Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Life After A Cleanse

It's been about 2 weeks since I completed the 28 Days to Health Cleanse and you might be wondering...

did she go back to her old ways of eating?
is she eating a bunch of junk again?
did she lose any weight?
is she drinking coffee again?
drinking wine?
eating baskets full of bread?
is she eating all those treats she has been making?

Actually, before I tell you - let me say ever since I remember, I've been allergic to wheat and milk.  I've always known how they effect me.  Too much wheat gives me headaches and too much milk would give me very bad leg cramps.  So I was extremely curious how this cleanse would effect me by eliminating both wheat and milk from my diet.

I really felt great on the cleanse.  The first day was awful and in week 3, when you drink 3 shakes a day for 4 days - that just stunk.  Other than that - it was really good.

I have not gone back to the way I was eating.  For the most part, I'm actually staying gluten and dairy free.  I still have my protein shakes in the morning for breakfast (it's so easy and I really enjoy them).  For lunch, I'll have a salad (I am having some balsamic vinaigrette which I couldn't have on the cleanse and I'm good with that).  For dinner, I'll have chicken, steak or fish with some quinoa and asparagus or butternut squash.  I'm fascinated how my tastebuds have changed.

I lost 12 pounds on the cleanse - which I was very happy about. YAY!!  And I'm making my own Latte's with Almond Milk.  I love foam and so excited that Almond Milk foams.  No more Skinny Vanilla Lattes for me.

It would be great if Starbucks or Peet's Coffee offered Almond Milk, but for now - I'm making my own with my Nespresso.

Am I having wine again?  That would be a yes!  Have I finally tasted the treats I've been making?  I have tried them and what's interesting is that sweets are VERY sweet.  I haven't been having a ton - just nibbles here and there.  I did make this last night - we had friends over for dinner.  Tasted it just to see how it was.  It was delish!

I did make some Gluten-free cupcakes and mini-donuts as well (the frosting wasn't).  These were so yummy.  I want to work on perfecting some recipes that are gluten and dairy free.

I have found that the days that I added in wheat and dairy - I got for the most part, I'm steering clear.

All in all - it was a great experience doing the cleanse.  I hope that my posts have helped those that are on a cleanse or maybe even inspired some to actually do one.

Keep your eyes posted for more recipes...(I'll be posting here and on facebook.)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easy Affordable Flower Arrangements - Under $100

ROAR events group (my full-time job) just managed an event for one of our favorite clients.  The theme was western and we wanted something simple on for the tables.  We didn't want to work with a florist because quite frankly - they would have charged an arm and a leg.  We decided to do it ourselves.

So here is what we did -
1) Purchased 2 cases (24) 1/2 pint mason jars
2) Large batches of spring mix flowers (we made sure there were daisy's in the bunches) and 1 smaller batch of flowers
3) Raffia to tie around the jar

Total cost: $93

We had 22 tables and we really wanted something small because we had a lantern, a small bucket of Bandana mints and the flowers.

These little arrangements were so simple, but made such a huge impact on the entire setting of the event. It was just that extra little special touch that it needed.

You can read the entire post and check out all of the decor here on the ROAR events group blog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I feel GREAT!

Today was the day that I've been actually looking forward to for a week now!

I successfully completed the 28 Days to Health Cleanse.  YAY!!  I'm doing the happy dance.

I'm not gonna lie, there have been some challenging days (especially when I had to drink 3 shakes a day for 4 days).  After day 2 of the pure liquid diet - I was done.

The last day was really tough.  Your mind plays tricks on you, but I had to have the will power to stick it through to the end.

Let me give you the low-down for my last day on the cleanse.

I was at the Santa Clara Marriott all day for a meeting that I was planning for one of my favorite clients.  The event was themed Western so of course - we had to have BBQ (which people that know me in person know that I LOVE BBQ).  A simple dessert - cookies (which I LOVE sweets) and to finish off the day - a beer and WINE bar (which I LOVE wine but no drinking on the cleanse).  Then in the evening post event, I went to celebrate my dear cousin Jaimie's 30th birthday at an Italian Restaurant (which I LOVE italian food) in San Mateo.

Needless to say - there was a boat load of opportunity to just forget the last day and enjoy.

