30 August 2012

DIY Juice Detox

It's what everyone needs after a steady diet of pork, french fries, bread, and vegetable oil through a straw (not literally, but it may as well have been).  7 weeks of Romanian food is enough to make any young, healthy, robust human being feel like death warmed over, fried in pig fat, freeze-dried, reheated on High, sprinkled with lard and salt, and slathered over white bread.

I started planning a detox before I even left the country. My research led me to a juice cleanse.  Nothing sounded more appealing than fruits and veggies at the time. So as soon as I deplaned in California, I laid out my plan for a 5-day juice detox regime. My kitchen looked like it had been overrun with those ever-growing  devil vines from Jumanji that take over Kirsten Dunst's house.

My plan (based on professional juicing programs from Blue Print and Ritual Cleanse, for which I was not about to pay loads of money) was as follows: 6 juices a day (3 green drinks, 1 red-ish drink, 1 lemonade, and 1 cashew milk for protein). I borrowed my aunt's $200 juicer. Clearly it's a very high quality product, but why the hell a contraption for sucking juice out of seemingly juice-less things must cost that much is unfathomable. But the thing works like magic, that's for sure. I don't doubt that I could put in Ritz crackers and it would somehow give me cracker juice.

Here are the recipes, should you choose to not read-on and follow this exact cleanse. It's effective, I'm sure, or all those juice companies would be out of business. But do yourself a favor and read on past the recipes for a dose of non-sugar-coated reality.

Green Drink (each recipe makes one bottle, sometimes a little more)
Big handful of kale
Big handful of spinach
1 kiwi
2 Granny Smith apples, cored
1 banana

(Warning: Put all the ingredients through the juicer EXCEPT the banana. Puree the juice with the banana in a regular blender.)

 Red-ish Drinks (take your pick)
1 beet
1 large carrot
2 red apples (any type)
1 lemon


1/3 of a large pineapple
2 red apples
1 cucumber

Spicy Lemonade
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Filtered water

Put a little hot water in a bottle and use it to dissolve the honey. Then add the lemon juice and cayenne. Fill the remainder of the bottle with filtered water and shake it up. 

Cashew Milk
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for a few hours in water
1 cup water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg

Blend all ingredient in a blender. Don't use the juicer for this one. 

There you have it. Now go off and buy all the ingredients and make all the above drinks and SUFFER. OR, read on.

Day 1: I woke up, SO excited to try all my juice concoctions (I made enough for one day. Don't make them too far in advance, as they're not very tasty after a couple days). I had a Green for breakfast.  DELICIOUS!  Doesn't taste like garden weeds, I promise. I then dashed off to the temple. About half-way through any temple sesh, I usually get ravenously hungry and my stomach starts making the sounds of a pig who hasn't been slopped in months. Surprisingly, however, the Green held me over for at least 4 hours. When I exited the temple, it was grotesquely hot. I was stoked to throw back a refreshing lemonade, which I packed with me in a little cooler. A nearly choked and died and then died again. A similar reaction to Glozell's when she did the cinnamon challenge. I used to think nothing was more disappointing than hot water from a bottle left in the sun after a run. I was wrong. It is burning spicy "lemonade" in 110-degree weather after a temple sesh. MISERY. I think it was my own fault, though, as my "pinch" of cayenne pepper was 1/4 tsp. Bad mistake.

And then there was the beet juice. Not bad, but not good either. It tasted like cold borsch and I love borsch, but I wasn't prepared for that, mentally. It'd probably be great if you eat it from a bowl, with a spoon, instead of drinking it from a bottle.

I admit I was most excited for the cashew milk. It looked so creamy and pleasant and smelled so cinnamonny and delicious. WRONG. This was harder to get down than the lemonade!  It tasted like my dog had been chewing on pieces of a cardboard box, then spit them into a blender and added water. I kid you not. Another disappointment.

Day 2:  I was nevertheless determined to stick to a juice cleanse, but needless to say, I altered the recipes or made up completely new ones. I knew what vegetables and spices are key for detox, so I still stuck with those. I did chuck out the cashew milk recipe, however. So for a few days I wasn't getting any protein which probably isn't great, but I'm still alive.

