Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

I finally get to participate in the What I Ate Wednesday blog trend. Since I was on the juice cleanse last month, I figured it would be completely boring to see the five juices I drank. I try my best not bore my followers to death, so I avoided too many juice pics. Anyhow, now that all of that is in the past, I figured it would be prime time to take a day in the life of Brittany, food style. 

I start every morning with lemon+apple cider vinegar+warm water & a tiny teatox tea. After about a half hour, I ate my breakfast. My go to breakfast lately has been green tea and grapefruit. In the past I used to drown my grapefruit in sugar. yikes! Recently, I've been using coconut nectar and let me say yum! I would totally recommend switching your sweetener to raw coconut nectar. It's not overly sweet, which is really nice. 
Can we all take a moment of silence for my favorite pink mug shown in the above photo. It is a sad day for all, and it breaks my heart to let you all know my poor pink mug was smashed very shortly after this picture was taken. My dad will be facing the consequences for such actions later. Anyhow, I spent the afternoon at Whole Foods, which every normal girl does right? Seriously, I love going to the grocery store! I slowly browse each isle, finding all kinds of good finds. I took my mom with me and we both had salads for lunch. I have absolutely no portion control when it comes buffets, so needless to say I filled my bowel to the rim. I used the quinoa salad which had a light lemon/olive oil dressing as an overall dressing for the salad. I loved the falafel, which was my first time trying it. I also loved the sweet potatoes and marinated mushrooms. Yummy in my tummy!! I had a black chia kombucha to drink. They were on sale so I stocked up. I love those!!
 Dinner, which sorry about the horrible picture, but let's face it, it's winter and all natural light has been gone since 4pm. So bare with me. My mom bought the vegetable lasagna from Whole Foods and some parmesan bread. The lasagna was absolutely delicious, but super rich and filling. I only ate half of it. The bread, which was only 99 cents for the whole loaf was amazing. It was a splurge, because I really do try to avoid wheat.
No dessert tonight, wah! Seriously, though, I was so full I don't think I could even eat a chocolate chip. Ok, kidding, there is always room for chocolate. After the adventure at Whole Foods my mom and I stopped at Target. The clearance racks were insane and I impulsively bought three new tops and the cutest bag ever. Luckily, we had to pick my dad up from work, so we weren't able to shop around too much/spent all my money. The rest of the day I got caught up reading some of my favorite blogs. I love having lazy days off.
I hope everyone has a good Wednesday. For those that work a normal schedule it's humpday, and the work week is half over. For me, I'm extremely lucky to only have to work tomorrow and have a four day weekend. It's a little crazy and not really planned, so we will see what trouble I get into. Maybe I'll be a good girl and pick up some shifts at work, but probably not. Who likes work anyhow?!
**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So it's a win, win!
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Valentine's Day Giveaway!

We are officially into February and that means it's cupid's birthday. Just kidding, that baby who shoots people with magical arrows obviously doesn't age, so in other words Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Don't worry, if your a single lady like me there is no reason to avoid this day by sitting in your sweats, drinking wine, eating ice cream and crying your eyes out while watching the notebook. Us single ladies can indulge in all the v-day hype like buying ourselves chocolates and lots of them. Maybe send yourself flowers, oh hey, why not even send them to your work with an anonymous note. Ok, maybe don't that would look very desperate if anyone ever found that little secret out. So let's go the safer route and go shopping!! Does anyone else ever think about the movie White Chicks when they say this?! I always do. What better way to go shopping than with a $200.00 gift card?! Yes you read that right! The lovely Bella at Dateless in Dallas is hosting an amazing giveaway I so greatly got to be part of with a bunch of other fabulous ladies. The gift card is for Stella & Dot, which is also where my next paycheck is going to. They have the most glamorous jewelry, plus they also carry handbags, wallets and scarves. This is an awesome gift, so make sure you enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Winner will be notified on February 8th.
2. Winner will be verified. If the winner cannot be verified, a new one will be selected.
3. The winner has 48 hours to claim their prize after the notifying email has been sent out.
If they do not respond to the email within the 48 hours a new winner will be selected.

Good luck ladies! This is so exciting, I almost wish I could enter myself. I guess I will just have to live through you all. 

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Monday Morning Mantra

I thought I would try something new and start each week with a new mantra to instill positive thinking into my life. It's so amazing the amount of negative self talk we do. We would never treat our friends or family the way we treat our own selves at times. I'm one of the worst at it. I've always been more introverted so self dialog is very natural, but can easily go in the wrong direction. "Why did you just do that?" "I'm such a mess up" "I don't even care anymore" are just some of the negative self talk I do on a daily basis.

