Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Juicing so far

So I'm back to basics. After emotional roller-coaster over past 2 weeks and very poor (not) eating to go with it I decided I need something to focus on. Something to keep me sane and take mind of things, that hurt me and bother me. So here I am - back to basics - Juice Master 7lbs in 7 days Juice Cleanse.
I've done it before and still remember this amazing feeling. Peace of mind and body. Feeling clean inside. Happiness. Juicing made me feel good about myself and this is the feeling I desperately need back right now.
So juicing it is!!!
It's coming to an end of Day 3 and I already feel great. I experienced only slight headache on the first day, I knew this will happen due to lack of caffeine. Day 1 was the only day I didn't do any exercise and focused on relaxing and pampering. Very much needed day with myself and for myself. I woke up on Monday re-energised and ready for the week ahead. To my surprise, I was more focused at work, more calm and able to deal with stress. Exercise was a lot easier than before, maybe because I actually had some nutrients in my body to keep it going. I didn't even have all juices (you meant to drink 6 a day). Like Juice Master wrote in one of his books, don't force it down if your body doesn't want it. I wasn't hungry at all during past 3 days of juicing. I did feel a little bloated on the first 2 days, but today this feeling has almost disappeared (I think this isn't due to juicing, but more to that hated time of the month - all girls will know what I'm talking about).
Today went smoothly again - I had fabulous workout,  loved my 5k run on juice.
One thing that bothered me yesterday and today was making juices in advance for days at work. I must admit, it can be hard to incorporate juicing into a busy lifestyle of full time working woman always on the go. Even though it only takes about 20 mins, lot less than cooking, it's still a bit of a pain. Not to mention that juices taste a lot better just after they're made. But I have found solution, well my boss actually found a solution. As I own 2 juicers (my beloved Philips one and a smaller, old one I used to use when started juicing  few months ago) my boss came up with idea of setting up a little juice bar in our office kitchen. So tomorrow old juicer is going to work, to take a proud space between the microwave and a coffee machine. I'm secretly hoping that it's presence there will encourage already juice-curious co-workers to try some of my green goodness. Who knows, maybe at the end of it we will be a juicing office :)
I'm slowly starting to feel my old self. My healthy self. I look forward to something, even if it's just having a green juice for breakfast or gym after work. I have something in my life to focus on and be happy about at the moment. Those of you who know me, know how hard it's been recently. It still is, but I find coping with all of it easier having my juicing to focus on. Not to mention these skinny jeans I want to rock at the end of it.

Now is the time to relax and get ready for tomorrow. Bath and book seems like a damn good idea right now.
Till next time,
Juice Love xxx

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Demons of the past

Today I decided to go back to the gym. I've been away, then the Gym been undergoing some refurbishment, so for past 2 weeks I've focused on my DVD circuits, which was just as good for my body as running, but still I missed my little addiction.
It felt fantastic to feel this adrenaline again. As my feet were hitting the surface and familiar hormone started circulating in my blood I felt happier and happier. Stress of past few days, all worries and concerns slowly started disappearing. I don't think I will ever understand how it happens, that such a basic movement can make me feel so great.
In my ears, the running tracks changed into Laura Marling's angelic voice singing about hope. It meant cool down time. Tracks on my iPod are timed to match the length of my run, taking away the danger of overdoing it and hurting myself.
As I moved onto slow uphill walk, she walked onto the treadmill next to me. I've noticed her sad, far to big for the skeletal face, eyes in the mirror in front of us. Her pale skin looked like it's about to break open, letting the bones and veins out. Over sized clothes made her look even smaller and weaker than she was. She slowly started moving, straight into slow jog, without letting her body warm up first. As her t-shirt moved with her, I could see her hip bones, not covered by anything other than skin. But it's her eyes that told the story. I've seen sadness, pain and disappointment, as she tried to speed up, but malnourished joints refused to listen to her. I could see her eyes darkening with anger, then filling with tears. She didn't let them go. Keeping the brave face is what we all do best after all. Keep going, keep pushing, we think.
I say we with a reason. I was, I am her. Looking at this lonely, little creature next to me, brought all demons back. The invisible door to the room I've locked them in opened, letting beasts run wild and free.
I looked down. I didn't want to watch her. I didn't want to remember. I pushed demons back into the room, I don't need them, don't want them back. 
As timer counted down to end of my cool down, I felt calmer. I wanted to go. For the first time in ages I was itching to leave my favourite place in this town - gym. (Yes, I know, sounds sad, but there isn't really anywhere in this town I feel better). 
I changed quickly, nearly running to the exit. I glanced at the treadmills. She was still there. Still trying to speed up. Her eyes filled with a fog, mind flying away from world around her. I knew it's a matter of minutes before her legs stop moving and she falls unconscious, hurting herself. I know it's probably none of my business, but I couldn't watch it. I asked a PT to get her off that treadmill, before something happens. He looked at me shocked, saying he doesn't understand what I mean. Even more shocked to hear the truth. How can I be sure? It took over 10 years of my life. I can see and sense it. Trust me. 
I left as he walked towards her. I didn't want to see her reaction, knowing well what it could be. Anger. That's what mine would be back then. If only anyone noticed.
On the way home, thoughts started coming to me. I tried to name my feelings. And my own feelings scared me. Part of me, that dark part, which I thought I killed, felt jealousy. The voice of my demon whispering - see you failed, you should be like her, she's thin, she's perfect. Part of me felt her pain, hoping for her to seek help, wanting to help her. Feeling angry and sad at the same time.
But it's the jealousy that scared me. I realised that I will never be free. I can lock the demons in the deepest part of my mind and swallow the key, they will always be there. They will always come back to me, bringing these unwanted feelings, yet so familiar. I realised, that they never left me and never will. I don't want to surrender. I don't want to lose any more of my life. I don't want to die for something some might call perfection. I want to live and be happy. Being thin doesn't make you happy. I've been there, I know. 
I had Eating Disorder. I made it fall into deep, restless sleep. I locked my demons. I thought I'm safe. But now I know I never will be. Whether it's the extra inch around my waist after having tub of Ben&Jerry's, old pair of jeans that shrunk in the wash and no longer fits or girl, who's who I used to be - all this can let the demons out. And I have to control them, fight them, not let them talk. Pushing past away is no an answer. Dealing with the past is the only way to the bright and happy future.
It was a break through. Seeing someone, who I was so recently made me realise how much I don't want to go back there. I'm even more determined to be healthy now. I want to eat right food, not to lose weight but to nourish my body. I want to work out not to lose weight but to build up strength of my muscles. 
And I am going to have that damn pizza and ice cream to follow and enjoy it without the guilt!!!

