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I Miss You LA

20 Oct

Hello my long lost friends!

Yes, it’s been a while since my last post. After a long stint in LA, I’m back on the east coast. Although it’s good to be home, I miss the sunshine and peace and quiet. What better way to welcome myself home than with a tribute to some of my favorite things in LA. I’ll be back soon but in the meantime, please keep these places company for me.

 

While the coffee wars rage on in LA just like everywhere else, Caffe Luxxe beat out all the competitors in my eyes. I’m partial to the Brentwood Country Mart location with its outdoor seating and proximity to Bar Method. 🙂

Soy Latte Caffe Luxxe

This one is random but, I couldn’t stop eating the nut mix at the bar at Intercontinental. Spicy and salty, it’s the perfect pairing with a glass of Cakebread.

I didn’t last a day without a juice from Pressed Juicery . Greens 3 rocks, as does almond milk, watermelon juice and a bunch of the detoxes. Mmmmmmm.

Greens 3, Pressed Juicery

I love Kreation Kafe for serving organic eggs all day, a tough thing to find. This egg white breakfast wrap is my favorite, full of mixed greens, grilled corn, and salsa, it’s filling and energizing right after a spin class at Revolution Fitness.

Egg white breakfast wrap at Kreation Kafe

I could eat this any day of the week: crusty grilled bread with creamy burrata and glass of Liocco at Sotto

Housemade bread with burrata

My favorite Pilates studio in LA: Winsor Pilates (I prefer the Brentwood location b/c it has ample parking!!)

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Three-day Pressed Juicery Cleanse

11 Aug

As promised, here are a few nuggets on my 3-day Pressed Juicery cleanse. Obviously, I survived.

Although I’ve done quite a few cleanses, this one threw me for a loop. I was absolutely exhausted the first two days. True to my idiot form, I didn’t follow their suggestion to cut back on my workouts, so by day two, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I had a few headaches during the day and passed out by 9pm. By day three, I smartened up and cancelled my workout. By then, I was energized and excited to feel a little lighter.

The cleanse consists of:

  • 6 (16 oz) bottles of juice per day
  • 1 (16 oz) aloe vera water
  • 1 (16 oz)  chlorophyll water

Grand total of 8 bottles or 128 oz a day. That’s a lot of peeing, my friends. Stay close to the potty.

I chose to do a three-day, but you could do more or less. I opted for Cleanse #2, and picked it up in Brentwood.You can pick up all of the drinks at once, or pick them up daily, whatever your fridge can hold!  Considering that the juices replace all meals and snacks, I don’t think $50 for eight drinks is astronomical. Granted, I saved by not having it delivered. Delivery is about $70/day.

Here’s the order of drinks for Level 2:

  1. Greens
  2. Detox
  3. Roots
  4. Detox
  5. Greens
  6. Almond Milk
  7. Aloe Vera Water
  8. Chlorophyll Water throughout the day

For each drink, you can choose between Greens 1 (no apple & lemon) or Greens 2 (with apple & lemon), Roots 1 (with beet) or Roots 2 (no beet), and Detox 1 (lemon, cayenne, filtered water) or Detox 2 (pineapple, pear, ginger, mint). Each cleanse ends with Almond Milk. Those familiar with Blue Print and other cleanses know the nut milks are like dessert. I look forward to it all day. For my cleanse, I went with Greens 2, Roots 2, and a Detox 1 and Detox 2. I really like that you can customize it based on your tastes.

I love Greens 2 so much that next time, I’m tempted to do Cleanse #3 since it’s primarily Greens. The apple really sweetens it up and cuts through so you don’t get the bitterness of the greens, while the added lemon brings a citrusy brightness to it. I tried Greens 1 before I did the cleanse and it was a tough one for me. This is coming from someone who loves almost any Greens juice. I found myself chugging it down to get it over with. It’s very bitter and the parsley and celery are quite dominant. Greens 2 on the other hand, I savor and relish every sip. 🙂 Amazing what a difference a little apple and lemon can make.

Greens 2 Pressed Juicery

Roots 2 Pressed Juicery

The only part of the cleanse I wasn’t obsessed with were the Detox juices. Detox 1 is so tart, it actually made my taste buds and lips hurt by the time I finished it. I imagine this is what my mouth would feel like after sucking on a dozen lemons. Detox 2 is incredibly sweet, almost nauseating. If I had to choose, I’d probably go with Detox 1 and take tart vs. cloying sweet.

