juice day 2 | what’s orange and green all over?

Why, my juices, of course!

Day 2 has come and gone, and I’m feeling great! I was super ambitious and made two juices in the morning, one was beyond delicious and the other was okay but needs further modification. In the green juice, I thought I’d add in some radishes because they’re rich in vitamins and minerals like B6 and Calcium. I’ll admit I’ve never really been a fan of radishes, their peppery flavor leaves me making the “ick” face more often than not. But I thought that all the other ingredients (hey, kale is pretty strong) would overpower the radish. I was totally wrong. I suppose if you like radishes, you’d love this though. The orange juice was simple, and totally delicious! For dinner, my honey and I went to a fabulous Thai restaurant, and I had chicken with veggies and had 1 small spoonful of rice. It wasn’t a raw dinner, but it was still healthy. Here’s the juice breakdown!

orange and green juices!

Orange Planet- this was totally fabulous, and I’ll be drinking more of it soon.

  • 5 carrots
  • 2-3 cups watermelon (rind, too!)
  • 1 lemon (cut off rind and pith, then juice the whole thing!)

Fair to Middlin’ Green Juice

  • 5 stalks celery
  • 5 kale fronds
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1″ nub of ginger
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley

I did 2 instead of 3 rounds of the brutal BodyRock workout, and I’m definitely feeling it. I traded running for sleep, so my goals for day 3 are to run, bodyrock, and eat/drink only raw foods. I know I can knock these out of the park. Y’all with me?

With Enthusiasm,

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juice cleanse | day 1 watermelon cooler

Alright, here I go again for 17 days this time. You’re probably thinking “17 days? What kind of number is that? Why isn’t she doing a 10, 20, or 30 day cleanse?” Well, I’ll tell you why, but it involves a little more rambling from me. I’m a big Phoenix Coyotes Hockey fan (thanks to my gorgeous boyfriend), and they have a group of energetic young men and women called the Paw Patrol. They go around and interact with the fans during games, and the auditions are in, guess what? You called it, 17 days! I’m trying to trim down and lean out, so I’ll be mixing my daily BodyRock workouts with some cardio and juicing. So, here’s the update for how day 1 went.

Day 1 was hard, mostly because I had an awful headache from the pressure of the monsoon system. I made a delicious juice in the morning, but apparently didn’t make quite enough, because I went through 32 oz at work like a boss, so I was pretty hungry in the afternoon. I did munch on a few raw almonds, and then I had a light supper of couscous salad with raw veggies and fruit. Because of the hunger factor, I’m going to be eating 1 raw meal a day in addition to drinking mounds of juice. Here’s the juice I drank all day yesterday!

Yum!!

Watermelon Cooler

  • 3-4 c. watermelon (rind and all!)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch whole spinach

I loved this juice, it was summery and refreshing, which is critical when it’s a billion degrees in Phoenix. I didn’t workout because my head was pounding, so I’ll be making up for it with a two-workout day. I’m really looking forward to the remaining days of this adventure, and I invite y’all to join me, even if you just juice for one meal instead of a day or more!

With Enthusiasm,

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i haas avocado | creamy avocado dressing

I love avocados. Maybe a little too much. When avocado season starts, I get all giddy and excited. I swear that my skin gets a little green during the summer because I eat so many of these astounding, amazing, adorable little fruits. Even typing this makes me smile, a lot. Why do I love avocados so much, especially since I used to hate them? Well, I think they taste great, I love their color and shape, their texture, and their health benefits. It is rare for me to fall totally in love with something that’s so totally good for me, but I’m an avid avocado appreciator. I apologize for the alliteration, but I can’t help myself!

i love avocado

Recently I had a few of these guys that were starting to turn, and decided that I needed to do something with them. So, I ate two of them with a bit of lime juice and a pinch of salt (so delicious), and then made this awesome creamy dressing with the last one. I used plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo (even though I adore mayo), so it’s pretty darn healthy. Here’s the recipe, I hope you like it!

