Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Valentine's Day - Gift Guide with Deals!!!

I previously wrote about a great gift idea for your beau here.  However, there are a lot of deals popping up, recipes to try, and crafts to do, so I thought I'd provide a list of some of them over the next week.  And hey, if you don't have a significant other, you can still do something for yourself right?  Loving you is the most important.  And who wouldn't want an edible arrangement, amiright??  Yeah, I totally thought about getting myself one, not even going to lie (I might still do it, just sayin...).

Without further ado, here are some gift suggestions that just happen to be discounted right now to help you find the perfect gift for your love (even if that love happens to be of the four-legged variety).

Monday, January 27, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Wrap Up & Book Review

Well, I didn't make it all 21 days (sadness).  The night of Day 19 (last Friday) we went out and I splurged at Max's Wine Dive.  It was a HUGE mistake.  Then on Day 20 I was ok but then we went out to celebrate a friend's birthday and I cheated again which was an even BIGGER mistake.  Due to those cheats, I was miserable all weekend.  By Sunday I was back to being good because seriously, EFF THAT!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 18 - Chicken Thigh Drama

I survived Day 18!  It is definitely getting harder to stick to it as I approach the finish line.  I'm getting that "isn't 18 days good enough??" feeling.  But then I remember...

I want to succeed most and lose some weight.  So my cravings and laziness need to shut up!  Day 18 was a little un-fun though, thanks to a surprise chicken issue when I went to make dinner.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 17 - Apple Pie Smoothie and N'Oatmeal

My gosh, I can't believe I've made it 2 1/2 weeks!  How crazy is that?  I have definitely felt like throwing in the towel (like on Day 16) but I've done so well it would be a terrible waste to call it quits.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.  I also try to remember this:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 16 - Toughing It Out

Day 16 was really unremarkable except for the fact that I was miserable to the point of tears, but on a happier note, I got some good deals online shopping.  At any rate, I hate to be negative, but right now I'm just so very exhausted, I'm tired of spending almost my entire evening on most nights cooking and then cleaning from cooking.  I want something easy like a pbj to eat for dinner, just for one day to give me some breathing room.  No muss, no fuss.  That's not really possible when you want to be healthy though.  One thing that helped me not give in last night was hearing from P that the reason he hasn't been cheating is because I'm setting such a good example, that if he was going it alone he wouldn't be as accountable and wouldn't be as strict with eating healthy.  I think the only thing that is keeping me going at this point is sheer mental will-power.

Monday, January 20, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 15 - Double Pork Tenderloin and Brussels

Let the countdown begin, less than a week to go!  Today was another consistent day.  I am happily de-bloated and feeling a lot better.  Since I was lazy this weekend I didn't have anything prepped for breakfast or lunch.  This resulted in greek yogurt with a green tipped banana sliced over it for breakfast, and Applegate lunch meat and some celery with almond butter for lunch.  Not that fancy, but it worked.

I definitely wanted a drink after work which isn't that unusual, it helps me de-stress and get my mind refocused from work to enjoying my time at home.  I grumpily did not act on that desire though.  Instead I set out to make Double Pork Tenderloin, modified from the 21DSD book, and Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, modified from Ina Garten's recipe, for dinner tonight.  

I'm going to share both of these recipes with you, and I hope you enjoy them.  I promise both are pretty easy but seem fancy.  

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 14 - Valentine's Gift Idea

My Day 14 was pretty uneventful and lazy.  In the sad news department, I'm still having cravings.  I just remind myself that I shouldn't be a cheater and I'll just disappoint myself.  Then I make some tea which for some reason helps the cravings go away a bit.

Traditional Medicinals tea and my NOLA mug, yummm.
For Day 14 I spent most of the day watching football (go Broncos!), putting a dent in my Perrier stash from Sam's, and working on my Valentine's gift for P.  P if you're reading this, don't read the next part or your gift will be ruined!!!

