Monday, April 23, 2012

juice cleanse, the finale

So the weekend before day 15 of our juice cleanse (Monday, 4/23), Mark and I treated ourselves to a healthy but substantial meal. We went to Prasino in La Grange, IL. I will testify that my sweet hubby who once would dream of eating mountains of meat all day everyday has changed because of this juice cleanse. He himself said that his tastebuds have changed and that he's doesn't crave mountains of meat like he used. Thank the Lord, I really didn't think that would be a healthy lifestyle for him. Not only does he not crave the gobs of steak but he also said that he is able to taste food better now and that he's now a convert to healthy eating. Whoa, behold the power of juice. This was great news to me because honestly I couldn't last much longer eating the way that we were because of his never-ending meat cravings (hence the weight gain for me).

So, anyway, back to Prasino ... wow, can I just say that we fell in love with this place?! It was a beautiful restaurant to be sure but the tables and chairs were made from salvaged wood and the hanging lights were made out of recycled cardboard (perfect nod to Earth Day). I was sold on this place based on these facts alone before I even ate a bite of food. Check it out, what a great idea:

Prasino means "green" in Greek and so they try to take this philosophy all the way from the menu to the decor. I'm a fan. Another nice touch was that the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options were clearly marked on the menu. We started off the meal with Lobster stuffed Avocado (pictured first below) with mango salsa and chili beurre fondue. It was really fresh and delicious. The sauce was killer. For our entrees, Mark had the Ancho Braised Lamb Shank (pictured second below) and I had the Bay Scallop Fettucini (pictured last below). Both entrees were DE-lish and I don't even like lamb. Mmm, the fettucini was perfectly al dente and the sauce was do die for. Mark kept dipping his bread into my sauce. We will definitely be coming back to Prasino for great food and great service and to top it off it's located in downtown La Grange which is so cute on its own.

So in conclusion, I'm so glad that Mark and I have done this juice cleanse. Even though we're at the 15 day mark I think we're going to continue juicing and eating better. Now if I could just get myself to exercise more ...

Friday, April 20, 2012

omd : west elm twig mirror

Here's the current OMD (object of my desire), West Elm's twig mirror. This would be such a great statement mirror for an entryway. I'd also love to have it because it could be easily dressed up for each season. Imagine fall leaves tucked between the twigs, or sprigs of holly and pine for the winter, or Christmas cards displayed all around the mirror, or flower blossoms or spring and summer. Too cute.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

juice cleanse, part 3

Day 6–11, 4/14-4/19: At this point the days are pretty much the same. I will say that we've noticed that the "cleansing" is often triggered by the fruit juice rather than the veggie juice. Haha, over the weekend I had to restock all the fruits and veggies ... I got a lot of funny looks from people. Imagine me with 30 apples and 20 pears and bagging all the kale they had at the market. The cashier was very interested if I was having a party of some kind. I tell her no, I wasn't. But man if I was that would be a pretty sucky party food.

Now that I've been juicing for 11 days I've got my juicing system down packed. One tip that I'd like to share is to always line your waste chute with a plastic bag. Our Breville juicer suggested this and I always do it because it makes clean up so much easier. Also, when I prep all my fruits and veggies I leave all the peels in the sink. After I'm done juicing I detach the waste chute from the juicer and then put all the peels that were left in the sink in the plastic bag along with the fibery remains of what I've juiced. This way everything neatly thrown away and your trashcan will thank you for it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

juice cleanse, the chicago diner interlude

Yeah, we're still doing the juice cleanse thing and while these pictures may look like we've falled off the band wagon all of these dishes were vegan! Can you believe it?! (I apologize for the quality of these pictures.)

This weekend we went to The Chicago Diner in Halsted, IL for dinner and were really impressed by their food. I don't know about you but when I think about eating vegan it's not a pretty picture. I mean, in CA I love going to Veggie Grill but that's not vegan. We started our meal with BBQ "wings" (pictured below) which were dang good but the real star was the vegan ranch.  Augh, I could've bought a whole bottle of that stuff. Gold, baby! For dinner, Mark had the Titanic BLT burger (picture above) and I had Chicken Fried "Steak." Both were really good and really tasted close to the real thing. I mean, sure my "steak" was a big rectangle but I really didn't care because I was eating something vegan that tasted like beef!

