My Quest to Eradicate Cheddar and Become a Healthier Me

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Before I left for India, I wanted to experiment with a juice cleanse.  The Dailey Method sells the BluePrintCleanse, so I read some of their reviews and testimonials online.  I was a little worried because, well…can juice really give you all the nutrients you need??  Deep down, before I tried it, I didn’t think so.  However, I needed something to get back to where I was – I needed to not crave sugar, and doing it on my own wasn’t really working.  I was eating so badly after I got back from India.  I definitely took a few trips to the grocery store and bought a whole box of Andes Mints and ate all of them.  Yes…you read that right.  I ate all of them.  On more than one occasion.  Yikes!  I was definitely in a bad place.

So I went for it.  The site was pretty easy to navigate and ordering was easy.  There are 3 “levels” of cleanses: easy, medium, and hard (those are my words, not theirs).  I chose the “medium” route, doing their Foundation Cleanse for 3 days.  At first, I was thinking of doing 5 days, but I was a little scared of not eating for that long.  Everyday, I was to have 6 juices.  For the Foundation Cleanse, the order of juices everyday was as follows: (1) Green Juice (2) P.A.M – Pineapple, Apple, Mint (3) Green Juice (4)  Spicy Lemonade (5) Green Juice (6) Cashew Milk.  The nutrition facts are here.

I did this back in February, but I took pretty good notes of how I felt.   So here goes:

Day 1:

I started the day off with some warm water, which they recommended.  Then I had the Green Juice around 8:15 am.  It was actually pretty easy to get down, which was nice since this was the greenest and likely the most nutritious of all the juices.  I figured if I could get that down, everything would be pretty easy. In between my first and second juices, I had some water.  Around 10:45 am, I felt hungry again.  At 11:00 am, I had my P.A.M.  THis was absolutely delicious!  Around 12:30pm I had some green tea, which was also allowed, which held me over until 2:00 pm.  That is when I had the green juice.  At 3:30 pm, I had some more green tea.  Juice #5, Spicy Lemonade was really good and it had a great kick.  I had that around 5:20 pm.  Around 7:00 pm, I had the green juice again with 1/4 of an avocado – which was also allowed.  At 8:20 pm, I had my last juice, the cashew milk.  Timing was pretty close to the previous one, but I had it because I was supposed to finish my juice for an hour or 90 minutes before I went to bed (I forget, and I can’t find it on the website).  The cashew milk was awesome.  It was pretty thick, especially towards the end, but I’m surprised I liked it because I’m not the biggest cashew fan.  It had cinnamon in it, which was great!

The best part of the first day is that I wasn’t hungry at all!  At that time, I was feeling that I could do it for 5 days if I wanted.  However, I did do a good job of prepping beforehand by not eating really crappy.

However, I did have a dream that night that I accidentally ate some real food, hehe.

 

Day 2

I won’t get into as much detail here, but overall the day went pretty well.  I did a better job of spacing my juices out.  After having Juice #4, Spicy Lemonade, I was really starting to crave the texture of real food.

I did feel hungrier that day, however, I was drinking less water.

 

Day 3

I started my day a little later, so I was a bit worried that I was going to have to rush things.  Again, after drinking the Spicy Lemonade, I started craving texture.  I was also tired and had some headaches.  And let’s just say what was going in was definitely coming out.  By this point, I was ready to be done with the cleanse.

 

I lost about 4 lbs on the cleanse, which was nice.  However, I did gain some back after I started eating again, which made sense based on calories.  I was actually surprised that the first day was my best day in terms of how I felt.  I had read the opposite in most reviews.

I’m happy to say, though, that the BluePrintCleanse did help me to rid myself of sugar and processed foods to get back on a Paleo-ish track, which was my main reason for doing it in the first place.

I would love to hear what you guys think of my experience!

 

 

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Well, I promised some reviews about Pre-Made Paleo, so here is my first one!  Just to give a little background, Pre-Made Paleo is based out of Atlanta, and the head chef is Chef Richard Bradford.  Their meals are Whole30 Approved and they are designed to be prepared in 10 minutes!  The meals are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free, and made without refined sugar.  The meats are grass-fed, grass finished, antibiotic and hormone free,  free range and pastured.  The veggies are hand-picked, locally sourced, and organic when available.  Overall, it’s quality stuff!

I contacted Chef Richard to see if I could try some of the meals and review them.  He responded quickly and was excited to have me try them!  For this review, I’m going to talk about the delivery of the meals, ease of preparation, portion size, and, last but NOT least, taste 🙂

Delivery

I asked for the meals to be delivered to my office because I’ve had a few things “disappear” when delivered to my place in the city.  It was delivered at 10:41am and left in front of my office.  Chef  I told me that the food would be on dry ice, so it should last the day.  I put it in my car after I left work, and I didn’t return home until 9:30pm.  I was pretty afraid the meals would be thawed out.  I opened the box, and the dry ice was like magic!  The food was perfectly frozen, and I threw them in the freezer right away.

