30 January 2012

Juice Fast - Day 5

OK, keeping it brief this time as there is nothing majorly new to report. I survived yesterday - day four - by the skin of my teeth. Again, it is not the hunger pains at all that get to you at this stage, it is the desire to eat and taste foods you love.

That desire was ten times worse when being at home all afternoon yesterday while the family has one of my favorite home cooked Lord's Day meals. It started with the smell of the roast beef and potatoes, but was greatly made worse when the smell of hot garlic rolls filled the house. This torture was then followed by the house-filling smell of warm brownies.What a day, what a day.

I am glad to say I survived, and am now back at work for the new work week. It is obviously easier to handle here since there are no real food smells around me, and I am busy with work, keeping my mind off of any desires.

No changes appeared on the scales this morning, still a solid ten pound loss at this point. Also, the kidney discomfort I felt over the weekend seems about 90% gone at this point, so we're getting things straight.

So, we push on to then end!

29 January 2012

Juice Fast - Day 4

OK, so far so good. Today is the start of day 4 of this (at least) ten day juice fast. My first semi-mistake was not really paying as much attention to the book as far as some juices. It turns out that beet juice needs to be consumed in smaller quantities because it is a very potent liver cleanser. I had a few small baby organic beets and decided to use them in a few consecutive days. Friday, after consuming my juice, I started feeling an odd discomfort right under behind the bottom of my rib cage, right under my breasts, on both sides. It later moved to my sides and back. So I weened off of the beets and the discomfort has slowly decreased, though still a little there this morning. So, be careful with the frequency of drinking beet juice - they say only do about half of a beet only a couple times a week.

So, stepping on the scale this morning, after three full juice days, and I am down ten pounds, so that makes me happy. I would like to see a bunch more go, but this is a great start.

As I mentioned in my previous post, hunger is still not an issue. Juice is quite filling and satisfying. The biggest thing with food is just the great smells and desires of tasting. It is very odd how it becomes less about the need or hunger to eat, and mainly about the desire to taste. Eating is somewhat of a habit that we often do more for taste than need. Juicing takes away the need, but the desire is still there to taste good food. I have read and watched videos that explain this as what will happen, and that juicing for a length of time helps to retrain the body away from this somewhat over time - but for now, it is a battle. Food smells great - and I want to taste it - but I have stayed the course so far.

My goal is to make it through the ten days, which would end next Saturday. However, the more and more people I hear about who did this, once they reached the ten day mark, felt so god that they continued on for even more time - sometimes 30-60 days. I am not committing to that at this time, which seems to make sense from what most people experience between the 3-8 day mark, but we'll see what happens later in the week.

Anyway, I am doing fine, feeling fine (aside from the bet discomfort), and will post more as it happens.

27 January 2012

A Step Towards Healthy

I hesitate to even begin writing this possible series of posts, for fear that if I fail miserably it will become more evident; but here I go against my better judgment - call it stepping out in faith in myself.

My family and I have been pretty big into alternative therapy for many years now, basically starting back in the mid-to-late 90's when our then oldest son had major issues with ear infections and antibiotics. We have, since then, practiced a more natural approach to things, and because of it we have seen very, very rare necessary trips to the doctors for any of our other five children.

Along the way we've learned about diet and eating issues, but honestly, have only applied a very small amount of that knowledge to our lives. In other words, we often know what we should and shouldn't be eating, and what is killing Americans - yet we go along with the flow for convenience sake (i.e. laziness).

Well, in recent months, we have again and again been faced with the issue of diet, and have watched numerous movies on the topic. Mainly we have better seen and understood the tie to diet and health issue - to the point where we have been convinced to begin something to better our state of things. This has come to smack me more in the face because out of the family members, I have more "issues" that need attention.

I know I am borderline diabetic - I discovered this about six years ago when my youngest daughter was in the womb. My wife developed gestational diabetes, and so had to be monitored. So, one day I mentioned to my wife how I had been kind of constantly thirsty every so often. An alarm went off in her head - that is a symptom of diabetes (my wife has worked in the medical field for decades, so she kind of knows this random stuff). So, we grabbed her blood monitoring kit, gave my finger the old stick, and sure enough, I have elevated levels. Since then I have tried to watch my intake of all things that provoke that, and have been able to keep it under check with diet.

I am also aware that for a couple years now my blood pressure has been higher than desired. I have a bit of a mid-life pouch around my mid section, and know that reducing that would eliminate much of these issues. While on average I am lower in weight than I was three years ago since starting the watch on carbs and sweets, it is not enough to have made much difference in these issues. I am not real large, but for my size could easily stand to shed about forty pounds.

