Sunday, December 22, 2013

Suja Juice Cleanse Review

I decided to try the Suja juices because they sell them at Whole Foods and I wanted to do something to reset my body after filling it with alcohol and food during last week's trip to Vegas.  Online, they offer a 1, 3 or 5 day cleanse but they also sell it at Whole Foods, which is much cheaper because you don't have to pay for shipping. It's still not cheap, but you save $80 in shipping costs alone! Since you can just buy it per bottle at Whole Foods, I decided to do it for 2 days, over the weekend, when not much was going on. Originally I had wanted to do the Sambazon cleanse from Costco because it's super cheap and you still get to eat but apparently Costco is not carrying them until January?!?? (I asked them on Twitter)

Again, most people do this for 1, 3 or 5 days (a lot of the reviews I read were for 3 days),  but I did it for 2.

Ready to go

Day 1

I set my phone alarm for every 2.5 hours starting at 7am to remind me to drink all 6 juices. I also consistently drank water throughout the day.

7:00am

I woke up at 6:30am Saturday because I had to work and had a customer call at 7am. I should have gone to bed at 10pm instead of 12:30 but... what are you gonna do. Instead of my usual coffee I started with a cup of warm water and lemon to alkalize the body, a little while later I had the "Glow" juice. Apple, cucumber, celery, mint, kale, spinach, collards. It was really tasty and refreshing.





9:30am

I was on another call and grabbed the "Fuel" juice out of my fridge. This one tasted like carrot juice but the addition of orange, apple, pineapple, lemon, and turmeric made it quite delicious.



12:00pm

I was getting pretty hungry by this point so it was a relief that it was time to drink "Purify". Whoa, holy beets batman. LOL. This one is carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, beet, and lemon but the beet taste is pretty powerful. Luckily I don't hate beets.




This one wasn't bad, but the other 2 were better. "Glow" is still the winner but I was most excited about the upcoming "Vanilla Cloud", with coconut, honey, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg - doesn't it sound delicious?!?

At this point I was starting to miss coffee,  I was definitely glad I decided to only do 2 days because I was feeling sluggish...

2:30pm

I decided to watch Fat Sick & Nearly Dead again for inspiration. I think Joe Cross is adorable! Must be the accent. I started getting sleepy while sitting on the couch and was about to take a quick nap when my alarm went off for Juice #4, "Fiji". This one has: fuji apple, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, collards, lemon-ginger. This one kind of reminds me of "Glow". Nap time!


5:00pm

My nap lasted all of 10 minutes due to getting another call, but it surprisingly helped a little, I wasn't as groggy as I was earlier. Also, between the last juice and this one I had a handful of almonds. The almonds really helped as I finally didn't feel hungry for the first time all day. There are a few things that they consider "acceptable" cheats: fruits and veggies, half an avocado, baked sweet potato, and broth-based soups. I thought I saw almonds on there but I guess I made that up. Still seems acceptable to me. I'm also not as cold as I have been all day, maybe because my stomach is finally digesting something. Before that, I had had a sweatshirt on, the heat up to 74 and was under a blanket...

Dinner time! The juice of the hour is "Green Supreme".  Apple, kale and lemon, pretty simple. It's really good and refreshing. Almost Vanilla Cloud time!



7:30pm

Finally, it's time for Vanilla Cloud. It was pretty delicious, but I think I hyped it up too much, it wasn't like "OMG the most amazing thing I ever tasted". I ended up falling asleep on the couch at 9:30pm. Do I know how to party on a Saturday night or what?!


Day 1 cheats: 8 almonds

Day 2

9:45am

I must have needed sleep because I let myself sleep in until 8:30am, 11 hours! Felt good to finally sleep in, however I woke up hungry and with a headache. Instead of trying to let it go away naturally which never seems to work for me I took 2 Advil and downed a glass of water. I usually go to a yoga class at 10am, and  I had wanted to run some errands afterwards so I thought I'd better drink the first juice as close as possible to 10am. I started off with some warm lemon water and then brought the "Glow" with me and drank it on my way to yoga. I got to the gym at 9:50 and they told me yoga was already full. What?!? I guess that makes sense because the group exercise room at this gym is pretty tiny and you end up doing yoga with like 2 inches of space around you. He told me another gym a few miles away had a 10:15 class so I went over there to try my luck and luckily I got in.

2:15pm

After yoga I went to Target and did some Christmas shopping and went to the nail salon, it took longer than I expected. I had planned on going to the grocery store for a couple of things but by this time I was starving and my juice schedule was all thrown off, I still had 5 juices to go! I got home and drank "Fuel" and had half an avocado and a handful of almonds. Oh and a pear slice. Ahhh, much better. At that rate I would have to drink another juice every hour...

3:30pm

Beet time! I started my food prep for the week, I had been dreading this all weekend because I thought it would be super difficult to cook all this food that I can't eat. Just as I started to get hungry it was time for juice #3, "Purify". Drinking a juice every hour now seemed feasible. I really like how each bottle shows exactly what is put into it. Only 1/2 a beet in this drink but it definitely does not go unnoticed.

4:45pm

Drank "Fiji" while I cooked. I was cooking and chopping up all the ingredients for the Butternut Squash Chili and it was REALLY hard to cook bacon and not eat it. That's willpower right there!

