Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 423: A Weekend Blended With Goodness

Yesterday (Friday, June 21) was a good, productive Friday! I've been drinking my green juice for breakfast, having a healthy lunch, more juice as a small snack in the afternoons, and then a small dinner IF I get hungry in the evenings. I can already tell a HUGE difference in how I feel now compared to how I felt in May when I was misbehaving in the food department.

I went to the Banh Mon Food Trailer for lunch yesterday with my friend Megan since they were having a "Grand Reopening" celebration and web video shoot. The awesome folks at Banh Mon have had a bit of trouble in tasty sandwich paradise, and they had to close for a little while due to some ridiculousness the city was battling them with regarding their business. We had to show our love both for the Banh Mons and my juicing guru Josh of Joshua Productions, who produces their commercials and does some marketing for them.

Go and eat this. It's DELICIOUS.
After work, I got to visit Nick for a bit to check out how he's doing with his new hobby. He recently got into archery, and he is LOVING it! I'm so glad he picked up an outdoor activity that will get him moving and exercising. He says his arms are really sore, but that's a GOOD THING, right? I'm actually considering picking up archery also, but I will have to get a smaller bow for obvious reasons...

Yeah, it's taller than me.
He has a groovy wrist guard, some snazzy gloves, and a convenient place to hang his bow in his room. I hope he'll let me post a photo or video of him at target practice sometime soon!

After a small dinner, Nick treated me to some Orange Leaf Yogurt where we ran into our ol' college pal Eileen and 2 of her little ones whom she treated to yogurt for sitting still for a little while to be photographed. I totally understand how hard it is to photograph wee ones. I definitely tip my hat to people who do it for a living!!!

It's always great to bump into friends!
As for today (Saturday), I took the time to really incorporate the new blender my dad bought for me into my day so that I could see if it could really do all the things it claims to do on the box.



It took me a while to find a smoothie recipe that included ingredients that I already had in my apartment for breakfast, but I was able to find the perfect one to make a grape, spinach, and coconut water smoothie...

I should've taken a close up of the smoothie...
It was so yummy!
I was really supposed to use coconut milk instead of coconut water, but it was all I had, and I figured it wouldn't be bad. I thought it was quite delicious! Not only was it delicious, but it kept me full for HOURS!! 

I went to my apartment complex's gym to walk/jog for half an hour, and then I got ready to run some errands with Nick in Beaumont. He treated me to lunch for a sandwich at Schlotzky's, and then I went to Kroger to pick up more fruits and vegetables for juicing and making more smoothies.

The book that came with the blender my dad gave me has SO many delicious and easy recipes in it! I decided to try a zuccini pesto dish and making mashed cauliflower (one of my favorites) for dinner.

Smashed cauliflower & cheese recipe
Creamy pesto + zucchini pasta recipe
The avocado I had wasn't ripe enough, so it made
 the pesto thicker than it probably should have been.
It didn't look very appetizing,
but it was actually pretty great!
A forkful of raw nom.
The pesto would have been much better if the avocado was a bit more ripe. I also think I would have enjoyed it more if it were warm. Next time, I think I 'll bake or steam the zucchini or use whole wheat pasta instead. It's going to be a while before there's a next time, though, because HOLY CRAP PINE NUTS ARE BLOODY EXPENSIVE!!!!! Good grief! 

As for the mashed cauliflower, I think I put too much milk so it was a bit runny. Still tasty, though!

Dessert is not pictured here, but I made an AMAZING low calorie chocolate peanut butter smoothie that was pretty mind blowing. I split it with Nick so that it wouldn't be too much, and I definitely plan to enjoy this treat often!! We inhaled it too quickly for me to remember to photograph it...haha!!

I think my favorite thing about the blender is how EASY it is to clean, especially compared the juicer. The juicer has 5 separate parts that I have to clean each time I use it while the blender only has 3, and the blender parts are much less complicated to clean as well. Again, I can't complain too much because the blender and juicer are most definitely luxury items that I was blessed with as gifts from others. I'll clean them all the live long day if I have to! 

I still intend to use both appliances as much as I can because they've both introduced such healthy and delicious meals to my life! It's very satisfying to know that I have so many options now that I have these tools at home. 

