raw food & exercise challenge days 1-7

Well it’s that time again where I have lost all control and am back to junk, junk… and did I mention junk? I keep telling myself each day this will be the day I eat and feel healthy. Each night I tell myself tomorrow is the day I eat and feel healthy. Enough is enough. I have gained 15lbs since the “mommy’s losing it” challenge. I was doing so well, but all the bad habits crept back in a little here, a little there. One bite here, one snack there. I absolutely hate how unhealthy I feel. It’s not even the weight so much as how sluggish and grumpy I am. I can feel the sugar, carb, and caffeine addiction taking over to the point where I am making cookies at eight o’clock at night. Blech!

I have decided to jump-start my clean-eating with a raw food and exercise challenge.

The Guidelines:
I will consume only raw fruits, veggies, nuts and grains at all times. I will heat only the veggies that I can’t see myself eating raw… like squash. If I heat anything I will attempt to keep the temperature below 120 degrees. I will drink water, fresh juices and smoothies, healthy teas, etc.
I will strength train 4 days a week and cardio 5-6 days a week. The sessions will be as little as 20-30 minutes to as much as 45-60 minutes depending on family priorities.
I will stretch using a program called the Esmonde Technique. I have used this program in the past, it is effective and challenging. I will stretch each morning 6 days a week.
I will track all food and exercise using a “diary page” here on the blog. The blog will also be used to share information and what I am up to as I feel led.
Nothing I am doing is more important than my Spiritual growth. I will not allow anything I am doing as part of this challenge to interfere with my time alone with ABBA, my family, or helping and spending time with friends.

Stats:
overall health: I feel sluggish and grumpy. I am unmotivated. I feel irrational and irritable. I am bloated and feel “fat.”
weight: 145lbs
BMI: 27.4 – overweight
muscle tone: can “pinch more than an inch”

Goal:
overall health: To have energy. To be motivated and fit. To feel an overall sense of good health and well-being.
weight: 120-130lbs
BMI: Normal
muscle tone: can’t “pinch an inch”

Day 1 ALL ABOUT APPLES
Did you know the average person eats about 65 apples a year? Apples are easily my favorite fruit. They are sweet or tart. Crunchy. Awesome with peanut butter. Did I mention they travel well. Don’t have time? Grab an apple! And I haven’t met a child yet that will tell me they don’t like ’em. So what do these apples do for my health?


A medium apple will yield about 4g of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. This means that while they are sweet they are also a wonderfully filling snack for few calories which means weight-loss! In addition, soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease.

Apples are a good source of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is perhaps best known for its ability to strengthen the immune system…
When we get enough in our diets, vitamin C helps detoxify our bodies, promotes healing of all of our cells, and allows us to better deal with stress. It also supports the good bacteria in our gut, destroys detrimental bacteria and viruses, neutralizes harmful free radicals, removes heavy metals, protects us from pollution, and much more.
Learn more: NaturalNews.com

It is always a good time to eat an apple but an apple before you exercise? Eating an apple before working out may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs. -Resource

According to Healthdiaries.com apples may be able to:

  • protect your bones. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.
  • help with diabetes management. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.
  • lower cholesterol. Because the pectin in apples lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent

Apple facts:
Apples float because 25% of their volume is air.
Quercetin is found only in the apple skin. The skin also contains more antioxidants and fiber than the flesh.
China produces more apples than any other country.
The apple is the official state fruit of Washington, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Johnny Appleseed was the nickname for John Chapman, a kind and generous American pioneer born in 1774 who planted apple seeds in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
Half the United States apple crop is turned into apple products like applesauce and apple juice.
The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.
There are more than 7500 varieties of apples grown in the world, about 2500 varieties are grown in the United States.
The Adam’s apple is so-called because of a popular idea that it was created when the forbidden fruit got stuck in Adam’s throat when he swallowed it.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no mention of an apple as the forbidden fruit in the Bible. It is referred to as “fruit from the Tree of Knowledge” with no specification as to which kind of fruit. It was Hugo Van Der Goes who first implicated the apple as the forbidden fruit in his 1470 A.D. painting, The Fall of Man. After that, it became popular to depict the apple as the forbidden fruit.

Journal: I woke up feeling plenty motivated! I stretched to Miranda Esmonde’s DVD Classical Stretch. I ate a bowl of fruit for breakfast. 1 Peach, hand-full of blueberries, and about 6 strawberries. I drank water all day. And had a small coffee from my favorite coffee shop. I ate apples, salad, watermelon, etc whenever I felt hungry. A great day!
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Day 2 BAG IT!

Do you look forward to your juice in the morning only to end up procrastinating or not drinking at all because the prep was just too daunting? If you take the time perhaps while dinner is cooking or the kids are brushing their teeth before bed, to cut your veggies for the next day, you may find it easier to get that juice in before 11am!

In this bag:
1 bunch rainbow chard (stems removed)
1/2 lemon (peeled)
1/4 red cabbage
2-3 large apples (or how many you want) I tend to put a lot of apples because I don’t like the “green” drinks so much.
enjoy!

Try it – Plan ahead for tomorrow’s meals tonight before you go to bed. See if it helps get you off to a better start in the morning!

