Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chiro, tooth fracture, and dentists! Oh my!

Today made visit #5 for the chiropractor.  I do feel much better overall, they got me started with some exercises I can do to help strengthen the muscles around the spine in the neck too.  Fix the problem, train it to go the right way.  Come on now, I only have so many visits left!!  Work with me here, neck!

I'll admit my tension was a bit high this morning, and I'm still a little tight in the neck/shoulders...  but the last 24 hours have not exactly been forgiving.

Anna, my 9 year old, decided to have another fight to the death with her scooter.  And just like last time, when the scooter laughed loudly in her face and skinned her knee to the bone, she lost.  Only this time, instead of seeing the inside of her knee, we got to see the insides of her teeth!!!  YAY!

Broke off 2/3 of one tooth and 1/3 of another.  Awesome.

Grabbed kids and flew down to the dentist, but they were already gone for the day.  Nobody answered when I called.  Nor when I called the emergency line.  Hell, more than 24 solid hours later, nobody has returned my call.  We've found ourselves new dentists.  >.<

Took the kid to the Urgent Care and got her some hydrocodone to get her through until morning, and got her to sleep for the night.

Morning came with appointments made with two different offices by accident, chiro appointment, driving the kid to the wrong office, canceling appointment made by accident, flying to the right office, and being seen.

Turns out the teeth were not as bad as we thought, the roots were intact, not exposed, and there were no hairline fractures up in the gumline.

We ended up rebuilding the teeth with large fillings.  No crowns, root canals, caps, or nerve deadening needed.  Which meant, despite the awful look of the initial injury, we did not need near as much of our insurance today as we thought.

She got to watch Gnomeo & Juliet on the ceiling while they worked.  Ceiling screens are amusing on laughing gas, apparently.

While they worked, they told stories of other kiddos who were worse off upon coming in.

There once was a little girl who was hit in the face by a baseball bat.  It was intended for a pinata.  At her own birthday party.  While she was reconstructed in the chair, the party continued on without her.  Nothing worse than having to go to the dentist on your birthday and get home to find everyone else ate your cake and ice cream for you, eh?

So see, it can always be worse!

And in the end, she looks MUCH happier, more comfortable, and much more normal in the toothal region.  Yes, I said "toothal".  I know it's not a word.  I don't care.  :P

So, all in all, I think my neck tension was well founded.  And I hope it is melted away by morning...  but we'll see.  Stupid neck.  Be nice!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back pain vs. the chiropractor!

So, a couple Saturdays ago, I woke with a crick in my neck.  This happens from time to time, and I felt it along with a knot in my mid back, just under the shoulder blade.  If I pulled my arm around to touch my opposite shoulder and felt around back, I could feel it, but couldn't get it released.  Every day it got a little worse.  A little worse.  A little worse...  until Saturday the next week, I simply could not move without pain.

So!  My lovely husband suggested I suck it up and see a chiropractor, because that's their job.  Fixing backs.  Fine, I said, though I was hoping it would fix itself on its own.  It usually does.  I couldn't even work the iPad from my prone position in bed because I couldn't move my right arm without hissing in pain.  Not exactly a good sign.

So he worked it for me (noticing a pattern?  I think I'm starting every paragraph with "so".  Not on purpose.  We'll see if it continues!  LOL).  Helped me sign into my insurance's website to try and find someone, and double check my coverage!  Kinda handy to know if it will be costing me out of pocket or not.  Turns out, it's covered for a $20 copay for each visit.  Up to 20 visits a year.  Well, all alternative health care things add up to 20 for the year, but I have a feeling this is where it's all going!

(So) I ran up there and filled out paperwork while making quiet pain noises, and got in to be seen.  I sat in half lotus on the bench and waited while playing my turn in a few games of Words with Friends, which I'd fallen behind in.  When Dr. Kirby was able to finally get in to see me (I was a rushed appt they kinda just smooshed me in between others, so I waited a bit that day), we chatted about the issue, he checked my posture, felt around the spine to see what he could feel, and what he found said he needed to look further.

