Friday, July 29, 2011

Juice Fast: DAY TEN!!! Results are IN!

Good Morning!

Day 10 is here....Results Day!

After 10 days of consuming nothing by fresh juice from fruits and vegetables 3 times a day and 2-3 liters or water a day I have LOST:

12 Pounds

And Lost:

8 Inches

Astounding!  Cue the Fireworks PLEASE......

Honestly, I think I could keep going on this juice fast, but the last thing I want to do is send my body into shock.  I feel absolutely FANTASTIC right now.  In fact, last night I was feeling so pleased with myself and my results that I may have had....OK, I did have my own little dance party in my bedroom before going to bed.  This size has not seen the light of day on me since I graduated college and pulling clothes from the darkest depths of my closet has been so rewarding.

I do have a goal in mind of where I would like to be and I think this Blog will keep me held accountable and on track.  My goal is only 10 lbs away from where I'm at now, but ideally I would like to lose 15 more.  Because I have a pretty athletic build (i've just never been that athletic) I don't think I would look healthy any smaller than 15 lbs less from where I'm at right now.  

Since today is Friday, I'm going to make Friday my weigh in days until I reach my goal weight.  I would like to be at that weight by my 28th birthday, which is Sept 15th.  So, that gives me 7 weeks to lose 10 lbs.  

That's doable, right?

Today, I get to CHEW on food for the first time in 10 days...I can't believe how fast it has gone by and most of all I can not believe the results that I have achieved, both physically and emotionally.  Some people think I'm crazy, but I appreciate the support and kind words through this cleansing process either way.  My boss is even taking me to lunch today to congratulate me.  Where do you think he is taking me??  

WHOLE FOODS, of course!!!  

I can't jump right into eating the old stuff... I'm slowly integrating things back into my diet, so for the next 7 days I'm eating nothing but fruits, veggies, and maybe some fish.  No carbs or processed foods!!

I'm heading to my home town this weekend to visit the fam!  Have a great weekend everyone!!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Juice Fast: Day Nine - One day to go!

One more day and I'm done! YAY!  My juicer finally came in on Tuesday Evening (right at the tale end of my juice fast...Typical!) and I LOVE it.  I save time, money, and gas by not having to drive to Whole Foods everyday.  Plus, my co-workers are so intrigued by me doing this, that one has even considered trying it (he is a huge health nut like me).  I usually pour them all small glasses so they can try my juices and they actually REALLY like them!

This girl..yeah me, right here is a complete dork and decided to document her first ever juicing event with my new Breville Juicer, so I snapped a few pictures to share.

Disclaimer: these are not my counter tops, these picture were taken at my office. :)

Here she is all clean and pretty!  She won't be like this for long.

Two speeds which is great for different types of fruits and veggies.

Yes, all of that goes into one glass!

A whole apple will fit down the chute, but I still like to cut them up.

Green Apples, Beet, Kale, and Carrot...YUM!

Think of all those vitamins and nutrients in this one glass.  Health in a glass!!!

The fact that I have as much energy as I do and that the hunger pains are completely gone still astounds me.  It convinces me that we feed our bodies WAY more than they need on a day to day basis to survive.

Tomorrow is the big reveal of my results, so be sure and stop back by.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY Tennessee Wedding: Kasey and Ryan

I just adore when a couple decorates their wedding in a way that it is blatantly obvious what a couple loves most.  Kasey and Ryan love country music, fishin', and above all else...EACH OTHER!  Kasey and I have known each other since grade school.  She and I cheered together when I was in the 8th grade and she was in the 6th.  Her mom was even our cheer-leading coach.  I adored her then and I adore her now, but from far away.  Kasey is currently a graphic designer in Paris, TN at Abbott's Print Shop.  She designed all their logo's for the wedding including the logo that is on all the Mason Jars that were given to guests.  I LOVE that idea.  The wedding took place on a family farm in Paris, which is the perfect destination for this small town wedding.  After there sweet outdoor wedding, they moved the festivities to the families barn.  Kasey didn't miss a beat when choosing decor for this wedding.  I've never met Ryan, but I know he is one lucky man to have married Kasey.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Muench.

B. Photography did an amazing job capturing all the small details of the wedding along with the love that Kasey and Ryan share for each other.  

See the logo that Kasey designed on the Mason Jars(above)...SO CUTE!

Home Brew..YUM!

Everyone deserves that look.

There are so many more that I want to share....