Skinny is so passée... Fit and healthy is a new trend.

Stay warm,
A xxx

P.S. I hope I will see her again. I want to try and talk to her. It helps to see yourself in someone else. This makes you see yourself the way others see you... 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Little Miss Versatile

Once again credits to Lynn via Baby Steps..., who tagged me to do this post. You got it right Homey, I am a versatile person and not ashamed to admit it:). Life, people I've met on my paths, books I've read and things I've seen made and still are making me, change and grow. I have moments, when I'm like a silly little girl and moments when I'm the most serious and mature person ever. Emotions...
So here's 5 facts about me most of you (some - all of you) don't know. Before proceeding to read, please be warned, some of it is very personal and in a way painful for me.I'll throw something funny at the end too, life isn't all serious after all, is it?
Deep breath and here we go...

1. I wasn't born in UK. I moved to this country number of years ago (getting lost trying to count, feels like I lived here forever). Ever since England was and I think always will be my home. That place on the planet, where I feel myself the most. All my family lives abroad and although I'm very close to them don't visit as often as I probably should. As the country they all live in always makes me miserable, I only fly over once a year. Having a full time busy job contributes to that as well.

2. I'm over sensitive. It's very easy to make me cry. I cry on Disney cartoons, romantic comedies, when read or see ill children, you name it, if it's even little sad, it makes me cry. Watching sad movies at the cinema is always little embarrassing, as I'm usually the only one in tears. I cry reading books, true stories in the magazines or papers. I cry when my friends are having problems waiting till they go home after crying on my shoulder and then crying myself. Sometimes I cry with them. I'm sad when animals suffer human cruelty, when cats or dogs get abandoned by their owners going on holiday. Cry when someone dies, even though I've never met that person. I cried when seen Edward Munch's Scream painting for the first time, I imagined what he felt painting it and felt so sorry for him.
Though when it comes to my own life and problems, I never cry. Just deal with it, that was always my attitude. I guess I might not have any tears left after all these sad movies I watch.
On the other hand I laugh a lot too and simple things make me happy. Seeing sun when I wake up in the morning, the coffee my boyfriend has ready for when I come home after hard day at work. First daisies in the spring, meeting the new born family member, or a friend's etc baby for the very first, with the little one looking at me with innocent curiosity, as if asking "who are you and do I like you?". Granit the cat curling up next to me in bed. Smell of new book I'm about to start reading. And many more.
Little things cause huge explosion of emotions. I just can't help it.

3. This is the most difficult one to tell. And the most intimate one. On 9th November 2009, around 11pm 19 year old girl I have never met before saved my life. I will start from the beginning.
I work in recruitment for food manufacturing and at that time I used to run a site office of the company, working in from 2pm till late. On that particular site we've employed around 300 people and my job was to make sure that clients are happy with the staff supplied etc. The poor excuse of a man, who I'm about to tell you all about was one of the employees.
The office was about 40mins drive from the city I live in. As most of our workers live here too, we provide transport for them to and from work. I was using this transport as well, as I don't drive. From my drop off point to my flat was about 2 mins walk. On that night I was at the front door of my building, when heard someone shouting my name. I turned around to see HIM. Newly employed guy, who got off the bus at the same stop as me. He was working there only for about a week or so, I knew his name and recognised him. I'm very good with names and faces, I suppose this is one of the things that make me good in what I do.
He asked me to stop, I asked what did he want. In response, he asked if I will take him home with me. Surprised and confused I asked him to leave and stop being silly. He said nobody would find out... My voice was strong when I repeated I want him to leave or I will call the police. I opened the door and made my way inside the building. He grabbed my arms and forced his way in. I couldn't move. He whispered into my ear, the voice that still haunts me sometimes and I will never forget. Take me to your home, he said. I cried, please leave me alone. And then he said it, and it became all clear what he wanted: "Take me to your home or I will fuck you here and kill you." These words I will never forget. I lived on the first floor. Although scared I didn't give in. I knew a guy who lived on the ground floor, rather big and strong man. I hoped he will be home. I told my attacker I live downstairs. Holding my arms he let me lead him to my neighbours door. I was holding my keys. When got to the door, he let one of my hands go to open it. I knocked. He must've realised I didn't live there. Put his shoulder around my neck, whispering same horrible words again. I tried to scream, but he put his hand on my mouth and nose. I tried to kick him, but was getting wicker and wicker. I remember, that all I could think was, that I'm going to die. I remember the darkness slowly flooding my mind. I closed my eyes, as if it could make the pain go away. I knew he will do what he said. I think I wasn't even scared anymore. I wanted it to be over. Even if over meant me being dead. Then I fell, next thing I remember is the young girl shaking me and screaming "are you ok?!".
She heard noise on the corridor and looked out to see him strangling me. She grabbed a kitchen knife and came out. HE got scared and ran away. Georgina, a 19 year old student, suffering from epilepsy triggered by stress, has saved my life. There are no words to express how grateful I am to You. But You know.
He was caught about a month later, hiding in his friend's house. Trial took place in June 2010 and he was sentenced to 33 months in prison for the attempted rape, after pleading not guilty right until the very last minute. He changed his plea while the representative of the prosecutor was on his way to bring me into the courtroom to testify. The evidence was CCTV footage from my building, my statement and statement of the girl who scared him away.
While giving the statement at the police station on that night and then again with the other officers, I've been told I was extremely focused and calm. As if I was telling someone about the movie I've watched, which didn't even touched me. Like a boring story, repeated just for the sake of it, with no emotions. I think all the emotions were hidden deep down and released when I was left alone or with people I trusted most.

