Sunday, December 30, 2012

A little juice 'll do ya!

*Infomercial voice* Are you tired of slaving away at the gym, getting nowhere in your workout routine but tired? Are you sick of counting calories? Do you just want an easy, no brainer way to lose weight without feeling like you're killing yourself? Look no further! Start a juice cleanse today! *Cheesy grin and pose with a glass of green juice*

Ok, it's not exactly like that... but it's kind of exactly like that! Juicing is so easy, but there are ways to screw it up, too, so don't just take my advice, but educate yourself as much as possible if you're committed to doing this. It's a super easy way to lose weight, but don't forget that it is also hard mental work, and if you're committed to health, keep a good diet and exercise regimen for after the fast. Don't just rely on juice. It helps, but it's all up to you from there on out as it's hard to subsist on juice alone.

I'm posting this as requested from several people who want to join me in my New Year's Juice Cleanse! I'm doing 6 weeks of fresh, raw juice. I may go for a full 60 days, but I am fully committed to 6 weeks for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'd love to assist you and/or point you in the right direction. [Note: I am not certified in this or considered an expert of any kind in this type of thing. Please consult a physician and don't sue me for anything. You're making this decision on your own and I am not responsible for your actions. Consider this my legal disclaimer!]

Step 1: Watch the documentary "Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead" and visit the website for lots of information, recipes, testimonials, etc. It changed my life. My former roommate, Kadi, told me to watch the doc as I was flipping out about doing the juice fast the first time (I committed to 60 days without even giving it a thought... then flipped out about it when stress hit me a few days later. Oh, former Anslee was so silly!) and it was not only helpful in calming any apprehensions I had, but it was informative and inspiring.

Funny story - I was in such a sour mood about doing the juice fast the first time (Like my mom was forcing me to do it or something? I'm not exactly sure what my problem was. I made the decision all on my own!) that I watched the documentary in secret, in my bedroom, as quiet as possible so my roommate couldn't hear that I was doing what she had calmly requested me to do. I was so bitter about it! Then, I watched it and thought, "I AM SO DOING THIS! AND I'M GONNA KICK ASS!" I think Kadi laughed at me as I admitted to her that I stealthily watched it behind her back and came to the conclusion that a) she was right, b) it was something we needed to do, and c) I really was going to do it with her. (I'm laughing at myself as I type all of this, by the way. I hope you're laughing reading this! If you know me at all, I'll bet you are!)

Step 2: Get a juicer! I got the one Joe uses in the doc, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus. It's a wonderful juicer! Easy to clean and maintain. It's like a part of the family after you use it. I've traveled with it. It's awesome! If you can't find that, or don't like it for whatever reason, just find one that will juice whole fruits and vegetables that is best suited for you. There are soooo many to choose from, which is why we decided on the Breville JFP (My, how hipster of me just now!) because it was easy as it was the one used in the film.

Step 3: Stock up your fruits and veggies! So easy. Make sure that your juicer can juice everything you buy. Some fruits and veggies need a little prep like peeling oranges or lemons, and some juicers can't do certain things, so make sure to read the information that comes with your juicer about what you are able to juice with it and/or what it will take to juice things.

Step 4: Drink your fresh juice! If you're lost as far as recipes go, just go to the website I posted in Step 1 and there are plenty of recipes there. They sell books on the subject, too. Since the documentary has aired, I imagine there have been plenty of resources to come out about it. Do your research! Talk to people about it!

Note: Talk to me about it if you need to, dear reader and friend. Put me on your speed dial - I don't care if you text me 3 times a day! Any way that I can help you achieve your optimal health results through juicing, let me know, but I'll go ahead and warn you: I'm not going to hold your hand. You're doing this for yourself. If you give me a list of excuses or worries or blahblahblah *insert whining here*, I'll let you know right now that I'm not an enabler of that kind of stuff - because I used to be, and I used to victimize myself by these same excuses and reasons to, essentially, NOT take care of myself. (Erin Wehrmann, if you're reading this, we need to have lunch soon.) If you want to change your life, you have to love yourself enough [Notice I said LOVE, not HATE! Positive change comes from positive action and positive love circulating through you, otherwise it will not stick!] in order to keep your healthy commitment to yourself! We can walk together on this journey, but I will not push you. You can come here for encouragement any time, but remember that self-love you have inside you and do it for the beautiful, lovely, healthy-minded you!

