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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.

Getting healthy II November 24, 2008

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I made it through my first full week of juicing and I’m still here to write about it! As I wrote in my previous post, my Breville XXJE95XL Two Speed Juice Fountain Plus arrived last week from Amazon.com.  I purchased a factory reconditioned model ($89 – no tax or shipping) for half the price of the new ones.  It arrived in perfect condition and unless you saw the  ‘factory reconditioned’ stamp on the box, you’d never know.

I promptly went to the store and bought $42.00 worth of vegetables.  I started with hearts of romaine. celery, carrots, Gala apples and some fresh ginger root.  The first thing you realize when you start juicing is just how little juice is yielded in comparison to the bulk of veggies processed.  (I did find adjusting my technique of the actual process yielded more juice in future juicing.)

The selection of veggies I juiced produced a rather unattractive colored liquid.  The carrots turned the light green base into a rusty brown. The taste however was sensational.  I juiced: one head of romaine, three large carrots, two stalksof celery, two apples and a half-inch plug of peeled ginger. It yielded about 20 ounces of juice. This was my first taste of freshly juiced vegetables and It was delicious. 

I juiced that same recipe for seven days.  About the third day I started to notice a few changes in my body.  Number one was I wasn’t hungry for 6-8 hours after drinking the juice. Twenty ounces of liquid satiated me.  I would eat something light around 4pm and I was good till before bed.  Not wanting to eat much and then go to sleep, I treated myself to a 100 calorie, low fat ice cream bar.  That did the trick.

The next noticeable change was my regularity.  Most nutritionists and health concious experts say you should have something come out pretty soon after putting something in; just like it was when we were babies.  Well, juicing started me on the path to regularity; juice in-juice out!

The third change was in weight-loss and energy level. I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I had lost 3 pounds in a week.  I also hadn’t wanted to take a nap around 3pm every afternoon.

I figure I’ll spend about $135 per month in fresh vegetables which breaks down to $4.50/day.  If I subtract the value of the meal I am replacing and factor in the health benefits, I think this is a very wise choice indeed. My juicer has already started paying me back.  More updates to come….

Getting healthy November 14, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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One of the by products of getting sober seems to be my new found desire to get healthy.  Once I stopped drinking I began losing weight.  I lost 9 pounds in the first month.  I hadn’t changed my diet or lifestyle except for the ingestion of mass quantities of alcohol every day.  With those kinds of results, I imagined what would happen if I actually added exercise and a sensible diet to the mix.  I had been reading several blogs on nutrition and keeping a healthy lifestyle. I found some sensible information and decided to follow what I thought I could handle.

Well, I started slow.  Really slow.  I actually put on some tennis shoes and walked around my neighborhood one Saturday.  The zig zaggy walk was almost a mile.  It was easy.  It was three days before I did it again, but I did it.  Then the next time came easier and on and on.  I walk almost every day and I have lengthened the course to 1 and a half miles.

My next change came with my diet and water intake.  I had heard all the hype about drinking 6-8, 12oz. glasses of water a day.  It didn’t sound too difficult and I was going in the right direction with my weight loss so I decided to try adding the water.  At this point, I hadn’t really felt I’d sacrificed that much. Another week passed and I lost almost 2 pounds.  Seeing tangible results was very motivating. 

The next step was to modify my diet to include more vegetables and fruit.  I’ve always had a pretty decent diet. I don’t crave sweets or carbs but I do love meat.  I challenged myself to cutting my meat intake in half and replacing it with fruits and vegetables.  This was going to be the hardest challenge of all.  I knew it would be but I was seeing results and I wanted it to continue.

Now don’t think I wasn’t eating other things too.  During this process both my wife and daughter celebrated birthdays; cake and ice cream was in the house for a week both times. It would have been impossible and down right cruel not to enjoy some.  But the key was I was able to enjoy ‘some’ and know that I would continue with the eating pattern I had started; having fruit or a fruit smoothie for breakfast, eating a salad or just vegetables for lunch and eat wisely at dinner.  Wisely translates into not over eating.  I was brought up to ‘clean your plate’ because “just think of those starving African children”. Well, cleaning my plate all these years had made me look like an African child was in my stomach.  I started to put less food on my plate from the beginning.  I might still go back for seconds like before but I was eating less overall.  I also noticed that over a few weeks time my stomach did indeed seem to need less in it to feel full.

I just passed the four month mark and I am proud to say I have lost 25 pounds.  I celebrated by buying a juicer!  The more success I had the more interested I became in adding things to make my new lifestyle even more healthy. I purchased the Breville XXJE95XL Two Speed Juice Fountain Plus .  It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and I’ll let you know how that goes…   to be continued.