29 January 2010

Day Six

Going to go ultra simple bullet point list on the Day Six wrap up:

  • Wanted to sleep in this morning, maybe because I stayed up way too late last night. Probably had nothing to do with what I'm eating or not eating!
  • Felt super ADD this afternoon. I could not focus on one task and stay with it. Needless to say, I did not have a productive afternoon. Who really knows what this is about - Friday afternoon, maybe?
  • Made it to the gym tonight for a three mile run.
  • No new food items today. All meals contained something I've already eaten in the cleanse. I Have tons of lentil soup still! I should probably freeze some.
  • Feeling the need to clean my house from top to bottom since I'm cleansing my innards. I've started the process and I'm sure it will continue through the weekend!
  • I've saved a good amount of money eating all my meals at home this week. An added bonus of the cleanse.

28 January 2010

Day Five

Are you sick of this yet?

I'm just getting used to it, settling in and it's almost over! I love that this exercise has made me stretch in the kitchen so I'm not just eating steamed veggies, brown rice and straight up tofu every night for seven days. I don't know if I'd be able to eat like I've been eating for EVERY meal, but if I keep eating this healthy for half my meals, that would be something in terms of my over all health and energy level!

So what did I eat today? I believe I mentioned the lentil soup that was last night's dinner. I had that again for lunch today with my requisite 1/2 cup of brown rice. During my lunch time, I also made some more Indian sweet potato oven fries for tomorrow's at-work lunch (I got to work at home today!).

After work, I was happy to be able to hang out and do some hair with my friend S. So I ate a really late dinner tonight. I JUST finished cleaning up the kitchen. The kids in BK do it that way, so it must be okay! The cool thing, I wasn't soo hungry that I just had the soup again. I wanted to try making a tofu scramble for my protein tonight. I found a great recipe online and gave it a go.

With all the tofu I needed to be eating during the cleanse, this week was either going to be the week I turned a good corner with tofu or ended up seriously hating it. WOW! Forget scrambled eggs! This was so easy to make. Delicious and not slimy or runny the way scrambled eggs sometimes are. The egg scramble can go wrong in too many ways. I can see the tofu scramble being a solid go-to from now on! From the recipe, I left out the red pepper and soy bacon. Just garnished with some fresh dill. Dill is my new favorite herb. We're getting along famously. I think we're going to be really good friends.

So it's the end of Day Five and I'm still feeling good. Energy is still up and I just realized, I ate my dinner and I'm not even thinking about something sweet. (I guess except for the fact that I just thought about the fact that I'm not thinking about it!) That, folks is major progress! I don't think I've lost any weight, which I don't think I technically needed to, but it's a possible benefit of doing this particular detox/cleanse. I feel like I'm always eating and/or in the kitchen. It's all good though. I'm enjoying it. Also enjoying the ongoing blog updates for those of you actually interested enough in this crazy experiment to be reading about it.

And on a completely different subject. Rosie has been fascinated with this shopping bag today for some reason. It's the bag I've been bringing my lunch/Nalgene water bottle to work in this week. She climbed into it while it was sitting up right, so I picked it up and walked around with her in the bag. Just her head was peeking out. It was pretty funny. I just kept thinking, how's the cat gonna get outta the bag?! Tonight she climbed back into the bag and I was able to capture this pic ! So cute!

27 January 2010

Day Four

Being that I'm now in day four of this cleanse/detox practice, I'm into the routine of eating the perscribed healthy foods. Although I have thought about the foods I'd like to be eating, I haven't. I don't feel deprived. I've rarely felt hungry, only near meal times. I'm feeling really good. I remember hearing somewhere that in order to make a habit out of something you need to do it for at least seven days straight. It's only been four and I can see how this type of eating could become a healthy habit for me. I know I'll go back to eating my cheese and my wheat-derived products, but I'm pretty sure I'll be incorporating more of the healthy foods I've been eating so far this week.

A few notes so far:

Not feeling broccoli without some sort of sauce. I usually like it with a red sauce or some garlic sauce like I used to eat all the time at the Bamboo House in NYC.

Ground flax seeds are a pain in the blender. Every morning after making my UltraShake, which has two tablespoons of ground flax seed, I end up fighting with the blender as I try to wash it. Sticky little dudes. This morning I had the brilliant idea to stir them into the glass AFTER I poured the shake into the glass.

I'm still in love with Sweet Potatoes.

