Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wheelin' and Dealin'!

Alright, so here's the deal with the photo above. That gorgeous multi-charm and medallion necklace is an Alisa Michelle- a designer I knew nothing about until 2 weeks ago. My cousin Paige invited me (for better or for worse, I don't know!!) to this website called Haute Look. It's basically a website where you can buy designer items at a really discounted price- like the above mentioned necklace which I saved $197 on!!!!!! So this is a little bit of shameless promotion here, I do get perks if people sign up and buy- but really we'd both be winning- you would get amazing deals and I would get credits to get amazing deals!!!!! So below are links to 2- that's right 2, amazing designer discount sites- it's free to sign up, so you've got nothing to lose!!!!!!!

Haute Look: Click Here

Ideeli- Click here

do it- you know you want tooooo......... :) LOL

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today's Food Adventure Brought To You By: Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow's site has some amazing stuff on it. That is where I found the recipe for this yummy (yet time consuming) dish called Bibimbop. (final product pictured above). Bibimbop is basically a rice bowl with lots of veggies. This dish is pretty labor intensive, as you have to saute and blanche vegetables, make a spicy miso sauce and cook a separate dish called Kinpira. Now that I've made it once it will be easier but doing this for the first time it took up quite a bit of time. So for the ingredients list and detailed instructions see Gwyneth's website by following this link: Bibimbop
Here's my attempt, with photos. See captions for descriptions.
The first thing I did was blanche the broccolini and baby bok choy (which I over-cooked and ruined- so it's not in the final photo). I had never blanched veggies before so I had to look online for instructions. It's pretty easy (except for bok choy, LOL). Basically you boil the veg, but for a short time, you don't actually cook it all the way. Then you remove it from the boiling water, straight to a bowl of ice water.

next I sliced up the zucchini, mushrooms and minced the garlic. For some reason I didn't take photos while making the spicy miso sauce, but it was at this stage that I made it. That sauce was really easy to make- reminds me of bbq sauce. I like mine spicy so I put in a lot of hot pepper sesame oil.

I chopped up some baked tofu and fried it in some sesame oil. I had never had fried tofu before and it's super yummy!!!

Here's a shot of all of the veggies that will be tossed in with the rice. So we have: blanched broccolini, sauteed bean sprouts & zucchini with garlic and ginger, sauteed mushrooms (also with garlic and ginger) and the fried tofu. I couldn't find sesame seeds (crazy I know- I went to 2 different stores!!!) and I also couldn't find the kimchi from the original recipe so those two things are missing from mine. Below are the photos for the second dish in this recipe- Kinpira.

Here is the burdock root. It looks like a tree branch before you peel the skin. It peels just like a carrot.

cut the burdock root at an angle as thin a possible. My knife wasn't really sharp enough to properly do this with the burdock or the carrot, but it worked fine, I'm not too picky. Stack the burdock rounds in a row to prepare for "julienne" cuts. This is explained visually on the video on Gwyneth's website.

here is the "julienne" cut for the burdock root. I didn't take photos of the carrot as it's the exact same thing as the burdock root.

saute the burdock root for 5 mins before adding the carrot.

after adding the carrot, add water (or the japanese stock explained in Gwyneth's recipe). At this point you will also add the Mirin, Soy Sauce and agave nectar. Let this mixture boil, cover and reduce heat to low. You'll cook this for 15 mins. After the 15 mins you'll put the heat back up to high, remove lid and sauce until sauce is reduced and veggies are shiny.

here is the finished Kinpira.

in a bowl, put brown rice and top with all of the ingredients. The sauce is hiding underneath the veggies. The picture above is everything but the fried tofu and shredded nori. Below is the final product with all ingredients.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Whew, I Made It!!

Okay, the cleanse is officially over. I made it 4 days (well 3 and 3/4 days, really) which I'm really proud of. So how do I feel? Do I feel fully cleansed? Not really. Do I feel good? Yes! Have I begun to conquer some pretty nasty demons? Yes. Would I do this particular cleanse again? Probably not.

Here's the deal. The reason I don't feel particularly cleansed is because I never felt energized/light. I feel like I missed out on something there. I think it's because I forgot to do the laxative tea every night, which affected how much I really detoxed. I think I didn't detox to my full potential thereby never feeling fully cleansed. However, I do feel good. I feel like I have a clean slate to work with. For the most part I've made really smart choices since I've gone back to eating (the exception being the movie popcorn and child's sized box of Mike and Ikes- oops!!) The thing I am happiest about is my stomach shrinking, allowing me to start over again with healthy portion sizes- which was one of my personal demons.

I have to admit that I did get everything out of this cleanse that I was hoping for- so while I didn't feel particularly cleansed or detoxed I DID reach my original goal. The purpose for this cleanse (which I may have previously stated) was to push the reset button on my mind and my stomach. I wanted to be able to start fresh mentally, view food differently, prove to myself that I have the willpower, jump start my weight loss and regain control of my portion sizes by shrinking my stomach. I achieved ALL of these things!!

I have been trying to lose weight since the beginning of the year with very slow success- it wasn't until I got pneumonia that I lost any significant amount of weight (which obviously isn't the healthy way to lose weight, but it worked!). Since I was sluggish in losing weight yet again, I thought that doing this cleanse would again shock my system into letting some of the weight go. I knew that any weight I lost wouldn't necessarily stay off as some would be water weight but if I could lose at least 3 lbs out of it I'd be happy. So far that's exactly what I've achieved.