It all changed me. For about  month I wouldn't leave my flat alone, always had to ask one of my closest friend to come with me. I would like to thank 2 of them who were always there, taking me to do my shopping, taking me to and from work from my doorstep. The ones I could ring at any time if I was scared. They will know I mean them, if they read this.
For a long time I would see HIS face every time I closed my eyes. I heard his voice in my dreams, whispering these words over and over again.
It wasn't till probably Christmas 2010, when I finally started getting back to normal. But my life wasn't and never will be the same. I still wonder, what would happen if Georgina didn't react to the noises. I probably wouldn't be writing this right now.
I now celebrate 2 Birthdays. The one when my mother pushed me out to the world and the one when someone saved what she has created.

4. I'm scared of cheese. Yes, that's right, cheese. I meant the "yellow" stuff sold in the supermarkets, that most people put on their sandwiches, melt on pizzas, etc. The texture, the colour, the smell. It scares me. Even a thought of eating it makes me panic. My face looks like I'm a bout to cry, my heart rate goes up as if I've just ran 3 marathons without stopping, I sweat. Classic symptoms of panic attack I suppose.
Most of people around me find it really funny, but for me it definitely isn't. I haven't eaten this sort of cheese for years now, and I'm not going to eat it ever again. Smell makes me feel slightly sick too. Even worse if cheese is melted. I remember ordering a pizza once and despite the fact that I told the nice man on the phone to make sure there's no cheese on there, I received my hot vegetariana with A LOT of melted yellow thing. I opened the box, the scent hit my nostrils and I couldn't help actually throwing up. Funny enough, if I'm having a pizza with someone else and this person has cheese on their's I'm fine. I think that it's more psychological here. As long as it's not on my plate and there is no way I can possibly be asked to eat it, I'm fine.
I like all the cream cheese, Philadelphia style, feta cheese and cottage cheese. Maybe because they're soft and have different kind of smell. No idea. I call it cheesephobia, I think I might be the only person on the world suffering from it haha.

5. I'm extremely self conscious. I always think I'm too big, not pretty enough etc. I work out a lot partly because I simply love it and partly because I want to improve how my body looks, become perfect, even though I know there is not such a thing. My thighs are the worst part. Being a runner means I have well developed thigh muscle, so obviously my legs will never be skeletal skinny. I don't want them to be, just for the record. But I get moments of being a complete idiot and confusing muscle with fat, even though I know there isn't much fat there.
My hair and skin are other things. I do have tendency to acne, nothing seems to clear it all. I can spend hours researching and testing new products, if you told me that putting mud from my garden will clear it, I would probably keep my face in the mud all day. That's how silly I can get. My hair is very thick and sometimes doesn't listen to me. I'm never happy with it, it's either too dry/too oily, too dark/too light etc. Finding a perfect hairdresser took me about 8 years and still think maybe I should keep looking.
I pay a lot of attention to what I wear and how I look. I would never leave the house in tracksuit. I'm not vein. I just don't like if people would laugh at me, because I'm wearing something that makes me look really ugly/big. That's just how I am. Trying to fight with it, since I've met my boyfriend and he compliments me even if I wear baggy PJs, I got a bit more confident. But still long way to go. I guess it's all because of the illness I suffered from in my teens, anorexia with bulimic tendencies. It's still haunting me sometimes, even though I'm now recovered and haven't relapsed for a long time.

This is me then. Now I'm going to hit the "Publish" button and let you all read it. I'm sorry if you find it intimidating. Especially no 3. I guess I wrote it for myself as well as for you all. Putting thoughts into words helps dealing with them and looking at it all from different perspective.
Thank you for taking your time to read it. Am I versatile? I think I am at least a little, like I said earlier. But it's not really me to judge :).

Stay warm xxx


I've been tagged to write all that will follow by by lovely friend Lynn via Baby Steps... blog (which I absolutely love). As I'm always up for anything like this, I though, hey why not (haha here we have the first why). I was meant to do it as a time killer on Friday, while on the way up north (4hr total on 3 trains, argh, but with someone special waiting at the last stop, so well worth the pain), but as I've just done workout planned for today and have some spare time, decided I will do it now.
So here it goes!!!

Why is it always raining when I have a day off work and sun comes out when I'm working? (weather is what drives me mad recently).

Why I always see something I want to buy day before payday, but when go to buy it the next day, it's no longer there?

Why people waste my time?

Why has day got only 24 hrs? I need at least 8 more to do everything I want and sleep.

Why does that dream dress look fabulous on the hanger, but when I put it on suddenly turns into the worse piece of clothing ever designed?

Why is time going really slow when we're waiting for something and super fast when it comes?

Why do I always forget to take the shopping list I've been preparing for a week when going food shopping?

Why there's no free tables at the only restaurant I want to go to?

Why are the bus drivers so rude, after all without passengers they wouldn't have a job?

Why would some people rather take money off the government than earn their living?

Why tomato is described as a fruit?

Why isn't banoffee pie classed as 1 of 5 a day, it does have bananas?

Why do some girls look gorgeous without make up and I have to use whole content of my make up bag to look at least half decent?

Why can't my skin be as good as the models on the advert of that spot treatment thing I'm using?

Why clothes shrink in the wash, even though I followed the instructions on the label?

Why do I wake up at silly o'clock every Sunday and can't open my eyes on a Monday?

Why is law in this country so ridiculous?

Why do I always crave chocolate once a month?

Why is male ladybird called ladybird as well?

Why films look so interesting on the trailers, but turn out to be very boring when watched in full?

Why am I always the last person to understand a naughty joke?

Why do I like Winnie the Pooh cartoons so much, apparently I'm too old for them?

Right, this would be it. Can't think of any more whys at the moment, normally I ask loads of "why" questions, always nosy and curious abut everything and when I finally have chance to put them all in one place my mind is completely empty? WHY?

