Thursday, September 29, 2011

ACT Cleanse, Byebye!

Last night was the breaking point on my cleanse adventure, so to speak. I was 4 days short of finishing, and still sticking to the cleanse 100% by all measures, but my brain was getting LOUD! I bought a bottle of wine, poured myself a teacup of it, and relaxed with my husband and a cool DVD about the wacky Norwegian Band, Hurra Torpedo. About 5 minutes later, my husband looked at me and said," You're happy as a clam, aren't you?" I'll just say this poor man has been very understanding and mellow through the 3 week long crazy-land I've been in, and I'm sure he was relieved to see me kicked back and laughing.

Some things I've learned about myself on this 21(-4) day adventure:

*Due to being insanely demanding on myself anyway, any plan that calls for analyzing or cataloging my food, weight, exercise, etc. may not be the best for me. I need "mellow out" cleanses instead :p
*I don't know why, but focusing on what's not going in my body creates stress.
*Just the idea of not being able to have my usual comfort/reward/special occasion items like wine and coffee gets me all upset. I don't even want any most of the time, but thinking I can't have them gets me all out of sorts.
*Overdoing it on meditation/imagery/positive thinking in a short period of time seems to do the opposite of what it's supposed to for me.

That all being said, the minute I decided the cleanse was over, had my little sip of wine, and relaxed, that surge of self-love I was waiting for during the whole cleanse showed up! I did my dry brushing before my bath, and woke up this morning ready for my green smoothie and looking forward to exercising.

IT'S ALL IN MY MIND!! Hahaha.....I can say, at least, that I now fully understand the power in how I look at and think about things. The cleanse involves behaviors that I want in my life all the time, but feeling forced to do them takes the shine right off. So, I won't be documenting my cleanse activities for these last few days. I will instead be enjoying myself and celebrating that fact that I have all the choice in the world, and choose habits that support health and wellness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm a nut, I'm a nut....

I'm craaaaaazy! I don't know if its the moon, stress, or the crazy cleanse involving no sugar/coffee/wine for 16 days and running, but I am feeling like a  flaming nutjob.

Hello mood swings, irrationality, crankypants-ed-ness, and so on. 

I'm gonna do my best to finish this 21 day cleanse with gusto, but at the moment, I'm planning on enjoying a massive latte on Sunday when this shebang comes to a close. Things I am tired of at this moment: 

meditating, manifesting, spinach, salad, exercising, weighing myself, controlling my thoughts, documenting my poop, avoiding sugar, and thinking about every dang minute detail of my life all day! Gaaaaah!!

I'm trying to keep in mind, a cleanse is a finite experience meant to be rather intense and challenging, meant to reroute poor habits and set new goals. Yay for that, but yay for the unexamined life too. I'm looking forward to getting back to a nice balance of the two :)

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

I tried to cheat on the CSD cleanse and you know what happened!?

Starbux was out of soymilk, thereby rendering the short, decaf, soy latte that I had justified irrelevant. That's *just* what I needed to happen to save me from medicating the crankies with coffee. I'm thankful for that very helpful hitch in my plans!

Here's what I got instead: pink, alkaline, beautiful, healthy Tazo Passion herbal tea!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Crazy Sexy Diet & Weighing (Or Not)

Today I want to address weighing while doing the Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure Cleanse Tuneup. This is the 21 day cleanse that helps kick off new healthy habits! The cleanse is tough. I will say that on day 12, today, I am trying to shake off a cranky mood that my mind is telling me would be all better with a giant gallon of pumpkin spice latte. I've stuck to the plan 100% minus a glass and a half of wine on vacay. Pretty good for such an intense experience!

As far as weighing goes, I am a number-oriented person. I am pretty sure this is why health plans are a challenge for me. My mood and motivation fluctuate massively depending on what that scale is showing. The CSD is most certainly doing what it promises: my weight is slowly but noticeably going down as I put healthier and healthier things into my body. Score, right?! Sorta. I see the lower numbers on the scale, then my focus shifts to size rather than the real goal of this cleanse: mental and physical transformation; creating a sense of pleasure and awesome vibrance in every moment of my day; coping with struggles and taking care of myself like the #1 task it should be!

