Category Archives: Life

2 Day Detox

So I have been MIA recently from not only this blog but from bootcamp, my home, my healthy eating habits..

A few weeks ago I got plantar fasciitis in my left foot.  If you aren’t familiar – it’s basically a pain in the heel of your foot that can extend throughout the foot and up the calf due to inflammation.  I noticed a mild pain in my heel but didn’t know what it was and then went to bootcamp a few days later and ran about a mile and a half and then basically couldn’t walk on my foot anymore.  So I essentially made the problem way worse since I didn’t know what it was to start with and therefore never attempted to fix it.  I ended up taking a break from the work outs and instead spent time icing & stretching my foot as much as I could.  I will admit that I also turned to comfort foods from time to time during my pause from the active world.  Then I had a short trip to California (will blog about that soon) where I had to hobble around but at least I was surrounded by beautiful scenery.  And I did get to do some waterfront yoga one morning (only workout in the past 3 weeks!).  But of course I splurged calorie-wise in Cali too.  So shameful.

All that being said, I decided it was time to attempt the Arden’s Garden 2 Day Detox.  I have considered it for some time now but didn’t want to do it when I was working out and didn’t really want to take two days off from working out.  Well, I had no excuse now that I couldn’t work out.  I like the idea of it mainly because it’s only 2 days!  You can do anything for 2 days!  Right?  Well, it’s easier said than done…at least in my case.  Side note: The day I started (this past Monday) was the first day I woke up with no pain in my foot.  Go figure.  Not that I wanted to jump back out that first day it was feeling better and run but still…just ironic.

From Arden’s Garden website:

What: The 2 Day Detox is a special formulation of fresh juices – grapefruit, orange, and lemon – that helps you cleanse, detoxify, and rejuvenate your body.

How: For two days you give up all foods and in their place, you flood your body with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and other phytonutrients. You drink 8-12 ounces every hour until the total 128 ounces have been consumed. That’s it!

Why: The 2 Day Detox will help you lose weight, detoxify your body, improve your immune system, and boost your energy. The fresh citrus juices supply your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide more than 100% of the United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA) of the 12 essential vitamins in every serving.

Arden’s Garden stores are only located in Atlanta but you can order the detox to be shipped to you or you can follow their recipe on how to make the detox yourself.

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My breakdown of the past two days:

Day 1

AM – Pour my first glass and feel real motivated and ready to tackle my gallon of juice for the day!  Things aren’t so bad.

As the day goes on I get spurts of hunger but just drink more juice and it fades away.

Around 5PM – I wonder how I am going to make it.  All I can think about it food.  Opening the fridge to pour more juice just pains me – I can see all that foooood in there!

6PM – I cave and eat a handful of mixed nuts.  I regret this move.  BUT for my first time ever detoxing….I’m not thaaat mad about it.

Around 10PM – I give up leaving probably 10 oz in the first gallon.  Mind you, I’m also trying to drink distilled water throughout the day so I feel like I might drown myself and literally cannot take one more sip of liquid.

My husband was scared to come home after work but was surprised with my good spirits…and the fact that I didn’t try to eat his arm off.

Day 2

AM – Woke up and weighed myself and was down 4 lbs from the day before.  Just what I needed to get me excited about this pulpy grapefruit juice. (I hate grapefruit. I hate pulp.)  The juice is made from distilled water, grapefruits, lemons & oranges but all I can taste is the bitter grapefruit.

Midday – Feeling shockingly great!  Today is much easier than yesterday!

PM – Energy kicks in and I go nuts cleaning the house.  I can’t tell you the last time I felt this energized.

I drank what I had leftover from Day 1 plus 98% of the second gallon.  Again, I just couldn’t finish probably the last 8 oz.  Oh well!  At least I didn’t cheat by eating any food today.

PROS:

– I lost 6 lbs when it was all said and done.  I’m sure most of those will be back in the next meal or two but it was motivating to see along the way.

– My energy level soared as time went on.  And with no caffeine?  Awesome.  I’ve read you can do this cleanse for more than 2 days and I’m sure it just gets easier and shows even more benefits.

– I felt as though my skin had a glow.

– By day 2, I was craving nothing but veggies.  Spinach & spaghetti squash in particular.  I wanted nothing to do with bad carbs that I was craving on day 1!

CONS:

– I had a hard time finishing the gallon each day on top of all the distilled water I was consuming (probably at least 32 oz a day).

– I am not a fan of grapefruit or pulp and that’s basically what the juice tastes like.