6:15pm

"Green Supreme" time.  Yummy! The chili is simmering and I julienned some zucchini to make Zucchini Chicken Pasta.

8:30pm
Food prep done! I baked a pound of chicken breast, julienned the zucchini, vitamixed the pesto, baked sweet potatoes, made the chili, and made coconut chia seed pudding for breakfast for the next 2 days (recipe coming soon).  I also had to run out to the store to pick up a few things. I drank Vanilla Cloud a little later then I intended to. I also ate a walnut and an artichoke heart while I was chopping them for the zucchini pasta. Yes just one of each... haha. After all that food prep I drank Vanilla Cloud, laid on the couch and caught up on DVR.

Day 2 cheats: Almonds, half an avocado, pear slice, walnut, artichoke heart

Post-cleanse

The next morning I woke up and ate the coconut chia seed pudding I had made the night before along with a cup of coffee. Honestly the pudding was not that good, it was little too sweet and the consistency was like melted frosting so I'm not posting the recipe, but it had coconut milk, protein powder, vanilla extract and chia seeds. Monday night we had a work event and I ended up eating lava cake for dessert plus had a glass of wine. Oops! Tuesday through Thursday I ate fairly well and went to Crossfit all 3 nights. The juices were really good and nutritious and I may keep a couple on hand for a quick (and tasty) infusion of fruits and vegetables. I don't know if I'd do a full cleanse again, I like food too much, but it did help me get back on track (aside from Monday night).

Tangent: I haven't been running hardly at all (except whatever we do in Crossfit) but over Thanksgiving my best friend and I did our yearly Thanksgiving morning jog around Lake Merritt  and I killed my record according to Runkeeper. At that rate, I should be able to run a 30 minute 5K soon, something I have never done before. Since I haven't been running I'm going to chalk it up to Crossfit and overall eating healthier. Yay!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Zucchini Chicken Pasta with Homemade Pesto

I never thought I'd say this but after making paleo "noodles" with both spaghetti squash and zucchini, I seriously don't even miss pasta. If you don't have a julienne peeler you need to go out and get one stat (or ask for one for Christmas). They are awesome, my only issue with it is that it's really hard (or impossible) to julienne every last bit of zucchini, I usually end up with a few thick slices in the pasta but better than wasting it!

I first made this recipe with regular pesto that I bought at Whole Foods but it gave me stomach issues so I decided to use my awesome Vitamix (seriously, is there anything that thing can't do) and make my own cheeseless pesto, but you can always use pesto from a jar. You can also try adding sundried tomatoes to the pasta.

Ingredients for one serving:
  • 2 large zucchini squash (julienned into noodles) 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • 4 chopped artichoke hearts packed in water 
  • 4 large raw walnuts 
  • 4 oz chicken breast, seasoned and baked with garlic powder, salt and pepper, then cut into slices
  • 2 T homemade cheese-less pesto (see below) 
Homemade Cheeseless Pesto:
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1/2 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 oz walnuts 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Blend in Vitamix for 1 minute at Variable 7 (start at Variable 1). It will make about a cup and will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Pro Tip: Peel 6-8 zucchini all at once and store the "noodles" in a tupperware, and bake and slice several chicken breasts at the same time, then you have 4 meals for the week, and all you have to do is assemble and heat up. BOOM

Low carb pasta! Yay



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paleo Crockpot Butternut Squash Chili


The end of summer and the beginning of fall means less fresh berries (boo) but more winter squashes (yay)! I bought a butternut squash a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't really sure what to do with it. I looked up what to make with it, found some Paleo chili recipes, and took some ideas from a variety of recipes to come up with the following concoction:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 2 cups broth (any kind, I used chicken because that's what I had)
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • Sliced green onions for topping
  • Avocado or guacamole for topping

You'll notice I didn't include tomatoes, which is usually a staple in any crockpot chili recipe. The thing is, I am not a fan of cooked tomatoes. I noticed when I would eat dishes that had cooked tomatoes, I would push all the tomatoes to the side. So I decided just to omit them and see what happened.

Steps:

Brown the ground beef in a pan, put in crockpot
Saute the bacon, squash, garlic and onions until cooked, put in crockpot
Add the broth, spices, and chilis to crockpot
Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours. Add spinach and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high.
Top with avocado or guacamole and sliced green onions.


I haven't actually tried this yet but it looks amazing, I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. I had extra butternut squash so I roasted the extras with salt, pepper and olive oil for 40 minutes at 400F, it was a delicious snack.


I also made this Simple Creamy Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup from PaleOMG. It was super yum!! I precooked the chicken yesterday in my crockpot with low sodium chicken broth and some garlic powder. I kind of doubled the recipe, I used a whole head of cauliflower and a can of artichoke quarters packed in water. Another awesome puree done by my one and only Vitamix.


I'm getting a little tired of eggs, I've been eating Omelet Muffins the past 2 weeks, so I decided to whip up some protein pancakes for tomorrow morning and Tuesday. I'll probably eat em with almond butter, or maybe I'll splurge and whip out the maple syrup (organic of course :P)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Paleo Shepherd's Pie and Green Smoothie

I never posted the Paleo Shepherd's Pie I made. I looked through a few recipes, and finally ended up using the recipe from Eat Boutique, as some of the recipes I found used peas (not paleo) and Worcestershire sauce (also not paleo, unless you make it yourself), and if I'm going to make a "paleo" dish then it better be all paleo. The only thing I didn't do was bake them individually, I don't own ramekins, in fact I just learned the word ramekin from reading that blog. I definitely recommend trying this recipe. Here's the link: http://www.eatboutique.com/2012/10/05/paleo-shepherds-pie/

The most impressive part of this dish for me was the mashed cauliflower on top, it made me fall in love with my Vitamix all over again, it came out SO smooth!

