Sunday, April 17, 2011

Live Like You Mean It

A few weeks ago I started thinking about how different life would be if my results came back positive. I thought about what I would have been doing differently. And then it made me wonder. Why should my actions be any different? Why do we wait until we think we're dying to start fighting for our lives? It's so much easier to fight for our lives when we're well. And so I started to make some conscious decisions to live like I mean it. First up: optimum health.
When we were in the hospital my husband kept shaking his head and saying, "But you're so healthy. You eat well and take care of yourself. I don't get it." But really, I knew that there was more I could be doing. Laying there in a hospital bed, bruised from dozens of blood tests, I knew that I wanted to eat to nourish my cells, not make them work any harder than they have to.
With the help of Kris Carr's incredible book Crazy Sexy Diet, some Google research and a little soul searching, I created a plan that would work best for me and my family. In a nutshell, half of what we eat will be raw organic plant-based goodness, the other half will be a combination of lean proteins, cooked vegetables, fruits and whole grains. And with that, we got to work.

1st step: Plant an organic vegetable garden in our backyard.

My husband has been wanting to start a garden for over a year. In fact, one of the top 3 criteria while we were house hunting was garden space. He built these 2 beds over a weekend.
So far we've planted 2 different kinds of lettuce, kale, spinach and beets.

2nd step: Start juicing! (Thank you Grandma Jane for the new juicer) My goal is to drink green juice (kale, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, celery,broccoli stems and ginger) 4 times a week for breakfast. It actually tastes a lot better than it sounds. And the thought that I took in that many vegetables before Sesame Street is pretty incredible.
On the days that I don't have a green juice I'm experimenting with other vegetable smoothies. This one has romaine, cucumbers, avocado, banana and agave. I'll be honest, this one was hard to swallow. Okay, I gagged through the whole thing. It wasn't so much the taste as it was the temperature and consistency. I'm going to crush up some ice next time. :)
Adding these goodies to my diet has been fun and easy. It's the taking away that has been (a lot) harder. I'm trying to cut out all refined sugars. Let me tell you, it has not been easy. Have you ever seen those tobacco commercials with the woman who smokes the cigarettes through the hole in her throat? I sort of feel the same way about sugar. It's addictive! Oh, if only my green juice would cancel out that bowl of ice cream, I'd be golden. I know what you're thinking - there's nothing wrong with a bowl of ice cream every now and then. I absolutely agree. There is nothing wrong with it, but I just don't think it's helping me either. If my inflammation levels weren't still sky rocketing maybe I would have a case. And if my body wasn't throbbing in pain from whatever it is that's throwing it out of whack, I would say that it's harmless too. But the truth is, sugar wreaks havoc on your immune system and is highly inflammatory so I don't exactly have the luxury to indulge at the moment. It's all good though. There are few things that are truly worth fighting for and health is absolutely on the shortlist.

Cheers to some green juice,


  1. I Love it!!! I was going to send you Kris's book. It changed my life. I used to be a vegetarian who hated vegetables. Now I look forward to the green smoothies. I Love your garden!

  2. made a chopped veggie/basil salad for Grams and I for lunch today – If you saw what I normally eat for lunch its pretty bad …. thanks for the inspiration : ) … now if only I can do this more than once!!!!!

  3. Dalybeth!! I remember this conversation at my baby shower.

    Jed: Here's your meal (chicken tequila fettuccine)
    Dalybeth: Oh, no thank you, I'm a vegetarian.
    Jed: Oh, sorry. I didn't know. Here's a salad.
    Dalybeth: Oh, no thank you. I don't eat salad.
    Jed: huh??
    Dalybeth: I don't eat vegetables.
    Jed: (totally bewildered)
    Dalybeth: (laughs)
    Jed: uh, well... we have dessert.
    Dalybeth: oh, yes, I'll take dessert!

    Classic! Glad you're lovin' your veggies these days. :)

  4. Vanessa,

    We have to start somewhere. Sounds yummy :)

  5. I love the title of this post. Living like you mean it is sometimes very difficult because of all of the bad habits we have. Whether it be the food I eat or the other life choices I make. Living with purpose and intent is something I have to work towards every day. I keep trying. I'm glad you are on the same path.

    Jed's friend

  6. Try Dr. Fhurman Here is a good smoothie recipe that I like:

    3-4 leaves of Kale
    ice cubes
    1/2-1 banana

    It's really good