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4-1 c Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 medium lime (you can use lemon, but lime goes super well with avo)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (1 clove was plenty for me, and I am obsessed with garlic)
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil

Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender, then blend in olive oil slowly until you receive the consistency you desire. I like it a little thick, but you certainly can thin it out a bit. I thinned out some with a bit of fresh coconut milk and it was also delicious!

Here was my lunch salad with the avo dressing on the side – greens, chicken, cranberries, white beans, walnuts, and roasted cipollini onions

Thanks for joining me on my silly yet delicious avocado journey. I can promise you’ll be seeing more avocado love and recipes on here soon. Today I’m starting an 18-day juice fast, and I’m definitely going to be working in some avocado!

With Enthusiasm,

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birthday time | no-bake cherry cheesecake crumble!

cherry crumble no-bake cheesecake

So today marks my 27th birthday! To mark this occasion, I thought I’d share with you my favorite dessert. I made it last year for Justin’s birthday, and it’s become a family favorite. Now, I bring it to all the … Continue reading

summer wardrobe | time to sew!

So as some of my friends know, I love to sew. For those of you who do not know me well or at all, I learned to sew from a woman I now call Grandma Shirley. She started teaching me to sew one day every week when I was 13. Because I was homeschooled, I had the awesome luxury of doing “sewing day” as a home economics class, and I got to use it as credit. I made dresses, skirts and blouses, fancy things and simple things. Some projects were easy, and others were throw-your-fabric-against-the-wall frustrating. Over the 7 years I spent sewing with Grandma Shirley at least one day a week, I grew to love making my own clothes. There is such a rewarding feeling to wearing your own creations, particularly when folks compliment you on it. There is also a really nice fit factor – you can sew for your own unique body type. This last reason is why I am going to start creating my summer wardrobe this weekend. I am one of those hourglass shapes, which in many ways is fortunate, but it also makes it terribly difficult to buy clothes that fit right. While I know how to do some alterations, I find starting from scratch is easier and more fun. So I present to you my very first design board for summer outfits.

summer clothing inspiration

I am really inspired by the bright shorts I have been seeing everywhere. Urban Outfitters, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and even Barney’s all have iterations of these bright hues paired with airy blouses of either light or bright colors. The color swatches are from linen or twill fabric I just ordered to make into shorts. The print at the bottom left is an Armani designer fabric that I definitely cannot afford, but I fortunately found a similar fabric elsewhere. The shorts are a Burda pattern I purchased, and the blouse pattern is similar to a design I will make on my own. I may even be incorporating some eyelet into the blouses. There’s something really lovely and summery about eyelet.

So there ya have it friends! This is my inspiration for my first round of clothes that I will be making this weekend. I will keep you posted on how everything turns out, let me know if you have any ideas, I love hearing your thoughts!

With Enthusiasm,

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juice cleanse | days 2 + 3

Sorry for the delay on the update for the juice cleanse, life just picked up so fast I couldn’t keep all my balls in the air! Anyhow, so here’s the skinny on the last two days of my cleanse.

Day 2 – this was a bit more difficult than day 1, largely because I was around people who were eating scrumptious things (albeit fatty things), and I wanted to gorge myself. But I resisted, and made it through the cravings without a cheat! Day 3 was significantly harder because the sugar cravings were getting intense, but it was also easier because I knew it was my last day.

Here’s the juices I made for both days.

yummy and pretty!

purple passion

  • 5 carrots
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 large beet
  • 1/2 bunch kale

purple passion was all I drank on day 2, with a ton of water and a few cups of green tea with fresh ginger, lemon and stevia powder. I also drank it on day 3, in conjunction with a fabulous end of cleanse treat, and more of that juice from day 1!

sweet and satisfying!

raw mango lassi smoothie – my end of cleanse treat

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1.5 fresh mangoes
  • 1 cup coconut flesh
  • 1 cup almond milk (plain or vanilla would work)
  • a little bit of stevia

Overall, I lost a few pounds, and felt really clean and healthy afterward. I wish I could say that I stayed totally clean after the cleanse, but I gave into temptation probably more than I should have. I’ll be doing another juice cleanse starting Thursday, because I get to go to our farmer’s market on Wednesday night after work! I’ll keep you posted on any fun recipes or juices I make, and I’ll try to be more diligent about it this time!

