Tuesday, October 21, 2014

(Stitch) Fix My Wardrobe, Please!

*DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated to give this review. All opinions are my own.

It all started one day whilst socializing on Facebook when my friend and colleague Sasha posted about receiving Stitch Fix. At first I was all “Nope! That is totally not for me!” because while the idea of a box of clothes hand picked for you by a personal stylist arriving on my doorstep felt very glamorous and fun, I am a bit of a control freak. And by “a bit” I mean, MAJOR CONTROL FREAK ACTION.

Anyhow, I had seen others post about Stitch Fix and kept seeing cute outfits being shared by my peeps so I bit the bullet and decided to just be adventurous, darn it.
The way Stitch Fix works is that you fill out a pretty extensive online style profile. You can also link up your Pinterest board and other social media accounts so they can get a good idea of your personal style. Then they send you a box of clothes handpicked for you. You can keep what you like and send back what you don’t.

I tend to only pin for business, so creating a Pinterest style board just for me was new to me and totally fun!

On the list of my home design projects (that is taking me FOREVER to work through) is to transform my walk in closet into a closet boutique. A place where I can curate my favorite clothing items, dress and primp in fabulous style. But I have to be honest... although I have some really cool things in my wardrobe, there isn't much to choose from. I don't enjoy browsing through stores as much as I used to so I was looking for a way to add cool items to my closet without dealing with the stress of shopping for hours on end.

Then I came across this book, The No Brainer Wardrobe. Since reading this book, I've been in the process of re-working my closet. My goal is a diverse wardrobe that I can mix and match easily with a good array of things for a variety of occasions. So when I completed my Stitch Fix style profile, I was pretty detailed in specifying my likes, dislikes and needs to them.
It costs $20 to be styled (free shipping!) with Stitch Fix and then that goes towards whatever you keep. Stay tuned because I plan to share the goods as soon as they arrive!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DIY Juice Cleanse: Day 2 Thoughts

Just started reading? Check out my first 3 Day DIY Juice Cleanse post and Day 1 recap.

* Having gone to bed with a massive headache at 9:30pm, I slept horribly. Upon waking I my headache was still going full force.

*Mother Nature paid me a visit a week early. (Ladies, you know what I am talking about). Pretty sure this contributed to my body going all out of whack. This was unexpected and certainly this is not a good time to juice.

*MISSION FAIL: I have done everything short of cutting out my eyeballs and the headache persisted into the night. I decided to halt the juicing until my body levels out.

*Still, the juices were delicious. I will return tomorrow to share recipes and pics and final thoughts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DIY Juice Cleanse: Day 1 Thoughts

Just started reading? Check out my first 3 Day DIY Juice Cleanse post.

* Having juiced the night before, I woke up really excited to get started! Most mornings I’m not hungry until around 9 or 10am, but my stomach was actually growling by 8am. I started to worry that I was going to be hungry all day…and then I gulped down my first juice. There is an insane amount of produce that goes into each juice recipe, probably more than a lot of people eat in an entire day. It tasted bright and sunshine-y (if that makes sense). I actually enjoyed it a lot and felt more energized with every sip.

 * I had my first feeling of slight dread last night when I was washing the juicer after creating drink #1, Glow. Am I really going to have to do this five more times tonight and every night for the next couple of nights? Yes, yes I am. Washing the juicer after each juice flavor and repeating it again the next evening is a mini job in itself. If I had to get up and leave to work in an office or studio, I’d definitely need to schedule this for the weekend. And if my work-from-home schedule were super busy with lots of conference calls, this would be tricky. Thankfully my busy season is winding down!

* I feel a little weird. I’m not hungry, but my stomach also feels kind of empty? It’s tough to put into words. As suspected, I also got slightly shaky around lunchtime, so I ate a small salad. More than I anticipated but at least that's the only solid food I had all day and at least it's healthy for me.

* I did something new this time around...I continued with my exercise regime at mid-morning. It felt good to exercise  but I am not sure it was the best idea. About two hours later I had a massive headache because I burned off more energy than the fuel reserves in my body could handle. Perhaps this wasn't the week to pump up the volume...

* I hit a giant wall around 2pm, after I got sucked into a work project and missed my “lunch” by almost two hours. BIG MISTAKE. My head started pounding and I could not down that red juice fast enough. Unfortunately, the juice did little to alleviate my headache and it actually made me kind of nauseated.

* I tried to take a nap a little later (didn't happen – I am a very bad napper) and I waited it out for another hour, but my headache turned into what felt like a migraine. That’s where my juice cleanse took a detour. I ate a cheese tamale from Trader Joe's and took a 500mg ibuprofen, which I normally try to avoid but this headache was that bad. For a moment I felt like I disappointed myself, but you know what? My purpose in doing this juice cleanse is to feel good not sick. I think this is a really important takeaway, and there’s no reason to feel physically ill for the sake of saying I stuck to juicing exclusively for three days.

* I crashed across my bed after a nice hot shower with a cold compress across my eyes in my very dark bedroom at 9:30pm...  BOO!

