Juice/Smoothie Recipe – Red Goodness

For those who don’t know I’m currently on a juice/smoothie fast and blogging about it here on EricOdom.com.  If you want/need some backstory on all of it click here for a full rundown.

In that post I said I would write up some of my recipes. These aren’t typical, mind you. I don’t go by any books or guides. I use my own based on my past 14 day raw juice fast and my current tinkering with raw juice/smoothies. I try to pack my drink meals with as many nutrients as possible while keeping them tasty (my 2012 14 day juice fast included some nasty tasting raw juices).

The first of my drink meals is something I call Red Goodness and it’s easily one of my favorites. It’s cold, has a little more of a smoothie consistency and feels a little more like eating something vs. drinking it.

Before we get to the recipe, however, I want to mention using organic over non-organic. No, I’m not a Whole Foods snob. Nor am I a purist on this kind of thing. But in all honesty if the purpose of such a fast is to cleanse your body of toxins, reset your immune system and generally just flush out the junk, organic certainly helps in the process.

Yes, it costs a little more. But in the grand scheme of things the cost is minimal and it’s worth the investment if you can make it happen.

Red Goodness, depending on where you live and shop, will set you back about $6.00 if done right. Now at first glance $6.00 might seem steep for a “drink.” But keep in mind this should be your entire meal. And in 2017 $6.00 for a meal, especially one that is extremely nutritious and healthy, is a bargain.

Also, I use a lot of products from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, but those are both within walking distance from my downtown Chicago building. I know a lot of people don’t have easy access to those so I’m making my meals this week from products that can be easily found elsewhere.

With that said, here’s Red Goodness. All blended (not juiced) in a Standard $79.99 Nutribullet.

Blend and enjoy.

Easily one of my favorites!

And yes, for the sugar haters, you’re going to take in some sugar with this. But at least it’s natural sugar that comes in/with the plants you’re consuming. In some juice diets you’ll need to consume other things to offset the sugar intake. Do some research on this or consult your doctor/nutritionist if you need to. This isn’t an issue for me.

-Eric Odom

 

Time to Lose Some Weight the Right Way – And Get Back on a Healthy Track

Earlier today I posted on Facebook about how I’m starting a ten day juice/smoothie fast. I wrote the post to see if anyone else might be interested in following along, and much to my surprise the response was quite active.

Turns out this is a topic quite a few care about so I’m going to kick things off with this post and an option to get the email updates to follow the journey. Before I get into the backstory and my plan, however, I want to describe the best way to follow all of this and ensure you get updates when I do videos, recipe posts, tips & suggestions, etc.

I’ll be including:

  • Recipes
  • Equipment I Use
  • Extra Proteins I Use and Where to Get Them
  • Weight Tracking
  • Lots of Extra Goodies 🙂

LibertyNews (My employer) has a newsletter called Healthwire. There are currently around 40,000 subscribers and I’m going to send these updates to that list. But for those who want to follow just my posts on this fast and how I’m losing weight through it, you can use the sign up form below. You will only get updates on this subject/topic.

Sign up below and then keep reading for the full scoop.

(Alternatively you can click here to subscribe to ALL of my blog updates)



THE JUICE/SMOOTHIE FAST – BACKSTORY

A few years back I hit 249 pounds. I was in a size 38 in jeans and reality hit me. If I crossed 250 pounds there may not be any turning back. I would likely go to a size 40 in jeans and then where would it go from there? Would I ever be able to get control of it? Wouldn’t it become more difficult to slow down or reverse?

I remember that day like it was yesterday. Because on that day one of my interns walked in and informed me he was about to start a 30 day juice fast. I was shocked to hear his story. He had watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and decided he had enough of the junk. It was time for a lifestyle change.

His decision collided with my own reality check. As a result, I decided to join him for the first two weeks of his fast. I watched the documentary (which blew my mind and made me disgusted with my own eating habits), did a little research and got myself ready.