Preparation


For my first meal, I decided to have the Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, Sauteed Kale, and Sweet Potato Salad.  The “standard” is to have one protein and two veggies, unless otherwise indicated on the protein packaging.  The food can be prepared on the stovetop or in the microwave!  This was very exciting to me, especially for lunch meals in the office.  Welp, my first meal was at home, so I did it on the stove top.  Here’s a video from Pre-Made Paleo’s site to demonstrate preparation on the stovetop:

Here’s are some pics to show my preparation.  As Chef Richard indicates in the video, right out the freezer, it takes 10 minutes to cook the meats, and the veggies take 4 minutes..  If the food is thawed, it takes half the time (5 minutes for meats, 2 minutes for veggies).

My first frozen Pre-Made Paleo meal!

Turkey in simmering water

Added my veggies after 6 minutes

Then I cut open the bags and drained the excess water from the packaging and served my lunch to myself 🙂

As for ease of preparation, Pre-Made Paleo gets two thumbs up!  It was super easy, unless you think boiling water is hard.

Portion Size

Well, here was my lunch. Does it look like enough to you?  Well, it does to me.  I was satisfied with the portions before, and after my meal.

Voila! My first Pre-Made Paleo Meal 🙂

Taste

So, no for the good stuff 🙂  Before I talk about taste, I can tell you that the turkey smelled AMAZING.  I couldn’t wait to eat it!  I took a bite of the turkey, and it was seasoned well and very tasty.  I will say it was on the dry side, and I realized I made a mistake by draining the water.  I kind of did that intuitively.  However, I added a few drops of water, heated it in the microwave for a little bit, and it was MUCH better.  I would say that the dryness was definitely attributed to user error 🙂  I really love sweet potatoes, and I was pretty excited to try them.  I would have to say that they were definitely a winner as well.  The kale was yummy as far as nutrient-dense greens go 🙂  It was very moist, not too salty, not too flavorless.

Summary

I would have to say that my first experience with Pre-Made Paleo was VERY positive.  It was delivered as expected, easy to prepare, and it was quite tasty!  I can’t wait to report on their other items (hint hint: they were equally, if not more delicious).  Remember, these are frozen, shipped, and prepared meals.  I can’t say I had any expectations set, but I can say that I was very happy with meal #1.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Chef Richard did comp these meals for me.  However, my opinions are strictly my own.  I was in no way influenced to review one way or another.

If you’re interested in getting some Pre-Made Paleo meals, follow this link.  If you are outside Atlanta and in the continental US, they have 5 meal options, including a 3 meals sample option to try it out.  If you purchase their 3 month option, each meal comes to $9.50. For 10 meals, each one comes to $12.50.  This includes shipping AND the meals, which is pretty economical when you’re on the go!  In my next post, I’m going to share about eating my first Pre-Made Paleo Meal at the office.

Also, feel free to follow my blog by adding your email address below the search bar to the right, so you can be updated when I have a new post 🙂


As of Wednesday evening, I finished my first Whole30!  The reason I say “first” is because it was such a great experience, I plan to do it again.  I learned a lot throughout this past month.  I’m going to summarize my lessons and triumphs in this post, and I hope they are helpful to anyone that decides to follow suit!  Overall, you can see my progress on Pounds and Inches (between mid-July and now).  I definitely lost some pounds and inches while doing this!

1. BE PREPARED!:  There were a few times that I had to resort to making scrambled eggs for dinner.  I do love eggs, but I also have my limit 🙂  Cooking a big batch of food over the weekend and throwing it in the freezer is the best bet for preparation and to avoid temptation!

2. Ask questions:  While I did try to prepare my meals at home the majority of the time, there were some instances where I ate out in restaurants.  I always hoped that dishes would be perfectly described on the menu, but typically they were not.  I hated having to basically ask exactly how restaurants made certain dishes.   Typically, I’m not very particular with food, so I felt like I was probably perceived as being very nit-picky.  Then I realized that I’m doing this for ME.  It’s my health, and the only person that will really lose out is myself.  Before I ordered, I tried to ensure that there was no added sugar in dishes, and I always asked them to use olive oil for cooking.  Another question I typically asked is if they used any cream in the preparation.  I’m really glad I asked what was necessary because not only did it keep me Whole30 compliant, but it was also a great reminder that I’m doing this for my own well-being.

3. Hydrate!: I saw the least difference week-to-week when I was not drinking enough water throughout the day.    When I drank water, I was more full, and I noticed more loss on my body.