The most amazing part of the meal was dessert ... vegan strawberry milkshake. OMG! It was SOO good. We could hardly believe it. It was better than some full dairy shakes we've had before. I don't know how they do it but it is magic.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

juice cleanse, part 2

Day 4, Thursday, 4/12: Today is definitely the start of the "cleansing" if you catch my drift. I needed to stay near the bathroom. Luckily this phase didn't happen during work. Today I felt good non-eating wise and the food craving is not so bad. If Mark didn't want to eat dinner and just drink juice I would've been OK, I think. 

Day 5, Friday, 4/13: Today, I am definitely down one belt hole. Woo hoo! Mark had the day off today and he said he had a lot more energy than he though he would. He even worked out today and cleaned the apartment. Wow! The frequency of the "cleansing" is not as bad today but luckily once again all of this happened after work for me. The food cravings are back again and with a vengeance. It certainly didn't help that my boss bought pizza for us today. And I LOVE pizza in any form, cheap or chic. But I stayed strong and didn't eat a slice because Mark sacrificed eating Korean BBQ with his friends today as well. I had the weirdest craving to eat a bowl of spaghetti right before bed.  Solution: hurry up and go to sleep!

I thought I'd share some tips and equipment with you. The juicer we're using is a Breville Juice Fountain Plus, model JE98XL. We bought it from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $149 with a 20% coupon. We went with this brand just because of the price point and because it was the brand used in the movie. I'm sure that was part of their plan ... product placement = boost juicer sales.  We drink 2-3 servings of mostly fruit juice before the evening and 1-2 servings of veggie juice in the late afternoon and evening. Check out the Reboot Your Life website for more details and what they recommend. 

Mark and I quickly found out that while juicing is rather fun, prepping and cleaning is not. So rather than juice several times a day we decided to juice one day's worth of juice at one time to prep and clean only once a day. We store our 2-3 servings of fruit heavy (there's still veggies in there though) juice in a Takeya pitcher, one for me and one for Mark. We bought a Takeya pitcher 2-pack from Costco for $19.99 +tax. One is pictured below. I think Costco doesn't sell it online. What is great is that it's a leak-proof, air-tight pitcher that can be stored on its side. This is great because if you buy all the fruits and veggies for this cleanse your fridge will quickly fill up and there will be little space for a large pitcher sitting upright. Now you can put this pitcher on its side and store it on a small shelf in your fridge. Being air-tight is crucial because if you're juicing for the next day you really don't want your juice to oxidize and become brown and yucky. Last key feature is that the pitcher opening is wide enough for me to fit my hand in to clean, very important. Mark stores his all-veggie single serving of juice in a Blender Bottle and I store mine in a Lock and Lock container since I'm not as cool as him and don't have a Blender Bottle. ;P

Here's the mostly fruit juice that I made to fill my Takeya today:
3 BIG handfulls of spinach (not pictured)
6 leaves of kale (not pictured)
8+ small carrots, peeled
2 granny smith apples, quartered
3 anjou pears, quartered
1 lemon, rind removed but keeping the white pith, halved
2 navel oranges, rind removed but keeping the white pith, quartered
1/4 small cantaloupe, rind removed
1 cucumber 

I put the ingredients through the juicer in the order listed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

reboot your life : juice cleanse, part 1

Mark and I watched this documentary on Netflix called, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" and it was so inspiring. It's about an Australian man named Joe Cross who suffered from an autoimmune disease and was also 310 lbs. He traveled across the U.S. and drank only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days to see what would happen. It was really an amazing film with amazing results. Mark and I were really challenged because since the wedding we've both packed on some pounds and generally don't feel healthy anymore. We've decided to try to "Reboot" our lives and do a 10-15 day juice cleanse and then commit to eating better and exercising more. I say 10-15 days because we want to last 15 days but we're not sure we will be able to.

