BluePrint Cleanse: Mission Complete

Mission accomplished! I somehow managed to complete my 3-day cleanse without cheating. I broke the cleanse officially this morning. You’re supposed to eat fruit but I was seriously starving so I asked CK to pick me up an Egg white, spinach, and feta wrap from Starbucks. You cannot even begin to imagine how amazing it tasted. Everything is enhanced and supercharged. It’s wild.

Participating in the BluePrint cleanse really identified how bad my cravings get in the evenings so hopefully I can be a bit more mindful about that effect. In the end I lost 5 pounds, not a particularly big deal considering how much I actually need to lose but it was a great reminder that I really do have the ability to exercise some semblance of self-control over my abundant love of food.

BluePrint Cleanse Wrap-Up Day 2

Wow. Yesterday was plain awful. I’m posting the above video from Annie in hopes that today will end on a high note. The catalyst which kicked off the horror that was my Wednesday began when the movers finally brought our furniture (22 days later). I was so excited and happy and then I started opening boxes. I soon learned that if I wrote “fragile” or “glass” on anything it was completely ignored. So many lovely items were smashed to bits. It was really devastating. Some of the items that were broken were irreplaceable.  So my good mood went sour very quickly and then the overwhelming reality of unpacking set in.

We literally gave away more than half of our possessions when we moved here and it seems that we should have parted with three-quarters instead. I have no idea how our things are going to fit in this apartment and as the day progressed I became more and more frustrated and the OMG MUST EMOTIONAL EAT RIGHT NOW mood set in.

Obviously it wasn’t the fault of the cleanse for my ever increasing insanity over the day but I don’t think it helped. I ended up taking out and putting back an Amy’s Rice Bowl from the freezer four times. Somehow I managed to keep my willpower in check and not eat food but it was ridiculously difficult. My advice to you is not to do a cleanse when you will experience any kind of major stresses in your life.

Anyway, my apartment is still filled to the ceiling with boxes and I’m just getting ready to drink juice #4 for today (spicy lemonade in case you were wondering). Day #3 on a whole has been a much easier experience but I’m very much looking forward to eating tomorrow. I’m craving avocado, which is a good thing. At least I’m not craving cheesecake.

BluePrint Cleanse Wrap-Up Day 1

The second juice of the day was labeled PAM (aka pineapple, apple, and mint). The mellow yellow color was a bit off-putting but it smelled like a tropical paradise — a mixture of fruity and ginger. It tasted even better than it smelled. Heavenly actually, and I thought more than once that it would lend itself well to being shaken and poured into a pretty martini glass. Definitely my favorite juice.

Next on the docket was yet another Green juice. I was starving post workout and sipping this concoction when CK checked in at some new burger place on Foursquare and I felt a wee bit jealous. First craving of the day at 2:00 PM.

Juice #4, Spicy Lemonade, felt a little harsh going down but tasted OK. Afterwards I spent 15 minutes staring at the entry for Biscoff Spread on Amazon before deciding it was probably a good idea to take a nap instead of looking at creamy graham cracker tasting things online. At this point all of my feeds on google reader were taunting me and I was dying to eat this Polenta and Poached Egg dish.

The CAB was up next. A bright pinky-red bottle of carrots, apples and beets. Now I love beets.  I eat them all the time, but this was definitely the hardest to drink yet. Yikes! I was definitely hitting the juice wall.

The final juice in the cycle was a Nut Milk that tastes exactly like rice pudding. CK gave it two thumbs up. I hate, hate, hate rice pudding, bread pudding, pudding in general really so this was just a big turn off. I know a lot of people say they love this juice the best but it was so not palatable to me. After drinking this milky “feast” I proceeded to obsessively point out just how many commercials on TV were about food. I was definitely in full OMG craving swing at this point. Eventually I drank some more water though and made myself go to bed.

Day 1 without solid food was complete and I didn’t cheat. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever not eaten solid food for a day in my life. Looking back on the past 24 hours this morning it really seems like it wasn’t a big deal at all. I’m confident that day 2 will be a cinch. We’ll see…

BluePrint Cleanse Day 1, Juice 1

BluePrint Cleanse Green Juice #1

Smells: Like Salad or that old Gap Scent: Grass
Color: Ectoplasm
Tastes: Kind of awesome and peppery and a little bit like seasoning salt or Worcestershire sauce. Really easy to drink.

When the Fed Ex person rang my doorbell this morning shortly before 9:00 AM (and Dexter freaked out and sprang from inside the washing machine, where he insists that he belongs) I had already started to crash in a rather emotional/weepy way while going through my work emails.

