Getting Fit

I Did a Juice Cleanse – And It Wasn’t That Bad

Disclosure:  Although the juicer I used for my juice cleanse was provided to my by Hurom, all comments, opinions are strictly mine.

In the past, when I heard the words “juice cleanse”, admittedly I did not think kindly about it.  I imagined gagging down gross juices and pretty much being miserable the entire time.

Recently, after having a conversation with a friend about him adopting the habit of drinking celery juice and actually seeing results from it, I thought I would check it out.  I remember at the beginning of the year celery juice was all everyone seemed to be talking about.  I didn’t hop of the bandwagon at the time as again, I imagined it tasting awful.  I was completely skeptical about the whole thing but my friend, who’s opinion I trust, made me give things a second chance.  I figured if I was able to conquer the celery juice, I could take it a step further and do a juice cleanse.

The juicer that I have been using is the Hurom HP Slow Juicer.  And it has been perfect for my needs.  It’s compact, so it doesn’t take up a ton of space on my counter.  It uses a patented Slow Squeeze technology which basically mimics the motions of being squeezed.  This method ensures the juice stays fresh and in it’s most natural state.  The auger squeezes out every drop of juice resulting in bone dry pulp.  This was something that I was actually impressed to see.  I was worried that it would be noisy but it is surprisingly quiet and the best part it is it super easy to clean.  I knew that if it was something that took forever to clean afterwards I wouldn’t end up using it.  I have been using it daily since I got it.

Hurom juicer juice cleanse

So the first thing I tried with the juicer, was the celery juice.  The friend who started me down this path, said that he used an entire bunch of celery each day for his juice.  That seemed pretty overwhelming to me, so I started with half.  I was surprised how much juice only half made and glad I started small.  The juicer kept it’s promise in delivering a pure tasting result.  I can’t describe what I was expecting celery juice to taste like but it really tasted like a liquid version of super fresh celery.  It was actually really good.  Of course there are conflicting theories on the benefits of celery juice, but I can say I have started trying to incorporate it into my daily morning routine and it seems to be making a difference to me.

 

Celery juice juice cleanse

With that being said, after about a week or so, I thought maybe the next step would be to try a juice cleanse.  I’ve really been struggling with my weight and as much as I have been trying to work at it, I found I would be on track for a day or two and then one bad choice and I would revert to my old bad habits.  Restricted style “diets” have never worked for me, I like to be able to make choices for my meals, so I wasn’t sure how well a juice cleanse would work for me.

I knew I wanted just something that would give me the kickstart that I needed to continue down the road to making healthier choices.  My thought was if I saw some results from the cleanse and it made me feel even remotely better I would continue to make better choices.

Not knowing where to start, I decided to look on Pinterest to see what I could find.  With 3, 5, 7 and 14+ day cleanses there were a lot of options.  I knew that a 3 day cleanse would be my best option and perhaps less chance of quitting partway through.  I stumbled across a three day cleanse that looked fairly easy to follow, was easy to make and wasn’t going to cost me a fortune in supplies.

The basic premise was you made a different juice each day for 3 days.  You drink a cup of the juice once an hour for 8 hours, with water in between and then a dinner of lean protein and greens for dinner.  The first day was a green juice, day 2 a colon cleanser, and day 3 a liver and kidney flush.  I had trouble finding the original owner of this cleanse so I have no science behind it to see if the claims are true as to their combination and resulting areas of cleansing.  All I know is it looked like it was chalked full of healthy items combined in a juice and that was something my body needed.

So I wrangled up my friend April to do this along with me to do the cleanse.  And here is what I found.

PROS

  1. 1.  It was easy to make.  Having a good juicer and April to help me with preparation definitely made a huge difference.  Making the daily batches for the both of us took about 1/2 an hour.
  2. 2.  It contained items that were easy to find and all things that I liked.
  3. 3.  The juices were tolerable.  Out of the 3 juices, day 2 was my least favorite.  I think the apple juice in the other 2 made a huge difference.
  4. 4.  I didn’t feel too hungry and having an actual meal at the end of the day really helped.
  5. 5.  The constant inflow of nutrients each hour helped me avoid that 2pm slump I always seemed to get.
  6. 6.  It appeared to clear the brain fog.

juice cleanse juice

CONS

  1. 1.  Having to drink every hour was a bit cumbersome if you planned to go anywhere.  Either you were out for less than an hour, or you took it with you.
  2. 2.  Drink the juice + water meant you spent a lot of time going the the bathroom.
  3. 3.  It got kind of boring drinking the same drink all day.  I think I would have rather changed it up throughout the day.
  4. 4.  If you don’t like a particular day’s drink, it became a very long day.
  5. 5.  If says to avoid caffeine.  If you have a caffeine addiction, you will probably get a wicked headache.

CONCLUSION/RESULTS

I was able to follow through and complete the cleanse as the directions stated with one small change.  I had a coffee each morning. I know my limits and knew that by end of day one, I’d have a raging migraine so I avoided the inevitable.

At the end of the cleanse, I was down 6 lbs.  I am sure a lot of that was water weight but it was definitely the kick start that I needed and I haven’t gained the weight back.  So far so good.

