Monday, July 13, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes

Today I am the happiest creature. Why? Because yesterday I succesfully finished my 7 day cleanse. It was the best experience I have ever had. I am praising the Lord with all my heart. I feel a big sense of accomplishment and gratitude :) At first the journey was bumpy but as time passed my body adjusted. By day 5 I was soaring. Anything is possible if we purpose in our heart to do it and if we find a good support group (or person).

My first raw food were these lovely tomatoes. I chopped these beauties up and added raw onion (sweet) lemon and salt. The flavor was heavenly (especially when you've been on a green drink fast). Heirloom tomatoes are by far my favorite. If you've never had one I highly recommend you go to Whole Foods (or wherever you can get them) and purchase one. Then you'll know what I mean :) You can also do a search and find out why they are so good and special (even though they are unappealing estetically).
Day 5 & 6 at a glance

-Both of these day where very similar to day 5 (you can view here)
the only difference was that I alternated my green drinks with collard greens, mustard greens (which was my least favorite-too spicy) and dandelion greens.

Discomforts:
None. By day 6 I was used to my diet. I do recommend preparing a menu. It helps to stay focus. This is true whether you are fasting or not. If you prepare a weekly menu chances are you'll eat healthier, save money and time. I am going to begin a weekly menu for my family since it helped me so much during this week.

Benefits:
-I lost 5 inches from my body
-I love some green drinks and I am planning to incorporate them into my daily diet.
-My taste buds have become more senitive-meaning I eat simpler
-I eat less ( I feel like my stomach shrunk)
-I feel very light and clean inside (the weirdest thing)

**As far as clearer complextion I think I need a few more weeks of green drinks. I can't tell any difference. I did take some pics if I notice any differnce as I continue to take my daily green drinks I'll be sure to post the before and after.

That's it for today. Thanks for those of you who emailed to encourage me. That ment alot and honestly it helped me stay focus and fulfill my goal.

Blessings,
Jessica

**Every Wednesday I'll have a post on health and food facts. Sometimes I'll include recipes (I promise I'll post them with pictures and I'll try it before sharing) :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For the Joy of Cards

There's nothing like going to your craft corner (wherever that may be) pulling your chair, grabbing a stamp set some ink pads, paper and getting creative. Nothing says joy more clearly. Wouldn't you agree?!? I savour every opportunity I get in my craft room. It's therapy for me. This card came during one of my sessions ;) I had a liitle free time and with an idea already in mind I was able to produce this card in like 10 minutes or less. I love it when that happens.

Something I really find helpful when trying to maximize my time in my studio is carry with me a little sketch book and write or draw ideas. I normally describe what I am looking at (elegant, hip, simple, fresh, etc.) then I draw a simple lay out and write a couple of color combos that might go with that idea. That way next time I go to my studio I can go straight to create and not have to spend time thinking what to do (this works really well if you are on a tight schedule and still are in need of a little therapy) ;)
Now for my cleanse updates

Day 5 at a glance:

-6:30 woke up refreshed
-8:00 drank 16 0z hot water
-9:00 12 oz. green drink (kale, avocado, tomato, garlic, lemon juice, salt)
-water
-1:30 12 oz green drink same as above
-6:00 5 leaves of rainbow swiss chard
-water till sleepy time :)

Discomforts:

None. However, I did have a major tempatation. At around 8 pm my stomach began to growl. Hunger was the signal I was receiving from my brain. A signal I am very familiar with. The message was, "have a big bowl of crunchy sweet cereal". "Whole grain if you want". At that moment I happened to be in the kitchen a place my brain knows all too well. So, I did what I do best, follow orders. And there I was facing the pantry looking at the vast selection of cereals. Just as I was about to grab a box my conscience priked me and the battle began. Some call it reasoning. Little did I know how strong reason could be when it comes to hunger. I fought the thought and at the final moment just when I was about to open the box of cereal I cried out to my Lord. My conscience gained the victory over reason - my brain filled with habits I have formed for years now. I left the kitchen, turned the lights off, grabbed my guitar and began to play some songs of praise.

