Monday, August 31, 2015

Juice cleanse part II - the riveting finale

OK, here's the rest of it went, and then I promise to never talk about juicing or cleansing EVER AGAIN EVER.

Day 2.  I've made it past the first day.  That's a win, yes?  I had planned to go to the gym this morning since I usually work out on Thursday mornings.  The cleanse gurus (I feel crazy just saying words like this) say to work out if you feel up to it but take it easy, and I'm certainly not feeling like I need to burn any extra calories.  But since it was only 1 day in at this point, I figured I'd give it a go.  Ended up feeling totally fine, and for the first time ever in the history of me working out in the a.m. (which is not my cup of tea) I actually felt energized afterward.  I think I was mostly excited I didn't die and wasn't chewing on my towel.

I tried blending juice 1, Morning Glory, with a packet of Truvia and about a tsp of PB2 to improve the flavor but no dice, still tasted like shit.  It was a little easier to chug though since I knew going in that it was going to suck.  I drank 3/4 of it in 4 giant chugs, then decided to have 1/4 cup of scrambled egg whites.  Egg whites are on the approved list and it was just enough to make it feel less likely that I'd pass out during my court hearing this morning.  Success!  Mood is about an 8.5 out of 10, life is surprisingly good for living on liquids.  

Same feelings about Spicy Pome Granate as yesterday.. tasty, a fun little switch-up with the cayenne, not doing much for my hunger.  My coworker just came back with a burger and fries from Five Guys and I can smell it wafting over from her office.  My other coworker also offered me some M&Ms and I started reaching for some forgetting about this cleanse and then I probably looked like I was having a seizure when I violently whipped my hand back when I remembered.  Ahh M&Ms, I see you.  Mood declining.

I started having my first headache of this experience around 11:30.  I've only had one (small) cup of joe today so after Spicy Pome I'm going to have some iced coffee and hope that helps. 

4 pm update.. I had some coffee, had my lunch juice which I drank like 85% of but then was just like, no mas.  Headache went away and came back.  Now I'm drinking my 4th juice, Acai Blend.  I'm losing steam quickly and feeling a bit out of it, not light-headed, just like I'm not really functioning at peak levels.  Definitely hungry and a little nauseated from the hunger.  I think my pee smells weird, in case you were wondering.  Mood score in steady decline since this morning.  Probably down to a 6/10 but at least I'm more than halfway through this charade.

Day 2 ended... somewhat lethargically.  When I got home I put on PJs and laid in bed watching TV for awhile, tired and not feeling fantastic.  At 7 I drank my dinner juice which was good (PB & Jus.. peanut butter, banana, strawberries) and guzzled it quickly.  I was definitely feeling pretty low energy at that point, not really hungry, just kind of blah, and incredibly glad there was only one day left.  I was debating not getting out of bed again and skipping the last juice of the day, but finally made my way downstairs to make sure I was still able to move and socialized with my roommate for a bit.  She was eating delicious looking spaghetti and meatballs and I sucked down 1/2 of my X-treme Greens juice, then decided to have another 1/4 cup of egg whites so I at least got something savory that I could chew, for all of 30 seconds or so.  I felt decent but sleepy, and I went upstairs and crashed.

Felt a bit better this morning on day 3.  It helped knowing it was the LAST DAY.  I also decided to cheat a bit today.  I couldn't do another Morning Glory without contemplating suicide, so I decided to make one of my usual green smoothies and have half for breakfast and half for lunch (in lieu of Sweet Spin, better than MG but still pretty unexciting).  I felt weirdly guilty about straying but the calories are comparable and I'm still getting spinach and banana, just adding some dairy (ff milk and greek yogurt, which also means more protein, which can't be bad right??)  Anyway I think that helped my mood a lot today and I definitely felt a bit more satisfied after breakfast, though my stomach was rumbling when it came time for Spicy Pome at 11.

I put the other half of my smoothie in the freezer when I got into work and now at 2:05 I'm still waiting for it to thaw a bit.  Surprisingly not that hungry though which is nice and unexpected since Spicy Pome isn't overly filling.  After yesterday afternoon/evening's slow downhill slide, I've been feeling good so far today.  