Have a great evening xx

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Nearly one week has passed since I completed the Launch plan. I still feel great, probably because I'm eating right food and still juicing daily. 
I must admit, more you have more you want. We finally have sun in the UK, so it is time to get the shorts and summer dresses out of the box. I got mine out on Tuesday and after trying on decided my body needs toning. Despite regular exercise there are still parts of me (in my opinion) far from perfect. Actually, only one part. Lower back. I should be grateful and thankful to nature for giving me the body shape a lot of women desire - pear. I have small waist and curved hips. But being a pear means all the fat from my body is stored on my bottom half. Ok, I have peachy bum, which I secretly hate and my boyfriend loves (I'm kind of the freak that wants a flat one), not too big and not too small apparently. But above that peach there's a top of unevenly risen muffin. My stomach is almost flat, needs only a little bit of toning, but this back muffin top drives me mad at the moment. It's not as bad in the winter, I can cover it with lose jumper etc. It's summer now and I want to wear shorts, maybe even bikini, so it has to go. As I already have quite healthy, balanced diet the only solution is exercise. Work out that will target the middle part of me, focusing on lower back. So, on top of my normal cardio (running, cross trainer, bike etc) I started doing intense ABS workout from Jillian Michaels' DVD - "6 weeks 6 pack". Sounds promising, doesn't it. Why have I picked this one amongst the other ABS workout DVDs? Well, I have been doing Jillian's 30 days shred and it was really good, I toned my legs and arms, which are stronger than ever. She's called the TV's toughest trainer after The Biggest Loser show and let me tell you - she sure is!!! She helped The Biggest Loser contestants work their way to leaner body, she looks totally toned herself too, so whatever she does must be working. 
6 weeks 6 pack workout consists of 2 levels, each around 35 mins including warm up and toning, targeting whole core with a bit of cardio. Must admit, it is very intense, but as we all know, hard work pays off. Hopefully in 6 weeks I will have at least 4 pack and this damn dodgy muffin top will go. 
I should probably post a pic of my stomach now and after 6 weeks, but I really don't like taking pictures of my body when it's not in the shape I want it to be. I might post pics of the result, all depends how confident I feel with my body then. 
Really hope to achieve visible results before mid July, my holiday by the sea. I would love to wear a bikini (if the weather is good enough, it's UK after all) and for that my middle has to be absolutely spot on. 
Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a perfectionist and was happy with what I already have haha.

Right, time for well deserved today rest. Feel like a long bubbly bath and some pampering. I like to be nice to my body after pushing it to limits like I did today (5k run and other at the gym, followed by 35 mins 6pack work out).

Until next time xxx

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Day 7

The Launch Plan has come to an end. I feel great, have loads of energy, my skin is brighter and I think I've even lost some inches as a bonus. Conclusions - juice juice juice yourself slim and happy!!!!
The Launch week has also prepared me for a long term changes, which is it's point I suppose. Chocolate and junk food cravings have gone and all I crave now is salmon (haha strange , protein probably) and coffee (yes - still coffee addict). Tomorrow I'll wake up and have a cup of warm water with lemon and then make my breakfast smoothie. It has to be mango, it wasn't included in the Launch Plan and I do miss it. Like I mentioned before, I'm going to stick to having juices/smoothies for breakfast, with some oats or eggs on a Sunday maybe, as sort of a treat. I will also keep having soup every day, there's so many delicious recipes for those, so I don't think I will ever get bored. One thing I have found little challenging (but not impossible!) during the Launch was preparing everything in advance for the whole day at work. From this week I think I will be little more flexible here, luckily there's a supermarket near my office, which means I can just buy ingredients for a salad on the way in and put it together at lunch time. Good option will be a pre-made salad as well, I think every supermarket has them in the fresh veg aisle, they always pack dressing in the small sachet, so it's easy to swap for a better one (love balsamic vinegar or a lemon/lime juice on my salads).

So this is the last post from the 7 days Launch Programme. I want to thank all of my lovely Twitter friend's for the support and great comments. If I got anyone into juicing, I'm really please, it is fantastic for our bodies, how could it not be though - all fresh and natural ingredients we lucky to receive from Mother Nature.
Happy to answer all questions anyone might have about this or other juicing plan (done them all now, some more than once).

Have a great coming week everyone!!!!
Juice love xxxxx

P.S. I'm not going anywhere, will still be blogging, about juicing, nutritious eating, fitness and anything else that I feel I would like to share my opinions about. Must admit, got hooked up to blogging :)

Speak very soon x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Day 6

Today turned out to be really busy and I wish days sometimes have more than 24 hours. I started a day with a cup of warm water with lemon, like I do every day. Done some morning workout, bit more than usually as didn't have to rush around to make it to work on time. In the week I try to do at least 15 minutes of morning stretching or bouncing on the mini trampoline, just to wake my body up and give metabolism a kick.
This morning apart from my beloved mini trampoline workout to Jason Vale's DVD I did Level 3 of Jillian Michael's 30 Days Shred DVD workout. I highly recommend this intensive circuit, especially if you don't have much time to exercise. There are 3 levels depending on how fit you are, starting at level one and moving gradually onto level 3 when you know you're ready. Each level is 20 mins of strength, cardio and ab workout, followed by few minutes of stretching. I've been introduced to it by a friend, busy mum of a 1 year old, who praises it to high heavens. Apparently a lot of new mums use it to get rid of the baby fat. Must admit, it does work, especially for my abs :)
After the workout I had my yummylicious smoothie and went for a yoga class at my gym. It was amazing, feel stretched and very relaxed right now. My knee, which has been hurting this morning, feels a lot better too, which means I can go for a run tomorrow.
Today was a Body Shop treat day for me. Having a Love Your Body membership card means I can take advantage of all the amazing offers, which they have quite often. This weekend is a free gift up to £15 value when spending £5!!! Absolute bargain, and I absolutely love bargains!!! My bathroom is now stocked with some more Shea Body Butter and shower gels from the same range. As a free gift I chose one of their fragrances, Limited Edt Sun Kiss scent. Fruity and light will be perfect for the summer. Providing we will actually have summer this year.
Spending most of my day out meant having lunch quite late, today it was a soup, which as always was delicious. 
At dinnertime I got to use my teeth for the first time since last Sunday. Last meal today was a green pesto salad, lovely but I couldn't actually finish it, even though I haven't made the full 1 person's serving. This means that my body is filling up on quality more than quantity now I think. 
That would be it for today, I'm going to treat myself to a bit of pampering now. Love Saturday evening pampering. I might be getting old, but my favourite way of spending Saturday night when my boyfriend isn't here is a hot bath, face mask, glass of wine and a book (this week it's without the wine of course). I don't even miss the nights out clubbing, which seemed so much fun when I was in my teens and early twenties. 

