Days Eight – Fifteen

February 20 – 27

I’ve learned a few things so far while juicing. No one really told me how to do it or any tips about the juicing process itself. Here’s what I’ve learned about the process so far.

  1. It is seriously important to remove the stems on the vegetables before juicing them. The stems, in my opinion, added a bitterness to the overall juice that I just couldn’t tolerate.
  2. Properly washing the produce is also important. When I didn’t wash it properly, it caused the overall finished juice to taste like dirt. Granted when washed it tasted like mowed grass smells but that’s still an improvement to dirt.
  3. Adding water to the juice makes it better. Maybe this is common knowledge to juicing, I don’t know. All I know is I did this and my juice started tasting better to me. It also helps it go down better.
  4. I miss chewing. It’s an actual thing. I really miss the action involved in eating almost more than I miss the food itself. I find myself clenching my jaw more and more, grinding my teeth together to imitate the action.
  5. Bananas are heaven in almost any juice and add a smoothie like thickness to the juice. Remember that you can’t juice a banana. It must be blended into the mixture.
  • 6 Kale leaves = ½ cup or 4 oz.
  • 6 Kale Leaves = ½ cup or 4 oz.
  • 1 large handful of spinach = ¼ cup or 2 oz
  • 1 large handful of spinach = just under ⅓ cup or 3 oz
  • 10 oz bag of spinach = 1 cup or 8 oz.
  • 1 cucumber w/ 10 leaves of mint = 1 cup or 8 oz
  • 4 Green Apples = 1 ¾ cups or 14 oz

These will probably be a running lists that will grow as I continue to do this. I did some measurements more than once just to be sure but these are not 100% accurate. More like general estimations that I have gathered so far. Also, fun fact, I’ve learned a new term – lectin.

Lectins -any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.

After reading this, I realized I had no idea what agglutination means so for anyone else reading this who is also clueless here is that definition as well.

Agglutination – a reaction in which particles (as red blood cells or bacteria) suspended in a liquid collect into clumps and which occurs especially as a serological response to a specific antibody.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound healthy to me. Unfortunately, a lot of foods contain lectins. Seriously. I have discovered that even though so many foods contain lectins, not all of them have high enough levels to actually affect the human body, some have positive health benefits to the human body, and some are extremely negative.

I’m talking about lectins because I recently happened across a video talking about lectins and how terrible they are for you which is a misleading statement. So many foods contain lectins that cutting them from you diet is near impossible and wouldn’t actually be healthy. Foods on the list for containing lectins include avocados, lentils, and carrots. These foods have a lot of beneficial vitamins and nutrients in them so how can one advocate to avoid them?

The thing is, quite a few people have food sensitivities to certain types of lectins of which there are thousands of different types. That seems to be the main concern in regards to lectins and their affect on the human body. Lectin sensitivity is like an allergy. I don’t continuously eat foods I am allergic to so why would I continue eating foods I am sensitive to.

I still need to do more research on the topic of lectins before I spout off anything else about them. I don’t want to mislead or misinform anyone in regards to this topic. I don’t know about anyone else in regards to this topic and food. Personally, I like to be informed about what is is I put in my body and how they will affect me. Even before I started juicing I was relatively aware of the food I consumed. I knew when I was ingesting something that wasn’t good for me and I had a good idea about what vegetables were nutritionally great and what vegetables were just okay. I purchased, as often as I could afford, organic fruits and vegetables and grass fed, free-range, hormone free meats.

Despite that knowledge, I still lived mostly off of preprepared meals that I stuck in the microwave or oven. I munched of chips and CheezIts. I didn’t mind going to Burger King and Taco Bell and occasionally McDonald’s. I enjoyed ordering Papa John’s on game days for the Indiana Hoosiers and getting Chinese takeout whenever I was feeling stressed or had a lot of homework.

So even though knowledge is power, ultimately it is our decisions that hold the most weight because obviously the knowledge of my decisions didn’t didn’t stop me from making them. In this case, my laziness and appreciation for convenience is what made my decisions for me. And as I attempt to juice and eat clean, home-cooked I find myself missing the convenience of my life two weeks ago.

I miss it like someone misses a friend they haven’t seen in awhile and that’s just sad especially considering I am not really even succeeding in my newfound diet to begin with. I’m doing okay, don’t get me wrong, but I am weak and give in to the temptation of convenience too often still. I haven’t eaten a microwave meal yet and I haven’t had fast food or delivery, but I have gone out to eat a restaurants twice and I’ve consumed pork (a meat I am supposed to consume in moderation and not very often) twice as well.

I’ve begun to inadvertently starve myself because I don’t drink as much juice as I should and I haven’t been compensating the lack of juice with food. I don’t hate my juice but I don’t like it either. I am getting better at creating juices I like but the process of juicing is still tiring and takes me quite some time. But eating feels like cheating and at this point I just don’t know what I should be eating or what I shouldn’t be.

My whole diet right now is kind of a mess and I honestly want to quit with this whole thing. I’m not going to. So many things in my life I have started and never finished. I don’t want this to be one of them but honestly between my lack of money and my inability to actually enjoy what I’m doing, it’s hard. And the more stressed I become over family issues, my boyfriend going away, money, my health, school, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera the more I just want to give in and get greasy, unhealthy Chinese food from the mall. God, I want it so, so much.

Physically, I am starting to feel bad again. I am no longer on the steroids from my hospital stay. I don’t know how long they stay in the human body but I’m pretty sure they have left my system completely. At the very least, I no longer feel their effects. I’m tired all the time again, my lower back constantly feels like it’s trying to cave in from the weight of my upper half, my leg is trying to go cold again which is what it did when I was admitted to the hospital, and my circulation sucks. I’m trying to stay as warm as possible because when my feet and hands are warm they work better. And even though the chest cold I had feels like it’s in its final days, sometimes it feels like it’s trying to come back again.

I’m just tired of being sick, both temporarily and chronically. I know everyone who is either or both of those things is also tired of being sick. I’m here for you. Really I am. I know I mope and complain a lot but don’t think you can’t mope and complain right back to me. I’ll listen. Life is hard. While we’re on the subject, even if you aren’t sick you can come to me and complain. Just because you aren’t suffering the exact same woes as me doesn’t mean you aren’t still suffering. We will get through this, one day at a time.

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