Juice Cleanse! Day 12-14!

Well this blog is certainly tardy… my apologies. The official ‘cleanse’ ended on Sunday… but I haven’t stopped! And it’s not that I’m trying to extend the cleanse, it’s that I’ve tapped into a greater understanding of how my body works… and I dig it.

Over the last week of my cleanse, my schedule began filling up with a lot of work and it hasn’t lightened up since. This forced me to adapt the 2nd round of the cleanse to a juice and food combo plan. So cruising into the last 3 days, I really didn’t change much, starting every day with a green juice and then eating clean all day. Since then and right up til now, I have been having 1-2 juices every day and have been following an eating plan consisting of mostly alkaline foods, heavily concentrated on veggies and plant-based protein sources, plus some clean carbs an hour after my morning workout.

We threw a big birthday party for my beautiful Mary on Sunday, which happened to be ‘Day 14’ of the plan. Well… it was a birthday party so we had to indulge just a little. It was also a nice reward for such good discipline over the past 2 weeks. Even in indulgence, the food was pretty clean as it was a vegan potluck party. I made my yummy homemade vegan pasta… which I should share in a recipe blog one day. (note to self)  We also couldn’t resist a homemade vegan cookie and some vegan bday cake. 😉  But the next morning, it was juice first thing and right back on schedule.

I can honestly say at this point that my body has changed more in the last couple weeks than it has in the last year. After eating an all vegan and organic diet for over a year, my body has been on a nice steady detox I have been feeling great. Doing this juice cleanse and further adapting my diet has been essential in reaching for the next step of my fitness and health goals. I have been working out daily as well and trying some new routines from P90X, Insanity, and Turbo Fire. My mornings have been starting with good workouts and my days have been great throughout. I’m in the groove in my daily schedule and I have more clarity of my goals. I guess some of the meditation during my cleanse helped my spirit while the juice helped my body. It’s also amazing how the right fitness plan can help make my life that much more organized and disciplined.

I love juicing and it’s been fun trying new combinations and making new and different drinks. I came up with some great juice recipes that I will share in blogs coming soon. As always, I will keep sharing my progress as well as the things I feel are working for me. If what I do inspires you, than that’s awesome. But always listen to your body and do what works best for you. The human body is pretty amazing. If you treat it right, it will start to speak to you and you will become more in tune with your own vibrations. The only result that will lead to is better health.

I’m absolutely blessed for everything in my life right now and I thank you for sharing my journey with me.

love
j

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” -Nido Qubein

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Juice Cleanse! Day 11!

I gotta say I feel great today. The juicing and foods I’m eating are simply just making me feel good. Today is Day 11 on this journey. I treated today like it was day 12 which is supposed to be the start of the… ‘1 juice in the morning and clean eating all day’ part of the plan. So instead of doing that for the last 3 days, I will maintain that for the last 4 days. It is working well for my body as well as my current increased work schedule. I also used up the last of our veggies in our juice this morning, so it just seemed like it was meant to be. We will need a veggie restock tomorrow to carry on through the next 3 days, however.

Here is how today’s juice started…

Juice 1-17

This recipe was inspired by… finishing off everything in the fridge. lol
Ingredients: Kale, Spinach, Bok Choy, Dandelion Root, Cucumber, Parsley, Lemon, Lime, Ginger

This made us a pretty hearty juice and was a good start to the day. I then made a plant-based protein shake (organic brown rice protein) and hit my workout. Today I killed P90X Chest & Back and then tried a few new Ab exercises. Following the workout I had another protein shake with greens. Other food today included tempeh, raw spouted sesame flax crackers, a big salad from the Whole Foods organic bar, and another protein shake. I also had a Kombucha drink with Blue-Green Algae and chia seeds plus of course lots of alkaline water. Everything going in is very clean and the combinations of how I eat them have also been important. I’m trying to keep as much of the food I eat separate from each other to give my system the most optimum digestion. I took note today and made an interesting observation. When I ate the tempeh by itself, I felt great, when I ate the crackers by themselves, I felt great. When I ate the salad, I did notice a tiny bit of bloating, but that went away quickly. Point being, the salad had a lot of different ingredients in it and it is possible that a couple of them didn’t work well together in my body at the same time. A salad is still probably one of the best meals one can eat, however, the more ingredients jammed into it, the more likely there may be conflicts in the digestion process. It just goes to show how important ALL of our food combining is. But that is a whole different lesson for a different time.