Detox 1 Pressed Juicery

Detox 2 Pressed Juicery

Almond Milk Pressed Juicery

The Chlorophyll water has apple extract in it which sounds good, but is virtually undetectable. This stuff is bland, and almost flavorless. It basically tastes like water, but it’s a cool color and made me feel like I was putting something good in my system.

From PressedJuicery.com – [Chlorophyll] Helps in the growth and repair of tissues. Delivers magnesium and stimulates red blood cells to improve oxygen supply. Contains vitamins A, C, and E. Helps neutralize the pollution that we breathe in – a good supplement for smokers. Also an effective deodorizer to reduce bad breath and body odor.

Chlorophyll Water

Aloe Vera Water is the very last juice of the day. According to their website, [Aloe Vera Water] helps to detoxify the body and blood stream and cleanse the colon. Helps with intestinal or stomach problems. Improves circulation and acts as a antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent, preventing illness. In theory, it’ll keep things “moving” throughout the night. It was tasteless to me, but I didn’t have any tummy issues so perhaps it worked.

Overall, this was one of the most productive cleanses I’ve ever done. By the third day, I felt the energy coming back. I added the anti-oxidant supplement. I don’t know if it did anything, but mentally made me feel better.  I don’t know if I lost weight or not, perhaps a little water weight, but I definitely am less bloated, my skin is clear, and those late day sweet cravings have been silenced (for now).

The first day post-cleanse I actually kept juicing for a majority of the day and really wanted to keep going. Sadly, dinner plans meant I had to break the cleanse, but I have continued to juice during the day until dinner time. It’s now been a week since the cleanse and I’m still incorporating one to two juices into my daily routine. I’m looking forward to my next Pressed Juicery cleanse!

Pressed Juicery: Juiced to ImPRESS

4 Aug

It’s not news that I love juicing. Blue Print Cleanse has always been my cleanse of choice on the east coast. But in LA, it was hard to swallow (pun intended) the hefty delivery fees, or the limited pick-up days at Exhale. So, my search began for a local LA juice company to test out. And boy, did I find it.

Pressed Juicery is a tiny, hole in the wall, in Brentwood. Literally, it’s a closet with a cute barn door. There’s just enough room for a cash register, a person, two stand up coolers filled with juice, and a wall of supplements/elixirs. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Ok, the guy on the phone kind of ruins the rusticness of it, but you get the idea. Good things do come in small packages. And I love any place where I can bring my dog, and eat.

Pressed Juicery, Brentwood

True to their promise “designed for your everyday life”, their menu offers flexibility unlike any juice program I’ve tried. Want your juice delivered? They can do that. Prefer to pick-it up in Brentwood? You can do that too. Not ready for a full-on cleanse? No problem. You can buy juices individually so you can test out as many as you like.

Pressed boasts 17 signature juices like Almond Milk (my fave), Blueberry Coconut Pear, Greens, and Roots. They usually have specials like Watermelon Mint which is TO DIE FOR. Sampling is ideal, particularly if you’re new to juicing. It’s an easy way to test out the juices without committing to a full-on cleanse. All juices are $6.50 for sixteen ounces, except almond milk ($8.00), aloe vera ($3.00) and carrot ($5.00).

If you’re looking to cleanse, you can choose which level you want (Cleanse 1 for less experienced, Cleanse 2 is most popular, Cleanse 3 for experienced/hardcore). And within each level, you have options: Greens 1 (no apple & lemon) or Greens 2 (with apple & lemon), Roots 1 (with beet) or Roots 2 (no beet), and Detox 1 (lemon, cayenne, filtered water) or Detox 2 (pineapple, pear, ginger, mint). Each cleanse ends with Almond Milk, those familiar with Blue Print and other cleanses know how the nut milks are known for being the dessert they look forward to all day.

PJ’s (we’re friends now, I can call them that) juices are pressed daily at an offsite facility in Beverly Hills. They use premium, organic ingredients, which is evident in each juice.  I was taken aback by the creaminess of their Almond Milk and the Carrot Coconut. I swear I was drinking a dairy product. And look at the color of this juice! It’s startling how bright and orange it is.

Carrot Coconut Juice

The Watermelon Mint is divine. It tastes like you’re sucking juice out of a perfectly ripe watermelon. The mint balances out the sweetness so it’s refreshing and light. I threw this back in about 10 seconds.

