Elevated Living: A is for Amber Budd Atelier

I met Amber Budd in the craziest of ways here in Boston, that in truth- would need to be a post of on it’s own! We were both new to Boston, and starting new jobs, not having the slightest of clues where life would take us. That being said, my namesake has not only moved on from Boston, but moved on with her career by opening: Amber Budd Atelier in Burnsville, Minnesota.

I’ll never forget the first time she taught me how to do “Smokey Eyes.” The best part is, it was with neutral toned colors, to highlight and accentuate for ‘Elevating The Everyday.’ I wasn’t one for much makeup, or the time I thought it took to look all fashionable and put together; but Amber Budd made it simple. She spoke my language and translated make up into ways that even I could understand.

She showed me what brushes to use and why, and the importance of blending. Even more, the importance of the best tools you have- your hands and yourself! To only do what feels natural, and use as little or as much as you wanted. Depending, of course, on how dramatic your inner Diva was feeling that day.

I think of her now that I’ve “mastered” liquid eyeliner. (I use “mastered” lightly, as I’ve finally figured out how to match the straight even line on BOTH eyelids- Hallelujah!) And I enjoy sharing the fact that I’ve found “my red lipstick,” which as she proclaims is the “Holy Grail.” And she’s right.

Amber Budd is truly an artist. Her joy is contagious as she shares what is not only a passion, but a gift as well. It’s a privilege and an honor to see her grow and learn as she hones her craft. Her light shining brighter as she shares it with the world; but never overpowering her signature make up brush strokes, a solid defined eye, and lips that pop. Just one of the many ways, to Elevate Your Everyday!

Keep up with Amber and All Things Made Up by Amber here: http://www.amberbudd.com/   @AmbersAllMadeUp on #Twitter @AmberBudd on #Instagram  https://www.facebook.com/amberbuddatelier on #Facebook

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

 

Elevated Living: A Food Solution for New England

Our world would cease to exist without visionaries. Those whose ideas take root like a tree to the ground, its creation reaching to the sky, yearning for nutrients and wholesomeness abound. Food Solutions New England (FSNE) was created to provide us with harvest-a-plenty; to come together and form a network in the present, preparing us, our plates, and our bodies for the future.

A network formed from a variety of backgrounds, from scientists to artists, farmers to writers, Food Solutions New England has created the documents, done the research, and implemented the structures to explore New England’s food options beyond our wildest imagination. Not only the betterment of ourselves and each other, but for the planet as well.  Recently creating the document, “A New England Food Vision,” Food Solution New England details their goals for New England to supply 50% of its produce by 2060.

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As quoted from their website:

Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is a regional food systems learning-action network dedicated to advancing a sustainable New England food system. The FSNE network is organized around four interrelated activities:

  • A New England Food Vision, a bold vision that calls for our region to build the capacity to produce at least 50% of food in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, that promotes health and is accessible by all New Englanders by 2060;
  • New England state food planning initiatives;
  • annual New England food summits and topical workshops; and
  • related analysis, communication and visualization.

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A New England Food Vision is a collaborative report that considers the future of our region: a future in which food nourishes a social, economic, and environmental landscape that supports a high quality of life for everyone, including generations to come.”

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“A New England Food Vision” breaks down into two patterns of projected  food consumption; “The Omnivore’s Delight” and “Regional Reliance.” Both of these solutions are based on, “nutritional guidelines suggested by the USDA’s MyPlate (2014) and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate (2011, 2012).”

The “Omnivore’s Delight” is based on a person with a 2,300 calorie diet, consuming less dairy- as suggested by Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate. “Regional Reliance” is also in compliance with USDA guidelines, utilizing plant based proteins and regional fruit, completely eliminating imported goods.

 

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At any rate, both of these options have considered and coordinated a variety of aspects such as; deforestation, overpopulation, hazards in over-farming, and safer techniques for the region and beyond. In addition, the Food Solution New England Network has brought together those from communities of science, farming, hospitality, etc. to get back to our roots, in not only farming and other forms of food production, but our culture as well.

