Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
January 20, 2015
Oh boy, do I have an exciting giveaway for you guys today!
Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? How about a raw foods cleanse?
What about… a juice and raw foods cleanse? I know, mind = blown.
I have a feeling that your answer can be summed up as:
1) No thanks, I like my cheeseburgers and unstructured eating schedule.
2) Nope, but I’m interested to hear more about it (and win the giveaway!).
3) I tried one to lose weight, but couldn’t commit and/or didn’t see results.
4) YES! I love cleanses. They are a great way to kick off the start to a new year or important season in my life!
Throughout my years of dancing professionally, and having to pose in front of a camera in what I can only describe as a bikini, I tried a handful of cleanses. The most popular one I heard about back then (and successfully completed several times) was the Master Cleanse, also known as the Lemonade Diet. This was back in my crazy two-a-day workout days when I also had a shockingly high amount of will power. Basically, I put myself on a liquid diet of fresh lemon juice, organic maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water from three to a maximum of seven days once to twice a year.
To be completely honest, it was horrible every time. I hated it. I didn’t mind the taste the first day, but any length of time after that was pretty much force fed, or in this case, force swallowed. For that reason alone, my last experience with a detox or cleanse was back in 2011.
Over the past few years, juicing has become a popular way to cleanse. I have been interested in detoxing with a juice cleanse over the last couple of months, so I enthusiastically hopped on the opportunity to review a 3-Day juice and raw foods cleanse from Urban Remedy.
Urban Remedy offers a variety of cleanse options, as well as four different kits that are pre-packed with a 3-day supply of nutritionally-balanced juices, snacks and meals.
Since I am not looking to lose weight, but rather kick start a new year of (mostly) healthy, clean eating, I picked the Beauty Kit for the focus on antioxidants, fiber and essential fatty acids to support glowing skin and hair.
I received a big brown box on my front door that contained the following goodies packed into a cooler:
• 6 packets of beauty tea
• 3 Green Berry shakes
• 3 Time Machine juices
• 3 Glow juices
• 6 Youth Spikes
• 1 Sour Cream & Chive
• 1 BBQ
• 1 Cheesy Italian
• 1 Zen Salad
• 1 Shredded Kale Salad
• 1 Tabbouleh Salad
• 2 Zucchini Fettucini Marinara
• 1 Zucchini Fettucini Pesto
• 2 Raw Chocolate Mousse
• 1 Raw Tiramisu
You would have thought it was Christmas morning, y’all. I was so pumped to read about the entire process and get started!
Since I had never previously tried and enjoyed the experience of a plant-based foods cleanse, I wanted to commit myself to it one hundred percent. For three full days, I completely stuck to the Beauty Kit plan and cut out all other clogging foods and drinks from my diet.
There were times (especially in the second and third day) where I felt like I needed more calories. If you are staying really active or need more to eat, they suggest choosing items from the cleansing foods list (like organic fruits, organic vegetables, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.) included in the brochure that comes with the instructions.
Each day followed the same pattern of food and juice intake and offered a variety in menu items.
I started every morning with water. They suggested to drink a glass of warm water with lemon, but I opted to skip over it and went right for the beauty tea. That was the only way I was going to get through my normal habit of grabbing coffee right after I roll out of bed!
The herbal tea is made with Chinese herbs that strengthen digestion, reduce bloating, and curb the appetite, so I drank my cup of tea 10 to 15 minutes before anything else.
I started all three mornings with a Green Berry shake with 1 Youth Spike.
(The Youth Spikes are tiny vials of probiotics that promote healthy detoxification, aids fat digestion, and rejuvenates the liver.)
I loved the shake, and you couldn’t taste the spike at all. I was surprised that it filled me up until my mid-morning snack: kale chips with a Time Machine.
I could taste the cayenne pepper in the juice right away. I squinted a bit at that, but thoroughly enjoyed all three flavors of the seasoned kale chips. I was instructed to eat when I felt hungry, so I usually ended up nibbling a small portion of the chips here and saved the majority of the bowl for later.
Kale chips really are a hit or miss with me. I was ecstatic that all three flavors tasted great!
I kept my workouts on the low side during my cleanse, so I wasn’t too hungry for lunch until well after Noon. Each day called for a different salad and they were all colorful, extremely fresh, and delicious.
I worked my way through all three of the afternoons and almost forgot about my mid-afternoon snack: Glow juice with another Youth Spike.
This was also the part of the day where I wanted to inhale kale chips, so I polished those containers off pretty easily.
Dinner came around the normal hour, and I was definitely ready for it. The first and third nights had Zucchini Fettucini Marinara on the menu.
It was actually my first time trying zucchini noodles! They were good… but it was just… too raw for my liking. Scott gave me the idea of heating my “pasta” up the second night in the microwave. I’m not even sure you’re supposed to do that since this kit provides raw food, but it made the biggest difference.
It was so much better and tasted great! I also really liked the Zucchini Fettuchini Pesto the second night.
(Photographed cold, but consumed heated up!)
Dessert couldn’t come soon enough and easily became my favorite part of each day. The first and third nights topped my night off with a light but rich Raw Chocolate Mousse.
The middle night did not disappoint with the Raw Tiramisu, paired with another Beauty Tea to wind down each night.
You better believe I licked every one of those containers clean.
They were incredible!
Like I mentioned above, this was my first time doing a juice and raw foods cleanse. I’m not going to sugar coat anything… it was a challenge for me.
I am a huge snacker, and while this kit provided me with plenty to keep me satisfied, I simply missed the foods I usually snack on. Oh, and COFFEE! Wow. It’s a good thing that I was at home alone for the majority of the first day because I was super irritable. I craved my usual morning cup of coffee for a solid two days. It was awful.