I kept the Green drink, as it is delectable. I replaced the lemonade with THIS:

Sarah's Lemonade
2 lemons (just pop out the seeds so they don't ruin the juicer, but keep the peel and everything)
2-3 red apples
2 large carrots
Pinch of cayenne

It's sweet and tangy and tastes how lemonade should taste. I fell in love with this stuff. And just a pinch of cayenne gives it the tiniest zing. 

I replaced the beet juice with this:

Sarah's Pineapple-Strawberry Delight
1/3-1/2 of a pineapple
Large handful of strawberries
1 large cucumber
A pinch or two of ginger

This drink is frothy and heavenly and refreshing. 

Day 3: I quickly discovered on Day 1 that 6 drinks is kind of overdoing it, as they really are quite filling. By Day 3 I was down to 4 drinks a day--2 Greens, 1 Red-ish, and 1 Lemonade. I never felt hungry and I'm no pansy eater. I didn't feel all that more energized, like a lot of juice-fasters say. The whites of my eyes weren't whiter, my thoughts weren't more profound, etc. My skin did look healthier and glow-ier, but I can't decide if that's because of the juice, the lighting in my house, or the microderm treatments I had just had. Maybe all three.

Day 4: I watched 2 full episodes of Bizarre Foods of America because I am a sick masochist. One may not think that watching some dude chow down on sheep brains and chicken hearts is torture by any means, but when your only craving is something "chewable", anything looks good. I ain't no quitter, but I was ready to toss in the proverbial juice towel and call it success.  I wasn't doing this cleanse to lose weight. I was doing it to detox, and I'm pretty sure that 4 days of a pure liquid diet rid me of all Romanian nastiness in my system.  I frickin peed every hour. I'm pretty sure that there alone worked wonders.

Day 5: Cereal! Chicken! Pasta! Ironically, I was craving juice...


28 August 2012

Social Media Slave

In a feeble effort to simplify my life, I recently initiated a FBoo friend purge. Just a way to eliminate anyone who I have no history with, haven't spoken to in ages, don't plan to ever speak to, etc. No need for the entire world to know every detail of my life. I even contemplated deleting my account.  But that would hardly make me anonymous in the social media world, considering you can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Blo....Crap. There's no hope for me. I am a slave to the interwebs.

The Social Media Monster, asking me his favorite invasive questions. 

And for your viewing pleasure, this:

And this (since you all know food-tography is something I love to hate):

23 August 2012

My Racist Dog

Anyone who has met Beau knows that he is the most darling dog on the face of the planet. Often energetic to the point of psychotic.  So playful that he thinks anyone who comes over to the house is there solely to toss around his slimy dog spit ball.  He's an avid runner and champion fetcher, being half Rhodesian Ridgeback and half Golden Retriever. And the loviest, doviest, cuddliest pooch who has mastered the many facial expressions of a puppy who gets what he wants. He will love you until his dying day.  Truly man's best friend.

Unless you're Mexican.

Somewhere between being adopted as a 6-week-old pup and being raised by an adoring yet disciplining family who loves all races, ethnicities, languages, and religions under Heaven, Beau developed a sincere distaste for non-white folk. I say non-white, but I mainly refer to Mexicans, as I have never in my life seen a black person in Forest Falls, California. I don't know where we went wrong with this dog, but, unchecked, he will be the next leader of the KKKK (for Kanines...heh...heh. Bad joke?).  I claim no responsibility for his actions, but I do claim all the embarrassment as he chases after and jumps on anyone who looks like they might be a Rodriguez, Martinez, or Hernandez.

His racism goes beyond human bounds. He also hates Mexican dogs. Our neighbors to the back have a Chihuahua who Beau detests above all creatures. A stroke of compassion is the only thing that prevented him from eating the worthless brute (that Chihuahua really is the most obnoxious dog I have ever met) when he had him cornered once in our backyard.

My parents disagree with my Racist Dog Theory. My dad's rebuttal was that he chased after some lady speaking French one time.

Case in point.

Beau is not just racist. He's xenophobic.

What do I do with this beast???  Look at this face!! How can I say no??