Not only do I abuse myself verbally, but my greatest fault of all is food. I use to abuse my body every single night when I came home from work. It would be late at night, I would be extremely stressed out and tired, yet I would sit in the kitchen for hours eating peanut butter toast like nobodies business. I would tell myself I deserved it, I had a rough day and all. The the spiral would continue and I would feel worse from ruining all the healthy food and exercise choices I had made earlier in the day. The worst part... I deserved it, I would tell myself. I knew what I really deserved was to better myself. If I really respected and loved myself I would not trash it every night with unhealthy bingeing. I realized every night how much I really must hate myself, that I could not overcome the urge to constantly hurt my body. "You can do better tomorrow" a slight glimmer of hope would tell myself every night as I lay feeling sick, although, tomorrow usually wasn't better.

During the juice cleanse I resisted any evening snacking, but since going back to "normal" food again I find myself going back to my old ways. To really love ourselves we respect every part of our being. That means no abuse in any form whether that be self-talk, cutting, starving, bingeing, etc. That's why I thought I should start every morning with a mantra. A mantra is basically just repeated words or phrases. In my case something positive. The more you say something the more you start to believe it. When I graduated nursing school I had post-its around the house saying "You will pass the NCLEX the first time" and you bet I did. I intend to use the same theory to change my inner voice. Change my self-talk to positivity and self love.

Feel free to join me. I intend to use the same mantra for a week, putting the mantra on my bathroom or vanity mirror so I see it every morning and repeat it to myself. This mantra I created is intended to aid my self awareness and create a better love of my body to avoid destructive behaviors such as bingeing.
Do you use mantras to self-empower? What mantras do you repeat to yourself? Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and a great week. 

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Liebster Award

I'm so excited to announce that I was given the Liebster Award sometime last week. I was completely shocked when I received an email from Bella from Dateless in Dallas. I absolutely love reading her blog and could not believe she noticed little 'ol me. Of coarse this award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, which is definitely me, but it's nice to spread the word on blogs we admire and feel deserve more followers. So I was not only excited to answer the questions Bella asked, but also to nominate and ask questions to my fellow bloggers. 

The Rules
1. You must link back to the person that nominated you.
2. You must answer the 11 questions given by the nominee before you.
3. You pick 11 nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.
4. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
5. You must tell the nominees that they have been nominated by you.

My nominees:
Jasmine @ The Jasmine Maria

My Questions from Bella
1. What did you like most about high school?
The socialization. I went to a relatively large high school so I loved meeting new people and being around such diversity. I also loved going to football & basketball games, homecoming, homecoming week and all that high school crap. It's funny how easy life was then, but it never felt like it.
2. What is your biggest fear?
Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single. Kidding, not kidding. I hate storms, while everyone is making their status "love thunderstorms, best sleeping weather". I'm praying my house doesn't get sucked up in a tornado like Dorthy's did in the Wizard of Oz. My biggest irrational fear is the fear of falling. I hate flying in planes, roller coasters,  squeaky stairs, cracks in wall, overstocked shelves, and oh boy the trip to the Grand Canyon well that was a barrel of fun. Not!
3. If you won the lottery and had one day to spend it, where would you spend it?
Well, I would start off with something really fun like paying off my student loans. Then I would buy myself a nice black Range Rover. Next I'd buy myself every miniature dog breed starting off with a teddy bear, a miniature french bulldog and a pomsky. Google them, you will not regret it. I really should probably donate some, but being conceited for one minute I would blow the rest on make-up & clothes, preferably by taking a trip to France to do so. 
4. What do you like most about blogging?
I love having an outlet to express myself and write down my thoughts. Even more though, I love interacting with so many different people. I love reading and commenting on other people's blogs and it seriously brightens my day when someone comments on one of my posts. It's so fun to connect with other people!
5. Do you have kids? If not, do you want kids?
No kiddos here folks. I would love to have 4 kids, if the stars align 2 girls and 2 boys. I grew up with only my younger brother who is my complete opposite in every way. I love him to death, but we aren't super close. I would love to have a big family for that reason. I always wished I had a sister to confide in. Now I just need to find a man, and then find a man who isn't running for his life when I say I want 4 kids.
6. How has 2014 treated you so far?
Besides this freezing weather, great! I'm finishing up my 30 day juice cleanse and could not feel any better. I feel like 2014 is my year to really find myself and be the person I really want to be!
7. Describe yourself in three words
Introverted, Caring && Tough
8. Which is your favorite holiday?
As much as I love the Christmas holiday season, I love Halloween. Fall is by far my favorite season and everything about Halloween I can't get enough of. This year I really want to take a tour of haunted mansions!
9. What do you think about dating in our generation?
Well, I hate dating in general, so... I love the show Million Dollar Matchmaker, because I think Patti really has it. I think guys should plan the dates and do the "guy" stuff. I want to be swept off my feet. Is that really too much to ask?!
10. Tell me about a time when you met a celebrity {or someone important}, who was it and how did you react?
This question made me really feel like a loser. I know after this post I will actually think of someone, but all I can come up with is the city's mayor when I was in middle school. I had some of my poetry "published" with a few of the other kids in my school, which allowed us to be invited to the mayor's mansion. All I remember is how scary his wife looked. 
11.Which one, Edward or Jake? {Twilight}
Ok, are we talking Jacob book or Jacob movie, because there is a big difference. When I read the books I fell for Edward hard. I could not even stand Jake I hated him! Then the movie comes out and Jake is hot as hell, and I'm like why are you being so mean to him. So answer is book Edward, movie Jake. I'm weird I know.

