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Food, Lifestyle

I Survived My First Juice Cleanse!

May 31, 2016

juice cleanse

Two weeks ago, I decided to try a 3-day juice cleanse. During a juice cleanse, juice and water are all you consume. So no coffee/tea and definitely no solids. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while because I wanted to see/feel the effect of the detox on my body. I did a lot of research prior to the juice cleanse and learned that most people do the cleanse to improve digestion, decrease cravings for sugar/salt, increase cravings for fruit/vegetable, brighten skin, improve sleep, and elevate energy. Although most people lose about 5 lbs during the cleanse, it’s only temporary so I did not weigh myself before/after the cleanse.

3 day juice cleanse

I purchased my juices from Peeled Juice in Evanston. I had to drink 6 juices per day for 3 days. Lets talk about the juices:

  • Green Lantern x2 – Multi-vitamin with the combined nutrients of 5 full servings of raw, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. It contained kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon, ginger, cucumber and apple.
  • Haute Lemonade – Sweet, sour, and spicy! Lemon sweetened with agave nectar and maple syrup. Also contained cayenne pepper to cleanse the intestinal walls of the digestive tract.
  • Maroon Five x2 – Health boosters and nutrient-rich energy provided by beet, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger.
  • Cashew Dream – Cashew milk with maple syrup, agave, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Here is a brief summary of the things I ate and day-by-day progress:

Day Before:
Most blogs advised people to start consuming raw food and produce, to drink plenty of water, and to avoid fatty food the day before cleanse. I finally got the chance to get lunch at the Purple Pig, so I went crazy and ordered 5 items to share between my husband and I. For dinner, I had a shrimp lettuce wrap. I also snacked on dried mango and bubbled tea.

Day 1:
Had my first drink at 10:30am, followed by a drink every 1.5-2 hours after. Walked 2 miles to go to Dunkin Donuts with hubby, which was torturous, and I waited outside to avoid smelling the donuts! I did not feel hungry but it was difficult drinking the juices because I did not find the green lantern and maroon five tasty. The entire day I kept thinking about cheeseburger, Chipotle, and chocolate.

Day 2:
Started at 9:30am. I felt energized and full the entire day. Even though I still did not find the drinks tasty, I did not have as much adverse reaction to the drinks. I learned the best method is to drink as fast as possible. I noticed that my stomach was no longer bloated. I kept craving for fried eggs with salt and pepper. The low point of my day was during night class from 6:30-9:30 because students all around me were eating dinner while I sadly drank my Maroon Five.

Day 3:
Started at 10am and again I felt energized and full throughout the day. Again, my stomach looked great as if I’ve been working my abs. I started wondering if I still remember how to chew since I had not used my teeth in days. I was tempted to snack after drinking my last juice, but instead I went straight to bed.

Day After:
Surprisingly I did not immediately go to Chipotle the next day. I had blueberry oatmeal and fried eggs for lunch, and Chinese takeout for dinner.

Overall I am happy that I tried and survived the cleanse, but will definitely NOT be doing it again. The biggest pros: got rid of my bloating and saved a lot of time by not cooking/eating complete meals. The biggest cons: the taste and cost.

Let me know if you’ve done a juice cleanse or have any other questions about it!!

Lifestyle, Recipes

What I Eat In A Day

February 17, 2016

I’ve been seeing lots of healthy recipe posts so I thought it’d be fun to do a post on what I eat in a day. It has been wonderful being back in school because I have more time to plan and make my own meals. Since I don’t have classes every day and don’t need to be at school all day, I can eat most of my meals at home. I’m not on any type of diet plans, but I am very aware of what I consume and tend to eat healthy. Here’s everything that I ate a couple days ago. I will also share the recipes in case you guys want to try them out!

Breakfast:
Every morning I start out with an oatmeal fruit recipe or a green smoothie. These are substantial enough to hold me over until lunchtime. If I want to have oatmeal, I always soak old-fashioned rolled oats the night before. I tend to make smoothies more often during the spring and summer. I did a post a few months ago with my favorite breakfast smoothies if you want to try some. I also like to make myself a cup of latte.

blueberry oatmealRecipe: Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Lunch:
Half of the time I am at school for club events over lunch hour, which means I’ll be eating pizza, Potbelly, fried chicken, etc. But when I’m home, I like to make myself something quick and simple. Quinoa is super easy because I just need to boil some water and cut up the vegetable. I decided to add mushrooms, spinach, and onions, and then fried an egg on the side. Some other ingredient options are cauliflower, pepper, broccoli–really any vegetable will work!

