Category: SPC 313


I love food. I love it more than the average person. I used to use food to cope with stress, to reward myself, to occupy free time, or to just do something with my hands. As a fanatic of extensive menus and gourmet 5-star meals, I never thought I would say this: Food is no longer used for entertainment in my life. Food is now only used for energy, as it should be.

The 7 Day Detox is how I obtained this mentality. If I can do this, I promise you can, too.

7 MUSTS before you begin the 7 Day Detox:

  1. Find a partner-in-crime: If you are like me, you need someone to do this with you. I did this with my boyfriend, who I see every day and always has a positive attitude. Do this with a room mate, a friend you see every day, family member, or significant other. This will be nearly impossible if you do it alone because you will have thoughts of quitting and cheating. Having someone there to hold you accountable and confide in while help you keep going.
  2. Have mula: This was more expensive than I thought. Kevin and I spent about $120. We didn’t buy organic, and we shopped at the cheapest grocery store in town. Just a heads up!
  3. Make sure you pick a good week: I picked a week where I knew nothing important was going on, especially during the weekend. No birthdays, no exams, no out-of-the-ordinary obligations. Do not try to go to a social event and expect that you will not cheat. One chip does count. One swig of alcohol does count. Eating/drinking anything outside of what the detox requires will screw everything up because your body is not in its normal state. After all, there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
  4. Grocery shop and prepare your Wonder SoupGrab a large variety of fruits and vegetables for the first few days of the detox. Get all of your ingredients for the Wonder Soup, and make sure you don’t buy produce that will spoil by the time you need it (ie: bananas for day 4, tomatoes for day 5). The Wonder Soup will take you a long time to prepare, and make sure you have a very large pot to boil your ingredients in.
  5. Measure your stats: Weigh yourself, and measure your body fat percentage. The fitness center I belong to has an electronic device that easily measures body fat. Many gyms have this device at their front desk or personal training center. It was worth it to record this information because I was proud of myself to see the results.
  6. Warn your loved ones: You will be a raging bitch for a while. Don’t let it ruin any relationships. With that, remember that only you can control your attitude.
  7. Do it for the right reasons: Make sure to keep the mentality of it not being a diet. Do not do this only to lose weight. Ignore the fact that the official website calls this a diet. Diets do not work, healthy living does. This will change your eating habits, build your self-esteem, and prevent future illnesses. Do this for your own good- because your body deserves a break.

Annnd BLASTOFF! Let’s get started!

You can eat as much of the Wonder Soup as you’d like. Drink 8 glasses of water every day (as you should be doing all the time anyway!). NO ALCOHOL. NO CAFFEINE. Make sure to do a light workout every day (I power walked a mile and did ab/leg workouts every day with light weight training). I also made sure to meditate every day. If you are unfamiliar with meditating, here is a good website for guided meditation. Refer to the official website of this detox for more specific guidelines.

Day 1: Fruits (no bananas)

Today I ate a variety of fruit- apples, oranges, grapefruit, mango, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew, grapes, and blueberries. At first, I really enjoyed it because fruit is sweet, and I usually treat fruit as a desert. Once 3 PM hit, I realized I was actually starving, and I couldn’t wait to get home to scarf down three cups of the Wonder Soup. This was one of the hardest parts for me, but I was not even close to backing down. Don’t forget to drink your 8 glasses of water!

Day 2: Vegetables

I woke up this morning feeling like I spent the night drinking cranberry-vodkas, but hey, wouldn’t be the first time. Your body hates you right now, but I promise it will love you later. This was easier than day one because I was able to make salad and stir fry, and I could have a baked potato for breakfast, hell yeah! If you have never danced while eating a baked potato, today will be your first. Since I usually wait until the last minute to eat breakfast, I microwaved my potato (poke holes everywhere, then nuke it for 5 minutes, flip it over and nuke for 5 more minutes). The stir fry was the best part because it was warm and filled with flavor. Don’t forget: more colors = more nutrients. You can use a teaspoon of olive oil for dressing in your salad, and teaspoon for your stir fry. Since there isn’t much oil, splash some water in your skillet so your vegetables don’t stick.