4. A Natural Glow:  A huge benefit from my Whole30 experience was how great my skin looked!  I’m really not trying to boast here, but it was easy to see the difference.  It looks brighter, healthier, and I had less blemishes.  Even if I forgot to wash my face at night (unfortunately, I’m guilty of this every now and then), it was still nice in the morning!  I even left the house a few times with no makeup, and I didn’t feel as “undone” as I had in the past.

5.  Well-rested:  I don’t really have trouble sleeping, however, I do typically wake up a couple times in the middle of the night and fall back to sleep.  In the past month, I truly felt that my sleep was very deep.  If I did get up in the middle of the night, it was usually after 4 am.  In the past, it happened a couple times between 1am and 3am.  The deep sleep did make it hard to wake up when I had to though.  BUT I did end up having…

6. More Energy!:  Once I dragged myself out of bed, I really felt like I had more energy throughout the day.  In turn, this increased my productivity and improved my mood.  I was also less irritable.  I really believe this was because I was putting whole foods into my body.

7. Confidence:  I really stuck to this program.  I thought people would perceive me as being extreme or picky because I was doing this.  The funny thing is, many people commended me for my commitment!  I really think that I set a good example for myself, and, in turn, it positively affected others.  I’m really grateful to whoever cooked me dinner in the past month and was kind enough to listen and comply with my requests.  I felt so confident about my ability to really stick to a plan at the end.  I always found a way to “cheat” with other diets or plans.  This really put my body AND mind to a test, and it only helped me.

As of now, I am starting to introduce non-Whole30 foods back into my diet ONE  food group at a time with the rest of my diet staying Whole30 compliant (so when I am done trying dairy, I will stop having dairy and try the next food group).  The point of this is to see how each group isolated makes me feel (Do I get a headache? Do I feel congested? Does it feel like my stomach is about to explode?).  For Days 1-3, I am re-introducing dairy, I plan on adhering to it for the most part with a few treats scattered about.  In accordance with ISWF,  I have been introducing certain food groups back into my diet to see how it affects me.  On days 4-6, I will have gluten-containin grains such as pasta and bread.  Days 7-9 I will have non-gluten rains including rice and tortilla chips.  Days 10-12 I will have legumes including peanut butter, tofu, and beans.  This is merely an experiment to see if one food group affects me more than others.  I’m looking forward to what I will discover through these little experiments.

The best part about this whole experience is that (1) I want to do it again (2) I felt so great that I plan to keep eating this way with a few “slips” here and there (3) I DID IT!


As I mentioned in my previous post, I have had various experiences with trying to get in shape. Nothing really stuck, and I just figured that working out just wasn’t my “thing”. I’m just not “one of those people” who worked out…right?

Around February of this year, I started to feel really negative and depressed about my eating habits, lack of exercise, and increasing waistline. I was sitting on my couch after watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, which was definitely motivating and inspirational in its own right, and I decided that it was time to literally get moving. Then the “reality” set in. I thought to myself, “I’ve never kept anything up, what makes me think I will this time?”, “I can’t exercise because of my foot”, and, “I’ll just eat really healthy, maybe try juicing, Weight Watchers, or just anything so that I don’t need to workout”.

Then, a recent memory popped into my head. I was having dinner with friends and overheard a friend talking about how she usually gets up early in the morning 2-3 times a week to work out. Then I realized that this friend not only is married, has a full-time job, and a home to maintain, but she also has 3 young kids. So what exactly is my excuse? That I “can’t” get up until 7am every morning because I need sleep? Hmmm…most of the world is able to get up early, so again, what is my excuse?

Then…I had a moment of clarity. I am just looking for excuses when, in reality, I have none! I knew it the whole time, but I just didn’t want to accept it.

Source

So, I finally came to ACCEPT that I have no excuses besides laziness. I want to look and feel fabulous, but I don’t want to put in any work. So I can either stay that way and pay the consequences, either now or later, or I can do what I CAN do. I have no control over what may happen in the future, but I can control what I do now.

That is how my journey towards healthy living began. I am happy to say that in less than four months I have seen positive results through exercising and eating healthier. These are not just physical changes but also mental changes. I am so much happier after I workout and throughout the day. I’m less irritable and less irritating. I am much more motivated to do work simply because I started my day off right by exercising and eating a healthy breakfast! When I feel sluggish, I drink some water or eat some fruit or nuts instead of going to the vending machine.

Sounds easy, right? HA! Not so much, but re-training habits is definitely hard work. The good news is that it gets easier! Don’t get me wrong, I have cravings for junk food and mornings that I just sleep in and don’t work out. However, I no longer allow those choices to become long-term habits.

Please share your own motivating experiences and/or challenges with keeping up regular exercise and diet. I’d love to hear them!



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