mushroom spinach quinoa

mushroom spinach quinoaRecipe: Spinach Mushroom Quinoa

Afternoon Snack:
I don’t snack on chips or candy, but by mid-afternoon I usually need to eat something. Most of the time I eat an orange or apple, or make myself a protein smoothie if I worked out that day. Other times I like to bake some sweet potatoes. I cut up 3-5 large sweet potatoes, but only bake some of them and keep the rest in the refrigerator for the next day or two. I’ve also been drinking matcha tea, which has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea! It also boosts metabolism, burns calories, and provides vitamins, fiber, chlorophyll, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium!

matcha tea baked sweet potatoesRecipes: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Matcha Tea Latte

Dinner:
I like to spend more time preparing dinner and sometimes it could take 2 hour. It is a great time for me to unwind and relax. I usually have the TV or Audible on while I cook. I recently saw a bunch of orange and purple cauliflowers at the grocery store, so I wanted to try them out! I found out the color from an orange cauliflower comes from a genetic mutation that allows the plant to hold more beta carotene. It also contains about 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower. The taste was very similar to a white cauliflower.

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pork chops with cauliflowerRecipes: Baked Pork ChopOven Roast Cauliflower

Dessert:
I usually skip dessert when I’m at home (but I NEVER skip dessert when I dine out!). However, I have been experimenting with making my own ice cream and frozen yogurt at home, and tonight I decided to make a frozen peach yogurt. This was so delicious and guilt free!

healthy frozen peach yogurtRecipe: Healthy Frozen Peach Yogurt

Lifestyle, Recipes

Super Bowl Meatballs

February 7, 2016

super bowl meatballs

A couple days ago I went to a Super Bowl 101 class taught by two classmates who are now ex NFL players. One was even on the roster of the Minnesota Vikings for a season! Go Vikings! I was inspired to make an appetizer for the Super Bowl this year and decided on this delicious meatball recipe! This is a great appetizer to make for a party or potluck. Hope you enjoy!

IMG_4701

The ingredient list is fairly short and simple: lean ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, minced onion, jellied cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.

IMG_4720

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs and place on baking sheet. I used an ice cream scooper so these are above-average sized meatballs. I also sprayed the baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil so that they won’t stick to the sheet.

IMG_4724

IMG_4766

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. I baked for 30 minutes since my meatballs are big. You should also turn the meatballs once but I skipped that step. Once these are done, you can eat them as is (which is delicious), but I wanted to add sauce.

IMG_4787

In a large sauce pan, blend together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Then in a slow cooker, add the meatballs and sauce, and simmer for 1 hour.

super bowl meatballs

Ingredients:
(Makes 20 meatballs)

2 lb lean ground beef
2 eggs
4 tablespoons water
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced onion
16 ounce jellied cranberry sauce
1.5 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion.
  3. Spray baking sheet with olive oil (optional).
  4. Roll mixture into small meatballs and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (depends on size of meatballs), turning once.
  6. To make the sauce, in a large sauce pan blend together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
  7. In a slow cooker, add the meatballs and the sauce, and simmer for 1 hour.

Original recipe from AllRecipes.

Lifestyle, Recipes

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

December 25, 2015

cranberry white chocolate cookie

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you’re able to take some time off to spend with friends and family. I am on winter break from school, and my husband and I are spending the holidays with my in-laws. Yesterday I baked cranberry white chocolate cookies, which turned out wonderful, so I want to share this recipe with you! It’s super easy and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

IMG_4252In a medium sized bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula these dry ingredients: flour, old fashioned oats, baking soda, salt and minced orange peel. Set aside.

IMG_4234In a large bowl, add butter, white sugar and brown sugar.

IMG_4243Mix well until smooth.

IMG_4250In the same large bowl, add eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix well.
Next, add the flour/oat mixture (from the medium sized bowl) and stir to combine.

IMG_4258Add cranberries and white chocolate. Walnuts optional. I made two batches, one with walnuts and one without. Continue Reading…

Food, Lifestyle, Recipes

Persimmon Berry Smoothie

October 18, 2015

persimmon blueberry smoothie

One of my favorite fruits in the fall is persimmon! It is in season from September to December, so I purchased a bunch during my recent grocery run. Persimmons originated from Japan, and are orange fruits that look like a tomato. Persimmons are rich in vitamins A and C, and are a good source of fiber. It also contains high fructose, so it is a good ingredient for a smoothie.

I make a smoothie almost every morning, so I was excited to start experimenting with persimmons. I’ve tried a couple of recipes and my favorite so far is the persimmon/blueberry combination. Here is the recipe for this delicious smoothie:

  • 2 persommions chopped
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more as needed)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon protein powder or chia seeds

persimmon

persimmon blueberry smoothie

Food, Lifestyle, Recipes

Coconut Macaroons

August 13, 2015

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Yesterday I was craving sweets, so I decided to make some coconut macaroons. I’ve had coconut macaroons from several bakeries, and I just love the flavor and the soft/chewy texture. I couldn’t believe how easy these were to make–much easier than traditional macaroons! I love how they turned out so I want to share with you! Continue Reading…