Wedding Wednesday: Operation Honeymoon!

First and foremost, today marks the last day of my 3-day juice cleanse!!

In the first two days of the cleanse, I made a huge juice in the morning and split it between breakfast and lunch. Yesterday, however, I was craving some change so I made a smaller juice for breakfast and then a different juice for lunch.

My breakfast juice was DELICIOUS! I’m going to call this my Peaches & Cream Morning Juice 🙂

Peaches & Cream Breakfast Juice

Ingredients:

-1 large handful of kale

-2 peaches

-10-12 strawberries

-1 banana

-a sprinkling of chia seeds (I added these to the juice afterwards)

This was probably one of my favorite juices so far — I stuck it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before leaving the house and it froze just enough to taste like a delicious smoothie! YUM!

For lunch, I made a greener juice.

Green Lunch Juice

Ingredients:

-2 handfuls spinach

-1 handful kale

-1/2 cucumber (I am not a huge fan of the cucumber taste in juice and I didn’t want it to be overwhelming. If you love cucumber, you could use the whole thing)

-1 pear

-1 apple (wish I had green apples for a true “green” juice!)

This juice was pretty good as well, although not as delectable as the morning juice. By lunchtime, I was just craving real food! While I wasn’t hungry (an 8 oz. juice is actually very filling!) I missed the texture of different types of foods. It didn’t help that it was my co-worker’s birthday and I had to stare at this all day long:

Temptation!

Yeah. It was brutal! I had to watch everyone eat it while munching on carrot sticks at my desk.

Yet another carrot

Pathetic, I know.

After a quick workout at the gym, it was time to head home and freshen up for DINNER. A real live dinner!! We went over to our friends’ house where they had prepared a feast!

First meal!!

My friend Kristen was the one who initially suggested doing the cleanse and we were both salivating watching her husband prepare lemon alfredo chicken pasta and perfectly steamed broccoli! This meal was perfection and it was definitely worth the wait!

A few tips for anyone considering a juice fast:

-Listen to your body! I tried a 3 mile run the first day of the cleanse and that was a mistake — my body was still adjusting at that point and I wish I would have done a lighter workout.

-Incoroporate whole fruits and veggies. I never would have survived on just juice so I munched on bananas, strawberries, and carrots in between meals.

-Do it with a partner! Kristen and I both admitted we would have cheated many times had we not known there was someone there to keep us accountable. We were both really proud of ourselves for sticking with it and not cheating or giving up!

While I’m actually glad I had this experience, I think I’ll stick to juicing just once a day for the time being. 🙂

Wedding Wednesday: Operation Honeymoon!

About this time last year, my workout routine was getting more and more intense to prepare for the wedding! There are few things more motivating to get your butt to the gym than knowing you’re going to stand in front of 200+ people in a form-fitting dress and have pictures in it that last a lifetime! Also motivating is knowing you’ll frolic on the beach in a bikini the next week on your honeymoon. Needless to say, I was working hard! I found that having an actual plan for my workout helped me adequately rotate muscle groups and make sure I was getting a good mix of strength training and cardio. I even created a workout chart I called “Operation Honeymoon” to help motivate me! I wrote down everything I wanted to do each day (i.e. Monday: 60 minute kickboxing class; Tuesday: 2 mile run, 30 minutes arms strength training; Wednesday: 30 minutes on bike, 30 minutes legs strength training, etc). My plan was for 6 days a week and I tried to keep mixing up what I did so I never got into a workout rut. I was really thankful for all my hard work once my wedding day came! There is nothing quite like feeling fabulous and fit on your wedding day! 🙂

If you are getting married and want to get in shape (or just want to have a healthy workout plan), I highly recommend created an actual physical plan of what you want to do each day. It helps keep you accountable and also gives you and idea of what you need to work on each time you go to the gym!

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Today’s outfit was filled with bright colors because it’s finally sunny and warm! (Never mind that it’s supposed to snow tomorrow…)

coral shirt with turquoise jewelry

 V-neck shirt: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Lace cami: Express (similar here and here) ~ Khaki pants: Maurices (similar here) ~ Leopard Flats: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Premier Jewelry (exact old)

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Juice Cleanse Day Two!

