Eating Vegas

Eating in Vegas has been on my mind since I decided to go Crazy Sexy. So I knew I had to develop a plan, and I knew it was going to be a little labor and cost intensive, so now I am debating where to go from here.

THE GRAND PLAN!!

My packing list, for food, includes:

6 cucumbers (Sliced, bagged in servings)
1 pineapple (Cubed, bagged in servings)
2 mangoes (cubed, bagged in servings)
1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 lb butternut squash, shaved thin
1 lb of sunflower seeds
1/2 lb of pumpkin seeds
1/2 can of mixed, unsalted nuts
1 container of baby bella mushrooms
1 bag of sweet sugar snap peas
1/2 bag of dried cranberries
1 gallon bag half full of a mix of spinach/romaine
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Feta cheese
Hummus
1 avocado
1 lime
1 lemon

Also, I am bringing a cute little juicer thing, some plastic forks, a container to eat this stuff in.

Beyond that, I am making a double-batch of raw, vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls, and I think I am going to make a double batch of Oatmeal Rason Carrot cake balls raw/vegan balls.  (thank you Miss Averie)

This will give me enough for five-ish salads, five-ish breakfasts, and plenty of snacks.

On one hand, this will reduce my costs in vegas. I did the research and I can bring the food as a carry on. I have a bag-cooler which will work perfectly for it. And I can pack the silverware and the one semi sharp knife I wanted to bring. It is a lot, and I am worried about it going bad. But I know from experience that the cucumbers will last all week without a worry, as will the squash, and bell pepper. The fruit might not, but oh darn I might have to eat it all fast. The lettuce is the biggest worry- it really only lasts 4 days or so. So we’ll see, I have them in special green bags that are supposed to extend the life of the veggies.

For dinners in vegas, I am hoping to spend plenty of time at my favorite Vegas restaurant. It’s this stupid little Japanese place underneath bally’s – but the food is to die for, the prices are reasonable, and its easy to stay on-diet.

It is late already, and I still have a lot of packing to do, so wish me luck!

See you when I get back,

Ciao,
Erica

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Erica versus the Avocado

Avocado. Oh how there is sonnets written about the avocado. I could wax poetic myself about it…if I had every really tried one. That’s right, I am…or rather was…an avocado virgin. Like so many virgins before me, I let avocado get to first base with guacamole and decided it just wasn’t for me.  I have never bought one, I have never really eaten one.

 

So when I picked up CSD I decided now is my time. I will try the Avocado! I went to my winter fruit stand and zelously bought 20 dollars worth of veggies…including two avocados. Well, the stand I went to they pick the produce for you.

 

They were rock hard.

 

And so they went in the bottom of my veggie drawer. Then one night, I had an ephiphinay. I wanted an avacado and spinach smoothie! Wait, I still had avocados in the fridge. Were they bad? It had been a week….I rush to the fridge and….rock hard. Okay. Maybe they were really unripe when I got them. They are supposed to be soft, right?

 

And a  week later, they were still rock hard. So I opened one. Nope, still hard. Um. Okay. What now? Well, my google-fu is strong, so I went to the trusty handy dandy interwebs and googled the avocado. Apparently they will ripen if left at room temp.

 

Okay.

 

So I pull the (now two week old) avocados and put them in my onion basket- and promptly forget about them. Until I am reaching for my last onion and ….oh hey, there’s an avocado or two under the now-empty bag of onions.

 

Ew. It squished.

 

It would be two weeks later before I tried again. This time, I bought them from my local grocery store where I could touch them, and I chose a couple. And i knew to leave them out, because they were still sorta hard.  Then I promptly forgot about them. After all, I don’t like avocado, right?

 

That was four days ago. Yesterday, however, I took myself to a Vietnamese restaurant. I love eating at this place, it is so yummy and the soups are to die for. A couple of veggie Gou Coin (Rice paper wrapped veggies and tofu) and a big bowl of veggie and rice noodle soup and…what is this?

 

They have smoothies.

 

What is this?!?!

 

They have avocado smoothies.

 

I stare at the menu. The menu stares blankly back.

 

And when the waitress asks me what I want, I declare war: AN AVOCADO SMOOTHIE.