Therefore, my scale has been quarantined. I covered it with a He-Man pillow case and my rubber duckie with a message written on a coaster: "No Ma'am!"

;p I'll see it again at the end of the cleanse maybe, but I intend to make it a very sporadic occasion and focus on how I feel, not how much physical space my bits and pieces take up!

Any similar experiences?

Friday, September 23, 2011

On Green Smoothies

A big part of the Crazy Sexy Diet is drinking the green!

I love green smoothies very very much. I have the lamest blender in the world, and I give it a pep talk every day to get the spinach, cucumbers, berries, seeds, and so much more all blended into a magically delicious drink for me. Here are some tips I've gathered since entering the land of green smoothies!

*Get a glass straw made just for smoothies! That way, you can drink as many smoothies as you want and not throw away all those plastic straws. This is the one I have, and I love it.

*Make a jar of add-ins to save time when you are in a hurry. I keep a jar near the blender. In it: greens powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. I just tip some into the blender every morning!

*Freeze coconut water in ice cube trays to throw into smoothies. 

*Clean and chop stuff like cucumbers, kale, spinach, and fruit to store in the fridge. It makes blending your drink quicker when you are in a hurry. 

*Brew and cool some herbal tea, then store in your fridge for a liquid option in smoothies. I use herbal teas, unsweetened almond milk, coconut water, and/or filtered water depending on the day. Here's my tea:

*Don't count out your green smoothie habit out when you are travelling. I used to find an amazing superfood bar when we traveled to New Orleans last weekend. It is called Superfood Bar and is located at 4113 Magazine Street. Check out the goods (and me cheesing it up)!

What are your tips for including green smoothies in your daily life?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crazy Sexy Eats

Day 10 of the Adventure Cleanse Tuneup! I feel wonderful! Coffee and wine cravings are all gone, and this plant-strong eating really is producing some wonderful benefits. I don't know if it's in my mind or not, but I feel like my appearance is improving. My skin and hair seem nicer, and I know I am not walking around scowling! The exercise and meditation components of the cleanse are really getting me on track, and I couldn't be happier with the positive changes I've seen so far. Oh yeah, I'm eating to my hearts content and slowly but steadily losing weight. In Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr says that by following the plan, your weight will naturally stabilize. I am definitely seeing this, all while eating delicious, healthy food and not counting calories, miles, or anything else.'s lovely!

Here are some recent meals we've enjoyed. (My husband is loving the Crazy Sexy meals as well...he reports an improved energy level!)

Buddha Bowl: millet, raw spinach, cooked kale, avocado, Bragg's, flaxseeds, nutritional yeast

Veggie burritos in sprouted grain tortillas:

and lots of tea!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Giveaway! Hearts For Hearts Girls

Changing the World One Heart at a Time!
Today's post is on a new line of dolls from Playmates Toys. These dolls each represent a girl who is working to change her community in ways that are unique to her home country. Included with each doll are a friendship bracelet and a story booklet that explains how these multicultural girls live and contribute to their families, communities, and culture. Each doll also comes with a special code that unlocks a free membership to the kid-safe Hearts for Hearts Girls Website.

Additionally, through a partnership with World Vision3, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Hearts For Hearts Girls doll is donated to programs that support girls in that doll’s country. Whether it’s malaria nets in Africa, schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the United States, these programs help girls to thrive and succeed.

Meet the six Hearts For Hearts Girls:

  • Meet Consuelo from Mexico City. Colorful and warm, Consuelo provides aid to hungry children who are homeless and live on the streets near her parents’ bakery.
  • Meet Lilian of Belarus. Determined Lilian provides aid to girls whose parents must find work in the big city and are forced to leave their children with orphanages.
  • Meet Dell from the heart of Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains. Dell creates music and knitwear to share with others in need of warm clothing.
  • Meet Rahel of Ethiopia. Rahel, who dreams of becoming a doctor so that she can make a real difference for people in her region, journeys with her family into the wilderness of Ethiopia to help bring back aid to her community.
  • Meet Tipi from Laos. Based on a real girl who shares her art and storytelling with others through dancing, drawing, and puppetry, Tipi leads her school in a mural contest in hopes of winning much-needed books for her class.
  • Meet Nahji who hails from Assam, India. Brave Nahji breaks tradition to bring courage and education to the girls who work in the tea fields of India.