Day two of the juice cleanse is on! So far I’m feeling pretty good, but yesterday I ran 3.25 miles (I’m running a 5k on Saturday) and by the end I was NOT feeling very well. I’m not sure this juice cleanse provides enough calories (and possibly not enough protein) for such strenuous exercise. I think today I’ll just stick to a light workout.

Last night’s dinner was the first real challenge for me because before I made my juice, I cooked a huge pot of chili for Justin. OH MY GOSH it was ridiculously tempting. Luckily, I made enough chili for leftovers so I won’t have to cook again tonight and be tempted again.

03-10 DinnerI had to throw in a bunch of strawberries for something to chew. The juice was yummy but I just needed something “extra!”

My dinner juice consisted of:

-2 handfuls of spinach

-1 banana

-1 apple

-4-5 pieces of bok choy (kind of a mix between lettuce and celery if that makes sense at all)

Morning Beet Juice

Morning Beet Juice Ingredients :: simplifythechaos.comMy juice this morning consisted of:

-2 apples

-4 clementines

-1/4 pineapple (half of what is shown)

-handful of kale

-2 large handfuls of spinach

-1 beet (peeled)

This juice is also really good but the beet kind of gives it what my husband calls “a dirt taste.” I have to agree that the beet significantly changes the taste but it was good variety to add! I had half the juice for breakfast and half for lunch with a banana and carrots as snacks. Tonight I want to try a juice with lots of greens–we’ll see how that goes. I’m halfway through this juice cleanse!!

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Today’s outfit was simple with a touch of sparkle!

cardigan, pencil skirt, statement necklace. teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com  Cardigan: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Lace cami: Express (similar here and here) ~ Grey pencil skirt: Laundry by Shelli Segal (similar here and here) ~ Grey pumps: Bandolino (similar here) ~ Necklace: Purple Peridot “Crystal Sparkler” (exact here)

Let the Juice Cleanse begin

Well, Daylight Savings Time is officially kicking my booty. Last night Justin and I thought we had changed all the clocks, but we forgot one crucial one in our living room and by the time we realized it, it was already way past our bedtime (yes, we have a bedtime). Needless to say, that led to accidentally sleeping in WAY too long this morning so it’s been a bit of a rough start for me with the time change!

Juice Cleanse

I have really enjoyed the juices that Justin and I have been trying lately; it’s been fun to come up with different combinations! Yesterday I was talking to one of my good friends and she expressed a lot of interest in doing a 3-day juice cleanse. Even though I initially said I had no interest in a juice fast of any kind, she convinced me to give it a try with her. We started today and so far, so good! I made an extra big juice for breakfast and brought half with me to school for lunch.

Morning Burst JuiceI had to drink it on the way to work because of my super hurried morning!

I made my Morning Burst Juice again but added an extra apple and pineapple. It was a pretty frothy juice (I blame the banana) but very yummy! I enjoyed having another one for lunch as well. In addition to the juices, I packed lots of carrot sticks and a banana; there is NO way I’d be able to survive on only three juices! I plan on making a snack juice after my run this afternoon and then a dinner juice later in the evening. It will be hard to cook Justin dinner and watch him eat it, but I really want to try to make it through this cleanse!

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It was finally above 60 today and it’s sunny so it feels like spring is really on its way! I wanted to pick fun springy colors for my outfit and here’s what I came up with (open-toed shoes!! Yay!) Details on wear page.

Orange stripes, green statement necklace, navy ankle pants, orange strappy heelsSweater: Express

Pants: Target

Shoes: Bakers

Necklace: Bluetique

Outfit catch-up + Juice!

Hi y’all!

Another day off of school due to snow (I don’t know about you, but I am READY for spring to get here!) which I spent cleaning, doing laundry, and . . . napping. Not even a little bit ashamed about it either.

Morning Burst Juice

Today for breakfast Justin and I tried a new juice and we LOVED it! I am calling it my “morning burst” juice because it seriously gave me the perfect boost of energy to start my day! This is definitely going to make it into our regular rotation.