Knowing the sources of our food, and reconnecting with where it comes from, protects us mind, body and soul while laying a firm foundation for our future, on our plates and generations to come.

 

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

 

Elevated Living: Joos Day 5 (Friday 11.22.13)

Day 5: Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Today was the perfect day with my Joos cleanse. I woke up feeling rested, even though I had interrupted sleep as I was on-call. I didn’t feel hungry, and my morning “pre-breakfast warm-lemon-water” was the perfect temperature. Then I read the email for Joos Day 5 focusing on the “What” and “How” of the cleanse.

“2. The HOW to eat: That requires waiting approximately 4 hours in between meals so that, simply put, your metabolism works more efficiently. We do not emphasize this on the shorter Reboot programs, but if you feel like you’re getting the hang of this, you may want to give it a try. Typically, though, the HOW is more challenging than the WHAT.”
Whoops! I have been grazing all throughout the past 4 days, so thought I’d give it a try today, Friday, Day 5, to curb my snacking. I started off with “Antioxidant” with chia for breakfast. I drank it in a reasonable time around 9:30am-10am. I think my focus and determination was on my side today, as I didn’t even feel hungry until around 11:45am. At this point I had more than 1/3 of my daily water requirement and was sipping on “Joos Elixir Pinapple.”
With no snacking at all, I made myself a vegetable and protein rich lunch, around 1:30pm/2pm. I tried my new black bean soup by Dr. McDougall’s. Unreal!!! Another ‘where-has-this-been-all-my-life’ moment?! Oh- I know, probably hidden somewhere under the vegan and/or gluten free stereotype.
 Dr. M Soup Front Dr. M Soup Back

Thank God for the freedom to go beyond ideas and images of what being vegan is and means; to just simply enjoy good healthy food. I’m not trying to downplay any doctrine here. I’m just stating that I know there’s much, that even a daring and open person like myself, has avoided in context of labeling. Alas, here I was, slightly unaware this world of goodness, richness and bounty! I say slightly, because I’ve explored areas of vegetarianism, but never Vegan until this cleanse in June and now.

Keeping up with my water intake, I had a side of spinach, onions and mushrooms sauteed in seasoned oil, and kiwi for dessert. Without even feigning snacks this afternoon, by my “Citrus” Joos dinner I had consumed more than my suggested daily amount of H2O. Being the weekend, and in relaxation mode, I consumed even more in my spa like evening, having the apartment to myself.

Candles lit, “Cafe Del Mar” playing on my Pandora “Yoga Station” I am just so there. That wonderful place we all strive to reach that seems outside of ourselves and our grasp. The positive vibrations we are all too distracted to hear. So please, do yourselves a favor over this weekend. Make the time, to take the time, to find this place. Invest in yourself. Be aware of not only what you put inside of your body, but what –and whom– you surround yourself with. Ask yourself; in what ways can you enhance, and ‘Elevate,’ your environment? It could be as simple as buying a scented candle, drinking more water, or taking 10 mins out of your day for quiet, private, YOU time. That, my friends, is Elevated Living.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 4 (11.21.13)

Day 4: Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Today was the best day to date. I had my routine down packed, my mind was creative and fresh full of ideas, and I kept all forms of hydration handy. I also had the *brilliant* idea to WARM my water for drinking! I used to do it all the time (while working in hospitality), and I often recommend that it’s easier to stay hydrated in the winter by warming up your water. I feel like we’re often reaching for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cider, etc., to keep us warm, all of which will dehydrate us due to sugar, caffeine, etc. Heeding my own advice, I’ve been drinking like a camel all day long 🙂

I started the day by drinking “Glow” with chia; my new favorite to date. Not too long after breakfast, even while drinking “Joos Elixir” and plenty of water, I keep having the desire to snack. This is nothing new. I’m a snacker, a grazer, and I know this about myself. Now, I’m just more conscious of what I’m snacking on. We can have unlimited fruit and vegetables, about a fistful size of grain at lunch, and there are plenty of recommendations, and resources for substitutions.

