Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nutritionally Starved

I really think I'm a weather vane and have discussed this many times with my husband who feels the same way with his illness.  He has ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis he has had since childhood.  I can tell you several days ahead when it's going to rain or if the weather is about to change or if that tropical storm in the gulf is going to be a hurricane.  Ok, quit laughing.  It's true.  I firmly believe our bodies react to the activity of the earth whether we are healthy or sick.  Did you ever notice how you feel on a sunny day compared to a rainy day?  It's not the same is it?  

The past several days I started having some inflammation flare ups.  Thanks goodness I'm sticking to my green juice and smoothies on a daily basis.  I'm actually pleased because the flare ups are more manageable than they have ever been.  I didn't even need any pain medication and that is unusual for me, especially with Isaac tossing a fit in the gulf.  Not so long ago, when Katrina made her assault, I was so miserable that I could barely move and I couldn't wait til' it was over.  Coincidence?  Me thinks not!

So what is the difference this time?  I'm living proof it's the changes I'm making in my food choices.  What am I doing?  Well, thanks for asking, she said.  In the morning I have my green juice and in the evening I'll have a fruit smoothie.  Love those fruit smoothies.  I think another reason my husband loves those after dinner smoothies is because he likes dessert.  Needless to say he's not complaining and he's noticing some health benefits too.

After I have my green juice in the morning, I'm just not that hungry and it holds me over for quite a while.  Part of that could be because I've never been a breakfast person.  Although over the years, I would try to make a point of eating breakfast because they say it's the most important meal of the day.

Now, I have never been one who could live on liquids.  Heck, my Mother would go on those crazy liquid diets and drag me along with her, even though I didn't need to diet.  Gosh, it was just puberty and my body was changing.  I'm getting hips and boobs...not fat!  Any way, it just simply drove me crazy and it didn't really work very well.  She'd lose a few pounds and gain a few more.  Me?  I was starving even though they said it had all the nutrients I needed.  I never felt more tired and sluggish as I did when she went on a liquid diet.  Now I'm learning why.  That wasn't "real" food.

Over the years our food industry has been changing the quality of what we eat and it hasn't been for the better.  Most of the time we aren't even aware of it.  Well, not mentally aware but our bodies have been trying to tell us.  Have you ever felt hungry after eating?  Well, they tell you to slow down and chew so the message that we are full gets to our brain.  Now, I have mixed theories about that.  It is a good thing to slow down and chew.  After all, the body has to work harder if we don't.  Chewing breaks down what we eat so that it can be digested more easily.  Then our bodies don't have to work overtime to break it down so we can get some nutrition.  So here we are eating slowly and waiting for our brain to tell us we are full.  Here is where I think we've missed the boat.  So many people are waiting for our brain to tell us we are full but that's one of the few times we listen to our bodies and even then some people don't listen.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  We get sick.  Our bodies tell us we are sick but what we don't hear is that we are sick because we aren't healthy.  We aren't healthy because we aren't getting the nutrition our body needs.  When we eat processed food and poor quality food we aren't getting that nutrition.  We are also learning that the food industry has been feeding us chemicals and genetically modified foods in lieu of nutrition to fill us up and we wonder why we keep getting sick.

A good part of my life I've tried to eat organic food but I also ate processed food.  And as the years went by I was eating out more and more so I had less control of the type of food I was getting.  To add to it, how many restaurants prepare organic food, especially back in the day?  I was shoving in the chemicals and all the other franken food and my body kept trying to tell me but I wasn't listening either.

Well, I could go on and on but I think these two videos can give you some really important information.  It's also my bedtime and now that I'm getting better nutrition, I can actually get a good nights rest.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Most People Have Inflammation

The past few days have been a joy because I'm feeling so much better more often than not.  I have to admit getting dowsed with pesticides gave me a little set back.  Both my husband and I just haven't felt quite right.  Luckily I have my green juice in the morning which helps detoxify so I may be flushing that stuff out of my body faster than it has a chance to trigger an abnormal inflammatory response.  I think the longer it is in your system the more your body tries to fight which is a trigger for inflammation and I don't need no more stinkin' inflammation.  If you know what I mean.  For someone like me, I really don't want to have anything that is going to make me feel as bad as before.  Oh, I still have a long way to go, I'm sure, but I want to keep progressing as much as I can.  

