Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Operation Pantry Clean Out and MORE Life Changes!

Mama Mia!
Operation Pantry Clean Out has been pretty uneventful so far, but once the easy dinners are gone things should start to heat up.

Day 2:  Tomato Parmesan Pasta Roni and Tomato, Garlic, Basil Grill Mate's marinated chicken breast
Day 3:  Grilled ham and cheese and canned Tomato Bisque
Day 4:  Frozen Pizza

I think we would normally be in more dire circumstances, but Sig. O and I recently made a drastic lifestyle change.  As if moving in together wasn't change enough??? This past Sunday we also began juicing for breakfast and lunch.  I have two autoimmune diseases that take a major toll on my body both mentally and physically.  And as for Sig. O, dating someone with two autoimmune diseases also takes a major toll on his body both mentally and physically.  We're on our 3rd day so far and we are loving it.  Even though we just started it we're both feeling better.  My body is still dealing with a lot of pain, but I'm more alert and able to focus better at work.  Sig. O has also had a tremendous uptick in productivity and focus at work too.  Yay! 

Juicing is great because you get a high dose of vitamins, and phytonutrients all in one tasty drink.  Since the juice has been mostly separated from the fiber it's easy to digest and your body is able to rapidly absorb the nutrients.  This also gives your digestive system a rest so your body can put more energy towards recovery and healing.  Aside from a boosted immune system you can expect healthier hair, skin, nails and eyes.  :)

with that being said...

There are a few drawbacks with juicing. 
    1.)  It's expensive.  Thankfully some great friends loaned us their juicer, so that was a big startup savings, but all of the fresh fruits and vegetables are really adding up!  Shopping at Sam's Club and Aldi has helped keep our costs down to an average of under $1 per pound of produce.  It seems to cost about $2.50 per person, per 20 oz serving.  It might not be all natural and organic, but it's a huge step away from eating so many processed foods. 

    2.)  It's wasteful.  While the juice and nutrients are extracted, the majority of the fibers are separated out to be disposed of.  Juicing allows you to get the nutrients of several different kinds of fruits and vegetables that you would not be able to get in one sitting.  Imagine trying to eat apples, pears, celery, cucumber, lemon, broccoli, kale, collard greens and bananas in one sitting.  It's simply too much, but by removing the fiber you're able to get the nutritional content from all these different fruits and vegetables at once.  To try and minimize our waste we have modified our juicing to include blending.  We might juice carrots and ginger, but blend in raspberries and oranges.       
  
    3.)  Juicing is a team effort.  It really is a fair amount of work all around.  Cleaning the juicer is probably the hardest part.  There's  multiple components that all get covered and stuffed full of fruit remnants...  and then there's also the part about washing and prepping several pounds of veggies and having to clean up all of the splatters and splashes along the way.  Occasionally I question why we just don't eat the fruits and vegetables straightaway, but I know I would never eat the quantity or variety on my own.  It has definitely helped that I have partner to do this with and each tasty concoction reaffirms our decision.   
 
 So far we've decided that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and we're going to keep working at ways to reduce our costs and improve our health.  If you would like to learn more about juicing there's a great documentary on netflix called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  The documentary has the stories of two men and I found the second man's story to be truly inspiring.

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