesson #8 April 20, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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Forty pounds and counting…

Day 8’s challenge is a simple one and timely to-boot. Darren’s lesson is to interlink some of my older posts to newer ones thus giving me an excuse to create fresher content and optimize the chances of more people finding older posts that may have gotten stale sitting on the shelves in the blogosphere.

Breville Juicer

Breville XXJE95XL 2-speed Juicer

I started juicing about 5 months ago. My first post about that was back on November 14, 2008.  Since that time many good things have happened. First and foremost I have changed my diet dramatically.  I stopped drinking alcohol and have reduced my red meat intake to hardly any at all.  I have reduced my overall meat intake by at least 50% while my fruit and vegetable consumption is off the charts. All of this, coupled with a pretty regular regimen of daily walking has resulted in over 40 pounds disappearing.

I can also say with complete honesty that I really have not craved any of my old favorites…including alcohol.  I have to give the credit to the juicing.

As I did when I started out, I am juicing almost daily.  I drink 32 oz. of mostly vegetables.  My staples have been: kale and turnip greens, romaine lettuce, cucumber, apples, carrots (1/4 of the time) and celery.  I add to that large bunches of herbs like cilantro, Thai basil (horapa), ginger root and any other herb that finds their way into my refrigerator.

I purchased a Breville juicer that has really been a winner.  I did my homework before buying it and it has really lived up to its reputation.  I highly recommend it as a first juicer.

I try to juice between 9 and 10am.  This is my breakfast and lunch.  The utterly amazing thing is that it fills me up and satisfies my hunger until dinner.  Sometimes I do get hungry around 4 and a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit takes care of that.There was a time when I would make myself a green smoothie around 3 or 4pm.  That was more than enough to take care of the hunger pangs and sometimes I wouldn’t bother with dinner.

Living with two regular eaters however, I  usually eat what we have for dinner.  Since I do most of the cooking, meat is usually chicken and we always have lots of vegetables.  We love all kinds of cuisine, especially Thai,  so it’s easy to keep it varied and fresh.

I have become more conscious of portions and I do not eat as much at each sitting. The results have been great and I can report never feeling healthier.

The Adventure Realized II February 1, 2009

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The Adventure Realized continued….

All the information I read on the flush says the first evacuation will be the biggest with the most gall stones present.  That was going to be the case with me.

The contents of the toilet bowl yielded almost exactly what the experts said it would.  I counted about 35 pea sized gall stones floating in the water.  There was quite a bit of other rude looking matter as well but nothing I wouldn’t expect to come out of the depths of my bowels. The largest of the stones was larger than the average pea. The smallest— the size of cupcake sprinkles. They all shared a common characteristic, they were green and they were floating.

What I’m about to describe might be a tad gross for some but I just had to know.  I plucked one of the larger stones out of the bowl for a closer examination.  It was certainly solid but had the consistency of soft wax.  Very easy to squish yet stayed congealed.  The ‘pea’ was uniform in color throughout and contained nothing that I  could see.

My examination through, I washed my hands thoroughly with disinfecant soap and flushed my first round goodbye.

During the next two hours I had three more evacuations, each one yielding less and less stones.  The flush directions call for the last ingestion of Epsom salt two hours after the first evacuation.  I did it.  Not five minutes later another colonic spasm produced evacuation #5.  This was mostly light yellow water and just six  very small stones.  My sixth and last evacuation came 40 minutes later and yielded just 3 tiny stones.

In all, I estimate I passed nearly 80 gall stones.  Very typical according to the info I had read.

As the day wore on I began to feel more and more energy.  I juiced my usual 32 ounces of veggies around 11am.  I had a semi-normal bowel movement after that (it was mostly liquid) and didn’t eat anything solid until 6pm that night.

The next morning I had a normal bowel movement with no sign of gall stones present.  I felt very good, clear headed and full of energy.  My emotions had settled down remarkably too.