(SO!) We did this crazy heat and tension diagnostic tool that is supposed to help pinpoint the problem areas.  Turns out...  where I hurt was NOT a problem area.  But I had some pretty bad ones.  Mostly in my neck.  Since that didn't look like expected, we also did some X-rays.  We went from taking those to hooking me up to a fun electrode thing.  Electrocuted my back in an X shape to try and get the knot behind the shoulder to release. Mostly, my left shoulder pulled up without me telling it to move, and my head tracked up and to the right!  It was kind of a strange feeling, but the knot does feel better now.  Still there, but not as intense.  Doesn't hurt as much.

(so...)  After that, we did the first fun adjustment.  Now, I've never been to a chiropractor before.  I didn't really know what to expect.  But I do know how to breathe in and relax with an out breath from my yoga fun, so I did that.  And I've had small people walk on my back to help pop it a bit when things felt a bit stuck.  So I know what a crunch and a pop feel like from moving the bones around.  And I wasn't too surprised to feel them, but I was surprised at how easy it was to do!  Crunch pop rat-a-tat-tat!  LOL

My upper back didn't move too much, but my neck, where all that pain was stemming from, cracked like nobody's business.  Serious cracks man.  Major noise.  Sounded like a little machine gun.  O.O  Kinda like this, lol.  Not me, unless I grew a mustache overnight and went blonde without knowing it.  ;)

Anyway, so I left, made my payment while they tried to figure out my insurance stuff, and set up to come back a few days later.  Went back and got to see my X-rays.  And...  uh...  my neck?  It doesn't look normal.  Not a good thing.

Normal neck looks like this, with a lovely curve to it.  Supports the 15lb weight of the head so the head rests over the shoulders.  Normal:

And this is my actual x-ray.  I took a picture of it on my phone while the doc was out of the room.  Because it's so crazy.  Seriously.  No curve.  BAD.  

So my back is holding up the weight of my head instead of the neck.  That absolutely explains the back pain.  My head is sitting 1.5" farther ahead than it should.

When I was standing there for the x-rays, I got the random flash in my head from the last time I had x-rays done of my spine.   
 I was 19, had just been in a car accident, and had broken a windshield with my face.  Hmmmm...  I wonder now if my current state is a result of that, and the x-rays not being read by someone who was looking for things like that.  I'll never know, but it makes me wonder.

Anyway!  So, yoga feels nice while I'm doing it, but I feel a little too creaky to really do too much that's different.  I guess I'm afraid of moving things out of alignment too much, in case I do something wrong...  but I know at the same time, I should be okay to do most things.  But I should also trust my instincts and stay away from things that feel like too much.  Like wheel.

I was working up to a good one!  I could hold it for 2 or 3 breaths before releasing when I hurt myself.

Ah well, such things can wait.  So, for now...  I am supposed to go back for a total of 10-12-ish visits to try and get this back in place so it can get to a normal state.  And get my pain to go away.  And stay away.  That would be nice.

I'm tired of this.  And I can't go back to the way it was last Saturday.  So!  I have a feeling I'll be going back every so often to maintain the good alignment I'm working so hard to achieve right now.  And hopefully, with my lovely $20 copay, it won't cost me an arm and a leg to do it.  Stupid 20 visit max.  >.<

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kale chips! Where have you been all my life?

My kids and I devoured a whole bunch of kale today with dinner.  As a side.  And the kids wanted more.  O.O

If you want to get more greens in your kids, this is a fun and easy way to do it!

‎1 bunch kale
1T olive oil
salt, seasoned or plain
garlic & onion powder, if using plain salt

Preheat oven to 300*. Rinse and dry kale. Remove stems! Cut or tear into large pieces, a little bigger than you'd want a chip. (They shrink!) Toss in olive oil and seasoning. Lay out on baking sheets, and bake 20-ish minutes, until crunchy and not limp in the middle.

It's a fine line between crunchy and crumble-on-your-tongue, but they're really good! You can add red pepper flakes and other seasonings if you want to play with flavors, etc, but I like these with just a seasoned salt. :)

And for those of you who want to see it in action!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Juice video! The green in action!