If you haven’t already done so, please watch the documentary posted in full below. Trust me, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_MxCKKIgJI

So about a week later I had a brand new juicer, a wide range of juicing recipes, a couple trips to Whole Foods and was ready to go.

So juice fast we did.

Now I’m not going to lie. This was hard. Downright extremely difficult. But not for the reasons I expected.

You see, I expected the challenge to be more on the hunger side. I instead found the difficulty built up on the mental side.

I generally allow three key things to work against me. All of which cause me extremely unhealthy eating and weight gain.

  1. Addictive Nature – I smoked for 15 years. During this time I may not have been “healthy” so to speak, but I wasn’t overweight and didn’t have an overeating problem. When I quit smoking back in 2012 (I actually quit smoking full time much earlier but still picked up a cig here and there through 2012) I replaced the bad habit with eating. Eating and coffee. As soon as I quit smoking the weight gain began. And it never slowed down.
  2. Poorly Scheduled Meals – I’m terrible with properly spreading out nutrition intake through a typical day. I work 12 – 16 hours a day, and generally I won’t eat until I can’t not eat anymore. And when I do, I’m so hungry that I just pile on as much as I can in order to feel satisfied. But this often leads to me grossly eating far more than I needed to in a very short period of time.
  3. Laziness in Proper Meals – In this day and time we all want fast. We don’t want planned and prepared. We just want things that taste good and now. That often means we eat crap. Crap with virtually no nutritional value at all.

On day one of my juice fast I had a mental strain to get it in my head that drinking a cup of juice was actually doing way more for my body than eating a greasy meal from Texas Roadhouse or some other chain. It took a lot of preparation, took a lot of time cleaning the juicer and when I sat down to drink the juice I didn’t at all feel satisfied. I didn’t feel like I was feeding myself. I definitely felt hungry.

Now unlike the current fast I’m doing (More on that later) back then I was doing a full on organic raw juice fast. Which meant I took raw organic fruits and vegetables and used a juicer to remove their water properties (where the vast bulk of the nutrients are) and drank that as is.

It’s not cold. It’s room temperature. And it often tastes exactly like a garden smells.

So instead of a pizza, here I was drinking room temperature garden water. That was my meal. At the end of day one I was excited to be on the path to 14 days, but I was terrified that I still had 13 days to go!

Day two was more of the same. Wondering if it would all be worth it. And at the end of two day, to make things more mentally difficult, I hadn’t lost any weight.

Day three through five were the worst. By far. All three of those days I was so damn hungry. Hungry, weak and mentally struggling. I honestly don’t know how I stuck with it. I think having the intern juicing with me at work helped tremendously. It provided some accountability. We were going through the same thing and that provided some mental backup.

But man, those days were awful. And those days brought on the bathroom visits that weren’t ideal. Especially considering I was juicing a lot of pears with my veggies to offset the harsh veggie taste. No need to go on about that other than to say… that’s all an important part of the “cleanse” process I suppose.

The good thing about those three days is the weight starting falling off. To the tune of two pounds a day.

My goal was ten pounds in 14 days so knocking out six pounds by day six was quite ideal.

When day six rolled around everything changed. I had figured out how to best use pears and apples to make pretty much anything taste acceptable. Heck, I was juicing full sweet potatoes in with everything else. I juiced a LOT of broccoli (immediately wash your juicer after juicing broccoli or the smell will alarm everyone within a mile radios) , spinach and carrots. I did some beets but those are probably one of the worst on the taste scale. But pears and apples would overpower everything else and it worked.

Day six was the day the extreme hunger finally subsided. I wasn’t quite where I felt sustained with just the juice, but I also didn’t go all day feeling like I was starving either. And I actually started to feel better physically too.

From day 7 on it was all downhill. I drank green tea as often as possible, drank a lot of water and drank a full 16 ounces of juice four to five times a day. The second week was a breeze. And the weight was falling every day.