Have a great evening everyone!!! Talk tomorrow!!!
Juice love xxx

Friday, 18 May 2012

Day 5

So I'm getting close to the end of the Launch plan. I don't think about it as the end though, but as the beginning of permanent changes in my diet. Like I mentioned before, I'm going to follow the Juice Yourself Slim suggestion and have smoothies/juices for breakfast then same or soup for either lunch or dinner.
Today I had my first (I think) food craving this week. I really fancy a salmon with some vegetables. Here's the idea what to have for dinner on Monday :) I'm really pleased to crave this sort of food and not chocolate, crisps, etc. Must admit, chocolate is actually last thing I would want to eat. Smell of it actually made me feel a little sick today, when a person at the office was tucking into their chocolate cheesecake on bourbon biscuit base. Even thinking about it now makes me feel slightly sick. Good sign I suppose.
On the weight/inch loss side, which I think many of reading my posts might be curious about, I did notice today that might trousers aren't as tight as they were last week. I haven't weighed myself before starting the programme, as it wasn't my priority to lose weight and my workout routine is causing muscle gain and these weigh more than fat, so the numbers on the scales wouldn't really be a good measure anyway. I have definitely lost some inches overall, I notice that by my clothes. I would lie if I said it makes no difference, I am after all as body conscious as probably most women are. But the most important effect of the Launch is the way I feel, my sky high energy level, brighter skin (even spots started going away :) and better mood. I'm confident to say that even if I didn't lose any weight while juicing I would still be extremely happy that I did it. Feeling good inside makes feeling good outside.
Tomorrow for the first time this week I will be using my teeth, salad for dinner is on the Launch Plan Menu. Looking forward to it, mainly because one of the ingredients is pesto, which is one of my favourite sauces.
That will be all today. Weekend has now officially started, I planned a lot of relaxing, some pampering and of course runs and gym sessions. Also going to attend a yoga class, my body, especially legs, need some stretching after all the running etc I've done this week. All workouts been quite intense, I had to use this huge energy somewhere.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!!!!
Talk soon xxxx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 4

I'm just over half way of the 7 days Launch. Nothing really changed since yesterday, I have a lot of energy and love the taste of my liquid foods.
Day 4 passed under the healthy eating boom at work. After telling everyone about my plan for after the Launch few people got quite interested (I put it down to the fact that "solid" food will get incorporated into my diet which seems to make it easier for others). I've been asked to share some ideas for healthy and nutritious lunches and dinners, so spent most of the day giving recipes for my specials away. I'm pleased people around are getting into healthy eating more, not so much to lose weight but to actually stop feeding themselves with processed "junk" all the time. Don't get me wrong, not saying having a takeaway or packet of crisps every now and then is wrong, far from it. I too enjoy bag of Doritos and dips in front of TV or a pizza on Saturday night, not to mention some cocktails and nibbles in the pub. But everything in moderation and only occasionally. Treats, let's call it, like this keep us satisfied and give us the needed balance. I've also been told, quite a while ago, by a personal trainer I worked with, that eating unhealthy food sometimes will give our metabolism a kick, sending the message to speed up and burn the excess calories. I don't know if it is definitely true, will need to read up about it a bit more.
That would be it for today. Got pretty busy day tomorrow so going to get some well deserved rest now. Fridays at my work are short, but busy, so need to have my batteries on full :)
I want to thank everyone for all the support and great comments I've been getting this week. You are all amazing!!!
Juice love, talk again tomorrow xxx 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Day 3

I'm fully juiced!!! Today's fuel was again delicious and full of colours. I feel full of energy and happier than I felt just before starting the plan. I also noticed improvement in my performance on the treadmill. I ran not only faster, but wasn't as tired I normally after finishing 5k run. I even skipped chill out on the bike and moved straight away to rowing machine, stepper and cross trainer. I think so far this is my favourite effect of juicing.
Day 3 brought another surprise. Another person at my work place asked me to coach her through juicing plan, she's been a yoyo dieter for years and wishes to try something that might keep the weight off and get rid of the sugar cravings. I think she's also charmed by the quick weight loss as going on holiday in few weeks time. Even if she's only looking at quick fix as I'm suspecting, I'm convinced that by the end of 7 days on juices she will not be back to eating unhealthy too soon if at all. I'll make sure she doesn't haha.
I've been thinking a little today about the menu for the weeks to follow. I decided to stick to the Juice Yourself Slim recommendation. 2 liquid meals (juice, smoothie or soup) a day at least 5 days a week and 1 "solid" meal. The weekend plan can be more flexible, although I think I will stick to 2 liquid meals. I love and always loved juices, smoothies and soups so I won't be giving up on anything. And will endless combinations of fruit and veg I don't think I will ever get bored of it. I might throw some porridge with berries or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on some Sundays, when I have bit more time to prepare breakfast (or when it's cooked for me). Thinking about "solid" meals, the choice is also endless. Different salads, fish and vegetable dishes won't leave me bored and unsatisfied with my food. Must admit, really looking forward to having steamed salmon with baked sweet potato chips or a simple mushroom stir fry. It's not a craving, but just an idea what I'm going to have after Launch programme.
On more spiritual side I'm filled with positive energy. I haven't noticed massive changes to my figure yet, which to be totally honest I'm not really that bothered about. I'm a healthy (for my height and frame) size 6/8 and I know I don't need to lose weight. Of course, like all of us women I have bits which I would rather not have (my thighs, but a lot of it is muscles built on the treadmill). Overall I think I'm making even bigger progress on accepting my own body. If you read my first post, you know I suffered from Eating Disorders most of my life and still am recovering from it. One thing juicing benefited from for my recovery is that I realised that it isn't that important to be skinny. I feel much better being slim and healthy than I felt being size "0"and ill. When I was starving myself, refusing my body sometimes any fuel whatsoever I felt unhappy and miserable. Typically for all Eating Disorders suffer more weight I've lost, bigger I thought (and seen in the mirror) I was. Now, full of natures best foods, I feel a lot happier and better in my own skin. I would never think that this plan will result in that kind of effect, better than years of therapy and force-feeding I had to go through on the road to recovery.
Not sure whether Jason Vale - the designer of the juicing plan - thought about the effects of it on the Eating Disorders sufferers and ex-sufferers, but if he hasn't I strongly recommend to look into it. Juices give a lot more nutrients than a lot of foods I've been advised to consume during my recovery and I think packing some nutrients into starved bodies is the main thing.
That would be it for today. Tonight I'm going to treat myself to a nice face mask in the bath, followed by a good night sleep. Oh, that's another thing I nearly forgot to mention. I sleep a lot more free of all stimulants such as coffee and refined sugars. And my body loves it!!!