Watermelon Mint Juice

Their Almond Milk is one of the best nut milks I’ve ever tasted. It’s creamy, sweet, rich, dotted with vanilla bean specks, and literally tastes like melted ice cream.

Almond Milk: almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt, filtered water

If I had children, Pressed Juicery would be my go-to place for juice. If you’re going to have juice, you might as well have the purest ingredients, and reap the maximum nutritional benefits, right? So many packaged juices are full of chemicals, additives, artificial x-y- and z, added sugar, it’s horrifying. Plus, these taste amazing and won’t fool those young palates into thinking cherries are supposed to be fire engine red, dye your tongue, and taste like sugar.

PressedJuicery.com is loaded with information about what to do before, during, and after the cleanse, and general F&Qs about cleansing. Like this one:

What is the difference between a “hydraulic press” and a regular juicer? At Pressed, all of our juices are produced on the highest quality juice press that exists. As opposed to a normal “centrifugal” juicer which takes a whole fruit or vegetable and squeezes out the juice, a hydraulic press actually grinds the entire thing into a fine pulp, after which it applies thousands of pounds of pressure to this pulp, extracting every ounce of juice that the fruit or vegetable can possibly yield. The results are smooth-tasting juices that contain the maximum amount of nutrition contained in each item. The gentle pressing action allows for little to no air to be introduced into the juice, and because of this each bottle can be kept in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to 3 days with little loss of taste, nutrients, or color.

Wish I could buy a hydraulic press but for now, my Breville Elite will have to do.

After sampling practically every juice they make, I’ve embarked on a 3-day cleanse. More on that when I finish it.

Don’t miss this amazing hidden gem. You can order online (they now deliver nationwide), pick-up in Brentwood, or swing by their mobile truck in Malibu. I’m dying to check out their truck because I heard they do remixes like combining Detox 2 + coconut + almond. Um, YUM. I’m imPRESSED.

Pressed Juicery

310-477-7171

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How to Feel Your Best When Traveling

23 Jul

I love traveling. It’s one of my favorite things to do next to cooking. This summer, I’m doing a ton of it, and it can take its toll if I don’t take good care of myself. Flying can be brutal. Seats are tight, waits are infinite, and unpredictable. With nothing but peanuts and pretzels, it’s no surprise we end up feeling disgusting. We’re bloated, tired, dehydrated, hungry, and just plain CRANKY! This is why whenever I travel, I try to be kind to myself so I don’t end up feeling like a wreck.

Here are some guidelines on “How to Feel Your Best When Traveling” with a before, during, and after plan.

Got a travel routine you want to share? Let’s hear it! Perhaps you’ve got an upcoming trip or vacation that you’re not sure how to prepare for? Just ask!!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

  • Fill-up on a nutritious, satisfying meal at home. Try hearty foods like whole grain oatmeal (not instant) with fresh fruit, multi-grain sandwich with veggies and lean protein.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – Drink tons of water (and coconut water).
  • Pack snacks and meals for the journey. Make your own trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, pack an orange (they’re durable, can go through security), sandwich wraps travel well, or healthy snacks
  • Make time to exercise before you leave. Get your blood flowing and lift your spirits before you embark on your trip.
  • Research and plan out exercise & meals in advance – Find out if there’s a hotel gym or  See if there are studios in the area you may want to try. Maybe this is an opportunity to try something new! Make dinner reservations in advance so you know you’ll have options and won’t have to rely on the hotel.

DURING YOUR JOURNEY

  • Stick to the plan! Stay away from anything processed. Don’t get distracted by the airport newsstands and fast food stations. Many airports now have healthier options. Sweets, chips, and sodas are going to throw your blood sugar levels off, and add to the dehydration you’re already going to experience.
  • If you can, try not to sit too much in the airport. You’re going to be sitting for hours so try to move around and keep the circulation going in your legs.
  • Skip that in-flight coffee and soda. Stick to water and lots of it. Coffee and soda will just add to your dehydration. I even politely decline the free handouts on the flight so I’m not tempted.
  • Snooze on the flight. Pack an eye mask and ear plugs (or noise canceling headphones) so you can rest without disruption. Being overtired often makes me susceptible to poor food choices later.
  • And if you can’t snooze…Keep your mind occupied with books, magazines or movies

ONCE YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION

  • Get Creative. Ask the hotel for a second mini refrigerator so you can stock up on water and healthy eats. (This can also prevent that mini-bar raid and save some money!)
  • Hit the local grocery store. Pick up some fresh fruit, green avocado, hummus, coconut water, small bag of veggies or baby carrots.
  • Be active. Try walking as much as you can throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to lunch or dinner. Explore your new area! Maybe hit a museum or go to a local park if you have time. Try stretching in your room or sign up for a yoga, spin or Pilates class. Many studios even offer a free first class!