All bodily functions back to normal!  When I awoke the morning after the flush I  had no discomfort whatsoever in my abdomen/gall bladder. As the day wore on the pain slowly returned—much to my surprise.  It wasn’t as pronounced but it was still there nonetheless. I will be making a follow up visit to my doctor for his consultation.  Most of the information that I have read suggest a second flush within 2 weeks.  Some say 10 or more are needed to completely rid the body of all stones.  (The thought of nine more of these is not appetizing!)   I will keep you posted.

The Adventure Realized January 30, 2009

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I completed my first liver flush last night.  Although the actual flush itself occurs  30 minutes after ingestion of the last ingredients, the process began six days ago and the consequences will probably be with me for most of the day. More on that later.

I determined that a internal cleansing of my liver and more appropriately– my gallbladder, was in order.  I had been experiencing pain and distention on my right side for a while now.  Having  lost 40 pounds since I introduced juicing to my lifestyle 5 months ago my body has responded in different ways and was beginning to ‘tell’ me what it needed.

Just before I started the flush (which I will describe in detail later) I visited a Chiropractor recommended to me by a Colon hydro-therapist I had visited (that’s for another post!).  My visit was initially for an adjustment to my back which ‘just felt’ like it needed to be tweaked.

I didn’t realize that the Chiropractor was also a licensed acupuncturist and as soon as he had me on the table he prodded multiple places across my back and asked a very interesting question.

“Are you having gall bladder trouble?”

His question surprised me.  He went on to ask if I also was having an issue with my heart.  I said I didn’t think so. But then I came clean about my gall bladder issue and impending flush. He explained that I didn’t need an adjustment or a flush, I needed acupuncture.

Having never experienced acupuncture I was eager to try it. He  proceeded to insert four needles in different places on my back (which I barely felt) and said after this I could pass on the flush.  I politely explained that I had just bought $60 worth of organic apples from Whole Foods so I was going to do the flush!

The session lasted just 15 minutes.  I ended up getting a small adjustment anyway and went on my merry way impressed the doctor diagnosed my gall bladder issue just from touching my back.  I will also say that I did experience short term relief from the pain in my gallbladder that day.  It lasted about 8 hours.

Armed with confirmation that my self diagnosis was correct I  started the 5 day cleanse.  To save time I will link to the sight whose protocol I followed.


Let me begin by saying I chose to begin the process with an apple fast.  Some protocols say it’s ok to eat regular meals for the first 4 days, then fast just for the last one.  I wanted to give myself the best shot at making this work so I ate and drank nothing but apples and apple juice for four of the five days (I cheated on day one).


I had read and been told to expect the effects of detoxification after a few days.  Physical symptoms include headache, nausea, light headedness and gastric distress.  I experienced all but the nausea in varying degrees.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the psychological detox that started.

About day three I started to feel much more emotional about everything. Odd thoughts and old memories bubbled to the surface and kept me on edge.  I awoke at 2:30am on day four both in physical and emotional pain. I kept myself together by knowing this would be over very soon.

The Flush

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate.  It is used in this procedure as a laxative and is reported to relax the bile ducts.

At 2pm I prepared the Epsom salt/distilled water solution–3 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of Epsom salt.  I followed the directions of the flush and ate a no-fat or oil lunch of veggies and a toasted English muffin. That was it for food. At 6pm I ingested my first of four, 3/4 cups of  the distilled water/Epsom salt solution.  Blecchh!   It tastes terrible.

Twenty minutes later the laxative properties of the magnesium sulfate were proved! Twenty minutes after that they were proved again!  Now, nothing but what was in my intestines was being evacuated at this point…the actual flush of the gall bladder wouldn’t occur until later.

At 8pm I took my second dose of Epsom salt water.  More evacuations followed, 100% liquid each time.

At 9:45 it was the moment I had been waiting for.  I mixed the juice of two red grapefruits with a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil and shook it up in a container.  I knew this was going to be tough but I just did it.  I downed the oily mixture all at once pausing briefly in the middle to breathe.  Not a pleasant experience but not quite as bad as I had imagined.  At least I didn’t hurl.

