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Day 8

Today is day 8 of my latest “juice / blend” fast.  So far, I’ve only cheated twice: I had a handful of strawberries today and a couple of slices of watermelon last Monday (well, Monday or Tuesday).  I am trying to be strict, but I’m not going to let myself be fanatical to the point where I beat myself up over a little fruit.
This first week has been “just” juice: the blend was 2 spinach, 1 onion, 2 cucumbers, 2 heads of broccoli, and 2 bunches of celery.  I run it through my juicer and discard the pulp.  Week two will be with pulp re-added.  I mix the veg-juice with unfiltered apple juice, orange juice and pineapple juice.  Obviously, this is already not a “strict” unprocessed juice fast.  But, it’s probably as close as I’ll ever get.  This is probably my millionth time trying to lose weight and “probably” this is at least my dozenth time trying to lose via juicing and / or blending.  My first was several years ago when I first watched the documentary: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“.  I’ve done one juice fast for 30 days and a couple for 20 days.  And, of course, loads of 3, 4, or 5 day cleanses.  They were all successful for their duration, but I’ve always gone back to my old ways and yo-yo’d back up the scale past where I began.
Why will this time be different?  I don’t really think it will…  Unless, …
There is one major variable:  I retire at the end September!  Hopefully, between the de-stressing and the new found time, I’ll have a better chance to stick with a program to regain and then build a healthy future.  Now, my current plan is not to fast for the entire month.  I’m only planning to go to next Saturday (09/09/2017).  Then, I will evaluate how I feel and see if I want to push on or just switch to a more normal lifestyle / diet.
My long term plan is to eat better, to eat well and to eat for wellness.  For me, this will mean making better lifestyle (sleep, fluids, activity) as well as food choices.  My keys will be “Fresh” and primarily “Plant-based“.  I am a flesh-eater and I always will be, but, I will limit myself to two flesh days a week.  The other five days, flesh can (should be) only be used for flavoring.  And, unfortunately, the same will be true for grains, pastas, breads and desserts.

Day 8 of my latest juice fast

Day 8 of my latest juice fast

Starting Date: 26 August 2017
Starting Weight: 378 lbs
Current Date: 2 September 2017
Current Weight: 365 lbs
Weight Loss To Date: 13 lbs
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On This Day In:
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright
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From my own research with exceptional cancer survivors, I know that profound psychological change is possible, especially when the patient is confronted with a life-threatening illness.  As one survivor in my sample said, “It was either change or die.  I learn quickly with that kind of stimuli.
   —  Paul C. Roud, Ed. D
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
From a letter to Time Magazine responding to an article about the effect of attitude on surviving illnesses.
[The article was publish in the mid-1980’s.  Unfortunately, I didn’t record specific attribution data in my journal back then.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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It wouldn’t be healthy, or efficient, to remember every event or experience in its full factual and emotional context.  But separating the emotional aspects of a memory — the anger over an argument with your spouse, the frustration at the guy who cut you off in traffic, the dejection you felt after getting a curt email reply from your boss — from its objective parts allows you to recall the experience without reliving it.  “We sleep to remember and we sleep to forget,” says Walker, the UC Berkeley sleep scientist, of this coping mechanism.  “I call it overnight therapy.”
This type of processing takes time.  It likely happens only during deep, quality sleep, and only over consistent nights of such sleep.  That may explain why people who cut their sleep short or experience interrupted sleep may not fully disentangle the emotional baggage from their memories.
In those cases the memory, in its emotionally taxing entirety, continues to resurface every time the brain tries to sleep, in a vain effort to be properly processed.  The brain tries to store the memory in a neutral way, but without deep sleep, there just isn’t enough time for that triage.
Walker believes these aborted efforts may drive conditions like PTSD, which is well understood to be common among combat veterans but which may be more common among the general population than therapists and researchers previously thought.
“The more nights you sleep, the more soothing the influence of sleep on that memory,” he says.  “Sleep continues to work on those emotional memories and flatten them out after about a week.  Now there’s great evidence that PTSD is a disorder in which that process fails.”
There’s also strong support for the idea that insufficient sleep may be a trigger for, and not just a symptom of, a number of mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia.  Depriving people with bipolar disorder of sleep, for example, can launch a manic episode, while some people with depression report worsening symptoms when they aren’t sleeping well.
Fully understanding the role sleep plays in mental illness is a rich area of future research.  Already many doctors think consistent, high-quality sleep can have a direct bearing on the health of those with mental illness.  “Anyone who suffers from moderate or significant mental-health concerns needs to be aware that sleep may be one of the most important things they can do,” says Walker.
Stress, scientists also know, is one of the more potent accelerators of aging, and a body that’s not sleeping enough looks similar to one that’s stressed out — it’s highly reactive to perceived threats, even when those threats don’t pose any real risk.  Biologically speaking, there’s virtually no difference in the way a body reacts to a startling noise in the middle of the night, a rabid raccoon or a stressful work deadline: in all cases, fight-or-flight mode is triggered, blood pressure spikes, breathing gets shallow, and the heart starts to race.  That’s what happens to a body on no sleep too.
Those stress reactions can be useful, of course: they help you respond more readily to an actual physical threat.  But that’s not usually what’s going on.  And staying in an alert mode can trigger a number of unhealthy conditions, the most damaging of which is inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense system against injury or invading microbes like bacteria and viruses.  It’s why your toe turns red and throbs when you stub it or when it’s infected: white blood cells rush to the area in order to protect it for the short time it’s needed to help you get better.  But inflammation can also become chronic, and that’s when the real trouble starts.
Chronic inflammation, doctors now know, is a leading driver of many diseases, including some cancers, cognitive decline, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes—even chronic pain.  And one of the main drivers of chronic inflammation is, of course, not sleeping enough.
Quoted by: Alice Park
In her article: “The Sleep Cure
Time Magazine
Dtd: Feb 27 – Mar 9, 2017
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On This Day In:
2016 Useful Gift
2015 Who’s The Boss?
2014 What Counts In The Future
2013 Improper Sequence?
2012 Two Gems
2011 A True Test

