Hi everyone! Well, I live in the States, the northeast actually, just south of Boston, Ma. I'm a 47 year old mother of four fantastic kids (three smart and beautiful grown daughters, and a very handsome witty son). I'm a grandmother of 1 and 1/2....new baby coming in January! (We actually find out tonight if it's a boy or girl. SO excited!) I've been married for 20 years this fall to a very supportive and encouraging man. I come from a loving and close family, the last of 8 kids, and am fortunate enough and happy to say I'm still enjoying times with my mom and dad. We own our home in a nice, historical town on the south shore, just minutes from the beach.
I'm a Christian woman with a strong faith. I've raised my kids with strict morals and beliefs and am so grateful that they, as young adults, have standards and work ethics which are not seen very much in today's generation. So clearly I have many reasons to be happy and content, don't I? Well yes, I certainly do. But have I been? No I haven't, and for many, many years. But more about that below.
Well, on whim I decided to do a juice cleanse. I thought "why not?" I'll clean out all the toxins and maybe start, yet again, on another way to lose some weight. Being overweight for years caused me so much unhappiness and awful insecurities. I, like so many, tried over and over again to diet, try this new idea, that new idea, take this pill, avoid this, avoid that. I'd start strong, lose weight, momentary happiness and then nothing. I'd fizzle out after a few weeks or whatever I was doing just stopped "doing".
Crash and burn---AGAIN. Muscle pain was daily, sluggishness, low self esteem, depression, no energy, and yo yo weight loss and regain. I avoided mirrors and sometimes just didn't want to get out of bed, sleeping in as long as I could before my extremely busy days started. I wouldn't buy anything new for myself knowing how frustrated I'd be in the changing room.
I suffered from feeling hot ALL THE TIME, no matter what the temperature was. So uncomfortable in my own body I wanted to just scream sometimes. There was no motivation to dress nice or even try to look pretty or to go anywhere because I'd just be a dripping sweaty mess by the time I got to the car. I cried, I complained, I hurt inside so much. I don't think anyone, even my own husband and kids really knew how much - although they certainly were witness to it every day and tried to encourage me or make suggestions. It was just plain old awful.
Then a few months ago, the migraines started. Yup, painful, day-and night-long migraines. "It's menopause" I heard. "It's stress" was another. And so on....just one big unhappy, sick, unhealthy, insecure, middle aged woman who just figured "yup, this is me, for the rest of my life. Deal with it cause it's who I am". Terrible isn't it?
Actually no I didn't. I was excited to do the juice cleanse and all but never expected the results I got! I just figured, ok, I know this will be good for me and maybe I'll start back up with my walks and see what happens. Why not?
Ok well, I could write a small book about this question. After the cleanse which was three days, I stepped on the scale on the fourth morning and whoa! It blew my mind. I had literally dropped 10 pounds! I thought, no way..that can't be possible, but there it was. Ten pounds gone. Now, I knew that certainly wasn't body fat but was toxins, water weight, etc and thought to myself, hey I can really like this whole juicing thing. I went online and poof, there was Vanessa and her wonderful self. I read and took notes and read some more and took more notes.
I was like a sponge. I learned, I did some more digging and just clicked all around her site for as much information as I could squeeze into this brain of mine. It was awesome! I got her e-books, joined the club, bought a juicer and hit the produce section of the grocery store. Haven't looked back since.
After those initial days, motivation wasn't too hard because all of a sudden, my entire life and body started changing. That alone kept me going and does every day. More weight came off, more knowledge. Less pain, more knowledge. Prettier glowing skin, more knowledge. I was waking up ready to rock and roll hours earlier than normal. My walks turned into full on workouts. More body changes, inside and out. I felt clean, vibrant, energized, and so, so happy. My kids and my husband were like " wow!" and "Look at you!" and " You look beautiful today hun." My blood pressure went down, my 15 years of daily muscle pain was gone, the weight was coming off, the migraines stopped, and guess what? It hit me after about 3 weeks..."oh my gosh! I'm not hot anymore!" And what's more, I'm not even at my goal weight yet. I've lost about 25 pounds and several inches, but I don't care as much about WEIGHT like I did all those years. Because of how I FEEL, the weight loss is just an added "whoo-hoo!" How 'bout THAT for a change in thinking?
So far I can honestly say I've had no setbacks. I eat clean, drink water, exercise, juice and enjoy the results on a daily basis. I give myself a treat every so often and have no guilt pangs about it. It's funny, on the few occasions I had some no-so-healthy cook-out food or some yummy comfort food, I could LITERALLY feel it and almost run to my juicer the next morning. It's almost like my body won't allow me to have setbacks because it just feels too good to be vibrant and energized. It really is amazing what just a few adjustments like eating clean and drinking pure delicious juices and smoothies can do. It's not hard--that's the crazy thing! It just isn't. No counting calories, no counting fat grams, no gimmicks, no pills....nothing but educating yourself on what "clean" eating is and juice along with it. Simple.