The moral of the story is... there's nothing that can deter you from your goal when you are committed. Not even hunger :)

"I can do all things through Christ who strenghthens me". Philipians 4:13

Blessings,
Jessica

Materials:
Cardstock: PTI's Kraft, Raspberry Fizz, Recycled Off White Bulk
Stamps: PTI's Damask (a Raspberry Suite Specialty), Out on a Limb
Ink: Opera Pink, Burnt Umber
Other: Scalloped Scissors, Ribbon, Mini Pearls

Friday, July 10, 2009

More Green Drinks!!

Hi there,

Today's post will be shorter. I'll just cut to the chase. My cleanse is going really well. I've been able to stay focus. I have been tempted to eat however I have overcome and let me tell you it feels good to overcome :) I can only credit my strength and determination to the Good Lord. If any of you have been following my blog lately (body cleanse) then you'll understand what I mean.

The recipes for my green drinks have been taken from Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. I received a copy from a friend a while ago and I was impressed by all Boutenko covers in her book. There are so many testimonies {in her book} of all the great things green drinks did for individuals from curing diseases to having clarity of mind and clearer complextion and everything in between. Needless to say I was compelled to try it for myself. Here I am on day 4 and feeling great. I can't believe I didn't do this sooner :)

Day 4 at a glance
-7:00 woke up refreshed drank my water
-9:00 had a glass of green drink (romaine lettuce, apricots, bananas and blueberries)I mixed the psyllium husk with the drink
- had heirloom tomatoes with lemon juice, cayenne and salt
-9:30-12:00 lots of water
-12:30 another glass of green drink (same as above)
-from here till 6 pm had a normal day just lots of water
-6:30 had lots of water and grape juice (fresh)

Discomforts:
-I was really battling. I wanted to eat a piece of toast with butter so badly. I left the house and that helped me stay focused :) It feels so good to overcome. PTL!!! Other than that the day was wonderful.

**If you'd like a recipe or learn more about the benefits of green drinks don't hesitate to ask I'll be more than happy to pass on the goods.** ;)

Blessings,
Jessica

I'll be back tomorrow with Day 5 at a glance and a card!!! See you then.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thank God For Prayer!!


Hello,

Yesterday was quite the day!! If any of you have been following my posts, then you probably read about my new adventure- a complete body cleanse. I've been chronicling ever day of my cleanse here on my blog.
Anyhow, yesterday I woke up with lots of energy. I was doing perfectly well until I had a shot of wheat grass. Have any of you ever had one? Oh, boy!!! The stuff tastes like freshly cut liquified lawn. It is so strong. Apparently it has lots of health benefits. It's known to boost the immune system, 1 oz. of the intensely green liquid is equivalent to 2 1/2 pounds of veggies, it's a great source of chlorophyl (should that even be mentioned) which is basically liquid sunshine plus it's a natural internal deodorant. Very unique drink. The reason I mention it is because yesterday I drank one shot and it made my stomach so sick. It was unreal. That really took away all my motivation. I was feeling so miserable. The only thing I could think of doing was go to my room and cry. I was so discouraged. I went to my husband and asked him if he could pray for me because I didn't think I could follow through with my cleanse. He embraced me, encouraged me then he prayed for me. I felt like a stream of warm water was being poured through my back-so soothing. Prayer is such a precious gift from God. It has been my biggest strength especially during these last few days (it hasn't been easy giving up solid, yummy cooked food). In fact, it was prayer what got me back on tract. As far as the wheat grass, later that day I found out I wasn't supposed to take it because it's too strong for a tummy that's being cleansed. Oopsy!!
Here's what my day looked like.

Day 3 at a glance:
-7:00 warm water 28 oz
-8:00 14 oz green drink (bananas, strawberries, romaine lettuce, and dandelion greens)
-9:00 Psyllium Husk powder drink
-9:30 Acidophilus and 8 oz green drink
-lots of water
-1:00 carrot juice with the 1 oz wheat grass (yuk!!)
-the rest of the day my stomach was miserable :(
-drank warm water and that soothed my tummy and I was able to sleep :)

Discomforts:
-extremely nauseous (because of wheat grass)
-tiered
-dry mouth (even though I was drinking water like crazy)

Overall status:
-despite all the challenges I was able to (with the help of God and husbands support) stay strong and regain focus :)

**Edited to add**
I am not against drinking wheat grass I just took it at the wrong time :)

Now for todays card which I thought was very fitting with my post.

