Tuesday, May 31, 2011


cleanse recap: day seven
plus! a giveaway.

on day seven i had been invited to a luncheon for military mothers & wives sponsored by a local radio station. it was going to be catered by a local italian place (that we love) and i knew it would be a pretty big temptation. but, it turned out to be okay. they had salad, roasted potatos, and sauteed zucchini and yellow squash that was all delicious.
this picture was taken (without permission) from the KIOA website. thanks, guys!

i had a single bite of chicken, but it was certainly not worth cheating on the cleanse for (no offense, barratta's), so i didn't eat any more. the big temptation that day actually turned out to be the mini cupcakes they had for dessert. (lemon ginger?! come on...that sounds totally healthy. wink!) but, i made it out of there without one.

that afternoon i stuck with the plan. i had a left-over smoothie for a late snack and when the girls and i went to a friends' house for dinner that night, i packed my own meal; veggie chili (again) but i spruced it up with avocado and these guys:

day 7 nutshell
breakfast - smoothie
lunch - veggies, salad, one bite of chicken, ha!
snack - leftover smoothie
dinner - veg. chili, avocado, nut chips
feeling: proud of myself!
fitness: umm...none. :/

i've been finished with the cleanse for over a week now.
after completing day seven, i decided i wanted to continue to incorporate a lot of these eating habits into my everyday life. i felt so good, i was hesitant to start piling the "junk" back into my body. in the days since then, i've continued to eat mostly gluten-free, dairy-free, and meat-free. (with a couple major exceptions during a girl's weekend to chicago! more on that later...) this 7-day cleanse did some incredible things for my body and mind. plus, i lost 4 pounds! (can't argue with that.)

i highly recommend doing this for yourself. lucky for you,
rooted wellbeing is giving away one FREE 7-day cleanse to dtwsld readers!
since there can only be one winner, katie is also offering a major discount on the 7-day and 4-week cleanse. just follow this private link to save big!!! this is a fantastic deal and so worth it. if you need a reminder, just read through my cleanse recaps...it's amazing the benefits i received in just seven days. katie's coaching is a gift that will last a lifetime. she will stick with you through all the ups and downs of the cleanse and you'll learn things that could literally change your life.

but wait! there's more!
for a limited time, katie is offering FREE 20-minute, one-on-one strategy sessions to help you identify your health goals and come up with a plan to reach them. just click here, select a date & time, and katie will be all yours. (well...for a phone call, at least.) 

here are the giveaway rules:
1. one entry per person.
2. leave a comment below including your e-mail address. 
3. "like" rooted wellbeing on facebook for an extra entry.
4. winner will be selected randomly on friday, 6/3.
5. katie will contact you to set up your cleanse!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


cleanse recap: day six.
on day six i noticed my habits had begun to change. i no longer had to fight the urge to eat. it was easy to reach for an appole or carrots as a snack rather than crackers and cheese. i didn't think twice about making a smoothie for breakfast rather than oatmeal. it's funny; i really considered myself to be a fairly healthy eater before the cleanse began; i don't drink pop or eat much junk. ha! little did i know how easily junk can be disguised as "healthy" food.
that morning i went to a yoga class i've been attending for a few months now. it has been really enjoyable for me and is way cheaper than therapy. (ha!) anyway, i often enter that class just desperate for the hour of calm and quiet it allows. but, on day six, i realized that much of the stress and anxiety i carry around with me was gone. of course there were stressful situations throughout the week (and don't even get me started on the past few days...) but i realized i was having a much easier time dealing with it all. obviously i don't know all the science behind it, and i can't even really explain how or why i felt that way, but i truly felt more calm and less anxious on days 4-7 than i have in a very long time.

day 6 nutshell
breakfast - lara bar
lunch - vegetarian chili
(i ate a ton of that stuff...but never got sick of it!)
snack - carrots & hummus
dinner - ahi tuna, sauteed collard greens
dessert - banana "ice cream"
feeling: noticing decreased anxiety
fitness: 1 hr. of yoga, 1/2 hr. stationary bike

note: i probably ate a little more fish than the average cleanser. but i got the go-ahead from katie. she's great at providing one-on-one advice and support throughout the cleanse.