This weekend I had a slight revelation.  Now some people would say "Duh!" but I'm only human.  Any way, I was thinking that I wasn't feeling great and I wished I was feeling better.  Just having some of those negative thoughts I had when I was feeling down right awful.  Well, I started to analyze my feelings and I realized I'm feeling so much better than before that it was ignorant for me to have the old pity party type feelings.  I'm afraid that's a trap that many of us fall into.  It's probably because we quickly forget while we are focusing on "now".  I recall being told that child birth was the most horrible pain a human can experience but they forget as time goes by.  (I'm thinking my RA has been a runner up for me.)  Well, I remember I wasn't a happy camper at all, however, time did pass and although I know it was painful, I can't really describe it any more.  I guess our memories tend to mellow out and that's a good thing because who wants to remember THAT part of the experience.  I'm looking forward to the day I can say that about my RA.

Something, I think, has helped me early on, is the addition of turmeric to my juicing.  I usually buy the rhizome but adding an organic dried powder can be beneficial.  It's amazing how beneficial it is for so many things.  The list is huge but you can find about 20 on the Eat This website.  Trust me, it's awesome.

Early on, with my RA, I had learned that curcumin, which is derived from turmeric (curcuma longa), was a good natural source as an anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years, not only in cooking but in Ayurvedic medicine.  Now my experience has been that when I only take the derivative curcumin it doesn't have as great an effect as the whole enchilada.  For a long time, my personal belief is that there is a reason all the beneficial properties from a plant is put together in one big mix and doesn't grow individually.  So wouldn't you think that maybe all the other stuff in the plant is viable to make it work better.  Well, I think so.  Maybe that's why labs miss the mark when they separate it from all the other goodies.  Scientists have discovered many awesome things and every day they have a better knowledge of how something might work.  But when they single out one part and get a Eureka moment, they tend to forget about studying the complete makeup and how it actually works.  Then again, we may not be advanced enough to be able to do that just yet.  Ya know, one day it's a miracle all by itself and the next day they learn there's something else in that plant that's pretty darn good too.  Kinda like "One day you're in and the next day you're out!"

More recently there has been discussion on inflammation as a possible root cause in chronic illness.  I'm inclined to agree, however, I'm far from being an expert.  So I thought I would drop in a couple of videos by some experts.  Enjoy!  I'm off to make my evening smoothie!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Am Not A Bug!

This week has been a bit strange and a learning.  Last Friday they started spraying DUET to control the mosquitos in the metroplex.  I certainly understand the sense of urgency since a number of people have died recently from the West Nile virus, however, I'm not so sure their timing and application has been the wisest of choices.  In 4 days they sprayed our area 3 times.  The first day I could tell they had sprayed.  The air just wasn't right and my sinuses were getting a little clogged up.  It was like having allergies, which I do have, but it was different and hard to explain.  

During the 4 days of their attack protocol, it was raining off and on so it was more difficult for them to get off the ground and "git 'er done".  By day 3, I was getting little attacks of dizziness and an occasional headache plus I just didn't feel like eating.  I rarely get headaches and they weren't lasting headaches like you would normally get.  The air was heavy and even my air purifier didn't seem to be saving me from this pesticide.  I thought staying inside was much safer than going out but I guess it just seeped in.  I can imagine how I would have felt if I had wandered around outside and breathed in more of this stuff.  After all, my immune system isn't in the best shape...yet!

Here I am, trying to detox my body and get my RA more under control and this new added element was polluting my body and adding to the challenge.  I won't say I had a set back but I did have a couple of days with some inflammation and pain.  Still not as bad as before I started juicing but more than I would have liked.  I had been enjoying having more days of feeling good than bad and this just wasn't making me happy.  I decided to just keep up with my healthy eating and juicing.  That was a given because if something is working for you, you just don't want to take a chance of losing that progress.  

My husband was also noticing a little dizziness and we both weren't feeling up to par.  Nothing you could really put your finger on but you knew something wasn't quite right.  I spent the last couple of days getting lots of rest and napping hoping I could kick this and get it out of my system.  I have energy but I don't feel like doing anything with it.  Of course, that may just be my lazy side kicking in.