Looks just like potatoes!!!
My friends and I got together for a girls night last night, complete with wine, chips and salsa, rice krispie treats, bread and spinach dip, etc... basically everything that's NOT detox approved :) But the detox is over so I could freely partake... and that I did. I don't feel terrible today, but I don't feel great, and I slept a ton. I made this green smoothie for breakfast in, you guessed it, my Vitamix, along with coffee with coconut milk and 100% cacao powder... yummy! I added the protein so it would be a complete meal... now I think I am going to head out for a quick run. I have no plans this weekend, and I love it!


1 scoop Amazing Grass wheatgrass
1 scoop Jarrows Whey Protein Vanilla
2 celery stalks
1/2 avocado
1/2 banana
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup water
a few cubes of ice

I made it to Crossfit 4 times this week. Yay! Yesterday was burpees and deadlifts. I love deadlifts, I hate burpees. The WOD was 5 deadlifts and 10 burpees, 5 rounds. I hate round-based WOD's because I always think I'm going to be last. Which I was, but only by a couple of burpees. The best time from the day had been 3:22, I finished in 7:22. I love Friday evening classes because they are so small, so it was me and 7 others. That's also why I like the morning classes, that and getting it out of the way before work. We played "crab soccer" during the warmup, if you don't know what that is, google it. It was entertaining to say the least :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 21!

I did it! I made it through 3 weeks of no alcohol, no grains, no dairy (and I LOVE cheese), no added sugar. There were a couple of cheats (two Quest bars, one instance of dark chocolate chips, and of course the re-introduction of coffee, which I don't really consider a cheat) but for the most part I pretty much stuck to the program. And what were my results you ask? 7 pounds down and 1.2% reduction in body fat. Not bad! But I'm not satisfied..... so I continue on this grain-free/dairy-free paleo-ish journey.... I've already picked out what I want to contribute to Thanksgiving.... 

I think my biggest accomplishment in the past three weeks was this past Thursday night at the A's game, the deciding game of the AL division series. The only times in my adult life that I have ever been to a baseball game sober is because I was hungover. We also usually get burritos beforehand and bring them in, but this time I opted out of both the burrito and the beer and instead brought my own healthy snacks and a bottle of water, after eating a sweet potato beforehand. I ended up not eating the banana and ate very little of the kale krunch (it tasted weird to me this time). I didn't feel deprived at all, it probably helped that it was an intense and exciting game... no one wanted to get up and get another beer or food and miss anything... unfortunately it did not end well and the season is over for the A's. Until next year...

Baseball snacks: kale krunch, plaintain chips, raw cashews, banana
The night before I splurged and went to In-N-Out after work where I got a protein style double meat mustard fried burger with grilled onions and no sauce (inspired by this blog).

I also asked for chilies but I think they forgot them... but it was still delish!
Today I went on a short hike with my mom. I decided to make my own trail mix with coconut flakes, plantain chips, dried apples, pecans, cashews, and dark chocolate chips. I think next time I will omit the apples as they contained a ton of sugar. Speaking of apples, I just found out that Granny Smith apples have the least amount of sugar of all the apples. I feel like I already knew that though.

Trail mix! Yummy.
I made this amazing shake this morning in the Vitamix. Kale, half an avocado, banana, wheatgrass, coconut water, and a carrot. It was super tasty!

Vitamix = Greatest investment ever
Sooo... what's next for me after this detox? The gym is putting on another one in January, I think I am definitely going to be doing it again. I was thinking of doing Whole30 in January, but doing something like this with a support group is a must. Knowing that other people are doing it alongside you keeps the motivation level high. Although I'm not planning on straying too far from the basics of the plan, I'm sure there will be red wine and goat cheese in the near future, also I miss greek yogurt. Plus the holidays are coming up and I am in love with pumpkin pie and that sugary cranberry sauce in the can with the ridges. Everything in moderation ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 16

If drinking coffee is wrong then I don't want to be right...

Yes... I cheated. Yesterday I gave in and drank a cup of coffee and you know what, it was amazing. I made my own creamer using date paste and coconut milk (although it was wayyy too liquidy... I will use less hot water for the date paste making next time) and drank a cup around 12:30 pm and for the rest of the afternoon I cleaned, did laundry, went shopping and cooked (beefy mexi cauli rice, avocado dressing, and omelet muffins) and felt motivated and content all at the same time.

I had been feeling blah the past few days (sometimes borderline depressed) had less energy, and my brain didn't feel as sharp... I felt slower. I feel like I gave it a good shot. 14 days without coffee is a long time for me. And it's not like I was ever a heavy coffee drinker or needed it multiple times a day. Just one cup in the AM and I'm good to go. I'm sorry I couldn't make it the whole 21 days, but I'm really not. I think there's worse things I could have cheated with. I haven't touched a piece of cheese or dark chocolate or had a glass of wine in two weeks. I went to Sonoma Chicken Coop last Friday and my friends ordered the chocolate fondue plate (which looked soooo good) and fries and beer while I ate my half chicken plus extra grilled veggies and lemon water.

