We did a 3-day juice fast and here’s what happened.

IMG_1633So first, everyone should do this so you know what it feels like to have hunger. And then imagine living that way all the time. Trust me, you will look at hunger differently.


I wanted to see if a 3-day fast could reduce inflammation in my body and jumpstart healing on a hand injury from 5 months ago. Cindy felt swollen and wanted to reset her digestive system. We both had about five (newlywed :-)) pounds hanging around.


We used Raleigh Raw’s 3-day Juicing Cleanse.  Six juices a day. No solid food. Sit down. It’s pricey, way more than we would spend for both of us for 3 days worth of food.

From the Raleigh Raw site: Introduce Juice. An excellent introduction to juicing and just enough time to begin to feel the benefits of detoxification.
+ Includes 3 Green juices, 2 Root juices, and 1 Nut Milk juice per day

I will tell you right now that nut milk juice is the nectar of the Gods. It’s DESSERT, I tell ya, especially after drinking greens, carrots and beets all day. By day two, I was living for The Cash Bah.

Processed with MOLDIV

This is the last juice each day.



A day’s worth of juice. Packed with nutrients, vegetables and anti-inflammatory wonderfulness. A few of them are an acquired taste!

Weigh before you start – naked and in the morning. You will be drinking every two hours so set your timer. Back time yourself so you can have your last drink before 8pm. Plan to stay busy and to potty — a lot. After day one, I’m thinking this has to be working. There isn’t much going in and there’s a lot moving out. (Don’t think of this like a colonoscopy cleanse! It’s not.)



Day 1: This is going to be a mental challenge as well as physical. But we’re in this thing and crushing it! A little hungry but the two hours went by quickly at work and the Cash Bah at the end of the evening was DIVINE. Pretty sure I heard angels singing after the first few swallows! We both slept well, which is a change.

Learnings: Stay busy. Drink water or hot water with lemon between juices.

Day 2: We both weigh in and are very surprised by our day one results! We have our morning juices, and go to a flow yoga class. Cindy’s feeling sluggish and headachy (and a little hangry if I’m honest.) I had more mental challenges than physical. I was very present to being HUNGRY. It was Saturday and we weren’t nearly busy enough to distract us from wanting to eat. A great way to realize how much mindless eating happens. So we went and got a pedicure. Let’s go all in on this self-care weekend.

Learnings: We realized early on that we made a strategic error by scheduling our first fast over the weekend. What were we thinking? Day one was much easier because we were busy at work! Saturday and Sunday were V E R Y long. I considered re-roofing the house so I wouldn’t think about breakfast, lunch and dinner. Someone told us to chew while we drank to trigger that eating sensation in our body/mind. Not sure if it worked but we are now employing all the tricks we can.

Day 3:

OMG. I honestly can’t believe we made it to day 3 without eating. I felt pretty good most of the day. We were busier today so the mental challenge was less. Cindy’s less headachy but still feels a little lethargic. We surmise her caffeine habit is the culprit! This is doable and we’re almost there.

Learnings: Drink each 17oz. juice slowly to make it last. Savor and think about the freshness you’re putting in your body. Notice how your joints feel and whether you notice a difference in being bloated or gassy.


You’ll remember my main intention in doing a juicing fast was to reduce inflammation. The before and during photos here tell the story I was looking for!

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Couldn’t fully close hand after weekly occupational therapy for 5 months.

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Day 2 of the Juice: Middle finger touching palm for the first time!

I really do believe my assertion that inflammation was a key barrier to healing was proven. While my hand isn’t “fixed,” I can’t wait to show my doctor and physical therapist this week.


Did we lose weight? YES. Cindy lost 4.6 pounds and I lost 3.2…in 3 days. The question is, will we put it right back on when we go back to our regular eating?

That’s for the next blogpost.



The thrill of making it to juice #18!

We would do it again, and we might just make it part of our health routine every three months or so.



10 Favorite Gluten Free Products

A “bad stomach” was one of the most memorable things in my childhood. I’ve been tested for celiac and while I don’t have it, I so obviously feel better when I don’t eat it. Changing my diet changed my life. It’s not as hard as it used to be to go gluten free. Here are 10 of my favorite products to get you started.

10. Trader Joe’s Quinoa Pasta: Since becoming gluten free five years ago, I’ve learned to love quinoa. This is the best pasta I’ve found. The texture is like regular pasta. Be careful not to overcook! It’ll taste like rubber fishing worms. OK, that might be a little strong. Bottom line, cook it right and it’s good. I haven’t found ANY gluten free pasta that’s good as leftovers so only cook what you’re going to eat in a sitting.


9. Kikkoman Wheat Free Soy Sauce: Yes, you can eat stir fry veggies again! Cook with it for great flavor.


8. Blue Diamond Nut Thins: Light, airy, flavorful. I love them with peanut butter or as a scooper with hummus.


7. Glutino Crackers: A little denser than Blue Diamond. More substantial.


6. Udi’s Bagels: Only when smothered with butter and toasted! Seriously. You can’t gag them down without it.


5. Rudi’s Gluten Free Tortilla: Best when lightly toasted in a toaster oven! Keep in the refrigerator.


4. Kinnikinnin Pizza Crust: Load them up with your favorite toppings, cook them right on the grate in the oven right out of the freezer. Salty, good texture.