Friday, May 27, 2011


cleanse recap: day five.
the benefits of the cleanse continued and even increased. i woke up on day five having had a very short night's sleep (only six hours) and normally would have felt like a train wreck in the morning. sure it was hard to get out of bed, but normally there'd be no way i could have made it through the day without coffee and a nap. but once i got up & moving, i felt fine!
i started the day off with another smoothie: 

rice milk, mixed greens, chia seed, banana, blueberries

we were heading to the park for a picnic so i made a chickpea salad again and brought along some carrots and berries to snack on. at the park, when quinn didn't want her peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, i had to catch myself before popping a piece in my mouth. that's one of the greatest benefits of this cleanse: becoming mindful of what you eat. i know, especially for moms, it's so easy to just finish your kids' meal or take little bites while you're preparing their food. not to mention the snacking we do just to keep our energy up throughout the day. (i say "we," but maybe i should speak for myself...ha!) doing this cleanse forces you to refrain from grabbing the quickest, easiest thing; and helps you to make specific choices with your food. this sounds simple but it really is a practiced discipline.

day five nutshell
breakfast - smoothie
snack - strawberries

lunch - chickpea salad, carrots
snack - apple with almond butter
dinner - vegetarian chili, avocado
feeling: energetic, despite little sleep
fitness: calisthenics

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


cleanse recap: day four.
day four is when i really started feeling good. i got up, made my smoothie and did some things around the house.
almond milk, greens, coconut, mango, banana

i was planning to go on a run, so i made a hard-boiled egg for a snack. my mom was watching all her grandkids that day so i had the afternoon to myself. i started off on a run, just planning to do about 4 miles. i felt so great that i actually did a 6-mile loop without stopping! (normally i'd stop halfway and walk for one minute.) i felt really proud of myself and, overall, just felt really great. i ate a bowl of my vegetarian chili for lunch & it was really good. i'm a pretty big meat person but i really wasn't missing it!
that day i could finally see (and feel) all the benefits katie had described: increased energy, mental clarity, motivation, positive attitude, et cetera, et cetera. looking back, waiting three days to get to that point doesn't seem too bad. before the cleanse, had you asked me about my energy & mental clarity, i would have said it was just fine thankyouverymuch. but now? now i know what it means to have mental clarity. now i know what it means to feel energetic throughout the day. now i know what it means to really take care of myself.  

day 4 nutshell:
food:breakfast - smoothie
snack - egg
lunch - veg. chili, carrots
snack - orange
dinner - spanish rice, green beans
dessert - banana "ice cream"
fitness: ran 6 miles
feeling: great! energetic, positive, motivated.

Monday, May 23, 2011


cleanse recap: day three. 
on day three we rushed out the door first thing in the morning, so i grabbed my water bottle and a lara bar. it was sooo yummy! (mental note: buy more lara bars.) piper went to preschool, quinn and i went to the Y to work out. well...quinn played in the nursery, i worked out.  after that, we had some errands to run, so i threw some healthy snacks in the car in case i got hungry. being prepared is definitely one of the most important things you can do on the cleanse. it obviously takes more time and thought, but it's totally worth it. i tried to keep a healthy snack with me at all times and kept a bowl of raw almonds out on the counter all week. we went to target where i was bombarded by foods i couldn't eat. it was the first time i'd been in a grocery store since i started the cleanse. and honestly, i left the store in a bit of a funk. (not that my children's behavior helped the situation any...) once we got home i used some of the quinoa i'd made on day one to make a little southwestern style dish for lunch:
quinoa, tomatos, black beans, avocado, cilantro, jalapeno

that afternoon i made a pot of vegetarian chili to eat throughout the week.
if i'm following a new recipe, i just snap a picture of the ingredients so i know what i need at the store.