All in all day 3 was pretty decent, especially compared to day 2.  I went home and tried my dinner juice, "Matcha Chia" (almond milk, apple, mango, cinnamon, matcha, chia seeds).  I don't really know what matcha is but I know I will not be pursuing more of it.  Def the worst of the 3 dinner juices.  It was drinkable but at this point in the cleanse I wanted something palatable, so I end up tossing the rest and having egg whites and watermelon for dinner. I had half my Xtreme Greens, some more watermelon, then called it a night.  Or, called it a cleanse.  This shit is finally over!!!

The after-cleanse phase was totally fine.  I thought I would feel weaker on Saturday but I went to the gym and did a short run and body sculpt class and felt totally good to go.  My first meal in the post cleanse era was an underwhelming and overprocessed Lean Cuisine breakfast sandwich but it hit the spot and I was happy to be back to chewing.  I cooked and baked a TON over the weekend.. lots of healthy but delicious food.  It was a good way to ease back into eating again.

So, all-in-all, it wasn't the worst experience of my life.  Days 1 and 3 and about 1/2 of day 2 were fine, albeit boring.  The second half of day 2 was rough.  I guess if I had any qualms it's that it's a lot of money and I only enjoyed about half of the juices.  The Morning Glory juice they give you every morning as your first juice was gross enough to dissuade me from doing it again unless I could sub that one out.  It's not that I think the juices were bad quality, maybe just not my cup of tea.  If I ever even considered doing anything like this again (which really, why? I don't need to purify my body with liquid kale) I would be more inclined to just make my own shit and mix in more egg whites for protein.  Looking at the nutritional content of what I was consuming each day, it's just not a balanced diet whatsoever.  Lots of sugar, almost no protein.. a good amount of fiber at least.  But really, I could find better ways to make my body feel healthier in a more balanced manner.  I was down a few pounds on top of the previous loss on Saturday morning but I don't count on that staying off.  I didn't really do it for weight loss, more just to get my brain to focus on something, which I guess it did for a few days.  But I did it and it's over and I actually felt really good after.  Whether that is mental or a byproduct of the cleanse, who knows, but I wouldn't consider this experiment a terrible thing overall! 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

That time I did a cleanse...

Alright so, I have a massive confession to make, and that confession will also take up this entire post, and will be stupid long, so if you're looking ahead for something less idiotic, give up now.  I am doing a juice cleanse. As we speak. I'm judging myself as much as you are right now for partaking in this hippy vegan yoga bullshit, don't you worry. When I hear people dropping catchphrases such as "detox!", "recharge!", jumpstarting my diet!" and "getting rid of the toxins!" (like what are you eating normally, battery acid?), I'm always the first person in line to tell them they're dumb as rocks and then beat them in the face with a shoe.

But then of course one fateful night a few weeks ago, after my birthday/birthday week and days on end of subsisting on cake, beer and candy, I was feeling bloated and sorry for myself and magically decided I should embrace the thing I always told everyone else to stay the fuck away from because it's pointless and unhealthy: a massively overpriced and undercaloried juice cleanse. I impulsively purchased a 3-day cleanse on Groupon (from Jus by Julie... their tagline is "A Healthy Obsession".. which part of foregoing chewing and happiness for 3 days inspires obsession, I do not know).  $120 for 3 days including shipping, 6 juices per day, so that's not quite $7 per juice... either the price of kale has skyrocketed or they're printing money up in Jus-town. So anyway once that purchase was made, my cheapass was like, well now you've gotta go through with this shit. The only upside was that it would finally give me something to blog about other than that stupid surgery I keep yapping about.

I decided based on my gym schedule and what days I could probably most benefit from a lack of food, I'd do Wed/Thurs/Fri. Due to random commitments and plans I had to go to where whipping out a bottle of beet juice would be frowned upon, and working around their delivery schedule, I had to wait like 2.5 weeks from then to actually do the damn thing. For the record, they say you can order whenever and freeze the juices for up to 3 weeks for added flexibility, I was just too dumb and lazy to figure out thawing. So, I ordered it, then decided to actually stop being a fatass and eat healthy, so as it turned out I ate beautifully and nutritiously in the 2 weeks leading up to this cleanse, thereby negating the entire purpose of the cleanse. Thus, when the giant cooler-box of colorful liquid showed up at my office a couple weeks later, I was already like "fuck this shit, can I go back in time and un-order this, sincerely, Allison." I should have actually sent that email.