Tangent: Someone had the great idea of freezing the banana nut porridge and turning it into ice cream. 

Mmmmm.
It was amazing a few hours after putting it in the freezer, but today it's rock solid... Next time I'll separate it into separate containers and thaw a little bit at a time.

I went to Crossfit at 6am today. Go me! Hopefully I can keep this up!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 9

I know I haven't been keeping up with this but I wanted to post some pictures of food I've been eating over the past week. Also I have to confess that I cheated on Friday and had a Quest bar...oops.

I got a Vitamix last week, and I love it! So far I've used to make carrot juice, a spinach/wheatgrass/fruit smoothie, banana nut porridge, and to grind some chicken to make Sweet Potato and Kale Chicken Patties courtesy of Multiply Delicious. I miss coffee, and when this is over I am going to make my own coffee creamer now that I have something to make date paste in :)

I have actually been feeling a little "blah" the last couple of days, and occasionally experience "brain fog" (one of the reasons I miss coffee). Another thing I've noticed is how full I get, I can barely get 1400-1500 net calories a day. I guess that is a side effect of eating more vegetables and nutritious food.

This weekend I made Beefy Mexi Cauli Rice (without sour cream) and Chicken Bacon Alfredo for my main food for the week, I might whip up the chicken patties again during the week (they were soooo good!). A Chipotle salad is my fall back plan in case I run out of leftovers.

Anywho, here are some pictures in no particular order:

Carrot Juice
I made this carrot juice in my Vitamix today, it was one of the recipes in the book that it came with. The first time I made it I put way too many carrots and it came out super thick, I watered this batch down (and yes that is a Miller Lite pint glass I am drinking it out of)

Beefy Mexi Cauli Rice (recipe from Healthy Living How To)
I made the Beefy Mexi Cauli Rice last night for dinner and it was surprisingly delicious and filling, as was the chicken bacon alfredo I made today (I cooked and prepared the squash last night):

Chicken Bacon Alfredo (recipe from PaleOMG)
Banana Nut Porridge (recipe from Against All Grain)

This I have to talk about. Mine doesn't look anything like the picture on the Against All Grain page, maybe it's because I used light coconut milk and not the full fat kind. But even with light coconut milk it was really rich and kind of liquidy. It was weird, but it filled me up until lunch.

Mish mash of other pictures:


Chicken and Kale Sweet Potato Patties (recipe from Multiply Delicious)

A random breakfast of leftover chili, eggs, broccoli and avocado

Chicken salad with guac from Chipotle (no dressing)

Another random breakfast


Fruit and wheatgrass smoothie
Good night!!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Days 3 & 4

I knew once I went back to work it would be hard to keep up with this but I'll try my best. I took yesterday off to spend time with my dad and take him to the airport so he could fly back to the land down under.

Day #3

Yesterday was a much better than Sunday but I still had a dull headache in the morning. I gave in an took an Advil because I am a big baby when it comes to pain. I then proceeded to make a shitty smoothie with no protein powder (we're supposed to only have protein powder after workouts IF absolutely necessary). I mixed berries, wheatgrass, half a banana and some coconut milk I had leftover in a Mason jar that I have no idea if it was full fat or "lite" as I have both in my cupboard. So I either consumed 420 calories and 42 grams of fat  in one sitting or 150 calories and 13.5 grams of fat. I hope it was the latter, but whatever it's over now :) The smoothie itself didn't taste bad but it left me hungry probably due to the fact there was only 7 grams of protein in the drink. An hour later I was downing a can of tuna and a hard boiled egg and I felt much better. Then I went to lunch with my dad and cousin at a Mediterranean restaurant and tried to order as paleo-ish as possible. After barraging the server with question after question I finally settled on a salad with some chicken on top with no dressing (just some lemon). However, the chicken may or may not have been marinated in a yogurt and lemon sauce (don't tell anyone). I avoided the pita bread and hummus and downed like 4 glasses of lemon water.

My second attempt at eating out
For dinner I had leftover pork tenderloin, collard greens in coconut oil, and half a yam. I cooked 3 yams on Sunday night in preparation for this week.

Monday's dinner
Day #4

I woke up too late to make a decent breakfast so I brought half a sweet potato and a hardboiled egg to work. It did the trick but I also had to eat a banana and some almond butter a little while later.  At 12:30 or so, I ate my bean-less chili for lunch as slowly as possible and tried to enjoy all the flavors. I wished I had a piece of cornbread but instead I focused on the sweet nectarine I was going to have for dessert instead. Another thing I've realized about this detox is that it forces you to stop eating food "just for fun". You change your mindset so it's more like you're eating to live, not living to eat. I used to walk in to the kitchen at work and think "Mmmm, a rice krispie treat sounds really good". Now it's more like, what does my body actually need and want? Not to say that I don't still enjoy delicious food but I don't feel as though I'm depriving myself if I avoid the rice krispie treat and eat an apple instead.

After work I went to Crossfit, I haven't been since I started this program. The warmup and the WOD were both killer, although I enjoyed the workout (I love kettlebell swings for some reason), I didn't feel particularly strong. I was actually pretty hungry. Immediately afterwards I had two scoops of whey protein and then went home and had leftover chili with avocado and cilantro. Now it's time for bed. Good night!