as that simmered, i made dinner:
lemon-dill salmon, green beans, wild rice

i felt pretty proud of myself for knocking out two meals at once. plus! i actually cleaned up the kitchen right away. (that never happens.) that was when i first started recognizing some of the positive affects of the cleanse begin to take place.

day 3 nutshell
breakfast - lara bar
snack - carrots, berries
lunch - southwestern quinoa
snack - apple w/ almond butter
dinner - salmon, green beans, rice
feeling: not great, but slowly better
fitness: strength-training class, stationary bike
playing favorites.
today i realized it's not a bad thing to play favorites.
especially when you play them all at once.

favorite shirt: banana republic
favorite tee: j.crew
favorite pants: urban outfitters
(which haven't fit for like, 9 months but do now!)
 favorite lipstick: marykay tanned*
favorite flip-flops: j.crew 

today i also realized that nude lipstick doesn't really show up in pictures....

and that it's surprisingly hard to make a kissy face without looking really dumb.

*i came across this lipstick completely by accident. i received a sample of it in a gift bag and it just happened to be the perfect color. i tried to find something similar, but after three tries (and three fails) i hunted down the local marykay lady & placed my order. i know you can't even tell i have any lipstick on in this picture, but...that's why it's my favorite!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


cleanse recap: day two.
day two was off to a good start: i plopped the girls in front of sesame street and locked myself in my room to practice some yoga poses and breathing exercises that katie recommends. they are simple and i wish i could start out every morning that way. i made another tastes-better-than-it-looks smoothie and also made smoothies for the girls, using more berries to mask the green color. piper devoured them and has since asked for a smoothie every day. perfect way to get some extra veggies in their diet.
rice milk, collard greens, chia seed, banana, strawberry, mango

we went to my parents' for lunch & i brought along some zucchini & salmon, just in case. my mom was making pasta with homemade mushroom/onion/tomato sauce. so i ate a little salmon, zucchini, and some of the pasta sauce. meat is technically not a part of the cleanse, but katie says if you need some extra protein, fish and eggs are the easiest to digest. and it's not a big deal to eat them 2-3 times a week. my dad and i were getting ready to go on a long run, so i was glad i ate the salmon. 

my dad and i ran 12 miles that afternoon! it was a huge accomplishment for me and four miles further than i'd ever run before. i felt awesome (and totally exhausted). when we got back, my mom made some hummus for me to snack on for the week. it lasted two days. 

that night, i made banana "ice cream." it was sooo delicious. i actually said, aloud: i'll never eat ice cream again! i wish i'd known about this recipe when i was pregnant with quinn!
(there was a lot of ice cream consumed in those nine months.)
frozen banana, splash of almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla, cinnamon, raw slivered almonds  

it was a good distraction to be with my parents that afternoon. both live very healthy lifestyles and it helped to be around them on day two when i could have easily become discouraged about the week ahead. if you ever attempt something like this, it helps to have supportive people around you! (or, just have katie on speed-dial.)

day two nutshell
food:breakfast - smoothie
lunch - salmon, zucchini, tomato sauce
snack - carrots, hummus
dinner - quinoa with balsamic vinegar & olive oil
dessert - cinnamon/banana "ice cream"
fitness: 12-mile run
feeling: dull headache, craving coffee