This morning I woke up with inflammation in my hands and more than I had been experiencing in a while.  Well, that certainly didn't make me happy.  I can't help but wonder if all this not feeling quite right has to do with getting dowsed like a bug with the pesticide.  I'm pretty sure it is.  One day of spraying may not have made me feel too bad but adding a couple more days, well, I just hope they've managed to control the problem and I can get this stuff out of my system.  The scary part is if they haven't gotten it under control they may dowse us again.  If that happens, maybe I can convince my husband we need to get outta town for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, the WNV is not just in my area but all over the country so where would we go?  I sure could use some fresh air though.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

The First Month

Admittedly, this first month has been eye opening and somewhat amazing.  As I progress on my journey of wellness, I am learning so much and I'm feeling a great deal better.  Oh, it's not all peaches and roses but I wouldn't trade this experience for the world because each day has been a gift.  

The first week had it's ups and downs.  I was doing well and feeling better, however,  on the second day I was playing around with making potato chips for my husband's lunch and as usual I nibbled a few raw potato pieces.  Now there's nothing wrong with that but they do tell you to stay away from night shade vegetables when you have RA.  That evening I was feeling more pain and inflammation.  Of course, my first thought is that this juicing isn't working.  Now remember this is only the second day so how could I possibly judge this quickly?  Then I remembered the potato and blamed it on that.  Later on I blamed it on the weather.  My mind was in the wrong place.  I had a bad attitude.  So I started my pity party practices and curled up on the couch.  Well, I tried to curl up on the couch but my shoulder and back were giving me fits too.  I was uncomfortable and I didn't sleep well that night.  

The next morning I had a hard time getting out of bed and I was feeling some old aches and pains.  They weren't as bad but it was painful and with the pain came the depression.  I felt so bad that I didn't want to start up the juicer.  I didn't want to clean and cut vegetables because of my discomfort and depression.  Like I said, I was having a pity party.  Just me, myself and I.  So I spent the day moaning and groaning.  That night I had a nice talk with myself.  Well, someone had to and I probably wouldn't have listened to anyone else.  I decided this day was a wasted day.  I didn't do anything to help myself and I had to either buck up and carry on or languish in my depression.  Well, I was exhausted and forced myself to lay down and try to get some sleep.  One of my usual nights with a cat nap here and there.

By morning, I felt defeated and I was still in a state of depression but I decided I wasn't going to let this illness take me down any more.  With some difficulty I moseyed  to the kitchen and started making my green juice for the day followed by my ginger tea.  As the day progressed I started to feel a little better again.   That evening I slept better too.

So now I'm on a roll.  I will juice no matter how bad I feel.  I will keep doing this.  I won't give up.

The second week was more promising.  The inflammation was down a lot more.  The pain was significantly better and my back was even feeling better.  My should still had difficulty but it was on the mend too.

By the third week I was feeling confident that I had made the right decision to keep moving forward with this new plan.  Almost daily I could see changes.  I had more energy.  I was moving more quickly.  My attitude was getting better and let me tell you my husband was delighted.

This week I'm in awe with the progress.  There has been some inflammation off and on during this month but mostly it's not bad at all.  No ice packs.  The pain is very manageable and my back and shoulder are improving.  I felt well enough that I cleared the junk off my recumbent bicycle and a couple of days this week I started using it for a few minutes at a time.  I haven't been able to do that for a very long time and I know my muscles are very weak from the lack of exercise.  Just that little bit has been helping me strengthen my back.  I'm also able to do arm movements without cringing in pain.  I haven't needed any pain pills because the pain is manageable.  Oh, it still hurts but since I'm not a big fan of taking pills...well, let's just say I have to be in some bad pain to take them.  Last month I was taking them daily but this month I didn't have to.  I think I've only had three days where I felt I need a Tylenol but I didn't touch the prescription at all.  I feel like I'm on a road to recovery.

Another amazing thing that happened just this afternoon was the fact I could almost make a fist with my left hand.  Most of the fingers curled tightly and I could feel strength.  Now my right hand is a little worse than my left but those fingers are also working better.  I can actually unscrew a jar without using something to assist me.  