Tuesday's dinner! I <3 avocado

Sunday, September 22, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 2

Not gonna lie, today was rough. I wanted to read about other people's experiences on similar programs and I found this: http://whole9life.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/ It's basically a timeline of how one typically might feel throughout the course of a Whole30 program. Days 2-3 are the hangover phase, and that's exactly how I felt today... Hungover. I woke up in the middle of the night with a slight headache that never really went away. I woke up a few hours later and all I wanted was a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. Instead I made eggs and broccoli, bacon, avocado and green tea but still felt foggy most of the morning.



Since my dad is in town, my sister came down for the day. After breakfast, we decided to go to the Tech Museum for the day. If you live or happen to be near San Jose and have never been it's a pretty interesting place. Before we left I decided I should eat again if we were going to be walking around for a few hours. So I heated up the pork tenderloin I made and ate it with a side salad of just greens and lemon juice.


Sometime during the day the headache got worse. I bought a bottle of water and noticed that walking around felt better than standing or sitting still. We stopped after the IMAX movie and had a snack. I had brought an apple and some almonds, and at this point I was feeling terrible, but after eating I started feeling better and we continued on. The rest of the day was okay, I was obviously not feeling 100% but I still enjoyed myself, and I didn't feel like I was going to pass out or anything. Then we left and on the way home is when I started feeling worse. Holy headache batman, I wanted to throw in the towel right then. At home, I drank some water, and ate a banana and some almond butter and laid down on the couch with a blanket and watched my A's celebrate their division championship. I was freezing, which was ironic because a few hours earlier my sister was making fun of me and asking me if I was going through early menopause because I had been super hot. At this point I also took 2 ibuprofen because I couldn't take it anymore. Once it kicked in I was feeling a lot better... but tired. I don't know if this is caffeine withdrawals or carb withdrawals (or both)?

For dinner I had some more pork tenderloin and some asparagus with olive oil that I roasted this morning.

Two things I have observed so far:

The amount of meat that is involved is more than I am used to. I'm more of the mindset that a whole foods (mostly) plant-based diet is ideal. I've seen the health benefits a vegan lifestyle can give a person. That being said, I've never been a vegetarian but I try to at least not eat meat once or twice during the week. Also, I miss my oatmeal and my sprouted grain bread.. and my coffee of course..
Another thing is that I realized I need to eat more. Since starting this program I decided to start logging my food in MyFitnessPal again. I barely had 1250 calories today, and my goal is 1800. I ate more yesterday, but it was still only 1500. I need to up the calories or I'm never going to have enough energy to work out. I miss Crossfit and strength training! It's only been a week but that is a week too long!

Nighty night... 19 more days!

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 1

Wow! It's been 7 months since I last posted. Work and life kind of just got in the way, but not to worry I have been working out, eating and repeating ;) But honestly, I haven't been extremely diligent with it, which is part of the reason for my latest challenge, a 21 day detox program my friend's gym is doing. I was intrigued when I heard about it because I wanted change things up a bit, and it being only $21 I decided to take the plunge.

This past Wednesday I went to a meeting with about 50-60 others who had signed up and the gym owner stood up in front of us for an hour and explained why we were doing this and went down the list of what we could and could not eat during this detox. No grains, no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy (except eggs), no caffeine/coffee.... wait, what? You could hear the exasperated sighs and groans all throughout the room. I'm not sure how many people decided to drop out at that point, I know I almost ran for the door but then he said we could have green tea, so I decided I could live with that and sat back down. I guess the benefits of green tea outweigh the detriments of caffeine (although I don't believe coffee is terrible for you). He also says we should have 3 meals a day and allow between 4-5 hours in between meals to allow the digestive system to function properly and to keep leptin levels normalized. But I don't know if that will work for me. I had about 5 meals today, including my snacks. I feel like I can't keep going without a small healthy snack in between the bigger meals.

The plan reminds me of a Paleo or Whole30 type diet, basically you can have vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, and quality protein for 21 days. So I perused some recipes provided by the program as well as some found on the internet and went to the grocery store and dropped a bunch of cash on organic fruits, veggies, and meats. And here we go...

Day #1

Weigh-in day, I drove down to the gym to get my weight and BF% measured and also have a before picture taken. I might share those results with you later if the final outcome is to my liking. Then I went home and ate breakfast along with a cup of green tea. Breakfast was egg whites and one whole egg cooked in coconut oil, broccoli, half a yam, and avocado.

Meal #1 10:00am

Then I sat down and made my grocery list and went out and ran my errands. Before I left I had meal #2, half a banana and a tablespoon of almond butter. Then I was out for about 4 hours and when I got home I was starving. I bought this kale snack at Whole Foods, I read the ingredients 5 times and I think it is acceptable: Organic Kale, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Extra Virgin Oil, and Himalayan Crystal Salt.


