Dumpster juice

Dumpster juice (Photo credit: Thirteen Of Clubs)

I love Naked Juice.  I love how it tastes, love that it’s good for me, and love that I can actually get some nutrients when my ulcerative colitis acts up.

Unfortunately, Naked Juice (and PepsiCo) has been lying to the public about GMOs and being “all natural”.

There’s currently a class action suit against Naked Juice.  If you have ever purchased a Naked Juice, go here  and get all the information.  Even if you have no receipts, still visit this page.

This is one more reason that all GMOs and ingredients should have to be listed in the ingredients… and one more reason PepsiCo (among others) fought so hard to limit it.  (To be fair, so did Coca Cola, who owns Odwalla.)

More on that another time.  For now, go find out what you can do about it.




I am generally what you’d call a high-energy person.  My boyfriend calls me the Energizer Bunny, for example.  I usually need a little less sleep (actually need less, not just run on less).  I wake up ready to go and full of energy.  I have to wind down to make myself sleep at night.

At least, that’s what my life is like when my ulcerative colitis doesn’t take center stage.

Most of the time, UC is about food choices, reducing stress, and dealing with urgent bathroom issues most people don’t need to stress over unless they overdid the Taco Bell the night before.  Sometimes, though, UC is about energy.

Because of my UC, I can’t eat as many things.  A good-sized salad, for example, is generally a bad idea.  Because of that, I sometimes lack nutrients even though I eat with a deliberate eye toward nutrition.  Lack of nutrients can add up… and tear down.

This last week, I have been exhausted.  Some of that I can attribute to monthly hormonal fluctuations; some of it to a hard training schedule for my first half-marathon.  But most of the lack of energy, I suspect, is from the UC flare-up I had the week before.

Being this tired makes me feel like a different person.  Rather than juggling multiple items, I struggle to keep one aloft.  Maintaining relationships is always a struggle for my introvert self; when I’m tired, it becomes an “I’ll get to it later” concept.  I feel a bit disconnected from the world at large.

There’s really nothing I can do about it but ride it out, but I feel less me while I do it.  That’s one of the hidden side effects of this chronic illness.

At least I can look forward to my better days as I work my way through these more low-key ones.  For that, I am grateful.

I try to keep up with nutrition and health information.  This morning, I was skimming news and blogs before work and came across this article by Greatist.com.  They offered 44 “healthy” foods for under $1.  I put “healthy” in quotes because some of the choices are borderline.  I also thought their serving sizes were a little suspect.

For example, they included eggs, peanuts, whey protein, yogurt, milk, whole grain pasta, popcorn, cottage cheese, and edamame… all members of the Sensitive Seven list.  They also listed chicken breast, canned tuna, canned salmon, apples and canned tomatoes.  Chicken breast may contain corn and soy, hormones, and be injected with a broth-mixture.  Canned items should be limited, especially for sodium, and tuna and salmon should be watched for high levels of mercury.  Apples should only be bought organic if possible.

So… I didn’t really agree with their list.  (I won’t even go into them regularly changing serving sizes to make sure they were under the $1 limit.)

Here are my items, around $1 per serving, that were on their list:

  • Most fruits and vegetables in season can be bought for under $1 per serving, even some organic.  Just remember to buy the Dirty Dozen organic and don’t stress over the Clean Fifteen.
  • Beans, especially bought in bulk, will be under $1 per serving.  Just remember to soak them.
  • Brown rice (never white) runs about $0.25 per serving (or $5 for a 2-pound bag).
  • Quinoa will run about $10 for 24 ounces if organic; that comes out to about $1.67 per serving.
  • Lentils (very good with brown rice) should be about $1 per 16 ounces if bought in bulk; per serving, this will come out to about $0.55 per serving.
  • Organic, free-range chicken breasts can be bought for about $3.75 per serving (3.5 ounces) without any effort at all.  No, that’s not under $1… but it’s breasts.  If you want to pay about $1.25 per serving, get a whole chicken.

I could go on, but you get the idea.  It’s possible to eat healthy food, even with food sensitivities, for very little money.  It just takes a little time, a little effort, and a little more money than your Dollar Menu takeout.

Okay, before anyone starts thinking that I’ve really gone off the deep end (too late!), this is by a woman named JJ Virgin, hence the name.  It’s a food intolerance diet, which is very similar to things I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

Basically, she identifies the seven (really eight) most common food intolerances: corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, peanut butter, soy, and sugar (plus artificial sweeteners, which I believe should just be banned from existence).  She then takes you off them for 21 days (how convenient!).  There’s a testing period afterwards to see if you have learned to tolerate four of the seven: dairy, eggs, peanut butter, and soy.  I’m going to leave soy off the list, as I’ve been largely avoiding soy lately, and spend 21 days testing the other three.

Anyone interested in trying this with me?  I’m going to do it (and subject you to posts about it) anyway, but I thought it might be fun to do it with someone.