On day 15 I went to Panera bread and ordered a spinach salad. I thought I would be starving and ready to celebrate with a nice “ease back in” meal. But in all honesty I could have kept juicing. I had energy, I felt fantastic and I had lost 18 pounds.

Let me repeat that. I lost 18 pounds!

It was an incredible reset. I wasn’t where I wanted to ultimately be with my weight. But at least I felt I somewhat had it under control. Both mentally and physically.

I didn’t eat fast food or drink coffee for at least six months after that. I lost another couple of pounds and found myself feeling great with constant rounds of natural energy. I got myself on a good food plan and it was an amazing experience all around. Truly a life changing experience.

THE FALL

I say fall because, well, I fell off the horse over the past year and a half. I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my life and a lot has gone on. And through that I’ve gotten reckless/lazy.

Fast food happens a time or two a week. Yes, even a pizza.

I drink several cups of coffee a day and my kryptonite (bread) is now a regular part of my diet.

I’m at 231 pounds, having gained some weight from my 5 year low of 223.

Time for another reset. I cannot let this get out of control.

So tonight I began a 10 day juice/smoothie fast. I’m aiming for 225 with anything beyond that being a bonus. And this time I plan on doing a ten day fast every other month. This to keep myself in check and generally just get healthier.

So while I type this I’m drinking a concoction of strawberries, oranges, kale, spinach and a frozen block of Acai berry puree. It’s the first of many such drinks over the next ten days.

And it’s delicious!

I’m going to blog/vlog the journey and will include recipes/exprience reports along the way.

Hopefully you can pick up something from it that you can use in your own life. Of course, I’m no nutritionist and I provide no content as advise. I merely share with you what I do, how I do it and what the results are. Take from it what you will.

Leave comments below with any questions or comments and I’ll be happy to join in on the discussion!

-Eric Odom

EDIT: See my first recipe – RED GOODNESS

Dear Illinois – You’re Dead to Me

Much to the surprise of a lot of people I know, people who haven’t spent much time in Illinois, the state is actually a beautiful state with some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet. In my mind there are two states of Illinois. There is Chicago and then there is the rest of the state.

There are things about both that I love. I have an apartment in downtown Chicago and I love the energy in the city. Great food, lots of entertainment and it has a good vibe that just can’t be explained in words. Plus, we have the CUBBIES!

I moved to Chicago back in 2007. Since then I’ve spent a good deal of time living in Las Vegas and Virginia Beach (both for work) but the bulk of the time has been spent living in Chicago. And as far as living conditions, things to do and see, quality of food/entertainment, museums and general downtown experience Chicago is second to none.

And about the crime. Those outside of the Chicago bubble have this vision of shooting in the streets at every corner. My family is always concerned about this. But truth is Chicago’s crime is extremely territorial. I wouldn’t hesitate to walk around in the loop (downtown) at literally any hour of the day. Yes, Chicago has dangerous areas. But yes, Chicago has lots of very safe areas too. There are millions of people in the city and the vast majority of them go about the day with no issues.

Now when you leave Chicago a completely different world opens up. We have beautiful cities like Peoria that sits on the river. We have farmland that has its own glory in certain sunlight. We have old school small midwest towns that are fantastic to walk around in the summer. And the people of downstate Illinois are about as friendly as you’ll ever find.

With the exception of Springfield, everything outside of Chicago is relatively conservative politically.

For everything mentioned above Illinois is a great state. But none of that outweighs the underlying reality.

The Illinois government is completely corrupt. Dan Proft (a friend of mine who ran for Governor a few years back) once had a slogan that I really liked.

Illinois isn’t broken. It’s fixed!

Dan’s video explains it perfectly. Due to corrupt overbilling, the video describes that $300,000 worth of snow removal ends up costing the taxpayers $1.2 million. Just a single snow removal contract!

In Chicago you literally FEEL taxation at every turn. Every thing you do. Every gallon of gas you pump. Every toll road you drive on. Every purchase you make. Literally everything you do is punished by high taxes.