Here's how you can win your own Hearts For Hearts Girls doll for someone you love! Includes: 

    • One Hearts For Hearts Girl, accompanied by a friendship bracelet, story booklet, donation for girls in need through partner World Vision and a special product code your daughter can use to unlock a free membership to the Hearts For Hearts Girls website, which provides access to the “myHeart” page and an array of games and activities.
    • An outfit that is authentic to one of the Hearts for Hearts Girls’ culture, in which your daughter can also dress her doll

Mandatory: Be a follower of Pixiepine Blog and share your favorite Hearts For Hearts Girls Doll. 

Extra Entries (1 for each, separate comments please)

Giveaway will end Friday 9/30. Good luck!!

Disclosure: The Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, and information have been provided by Playmates Toys through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Girl, You (Don't) Stink!

Hello lovelies! I'm back with an update on homemade deodorant. As you may remember, I whipped up some last winter and had a pretty good experience. As the weather got warmer, I eased back towards ye olde storebought stuff. Now that the temps are cooling down again, I am playing around with my all-natural mix. 

I made a batch this morning and wore it for the first time this season. So far so good! I used BayouCityBuddhist's suggestion to up the dry ingredient ratio a bit for a more substantial cream. That helped with the runny factor quite a bit.  

Here's the original recipe from Making Love In The Kitchen:

Natural Deodorant Made Easy
5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
10-15 drops of favourite essential oil

There are tons of great blog posts out there about homemade deo. Have you tried it? I'll be updating throughout Fall and Winter on the deo adventures!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hungry Girl: Cold Sesame Noodles

Hello all! It's Day 6 of the Adventure Cleanse Tuneup! I am feeling wonderful thus far (after the no-caffeine headaches on Day 3 subsided that is...). More updates soon!

After my lame experience/experimenting with the Hungry Girl cookbook, I do want to share a recipe I can get happy about!! Hungry Girl hasn't done it for me in general, but Cold Sesame Noodles will definitely be on regular rotation. It's tofu shirataki noodles with a yummy mixture of saucy goodness, all vegan, all healthy. As a bonus, this was delicious the next day.

 And a happy :)...On a very rotten day recently, I got home from work and saw this crazy red flower sticking up in the grass. I have no idea what it is or how it grew next to our driveway, but yay!!

As for tomorrow, GO SAINTS!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coquese Giveaway!

Just a quick post to direct you to a fun giveaway!

ACT Day 3

Ay ay ay! It's Day 3 of my Adventure Cleanse Tuneup. I am following the plan in Kris Carr's wonderful magical book, Crazy Sexy Diet.

Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!

It's really not about dieting at all, though. It's all about self-improvement, some of which has to do with food fer sure!

I am really feeling the absence of coffee. HEADACHE CENTRAL! Also, it was incredibly hard to focus at work this morning. That's a definite minus when you are a counselor! I know this fog will wear off and I will come out the other side strong and coffee/sugar/wine free. I can do it! Till then, I can guzzle tea.

Thanks, Natalie Dee!
The cleanse also has me looking at the products I use in my home and on my body. I generally use natural stuff, but there are still a few holdouts. I'm on the lookout for a good natural mascara. I've tried Larenim (not impressed) and want to get a little more natural than Aveda.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

** CLOSED** Veganizing Cookie Mix...& A Giveaway!

Hello all! Today's post includes reimagining cookie mix, sharing treats, and a chance to win your own cookie kit. Yay!!

From time to time, I participate in blog reviews and giveway-hosting through MyBlog The supplies for this post, and the giveaway treats, were provided by Betty Crocker & MyBlogSpark

Here's me, ever the Renaissance woman, sporting both an apron and my yoga gear :)

The package I received (and you could too!) included the apron, a Betty Crocker cookie mix, and mixing spoon, and a fab new cookie sheet. 

