Monday, January 27, 2014

A Tiny Blog Break.

Isn't this print gorgeous? Doubly so if you are a Friday Night Lights fan. You can buy it: here.

I'm takin' a little blog vacation this week. Nothing terrible going on and no real reason behind it, just a busy work week, lots of things on my personal to-do list, and I am battling the flu so I wanted to take one thing off my plate (I'm finally learning how to do that!). 

Also, how heavenly is that print? Rhyno and I recently started watching Friday Night Lights and that tagline is SO GOOD. 

Have the best week and don't miss me too much. See you in a week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Folks.

I am inspired today to just say that I love my parents.

I honestly love their guts. I talk to each of them at least twice a day (via text or phone or email or social media comment). They are two of my best friends and biggest cheerleaders. And I am theirs. I have never really been that kid who is like, "Ugh, my parents." Like Mindy Kaling has said, I am that kid who loves her folks too much. They are rad and make me laugh and they are smart and keep me feeling grateful every day.

I love those two.

Happy Friday. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Currently (One Day Early).

A fantastic read if you haven't already dug into it.

I am currently...
....eating off the cleanse and feeling rad! I have been staying within 1,200 calories but allowing myself cooked and (some) processed foods (like Boca substitutes and canned soup). Feeling SO good!
...making the best of the weekends! Now that I am (happily) back to working five days a week, I am re-realizing how short and how special weekends are. I am spending this one with family and my hubba.
...listening to the Civil Wars on loop. I am so, so in love, particularly with Poison and Wine and The One That Got Away. The other day I listened to Poison and Wine like 22,248 times in a row. Even though they hate one another, I love them both equally.
...reading all the rag mag issues about Awards season. Dang, I love this time of year. I love the beautiful dresses and the glamor of it all.
...watching SO MUCH NASHVILLE. When it premiered a couple years back, Rhyno and I watched the first few episodes but then cancelled cable and sort of forgot about it. We randomly found it online last week and have since binge watched the whole first season and started the second. DANG, that first season finale gutted me. I was a puddle of tears. And oh, the music. So. Much. Great. Music. I am so obsessed and can't stop watching or listening or talking about it. I have been listening to Lennon and Maisy on YouTube non-stop (their cover of Ho Hey is unbelievable).
...loving the idea of getting Violet a playmate. We have been searching rescue organizations for a good fit and had a let down last week. We had our hearts set on a cutie boy in a kill shelter down south and found out he can't be around cats. We are looking for that perfect fit now.
 Happy Thursday!
If you also partake in Currently posts, please link up in the comments!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Checking In & Wrapping Up.

So the third and final week of the 21 Day Adventure Cleanse is upon us and....I have cut the "cleanse" short. 

I know, I know. I felt like a failure when I decided to step off the raw, vegan ride but I am ONLY allowing myself to leave the party early as to avoid a huge binge of some sort and to keep myself on track. I weighed in on Saturday morning, after nearly two full weeks on the cleanse (minus some very minor cheats that I worked off in the gym). I hadn't lost any weight. Zip, zilch, nada.  Still. 

I've mentioned before that I lose weight very slowly, so slowly that my doctor was positive I had a thyroid problem or something like that until I did a ton of blood panels and we found absolutely nothing wrong with me, just a case of poor genetics I guess. When I stepped on the scale and saw no movement, despite working hard, I felt discouraged. I felt disappointed in myself and wanted to give up. Like, if I'm going to look like this anyway why not eat french fries and spend more time watching TV on the couch? So, I decided to go off the cleanse to take some pressure off. Kind of, sort of.

