Juice Cleanse: Final Thoughts

So it seems I lost track of time. ;) I’m only a week and a half late but here are my final thoughts on my Juice Challenge with Reboot with Joe.

This challenge was really well done on the part of the Reboot team. Each email was clear, with links and extra information. If you’re interested in trying a juice cleanse, I would definitely recommend them as the place to keep an eye on for their next one or signing up for their personalised Guided Reboots if you’ve got the funds and you’re interested.

As for my physical feelings, and changes I’m not so sold.

As I detailed in my last post here, I had a very hard time for the first three days even though I had been very conscientious in my preparation before the cleanse. The bloating was intense and extremely uncomfortable and I was tired. That was really the only symptoms I had however, no headaches or hunger. By Thursday night, the day I wrote that post, the bloating had returned and I was in tears by the time bed-time came around. I said to Si that I just wanted to quit, that I’d done four days and that was fantastic and I was proud of what I’d achieved. He gently pushed that it was only one extra day. And I decided he was right.

Friday was great. I felt light, no bloating, my skin was clear and I was alert. This was the feeling I was seeking the whole week. But damn did I want to eat something!!! I broke my ‘fast’ on Friday night with a celebratory square of Lindt dark chocolate. Not the best thing to break a juice cleanse with but I was happy, and there are certainly worse things I could have had.

I weighed myself on Saturday morning and I had lost a further 1.4kg (3.1lbs) for a total of 3.8kg (8.4lbs) lost on the cleanse. Not too shabby.

And Saturday is where things just went wrong. It started with a hot cross bun for breakfast, CC’s for lunch then restaurant pasta for dinner. Two out of three were what I’d been craving through the cleanse. I couldn’t face another juice. Or to cut up more produce. I think partially the carb overload is from the carb deprivation from the previous 5 days. I am a carb craver by nature so that’s what I went for. :( I didn’t eat all the pasta so I’m grateful for small mercies.

As I said, I’m a week and a half out from the end of my juice cleanse. My consumption of a plant-based diet has been minimal. Other than the odd juice, regular banana & avocado smoothies, and vegetarian dinners, the rest of my diet has been fairly abysmal. Cheese toasties, home-baked bread and butter. You know, crap. As such, my weight had gone up again by 1.8kg (4lbs) in last week’s weigh in, which has held steady this week thankfully. I am still 3.3kg (7.3lbs) down from the start of the year so I’m still happy with progress.

So now that the long weekend is over, I walked the dog this morning, made a green juice for breakfast, and have planned a healthy lunch and a vegetarian dinner. So fingers crossed this week is the return to healthy living. Wish me luck!

Juice Cleanse

So if you follow me on Instagram, (and if you don’t, why not?!! ;) My handle is anneofjulie! Lots of yarny/doggy/foodie goodness to be had!) you’ll be aware that I’ve been on a juice cleanse since Monday.

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that about this time last year I was talking about a plant-based diet and wanting to get rid of my excess weight. Well, obviously I did nothing about it most of the year last year. In December I really decided I’d had enough, I couldn’t fit in my size 20 jeans. Something had to be done so my new year’s resolution was set: Become healthy, fit, actually have that plant-based diet and lose weight!

It just so happened that in December I received an email from Reboot with Joe about a 5-day juice cleanse happening in January 2016. I signed up immediately. You might know Joe (ha I rhyme!) from his documentary ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’ and its sequel that you can catch on Netflix. It is about his journey to cure himself of auto-immune disease and lose his excess weight. He spent two months in the US drinking nothing but juice. Yep, you read right, two months of only juice. And now on my fourth day of my cleanse, I really have NO IDEA how he went for so long without chewing!!!

I meant to do a write up of each day as I went along but obviously that didn’t happen!  ;) So I thought I’d do a quick rundown now.

Sunday my hubby, Si and I went out and we purchased everything I’d need for my 5-day juice cleanse. Surprisingly it wasn’t as expensive as I expected. I’d say all together it was just over $100 to get everything I needed. We laid it all out and I took a selfie with all my produce. As you do.

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And here’s what it looked like without my mug in front of it:

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Hubs did a fabulous job of rearranging and packing the fridge for me. Grouping everything together in easy to find places. What a gem! I had spent the previous week and a half beginning the detox by avoiding processed food, gluten containing foods, meat and dairy. It was advised that this could help to reduce detox symptoms once the cleanse began.

