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 ūüôā

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 ‚ÄúElevate Your Everyday‚ÄĚ

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 ūüôā 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 ‚ÄúElevate Your Everyday‚ÄĚ

XO

*DivAmber

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

Elevated Living: An Apple A Day… is Life Alive

For those who know me, ¬†I’m often elbow deep in wings, ribs, and anything pork- #BACON!!! Alas,¬†I bet you didn’t see a blog about a #vegetarian establishment posting anytime soon. So¬†leave it to a health issue to bring me back on track.

Wednesday evening, I recognized symptoms of a very common health issue cured with antibiotics. So of course I freaked. I mean, I don’t have #insurance, therefore, no doctor. In addition, the clinic I contacted said they wouldn’t have availability for a week. A week– eek, all my research said handle this immediately… So I researched some more…

…Now, I’m normally the girl who won’t take tylenol or advil unless my headache is #RAGING; for the simple fact that I don’t like putting anything in my body when I’m not sure what it is. #KeepItNatural

But for whatever reason, my excuse is the holidays and my happiest #30th #birthday (!!!), I allowed my ‘usually’ balanced diet to go off track big time. ¬†I completely ignored my thirst for #6 Juice [spinach, kale, apple, celery, ginger & lemon] from the aptly titled: #Juice @Juice_BackBay in #BackBay Station: http://www.juicebarboston.com¬†I skipped my cravings for “Boston Rolls” salmon/avocado/cucumber from #Zen Japanese Restaurant http://www.zensushibar.com/home.html¬†in #BeaconHill.

Instead of adhering my intuition and listening to my body- I became sick.

As the universe would have it I ended up in #Cambridge the next day.  Home to all things healthy, natural, hippie and communal. This is where I stumbled up: Life Alive @lifealivecafe http://www.lifealive.com

Immediately welcomed upon entering, I enjoyed being greeted by name, not by my order number. To me, that immediately sets the tone for guest relations and interactions. Looking around the place was immaculate, organized and clean. I paid, retrieved both my food and smoothie- by name with a smile and bid warm adieu.

After a few sips of my smoothie, my nose stopped running on the walk home. I took notice realizing that¬†Avocado, Banana, Dates, Lemon, Kale, Chia, and Almond Milk aka the “Harvest Alive” were taking immediate effect. I eagerly opened my Green Goddess meal and was enraptured by my enjoyment of some seriously delicious vegetarian happenings. “Our Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce enhanced by flax oil and garlic, empowering avocado¬†(seasonal), broccoli, dark greens, and tofu. All are served over short-grain brown rice.” I had mine with half tofu and half legumes. Now THAT is how You have it #YourWay.

LifeAlive

I’ve returned to Life Alive in #CentralSquare several times since. I’ve been there when there’s a line out the door, a private party happening downstairs and it’s raining. The staff works well together, efficiently, clean and SAFE. They even have time to put out smoothie and juice samples to entertain guests with ‘occupied time.’

So, although I’m not a doctor, my best advice is to try this place BEFORE you¬†NEED to. Carnivores unite and give your body a break- even if only for a meal.¬†There’s no medicine like being proactive, especially when you can maintain- and exceed- your health, great service and tantalize your taste buds, because that’s Elevated Living

Until then, keep finding ways to ‚ÄúElevate The Everyday‚ÄĚ

XO

*DivAmber