Here is what I did:
On Monday afternoon before heading to the Marriott, I packed up my 2 shakes for Tuesday in a 2 ziploc baggies, brought my now famous "Starbucks Plastic Venti Cup" and a couple of extra cups for my shakes.  Also packed these individual Almond Milk cartons which I found at Whole Foods.

Tuesday morning, I talked to our Catering Services Manager, Juliet and told her that I was on this cleanse and today was the last day and I had to get my breakfast shake blended up.  She was amazing - she wrote down my blending instructions (because after doing this for 28 days - there is definitely a science behind making the perfect shake) and brought it back to me all blended up.  It wasn't quite the way that mine look - but who am I to complain - I was so appreciative.

The lunch came and she came back over to me and said - are you ready for lunch?  Oh my goodness - yes I said I'm starving and that food for the attendees smells so good.  She brought back my chocolate shake back to me and said - this time I had a professional blend it...I had the bartender do it.  I have to say - he was a professional because it was really good (I think it might have had something to do with the fact that I was starving :)).  I stuck with water as my beverage of choice all day too!

Dinner - was at an Italian Restaurant that had the most amazing menu.  Pasta was screaming my name - but I opted for the Sole and Brussel Sprouts.  It was good - the pasta probably would have been better.  I celebrated with Jaimie toasting her 30th with water vs. wine.

I feel really good that I didn't give in and I completed this cleanse.   I feel amazingly great that I was actually able to inspire a couple of people to jump on board and do a cleanse themselves.

Special thanks to Julie at the Dailey Method for being a week ahead of all of us on the cleanse so you could tell us what to expect.  Thanks 28 Days to Health for your support as well.  I will definitely do the cleanse again...sometime. :) And thank you to my friends for all of your love and support!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yummy Yummy Treats Treats!

I had the honor of doing a little baking on Friday for one of my best girlfriends daughters Bat Mitzvah.

I have to say - I was super excited to be able to create some yummies and have them be pink and girlie!!

So what did I make...
Chocolate Chip Covered Oreos
Mini Doughnut Cupcakes
Brownie Pops

You all know how much I loved making the Brownie-O's over the holidays...if you want the recipe - click here.  Well, I saw on Becky Bakes that she made some with Chocolate Chip Cookies.  YUM! (OK - I didn't try them because I'm still on my cleanse - but the T-man had one and said - GREAT combination mom). I didn't use her recipe for the cookies - I used mine.

I test drove the mini doughnut cupcakes last week just to make sure they were going to turn out OK.  And when I made them on Friday - they came out just as good.  The only difference...PINK frosting.  I first saw this idea on the Farm Chicks blog.

Last but not least, I saw some really cute Brownie Pops on the Farm Chicks website too.  Mine didn't turn out like hers.  The Chocolate wasn't cooperating so I had to improvise.  I still think it worked.  T-man taste tested the pop with the chocolate all over and the chocolate just on the top and good thing he opted for just the chocolate on the top. :)

Now onto the fun packaging.  So all of these treats were being served at the lunch following the service. Everything had to be disposable so I was trying to figure out how to transport and serve everything.  So yup - you guessed it.  I decided to individually wrap everything.  Pink Bows and some Martha Stewart Decorative Tape along with some labels I made so everyone would know what they were eating.

This was so much fun.  It was a labor of love and I'm so happy that everyone enjoyed the treats.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken Has Never Tasted So Good!!

I'm 75% through the 28 Days to Health Cleanse...3/4 complete - only 25% more to go...if I was running a mile - I just have a 1/4 mile left.

I have to tell you - this morning I was doing the HAPPY dance.  I'm back to 2 shakes and I had CHICKEN tonight - with some yummy asparagus.  My grilled CHICKEN never tasted so good.  I was thinking about it all day today.  mmmmmm - good.

I'm going to be brutally honest - having 3 shakes a day was a...DRAG!  The first 2 days were fine - but after that, you really craved crunching something.  At least I did.  I wasn't hungry - you just wanted a little bit more than what was flowing through the straw.  I was really crabby too.

Today - WAY better!!

I went to Whole Foods and got my chicken and veggies (wanted fresh since I hadn't eaten anything solid for 4 days) and called the hubby to see if he was close so he could start the grill.  Nothing was getting between me and my chicken. :)

My asparagus and chicken was PERFECT.  I have to say - I enjoyed every bite!

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