DIY Juicing on a Budget

In the fall, the term “basic” is tossed around in the direction of those well-coifed women clutching their pumpkin spice lattes and rocking boots and vests for 3 months straight.

I think the summer equivalent would have to be a Lululemon-clad lady, yoga mat swinging from her shoulder strap and a pricey green juice in the other.

And if that’s basic…. I’m guilty as charged.

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you’re damn right I am.

Nothing like a fancy juice after a workout class to make you feel like you’re on a different level of healthy.  Which is why, after 2-3 weeks of straight up INDULGENCE on the eating front, I decided to reboot with juice (let’s take it down a notch from Jordan’s Whole30 experience). 3 days, 5 juices, on meal of vegetable and lean meats.

Unfortunately, Ryan Crown Juice Club seems to be MIA, and is more expensive than I’d be able to handle. Even if I nabbed my juices at Philly’s most affordable “juice bar”, Fuel, it’d be over 20 bucks a day, and I’d be working with what they offer. Even the cheapest “juice cleanse” I found online seemed steep, and I hate paying for what I can do at home.

Luckily, I had all I needed to DIY my juice on a budget:

  • An affordable juicer (the least “budget friendly” portion of this, I received mine as a gift, and isn’t that exact model, but is similar. I’m not going to include this cost in the price, as I received mine as a gift, but “I get it”, they don’t grow on trees.)
  • A few hours of free time

I modeled my juice “recipes” and timing off of BluePrint, one of the better known “Juice Cleanse” companies online (who ships your prepared, bottled juices directly to your home!) And then I made a list of ingredients I needed and headed STRAIGHT to Reading Terminal Market to bring back fruits and vegetables from Iovine Brothers and OK Produce. (This is Philly specific but I’d recommend you just go straight to your local produce market, if possible).

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New FRIENDS!!

Green Juice (2/day)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 apples
  • Little bit of parsley
  • KALE!
  • ROMAINE!
  • SPINACH! (the amounts on the greens are up to you, but you truly can’t taste them at all)

Snack Juices (2/day)

  • Spicy Lemonade  (I just used honey instead of “Agave” because we had some)
  • PAM (Pineapple Apple Mint)

Dinner Juice (1/day)

  • 2 large green apples
  • 2 beets
  • 3 large carrots (or 1/3 bag of mini carrots!)
  • 1 lemon
  • Honking chunk of ginger

I got all the ingredients for these (other than the honey, which I already had) for $33.86, or about $11.28 per day. I used the leftover kale for my “greens” and I did buy a pound of turkey for $3.99, making the total cost for all the food-products I put into my body $37.85 for 3 days.

A 3-day “Renovation Cleanse” from Blueprint costs $195 (and does NOT come with turkey, though they do include a sort of dessert juice with cashews and blueberries).

The cost difference is $157.15. That’s enough to buy a juicer and still have money for savings.

I’ll admit, it took me about 40 minutes a night to make the juices for the next day and they didn’t come in sexy BluePrint bottles. Toting them was a bit weird, as I’d have glass bottles in my bag headed to work each day.

But I’ll take a tasty and fresh juice that clanks when I walk if it saves me $157.15…

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This is kinda pretty, right?

After the three days, I actually had enough ingredients for another green juice in the morning. I also felt fantastic and refreshed. I didn’t weigh myself, and I didn’t take photos. I just wanted to remind my body what all those good veggies and fruits tasted like, and see if I could do it on a budget.

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Mission: accomplished.

Now, can someone pass me a carb?

Six Pack Sunday: First Edition

Over the past week, there have been a few little snippets of my life where I’ve thought to myself “man, that was funny/silly/weird/awesome.  I’d like to blog about that, but I doubt I could write a whole entry regarding it.”  Then it hit me like a brick over the head (which is an extremely effective way to hit someone): I’ll merge them all into one silly wonderful post!

