Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Experience with a 4(ish) Day Juice Cleanse

photo courtesy of (edited)
Earlier this year I decided to try out a juice cleanse. I had actually wanted to do one since November 2012, but I had finals, then my birthday, then Christmas...and I would NEVER put myself through the agony of foregoing my mother's hot apple brie. I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. So it got pushed until the beginning of January and I decided to give it a try. I made it through three entire days, then the on the fourth I started breaking the fast slowly. Here are some of my findings:

Day 1: Hunger by noon. Headache by 3pm (from lack of coffee). Flu symptoms by 5 pm. Had to babysit, which actually helped keep my mind off of eating since I wasn't in my normal environment, and was crafting cute hair clips with my brother's girlfriend's 10 year old daughter. I had about 4 8 oz servings of juice that day, all homemade. No bowel movements that day.

Day 2: SUPER HUNGRY. I woke up and felt sick. Pounding headache. Definitely did not not work out that day. Made lots of juice, and actually made some almond milk as well. Coffee date with my besty helped relieve me, and I just brought along a bottle of juice to appease myself. I showed him how to make almond milk afterwards, which he thought was pretty rad. No bowel movements until late in the day.

Day 3: Sick of making juice, and not quite as hungry. Well, still hungry but in a different way. Like I could feel the hollowness of my body and drinking juice made me less hungry, but not satisfied. Made it through the day, and even through babysitting for my neighbors, which is usually when I go to town on their yummy organic snacks (after the kids are in bed). I was good, though, and stayed true to the cleanse.

Day 4: I planned to stop the cleanse, especially since I had my medical school interview at GW two days later and didnt' want to have any mental blurriness for the event. I broke the cleanse at about noon with some cucumber slices and avacado. Later that day I had more avacado and salad, but no meat or grain yet.

Day 5: I pretty much ate normally, just lighter on meats and breads. I did have some coffee in the morning, and I found that It tasted delicious even without my normal sugar or creamer. Just some hot foamy milk and cinnamon.

Overall, I found the experience to be an excellent, reaffirming task for myself. I lost about 5 lbs, learned how to make almond milk and juice, tested my willpower, and honed in on what my tastebuds can really do without all the processed junk holding them back.

I would highly recommend everyone try this at least once, but choose a chunk of time where you don't have any difficult tasks. Maybe a long weekend would be best.

To finish up this post, here's how I made the juices for my fast. I altered them based on what I had, added some stuff, whatever worked at the time!

Basically you'll need apples, lemon, cucumber, and kale. For every recipe! Based on what you like you can add celery, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, beets, carrots, limes, cilantro, tomatoes, berries, ginger root, mint etc.

I usually used a lot of kale and apples, with some mint, carrots, and lemon. I have a vitamix, so I just stuffed it all in there, and then strained it through an old pillowcase to get the juice part. If it sounds a little crude, it's because it was. Not to mention time consuming. At some point I'll buy a juicer, but that definitely won't be before I get an espresso machine, so pillowcases and juice pulp are fine for now.

Let me know if you have any questions! Seriously, I'll reveal anything to you without shame (even the gross parts).

Good luck!

Outside Workout

It looks so beautiful outside from my desk! It's just a trick, however, since my computer screen reads a chilly 32 degrees F. Lies. Anyways I thought it would be nice to post a little guide for an outside workout. Have you ever tried a segmented mile? It's a lot harder then it looks on paper. Give it a try, use a track if you don't have a watch with mileage capabilities.

The picture in the background is right outside of Sugarloaf Mountain, MD. A few friends, Sadie, and I went hiking there last summer with a backpack full of beer. It's actually a really hard trail, and we ended up hiking for about 4 hours, so the beer wasn't as fun as we thought it would be... It did get easier, however, as the beers were finished, since we didn't have extra weight on our backs! 

There's also a great winery, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, right next to the trails, which of course we couldn't pass up after we were done our sweat session!

This is from the peak of the mountain: 

Lower Body Workout for tonight

I used this awesome webiste, PicMonkey, to create this little lower body workout guide.

The picture behind it is a picture I took of the Eye of London. So pretty!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Missing the Summer...

Not to be a complainerson or anything, but I was looking through some pictures from this past Summer, and I came across some from a short trip I took to Deep Creek Lake. My friend and I went up to clean the carpets of my parents' lakehouse, and to take Sadie to the vet there (Pineview Veterinary is absolutely the best vet I've been to, and they hardly charge over cost for anything). It's about a 3 hour drive for us, but it saves us vet bills like WOAH (even with the added gas money).

Not to mention there's a lake and docks for lying out and enjoying some adult beverages.

I miss dis:
Sadie after swimming in the lake. She only discovered she loves to swim about a year ago. Silly pup. 

My experience with Vibrams and minimus shoes

photo courtesy of 

My experience with Vibrams

I started wearing Vibram Bikilas in Fall 2011 because my boyfriend at the time had been wearing them for a year and was really happy with the way they were affecting his strength training.I was hesitant (hence me waiting a year to try them!) but I had been having some chronic knee pain while running, so I thought I'd give them a try. I have also had some issues with shin splints in the past, so I wasn't sure if it would be a great fit for me. I took my time and read a lot about transitioning into them, and so I went really slow.