– The days lasted soooo long!

Overall I think the pros outweighed the cons.  I definitely see myself doing this cleanse in the future.  It’s a great way to kickstart healthy habits or even to shed some quick water weight before an event or vacation.

Oh and if you want to make this detox on your own, here is the recipe:

What You Will Need For The Two Days:

48 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
32 oz. fresh orange juice
16 oz. fresh lemon juice
160 oz. quality steam-distilled water
Empty 1 gal. jug for mixing
Funnel (optional)

What To Do:

Mix together for each gallon:

24 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
16 oz. fresh orange juice
8 oz. fresh lemon juice and
80 oz. distilled water

Each day, drink 8 oz. every hour until the total 128 oz. have been consumed and that’s it.  And no food!!

Would love to hear your experiences with detoxing in the comments!

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My Inspiration

Excited to introduce my first guest blogger!  She is someone I have always admired for many reasons and recently she just gave me another one – reaching her weight loss goals and continuing to live a healthy life!  Meet my aunt/godmother/friend/inspiration…

My Weight Loss Journey

I have been dieting ever since I can remember.  At the age of 10 my mother put me on what I now refer to as, “The Root Beer Barrel Diet.” She thought I was overweight because I was always asking for something to eat.  So, in her infinite wisdom, she decided that anytime I asked for food she’d give me a root beer barrel candy and it would satisfy my hunger.  Needless to say, it didn’t work, and to this day it stings a little when I see that candy. There were so many better ways to respond to me and it would have been a great opportunity to teach me about eating a healthy, balanced diet. Alas, that did not happen.  Parents of past generations just didn’t seem to focus on diet and exercise.  If she had even the slightest comprehension of the WeightWatchers (WW) philosophy regarding healthy attitudes and behaviors, I would not have spent the next 40 years of my life struggling through fad diets and failing each time.

In preparation for my niece’s (who just happens to be your blog writer) bachelorette party in Las Vegas, I tried once again to loss the weight. I failed to lose even a pound. A week before the trip, a co-worker came to my desk and told me about WW online.  He left my desk and never pursued it further. I, on the other hand, went online immediately and started reading about WW. My bestie had been on WW about a year earlier and lost 15 pounds so I called her up.  Her advice was:  “Just do it. Don’t do it online. Go to the meetings. Don’t tell anyone you’re doing it, and you can do this!”

That was July 2011.  I lost 3 pounds the week of the bachelorette party in Vegas.  By Megan’s wedding that September I was still overweight but I was really feeling positive about the program and my steady weight loss.

The July it will be three years that I stepped into that WW meeting room and since then I can honestly say I have never been prouder of myself and the lifestyle I created thanks to WW.  I was successful because of the WW PointsPlus Program and my commitment to it.  The famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, “Do you really think it is a weakness that yields temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which require strength and courage to yield.”  WW gave me the tools, the strength and the courage to lose 43 pounds in 9 months.  Today, I’m down 55 pounds and I’ve been a lifetime member for 2 years.

The meetings grounded me and inspired me to keep going and to stop what my leader, Rick, refers to as, “stinkin’ thinkin’.”  I now view healthy eating as a permanent lifestyle versus a temporary fix to meet an unrealistic goal.  When someone asks me how I lost the weight, I start by saying, “WeightWatchers.”  When they ask for more details, I gently but passionately tell them that they should only join if they want to develop healthier eating habits and experience a personal transformation that will change their life forever.

I celebrate my success by staying on plan.  I attend meetings every Saturday morning and I actually have women there that have become an important part of my week. The journey I started the day I walked into my first meeting will continue for the rest of my healthy eating life.  Inspiration can be found in the rarest of places.  What will it take to inspire you to change your bad habits, create good ones, reach your destination and learn how to successfully continue your healthy journey?