Once a week, on Sunday (barring any natural disasters that discourage me from writing it on Sunday) I will write a post titled Six Pack Sunday which will contain SIX things that I’ve been thinking about or excited about or disappointed in or anything like that.  Sort of my way of tying up loose ends from the rest of the week, so I can start fresh and new on Monday.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you

The Inaugural Six Pack Sunday

  1. There’s nothing worse than finishing a pack of Arnold’s Sandwich Thins. It’s like saying good bye to a delicious friend that has been there for you through thick and thin(s). Breakfast to dinner. Sometimes snacktime. However, I have found a way to cope with this grief, this sense of loss.  And it involves tuna fish sandwiches. If you are not a fan of tuna sammies, feel free to look away, skip to #2, or substitute your favorite tuna sandwich-esque salad like chicken or egg. Make the tuna as you normally would (I like mine with a can of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore and about two spoonfuls of Hellman’s Low Fat Mayo). Add whatever seasonings you normally do. Now, here’s the sad part: Remove your final Sandwich Thin from the bag (this works best with 7 grain or, in my case, the Naturals Whole Wheat Flax and Fiber.) Placing that aside, here’s where it gets glorious. Dump all the seeds, the bits and pieces of flax and goodness that have fallen off your sandwich thins in days of old, into your prepared tuna.

    It should look like this.

    Seriously. It’s like a farewell kiss from your sandwich thins to you, a way of giving you one final benefit to the countless they’ve bestowed upon you already. It adds flavor, texture, and general good vibes. Do this, and be happy.

  2. If you’re a fan of Family Guy, you might be familiar with this skit:

    And that’s great.  But what’s even better is when you pass one, IRL, and can recite the entire thing by heart.

    Yes. Getting up close/personal with a real Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

  3. My feet are size 13 in most every style/designer of women’s shoes. Being that I’m 6’1″, this isn’t all that hard to believe. That being said, I went to Nordstrom Rack today with high hopes of finding a classy sandal.  The selection (of approximately 30 shoes in my size) all looked basically like this:

    Your pick: White lace doilies, bright red suede booties, or cow spotted heels?

    No wonder I spend most of my time in Men’s sandals/Sperry’s/sneakers…  It is my gift, and my burden.

  4. It’s almost Fourth of July. Which means that I could not resist running over to Old Navy (inspired by Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life) and picking up my new favorite bathing suit.

    So much patriotism, so little fabric!

    I am sure to be the bell of the ball (and the beach.) All this (both pieces of the bikini and a pair of shorts) ran me a cool $3 (I had a groupon that I purchased for 10, entitling me to 20 dollars worth of goodies. Even still… I felt like a recessionista. (Please, don’t hate me for using that word, it’s the only one that seemed to fit here.)

    Look! Even bottles of wine in the shape of cats are getting into the American Spirit!!

    CAT WINE IS MY FAVORITE WINE!!

    (Side note: on my beau’s 21st birthday, one of the first things he legally bought me was a bottle of this Black Cat Riesling. Few things taste sweeter than wine out of a [glass] cat’s head.)

  5. A little while back, I signed up to receive a free sample of one of Power Bar’s newest products: Protein Plus Bites.

    Yay, protein! Cakey, gross, dry protein.

    These were definitely not a win in my book, and I would never buy these (at least not these exact ones…) There are about 8 in a pack I think, and offer 20 g of protein and 300 calories. I thought I’d have two after my workout today on the elliptical. About 33 minutes racing myself and the 6 other people in the entire gym, and some lower ab exercises at my favorite workout spot (O2 Fitness-Falconbridge Club) I thought these would be a great way to get some protein easily. Unfortunately, all I could stomach was one.  Dry, with a very chemical tasting chocolate taste, and a gritty texture, I almost threw away the pack. I just can’t waste stuff, so I left the rest in there…. maybe my beau will want to try someday. I doubt these things even could expire, though, so they’ll probably outlive me.

  6. After my disappointing protein snack, I opted for a much tastier lunch. Frozen Yogurt!

    They had patriotic sprinkles!!