Tipsy Time!
+Try to juice at least 4 times a day with about 20+ ounces each. I say this because you need to get enough calories to nourish your body. If you consume less than 1200 calories, your body goes into starvation mode and it can really damage your system. Some recipes have calorie counts, but look up the fruits and veggies that have the most caloric value if you are worried about it. (Pears, I believe, have about 100 calories. Kale may also have more calories.)
+Juice organic! You get the most benefits from organic fruits and vegetables. They taste the best, too.
+Juice more vegetables than fruits. Fruits are sweet (Duh.) and they taste amazing (Double duh.), but they raise your blood sugar (Womp womp.), so try to stick to more veggies in your juice recipe and lay off the fruit. It can be hard, but you'll receive more health benefits by avoiding the sweetness as much as possible. Try to treat yourself to a sweet juice once a day, or once a week! Whatever works best for you. Try, try, try to limit the sweets!
+Stick to just juice and water the best you can. Yeah... I know. I love coffee, too, but trust me. After a few days, you won't need it and you'll wonder why you were ever addicted in the first place. (I can already hear your excuses... AND I LAUGH AT THEM! Just kidding!) ;) Coconut water is a good supplementary treat that helps with hydration. Kombucha and hot tea are ok. Use your best judgment. I've heard of people quitting smoking while they juice. If you're gonna quit solid foods, you might as well get rid of the other vices! Try it. Your body will loooooooove you for it!
+Tired of juicing everything yourself? Go to Whole Foods! There are, like, a million Whole Foods in Austin now (Ok, just 3, but still.), and there are at least 2 Juicebox's, the Daily Juice Cafe, Juiceland, Gonzo Juice, and several other places offer fresh juice as well. (Including drink well. Fresh OJ. True story.) If you don't live in Austin, look up some places in your area that have juice bars. I'm sure there are a few places that you probably weren't aware of that offer juice!
+New Earth Center is doing some cool stuff for New Year's juicers as well! Check 'em out here:
+Avoid packaged juice if you can! It is heated in the canning process, thus eliminating most of the benefits of fresh, live juice. Some of them add sugar, too. No bueno. Be hardcore! Juice raw! Yeah! You can do it!
+Exercise. You'll feel good, and then, drink more juice. :)
+Talk to people about it. Even if you're doing straight juice for just 3 days, I'll bet someone will congratulate you and say, "I could never do that! You are so awesome!" A) They're right! You ARE awesome! and B) They're wrong because they totally could do that! It's all mental. The point of this is that you're educating others about what you're doing, why you're doing it, and it's reinforcing your commitment to yourself by having these conversations. I talked A LOT the first 60 days. (Yes, even more than I already do.) You will meet some incredible people during this journey. I met my awesome life coach, Mark, during my first juice cleanse! He's just one of the lovely people who have enriched my life ever since.
+Relax. You're not going to die. (Well, if you juice enough, you won't!) You'll eat solid foods again, I swear! Do stuff to take your mind off of it. Enjoy it. Remind yourself of the positive, great things you're doing for your body!
+DO NOT EAT A CHEESEBURGER OUT OF TEMPTATION!!!! Seriously. At any point, do not eat heavy foods like this while you are juicing. Your body is making some very awesome adjustments during this process and if you do something silly and think, "Oh, I can have a steak after 14 days of a LIQUID DIET OF RAW PLANTS. No big deal." and go for it... I'll say some prayers for you because I don't think it will work out well. You need to reintroduce foods back into your diet after you finish this juice cleanse. A good site for breaking your juice fast is this one right here or this one!
+The word "juices" makes me cringe. Just thought I'd share that. But here I am! Talking about them! :)
+Celebrate! Go juice with people. Have a juice party! I'll bet you know some people who have wanted to try it, so encourage them to take the plunge! It can be so much fun, and I guarantee you'll learn a ton about yourself and the other person in this process!

If I left anything out, I'll post it in a follow up!

Some juice-related posts of mine that may help:
Documentaries will kick your ass. Lesson learned.
Perspective! (Little shout out to Heidi Wrabel!)
Juice Fast 2012: So, what AM I doing?!
Bright today, bright future.
Balancing Act: I Am What I Eat
I'm calling it a miracle.

I can't wait to hear your stories! Please, please share them. I would love to be apart of your journey and support you!

Thank you for reading this, friends! Sending you my love! Can't wait to start this!

A little recap!

GUYS! I know it has been a while since I've posted something, so for that, I deeply apologize! It's been so busy and awesome that I haven't been able to figure out what to write! That's a good problem, I suppose. ;) Anyway, I'll give you a little bit of a post about some cool stuff I've been learning and then I'll jump into some juicing stuff with a following post since I'm beginning a new juice cleanse on the 1st!

