Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Step 3: Obstacles Happen... React Appropriately.

Hey y'all..

So, I sit here in my fatigued body, writing this post as I sniffle, clear my throat, cough, and restrain from talking - I don't know how it happened, but I got SICK.

After hours of opera practice practically every day and after many late nights from homework, my immune system had it's last straw. I knew the minute I got home last night that it wasn't going to be a fun night.

So I decided that for now, a long juice fast isn't what my body needs right now. It was painful to realize this, as I really wanted to look back and say "hey, I did this many days of juice fasting!" But perhaps, this is not the time for me to leap at such a challenge when the weather is cold and rainy, I'm too busy to always sleep early, and when there's a sickness lingering around campus.

Usually, if an obstacle comes one's way, the best reaction is to jump over it and keep going. But in this context, the wise solution was to stop altogether, break the fast properly, and celebrate in what I did learn in the last three days of juice fasting.

1) I learned that three days of strict juice fasting is tough!

2) I came to appreciate certain fruits and vegetables that I had never wanted much of before (a perfect example: pears. I didn't like pears before my juice fast, and now I'm head over heels with them!)

3) I learned patience in preparing meals (I couldn't eat the food until I juiced it, so I had to overcome temptation to take a big bite out of a fruit or veggie).

4) I learned how to listen to my body better - it was amazing, I just knew when to stop drinking juice, and my body would tell me a couple hours later that it was ready for the next load of nutrients.

Anyway, I decided I still want to keep the juicing page for now, and don't worry, I'll still post my delicious juice recipes!!!

In fact, I have two more (from yesterday) that I would like to share with you:

Juice #1: Love Potion

Love Potion Juice
* One small beet
* One tangerine (or small orange)
* One gala apple
* 2 leaves purple kale
* 2 stalks of celery
* One carrot
* short, finger-sized knob of fresh ginger
Run ingredients through juicer, then mix well. Enjoy love's sweetness!

Juice #2: Sweet Refresh 

Sweet Refresh Juice
* 2 tangerines
* 1 cucumber
* 1 pear
* small chunk young thai coconut meat (optional)
* 1/4 cup coconut water
Run all ingredients through your juicer (except for coconut water). Serve in glass, add coconut water, mix well. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Step 3 Applied to Exercise

So right now, I'm trying to figure out: to run, or not to run... that is the question. I'm observing my obstacle - I'm sick, and trying to rest my body - and seeing what would be the best way to react to it. 

Because I need to rest my voice and my body to get better as soon as possible, I'm not going to do much working out today. 
No, I'm not giving up - I'm listening to my body. As soon as I get better, I will bring the exercise right back into my life. 

Please, if you read this, don't think that you have to make the same decision - your situation may be different than mine, and who knows? I may be making the wrong decision. This is my health journey that I'm sharing with you, so remember I'm not perfect. 

Anyway, I hope you thoroughly enjoy those juicing recipes! I know I did!

Much love, 

~ Natalyn

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Step Two: Something is Better than Nothing

Hey everyone. :)

Before I start, a reminder: I'm sharing this advice with you, but it's honestly just my self-talk. I'm trying to tell myself these things each and every day so that I do not give up. So please don't think I'm some superwoman or professional athlete, because I'm not. If anything, I'm simply an example of reality: NOBODY IS PERFECT. On a happier note, we can always try our best no matter how imperfect we feel! Which leads me to my topic today:

Check out this quote I found on Pinterest today:

I just love it! It argues my advice for today perfectly: Always remember that something is better than nothing. 

I try to aim for all, but if I land on something, it's better than nothing. Right now, my bones are tired, my throat hurts (from talking and singing too much), and my muscles are sore! This plan of mine is harder than I thought it would be... but there's got to be some way to motivate myself to keep going!

So, this morning at about 6:00 AM, I shuffled downstairs for some "motivation juice":

Carrot-Apple Juice
Serves 1-2
* 6-7 large organic carrots
* 1-2 organic green apple, core removed 

Run ingredients through juicer, serve in a tall glass and enjoy!


Don't worry, that's not the glass I used - mine was MUCH fancier. ;)

I actually added a pear to mine, but I didn't like the aftertaste of the pear. But it's ok, because I still thoroughly enjoyed that juice, and now I feel like I can do my exercise.

Wish me luck! This challenge to juice (and develop/maintain consistent exercise habits) is harder than I thought, but I don't want to give up. Try this juice and let me know what you think - if you like carrots, you'll most likely love this sweet juice!

Peace, love, and carrots!!

~ Natalyn 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Step One: Step Out the Door

Hey you! Hope you are having a marvelous Monday so far (I know, only 8:00 in the morning - but hey, it's possible)! 

A little recap of yesterday morning:

Wake up. Stare in mirror at that belly that never goes away. Dream about marathon racing. Shrug shoulders and shuffle downstairs for breakfast of mango and bananas (and some sweet potato with maple syrup and stevia. Mmmm...). Go online to blog surf. Go to Pinterest while thinking about running. Searching "running quotes". Found this:

This quote means a lot to me because I am a VERY into the "All-or-Nothing" mentality (which I'm trying to stop), and this quote argues that if you aim to give your all, you don't have to quit if you mess up or miss a day. 

Isn't that GREAT news? Well, usually I would immediately argue back, "Well, it's easier said than done!" It's discouraging to be so pumped up to do something and then EVERYTHING seems to go against your new decision. Well, that's the nature of change - it makes you feel like you're swimming upstream. That can be daunting. 