I made a simple lentil soup last night for tonight's dinner. I was a little dubious of how it would turn out as I forgot to include the garlic when I was sauteing the onion, carrot and celery. I ended up doing it as the soup was simmering and added then. For dinner tonight, it was actually tasty and very filling!

I bought a bunch of fresh dill yesterday to toss with some cannellini beans, olive oil, lemon and salt. The fresh bunch was $1.99. The bunch in a little plastic box was $2.50. Duh! That was an easy decision. Why do stores do stuff like that?

That's about all I've got tonight. I can't believe I'm already heading into Day Five!

Goodnight, dear Internets!

26 January 2010

Day Three (afternoon)

Dear Internets,
It's been three days aboard this ship with nary a sweet, cheese or bread stuff to be found. The cravings are so much stronger than the other days of the cleanse. This afternoon, I've been thinking about what it would be like to eat the following items, in no particular order and of course not all at the same time:

Frosting, heck, I'd eat the cake too!
Cheese in any of its melty forms.
Crusty delicious bread.
Big Bob's cheesy breadsticks, which combines bread and cheese!
A slice of pizza from NYC or Georgio's (have you tried Georgio's in GR yet?!)
Swiss cake rolls. Hey, Little Debbie, can you hear me?!
Cookies. Ginger snaps or chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.
Diet coke.
Ice cream.
Barbecue Sauce.

Really, these cravings are not any different from my usual cravings, it's just that I might actually eat some of them if I weren't so determined to make it the full seven days of the cleanse (some of you have asked how long it goes...). I will prevail. Going to try not to think about it.

Got any food cravings you want to share?

25 January 2010

Day Two

I kept waking up last night, and was relieved that I still had more time to sleep. When my alarm went off I actually got out of bed - partially due to the fact that I knew my morning routine would be a little different since I'd be making my UltraShake, getting my lunch together, etc., plus all my other normal morning duties. I also felt rested and like I had a little more energy. We'll see if it lasts through the week! Ha! It usually takes me a few snoozes on the ole alarm before actually GETTING out of bed.

I actually felt good all day. I usually get a craving around 10:00 a.m. for something, anything really. I usually eat some raisins or something just to get through. Today, I looked at the clock around that time and wasn't hungry. I did drink a small cup of broth a bit before lunch, just because I brought it in my handy thermos. My lunch was almost too much food. Sweet potato oven fries left over from last night's lunch, brown rice and some lettuce/hummus wraps. I brought another UltraShake just in case I got hungry in the afternoon. I wanted to be able to go to the gym with enough energy/fuel to do my regular workout. Didn't need the afternoon shake. And I was able to run my scheduled 3 miles without incident! Pretty cool!

One thing I'm noticing about this practice so far, I'm excited about food. I'm into trying veggies that aren't in my regular rotation. It's fun!

For dinner tonight, I used the leftover tofu I had from last night's dinner and sauteed it with some onion and garlic for my protein. I baked an acorn squash and ate half of that with a little Earth Balance Spread (vegan buttery spread) and some cinnamon.

I also ate a few more lettuce wraps as I made them for tomorrow's lunch. Tonight I put a dab of hummus on each lettuce leaf, a slice of avocado, then sprinkled a little lemon juice and a touch of salt. This is my new favorite snack! Delicious!!!

Basically it's going really well. I'm feel good. My energy level seems to be up. I'm drinking water and actually enjoying it. Of course that means I'm always going to the lady's room, but that's what a cleanse is all about, right?! I'm giving my kidneys a work out!

Day three should be another good day. Going to hit the hay here in a few so I'm getting the rest I need.

24 January 2010

Day One

I've been thinking of doing some sort of a cleanse/detox for a while. I've read a lot about different juice cleanses like Blueprint Cleanse, and Red Carpet Cleanse where you basically drink all your nutrients for a number of days. I've also heard about the crazy lemon juice/cayenne pepper nonsense. I found something that is neither of those, but will hopefully help me get right with food. I'm hoping to reset my sweet tooth, something I haven't been able to do through sheer will power alone. I'm also hoping to ferret out any food allergies I may have. As many of you know, I'm a vegetarian, but I love me some cheese and I love anything that falls into the starch category. By not eating any dairy or wheat products for the duration of the cleanse, and then reintroducing dairy and wheat I may find out that I have an actual allergy. We shall see.