Utilizing this info, my boyfriend and I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods last night. I know, I know, ‘Whole Paycheck’ as everyone refers to it. But, I’ve actually found a plethora of things to be *cheaper* at Whole Foods than other supermarkets. That’s not even factoring in the considerably superior quality! Furthermore, my thinking is you can either pay the farmer, or pay the doctor; it’s really up to you.

Of course, I went with the mindset of ‘only getting a few things,’ but fortunately my boyfriend “Squirrel’s” just as much as I do and we had fun just browsing.  [Squirrel: Did you ever see the movie “Up” and the dog always gets distracted mid-sentence and just focuses on “SQUIRREL” no matter WHAT is going on? That’s what we call it in our house.] Needless to say, that in my, um, ‘Squirrel-ing,’ I stayed on the vegan and gluten free course. I decided to pick up some Pina Colada Coconut Yogurt (for post cleanse), picked up an onion and jalapeno for my vegan, gluten free black bean soup, and grabbed some salsa fresca while browsing some new palette options.

Mind you, that salsa fresca had me standing at my kitchen sink, I-can’t-put-it-down, good. I don’t know why it was so amazing??? Maybe my body was just happier to eat fresh salsa and get a break from Tostito’s salsa and queso dip?
Yeah. My body was freak-ing thrilled.

Who knew there were all these healthy options out there?
Besides that which we are led to, in our everyday by day; blinded by comforts and habit.

Part of the journey during this cleanse was to learn about alternatives and inclusions beyond my current habits. Which are pretty healthy for the most part. I tend to follow my cravings whether it’s spinach, or bacon, and do a good job of listening to my body’s needs. I know there are consequences for not investing in one’s health as I have both seen and experienced them first hand!

In fact, I find it quite fascinating that I am surrounded by people who are sick right now. With everything from headaches, to the flu, to strep throat! I have made sure to take my multivitamin, and even thrown back some airborne, but only out of precaution not need. I feel fine, no, excuse me, I feel great, and I think it’s no coincidence that I am on this cleanse.

I capped off the night with “Power” which was a challenge to get down, but once again I’m feeling thankful. That collards, chard, kale combo gets me every time, but Lord I know I need it! I feel grateful, clear, calm, revitalized, energized, relaxed, awake, alert and alive. And now that I have taken care of everyone else today, it’s time to take care of myself, with plenty left to spare.

Oh, and for lunch- I put that salsa on EVERY-THANG! And all was right with the world! Bon Appetit!

 

Joos Day 4: Lunch

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 3 (11.20.13)

Day 3: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Today was going to be my turn around day, I knew it. It had to be; I’d found my rhythm! Plus, Joos says that usually by day three any headaches or sluggish feelings dissipate. I was definitely on a roll starting off bright and early today too. (Note: It usually takes your body about three days to adjust to changes with any cleanse or habit.)

I drank my warm lemon water and waited my allotted 30 minutes before having my “Citrus” chia for breakfast. Amazing, I loved it more than the “lemonade.” It was a great Joos progression (::pats self on the back::) and I loved the addition of grapefruit for breakfast. All the families I’m currently working with are coming down with ‘something’ so I’m glad to recharge on all these fresh fruits, vegetables, and extra C too!

I think that’s part of the transition with the cleanse this time around. I knew it would be different, having done 3 days in the mid-June, versus doing 7 days mid-November. It was easier to quench my thirst in the summer, while now, I yearn for heartier and warmer, items. Today though, I had my focus, and realized a huge misstep that probably contributed to being sluggish: PROTEIN!!!

In the summer I could get away with a salad no problem, but where was my protein intake the last two days?! With all that was going on, I decided a bit of exercise would help too. Most people think that when you’re tired you need rest, but sometimes you just need to jumpstart your body! I did some jumping jacks, crunches, and push-ups to get my heart rate up and my blood moving before lunch.

I made myself a wonderful serving of pinto beans, with the addition of avocado to my usual lunch and by now had already consumed about 3/4’s my daily water requirement.