The first week I only wore them in the house and to walk my dog on short walks. The first time I tried running in them I felt like some sort of baby antelope trying to run for the first time. The pattern of running is so different then the heel-strike I was used to from all the built-up heels of my past running shoes. My first "run" was only about 1/10 of a mile. And I was still sore! Immediately I felt the tightness in my achilles, and then after pushing for a little it moved up into my mid-calves. It feels like you are running in sand and ripping your calves apart. Especially if you are like me and had the horrible heel strike pattern in the past, when you start using a mid-foot strike it's like a whole new game.

 Just as a disclaimer, I am NOT a runner in any sense of the word. I run at the most a 5k at a time. It took about 6 months to be comfortable running my normal amount outside,and a little less time for the treadmill to feel good. Even after I had re-trained my muscles and re-shaped my long bones in their socket (which by the way is why you must go REALLY slow or risk fractures), I still had issues with my calluses not building up high enough to avoid blisters on the bottom of my feet every run.

 After working in my vibrams for about 18 months I decided to move on to minimus shoes, so I could see if adding socks back into my life would help my distressed feet-skin. I started with New Balance's 730 model because I read good reviews, and it was on the cheaper side(around $65) so if I hated it I wouldn't feel too much buyer's remorse. I transitioned from Vibrams to the 730's with no issues, my normal runs were immediately doable. One thing about Vibrams is that, depending on where you live and workout, you're pretty much going to get barraded with questions and looks every time you enter the gym. It's actually pretty bothersome. In addition, I really wasn't using my individual toes per se, and the only beneficial part to the toe divisions is that it allows your foot to splay naturally. I found with the 730's that the toe box is wide enough that it allows the same separation and so I don't miss anything from the Vibrams.

Whether you decide to try out Vibrams or some other type of minimus shoe, I definitely recommend ditching the larger heel and padding of classic running shoes-- especially if you've experienced pain running or lifting. I have found that lifting weights- especially squatting and deadlifts- has gotten SO much easier for me since switching. I never feel like I'm off-balance or wobbly like I used to when I wore my old running shoes (which I know you're not supposed to wear while lifting, but who's going to bring two pairs of shoes to the gym? Not me!). Here are my current New Balance 730's:

photo courtesy of
So just to summarize my findings between Vibram Five Fingers and Minimus shoes: I don't see any benefit to wearing the Vibrams over a minimus shoe. I wish I had gone to a regular sneaker first, and it would have saved my feet from a lot of blisters. If you have a different experience with either type of shoe, please let me know! I would love to hear some other opinions about Vibrams, Minimus, or more typical running shoes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beer and Bacon

I attended a "Beer and Bacon tasting" last night! I bought it through Livingsocial as a birthday gift for my boyfriend. He's a little snobbish about his beer, but rightly so since he's been videoblogging on craft beers for a couple years now. So I was a little worried about whether it would be trivial for him (and I'm no spring chicken either on the topic of beer). 

When we pulled up we weren't even sure we were in the right place. It was held at a Knights of Columbus meeting hall since it was put on by a catering company that didn't have a facility big enough. We were seated at long tables facing the front of the room classroom-style, and each course was introduced along with a beer. They had an affiliation with Flying Dog, so 5 out of 8 beers were from their brewery. The food was good, but the portions were a little on the small side. Needless to say we went to Chipotle afterwards :) It was definitely worth the Livingsocial price, but I would have been disappointed had I paid $150 for our admission. 

Anyways, now I have to try to make caramelized bacon popcorn. YUM.

Recipe/pictures to follow. My favorite beer of the night was SnakeDog, and IPA by Flying Dog. 

picture courtesy of
This beer has a delicious hoppiness to it, a really nice IPA. If you don't think you like IPA's maybe you should try eating them with a meal that has a little fattiness to it. It really complimented the dish with which they served it: a sage pork sausage with bacon milk-sauce and wine-reduced brussel sprouts. 

Meet my wolf

This is Sadie. She is a three-year-old Red Siberian Husky. I adopted her from a sad and lonely crated existence when she was nine months old, and we've been bros ever since. The part of our relationship that was rocky was the dreaded walk. If you're a husky owner I'm sure you know the "You pull me, I pull back harder" mentality, and it is not fun. When I first got her we did the normal Petsmart puppy training, which was great for sit and stay, but did nothing for her loose leash walking. Then we hired a personal trainer for a cool $450 and three hour-long sessions. I should have gotten my money back.

Last spring my mom saw a video from a website which led us to take a course with Off Leash Training in June 2012, and it's been awesome! She's the kind of dog that needs a little more encouragement with training, so the e-collar was my saviour. It was definintely our last resort after spending about $750 on different trainers to get her leash-etiquette in check...and it surely wasn't cheap, but it was the only program that worked! So now I don't dread walking her in the slightest! I don't even leash her, she just walks right next to my left leg without complaining. In the summer we hike at least twice a week, and I can't wait until it's warm again to get our butts moving on the trails!

About my blog

I am currently sitting at work, listening to Passion Pit and waiting for the phone to ring. This is why I decided to start a blog. Because I browse Pintrest each day to decide on a new project for the evening. Since getting a desk job I live in the evenings. And the weekends, but those are mostly for home improvement shows, eating, and laundry. I read lots of blogs about beauty and health, cooking and fitness, and pictures of dogs with sarcastic captions and think, I could totally do that. So I am. I am deciding to be happier, more open, and busier with taking pictures of all my little projects that keep me titillated with excitement for the evening.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog, along with the many others you probably browse as well. (This is a picture of me and Mu, the emu. He lives on the farm where I worked for the past 3 seasons).