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: Lunch Time

It’s #LUNCH time! Everyone has their theories on what the biggest meal of the day should be and mine is lunch. I like to start my body off easy in the morning, as it wakes up, but not overwhelm it at night with a heavy dinner.  Lunch is also a great time to #Spend wisely; where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

Last #Wednesday I went to a local #Boston #Indian #Buffet at Tantric India Bistro.* It was packed- but that’s a GOOD thing when it comes to buffets. A busy buffet means a high turnover, so nothing is getting stale, overcooked, or forming bacteria. It means it’s being catered and cared to, and that the food is being cooked FREQUENTLY!

What I love about #Indian #Bistros and #Buffets is you usually have really tasty vegetable and vegetarian options.  Another great thing with Indian cuisine, #Japanese, and #Greek lunch specials is those healthy options, vegetarian or not, will have excellent flavor.

So seek out a buffet close to you, serve yourself, sit back and relax. It’s a great way to take a break from fast paced and processed food and make some time for yourself outside the office, solo or catch up with friends. Buffets save you time AND money and that is a great way to Elevate Your Everyday!

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

XO

*DivAmber

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

*I’ve had the pleasure of dining at Tantric on quite a few occasions. Service and food were impeccable each time!