I immediately followed the directions and laid down on my right side with my legs tucked tightly to my chest.  I was anxious to feel  the result of the flush as I had read what physically is occurring inside me.  I was surprised that I didn’t feel much.  The occasional gurgle and growl but nothing more than what I have experienced eating a big burrito.  Amazingly too, I didn’t feel the need to go to the bathroom.  After 35 minutes. I got up, brushed my teeth and went back to bed.

This morning

I was up at 5:30am.  I followed the directions and drank the third of my four epsom salt doses.  Just 5 minutes later I ran for the bathroom.

…to be continued.

Another Adventure January 29, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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I’m in the last day of a liver cleanse that I will post about in more depth once it’s completed.  My turn towards creating a healthier body has brought me to this point in this particular journey.

Because I have blogged about my tinnitus in the past I wanted to mention an interesting event.  I awoke last night at around 2:30AM. I had been asleep for about 4 hours when I suddenly became awake and noticed the loudest ringing in my ears I think I have ever had.  It was truly loud.  I also noticed a dull ache going down my left leg.  That ache had actually started earlier in the day but it was much more irritating now–coupled with the tinnitus I wasn’t going back to sleep.  I went out to the couch so as not to disturb anyone and pondered my state.

For the past 4 days I have been drinking copious amounts of organic apple juice coupled with my juicing.  Very little cooked food  has passed my lips in those four days as I wanted the cleanse to be successful.

Apples are high in Malic acid, a natural chelating mineral.  This 4 day ingestion sets up the body for the final steps of the cleanse.  I’m just wondering if it has something to do with the pain in my leg and the tinnitus.

Please feel free to offer your suggestions.

Yay for me! January 11, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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Today I celebrated 5 months of being sober.

I wish I could say it’s been an epic battle between the two little guys residing on either side of my head but the sane guy has kicked the crazy guys ass each time the crazy  guy suggests I do something stupid.

I’ve noticed the crazy guy is starting to get the message and isn’t making nearly as many crazy ass suggestions anymore.

Thanks sane guy.

This incredible piece was created by Jon.      His amazing art can be found at:   http://art.thehomeofjon.net/gallery/


I have to add:  I don’t believe in coincidences.  When I wrote this post I thought a cool illustration would  add to the words.  My search of the web led me to Jon’s sight and his amazing art.  I was drawn (no pun intended) to his sight by unseen hands and when I got there I discovered his beautiful art and a spiritually led individual.  I found myself wanting to know more about Jon but his websites and blogs were purposely cryptic about who he is. (A typical artist…modest about tooting their own horn!)

So I will toot Jon’s horn and ask all who read my words to take a moment and visit  http://art.thehomeofjon.net/gallery/

Lucky Me January 6, 2009

Posted by Fritz in Health, Humor.
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It’s after midnight and the house is all quite…no sounds except for the exceptionally loud case of tinnitus tonight.

I have suffered from ringing in the ears for as long as I can remember.  I think it started in college, probably after a night of rocking out next to a stack of Marshal amps during one of the many dozens of concerts I attended while wasting my parents money.

Or it could be from something else because I really didn’t like sitting near the speakers.  The truth is, I ended up putting anything I  could into my ears to block the sound.  I was a loud music wus…I just pretended so my roommates wouldn’t laugh at me.

So why do I suffer from tinnitus now?  I’ve read up on the subject and there isn’t  a whole lot of definitive answers to go on.  Most of the experts say it has to be from exposure to sustained loud noises.  I don’t qualify there.  So let’s see what else it could be.  Some of the other causes listed in Wikipidia include:

Hmmm, seems I have a lot to choose from.  I can pretty much rule out everything listed above psychedelic drugs…after that,  all bets are off….


I’ve gotten pretty used to it now.  Most of the time it’s just a light chorus of locust buzzing through a West Texas sunset. Tonight it’s more like a million of the little buggers packed in a bucket that’s planted firmly on my head.  And some damn fool is banging on the bucket.

But I’ll wake up tomorrow, take off the bucket and be happy when the usual high pitched ringing returns to it’s normal level.  It’s been this way for so long I would miss it if went totally away.  I like to think of it as my own personal white noise generator…’cept I didn’t have to pay $129.95 for the one at Sharper Image!

Boy, I sure am lucky…..