I snacked on that while I prepared my next meal, leftover crockpot chicken (made with chicken, all natural salsa, organic chicken broth and garlic powder), over a bed of greens, avocado, yellow tomatoes, lemon, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Meal #3, aka lunch at 4:00pm
My dad is here from out of town for a couple more days and he had wanted to go to Sweet Tomatoes (also known as Souplantation in some states) which is one of those all you can eat salad buffets. Before we went I did some googling to figure out what other like-minded people ate there and came across this blog which did not inspire confidence but was definitely entertaining: http://paleojen.blogspot.com/2009/08/poop-plantation.html 

I ate a boring salad with olive oil and vinegar and watched as my sister and dad and the rest of the restaurant ate croutons and wonton strips on their salads, pasta, cornbread and other starch-filled options. In retrospect not all the ingredients on the salad may have been "detox-friendly", who knows where those beets came from, but I refrained from eating any bread or quinoa or cheese today so I think I still win.
Meal #4, 7:00pm


I also cooked some pork tenderloin with pineapple in my crockpot today, tomorrow I'll be making ground beef chili (sans beans). I'll post the recipes later....

Overall I felt okay today, besides being mildly hungry all day and a bit foggy probably from lack of my usual cup of strong AM coffee... also Aunt Flo is in town... energy level was about medium to low.

20 days to go...



Sunday, February 24, 2013

6 Healthy Snack Ideas

In between breakfast lunch and dinner, I make sure to always try and include a 100-300 calorie snack twice a day, three times if I'm working out (as a post-workout snack). I wanted to document some of my favorites here along with the nutrition facts (courtesy of MyFitnessPal).

1.   Wholly Guacamole Snack Pack + Can of Albacore Tuna + 3 ak mak Crackers (high protein)

266 calories, 18g carbs, 13g fat, 26g protein, 584mg sodium, 0g sugar

Mix the guacamole and tuna in a container in the morning before you leave for work.

Tip: Try and find a store that sell the 100 calorie snack packs of Wholly Guacamole - my nearby store only sells the big container so when I'm at a different store that does carry the snack packs I usually buy 2-3 (a package contains 3 packs). These are perfect because they are each individually packaged and you can freeze them if needed.

2.   8 Almonds + Slice of Havarti Cheese

136 calories, 2g carbs, 12g fat, 7g protein, 120mg sodium, 0g sugar

3.   4 oz non-fat plain greek yogurt + Open Nature Cranberry Nut Goodness

210 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fat, 15g protein, 108mg sodium, 13g sugar

Tip: You can also add berries to this for a little extra deliciousness

Greek Yogurt & Granola


















4.   1 Hard Boiled Egg 

70 calories, 1g carbs, 5g fat, 6g protein, 65mg sodium, 0g sugar

Tip: I like to boil 5 eggs on Sunday so I have one ready to go every day of the week.

5.   2 scoops of Jarrow Whey Protein Caribbean Chocolate mixed with water (high protein)

210 calories, 12g carbs, 2g fat, 34g protein, 80mg sodium, 8g sugar

Tip: Buy a blender bottle and make sure this is always in your gym bag with 2 scoops of protein ready to go. Once your workout is complete you can fill up the bottle at the drinking fountain, shake & go!

6.   3 ak mak crackers + cucumber slices + Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow Cheese

111 calories, 15g carbs, 3g fat, 5g protein, 326mg sodium, 2g sugar

Crackers, Cucumber & Laughing Cow Cheese


















What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oatmeal & Strawberries

First off, I must apologize. My last blog post was titled "No excuses" but I'm about to sit here and spout off excuses as to why I haven't updated this blog in over two weeks. The week of that post I was doing pretty well with working out. Then I developed a toothache, which ended up in getting a wisdom tooth pulled. So even though it's an excuse I think it's a pretty good one ;)

Taking it day by day now, I'm not promising to do any challenges at this moment in time... :) I wasn't supposed to do any strenuous exercise for a week after the tooth pulling (I did do yoga once though), so after a week had passed, I decided I missed strength training and decided to do the first workout of "New Rules of Lifting for Women". Wow, what a difference, it was really difficult for me since I haven't been strength training consistently. But at the same time it felt amazing and I am looking forward to including that back into my routine. I am traveling for work starting tomorrow and am packing my gym clothes!

Now to address the topic of this post... today's breakfast recipe.

A 2 lb container of strawberries were on sale at Safeway last week, so I've been eating strawberries almost every day. I sliced up a bunch of them and have been using them on Greek yogurt and oatmeal. Yummy!

Today I made a delicious bowl of oatmeal with unsweetened coconut milk, vanilla protein powder, about 6 strawberries and added some granola (Open Nature Cranberry Nut Goodness). This protein infused take on oatmeal tasted great and lasted me well until lunchtime.

Ingredients:

1/2c old fashioned oats
1/4c unsweetened coconut milk
1/4c granola
5-6 sliced strawberries
1T vanilla protein powder

Instructions:

- Heat up oatmeal with enough water to cover, in microwave for 90 seconds
- Add ingredients and enjoy!


367 calories, 60g carbs, 8g fat, 15g protein, 107mg sodium, 13g sugar


Sunday, January 27, 2013

No excuses

Wow, I have been really bad about posting and keeping up with my challenge, which I have to admit, didn't work out so well... Between work and getting sick, and other social events, things have just slipped through the cracks. No excuses, but I am picking myself back up and starting again, and that's really the key, not to beat yourself up if you fail, just to revise your plan and continue forward...

