Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Things About My Short Trip to London

I'm not sure what it was about my short trip to London with my fiance was, but I really miss London! I was only there for two days and I didn't really go to many tourist attractions and things like that or get to know the city so well. I was trying not to be attached just because we were there for such a short time period but after a week I still miss London! I guess we went on sunny days which made it a LOT better but still I don't know why I still miss London.

1. I love Joe and the Juice
I only got to go here once, the one on Regent Street (which looks like the Corso Buenos Aires of Milan, but London-y!), but I loved it! The boys there were so nice and chill and they were super-friendly (unlike my experience at Crussh - they weren't mean but they were also not what I'd call warm and friendly), like the boys at the Pret-a-Manager we met. They were very flexible in allowing us to decide what we wanted in our juice, and I love how they blended the spinach with the juice and I've been doing that a lot now! I love green smoothies so this is like the perfect in-between! We also got some sandwiches - I got Tunacado; it was heavenly. The style of the store is kind of hipsterish, but really very nice overall. I kept wanting to go back there but it was quite far from where we were staying at and Luton airport so we didn't end up going back.

2. The park(s) are amazing in London
I only went to Regent Park, because I couldn't leave there! It was so gorgeous and had a beautiful rose garden too. Many people were sleeping there and the days I was there it was nice and sunny. They also have lots of ducks, and I loveeee duckies.

3. Parking is expensive in London
Extremely expensive. I thought Italy was expensive, but London is like the double for a lot of things!

4. My fiance and I recommend the Grim Dykes Hotel
If you like nature-y places it's really a great hotel. You'd have to drive to get there and if you're renting a car you might as well just take the car everywhere, even though it is 5 min. from the metropolitan. The metro, or they call it the tube, looked pretty expensive in London, and split into zones. It's like that too in Milan, but the most expensive ticket in Milan is probably 4 euros, while that seems to be more of the standard for a single-way ticket in London. Anyways the hotel has great service, delicious breakfast (continental and cooked), and it's got so much nature. They have a couple of hiking trails which are short but FILLED with the freshest air I've had in a LONG time. My lungs were literally singing with joy with the air I was breathing there. Even though where we live in Milan there are a lot of trees and it's out of the city, it's nothing compared to when you get full blast of nature and it's seriously clean, crisp air. And they have this pond that looks a bit creepily abandoned (omg do not go at night), but it's got ducklings who are quite keen on some pieces of bread (and I love duckies!). They've also got a vegetable garden which the restaurant uses sometimes, which I adored. It's really pretty gorgeous of a place.

5. Be with someone you love
I know many people want to punch me in the face for this, but I mean anyone. If you don't have anyone that means you probably haven't been very honest about yourself. But even then you could not have anyone I guess. The point is, home for me doesn't really mean a point on the planet, it really means the space where you can be yourself. Sometimes points on the planet prevent this from being true (not even talking about politically oppressive societies - just sit next to the phone in my house for a week and you'll know what I mean). It's a personal practice but definitely worth it. Always ask yourself first "where am I going" before you ask "who am I going with" and it should work out to the best (lessons from CwG :))


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Juicy Clean Sweep

Last week, my fiance and I went on a Juice Detox from Jason Vale.

I am a pretty big advocate of Jason Vale. Jason was first introduced to me by Andy about a year ago. I started reading his Slim4Life Freedom from the Food Trap around this time last year and things have really changed for me. People being like "I could never give up junk food" doesn't bother me as it used to before while I was cleansing. I've gotten past a lot of judgmental remarks that used to bug me as a result of reading Slim4Life. It really isn't like any other diet books that teaches you what to eat and what not to eat. It really transforms the way you think about food. I'd say it's a bit like hypnosis, but really, it's just getting fuller facts (and of course, there may be even more facts out there and the rule of thumb for me has always been follow how you feel) so that you can really be the one making the decision. Anyways long story short,  I highly recommend this book!

The programme my fiance and I did was the 5lbs in 5days plan. I thought it would be pretty hard because I have done one-day juice fasting before and it was difficult, but this was way easier than the one-day fasting. I'm not really sure why, but I think it's the "restriction" mentality. If you're only doing one-day, you feel like you're restricting yourself for a day. If you're doing 5 days of juice only, you kind of think you're on a trip (or something like that; something less temporary).

So I got this book in April or March on Kindle as the "taster" edition, but the full version is coming out in September. I never done a 5 day juice detox before in my life, and the 21 day cleanse I went on still consisted of loads of solid foods. What I like is that you can trust Jason gets the nutrients you need down, and plans like this really are worth so much.

My fiance and I also bought the app, which to me was essential for the completion. It's really not hard, 5 day juice detox, but it isn't so easy if you're kind of blindly doing it just making the recipes and then have normal life for the rest of the part. The app helps a lot because there are coaching videos with tips and tricks and you get to know what to expect. In short, it's like having illustrations in a cookbook (not to mention he also does the recipes so you can watch what to do). I think I would have done terribly if Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution had no photos with real action going on (like he is in the photos so you know how much of what to use and what shape to cut things in etc). It gives you a benchmark and an idea of how it's done, which is essential. You also feel like you're having fun with Jason during the 5 days and Jason has a great personality (well on camera at least ;)), which makes the 5 days easy to do. We also did, on day two, get the new Philips Avance which is really a dream. It's not as easy to clean as they advertise it of course, but really if you're going slowly you can clean this in 5 minutes (1 is a bit exaggerating and in the video they probs didn't clean it completely clean, but I've never had an easier to clean juicer than this!)

I never experienced serious detox withdrawals, as even though before this programme I stopped juicing for a while I've always had loads of fruit and veg in my diet since I read Slim4Life. The reason why I started this programme was I was sooooo out of it. I liked Jamie's recipes and I liked cooking, but I had no desire to eat anything (don't get me wrong; I desired to eat, but I didn't know what!). It sucked!! I really felt clueless and kept asking "what should we eat for dinner........." knowing that whatever my fiance said I would say "I don't feel like it......" Well I'm glad to say that for now, a few days after we finished the plan, I don't have that problem anymore! I've been having ideas of what I'm craving again, and of course I don't crave any junkie food (if I do, never in large fiance knows I love me my tiramisu!!), but that happened after I read Slim4Life already.

Anyways throughout the programme I never experienced any detox symptoms that people complain about. I experienced a little bit of craving for fried foods (I had a thing for homemade fries) and roast veggies but it wasn't too bad. We didn't exercise twice everyday (I think three of the five days) but we both lost quite a bit and my tummy became a pancake! Which is super exciting because that's like the one thing that was always not happening!

The juices were delicious and very satiating. I was never hungry except on the last day, where I didn't drink every juice fully because we were traveling to London.

The differences in our programme included that we used steamed beetroot, which made the taste so different (yeah I know it's kind of really weird). We just could not find any fresh beetroot in Italy! Also we defrosted frozen peas for the sugar snap peas because we couldn't find that either! We couldn't find kale, but since we grow kale in our little garden we did that. We also could not find any parsnip (we called a lot of farmers for this), so we used carrots instead.

Other than that the results? Well a belly as flat as a pancake is what I've dreamed of for years! Aside from that our scale is not very accurate; it ranges from 3kg differences at times so I think I lost 5lbs? I don't know but I definitely look more vibrant, which I can really tell, and no more "I don't know what to eat" (those are the most miserable things ever).

I highly recommend the plan to anyone who is thinking of taking control of their health. But I must warn that this is a serious commitment - it's a serious dive in and no looking back to being slim, feeling the amazing energy of a healthy lifestyle, and the capacity to live like you mean it!