Materials:
Cardstock: PTI's Kraft, Off White Linen
Stamps: Inkadinkado, All Night Media (Spaltter Pattern), PTI's Damask (for sentiment)
Ink: PTI's Vintage Cream, Palette Burnt Umber, Versa Color Pink Opera
Other: Mini Pearls

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Wonderful Carrot

Yesterday was the 2nd day of my body cleanse. I am so excited to have completed two entire days. I didn't realize how much I love eating and how much I miss cooking until I have to give it up for a few days. My DH has been very supportive. He's been preparing meals for Moriah (our little girl) and himself. That's made it much easier for me to focus :)

Now for day 2 at a glance.
- I followed the same schedule as in day 1
-6:00 am woke up very energized ready for my 2nd day of cleansing
-9:00 am I drank 28 oz. of fresh homemade carrot juice to that I added my aloe vera juice (2 oz.)
-1:00 pm I drank 16 oz. carrot juice
-2:00 pm I took my second dose of psyllium husk
-The rest of the day was water with lime and cayenne pepper

Discomforts:
-11:00 am felt hunger (didn't last long) :)
-4:00 pm felt very tiered and sleepy so I took a nap (I never nap during the day)
-6:00 pm felt a mild headache
-8:00 pm felt hunger (mild)

Overall status:
-Feel very good and optimistic. I can function during the day, run errands, smell food and not be tempted :) and play with my little girl.

Carrot Facts:
-Carrots have the highest content of carotene-the body converts this to vitamin A
-Excellent source of vitamin B and C
-Extraordinary source of calcium pectate (a pectin fiber that has been found to lower cholesterol)
-It's better to eat cooked (or juiced) in order to assimilate more nutrients
`**when cooking do not peel (10% of the nutrients are in the peel) or chop cook whole instead and chop once is done**

Try adding some carrots into your diet and reap the benefits of this super nutrient packed food.

Have a great day!
I'll be back later with another card creation :)
Jessica

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Loving Green

Welcome back!! Today I have a very simple and elegant looking card. This one was inspired by nature. Since I was a little girl I remember green being my favorite color. My home decor presently evolves around this lovely color.

Green today has a special meaning and that is reduce, reuse & recycle. At home we're all about that. Lately, I've been trying to incorporate a more green approach to my crafts (specifically cards). An easy way to do this is by using recycled paper/cardstock. The base for this card is made from recycled tree fibers. There's also other ways to incorporate recycled items into your crafts (also less expensive) :) Try to reuse buttons from old clothes, pieces of magazine for background pattern paper or cereal boxes to punch out flowers or other shapes and use as chipboard. I'll be trying some of these myself :)

Have a lovely day!
Stay tuned for updates on Day 2 at a Glance of my body cleanse :)

Blessings,
Jessica

Materials:
Cardstock: Recycled paper (Paper Source), PTI"s Ripe Avocado, Chocolate
Stamp: Stampology, PTI's Out on a Limb
Ink: Adirondack Lettuce, Palette Burnt Umber


Monday, July 6, 2009

"Absolutely Fabulous"

Hello!! My cards sentiment reads "Absolutely Fabulous". However, I am so not feeling fabulous (at least not yet). Today I began a 7-day body cleanse (you can read about it here).

Here's a brief summary of my day.

Day 1 at a glance:
-First thing in the morning on an empty stomach I took 16 oz of lukewarm distilled water I drank it slowly because it was making me so sick (I did finish it)
-An hour later I drank 8 oz water with Psyllium Husk (it was hard to drink texture wise)I drank it anyway :)
-20 min. later I drank 2 oz aloe vera juice
- 10:00 am I began drinking a mixture of freshly squeezed lemons and cayenne pepper in 3 quarts of distilled water (this I drank through out the day)
-the rest of the day I was drinking water- lots of it.

