Lifting of the Fog: Liver, Gallbladder, and Bowel cleanse.

Working on getting cleansed! Starting LGB Purity today! Woo – follow my experience, if you wish.

RosieHearted: Lifestyle of a Locavore

So, as I discussed in my last post, I’ve gained a bit of weight over the summer and I’m really starting to feel that I need to kick my butt back into shape, into wellness, and away from the things that limit my ability to be on my game! This cleanse came around quickly. I knew that I was going to start cleansing soon, but I didn’t think that October would be here in a blink of an eye! Last night, celebrating my best friend (and we’re cleansing together) and enjoying a cheeseburger with a beer, led to a hard morning. I still went to bed at a decent hour (before 11pm) but after gorging on that bacon cheeseburger, 34 oz of DeLICIOUS beer, and two slices of The Cat’s Meow from Food Dance…I had a pretty bad food hangover. My body HURT. My eyes were baggy, heavy, and in…

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My Real Body. Juice. Autumn. and so on…

I can’t believe it has been a month since I last updated my blog. Time flies. Life is hectic. I’m sort of, in between, living situations. I moved in with a good friend of mine and it just isn’t working out as I hoped it would. Kind of a bummer, but that is life! So, I’m in the process of moving back into my parents house for awhile, until I figure out where I want to be. Do you actually ever figure this out? I’m not sure.

So, over the past month, I’ve enjoyed the bounty of the harvest – fresh food from all around! My mom has been getting some venison from a friend of hers, so we’ve been enjoying roasts, meat loafs, kabobs, and what nots, all made with locally shot deer meat! I didn’t know there would be anything more tasty than a good, grass-fed beef steak, but man, was I wrong. The vegetable and fruit harvests are coming to an end in Michigan – so enjoy while you can! I’ve been loving the hell out of the locally grown peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Not to mention the APPLES!!!!!!!! Apple season in Michigan is spectacular. You can go to a farmer’s market and choose from 10 different varieties, all described as “juicy” and another mouthwatering adjective that really is true. You can’t go wrong!

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Another wonderful specialty crop in Michigan is the grape. Local vineyards produce delicious grapes to snack on or to juice…and this past weekend, I juiced some grapes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a fancy-dancy juicer, so I have to do what works…a food mill with a hand crank. Sure, it takes a bit of time…but it made some grape juice fit for kings and queens!

IMG_6481Hand-crank food mill. The old school way of making juice. Not to mention, my arms get a well needed workout!

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And the delicious grape juice. Even better if you add some sparkling water and create a fizzy!

The next thing I want to talk about is inspired by yoga_girl on Instagram, also known as Rachel Brathen, a yoga superstar based out of Aruba. She is candid, funny, loving, and carefree as she shares her life with her Instagram followers. I’ve been following her for a year now, and she’s truly an inspiration. Yesterday, she posted the most beautiful picture and caption of her belly rolls. I quote:

“It folds. It moves. It jiggles, bounces, flows, and allows for grabbing a handful of when needed. It’s strong and soft. Graceful and clumsy. Built by yoga and handstands and red wine and chocolate. And you know what the best part is? It’s all mine! Our insecurities and our confidence go hand in hand. When we hide certain aspects of our bodies we accentuate them as “flaws” in our minds… When fact of the matter is that by shying away we create the very same insecurity we are trying to get away from. By embracing everything about ourselves without hiding our “flaws” we create confidence, strength, power. It’s time to celebrate our bodies – every single inch. You’ll find that no one judges you more harshly than yourself. And that thing about your body you’ve been so hung up on? 99% of people out there are too preoccupied with their own insecuities to give a rats ass about yours. Half of the time our insecurities are imagined and distorted. For instance – I wanted to post a picture of the stretch marks I have on my upper things just now…Only to find that the camera couldn’t even capture them. That’s how invisible they are. Who knew?!? Not me, that’s for sure! So listen carefully: THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF IS YOU. Treat yourself nicely. You deserve a good life and happiness and beach days that center around sunshine and ocean – not sit ups and counting calories.”

Thank you, Rachel. You inspired me. Over the past 6 months, I’ve gained weight. I’ve gained about 20 pounds. How? No clue. Not exercising enough. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Over eating. Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. A little more alcohol than normal. A few late night trips for chicken fingers and french fries. A second serving of ice cream. Stress. Changes in my life. Being happy? All these things can contribute to putting on a few extra pounds…and when you’re barely five foot two, those pounds come quickly. Sure, I still feel great. I still think I’m sexy. Most of my friends can’t believe it when I tell them and respond with something along the lines of, “where did it go? I wish I could put on pounds like you!”, because, luckily, I gain weight in my hips/thighs/ass, so it isn’t hideous weight, but it gives you something to hold on to (now if only someone was). So, well, as I started to get down on myself because I can’t fit into my size 0s anymore, I don’t like wearing tight t-shirts, blah blah blah, I realized, FUCK IT. I love myself.