With Enthusiasm,

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juice cleanse | day 1

Well, day 1 of my juice cleanse is now complete. It was a rough day, largely because I kept wanting to EAT something. I was able to satisfy my hunger with juice, water, and a bit of tea, but something in me wanted to munch on something. Anything. I kept thinking “this isn’t so bad. now, where is my cheeseburger?” I had cravings for the oddest things – marshmallows, cheeseburger, mashed potatoes, and bread to name a few. Oh, and for some reason I kept smelling Indian food, which made me salivate for some lamb biryani and palak paneer.

What strikes me as hilarious though, is that I frequently go without lunch at work, and just drink coffee + water all day. Now that I “can’t eat”, that’s all I really want to do. Definitely makes me think about what you hear from some parenting experts, who say that the more you restrict your child in certain things, the more they’ll want to do it. But I guess I’m off on a tangent now.

Getting back to business – I made one batch of juice yesterday that lasted me until dinner, and perked me up quite a bit.  Though I did have some green tea first thing, because caffeine withdrawal might make me stab someone in their sleep.  Anytime I started feeling hungry, I drank more juice or water.

am juice: meanie greenie – 32 oz

am juice: meanie greenie – 32

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale (about 2-3 cups)
  • 1/4 bunch parsley (about a cup with stems and all)
  • 1 skinned lemon
  • 4 small apples
  • a pinch of stevia powder
  • a bit of a ancho chili powder for some kick

The smell of this juice was delightful, like freshly mowed grass or a delicious bowl filled with salad greens. Now that I think about it, that’s basically what I had, and it was delicious.

For dinner, I got to enjoy a delicious smoothie from my favorite food truck at my local Wednesday night farmer’s market. Scott at Mojo Bowl makes an awesome Green Monster with all kinds of greens and a bit of coconut, and because I’m staying away from anything not juice or juice-like, he used almond milk instead of fro-yo for me. SO GOOD.  All totaled, I drank 57 oz of juice, 32 oz of tea, and 32 oz of water.

I woke up this morning well rested and energized for day 2. I will say I’m feeling the detox pains of a sore throat, stuffy nose and a few aches, but that should subside in a few days. Also, I weighed myself last night and the scale said I have lost 4 pounds between Sunday and yesterday. YES!

I know that today is going to be harder since my body will start kicking out toxins, and I’m pretty sure my carb + sugar addiction will rear its ugly head in the form of mad cravings, but I will persevere.

With Enthusiasm,

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spring cleaning | 3-day juice cleanse

So I love food. Which really is not a bad thing, but I love food that is bad for me. Sugar-laden, fat-filled, artery-clogging goodness.

yeah, that is the stuff I love

Sadly, it does not love me as much as I love it. Quite the opposite, actually. Every time I get done stuffing my face with a fatty meal, I get tired super fast and just want to sleep. When I eat salad, fruits, and/or veggies my body wakes up and gets all enthusiastic about life. This, paired with the fact that my bathing suits are no longer flattering, I’m challenging myself to a 3-day raw food cleanse with plenty of veggies and green drinks.

only these for the next three days

I really want to do a 10-day cleanse, but I have a serious commitment issue with projects. I get bored really quickly (darn ADHD), and I over commit on a regular basis which turns my noble, well-meaning goals into failures. So I’m starting off solidly with a 3-day cleanse, and  I am relying on y’all to hold me accountable. Mostly because when I put it in writing, and even if only one other person reads it, I am much more likely to hang on to my commitment. So tonight I go shopping for raw veggies and fruits and tomorrow my 3-day journey to a happier, healthier and maybe thinner me begins. And who knows, I may love it so much, that it morphs into the 10 days I wanted to do originally.

in the words of a famous Phoenician,
“and that ain’t no bull”

With Enthusiasm,

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my first diy | a fun graduation banner

So, my boyfriend and I graduated from Arizona State University a few weeks ago, and we felt that was cause for celebration! Because I was homeschooled in high school and did not have a graduation ceremony or party, I wanted to make college graduation really special. My mom generously offered to host an open house for us, and all I was responsible for was the decorations. Oh yes, my mom continuously and seriously rocks!

