Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finding My Health Part I: The Dirt On The Juice

I'm a bona fide health-nut conspiracy-theorist. Getting sick with something science doesn't understand, and medicine hardly believes in, forced me to look past my medical doctor and his prescription pad. It's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad journey I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But what I can say is once I stopped looking for a way to get "better" from Fibro, and instead focused on being a healthy human, everything started falling into place.

Juicing literally saved my life. I was so sick with immune-suppressed viral symptoms I was quickly losing my patience for this world. Then I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which inspired me to give juicing a whirl. So I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought myself a Breville juicer, then loaded up on fresh produce. My flu-ish symptoms responded to a fat dose of vegetable juice almost immediately. In fact, every night when I would drink it, I would feel noticeably better. It wasn't hard to keep at it with such instant results, especially when I would skip and feel like I smacked into the back of a semi-truck at 90 miles an hour.

The other benefits were astounding. My brain quieted down and I started to be able to fall asleep at night! Sleeping and not having the flu every day did wonders for my quality of life. I was able to institute a bit of order and routine, and actually began to count on myself for the first time in many years. Life suddenly seemed like it was worth living again. Then people kept telling me I was losing weight. I'd been exercising for a few years and slowly dropping pounds. Apparently once I started juicing it just fell off. But the biggest shock came when I had my monthly cycle. For years I would pop Vicodin and lay around in agony, feeling like knives were stabbing my gut from the inside out. That first month I didn't hurt nearly as bad. I took Advil and it...actually worked! I proceeded to go about my day and haven't taken a narcotic since. That was nine months ago.

I never stopped eating food, but drinking juice twice a day substantially cut down my hunger, so I don't eat as much as I used to. In and of itself, juicing is a time consuming pain in the ass. Although the inconvenience of shoving produce through a shredder doesn't hold a candle to Fibro. Nevertheless, I juice for three days at a time. While the juice looses nutrition the longer it sits, I still reap wonderful benefits and find it's a commitment I can actually stick to. It doesn't work if you don't drink it!

My breakfast juice is fruit based, which tastes better than the veggie, but many will shy away from because of sugar. I believe in the nutrition of nature and the important synergy of a balanced diet, which includes the fruit group.

Breakfast
Apple
Orange
Pear
Nectarine
Pineapple
Cantaloupe
Lime
Ginger
Spinach (lots and lots o' spinach, you can't taste it)

My dinner juice is hard-core veggie juice. Instead of trying to mask the green with fruit, I celebrate the earthiness with a splash of Tabasco and Worcestershire. I also add a generous amount of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother). Believe it or not, I now crave the greenish-orange sludge people laugh at me for gulping with glee. It's like taking a bath from the inside out.

Dinner
Carrot
Celery
Cucumber
Tomato
Lemon
Kale
Parsley
Cilantro

While juicing hasn't "cured" my Fibromyalgia, it's doing a wonderful job of allowing my body to correct something severely wrong inside me. In conjunction with a million other random health quirks, I don't live at the mercy of pain and sickness every day. My results weren't achieved by a single effort, or in a rapid fashion. Instead, a life dedicated to seeking wellness, and a willingness to expand my definition of healthy, continuously guide my way.

Thanks for joining,
Leah 

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