My muscles ache from moving and being active, my tummy is full of delicious healthy food, and I am beyond grateful. It has indeed been a weekend blended with goodness.

I'm looking forward to celebrating Nick's birthday a day early tomorrow by bringing him to see Monster's University! Gotta support his future workplace, right?? ;) Cheers, everybody! Here's to being happy and healthy. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 420: Inspiration from Others

I must say that I am very proud of myself lately regarding my self-discipline and dedication to healthy living. Thanks to some better decisions and my handy dandy juicer, I've already gone back down to 135 and it hasn't gone up since I started juicing about two weeks ago. I haven't officially done a juice fast yet, but I'm slowly easing into the idea.

The only thing I've been worried about is how much juicing costs. The cost of buying fruits & vegetables almost made that first week was discouraging since I spent so much money and only got 2 pitchers of juice out of it.  To alleviate this a bit, Nick and I went to Sam's so I could buy fruit in bulk and try to save money, and it did help, but Sam's doesn't have kale, which is a big vegetable that I like to put in a lot of different juices. I have to do some kale price comparisons over the next few weeks.

I've been making FAR better choices and being much better about resisting temptation lately. I haven't eaten out much (except for my bro Russ the Big Hobbit's birthday, one dinner with Nick, a healthy lunch with my pal Megan, and for a very fatty migraine inducing Father's Day, which I shall discuss briefly later in this entry).

Asparagus & roasted chicken breast.
The chicken breast looks like it has a groovy hairdo, no? 
These blueberries were from a co-worker's
brother's farm. Quite tasty in some juices!
I've also been making more time to be active again. I've biked a couple of times over the past couple of weeks, and tonight was the first time I've visited my apartment complex gym in MONTHS. I'm hoping to go back again tomorrow with my former roomie Jamie B.! My true intentions are to get back to working out EVERY DAY or at least 5 - 6 times a week again! 

They added some vibrant new paint to the hike & bike trail!
Not my best time by any means, but
at least it got done. I'm easing back into it.
I feel like I'm finally getting my health back on track. I have to admit that I have been struggling big time with cravings this week. It took every bit of my willpower not to go to Chick-Fil-A for some nuggets, waffle fries, and a lemonade on the way home from work today, and I was able to conquer the craving! I had a skinless chicken thigh with brown rice and a spinach salad instead. Go me!

Also, I've been quite inspired by people around me lately. I have a couple of friends who are also trying to get healthy, and they've been starting great new things! My friend Dawn started her own fitness blog called DJ Dawgie Dawn's Challenge. If you guys get the chance, visit her blog and cheer her on!! Y'all really have no idea how much the Facebook likes, comments, +1's and messages inspire!! All your feedback has made ME want to keep going so I don't disappoint y'all or myself, so I know that Dawn will feel the same way if you help her out. Also, my pal Megan (whom I briefly mentioned about having a healthy lunch with earlier in this post) has been asking me a lot of questions about how to get healthy, and I'm always happy to help! HEYYYYY if you're reading, Meagan!

Another inspirational place has been a closed fitness group for women only that I was added to recently by my college pal Jess on Facebook. It's a place where we're allowed to share our progress, goals, frustrations,  and any other thing regarding a healthy lifestyle we want to dish about. I'm hoping that it is an active group because goodness knows that I could really use some more boosters lately!

Speaking of boosters, my dad "boosted" my healthy lifestyle with an extremely unexpected gift for me this week. He's been super skeptical about my mom and my newfound juicing hobby since it "wastes so much pulp" so he bought me a groovy blender! He got me a Blendtec Professional's Choice Home Blender... He saw a man doing a demo about it at Sam's and apparently he was convinced by its awesomeness. I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to attempt making a spinach and some other kind of fruit smoothie soon this week. I'll let y'all know how it goes! 

Aaand speaking of my dad, Father's Day went rather well this weekend! I spent the day with my parents (of course), Nick, and Nick's Uncle Steve at my apartment where we had Chinese food to-go since all the restaurants were crazy busy. We TRIED to eat "healthier" dishes (vegetable lo mein, vegetable fried rice, Chinese broccoli, etc.), but I'm pretty sure they douse everything in salty sauces, oil, and MSG there, so we probably did not do that great. In fact, I actually got SICK from the food since I've been eating so healthy lately. When my parents left my apartment that evening, I got the WORST MSG induced migraine I've had in ages. I puked a few times that night, and my head hurt SO SO badly. I don't think I can eat like that anymore... I don't WANT to if that's what's going to happen to my body. How very sad... but then again not because my body was rejecting the food that was bad for me. If my body reacted that violently every time I ate something that was bad for me, I'm sure I'd eat better from now on. I'm sure we ALL would.