Back in LA: Recharging after a long flight

10 Jul

I made it to LA! Ugh, finally. What a flight. Flying is just a miserable experience anymore. Husband and I have been loyal Delta flyers for years, but the lack of benefits lately are making me consider committing airline adultery.

Here was the level of comfort achieved on our flight out. I’m 5’6″, people. My knees shouldn’t be jammed against the seat in front of me.

Cramped Delta Airlines Seats

With these conditions, and nothing but peanuts and pretzels, it’s no surprise many of us end up feeling disgusting when we travel. We’re bloated, tired, dehydrated and hungry. This is why whenever I travel, I make a point to eat well to ensure I don’t end up feeling like a wreck.

I stocked up on food at Balducci’s in JFK. Although they’re expensive, they always have vegan/vegetarian healthful options. The mediterranean wrap was tasty, but packed with onions so beware. My breath could have choked a horse.

Crudite and Hummus snack. Mediterranean Veggie Wrap.

I brought a pack of Peeled pine-4-pineapple snacks from home. They’re such a convenient treat to stash in the carry-on. The packaging is flat so doesn’t take up much space in the “seat-pocket in front of me”.

I spent my first day in LA treating my body to healthy food and rejuvenating fitness to offset the damage. I took Simon for a long walk and stopped at Earthbar at Equinox Westwood for a veggie juice.

Total Greens Juice at Equinox Earthbar, Westwood. Parsley, Celery, Spinach, Kale, Cucumber. I added Lemon and Ginger for extra $0.50.

Then ended the day with a decompressing, stretching, YW Flow 2 class at YogaWorks. I needed something to help stretch me out after that brutal plane ride. And honestly, nothing could have worked better.

Oh, and of course, I was already plotting out dinner before I went to yoga, so I ordered online from Native Foods, and scheduled it for a 6pm pickup. Sure enough, I walked over after class and my Scorpion Burger was there waiting for me. Skipped the line and was in and out of there in less than five minutes. Brilliant!

Stay tuned for more LA adventures!

I Survived Barry’s Boot Camp

19 Jun

I started “food buff” to talk about my two loves: eating, and ironically, fitness/exercise. I figured it’s about time for a fitness post or I’ll have to change my blog to “food liar”.

What better way to kick things off than with the much-anticipated, newly opened LA transplant, Barry’s Boot Camp. Holy _______ (insert favorite profanity here). I’ve tried many different workouts over the years, and I think this is the hardest yet.

Barry’s Boot Camp, which opened June 4th in Chelsea, is not what we’re used to seeing from boot camps. The studio is not covered in camouflage like a base training camp. It’s a fairly large studio, able to accommodate about 40 people, brand new Woodway treadmills, in a “club-like” atmosphere. The music is rockin’, and the dark, red lighting is figure flattering (which helps since you’re staring at yourself in the mirror all class). My instructor wasn’t yelling at us, but I’ve heard others (especially Barry) use more of a pledging approach to get you motivated.

Classes are one hour, with a combination of 25 to 30 minutes of interval training on the treadmills (a.k.a. sprinting your $ss off) and the other half focusing on strength training with free weights and other equipment. Monday through Friday the strength training focuses on different body parts each day. For example, Monday is arms and abs, Tuesday is legs and butt, etc. Full schedule is here. In theory, if you go every day, by the end of the week you would have worked all muscle groups. But if you need it all in one class, they offer full body workouts Friday through Sunday, which is what I took. The instructor had us do (four) 15 minutes segments: 15 on the treadmill, 15 on the floor with weights, 15 back on the treadmill, 15 on strength. After the first 30 minutes, I thought I was done. You can imagine my disappointment when we were told to get back on the treadmill and I realized we were only halfway through.

The idea of “shocking” the body to get the best results isn’t new. I’ve had personal trainers at Equinox and NY Sports Club, and they used the same methodology of interval training with strength. It’s a proven method and I walked out of class feeling tighter almost immediately. I was sweaty, exhausted, and could see that with consistency, this class could get me leaner, toned, and stronger.