I feel pumped and excited so far, even with my head on blast and despite the cleaning and preparing that I have to face tonight.

Let the Day 2 fun begin!

Monday, October 6, 2014

DIY 3-Day Suja Juice Cleanse

Juice cleanses seem to be really trendy right now. I’m seeing them all over blogs and instagram, and I keep getting Groupon types of emails for one, three, and seven-day programs. I've tried the 3-Day Original Suja Juice Classic Fresh Start Program (purchased at Whole Foods on sale for $128.00, normally priced at $165.00) and I absolutely loved the results. What I didn't love is the abundance of celery used in a couple of the juices... primarily because I really hate the taste of celery... and the price tag. But I felt healthy and strong. I gained clarity, more productivity and better sleep at night. I decided that I would definitely make this a regular part of my health regime by doing a juice cleanse quarterly.
My last juice cleanse was just after the 4th of July so it was time to do it again. I considered switching to another juice program and even tried a semi-juice cleanse at the end of August using a few Evolution Fresh juices (purchased at my local grocery store, Vons). They were delicious but I didn't get the same result I got from Suja. So my quest continued.

I soon learned that some of the cleanse programs seem to be kind of high in sugar. And, of course, all of them are pricey at about $60-70 per day. That said, the amount of organic produce it takes to make five organic juices plus one nut milk (which seems to be the standard) isn't exactly economical either, so I understand why they're priced so high, especially when you factor in manufacturing and branding and bottling and shipping. Plus, who wants to clean their juicer five times a day? NOT ME! But if I can save a significant amount of money and still create delicious juices, I am down for the sacrifice of cleaning the juicer.

So here I am. Although, I’m not really looking forward to prepping and cleaning produce and scrubbing my juicer regularly, I do actually own a perfectly good juicer. Not to mention that I work from home, so…I don’t have a good excuse as to why I can't attempt a homemade juice cleanse. Fortunately, I saved my Suja Juice Cleanse box and a quick Google search led me to the exact number of ingredients in each juice. I opted to toss out the ones I didn't like much and replace with a couple of other recipes I sourced on Pinterest. I’m sure there isn't any one correct way to do a cleanse so I am praying that I will get good results. I like the idea of following somewhat of a program rather than throwing a bunch of random ingredients in my juicer and hoping for the best, so I am taking a few cues from Suja on structuring my daily juice intake similar to the instructions they provide:

*On the morning of your first day, alkalize your body and prepare it for your first juice with a warm glass of water with a lemon and/or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. When your body feels the need for something more, begin with your juices for the day as indicated. Each bottle should be consumed in it's entirety, however you can consume them in several servings, if you need to. 

And the order of juicing as listed by Suja is as follows:

3. LUNCH: Purify
5. DINNER: Green Supreme
6. DESSERT: Vanilla Cloud (consume a minimum of 3 hours before bed to ensure full digestion)

I opted to swap out the Fiji and the Vanilla Cloud. The Fiji was simply too overpowering in the celery department for my tastebuds and the Vanilla Cloud wasn't as creamy or fulfilling as I had hoped. Instead I will drink a Lemon Love (Suja substitute), which is more or less a spicy lemonade in place of the Fiji and a Cashew Milk (Blueprint juice substitute) in place of the Vanilla Cloud.

To summarize, I’ll be drinking one juice every couple of hours, starting around 8:30am and ending around 7 or 8pm. On occasion, I noticed mid-afternoon my stomach grumbles a little. This is easily satisfied by eating 1/2 an avocado. I find that this is the only additional nourishment that I needed last time.

Here are my supplies, with most coming from Trader Joe’s to keep costs down, and the rest purchased from Vons and Whole Foods:

Grocery List (organic whenever available):

24 hearts celery
3 large cucumbers
18 green apples
4 big bunches kale
2 bunches spinach
11 lemons
1 pineapple
1 bunch mint
5 beets (including stems)
48 carrots
3 bananas
1 quart organic cashew milk
1 bunch collard greens
freshly ground turmeric root

And there were three items that I already had in my kitchen:
Agave Nectar
3 oranges

Total cost for 3 days: $64.79

The coolest thing about buying this much produce at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, is that everyone that works there totally understands your purchase. Oftentimes, they strike up conversation with me as I buy my healthy and organic grocery items, which just pumps me up even more to make it happen. Nothing like having supporters, even when they are virtual strangers.

Soooo....What am I hoping to gain from all of this? Reduction in water weight. Energy. Clarity. Feeling stronger and healthier. Better sleep. I’m also hoping that the awesomeness I feel after juicing is magnified since these will be fresher than fresh every day. My goal isn't to lose weight (which is always nice), but my main goal is to get some of my regular bloating down.

I’m opting for three days of juicing because I enjoy the challenge of seeing if I can stick it out for that long, but it’s also just long enough to where I feel like I’ll be able to get a good sense of whether I can kick start my body back into health.

Here are the recipes I am using:

Wish me luck and I’ll report back with an update soon! In the meantime, have you ever tried DIY'ing a juice cleanse or been interested in trying one? Share your thoughts! I would love to hear how well it worked for you.