Just a thought.  Back to your regularly scheduled blog posts…

Proverbs 31:12

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

I think the wording for this portion of Proverbs 31 is telling.  It doesn’t say, “all the days she knows him” or “all the days she is wed to him”.  Before a woman even knows her husband, she brings him good, not harm.

First, please understand that I know as well as anyone that you can’t go back and change your past.  If God would give me a time machine, time turner, do-over, or Ghost of Christmas Past, I would take it in a heartbeat!  He doesn’t, though, so everything I’m saying here can only be applied from here on.  That doesn’t change its relevance.

Every single action in my life, including what I do when I am single, will affect my future husband (or current husband).  That one bad night in Vegas?  That might result in a bad marriage, pregnancy, STD, or just a drunken night on the town (with pictures).  The bad marriage will be baggage you might bring to your future marriage.  The pregnancy is either an abortion or a child that will follow you the rest of your life.  The STD will affect any future partner.  The drunken night on the town might affect him when he applies for a local political office or a spot in the church elders.

It’s sobering, isn’t it?  As I go back through every action in my life, I realise that there are at least three people being affected: me, God, and my husband.  (It also affects my kids, but we’ll stick with the husband for now.)

Beauty comes when your actions affect your husband in a positive way.  When something you do has a positive impact, then you can say your actions bring good, not harm to him.

For those (like me) who are divorced, here’s a hard one for you: your actions should still be bringing good, not harm, to the man you married.  Ouch.  Besides the obvious fact that what I say and do to my ex affects my children, what I say and do will still affect him.  I am not good at this one!  I try to limit what I say about him, but I need to actually be bringing him good??  I’m going to need a little help with this one, God.

If you keep your focus on God, doing good to your husband should be easy.  If, however, your focus on God slips, sometimes it’s helpful to me to at least consider that another human being might be hurt by my actions.  I hope I bring my husband good… today and every day.


Omega-3 fatty acids are needed by the body to run efficiently; our bodies don’t produce them.  Not only do they lower triglycerides, the risk of stroke, and have other benefits that testing still hasn’t proven, but they have beauty benefits, too.  It regulates oil production, keeping skin more supple, prevents acne, and delays the skin’s aging process to prevent wrinkles.

The best sources of Omega-3’s are fatty fishes, fish oils, flaxseed, and flaxseed oil.  Most of us don’t get nearly enough of any of these; 400-1000/mg a day is the recommended minimum.  Try adding a supplement, but also try things like having fish on Fridays, adding flaxseed to your oatmeal or yogurt in the mornings, or using fish oil in your cooking.  Every little bit helps.

After spending so much time and effort on my health, I can’t end this series without focusing on how minimalism relates to my health.

There is a lot out there about how to best stay healthy.  There are costly creams, expensive supplements, and organic foods.  Gyms, exercise equipment, and workout DVDs are another expense.  It can be exhausting just to try to stay in shape.

Staying healthy shouldn’t be that complicated.  It just shouldn’t.

My workout is pretty simple.  I run 2-3 days a week.  I bike 9 miles commuting to and from work.  I try to do a weight workout for every part of my body two times a week.  Soon I’m adding swimming.  I still don’t love yoga, but am trying to use some of the moves for flexibility.  Okay, it sounds complicated, but it usually works out to two workouts in a day (usually back-to-back) and one day completely off each week.

I’m trying to simplify my food.  I stopped worrying about the Clean 15 and focused on the Dirty Dozen.  I cut a lot of meat out of my diet and put in quinoa (cheaper).  I drink less “milk” and most of it is almond milk.  More importantly, though, I cut out most baked goods and refined sugars, coffee, and soda.  Those things up my grocery bill without providing any health benefits.

My goals in minimalist health are as follows:

1.  Observe the Sabbath.  There is a rest day proscribed in the Bible for a reason.

2. Create a minimal menu, where I eat the same type of food at certain meals each week.  No need to recreate the wheel.  By this, I mean have meatless Monday, fish Friday, soup Sunday, etc.

3. I currently need my gym membership in order to swim (and I got a good deal), but I’m trying to buy very little.  I can use what I have, buy used, or do without.

4. Figure out what supplements I truly need, what I can get from food cheaply, and how to do t inexpensively.

Beyond this, I think worrying too much about health will actually be unhealthy, so I’m going to (try) to stop.

I think it can be done…

Well, it appears to be official.  I avoided gluten for most of my 30-day cleanse.  There were small amounts here and there, but nothing significant.

Thursday night I had one-half of a foot-long Subway sandwich, thinking I was making a fairly safe choice.  I was bloated, mildly crampy, and generally unhappy in less than two hours.  My body pretty much purged itself of everything I’d eaten.

I thought, at the time, that maybe I’d just tried to come off the cleanse too fast; I went ahead and had my second half for lunch on Friday.

This time, less than a full hour and I was crampy, in the bathroom, and feeling very “off”.  Even my sinuses seemed to be worse.

I’ve never been tested for a gluten sensitivity, but empirical evidence certainly seems to point toward a strong probability.

I’m going to take most gluten back out of my diet and see how I feel in a few days.