That said, I hated every minute of running. I detest running to begin with, and was nervous about the treadmill element. The intervals were hard…high speed sprints (7-12) and high inclines (over 6). Hitting those numbers was next to impossible sometimes, and sustaining them took a whole other level of warrior. Sure there are times when you’re jogging or at a lower incline, but the peaks were brutal and even being in decent shape, I struggled. I haven’t run in over a year, so I’m sure that didn’t help. Also, there are no breaks, it’s a constant, one-hour, beat down.

The strength training portion wasn’t as brutal. They recommended 5 lb light weights and 8 lb heavy weights for women so being a little afraid of what was in store, I went with the suggestion. Perhaps I could have gone heavier now that I’ve been through it, but first class is always hard not knowing what you’re up against.

It was fun to try a new class that was challenging and totally different from anything I have in my current routine. I was completely out of my comfort zone and getting through it gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I can’t say that this will become part of my routine, but I’d like to try it a couple more times to see. This is also a great workout to go with a buddy. Misery loves company, right?

Pros:

  • You sweat. A lot. And probably burn a ton of calories (my heart rate monitor battery died so I couldn’t calculate my workout).
  • The 50/50 cardio/strength mix makes efficient use of an hour.
  • The instructor, and being in a class setting, pushes you beyond what you think you can do
  • My class had an even number of men and women
  • New studio in convenient location. They also have electronic lockers so you enter your own 4 digit code and that’s it. No need to bring a lock.
  • If you’re a runner, you’ll probably drool over the cardio segments.
  • They also have a juice bar which is rumored to be developed by one of the folks from Greenleaf .*
I tried this Chocolate Peanut Butter smoothie. Initially it tasted good, but after a couple sips it had a little chalky aftertaste. I like my smoothies thick!! The consistency was way too thin for my taste, almost like chocolate milk. They also use “Better’n Peanut Butter” which probably appeals to people who are focused on low-fat/low-calorie. (I can picture men who can’t put their arms down, really into these). I’m more concerned with eating whole, natural foods, and would rather they use a small amount of pure, real, organic peanut butter instead of something processed.

Chocolate "Peanut Butter" Smoothie at Barry's Boot Camp

Cons:

  • As a first timer, I was shocked I didn’t receive any training on the treadmill, and no welcome, etc. When I checked in, the front desk didn’t even offer me a tour or any information on class packages. Luckily, I’d stopped in a few days prior and received one from their GM who is an absolute doll. I left class with no incentive to buy a package (i.e. discount on future package?) which was disappointing.
  • The instructor asked if anyone was new. Despite raising and waving both hands, he didn’t see me (in a class of 10 people). He seemed focused on a few “regulars”. Yes the treadmill isn’t rocket science to master, but the Woodway is a bit different, so a quick demo/tutorial would have been beneficial as there were times when I couldn’t get the stupid speed to change, and one time when it just shut off for no reason.
  • The waiver I signed before class didn’t ask if there were any injuries. In small print it says “All injuries must be reported before class.” But no one asked if there were injuries, including the instructor, so I’m not sure when this reporting should have taken place.
  • Instructor gave a couple adjustments, but guidance was minimal.
  • This is a HIGH-impact workout. In addition to running, there are lots of squats and lunges which aggravate my joints. I had surgery years ago for a torn meniscus. The day after Barry’s workout, my knee was pretty inflamed.
  • RUNNING. Did I mention, I hate it?
*I reached out to Barry’s to check details about the Juice bar. At time of posting, I had not received feedback. I’ll update the post with any other info if applicable.

Eating, Hiking, Celebrity Sighting

7 Jun

I’d barely been in LA for 24 hours and already had a Native Foods Cafe Scorpion Burger on Sunday, and Veggie Grill Bali Bliss over Kale yesterday. Oh and I had to swing by Earth Bar at Equinox Westwood for a green detox smoothie yesterday morning! I’m 3 for 3.