Wow, so many emotions and we haven't even started yet! The day before I actually started going through a spectrum of crazy thoughts that should be reserved for people about to go off to war, or battling terminal illness, not whiny basic bitches with a pornographic obsession for carbs. But alas, on Tuesday morning (1 day BC/Before Cleanse) I bounded out of bed and downstairs excited to make breakfast, then started getting legit sad thinking about how the following morning I would wake up and have nothing but a bottle of "Morning Glory" green crap waiting for me. Like 24 hours before the cleanse and I'm already getting preemptively depressed. Similarly, I spent most of that day bitching to the 3 friends I told I was doing the cleanse (the small handful that I figured would be less judgmental than I am about such things) how angsty I was about being stripped of my food and livelihood. Then, after I got home from the gym and planned to eat a sizable dinner as it would be the last solid food I'd get for the foreseeable future, I mostly lost my appetite. I mean not like real person loss of appetite, basically I still ate like 450 calories, but not the feast I was planning for and ended up a little light on my calories. So, just to reiterate, I was such a worked up nutjob about future non-eating that I inadvertently did more of it. Rough fucking start.

And it began. Quick background, you can have the following while cleansing: coffee (thank you baby jesus) with stevia (oh); green tea (nope); raw or steamed veggie greens (I'd rather just starve) and egg whites. Egg whites at least gave me hope, so I boiled a few eggs to keep at work if I needed to start gnawing on some whites, though out of stubbornness I intended to try to wait til at least day 2 for this. Sugar free gum is also a go so at least I'd have something to chew on other than munching  my fingers off to prevent me from going online and ordering a juice cleanse ever again.

Day 1
Upside is I got to sleep in an extra 25 minutes during the time I normally spend making and eating breakfast and reading Us Weekly.  Downside is I slept like crap and woke up tired and starving, not the power combo I was hoping for going into this thing. I made my coffee (black with stevia, not terrible) but waited til I got to work to dive in to the wonderful world of juicing.  OH and it was also weigh-in day, plus I wanted a before/after so I could at least see how many pounds of temporary water weight I violently shoved out of my digestive system.  Don't you fucking know I was down 2.6 pounds, a combination of actually having a good week and also being a few hundo calories below my target the night before.  The day you start a juice cleanse is not the day for an artificially dramatic loss.

Anyway, 8:20 a.m., first juice of the day... Morning Glory.  16 fluid ounces of "romaine, kale, spinach, apple, celery, banana, strawberry".  I went in thinking I wouldn't mind the green juices since I do green smoothies a lot and foolishly thought that was the same.  NOT SO.  My usual smoothies are sweet and taste like PB and banana and smiles.  This thing tasted like the inside of a sweaty hat.  I was legit plugging my nose, chugging as much of it as I could handle, then chasing with water.  BLEH.  I really thought the hard part of this would be hunger from lack of food, not that the juices would be so hard to get down.  The other juices seem more promising but now I'm worried.  I can't do 5 more like that.  The bright side is that it took my about 40 minutes to get through it, so if I have an iced coffee in a little bit the next course will be here before I know it.  Of course, if that one sucks, maybe that's not a good thing.  Current rating of how I feel about this godforsaken juice cleanse:  1/10

Round Dos.  11:15 a.m.. Spicy Pome Granate.  This one is master cleanse type shit, consisting of pomegranate, lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper.  This is much better, though less substantial.  It's thin and not chunky like that last bastard MG, and although the backslap of cayenne at the end of each sip is a bit odd, I don't mind it.  It kind of feels fiery and fun, like it's waking me up.  Oh also, I had an iced coffee with stevia (and fine, a splash of milk) around 10:15, but I feel like so far I'm doing OK.  Between feeling a little nauseated and my lack of excitement for upcoming juices, I don't feel particularly hungry so that's a plus.  Mostly I'm a little mentally sad about not having any real meals to look forward to until Saturday more than anything else.  And my asshole friend keeps sending me pictures of cheesesteaks.  But this spicy pome is taking awhile to drink and quite lovely so it's a good experience.  Current mood:  Up to a 5/10, I feel better and less moody overall.