 

The nods, smiles and wanders off, no doubt thinking I am a strange random white chick eating alone at an ethnic restaurant ordering random things off the menu.  But I am suddenly nervous. What if I don’t like it. What will it taste like…why am I wasting 2.75 on something I don’t like!?

 

But when the concoction is placed in front of me it is a pretty pale green with dots of ice in it. I eye it, and take a sip. It was a TKO people. Avocado won the day, for it was the sweetest, yummiest thing I had ever tasted. I asked her what was in it – Milk, Condensed Milk, and avocado. That’s it…I nearly giggled with joy. I could replace the milk and condensed milk with almond milk and a little agave and…that was it. That was my newfound breakfast smoothie.

 

They had won.

 

We are Avocado of Smoothie. You will be blended. Resistance is futile.

 

I threw out my juicer

I have to wonder, will that get me kicked off CSL? Just kidding! Well, about the wondering, not about throwing out my juicer.

 

I know, that is sacrilegious. But, there was a reason, and it was in the CSL spirit in which I did it. So I will explain…no that is too much, let me sum up (points for recognizing the quote!)

 

Anyway, I am a second-hand buyer. My journey to where I am today in my lifestyle change really started with that. The idea that we use too much in our lives, why buy more? Why encourage people to create more things that we only throw away? I very rarely buy new anything- clothes, shoes, appliances, etc.

 

So when I started CSD/CSL on Jan 18th, I wanted a Juicer. I scoured my second hand haunts: Sally’s, Savers, even a couple of tiny thrift shops and church sales. I wanted a masticating juicer, of course, but I only found centrifugal ones.  Okay, fine. I settled on one. $6.00, probably made in the 90s. Black and decker though, a good name. Had all the parts and the manual, a good second-hand find.

 

And it was terrible. When I started blending, and wasn’t in the mood for pulp, I’d use a mesh strainer and gather the juice and use the pulp by mixing it with hummus and eating it on bread for a very hearty snack. But with this juicer the pulp went everywhere and I didn’t bother saving it. It took forever, I had to babysit it, so by the time my juice was ready I was running out the door.

 

Then I didn’t want to clean it.

 

Then It wasn’t clean so I wasn’t making juice with it.

 

Now I wasn’t drinking smoothies OR juice. I had a juicer, why would I make a smoothie?

 

Three days of this and I realized what had happened, I threw it in the trash. The juicer had become an obstacle to my lifestyle. Kris Tweeted today that: “Choosing a juicer is like choosing a mate – it has to work with your lifestyle for the long haul.” And it sparked me to recount this to you and myself. Why? Because it was the exact reason I tossed it out. It wasn’t what I wanted. And like a bad boyfriend, I kicked it to the curb.

 

I am still hesitant to buy retail a masticating juicer…I might try craigslist….

 

Wish me luck in my search for a true Juice-Sole Mate!

Ciao

Erica

 

Success & Failures

Well, I am about to embark on week three of attempting to integrate the CSD into my life before I begin hardcore on the cleanse. I am happy to report I found a juicer (CHEER), at a second hand store. It is a masticating juicer, and its probably not the most peppy juicer. But its a juicer, which is a win.

So far, my successes:
1) No soda!
2) More water (this is a huge win for me)
3) Green juice daily!
4) Tons of raw in my diet
5) Removing red meat from my diet
6) Doing Yoga every night

So far, my failures:
1) Removing all meat from my diet
2) Doing Yoga every Morning
3) getting to bed at 10 PM
4) Meditation

My To-Dos
1) Get an Enema kit & start them daily
2) Pick two days a week to do a little more yoga
3) Contact Amazon.com and figure out what to do about my kindle issue and review the cleanse

I swear I’m not putting it off. I just don’t want to set myself up for failure. HOWEVER, the clock is ticking for me. I leave for 7 days in Vegas, and I know that is going to be a challenge if I haven’t done the cleanse yet. I love eating out, so it is usually a challenge in general, but Vegas is the buffet capital of the universe. I love eating in Vegas….any tips for while I’m out there?