Green Detox #1 Smoothie

Simon got to meet up with his girlfriend Lilly yesterday and nearly peed himself from excitement. Lilly’s Mom (a.k.a. RealityShowChick), Dad, and I got to catch up while the kids frolicked. If you love reality TV or just like to laugh, you have to check out her site – hysterical. Her stories as a Reality Show Casting Director will make you split (or s*it) your pants.   We went for a stroll through Larchmont and stopped at Peet’s coffee for a reboot. I was so surprised they had vegan cookies! Recharged from some seriously caffeinated espresso, we decided to go for a hike at Runyon. Of course, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, sporting a sundress and flip-flops. (Thanks RSC for the loaner duds). I did manage to hike in flip-flops and not break my neck. As we started our leisurely hike, I spotted this guy with no shirt on and black shorts. I didn’t even notice his face because I was gawking at his chest – and not in a good way. One word, Ma-Tas. They were little and his chest was tan but they still stood out. Perhaps because he was running downhill? I digress…So, as he passes, my friends turn around all giddy and are like “OMG, Sebastian Bach!!!” Yes, of course it was. And I thought, oh yea that’s right, “I Remember You”.

Me & Simon, Sarah & Lilly at Runyon

And that’s the fun in day one! I basically hit all my fave places (and people) in the first 24 hours. Not bad. OH, and I forgot to mention my other stellar celeb sighting at the MTV Movie Awards. Ron Jeremy. I mean come on, really? I hope I didn’t catch anything airborne. Bleck.

Earth Day Feature: the Water Bobble – reusable bottle filters tap water on the go

22 Apr

These days, carrying a plastic water bottle is like bearing a scarlet P on your chest. There are tons of reusable water bottles on the market; some are BPA-free, some stainless, some are workout specific, but there’s one that stands out above the rest.

Today is Earth Day and to celebrate, I wanted to share my most recent purchase…the Bobble.

18oz bobble

If you want to do something good for your body and eco-friendly, get a Water Bobble! It’s a water bottle made from recycled plastic, that has its own carbon filter so as long as you have access to a tap, you will always have access to filtered, delicious water. It’s BPA-free, and the filter will remove chlorine and organic contaminants from municipal/potable water. It’s not recommended in areas where water is of unknown quality. The Bobble provides an easy way to help the environment, and increase your water daily water intake. And it’s a huge money saver! The bottle is only $10 and the filter lasts for 300 uses. The replacement filters (they recommend changing every two months) are only $7. How much do you think you spend a year on bottled or filtered water?

Some scary facts (courtesy of WaterBobble.com):

$17 billion – Amount Americans spend annually for portable water

Almost 1.5 million – Number of oil barrels used to make plastic water bottles (which end up in landfills, our oceans, and other areas of our environment)

Now through 4/25, purchase at WaterBobble.com and it’s buy one, get one free! Get one for yourself and give the extra to a spouse, child, or friend. I just ordered a second in lavender and sent two to my parents.

The Water Bobble, designed by award-winning designer Karim Rashid, come in six colors and three sizes (13 oz, 18.5 oz and 34 oz). I saw a kid’s version at The Container Store that came in a fun, lunchbox size, multi color, but I didn’t see it listed on the Bobble website.

13oz kiddie bobble

My only criticisms are:

  1. I wish it came with a calendar or a way to track when you need to change the filter
  2. I wish the cap was a flip-top or had a leash. When working out, I need a flip top that can be opened with one hand but covers the nozzle during my workout for sanitary reasons. Having a separate cap just means it’s going to get lost. That said, I noticed they will provide a replacement cap at no cost, so I expect I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Get your Bobble on!

Spring Cleansing

14 Mar

I’ve done it again. I survived my third Blue Print Cleanse! Now you know why I haven’t posted a recipe in a few days. Cleansing + Cooking = Torture.

Why cleanse? Good question. I cleanse when I’m feeling run down, or have been overindulging and need to get back on track. To me, a successful cleanse is based on replenishing and taking care of the body, not depriving it. Juicing, in particular, gives the body a break from all the hard work of digesting and processing food. It floods the system with nutrients it may have been lacking. In liquid form, the nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream enabling your body to reap the full benefits to create inner balance.

Blue Print Cleanse is a nutritional juice cleanse founded by Zoe Sakoutis, a raw-foodist and certified nutritional consultant, and Erica Huss. Their juices are unpasteurized, unprocessed, raw, vegan, and locally sourced from sustainable farms.