So for February my new plan is the following - exercise in some form (not necessarily Ripped in 30) 4 times per week, and cut back alcohol to 4 times per month (3 was too conservative). I have the 8K on March 10th, so I needed to incorporate running/jogging back into my routine. I also want to do more yoga. I had a groupon for a nearby yoga studio, which I ended up using most of, but it has since expired so my choices are P90X Yoga or 24 Hour Fitness yoga... this past Wednesday I found a class @ 7:30 which was actually pretty good, once I got over the fact that you could still slightly hear the music thumping outside in the gym and that it wasn't warm :)

Workout log for Jan 20-26:

Sunday - 2.5 mile jog, outside
Wednesday - yoga
Thursday - 2 mile jog, treadmill
Saturday - snowboarding in Tahoe

I love snowboarding! it's so fun... Even though I am hurting today... I want to go back soon... It just needs to snow more.

Plan for this week 1/28 - 2/2:

Monday - run 2.5 miles
Wednesday - yoga
Thursday - run 3 miles
Saturday - run or hike

with some strength training in there somewhere... and abs every workout day. I was supposed to go grocery shopping today, but was far too lazy when I finally got home... I think I can scrape together something for snacks & meals tomorrow before going to the store tomorrow night. This weekend was pretty much a no-log weekend (meaning I didn't log anything I ate), but I'll be back on track at least for the week ;)

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ripped in 30 Week 1

Well Week 1 is done. It was a rough week. I've already used up the last 2 drinking occasions of the month due to a belated Christmas party with my friends and a post-Christmas work event last night. Needless to say I am not feeling 100%, today's workout was tough, it took me 45 minutes instead of 30 due to extended breaks. I only ended up doing the video 3 times this week, because I ended up working out at the gym yesterday with a friend of mine, we didn't really have a plan but did a bunch of core/ab exercises and some other random strength work (planks, ab twists with the cable machine, crunches, side crunches, roman chair leg raises, push ups, wall squats) and then finally finished with 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.

Regardless, I'll be moving on to week 2 this week. I also need to start running again as I had signed up for an 8k back in October (the 2nd annual 408k Race to the Row coming up in March)  and just remembered this past week that I had registered ;)

Anyway I wanted to use this post to talk about the modifications I made to Week 1 to prevent knee pain and it seemed to work. It's weird that I've experienced knee pain from RI30 because I can do jump squats/lunges and plyometrics all day long. I got some of the modification ideas from this blog. I also wanted to note the weights I used for each exercise. I have weak shoulders and the video has you doing high reps so I'm pretty much always using the "barbie" weights as the New Rules of Lifting for Women book would refer to them - that book is another story for another day :)

Circuit 1
Push up - body weight, on knees
Squat and Press - 5 lb 
Crescent pose - 5 lb

Modifications:
Skaters - Step touch instead of jump

Circuit 2
Stiff leg deadlift upright row - 5lb, worked up to 8
Squat swing - 12 lb
Good mornings - 5lb, worked up to 8

Modifications:
Running man - shorter stride

Circuit 3
Chair pose reverse fly - 5lb
Side lunge with front raise - 5lb
Lunge with bicep curls - 5lb

Modifications:
Side lunge with front raise - made these stationary lunges instead of moving from side to side
Butt kicks - jogged in place

That's it!!! Have a great week everyone. I'm drinking some coconut water and trying to regain my energy back...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Get Some!

I think "Get Some" is like Jillian Michaels' favorite saying. I've done the week 1 workout several times in the last few months (I'm ashamed to admit), so I almost have it memorized.

This is my way of announcing that I finally got back on the JM wagon today, I had planned on doing it last night after work but ended up getting home later than expected. I even put on my gym clothes, but after I ate a late dinner (leftovers from Sunday night) I was full and tired, and ended up falling asleep on the couch watching The Big Bang Theory with my cat.

Aren't we cute?
So I woke up this morning determined to get back to it. I did some modifications to see if that would help with the knees, we'll see if they worked. I'll elaborate more on that in the next day or two, but today I wanted to focus on the most important meal of the  day - breakfast! I usually eat a light breakfast (a slice of toast and almond butter), wait 30-45 minutes, and then do the video. But this morning, I was still pretty satisfied from having a late dinner, so I had half a cup of coffee and went for it. So after the workout I was ready for breakfast, and decided to whip up a protein shake in my blender, something I haven't done in a while (I usually just mix protein and water in my blender bottle after workouts). I had some frozen pineapple tidbits, which goes really well with vanilla protein powder.





Pineapple protein shake
Pineapple Protein Shake

2 scoops vanilla whey protein (I use Jarrow's)
3/4 c frozen pineapple tidbits
1 Tbsp chia powder
1 Tbsp flax seed
Enough water so that everything mixes

Blend the pineapple and water until it blends smoothly, then add the other ingredients.

This comes to 342 calories, 36g carbs, 6g fat, 38g protein, 83g sodium, and 22g sugar.

Another go-to breakfast staple is oatmeal, which I had yesterday. I added a serving of fruit & nuts (Costco's "Wholesome Fruit & Nuts"), cinnamon, and a splash of coconut milk to make a delicious 314 calorie breakfast.


Oatmeal with Fruit & Nuts
Oatmeal with Fruit & Nuts

1/2 c rolled oats
3 Tbsp (30g) Kirkland Wholesome Fruit & Nuts
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk

Put oatmeal in a bowl and add a bit of water to your liking. Heat in the microwave for 90 seconds. Then, add the rest of the ingredients.