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

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Losing is winning

So the weight loss challenge (mentioned in a previous post) ended yesterday.  Before I talk about the final weigh-in, let me just recap how the whole journey went.  This was a 7 week “biggest loser” challenge that my bootcamp instructor organized.  By week two, I lost about 7 lbs.  About 5 of those pounds quickly came back.  I had been eating “healthy” and going to bootcamp 2-3 times a week along with a pure barre class once a week.  I didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing more and was even gaining some back.  It was time for a reality check.  Food was the problem.  I wasn’t actually eating healthy at all.  My bootcamp instructor asked me one day “What did you eat for breakfast today?”  A hard boiled egg…just the white.  “ONE egg?  That’s it?!”  He told me to eat at least 2 egg whites, two slices of turkey bacon and an apple.  He also told me to eat a lean meat or fish for lunch along with a veggie.  Tuna alone wasn’t going to cut it.  My body was going into starvation mode because I wasn’t eating enough and therefore was retaining any and all fat it could.  My other problem?  Snacking.  Of course I didn’t admit this to him but deep down I knew it was a big reason why I wasn’t losing weight.  A few pita chips here and there or eating some pretzels while watching tv at night…it had to stop.  I also have cut back on alcohol.  A few glasses of red wine a night used to be pretty normal for me.  I try to completely avoid drinking during the week now.  If anything I will have a small glass of red once or twice a week.  I drink more on the weekends but stick to light beer or wine for the most part.

This past week I made a decision to stop the senseless snacking completely.  Veggies & fruits were allowed and some nuts (1/4 cup a day if hunger struck sometime before dinner) but that was it.  It definitely made a huge difference.  I ended up losing a total of 5lbs at the final weigh-in.  Would have liked to see a number more like 10 but I was just proud that I was able to drive that number back down from what I re-gained in the early weeks.  I also just felt a lot better and I even noticed my clothes fitting better this week.  So why didn’t I lose more?  Because that theory I was hoping was true actually was true – “it’s because it’s turning into muscle”.  He also tracked our body fat percentage at our initial weigh-in.  At the final weigh in my body fat was down 3%.  I’m going to get discouraged by the scale every now and then because of that but need to push through.  Ideally I want to be down 4 more percent.  I plan on having him check my body fat % again in a month to ensure it keeps going down.

Things that have worked for me:

– Eating more for breakfast & lunch.

– Avoiding bread & cheese as much as possible.  Focusing more on lean meats, fish, and vegetables.

– Completely avoiding sweets & salty snacks.  After a week of doing this, I have no interest in eating these foods that I used to crave.  I’m not saying that I won’t indulge here and there but I don’t plan on doing so until I am maintaining my goal and I have still have awhile before I get there.

– Tracking every single thing I eat & drink.  I love the weight watchers online program for this.  I have the app on my phone which makes it even easier to track.

– Brushing my teeth around 8pm to help me not want to snack or eat late night.

– Going to bed before 10pm (can’t eat when you are sleeping).

– Going to bootcamp 3 times a week as opposed to only 2 times.  This bootcamp is 55 minutes of strength training mixed with cardio.  It’s different every day.  No class is ever easy but I also can keep up (most of the time) and feel I accomplished a good challenge every time I leave.

– Doing 10-15 minutes of ab work before bed.  This is the current routine I am loving.  I have added some extra ab work on to the end too.

– Looking at cheesy motivation photos and quotes any time I want to skip a workout.

– I hung some dresses in plain sight in my bedroom that I would love to wear (and feel good wearing).

– Having a partner throughout the process.  My husband did this challenge with me and has been a great support system.  He pushes me to go to bootcamp when I am not feeling it and he appreciates the help I have given him with eating healthier.  (Side note: he came in 2nd place for men in the challenge!  Down 9 lbs!)

– Envisioning my upcoming trip to Aruba.  I just keep telling myself “bikini, bikini, bikini”.

– Blogging about it for the world (or my followers) to read.  This helps hold me accountable.  (You told them you were going to lose weight – can’t go back on your word!)

Just because this organized challenge is over doesn’t mean my personal challenge is.  As of this morning I still have 15 lbs to go until I reach my ultimate goal weight.  That number might change a bit based on muscle/fat ratio.  I want to be realistic and make sure I am at the healthiest weight for me.  Now that I fully accept that my diet is just as important (if not more important) than working out, I have a lot more confidence in actually attaining my goal.  Pretty sure I always knew this fact but just chose to ignore it.

I look forward to posting an update in a month or so.

What are some weight loss tips that work for you?  Comments appreciated.