I am proud of my successes and my failures…well I need to make some decisions. Either I will keep to meat once a day, under 4 oz…or I will try to go cold turkey again, I don’t know. The yoga in the morning thing is a little more difficult. I have never, ever, ever ever been a morning person. I love to sleep, I hate getting up and I already have to get up at 6 AM for work, and even that extra 15 minutes makes me whimper and curl into a ball. The meditation is wrapped into the going to bed thing. If I get off the computer at 9:30 I should have enough time to meditate & do yoga. But its getting me off the computer at 9:30 that is the issue.

Well, wish me luck.

Ciao,
Erica

Excitement

You know when you start down a new road you sort of look for reasons to turn back. Oh it is too rough, oh it is too dark…oh there are too many obstacles. Starting this new lifestyle has been part of that. But I am also pleasantly surprised when things work out…when you expect a tree to be impossible to crawl over…and you find there is a hole in the trunk big enough to crawl through.

I found that yesterday morning. I have to admit for all my purchasing of fresh food and organic munchies and eating salads, I was hesitant to blend anything leafy. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I didn’t want to hear my husband say “see, told you this was a bad idea”.

I was determined to find a good breakfast shake though, so I tried a couple handfuls of spinach (my favorite raw leafy), a half a cucumber, juice of an orange, and a little turbano for taste…and…

I love it. I mean I really, really love it. I can’t wait to try it in juice form, because I’m not a big fan of the chunky-ness. But it tasted so good, so fresh.

So I’m excited!

Cheating

Okay, so I had an Epiphany in the shower this morning. Its where I have all of my good Epiphanies.

Cheating. My husband and I decided long ago that we would eliminate this word from our marriage. There is no such thing as cheating. If he needs something, whether it is someone else, he tells me, and either I’m good with it or I’m not. It takes the thrill out of it, sure, but it also makes our life, and our marriage less stressful. I am happy & comfortable in my marriage skin.

But what about my everday skin? Whenever I have talked to my friends recently about the idea of doing CSD they always cringe when I get to the word “Diet”. Oh its a “diet”. Its a lifestyle change, really, and how do you cheat on a lifestyle?

You don’t. Just like having an open marriage is a lifestyle, having a diet is a lifestyle. And I’ve decided to remove the word “Cheating” from that lifestyle. It assumes bad and dirty things…like oooh, you CHEATED. Bad girl, go to your room. No, if I have some cheese on my salad, I didn’t cheat. I had cheese. Its not a bad thing, its just a different thing. Its not what the other person on CSD decided to do, but it isn’t wrong. Its me. And hopefully, by eliminating that idea of the dirty cheating, I will eliminate some of the temptation.

After all, we all love temptation now and again.

Ciao,
Erica

Time to Change (from mycrazysexylife.com)

So on December 30th I lost my job.

This is a long story. I was laid off/fired/whatever. I took it as an opportunity. I was super upbeat about it, everyone said so. I took it as a sign to change things. I thought it meant physical things. We had been putting off changing banks because I had direct deposit and it would mess everything up and hey, why not?

So we changed banks.

8 days later, I got a job. Not one job- two! One’s just a part time retail job, but one was an honest-to-goodness real job. I was (am) excited. It is a great shot at a good career. Then I was at home on my last day of unemployment browsing through twitter…and Sheryl Crowe posted about CSD. And now I never, ever go with celeb endorsed products. Its just not my thing. You pay for the name, not the product…

But I saw the book, and within 20 minutes, I bought the ebook. Six hours later I had read through the entire thing. My life was changing. I was going to start a new job the next day. I had waited to end one job to make a change in my life…why not take the chance? Why not really, really change my life?

So I am starting in steps.

This week:
1) No Soda
2) No dairy
3) One portion of meat per day
4) Increase water intake
5) try 80/20 for most of the day

So far its not going too bad. I was terrible tonight and had fried chicken wings at my favorite place. Normally I’d eat 10-15 alone…I ate five and felt so clogged and queasy I stopped.

But I also stopped at a year-round veggie stand and got a huge supply of veggies…and I am about to make my very first smoothie! I am searching for a good breakfast smoothie…I am going to try:
Cucumber
Frozen Strawberries
Cooled Green Tea
Honey to taste (for now, till I get some Agave)

I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Ciao
Erica