The Best Exercise While Juicing

Boy, do I have a story to tell y’all… but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s video to hear it all. :) In the meantime, let me tell you a semi-brief anecdote to explain why I believe walking is the hands down best exercise to engage in while juicing.

August was an INCREDIBLY hard month for me. It seemed as if all my get-up-and-go got up and left me. I began my Bikram challenge, but crapped out after the 10th day. I was ridiculously emotional, tired, irritable, sad… I had not frickin’ clue what was happening to little ol’ me! This is when I decided to go on hiatus – I stopped everything, shut off the phone, turned off the computer, ignored all emails, texts and Facebook comments. I needed to reset. 

For the first week of my hiatus, I laid in bed curled up in the fetal position. Well, that didn’t really help much… aside from finally getting all the sleep I think my body needed, I was still wrestling with my crap. So, one day, I started walking. Nothing major, no power walking or anything… just a simple, easy stroll around my neighborhood. 

Being the Type-A Virgo that y’all know I am, the desire to take my iPhone pedometer app, music and hand-weights was huge, but I fought it back like a champ. I knew that if I was going to get in touch with whatever the peckinpaw was going on with me, I would need to be silent. So I laced up my sneakers and left the house. No music, no phone, no nothing. Just me, the wind, the sun, and the pavement. I didn’t track the time… I just walked and listened to my head and my heart.

Eureka. Houston, we have achieved clarity. 

I began doing this every day. Not because I wanted to win some race or put myself through some challenge, but because I realized how long it had been since I just stopped to think. I have been exercising in one form or another for years, but I can honestly say that I have never done it without some outside influence or distraction. There has always been a trainer yelling, some music pumping, a friend chatting, a yoga instructor instructing… SOMETHING outside of myself and my own thoughts happening to take me out of my head. Now, there was nothing but the sound of my own footsteps and breathing, and I could finally hear what was happening with me… fully and completely. 

This is why I say that walking is the best exercise when you are juicing.

Many of us have a variety of reasons for getting into juicing (whether doing an all-out cleanse or just adding a juice or two to our daily meal plan). No matter who you are, though, I will bet you dimes to dragonfruit that as you progress in your juicing plan, those emotions start kicking up and kicking YOU in the chest. The temptation to bear down on them and stomp them out with the nearest Twix bar can be a bit overwhelming at times, ain’t it? We don’t WANT to hear what’s happening inside. We don’t WANT to face our fears, our demons, our scary monsters in the closet. But if we do not, how will we ever get past them? How will we exorcise the demon if we continue to ignore it? 

When you walk without distraction – be it for 10 minutes or 90 – you can listen to yourself. You can be out there crying, screaming (well, maybe not too loud on that front as not to alarm random passersby), talking to yourself… you can do it all. Most of all, you can BREATHE through it, and the breathing only helps as you’re moving your body. There’s nothing to take your mind away from how you feel, and that is a good thing. Use the time as your walking to process. Make it your time in the day to be with YOU and only you so you can process through the inevitable emotional stuff that comes up during a cleanse. 

That’s what came out of my time away. Well, there’s something else, too… but for that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s video. 

A Testimony: How Bikram Feels Different on Raw

Did y’all know I made a first attempt at Bikram years ago? The year? 2007. The place? Bend, Oregon. It was the first time I had every heard of this crazy hot yoga shizznizzle and decided to take a leap and try it out. I shook, I sweated, I fell over… and I fell in love.

Until after the class. Short story even shorter, I was EXHAUSTED. I damn near passed out on the way home the first day. I made it through about five classes and gave up because, even though I felt great during the session, I got absolutely nothing done afterwards. I could barely lift my fast-food meal to my mouth!

Fast forward five years. Now, I feel like a newborn baby! I know it’s only Day 2/60, but DAYUM!

Now, I WAS tired yesterday after class, but an hour nap took care of that and it felt nowhere near the fatigue that was the Oregon experience. Today, I feel all brand new and stuff. I even went on a quick 40-minute, 3-mile hike with my father this morning before Bikram. Check that out, ladies and gents: TWO workouts today.

So, what’s the difference?

Y’all know that Bikram is the same 26 poses. The same Hades-inspired temperature. The same 90 minutes. What’s DIFFERENT is my diet, plain and simple. When I lived in Oregon, there wasn’t a fast-food joint that I didn’t frequent on the regular. I didn’t put together that the food was what was “weighing me down”. Now, I’m hooked on wheatgrass shots and fresh juice. I’m salivating over kale avocado salads and veggie-packed nori rolls. I’m taking in real, honest to goodness nutrients into my body, and my body is reacting in kind. The food is the difference.

Bikram at 6:00 AM tomorrow. I’m all giddy!

Bikram + Raw = The New Carla

Last week, I decided that I was going to jump into a two-fold challenge: beginning August 1st, 365 days of raw food and 60 days of Bikram yoga. Straight. In a row. No excuses. Yeah….. yeah. I know. 

For those of you who don’t know, Bikram yoga is 90 minutes and 26 postures in a room that’s a little hotter than the center of Hell. Don’t get me wrong… it’s wonderful, and it’s grueling. Afterwards you feel as if you’ve been rung dry (literally), but there’s also an exhilaration and euphoria felt from knowing that you actually made it through the fire. It’s also a massive detoxifier (all that sweat? No wonder!) and excellent for the muscles. 

Why Bikram? Why 365 days of raw? A couple of reasons:

  1. After playing around with raw foods over the last year, I know that’s how my body feels best. 
  2. I LOVE raw food. Is there anything better than a kale salad? Maybe… a nori roll. With avocado. Oooh…. AVOCADO.
  3. I tried Bikram a few years ago and fell in love. 
  4. 90 minutes of constant sweat vs. 30-45 minutes of my current workout. The math is undeniable.
  5. I need that stretch. No matter what exercise I do now, I am NOT getting my full stretch on and I feel like I’m beginning to walk around like an old lady whose had her hips replaced. 

Some of you may think I am an extremist… and you wouldn’t be wrong. I know who I am and all my crazy tendencies! You don’t need to remind me, dammit! LOL! But I digress. Here was my wake up call: I recently looked back over my journey and realized that it has been years since I began focusing on weight loss. YEARS. Three, to be exact. When I realized that, I almost had a panic attack. I flipped through my phone to see lots of “before” photos. I read through blog posts to see how I had stopped and started and stopped again. I realize that I have made strides, progress and discoveries, but has it been enough or have I just been playing around?

The old adage of “in order to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done” comes into play and rings in my brain. I am tired of playing around with my health. I am tired of dipping back and forth into cooked foods. I am tired of little victories that turn into steps backwards (or, God forbid, staying the same). To me, the only way to break out of the cycle is extreme, consistent change that creates lasting habits.

Now, I HAVE been exercising during the #Juice60 challenge, and that has been great. However, I want to take it to the next level. I want to take my whole LIFE to the next level.

Ever felt that way?