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(one of those cheesy motivation photos I was talking about)

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These are a few of my favorite things

I had already been thinking about doing some sort of “favorite product” post and then a blogger I follow did one yesterday and her post really motivated me to get going on it.  Check out her February Finds here!  So without further ado…

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Let’s break this assortment down…

Face: Clarisonic Mia, Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse, Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant

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If you don’t know about the Clarisonic, let me introduce you.  I really don’t know how I felt good about washing my face B.C. (before Clarisonic).  It really has changed my life.  I have the Mia but several people I know have the Mia 2.  I think the main difference is that the Mia 2 beeps when you should change the section of the face that you are cleansing.  I bought Oil of Olay’s version a long time ago and it’s just not the same so don’t take the cheap route in effort to save money.  Disclaimer: I do in fact love the Oil of Olay brand for many other things.  It’s my go-to for moisturizer.  But when it comes to this, save that money and keep on saving until you are ready to buy the Clarisonic.  You won’t be disappointed.  Your skin will see and feel the results pretty quickly and the products you apply after cleansing will absorb better than hand washing your face.  I hope to acquire their new Pedi Sonic in the near future too.  It’s basically a “need” at this point.

On a product level, I’ve been real into Dermalogica lately.  Not only am I currently using their cleansing gel (not pictured.  It’s good and all but I don’t go gaga for it or anything) but the pre-cleanse & heated exfoliant are really some of my favorites right now.  A good friend told me about the pre-cleanse and I really feel it’s another vital step in my face cleansing process.  I really only use it if I have make-up on before washing my face.  Sometimes I don’t feel like I truly get every bit of make-up/dirt off from a face wash so this extra step makes me feel better about that.  A little goes a long way too so don’t let the price scare you too much.

The multivitamin thermafoliant was much more of a splurge for me.  After my esthetician kept encouraging me to exfoliate more, I decided it was time to invest in an exfoliant I could really get into.  My esthetician recommended this product and I have trusted her for awhile now so I took her advice and bit the bullet.   I wanted a less intense exfoliant and this one is perfect.  It’s not super harsh when used on a wet face but you also have the option to apply directly to dry skin for a more intense exfoliation.  The slight warming is supposedly giving you even more benefits too.  Hey, I fell for it!  I try to use twice a week but need to get more consistent.  I haven’t had it for a long time so not sure exactly how long this $52 product lasts and that could determine whether or not I still love it in a couple weeks.

Hair: Regency Tangle-Free Magic Brush, Goody Quik Style Hairbrush, Kendi Bamboo Oil, BB Straight Blow Dry, BB Styling Lotion, Aveda Air Control Hair Spray

I’m a sucker for some new hair products.  Constantly trying new things.  I also have super thick hair and until recently, it was almost all the way down my back.  It’s still somewhat long so taming it still takes an army of tools and products.  As far as hair brushes, I am just now discovering exactly how many different types of brushes there are and realizing how many one thick-haired girl like myself should have on hand.  I actually got the Regency Tangle-Free brush from my mother-in-law for Christmas.  I wasn’t sure what it was all about but it turns out it’s just a great wet/dry brush for eliminating tangle issues.  I feel I use a decent amount of conditioner so my after-shower brushing has never been too terrible anyway but I seem to lose a lot less hair with this brush.  So that right there is enough of a reason to love it.  If you happen to tangle pretty easily, this brush comes highly recommended via my sister-in-law (also got this gift) and online reviews.  In fact, I also found this review from one of my favorite ladies in the celeb world lately when I googled to see where to buy.

Moving along, the other brush really gets me amped.  I actually came in contact with this brush long before it was available to the public.  I got called to do one of those surveys where you test out a product at home for a week or so and then write reviews and end up getting paid a hundred bucks or something.  Much better than the ones where you have to go in and sip crappy arbor mist wine for 2 hours…that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, I fell in LOVE with this brush during my test period.  I almost wanted to forgo the payment and just keep the brush.  But on the other hand, they needed to read my reviews in hopes that it might help make this brush actually exist in the world.  Well, time went on and I slowly forgot about my less than 30 minute hair drying experiences…until one day….like a beam of light from the heavens above there she shined in the hair brush aisle….the Goody Quik Style Hair Brush…*sound the angels “aahhhhhhhh”*.  It was one of my finer drug store moments.  Basically this brush has these little microfiber absorbent bristles mixed in with your typical paddle brush bristles and it makes for a much faster drying experience.  This product might only be so ground-breaking for those with thicker, harder to dry hair…can’t speak for other types.  All I know is I find it in-cred-i-ble!

It doesn’t take much to convince me to try a new hair product.  In fact, I am typically the one convincing myself to buy said new products.  I am such a believer in hair getting bored with the same old products and therefore need to switch things up regularly.  I think I might have found the Kendi Oil on Pinterest or maybe a google search of “best hair oil ever”.  I’m really not too sure.  I’ve had it for awhile and I’m just now about to run out.  I don’t use it daily but maybe about 3 days a week on average.  It’s the best oil I have ever used and I have tried quite a few.  It’s not greasy at all but I also am careful to only use a few drops.  Again, with my thick hair it takes a lot to get greasy anyway.  It’s also great to use on dry hair as a mask before getting in the shower.  Highly recommend!

