Fruit Fast Cleanse – Day 1

Thurs, Feb 28

Well, so far so good! Some of you may have seen my post on Facebook that today was my first day of the Fruit Fast Cleanse as a part of the 40 Days of Transformation through the Yoga Lounge. Yeah, I’m not into diets AT ALL, but I figured I would give this a shot mainly just to try it and see if I would feel any differently doing it. I can say I’ve made it successfully through Day 1 with relatively no drama. Two more days to go! I can do it!

Now, you might be wondering what this is all about. Well, the 3-day cleanse is based on Baron Baptiste’s Book. Why would anyone do this? What are the benefits of this? Well some of the things that are supposed to happen as a result of the cleanse is to get ride of toxins, think more clearly, be less reactive, feel cleaner, etc. Well, I can definitely confirm the get rid of toxins part!!

Here is what I ate today:
1 banana
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe
1/2 cup black coffee (not on program, but it is a have to for me)

1.5 small tomatoes
1 avocado
1/2 banana
14 fluid oz coconut water (chocolate flavored…not sure if the chocolate part was on program, but it was for me!!)

2 plantains
1/4 cup raisins (on program?)

1/4 cup shelled pistachios (not on plan, but I needed protein!)
1 1/5 cups seedless red grapes

Activity: I practiced at noon for 60 minutes at JCU.

All in all I felt pretty much okay today. I did have a little bit of coffee in the am since I am not ready to decaffeinate myself anytime soon. But I noticed that in the morning my stomach felt weird and I think it was because of the caffeine. I will try to cut down even more tomorrow, but I can’t (well not willing right now) to cut it out totally right now (or probably ever). I missed my toast and almond butter, probably mostly out of habit. I got hungry at the normal times that I usually get hungry and just had a snack. Interestingly enough I found myself not able to finish the fruit that I had packed for both breakfast and lunch. I got satisfied and was able to bring it home. That seriously never happens with my normal meals. I consume what I pack and if anything bring home an extra piece of fruit (how is that for ironic!). Anyways, I didn’t feel sick at all, but a little bit tired. I practiced and felt good doing that too. I was a little anxious about dinner because I knew I wanted something warm. I was kinda craving fresh tomato soup, but I didn’t have all the stuff nor the time (90 minutes) to make soup. So, I fried up some plantains and threw some raisins on with it. Yummy!

I had planned to have a baked apple with it too, but I was full already so I may have that for a snack later. I am actually pleasantly surprised about how I don’t feel terrible doing this! I am amazed at how habitual my eating normally is. And I am amazed at how little can really fill me up when I truly am aware of what I am eating and paying attention to how my body feels. I have noticed that I’m really thirsty and need to keep drinking lots of water. I also noticed that I have had to go to the bathroom a lot – nothing out of the ordinary (is that TMI?), but I guess that is why they call it a cleanse. I’m feeling tired tonight and may go to bed early. Day 2 is tomorrow and I want to be well rested!

Butternut Squash Mac’n’Cheese

Serves 6: 443 cal; 5g fat; 86g carbs; 16g protein; 6g fiber
2 1/2 pounds (about 1 large) butternut squash
8 gloves garlic
1 sprig thyme
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 pound small elbow macaroni
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, halve, and seed the squash, then cut into 1-inch-thick chunks. Add to a large saucepan with 6 cloves garlic, thyme, almond milk, and chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is fork-tender, remove from heat and discard thyme. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
3. Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and spread macaroni in an even layer. Pour squash puree over noodles, cover dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
4. While the macaroni is cooking, mince the 2 remaining garlic cloves and combine in a small bowl with Gruyere, panko, parsley, and salt. Top cooked noodles with cheese and bread crumb mixture and broil 5-10 minutes or until browned. Divide evenly among six plates and serve immediately.

Salt Lake City: The Whirlwind Tour!