My Questions to my nominees: 
1. What is one food you couldn't live without?
2. Would you ever go on a reality show? If yes, which one?
3. What was your worst date ever?
4. If you could know one thing about your future, what would you want to know?
5. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
6. What is something you pinned on Pinterest that you want to do or have?
7. What is your favorite breakfast food?
8. What is your favorite part about being a blogger?
9. What was your most impulsive buy ever? 
10. If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
11. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Acts of Kindness

So today was my day off, which I could not be happier for. This week so far has been both emotionally and physically draining and I have felt completely exhausted. So I was so happy when my mom told me the neighbors were all going out to lunch. A little background here, the "housewives" on the street like to call themselves the Blacksmith Babes after the street we live on or the Blacksmith Bitches to be more accurate. They really do need their own TV series. Every so often they ever so graciously invite their lovely daughters, the Babes in Training or Little Bitches, to tag along to their weekly outings. So the Babes and Babettes made it through the slight snow storm we were having to Panera. We were there for over two hours laughing about strip clubs, getting drunk in Vegas, grooming the lady garden, tattoos & weird piercings, and our crazy families. I laughed the entire time and felt so good to be a positive, happy mood.

We had to leave because I had a dentist appointment, which I had already rescheduled multiple times. I hate the dentist, but who really does like it? It had stopped snowing, but the roads were still a little bit slippery. My mom was driving my car home, blabbing away. Why I let her drive I may forever question. We hit a slippery patch and began to slide. Instead of letting off the gas a little and slightly correcting, my mom did the complete opposite. If you are not from a place that is so blessed to receive a shit ton of snow each year, consider yourself blessed and lucky you have no idea what a fish tail (not the braid) is. So let's all picture this. We are beginning to slide, my mom with her foot still planted ever so nicely and stupidity on the gas petal cranks the steering wheel all the way to the left. Next thing I know we are heading straight for the median. I grab my arm rests in terror and scream for my life. I'm sure this did not helped matters, but I'm not good in these situations. So my mom, again still with her foot on the gas petal tries to prevent this and cranks the steering wheel to the right. Everyone who has ever driven in the snow knows this is the worst thing you can do. So now the back of the car is coming around to the front and we are headed straight for the curb. I scream "STOP!" meaning stop turning the gosh damn steering wheel, my on the other had decided this means hit the breaks. Again, worst move to do in the snow. We spin straight up onto the curb, stuck!

My first thought, "well, I'm not making it to the dentist today." and second thought, "wow everyone must think we are fucking idiots!". My mom looks over at me, "your gonna have to push us out". Um was she kidding?! Do I look like the hulk? & I'm pretty sure I'm dressed to go out for lunch, not enter in the Alaskan strong man contest. Then like a shimmer of hope I see a car pull ahead of us and stop. A young man comes walking out. Like the patron saint of dumb ass drivers he pushes us out to safety. I felt like handing him the $5 I had in my wallet, but kind of felt like that would be stupid. Instead, we thanked him 100x before he hopped back into his car and left.

Wishing I could have thanked him more for his act of kindness, I thought about the movie Pay it Forward. As much as I wanted to thank this man, these small acts of kindness should not be rare occasions. When someone holds the door, we shouldn't be overly surprise, but I am and thank them according. We need to do small things for people everyday, and worry less about paying people back for their help, rather pay it forward. Has anyone ever had someone ahead of them in line pay for your coffee or maybe your toll? I would love to do that for someone, just to make their day. Shouldn't we all do small things for strangers, just because we are human[kind]. Let me know your thoughts. What have you done today to brighten someone's day?

