Friday, September 20, 2013

Four Things Friday: Mind & Body

I am Grace smoothie, spinning, stuffed bell pepper, Us Weekly Draft
We all know that after a break-up, you go through that period of time when you just want to drink bottle after bottle of wine and eat pint after pint of ice cream.  And you're totally allowed.   After all, Ben & Jerry are the most dependable men in all of our lives, but after the binging and the crying are over-- there comes the "Now I need to look hot and act sane, so he can rue the day he dumped me" stage.  Here are a few ideas/recipes to get you through that stage, cause we all know it's not nearly as fun as the first stage.

I am Grace Smoothie (from Cafe Gratitude)
Cafe Gratitude is a vegan restaurant that started in San Francisco and has locations now all over the Bay Area and in Los Angeles.  It completely fits the stereotype of the kind of place everyone thinks people in California dine at.  Items on the menu go by names like "I am Humble" or "I am Generous" or "I am Connected." I can hardly order there and keep a straight face, but their food is great and healthy and got me through day seven of my cleanse (I'm currently on day 14, only a week to go and then I can drink alcohol again!)  My favorite item on their menu is the "I am Grace" smoothie, but at $8 it's a little steep for a beverage.  So, I started making it at home.  Ingredients: dates, almond butter, coconut milk, and vanilla bean.  I recommend using light coconut milk or doing half coconut/half almond milk to make it even healthier.  I threw in about four dates and since vanilla beans are so $$$, I use a few drops of vanilla extract instead. The dates get stuck at the bottom of the blender so make sure to stir them in between blends.
I started taking spin classes almost five years ago and it's been my favorite work out ever since.  Even though I'm incredibly picky when it comes to which classes I like-- I prefer instructors who use tough interval training, but also play really good music.  And by really good music, I mean Beyonce.  I've gotten so frustrated with some of the crappy classes I've taken that last Saturday I got certified to teach spin.  The jury is still out on whether I'll have the guts to actually teach anywhere, but it was nice to feel like I accomplished something and learned more about a work out I love.  For those of you who've never taken spin, don't be intimidated.  I found it easier to acclimate to than any yoga or cardio class I've taken.  You can simply take a bike in the back of the class and go at your own pace. 
Stuffed Bell Peppers
What's a girl on a 21 day vegan, gluten free, sugar free, booze free, caffeine free cleanse to do?  Get creative with recipes.  Surprisingly, the hardest part of this cleanse hasn't been missing all the things I can't eat, but coming up with inventive ways to eat the things I can, so I don't get sick of all the same foods.  So the other night, instead of stuffing a bell pepper with meat or rice, I stuffed it with quinoa, black olives, sauteed kale, and grilled zucchini.  I topped it with tomato sauce and baked it in the oven at 375 degrees for about twenty minutes.  I know what you're thinking: Saaara, that's just stuffing a vegetable with vegetables.  Pretty much.  But sometimes changing up the presentation of food makes it more exciting to eat and this was delicious (if I do say so myself).
Us Weekly Fantasy League
This is the mind portion of our mind & body post.  Just kidding, it's totally not.  There actually is no mind portion. But while your ex-boyfriend is distracting himself from your break up with his fantasy football league, you can distract yourself with your fantasy Us Weekly league.  Last week, myself and five friends got together to do our draft.  Here's how it works.  Each team (AKA person) drafts ten celebrities.  We did what's called a snake draft* which basically means taking turns picking our celebs.  Then each week, you have to play 7 of your celebrities (at least two men) and see who scores the most points.  You get points depending on where your celebs  featured in the magazine.  For instance, a cover constitutes 7 points.  I'm Team North West and my players include: Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, John Mayer, Prince William, Robin Thicke, Lindsay Lohan, Lea Michelle, and Britney Spears.  I got ZERO points the first week.  ZERO.  Anyway, this is a really fun way to get together with your girlfriends and will give you a chance to talk about something else other than your break up (even though you can totally talk about that too.) *Bryon taught me what a snake draft is.

Hope you all have a happy and healthy weekend and that you drink a glass of red wine in my honor.  It's kind of a tragedy that I'll be cleansing and won't be able to drink champs while watching the Emmys or take shots of tequila while watching Breaking Bad, but I'll live.  Thank God I'll be done with this cleanse by the time the finale rolls around.


  1. That smoothie sounds very tasty. Have you lost weight on the cleanse? Does a booze-free life really feel "better"?

    By the way, as a fellow writer/editing type, I can't help but wonder what is happening with the career. But also understand if that is a topic too sensitive to post about right now!

  2. I've lost about four pounds so far on the cleanse though I probably won't know for sure until after it's over, because a lot of the foods you can eat unfortunately make you bloated :) I will say I feel a lot healthier and I'm sleeping better than I can remember, but I miss having a social life! The pros are feeling healthier, the cons are that life is just plain boring when you limit what you can eat and drink. I'll be happy when it's over! Thanks for asking about the career stuff, it's not so much that it's sensitive as much as that things are pretty status quo.I wish I had some happier/cooler news to report, but hopefully in the future. Maybe I'll do a 4 things post career edition someday. Thanks Rebecca!