Sun, Feb 10 – Tues, Feb 12

So I had the opportunity to travel with Mike to Salt Lake City for a very quick trip this week. He had some business meetings there (the company was changing hands) and they invited spouses to join them for the meet and greet, dinner, etc. It was very last minute, but thankfully we were able to make arrangements for the dog and for Zachy (thanks, grandma!) so I could go. I had never been to Utah and was anxious to see it! Basically both Sunday and Tuesday were travel days so I had just Monday to myself to see what I could see. I decided to make the best of it!

We were greeted by the mountains driving from the airport. They looked a little bit different than the ones in Guatemala!

Our hotel was really pretty!

On Monday morning after a quick run on the treadmill (to help burn off the PF Chang dinner from the night before) I headed out. I dropped the guys at the office and headed out on my adventure in the rental car mini van. I got a little lost on my way to the City Creek Mall area (was supposed to park there to go to the temple), but was glad I did because I got to take these pics of the City Creek Park!

Finally found where I was supposed to go!

Cool Fountains at the City Creek Mall area.

The one “have to see place” I kept finding in the brief research I did on Salt Lake City was to tour the Temple Square so that is where I headed.

The Temple Square is the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). At the visitor center I was introduced to two “sisters” who would be my tour guides. They were so nice – one was from France and one was from Singapore. They were full of neat historical information and encouraged me to take pictures.

The Temple – Our first stop in the visitor center was looking at the model of the temple. Since only members of the Mormon church can enter the temple itself they have created a model to show what it is like inside.

Here is the real deal.

This is the “Sealing Room” where weddings take place in the temple.

Assembly Hall – Next we toured the Assembly Hall which is a historic building completed in 1882. The congregation has outgrown the space now and it is mostly just a historic site.

The first beautiful organ of the day!

Tabernacle – Next we went to the Tabernacle. This was my favorite place on the tour. It is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and so acoustically sensitive that a pin dropped at the pulpit can be clearly heard at the back of the hall, 170 feet away.

This organ is the 12th largest in the world with 11, 623 pipes! I was able to attend a 30 minute concert during my visit – absolutely beautiful. I was disappointed that we weren’t there when the choir was singing (Sun mornings and Thursdays), but was grateful I could at least hear the organ.

There is an organ performance every day at noon with a variety of selections to showcase the instruments.

Conference Center – The conference center is gigantic! The auditorium can hold 21,000 people and is the home to the general conferences that are held twice a year as well as other church and choir events during the year.

This picture shows the room filled – and with yet again, another organ!

The rest of my tour included paintings and history about Joseph Smith, the prophet and other historical information. We ended in this room that painted with a giant space mural with a statue of Jesus in the middle. The sisters told me it was to symbolize that Jesus was Lord of the universe.

After my tour I attended the organ concert and then had lunch at the Lion House, Brigham Young’s home. I enjoyed homemade chicken noodle soup, a salad and a giant homemade dinner roll with honey butter. But the best was yet to come!

Family Search Center – This was definitely the highlight of the day! This area is a starting point for folks looking to research their genealogy.

There is another larger library on Temple Square, but this one located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building was the one people recommended starting with. Since this was a whirlwind trip and I was not completely aware of all that was offered in terms of genealogy in Salt Lake, I was not completely prepared with adequate family information so I had to make a couple calls to my mom to get some basic dates. Thankfully I had a volunteer gentleman named Elder Neff help me for about 2 hours that afternoon! He was so helpful in terms of helping me navigate the websites. After spending about 30 minutes with no results, we hit a gold mine when we discovered information about my maternal grandmother’s birth parents! I literally got chills when we found the right person! I printed out tons of information and feel equipped now to keep my search going! It be worth it to go out to Salt Lake again armed with more information and spend an entire weekend doing research. And it is all free! Some of the sites are available anywhere on the internet, but there is a cost involved unless you are there. Maybe someday I can go back, but now I have the bug to continue my research on my family tree…in my spare time!

Here is me and my wonderful new friend, Mr. Neff!

Well it was a quick and tiring trip, but worth it to spend some time with Mike, meet his colleagues and explore a new city and learn more about my extended family! Oh, and I managed to make a quick trip to Ann Taylor Loft too!