Here’s what I put in my stir fry:

A shit ton of garlic (6 cloves, baby)

Mushrooms

Red, green, and orange peppers

Chopped onion

Spinach

Sliced carrots

Green beans

Parsley

Day 3: Fruits and Vegetables (no bananas or potatoes)

I woke up feeling like I got three hours of sleep, but hey, at least I could have both fruits and vegetables today! I started my day with fruit, had leftovers of my stir fry for lunch, snacked with fruit, and had the Wonder Soup for dinner. I was really hungry about an hour after dinner, so I heated a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, loaded it up with raw spinach (2 cups) and minced garlic (3 cloves), and on medium-high heat, I let the spinach steam- it only took a minute to cook (and 10 seconds to wolf down).

Day 4: Bananas and Milk

I thought this was going to be the hardest day, but it truly was not too difficult. The best part of today was learning how to use creativity in order to enjoy healthy eating. I thought, “How the hell am I going to eat 8 bananas?!” Here are some ideas I came up with:

-Slice them in different ways

-Slice and bake at 350 for about 10-ish minutes

-Mash and freeze for an ice cream-type of dessert

-Dash some cinnamon on them

The reason why it wasn’t that bad was because the milk was incredibly satisfying, and my body was grateful for the potassium in the bananas. You do not have to eat all of the bananas. I think I ate about 6, but I lost track. Don’t forget to drink your 8 glasses of water along with your 3 glasses of milk!

Day 5: Protein and Tomatoes

Today is the first real dose of protein that you’ve gotten all week. I am thankful that I actually enjoy tomatoes. Kevin doesn’t like them, and he was still able to endure it! We used the same creativity that we had with banana day in order to remain sane, and also used a ton of spices to keep it interesting. I was so excited to eat fish for lunch that I actually kneeled down and gazed inside the oven until it was finished cooking. Not kidding. Once you are at this point of the detox, you will understand. For dinner we baked chicken and used an all-natural Caribbean jerk rub. Another trick to conquer the never-ending tomatoes is to get a variety of them. Buy vine-ripened, grape, cherry, and Roma tomatoes- it will only help you! After tonight, you will be smooth sailing!

Day 6: Protein and Vegetables

I woke up today feeling pretty weak, but was pumped since I could eat a variety of veggies as well as eat fish/chicken again. I made stir fry again (yum) and ate salmon and chicken as my protein. By this point, I was so ready to finish the detox that I was getting a little restless. I actually randomly lashed out to Kevin about my future life decisions and career choices, and all of the pressure that surrounds it. Many vulgar cuss words and grunting. He was a great sport as usual. It was nice to talk it out rather than seek out the nearest bag of chips and sulk about it.

Day 7: Fruits, Vegetables, and Vegetable juices

Last day!!! I was so excited to be almost done, that I became even more restless than yesterday. To prevent this, I kept myself busy. I spent most of my day talking about the detox with my friends, which was rewarding because they were all proud that I was able to do this. I was in good spirits and felt energized. At the end of the day, I reflected on the past week and was incredibly impressed with myself, and still am.

I accomplished a detox. What’s so great about that?!

It’s not great, actually. It’s incredible. Upon completion, I have never felt so invigorated and strong. Since I don’t want this feeling to end, I am consciously making choices that sustain the after-effects of the detox. What motivated me even more was comparing my statistics. I went from 18.9% body fat to 16.1% and lost 6 lbs. That part is great, but the main reason I did this was to truly feel better. I wake up more energized because I sleep better, and I am overall more positive. I always think twice about picking up processed/junk food. I think about what is really in that “stuff” and then reach for something that my body will appreciate, and I never regret it. I also have more motivation to not only work out, but to work out longer and harder because I have the energy. I want to sustain the results of the detox so bad that I refuse to waste my energy doing something pointless. I may have lost weight from the detox, but the most beneficial part of it was altering my mentality on food.

 

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Simple Man

This is a song that I live by: Simple Man by Lynard Skynard. Read these lyrics and perhaps you’ll live by them too. I hope you do.

 

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you some sunny day

Oh, take your time don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
Go find a woman you’ll find love
And don’t forget son there is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can? Oh yes, I will

Boy, don’t you worry you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son if you can?

Baby be a simple, be a simple man
Be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man

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Beautiful, isn’t it? Society gives us so much pressure to determine our success through economic status. Thanks to this song, money means little to nothing to me now. Why should it? If I have enough to live, I am happy. I will live simply, I know that the more things I have, the more things I have to worry about. No one really cares about how much money you have, and if they do, then they’re (for lack of a better word) ignorant.