Have a very good evening everyone!!! Talk soon xxx

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Day 2

Second day of The Launch Programme went smoothly and quickly. As always all my juices and smoothies tasted great, so did green veggie soup I had for dinner. I felt little bit sleepy, but I put it down to the rainy weather, not the programme. After afternoon power plate session energy levels jumped up, I only felt bit cold (damn weather again), but putting heating on sorted this problem out. Talking of which, I can't believe I had to put heating on in May!!! Where will the summer finally start I want to know???!!!
On the physical side I feel really good. Having my juices when I start feeling hungry leaves me fully satisfied, without any actual food cravings. The only thing I am missing a little is coffee. Not as much for the effect it gives me, but for the taste, so even decaf would do right now haha. This made me realise I don't actually need caffeine and even after finishing the Launch I might have it only occasionally, maybe over the weekends only.
Energy levels were up and down today, but like I mentioned earlier, it's definitely because of the weather. I never reacted well to cold and rain.
My body is definitely cleansing (I will not go into details here, but think you know what I mean). I already feel lighter inside, my stomach started to get bit flatter as well, which is a good sign. Having psyllium husks definitely helps the juices here.
My mind loves the juicing just as much as my body. I've noticed my concentration improved, also apparently I'm more patient than I was according to people that work with me. Good thing I suppose, considering the fact that I have to deal with loads of sometimes very annoying people every day.

When doing the 7lb in 7 days programme few months ago, one thing that made it quite hard for me was lack of support and constant nagging by the mentioned work colleagues. Surprisingly, the worst ones were 2 women on a constant diet, members of Weight Watchers and Slimming World clubs. None of them even wanted to try the juices, which apparently looked like mould (probably because the were green), despite me offering them a little taste every time I had something new. Trying to talk to them about how good fresh juices and smoothies are on the nutritional side was like trying to explain the big bang theory to a 2 year old. They gave up the 2nd time I did the detox, deciding that I must be too daft to understand that Weight Watchers ready meal is better for me than juice made of fresh fruit and veg. Same this time, which was quite a relief. Nobody commented or asked me what I'm doing. Until this morning. One of the serial dieters took me on the side and asked if she could borrow my "Juice yourself slim" book and whether I wouldn't mind talking her through the programme!!!!! You can imagine how shocked I was. And proud in the same time. Finally someone understood!!! Anyway, she's planning to start next Monday, so I will restrain my excitement until she actually completes at least 2 or 3 days of the Launch. Hopefully if she succeeds others will follow. And let me tell you, there's few people at my work that need a serious detox and some pounds off.

That's pretty much it as for Day 2. My life hasn't changed at all. I'm not missing out on anything by not having "solid" food or junk. I still go to work, do the house work, etc and tomorrow I'm even going to the pub to meet a friend I haven't seen for a while. That will be fun, me sitting there sipping water with lemon, while he's downing his pints haha.

Beauty sleep time now. Talk tomorrow (might be very briefly, depending on what time I get back from my pub trip).
Juicy dreams xxx   

Monday, 14 May 2012

Day 1

Yesterday around this time I was slightly concerned whether I will feel energetic enough today to even turn my laptop on, let alone write a post about my first day on The Launch Programme. As you can read I managed both :) 
I knew I will experience headache as a result of caffeine withdrawal, especially being a heavy coffee drinker. Yes, I do have a bit of headache, but nothing I couldn't cope with. It's actually slowly going away and I'm sure after relaxing bubble bath I have planned for this evening it will completely disappear.
So, I woke up this morning extremely excited to begin juicing. I started my day with Avocado Crush Smoothie in gorgeous sunny yellow colour. Sipped slowly for about half hour at work, while everyone at the office were tucking into their bacon cobs or chocolate biccies washed down with one or the other caffeinated drink. And believe it or not - I didn't crave anything they were having (well ok maybe coffee a little). This yellow goodness, containing pineapple and lime juice, blended with some avocado and loads of ice. Truly refreshing, perfect start of a day. It was also very filling, keeping hunger off for next few hours till I had my "brunch" - Beta Carrot Juice , packed with loads of veg including fresh beetroot, which gave it sweet dark red colour. Again, very filling and delicious in taste. Lunch was green smoothie - Fennel Fuel, mix of pineapple, cucumber, lime and fresh fennel juice blended with avocado and ice.  Tasted as good as it looked and like other juices and smoothies was full of nutrients. Fennel is great for digestion, having this smoothie on the first day of the Launch definitely helps the body to get rid of all the waste and toxins. 
As I wasn't hungry for quite a while after my Brunch, lunch was more like a Linner (Jason's term for meal between lunch and dinner), therefore I skipped the Linner planned for me by Juice Master (one of the key principles of any juicy programme - don't eat/drink unless you're actually hungry and don't force your fuel down). Felt a little more tired and sleepy than usually, which I put down to not having coffee, so decided to have a little rest after getting home from work. Half hour on the sofa with cup of green tea and Cosmopolitan done the job just fine :). As I felt a little cold too, I decided the best warm up will be exercise. Did 20 mins bouncing workout on my mini trampoline. Straight away my heart was pounding and I had to get changed to something less cosy than warm Aran Knit jumper. This bit of bouncing also filled me with a lot of energy very much needed to make my dinner - butternut squash and carrot soup.
I must admit, I was looking forward to having soup for dinner. Main reason being my love of liquidised cooked veggies, but also I do like having something warm on a cold day and today weather wasn't spoiling us in Midlands (summer please come quick!!!).
Dinner was delicious are very satisfying. I've found that natural sweetness of carrots and butternut squash completely eliminated my usual post-dinner desert cravings. Credit to Jason Vale here - great idea for serving sweet tasting evening meal on the first day - for many of us it's that after dinner dessert that might be hardest to give up. 
Right now, I'm having cup of peppermint tea (very good for digestion, perfect to drink after any meal) and feel absolutely amazing. Looking forward to tomorrow, can't wait to taste some more new juices and smoothies. My favourite part of any new juicing programme I do is discovering new flavours and recipes. I am a foodie, especially when it comes to healthy and nutritious foods. My juices today had colours of the rainbow and taste of ambrosia, I'm sure tomorrow's will be exactly the same. 
That would be it for today I guess, if you have any questions about my day one, please ask in comments or on Twitter. 
Off to run myself bubbly shea butter bath. Have a juicy night everyone.
Talk to you soon xxx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Day before the launch