Oh boy, let's see. Well, I drink some kind of green juice every day from Vanessa's recipes. I love the spicy zip from tomato, romaine, celery, and cayenne pepper. I've begun making my own almond and coconut milk so adding those to some mixed berries and a banana or two is delicious in the morning mixed with oatmeal. I did the 14 day beauty challenge with Vanessa and can say I loved every one of those juices. An all-citrus juice with grapefruit, orange, lemon, pineapple with coconut water is really refreshing. And oh my gosh, yes....carrots. Carrot juice with just about anything -- apples, spinach, beets, romaine, tomatoes. Or all of 'em together. Guess it's safe to say I don't have a "favorite" huh? I try them all. Just click around on her site and give it a go.
Yup, I certainly do. Every other night at the beach I walk 4 or so miles with hand weights and work my arms while I do. And no, I don't care who stares at me or comments although sometimes, I hear very nice remarks. On the off night, I exercise here at home. Squats, abs, Swiss ball exercises, kettle bell exercises, stretching, routines I pick up on Facebook or people I follow on Instagram. Sometimes when I just wanna relax, I don't exercise at all but am conscience not to let it happen again the next night. No need for expensive equipment or trips to the gym. Although there's nothing wrong with that if you like that sort of thing---go for it. Oh, and I incorporating moves in my daily routine like squats while I fold laundry, or kickbacks while I'm at the kitchen sink. Reaching for something? Do a lunge to grab it or stretch shoulders and sides to reach it. Take stairs or better yet, do them twice at home on your way to the bedroom or kids room or laundry room. Be creative. Make it silly and fun and you'll be laughing at yourself!
I LOVE chicken Caesar salad wraps. No croutons and easy on the dressing but yumm. I can have one every day. Almonds and hard boiled eggs for snacks. But instead of eating the yolk in all of them, I usually eat one whole and maybe 2 or 3 others but just the whites. Omelettes with veggies, chicken salad with veggies mixed in, tuna salad with lemon juice instead of mayo and veggies. Oh, and try this....on a healthy roll or bagel put lettuce, tomato, a green pepper slice, alfalfa sprouts, red onion, cucumber slice and if you want maybe some turkey or chicken. Absolutely delicious. Grilled veggies, zucchini pasta, yogurt with fresh fruit...My guideline pretty much is the less ingredients, the better for me. Don't eat it if you can't pronounce it.
Please, please, please......just TRY juicing. Just start with once a day. If you don't have a juicer and can't afford a quality one, throw some things in a blender and give a smoothie a shot. Know that late afternoon time when you could just lie down and take a nap? Don't. Instead, whip up a juice from Vanessa recipes and just watch what happens. Motivation? Go online and meet people like Vanessa and sites like hers. Follow fitness and clean eating people on Instagram and Facebook. Instead of feeding yourself with social media gossip, feed your mind with healthy tips and recipes. LISTEN to the people that have had success doing it the RIGHT way. And most of all, keep it simple! It can be very confusing out there and can be easily overwhelming. Follow just a few key people and keep your fitness education simple. Set daily goals as well as long term ones. By the end of the day ask yourself when you put your head on the pillow, "so, how'd I do? Did I attain that goal I set for myself this morning?" If so, kuddos to you!
I'm currently praying about it and hoping to open my own juice bar next spring. I want to do this so much! If it's meant to be, IT'LL BE, right?! I'll make it a FUN place to visit and a place to educate others. Kinda scary but very exciting. It'll be a family operated shop as well. One of my daughters is a massage therapist and is beginning to sell essential healing oils. The other starts esthetician school next month. Eventually, I'd like to incorporate them both into the juice bar so my customers can enjoy a yummy juice before or after their massage or facial. My witty and wonderful son will spread the word and bring in millions! :) And my other daughter will juice along with me in the shop. Hubby will be my support and encouragement. Hope it becomes a reality and a hit!!!
By the way, I haven't been too fond of cameras for the past several years so I really don't have many pics but when I hit my health and weight goal, I will post a before and after. For now, I posted a facial shot so you can at least see the person behind the words.
Most of all, I truly hope someone out there who has read this will be blessed and encouraged to make those changes you've wanted to. Stop the merry-go-round of sickness and sadness TODAY. Don't forget, it's not about weight, it's about HEALTH. The extra pounds you lose are a bonus!
And remember, eat and drink like your life depends on it, cause it does!
Success spotlight > Dee's story