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BOOM BABY! It was like a light went on.
The feeling of sluggish-ness was gone within the hour.
I felt centered and whole again.

That being said, even while I was feeling sluggish, I felt sustained, calm, and relaxed. There’s no caffeine crash or sugar low, it’s more like a plateau. The daily email also said, “Today is usually a transition day.  If you been feeling tired, sluggish or have a bit of a headache today is usually the last day. People start to feel great and more energetic by Day 4!” That, makes me feel very good, thankful, and happy. Three days to see changes right? Three days of goodness so far!

As my awesome day continued as I had the chance to speak with Ms. Lauri Meizler, the CJO aka Chief Joos Officer. (Read more about the amazing and phenomenal Ms. Meizler here!) This is part of what I love about Joos. Every member of the Joos team is available every step of the way. You receive daily emails, recipes, suggestions an overall guide throughout the entire process.

This isn’t just ‘drink our juice’ it’s more ‘grow with us, as you grow yourself.’

Openness, dialogue, support, and customer service are huge characteristics of brand loyalty and my passion towards a product. Furthermore, chatting with Lauri was an excellent highlight to a turn-around day. She reassured the steps I was taking, and provided more insight to the cleanse. I am really looking forward to some amazing opportunities stemming from this wonderful experience and will be sharing them with you soon!

Thank you all for keeping up with my journey,
for ‘growing with me’ as I continue to Elevate My Everyday!

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 2 (11.19.13)

Day 2: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I started off with “Vitality” with chia for breakfast. I wish I had mixed it up so I didn’t do back to back of the same drinks. However, that being said, chia made “Vitality” taste so smooth. I liked it a lot more than I did last night, despite the beets! It’s interesting to consider how chia effects taste; aside from just texture. I was feeling a bit sluggish, although I was extremely well rested. Thankful to be getting an earlier start than Monday, I tried to get in a lot of my water intake before I moved onto the “Joos Elixir Pineapple.”

For lunch I started with brown rice, that was leftover from day one. I covered it with green beans, spinach, sweet potato, and almonds that had all been sauteed in seasoned olive oil. I continued with my “Joos Elixir Pineapple” and “Original” throughout the day. Following it up with hummus and carrots, and a “Joos Bite” for a snack around 5pm. Those snacks will be incorporated into my new healthy habits for life!!! I chose “Lemonade” for dinner and had a “Joos bite” for dessert around 8pm.

Don’t let the green color of “Lemonade” throw you off!
It’s sweet, citrusy, and delicious! Definitely perfect for a summer day,
but filling enough for a winter dinner too! 

I felt good today, just trying to keep up with the water intake is a still bit challenging. I take my 20 oz water bottle wherever I go, (to make math easy!), but the challenge is remembering to drink it even though I’m not thirsty. In fact, I didn’t even finish my dinner! That’s what’s so crazy about this.

I feel SO full!

Because my body is getting all the nutrients that it needs, without sifting through junk- of many kinds- I don’t feel hungry like I used to.

I kept trying but I easily missed an ounce or so. I cut down on the snacking today, and I’m going to cut down on the brown rice a bit tomorrow too. [*Please note: I am NOT complaining. I am fully aware that I am extremely blessed, to be abundantly full inside & out; it just happens to make me forgetful!]

Either way, I was able to get some amazing rest for the second night in a row. Thanks to Joos keeping me mindful of abundance abound and helping me Elevate My Everyday!

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 1 (11.18.13)

Day 1: Monday, November 18th, 2013

I knew my first day of the cleanse was going to be a rough day. I normally eat breakfast between 8am-9am and today I couln’t pick my Joos up until 11:30am. Thinking ahead, I made a chia pudding Sunday night based off this recipe: http://veganprairiefood.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/banana-oatmeal-chia-pudding/#more-1622  I didn’t have the banana and boy did I taste that the next morning! So I added a bit of raw honey, vanilla and cinnamon to taste. I wasn’t too fond of the oatmeal texture, but other than that it was really good!