I have friends who want to start small businesses, help underpriveliged kids, and teach. The best part of this is that they all know they aren’t going to have a mansion with a garage filled with luxury cars. They are following their heart, and I am so blessed to have genuine friends and family that are willing to put money aside and base their success off of happiness. That is really what life is about.

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We all know the saying “Work to live, don’t live to work.” I recently read an article by the Huffington Post called “Bronnie Ware: Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.” I know it sounds like a depressing read, but it was very interesting and I’ve been thinking about the article ever since I read it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bronnie-ware/top-5-regrets-of-the-dyin_b_1220965.html

Here are the top 5 regrets of the dying the Ware wrote about in the Huff Post on 1/21/12:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

 

Ware began the article by explaining where she received such information. “For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives.” Regrets are very powerful, and I’m sure no one wants to live with them. I hope you take these 5 points into consideration no matter how old you are or what is going on in your life.

Listen to this song whenever you feel like you are doing something to please others, or if you’re putting work before your family. Listen to it when you’re feeling like you’re putting happiness on the back burner or when you feel like you’ve lost touch with loved ones. As you grow old you will realize that there will be a day that you wont be able to take care of yourself: your friends will. Keep in touch with them. Life does not have to be complicated. There are responsibilites that are a part of life, but they should not become a burden.

So go live a simple life and leave the stress behind! You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them!

 

 

A great post about New York. Although I am a Chicago native, Mk Americana beautifully captures the culture of the Big Apple. I am now going for a stroll around the Windy City after work…

Mk Americana

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I love to travel and experience new cultures. For that reason,  I took a day trip to New York for a mini vacation.  My purpose in going was to visit all the places I didn’t get a chance to visit during new years. With that being said,  I still didn’t get a chance to visit all the places I wanted to. Regardless, I had a wonderful time and I plan on going back soon to finish my list. Below are a few pictures I took while I was there.

Before I went to the Brooklyn bridge I stopped by Duke’s cafe located in Soho no too far from H&M.

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I am tired of people excusing themselves for eating poorly because they are on a tight budget. Being a college student, I have done many trial and errors to figure out the best way to save money on food.

Here is what I have concluded: Cooking at home is almost always cheaper.

I understand that fast food is a quick way to feed your kids while battling 2 jobs and soccer practice, but there are ways around that. Cooking at home does not have to take an hour. Some meals don’t even take 30 minutes.

Look at it this way. How long does it take for you to decide what you and your family want for dinner? Then you have to drive there, or call and wait for it to be ready. Perhaps you ordered something for delivery, and we all know that anything getting delivered around dinner time takes about an hour to arrive. By the time you receive the food, you’ve lost loads of cash that could have been spent on loads of groceries. Spending money on gas, tips, and junk food adds up fast, and it sure is a waste of valuable time that could be spent with loved ones.

We all know fast food is horrible for your body. Why waste your money?

An easy way to avoid this is cooking at home. Like I stated earlier, while in college I have been on a tight budget. Here are some things that I make for myself and friends.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms: approx. $3.50 and 20 min. to make

Grilled chicken with steamed veggies: approx. $2.50 and 15 min. to make

Minestrone soup (feeds 6): approx. $4 and 25 min. to make

Low-cal Enchiladas (beef or chicken- feeds 8): approx. $10 and 25 minutes to make

Make your own veggie pizza: approx. $8 and 25 min. to make

Aw, ain’t that cute?!

See? There are no excuses now! These are all so easy and fast that ordering out will seem like a hassle. I used to help my dad make dinner when I was a little girl, which gave me some great memories that I still remember. If you have little ones at home, have them help you in the kitchen so they have a firm understanding about the process of creating healthy meals. They’ll also have fun with it and feel responsible.

Next time you plan dinner, remember what is worth spending your money on. Eating at home is, in fact, cheaper. It brings your family closer together, and it saves time!

There is no life without poetry

Emotions have the ability to take over our lives. Sometimes, my emotions get in the way of my classes, social life, and well-being. When this happens, I pick up a pen and write poetry.

I know poetry has the reputation to be difficult, but once I get going I can’t stop. There is something about putting my thoughts into a rhythmic metaphor and creating an art form that no one else may understand but myself. I love experiencing things that only my eyes comprehend; that my brain perfectly illustrates to answer my intuitions.

Music is poetry made into other forms of ingenuity. Without music, we would be walking around in the dark. I think you would agree. If you cannot give poetry a chance, you’re not giving music a chance.