Friday, May 20, 2011


cleanse recap: day one.
the cleanse got off to a rough start. i overslept and didn't have time to make breakfast, so i grabbed a handful of raw almonds, a banana and my water bottle and rushed out the door. i was going to a bridal shower where i faced my first temptations: coffee and egg casserole. i had fruit and water.
by the time the shower was over i was starving. and a bit grouchy. and reeeallly needing a cup of coffee. it was a cold, gray day and all i wanted was something warm. but...i made a smoothie instead:

almond milk, spinach, banana, & strawberry

i had to go pick up the girls and drove past a mcdonalds. i actually thought, that sounds soooo good right now.* that's when i knew it might be a long week. when we got home i made a chickpea salad:

chickpeas, tomatos, mixed greens
dressing: olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon, garlic, sea salt

throughout the afternoon i tried to drink lots of water, i made some tea, had an apple with almond butter, but i never felt satisfied. just, grouchy and tired. i made a big pot of quinoa to use throughout the week and when i ate some of that i finally started to feel better. i think i just needed something warm in my tummy.

that night we went to a birthday party for one of piper's friends which was another practice in self-denial. i literally didn't even want to touch quinn's half-eaten sugar cookie. just feeling the crumbs on my fingers was tempting. (who knew i was such a food addict?!)

when we got home i drank a glass of hot water with raw apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and organic stevia. (per katie's suggestion.) the vinegar helps with all kinds of stuff that i can't remember now (i don't ask questions, i just do as i'm told), but it's actually really tasty when mixed with the cinnamon & stevia.**

day one nutshell
breakfast- almonds, banana
snack- smoothie

lunch- chickpea salad
snack- apple & almond butter
dinner- quinoa w/ sauteed onion & tomato
snack- strawberries
feelings: irritable, tired, cold, hungry

*i'm never tempted by mcdonalds unless i'm pregnant or have had at least two beers.
(those would be completely separate occasions, by the way.) 
**stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


sunnyside up.

i know some people hesitate to wear yellow, but it's just one of those colors that make me feel happy! and the day i wore this i felt really happy.
it may be because i had a whole afternoon to myself.
it may be because i ran six miles straight--no stopping!
it may be because the sun was shining and the sky was blue.
it may be because i got to sit and read in my backyard.
maybe it was the cat-nap i took in the sun.
or it may be that i just really love this little yellow top.
whatever it was, it was nice to have just a plain old, all-around good day.

top: target
belt: j.crew
jeans: gap
bangle: j.crew
earrings: art show


cleanse recap: prep day.
as i mentioned, i'm doing a seven-day cleanse with rooted wellbeing. the cleanse eliminates all dairy, corn, gluten, soy, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and meat from your diet. so, i had some shopping to do!
katie provides a meal plan and shopping list. so the girls and i head to trader joe's to stock up on fruits, veggies, nuts & beans.
at home i spent the next couple hours chopping veggies, washing fruit, and clearing out temptations. 
i really love fresh fruits & vegetables, so i'm excited to get this show on the road. 
but...i definitely savor my last meal of the day. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


anyone that knows me, knows i like things a little imperfect.
i like my shoes broken in, my shirts half-tucked, my jeans a bit holey. the list continues...i like my house a little messy, my kids a little wild, my husband a little naked. oh wait, that has nothing to do with this. that's embarassing.
only a couple more months, baby!

anyway, perfection intimidates me. but i can totally handle imperfection. the downside of being an imperfectionist is i often set pretty low standards for myself. but that's fare for a think post, not a wear post.

anyway, the point is in the ponytail.

this is the perfect hairstyle for an imperfect gal.
super quick, easy, and messy. bonus points for starting with dirty hair. i teased the heck out of it, put it in a low, side-ponytail, teased some more, and wrapped a piece of hair around the base to cover the elastic. easy, right?!
the only way to mess it up is to try & make it perfect.
top: j.crew
pants: sanctuary
necklace: fossil
flats: nine west
clutch: forever 21

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


several months ago, my friend katie and i were e-mailing back & forth. i'd been working my way off of an antidepressant using homeopathic alternatives and because of katie's experience in psychology and holistic health, she offered some helpful advice. she also mentioned that she was in the process of starting her own business. i was intrigued and told her to contact me when things got up & running. well, they are officially up & running and i'm excited to tell you more about it!