Now I haven't fully committed to a full juice fast.  It's hard to make that leap when I have to cook supper.  Well, I don't have to cook supper because my husband is more than willing to do that for himself.  I just want to do that for him so I'm having a meal with him in the evening and I sometimes have something for lunch.  Now that I've shared a little background I'd like to continue by telling you what I'm doing to improve my health and my illness.  Hopefully, I will be able to do that on a daily basis.  After all, I'm kinda new at this blogging thing.  I'd like to also share some of things I'm learning about how this is working, the types of food I'm eating and juicing and just a lot of good information that might help you too.  I've learned and am still learning so much more than I knew before.  It's exciting and I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Let the Juicing Begin

During my conversation with Dan, he suggested a lot of green juice in the morning.  I think it was about 32 ounces or more.  WHAT?  I was lucky to drink a glassful of anything, yet alone that much but I kept an open mind.  I could build up to it and drink what I could handle.  After all, this was a change.  For lunch he suggested melons and since I had them on hand that would be easy enough to munch on.  I was using melons, especially watermelon to cool my body whenever I was thirsty and/or hot.  Something about an ice cold piece of watermelon was not only refreshing but comforting.  There were many times I would be awakened by the discomfort of the inflammation and go to the fridge, pull out the watermelon and just start scooping the cool juicy meat straight into my mouth.  No bowl.  Heck the melon is a bowl in itself.  So here we are.  Lots of green juice, mostly.  Lots of melons and fruit.  Oh, and don't forget the tea.  

Now came the big change suggestion.  Stay off the meat , dairy, wheat, grains, nuts and processed foods.  I had no problem with the processed foods because we rarely did that any more and meat wasn't a big issue for me.  Years ago I was a vegetarian for quite a while.  One of my sons even wrote a paper in grade school about not eating meat.  The funny part about it was having his friends spend the night.  They were never sure what they were going to get to eat. Luckily most of them liked fruits and vegetables and I'm a pretty good cook.  Later on, when I married the best husband in the world, I had to re-learn how to cook meat.  Now my problem is how to feed him what he likes and eat my celery stick.  Well, it's not that bad but you get the picture.  Oh, and did I mention I'm a pretty good cook.  Yes, I like my cooking and I cook a lot of different foods.  You never know what's for dinner.  It could be ethnic, vegetarian, southern or something I just make up but all of it very tasty.  You name it and I can cook it.  But that's beside the point.  I'll have to figure out something to make some changes here.

Giving up dairy and grains was a bit of an issue.  I love cheese and milk.  I love yogurt and kefir.  I love most anything with dairy in it.  Bread is a tough one.  I bake and there's something comforting about warm bread and melted butter.  Toast.  Sandwiches.  I could think of a million things including crackers.  Now I didn't stuff myself with it and I didn't over indulge in any of the stuff I might have to give up but breaking old habits isn't easy.  How in the world am I going to manage this?

Dan also suggested staying on this juice fast, as he called it, for a while because I would be detoxifying my body.  Well, I knew I needed that.  I had allergies, mucus, OTC pain medication, prescription pain medication and a few other un-natural products in my system.  I also read that some of the RA medication stays in your body for years and I would be happy to get that all out.  But wait!  What about having a nice meal?  After all, I'm still cooking for my husband and he likes meat as well as a lot of other things.  Oh, my.  I just got to stay focused here.

With everything on hand, I started my promising quest with juicing.  My very first glass of juice was better than I thought it would be.  It was refreshing and I really did like the taste.  I remember after drinking it my breathing seemed better.  It was like I was breathing fresh air.  All that freshness from the food gave me a wonderful surprise.  Oh, I think I'm going to like this.  

Oh my!  I think we have a problem.  Houston???  Drinking a meal is not something I have ever gotten used to.  Remember those meal replacements?  My Mom did those and I even tried to do them with her but that's just not a meal to me.  Chewing something is a meal.  Drat, now what do I do?  I'm really full from the green juice.  I could only drink one glass and it's a good thing I only made one glass.  I didn't want to make too much just in case it wasn't palatable.  Now what do I do?  My mind became fixated on chewing and crunching something.  Well, I wasn't going to make myself miserable worrying because the stress wasn't going to help.  You know stress is bad for you.  Well, I decided to have a couple of crackers with cheese.  OH NO!  All the raw foodies said you shouldn't do that!  Here's where I had to be realistic.  The people on raw food and juices and such have been living the lifestyle for years.  I truly believe some of them have forgotten what it was like in the beginning, although I did see info from one that said he made the change over night.  I applaud him for doing that but he was in his 20's when he made the decision and I've got at least 40+ years on him.  There's something about being more open minded when you are younger.  That's not to say more mature people are closed minded but we do get set in our ways.  It just happens.