Monday I’d made plans to go to my mother-in-law’s house to start work on some bunting that I’m sewing for her birthday party. So my morning was making up three lots of juice to take with me as we were staying for dinner. Well, hubs was having dinner, I was having juice. By the afternoon, my stomach began to get bloaty and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. I was a little tired and because of that, grumpy. Thankfully I wasn’t very hungry. I was devastated that I missed out on a home cooked, Chinese meal by one of the MIL’s Chinese boarding students but I had made a commitment so I stuck to it. The other student said she felt sorry for me that all I had to drink was juice when her friend had made such excellent food. At that point she was dead to me. Lol, not really but YA DIDN’T NEED TO KICK ME WHEN I WAS ALREADY DOWN!!! STOP RUBBING IT IN THAT YOU’RE HAVING A FABULOUS DINNER! ;)

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Monday’s breakfast

Tuesday was a very hot day so I mostly just sat around the house, monitoring the dog to ensure he wasn’t too hot. The bloating hadn’t stopped and I was getting increasingly uncomfortable. Thank goodness I didn’t have any headaches or I would have been not nice to be around. I didn’t particularly like my lunch juice, it had capsicum in it and although it didn’t taste too bad, the smell of the capsicum was really off putting.

Wednesday was my worst day. If you do follow on Instagram, you would have seen my selfie for the day was a very demotivated, very sad little panda. I was SO uncomfortable with multiple IBS symptoms though I do not have IBS. I was tired, teary and just over it. I wanted to CHEW something; the craving for a cold, crunchy salad was overwhelming. Si got me to pick him up some hot cross buns and CC’s (corn chips) while I was out running errands and they practically taunted me from the kitchen. You have no idea the amount of self control it took to not rip open and devour a packet of CC’s. To have the cheesy, crunchy chips masticating in my mouth (alliteration anyone?). And the smell of the hot cross buns was almost too much. But I didn’t break. Si suggested chewing some celery and spitting it out just to chew but I couldn’t. I looked towards Saturday when I can eat again, Si put on an Indiana Jones film and I just tuned out how crappy I was feeling. The very small amount of consolation I had was that both the breakfast and lunch juices for the day were lovely.

So, now we reach today. The IBS symptoms are gone! Hoorah! And I’m feeling bright and positively cheerful! My lovely friend S told me that the third day is the “resolution” day and it seems that has been accurate for me. My breakfast juice today was revolting so I drank most of one serve and threw the rest away. It was a large part silverbeet (chard) with just cucumber and carrot and it just tasted like eating straight silverbeet. Yuck. The remainder was supposed to be for afternoon tea but I feared I might vomit if I tried to drink it.  So I’ll just have some coconut water instead.

I’m very glad tomorrow is the last day. There’s no way I could last two months doing this. That being said, I think the results speak for themselves. After only two days of juice-only, I’d lost 2.4kg (5.3lbs) which takes my weight loss this year to 5.1kg (11.2lb). My skin is bright and clear and I feel very alert today. And guess what, I tried on my jeans today AND THEY FIT!!! YAY!!! I’ll try and post again on Saturday with my final weight results from the cleanse and final thoughts.

Would you do a juice cleanse? Have you done one and would you do it again? How did it go?

 

2015 Blog Performance in Review 

I just got a nifty email from WordPress detailing my blog in 2015. It was really interesting to see my most popular posts and stats. If you’re a stat nerd too, you can check it out here!

Thanks for sticking with me this year! See you in the next one. 😘

WIP Wednesday

Wow! We’re two days out from Christmas! Can you believe it?!! I hope everyone’s Christmas knitting is done or very close to.

I’m really only smashing my way through one final WIP, the Snowflake pullover by tincanknits. This is a Christmas present for my little niece. She’s about 20 months old now, so I’ve knit the 2-4 year size.

It’s a pattern I’ve been crushing on for ages, so I thought I’d knit it up for little A, ready for when the weather starts cooling down next year. And for a good practice run for knitting my own in the future. ;)

The pattern starts off with the yoke knit flat with the snowflake pattern. Then it is joined in the round to knit the body down, then the sleeves.