Kris Carr says to make it work for you and that's exactly when I'm going to do. I really did enjoy the cleanse and I have felt a lot better since starting out two weeks ago. I plan to continue to incorporate a lot of the elements of the cleanse into my lifestyle (dry brushing, wheatgrass shots, fresh juice for breakfast, etc.). On Saturday I decided to start watching caloric intake instead of focusing just on being vegan/raw and I've lost two pounds as of this morning. Maybe I was just stressing myself out too much to lose weight on the cleanse? Maybe I wasn't getting enough calories? Who knows? I plan to continue tracking everything on MyFitnessPal and hitting the gym as many days a week as possible. I'm also going to slowly cut out dairy and processed products, as opposed to dumping everything all at once. I am making it work for me and I plan to use some of the great-looking recipes from Carr's cookbook, while also relying on some (healthy) Guffey household favorites.

Part of the point of sharing my journey even when things don't go as planned is to teach myself to be more aware and to stop being so hard on myself. I'll still be posting weekly about weight-loss progress and my goal to slowly wean off of all processed food.

 Want to encourage one another? Let's connect on MyFitnessPal.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Weekend!

Scary Bunny wishes you a happy weekend!

We'll be (finally, really, I swear) cleaning the basement and making a little "home gym" corner for when the gym is not an option. Post on that to come...


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gains & Challenges.

Just checking in here!

It's the second week of the  Kris Carr 21 Day Adventure Cleanse. I planned to share my weigh in today buuuuuut I'm not weighing in yet. On Saturday being curious got the best of me and I jumped on the scale. I had gained. I had been feeling SO great and the second I saw a heavier number, I felt those negative feelings slinking back in. At dinner I allowed my self gluten-full pasta and later I had a glass of wine. I easily could have gone bananas with the emotional eating but I tried not to. I splurged but not so much that I wanted to crawl in a hole and be ashamed of myself.

So I won't be weighing in until Monday. In the spirit of breaking old, negative patterns I've decided to use this gain to fuel my desire for success instead of letting it drive me to a bag of processed donuts. I know that I could have gone to the gym more and pushed harder while there--I was doing the stationary bike & walking the track. I was sweating but not nearly as much as I could have.

My minimum goal is 10,000 steps a day (I usually hit it around 8pm). On Monday I hit the number above before 5pm.

On Sunday evening, still feeling a teeny bit sorry for myself, I wanted to have a glass of wine and eat pizza rolls. Instead I started prepping for a healthy Monday. I laid out my gym shoes & charged my iPod. I put on my workout clothes to sleep in and set my alarm for 5am. I decided I wouldn't allow myself to use the stationary bike since I don't push myself hard enough when I use it. 

I wound up waking up around 3:30am unable to fall asleep again. I got out of bed, did some work, & then hit the gym right when it opened. I loved being there so early! I found an incline elliptical and hopped on. 


I have been using the machine all week and am burning three times the calories I was before. I do the machine for 30-40 minutes and then ten laps on the track. I already feel like I have more energy and I feel less bloated. My goal this week is to hit the gym three times, next week four, and build up to six.

I am proud of myself for actually physically challenging myself. Usually I'd wuss out, I'm so happy that I've been putting the pedal to the metal and doing this...even if the scale isn't reflecting that quite yet.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Marriage Stuff.

My handmade wedding bouquet.

Marriage is fun. Like, I mean it. My marriage is fun--we play harmless pranks on one another, spend a lot of time laughing, and are just real weirdos. I love my husband and do believe he is my match.

Please note that I don't pretend to have the perfect marriage. When Rhyno and I fight it can be insanity. He's stubborn, I have a bad temper. Last Saturday we went on a date night--we had a fun, goofy dinner at Mongolian Barbeque and then headed to Trader Joe's. While at TJ's Rhyno got cranky, this made me insanely mad, and we wound up fighting for about three hours. It became a fight about deeper issues--needing to make a better effort not to take things personally and being more considerate of one another. 2013 was a rough year for both of us and our marriage took a bit of a bruising. We've both decided to make a better effort.

We never had serious marital problems or anything, we never didn't want to be together, we never stopped having fun. It was just a lot of bickering or taking little kindnesses for granted. After a terrible year with a lot of lessons, we're learning. We're both remembering to say thank you to each other more often, to be patient when the other is cranky, to let the small stuff roll off our backs. We're a team and it's been nice to remind ourselves of that. 

