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: “Things Are Looking Up” for Berkshire Brewing Co.

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Things Are Looking Up!

“Things are looking up!” is an understatement for Berkshire Brewing Company, who will be celebrating 20 years this September. On February 1st 1994 Chris Lalli and Gary Bogoff broke ground and began renovation on an old cigar factory in Deerfield, MA; transforming it into what would be a, “cutting edge microbrewery.” Eventually, with on site expansion and distribution reaching beyond Massachusetts to much of New England, BBC graduated from microbrewery to regional brewery status. Known for their flagship, Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, BBC now brews nine flavors year-round, as well as seven seasonal ales and lagers. Regardless of expansion, they stay true to their local roots, home brew ingenuity, and continue to be an avid supporter of local farmers and partners in Deerfield, MA and beyond.

Berkshire Brewing Company uses locally grown hops among other supplies in their unfiltered, unpasteurized beer; which also contains no chemical additives or preservatives.

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Local hops

In addition, they continue to, “support local,” by providing already processed grain for animal feed to farmers, where it would otherwise be thrown away. Furthermore, there are even select collaborations such as the Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. The infamous blend, using four Bourbon Barrels hand selected by Julio’s Liquor Store staff in Westborough, MA, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquor Store.

Their openness to ideas and collaborations is something they’ll be bringing to Hyper-Local Brewfest 2014 with two very distinct flavors.  Dean’s Beans Coffee House Porter is made with organic coffee extract from Dean’s Beans in New Salem, MA. Dean Cycon, CEO, travels the world to find and produce coffees that are organic, fair trade, and kosher. Using the cold press process for this extract, there are five gallons of coffee extract for every 250 gallons of porter. (This would make for a great adult ice cream float; or a wonderful marinade for some ribs!)

Speaking of food, BBC will also be delighting with their Raspberry Barley Wine Style Ale, formerly known as “Raspberry Strong Ale.” Continuing in the ‘strong style,’ packing a punch of 9% ABV, this ale changes a bit each year, varying upon the produce of season. Using locally grown raspberries from Deerfield, MA, purchased and frozen when ripe, until thawed for brewing in January. Spending about two-and-a-half to three weeks in the fermenter, they use one pound of raspberries per pound of beer. Perfectly complemented by the malt barley, it’s a subtle hint of summer in your bottle.

A celebratory year, it’s apparent the, “No Hype- Just Good Beer,” motto translates to the employees and a typical day at the brewery. “We get up every morning, with a passion to make good beer. We’re an honest company, precise to historical styles and processes; where quality and customer service come first.”

What makes it all happen!

Where the magic happens!

This rings true to the founders quote, “It’s all about the beer, but the beer is nothing without the people.” Cheers to 20 years- and many more- of taking these local ideas to a whole other level; in our bottles and beyond.

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

XO

*DivAmber

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

Elevated Living: Wedding Expo at Whole Foods CRP

Whole Foods put on a wonderful #wedding expo yesterday, Saturday April 26th 2014, at their Charles River Plaza location 181 Cambridge Street in Boston, MA [CRP].  It’s the beginning of that time of year, wedding season…but it’s also the season to get together outside and enjoy whatever reason you have to Elevate Your Everyday.

What’s great about attending these expos is picking up creative ideas appropriate for most any party or event. It was also a great way to showcase the talent at Whole Foods. Who knew they were a one stop shop for your party planning needs?!

Fondant Wedding Cake: In case you couldn’t tell- that’s a real vase on top!Image

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Beverages: Mocktails & Wine

I’ve been considering doing this at my apartment for quite sometime now. I mean, how great would that be to just come home, grab a glass, add ice, and pour. Ahh, relaxation in a mocktail mason (or cocktail glass if you prefer!) Pictured below is the simple mix of Powell & Mahoney #Margarita mix & 365 Whole Foods SeltzerImage

Emily & Daniel from BRIX Wine Shop led a fabulous tasting. All wines are under $20 (?!) keeping in mind that you may be serving large parties and pairing with a variety of summer foods. They also are excellent stand alone wines as well.Image

 

 

SWAG: Stuff We All Get (and love!) Thanks Whole Foods CRP for all you do!

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

XO

*DivAmber

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

Elevated Living: Joos Day 6 (11.23.13)

Day 6: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Today was uneventful. I’ve never been so thankful for that. I’ve entered into a wonderfully developed routine, of ease and simplicity, grounded and sustained in my very own “Om” and relaxation. I will live in this place forever!

Woke up to blog, drink my warm lemon water and get ready for the day. I started off with “Vitality” chia for breakfast. My stomach had been upset the last day or two, so I upped my intake of water to maintain my hydration, and continue it’s, ‘self-clean,’ if you will. I think I’m fighting whatever is going around, and Joos is The General in this war. Thankfully, we’re winning. Or, it could be my body getting rid of more than just the day to day, but hardcore muck I’ve accumulated over the days, months, and years prior to this cleanse.

I’ve never felt this light?! Fresh, and clean, on the inside! Yes, I have lost a few pounds, and it’s exciting. It wasn’t a goal, but an unexpected side effect. Not just for vanity’s sake, but on a health tip that my body is letting go of what it doesn’t need. A lesson that I am sure my body is telling me to carry on into other ways of my life 🙂

Furthermore, I’ve developed long term habits and knowledge to maintain this style. Do I plan to be vegan for life? Probably not. But who knows. I know foods and such that I craved just days ago, I have no desire for. Things I thought I needed, are now questions of, ‘where does this come from?’ and ‘how will this actually benefit me?’

My snacking has stopped. Yes, you read that right! A grazer for life, I give my body a break between meals now. Aware and alert, and in becoming so, I’m more conscious of things that I say and do. Less reactive, and more intentional. I’ve shifted priorities, and perspectives, taking time and giving time to myself in quiet ways.

Lunch was another delicious meal of spinach, pinto beans, mushrooms, carrots, avocado and all kinds of goodness. Smaller now, which isn’t too surprising. I was always the one that would have an appetizer for a meal, or only finish half of my entree and take the rest home. They sure are healthier meals now though!

I brought my “Antioxidant” Joos for dinner to the Faneuil Hall tree lighting. Part of me wishes I had taken a cup of my new “Le Digestif” tea from at David’s Tea to keep me warm, as it was colder than I anticipated. However, having dinner on the go, while taking in the twinkling lights was quite festive and wonderful. I loved being outdoors, drinking in the excitement of the holidays around me, while drinking in the goodness of Joos on the inside.

Leaving before the actual tree lighting, as it was just too cold and crowded for my taste, I went back home feeling festive, and alive, and thankful; and it was more than any holiday gift could aspire to be.

Joos Day 6: Tree Lighting

 

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.
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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: 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

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