Poetry is an impressive way to express ones sense of aesthetics. No one can say that they are bad at poetry, especially if they haven’t tried it. Next time you feel like life has gotten you stumped, put it on paper. If something is troubling you, poetry will force you to dig deep into your true feelings. If you are overwhelmingly happy, writing a poem will help you put the happiness into words, even when you think language cannot describe your feelings.

It is possible for a poet to compose music, draw pictures, take photos, not through a guitar, brush, or film, but with the angelic words that people speak around the world through rhythm and vision.

 

When most of us think of abusive relationships, we generally think of a man hitting a woman. Let’s say a couple gets into a huge fight and the boyfriend completely flips out, throws objects, punches walls, and hits his girlfriend.

Well you know what? That’s pretty cliche. Yeah, I said it. It’s the stereotypical abusive relationship with the dominant man belittling the woman in hopes of her bowing down to him while he stands tall with power and control in his hands.

I guarantee that you or someone you know has been a victim of an abusive relationship. I say this because abuse is not just physical. Abuse is constructed my humiliation, manipulation, and control. 

As most of my readers know, I am in my early twenties. I deal with so much talk about relationships it’s almost overwhelming, and I’ve heard incredible stories about fights and disputes that still shock me to this day. I always ask the people that express their concern about their relationships with me, “why haven’t you left yet?” Their responses tend to be somewhere along the lines of the other person being wrapped around their finger.

When most people hear about these relationships they think they’re just plain stupid.

Sometimes they are.

But when a person has the ability to manipulate someone to the point of abuse, it’s not stupidity, it’s control. If a person can cut down the dignity of their boyfriend or girlfriend so they have the pleasure of this animalistic, king of the jungle behavior, sometimes there’s no turning back.

Victims catch the bait. They’re reeled in, and eaten alive while everyone else can watch the humiliation and torment. How disgusting.

We need to stop this abuse. We need to spread the word about what abuse really is, and to tell people that this isn’t a way to live. To all victims of abuse: you can get out and you will. Understand that it is never okay to be isolated by a relationship. It is never okay to feel the emotional stress, possessiveness, and intimidation. Never act a certain way to please others. All that matters is that you are happy. No one can judge your happiness other than yourself.

 

[Learn more about abuse by visiting http://www.loveisrespect.org. There are live chats 24/7 as well as a hotline 866-331-9474.]

I stumbled upon a blog called xojane. Jane is the author, and she did something crazy that I want to do, too. When Jane was in high school, she took a criminology class. She had a popular teacher that students referred to as “Buddy.” The goofy teacher said that anyone who wrote to a serial killer and got a response would automatically get an “A” on the final exam.

And so she did.

Jane wrote to Richard Ramirez (a.k.a The Night Stalker). He brutally shot and stabbed people out of boredom. How sexy.

She sent the letter to him out in San Quintin. Here’s what she wrote:

Dear Mr. Ramirez,

I’m a high school girl and I find you fascinating.

We learned all about you in class and watched BOTH of your TV movies. I liked your leather jacket and aviator sunglasses!

I’m interested to know how you managed to avoid the police for so long. What is prison like? Do you ever get lonely? What do you like to do for fun?

Sincerely,

Julie Wilson

Of course she used a fake name, but he seriously responded!! He asked Jane about her taste in music and requested a photo of herself (eek!). He signed “Rick.”

I am going to do this! I always find myself glued to the T.V when watching documentaries about serial killers or crazy nutcases who murder their kids. I’m a fan of the show Snapped where wives murder their husbands. Good, healthy viewing. Let’s not forget the Locked Up marathons on MSNBC and To Catch A Predator on Dateline. I just can’t get enough!

I’ll be doing research on the best fit serial killer for me. Wish me luck! Seriously.

I found a new website today. It’s called Compassion Pit. Visit it! http://www.compassionpit.com

Their motto is “Get it off your chest without it biting you in the ass!”

 

 

 

This site was created in 2010 by Zach Burt who wanted a way to vent about things without it weighing him down with the fear of it being used against him in the future. I think it’s a really interesting concept that can help thousands of people.

So I tried this out. I went to the home page and chose between “listening” or “venting.” I chose listening. The site set me up with  an anonymous user that wanted to vent to me. I didn’t really know how to begin the conversation; I didn’t even know who I was talking to! So I just said, “how are you?.” The venter’s response was, “ugh, bad.” After asking for more details the venter expressed his feelings toward his girlfriend. He said that he doesn’t love her anymore, but he felt like he couldn’t break up with her because she has a low self-esteem. I gave him my two cents, and some suggestions on how to handle the sticky situation. I’ve had my fair share of relationships so he appreciated my advice and ability to relate.