What are your tips for a happy relationship?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Makin' It Rain.

Happy Monday, ya hot babes!

Warning: this post is a bit more serious than usual (despite my ridiculous photo choice).

 Space Kittens Hate Cancer

Last summer I wrote about my experience walking in the Avon 2 Day for Breast Cancer. It was challenging, rewarding, and began me on this road to whole health and being thankful for what I have.

Cancer is hard. Cancer is devastating. Cancer is not a death sentence.

Cancer has touched my life a handful of times--my grandpa battled it when I was a child, I lost a childhood friend to it far too young, my cousin was a tiny walking skeleton when she was 7, I lost one of my favorite women in the world to it almost ten years ago. In 2013 cancer--the raging bitch that she is--decided to hit my family again in a big way. When I found out that this disease had made yet another stop into my world, it was the single most devastating moment of my life. It gave me a new passion for fundraising and volunteering--specifically for charities that focus on all kinds cancer research. I am committed to raising beyond my minimum goal and walking every single step of the 2 Day in honor of those in my life that have battled.

I am currently raising funds for this year's walk that will take place at the end of May. If you'd like to donate to me and my team (and become my favorite person ever), please visit my fundraising page. I reward for donations because the support--both monetary and emotional--means a great deal to me. Last year's donor care packages included hot pink cookies, organic homemade pet treats, little toys and trinkets, homemade bunting, and more. This year I'll also be sending out thank you gifts because bribery sometimes works and also I like to send snail mail.

Don't feel like you have to donate your life's savings to help out. Even a donation of $5 helps a ton and earns you cookies.

Have a rad day and be good to yourself. :)

Friday, January 10, 2014


  Left: Some ChiBeria wind art in the snow on our back patio
Right: One of our side yards lookin' all beautiful and winterly wonderful
I am currently...
....eating a lot of soup and a lot of salad. Drinking a lot of juice and taking a lot of nutrition-boosters.  But, you know, I talked about that yesterday.
...making the somewhat long trek (40 minutes each way) to Trader Joe's this weekend! Dang, I miss living five minutes away from TJ's. I make the TJ Trek once every couple of months for my favorite staples (coconut oil, bread mixes, vitamins). I think I'm going to drag Rhyno along so we can call it a "date" and it'll seem more fun.
...on my To Do list finishing the final clean and purge in the house--the basement! This space is rough because we don't use it nearly as much as we should so we both tend to just shove any crap we don't want down there. I am going through all the closets and drawers to find the final bits of garbage or donations. Once the temps warm up a bit we'll tackle the garage and finally drop off all these boxes and bags of charity donations!
...listening to my old Pandora stations and it is such a trip. When I was a full-time office employee I had my stations down to a science, knowing when to change stations, which mixed well with which, how many skips I had left for the day, etc. Since then I haven't used it much but now that I am busier and working in my home office more I have been rocking that Florence + the Machine station mixed with Rilo Kiley all day, every day. Delicious.
...reading Crazy, Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr. Are you even surprised? Rhyno is, by no means, a vegetarian but I am planning to start incorporating a couple of completely vegan meals into our dinner rotation every week once I am done with the Adventure Cleanse.
...watching The Mindy Project re-runs over and over. I love that Mindy Kaling.
...loving how pulled together our house feels now! Honestly, I'm so glad I did the purge & a bit of redecorating (on the top two levels anyhow). My office feels much calmer when helps with my workday. I love our punched up front room. I love our new entryway. Our kitchen feels more organized. Crazy cleaning addict for the win.
...hoping for a less arctic weekend full of relaxing, fun, and productivity. What are you up to this weekend?
 Have a great weekend!
If you also partake in Currently posts, please link up in the comments!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

So Far, So Good.

I'm officially in the thick of the first week of the Kris Carr 21 Day Adventure Cleanse!

So what has been going on so far?