Here is my stomach, sitting down:
IMG_6568Here are my love handles. Here is my little rolls. Right under my boobs, I’ve always had these little parts of fat (I can pretend and call them my abs!) and they have made me self conscious in the past…but not anymore. I love my body. Sure, I need to exercise a bit more. I need to get back in the yoga studio more often. I need to do a little bit of cardio after sitting at a desk for 45 hours a week. But even more important is that I need to look into the mirror and say that I love myself, because I do. I do I do I do. Do you?

Goodies aren’t so good. Self control, have you heard of it?

Here, in the US, we are surrounded by junk food all the time. For office parties, cookies, candy, cakes, muffins, donuts, chips, all of those things are presented…and how do we say no? Well, we usually don’t. We usually make up an excuse to yourselves, something like, “well it IS a special occasion…”, or “I’ll only have a little piece”, or “I’ll eat a big salad for dinner and nothing for lunch except this yummy muffin”, or even “well if I have a bowl of fruit, the donut, and a cup of coffee, I’ll feel fine!” but yet, alas, none of these things are good enough.

When we consume sugar, anything over 4 TBLS at a time, we shock our system. Do you get that afternoon drowsiness if you eat a big salad and a cup of homemade soup? Probably not. We have gotten so used to that tired, sluggish feeling, that we’ve forgotten what it is like to NOT feel that way. What would it be like if every time you ate a snack at work it was a fruit or vegetable? Probably a whole lot better.

Now, treats are good. Every so often we should indulge. Shoot, indulge every day if you want to, but make the better choice in your indulgences. Choose the whole foods. Make your own baked goods. Go to a specialty chocolate shop and buy some rich, dark chocolate. Buy fair-trade organic chocolate. Make your own muffins. This way, you’ll know what you’re putting into your body.

Just an hour ago, I was starting to get hungry but wasn’t able to eat my lunch…so I cut myself a slice of a blueberry loaf. I didn’t look at the ingredients, I didn’t want to know. It was from Bob Evans, so I knew enough. I knew that I should have avoided it, made myself a cup of hot tea, and waited until I could sit down and enjoy a meal. But no, I ate it anyways…and the 5 seconds that it lasted, it tasted GOOD. But, well, moments later, I was tired. I started to feel mucus building up. I felt my lymph-nodes swell up. Man, do I want to go to sleep.

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Seems harmless, right? Now turn it around and look at the ingredient list.

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There is nothing wholesome about this treat. Notice the ridiculous amounts of ingredients, including those that I NEVER would use in my kitchen: soybean oil, margarine, mono & diglycerides, sodium benzoate, artificial flavor, modified corn starch, polysorbate 60, xanthan gum. AND I will tell you that my blueberries are just blueberries…not containing soybean oil (TRANS FAT, even though it says 0 grams), artificial flavor, beta carotene for color (orange? doesn’t make sense), soy lecithin, dimethylpolysiloxane (WHAT DID YOU SAY?), and TBHQ. Who in the hell makes this crap? Oh yeah, Bob Evans Farms, INC. I’d like to see this farm…where the blueberries come straight out of chemicals! 500 calories in two slices? Gross.

Why do we give in to temptation if we know the consequences are SO MUCH WORSE than the 5 seconds of yumminess? I don’t know. I do know, however, that if we eat high quality snacks, in between meals, we’ll be able to avoid the temptations of the sweets on the table. Try some of these: http://greatist.com/health/high-protein-snacks-portable/

Some of my favorites include trail mix, smoothies, nut butter boat (ants on a log), and an apple with almond butter. 100 calories of sweets is so small compared to 100 calories from veggies. Maybe I’m just a muncher, but I always want to feel like I’m eating more. So, compare…a plate full of veggies, or one Reese’s cup? I’ll choose the veggies. And who said you have to stop that at 100 calories?

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Yummy.

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Images from FitSugar

What do you do when the temptation is calling from the break room?

The blueberries taste like blueberries…but the zucchini tastes like PIZZA!