That's all for tonight, my friends. Thanks for the inspiration, and I look forward to making more progress in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


WOW! So I'm pretty sure that I am blessed to be friends with wonderful magical people. That, and I think that the universe WANTS me to succeed and be healthy.

Just one blog post ago, I talked about how much I wanted to get a juicer. I posted my entry to Facebook as usual, and BAM! JUICER!! Not to mention a bunch of helpful info from Lacy, whom I mentioned in my previous post as well.

And thanks to the overflowing generosity and kindness of my childhood friend Kristen whom I've known since our Hamshire-Fannett middle school choir days, I have been blessed with a FANTASTIC Breville Juice Fountain Elite!! Kristen just happened to have one that she was itching to get rid of, so she handed it over to me for the keeping. You guys just DO NOT understand how happy I am! I am beyond relieved also because this will truly help me financially this month! If you're reading this Kristen, words cannot express how thankful I am to you!!!!!!
Ooooh, shiny.
I went to Kroger after work today to get a ton of veggies and fruits so that I could give my new juicer a spin. I wanted to bike, but I was too excited (and starving) by the time I got home from the store. At least I still spent the evening working towards my health and fitness goals somehow!

I made two batches of juice tonight. The one I had for dinner tonight was called "Mean Green Juice."  The recipe called for 1 cucumber, 2 apples, 4 stalks of celery, 6-8 kale leaves, and a tablespoon of ginger. I was able to find some fantastic 50 oz glass pitchers at Ross tonight, so I decided to double up the recipe so I'd have more juice for tomorrow evening.

Doesn't all that looks so fresh!?
I juiced this x2
Here's the Mean Green Juice in one of the great 50 oz
glass pitchers I got from Ross. It was only $4!! 
My good friend Josh Yawn has been an avid juicer for a while now, and he told me that using glass containers for fresh juice is best since plastic containers are porous, and some of the juice would be lost and seep into the plastic.  Josh has been SUPER helpful in giving me tips and info about juicing over the past couple of days, and he's offered to be my "juicing tech support." If you're reading this, THANK YOU TO THE MOON, JOSH!!!

Ingredients for the 2nd batch of juice
I also made some carrot + orange + ginger juice. The juice was a bit heavy on the orange and ginger at first, so I added a LOT more carrots.

Aren't they cute? Pitcher Pals!
I was inspired by yet another health/food documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead to start juicing. This documentary follows two men (Joe and Phil) who were pretty much in the state as the title of the documentary. Both of them did a 60 day juice fast, and they both benefited GREATLY from doing so. I don't see myself doing a 60 day fast, but I was definitely inspired to incorporate juicing into my lifestyle! I plan to try a 10 day juice fast very soon! I'm thinking within the next few days! I'd do it NOW, but I still have food that I don't want to spoil to eat. As soon as the food is gone, I'm heading to Sam's to get fruit and veggies in bulk to get this going! 

Watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on
YouTube for free! Not sure how long
it's going to be on YouTube, so watch it
as soon as you can!

So far, I'm feeling fantastic. The mean green juice tastes wonderful, and it made me full! I can't wait to get this going. Cheers to generous and helpful people and to healthier AND tinier pants! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 404: I Need a Juicer.

Hey, Friends!

So remember that documentary I mentioned during my last entry? Well, it has reaffirmed my desire to get a juicer in the worst possible way. I am in the process of purging all the junk food out of my apartment, and I want to get a juicer straight away.

The difficult part is that they can be super expensive AND there are so many to choose from that my head is spinning a little!!

Back in December when I was still going pretty strong, my friends Laura and Lacy posted quite a bit on Facebook about juicers/juicing, and I was highly interested in getting one back then, but I never took the plunge because I had just spent a great deal of money on a new camera and Christmas gifts for my loved ones. Being Hungry for Change has really brought back my desire to get a juicer with a vengeance.

