Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Detox Diary - Spring Cleaning the Body ( And Mind)

I'd been thinking about juicing as a way to sort of kick start a diet. I was feeling bloated and sluggish most days, with little energy. I worked out several times each week but it was usually a struggle.
I wanted to feel better. I was also constantly hungry, and I'd gotten into a habit of just grabbing whatever I felt like having.

I researched some juicing plans on Pinterest, and this was the one that seemed most reasonable in terms of the ingredients and equipment required. With the shopping list provided, I went to Meijer for my ingredients and a juicer. I bought a Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor, which set me back around $50.  This is pretty modest for a juicer.

On a Sunday evening, I started juicing away. I juiced until everyone else had gone to bed. I juiced until the garbage can overflowed with pulp and rinds. I juiced until... Well, you probably get the picture. I went to bed tired, but hopeful this commitment would pay off. Following is what actually happened during three days of juice-only consumption. 

Day 1 
7 a.m.
<Yawning> It’s nice to sleep in a little on a Monday! But I’m working from home today, which basically means sitting at the kitchen table all day. Where all the food is. I’m a “breakfast person” and already hungry. My breakfasts range from oatmeal to egg sandwich to something from the vending machine at work. My breakfast today is kale, spinach, kiwi, apple and banana juice. We’ll call this the “green stuff,” because I’m going to be drinking this a lot the next few days. 

10 a.m.  
If anyone loves food more than me, it’s my son. We’re at the dentist at 10 a.m. He's.y  already asking for me to take him to Jolly’s Drive-In for a footlong chili cheese dog, fries and a root beer. I pass him the bag of food without peeking inside and trying to ignore the aroma. I wonder if they are crinkle fries? My son feels a little sorry for me but I tell him I’ve had plenty of footlongs and fries to get me in this shape. 

12:30 p.m. 
My fiancee decided to come home for lunch. I’m a little salty that he was going to do this juice cleanse with me and backed out. But, he helped me pick out a juicer and $100 worth of produce so he gets to live. He is eating salad and fruit for lunch which is admirable. I’ve had my second juice which is pineapple, apple and cucumber, and really tasty. I think a little Vodka would just give it a little something extra, though. 

2:00 p.m.  
Drinking the green stuff and trying to concentrate on work. By now I’ve usually had at least one cup of coffee and a 20-oz diet soda. I have been addicted to caffeine since I was a teenager. Will three days be enough to break decades of dependency? I’m cradling my cup of green tea. 

4:30 p.m.  
OK seriously, what’s for dinner? I am so hungry, but reminding myself why I am doing this. I'm sipping a "sweet and spicy" concoction of lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Not bad.

9:30 p.m.
I poured my green stuff over crushed ice in a fancy glass for dinner. Then I instagrammed it, so everyone can know how dedicated I am. Ha! I'm wrapping up with the "dessert juice" now, which is vanilla almond soy milk, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. I think there may also be banana in it. Four bananas in one day! 

Day 2 

8 a.m. 
Choking down the green stuff and feeling pretty sleepy after having only a cup of green tea. 

11 a.m. 
Our photo studio just had a photo shoot starring sub sandwiches and pasta salad, which everyone is now eating. I’m hangrily drinking my pineapple juice. Trying not to feel too sorry for myself and thinking about people who are hungry right now and don't have an end in sight.

3 p.m. 
Relishing the fact that I'm halfway through this process and yes, I'm hungry. I've had three cups of green tea but I'm a little cranky and having trouble concentrating. Instead I'm thinking about what I'll eat Thursday. 

7 p.m.
I wasn't up for a run this evening so I had a short one-mile walk. I am simultaneously bloated and starving. I wonder if I can take ibuprofen because I have a slight headache. Honestly I expected to have a worse headache, though. I served the kids salad and a little ranch dressing got on my finger. I licked it! I do think it's pretty cool that I know exactly what I've put into my body the past few days. 

DAY 3!!!

7:30 a.m. 
I was feeling icky and didn’t finish my last two juices last night.  I had a full night of sleep and still had a hard time getting up this morning. I am urinating frequently but my skin and throat feel dry. I’m not sure if I’m not drinking enough water or it’s just the furnace making me feel this way. Slightly amazed that I have already gone three days without soda or coffee (and I’ve hardly had a headache). 