Last weekend, I headed out to Kendall’s Blueberries to pick as many as I could! It is nearing the end of the season and I wanted to score some fresh, chemical-free, and affordable berries for the upcoming winter! This farm, a blueberry farm, located in Hastings, MI, offers $1/lb u-pick berries! So, of course, my roommates and I headed out there on a beautiful Michigan Saturday! It was a bit of a drive, just under an hour from our home, and well, it was mostly beautiful (once we got off I-94). Image

One of my roommates…he liked eating over picking…but I forgave him!ImageAnd a beautiful bush filled with the delectable fruit of the earth!ImageJust a few rules, about picking blueberries to freeze or can:

1. Take more time picking, less time prepping. Notice the little stems, well those don’t make good smoothie additions, so be mindful when picking, or your prepping takes a LOT longer.

2. You’ll learn to appreciate those blueberry pickers. This was not an easy taste. Despite eating a handful or two throughout the few hours we were there, I picked for just over 2 hours. Together, we picked about 12 pounds.

3. Processing blueberries isn’t easy either. Okay, well it is easy, but time consuming. I chose to freeze my berries…so after washing them, drying them, and spreading them out in one layer, on a baking sheet (with edges, always with edges), and waiting about 30 minutes per load to freeze…it took me 7 hours to process all of these babies!

4. Enjoy! The best part about processing the berries was eating them throughout the prepping stage. I may have ate close to a pound, but they were great!

5. Always look for local, chemical free. I’ve learned from research and first hand experience that organic isn’t always the best choice. USDA Organic certification is expensive. Supporting local, chemical-free farms is a better option. So support away!

Just a day later, my mom had me pick up her CSA share as my parents were heading out on vacation. Well, since it was a full share, I had about 12 zucchinis, 6 cloves of garlic, 10 hot peppers, 2 pints of blueberries (like I needed more, but oh, they were eaten!), 5 bundles of greens (kale, swiss chard, and collard), 6 heads of broccoli, and random other stuff I’m forgetting…well what do you do with ALL this food? Pinterest. Pinterest your heart out until you come up with enough ways to use it all before you waste any delicious produce. And what did we Pinterest – Zucchini Pizza. After reading several recipes, I decided to get going…and here’s what happened:

ImageI started with a sauté of garlic, onions, thyme, basil, and oregano in olive oil. After that became aromatic, I added in some red bell peppers and hot peppers. This would be really tasty with mushrooms and/or olives (according to my roommate, I don’t like either). ImageAnd then you add in some meat! If you eat meat, eat “organic“, grass-fed, local meat. We had a delicious sweet Italian sausage from Bear Foot Farms. I supposed you could use a meat substitute, but I don’t really believe in that (a topic for another day). ImageWhile the meat and veggies are cooking…cut your zucchini in half, scoop out the seeds, and microwave them for about 5 minutes at power level 5. So, for the past 4 years, I haven’t had a microwave…and I don’t really think you need one. However, this helped to soften the zucchini so it would cook quicker. I think steaming it could have worked too…but Pinterest said to microwave.

Oh yeah, and preheat that oven to BROIL!ImageAnd then, you start the filling process! I drizzled a little olive oil on the zucchini, then a little bit of tomato sauce…and then I stuffed them full of the meat and veggie goodness, added a little more tomato sauce, and then smothered in parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

Toss this baking sheet into the oven, on the top rack (or bottom broiler), and keep your eye on it! You want that cheese to be perfectly browned and crispy, but not burnt.ImageMozzarella melts really well, so it is a good way to get that crispness. And who in their right mind doesn’t like crispy cheese???ImageAnd then dig in! Granted, this isn’t the most beautiful looking and easy to eat meal…but my God was it delicious! I think I’ve found a way to replace the pizza I crave. A pretty healthy alternative. And it is perfect to reheat! I wrapped up the leftover boats in tin foil, and brought them to work. Preheated the oven to 350 and let them bake until they were warm! Perfection! And everyone in the office was jealous.

I was thinking about other things you could stuff in there to make it a few times a week…here is what comes to mind:

  • Mexican style – with more hot peppers, black beens, and wild rice – top with some yummy cheese and guacamole! Now that sounds amazing!
  • Greek style – orzo pasta, feta, olives, you get where I’m going…
  • American style – grains, veggies, something plain and simple (we’re boring, get over it).
  • Whatever the hell you want style – fill it with your favorite anything! The spicier the better, as the zucchini soaks up flavor and it is perfect!

I guess I’ve had a pretty good week, filled with yummy, local food. However, I did suffer from a migraine for three days and I’m finally feeling better (which is why this blog is slightly delayed). I’m getting back in to hot yoga and that makes me very happy. After work, I’m heading over to Barnes & Nobles to pick up a edible plant guide. What else, oh yes, I’m participating in a photo-shoot with weekend for a friend’s company, iWooLoo, to empower women of all shapes, sizes, and colors to love themselves and reach self-actualization. This will be interesting. I’ll be practicing posing all day tomorrow!