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Snowflake patterned yoke

I’m knitting it in some Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Butter that I’ve had in my stash for about a year and a half. The yarn sat there so long because I purchased it in a MadTosh grab-bag from Eat.Sleep.Knit. As it was a grab-bag, I didn’t have any choice over colours but on the flipside, I got 5 skeins of MadTosh Tosh DK for a very reasonable price. I got 2 x skeins of Grove (forest green), 1 x skein Cape Town Rainbow (multicoloured) and 2 x skeins of Butter. And, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, yellow really isn’t one of my colours. But I have to say, I’m loving this colour in this knit!

The yarn appears to be kettle dyed so there’s stitches that are slightly paler and slightly darker all through the fabric. I love this look. It gives such depth and texture to plain stockinette fabric.

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Ready for sleeves!

The pattern calls for about 500 yards of yarn to complete the long-sleeved version of the sweater. I only had two skeins of the Tosh DK, at 225 yards each so I’m just short on yardage. However, I had 60g of yarn left after finishing the body and the button placket for the yoke so I’ve pretty much knit the first sleeve up to 30g of yarn and using the remainder on the second sleeve.

I’ve found that A usually needs her tincanknits cardigans rolled up on the cuff so I’m hoping the slightly shorter sleeves will be okay. The pattern calls for 9.5″ before the cuff on the size I’m knitting and I got to about 8.5″ before the cuff on the first sleeve. So they’re only 1″ short + the shorter cuff. Oh well. If they turn out too short, I’ll just have an excuse to knit her some mittens! My project page can be found here.

So there’s my last soon-to-be FO before Christmas. How have your knitting plans gone for this Christmas?

And before I go, I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to my readers, and here’s to a happy and safe New Year. Thank you for sticking with me through this year, and I hope to be with you more often in the New Year.

Julieanne xx

#anneofjuliescrapdown

Hello friends! I am embarking on an endeavour that will help to clear my yarn stash. Read on!

I have realised that a large proportion of my documented yarn stash on Ravelry is partial skeins. The leftovers may be big or small but they are all now orphans as the original project they were for has been completed. As one of my goals this year (most of which I’ve failed miserably at fulfilling!) was to have a simplified, decluttered home I thought it was about time to get these yarns out of my stash.

Now this makes things tricky. Especially the smaller quantities. I don’t like to waste yarn. Often the amounts I have are not quite a newborn baby hat, but they are far more than throwaway quantities. I have a Memory Blanket going for both fingering and worsted weight, and I’ve started knitting hexipuffs for a Bee Keepers quilt, but what to do with the rest? Thank goodness for the Ravelry pattern search function!

I’ve decided the way I will go about using up scraps and getting them out of my stash is to have a ‘scrap down’. I will systematically go through my stash alphabetically, and find something to make from my scraps. :) And I’ve already ridded myself of two entries from my Ravelry yarn stash! I am using the tag ‘anneofjuliescrapdown’ on my projects on Ravelry and also on Instagram if you want to keep up with my progress!

The first project in my scrap down is this Be Loving beanie (free pattern), using some 8 ply/DK wool.

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As I didn’t have enough yarn to make a whole hat, I striped two coordinating colours and I love the result! My project page here.

As I didn’t quite use up all that was left, I crocheted up some little cuties called Dream Drops (free pattern)! How cute are these?!! Squee!!!

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After that, my yarn was all gone! And I got to move two stash entries to “All used up”! :D My project page here.

My next project is some mis-matched socks using up some acrylic fingering weight leftovers. I don’t have enough of either yarn to make an entire pair of socks, but should have enough to knit two socks total so I thought I’d swap out the ribbing, heel and toe to be the other colour and have some same but different socks. I’ve had this idea cooking for ages and now that I’m focused on scrap-downing (totally a word) I’ve cast them on! I only started today so here’s my progress:

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I love how the flecks of grey in the variegated yarn match the grey of the cuff. I’m gonna love these! I’m going to be doing my first afterthought heels on these socks. I found a pattern on Ravelry by Laura Linneman of the KnitGirlls podcast. I don’t actually watch the podcast but this was a free pattern and I’m only really using it to guide me on the afterthought heel, the rest of the sock will by my usual vanilla style. I shall keep you posted with how I go! My project page here.

I’m thinking that a lot of these scrap projects can go in a box and I can use them as gifts throughout the year. My tastes and colour preferences have changed since I purchased a lot of this yarn so I thought it would be a good option to have a gift box of hand knitted/crocheted items to give away. :)

So, what do we think? Do you need to have a scrap down?

