Archive for January, 2011

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

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ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


My Dirty Thirty Bucket List

I know I just turned 27  but I’m a “list” person and while I made my “Dirty Thirty Bucket List” a while ago, I still glance at it from time to time. I’m not moving as quickly through the list as I would like but I thought I would share it with you guys anyway…

Run a Half Marathon

See the Sistine Chapel in Italy

Stand in a red phone booth in London

Take a mother/daughter and father/daughter vacation

Get my MBA

Marry my dream man (almost there!)

Have a child with my dream man

Become a triathlete

Learn to Ski

Learn to play the guitar

Own all the Beatle albums

Sing Karaoke

Go parasailing

Ride a mechanical bull

Learn to shoot a gun

Go on a cruise

Go on a cross-country road trip

See the Grand Canyon

Go to Oktoberfest in Munich Germany

Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

See Mount Rushmore

Climb up the Stature of Liberty

Visit Disney World and Disney Land

See the Eiffel Tower

Take up photography

Take a cooking class

Learn to Garden

Watch the 10 greatest American movies of all time (as ranked by the AFI)

Build a Habitat for Humanity Home

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Mentor someone at work

Get an article published in Glamour/Cosmopolitan or Self

Act a part in a play

Start a Blog

Learn Italian

Swim with Dolphins

Dance on a bar

Go to Spring Training in AZ

Visit Chicago with Betsy

Wine Taste in Napa

Purchase a really nice, expensive piece of furniture

Learn to change a tire

Frame and Hang my Degree

Own a home

Plant a tree

Go to Lollapalooza, Coachella and Bonnaroo

Raise money for a charity

Climb a Mountain (even if it just Crowder’s)

Some of these I plan to knock off this year but others (like the travling) I’m trying to save for. Some of you might call my list “anal” but I like to keep track of goals and how I’m choosing to live my life. It really helps to quiet the anxiety that sometimes lives in me. In a dream sceneario I would leave this earth scarred and worn down, having taken advantage of everything it has to offer-and sometimes I need a list to remind me of that.

Do any of you have lists that you have made? What do they have on them??

All Shook Up!

I can’t believe my last post was on January 21. Who am I and what have I been doing?

The answer to that question-is a lot and nothing.

What I have been doing in recent days:

  • salsa dancing
  • working non-stop
  • watching the playoffs
  • celebrating birthdays
  • Working on the “new and improved” dine-in-dash!
  • wedding stuff…

What I have not been doing

  • Taking pictures

Hence, the lack of blogging. Sorry guys, sometimes life just calls but I hope to take the last week in January to post lightly because I’m trying to finish the layout of the new blog in time for February!

Stay Tuned!!!!!!

4 months!

4 months from today I will be Mrs. Claire Cilip! Things are rockin’ and rollin’ in the planning phase, it seems like every day is filled with decisions on flowers, cake, travel arrangements and bridesmaid dresses.

Basically, I’m in heaven.

Our invitations have been approved and I can’t wait to ship them off! Here is a sample of what they look like…

They are supposed to represent our color scheme along with the feel of our wedding…classy and beachy? Does that come across??

I’ve been living a pretty organic life this past week. Keeping with my practice “detox,” green tea has become a staple every morning.

I wish my meals were a little more interesting but the truth is, I’ve been so busy so I’ve had no time to get creative so they are relatively simple.  Sticking to a dairy and meat-less diet isn’t as bad as I initially thought it was going to be. Here are some things that I have happily been eating since I started:

  • Carrots
  • Salads topped with bell peppers, mushrooms, nuts, fruit, etc
  • tofu
  • couscous/whole grains
  • Peanut butter bread
  • Green smoothies
  • Beans
  • crackers
  • Hummus
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Celery
  • Spaghetti with tomatoes
  • Sushi
  • tomato soup

I’ve noticed my energy has picked up and I’ve even lost 5 lbs. I’ll take that, thanks. I can’t wait to see what other things improve based upon a more plant-based diet.

I think it’s important to recognize that while I’ve cut out dairy, I am aware that my body still needs calcium as well as other nutrients, especially when I’m working out. However, what some people may not know is that you can get calcium from all the foods below and honestly, the average person takes in way too much protein, way more than needed.

  • Almonds
  • Brazils Nuts
  • Soya flour
  • Oatmeal
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Black molasses
  • Dried figs
  • Parsley
  • Kale

“The fact that vegans have a slightly lower protein intake and exclude meat from their diet encourages their bodies to retain calcium so their dietary need may be lower than the typical omnivore. In fact, the excessive protein in cow’s milk depletes the human skeleton of calcium and actually weakens bones.” -Thinkquest

Before I went to the gym, I grabbed a quick piece of bread with some peanut butter…YUM.