19 August 2012

Happy Sunday: In the Words of Charlie Chaplin

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written ” the kingdom of God is within man ” – not one man, nor a group of men – but in all men – in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Happy Sunday,

18 August 2012

An American in Paris

When it's 1:00 am and you're sitting on top of your luggage in the Charles de Gaulle Airport because you're far too cheap to pay for a hostel that you'd really only be using for about 7 hours, and you have resigned yourself to staying up all night because you don't trust what might happen should you close your eyes for 2 minutes...

...you watch My Big Redneck Wedding, a CMT gem that conveniently offers one free episode on iTunes.

Nothing says charm like a marriage in a mud bog, under a beer can arch.  And nothing says class like watching this show in Paris. This is how you feel truly American. No shame at all.

17 August 2012


...should be the determining factor in whether or not a country is considered "first world." The ability to create a civilized queue.  To honor order.  To respect personal space. Lines.

I wait in a line
Suffocation, no breathing
Spooning with Asians

If there's one thing that really pushes my buttons--gets my panties in a twist--shivers me timbers--it is people who don't know how to form lines. And when those same people get all up in my grill, completely ignorant of personal space, as if that is going to make the line go faster. Especially after 32 hours of trains, planes and airports, I have no tolerance for such people.

In line for passport control at LAX, home girl was seriously pushing her luck. There were veritable acres of free space around us. Room enough to do a set of 10 cartwheels. She could have stood anywhere.  But some neanderthal, barbaric instinct in her made her stand right up against me. I would inch up. She would follow. This went on for a couple minutes until I couldn't handle it anymore and started inching backwards, backing up into her. I still don't think she got the point.

Below, the white dotted line designates my personal bubble. IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK??? AM I REALLY THAT DEMANDING??? 

05 August 2012

On the Olympics

Thoughts and observations during the first week of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

-Roger Federer has beautiful hair.

-The position of middle ball girl/boy on the back wall of the tennis court should be an Olympic sport of its own.

-The underwater cams used in Men's Water Polo are disturbing and completely unnecessary.

-To my dismay and severe disappointment, the one broadcasting company in Romania that covers the Olympics for some reason hates beach volleyball and loves fencing. Kind of depressing.

-Swimmers are always forced to present themselves on the podium and be praised and applauded directly after exiting the pool, looking often like wet rats.

-Nevertheless, this wet-rat syndrome doesn't seem to affect the men of Team USA, who are clearly carrying genes of demi-gods.

-No matter they just accomplished one of the greatest feats of athleticism, the fame of Olympic athletes is solidified the moment they are tweeted about by Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga.

-Women weightlifters are not actually women.

-Rowing events would be a million times more exciting if they were being chased by man-eating sharks.

-China definitely traffics child slaves to win medals. Their ages are more and more dubious each Olympics. 

 "I root for anyone who is playing against a North Korean. 
Mean, I know, but I just hate that horrible regime and
don't want any glory for that country and it's current despot.
I'm not crazy about China either as I just don't trust them." -My Mom

Happy Sunday: The Work Goes Forth

This week's Happy Sunday post is devoted simply to this darling couple and the work on which they are about to embark, as well as to the other stalwart members of the Church here in Romania.

Brother and Sister Radu are Romania's first senior couple to serve a mission.  They have been called to serve in the Bern, Switzerland LDS Temple for 2 years, starting tomorrow.

My heart is so full of joy, seeing this sweet couple dedicate their time, money, and energy to serving the Lord and His children. They are a tremendous example to the other members here in Romania, and evidence that the Church truly has grown and developed since entering these borders in 1990.

There are so many wonderful, faithful members in this country.  The Radus, I'm sure, are the first of many senior couples from Romania who will go forth to share the gospel as represents of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And this is Andreei, a young man from PloieČ™ti who was here in Cluj a couple weeks ago for a joint Cluj-PloieČ™ti youth activity.  At the activity, he showed off his own "I'm a Mormon" video that he made himself.  This video alone speaks volumes to the incredible faith and strength of the youth here. Andreei is currently waiting for his mission call and undoubtedly will serve with all his heart, might, mind, and soul wherever he is called.

And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God. (D&C 42:6)