It took the the better part of the day to edit this, throw it together for you, and get it up on YouTube, but here we go!  It's kinda long, but I wanted to show you how long it takes to make enough juice for one day.  And to offer tips on things from cutting your pineapple for juicing to how to add things to the juicer...  what to do if it starts to get unbalanced, how to spin it out and why you want to bother...  Why do you want to stir or shake the juice before you drink it?  How do I prep all these veggies?  And what do I do with all the veggie gunk that's leftover when I'm done??

All this and plenty more is answered within!  :)  If you have questions, as always, feel free to ask!  :)  Happy Juicing, everyone!

I love Dashama! Free hugs video.

Okay, I'll admit it.  I'm totally feeling the love lately.  Tara said something to me the other day about how the cleanse left space and she sometimes thinks it was filled with gratitude.  I think she is absolutely right.

This is a sweet little video by a lovely girl named Dashama.  She is a yoga teacher, hosts yoga retreats and videos on youtube.  She's a super cheerful upbeat girl, and she decided to make a sign that said "Free Hugs".  She was alone on Thanksgiving and decided to wander the streets and offer hugs to others who might be alone too, and in need of a little human contact.  It is a lovely video, and I encourage you to watch it, smile, and go hug someone yourself!

Namaste!  <3

Juice pics and bloopers!

Pics from the juice cleanses, as promised!  You can click on any of the photos to see them in their large original size.

You always want to start with fresh ingredients!  I was trying out red kale instead of the dark leafy blue type I usually can find.  The red has much less of a leaf, so you need more stalks for the same flavors, but both are good.  :)  

For broccoli, I cut or tear the florets off, and cut the stalk in half and feed it through that way.  Kiwi I quarter the long way so they are in wedges, and wheat grass is good either as a sprouted grass or in tall spears.

This is what can happen if you put too much in at a time!  It overflowed and danced everywhere.  We kinda got sprayed with green juice bits.  It was not pretty!

The machine, overflowing.  This was after it finally stopped so I could open it.  The solids are overflowing from the top of the barrel!  WAY too much went in!  Have to be more careful!!

This was the watermelon mint juice.  Looked really pretty in there!  :)  

Watermelon mint juice, all done.  Lovely pink!

Pesto was one of the savory veggie juices we made on our first round.  Decent when just made, but doesn't store well at all.  Also, surprising amounts of brown in the tomato juice!  Didn't expect that!

These were, left to right:  Green, Carrot Apple Beet, Pesto, Salad, and Watermelon Mint.  Green wasn't as green as usual because of the change in kale type.  Interesting!  

This was a tea I made with frozen berries and one of the Zinger Berry tea bags.  Was pretty good, and a nice warm break from the cold juice.  I love that little tea pot, by the way.  Got it at Whole Foods.  It makes 2 cups worth and is the perfect size for just one person.  :)

Working on the video, will post that later!

Monday, March 12, 2012


My name is Tara. I am many things in my life. I am a wife, and a mother first.  I am a daughter, sister, and friend. I have a career. And I have recently been inspired by some other women sharing their own experiences in health and well-being.  I want to share my own experiences and hopefully inspire someone else.
Each day my goal is to add purpose and find fulfillment by doing one thing better. One choice, one day at a time.

30 day Yoga Challenge! Starts April 1st.

No, this is not an April fools joke thing.  April just happens to be the next 30 day month.  Anyway!

I have it in my head that while both Tara and I are doing 30 day yoga challenges for ourselves (mine started again last night!), I should probably try and get some of YOU to join us!  I will post up some info for easy online free streaming classes if you don't have access to anything at your house or locally.  You could go to a yoga class in town if you prefer, of course, or do your very own practice you come up with yourself...  but the idea is to get into the habit of daily yoga.  A little goes a long way, and we're trying to build healthy habits in ourselves!!

So!  Are you up for the challenge?  Join us!!  April 2012 will be the official yoga month for us here.  :)  Perhaps we'll host another one in April next year too!  We'll see how it goes.  :)

If you need yoga gear, let's get you set up with where to go so you get a good deal and a decent product.