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Juice Fast // Week 4

I'm on my final stretch this week. Thursday will be 30 days of my juice fast and all I can say is "allelujah!". Seriously, I'm ready to eat!!

Grocery List
4 bundles of curly green kale 
2 bundles of red kale
4 bunches of spinach
10 large carrots
1 celery bundle
3 bundles of red chard
2 bundle of (6) beets
5 cucumbers
2 pineapples
8 pears
8 yellow apples
10 red apples
8 green apples
8 oranges
10 lemons
*I had to buy a little more groceries than usual. I usually do my shopping on Tuesdays and then buy for a whole week. I didn't feel like going shopping yesterday, especially for only a few days worth. So, I did my usual shopping last Tuesday with enough food to get me to Sunday, then I went shopping again on Sunday and bought enough food to last me until Thursday. So this is a rough estimate of the combined shopping trips.
Energy has been stable. There hasn't been too many changes from my last update. I think my energy level has hit a great level and maintained that throughout my cleanse.
I would love to report nearing the end of my cleanse that my face looks clear and flawless, however it is not the case. Honestly, I had moments it was on the bounds of clearing up, but I think it's the stress of my job that is preventing my skin from clearing up. Last night work was so stressful and I went home with two new huge pimples. My hair and fingernails however have been great. My fingernails have not been breaking and are strong, which is amazing dispite this dry, cold weather we are having. My hair has been growing fast and healthy. The split ends I usually have, are not. My stylist was even amazed.
Besides staying up to read some good books, I have been sleeping like a baby. The cleanse has definitely helped me get a good nights rest.
Mental Clarity
The beginning of last week I finally had a little bit of the "fog" everyone always talks about. I was a little sluggish, I had a slight headache and felt dizzy for about the first two days. After that, I went back to having clarity and feeling great.
Weight Loss
Can I just tell you that over last weekend I wore jeans. Now for some this is like what?! I hate jeans, even more so the last few months because I felt bloated and fat. I hated the way I felt in jeans and even if I put them on I would feel sick to my stomach about what other people saw when they looked at me so, I would take them off and wear my "go-to" leggings or yoga pant. Even the last few months I felt fat in. So my self-esteem has been low lately. But when I tried on a pair of straight leg jeans I loved wearing with sneaker wedges and they fit perfectly, I was beyond happy. I felt confident and my mom even complimented how slim I looked. I wore jeans the following day and the waist was falling down. I could not believe it! Thank you mother earth for green juice!
This past week has been harder with cravings and temptations. I will go more into depth next week as I review my whole juice cleanse, but I have no idea how the guy from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead did it for 60 days. Honestly, I don't think you should. The cravings I have now are not for junk foods or random cravings. I believe my body is telling me "It's time to actually eat something!". I really wanted to accomplish my goal of 30 days, which I will, but I think 30 days is too long. I think if people want to do a long fast 2 weeks is a great length and you will receive all the benefits. Next week I will put up a post of how to do your own juice cleanse, my final results and conclusions and other tips on doing a juice cleanse, so make sure to follow!

I thought I would also share my favorite drinks from the week. I would definitely recommend these. Each juice I make is roughly 2 cups worth. 

Tropical Green Juice

1/2 of a large cucumber
1 green apple
2 stacks kale
3-4 bunches/handfuls of spinach
1/2 pineapple 
*My version of a green juice piƱa colada

Two more days to go. Hope everyone has a great rest of their week, and don't forget to read my other update posts.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Juice Fast // Week 3

OMGosh I can not believe I've made it through three weeks. I still have two more to go and I'm so anxious to start my raw lifestyle. As promised it is Wednesday and here is my weekly update!