Obviously I was hungry and freaking out but in my head I kept thinking about how cold it is here in San Francisco and how jealous I am of everyone back home who will probably be going to the beach, if not today, then over the weekend. See. I told you. Total whack-a-doo — that’s me when I don’t eat.

But now that I’ve consumed the first juice I feel fine. Crisis averted!

Honestly, I’m really looking forward to the next 3 days sans food. Since moving here almost 3 weeks ago I’ve been on a diet of eating out, take-out, and microwavable things I can find in the grocery store. The movers gave us an estimate of our belongings arriving between 5 and 22 days. I had no idea they would actually take the absolute last day to deliver to us. How naive of me. Everything is supposedly arriving tomorrow though. Fingers crossed!

Of course I could have bought pots, pans and other accessories to cook with at home but I stubbornly refused. The new apartment is so small that I am actually baffled as to how I’ll manage to neatly arrange what we did ship so extras were completely out of the question. On the plus side I don’t think I’ll be tempted to shop for anything anytime soon.

Anyway, I’ve been going to the gym every day but I still feel pretty out of sorts. A reset was definitely in order. I’d actually been looking into BluePrint Cleanse since we arrived and balked at the price. It’s definitely not cheap.

Initially I opted to buy and read their book. Which is very informative and has all the recipes for the drinks. I’d just need to buy a juicer and a metric ton of organic fruit and vegetables. If this experiment goes well I very well may do just that. However, I still wanted to try the “real thing” so when Daily Candy had a BluePrint discount last week I ordered a 3-day cleanse and scheduled it for right after my birthday.

So here we are…hour 1, day 1. Wish me luck!

An Empty Apartment in San Francisco

I'm Sailing Away...

Chris and I have been in San Francisco for 8 days now (including a 3 day stay in Houston for Hänni’s wedding). In that time I’ve had lots of requests to see our apartment. I think everyone has forgotten that our things are somewhere out in the world on a big bad truck right now and we are actually living in what essentially amounts to a high rise camping expedition.

This Kitchen is Teeny Tiny

I get it. Usually I have my apartments whipped into shape in a matter of hours but this time I have a window of 7-20 days to wait for all of my cute things to come back into our lives.

Unnecessarily Large Bathroom. Can We Take Some Out And Give It To The Kitchen?

In the meantime we started out with a floaty toy to sleep on (that’s how I refer to the lame and very uncomfortable air mattress we’ve been using), lots of paper plates and plastic forks (see what I mean — totally camping), and a suitcase of clothing each.

Oh Goody: Work!

Since then we’ve upgraded to having a chair and desk for me to work at and two, yes two chairs for the breakfast bar. Thanks to IKEA we’re living large!

The Cats Dig The Raft

Also, with the exception of one very fun day that I spent with Lilly, which I will post about briefly on Erin Cooks, I haven’t really had a chance to explore the city very much. I’m hoping that CK and I will have some time to get to know our neighborhood and the area a bit more over the long weekend. Stay tuned!

Blissliving “Amanda” Duvet Set

Rue La La
got me again. I simply couldn’t help myself. I haven’t had a set of bedding that made me feel like a fairy princess in years, and the Amanda Duvet from Blissliving is seriously pretty pretty princess purple and I love it. I can’t wait to re-do our bedroom in shades of purple! Thankfully CK is a very easygoing boyfriend. I could probably festoon the room in glitter and paper cranes and he’d just lay beside me happily snoring away. Besides, a lady’s bedroom should be her sanctuary and right now my bedroom looks like man central with a side of cats. Dear: CK, Watson, and Dexter – look out! There’s a new sheriff in town and she carries a mean wand.

Anyway, aren’t the sheets, pillows, and shower curtain fantastic? I’m in love!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (a word I can’t seem to type without the aid of spell check) is the first YA novel in awhile that I loved from cover to cover. I have yet to read Lauren Oliver’s debut novel, Before I Fall, but it has certainly been added to my unwieldy wish list.