January is still in full effect at the gym…unfortunately. I was denied access into my Group Power class because it was at capacity and I was even 5 minutes early. Arg! Instead I did some strength training on my own with the machines and caught up with Newsweek on the Elliptical.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the gym. It’s like my own little private getaway where I can think or zone out or completely sweat it out=feeling fantastic.

For dinner I had some Capellini Pomodoro and a salad.  Roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil tossed with capellini.

Off to bed, dreaming of our very own, far away destination location….

(Las Caletas, Mexico)

Things I miss…

I miss Chick-fil-A scratch that…all food I am used to eating.

I miss 2% milk and yogurt.

I miss my aunt Sue and little sister Cammie! Who are both having birthdays this week.

She’s one in a million, that one.

I miss my spot on the couch where I spent hours on end watching my favorite shows and unwinding.

This one is a triple whammy: I miss beer. I’m not even going to try to pretend that I don’t, and summer… and summer concerts. Sigh. Is winter over yet?

Trying to cut out meat and dairy from my diet has been tricky! It took me 2 hours to grocery shop! You really have to do your research. My mind is spinning from so many things to consider. I miss the days where I naively threw in Cheetos into my cart and kept moving, without so much as a thought about preservatives, ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, digestion or fat thighs.

I’m glad I’ve had this week of “practice” detox because I have the feeling the next three-week are going to be hard…speaking of that actually, I have some bad news…

Can’t blog about Kimberly Snyder’s book as of right now. Her publisher’s actually contacted me and regretfully asked that I keep my enthusiasm down until the book was actually released. 🙂 I honestly tried to be conscious of what I was and wasn’t posting, but I’m actually kinda thrilled that this ol’ blog I started not even a year ago was on their radar.  Long story short-go buy it!

I have been making Green Smoothies this week and since I had a “Green Monster” obsession last summer, it’s not really been much of a transition. The smoothie and some celery along with  some organic green tea make up my breakfasts these days.

Lunch & Dinner are always something green but at least at dinner, I able to pack in nutrients like protein that my body can better digest since I have been good to it all day! Meal planning has been a compromise. Last night we made a brown rice medley with turkey sausage, kinda like I made here. Tonight was strictly “sticking to the program” with some tofu scramble.

Chris is a good sport. For the recipe click here.

My schedule has been hectic. Work’s been busy the first of the year, our lovely Mexican wedding is only months away and an amped up work-out regimen have all kept me away from all things that I love.

Somebody tell me it will all be worth it!

Have you ever prepped for something big in your life? Any of you ladies have great stories of pre-wedding behavior? I’d love to hear I’m not alone!

Good-bye Dairy

Hi there bloggers and readers! Sorry if my last post was a teaser, but you’ll be happy to know that I have still been reading, I just have had no time for posting…so here we go!

Still reading The Beauty Detox Solution and WOW is all I have to say. I’m totally sucked into this book and everything the author is teaching me about food.

It’s kind of scary realizing all that you don’t know, and realizing what you do know, isn’t much and quite frankly completely skewed.

Rewinding a bit…I opted to work a cheer-leading competition all day on Saturday for some easy money.  I was up at 5:15 am and worked till about 7:00 pm and basically went right to bed once I was done. After being on my feet and watching what had to be well over 100 competitions all dubbed with the same pop music blaring, I was exhausted=no post.  Just look at some of the line-up….

It continues on the next page-yikes!

I did have one proud moment…my sister and most of her UNCC teammates are on a competitive team so I was able to watch them, they did so great!

Sunday I slept in and it felt good. My body slept like a rock, it was a little hard to get up and get moving. I was supposed to work the same event on Sunday but opted out and gladly let another girl take my place.  Instead I read some more of my book (I’m way past the intended chapters) did a little yoga (stretching more frequently is one of my New Year Resolutions) and went grocery shopping.

Boy has that become a harder task since reading Kimberly’s book! In case you are wondering she suggests living a more vegan lifestyle than I’m use to I have ever experienced. However, her research alone has scared me away from dairy, point-blank. Which if you are a follower, you know how much my oats, fruit and yogurt concoction is going to be missed. 😦

No Milk. No cheese. No animal by-products really…

and this tiiiinnnnyyy little section is where I can get some organic. This unfortunately is not going to cut it so I’ll probably have to make more trips to TJ’s.

After spending more than a 1/3 of my grocery money on produce, I ventured off to get some things for Chris. This change is going to be interesting within the household to say the least. While I preach to Chris the practices I’m learning about, I think it’s going to take him more than words on a page.