Photography * B. Photography


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Juice Fast: Day Seven how I feel right now.  I'm a little shocked at how great I feel and how much energy I have.  In fact, yesterday I even went for a short miniscule jog.  I obviously still don't want to over exert myself, so when I say short it was literally half a mile.  I wish I would have been better at keeping a day by day record of exactly how I felt, but I just wanted to relax this weekend and not worry about anything since I have been going non-stop it seems like.  Sunday was a bit of a crazy day, helping my friend do a detox of her own...her CLOSET!  That was quite the task, but I'll save the details for another day.

One side effect of the detox are the breakouts from all the toxins that are leaving my body.  I kind of feel like a teenage boy right now, but it is what it is and the fact that I feel so great definitely trumps the brief breakout session.  I haven't had any hunger pains since Day 3, which blows my mind, because even when I was around other people eating it wasn't that hard.  Now granted, should they have been eating cake or some sort of chocolaty goodness, I might have had a brief moment of weakness.  One thing I can say for certain about this whole experience is that I'm PROUD of myself.  I have not wavered for one second on this fast and when I first started I only gave myself 4 days TOPS before I would cave.  GO WILLPOWER!  GO ME!!!

My juice recipes came to a screeching halt, because I felt like they were getting a little repetitive, but since my juicer comes today (SO EXCITED) I will be able to play around with things a little more.  Seeing as how I've already stocked up with the basic veggies(Carrots, Apples, Ginger, Kale, Beets, and Celery) that I need for the next 3 days of my fast, all I will need to do is go out and purchase smaller quantities of fruits and veggies that I want to experiment with.

Do you have any juice recipes that are tried and true, deliciousness?  Or just curious to have me make them to see if they are any good?  Let me know if you do and I'll make it then give my feedback.

One last thing....I am excited to announce that I have lost quite a bit of weight during this fast.  I am excited to share how much I have lost, however I want to wait and post the number at the end of the 10 days.  I'm already getting comments back from people about gaining the weight back when I start eating whole foods again.  I hope I don't, but if I do I have learned so much about myself through this experience and wouldn't have done anything different. 

Eat to Live, don't Live to Eat....that is what I'm teaching myself through this whole process.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Juice Fast: Day Two

Day 2 was about the same as day 1.  I felt pretty lethargic and my tongue still feels like it has a thick coating on it.  I'm sure this isn't helping my breathe any...ha!  My eyes are also a little glazed over and I am struggling with a lingering headache, however I have felt much worse when battling the flu.  The hunger pains were still a factor yesterday, but not nearly as bad as Day 1.   Although those are normal symptoms of a fast, I am feeling much lighter these days, which is always a plus and also keeps me motivated.  A huge bonus of doing this fast, is that I'm obviously going to lose weight.  The real struggle is, of course, going to be to keep it off after this whole journey is over.  Temptations will be around every corner, especially when it comes to my social life.  It is going to be hard, but I have made this commitment to myself to be healthier and live a better lifestyle. 

As most people know, I LOVE Whole Foods.  I never enjoyed grocery shopping until I went to this store.  Granted, their prices are a little steep and I don't buy all my grocery's there, but it makes for such a great experience when I do shop there because all the sales clerks are incredibly helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable.  Today while I was checking out my Facebook page, I came across a Whole Foods post that I wanted to share.  It is an initiative that WF's has taken to support schools and educate kids on Whole Living.  They are raising money to put 6000 salad bars in schools across the country to not only educate the kids, but also their families.  Click on the link below to find out more information...I love this idea.

Whole Kids Foundation

4 Apples
Fresh Orange Juice
(This has been my favorite juice by far...I don't know a single person who wouldn't love this drink.)

6 Carrots
1 handful Kale
1 Lemon
2 Apples

Dinner:  (This has a lot of stuff in it and I don't remember how much of everything so I'm just going to list the ingredients.)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Juice Fast: Day One

Yesterday was day 1 of my 7-10 day juice fast. I have to admit that it was a lot harder than I anticipated, but I will get to that later.  My friend Keri from massage school actually gave me a Hamilton Beach juicer that she had purchased at a Good Will and then never used.  I had a slight inclination that this juicer wasn't going to produce good juice, but it was free so I was willing to give it a try.  Plus, I didn't want to spend the money on a new juicer until I was sure that I would enjoy juicing and I can now confidently tell you, after just 1 day that I LOVE juicing. 