Ingredients:

-2-3 handfuls spinach

-1 banana (two if they are small)

-1 large apple

-1/4 pineapple

-1 pear

Morning Burst Juice Ingredients

So delicious! I added water to mine to make it less thick but Justin loves the thicker/frothier taste so he didn’t. We were both big fans!!

Morning Burst Juice

Outfit Catch-up

Since I’ve been horrible at blogging lately, here are my latest work outfits! Details to all available pieces can be found on the wear page. Enjoy!

teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com

Kale in my kitchen

So, I’ve been terrible at blogging lately. All I can say is, life happens sometimes! As much as I love blogging, my life and relationships are so important to me and that will always take priority. The last week has been a busy one with work and other obligations; the free time I’ve had has been spent with my hubby and fur babies.  But now I’m back and I’m going to try to make a solid effort to be more consistent.

Juice!

Tomorrow I’ll do a re-cap post of all the outfits I’ve worn since my last post, but today I want to tell you about Justin and my latest adventure: juicing!

This all started with a friend recommending I watch the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix. I just so happen to love food documentaries, so I watched right away. The movie really surprised me: it follows the journey of two men and their decision to do a 60-day juice fast to lose weight and get healthy. They end up dropping tons of pounds, going off medication, and becoming happier, healthier individuals. Both had really amazing transformations!

Now, Justin and I are relatively healthy people. In the fall I made a commitment to try to cook “cleaner” meals and we’ve stuck to that — we always choose whole grains and try to avoid refined, processed foods as much as possible. We eat fruits and veggies regularly and exercise several times a week. We don’t have tons of weight to lose or medications we want to get off of. So why juice?

Winter months tend to make me feel kind of “blah.” I can’t go outside as much ((especially because we just got ANOTHER snow storm)) and I feel my energy level dropping like crazy. After watching the documentary and talking to several friends about juicing, we decided to try it to see if it helped us feel more energized. We had no desire to do a juice fast, but we thought it’d be nice to incorporate juice into our meals.

We bought a juicer over the weekend and decided to get started right away! We checked out several recipes that appealed to us and hit up the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies. **Sidenote: There is KALE in my kitchen. K-a-l-e. I honestly didn’t even know what this stuff was up until a few months ago and never thought it would make it’s way into my kitchen. But it’s here! And so is something called bok choy. We’ll see how that one goes…

Juicer Juicer

We decided to try a simple juice for our first try. Carrots, celery, apples, and ginger!

First attempt

It. Was. HORRID.

That’s right. It was absolutely TERRIBLE. We each had one sip and had to dump the rest. We followed a recipe but the ginger was completely overwhelming — we used waaaaaay too much.

Not to be discouraged, we tried again today. We had a juice for breakfast this morning and then another one for lunch. Both were really yummy!

Juice success!

Justin was starving all day. He did not really feel fulfilled by the juice and was more than excited for a “real” meal for dinner. I didn’t feel overly hungry, but I did have a bit of a headache after lunch. This pretty much solidified our decision to not to an actual juice fast/cleanse. However, I do already feel more energy! At the gym today I ran two miles and spent an additional 15 minutes on the elliptical — I felt so good afterwards that I added strength training after all that cardio. It was awesome!

We’ve decided the best time for us to juice is in the morning. We want to start our day out right with lots of fruits and veggies, which will hopefully help us make better food choices throughout the day.

We are definitely looking forward to trying new recipes and I’ll be sure to share good ones with y’all!

***

Please be advised that I am not a dietician and you should consult your physician before attempting any diet or juice cleanse/fast. 

Clean Eating Chicken & Spinach Penne

Today was one of those days where I hit the ground running from the moment I woke up and didn’t stop until I got home after work. Lots of meetings and paperwork to fill out today and it seemed like it was just one thing after another. Whew!

When I got home, I wanted something quick, easy, and yummy for dinner so that I would have some time to relax this evening. I found a recipe on Cassie’s Back to Her Roots blog and I easily adapted it to be more “clean” and to accommodate the things I had in my pantry.