On to #3.  Almost 2 pm, later than I expected to last until for my "lunch" juice, but I went to Target at 1 and have not been too hungry, surprisingly.  This feels like a make or break juice because if I have another like the first one, I'm going to hate this shit forever.  Verdict is... not bad.  It's green, but this one is spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, mango.  I'd say the pineapple shines through the most though it's not quite as sweet and just slightly off.  And it has chunks in it, which I know it's supposed to because fiber and stuff, but every now and then it feels like I'm drinking hair.  But the taste is tolerable, I'm not chasing it with water, so that's a win. It must be the romaine and celery in the Morning Glory that is tanking it for me.  I miss the thought of food as before, but I'm not hungry, for now.  The taste of that one was just eh but it was easy to drink and the fact that I don't feel hungry or bitchy is a big plus.  Mood:  OK, we're up to a 6.5/10 because I'm not as miserable as expected thus far.

Drink 4 at 4:15.  I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised how not hard it has been to make it from one juice to the next without wanting to claw my eyes out.  I am a frequent eater, especially during work days, so the timing/number of juices mostly line up with the frequency of my normal meals and snacks but, of course, these are not normal meals and snacks, they're just bottled salad.  This drink is... Chia Berry.  Strawberries, chia seeds, lemon, pomegranate.  I'm cool with this one.  It's sweet and fruity, it has seeds (obviously) floating around but they're not bothersome.  I don't like this one as much as the Spicy Pome (my favorite so far) but it's in second place.  This one also feels more substantial so I'm hoping it holds me over til "dinner" (ugh, my life..) without too much dramz.  I did see some cookies in the kitchen and briefly debated having one them remembered oh right I'm cleansing.  That has happened a few times, the mental letdown, but honestly not terrible.  Current mood: 7.5/10.  

Time for dinner!  Hahaha just kidding, no dinner bitch, you get more juice.  At 7 I get my Choco-Nana which is chocolate, banana and strawberry.  And it is divine, but I drank it in what feels like 2 seconds.  I would probably prefer just chocolate and banana without the strawberry joining the party, but still very good.  I have one more to go and I'm not starving, though I was before drinking this one.  Mood:  8/10

Last one.. X-Treme Greens, 9 p.m.  Based on my experience with Morning Glory I had been fearing this one but like Sweet Spin it doesn't contain celery or romaine, and has lime, pineapple, orange and hemp seeds to go with kale and spinach.  Turns out to be quite delicious and tastes sweet and citrusy.  Fine way to end the evening.

OK it's now Thursday but I better go ahead and post this shit because it is out of control long.  And I still have 2 more days of tedious play-by-play on a review no one asked me to write because I need a life.  But anyway, my feelings after day 1:  surprisingly feeling aight, not hungry for the most part, not lightheaded, at times even chipper.  I'm not entirely sure I buy into the BS of cleansing highs but either way I am just glad I don't want to commit mass murder or anything so far.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An update in the life and history of my vegetable consumption

I have always been quite clear about my disdain for veggies.  Sorry but they’re gross.  Or that’s been my primary life outlook for many years at least.  The upside is that you can still totally lose weight and do so in a relatively healthy-ish and semi-nutritionally balanced manner even with such loathings.  I decided early on that forcing broccoli down my throat in the name of weight loss was not going to cut it long term, so I was better off just eating what I liked, in moderation, and maybe over time I’d slowly learn to like some other stuff.

The veggies I liked in 2009:
- corn
- potatoes
- carrots

I don’t even count corn or potatoes towards my F & V servings now and really shouldn’t have then.  They have their merits of course, and at the time it was like, OK well it’s a step up from eating a container of butter or something.  Well I guess I never did that, but it is entirely possible that I counted McDonald’s French fries as a F/V serving at least once.  Other things I counted towards the F/V intake- tomato sauce; edamame; cherry pie filling; maybe popcorn.  I don’t remember.  I did eat some fruit at least, though I eat more of it now.  All in all, the veggie struggle was real as fuck.  The blog name “I Don’t Do Salad” was no misnomer, folks, I really did hate that shit, and still do in some regards. 