    The beau and I swung by Tutti Frutti, which is officially our new spot for frozen treats this summer. It was SO affordable (6.25 for two of us, and we did not skimp on the toppings). I went for a combination of cheesecake, birthday cake, orange, papaya, and blueberry yogurt with toppings like sprinkles (red, white, and blue of course), mochi, gummy bears, pineapple, strawberry, and a few sunflower seeds covered in chocolate. For a full review, feel free to check out my Yelp post, but to sum it up: AH-MAZING! got the taste of those yucky protein balls right outta my mouth.

Now, I’m off to watch the end of Resident Evil: Afterlife and have a date night courtesy, of course, of LivingSocial (feel free to click to sign up, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year+).  Until then, I’ll be making sweet cinematic love to the finest men and women fighting the umbrella corporation. Namely, the badassery that is: Milla Jovovich.

You keep eating that Froyo, I got this.

Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday, y’all! I hope it’s full of tasty foods and maybe your own personal six-pack!

Blog Roll Explained: Why I read who I read.

Let’s be honest: I just started this blog, inspired by the folks that I read regularly, in hopes to become a more legitimate writer. But also, because my not so secret goal is to be HALF as cool as these women who seem to do it all. They’re beautiful, they prepare and eat foods regularly that I could maybe manage to make once a week (max), they have precious pups, and they’re leading lives that I admire.

That being said, I know it’s important not to fall into the Comparison Trap with other bloggers, and know that I’m doing my own thing, loving life, and kicking ass. HOWEVER, I thought it might be nice for others looking for some inspiration or fun reading to know WHY I read the blogs I read, and maybe a little bit more about them than just their name/a link!  Here goes nothing:

  • Peanut Butter Fingers – Julie at PBFingers was the first blogger I started to follow regularly. I like that her husband’s name is Ryan (my beau’s name is as well!) but I also like how she manages to balance her life, her exercise, and (one of my very favorite aspects of her blogs) her FAMILY! Unfortunately, I live 300+ miles from most of my family, so I don’t get to see them, but I love to read posts about her family gatherings, and it’s clear that family is MEGA important to her. She’s a lovely woman with a very upbeat tone to her blog, and her dog is pretty much the cutest thing around.  Also, she preps meals not just for herself but for her husband, so I love the guy-friendly recipes.
  • Running Off the Reese’s – Cely is the funniest blogger I read. Hands down. The way she writes about exercise is so similar to the way I think about exercise, and I feel like, even though I know her, sometimes I hear an exasperated voice  when she writes about things that frustrate her. Her dogs… also a key part of continued reading.
  • Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life – Courtney just seems like the kind of girl everyone would be lucky to have as a friend. The only “cat person” I read (well… unless I’m forgetting someone), she likes Body Pump as much as I do, plays sports in adult rec leagues, and gets overjoyed when she gets an extra donut hole at Dunkin Donuts, proving that we can, in fact, all get along (we being cat and dog people). She can absolutely laugh at herself, which I love to read about, and her salads always look bomb.com.
  • girl meets life – Gracie is like what I imagine Gossip Girl would be like if they weren’t all evil backstabbers who sleep with each others boyfriends and plot nefariously. She is so down to earth, yet throws down with the best of them. I also admire her spiritual side that she brings into her posts now and then, and she has these great tasty recipes that she throws on her blog now and then that I just hope I have time to make back when I’m living on my own again.
  • Daily Garnish – Recently moved to Seattle, Emily is also totally pregnant! Even though  I don’t plan to be a baby mama any time soon, whenever I am, I hope to be pregnant like Emily’s doing it. Her recipes are always delicious looking, and her photography is breathtaking.
  • Carrots n’ Cake – Tina is the blogger that, despite I feel my life is a polar opposite of hers, I instantly feel connected to anything she writes. She’s so talented, and her write-up of the Pug 5k from the perspective of her pup, Murphy, actually had me laugh out loud and share with my beau.
  • Bess Be Fit – Bess lives near me! I’ll admit, that was the first draw to her blog. After reading a little more, though, she always posts food that looks real/doable, her fashion sense will NOT QUIT, and her appreciation of pop culture gives me my fix without letting me spend more time on PerezHilton than is wise.
  • Food, Fitness, Fashion – Ali is a rockstar. And my favorite thing about her: She’s honest with herself and her readers. When she had a problem not too long ago with her running and finding the joy in it, she told us about it. Another Boston girl, I love her accent, I love that she does crossfit, and I loveeeeeee that she likes beer!  Another woman with great fashion sense, her voice in her writing always makes me smile.
  • fANNEtastic food – Anne is a local writer, getting a higher education at my alma-mater. Though I’ve only just recently started reading her blog, she continues to impress me with fantastic and healthy recipes. I’m sure that she’s going to rock at finishing the rest of her program and becoming a Registered Dietician!
  • The Fitnessista – Gina is another woman who I recently started reading, she’s a fitness instructor in Vegas! She seems to live all over the place, and she’s also recently pregnant, but has great recipes especially for people who need to cook for veggie eaters and carnivores alike.
  • Skinny Runner – Also great to get my occasional dose of pop culture updates, she writes about her life with a sense of humor that I think others take as serious (which can lead to some silly comments after her posts). I like how she doesn’t take HERSELF too seriously, and I like her style.
  • Julie goLean – I just started reading Julie’s blog, so I’m still getting the hang of Salad Beasts and drive by shakes, but I’m liking what I read so far.
  • Meals and Miles – Meghann is another writer who is super honest with her readers. She straddles the line between writing about her daily life and tackling some hard hitting issues, which makes for very good reading without every feeling like you’re getting too much of either.  She just moved in with her significant other, and I’ve been enjoying all that she writes about that and watching someone else go through the same experience I did last year!  It doesn’t hurt that her pup, Maddie, is easy on the eyes.
  • The Sunday Flog – The one blogger I actually know IRL!! Ali writes about her Sunday meals with her family, which always make me a) hungry and b) sad that I don’t live anywhere close to mine. Beautiful pictures, a great baker, and definitely a family girl.