Discomforts:
-2:30pm felt hungry it lasted only 5 min.
-4:30pm felt very sleepy and tiered
-6:00pm very dizzy and hungry
-8:00pm extremely dizzy (drank the last bit of my lemon/cayenne water
-lots of restroom stops (no more water please) :0*

I am so happy water day is over. I do feel a sense of accomplishment. This is only the first day, I have 6 more to go. The remaining days will be much easier (I hope) as they incorporate juicing and shakes.

Disclaimer:
**NEVER START ANY HEALTH PROGRAM WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE ANY KNOWN HEALTH CONDITIONS**

Tomorrow (Lord willing) I'll post day 2 at a glance. Stay tuned :)

Now for the fun stuff :0) This evenings card color scheme came from one of Dawn's Color Inspiration. I really like the way these colors work together. For the birdie I used a Making Memories die cut from the whimsy collection and traced it onto PTI's Raspberry Fizz cardstock. It turned out pretty cute :)

Thanks for visiting!
Blessings,
Jessica

Materials:
Cardstock: PTI's Raspberry Fizz, Spring Moss & Ripe Avocado
Stamps: PTI's Boxes, Bags & Tags & Guide Lines, Mixed Messages
Ink: Adirondack Lettuce, Palette Burnt Umber, PTI's Vintage Cream
Other: brad, extra fine glitter

Mending the Body and Soul



Today's card, I thought, was very appropriate for the occasion. I am starting a 7-day body cleanse (this is where you wish me luck) :) My cleanse will be simple but it will take lots of will power to make it all the way through. By God's grace and lots of prayer I'll stick to it. The reason I'm doing the cleanse is because I believe health comes from within. We are what we eat. Adding refined foods, sugars and fats (especially animal fats) to our bodies bogs down our systems.

Every now and then our bodies need a pause, it needs a little bit of nature to get back in tract. I have been a vegetarian for 11 years and the benefits have been remarkable but even then, there's still a lot of "junk" that goes in to my body. Especially when I don't moderate sweets and fats (even if they are vegetarian) :0*

What I hope to achieve through this cleanse:
-Clarity of mind
-Clearer Skin
-More energy
-Healthier Colon
-Weight Loss

The human body is so forgiving. I couldn't agree more with David (The Psalmist) when he said, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." Our bodies are continually being damaged either by ways we can control (eating habits, lack of exercise, etc.) ways we are totally responsible for, or ways that are out of our control (pollution, stressors, etc.). Therefore, I believe we have the responsibility to do all we can (with God's help) to understand the proper function of our individual bodies to understand our particular needs and strive to be, eat, and stay healthy.

Hopefully you'll find a blessing or two while I chronicle my body cleanse adventure :)

Have a Wonderful Day!
Jessica

**EDITED TO ADD MATERIALS**
Material:
Cardstock: PTI's Kraft, Aqua Mist, Rip Avocado (for the little leaves)
Stamps: Damask, Quilters Sampler
Ink: Palette Water Lily Green, Burnt Umber, Versa Color Amber
Other: Buttons (Foo-la-la), Flower was cut from a patterned paper (MM Mat Stack) I got this pad at Target (gotta love it) :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Good Day!!




Hope you've had a great weekend so far! I have really enjoyed mine. Lots of fellowship and good food. Can't complain :) On different note...

My lovely husband loves giving me gifts especially flowers. He always knows when to bring a bouquet. That always makes my day (or evening) ;) Last week he brought home sunflowers they are just gorgeous. I took some pictures but they don't do justice. Aren't they beautiful?!?

My little girl also loves giving me flowers (dandelions and clovers). She bunches them up and puts them in a spice jar full of water and hands them to me as a gift. I then take that special gift and put it on the center of the dining table. That makes her day :)

Todays card design was inspired by my love for flowers and PTI's Berry Sorbet cardstock :) It's such a girlie card. Love it!!

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for some new weekday fun here on my blog. Think calendar of activities ;)
Have a great Sunday
Blessings,
Jessica

Materials:
Cardstock: PTI's Chocolate, Berry Sorbet, Cream and Melon Pink (Marcel)
Stamps: PTI's Green Thumb, Hero Arts Backgrounds
Ink: PTI's Vintage Cream, Berry Sorbet, Burnt Umber
Others: Stitched ribbon, Staple