Journal: I was so sure I was ready to start this challenge! After many days of eating what I want, I am back to complete this challenge. Because I didn’t get very far the first go-around I will just jump in at day 2 and continue on. Failure is not an option!
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Day 3 PH – WHAT IS IT?

Ok, I am on a mission to figure out what the heck is “pH”, what is so important about pH, and what do I need to do to “balance my pH” (whatever that means)

Let’s start with a definition:
pH- Potential for freeing Hydrogen ions. If my body is too acid it will not carry enough oxygen. If it is too alkaline, the complete opposite will happen and I will be carrying too much oxygen. A body’s pH should be 7, neutral or 7.35, slightly alkaline.

Having our cells constantly exposed to an acidic environment leads to Acidosis.

From http://www.balance-ph-diet.com/acidosis_symptom.html
Symptom Overweight
:
It is known that acid gets stored in fat cells. As a defense mechanism, your body may actually produce fat cells to protect you from your overly acidic condition. To protect itself from potentially serious damage, the body creates these fat cells to store the acids and carry them away from vital organs. Those fat cells and cellulite deposits may actually keep acid wastes at a safe distance from your vital organs. Many people have found that a return to a healthy alkaline inner biological terrain helps them losing excess fat.
Symptom Low Energy and Chronic Fatigue:
When having our cells constantly exposed to an overly acidic environment our biological terrain’s oxygen level drops, leaving us tired and fatigued. This will allow parasites, fungus, bacteria, mold and viral infections to flourish and gain a hold throughout the body.

Take control
So, what can we do to balance our pH? -Resource

First, find out what is the pH in your body. Purchase pH test strips. You can hold these strips in your urine to measure the PH of your urine. Check your urine every time you go to the bathroom, for at least two weeks.

Add alkaline foods into your diet and eat less acid food. Eat more raw green leafy vegetables and less food high in animal protein, sugar and grains.

Complete list of acidic and alkaline foods

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Day 4 COCONUT WATER

I couldn’t find coconut water for a long time. I looked everywhere. Then at Sprouts last week, there it was. In three different places I found three different types of coconut water. Of course, I chose the most inexpensive one. So in my naivety this may not be the “best” coconut water you can drink or whatever. But, I have not even tried coconut water before, so I will start with the cheap stuff! This was $.99each for 17.5 fl oz.

This list says that fresh coconut water is a high alkaline food. Key word is “fresh.” This is canned. So, do with it what you will.

What is coconut water? from WebMD.com
Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.

It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

In this poster’s opinion, coconut water is simply a sports drink replacement. Few calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports dink.

While several sites suggest there is little scientific proof of any further health benefits to coconut water. I did find this site that listed many additional benefits to this drink. However, I am more apt to believe the health benefits come from the fruit itself. Like sticking the straw in the coconut kind of thing. Which the site admits:

In the stores canned coconut water is available, however, they have some added preservative and not up to the mark in vitamins and enzyme levels.

Preparation and serving tips: from nutrition-and-you.com
Tender coconuts chiseled at bottom end using long sickle and the tip of the shell is cut open. The water is then sipped using straw. Otherwise, the whole nut is tilted upside down to transfer its water in to wide mouthed bottle or bowl.

  • Drink coconut water without any additions.
  • Iced coconut water can be a refreshing drink.
  • Fresh water can be made into a special drink adding lemon slices, mint leaves, orange zest etc.
  • Gel like meat (kernel) in the young tender coconuts is very sweet and delicious.

In conclusion, if you enjoy a sports drink or five throughout your week why not try some coconut water instead? Less sugar and junk with a more refreshing, healthy taste!
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Day 5 DETOX FOODS

http://www.greenlivingaz.com
Cleanse your body, protect it from disease, and enhance your health system by detoxing with these supportive foods… click here or above url for full article.

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Day 6 PINEAPPLES

Fresh pineapples are a special fruit in our home. Mostly because I don’t buy it often. Not because they are horrible tasting, in fact we all devour them as soon as they are cut all pretty in a bowl, but for other reasons entirely. For one, it is a more expensive fruit. Second, I have to cut it all “special” and stuff. And last, I like the fruit that I can send the kids into the kitchen to get for themselves that they can grab and go. Bananas, apples, pears, etc. Those make it into my basket each week. Pineapples catch my attention only when there is a big sign announcing the sale of the juicy goodness.

All this to say, why bother with a pineapple? According to NaturalNews.com, pineapples may be one of the most healthful foods available today. pineapple is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis. The juice has an *anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms. *anthelmintic 1. vermifugal; destructive to worms. 2. vermicide or vermifuge; an agent destructive to worms.

Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue.
Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple’s value. Proteolytic means “breaks down protein”, which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently.
Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It produces mild pain relief.
Fresh pineapple is not only high in vitamin C, but because of the bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucus in the throat. If you have a cold with a productive cough, add pineapple to your diet.
An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice.
It’s also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth.

More information at NaturalNews.com

I found a delicious pineapple smoothie on Pinterest from this site

Pineapple Ginger Smoothie Recipe
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 banana
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used vanilla, but you can choose your favorite flavor)
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup pineapple juice or water
Method:
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately.
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