My school colors are Maroon and Gold, not red/burgundy and yellow, thanks!

I generally do not consider myself terribly creative, but for some time I have had ideas to use old book pages for fun things. With Justin and I both being book lovers (read: hoarders), book decor for our graduation seemed appropriate. So I made these fun decorations from the pages of a 1940’s dictionary-style thesaurus.

What you’ll need:

  • craft knife
  • a book you don’t mind “re-purposing”
  • a stencil for the shape you want your banner pieces to be (I used a Solo cup – college students always have those laying around!)
  • a hole punch
  • raffia, string, twine, ribbon, etc.
  • markers, or watercolor paint (I used a metallic maroon marker)

It’s super easy, I promise. Take your stencil, cut out as many shapes as you need for letters, draw your letters, cut holes on either side of each letter, string them together, and hang them wherever your heart desires! I hope this offers some inspiration to y’all, since I’m getting inspired to create variations on this theme for upcoming events!

With Enthusiasm,

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healthy bites | zucchini chips even the boyfriend would love!

I am constantly trying new ideas to make foods I love taste different. This is a joy in my life, as being in the kitchen offers satisfaction, creativity, and a full belly! I live with my boyfriend and his sister, and these two are a joy to be around, but they are a bit picky about food. I love most things, and find ways to enjoy things I do not enjoy so much. This is what I’m trying to do with foods my two “roomies” don’t like – making them delicious in spite of themselves.

Thus, my recent kitchen adventure with zucchini. The latest yet enduring healthy crunch rage has been kale chips, and I have hopped onto that delightful and healthy bandwagon, too. They’re addicting, and delicious. So dare I say that I like my zucchini chips just as well? Well, I do, and I hope you will too!

Zucchini in my estimation is a delightful summer vegetable, with excellent flavor both cooked and uncooked. When you need something crunchy, but don’t want to dive into that can of Pringles, add zucchini chips to your repertoire.

What you’ll need -

  • sea salt
  • ripe, fresh zucchini – I purchase mine from local growers at the farmer’s market
  • a pan of some sort – cast iron or a regular skillet would work best
  • cooking fat – you can use olive oil, avocado oil, ghee (my personal favorite) or any oil you would ordinarily fry/saute with

Side note: I make my own ghee, and store it in the fridge. It is an excellent sauteing/frying liquid because the removal of milk solids keep the butter from burning, it offers great flavor, and in small quantities I don’t find anything wrong with it.

Slice your zucchini into thin (1/8 inch) discs like this, and then sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for 20 minutes and then rinse quickly so the water will get drawn out and they’ll get crispy:

Place a bit of your fat into your saute pan, and toss in your zucchini in to cook once the fat has heated. I found a medium-low heat worked really well, and that each side took 3-4 minutes. You’ll want a nice crisp on them, but you’ll have to watch them closely so they do not burn.

You can eat them as they are – with the salt soak you don’t really need to salt them – or you can add a variety of spices. I made some with a bit of cayenne, a bit with lemon pepper, and some with a teeny bit of coconut sugar.  Each variation was delicious, and they were a great alternative to that bag of chips in the pantry that was beckoning me to “gain weight land”.  Hope you enjoy!

Nutrition information: 1 medium zucchini (31 calories) + 1 teaspoon of ghee (45 calories) is one serving, and contains approximately 76 calories total. Pretty great considering that one serving of the Salt + Vinegar Pringles would have nailed me with 160 calories and a slew of unhealthy ingredients!