And if you dare to try to start a small business in Illinois be prepared to pay an army of people to help you navigate the madness. The regulation is absurd.

I applaud Governor Rauner for his efforts to fight the system. But the truth is the system has enormous, seemingly unbreakable control. And Chicago voters appear unwilling to every change it.

There is an exodus of people and businesses leaving Illinois and for good reason. The state is fixed. And broken.

What a shame. What a waste.

That’s why I’m moving my residency to Wisconsin (although Wisconsin isn’t proving to be much better). I refuse to play the game controlled by the corrupt Democrat Illinois Houde leadership. I refuse to let them have so much fruit of my labor. I refuse to let them control my life, abuse what they take from me and then offer very little, if anything, in return.

The good of Illinois just cannot outweigh the bad. I’m sorry, Illinois. But for this taxpayer… you’re dead to me.

In 2017 Don’t Just Try to Buy More American… Try to Buy More AMERICAN!

I’m not big on stating clear and high targeted new year’s resolutions. Things like lose x number of pounds or do y a certain number of times never work for me. But I do like general goals with a broad objective.

One such goal is, as I wrote last week, to do less politics and more America. In today’s post I’m going to add a little to that.

While I’m not a “buy only American made” fanboy (I have a foreign made phone, TV, etc), I do tend to at least seek American made products when doing so is readily available. This year I would like to take that a step further.

I’m going to actively seek to spend my money where I can identify company owners/businesses that share my core principles. I don’t mean Republican or Democrat, but I do mean the basic principles set out in the constitution and Bill of Rights.

How many times over the past few years have we seen companies like Starbucks, Kellogg’s and many others radically oppose the basic principles of liberty? How many times have these companies used the very dollars we give them in an attempt to stifle our free speech, hurt American jobs and demand that we adhere to political correctness?

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of feeding that beast. I’m tired of being an enabler for them.

These companies have, for years now, insulted us, berated us and even told us they don’t really want or need our business. Fine. I’ll stop providing it.

I’ll try to buy American made, of course, but I’m also going to try to buy AMERICAN in 2017. And I hope others will consider joining me.

Enough is enough.

My 2017 Resolution – Less Politics, More America

I’m in an intriguing place mentally. For the better part of two years now I’ve watched my friends post their dislike of everything political. For most of them (I choose my friends wisely) this doesn’t mean they’re waving the white flag. No, this simply means they’re stepping back in the amount of political news consumption they take on.

I’ve been a political junkie for twelve years now. I don’t mean just in terms of news and information consumption, I mean a hardcore activist. Heck, I recently dug up an old video of myself being interviewed by a news outlet while protesting illegal immigration back in 2006… ten years ago!

With the election of Donald Trump things might finally change for the better on that front. Then again, they may not. Only time will tell.

Of course, I’ll never, ever give up the fight. It’s not in my all-American DNA to stop fighting for what I believe is right… for what I believe makes America great. The rule of law and the constitution to be more specific.

But I have to be honest here and say something I never thought I would say. When it comes to political news and information, I too am completely burned out.

2016 was a fascinating year in which the flow of information finally completely bypassed the control of mainstream media. In many ways this should be viewed as a massive victory. But such a victory comes at a cost.

One of those costs is that due to the ability for those of us in the news business to bypass MSM, there are now a seemingly overwhelming amount of sources hammering us all with news links, stories and media. We’re being hit from all directions with information overload. And it’s having a profoundly negative impact in my view.

I’ve personally turned off many sources I traditionally crave on a daily basis. I’ve removed several news apps, I no longer watch any TV news and I’ve cut down the sources feeding into my RSS reader.

I’m just tired of it all.

Again, this is not to say I’m finished in the business. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I am re-engineering the way I consume information. And as a network that in many ways operates in the news environment, Grassfire (my employer) is re-engineering the way we deliver content.