Yoga Mat:  You can find a pretty decent variety of Gaiam mats at Target.  They will be in the work out area by the bikes.  If you have poor knees or need extra cushioning, go with the thicker ones.  There will be two different sizes available.  The regular ones are around 3mm, and the thick ones are either 5 or 6 mm.  3 should be fine for most people, but if you have trouble getting on your knees without pain, I would say to go with the thicker mat.  They'll be a little more, but you'll feel MUCH better during your practice.

Set of 2 blocks and a strap!  If you are new to the practice you will probably want/need these!  You can make do with thick books at home, or use a belt instead if you need to keep this cheaper!  BUT if you want a decent set of foam blocks and a strap, you can find a lovely set for around $10 at Walmart in their work out area.

I do NOT like the mats they have there.  I got my first mat here and it tore up and didn't last long at all, nor was it very sticky.  I know it's a pain to go more than one place for the things you need, but the mats here are simply not as good.  If they carry the Gaiam brand, you would be safe with that, but I don't like any of their other options!!

So, Walmart:  straps/block.  Target:  mat.  Easy enough for most of you, and there are links to online shopping for both if you need to order in.  :)

Beyond that, unless you want to get yourself a dvd to follow, you should be set.  Should not cost more than $30 or $40 to get set up as long as you have some comfy stretchy clothes to wear.  Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but you do want 4-way-stretch for sure.  Yoga can rip seams if you're wearing something like parachute running pants!  Knit is fine!  :)

If you want to go shopping for a DVD, I would recommend any of the following:

  • Seane Corn, Vinyasa Flow.  This comes in two separate discs as beginner and intermediate.  They are slow and VERY technical, so they're good for the beginner who needs to know how to line feet up, etc.  You can find them at Whole Foods sometimes, but they're on sale over at Gaiam!  The two come together for just under $30.  They were $20 each when I bought mine.  
  • Seane Corn, Detox Flow.  This has two lengths on a single disc and also comes with a free downloadable 10 minute practice for core toning.  This is more twist-heavy, is a little lighter as yoga goes, and has a few different audio tracks to keep it interesting.  I really really like this one lately.  A lot.  Found it for $10 at Walmart (is cheaper online apparently!), or you can get it at Gaiam for $11.
  • Anything with Rodney Yee is pretty good too!  He's a nice calm relaxing dude, and you can find his videos most places that have yoga gear.  
  • If you like more of a trance dance feel, Shiva Rea is really fun.  She also has a prenatal yoga if you are expecting and want to try it out!  :)  She's a little more "out there" than some of the others, but she's graceful and calming as a teacher.  And her work outs range from easy to challenging.  She's worth looking into!  Music plays when you enter the site, so be ready for it!  (I hate not knowing that sort of thing)
  • And our go-to place for the challenge will probably be Yoga Journal's YouTube page.  There are always loads to look at there!  :)

If you are wanting yoga clothing to wear as well, rather than just something comfy, I really like the following.  All tops will have a shelf bra, which I personally need, and pants work well for those with the mama-tummy thing going on.  :)

These Champion C9 pants, found at Target, are decent, though they don't fold over.  That look seems to be going away, sadly.

These tops are nice and breathable, supportive, and while they don't stretch quite as much as some others I have, they are a decent price:  Champion C9 tanks with shelf bra, mesh sides.

Victoria's Secret has some cute pants, though they are a little higher priced...  

And for a mid-range selection (read carefully if you want to be sure to have a bra!  Not all of these have them!!), check out Old Navy.  They have some very good deals and their products tend to be decent.  These cute tanks have a shelf bra.  The go dry ones don't.  I'm not a huge fan of their pants, but I do like mine to be pants rather than leggings.  I don't like the tight to the ankle look, myself.  But look around.  Maybe they are more your style than the stuff I like from Target.  :)

Overall, though, Target and Old Navy have the best deals for this stuff I've found looking around.  Victoria's Secret work out outfit would be a little splurge for me.  I wouldn't spend $40 for a single pair of pants just any time.  And I LOVE Lululemon stuff, but it's so expensive I just can't justify it.  I love looking over the clearance stuff though.  It's almost VS or ON pricing, lol.