Anyway, long story short is that all is well and the next few days will be filled with juice, great clean food, and lots of working out. Tomorrow is Friday… hope you had a great week!

“It is not failure itself that holds you back; it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you.” -Brian Tracy

Juice Cleanse! Day 8!

It’s late and I have an early start tomorrow, so I need to keep this short. Today we started the second round of juicing and it was tough. My body was hungry all day regardless of how much juice I drank. I did manage to workout this morning. I went with the P90X Cardio X routine… a nice 45 minute workout and that was about as much as I could do. I feel good, but have also realized that I will need to slightly adjust this part of the cleanse. While I do plan on consuming mostly raw green juices for the next 3 days, I also must supplement with some clean food. About 30 minutes after my workout I ate a cup of organic blackberries. An hour later I had another juice.  Tonight we had a nice clean salad as an evening meal. I will continue like this for 3 more days and then it’s back to eating and juicing. I will say, I have gained an entire new respect for my digestive system and I am so much more aware of how it works, what it likes and dislikes, etc. I plan to continue juicing daily even after this cleanse and I expect my body to continue to improve with each day.

Nite nite and here’s a little inspiration for ya…

Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can! and I will!

Juice Cleanse! Day 6!

Just wrapping up day 6 of my cleanse. I must admit, days 5 and 6 have been quite good. Even though I’m still cleansing, I am eating well. Once again, the plan calls to start the day with a juice. Here’s what ours looked like before it became juice this morning…

Juice 1-12

Ingredients include (all organic):  Spinach, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Celery, Dandelion Root, Lemon, Lime, Ginger

As with many of my juices, I topped it off with a few shakes of Cayenne Pepper and Turmeric.

After that it was protein shake and workout time! Today brought on P90X Legs! I’m sore already… but my body is feeling great. I have eaten a lot of good foods today including 2 plant based protein shakes (one with greens), a gluten free oatmeal blend, raw almond butter, tempeh, pumpkin seeds, and a delicious dinner that Mary made us as seen below…

Mary Meal_tofu scramble

Photo by Mary as well.
Ingredients (all organic): sprouted tofu, spinach, mushroom, broccoli, green peppers, and onions

She very lightly sauteed this and only seasoned it with a little pepper and sea salt. It was a bit like a scramble, but halfway between raw and cooked. We topped it off with avocado. Yummy. 🙂

So far so good. I have been eating smaller amounts at a time and really focusing on chewing better and swallowing with less air. Most of my life I have swallowed food with a lot of air as well as not chewed as much as I should. As I’ve learned, that can have a negative effect on my digestive system. When gas is created in the intestine, not only is it uncomfortable, but the food is not being digested as completely and therefore some of the nutrients are not being used by the body. This cleanse is most definitely more than just resetting my body… it is teaching me a whole new way to fuel myself.

I hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend. Goodnight.

Juice Cleanse! Days 1 & 2!

Ok… so this is what I was teasing earlier… Our newest venture on our constant path of seeking better health and wellness. Yesterday, Mary and I started our first juice cleanse! 🙂
First a little recap of the past year or so. Back in December of of 2011, we both decided to switch to an all plant-based diet. There were many reasons for this, the first being for the health benefits. Then there was the treatment of animals, the impact on the planet, etc. It has been a great journey thus far and I truly love the foods I now eat. I have also been blessed with new friendships and fantastic discoveries since embarking on this journey. At the same time that I cut animal products out of my diet, I also launched into the P90X workout program. I’ve been a gym rat for most of my life, so this took some getting used to, but I began to really enjoy the workouts and the convenience of the at-home program. I blogged daily throughout my 90 day journey and after completion… I started it again! People kept asking to see my progress photos but to be quite honest, I wasn’t satisfied with my progress and failed to share. I was in pretty good shape to begin with but wanted to be stronger, leaner, and get totally shredded. I didn’t understand why my body wasn’t changing that much if I was working out so hard and eating so clean. During round 2 of P90X, I got anxious to get back into the gym. I missed the atmosphere and also felt like it was time to start hitting heavier weights. I had actually lost some of my size during P90X and wanted to switch it up. So I found a nice balance of gym and at-home workouts. But still… I was not achieving the results I was seeking.