 I love molasses cookies and was interested to see how a mix cookie stacked up to scratch. I decided to try my hand at making the Betty Crocker Molasses Cookie Mix with a few adjustments that suit my dietary choices: lower fat, lower calorie, non-dairy.  The package lists nutritional info for dry mix as well as with the added wet ingredients. I replaced the butter and egg the mix calls for with a combo of applesauce and Smart Balance in measurement amounts that I got from How It All Vegan's section on replacements.  

The dough....

Guess what?! It worked! These cookies came out moist, chewy, and very flavorful without the use of eggs or butter. I only tasted a bit of one, as I am embarking on another round of the Adventure Cleanse Tuneup over at NO sugar for me for a few weeks!

 To make sure I wasn't tempted, and as way to brighten someone's day, I bundled these babies up and made a care package for our very nice next door neighbors. Everybody wins!!

Speaking of winning...would you like a Betty Crocker cookie prize pack of your own? Veganize it, eat it raw, share it with yer pals, gift it to someone sweet, whatever you like! Here's how to enter:

Mandatory entry:
(*You must be a follower of Pixiepine Blog- please comment how you follow!)
 Along with being a follower, please comment about your favorite cookies for Fall.

Bonus Entries: (1 for each, please leave a separate comment):
Giveaway will end Tuesday 9/20. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thrifty fun!

Here are some favorite recent finds! Thrifty treasure hunting is truly one of my favorite free-time activities. Sometimes I pass on the treats to someone special, and some, like these, I keep for my self!

Lovely Free People/Anthropologie shirt! The pink belt is a sash that ties in the back. So pretty!

Ebay Extraordinaire! Two vintage melamine coffee cups for .99! 

What treasures have you found lately?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some words I needed to be reminded of! :)


 Bring in (or get back to)· Living in the present moment.
· Removing complication: simplify, simplify, simplify every area of your life that you can. Move away from rampant multitasking and being plugged into a myriad of technological gadgets constantly. Take technology breaks and focus on one task at a time as much as you can. Eliminate clutter. Clean out your cupboards (which will probably lead to healthier eating as well) by throwing out or donating the packaged, canned and less than optimal things buried there.
· Moving out of the thinking mind and into the feeling heart.
· Meditating. Any amount of being still brings immeasurable benefits into our lives even if it’s five minutes when you’re waking up or falling asleep.
· Enjoying everyday moments. There are a million beautiful things that pass through our days. What are five of them that have happened today so far?
· Exercising, through yoga, dance, or whatever you prefer, to release endorphins. When we feel good about our bodies and are generally happier, we move more, so we become fitter and have more energy, so we move more. This creates a positive circle of cause and effect.

The full article is here. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Shirataki Noodle Pie

Food, glorious fooooooood! Yay! It's in the 80's this week. I can turn on the oven!!!!

As usual, our dinner started with a big salad. This one has some almonds and raspberry hazelnut vinaigrette-yum!

Dinner was kale, brussels sprouts, and yummy Shirataki Noodle "spaghetti pie" from Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World.

Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Cookbook Ideas!

I've been feeling bored with the same old meals and recipes. It's also been a million degrees out, which has really limited my motivation in the kitchen. With a slight breeze blowing and hopes of the summer fading into, uh, summery Fall here in Louisiana, I am working on spicing up the homemade meals again!

My recent "shopping" spree on yielded the following finds. I'll be posting from these books in the upcoming weeks.

The Inspired Vegetarian

And from the local library, I'm giving a cookbook a second try. I glanced through this one a while back and wasn't impressed with all the pre-fab ingredients. On further examination, I am really curious about the recipes using Tofu Shirataki Noodles and the crusts that involve oats and Fiber One Cereal. We shall see!

Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World

And also....COOKIES!! Healthy cookies! I truly don't know what my sweet tooth and I did to survive before I found I Heart Wellness. This cookie recipe didn't disappoint! These Berry Patch Oatmeal cookies are zero fat and sweetened naturally. I used strawberries rather than blackberries, I'm sure any berry would be delicious! I also was cookie-crazy so I skipped the careful chopping. A 2nd run with these will have me mincing my berries to reduce to mooshy factor, but the mooshy ones still tasted excellent!