You can find the original recipe here. Cassie’s recipe calls for shrimp, but I’m not a big seafood fan and I had chicken on hand so that’s what I used. I also did not add mushrooms, salt, or pepper. I can’t say I used her recipe too closely with cook time/measurements, but it served as a wonderful guide for this meal.

First up, I boiled some water and put in a box of 100% whole wheat penne. While that was cooking, I diced up some tomatoes and threw them in a large skillet with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, some minced garlic, and a few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes. I did not use much oil because the tomatoes produced a lot of natural juices.

I sauteed them for a minute or two and then added some chicken (I diced the chicken up nice and small). Once the chicken was cooked, I added finely chopped spinach. (Mmmm! I LOVE spinach!)

Once everything was cooked, I added a 6 oz container of plain Greek Yogurt and about half a jar of my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce. Her sauce has a bit of a spicy kick, which complimented the red pepper flakes perfectly! I also love using her spaghetti sauce because I know exactly what goes into it (hint: no preservatives or added salt).

Lastly, I added the cooked penne back in and stirred it all around. The whole thing took 15 minutes and it was deee-licious!! Simple, quick, and easy! Also nice and clean. 🙂 Definite success!

And now, off to relax with the hubster and pup. No better way to relax than that!

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I don’t know about you, but I think fall is going by entirely too fast. I’m not ready for dreary winter weather! I needed some fall colors in today’s outfit!

Sweater: Maurices

Cami: Maurices

Khakis: Maurices (Hmm…I may be obsessed with that store)

Ballet Flats: Kohls

Necklace: Express

Bow belt: Honestly, I got this at a Plato’s closet and it has no tag. But I love it!

Friends + Thanksgiving = Friendsgiving

“Friendsgiving” is finally here!

Tonight we got together with a bunch of friends from the medical school for a Thanksgiving feast.  This event is awesome for three major reasons:

1- We have pretty awesome friends and it’s always fun to hang out as a group.

2- There was a lot of delicious food.

3- Tomorrow, I am allowed to decorate for Christmas! (Waiting until after the actual Thanksgiving day is just too long for a Christmas lover like myself so Justin and I agreed Friendsgiving is technically close enough to count)

I told the host of our Thanksgiving meal, Kara, that I’d be willing to bring green bean casserole, apple pie, and rolls. I wanted to bring traditional dishes using healthy recipes (same taste, better for you!) Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more clean eating into Justin and my diets. We don’t often eat out and we rarely have junk food, but I cook a lot and I find myself using a lot of processed ingredients/foods in our meals. I’ve been researching a lot about eating clean (I’ll save my findings for another blog post) and have been trying to use recipes that are clean.

I was lucky enough to find some yummy (and SIMPLE) clean recipes on The Gracious Pantry blog. I woke up early to get the rolls done this morning, and got the others got done after school. It really helped that the casserole and pie bake for almost the same amount of time at the same temperature so they could be in the oven together.

Green bean casserole recipe here. I used my mom’s home-grown, canned beans for an extra amount of deliciousness!

Rolls recipe here. I didn’t have pastry flour, so I used whole wheat flour and they turned out a bit harder/dense than I would’ve liked,  but they were yummy when softened! I warmed them in the oven for a few minutes right before dinner.

P1040981

Apple pie recipe here. I did make my own crust using this recipe! I actually really enjoy baking and this recipe was a fun one to try. The actual recipe calls for a second crust covering the whole pie, but I didn’t have quite enough crust so I just cut the remaining dough in strips and criss-crossed it.

The thing I like most about these recipes is that they are simple and do not call for a ton of unusual ingredients. Sometimes healthy recipes call for things I’ve never even heard of, but these were all made with staples in my kitchen!  I have a feeling I will be using The Gracious Pantry a lot in the future!

Now that I’m stuffed to the max, I’m going to go relax with my hubby and plan out where I’m going to hang all my Christmas decorations tomorrow. Happy Hump Day/Friendsgiving Day!

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Because I was up early preparing the rolls for Friendsgiving, I did not have much time to throw together an outfit. I chose some simple, solid layers and a colorful necklace as my statement piece.

Shirt: Express

Sweater: Express

Pants: Maurices

Shoes: Fegalicious by Fergie

Necklace: Premier Jewelry