I almost gave in a couple of times, but Scott reminded me that I owe an honest review. And, (dangit) he was right. So, just for you guys, I pulled through and awarded myself thirty gold stars.
Guess what? I didn’t even miss my coffee on the third day. Seriously. I went the entire day feeling on top of my game and more focused than ever. It was an awesome feeling.
I knew I was going to go right back to drinking coffee the next morning, since it’s something I truly look forward to every day. That’s my one thing I don’t think I will ever want to give up, and I am okay with that. But, it is nice to know that I can take caffeine out of my diet and still function properly!
The shakes were delicious. I actually started craving those and missed them when they were gone. I could have done without the Time Machines, but the Glow juices were right up my alley. I really liked the salads and could tolerate the zucchini pastas once I (cheated? and) heated them up. The beauty tea was light and refreshing too.
I didn’t feel too hungry throughout the cleanse until the final day. I think my body just wanted warm food again. I ate extra fruit and made some plain quinoa to hold me over!
Can you guess what my favorite part was? If you know me at all, then you immediately thought of the desserts. They were ON POINT you guys.
I had Scott try each one and he was incredibly shocked at how good they tasted. 100% raw. Who knew?
So… would I do another cleanse? Absolutely!
Yes, I missed eating my normal foods and snacks for a few days, but I came out of it feeling wonderful. Cleanses are a great way to detox the body from the inflammatory, maybe not-so-healthy foods common in our diets. I loved starting the new year off with a goal or focus, and am so glad I completed the three days without wavering!
Urban Remedy Kit Giveaway
I was elated when I found out Urban Remedy was on board to help me host a giveaway. You guys know how much I like to try and share the goods!
I am obviously a fan of the Beauty Kit, but one lucky Housewife Glamour reader has the chance to win a Kit of their choice (a $195-$250 value)!
Leave a comment on this post sharing which kit you would pick!
You must also enter at least one additional entry into Rafflecopter for it to count.
You have until Midnight Thursday, January 22nd E.S.T. to enter the giveaway. Winners will be announced first thing on Friday morning.
Disclosure: I was gifted the Beauty Kit cleanse by Urban Remedy for review and compensated for this post. As always, all opinions remain my own!
January 13, 2015
Are you still looking for that extra push to help you up your health and fitness game this year? To my friends both already into healthy living and looking to get into it, I have something that just might help you finally make that baby/huge/awesome/possibly scary step.
I recently received HIIT It! by my good blogging friend, Gina.
A lot of you might recognize her at The Fitnessista! I have been following her blog for years, and have gotten opportunities to travel and attend a handful of blogging events with her. She’s such a delight to hang with, and her informative and relatable personality really shines through in her book.
Gina does a fantastic job at taking you through everything you need to know about maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. HIIT is obviously the focus, but she equips you with so much more to help you ease into a healthy weight loss journey.
She shares her personal weight loss experience, her diet bombs (not surprising… not a fan of them!), and successes in finding an overall healthy “more from less” balance in her life with food and fitness.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) never lasts more than 30 minutes, including a short warm-up and cool-down. You can incorporate your favorite types of cardio (biking, jumping rope, running, rowing, stair-climbing, etc.) and plyometric exercises (power movements using maximum force in minimal time), and even use your own bodyweight as resistance.
HIIT is a style of workout you really can do anywhere. I am a huge fan of HIIT workouts and completed her 25 minute the Bodyweight HIIT Blitz workout last night. I shared this photo while I caught my breath and went upstairs a sweaty, jello-legged mess afterwards!
Gina goes through the basics of HIIT workouts, where the interval style of training came from (did you know they date all the way back to Olympic Athletes in the 1900s?), and a complete HIIT dictionary complete with photo demonstrations and cues of all the major movements.
She covers the different training zones and recommends you use a heart rate monitor to track your workouts. (As do I!) She talks about the basics of creating a budget-friendly home gym, and shares plenty of workouts to keep you busy day after day.
What I like most about this book is how it all flows together to create a perfect plan of healthy, active living. Yes, weight loss might be your goal, but the combination of quick and effective workouts you actually want to complete (even at home!), healthy (delicious) recipes, and mindset on how to incorporate it all into your existing hectic lifestyle is really what makes this one stand out from others in it’s niche.
While HIIT is considered to be a “less is more” workout, HIIT It! does not preach a get fit quick through dieting and overexercising approach. The “Lose Weight and Feel Great Fast” part of the title comes with the territory. If you aren’t currently staying active or watching what you eat, chances are it’s going to happen organically when apply her tips and suggestions.
I have also been dying to re-create some of the recipes included in this book. Unfortunately, making anything at home over the weekend wasn’t in the cards for me, but I fully plan on doing so in the future.
Have you seen her Amazeballs? (Yummm.)
You can find some of her favorite recipes featured on her blog, but only a portion of them. She saved some of the best ones (in my eyes: treats!) to debut in the book, and includes all of them as part of a balanced meal plan for the reader.
Beyond the recipes, Gina goes over the basics of healthy eating. She teamed up with registered dietitians and health professionals for this portion of the book, and I found her tips and guidelines very helpful.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone looking to start or even maintain a healthy living lifestyle. HIIT It! provides much more than workouts and recipes, it shares a plan to get on track with your food and fitness!
HIIT It! Giveaway
As part of Gina’s blogging book tour, one lucky Housewife Glamour reader will win their own copy of HIIT It! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you look forward to the most while reading it. Workouts? Recipes? Meal plans? Go!
You have until Midnight Thursday, January 16th E.S.T to enter the giveaway. The winner will be announced in this week’s Friday Favorites.
See you later this afternoon!