Next on the list is the BB Straight Blow Dry.   Just apply to wet hair and it helps hair lose natural wave making straight hair more feasible.  Again, only applicable if you suffer from not-so-attractive naturally wavy hair like myself.  I can honestly put less effort into styling as I blow dry when I use this stuff.  And I don’t even need to use the straightener after the dry.  Not bad!

The next BB product I’ve digging is the styling lotion.  It’s actually a spray that is great to use on wet hair before drying or dry hair before styling….or both.  Honestly, I’m not sure how much of an effect it has but it’s one of those things I just feel good about using.

Lastly is my go-to hairspray.  I really only use hairspray when I’ve curled my hair but I find the Aveda Air Control has the perfect mixture of hold and flexibility.  Plus, I’ve always been a fan of the Aveda scent, so there’s that.

Body (and a million other things): Coconut Oil

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If you don’t know about Coconut Oil at this point – wake up!  It’s like the new apple cider vinegar.  One of those things that does just about everything.  Lately I’ve mainly been using it as a body scrub.  I mix it with sugar until it has a good consistency for exfoliating and keep it in a plastic container in my shower.  I have those annoying bumps on my arms and this helps reduce that wretched issue.  It’s also great to just use all over to shed dead cells and all that jazz.  Here are a million (actually 101) other reasons you need to keep coconut oil on hand.

In my bag: Stella & Dot Pouf

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This little guy is more handy than I thought when I originally purchased under the influence at a stella & dot trunk show.  It’s super roomy and just great to keep all things confined to one spot in my purse as opposed to thrown all over in different compartments.  I love my elephant print but they seem to keep making cuter prints for it.  If I had to purchase another one, I would be super into this print.  Although I’ve been aware of Stella & Dot for a few years now, it wasn’t until recently that I really got into the brand.  It probably has something to do with my best friend being a stylist for them.  Just be prepared to see a lot more where this pouf came from!

Around the house: Capri Blue Jar Candle

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I love Anthropologie.  Who doesn’t really?  But I never knew how amazing these candles were until a friend told me about them.  She told me how they make great gifts and I ran with it.  I ended up getting a couple for friends for the holidays but was regretting the decision to not treat myself in the process.  Well luckily another friend of mine happened to get me this exact candle!  I think I actually got the Volcano scent for my gifts but my friend gave me this Aloha Orchid scent and I’M IN LOVE.  She said thought of me when she saw it because we actually were in Hawaii together for a trip a few years ago.  So it’s even got a little sentimental meaning for me (awww).  It’s one of those candles that you can smell when the lid is off and it’s not even lit.  It has lasted me quite awhile too.  Nothing to say but good things so go ahead and treat yourself!

Keeping me sane: Refreshing Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit, Fun Flavored Gum

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I typically just buy whatever chap stick because I can no longer find mine and I’m on the verge of dying from chapped lips (because that’s a possibility and all).  Well I just randomly grabbed this pink grapefruit flavor on one of my drug store runs and probably didn’t even realize it was flavored.  What a lovely surprise!  It’s not only pleasing for me but I’ve even had people notice the smell who are standing at least 2 feet or more away.  It unchaps the lips and tastes/smells divine.  Sold.

Oh and the gum that a typical five year old would be into?  Well this all stemmed from a friend of mine that I tend to bum gum from often.  She never has your typical mint flavors but instead an assortment of fun food flavors…you know like mint chocolate chip and sour patch kids?  I thought it was rather amusing at first but would still graciously chew said crazy flavor.  It wasn’t until the other day in the target line that I went for that pack of watermelon gum…and even a pack of sour patch kid flavor (because I’ve already bummed a piece from my friend and got pretty into it).  I’ve realized that these flavors are more than just fun for me.  They are life savers.  As I am currently involved in a “biggest loser weight loss challenge”, I find these delicious gums cure my sweet tooth when I can no longer go for a piece of chocolate or really anything sinful.  So funky flavored gum has been doing the trick…for now.

Would love to hear from anyone else who has a loving relationship with any of the above mentioned products.  Or if you have had a bad experience, feel free to share too!  Watermelon gum caught in your hair doesn’t count.

Hope to have more of these posts in the future as I’m constantly trying new things.  #productaddict

Cheers!

ML

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