Anyway, today is Day One of The UltraSimple Diet. I don't like that it's called a diet, but I guess technically it is. So whatever. I did a bunch of food prep yesterday after buying a bunch of veggies, tofu, broth, etc that will take me through the cleanse. Not everything I'll eat is pictured. So no worries that it doesn't look like enough.

I was a little apprehensive about the UltraShake that you have for breakfast, - it's basically silken tofu, soy milk, 1/2 non-sweetened berries, ground flax seed, and ice or water to get the consistency you want. The book suggests adding some almond butter and a 1/2 banana. I'd hate to think what it tastes like without those last two suggested ingredients. It was actually pretty good with them. Breakfast will be easy.

Here's my lunch from today:

1/2 cup brown rice, a cup of broth, and a bunch of sweet potato fries. You get to have at least 2 cups of approved veggies. Thanking my lucky stars that sweet potatoes are on the list, because I heart them. I tossed them with some olive oil and some garam masala, black mustard seeds and salt for an Indian flair. Tasty. I felt full after lunch. I had some carrots and hummus for a snack a bit ago and am starting to think about dinner. Clearly I'm not going to go hungry.

There's a lot of thought that's gone into the food I'll be eating. I've been looking at cookbooks and for recipes on line so I'm actually excited about the items I'll be eating instead of just sticking with steamed veggies and brown rice (and tofu at dinner). I think that's an added bonus for me because this is going to get me out of my comfort zone of always eating the same things because they're easy to cook. If you knew how many times a week I cook something with a Mexican twist. Some of you actually do know first hand - RTL! It's a lot. I also end up eating a lot of cheese that way, which may not be my healthiest choice.

I saw the Krispy Kreme flyer in today's paper featuring TRIPLE chocolate filled doughnuts and for a few seconds wanted to scrap the cleanse and go get some. Maybe someday, I'll be able to have just one or a bite of one and not want to eat a whole box of them. That's the goal anyway.

Time for my dinner.

18 January 2010

Golden Globes Glamour

Anna Paquin in Stella McCartney. Normally not a fan of anything in gold, but I like the cut of this dress. It's simple, yet daring. And it's something different than the most of the one shoulder or strapless numbers on the red carpet.

Sandra Bullock (who won the Golden Globe for best performance a motion picture drama for The Blinde Side) in a purple Bottega Veneta gown. Pretty sure the rain made the dress a little see through. Bummer. Perhaps her stylist had the rain in mind for her hair - sort of half up on the side. Not a fan, but you can't really tell if it's messy on purpose or messy because of the weather. In that case, it's a win.

Jamie Pressley. She's a tiny sparkler! I'd like to see this bead/sequin work on a dress cut like Anna Paquin's dress above. Combine the two and we'd be in business.

Susan Downey. Pretty Dress. Perfect for the wife of a nominee. It's not too flashy, not too fashion-forward where she'd be the one in the spotlight. They look good together. I would have made him shave his goatee though. The whole sculpting a goatee or beard deal, it's too contrived. I was happy that he won, he was entertaining in Sherlock Holmes.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in pink dress by unidentified designer. Something about this dress says Origami. Will she be able to fold up her dress into a giant swan at the end of the night? I think the dress is pretty, but would lose the asymmetric one shoulder bit and just go for strapless. Also, her hair is too severe for the dress. I would have liked to see her hair down with some soft waves.

Julia Roberts in vintage Yves Saint Laurent. Here's what I don't get, this dress is technically a black long sleeve dress. Nothing spectacular, right? This is a going out to dinner dress, not a presenting at the Golden Globes dress. Meh, I was not impressed.

Drew Barrymore in Atelier Versace. Um...this might have worked if there was only one small spiny hedgehog-looking attachment to the dress. There definitely does not need to be one on a woman's hip! For the love of God. It looks like a growth of some sort. Not a good thing. And it's a one shoulder dress...*shakes head*. How does this dress get picked? Did someone have to talk Drew into it or did she pick it willingly?

Kate Hudson in Marchesa. Beautiful. Nice to see Kate in something that is a little different for her. There's no whiff of patchouli with this dress. The only drawback to the entire ensemble is that in this particular photo, being able to see only the front of her stacked heels really bugs me out. It makes it seem like she's wearing some chunky white orthopedic shoes.

January Jones in Lanvin. She's totally channeling a 60's era Barbie and I dig it.