Green Juice.
I've been making two tall glasses of green juice every morning (saving one for an afternoon snack). To make two juices I throw in: 2 large cucumbers (washed, unpeeled), a shit-ton of spinach (probably around 4 or 5 cups), and a cup of fresh cranberries (mostly because I had a coupon). When it's all juiced up I pour into a glass and stir in some chia seeds. I actually started making this a habit a few weeks ago. I try to keep myself liquid until noon every day, know what helps with that? WATER.
Oh, water.
Before my wedding (you remember, when I lost 50 pounds only to gain it all back) I was drinking my weight in water In the last couple years I have definitely been lagging on my intake but I have been making a better effort to drink my weight in ounces of water every day. I have noticed a big difference in my energy levels all day. I'm not sure if that's the upped water intake talking or the other healthy habits I've adopted but I'll take it.

 Trying (healthy) new things.
Carr mentioned Maca powder and I was interested. After doing some research on the internets, I found that this stuff has a lot of benefits (you can see some here). It aids in mood, easing menstrual cramps, fertility, stomach issues, skin issues, and can (apparently) make you pretty randy. It's worth a shot because TMI ALERT my cramps every month are cuckoo bananas. I was taking Evening Primrose caplets because those have been said to help but they didn't do much for me. Real talk: this stuff does taste like dirt--it'd probably be best if you toss it in smoothies but I drink it straight up in a glass of water. Maca with breakfast and wheatgrass with lunch. Who am I becoming?

Not Being So Hard on Myself.
I've done tons of cleanses and diets in the past (Body for Life, Jillian Michaels, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Hungry for Change, Kaeng Raeng) and I would beat the crap out of myself mentally when I didn't stick exactly to the plan. I think this is what makes me gravitate to Kris Carr. She tells you to be lenient, do what works for you. Don't force yourself to fast once a week if you don't feel like it's possible for you. Don't chug wheatgrass if it makes you vomit. Be good to yourself and silence your inner bully. I've tried to remember this whenever I catch myself engaging in negative self-talk.

 Scoot the Loot (Even if It's Cold).
I mentioned before that my awesome mom got m a gym membership at our local park district for Christmas. I made a goal to go at least three days a week at first and eventually build up to six. The first day of the Adventure Cleanse was a no-go for the gym because we were hit with ChiBeria and everything was closed! Unfortunately our basement--where I keep my rebounder, treadmill, and weights--is a disaster area since it is the only space I haven't cleaned and purged yet. The gym reopened on Tuesday and I have been there every morning between 6:15 and 7am doing a half hour on the stationary bike and then 10 laps around the indoor track. I know that my current workout is someone else's warm-up but who cares? Someday it'll be my warm-up too.

It's About More than Diet and Exercise.
It's about total health. After the gym and shower in the morning I drink hot lemon water with cayenne pepper, do an oil pull, dry brush, run an ice cube over my face, use my Neti Pot, and then drink my breakfast. It is a very finely-tuned machine already and I think I am mastering doing all that at once so it doesn't take nearly the time it seems it would. I know that my current work-from-home situation allows me a bit more time in the morning to get all these healthy rituals complete so I won't say that I know for sure that I will always do all of this every day. But for now I'm really enjoying it. Doing all these little things for myself before 8am every day helps start the morning on the right foot and encourages me to stay on track.

Make Attainable Goals.
 I am the queen of unattainable and somewhat ridiculous goals. I really am. I have said before that I am the person that will say, "My goal is to lose 50 pounds in two months." Maybe I saw someone on TV do it, maybe I heard of a friend of a friend who lost 80 in a month. It isn't attainable for me. I've always lost weight pretty slowly and my body takes time to adjust. In 2014 I am changing my weight goal-setting mindset. I would like to hit my goal weight (100 pounds down) by December 31, 2014. Knowing my past patterns and doing some research, this is attainable. In the meantime, I am making small goals every day that make me feel accomplished when I check them off my mental to-do list. 100 squats, 100 crunches, 100 wall push-ups, 10,000 steps. I've had similar daily goals in the past and it worked well. I do these throughout the day (so if I only have time for 10 squats before a conference call, that's what I do until I have more time). I love working from home for a TON of reasons. One problem though? My step count is ZILCH. Hitting 10,000 steps takes an active effort when I am sitting in my office working the whole day. Last night I had to walk laps around the house at 8pm to get to the number pictured above. Whatever it takes, right?