Juicing starts tomorrow morning. My fridge is over flowing with fresh fruit and veg, so is my kitchen worktop. Juicer replaced coffee maker, my brand new Gordon Ramsey blender standing right next to it. Kitchen has officially turned into a Juice Bar I'm actually proud off.
I'm ready and excited for the upcoming week. Been thinking today and now considering juicing for 2 weeks, starting same plan over as soon as it's finished. But that might change, depending how I feel at the end of the first week.
I thought before sharing my daily juicy experience, I should write a little more about this program, to highlight what I'm actually doing and what am I doing it for. 
The program I will be following from tomorrow (I don't want to call it a diet, as it's so much more than that, I think word detox describes it most accurately) is from Jason Vale's (aka Juice Master) book called "Juice Yourself Slim". For 7 days all that's consumed is freshly extracted vegetable and fruit juices and made using them smoothies, with homemade soups for an evening meal and salads on two last evening. When ordering the book from www.juicemaster.com website I received free wall planner with a full menu for each day and recipes for every single juice etc. I used same wall planner while doing Jason Vale's 7lb in 7 days plan and found it extremely handy, saving a lot of time you would spend using book alone. And time for all of us is precious, especially if we're working full time or are a full time mum. I highly recommend getting a wall planner to everyone wishing to do the program.
As for ingredients, the shopping list is available to download for free from Juice Master's website. Again, very useful.
After gathering all the materials comes time for preparations to Juicy Week. And this is extremely important and makes sticking to the program a lot easier, especially if you've never done anything like it before.
First of all - read the book. It answers every questions you might have and tells you exactly what to expect. As all Jason's books, this one is also written with a bit of humour and in very simple, understandable for everyone English. You find out a lot about power of the fuel you will be consuming while on the program and about nutrition and healthy living in general. 
Step 2 - shopping. I already own a juicer and blender (well had to buy a new blender, as my old one couldn't handle a pressure of daily usage anymore), so that came of the list. All the other ingredients are easily available at the local supermarket, farmer's market, etc. Spirulina powder - a superfood supplement - used in some of the recipes, is cheapest to buy in Holland&Barret (£11.99 for 200g, will last for a long time, even used daily).
Step 3 for me is today - a treat. Saying farewell to sugar, coffee and others for at least a week. Well I think sugary foods won't be welcome on my table for lot longer than a week. Coffee shall return in victory, in limited quantities though, soon after finishing the program. What can I say, coffee is my biggest weakness, I just love the smell of freshly grounded beans in the morning, not to mention flavours of all different blends. Anyway, back on the subject. 
For the next 7 days you're supposed to stick to the juicing plan created by Jason Vale. It's been carefully designed to give your body all the nutrients it needs, feeding it with Earth's finest ingredients. It might be challenging, especially if you're leading busy lifestyle and are on the go most of the time. I treated myself to few flasks to take juices with me to work etc. If you're making juices in advance, it's best to make them in the morning on the day, although I've found making them in the evening day before a lot easier, it gave me some extra time in the morning to do some exercise. Now, if for any reason you're unable to pre-make juices or smoothies, don't panic and stop the program. From Jason Vale's book I've found out that on this occasions we can use our in-built juicer/blender - digestive system. A banana, apple, handful of greens etc will be good enough replacement if you haven't got your juice with you while on the go. All to remember is to chew thoroughly to brake the food into easy digestible pieces. 
Now, exercise. It's not something new to me, as I do exercise quite a lot, a least 4 times every week. On the program you're supposed to exercise daily, even if it's just a longer brisk walk (good old tip - walk to or from work, or get off the bus/tube one stop earlier ;). We all know how important it is to move to stay in a good shape, inside and out, so I won't preach about it here.
That would be it I guess. Just a brief (ish) highlight of the program.

Big Day 1 tomorrow - from my experience I know I will suffer the caffeine withdrawal in form of a massive headache, but it usually lasts for one day in my case, so I think I can cope with that. I will post in the evening how did the first day go anyway, even if it's just a brief update. I will most probably be tweeting about it throughout the day as well (@agzzzz).