For breakfast I used the Hamilton Beach juicer, but the prep time was ridiculous.  Because the entry at the top is so small I had to cut everything up into tiny pieces.  Then when I juiced my apples it created a LOT of foam, which had to be spooned out of my glass when I was done.  I decided then and there that I was going to order a new juicer.  I knew in advance that I would probably end up wanting to order a juicer, so I did a lot of research in preparation for this moment.  Well, yesterday I ordered the Breville Juice Fountain Plus.  Right before I ordered I decided to look around for coupons online and found a 20% off coupon...SCORE!  I can't wait for my new toy to arrive since HB isn't cutting it.  In the mean time I'm resorting to going to Whole Foods for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  Thank goodness it is convenient to my office. 

So, I'm sure most of you are wondering how I'm feeling.  I'm not going to lie...Day 1 was hard!  The day started out good, but around lunch I quickly felt my sugar level drop, therefore my energy took a nose dive.  Around 3pm, I hit a wall and was really struggling to get through the day.  I developed a slight headache and my tongue felt like it was coated in felt.  Around 5:30 I went to the gym for a VERY light workout and I actually felt better afterwards.  I think the hardest part of the day is fighting off the hunger pains.  My tummy was growling and hissing at me from lunch on, but if anything I am learning self discipline during this whole process....which I need, especially when it comes to sweets.

Each day I'm going to post the juices that I have made/purchased.  Hopefully this will inspire some of you to try juicing.

3 Apples
2 Carrots
1/2 Beet

2 handfuls of Kale
Shot of Wheatgrass
3 Carrots
1 inch of Ginger
1 Peeled Lemon

2 handfuls of Kale
1/2 Lemon
4 or 5 Carrots
1 Apple

Note:  Kale is pretty bitter, so it is always good to add a sweet apple to balance the flavor.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tennessee DIY Reception: Ricka and Christopher

Today is the first day of my fast, so if my posts seem a little hazy or confusing this week, I apologize now. 

It is hard to believe that this wedding was almost a year ago, but the details are absolutely timeless.  The reception took place at Camp Marymount in Fairview, TN.  The wedding party and close family were able to stay on the grounds of the camp the night before and of the wedding, which made for a very fun and laid back weekend.  For those who stayed at the camp, Ricka and Chris organized a bon-fire after the reception, which really made me feel like I was back home in rural West TN.  The setting couldn't have been more perfect for the rustic wedding that Ricka was going for.  

Ricka's main flower of choice were hydrangas, which are one of my favorite flowers.  The bridemaids carried them during the ceremony and they were also the centerpieces at the reception.  Thanks again to Lori Ann Photography for allowing me to share these pictures.

Hydrangea and Burlap Centerpieces

Cake on a tree stump cake stand! LOVE!

DIY Chalkboards

In lieu of a traditional guestbook they did a Wedding Tree!

I adore this picture!

Ricka and her "Sisters"

The night was an absolute blast!  We danced the night away for hours and then ended the night with a bon-fire.  Since we stayed on the grounds of the camp we were able to get up the next morning, grab some coffee and sit on the patio of the cabins in the middle of woods.  Shortly after we all headed to the reception hall and dug into all the delicious leftovers from the reception.

I can honestly say this was one of the most fun, laid back weddings I have ever been in or attended.  Thank you Ricka for allowing me to share your day with everyone.  You were a beautiful bride and you are a beautiful person, inside and out.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Tennessee DIY Wedding: Ricka and Christopher

There is something mystical and sweet about getting married in the middle of the woods, and being able to hear the current of a creek just feet away from where you stand.  I was there and part of me still can’t believe that this wedding was reality.  Thank you Lori Ann Photography for allowing me to share these pictures.  Lori specializes in Natural Light Photography and has an amazing way of capturing real, organic moments of the bride and groom.

This wedding was a true DIY wedding.  Ricka, Christopher, their family and friends did everything from the décor, programs, the wooden signs leading guests to the outdoor chapel…EVERYTHING!  I had the privilege of being a part of this gorgeous day as a bridesmaid and it was one of the most unique, fun weddings I have ever been a part of.  I find it hard putting into words exactly what the experience of this day was like, so I will let the pictures do all the talking.  These are just a few of my favorites from the ceremony.  

Isn't she Beautiful!

I love her expression here.

I will share pictures from the reception next week.

Photography * Lori Ann Photography

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fasting...good or bad?