since overcoming personal health issues using holistic methods, katie has been passionate about health and wellness. after earning her masters in educational psychology, katie pursued this passion and attended the institute for integrated nutrition, becoming a certified holistic health coach. (she's done a lot of other awesome things, but you can read all that on her website. just trust me--she's a smartypants.)  

katie recently launched rooted wellbeing and it is an incredible resource for healthy living. the website alone has an abundance of information, but she also sends out newsletters packed with great ideas and articles. katie offers personal health-coaching and one of the ways to do that is through a 7-day or 4-week cleanse. i wanted to be able to tell you all the ins & outs of a cleanse before i bragged about them, so katie offered to let me be a guinea pig! (and, actually, based on what i've been eating, i feel like a guinea pig. just kidding, katie!)

so, if you don't mind, for the next week or so i want to give you little updates on my 7-day cleanse progress. they may be short & sweet (or sour), but i'll fill you in on how i'm feeling, what i've been eating, and how many times i've been pooping. (just kidding... unless you really want to know.)

if you hang with me, there might be a fun surprise at the end of this week.

(and i don't mean watching me gorge myself on ben & jerry's and big macs once this is over.)

note: some big words & the peas were stolen from rooted wellbeing site.

Monday, May 16, 2011


i almost didn't post this outfit as it's not exactly groundbreaking. but i wanted to show it to you anyway because a.) i took the pictures, so i might as well do something with them and b.) this hand-painted bangle is extra-special to me. mr.a brought it all the way from afghanistan when he was home in march. it's hard to tell in this picture, but there is a picture of a woman kneeling in prayer in front of a stained-glass window. it's beautiful.
over the past year i've saved several newspaper clippings, encouraging cards we've received, and special pictures. i hope to compile them all into a book or box. i get emotional when i picture our kids and even grandkids looking through it one day.
this experience has made such a huge impact on our lives. we've learned so much, grown so much, failed so much...it's truly shaping us into better people. i'm excited to have little, tangible pieces of this process to remind us of how far we've come. but, i may have to ask mr.a to buy another bracelet so i can pass one down to each of the girls. 

i'd say they've both earned it.

t-shirt: j.crew, $10
jeans: joe's, thrift $30
sandals: old navy, $3
hat: walmart (mens), $10



Saturday, May 14, 2011


i feel like i need to start every post with an apology since i'm clearly the worst blogger ever. but, sometimes being the worst blogger ever is a good thing 'cause it frees up time for really fun stuff. like this...
 easter, birthdays, mother's day. a broken car and malfunctioning computer. cleaning house and organizing closets. cinco de mayo and farmer's markets. running, swimming, sunning. making, painting, coloring. buying, planting and picking flowers. picnics, a hammock, and a ride on a boat. visits from friends. nights out and nights in.
the past few weeks have been busy!
anyway, i hope you haven't completely given up on me.
i plan to bribe you all back with a really fun giveaway at the end of next week!
i'll explain more tomorrow. hope you're having a great weekend! it's freakishly cold here, so the girls and i are all snuggled up, bein' lazy (and blogging!)

Thursday, May 05, 2011


the weather couldn't make up its mind today.
i added and removed layers all day long. i'm a layering fool.  but i've become so attached to having at least two shirts on at all times, that, when it got really warm today, i felt completely bare in just my t-shirt & jeans.
summer's gonna be brutal. 
jacket: heritage
hoodie: heritage
v-neck: j.crew
jeans: gap
flats: steve madden
bracelet: j.crew


i can't forget a little blog shout-out to one of our dearest friends and piper's godfather, michael patrick, who was born on this fine day. he's serving in afghanistan right alongside mr.a and i'm so thankful they're together through all of this. if i can't be with mr.a, m.p. is the next-best person for the job! we love you, michael and can't wait to buy you a birthday margarita when you get home. happy 30-something!
the boys, right after graduation from basic training, 3/12/10.