...are you still reading?!  You better not be.  You know I'll know!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 13 - Asparagus 2 Ways

According to my daily 21DSD email, I should be noticing improvements in my mood and energy and should "ride the wave."  I feel pretty much the same though except for the whole soy incident.  Sorry to burst any bubbles but yeah, been pretty consistent!  I still have cravings for fruit and pastries and alcohol, but it gets easier to ignore them the longer I eat healthy.

As I mentioned previously, we got a TON of groceries today for plenty of healthy eating to come.  I had the Apple Pie Smoothie out of the 21DSD Cookbook this morning.  I forgot to add water and didn't have the protein powder (costs too much) but it was pretty tasty!  I didn't take a picture because it wasn't that attractive looking (the cinnamon turned it a brown color).  The apple made it kind of fibrous though so you sort of drank/chewed it?  I also made bacon for P but then he insisted I have some eggs and bacon with him so it was a big big breakfast (no need for lunch because of that!).  

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 12 - Thinking About the Future

Day 12 done! I have almost 2 weeks under my belt of healthy eating, and today (Saturday) we were supposed to do our weigh-in.  We were in a rush to get to Sam's early though and totally forgot, so tomorrow will have to do.  I hope I'm still beating P, mwahahaha!  But if I'm not I'm still proud of me for making a serious move towards a healthier lifestyle (even though making pbjs for meals WOULD save a lot of time and taste delicious).  Gotta invest in yourself if you want better things down the road.

According to the 21DSD book, I should be over any cravings for sweets/bread/etc. at this point.  I'm going to be honest and say that's just not the case, at least for me.  I want those things, I just want to be healthy more.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Favorite Friday

I've decided to start a feature called Favorite Friday, to showcase some of my and my friends' favorite things, so you can find some cool and interesting stuff!  It won't be regular right away since I need to get my blog back on course after the 21DSD, but I did want to post this tonight instead of my Day 12 musings (those will come tomorrow!) for a change of pace.  So here goes - some of my favorite not so average kitchen things!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 11 - Halfway There!

Day 11, the halfway point, only 10 days to go!  This is immediately what I thought of when I woke up this morning:

Yes, I'm a huge nerd.  If you haven't figured that out yet, let the above cat picture serve as proof.  At any rate, I can't believe I've lasted this long.  It's been tough at times, especially when I want a Starbucks Cheese Danish or a drink at the end of a long day. What's helped is positive self-talk.  Self-talk is basically just talking to yourself, checking in with YOU.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 10 - In the Swing of Things

Yay I've made it to Day 10!!  Most importantly, this happened today:

I definitely didn't anticipate getting Crazy Harry, but such is life...excuse me while I go blow up something.  Just kidding-ish!  Click on the pic to find out which Muppet you are and share below.  This is obviously the most important thing you'll do today.  Also, it's Wednesday!  Halfway through the week and also about halfway through my 21DSD.  So what pearls of wisdom have I gleaned from detoxing today?

What Do Food Labels Mean?

In my quest to start eating "healthy" and less processed foods, I've been exposed to a lot of food terms, some of which really didn't make sense to me. They're vague and ambiguous.  Wow that was so lawyer-y.  But it's true.  You've probably been bombarded with tons of these food terms too: "organic," "hormone free," "antibiotics free," "grass-fed," "GMO," "natural," "pesticide load," "free-range," "cage-free" AHHHHH it can drive you nuts!  What do these terms ACTUALLY mean?  How are we supposed to know what is ok to consume and what is potentially harmful to us?

For starters, let's look at pesticide loads, because you've probably heard about this and don't realize it.  This is best considered with a chart showing what produce is "dirty" - having a high pesticide load, and what is "clean" - having little to no pesticide load:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 9 - Perfectly Grilled Chicken

Day 9 WOOOOO!!! Tomorrow I will have made it to the double digits AND almost the halfway point of this detox.  I'm so proud of me right now for not giving in or giving up when things got tough and exhausting and frustrating.  