*[Joos guides that you should have Chia for breakfast (bottom row 7 provided), a Joos drink for dinner (top row 7 provided),  Joos Exlir Mineral H2O throughout the day (two middle rows 14 provided mid-morning and mid-afternoon) and Joos Bites (not pictured). You have the freedom to choose the order of Joos and should drink 1/2 your weight in water daily.]

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After schlepping home 28 16oz bottles, I started off with “Power Chia” for breakfast: kale, lemon, cucumber, lime, bok choy, celery, chard, collards. “Power” sounded like it could jumpstart my day; and I instantly felt awake. However, the taste hit me hard. It was my first time having chard and collards in juice form and I’m not exactly sold on it yet. Thank God for the lemon and lime that complemented and cut the juice a bit!

About an hour later, I was hungry again. Now, I blame that on my late start and wonky schedule, not the cleanse. Either way, I made my lunch early: brown rice, covered with sauteed diced sweet potato, spinach, and garlic, in olive oil and spices. I threw some raw sliced almonds and cranberries on top. Why am I not eating like this all the time?! It was delicious! This is vegan??? Well it’s not so bad after all!!! I washed it down with some water and Joos Elixir H2O Original.

During the afternoon I continued drinking water, and Joos Elixir; snacked on slices apples, and a chocolate chip “Joos Bite.”  I’ve been addicted to those bites since my cleanse in June. You’d never know they’re made from vegetable and fruit pulp because of that rich dark chocolate taste. I want those all day, every day. Seriously. Get them here: https://shop.drinkjoos.com/

For dinner I went with “Vitality”: beet, cucumber, bok choy, celery, apple, kale, chard, collards, lemon and lime. Let it be known, I am not a beet fan. I have tried them on multiple occasions, a variety of ways, and to me- they still taste like dirt. That being said, this juice was tasty! A deep red color, this is actually a wonderfully balanced Joos. It has the chard and collards I didn’t care for as much in “Power,” but almost tastes a bit sweet? Probably the inclusion of the apple this time around; and obviously the beets.

After dinner, I was still hungry. I had another Joos bite, and my Joos Elixir Pineapple. I prepped a bit of fruit and veggies for the next day, drank some more water, and tried to distract myself to no avail. Upon distraction, I realized I had all the ingredients to make hummus, except for tahini (which I don’t really care for anyways).

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It was my first time attempting something like this and I was quite excited. It was SO easy and SO delicious! I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this all along?! Store bought hummus will never happen again. I added extra lemon and hot sauce, seasoned to taste with crushed red pepper. Now I just needed something to eat it with.

The trip to the deli wasn’t as hard as I expected. My boyfriend and I originally went to grab some popcorn [saving hummus for the next day], and not being able to find any he grabbed the microwave kind among other junk food. I opted for Late July Organic Sea Salt by the Seashore which I’ve come to love thanks to free samples from this year’s Boston Greenfest in Government Center.

Upon returning home and snacking during, “Olympus Has Fallen,” guess whose snacks came out the winner??? MINE! We both agreed my homemade hummus and Late July chips, totally trumped the microwave popcorn and other random not-so-good-for-you-crunchy-items. (Let it be known, we never eat microwave popcorn as it is. I always use fresh kernels, in seasoned oil, the old school stovetop way. See here: https://divamber13.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/elevated-living-preparing-ahead/

Alas, Day 1 was a bit tricky.  I felt I had cheated myself by snacking so much off the guided schedule. That being said, I’m a bit hard on myself because I did adhere to everything, and I learned a LOT about what is INCLUDED on this cleanse. Furthermore I made a delicious organic and vegan lunch with ease, and hummus for the first time! Off to bed I went and got some of the most solid, restful sleep I’ve had in a while 🙂 Tomorrow is another chance to ‘Elevate My Day’ in every way.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Preparing Ahead

Recently, one of my favorite pages on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodrenegade posed the question, “What are your time saving cooking secrets?” My main secret: Prepare Ahead!

Not only does it save you time; it saves you money too!