There are six bottles of juice per day, with a recommended three day minimum cleanse. BPC has three levels to choose from: Renovation, Foundation, Excavation. The levels vary from gentle (more fruit based juices) to aggressive (more green juices) and should be selected based on current eating habits. If you eat total crap, start with Renovation. If you’re a pretty conscious, healthy eater, try Excavation. See their website for details. The best part? They taste delicious and it’s idiot proof. Usually I’m obsessing about what to eat for dinner while I’m eating breakfast. On BPC, I can even give my brain a break from worrying about my next meal.

Here are the juices I had on the three-day Excavation cleanse. The bottles are numbered and consumed in numerical order approximately every two hours.

Green Juice (juices 1,2,3, & 5)- Romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon and ginger. I love it. Lemony and refreshing, I never get sick of it.

Spicy Lemonade ( juice 4) – Lemon juice, agave, cayenne pepper. Tastes exactly like it sounds, tart with a very subtle heat.

Cashew Milk (juice 6) – Cashew, water, vanilla, cinnamon, agave. This is like the golden child of the cleanse. It’s bottled dessert. I look forward to it all day long.

Blue Print Cleanse Excavation - photo courtesy of BPC website

BPC emphasizes the importance of pre- and post-cleansing. I’ll admit, this time I wasn’t as diligent as I usually am, which is probably why I struggled a bit. It’s important to ease in and out of the cleanse so you don’t shock your system. Their website has all the details and their customer service is quick to respond to any questions via email, Facebook, or Twitter @BPCleanse. BPC also sends guidelines on preparing and coming off the cleanse via email, along with words of encouragement throughout the cleanse (a nice touch).

Although it’s supposedly fine to workout while cleansing, it made me pretty hungry especially in the afternoons, and I had to “cheat” with some celery. Yes, I know it’s sad when celery is on the cheat list. But now that it’s all done, my skin is clear and glowing, I feel “clean”, and invigorated. Any cravings I had have subsided, and the little sweet tooth devil is off my shoulder.

BPC is available at Whole Foods Tribeca. I usually buy a couple bottles after class at Soul Cycle. You can also order through BPC’s website with the option to pick-up or and have it delivered. Delivery in NYC is only an extra $5 a day and it sure beats lugging 18 bottles home. They also have FEDEX so check it out no matter what zip code you’re in, you might be able to get it too!

If you’re interested in making your own juices/smoothies and other cleansing recipes at home, get Zoe & Erica’s book, The 3-Day Cleanse. I’ve made a couple recipes from it (including the infamous cashew milk) and really enjoyed them.

The 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis & Erica Huss

TheKitchn.com recently posed the question “Can Food Lovers Really Survive a Cleanse?”  My answer? Absolutely. Not everyone believes in cleansing and I respect that. But I do think cleanses like Blue Print are beneficial, even if you’re already a healthy eater. Juice cleansing floods your body with water and tons of nutrients so it’s not just about getting the bad out, it’s about overloading your body with good. If the idea of not consuming any solids for three days freaks you out, BPC has a Juice ’til Dinner program that consists of four BPC juices, a two course vegetarian meal, and two tasty snacks. I’ve never done it, but seems like a good way to dip your toe in, if you’re new to cleansing.

I’ve seen people commenting on Twitter about how they could never cleanse because they love food too much, or they couldn’t be vegetarian or vegan for the same reason. I think they’d be surprised that many people who cleanse, are vegetarians, or vegans, are actually big-time eaters, like ME. Afterall, most are very aware of what we put in our bodies, which requires not only nutritional awareness, but also a deep love of food/cooking, and concern for how our food is grown and sourced.

What do you think? Have you done a cleanse or considering doing one? Tried Blue Print already? What did you think? Please share!

Happy Spring Everyone!!

New blog name, new blog look! Introducing Food Buff!

21 Feb

Hello Friends,

I’ve gotten such great feedback, and have had so much fun blogging, I decided to keep it up. So, I’m relaunching with a new name, new look, and more focused content. Prosciuttoandparmesan.wordpress.com is now TheFoodBuff.com. Some bastard bought FoodBuff.com and made it really difficult to purchase, so I settled for THEFoodBuff.

Food Buff is dedicated to food and fitness, with recipes, restaurant reviews/recos, workouts (new classes, studio visits, equipment, athletic wear) and an overall approach to a healthy lifestyle.

And yes, I’m still vegan.

I hope you enjoy reading Food Buff as much as I do writing it, and if I get a chuckle out of you every now and then, mission accomplished. Please continue to read, comment, and share, share, share to grow our little community!

Eat healthy. Live well.

Chelsea

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