One of the first things I loved about Delirium was that it takes place in Portland, Maine. A city I love and lived in for several years after college. Following Lena, our heroine, around the streets, beaches, and landmarks of Portland was fantastic and really fun. I could almost always picture exactly where the action was taking place as I’d been there before. Although, as an aside, it got on my nerves a bit when Oliver referred to The Old Port as just “Old Port” or the Eastern Prom as Eastern Promenade as though they were the same as Brown Street or Smith Ave. I know a single article in a sentence isn’t that important but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone refer to THE Old Port without adding a “the” to the phrase. But I digress…

The Portland I know and remember is drastically different in this dystopia. The world weaved is one of isolation, governmental brainwashing, disinformation and an intense amount of fear. The United States has closed her borders and declared love a disease. To cure this “affliction” citizens are essentially lobotomized after graduating from high school. The operation is supposed to cure all symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa [love] and then men and women are paired for marriage by a scientific committee. Anyone who shows too much emotion, laughs to loudly, is caught dancing, or even caring too much about their children can be prosecuted and potentially sent to The Crypts, a dungeon where inmates are left to rot in deplorable conditions.

At the beginning of the novel Lena goes along with this reality. She is resigned to the fact that her operation is scheduled for a date merely a few months away. She’s complacent and obedient — the perfect sheep, but then Lena meets Alex and everything changes.

I found myself able to relate to Lena wholeheartedly. She was a fully realized character with nuance and extreme likability. While light on actual romance, what there is was handled sweetly and believably. This book is part of a trilogy so thankfully yet another cliffhanger ending will be resolved at a later point. But this does bring out my continued annoyance with the trend for YA, as of late, to always be multi-parted. Even if I’m absolutely in love with a collection of characters sometimes it’s nice to have a succinct and tidy wrap-up to a book. What do you think? Is this sequel happy world getting a bit much? Or do you subscribe to the “more is more” camp?

Hold Me Closer Necromancer

In all honesty I requested an arc of Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride thinking that it would be completely absurd, but I simply couldn’t resist the title. I should have checked my prejudice immediately upon opening the envelope the book came in.  Sherman Alexie, aka the god of all things amazing, blurbed the book calling it a “scary funny book or a funny scary book” and then continued, “in either case, it is a great book. I love it.”  Even with such a serious stamp of approval I still tossed my copy on the bookshelf and went about with life.

Then I walked by it 12 dozen times or so, often chuckling at the title and then getting Elton John’s Tiny Dancer stuck in my head until finally I picked it up and started reading.

It was love at first sight. The book takes place in Seattle (only one of my favorite places in the world), the main character, Sam, works in a fast food joint (been there, done that) and then his life is turned on its head after an ill-timed hockey puck breaks the taillight of a very evil dude’s car. Hilarity and danger ensue! The pace of the book was a good strong gallop and while there certainly could have been a horrible fall into an overwrought “Twilight” mood, McBride does an excellent job of boldly steering her first novel quickly away from that train wreck. The magic and mythology referenced seems more edgy here and Sam’s love interest is a kick-ass female Werewolf who would be more likely to shank you than moon and brood.

I found this story to be fantastically packed with pop-culture references. For instance each of the chapters is labeled with a song lyric such as “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” or “Don’t Rock the Boat Baby.” And I loved how refreshingly frank the characters in the book were when talking about drugs, sex, and other such topics that will no doubt send conservative mothers everywhere into a great big tizzy. I did wonder if perhaps this book was originally geared towards adults and was then marketed to a YA audience — no matter though it’s such fun that I’m simply glad it was released.

So do yourself a favor and read this book! Just ignore it when people look at the title while you’re on the subway or at work and raise their eyebrows in judgment. This is a unique debut YA novel that is not to be missed and I thoroughly hope that there is a sequel (or two) in the works.

Goals for January 2011

As my extended holiday vacation comes to a close today (thank you higher ed workplace) and I attempt to not feel sad about returning to the 9-5 grind (remember: you like your job, you like your job) I suppose I should set some goals (not resolutions). In the spirit of new beginnings I’m going to attempt to complete the following tasks over the next 30 days

1. Follow the Four Hour Body diet. After reading the book over vacation I’m definitely intrigued by the premise – basically sticking to a slow carb diet 6 days per week with a planned cheat day where you’re allowed to eat anything you like. I’ll keep you posted as to how that works out…

2. Write. Write. Write – which wont be a problem as I’m taking another Grub Street 8-week class. This time I’ll be putting my non-fiction chops to the test.

3. I’ve also decided to complete the Yoga Journal 21-day challenge. This begins on January 10th. The last time I considered myself to be “thin” was five years ago when I was doing a tremendous amount of yoga. Maybe this will help?

4. Start a YA book club with Pam. I’ve tried and failed at doing this for years. This time I’m going to make it happen.

Wish me luck! This list should keep me busy and therefore help to stave off the January doldrums.