Anyway!  You just need a mat, some space to practice, comfy clothes, and maybe a pair of blocks and a strap if you're not very flexible right now.  But you could just start with the mat and see what you think first.  :)  

In any case, however you choose to go at this, I'm excited to help you find different ways to do this!  I will join you and see how things play out!  It will be a very good thing, all around.  :)

Namaste!  And for kicks, a little glimpse into the trying to yoga with kids and cats around.  Kitten attacking my hand, boy waiting for his turn with the tv while his big sister was in school...  Ah, those were the days.  (This is 2 or 3 years old.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

5 Day Juice Cleanse Overview!

Hey guys!  Was a little busy this weekend, so I didn't get a note written every day for the fast...  so here we go!  How did this thing work!?  How do I feel right now?

Pre-day:  I ate very little and tried to go mostly juice.  Tried to ease into it a bit more this time.  Made it a vegetarian only food day.  Had some lovely Amy's Pesto Pizza for dinner.  Was scrumptious.  Went to bed excited for the juice cleanse beginning!!!

Day 1:  This day was pretty hard, I'll admit.  I kept looking at food and wanting to eat it.  My son offered me a fruit leather and I ate it without thinking that afternoon.  Didn't even occur to me until I was about to eat the last bite that I shouldn't be eating it!!!  But, it was all fruit, so I didn't beat myself up.  I kept it together for their dinner, even though green juice really didn't sound good right then.  Managed a little yoga, but fell asleep on my mat.  Energy level not super high, still.

Day 2:  Woke up feeling MUCH better than I did the night before.  Geared up and ready to go.  Green juice tasted better than it did on day 1.  Was easier to drink and enjoy.  I think the green juice is something that takes a little getting used to, and your palate grows to enjoy it a little at a time.  It was definitely not my favorite ALL the time...  but it's one of my favorites right now.  Everything at work smelled amazing.  I wanted to eat it all.  Even the stuff that usually smells really gross to me (I blame that one hangover, that one time...)

But!  I caved a little after dinner. Was really hungry and wanted something more solid.  I went for pasta with an organic sauce, and ate around 1 cup of that.  Half way through my portion I stared down into the plate.  It wasn't even very tasty.  I usually really like that sauce, but it didn't taste good.  I was a cheater.  I knew it.  I felt it.  I went to bed telling myself I'd do better tomorrow.  Didn't make time for yoga.  Cheater again.  Sigh.

Day 3:  Woke up feeling better than the night before.  Determined not to cheat.  Juice juice juice, took a batch to Tara (she doesn't currently have her own juicer so I was juicing for two during this whole thing), we were excited for the green juice, but feeling really emotional and a little bit crazy.  Everything was hilarious, truth be told.  I worked this night, and was a little irritable.  Not nearly as bad as the last day 3, when I was getting sick and didn't know it.  I'm not sure if that was because I was a little healthier from the recent fast, or because I wasn't getting sick.  I know Tara felt it on this day.  She threatened to go home and eat a bunch of cheese sticks.

 I wanted to quit.  I wanted to give up and just eat all the food in the fridge and say NO MORE GREEN!!!!!!!!  But I stuck it out.  I did have a couple pistachios when my husband had them out that night...  another bout of snacking without thinking.  I think I realized what I was doing around pistachio #9 and I stopped eating them.  And told my husband to take them away from me.  It was a good idea.  He did, and when I was reaching for them absent-mindedly again a little later, he told me no!  Yay for hubbies that try and help out, even if they think we're a little crazy.  (I've tried to convince him to do a 3 day cleanse with me, but he thinks I'm just crazy and he doesn't like the homemade green juice.  He really likes the Superfood juice from Odwalla, and I suppose I could try and replicate that with some green powder and fresh fruits...  but I'm not sure he'd be down for a full 3 days without food.  Though I am certain he would benefit from it greatly!!!  Will keep working on that!  LOL)

Day 4:  MUCH easier than day 3.  Everything was funny.  I was in a happy mood all day, laughed a lot, felt fantastic!  Worked that night, helped train a new girl, ran the pizza rush from the kitchen, and things went smoothly.  I was nowhere near as cranky as I was for the last pizza rush I ran while juicing (it was day 3 last time and I was losing it a little).  Much better.  Watched a blip of 30 Rock with my husband, and it happened to be a show that involved Tracy doing a fast for a colonoscopy, and he was hilarious in his description of his fasting.  So so true.   Season 6, Episode 11, while it still streams on hulu.  The best bit is at 10:45 when his fast had to go longer than he planned:

Anyway!  Hahaha, talking turkey leg, talking chocolate bar, talking cheese stick...  it's all in what you crave!  ;)  Day 4 ended decently, gearing up for day 5 and a trip to Denver.  Trying to figure out how to take the juice with me for the day without a cooler.  I decided on stainless steel coffee travel mugs.  Did a little yoga here and there, but no formal practice.  Sigh.  Fail.  But the evening was lovely, hanging out at home with the hubby after work.  We watched some Game of Thrones with the commentary and laughed a lot at the one where the kids who play Aria, Sansa, and Bran are commenting.  Marveled at the surprising lack of nudity for the episode and figured they had to be careful about which one the kids would comment on.  ;)

Day 5:  Woke up, juiced, arranged for Anna to come home from her sleepover.  Was in a great mood all day.  Only was a little cranky about a crick in my neck, and only when we hit bumps on the road that jarred my spine.  Pretty sure a disc is slightly out of whack.  Tried to yoga to fix it, but couldn't move enough.  Went to the Denver Science and Natural History museum and IKEA in Denver.  Amazing place, that.  Planning our new entertainment center if we can decide on an overall feel...

Also, turns out...  fresh juice with citrus in it inside stainless steel?  TASTES DISGUSTING.  Stick with glass or plastic, people.  Glass or plastic.  My juice was awful.  I drank it anyway.  Got home starving, happy to have some more juice in glass jars to fall back on...  but caved for a little pasta.

Hubby tried to rat me out to Tara by taking a picture and sending it, but I stopped it before it could go through.  MUAHAHAHAH!  I ended up looking a little crazy because of my "Damn it Charlie!!" text I sent after the pic.  But then I saw it hadn't sent yet and I canceled.  LOL.  Tara asked me if I'd been drinking.  LMAO!  Anyway, it was a decent day, and if I hadn't been so stupidly hungry because of the awful juice tastes that I couldn't get past (couldn't stomach one of the ones I took with me.  Sigh.), I would have been able to force down that food craving.

Day 6:  Day to break.  Trying to do it right this time.  Had some mango juice in the morning, on the way to work.  Took some fresh veggies cut up with me for my solid food.  Ate a kid size Cliff bar before my shift, and it made me feel hugely full.  Way too much.  Should have started with 1/2 a bar.  Stupid stomach size!  Had some berry juice at lunch and about 5 of the baby carrots, 5 small slices of red bell pepper, and 1 broccoli floret.  Was full after that but not nearly as much as after the Cliff Bar.  Felt weird to have food in my stomach again.  Maybe it was too hard so it was hard to digest, but I wanted to start back off with veggies.  After work, I took the kids to IHOP for dinner.  Ordered some savory veggie crepes and barely managed to eat one of them.  Still feel full a couple hours later.

And I'm going to go take a long hot bath and do a little yoga before bed.  Work comes early in the morning, so I need to do that, but I am hoping the twists during yoga help loosen up the muscles that are holding the disc in the wrong place.  Maybe tomorrow I can turn my head without serious thought involved.  Maybe.  That would be nice.

Anyway!  I feel brighter, foods taste amazing and complex, and I think next time we're going to plan for a 10 day cleanse.  But for now, the thinking is that we'll do a 1 day cleanse at the beginning of every month.  Just give our bodies a little break from the food to decompress.  I like it.  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Raw Nut Milk Recipes!

I have made this with almond, cashew, and a blend of both, but you can really do this with any raw nut.  Just get them in the bulk bin area at your local health food store.  Be sure they're RAW, not roasted or salted.  Will affect the flavors and the way your body absorbs them.

1c raw nuts
4c water
1T agave nectar (or honey, maple syrup, or rice syrup...  something sweet that is lower on the glycemic index than sugar!)
1t vanilla extract (100% vanilla, not the imitation stuff!  Costco is a great place to get this for cheap, or check your regular grocer's Mexican food section.  It's often there and much cheaper than in the spice aisle!)
1t cinnamon
1t nutmeg (fresh is better if you can grate your own!)