I’d like to be clear that I’m not starting the detox just yet. I still want to complete the entirety of the book so I can be better assured that I won’t make a mistake and that longevity is my friend. On a personal level, I just can’t really fathom eating any dairy anymore after what I’ve read. I still plan on eating meat for the next few weeks as I’m not starting the official detox till a week from today and even then she transitions you out, or at least gets you down to only eating it 2 nights a week, if you prefer.

This book is changing my life, the outcome is yet to be seen but it sure is powerful.

Let me highlight a few of the things in Chapters 2 and 3, I believe that will suffice for tonight’s post.

  • I’ve learned what causes us to age and how it can be avoided and reversed just by our diets
  • Also, the single most important way to redirect large amounts of energy to make weight loss efficient and fight aging is freeing up energy from digestion.
  • A food that takes the quickest time to digest=the healthiest for you and vice versa.
  • I’ve been taught the proper way to eat and it’s not every three hours…and breakfast isn’t the healthiest meal of the day (according to your stomach).

For more info on Kimberly Snyder’s book, go here.

In order to get a jump-start on Kimberly’s program, I made it a little easier on myself by doing a lot of prep work after the grocery store.

Here you will see spinach washed and separated for salad use and green smoothies, cucumbers, celery  sticks, apple slices for (sandwiches snacks and salads), red and green bell peppers chopped up and lastly, some iceberg and romaine lettuce.

I also am attempting to get my taste-buds use to Silk Milk (hey, it’s an alternative for things right?) Does anyone else notice the distinct difference in color from the actual glass to the advertisement. This will take some getting use to.

Hope to try her green smoothie in the morning after an early gym session-if all goes according to plan. I could potentially sleep in till the last second and go to work with my hair wet. Not uncommon for a Monday 😉

How were your weekends? Have you ever tried a detox or cleanse before??

10 to Detox

One of the many perks of where I work is that I can get a substantial amount of CD’s, DVD’s and Books for free and sometimes even before they are available to the general public. (Not that I’m bragging) 🙂

A few weeks ago a co-worker passed along a book to me called, The Beauty Detox Solution. I finally cracked it open and was pleasantly surprised by the useful information and motivation to get radiant beauty from the inside out as well as obtain renewed energy all by changing your diet. I will warn you, the principles that the author, Kimberly Snyder, abides by are more than just challenging, they are a bit overwhelming but at the same time motivating and completely promising.

(source)

I was thinking of an appropriate way to share what I’m reading without hindering her sales. In an effort to more thoughtfully process what it is I’m reading, I’ve decided that for the next 10 days, I will mention a few things that struck me the most in the chapter that I’m reading while purposely not divulging all the useful information Snyder offers.

The book is split into 2 parts: Beauty Detox Basics and Your Beauty Solution

10 chapters=10 posts that will hopefully evoke thought about your own diets and what it means to pay attention to what you put into your body.

At the end of the book, the reader should be primed to embark on their “detox” armed with knowledge on what to eat, sample meal plans, recipes and a lifestyle change that stays with the reader, long after the initial cleanse.

I will apologize for the copy heavy posts that will take place over the next 10 days but hopefully you will find it beneficial and exciting, like me! 🙂

Not yet leaping into a detox without reading the entirety of the book first, I made a salad topped with a crumbled veggie burger for dinner tonight. Group Power was really strenuous tonight and took a lot out of me, including the desire to make any real dinner. I couldn’t have been happier to be there though!

My salad: Iceburg Lettuce, carrots shavings, diced red onion, light honey mustard dressing and a crumbled Morningstar Black Bean burger. The contrast between the warm and crispy burger against the cold salad was awesome…and even better was that it took about 10 minutes to make.

Now onto the recommended reading of the night…

CHAPTER 1 and a few things I found interesting:

  • Basic concept-our body is designed to digest more of a plant-based diet, rather than meat. Humans can get all the protein they need from the amino acids in plants.
  • “There are over thirty-five hundred scientific studies involving over fifteen thousand research scientist that report a relationship between the consumption of meats, poultry, eggs and diary products and the incidence of numerous health issues, including but not restricted to heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, constipation, gout, gallstones, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and osteoporosis.”
  • Humans resemble herbivores, in terms of both their anatomical structure and internal organs.

What you Can’t get without the book:

  • Astounding Scientific evidence of some of her points that would knock your socks off!
  • Why Humans are primed to eat a more plant-based diet, super interesting stuff that makes TOTAL sense
  • True life stories of how people’s lives have changed by following some of Snyder’s recommendations.

To take a look at Kimberly’s AWESOME AND INSPIRING blog, go here.