Ok, first thing- Hair!: My hair has grown SO MUCH, and so have I! It's been an amazing journey with my fresh, new, baby hair coming in, and I won't post anything about that yet (Gosh! I know! There's just so much to write that I need to save it! Trust me. You'll probably laugh and cry and laugh some more...) so just sit tight. The past few months have been cr-a-zy good working through some tough stuff.

Dating: Yeah, so, I made myself a new rule - "Don't post anything about the dudes in your life, Anslee. They seem to disappear after you do that." That's pretty self-explanatory. But honestly, I've learned a lot lately about healthy relationships, dating and platonic friendships alike, and how boundaries are supremely important. I'm talking about my boundaries with myself above all, mainly with consideration to the other person, and it was tough to begin with, but after a while, I realized how there is a deeper appreciation between the other person and myself. Plus, heartbreak... It happens, guys. That's part of dating, right? Figuring out what works for you, what doesn't, and deciding whether the person you're spending time with is THE ONE or not. That last guy was really awesome, and he kind of told me, in a roundabout way, that he saw that I was pretty much on my way to conquering the world (It's true, ok. So don't fight it!) and he didn't want to get in the way of that due to our differences. I didn't believe him until a few days ago when I woke up, immediately sat up in my bed, and said out loud, "Holy shit. That guy was so right. Thanks, guy!" I didn't want to get in his way either, so it worked out in it's own little sad-at-the-time way. I learned a lot in that mini relationship, and I am thankful for all of the blessings from those lessons that I get to carry with me now. [Cue: "Some day, my Prince will come!" Oh, Sleeping Beauty... Thanks for being there for me when I need ya!]

Parents: Christmas 2012 will go down in history as the First Annual Vegan Connell Christmas. I shit you not! Seriously. There was no animal product or by-product to be had at Christmas dinner for the first time EVER. Rewind to Thanksgiving when I sat my parents down after a great dinner together followed by an even better conversation (I am beyond blessed to have such open, loving, communicative parents!) and showed them the documentary "Forks Over Knives." Here's how it went.

Me: Mom... Dad... I would like to show you something if you don't mind. It's a documentary that can explain to you in a better way why I am choosing to go mostly vegan with my diet. Since you're medical professionals, I think you will understand where I am coming from and why I have made this choice. As you know, I did a juice fast this year that really helped me a whole lot and provided a ton of clarity, health benefits, and healing, and this documentary can help explain some of that and why I'm going to basically do more of it.
Mom & Dad: *looking slightly concerned but open to new information that can explain why their daughter has jumped off the dietary deep end* Ok... Sure. Let's check it out. We're not doing anything else anyway.
Me: Great! Now, I just want you to know that this isn't to persuade you or convince you of anything. I simply want to show you where I am coming from so you have a better understanding. *Start the documentary*

There were a few "Oh, wow. I didn't know that!"s and "Yeah, you are totally right!"s and then... My father, the radiologist and self-proclaimed carnivore says...

Dad: How can I get more information about this? How can I be one of those doctors in the film? Is there a training program? Can I read some books about this? ... ... ...
Me: *jaw on the floor, looking up everything I can find on the internet about this subject as fast as humanly possible* Here we go! ... ... ...

And the rest is history. I got a text from Dad about a week later saying that he was a vegetarian (My heart practically stopped and then jumped for joy!) and that I've made more of an impact than I probably know!

Pause. Let's think about this for a second. I am the youngest person in my family of 5. I'm the baby girl. I'm "the artist." The "crazy one." The "weirdo liberal." You know, all of that stuff. I only dreamed of having this kind of support! I remember talking about my decision to go mostly vegan as a prayer request during community prayer at my church because I was preparing for rejection! Who knew they would be on board! I am completely elated, and I can't wait to see our progress as a family to a whole foods, plant-based diet. Our minds have changed, and our bodies are following suit. I am so, so thankful for these changes we are going through that are bringing us much closer as a family unit. (Did I mention that politics were brought up ONLY ONCE my entire Christmas visit?! Hello, Christmas miracle! Thank you, Baby Jesus!!!) I feel like I've won something. You know what, I may have!

Bikram: I started a 90-day bikram challenge! And ooooohhhhh mmmmyyyyy gooooooodnessssss I am IN LOVE! But... I'm saving that for another post soon, so watch out for that. (I am such a tease tonight, aren't I?! I can't help it! I've been needing to write for a long time about all kinds of stuff!) Good things come to those who wait, right?! ;)

So, that's it for right now. There have been so many amazing things happening in my life that I can't wait to share - along with my goals for 2013. There are many, of course. Would you expect anything less? Didn't think so! Ok, I love you guys and I'm excited to post next about juicing, so come back in a little bit!