11:30 a.m. 
By the time I drove to work I was actually feeling pretty giddy and energized. Focused, even. The novelty of the green stuff has worn off, however. I’m daydreaming about a cheeseburger. 

3 p.m. 
Add a cup of strong, freshly ground coffee to the list of delicious items I've said "no thanks" to this week. Chocolate ice cream cake, Wendy's ... I have out willed them all. But yes, I'm totally planning what I will eat tomorrow. 

I ended the third day without finishing my juices. I was feeling bad and even went to bed early. I didn't weigh myself with the scale I don't own, but I'm certain I lost some water weight. So, would I do it again? Yes, but...
-I would also make myself drink a certain amount of water. 
-I would have a meal plan for at least three to four days following the juicing. I didn't go ape crazy with fast food or anything, but I think could have made the effort more worthwhile if I had continued some degree of discipline.
-I would definitely Instagram more juice pics. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Valentine's Day Party Ideas

It's almost spring party time, which reminded me I had some ideas to share from Valentines.

I quit the classroom party circuit in kindergarten. That was the year I dutifully signed up to bring a "winter party" treat. I had no idea the chaos that awaited me when I drove up to the school that day. Along with dozens of other parents (and grandparents, aunts, siblings, step parents, cousins...) I filed into a crowded classroom where the kids were munching on  a smorgasbord of sugar, just in time for the bus ride home. There were more cookies and cupcakes than you could shake a sugar cane stick at. I believe there was a mind-numbing craft of some kind. Did I mention there was a lot of candy?

Obviously there were plenty of other parents with the time and money to take care of this kind of junk (food). For years I have stayed away, content to pilfer any chocolate leftovers that might survive the trip home. Entertaining (and feeding) 25 schoolchildren has never been a calling for me. 

Until a few weeks ago. I could hardly believe the third grade teacher's repeated pleas for parental oversight of the Valentine's party had gone unanswered. Then I remembered my son complaining that they did not have any treats at their last party. Had the spark for classroom parties fizzled out? Hath hearts frozen over? What a pity. 

So there I was. Pouring over Pinterest, determined to save Valentine's Day for Miss C's class. It was refreshing to have a reason to be Pinterest, and the party ended up being quite fun. There was a reasonable abundance of treats, and the kids were laughing and smiling. Which is the point of a party, after all.

Valentine's Classroom Party for Third Grade

Pretzel rods
Sugar cookies
Capri Sun
Packaged Brownies

Conversation Heart Bingo
Creating Valentines
Love Letter Mad Libs 
Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar 

Conversation Heart Bingo
I found several bingo sets, but it was difficult to find one that made sense for a classroom of 25. For example, there are several that have Valentine-themed pictures on them. Many did not have BINGO or other letters to identify columns, so I'm not sure how the calling would work. 

This is the bingo set I used. The cards printed nicely in black and white, and there are blank templates to fill so you can accommodate the number needed. I had to create call numbers, which I just did on little shreds of paper, and put them in a plastic baggy. For markers, we passed out cupcake wrappers with conversation hearts in them. You could just give each student a box of hearts, but my drugstore was out by the time I picked up supplies. It may or may not have been 9 pm the night before.

We played two rounds and gave out two small prizes in about 15 minutes.  ❤️AMORE

Creating Valentines
Another mom (bless her heart) brought heart cut-outs and peel-and-stick hearts for the kids to decorate. They were able to use markers or crayons from their desk to decorate as well. I didn't get the details but they looked like items you might find in the dollar bins at Target or Michael's. Easy peasy.💛 I'M SURE

Love Letter Mad Libs
This was personally my favorite part. I brought two story sheets as a back up activity and I'm glad, because we needed them. After a brief explanation of the game, the kids took turns giving me verbs, adjectives, etc. to fill in the blanks. They didn't know they were writing a love letter, and the result was hilarious. 💜 TRUE LOVE

Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar
I bought a small jar with a lid for $1 and filled it with M&M's. The kids wrote their name and their guess on the back of their bingo sheet. They had a great time guessing but the closest guess got to take them home! 💖 THE ONE

Other Ideas for a Class Party
Read a book or story about Valentines
Storybook charades
Watch a video. Or better yet, make a video 
Standup routine -compile kid-friendly jokes