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I used to suggest that sleep is the third pillar of good health, along with diet and exercise.  But I don’t agree with that anymore.  Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body for health.
   —  Matthew Walker
Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology
University of California, Berkeley
Quoted by: Alice Park
In her article: “The Sleep Cure
Time Magazine
Dtd: Feb 27 – Mar 9, 2017
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On This Day In:
2016 A Trumpet Solo
2015 Potential Is A Heavy Burden
2014 Fear Not, Weep Not
2013 Half Way There
2012 Sacrificed Any Lately?
2011 The Value Of One’s Character
2010 Intervals
On Being Human
Non-predictive Emergence
Events
Bodily Functions
Standing Thoughts
Sent Home Is Better Than Fixed

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Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well  —  making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor.
   —  Sheldon Solomon
Skidmore College
From Alice Park’s article: “Alzheimer’s From A New Angle
In Time Magazine, February 22-29, 2016
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On This Day In:
2015 A Good Lad
2014 Who Dare Not Speak
2013 I Love Beer
2012 Trial By Jury
2011 First Class
Got Knowledge?

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Slogging

I just felt like hitting the bricks for a while, so I went for a VERY slow initial jog.  Hil was a bit concerned because I’ve had so many episodes of palpitations lately, but I got through it.  Weighed myself this morning – 350lbs.
Four(4) laps around the school yard.  Maybe, one(1) mile.  Five minutes of stretching afterwards and twenty-five incline push-ups.  Maybe a total of 30 minutes.  It felt good afterwards.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow…  LOL!
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On This Day In:
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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Despite a multitude of temptations, I’ve made it through another day.  (Does anyone else begin to salivate at the smell of freshly microwaved popcorn in their work environment?)  Today’s morning weight was 332 lbs.  That’s down about 10 lbs from Sunday (the day before I started the blending fast).  That sounds good for just four days of juicing, until you remember a full belly is about 5 to 7 lbs and excess water retention is another 2 or 3 lbs.  So, 10 lbs is about right for four days of no chewing.  More good news:  I’ve also lost an inch on my waist – as judged by my belt.
The hardest part so far has been a severe kidney pain flair up Tuesday at work.  It was so painful I had to leave work mid-day and come home.  I drank lots of extra water (with lemon concentrate) and stayed off on Wednesday.  I was back at work today, but I feel pretty bruised inside on my right side.  Sometimes kidney stones are like a light switch and as soon as it moves from where it’s hurting you, you are suddenly pain free.  Other times, it’s like today, where it aches.  Still, that is much better than excruciating pain.
For whatever reason, this batch of “juice” isn’t nearly as acidic as some of the batches I’ve made in the past.  Sometimes, I almost get the feeling the juice is burning the lining of my mouth.  Then I have to wash it down more frequently with plain water (which I always keep handy).  It works, but it means having to “go” even more frequently.
I’ve not been hungry so far, but I have gone through the caffeine withdrawal headache phase.  The problem is when I do come off the fast I know I’ll be right back on the java.  I’m afraid it’s one of my last personal allowances and I’ll give up chocolate and salt before I give up my hot coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Well, the weekend is fast approaching and so a young man’s fancy turns to “Widow-maker” pizzas and BBQ ribs…  Just kidding.  4 down and 26 to go…  After that, who knows.  My better half is already planning the mostly meatless remainder of my life.  Keep me in your prayers.
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On This Day In:
2015 My Slow Education
2014 Great Service
2013 You Really Should Wear More Sweaters
Here I Am God
2012 The Serenity Prayer
2011 The Victory Of Life

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