Grocery List
2 bundles of curly green kale
2 bundles of red kale
2 bundles of lacinato (dinosaur) kale
3 bunches of spinach
4 lbs of carrots
1 celery bundle
2 bundles of red chard
1 bundle (3) of beets
6 cucumbers
1 pineapple core
7 pears
7 yellow apples
7 red apples
8 green apples
8 oranges
10 lemons
*I swear Whole Foods is always out of some essential item I need. They usually have a stack of large carrots for $1 a pound, but they were cleaned out, so I had to buy bagged up ones, which were smaller and I had to use more in my juicer. Otherwise Whole Foods is the my favorite place to buy produce. They usually have a great variety and it's organic. Total side note but on the news today they said the average length an apple is at the grocery store is 14 months! yikes, buy organic people they don't have that waxy preservative to keep them longer. yuck!!
My energy continues to improve. It's still hard to wake up in the morning, but once I roll my lazy butt out of bed and wake up a little bit, I'm awake. Like really awake, ready to conquer the day awake. I also have not taken any naps on my days off. This is crazy ladies and gents. Usually my day off is crash day and I take a huge long nap and hate myself for it. No such thing this week. I caught myself yawning a few times at work over the week, but I think I'm falling into too much of a routine at work. I need a change. 
Ok, I hate to potential curse myself, but my skin is clearing up. My mom looked at me the other day and said "your skin is starting to look better". I felt like the clouds had parted and angels were singing. I'm still waiting until the end of my cleanse to determine if I still want to go to the dermatologist like my mom keeps suggesting. I hope by the end of my fast/cleanse my skin is clear and flawless. Is that really too much to ask?!
My sleep is still amazing, well kinda. I feel like I don't need as much. So at times I sit up at night with energy still. I guess my body doesn't need as much "rest & digest" time as before. I'm still getting great sleep and have no trouble falling sleep either. 
Mental Clarity
This is probably mood, rather than mental clarity, but I have felt great. At work, which 9/10 I dread going to has been better. At work I usually get frustrated, tense and stressed very easily and I keep all this bottled up to give that friendly appearance. So usually by the end of the night I'm drained, I can feel my heart pounding and the muscles in my neck and back tight. This past week was crazy I was cheerful and positive and had no worries. I went about my job calmer and felt relaxed doing it. Although I say this is mood, it is also mental clarity because I see things in a new light now. 
Weight Loss
I feel my body has stayed relatively stable from last week. I can't believe how flat my stomach is and the lack of bloat. My arms look thinner and I look toned, even though my activity has been light. I'm waiting for the fat to melt off of my thighs. Whoever passed on the wonderful gene of fat thighs down the family tree is gonna hear from me in the next life. I'm ever so slightly a girl dreaming of a thigh gap, only because I know my body type could have one. However any weight I gain goes directly to the old thighs. Oh mother nature why do women have to have so many problem areas. 
So my week started with my mom flinging down a fitness magazine telling me to read the article inside. The article bashed juice cleanses stating they were unhealthy. It went on to say it can lead to dehydration, kidney problems and lack of nutrients and vitamins. One thing, I'm not sure how a juice full of fruits and veggies doesn't have nutrients and vitamins and how drinking fluid throughout the day leads to dehydration. It is recommended to drink at least 8 oz of water with or after each juice along with regular water intake, which I have been pushing myself to do. My mom's other big concern protein. She gave me the concerned mother speech, which I so lovely hate. I decided to please her with adding additional protein to my drinks. I say additional because yes most fruits and vegetables have protein in them, kale and spinach being some of the top. I added chia seeds to some of my juices along with melted coconut butter. Let me just tell you how freaking flavorful coconut butter is. Seriously this juice cleanse has made my taste buds 10x stronger! Unfortunately, what I'm thinking is the fat in the coconut butter did not sit well with me or my digestive system. After that I refocused and remembered one of the main reasons a juice fast is so effective, it allows the digestive system to rest. So I stopped using the coconut butter that day and cut the chia seeds out thereafter. I have no concerns with my protein or nutrient intact and will continue to do what I have been doing with one exception. On week three I added one thing. Yourtea Tiny Teatox. I have seen this all over instagram and thought it would aid in my cleanse and detoxification. So far I love it, especially since it may be the cause of my clearer skin. I will do a review soon. 

I thought I would also share my favorite drinks from the week. I would definitely recommend these. Each juice I make is roughly 2 cups worth. 

Lean Green Juice

1/2 of a large cucumber
1 green apple
2 stacks kale
3-4 bunches/handfuls of spinach
1 large handful of green grapes
*This is a super yummy green drink. It's refreshing and has a little sweetness that will quench your appetite. 

Love Potion Juice

1 beet
1 red apple
1 large carrot
2-3 bunches/handfuls of spinach
1 slice ginger
*I love this drink, not only because its bright red, but it tastes delicious. I could have beet juice all day long.

Have your done a juice cleanse/fast before? I'm curious other peoples results. && if you have a favorite juice I would love to know your combinations! Hope everyone is doing well, don't forget to follow for future updates. 

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