The next cleanse/detox that I am considering is on that Gwyneth Paltrow does that she posted on her website/weekly newsletter (my introduction to this detox is also courtesy of Miss Phoebe- who is my go-to gal!) I'm thinking of doing this 7 day detox in either June or July, as they will be warmer months and it will feel good to eat lighter- it just seems that the foods on this detox are summery!

So on to my next adventure!!! Trying new healthy foods/cuisines! I'm super excited!! So what is that next food adventure you might ask??? Well I'm thinking of trying a recipe I found on Goop called Bibimbop- so stay tuned for how that turns out!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Temptation, Temptation, Go Away! Come Again Some Other Day!!

Okay so it's 5pm on day 3. Originally I was going to end the cleanse tonight with dinner, but I have decided to see it 'til the very end. After some advice/little pep talk from my friend Phoebe today I've decided to slowly wean myself off of the cleanse and back to food tomorrow. Seeing Phoebe today inspired me to keep going a little bit longer. Oddly enough part of me wants to keep going, but part of me wants to chuck it in right now and dive into my hummus!!!

Here's how my first day at work on the cleanse went. First of all I had a short day today which made it a lot easier!! If I'm to do a longer day then I need to make sure to bring plenty of the lemonade concoction to keep me satisfied and not light headed. I did have a dizzy spell once, towards the end of my day- which makes sense since I didn't bring enough lemonade.

Three things were hard today- 1. I work next door to a cafe- when you smell coffee and various foods it makes it very hard to neither drink coffee nor eat food. 2. I had to go to our local health food/grocery store to stock up on more lemons (oy vey, no more lemons!!) and I was dying for some food once I got in there- I could smell delicious things!!! Why on today of all days did they have amazing food samples on EVERY aisle!! They even had a woman passing out samples of their lemons bars- heaven help me!!!! I made it out there without breaking my cleanse. 3. my husband is currently making pancakes- one of my favorite foods- this is getting very tough....

I think tomorrow will be the end day....

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lemons, Lemons, and more Lemons!

As of today I have juiced a total of 30 lemons- again I question if I'm sane!! So it's day 2 of the cleanse and while it's getting easier in some ways, it's also getting harder. I am dreaming of food a little less, peeing a little less, but also drinking less of the concoction.

Last night I forgot to drink the laxative tea, which turns out to be a big mistake as it's 3 pm and no bowel movements- which is unusual for me on a normal day, let alone a cleanse. I am still as tired as I was yesterday and a bit more flighty- feeling light headed but not in a vertigo/dizzy kind of way. I woke up with a headache, but my stomach wasn't growling, which was a good sign. Last night I went to bed with my stomach growling loudly and constantly but I was so tired I didn't even care. Once I drank the lemonade this morning my headache went away, which I was so grateful for!

Today so far has consisted of: drinking a liter and a half of the lemonade, 1 cup of green tea, countless pieces of fruity gum, water, another trip to the grocery store, a trip to the health food store, making another gallon of the lemonade and lots of reading (to distract me from dreams of food). The grocery store was a little bit easier today (maybe because I didn't smell baked goods this time!) What I'm finding difficult is my own refrigerator!!!!! Every time I open that darn thing I see my hummus and olive tapenade, which is sooooo good on pita bread- torture!!!! Since my husband is not doing the cleanse he's eating like normal so our fridge and pantry is stocked, but the hardest thing is when he cooks- those smells!!!!- oh it's too much!

I'm going to try to go beyond tomorrow (Tuesday, day 3), but if I only do 3 days it's okay. I only committed to 3 days in the beginning anyway, but I would like to see what my body can do and what I can handle- because I've realized that for me this is way more mental than physical!!!!! I've had a very unhealthy and complicated relationship with food my whole life, so I'm trying to wrestle with some demons by doing this cleanse. I'm trying to teach myself that I rule my body and my mind. I am in control. I'm trying to press the reset button so that the first day after the cleanse is day 1 of my new attitude- a clean slate.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cleanse Me (or how many days til I can chew?)

So I volunteered to do the Master Cleanse with my friend Phoebe- who for the record did not coerce me into this, I really did walk into it voluntarily- and today is day 1. Phoebe- the wonderfully brave and experienced soul- is doing it for 10 days while I on the other hand am beginning to question my 3 day commitment!! Ha, ha- what, I ask myself have I gotten myself into!!

I diligently started out last night with the natural laxative tea (my personal one is Traditional Medicinals Chocolate Smooth Move- which doesn't taste like chocolate I might add). It seemed to do it's work as the day went on. Mostly I just had to pee constantly.

My husband (who is not doing the cleanse and thinks I'm insane) and I decided to head to the beach for some relaxation, reading and distraction (for me). I brought my lemon concoction hoping to stave off the cravings. We stayed about an hour before it just got to be too much for me, I wanted to be closer to a bathroom and frivolous television. Before we could head home I had to run to the grocery store to stock up on supplies- I didn't realize how quickly I would go through the beverage. Going to that grocery store was torture!!!!!! I think my sense of smell was heightened even more than usual because I could smell every darn thing that the deli counter had to offer, while on my way to the produce section for my lemons. Daniel just laughed as I frantically grabbed what I needed and told him to hurry up- cuz I just couldn't handle the smells any longer.

So basically at the end of day one, this is what I found: I peed immensely, dreamt about food constantly and was so tired I could have gone to bed at 6pm. I forced myself to stay up til 10pm, which is quite early for me normally. I did forget to have the laxative tea, which was a mistake, as I'm on day 2 and no bowel movements. Stay tuned as I cover each day. I keep reminding myself that I only committed for 3 days, so can do it!!