Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blending and Juicing

So today I (Merica) went to the Rheumatologist. That's a fancy word for Dr. for people with Autoimmune disease (inflammation). (and I can see now that reading Fancy Nancy to my 4 yr old is taking it's toll) Anyway, I am very excited because I am maintaining the lowest dose of prednisone (the duct tape of medicine) that I have ever been able at 2.5 mg per day and my Sed rate (inflammation) is the lowest it has been in 4 yrs since my diagnosis. it was 120 then and 5 now. Did you get that? 40 mg of prednisone and Sed rate 120 then, and 2.5 mg of prednisone and Sed rate of 5 now. I am so elated. I attribute that to my ever increasing nutritional lifestyle. (I use that term loosely.. I'll explain)

I often joke (with a hint of complete seriousness) that if I wasn't raising a family I would be so domestic. Boy would I have time to make and clean up gourmet (healthy) meals (that people would eat), keep a tidy organized home, refurbish antique furniture, plant a garden, etc.. Well, Changing the way I eat is no different. It has taken me over 4 years to get to the point where I am really practicing what I preach. In the last 2 months I have cut out sugar and almost all processed food (except for a 5 day girls get-away), and made "green" smoothies every day (I add frozen berries, so not really green). I have done this before, but only for a couple weeks at a time. It's pretty difficult when you have withdrawals (not to be confused with.. but usually confused with low blood sugar), headaches, grouchiness and cravings that fog your judgement torturing you with the questioning of why you're punishing yourself and your family. Everyone complains about dinner, and all of the bday parties, holidays, gatherings, outings, and cupcake shop drive-by's where your hard earned points are beckoning, are just TOO MUCH!! What I realized is that as with running, you need to get to the point where you hit your stride. I spent my whole adolescence making fun of those goofy, skinny, happy, eye of the tiger singing, Cross Country nerds. Why on earth anybody would run with no purpose (scoring a goal, getting on base, being chased by a doberman pinscher.. all legitimate reasons I had personally found running to be useful) was BEYOND me. I even took a running class in high school to improve my endurance on the soccer field and thought I had enough experience to make an informed decision. What I found out years later in attempt to offset some of the weight from my medication by running a 1/2 marathon was that I had never hit my stride. My running class in high school was 3 miles per day, and although I got to the point where that didn't feel like it would kill me, I didn't ever run more than 3 miles, which is the point at which I hit my stride in training for the 1/2 marathon. When I experienced this PHENOMENON for the first time, I realized why those cross country nerds were so happy. It doesn't feel like work. It feels great and it was like my body turned on a switch that took over and THAT's what I had been missing in my nutrition efforts. I have now hit my stride and feel great. For the first time since developing Autoimmune issues, I feel like I will be able to manage it without medication. I have always known it on some level.. but I couldn't feel or perceive it. So that's why I am so happy about my doctor's appointment, smoothies, and running. (which I should take up again)

On this note of Autoimmune and getting off medication, I recently watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix. It's a documentary about a guy who has an Autoimmune disease and is able to get off prednisone with a 60 day juice fast.. and then maintaining a whole food, plant based diet. This might be extreme to some and boring to others, but to me it was revelation.
60 days is A LOT. If you visit the website you will find that for most average Americans, they suggest a shorter modified version. Personally, with the low dose of medication that I am currently maintaining, I am going to start a 30 day juice fast on Sunday. The website also suggests that you don't start without some preliminary prep. Cutting out sugar and processed foods for a week or so.. Anyway, I am excited and I'll keep you updated. (You're welcome :)

Ok, so my contribution today is my testimony of "green" smoothies. As in green vegetable based smoothies. Getting in the habit of blending smoothies every day (unless you're smart and make enough for two days) will change your life. It is the first step to getting the most out of our bodies. It will give you "fresh" energy, it will feed your organs so that they will run properly and offset some of the internal effects of the SAD (standard American diet), and it will motivate you to eat healthier all day.

My tips:
1. if you have a regular blender like me as opposed to a high powered blendtec or vitamix, you have to know how to handle it. I was really turned off in the beginning because it took me like 20 min to blend a frozen smoothie. NOW I just do frozen fruit (sometimes frozen broccoli) and fresh vegetables. I start by filling the blender close to the top with (any or all) spinach or kale, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, green bell peppers, 1/3 - 1/2 fresh pineapple, and some water. I blend that down and add frozen berries and/or any fruit hangin' around. (clementines, bananas, strawberries, pom seeds, etc )

2. Avocado's add to the texture, but you can't taste them. My kids sing praises on days that I use avocados, but they would never touch one with a 10 ft pole.

3. To sweeten, use dates. I add 4 to a full blender. Our outdoor potted plants are far less likely get a smoothie breakfast on the days I use dates.

4. Search the web. There are SO many smoothie recipes and concoctions.

What are your favorite (sugarless) smoothies??

1 comment:

  1. Is it weird if I comment on our blog? Too bad. I am excited for you! This is funny, because I, too, was just thinking this morning as I showered that I have "hit my stride," whatever that means. I was contemplating how I don't crave stuff, and I don't even WANT to eat bad stuff, and I feel like it is worth it, and it is getting easier. Is that what "hit my stride" is? If so, I am so hittin' it.

    p.s. I still think people who run are just a tiny bit "off," but maybe that's because I have never run farther than 3 miles. I hate every step of it, but I crave it, too.