I am that girl that "goes on a diet" for like a week and then cheats on the weekend and throws in the towel only to start over again months later.  I am that girl that says "I'll start going to the gym" and goes 4 or 6 times and then "gets too busy."  But not this time my friends.  Every day I stick to this detox I realize I DO have the determination to improve my health and it IS possible to make changes.  I'm starting to actually feel good about "me" and that in turn is making me a happier person.  What is different this time though?

Monday, January 13, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 8 - Figuring Out Issues

Did anyone see the drunkfest that was the Golden Globes last night? It was HIGHLY entertaining, got my mind off those bread cravings real well.  I didn't tune in til about halfway through, and then P was like "whaaat?  They drink and THEN accept awards??" And I'm like hell yeah that's why it's so awesome at least one trainwreck WILL happen.  So I'm pretty sure next year we'll have an official viewing of the Golden Globes in all of its drunken glory.  Maybe I'll even write up a Golden Globes drinking game (I need to share with you some movie drinking games I've made, but they'll have to wait until after this detox).  ANYWAY, on to business...

Day 8 has proved challenging.  In part I think it's because I wasn't totally in love with everything I made yesterday, so eating leftover versions that didn't heat up well made eating really not fun and only done out of necessity so I didn't pass out in the middle of work. Just FYI, that quiche doesn't heat up so great. It got all stiff and so the texture was really unpalatable.  I kind of just picked at it til it seemed like I ate enough to make it to lunch and chucked the rest.  Then the reheated meatballs were just dry, and screaming for some sauce.  I'm also really not in love with that cabbage slaw, the amount of lime juice in it just makes it really acidic and it becomes sort of one-note acid flavor.  In fact, I am so not into it that I ended up chucking the rest unfortunately.  I hate that because it is literally throwing money away.  Live and learn - not a fan of red cabbage and lime juice.

I think that this is at least part of the reason I'm really unhappy on this detox right now.  I'm pretty sure I've identified the other, MAIN REASON that I'm unhappy though, thanks to chit-chatting with a friend.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 7 - Bread Please

I have officially completed one whole week of the detox.  Two more weeks to go!  We are really enjoying the recipes for the most part and I'm certainly enjoying the health benefits I've experienced so far.  I must admit though, today I am craving something bread-y.  A muffin, a pbj, some flour tortillas dipped in queso, or some ravioli.  I just really want that bread!  And possibly cheese...I tried to satisfy my cravings by making "Apple Streusel  Egg Muffins" for a snack this afternoon.  But when I bit into one, all I could think was that it needed sugar, and wasn't the texture I wanted.  SIGH.  Stupid cravings!  So what's a girl to do?

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 6 - Making Up My Own Recipes

Well, I succeeded through Day 6, and I'm no worse for wear due to my cheats from Friday. Saturday morning I had bacon and eggs for breakfast.  Also, we did our first weekly weigh-in for our 12 Week Weight Loss Challenge (minus the weigh-in for our starting weights) and guess who's a winner this week?  Oh yeah, this girl!  

After breakfast I did an assessment of what food we had left from my ridiculous Whole Foods shopping last Sunday, and what I would need to go buy to get us to payday (this detox is NOT cheap).  We actually really did eat all the food I bought, and that's a bit ridiculous cost-wise for ONE WEEK and TWO PEOPLE.  I don't know about you guys, but I don't have $1,000+ to spend on groceries every month.  With that in mind, I checked out the suggested Week 2 Menu, took some of those recipes, and then browsed through the book to add in some more affordable recipes, as well as considering some of the things I normally cook that we could eat.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 5 - Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

I'm a bit late in recapping my Day 5 experience, but suffice to say I unfortunately cheated twice on Friday.  I didn't eat any pumpkin though...that would've been tasty.    But that's the saying so let's roll with it!  This is also where I got my "daily lesson" which I'll discuss after the jump.

The best part about Day 5 was that for one dinner I finally didn't have to cook and do dishes.  P took me out for a date night at a Paleo restaurant here in Dallas.  It was fantastic!  I'm so lucky to have a partner who believes in date nights.  Just because you're in an established relationship doesn't mean you should give up doing things for each other, going on dates, making out like teenagers (but with more skill), or taking care of yourself and each other.  That's another reason I wanted to do the 21DSD, I want to look good again for my partner, else the whole dating period was really a load of false advertising, don't you think?