The tiny munch was enough to calm my mind and I could focus again.  Now something else was happening too.  I noticed I hadn't made coffee this morning.  That's unusual because our morning ritual is to grind fresh coffee for our french press then spend the rest of the day drinking it down.  This day I really wasn't interested.  I started the day juicing.  I was alert, feeling good about myself and my choice and I just noticed something else.  I didn't turn on the TV.  Oh my, now I'm grinning because I just realized I've got some energy and I'm focused.  I'm not missing the coffee and the background noise. Not everyone would notice much of a change on the first day and I think it's partly because they don't listen to their bodies.  I have learned to do that over the years and especially when it's screaming at me with pain.  I always try to observe what is going on and I was enjoying what my body was telling me.  Oh, I think I'm going to like this.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting Started

All my life I always knew that eating healthy was key to a healthy life so I have experienced and tried many things to enhance my diet.  I would buy expensive supplements believing in their efficacy because of their well known reputation.  I had friends who would swear by this, that and the other thing so I would try it.   I remember how excited I got when encapsulated juices came on the market  but they just didn't do the trick for me.  Not like I thought they should.  At least not like real food.  So after a year or so I would stop using them.  The same thing with the supplements.  I knew eating lots of veggies and fruits was the best but I just couldn't eat that much so I kept looking for things to supplement my diet.  When I gave up on the capsules of dried juice, I bought the old juicer.  Unfortunately, it wasn't user friendly so I didn't take juicing all that seriously.  I also have to admit, I really didn't understand that I was limiting my juice combinations to those that were similar to what you buy in the store like grape juice, apple juice, orange juice or all the other processed juices.  Yeah, juicing was good and I enjoyed the fresher flavors but it didn't seem to have any spectacular affects.  Nothing life changing.  Back then you really didn't hear that much about juicing and what you could really get from it.  Mostly it was all about being vegetarian or vegan.

When I was diagnosed with RA, I spent a lot of time trying to learn about it, as I always did with other illnesses I've dealt with.  But this time it was different.  This time I had something that was not curable.  I was scared and all the knowledge I had about healthy living seemed to be dashed against the rocks.  It was as if everything I knew and did really made no difference and I ran into the arms of the rheumatologist.  I knew the basics about RA but when I told the doctor I didn't want to do all the medication and pills and that I wanted to deal with this on a more holistic level, his response was "Well, neither I nor any other rheumatologist  can help you then."  I was crushed.  He just told me it was his way or live in unbearable pain for the rest of my life.  Oh, and by the way, I was going to be crippled in a couple of years because of the severity of my case.  What could I do but surrender.  They should put that one on Scare Tactics.  Although I started on the various therapies prescribed, I still believed there had to be some other way to allow me to deal with this but I was just too sick to do anything, I thought.  I was getting frustrated with all the tests and office appointments.  I would spend a month or so feeling better but then I'd get sick.  Bronchitis.  Gingivitis.  Steroids and thrush. Tendonitis.  Trigger Finger.  Finally I found the courage to make a change but it did take a while before I decided juicing might really help.  I'm such a slow Nelly.

With a brand new juicer and my old faithful Vitamix sitting on the counter, all ready to do my bidding, I still had to figure out the best juice combination for my aches and pains.  So where do I go?  Surfing, of course.  Although I had already seen lots of videos, read lots of articles and in my background I had knowledge of the benefits and nutritional values of different food, I simply wanted to make sure I was putting together the best foods for me.  With all the information at our fingertips, it can be a bit overwhelming.  I really wanted to ask these raw food guys what was best for me but so many of them, although very knowledgable, seemed unreachable.  After all, most of them also had a business to run.  So who was I to think I was going to get anything of value on a personal basis.  Well, I took a step of faith and decided to email one of them that didn't seem to worship the dollar god as much as the others.  You can imagine my surprise when I got a phone call.  I almost didn't pick it up because I rarely answer phone calls when I don't recognize the name and who the heck was Dan McDonald and what is he trying to sell.  Well, I decided to answer it since it was a name and not a business.  Dan was really supportive and gave me some suggestions as well as a lot of the info I had already heard on his wacky videos.  