What Works Best for ME.
 I love that the Adventure Cleanse is a set of guidelines instead of a strict program. There isn't a menu plan per say, just some suggestions. You should be eating gluten-free, caffeine-free, vegan, unprocessed, whole foods with a 80/20 or 60/40 alkaline/acid ratio in mind. Though it is suggested to eat mostly raw foods I have been eating soups for lunches because that's what works for me right now. Again, in the midst of busy work days, it is a quick and easy meal that I don't have to put a ton of time (or money, frankly) into. I choose low-sodium varieties from Amy's Organic but plan to make a big vat of my soup for next week's lunches. Also, I had set out to make different dinners every night but I have been relying mostly on GIANT salads with lots of veggies, a bit of olive oil, and sliced avocado. As long as my chow falls within the gluten-free, caffeine-free, vegan, unprocessed guidelines, I'm not beating myself up over it.

Some other notes: Rhyno asked me if I was planning on doing any "cheat" or "free" meals on the plan (really he just wants to know if we can have tacos on Saturday). I'm still thinking about it. I know having that one meal is good because it helps you not fall off the wagon, I'd like to stay within the guidelines as to not undo any progress. I guess I'll see how tempted I feel. Carr also suggests doing one day of fasting per week (just juices, still getting nutrients). I'm going to try it on Sunday but if it turns me into a monster I'm fine chowing down a Larabar.

 I plan to do a weight loss update sometime next week to allow my body to adjust to my new routine a bit. 

Cheers to another day of living like I mean it! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Finding Balance.

This week I have been trying to remind myself about the beauty of balance while I am enjoying the beauty of being busy. I've been going to bed each night feeling accomplished and tired, equal parts happy and content. I wish I knew what the secret to that feeling was...maybe it's just been a good week?

How do you find balance?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Adventures of Scary Bunny.

This is Scary Bunny.

I love scary bunnies. I have a handful of terrifying-looking rabbits that I've picked up at garage sales over the years. A few years ago Rhyno and I began hiding this particular Scary Bunny around the house for the other to find. We'd place it in shoes or hanging from a lamp or sitting on the television remote. When we moved into our house the Bun got packed away and then unpacked into our new basement. 

Then I woke up last week and she was waiting for me by my coffee cup. It scared the barf out of me and then make me laugh out loud. Since then she has found her way into our dishes cabinet and the DVD shelf.

This silly on-going game is one of the many reasons I love my husband. I love that he is goofy and that we have these little, bizarre traditions. I love that he will do anything to make me laugh. On the coldest day, he will warm up my heart.

Who knew a creepy lettuce-snacker could make me so mushy?

Do you have any silly traditions with your significant other?

Monday, January 6, 2014

21 Days: Prep & Day One.

In case you missed it: I mentioned here that for the next 21 days I'll be participating in Kris Carr's Adventure Cleanse.

One day in and I'm feeling...pretty good! 

As far as prep work goes, the Adventure Cleanse does require quite a bit. I started planning my little journey out about a week beforehand and began gathering things I'd need (a neti pot, pH testing strips, etc.). I bought a disposable paper calendar so I can write down the menu and what needs to be done each day. Up front: I was lucky because I already owned most of the tools since I'm in love with Ms. Carr. If you decide to cleanse too and are in need of testing strips, supplements, or the like I suggest hitting up (not an affiliate link or paid endorsement...I actually shop there in real life). 