Last weekend, my friend Lindsey sent me a movie suggestion and I have to admit at first I was a little skeptical of watching just by the title.  She suggested a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  Sounds like something you would want to watch, right?!?!?!

First, let me give you a little background on Lindsey.  She is one my best friends that I can always count on to live in a different state every two years or so.  This makes my vacation plans very easy!  Anyway, before I made my first visit to Colorado, I was pre-warned that her and her boyfriend have BOTH become vegetarians.  I was OK with this idea, thinking that I could be a vegetarian for one week, since I have never been a big meat eater to begin with. Little did I know that it would have such an impact on the way I felt that after 1 week on a vegetarian diet, I would stick with it.  It is 1 year later, I'm still a vegetarian (or really a pesco-vegetarian:  I still eat fish) and yet again Lindsey has unintentionally thrown me another dietary challenge.  You see, the documentary that she suggested is about a guy that takes part in a 60 day Juice fast.  This guy was able to rid himself of all his medications, cured a skin condition he suffered with and also lost about 100 L.B.S.  WOW!


60 days is a little extreme for the results that I'm looking for, since I am not on any medication, nor do I suffer from any debilitating illness.  All I'm really looking for is to jump start my system: Cleanse out all the toxins and muck that are currently sitting in my intestines. 

Disclaimer:  This guy suggests doing a fast under a doctor’s supervision, but I'm a young, healthy woman so I don't foresee running into any road blocks along the way, other than just HUNGER!  So I'm doing this at my own risk.

So starting on Tuesday, July 19th I'm going to take part in a 7-10 day fast.  I say 7 to 10 days because I will judge the time based on how I'm feeling and the results that I am achieving during the process.  Coming out of the fast, my goal is to really clean up my diet.  I'm going to stop eating out so much and really focus on raw, nutrient rich foods.  This weekend I'm going to Atlanta for a Bachelorette Party, so this is part of the reason I chose to start on Tuesday.  My diet over the weekend will not make for desirable conditions to start a fast first thing on Monday morning, so Monday I’m going to consume only foods that I prepare processed foods.  Tuesday, I will begin my 7-10 day journey.

Wish me luck,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simply ME

Hello friend!  Thank you for visiting my blog.  As you can see this is my first post and well….I’m a little nervous.  Why???  1. I’m not a journalist or a very good writer for that matter, so sometimes my grammar and spelling can be horrendous (Thank you spell check, SERIOUSLY, I had to use it already).  I guess it is good, that I’m not doing this for my writing skills, but rather for the content (stuff that is important to me, but may not necessarily be important to you).  2.  I don’t find myself that interesting, so I can’t really expect all of you too, either.  However, I’m going  to give it a go.  3.  I’m not sure what I’m going to blog about long term.   I have a few ideas for the first month or so, but after that I’m going to wing it.  I just hope that it keeps you coming back day after day and week after week.  Topics will range anywhere from my budget friendly attempt at home décor, my diet (a never ending fiasco), music, and really anything else my little heart desires….that is why it is MY blog, right??

So, some of you may be wondering about my Blog name.  No, I’m not a fanatic of frogs, bunny’s, pogo stick jumpers or anything else that uses hopping as their means of transportation to get from one place to the next.  Honestly, it is just a play on my last name:  Hopkins.  There is a little more sentimental side of the story as well.  I remember when I was younger seeing a hat that belonged to my dad.  He was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and one of his uniform hats had his nickname (one of many, he had so many in fact, that is hard to keep up with) on the back of it….HOPPY!  I can’t even remember the last time I saw the hat, but the image of the hat has stuck with me ever since.  He passed away about 9 years ago after a long battle with Lung Cancer and since then a lot of things I do/have done are in one way or another in recognition of him.  (R.I.P.: Gerald “Peck” Weaks Hopkins)  That goes without saying that the rest of family (and friends) provides multitudes of support and encouragement with all my projects and ideas as well.  In fact, my mom had enough trust in me, to allow me to pick out décor for a room in her new house…the guest room.  I’ll post pictures of that room later.  

I’m obviously new to blogging, so please me patient as I learn tricks of the trade and also make this page a little more aesthetically pleasing.  My current work schedule doesn’t allow me a lot of leisurely time during the week, so I’m hoping all the nuances of blogging will come easily to me.  You will hopefully see some pretty neat/exciting changes to the site over the next couple weeks, but again please be patient.  This is all the time I have today, so I hope to see you back here tomorrow.