So, first of all...  Rinse!!!  Rinse them well.  Then, if you have whole or half or anything but slices or small pieces, soak them.  Cover with water (room temp), at least 2" higher than the nut level in the bowl you're using to soak.  Allow them to sit at least 4 hours.  Overnight is best if you have time for that.  Just set it up before bed, and make the fresh milk in the morning.

After soaking, RINSE AGAIN!!!  Make sure your water runs clear.  Put nuts in a blender with the water, agave, vanilla, and spices.  Blend 2-5 minutes.  If you have a cheapo blender, you'll need to let them go longer.  If you have something awesome like a Vitamix, less is fine.  You just want to pulverize those nuts!

When done, strain off a few times.  You can save the pulp and fold into baked goods.  I put mine into some scones with spices and fresh blueberries!  I used the fresh milk to make the scones too.  They were amazing.  <3

Anyway, store for up to 1 week, but fresh is better, so use as quick as you can, and don't forget to soak more if you're getting low!  :)  Once you get started, it's not hard to have a constant fresh supply of raw nut milk.  You can put it with your cereal, oatmeal, cook with it, drink it...  it works just like the stuff you can buy at the store.  But it's fresh and raw, so it's better for you!  :)


Juice fun, day 3!

Well, last night I caved a little.  I had some pasta that was sitting in the fridge.  But I also  know my co-juicer had to eat a little something last night too, because of a tasting she was doing for an upcoming party...  so I figure we're even now.  LOL

Back to the grinder.  Er, blender.  Er, juicer too.  Made some more almond milk this morning, and I'm in the middle of making an enormous batch of green juice for Tara and I to share.  I'm going to make some of the mango-orange-apple-pineapple juice too, like I promised!

AND as a fun treat, I'm videoing the juicing for you this morning.  I am dumping files onto the computer right now because I ran out of space on the camera, then I'm back to it!  I'll edit briefly (I want you to see how long it takes, so I won't edit too much out!!), break into 10  minute segments, and post up on youtube.  Then when they're all live, I'll post them here.

I also have a bunch of pics from the huge juice day we did a couple weeks ago.  Lots of juice.  Pictures of messes we made by putting too much stuff in the juicer, etc.  It's fun times!  You'll get to see it all...  because we promised failure AND success stories!

So my failure yesterday was that I had home security people from Vivent installing a security system in my house kinda without any warning...  so I didn't make time for a formal yoga practice.  And the pasta.  The pasta wasn't even very flavorful!!!  I found myself looking into the small bowl half way through it and telling myself, "See, it wasn't even WORTH it!!!"

And mini TMI bit, for those who want to know every little detail to be sure they  know what they're getting into...  LOOK AWAY IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!!!!  (Don't say I didn't warn you)

Some people have changes in their digestion while doing a fast.  Some have extra bathroom trips with many bowel movements.  I have a feeling those people are the ones who don't do many fruits and veggies on a regular basis.  The people like me, who have a steady diet like that, can go into the opposite end.  I am just now, for the first time in 3 days, feeling the "sometime today" gonna "go" feeling.  Just been running to the bathroom to get rid of the liquid.

And in fun notes...  it gets DARK on detox day.  That's something I wasn't expecting.  The urine has been almost clear up until now, just because I'm drinking so much.  But it was dark this morning, like it gets if I haven't been drinking enough water, especially first thing.  But last time I detoxed, it was dark, almost reddish (and not just because of beets!).  All day.  So if you see that, absolutely check to be sure it's not blood, because if it is, well, duh, go see your doctor!!!  But don't be shocked if you can SEE all the crap being flushed out.  It isn't something I've read anywhere, so when it happened to me, I was a little surprised.

So, since I'm being hugely open and honest, I can say...  I hope I manage to poo today, LOL, and I won't be shocked to see amber colored pee.  Whee!  Okay, enough of that.  /hides

Back to the juicer!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day two, juice cleanse!

Last night wasn't super easy.  I kept smelling the kids' dinner and thinking it sounded amazing, but I refrained from partaking!  I had a big glass of almond-cashew milk instead.  It was a harder 1st day than last time, I think.