Day 1, Monday, 4/9: Mark bought our juicer and juicing ingredients while I was at work. He said he got a lot of funny looks at the market when he was piling stalks of kale and bags and bags of cucumbers and apples into his cart. An old lady even tried to tell him that what he was bagging by the bushel was kale as if he was making a mistake.  Haha Using the juicer is definitely fun but cleaning the damn thing after every use is pretty annoying.  By night time I feel hungry even though the amount of juice in one serving is pretty substantial. Surprisingly, I don't mind the taste. Monday nights, Mark and I have some TV shows that we like to watch together so it was definitely hard to watch all the commercials with food. I think I even wanted to eat some cat food that looked so delicious.  LOL I have a light headache so far but this is normal when doing a juice cleanse.

Day 2, Tuesday, 4/10: I started the day with a half serving of juice and went to work for 6 hours. I kind of felt a light headache during work but again they say this is normal. When I went to pick up Mark from his work he immediately said he needed something to eat. He has a tendency to be hypoglycemic so he needed some calories fast. On the way to dinner we decided that maybe we'd juice for breakfast and lunch but have a light dinner. This is one of the plans on the Reboot website.

Day 3, Wednesday, 4/11: I don't know if it's just me but I feel my work pants are a little bigger on me.  Not sure if I'm losing some pounds yet but I'm almost down a belt hole. Mark and I both feel that even though we're mostly just drinking the juice we still have a lot of energy. Hell, I even worked more than my usual shift and I still feel good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

unsolicited wedding advice wednesdays : the beauty department

I had no idea who Lauren Conrad was. I seriously didn't. But I'm sure you're more hip than me and you probably already know about her and The Beauty Department but just in case you don't you should check it out for all things make-up, hair, nails, and everything in between. This would be a great resource for the bride who wants a little guidance in her own hair and make-up for the big day or for her bridesmaids.  This is also a wonderful resource for the bride-to-be doing her own make-up for engagement/wedding pictures.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

date night

Mark and I have found ourselves in a pretty stressful spring. We've definitely clung to each other for love and support during this time. It reminds me why I married this sweet guy nearly a year ago (crazy!). One of the things we like to do to treat ourselves is to go out to dinner. If Mark chooses the place it will either be: steak, buffet, or sushi. This time it was sushi ... love sushi.

Monday, April 9, 2012

spring pop!

All the neon lately takes me back to Junior High when I had a pair of neon green shorts. I got made fun of them even back then. Haha, but I digress...

I bought this cute little bag from Target for $19.99 in neon orange. It's pretty rare when I don't find a bag at Target that I don't want to steal. But don't worry, I paid for this one.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

unsolicited wedding advice wednesdays : shop sweet lulu

This is just a little taste of the glory, guys.  Check out SO MUCH more at Shop Sweet Lulu for the cutest little details for any party, event, or wedding. Need glass milk bottles? Check! Need cute favor bags? Check! Need those perfectly round balloons? Check! Need cute cupcake liners? Check! Need adorable food containers? Check! Augh, if only I had money!

(top to bottom)
Polka Dot Candy Cups - $4 for 20 cups (single color) or 18 cups (rainbow mix)
Dotty Gable Boxes - $1.75 each
Bright Stripes Ice Cream Spoons - $8 for a pack of 20
Chevron Favor Bags - $5.50 for 20 bags (single color)
FarmStand Milk Bottles - $30 for 12 bottles

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

online love : west elm

I love West Elm. I've only recently heard about the store because I think the nearest one to me in CA is in LA so I had never even heard of it. But now I have one down the street. It reminds me of a mix between Anthropologie, Pier 1 Imports, and Crate and Barrel. I seriously LOVE their stacked apothecary jars (above). How cute would these be for a wedding candy bar?! Love it. Here are some other beauties that I really liked.


row 2:

row 3:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

online love : fossil

If you know me well you know that I love Fossil. I love their bags, I love their watches, I love it all. I've owned several watches and bags in my lifetime and I even own a Fossil men's bag. Haha 

I am loving the new Maddox Organizer Flap bag. SERIOUSLY, I'll take one of each color, please! So cute and what I really like is the option to "lock" the flap with the turnlock closure. 

Below are two other cute little gems that I really liked on the website.  The new Vintage Re-Issue Messenger bag and the cutest little coin purse you ever did see, the new Vintage Re-Issue Frame Coin. I promise, I'm not a paid advertiser for Fossil. Although, if they're reading, I totally would be. ;P

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