I want to do a detox because I certainly need it after all the crap I've been eating pretty much since Thanksgiving. Juicing is a brilliant way to do this, but I kinda need a juicer to do that!

These are the ones I've looked at so far:

The Hurom HU-100 Slow Juicer
$358.95 on Amazon
The Breville JE900 Juice Fountain Professional Juice Extractor 
(Sold out on Amazon, of course) :(

The Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer
$299 on Amazon

There are countless more, but I feel like I'd be here all night long if I posted all the decent ones I've found.  Do you have a juicer??? If so, which one and why would you recommend it?? I'd love to hear from you as soon as possible!

Until then, I shall now go for a BIKE RIDE!! I'm so excited that it seems silly, but I'm just so happy that the weather is awesome AND I feel well enough to go bike! I have only coughed about ONCE the entire day, so I'm feeling beyond ready to get a workout in. Cheers for now! I hope to get some feedback from y'all.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 402: Coughing, Motivators, and Documentaries

Hello, All!!

So all the running around and not taking care of myself over the past couple of months finally caught up to me. I spent the last week coughing my brains out with some kind of upper respiratory mess. I didn't have a voice for about a week, and I'm just now feeling like myself again.

All that coughing made sleeping extremely difficult. It took me 3 hours to fall asleep (despite taking cough medicine that contained codeine) almost every night last week.

Not being able to speak, being extremely sleep deprived, and just feeling crappy in general really made me feel depressed. I haven't felt this down in a really long time, and I spent a lot of time beating myself up for letting myself slip so much with so many things in my life lately. I haven't been blogging, exercising, practicing lettering, eating right, or doing much of the things I enjoy because I've been so busy going here and there over the past several weeks.

Granted, not all the stuff I've been doing has been bad. I AM happy that I've gotten to spend time with some of my favorite people over the past few weeks, but I'm also ready to have some me time this month so that I can really work on getting back on track with some kind of routine again.

I used all my traveling and working as excuses to eat crap and sit on my ass too much, though. I know that my laziness contributed to my immune system being compromised. When I was feeling at my lowest last week, I happened to read this during one of my many mindless checks of the Facebook feed:

It was kind of like a slap in the face to wake me up. WHAT have I been doing for the past few months!? There is a reason why I've been gaining weight. I'M EATING CRAP AND I'M NOT MOVING. This Facebook thread was just the beginning of the wake up call that I needed. 

After that, I saw THIS posted by my former trainer Will:

I refuse to return to where I started. Seeing those words couldn't have happened at a better time.

I feel like I need to confess how terrible I've been eating lately. Oreos, Whataburger, and macaroni & cheese just to name a few... There's something about being sick that makes me want to eat comfort food. 

Since moving too much made me cough way more than I liked this week, I tried to do what I could by eating a little better over the past 2 days. I also I forced myself to watch two food documentaries on Netflix today that would help me get motivated into remembering WHY eating junk is bad. 

I watched Hungry for Change and Forks over Knives... I HIGHLY recommend these documentaries! After watching them, I feel extremely motivated to really consider what I put into my body so that I can feel better and stay as healthy as I can. I'm also realizing just how addicted to high calorie, low nutrition food that we are, and it's quite terrifying! I want to eat clean and reap the benefits of doing so! 

Hungry for Change Trailer 

Forks Over Knives Trailer

Last night (Friday night), I was able to sleep for a good cough-free 14 hours!! My body needed it so desperately. I feel like a whole new person, and I believe that I'm on my way to feeling like myself again now that I'm coughing much less and I was able to catch up on my sleep. I intend to bike a lot this week in the marvelous warm weather, and if it rains, I intend to see the inside of my gym! I was able to do this before, and I will do it again. 

I want to be able to make a Facebook post like this one:

Chelsea, if you're reading this, you *truly* inspired me to get up, dust myself off, and get back at it to try again. THANK YOU!!! 

My fitness discipline been on the decline since my mom was hospitalized in November, but now it's time to stop making excuses and get back to it. Thanks to everyone who still believes in me! Your encouragement truly makes me want to keep going. I truly do not want to let any of you or myself down anymore. 

Let's do this.  Here's to our health.