Today, though, woke up refreshed and energetic.  Made some juice for Tara, and realized I had enough for myself for the day, so I left it at that.  I made a green juice with broccoli and carrot for her today (instead of wheat grass), and then I got an idea for a tropical fruit juice and it was TASTY!!

2 small mangoes
2 pink apples (I used Gala)
1/2 pineapple
5 handfuls black seedless grapes

It was bright and cheerful, and really flavorful.  This is one I really wish I'd had time to strain off a second time...  a lot of pulp got through and I was picking bits out of my teeth as I went.  But it was so good, I picked up more mangoes!  :)  Going to try and copy the Mighty Mango Naked Juice either tomorrow or Friday!  That one has:

3 1/2 Apple
2 1/2 Mango
1 Orange
2/3 Banana
Lemon (just a bit)

I know, TECHNICALLY I'm not supposed to have the banana, because it's added in the blender instead of the juicer...  but I might just make an exception for this one.  ;)

So!  Today is going better...  but I still really want to munch on something.  I have scones sitting here, and veggie straws, granola bars and cracker sandwiches.  I also really want a cup of cocoa!  But most of that is just a carb craving going on, and I will get past it.

This kinda sucks a bit, but I can do it.  I will do it.  I will not give up.  I will prevail!  Okay, feeling a little better now.  *nod*  Dinner for the kids?  I can resist munching.  ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Green juice, green juice, nothing more than green juice

Okay, the green juice is getting tiring today.  I deeply inhale the smells coming from my kid's dinner (pasta with a garden veggie sauce and fresh herbs) and talk myself out of eating.  I don't NEED the pasta.  I'm alright.  But chewing something warm sounds amazing.

Still, I power through.  Instead, to give myself a little something heavier, I'm dining on raw cashew-almond milk.  I am fine with raw milks, tea, and water while doing this lovely fast...  and let me tell you, the raw nut milk helps get me through when nothing else would.  *nod*

So here's how you make it!  Super easy, I promise!  Just need a blender.

1c raw nuts.  Almonds alone are good, Cashews alone are too.  Blending them is tasty and creamy!
4c water, room temp
agave nectar (1-2T)
vanilla extract (1t)
nutmeg & cinnamon to taste

Rinse the nuts off with plain water.  Then put them in a bowl and cover them with water.  You want around 2" higher than the nuts in the bowl.  Let sit at least 4 hours.  Overnight is easiest as long as you can blend in the morning!

Rinse the nuts again!  Water should run clear.  When it does, pour the soaked nuts into the blender and add 4c water.  Add agave, vanilla, and spices.  Blend 2-5 minutes.  When done, strain off the solids from the liquid as best as you can.  You can save the pulp for adding into baked goods like I did the other day (added with wet ingredients when making blueberry spice scones!), or you can add it to the compost pile with your veggie trimmings from juicing.  I strain 2-4 times because it helps the milk be as smooth as possible in the end.  :)

Just stir or shake before pouring every time!  Lasts around 1 week.  Enjoy!  You can cook/bake with the milk if you are done with your fast or need milk for your kid's pancakes, etc.  Not a bad thing to make yourself rather than buying the stuff in the stores!  Fresher is better!

And let's try this again! Day one, round two!

So I had to stop the last cleanse earlier than I really wanted.  I was in bed and so sick I couldn't get up long enough to run the juicer.  That is not a good combo for juice fast-cleanse-craziness.

So now that I'm feeling relatively human again, I'm back on the juicy wagon!

Today we're running with an extremely green juice (that kale sure was leafy!), and a little watermelon juice to brighten up the day.

Will see how day three goes this time!  I am wondering how much of my crankiness and overall not-feeling-like-myself-ness was because I was getting sick.  We'll see!

Juice on, my friends!

And I'm also thinking I'm restarting the yoga challenge today too.  I haven't had time for the practice yet, but I'm making time for it.  *nod*  It will be much easier to keep track of days if they line up, I figure!  ;)

Now I need to run and judge some writing contests!  My other blog has fallen a little to the wayside lately.  Need to take care of that!