So the magic elixir?  Basically, it was celery, apple, lemon, ginger, kale, cucumber and spinach.  He also suggested a tea of ginger, lemon, goji berries and honey.  Well, I had all those things!  This was going to be great because I could start right away.  Let the juicing begin!  And although I couldn't cross my fingers, I was doing it mentally. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A New Beginning

Well, here I am blogging about my RA so let's get this party started.  I plan to write about how I got to this point but for now let's start with the present and just a little back track to last month. Then move forward with all the little trials and errors that will help me make this journey.  Maybe my experience will help someone else along the way.  Who knows?  This could be a new beginning.

About mid-July I decided to make a more concentrated effort to start juicing to see if it would help with my RA.  Heck, when you are in pain all the time and your joints are on fire you keep looking for ways to feel better.  I was sitting around with ice packs and spritzing water all over me like I was traveling through the dessert.  Anything to feel cool and reduce the swelling and pain. Turning down the A/C wasn't the answer because it's a dry cold and I needed a more wet cold.  Then there's the gloves and the elbow wrap.  I even wrapped each of my fingers hoping to keep them the same shape without a bunch of joint blowouts.  Talk about pain.  I may have gotten the idea from reading about the Chinese women who would bind their feet to make them smaller.  

Can you imagine?  I can barely get out of bed or off the couch without screaming in pain and reaching for my spritzer or the ice pack...well, you get the idea.  Movement was not something I wanted to do at all.  I also didn't want to sit or lay still because that exacerbated the issues.  Sleeping only meant I would be in more pain when I woke up.  Face it, just existing was a real pain...literally.  The strange thing was that although my fingers were in pain and hot as heck, I did manage to play on the internet.  Do you think there are some sort of air waves that make the fingers work while on the internet?  Could be a conspiracy by all those big wigs so they can keep people on it viewing all those unnecessary ads. 

So here I am searching the net again for some new process or cure and I'm just not finding anything.  Not even a promise of something to come.  Although a few months ago I was watching videos about stem cells from your own fat that could fix me.  Heck I got plenty of that and I seriously thought about it.  Fortunately, I have a tendency to procrastinate.  Hey, it can be a good thing sometimes.  Any way, I started coming across articles about people dying.  Oops!  Guess I better look around a little bit more.  After all, I'm looking to live a better life and the off chance I could be seeing the Grim Reaper any time soon wasn't an option.  So back to google for more searching.

Every so often I'd come across a site proclaiming the benefits of juicing, raw foods and how people were improving their ailments.  Yeah, Yeah.  I was already eating a good diet, organic with more veggies than meat.  So what  else is new?  Well, I started paying better attention, googled some more, watched some videos and decided this green juice idea might help a little.  I already knew I wasn't getting enough in my diet and the supplements just weren't helping me feel better.  I had already tried a lot of the pill hype stuff and it wasn't helping.  So maybe I'll feel a little better with juicing.  Heck, a little is better than nothing right?  

I ordered a new masticating juicer and tossed the monster in a box I use for charity.  Over the years, I juiced once in a blue moon and liked it but the old juicer was a real trip and I didn't use it very much because be honest...I was afraid of it!  The minute I flipped on it's switch it roared at me.  It was like someone snuck up on me and yelled "Boo".  I swear it was going to bite me.  Then there was the awful loud noise not to mention the PIA of cleanup.  So you can see, I just didn't want to deal with it but when I made the decision to get serious about juicing for my health it had to go.  Now even though it was the juicer from hell, I was a little sad to part with it.  After all, it was over 20 years old and no matter how it growled at me, I still loved it.  Kinda.

The new juicer is all shiny and new and purrs like a kitten.  I found it so easy to put together that I started to experiment that same day.  I found that after I juice, I can rinse the parts before I toss one back (drink) and it'll be ready to go the next time.  Oh my, I started a ritual.  Juice.  Rinse.  Drink.  Now for the formula.  The search for the elixir of life.

Guess that will have to wait until tomorrow because it's way past my bedtime and since I've been juicing, I stopped fighting sleep and can now get some quality sleep.  Unbelievable but oh so true.