Anyway, I still don’t care much for lettuce, or raw tomatoes, onions aren’t my favorite, fuck celery and cucumbers.  But you know, I’ve gotten a lot better.  I go through a bag or 2 of baby spinach or arugula every week, I put onions and tomatoes and peppers in most of my entrees (I like them cooked, still don’t care for them raw).  I am all up in the winter squashes… butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin, I eat those on the reg.  I guess they’re technically fruit but whatever.  I don’t mind zucchini and sometimes eat zoodles, and I’ve become quite fond of cauliflower in many different forms.  I don’t adore broccoli but I have found myself eating it raw or cooked with some decent frequency.  With some of these, it’s an ongoing effort to add these foods to my diet and meals, whereas others I actually enjoy.  Either way, I have come a long way in my emotions towards vegetables. 

I’m sure the veggie lovers of the world are like, who cares you dumbass, do you think you deserve a medal for tonguing some spinach?  Well, maybe, is someone giving out medals?  But in an effort to try to think of positive changes I’ve made in my life aside from just the weight loss, I wanted to pat myself on the back for being less of a child and actually eating some greenery.  If only my child-self – who refused to eat anything at Thanksgiving other than mashed potatoes and eventually frozen pizza when my family decided to give up trying, because turkey and sweet potatoes and vegetables were gross – could see me now!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer would be a terrible time for plastic surgery.

As usual, I really hate the month of August.  It's kind of like February, the last(ish) month of one of the more extreme seasons and I'm over it and ready for the next one.   The world doesn't need another basic bitch spewing excitement over her love for the upcoming fall season, but suffice it to say I could spew for days.  Aside from boots and pumpkin spice lattes, I'm just bored of the heat and bored of the summer and bored of summer clothes, and based on this list of complaints, my life is clearly too hard.

I was going to post surgery update pics at the 6 month mark (which really, at this point who cares, but indulge me) but it's been a minute since I've posted anything so figured I'd do like a 5-month and change pictorial update to demonstrate how things basically look the same (OK so I might be up about 6 pounds, sue me) and it's hard to really say if there has been much progress with the scars.  If I was better at lighting and taking pictures I might be able to get a better idea of scar progression but I'm not so I can't.  These are from yesterday, 5 months and 5 days tummy tuck and arm lift, a clear indication that I need more things to do on a Sunday.


Good old scar view.   The left side remains much thinner and lighter than the right side which the doctor reopened.

Just me taking selfies like an asshole.  But I'm so tan.

I think my results have pretty much leveled off at this point which is good/normal, and I only rarely experience noticeable swelling around the incision.  Per my doctor's instructions, I have been trying to wear and arm wraps and some kind of compression garment around my stomach (sometimes the velcro thing I lived in for the first month, sometimes just Spanx-type of stuff) more often.  He said it will improve the results and the speed of scar healing.  It's hard when it's 95 and humid and wearing an extra layer of crap, or wearing long sleeves to cover the arm wraps, is massively undesirable, so I'm somewhat spotty with this, but to try to at least where those fuckers to bed.

I really need to get my act together with eating healthily because I'm the heaviest I've been since before surgery, or was as of last Wednesday at least.  I've been having a good week but I need to string like, 2 or 3 or 6 good weeks together.  Most of my habits are good but the things I do badly, like make poor choices when I go out, continue to unravel the good.  In an effort to save money, but also to eat/drink more healthily, I'm trying to really limit going out to eat and ideally not drink more than one night per week.  

Here are this week's dinners:
One Pan Mexican Quinoa with Cashew Sour Cream
Bubble Up Breakfast Casserole
Slow Cooker Buffalo Pulled Pork ... kind of a variation of this but with less butter, and I'll probably have it in soft tacos.
Falafel Burgers with a baked sweet potato

I don't mean this is a subtle-brag kind of way (though I do love to brag), but it's kind of hard for me to change my habits when most of what I do is actually pretty good.  Like every single week, even the bad ones, I meal plan and cook and make healthy dinners and go to the gym.  But then I have those 2 or 3 nights a week that are extra bad that undo the good from the other days.  Of course, the obvious solution to changing my habits is to just like, not have 2-3 bad nights a week or just be less bad, or just shut the fuck up about it because I've been saying the same thing for years now and clearly not doing anything about it.  So, I'm not sure what my solution is, but I'm always trying!!  Maybe I will check in here more frequently instead of just when I want to post periodic surgery updates and pictures, because that certainly can't hurt right?