But yesterday, I decided I had the last straw. I asked myself what were my most important health goals I would like to work toward, and I decided on these top two:
1) I would like to have a consistent exercise routine from this point forward.
2) I want to start on my journey to health with a clean slate.

I decided that these goals are SO connected that I would need to develop a grand plan for myself so that I wouldn't give up. 

So, first off, I wanted some encouragement and motivation, so I found as MANY running quotes as I could on Pinterest, and absorbed their encouraging words like a sponge. Then, pumped up and ready to go, I drove over to the University track and did a light 15 minute cardio. Just like that. Didn't think about it - I just went. My body felt amazing, even though my mind protested.

Anyway, after this, I got home and I thought about my goals again. How could I start on my journey to health with a clean slate? With a CLEAN BODY. Brilliant! A juice fast! Juicing is so good for the body. I've read so many things about it - cleansing, detoxing, altering tastebuds, filling body with nutrients quickly and efficiently. 

I went on Youtube, saw a guy who did a 100-day juice fast. I was set on my new plan: I wanted to start my own juice fast - don't worry, it's not 100 days... I don't think I could endure that long, to be honest. Anyway, I wanted to have a consistent workout schedule while I was doing this juice fast. But then, all of a sudden...
"What are you thinking, Natalyn?" my mind asked me. "Aren't you a bit extreme doing this?" I was afraid. I didn't know what the future would hold - but then again, who does know what the future holds? Questions whirled around in my head: "Are you sure you want to do this?" "What if you faint during class?" "What if you miss the best food ever because of your stupid juice fasting?" 

After long thought, I pushed the thoughts aside, and I wrote a little contract of sorts for myself. In it, I outlined my plan for the "perfect" juice feast. Then I made a vow at the end of it, and signed my name at the bottom. In marker. Just like that. 

I juiced for dinner. I woke up this morning, spent some time with my amazing God, then shuffled downstairs and made a juice for breakfast. 

Here's the recipe, in case you want to give it a try (even for one meal - you don't have to commit like I did to start juicing):

Simple Tangerine Celery Juice
Serves 1

* 4 fresh organic tangerines
* 3 stalks organic celery
* generous snip of wheatgrass (optional)

Directions: Run ingredients through your juicer. Mix well, and enjoy!

Warning - drinking this juice is not for the purpose of pleasing your taste. It's a cleansing juice. It helps you associate eating and drinking with how you feel rather than what it tastes like. 

ONE MORE THING before I get to my main point. I am NOT a doctor or even a certified nutritionist. Some of the things I do on this blog are simply because I am experimenting, so please do not try doing something as extreme as I'm doing without first consulting your doctor. A long juice fast is not for everyone, and it needs to be done for the right reasons.

So my advice for the day: Take the hardest step now, which is OUT THE DOOR.

To take a step out the door, you got to push those "all or nothing" thoughts aside, and as Nike says so well, "Just do it."

Here's to good health... and good juice!

~ Natalyn

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Salad AND an Unassembled Sushi Experiment

Yo yo yo sup peeps!!!!!?

Okay, I'll never talk like that again. *fingers crossed* ... *snicker*

Yes indeed, I'm feeling silly and goofy today. Why? I have no clue. I'm single, it's Valentines day, and I'm acting crazy. Makes no sense.

Here's my recipe of the day:

A simple blend of organic baby spinach/spring mix, accompanied by red bell peppers, green apples, and a light and slightly sweet and nutty dressing. Super easy and tasty. 

You might be wondering why the heck I would present a salad on Valentine's day.. well here's why:


And here's a bonus: It makes you and your special someone live longer - who doesn't want that, huh? Health is wealth, my friend!

The dressing is just 1) oil of choice, 2) vinegar of choice, and 3) sweetener of choice. 

That's it! 

I used grapeseed oil, coconut vinegar, and a few drops of stevia to balance out the mix of salty and sour. I also decided (last-minute) to add leftover roasted corn and crushed peanuts to the salad. Amazing, but totally optional, because this salad is good with whatever you put in it!

Basic Salad with BOMB.COM dressing
Salad Ingredients:
* Favorite baby lettuce spring mix, preferrably organic
* Organic baby spinach
* 1 green apple, sliced thinly
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped into short, skinny pieces
AMAZING Dressing Ingredients:
* 1-2 Tbsp. Oil of choice
* 4 drops stevia 
* 1 Tbsp. vinegar of choice
1) Fill a large salad bowl (about the size of a small mixing bowl) with desired amounts of lettuce and spinach. Add the apple and bell pepper.
2) Combine dressing ingredients together first, then pour over the salad and mix thoroughly. 
3) Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions: Assemble the salad and then eat it all, then watch your loved one's face as he/she sees the glow of well-being on your skin and basks in the radiance of your smile! OR you can just share the salad together.

Here's what I did with the other half of my salad bowl, in case you want to try:

Unassembled Sushi Bowl
* Half of my aforementioned salad recipe (with dressing)
* Leftover white or brown rice
* 2-3 tsp. soy sauce
* crushed roasted peanuts
* handful of alfalfa sprouts
* roasted salted seaweed, torn into bite-size pieces

Combine all ingredients, then devour as sanely as you can! YUM!

If you have leftover roasted seaweed sitting in that packet, don't let it go to waste!

I hope your Valentine's day was full of love, surprises, chocolate, happiness... AND SALAD!

Much love,

~ Natalyn