After speaking with a vegan bodybuilder and trainer, I learned something very interesting. He said that my body was detoxing from all the years of eating so much meat. That my muscles would naturally go down a bit as the toxic waste left. We store much of that in our muscles, so this made a lot of sense. He told me to press on… and so I did. I noticed that it took about 8 or 9 months for my body to full clean itself and start rebuilding. But this time I was building clean and my body was getting denser and stronger and I started to really see some change. But… If you read my blog from earlier today, you would know that I had an injury set-back in November that took me out of the game for about 5 weeks. I am back in it now, but slowly. I have not lost hope… these things happen, just like when a football player suffers a season-ending injury. It can be really frustrating and even depressing, but you still gotta come back strong. And so I am!

Which brings me to the original reason for this post… the juice cleanse! I have never done a cleanse before. Some call it a fast, but the word ‘fast’ has too similar a meaning to ‘lack of’. So to keep it positive, we are calling it a ‘Juice Feast’! Of course also a ‘cleanse’ as that is all positive in my book. The idea is to take it a step further than we did over a year ago and truly clean out our bodies and reset our systems. This is the final step to getting on the right track to help us reach our fitness goals and truly put us on the path of ultimate health and fitness for years to come.

Since we have never done this before, we did our research for the right program to achieve the goals we were seeking. The program we chose was developed by Drew Canole of FitLife.TV. Here is the link to his site: http://www.juiceupyourlife.tv/

We began the program yesterday. It’s a 14 juice cleanse, but no, we don’t starve for 14 days straight. Days 1-4 and 8-11 are all juice, days 5-7 and 12-14 include juice and food… and a lot of food, just all the right foods. It also encourages daily exercise, gratitude, and inspiration. The goal of this cleanse is to obviously clean and reset the body but also to help train us to a whole new way of eating. Our bodies are truly amazing machines, but we must fuel them right to keep them operating at the most efficient level and even a vegan diet can have flaws.

Yes I am hungry right now, but I feel good. I’ve had 4 juices thus far today (all vegetable juices) plus tea, lots of alkaline water, chia seeds, and a teaspoon of coconut oil. I will go into more detail in my next blog as this one is already quite long. But feel free to comment or ask any questions. And I will keep sharing my progress, my photos, and my inspiration.

Have a great night!

Happy 2013 and I’m back!

Hello friends. It’s been more than a few since I last blogged. First and foremost, my apologies for just kind of disappearing. I had been posting daily after every single workout throughout my P90X journey and beyond. After doing this for about 7 months, I honestly got a bit burned out. My workout routine was continuously changing as I was seeking the best combination of P90X, gym, and outdoor workouts. By the end I was finding my blogs to be forced and my inspiration to write them was certainly not the same. It’s not that I wanted to inspire any less or be any less accountable, but rather that if I was sharing, I wanted it to be true and worthy. And once I stopped blogging, it was that much harder to start back up. Then I hit a pretty big set-back. On October 31st, Mary and I headed up to Seattle for a week of visiting her family and on the first night there, I got really ill. I’m still not sure if it was a bug or food poisoning or what, but all I know is that I have never projectile vomited like that ever before in my life. I was pretty much down and out for the entire week that we were there and I was barely able to eat. When we got back, I had lost 6 lbs and my muscles were definitely deflated. I was very frustrated and immediately got back in the gym to try and put the size back on. Well… that proved to backfire. I was doing incline chest press with 75 lb dumbbells… a weight that I can normally do a good set of… but not this time. I was still too weak coming off my illness and in an attempt to lift the weights above my head, found I could not do it. My back overcompensated and lifted off the bench and that was it. Disc injury. 😦

It was barely the second week of November and I couldn’t do much more than lie on a yoga mat on the floor. I tried to still get work done on my laptop, but that was even difficult. I was basically disabled for the next 4 weeks. Sitting was too painful, so I could only drive a little bit. I hit pretty bad depression as I was not only stuck on the floor, but I was not able to earn money, work out, play drums… not really able to do much at all. Meanwhile, my muscles were disappearing on me as I could do no physical activity. On week 5 I got on the scale and I was down to 144 lbs. I can’t even remember the last time I weighed that little. My back was feeling a bit better and I decided it was time to get back into it, even though I should have probably waited longer. But I started slow and have been working my way up since.