314 calories, 44g carb, 12g fat, 10g protein, 8mg sodium, 12g sugar

As a side note, did you know that 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa? Pretty interesting... think I'll have some quinoa for dinner :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Crockpot Broccoli & Vegan Sausage

I love my Crockpot. As a single person the 4.5 quart size is perfect, it allows me to make dinner plus leftovers. Sometimes I have to be careful not to get carried away and make too much otherwise I won't be able to eat it all within a few days. I have this one from Target, it's nothing fancy, but works fabulously.

Before I had a crockpot, I had stumbled across crockpot365.blogspot.com and had forwarded it to my sister who had one, and soon she was raving about all the things she could make with it including recipes from the blog. Within a couple of weeks, I bought my own and I just love it. My sister & I frequent the above mentioned blog often for recipe ideas. Last night I was over at her house and I was starving, and I was about to cave in and order a pizza when she mentioned she had made a broccoli dish and if I wanted some of the leftovers. At first I was skeptical especially after having a couple of beers with my brother-in-law (yep, I used up 1 of my 3 alcohol days), and broccoli isn't generally my go-to culinary choice after a few beers but she served it to me over white rice and I added a little bit of soy sauce and it was actually really good! So good in fact that I went out and bought the ingredients today to recreate this magic in my kitchen ;)

It's basically the Broccoli With Toasted Garlic and Hazelnuts recipe from Stephanie O'Dea, my sister made it a full meal by adding Tofurkey Kielbasa (she's semi-vegetarian) and serving it over rice. I decided to try it over quinoa.

2 pounds of broccoli
1 cup of whole hazelnuts
2 lemons
2 Tbsp olive oil
9 cloves of garlic, minced
2 links Tofurkey Kielbasa Meatless Sausage
1/4 tsp Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning (this stuff is the best, I swear)

Cut up the broccoli and sausage links into manageable pieces, stick it in the Crockpot. Then add the hazelnuts and garlic, and drizzle the lemon juice from the 2 lemons and the olive oil on top, and add the seasoning. Cook on low for 2-3 hours depending on how you like your vegetables cooked (I cooked them for about 2 hours and the broccoli was still a bit firm, but I like it that way).

Before
In the future I would use fewer hazelnuts and actually maybe less of everything, this made A LOT of food for just one person. But it is a really good vegetarian meal. It makes about 6-8 servings depending on how you split it up, at 6 servings it comes to approximately:

329 calories
22g carbs
23g fat
17g protein
290mg sodium
5g sugar

per serving.

Serving it with 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa adds 128 calories, 23g carbs, 2g fat, 5g protein, 1mg sodium and 2g sugar.

Served over quinoa
As for the January Challenge, on Thursday my knees were hurting a bit and I realized this happened to me last time I did Ripped in 30... and googling shows I'm not alone :( I don't want to give up though, so I'm going to try it again with some modifications. I am super sore from snowboarding yesterday, but I'm planning on starting the video again tomorrow.

Good night!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crab & Kale Quinoa Salad

I was debating on what to have for dinner tonight as I didn't plan my meals for the week like I usually do due to it being a short week. I did however make up a batch of quinoa when I got home last night (I told you I loved quinoa), as I planned on making Winter Morning Quinoa for breakfast at least a few times this week.

I thought back to the dish I had made the other night with quinoa, tuna and kale, but wasn't really feeling the idea. But it made me come up with another idea that involved canned crab meat and making it into a cold salad instead of a warm dish, and came up with this salad that turned out to be quite delicious! The best part was that I had all the ingredients on hand, and it was really quick to make.

The ingredients (makes 1 salad):

A couple of handfuls of pre-chopped kale, blanched
2 oz crab meat
3/4 cup cooked quinoa, cooled or chilled
1 lemon
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper

Instructions:

Whisk the lemon, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Combine the quinoa, crab meat, kale, and the dressing.
That's it!

This was the result:



Yum... and less than 300 calories!

Nutritional breakdown:

Calories 286
Carbs 37g
Fat 10g
Protein 15g
Sodium 520mg
Sugar 3g

January Challenge

I decided there's no way I am setting foot in the gym this month, so in lieu of the gym I've decided to challenge myself to actually do the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 video at least 4-5 times a week (in the past I've only gotten up to 1-2 weeks so I don't even know what the 3rd and 4th week look like).

My cat attempting to do mountain climbers
This morning I took some "before" photos of myself and some measurements, I'll share those with the "after" at the end of the month.

I like the Jillian Michaels workouts because they are short and intense, the circuits themselves are only 18 minutes total but combined with the warm up and cool down the whole session is about 25 minutes (30 minutes if you have to pause and take a breath like I do).

I'm not following the meal plan but one of my other goals is to log my food on MyFitnessPal every day. I usually eat 5 meals a day, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 small snacks (~200 calories), and I try to eat somewhat clean with a proportion of 40/35/25 (carbs/protein/fat).

Today's stats (using a Polar FT7 HRM):

Duration: 31m 48s
Calories: 314
Average HR: 143
Maximum HR: 168
Fat Burn Zone: 9m
Fitness Zone: 22m 14s

As an additional challenge, I've also decided to only allow myself alcohol 3 times this month.

Happy New Year!