1) Cooking- Season Your Oil:

Olive oil; or any oil for that matter, is best seasoned, because it infuses into the food faster. In our home, we generally use grapeseed oil because it has a higher smoke point, and is relatively flavorless. Regardless, whatever I buy, I season it myself. I like to add crushed red pepper, maybe throw a bay leaf in, thyme- add whatever you like. For the most part, I won’t add salt or black pepper. I like to add freshly ground pepper as I cook, and salt to taste when necessary.

In addition, I’ve used seasoned oil when making popcorn, and I get nothing but compliments on the savory flavors it brings out!!! Tip: Use the same pan to melt your butter. The toasted seasonings post popcorn will help double up on the flavor.

Grapeseed oil before & after:

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2) Drinks- Save with Smoothies:

I love, love, love smoothies! That being said, it’s only recently that juicing, juices, and smoothies are becoming easier to find in Boston. Even then, when you do find them, they can add up quickly. To help with unintentional and frivolous spending- albeit for health purposes, I started making my own smoothies at home. You can use anything that will blend, so don’t think you need some fancy pricey blender to be healthy!

I love that I can buy local, farm fresh, and/or organic, straight from the farmer’s markets etc. and even use produce that is ‘extra ripe’ if you will 🙂 You also get to custom your drinks to your particular tastes, and add-ins (seeds, oils, etc.) won’t cost extra!

I make enough to fill my 32 oz container (see photo below), and then divvy it up into smaller 8oz mason jars and freeze them the night before. This way, they defrost throughout the day, and I don’t have to stress if I they’re unrefrigerated in my purse for a bit. (Keep them wrapped in a towel though!) Also, I’ve calculated that making enough for a 32oz bottle can be as little as $2.19 per 8oz serving depending on what you use!!!

Smoothies before & after with flax seed:

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3) Meals- Manage Yourself:

The overall theme is this: make enough to divide into individual servings throughout the week.

On Sunday, chop enough romaine for 2-3 servings. Keep in an individual container. Make enough tuna salad (or whatever you like obviously!) for 2-3 servings and keep it in a separate container (so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce). Morning of, combine add toppings and go; instead of having to prepare an entire lunch.

I do this with oatmeal too. Make enough servings that each morning is a simple, scoop, microwave, and add toppings!

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Whatever plan of action you take, the point is to plan. Make life EASIER on yourself, by giving yourself time and preparing ahead. Don’t be the person that grabs an overpriced coffee and donut. Those are treats, not a way of life. Save your time, save your money, and invest in yourself. You deserve it. Furthermore, it will give you time to Elevate Your Everyday and enjoy all that is around you.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Wagamama

Too often there’s so much focus on lack, or disappointment, or negativity, instead of sharing The Good News. The expression is if you don’t like something you’re more likely to tell 10 people; and when you do like something, only 2. So, I wanted to take a moment to highlight a pleasant experience at Wagamama (Prudential Center) that made me enjoy my meal, and the restaurant, that much more.

While working the Boston Marathon Expo at Hynes Convention Center I had a 40 minute lunch break. Honestly, it was just enough time to grab a bite to eat and briefly relax, after navigating the maze of crowded runners about the aisles.

I was craving more than fast food, particularly a hearty soup, and hoping for something on the healthier side. I opted for Wagamama.  The restaurant had just opened for the day and the server was not only attending to guests at tables, but greeting guests at the door as well. Regardless, I waited only a moment before being approached and welcomed.

“I’m wondering if I can be in and out in about 20 minutes,” I inquired. I was told that because they had just opened, ‘It was a high possibility, although it wasn’t a guarantee, they’d do everything to make it happen.’

This is a great way to let the guest know you understand their needs and you’ll do your best.
Simultaneously, you empower the guest to make their own decision to stay, and make no commitment or promises. *It’s always when you make a guarantee that something happens! (Murphy’s Law!)*

My server pointed out menu items that would be speediest, which was easy enough since I wanted Spicy Chicken Ramen with Spinach and a cup of Green Tea.