I started today by taking my pH balance (more about that here). It was 5.5 which is acidic (thank you, last night's wine and spicy pasta!). The goal is to find a more alkaline to acid balance (I'm going for about 80/20 in my diet). I plan to test my pH once a week while on the cleanse, and will probably keep it up after because I'm a science nerd and counted the seconds until the strips arrived on my doorstep because I was SO excited to use them.

After the pH read, I had my first ever experience with a neti pot. It was weird but once I get the hang of it I think I'll love it. I never realized that it was the same as snorting water when you're sick (which is hillbilly but I totally do it). So, basically, I invented the neti pot when I started sucking in bath water when I was a child. Moving on...

Supplements are my best friend. I have always been pretty good about taking vitamins every day. Currently I take a multi-vitamin (just a generic women's version found at Trader Joe's), Folic Acid, B12, Omega-3 oils, and Kombucha caplets. I had my doctor review my vitamins over summer to ensure they were all safe and yadda, yadda. I suggest doing the same if you start taking a new vitamin.

Today's menu:
Breakfast: A big green juice (spinach, carrots, an apple, a cucumber) topped with black chia seeds
Lunch: TONS of romaine and spinach with carrots, topped with unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Snack: Another big, fat green juice and a Larabar 
Dinner: Quinoa with steamed garlic, broccoli, red onion, and a tiny bit of olive oil

I had planned ALL day to have a whole, delicious, wonderful avocado with dinner. They are my favorite things in the world but DAMN IF THEY AIN'T A BITCH. My avocados weren't ripe and, despite trying some trick I found on YouTube, I wasn't able to chow on one. I subbed in oil for a bit of healthy fats.

Since it's been less than 24 hours I can't speak much for the actual results of the cleanse yet but I will say I think this is best for those who want to begin living intentionally. Huh? What? Living with intention. Putting thought into the smallest of details in life. Carr urges you to meditate and chew your food thoroughly and get sleep and just care for, a lot. I think that's what drew me to the cleanse. It wasn't about "drop 80 pounds in four days!" (have you seen some of those ridiculous things on Pinterest?). It's about changing how you treat yourself and being kind to yourself. I realized that by making time to meditate for 15 minutes and jump around on our rebounder, I had less time to watch television and sit on the couch. Since I knew I had to chew my food mindfully, I pushed the laptop away and really focused on my meals. I'm hoping this will create a habit of paying attention to the moment instead of multi-tasking every second I'm awake.

I'm looking forward to the next 20 days!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Friday.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

21 Days.

I've mentioned before (probably 12,874,953 times) that I adore Kris Carr. Her kind, wholesome recipes inspire me to eat better and do better. After reading her book, Crazy Sexy Diet twice in a row I feel totally inspired and motivated to make positive changes. I know I said before that I would never do another cleanse, but oh well. I'm doing another one.
As of Monday (to give me time to shop and prep) I'm going to give Kris Carr's 21 Day Adventure Cleanse a shot. In the past I haven't been great on cleanses but I feel much more positive because Kris Carr's cleanse involves more than eating--she focuses a lot on Neti pots, meditation, and exercise. The diet side of the cleanse is also real food--green juices, quinoa, Buddha bowls, and tons of produce.
I'll be updating ze blog with my progress throughout the three week process. I'm oddly excited to give caffeine-free, veganism a real try. My awesome mom also got me a gym membership for Christmas so I'll be including light exercise into the cleanse too. I've failed before but I feel much more positive this time around.
Are you on board with the 21 Day Adventure Cleanse?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Fresh Start and New Year.

2014 is here!
A great idea I swiped from my best friend--a jar to keep memories of the great things that happen through out the year. Ours is on our entryway table and cute as a button.
After a super fun celebration with friends last night, a smooch at midnight, and an early wake up call (thanks, Violet!) I am loving 2014 so far. I spent the day paying bills, organizing calendars, and cooking up lunches for the week. If every day of this year was like this one? I'd be a happy gal.
How's your first day of 2014 been so far?