Courteney Cox Arquette in Victoria Beckam. Simple and elegant. I really like this and would probably pick something similar if I had an award show to attend. Maybe a little too safe for the Golden Globes though.

My overall thoughts on the show - no to the asymmetric one shoulder look. I'd probably hold my own umbrella if it were raining on my award ceremony night. Definitely a long dress. Mo'nique's acceptance speech made me get all teary-eyed. I was happy for Jeff Bridges (the Dude). I want to see Crazy Heart now. I love how even though it was raining on the red carpet all the lights make it look like it's sunny. There's something to think about. Even in the utmost dark, light, positive thoughts make all the difference.

Did you have a favorite look or moment from last night's Golden Globes?

12 January 2010


Wow! There's a show on the Travel Channel called the Chow Down Countdown. Each episode features 20 eateries that are worthy of being featured on a show that includes the words Chow Down in the title. I happened to catch a bit of the 80-61 show the other night. Looks like they've only aired two episodes so far, so if you play your cards right, you may be able to catch the first two and the new episodes as they air.

My initial thought upon seeing some of the featured dishes, "this is why Americans are fat". Interestingly though being someone who loves to cook and eat, I couldn't get enough of the show! It was total food porn. Clip after clip of amazing, drool-worthy food located all over the country that I will probably never eat. Here are a few of the features that stood out to me. And if you've got some extra time, a few pics from the episode can be found here.

#76 An ice cream sundae called the Kitchen Sink.

#75 The Buffet at the Bellagio looked like it was a mile long and had amazing looking everything.

#73 A ballpark with a burger served in a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut.

#67 A five-pound burrito called Burritozilla.

#64 Round Rock Donuts. A place that has a doughnut so big they use a five gallon bucket as the dough cutter.

Watching one episode made me totally hungry for junk food in huge delectable portions. It's probably a good thing that these places are located all over the country and not in my back yard! Probably also a good that I don't have cable to be able to watch shows like this on the regular.

One of my favorite out of town food memories is when I visited Sherman's Dairy in South Haven, Michigan on a high school camping trip. I had been on the road with classmates for nearly two weeks traipsing around out west and we stopped in South Haven for an almost-home snack - ice cream cones that were GIGANTIC! I like to say that large portions of food are "bigger than my head," but look at that picture, the cones really were that big!

10 January 2010

Wonder of Wonders


Why Facebook makes suggestions about people you should get back in contact with. I think the suggestion has only worked a couple times on me. I haven't heard from anyone random lately, so I know people who are getting me as a suggestion for a wall post or message are ignoring.

How I should celebrate my upcoming birthday. This one seems like a big one and I'm not terribly excited about it, so I'm trying to think of something fun to do as a diversion to the fact that I'll be one year closer to 40!

When I should embark on The UltraSimple Diet. Supposed to be a great way for a 7 day cleanse and to figure out if you're allergic to certain foods, while still eating actual food. I'm pretty sure I have some food allergies that have gone unchecked. Need to do it soon before I get too far into training for the River Bank Run.

When my tax documents will get here. I usually wait until sometime in March to file and want to file as soon as possible this year. TurboTax makes filing so simple. I've used it for several years now and am a fan.

If I'll be able to get through my book club book, Cleopatra's Daughter. It just came in the mail yesterday and I'm already on chapter 4. Only 16 more to go!

What are you wondering about?

07 January 2010


During a recent conversation with K, we discussed what it might be like to live with paparazzi trailing your every move. Can you even imagine? I do not think I would enjoy it.

Today they would have snapped me walking to lunch in my work-at-home clothes (thankfully I was not working in my pajamas!), no make up, hair in braids with winter hat on. Hat stayed on to cover messy hair throughout lunch. There would have most definitely been shots of me scarfing my grilled cheese and tomato soup. Although, now that I think about it, we chose our table wisely, the paps would have had to be in the restaurant to snap either of us. We were sort of hidden. I guess we're savvy in pap-avoidance techniques without even knowing it.

Every minute detail of your life would be documented. Bad hair days. Comings and goings. Who you're with. Who you're dating. Questionable outfit. Are you going to the gym regularly? Weight gain/loss. Did you fall asleep in that meeting? What are you buying at the grocery store?

I think it would be particularly terrible if you were going through a break up. They'd get you with puffy eyes if you forgot to don your shades. If they're photographing you, they'd most likely also be photographing your ex and whomever he might be canoodling with. Uck.