In the past 3 weeks I have been doing a combination of P90X workouts and Turbo Fire cardio workouts. I’m not following any program exactly, but I am doing a good job of putting together a solid routine for now. It will be a while before I am back in the gym, so for now this is perfect. I know there is still an issue with my back that was there since before the injury and eventually I will have to look further into that. Unless of course my body heals itself… and that is always a possibility.

We are now in the possession of P90X 1 & 2, Turbo Fire, and Insanity. I am focused on mostly the traditional weightlifting routines of P90X and mixing in some Turbo Fire cardio workouts. I will soon expand more, but this is good for right now. I am in the process of setting my goals for the year and they are bigger and better than ever before. I’m excited to continue on this journey and to share it with you in hopes of inspiring you to be the best you can be. And that brings me to my next blog which you will see later today. Here’s a hint… juice cleanse!

Have a great day and I’ll be back soon!

“You can’t change your genetics, but you can change your attitude, your persistence, your environment, the people you listen to and hang around with, and the things you do. You can change, so if you want to, just get started.” -Craig Ballantyne

Workout Day 90!

Yes that is correct.  I just completed 90 out of 90 workouts in the P90X program!

P90X – Core Synergistics
Total Time = 63 Minutes

What a way to finish strong!  This workout kicks ass and I’m glad I adjusted my schedule so that I would end on a Core day.  I was sweating so much today that I needed a separate towel to keep wiping down the floor so I wouldn’t slip.  What does that tell you about a full body intense workout?!  I feel amazing right now.  And I feel a great sense of accomplishment as I stuck strong to this program.  With my crazy life and work schedule, it still only took me 102 days to complete the program.  And of those 12 extra days, I did about 4 other workouts such as nature hikes and a gym workout.  Therefore, in 102 days, I only actually took 8 days off to rest! And 2 of those days were due to slight injury.  How’s THAT for commitment?!

I have truly enjoyed this program.  It was more intense than the standard gym workouts I was used to and it was very convenient to do at home, saving me time and gas money.  I feel that I have made great gains in my stamina, flexibility, core strength, and overall body composition.  I have definitely leaned out and I am getting much closer to my overall physical appearance goals.  It was definitely an interesting challenge as I switched to an all-plant based diet the day I began this program.  So the adjustment to that along with the learning curve on how to eat and supplement properly has been an equal part of my growth and experience.  I feel that I truly understand my diet and my body much more now and I think this is only the beginning of where my health and body is heading.

I have also truly enjoyed blogging my daily workouts.  This is something that I have never done before.  I think it is great though.  It keeps me accountable to stay on track.  It also shows everyone out there that you need to stay committed and keep bringing it hard every day.  There is no easy way to fitness.  It is a good diet, a positive attitude, and a lot of continuous hard work.  I have chosen to make my health and fitness life public in hopes of inspiring others to live healthier and happier lives.  And just because I completed my first P90X program, it doesn’t mean that I will just stop blogging.  Oh no… you ain’t getting off THAT easy! lol.  I am going to continue posting daily.  I am going to share even more recipes and fitness tips and will keep passing on good information as I learn more myself.  And I am totally open to YOUR involvement.  Please send me your questions, comments, ideas, etc.  We are all in this together!

So what’s next for me?!  I honestly don’t know yet! haha.  I will be working out again tomorrow morning, that is for sure.  Will I go to the gym?  Will I start P90X all over again from the beginning?  Will I try P90X2 or Insanity?  Or maybe a mashup?  We’ll see.  But I am excited to continue on my journey.  I will definitely have to do the fit test again as well as some more photos so I can show you some of my results.

But before anything else, I need to get ready to play a gig tonight!  I am playing drums with the band DropDead L.A. at the Viper Room tonight.  If you’re in the L.A. area, come on down and hang.  We play at 10pm and we have a $5 guest list.  Just join our event page on facebook and add your name and guests to the wall BEFORE 5pm today! https://www.facebook.com/events/245823375513885/

Ok… long blog, but I had lots to share.  I need to go eat!  And get back to work and then get ready to rock.  Thank you for continuing to read my posts and stay tuned for lots more.  Have an amazing day my friends!  🙂