In fact, we’re cutting down the amount of information/content we deliver by as much as 50%. The days of churning out 20 – 30 stories a day (in post, written story format) are over for us. We’ll still deliver content of course. I mean, we have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and nearly 2,000,000 following us on social media platforms. But we’re just not going to hammer everyone with a ton of links anymore. Because, quite frankly, we’re tired of being hammered with tons of links ourselves.

Instead our focus in 2017 is geared around live video, video reports and special summary reports. This will enable us to do more with less.

In my title I say less politics, more America. Which brings me to the next part of this overhaul.

A core component of the American success story is thriving as an economy no matter what obstacles stand in our way. Steve Elliott (my boss) wrote an excellent book about this called Thriving in Exile with a follow up book called Thriving Through the Night. Both are quick reads and get to the heart of our refocus as a team.

America thrives when America is… America.

With this in mind  big part of what we’re building for 2017 shifts us away from being overly in-your-face political with a newfound heavy dose of economic development for those within what many refer to as the liberty movement.

This is one of the reasons we recently launched a crowdfunding platform at RallyBuilder.com and a blog hosting platform at LibertyCube.com. We’re also getting ready to roll out a digital business coaching/course system called ThriveCube, a system designed to help others build online for business and commerce.

Not only are we developing platforms that empower Americans to build and thrive online, we’re also building an ecosystems that enable those same individuals to network with like-minded Americans to create new fuel for our economic engine.

Let me give you an example. I use a diffuser at my desk. I’ll mix up what kind of oils I diffuse, but I have a few that I really like and generally stick to. Now, if I knew that someone who aligned with me politically sold such oils, I would very likely choose to purchase from that individual. And who knows? Perhaps that individual needs help developing his or her business in the online environment.

A win-win scenario.

So in 2017 my plan is to reorganize the content I deliver, the method in which it’s delivered and to whom it’s delivered when the time comes to deliver it. Grassfire is going through this shift as well in a lot of ways. We’re stepping back and focusing on building stronger relationships with our membership/subscribers. We’re building better online platforms/applications and we’re working on new strategies as to what kind of content we publish and who that content targets.

And yes, we’re going to very actively engage in building a large scale network of small businesses who share similar views/principles. Because at the end of the day too few companies have far too much control over our lives. And we have no one to thank but ourselves for giving them that power.

2016 broke the control over information and that’s a huge win. 2017 should be the year we fight with our most powerful weapon… our ability to thrive as Americans and thrive together as a network. Our ability to go around the powers that be and control our own futures.

In closing, I also want to focus on my own profile in a way that benefits all that we’re doing at Grassfire. So I’ll be putting significant emphasis on live streaming via Facebook to help teach others what I’ve learned in the digital realm, I’ll be making use of my YouTube channel for this as well. I’ll spend a LOT more time on my Grassfire social profile to develop that presence and I’ll be using my website here to talk about ways we can all grow and thrive online.

The one thing I just can’t bring myself to is tweeting more. I absolutely loathe twitter with everything in me. It’s a time killer and waste of energy in my view. Both personally and economically. But all other methods of communication will see a significant increase in activity and engagement as we move into 2017.

I encourage you to consider doing the same. If you’re not yet blogging, start blogging. If you’re not yet active in video sharing/live streaming, consider it. If you want to start a business online, go do it!

Don’t wait. Do it now. You may not think you can accomplish much, but make the commitment, stick to it, teach yourself everything you need to know and you’ll be amazed at what happens.

Five years ago my Facebook page had a few hundred followers. I’m now about to cross 100,000 fans!

I didn’t accomplish this because of some magical college degree. It wasn’t any specific training that brought it all about. It was determination and drive to learn that got me here.

And more importantly, it’s all possible because we are America.

Be sure to connect with me and drop me a line if you have any questions or comments. I’m here to help as best as I can!

Keeping up the fight, seek to thrive and stay vigilant.