 

 

Busy bee!

So I’ve just had the most wonderful long weekend of knitting! It’s been so relaxing and I’ve got a lot done. I work a casual job and I wasn’t required on Friday so I had three days to relax, recharge and knit!!! All these projects are being knit as part of the Down Cellar Studio Pigskin Party KAL 2015.

I got a lot of progress done on a pair of vanilla socks. So much so I was able to finish them yesterday!

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Wizarding Socks

These were knit in Knit Picks Felici in the Wizard colourway. I was glad that I didn’t find any knots in these balls of yarn. The last socks I knit with Felici had at least one knot (not even in stripe sequence!) per ball. Not happy Jan. But these two balls were fine. I knit these on 2.5mm 9″ circulars, casting on 64 stitches. Originally my vanilla socks were using Susan B. Anderson’s How I Make My Socks recipe but now I just do it all from memory. I added two rows to my heel flap (total 34 rows) to allow a little more room through the heel/instep area. These slide on much better than most of my socks so I’m very happy with the fit. I love these colours and was also so happy that the two colours of nail polish I’ve worn this week matched two colours in the stripes! :)

My second FO of the weekend was for the October Interception for the KAL. It was to knit a stuffie for bonus points. You get even more points for a uniform in your gridiron team colours but being an Aussie, I don’t watch US football so I skipped the uniform.

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Bonbon bunny!

This is a Susan Claudino pattern. It is available on Ravelry for US$6.00. It’s the most unique toy I’ve ever made. All the appendages get knit into the body/head as you go. It was a lot of fun to knit and think the FO is just so cute! I knit her with some Panda Circus self-striping acrylic 8ply yarn. The colourway was Fairy Floss. My project page here.

The last project that I put a big dent in was my Aisling shawl.

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Granger is helping. ;)

This is being knit in Knit Picks Stroll tonal in the Shale (light) and Inverness (dark) colourways. This is available as a Ravelry download for US$5.00. I have completed the body of the shawl and am now about to start the edging. I didn’t have enough yarn to finish the last row of the last section of raindrops so I just made it up with the darker colour. Hopefully I’ll have enough of the Inverness to complete the edging. It seems that a lot of other people who have knit this pattern have run out of yarn so fingers crossed. Otherwise I’ll need to order more from the US. I love the Inverness colourway so it won’t be a tragedy if I have a bit left over from an extra skein. ;)

So that’s what I’ve been knitting. I need to have a project done by Saturday for my sister’s birthday so that’s what I’ll be knitting on this week. Hopefully I’ll have an FO Friday for you!

Happy knitting!

FO: The Black Death Shawl

One of my favourite podcasters is hanging up her microphone, and this is my tribute to her.

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Sorry for the overblown picture. It was hard to photograph in my office’s lighting.

This podcast is the Electric Sheep Podcast. She has been on hiatus for quite a while and recently shared the news that she’s stepping away from her blog and podcast indefinitely. This pattern, Black Death, was written by Hoxton while recovering from a nasty infection in her leg, hence the morbid name.

I knit this in two days. Count ’em, two. For a 440 yard shawl. Granted I have been unwell and home for that time but still pretty impressive I think. ;)

This is a better indication of the colour.

This is a better indication of the colour.

This is a free pattern download on Ravelry. It is a very addictive and enjoyable knit. I have so many great and interesting knits on the go but I just couldn’t put this down. :) It doesn’t even start with a garter tab, it’s that simple. :) This is my first finished object for Down Cellar Studio’s Pig Skin Party 2015 too! I’m on the board! ;)

I cast off last evening and immediately sent it for a bath so I could block it and wear it today. I used Dream in Colour Classy (old base) for this one. I wasn’t a fan of the yarn I have to say. It was very stiff and little hard on the hands. It’s softened a little after a wash but still a bit coarse. I wouldn’t buy this base again. Not sure what the new base is like, I haven’t purchased any more but I believe it is supposed to be softer. I was a little concerned with the amount of dye that came out too:

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Hopefully there will be no transfer whilst wearing it. And I’d better be careful not to get it wet while wearing it!

The pattern suggests blocking it aggressively so that’s what I did:

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I really wish I had some blocking wires. That way I’d get those points in a straight line! ;)

So there you go. My marathon effort for this week! Find my project page here.