Have a nice Sunday evening everyone, talk to you soon xxx

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Gym bunnies

I've spent my Saturday morning, like pretty much every Saturday morning, at the gym. I love my sessions, my 5k run, cooling down on the bike, rowing, classes, etc. I could probably live there if they provided beds and wardrobes big enough to accommodate all my shoes.
As a nosey creature, I do sometimes like to watch others work out. Do admire all determined women, working hard on losing these few lbs they don't feel comfortable with, geeky guys on the cross trainer, body builders pumping weights heavier than them and all the Sunday-gymmers as I call them, who appear there once in few months, looking rather lost trying to work out how to adjust the speed on the treadmill. But the ones I would like to talk about today are Gym Bunnies. And the reason I mention these is the one I have seen this morning. I must say, I am little impressed with her dedication. Most I manage first thing in the morning before setting off for my session is brushing my teeth and putting first piece of clothing I find in the wardrobe. And here she is. Wearing tiny pair of bright pink shorts, just as pink cropped top, both enhancing her freshly sprayed on tan. Her hair styled following the latest fashion, looking as if she literally just left the hair salon next door to our gym (maybe she did...). And the face - foundation, cheeks splashed with gentle blush, glittery pink lips and telescopic lashes. She walks on the treadmill slowly, as if she was a model walking the catwalk. Every now and then she looks around, sending gentle smile to a giant lifting weights in the corner. Secretly I glance at the speed  she set her machine to - 3 km/h. That's just over a mile!!! No wonder she hasn't got a single sweat drop on her gorgeous face. Looking at her feet I realise - she's wearing espadrilles (pink of course). I suppose it could be hard to run in these and would definitely cause a nasty injury.
I can't help but wonder - what is she doing at the gym? Surely, at that speed she could walk anywhere else, our gym is located at the back of large shopping centre - why won't she just go for a walk around the shops? With today's sunny weather she could even wear the same outfit. Why then? I suppose I could ask, but I'm not that cheeky. Everyone has their reasons to go to the gym and it's not my place to question it I guess. So I adjust speed to complete my 5k and move to the bike to read a copy of Zest Magazine I brought along. Gym bunny slows down slightly, she must be tired poor thing, after all she's already been on the treadmill for 15 mins.
Some time later, just as I'm about to complete my run, she stops. After performing what I believe meant to be stretching, she leaves the machine and swinging her hips walks towards the changing room. The giant's in the corner eyes follow her, dangerously focusing on her barely covered in pink bum.
5k done - I'm sweating, my face is bright red, water tastes like ambrosia in my mouth. Moving onto the bike to cool down a bit and browse through the mag, I see her walking out from the changing room, Wearing cropped denim jacket over her pink outfit and carrying little Louis Vuitton handbag. She looks stunning, just as she did earlier on the treadmill. I think I'm not the only one that noticed her, two girl's on the cross trainers behind me whisper to each other and I swear I hear the word "slut" coming out of ones mouth. Well, it is not our place to judge. I'm not judging, just watching. And must say, I do envy this pink-lady a little. I wish I was as determined as her to make sure my hair and make up always looks perfect, no matter where I am.
Out of many gym bunnies I see in my gym, she was by far the most glamorous one. It wouldn't shock me if she was wearing a pair of Jimmy Choos on the treadmill. Must admit, hope to see her again next Saturday. I wonder what colour she will be wearing then. Hope she has a full membership, not just a day guest pass :)

That's all today. Talk to you soon.

Blogging for Madeleine

2 days ago through one of my lovely Twitter friends I came across this important and touching event - Blogging for Madeleine. This lovely girl, who went missing 5 years ago, is turning 9 today.
First of all Happy Birthday Little Princess!!!! All I wish for you on this day and every day is to come back to your family safe. And I believe that one day you will. And hope this day will be soon.

Madeleine been taken away from her dearest on Thursday, 3rd May 2007, whilst enjoy a family break in Praia da Luz in Portugal. I can't even imagine what it felt like for Madeleine's parent's to find that their beloved daughter disappeared. I remember days and weeks to follow this tragic event. I felt sick listening to all the accusations McCanns had to face. These people have to go to bed every night not knowing where their baby is - this is enough, they don't need to hear all the conspiracy theories made up by sick people, who are more interested in everyone else's life than their own. Why don't you all show your support, or simply shut up if you can't/won't do it??!!! I see Madeleine's parents from time to time, living in the same are. Only one look at the them and you know - they are parents who are looking for their little girl, not murderers, not someone who sells their child for adoption or organs donation. Please...

Mr and Mrs McCann - don't give up, you will have your precious little girl back soon. Paulo Coelho wrote once, that if you really and truly want something, every power on Earth and in Heaven will help you getting it. I believe in it with all my heart. Stay strong xxx

Madeleine - don't cry, mummy and daddy will find you xxx

And now to you soulless and heartless bastards who took this innocent child - return her to her family.
Look at her mother's tears and think of your own mother's, how would they feel if someone took you from them?

For more information please go onto www.findmadeleine.com

Metropolitan Police has now released a new age-progression image of Madeleine, a guide to what she may look like now, age 9. If you see a young girl, who looks anything like this please contact your LOCAL POLICE, or any of the numbers listed below.

Operation Grange
0207 321 9251 (in the UK)

+44 207 321 9251 (non-UK)

Crimestoppers in confidence 

Thank you for taking your time to read this. 

Many thanks to two lovely ladies leading the action: @AMummysView and @Tea and Biscotti

Thursday, 10 May 2012

This is who I am

Thought I'll introduce myself before getting started with juicy posts:)
So here it comes: I'm 26 woman with a bit of mid-twenties crisis, who wishes she could still be in her teens (life is so much simpler when all you have to do is get up and go to school ha ha, believe me all you teens reading it, enjoy till it lasts :). I love sports, especially running, am passionate about nutrition and healthy lifestyle (and juicing of course). Throughout my teens and early twenties I suffered from Eating Disorders and although recovered, I'm still learning to love my body the way it is.
3 years ago I've been a victim of a crime (I'm not yet ready to go into details here, please forgive me), which transformed me as a person and made me realise life is fragile and I should live it up.  Since then I see the world in a different way than I used to.
I work full time, it isn't my dream job though. My goal is to become a Personal Trainer and nutritionist and I'm currently looking for the suitable courses. The one I think I will be starting as soon as possible is the Juice Therapist course with Jason Vale aka The Juice Master. As you will probably notice in my posts to follow, I'm passionate about juicing and want to juice the world (already started with the part of it near me ;).
What else, well I love and I am loved, and it gives me wings. For the first time in my life I am truly happy and fulfilled. Must admit, it feels amazing and I wish everyone to experience it.
So I think that's it for now. Hope I didn't make anyone (if anyone actually read it) fall asleep. If I did - sweet dreams, if I haven't - hope you read me again :)

Juicy love everyone xxx

P.S. Starting 7 days plan from Jason Vale's "Juice Yourself Slim" on Monday. Will be posting daily about my experience and what it does for my body, soul and mind :) Maybe someone will find it helpful. Happy to advice as much as I can :)