So, along comes these other documentaries on eating and health, and how all of these things, from blood pressure, diabetes, and everything up to cancer, can be cured by changing eating habits. Changes include a lot of healthier eating - things like raw, organic fruits and vegetable (which I admit I rarely eat - cooked or raw). One of the things that many are promoting for a quicker change to things, is to juice these raw organic fruits and vegetables, which allows you to consume a larger quantity of them and their nutrients, and allows then to more easily and quickly absorbed. This type of treatment has been made famous by the Gerson therapy clinics, that for many, many decades have been curing all kinds of "terminal" diseases, including cancer and those patients sent home to die. So, we figured we'd give it a try.

So, last week we scraped together enough funds to buy a middle of the road juicer (the Omega VRT330HD masticating style juicer) and began adding these juices to our diet. Since I am the one in the family with the most "issues" I have become the target of this "test." One of the more recent movies we watched, was called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" and documented the journey of two men who did a juice "fast" - meaning they ate nothing, but only drank juice for a period of time. Both men ended up losing a major amount of weight and all ailments were cured, and all prior medications they were on were removed by the doctors.

So, instead of just simply adding juice to the daily life as I have done for the past week of owning the juicer, I have decided to try actually juice fasting for a period of time for a hopefully quick showing of results in my case. Yesterday, Thursday 1/26/2012 was my first full juice fast day.

So, while I have been adding juice to the equation now for a full week (basically drinking juice all day at work and eating supper at night), Thursday was the first full day of just juice. As of stepping on the scale this morning (Friday), I was down seven pounds from last weeks start, so we're off to a good start.

For those of you who have never experienced juicing, let me dispel a few "myths" that probably come right to your mind.

1) HUNGER - Hunger is not an issue. Surprisingly even to me, juicing is very satisfying and filling. I juice and divide them into individual 8 once servings. Approximately every two to three hours during the day I drink one serving - or whenever I feel a slight tinge of hunger. It is very satisfying all day.

2) "POTTY" TIME - I have not experienced any increase of trips to the bathroom. People have told me I will constantly be running to the bathroom, but I am thinking people who have this issue may tend to be using store bought, watered down juice. I am using organic, fresh juiced material which seems to produce very little "watse" in my system. I drink water throughout the day in between juicing (have always done that) and have not noticed any increase in trips to the bathroom since starting to juice.

3) YUCK - People comment on how they can't stand the taste of things like a green juice. Well, I am one of those people too. Solution? Deal with it - for health's sake! Now, I have seen the big craze on the 'net for "Green Smoothies" - where they basically blend and grind up all kinds of stuff, and make this thick smoothie out of it and then sip it through a straw. That, I think I would not be able to handle. But, for me we are talking about an 8 ounce glass of juice, with very little pulp - and for most, it is very easy to just guzzle it and get it down quickly. Any undesirable taste is gone in mere seconds, and you just deal with it for health's sake. Sipping a thick green smoothie - nah, not for me.

Anyway, that is all for now. I will try to post my progress every so often, in hopes of motivating others to attempt fix what ails ya' by doing the same. Here is a trailer for the movie we recently watched. I exhort you all to watch the whole documentary. It is available for "renting" on YouTube for like $1.99 (click HERE) - or for free is you have a Netflix streaming plan. Just search for it and other great related movies on Netflix.

Review: What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity

What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity
What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity by N.T. Wright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have only read a few of Wright's book so far, but this one stands out as one of the better ones I have read. I am always impressed by the tidbits he gives that get to the cultural and historical root of the subject, and he is loaded with them here.

07 January 2012

Review: Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons (R.C. Sproul)

Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons
Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons by R.C. Sproul

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I guess it might have been that this book ended up not really being what I had hoped or expected, but it was also that it was very week and "Greek" thinking throughout. I was hoping it would be a study in cosmology type things, but it ends up being just a very, very milk tradition view of death, heaven, hell and angels.

No real discussion on the differences in the words (and places) referred to as "hell" in the Bible. When he dealt with the story (I said story, not parable as he and others call it) of Luke 16 and the rich man and Lazarus, he only looked at it as some form of story about hell and suffering - nothing being said about the Hebrew concept of the realm of the dead, underworld, Hades, Abraham's bosom, etc. I guess this was not too shocking considering how the Reformed world in general has sought to ignore the "unseen real" and redefine the whole life after death concept of pre-Christ happenings. I guess I just did not expect someone of Sproul's caliber to do so, since there are many good Reformed authors who have gone further into the Hebrew concept.