It was actually much easier to follow than I had anticipated.  On day 2 of the cleanse, I had made plans to have dinner out with a friend.  Finding lean protein and greens was easy to find on the menu and was able to stay on track.

Since the cleanse, I have started each day with either a celery juice or a carrot/apple juice combo and I plan to continue doing so.  It seems to be helping with energy levels and the brain fog.

Is this something I will do again? Yes.

Did I learn a lot about my current eating habits?  Yes.

Will this experience help me make changes to my diet? Absolutely!!

juice cleanse carrot juice

 

For Kids

Putting some Zing into our Summer Fun

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to us by Zing, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

A while back, I went to a local event and got the opportunity to try out axe throwing from a company in the area.  It was so much fun and have been dying to get back.  And of course, when I told the boy about it, he wanted to get in on the action as well.  When I told him he had to wait until he was 14, let’s just say he was less than impressed.

Truth be told, the thought of him wielding an axe is a  bit frightening.

So when Zing asked if he would like to give their kid-friendly alternative, Zax a try, I didn’t even need to ask the boy.  I knew it would be perfect for him.

Zing zax

The “axe” is 12 inches tall and made of soft foam so it’s not at all heavy and if the kids give it a throw in the house, it’s not going to break anything.  With suction cups on the end, it sticks to most flat surfaces like walls and windows.  Because it is so light, you don’t have to throw it too hard so even younger ones can enjoy it.  The boy has asked me to make him a bulls-eye so that we can challenge each other.

zing zax axe

Another item the boy has been enjoying is the Zing Hyperstrike bow and arrow set.

Zing HyperStrike

Again, the arrows are made with a soft foam, so it’s not going to hurt anyone.  And man, can they fly – up to 250 ft.  And when they are released, they make a whistling noise that makes them sound like they zooming through the air.  I even enjoyed giving it a try.  The boy went to camp a few weeks back and got to try out archery, so when he came back, he didn’t want to the put the set down.  Again, I was asked to put together some sort  bulls-eye for him.  I guess I best get on that.

Zing toys

So after I get that bulls-eye made, I’m going to sit on my newly made over patio and enjoy the rest of this summer like weather and watch the boy doing the same trying to hit that red center.

Available at Target in the US and ToysRUs, Mastermind and Indigo in Canada, these are some great toys to get the kids outside and having fun.

DIY

Making the Most of the Summer with a Patio Makeover

Disclosure:  Although items for this patio makeover were provided by Home Depot Canada, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

I don’t know about you, but summer is already passing by way to quickly. I told myself after what seemed like a never ending winter this past year, that I would spend as much time as I could outside this summer.  Working a 9-5 job kind of throws a wrench into plans like that for most people, however, being fortunate enough to work from home, I knew I could do a little summer enjoyment/work multitasking with a simple patio makeover. Luckily my WIFI reaches the patio area so I wanted to be able to bring my laptop outside with me and work and enjoy.

Because I live in a rental, I don’t want to spend money on something that I can’t take with me if I ever move.  And I also don’t have a lot of storage for outdoor items in the winter so I need to really think and plan when I want to do any sort of updates.  I didn’t want to do too much to the space but believe me, it needed some work.

BEFORE:

Patio Makeover before

Yes, the before was pretty abysmal with weeds growing everywhere and a complete eyesore.  So first things first, of course I chose the hottest day of the summer to pull weeds and get rid the growth in the cracks.  But there was no way I would enjoy the space, no matter what I put in it, if it was covered in weeds.

I looked on the Home Depot Canada website for some inspiration for the space and it gave me a lot of ideas.  I wanted a space that I could use to work outside so I would need a table and chairs and definitely an umbrella to shade me from the afternoon sun.  The chairs would have to comfortable enough for me to sit for an extended period of time.  I also wanted to use the space for the boy and I to eat meals outside once in a while so I needed the table big enough to allow that.

Again, due to limited storage space, I wanted items that I would be able to fold up when the dreaded winter arrives so that I would be able to store them quickly and easily.  I didn’t feel like it was a huge wish list for my patio makeover but I knew I would need to make sure all the pieces worked together to get the end effect that I was looking for.

After getting some ideas from the website, I headed to my local store and literally stumbled across the perfect table and chair set as soon as I walked in the door.  Not only were the chairs comfortable, they are able to fold up to easy storage.  There were lots of options to choose from on display at the store but as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was perfect.

Patio Makeover Chair

And the table was big enough to accommodate a meal, but not too large that it would overtake my small patio space.

Patio Makeover Table

I was also able to find an umbrella that again folded up for storage come winter but also was easy enough to put up and down when I wanted to use it so I didn’t have to worry about it being damaged or blowing away when a summer storm blew in.

As I was getting ready to check out I saw this cute pineapple shapes LED light that I thought would be perfect on my table to light up the area if we wanted to sit outside into the evening.  And who doesn’t love anything pineapple?

Patio Makeover night

It seems like it’s just a simple few pieces but it really made my sad patio area into something I enjoyed using almost on daily basis.

AFTER:

Patio Makeover After

And one last piece that I wasn’t originally in my “must haves” for this patio makeover, was a cute straw mat for my doorstep.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect representation of the boy and I and the perfect way to greet guests upon their arrival.

Patio Makeover door mat

So if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go enjoy my patio and soak up as much of this summer as I can.