Friday, January 10, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 4 - Oh What A Day

Yesterday I successfully completed Day 4.  Unfortunately, it's been a rather long, not-so-fun week this week.  I was reminded of this book yesterday evening, because it basically described my day perfectly:

Anyone else remember this book? Wish I could've stayed in bed!
I'm surprised I've managed to stick to this detox with all the personal stress I have going on right now.  I think that, more than anything, speaks volumes as to how badly I want this to work and how good I'm already feeling.  I feel that people have to be ready and willing to change to be successful at it.  Lesson #4 - your heart has to be in it if you're going to be successful, otherwise it feels like a drag and you get resentful and ultimately quit!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 3 - Golden Beets With Crispy Herbs

First of all, I overhauled my blog!  I hope you like the new look.  Also, some interest has been expressed in me recording every day of my detox journey so I'm going to go ahead and try to do so.  Hopefully you will get a picture of what changes can happen from the average American diet to something much healthier.

Add some protein to the picture on the left and that's where I'm headed!

With that in mind, according to the 21DSD emails which I get every morning, this is what was in store for Day 3:

YOU MAY EXPERIENCE: Fatigue, cold- and flu-like symptoms, low blood sugar, or self-doubt. Day 3 is the beginning of some of the hardest days for most folks!  Just know that this reaction is common and will subside within a few days. Focus on the positives that are ahead—liberation from your cravings and a healthier you inside and out.

Not exactly the morning inspiration one would hope for!  But the day ended pretty well.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 2 - WTF am I doing?

It's the end of Day 2.  19 more days to go.  To be clear, I want to provide a realistic and honest picture of how your average working person deals with this detox.  So if the following seems a little complainy, I hope you understand that I'm providing context to this detox, not just saying how great it is for my body and tra-la-la everything is peachy and full of healthy wonderment.  MOVING ON.

Last night, I got home from work, walked my sweet puppies, and then proceeded to spend HOURS in my kitchen preparing meatloaf and cooking it and then making other food to have on hand for today.  At the end of kitchen-ing, I took a shower and got in bed.  Seriously from the time I got home til the time I got in bed, I was essentially entirely in the kitchen.  This evening, a repeat of that, with a work crisis and insane stress thrown in whilst trying to prepare food for tomorrow morning.  P - who has a trial tomorrow - was even helping with my work crisis.  But it gets better *sarcasm*...

Monday, January 6, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - The Beginning DUN DUN DUN!!!

Today is Day 1 of this crazy detox challenge! I'm halfway through the day and finally munching on my prepared lunch.  Honestly the three recipes I've had so far have turned out pretty tasty, much to my surprise and relief.  I started things out with a pretty negative outlook yesterday, and this is why:

Yesterday was Day 0.  Day 0 under the plan is the day you buy your groceries and do some prep work for your meals so you don't end up with nothing to eat.  I decided that, at least for the first 7 days, I would follow the suggested meal plan and grocery list as closely as practicable, so I could give an honest assessment of how things worked out.  Just looking at the grocery list though, I immediately felt disheartened. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Young, Successful, and Fat - My Decision to Try the 21 Day Sugar Detox

NOTE: This post was originally shared on Bottle Dottle but I moved it here and I'll provide a "day to day" account of the Detox.

Hi, my name is Cassidy.  I am “fat.” At least according to those truly demotivational “BMI Charts.”

Me, January 2, 2014
My dad died in October 2012.  While it’s crappy to make excuses, I went into “survival mode.” I just wanted to drink to make it better, eat comfort foods, and be with friends.  I didn’t look at the scale for months.  While my dad was dying I happened into a life-changing relationship.  Talk about ups and downs!  Being in love while being totally eviscerated by the loss of the most influential person in my life?!  It was a disaster!!!  And then it seemed out of the blue my clothes didn’t fit and I weighed a whopping 35 pounds more!  How could this happen??