While I would not enjoy having my life documented by the paps, I do enjoy seeing the lives of others documented. I know, it's not fair, but that's how it is. I'm also not getting paid millions and millions for the work I do. Hang on while I go check my google reader for the latest celeb news and photos.

06 January 2010

do not like

We went to lunch at Qdoba today and I can still smell the restaurant grill smell on my clothes. I'm so not a fan of food smells permeating clothes. I even went as far as to leave my giant winter parka in the car so my coat wouldn't smell. So while the parka may have been able to escape being bathed in the pungent aroma of lunch, the rest of my outfit, not so lucky.

Dear Qdoba,
What exactly is going on in there? Do you need better ventilation. I think you do. Seems funny that you'd have a restaurant - you cook food for customers - and not have adequate ventilation for those customers. It's not like it's a surprise that you cook huge volumes of food every day. It's not like you're grilling up veggies and quesadillas for yourself for lunch and all of a sudden there are hundreds of people who want to eat lunch with you so you're forced to prepare food in less than adequate conditions. You are a restaurant for crying out loud!! I want to eat your food for lunch. I don't want to smell like my lunch after I eat it. I'm considering breaking up with you. Remember the sweater incident? (*)You were on my list for a couple years after that situation. Do you want that to happen again? You're on thin ice, my burrito-making friend. Don't think I don't have other burrito making friends in town. I'm just saying. Please do us all a favor and review your ventilation system.


*many years ago. The ex and I visited the Qdoba on 28th Street between lunch and dinner. We were two of maybe four people in the place. I somehow left a light sweater behind. I called the restaurant within a half hour of our departure. When I described the sweater, they said they had it. I went back shortly after the call and they tried to pawn a fleece from the lost and found box on me. It was so not my sweater. I'm pretty sure one of the staff members snaked the sweater for themselves. Of course there was no way for me to substantiate my suspicion, but it took me a couple years before I'd even consider eating there again.

03 January 2010

New Banana Bread Recipe

Trying new recipes is something I want to make a part of my new year, and hopefully I'll share my discoveries with you along the way.

I've been making my own Chocolate Chip Banana Bread for years. It's my mom's recipe and instead of adding walnuts, I add a half a cup of chocolate chips. I love it, but when I saw this recipe from Confessions of a Tart for a slightly healthier version that uses less butter, slightly less eggy-badness (one full egg and two egg whites), buttermilk and whole wheat flour, I bookmarked it for the next time I had bananas that had turned a corner.

It was time. The recipe is pretty straight-forward. The one thing I wondered about was the 34 grams of applesauce. Turns out its 2 Tablespoons, which is explained in the butter line just above the applesauce line in the recipe. I used Sir Mix Alot, my KitchenAid Mixer, instead of a hand mixer, but I'm sure the hand mixer works just fine. I didn't have whole wheat flour, so I used all white flour instead of mixing it like she does. I also used 3 1/2 bananas to yield 2 cups of mashed banana. I guess it just depends on the size of your bananas. I also used soy milk that I added about a teaspoon of white vinegar to instead of buttermilk. All told, it turned out just wonderful. Next time I want to try it with the whole wheat flour though to see if you can taste the difference.

02 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

One thing that hasn't changed with the new year, it's still winter here in Michigan! I created this fun Winter Wonderland inspirational collage featuring some of my favorite looks, textures and colors. I love the idea of incorporating a little luxury into an outfit, whether it's the sparkle a pin or necklace or sequins for a special occasion. I tend to get into the rut of turning to my warmest, softest clothes in the dead of winter and just keep repeating the same looks. I went through my closet yesterday to organize it a bit. I still had some summer pieces that needed to be put away. I'm now set to take on the winter cold and will remember to add a splash of color or a little sparkle to liven up my go-to cozy, warm outfits.

01 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow, it's 2010!

This year, I'm on a quest to do new things, to become more engaged in my community and keep learning about myself and the world around me.

One thing that I won't be changing in 2010, training for and finishing a good number of races. I'll do my second 5/3 River Bank Run in the spring, my second Lowell Half Marathon in August and I'm even contemplating running a full marathon later in the season. I'm so glad I started running and am psyched for another year of training and races.

My family is going to have a reunion this summer. Everybody in the same place for the first time in probably three years. It's about seven months away, but I'm already looking forward to all the fun times we'll have together.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?