Thursday, April 18, 2013

Smoothie Challenge

On April 1st I started a Smoothie Challenge (no joke). The challenge was to replace at least one, perhaps two meals per day with a healthy smoothie that consisted mainly of veggies and fruits. Since I have been drinking my Shakeology religiously every morning I thought it would a good transition to try something new. Don't get me wrong - I love  Shakeology but a change of pace is always a good thing. 
The Simple Green Smoothie challenge was started by two friends who wanted to incorporate REAL food into their diets. I've been pretty inspired just reading about them on their website - what a cool concept and they have acquired quite the following! 
I heard about them through a friend who completed the smoothie challenge at the beginning of 2013. She would rave about the recipes and the way she would feel by drinking at least one smoothie a day. I made the decision to commit to 30 days of at least 1 yummy fruit/veggie smoothie a day (i know, sounds rough doesn't it?) :) 
I am now on week 3 of the challenge, so I only have one more week to go but I will certainly continue keeping on keeping on with this smoothie trend. I have mixed things together that I never thought would taste 'kinda' good let alone awesomely good. 

Also, these gals make the challenge super easy - every Friday they send out an email that contains recipes and a grocery list. I typically pick a few recipes from the list and head out to my local Trader Joe's to pick up the items. Also, another thing I've been doing is adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to every smoothie I make. This is just my personal preference, I love coconut oil and have been trying to incorporate it into everything lately! I will also sub water for coconut water, or almond milk for rice milk but for the most part I don't stray from the recipes provided. Below is a pic of one of my favorite smoothies: 

spinach, almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, banana and almonds..Yum!

As far as the benefits go, I do feel pretty energized! I also feel full in the morning and I'm not staring down the clock until 10:00am hits (when I have my mid-morning snack). Additionally, my skin is looking good - i have been trying out some new stuff from my dermatologist but I am positive all the goodness I am drinking is helping too! As far as weight loss, I haven't been weighing myself so I don't know if it is helping in that area or not. I don't think so, but then again this is to be healthier, not necessarily to drop the lbs quickly. 

I hope you check out the website because smoothies are a great way to incorporate the nutrients our bodies need! And if you are wondering how spinach and mangoes can taste good blended together,  just trust me..these drinks are are De-LISH. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

March Birchbox Review

As a self-proclaimed product junkie, I am always interested in getting samples and trying new hair care, makeup and skin products. Enter Birchbox! For those who don't know about Birchbox (I didn't until last month) it is a monthly subscription where you get to sample products from high-end brands. The monthly charge is $10 but the value of what you receive is much more! 

Late March, my first Birchbox arrived *excited squeal*. I thought the packaging was very simple but also very nicely done: 

I was so excited to see what was inside! I've never subscribed to anything like this and was really hoping that it wasn't just a bunch of junk (i.e. neon eye shadow) that would sit unused in a drawer. Here is what I found when I opened the box: 

A brief breakdown and review (when applicable) of the contents: 

Macadamia Nut morrocian oil - I am a huge fan of the Josie Maran Argan Oil and wasn't sure how I would like this oil in comparison. I should also confess that I cannot stand the Morrocian Oil brand - IMO it stinks really bad and doesn't do much for my hair so I was really hoping this oil would at least smell better. The Macadamia oil reminds me of the patchouli smell so I don't mind it too much because it's not overbearing. It works nicely in my hair, it doesn't feel heavy or make my hair feel greasy. For now, I think I will stay with the Josie Maran oil, but just because it would be really hard for me to like another brand more.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask - I haven't used this yet, but I am really looking forward to doing the mask. My hair is really damaged and dry due to years of coloring and using a blow dryer/straightener almost daily. I am so jealous of people who naturally have smooth and beautiful hair...hopefully this mask will help with making my hair look more healthy.

Marcelle  BB Cream in Golden Glow - this is my favorite product so far. I received a .5oz tube and have been using it every day. It has just enough coverage to hide imperfections but it isn't too heavy and doesn't look cakey. Sometimes I put it on with a brush, and other times just with my fingers. In both cases it goes on smooth and easy. A full size version is 1.6 oz and costs $27. While it is a bit pricey for BB cream, I would definitely purchase it in the future.

Stella Cadente Miss Me perfume - I am not a big fan of perfume at all and if I do wear perfume I am super picky about what it is. Usually in the fall/winter months I'll wear Michael Kors or Burberry London. In the spring/summer I will wear my new favorite scent, Jo Malone's French Lime Blossom. I also like Bobbi Brown's Beach for the summer. This perfume by Stella Cadente is a bit too strong and floral for me. I liked it at first sniff but it is the type that I would quickly dislike after wearing it for a couple hours. The scent itself is nice, it's just not my style.

Supergoop Everyday Face/Body lotion SPF 30 - this is a nice lotion with a good amount of SPF in it. However, because I just bought a fabulous sunscreen from Elta (recommended by my derm) so I haven't used the Supergoop yet. According to my dermatologist you should use sunscreen with Zinc and Titanium in it, Elta has both.

Maxwell Emery Board - this was the extra in the Birchbox for March. It has a pretty floral design, and I like it because I seem to go through emery boards faster than I know what to do with them.

Overall, I was pretty happy to see the contents in the box, I am going to give this a few months to decide if I am going to keep the subscription or not. If you are interested in subscribing, click here to sign up. As mentioned above, it's only $10 and you can cancel at anytime.