I never got his name- don’t even know where he’s from. I didn’t ask, and I didn’t really care, but it felt good to help someone out.

I spent over an hour on this site last night listening to venters communicate their life’s issues with me. I listened to a rape victim, a closet homosexual, and a woman deciding between abortion or adoption.

I think this site is incredible. I gained a great deal of satisfaction by helping people with my words. Although I don’t really have anything that I need to anonymously vent about, I will continue to listen to people who simply need someone to talk to. Whether it’s needing consultation about girlfriend issues, or advice on how to cope with sexual assault, Compassion Pit will be there to help anyone; listener or venter.

Millions of people (mostly women) are swooning over Pinterest. If you have never visited this site, Pinterest is best described as a virtual pin-board where users find photos and videos on the site and “repin” them to be on their “boards.” There is a wide variety of pins for people to see; from fashion, art, home decor, weddings, and beauty.

A screen shot of a user's home page Pinterest. (Source: http://www.ladyandtheblog.com)

I have been an avid Pinterest user for about 5 months, but I have problems with it. Big problems.

Pinterest does not have pins for real people. Being in my early 20s, I have some really big dreams. I yearn for the day to marry prince charming, start my own family, own my own house, and have as much jewelry and clothes as I can fit in my warehouse-sized closet. I am not the only one my age who would love to have all of these things some time in my life, but Pinterest gives women my age a whole lot of pressure.

This site makes me feel like life isn’t as great with love handles and a small choice of pumps. I’ve spent way too much time oodling over pictures of “perfect bodies” which have almost convinced me that my assets just aren’t up to par. Almost. 🙂

Comparing life to the mansions seen in the southern Hamptons, and the designer clothes models are wearing can really take a toll on women.

Such a small percentage of people will be able to afford such a wedding. Why do weddings have to be such a huge deal? Why is long hair all the rage when short hair is just as beautiful? I don’t understand why a site like this is so popular when it’s so hard to relate to. Maybe it’s the jealousy that women are so attracted to.

What’s the deal with all of these women pinning dainty recipes and nifty tricks for cleaning the house? I think it’s complete bull that gender roles are reaching back into our society. Relationships are very different today than they were when Mrs. Clever was around, thank goodness. We love our stay-at-home dads and same-sex marriages. We can’t get enough of our CEO moms and famous cake baking dad’s, right? We have come so far from gender inequality, why are we going backwards again?

 

 

 

 

 

I am putting Pinterest in the dog house until further notice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have spent some time backpacking as well as visiting close friends in Switzerland, Germany, and Spain. After exploring not only Europe, but my own self during these voyages, I have grown a passion for traveling. There is nothing more rewarding than entering a foreign country with a backpack and map, and successfully finding your destination.

I need to continue doing this before I don’t think it’s cool anymore. Which is why I want to begin house sitting after graduation (May 2013).

“You’re doing WHAT?

I know it may sound ridiculous, but this is a growing trend.

House sitting is for people who love the outdoors, enjoy animals, and are comfortable in foreign places. Some home owners hire people to do yard work, feed their pets, and watch over their property while they are away. Others need help taking care of their ranch, and things of that nature. The house sitter does this while they stay on the home owner’s property in a guest bedroom or pool house free of charge. It ‘s a win-win. Work for a place to stay, while home owners receive the help they need.

There are several trusted websites out there to sign up with. The costs and benefits of each vary. Here are a few that I’ve done some research on along with the yearly subscription costs.

Trustedhousesitters.com$60/year: The functionality of the site is one of the best out there.

Mindmyhouse.com – $20/year: This site has the lowest subscription cost I have found!

Housecarers.com $50/year: The majority of listings on this website are for Australia.

Caretaker.org– $29.95/year: This is the only one of these four websites that doesn’t allow you to peruse all listings for free, you have to become a paid member. It is a popular one though, and also includes opportunities to take care of and operate functional properties as well (i.e. bed and breakfasts, etc.)

The lifestyle that house sitting provides is perfect for me. I can explore different parts of the world on a very slim budget. I get to enjoy a slow pace of travel, and become involved in each community that I visit. And the home owner gets a valuable service in return – a responsible person to care and maintain for their property, their pets, and whatever else needs attending to. I would love to do this with a close friend or family member.