I promise, I didn’t write this post as a brown-nosing tactic! merely a way to get my blog roll across as well as the cliff-notes summary of some of the favorite bloggers I read!

Ok, ok. Lunchtime’s over, back to work, and counting down the minutes until a Wine Tasting tonight at A Southern Season!

EDIT: If I didn’t include you here, it’s not because I’m not reading what you’re writing! These are just the most frequent blogs I read, and the one’s I’ve been reading for the longest! I’m picking up new ones every day!

Welcome to the Jungle

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life, right?

Well today’s the first day of this, my newest internet endeavor.  After reading hours upon hours of the words of my peers, women and men who I admire immensely, that helped inspire my own journey into a healthier lifestyle, I felt moved to start a more official blog of my own.  In March 2010, I began tumbling, which has also been a key to tracking my food intake, exercise, and Weight Watching. Almost a year and a half later, I’ve lost 40 lbs, changed my entire outlook on day to day life, and added a hearty dose of health/fitness bloggers to my day-to-day readathon in the early hours of my morning. It’s my hope to add something to this blogging community, something I can be proud of come August 19th when I hit the streets of Philthy-delphia (aka my old stomping grounds) for the 3rd Annual Healthy Living Summit, an event I used to be satisfied with reading about.

That being said, I’m not a runner. I’m not a health nut, nor am I a nutritionist, and I’m not quite a foodie (though I think I’m getting there…) I’m a hungry young professional living in the Research Triangle of North Carolina with a general enthusiasm for fitness, adventure, and (the newest addition to my list of hobbies) craft beer.

I’d love to use this blog as an outlet to pick up my writing, a passion I used to have as a young’n, and track my health, fitness, food, and beers that have piqued my interest.

Feel free to give me a read, follow along, and maybe (if I’m lucky) I’ll help someone else find the chutzpah to change their lives for the MUCH better.