3. Three Bakers 7 Grain Bread: I’ve searched for more than 5 years for good gluten free bread. THIS.IS.IT. Moist. Great flavor. Not heavy and dense like most GF breads. Toast it for best taste! Best found online or at specialty stores. Downside: super expensive.


2. Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix: You can make anything with this stuff. Pancakes, muffins, cobbler. Great flavor, great texture. Your friends will never know.


1. Trader Joe’s Soft-baked Snickerdoodle Cookies: I could seriously eat the whole box in one sitting. Hands down, the best gluten free guilty pleasure of all.


What are your favorite gluten free products?

WRAL Using Social TV to Inspire Community

It all started with the Executive Director of the Komen NC Triangle to the Coast affiliate asking if we could make her dream come true. Well, we do love a challenge at WRAL! We’re a station with community focused DNA, partnering with local agencies to bring real and sustained change to important issues. Komen wanted the Triangle Race for the Cure to be the most “social race” in the country. They had a hashtag in mind but needed us to figure out how to show all the people using it on social media on site during the Raleigh Race for the Cure.

10,000 Strong

2014 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: 10,500 Strong

Immediately, I thought of Jenni Hogan and tagboard. Jenni and I share a passion for Social TV and have collaborated several times, first with WRAL as a beta station for her TV Interact product and later on WRAL’s first ever Social TV documentary #missionormoney. Tagboard is a live hashtag hub that aggregates content from twitter, facebook, instagram, vine, google+ and app.net. The tagboard dashboard is tabbed to toggle between LATEST posts (all posts coming in using the hashtag), and FEATURED posts (posts you choose to be seen on the public board). This gives you ultimate control of what content goes ‘live’ on your board. We practiced with it for about two weeks and it worked beautifully onsite at the event. We set up two Samsung 70 inch touchscreen monitors. Next time, I’d like an 80-100+ inch video wall meant to be viewed outside! Can I get a sponsor for that?

Building it for Live TV Because the full suite of products had not been used on TV before, we had a learning curve. The tagboard engineers and designers collaborated with the WRAL graphics team for a good result.We debuted the live touchscreen mode, fullscreen automated and became the first station to use the live, automated lower third super.

Marketing It We named our baby the “Social Inspiration Board.” Our partners at the Komen NC Triangle to the Coast affiliate started promoting usage of the hashtag about two weeks before the event in email blasts, on their web site and social media. WRAL created social share graphics that both the station and Komen posted to our social networks:

Created and posted on twitter, facebook and instagram

Created and posted on twitter, facebook and instagram

Komen posted “how to” photos to twitter, facebook and instagram:

Helping teach people how to participate!

Helping teach people how to participate!

We ran static, as well as Jivox interactive, web ads on WRAL.com:

A variety of web ad sizes give us maximum exposure on wral.com

A variety of web ad sizes gives us maximum exposure on wral.com and WRAL mobile.

Jivox interactive web ad includes live twitter widget.

Jivox interactive web ad includes live twitter widget.

We promoted on air during newscasts in the week leading up to the race, and the Social Inspiration Board was a key part of our live coverage on race day.

Results #KomenTri trended on twitter in Raleigh for 11 hours. It was the top hashtag for the day on #tagboard in Seattle. “The WRAL campaign trended online for 11 hours, the reach Shelly and her team got for #KomenTri could have easily been over 6 million people with the impressions even higher than that,” Jenni Hogan, Chief Media Officer of #tagboard.

KomenNCTC’s facebook page saw a 453% increase in fans, and a 328% increase in reach. Tagboard reports 660 unique posts, not including shared posts. Twitter made up half of these posts, with Instagram and Facebook making up the other half.

It’s important to not ignore those platforms in live events, as the combination can exponentially increase exposure. We could clearly see a spike in posts during live television coverage that used the live lower third serving as a call to action for people not at the event to get involved by sending messages of inspiration to those participating. Considering, we debuted the Saturday of the Men’s US Open (being played in North Carolina!), the NBA Finals and USA World Cup Soccer … we’re more than pleased with the social results. Oh and the end game for our partners at Komen:

Raised a million dollars for breast cancer research and support.

Raised a million dollars for breast cancer research and support.

Social TV is changing the game. You can drive viewers to your content on all your platforms using social media. You can dominate the social chatter in your market with a coordinated effort that includes on air, social and web promotion. Cable channels are doing it and getting big results, so can the locals. We have the opportunity right now to create self-sustaining audiences using content that engages their values. If you’re not experimenting, get started! Complete web/tv coverage of the this event: http://www.wral.com/thousands-put-on-pink-to-race-for-the-cure/13733742/

UPDATE: “WRAL Hosts Most Social Race in the U.S.” TVNewscheck MarketShare article by Paul Greeley 

UPDATE: Team WRAL — a team open to the public to join our on air talent – was the largest corporate team in the race and raised $11,388.