The server assistant brought my soup and tea, and only two bites (slurps?) into it the server came back to check that everything was to my satisfaction. She then dropped my check saying take as long as I like, but wanted me to be prepared to leave when I needed to. Honestly, this was all under 8 minutes. I ended up staying about 18 minutes, with the freedom to leave on my time.

Working in the service and hospitality industry, from busser to management,
being a guest has taught me a lot about proactivity and expectations.

Dining out helps hone ones skills to realize what the guests needs and wants are. From a customer perspective, you then learn the difference between meeting and exceeding. An overall example would be; meeting, bringing everything the guest asks for; while exceeding would be, the guest not even needing to ask.

Servers, and experiences like this, are the ones that need to be mentioned and thanked. Yes, it was early in the day, my order was ‘simple,’ and this may not always be the case. But when it is the case it deserves to be acknowledged. Personally, I would rather spread positive experiences rather than negative ones. For it’s always best to make sure the guest leaves with a good taste in their mouth. That way they’ll only be hungry for more.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Mindfulness Matters

“You are what you eat,” and, “Your body is a temple,” or so the phrases go. But I often find in our Everyday survival, Time, among other things, is paramount over health. Well what would happen if you didn’t have to sacrifice one for the other? What if in taking the time, you increased productivity, focus, discipline and became more grounded? What if, in making the time, and rearranging your priorities, you circumvented to create more time? Sign me up you’d cry!

Well this, among many other wonderful things happened with my recent 3 Day Reboot Joos Cleanse. Ok, before I loose all of you who think, “this is not for me,” I am not hear to preach to you or sell you something. I am here to express my experience on the amazing ripple effect from Being Mindful about what I eat, had in my life in every way.*

Briefly, so you understand the context, I was given 6 prepared Joos drinks, 6 prepared Joos bites and 6 prepared mineral waters, and asked to drink half my weight in water per day. One Joos for breakfast, a Joos bite and Joos water for mid-morning and mid-afternoon and a Joos for dinner; 2 a day. All were rich in freshly pressed fruits and vegetables, fine tuned to provide all you could need and then some.

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Lunch was left up to my own creation and exploratory side. I had control over trying and experimenting with new healthy foods and coming up with creative ways to answer cravings and tantalize new tastes. What Joos gave me was a guide, constant email and phone support, along with direction when needed in this transformative process. However, the freedom was still mine. As was the discipline.

As I began to have these deliciously creative lunches I realized how much I didn’t need. Wow. All these things I eat everyday, I don’t need? What a concept that is? If these fruits and vegetables, and all this other rich natural goodness is providing everything I need– what else don’t I need?

So often we confuse need with want.

So often we don’t take the time to reflect, to de-socialize the normative day to day, our habitual Everyday. We answer cravings without diagnosing our real needs. Am I eating because I’m bored, or because I’m hungry? Do I take tylenol because I have a headache, or try drinking water first because I might be dehydrated? Or a nap because I’m tired? Without taking time to examine the source we quick-fix and band-aid through life.

Fulfilling myself, body and mind, with only that which I truly needed, stemming from a place of wholeness, and being grounded like a tree taking roots, all that was unnecessary faded away, like dead leaves in fall.

It still surprises me how much it wasn’t even work, in any form, to leave waste by the wayside. This impacted not only my eating habits, but my self-worth.  It effected my decisions of those I surround myself with, the words that come from my mouth, and the ones I allow myself to hear. Becoming clear on mutually beneficial relationships instead of, self sacrifice and draining, giving only from a full well; instead of drying up so another could drink.

Three days? Yes, just three days of making Mindfulness Matter; Imagine what could be done in more! With that, I plan to continue juicing; with Joos and other products, eventually investing in a machine. I know, I know, they’re expensive you say. But at the end of the day, aren’t you worth an investment to your health, well-being, and mindfulness? I believe we are.

“Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that’s a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect.”- Rob Reiner

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robreiner211879.html

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber 

*I will however be providing information on Joos throughout this post, in case you are interested and because Lauri Meizler is phenomenal! http://www.drinkjoos.com/bios2.html