This morning I was joined by my 17 year old daughter, Logen, in what was to become our first juicing experience. I was quite impressed with how easy it was to juice and how tasty our drink was. What shocked me was the amount of food that went into the juicer and not a lot of juice came out. Took us 6 medium oranges and 1/2 a mango to create 2 coffee cups of juice about 3/4 the way full. However, what we drank was delicious! Frothy on top but I did not mind. It was yummy and delicious and I felt great all morning. Got my workout in and didn’t feel overly exhausted afterwards. However, this is only day one. I just hope my energy level stays up.
Orange – Mango
6 Oranges – Peeled
1/2 Mango – Peeled and Sliced
(This produced 15 oz of juice)
Went shopping today for more apples from my favorite grocery store. Decided to make this my solid meal for the day and consumed the entire apple while driving home. Can we say HUNGRY? Maybe it is my brain telling me I’m hungry even if I’m not. I was thinking that other times I can go all day without thinking of food. Now that I have decided to start juicing my head is like EAT! However, I am stronger than this and all I ate was an apple because juicing is good for my body and I will succeed! Now I just need to make it to dinner.
Youngest wanted to try juicing so of course I let her make my next drink. Yummy! I actually was not very hungry by this point in my day. I am a late night eater so I’m sure that tonight will be BRUTAL. I took a few sips and then kept it in the fridge until later when I was ready to drink it. So far so good with the juicing. I am grumpy. I have to admit that day 1 wasn’t a complete disaster. Again this juice I made with split in half and shared with my daughter. I did not drink the entire 20 oz. I could not have drank all of that anyway. Excited for tomorrow!!
Pineapple – Apple – Cucumber
2 Cups Pineapple – Not the core
2 Medium Cucumbers – Peeled
(This produced 20 oz of juice)
Who am I? Just a regular person like you who wants to better herself and her life. Check me out here if you want to connect or know more. 🙂
For the month of September, I am eating Paleo (as much as I can stand) and running a minimum of 1 mile a day (I mean who doesn’t have time to run/jog a 9-14 minute mile once a day).
So far I have seen a 7 lb weight drop in 18 days which is remarkable for me.
What is the Paleo Diet Plan?
The Paleo diet is actually pretty straightforward in that you only eat the best quality of foods and mostly cutting out starches and sugars completely. You might have heard this referred to as the Caveman Diet.
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This diet was to be my next challenge! Off I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to stock up on chicken, fish, fresh fruits and veggies, along with distilled bottled water. (I do not eat red meat or pork, haven’t in a long time. Also, why I only drink distilled water is another post.)
The Paleo Diet Plan, My Way
I had already decided that I was going to cheat a little with my sauces but I did make healthy decisions choosing these items.
Just because I wanted taste didn’t mean it had to come at the cost of being high calories or loaded with sugar.
I also grabbed some white rice and white potatoes. These are a grey area with Paleo some say it is okay to eat them others disagree.
I know I will want something to fill me up and I am afraid that just eating some vegetables and 5oz of meat each night will leave me starving. Rice and potatoes were on the top of my list.
The Paleo Diet Plan: Results and Lessons So Far
The first few days went okay. I think I ate too much fruit.
Reading suggested Paleo daily menus, 1/2 cup of fruit per day was mentioned. I may not have looked close enough or deeply enough through the billions of recipes but I saw this 1/2 cup fruit thing starting to trend.
So I cut back my fruit intake and quickly found out I was craving sweets. I am guessing that the fruit was giving me my sugar “fix” and after I stopped eating it (I went from 1-2 cups with each meal down to a couple pieces of fruit as a snack).
I caved and had a cinnamon roll about 3 days later visiting the mall. However, I am a firm believer that you are allowed to cheat every once in a while.
So the next day I was right back at my diet and rewarded with a 5lb weight loss the next time I stood on my scale. I was smiling from ear to ear!
The Paleo Diet Plan: Sample menu (my way!)
Breakfast: 2 eggs (anyway I want to eat them) and a handful of almonds
Lunch: Salad with 1 tbs dressing (of my choice) and some fresh veggies (grape tomatoes, carrots,…)
Dinner: Baked salmon on white rice with baked broccoli, peppers, carrots, mushrooms
The Paleo Diet Plan: Tips That Work for Me
I pretty much keep breakfast and lunch the same every day mixing up my greens and veggies at lunch and always choosing French style salad dressing dipping my fork in the dressing and then forking my salad (I am strange like that.
I get the taste of the dressing without the dressing calories.) Dinner is where I change things but I use the same types of protein; 5oz chicken breasts, salmon, halibut, tilapia, and shrimp.
So far going Paleo isn’t so bad. I am not sure what I will do next month. Any suggestions? What has worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!
Well, we aren’t really talking about just roses and other flowers here. Gardening, in general, is said to give joy to people. In fact, according to a study conducted by City & Guilds, gardeners are among the happiest workers in the UK. And this is due to a variety of reasons.
The Act Itself
Among the biggest pleasures of gardening are the rewards of being one with nature. There’s the fun of merely being outdoors. And for many people, “getting down and dirty” is simply liberating; this means digging soil, cultivating plants, and dealing with insects. In addition, waiting for seedlings to sprout under the sun and seeing lovely blossoms surrounding garden sheds are pure bliss.
Studies Say So
Many studies have proven gardening to be an effective stress-buster to those who rely on it for work or simply as a hobby. Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium found in soil, has been found to stimulate the release of serotonin, a chemical that plays an important role in the regulation of mood. And it isn’t any wonder this chemical is called the “molecule of happiness” or “happiness drug.” Its presence or absence has a major impact on a person’s overall mental health and happiness.
Strong evidence shows that getting your hands dirty with soil in the garden can increase the serotonin levels in your brain. So, thanks to the bacteria present in your garden soil, getting dirty has never been this beneficial, even in a biological point of view.
Reaping What You’ve Sown
The reward of having flowers, fruits or vegetables right in your own backyard has also been shown to bring happiness to whoever planted them. According to research, a flush of dopamine is released in the reward center of the brain when gardeners “see” or “smell” the fruits of their labor after toiling in their backyards. Simply sniffing the flowers and fruits you’ve picked from your garden is a great therapy for individuals who aren’t exactly in a happy mood.
Aside from your emotions and your brain, your physique also benefits from gardening. 45 minutes of digging and planting in the backyard can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of joining an aerobics class.
Aside from working out your muscles, your skin, bones and immune system also benefit from the good dose of Vitamin D from the sun that helps prevent various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.
Health and Wealth
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, growing your own garden, particularly an edible one, helps keep your finances in good condition. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is more inexpensive and efficient.
So if you’re down in the dumps, don’t immediately reach for a bottle of beer, rant endlessly or take it out on your neighbor. Rather, head to your garden shed and grab your tools for an hour or so of gardening activity. It will stimulate the release of happy chemicals in your brain and will consequently improve your mood and make your day more worthwhile.
About the Author
Raquel Merc has mainly contributed about travel and lifestyle. But she’s also started writing a variety of articles on home management and parenting since becoming a mother in 2010. Among her recent works feature ideas and insights on food, home organisers, and garden sheds.